Art lessons

I love art.  I’m sure that has nothing to do with growing up with an artist mom who dragged us to the Art Institute of Chicago on free days or had us help her man her station at art fairs as kids, or the fact that she had this room full of art supplies, and everything hanging on our walls was something she created.

I’d give tours as a kid to my friends.  “My mom made that..and that…and that…”

But I had decided that I wasn’t any good at art.  I was good at writing, so that’s where my artistic streak was channeled.  Until recently.

Last year, I went to one of those “Art and Sip” things with a friend, where we painted snowman pictures.  By the end of it, I looked at my snowman and thought “Hey, I don’t suck at this!  And it’s fun!”

$129.53 worth of painting supplies later, I had just enough to give myself a fair shot at this.

Being the overly-ambitious person that I am, I decided to try to recreate things for Maura, because in hanging a couple pictures in Maura’s room, she started collecting more things to hang on her wall. (And I have to say, discovering her love of artwork gets me all giddy!)

I decided to copy the moon from the show “Ruby Gloom” – a favorite of Maura’s.  And it came out pretty darn well.  Maura kept eyeing my progress, and when it was done and dry, grabbed it and set it on a shelf in her room until I was able to hang it on the wall.


Even better?  I discovered that painting was, in its way, calming for me.  Therapeutic even.  Just dabbing paint onto canvas, playing with the colors, it was fun.

Of course, because I love Maura and am a better mom than anyone, I decided to make her another painting.  This time, I got more ambitious and decided to copy Rapunzel’s painting from “Tangled” – another of Maura’s favorite movies.  Again, Maura hovered over my shoulder, figuring out what I was doing.  “Hairbrush!”  (Yes, that’s her word for “Tangled” – makes complete sense.)  When done, she wanted that up on the wall as well.

This one wasn’t as relaxing as the first, because I was afraid of screwing up near the end.  But I didn’t.  I got it right enough. And it totally didn’t suck either!

"Tangled" still that I worked off of
“Tangled” still that I worked off of
My decent knock-off version
My decent knock-off version

And then, I let Maura pick out a canvas print of “Frozen” – because I know my limits. And we hung them all on her wall in a grouping.  And the girl was happy, and for that moment, I was the best mom ever.

Maura's artwork corner
Maura’s artwork corner

Mothering Maura, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about all she can’t do, all we won’t share, because honestly, it would be depressing.  Instead, I cherish these moments in time, where our interests overlap, and try to make the most of them.  And in total Life-with-Maura style, I have learned something new about myself.

And who knows?  Maybe I’ll have a future in art forgery! That pays well I hear.