Why choose this topic?
I’ve always wanted to let woman know they have every right to be accepted as renowned artists. In fact women use more of their left-brain than men, so they have more intuitive sensitivity to assess situations quicker.
So can women make it? Yes! …. By listing their priorities and making time to succeed.
Often you hear women say, “But I haven’t time to paint!”.
Make time to paint! If you don’t make time for yourself, others are quite willing to keep you busy!
Schedules are not everybody’s `cup of tea’. I hate been restricted by ever re-occurring duties, doing it the same way, same time, every day. But working out a time budget and making a list of things you need to do next, helps to keep you focused.
“But our families are so demanding”.
Yes I know. You have a job and you’re tired at the end of the day. And if you have babies, you still have to keep house and see to the needs of the rest of the family. And families aren’t very encouraging. They don’t think what you do is important. Painting to them is playing, a waste of (their) time! But to you it’s your life’s blood, the thing that keeps you sane in times of madness.
You know your family and what their needs are and what possible hitches to your schedule could occur in any given day. And work out possible alternative contingency plans. It’s a fact that women can do more things at a time than men.
So now you’re wondering: That’s easy to say, but how did Ada cope?
As my history has been briefly stated on my “About the artist” page, I had five children.
I was grateful I had any children at all. At first I used my talent to embroider motifs and slick fun patches on their clothes. By the time our third child was two I had started doing copper-work and painting in oils. I sold my art at a small picture shop in Durban.
While at my parents’ home in the Drakensburg, I would paint berg scenes while the children played in the brooks. When we went down the south coast of Natal, I painted seascapes while my husband fished and the children swam in the tidal pools. When the three eldest children were on holiday from school, I would prepare food, biscuits, etc and put it in containers and in the fridge, so they could help themselves anytime of the day when they felt hungry.
By the time the last two children arrived there had been a gap of ten years and the eldest was working away from home and we were living on a ten-acre plot. While the children were at school and hubby at work, I found time to continue doing research, painting and teaching art in the mornings. The people who came for art lessons came from all walks of life, even an art TV presenter at one time. His art was eerie though, he showed God as a disembodied face in outer space!
I learnt the best way to get things done in your day is to work according to your energy levels. It was easier to `do my thing’ in the mornings after a good night’s rest. I reserved the afternoons for the children and the evenings for my husband. I heard years ago of a woman who had eight children and lived in Italy, her best time was to paint in the evenings, I’m presuming after the children were all asleep!
Opposition in all things:
Accepting challenges opens up opportunities, new perceptions and practices.
Of cause things weren’t always easy to accomplish because we started living on the plot without a house to live in. I drew the building plans, just the basics, no cupboards, art studio or outbuildings at first. I had to stay at home because of theft. In between painting (when one loses concentration) I would do housework, and see to gardening, the chickens, cattle, etc., no matter what the weather. Once, the hail came down as big as cotton reels while I was herding small calves back into their improvised shelters.
On Fridays I would travel into Johannesburg to teach art, slept over and do demos at galleries on Saturdays. At one time I packed my art things into our vehicle at four thirty on winter mornings to do demos at one of the venues. To cope, I listened to taped music as I travelled between home and assignments, and home again to make dinner.
Country milieus are inspiring though. It was great to listen to birds singing, see wild flowers waving in the breeze, cattle meandering in the velt (glasslands), hawks soaring high as majestic storms brew, filtering strange light after the storm, etc. The break refreshes your consciousness and imaginative powers. So that when you get back to painting you are able to assess its faults and or potential.
Don’t expect too much of yourself or your family. There does come a time when the family want your paintings to hang in their homes, when they get married! Through your steadfast perseverance others realize success is possible.
Seeing the world through positive eyes, staying calm and using humour are the best coping mechanisms.
The power of creativity lies within you.
Talents must be used often – if you want an increase… You are more productive when you enjoy living and working in the moment of creativity.