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Paula Borsetti

US mixed media visual artist

S3 Ep87

Paula Borsetti

Listen and subscribe on Spotify and itunes/Apple podcasts

My guest this week is Paula Borsetti, a visual artist, mother of 1 and grandmother of 2 from Beverly, Massachusetts USA.

Paula grew up in a creative family, her dad played the bagpipes and her mother encouraged her creativity. While in high school she took an arts course at a local school and went on to study visual arts. When her daughter was little she joined the local Art Guild to push herself to get involved in exhibitions. After holding various unrelated to art jobs, she fell into teaching art at High School and went on to teach for 26 years, up until 2 years ago when the pandemic hit. She’s been full time in her studio ever since, just a few steps from her back door and surrounded by a trio of English Springer Spaniels.

Paula works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking & mixed media work. Shecreates abstract paintings that tell a story of her life. Her work reflects a love of family, friends and the natural environment of New England. Working in acrylic on linen and panel, she borrows colors, patterns, textures, forms and movement to create layered paintings meant to evoke personal moments and narrative.

Her largest and most recent PALS series is an ongoing body of work inspired by the battle her friend's son is waging against ALS. Creating this series allowed Paula to process witnessing what this disease does to people – the patients, their families, friends and the community. She has spent the past 9 years raising funds and awareness for ALS. Her husband Joe and herself created Locust Street Studios, where they make whirligigs and do cooperative projects together.

Paula is very passionate about being involved in her community, and is inspired by a family history of strong, independent women, and of mentors who showed her that she could continue her creativity even with children, work and mentoring others. Paula is very is involved in the care of her 2 grandsons and is incredibly grateful for that time.

She has many shows coming up, you can check them all out here

Paula- instagram / website

Podcast - instagram / website

Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.

When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast

I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!


Thank you!


Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.


Welcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their work has been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also strain to territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the shownotes along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online, I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison Newman dotnet slash podcast. The art of being a man would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on as being the Bondic people in the barren region of South Australia. I'm working on land that was never seen it. Thank you so much for joining me this week. It's been a pretty full on weekend I've just returned from Adelaide for a gig with my singing part of my life, where I was lucky enough to perform at a venue in Adelaide with the DJ so that was a lot of fun. I'd also like to apologise for the quality of the recording this week, I had a frantic last minute change of equipment due to an unfortunate incident involving my cat and her bladder. Too much information sorry, my computer is still recovering. But I'm very pleased to say that my guest this week is Paula Bosetti. She's a visual artist, a mother of one and a grandmother of two from Beverly in Massachusetts in the United States. Paula grew up in a creative family her dad playing the bagpipes and her mother encouraged her creativity. While she was in high school, she took an arts course at a local school and went on to study visual arts. When her daughter was little she joined the local art guild to push herself to get involved in exhibitions. After holding various unrelated to art jobs. She fell into teaching and a high school teaching art and went on to do so for 26 years. Until two years ago when the pandemic hit. It was time to retire and she's been full time in her studio. Ever since. Just a few steps from her back door and surrounded by a trio of Springer Spaniels. Paula works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking and mixed media work. She creates abstract paintings that tell a story of her life. Her work reflects a love of family friends in the natural environment of New England. Working in acrylic on linen and panel she borrows colours, patterns, textures, forms and movement to create layered paintings meant to invoke personal moments and narratives. Paula is very involved in the care of her two grandsons and is incredibly grateful for that time. Her largest and most recent pals series is an ongoing body of work inspired by the battle her friend's son is waging against ALS disease. Creating this series has allowed Paula to process witnessing what this disease does two people, the patients, their families and friends and the community as a whole. She has spent the last nine years raising funds and awareness for ALS. Her husband Joe in herself created Locust Street Studios, where they make whirly gigs and do cooperative projects together. Paula is very passionate about being involved in her community, and is inspired by a family history of strong independent women and of mentors who showed her that she can continue her creativity even with children, work and mentoring others. Being on the podcast has also given Paula the opportunity to reflect on time has gone by and members of her family who continue to inspire her. Her father was an only child and her grandmother always worked and went to school to learn to be a manicurist she worked out of her home, and eventually the family home when she moved in with all his parents. She had customers that were there with her for years and she continued to work into her 90s her mother in law passed two years ago at 101 Almost 102 and her mother is 94 and still lives in the house she built with her dad. She's very grateful for the strong and independent women role models in her life. And she's conscious not to take that for granted. Paula has quite a lot of shows coming up in the next few months. You can check out the link in the show notes. We You can go to pull up For more information. Thanks again for tuning in. And I really hope you enjoyed today's chat. And apologies for my very croaky voice.

It was a big weekend of singing. Thank you so much for coming on polar. It is such a pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Well, thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Yeah, I'm excited to chat to you. So I know that you listened to an episode of someone who is nearby, I think in location was Katie Callaghan's episode. So whereabouts are you in the US?

So I am in Massachusetts, in Beverly, which is north of Boston. And I tell people that we're next to Salem, because most people know of Salem, Massachusetts. Yeah. town over from Salem. Yeah, it's

a good landmark isn't on the east coast in the East Coast. I actually you when you said a few words that you sounded really Boston like that real accent.

So funny. I was telling my friends that I wish I had an Australian accent. Sounds so good on a recording and you know, in life where my my accent is not an accent but then it is to other people. So yeah. Now it's funny. I have a friend that I met. Kind of related. So I when I was teaching, I did a lot of teacher fellowships. And so I met a friend in Cleveland, which is Midwest. And she was just making so much fun of me of how I sit squirrel. You You say squirrel? Whoa squirrel, nonsmoker Whoa. So it's just so funny no matter where you are. Everybody sounds sounds different. Yeah, that's

it, isn't it? And then yeah, when I say as a squirrel squirrel

so I mentioned being a teacher, but you're at the moment that you're a visual artist, that you're a painter. And I can see some beautiful artwork behind you. And thank you for sending me some photos too. Can you describe for people the the style that you would call your art and the sort of mediums that you used

a work I am an abstract painter. And I'm working in acrylic right now. And I add a lot of mark making like drawing tools or sometimes collage sometimes transfers, but primarily acrylic paint. And I build up a lot of layers. And I think of myself as an painter because I like to put everything in and then cover it over and kind of build a history with the work. And so some of its narrative a little bit. But mostly it's from experiences that I have every day and in my everyday life and my family. So I just work from a process where I don't sketch out and plan my work I just get started and then see what happens and let the painting progress that way.

Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I'm gonna share some photos of your work you know through your promotion because I just it's really interesting I don't think I've ever seen like a similar to abstract work, but I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like yours. It's really lovely. It's like, like, the one that's over your right shoulder the with the blue. Like what? What inspired you to make that one?

So this one with the pink above it or the one? Yeah, yeah,

the one with the pink one.

Yeah. So I'm having I'm working on a series of paintings. That is really about healing. And my dear friends son He was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 25. And he and my daughter grew up together, we shared, you know, we traded off kids so we could go to work. And so for the past nine years, I've been using my art to help raise funds and awareness for ALS.

But things like

selling cards or doing, you know, proceeds from my artwork, and then I just realised it wasn't enough, I needed to really dig a little bit deeper into what it meant to process this whole kind of journey. And so I started a couple of years ago, just thinking about his whole journey and, and how everybody's kind of dealing with that. And so these, this series of paintings, jump jump off from words that he gave me a list of words, I asked for his caregiver to come up with a list of words. And it just started there with words. And so I do a lot of writing on the canvas before I start. And then this one, in particular is called the dose of Prunella and I was really thinking about sections of the body. So this is really a figurative painting in a way. The background it's hard to see in here, but the background has a lot of mark making that has equations that aren't solved. It's kind of references, an old chalkboard and that, but inside the figure, the colours are really warm, and it's hopeful, and it's blossoming. And Prunella is also called all heal. And so it's a flower that's used to heal everything from internal to external wounds. And so that piece is really telling that story about healing from the inside to the outside and everything that kind of goes on around it.

I love that. So yeah, there's a lot of symbolism in that. Yeah, that's yeah.

It went through many, many stages of being I like I was saying earlier, I feel like I can paint because I put everything in. So there was so many stages of trying to figure out, I knew from a dream that I had, I wanted to have these three segments. But figuring out how much of the story is told through symbolism that's recognisable, and how much is told through what's abstract. You did it? There's a lot of paint. Yeah.

We're on that with you with what you put into work. Do you buy stuff around with painting? I'm not a painter. I just like painting. Right? So this is me coming? Coming at you with someone painter. Someone with a very likes paints is a painter. So yeah, do when you create something like that with the symbols in it? Do you want your audience to work it out? Or do you not care what your audience makes of it? Because you've expressed what you want to express? And then you sort of pass it over to them to take what they want from it.

Yes, yes. So that's a really fine balance, like a tight rope almost, you know, I, I paint them because I need to. And I hope that somebody sees something in it that speaks to them, you know, makes it a personal journey for them. So, you know, I don't I don't mind that if and nobody kind of references that chalkboard feeling of the background or you know, the feeling that's internal in those in those sections. It's okay, if it's interpreted in another way. That's okay with me. I just want hopefully somebody to see it and feel a connection.

Yeah, yeah. Cuz it was the reason I asked you that is my my son who's well, he's now seven. I think he might have been six when he asked me this, because I was doing some painting and he wanted to know what it was about. And I said, Well, you, you can work out whatever you want out of it. And he goes about how when you paint it, though, don't you want people to know? And I said, I don't mind if they don't know. And I know when I said it. I sort of thought do I really? You know, I started to question myself. Yeah, so I'd like that, especially the people that paint lot with that symbolism, I find that really interesting.

I think that, you know, as an, as an artist, you know, you have a story that you want to tell. And you just put it out there and hope that somebody is going to hear it in their own way, you know, and that, that it will resonate with them. Yeah, I'm sure it's that way with the, with music as well, you know, when you're when you're crafting a song that, you know, you want people to get that, that feeling that you have from it, you know, but you know, it's gonna be their interpretation or their experience of it. Yeah,

absolutely. That's, ya know, that's a good way to compare it actually.

So want to take you back to when you got started in painting? Have you been painting your whole life?

So, yes. It seems silly. But I was thinking about this. And one of the Yeah, always had been creating something and using my hands for something. And, and I remember, the question brought me back to this memory of, we had a typical, you know, our house had a back porch with the white railing. And one day, I decided that I didn't understand why it was the right way. So I got my friend to colour it with me with crayon. You know, we thought, amazing. My mom didn't think it was so amazing. So it had to be cleared off before my father got home. But I always remember, you know, I grew up in a creative family. And so, as a matter of fact, my father would rather do anything than, you know, work on the house, or, you know, he he wanted to be creating all the time. And so I get that from him. But when they were finishing the upstairs of our house, before it got wallpapered I have I'm the youngest of four, we were able to just draw and write on the walls, because it was going to be wallpapered. Yeah. And I think probably that lasted about seven years. So if that wallpaper ever comes down, the people are in for a whole history lesson on what it was like in the late 60s or early 70s. I don't know. I know there were there was a lot of music quotes on that wall. And, and as a matter of fact, one of my friends from high school told me years later, she couldn't understand what kind of a house that I lived in. That we were able to write on the walls Yeah, so anyways, I I've always been creating. I was fortunate to go to art school. When I was in high school, my my friend's mother worked at a Catholic school, and there was a sister a few towns away that was giving art lessons and so we were able to sign up and my friend was able to take the car. So we started going there during high school in the summers, and she's the one that told us to go to art school. So she had us put our portfolios together, wrote us letters of recommendation. So that was my first push to go from her my divine intervention servants and

good so back then were you draw Are you were you painting in a similar kind of style to what you are now or have you gone sort of through some changes in your, your methods?

I was doing a lot of landscape painting. So you know, in in art school, we did a lot of still life and figures in oil painting, and then I wasn't able to do oil painting in my home because of the fumes and so I switched to watercolour and started doing a lot of painting outside. I started working after art school, not in an art field. And then I did had several different jobs before I fell into teaching. So that wasn't until my daughter was in kindergarten that I that I went into teaching. So I did bookkeeping and and just different jobs to maintain my art practice. Yeah, so my work was mostly watercolour landscapes. And but always a little bit abstract. I always was not really interested in in representing exactly what was in front of me, but rather a feeling or a sense of the place. Or my memory of the place.

Yeah, yeah, that yeah, I can. I can relate to that a lot that? Yeah,

yeah. Well, my daughter was little I started going to our I joined the local art guild, so that I would make sure that I kind of pushed myself to be able to be in exhibits, and be in a group of artists, so that I wasn't just working and not not involved in art. So I did that for a long time. And then when she went to kindergarten is when I started teaching. kind of fell into that. Yeah, well, I didn't really have a studio, then to share. So I did have a bedroom. That was our kind of office slash my studio. So that's why I painted a lot outside, you know, and I could put my daughter in the stroller and fill up a backpack and go and do some painting. So it wasn't until I turned 40 that I got my studio, which is where I am right now in my studio, which is our garage that we completely remove my husband redid it for me to make it into a studio. Yeah, cool. I was looking for studio space outside we had a in the downtown area of our city, there was a old mill that was made into studios, you know, and I was thinking about going in the so I would be with other artists. But at that time, I was working full time two or three jobs, going back to school and I knew my I would come out and do my work at nine o'clock at night, I wasn't going to be getting in the car and going going someplace. So yeah, it's really been a blessing.

So you talked about going into teaching? Did you teach art? Or did you teach your different subjects

into an art high school art? So I might, my sisters were teachers. And I was not going to be a teacher. And then I, when when I said I, when I had my daughter and I joined the local art group, one of the women in that group was actually the, the head of the art department for the city. And when the city they were looking for somebody at the high school, and she passed my name on, and they called me out of the blue and wanted me to come in and, you know, I call my sister and she said, Yes, you're going to do this. And so I went and that was it. I was hired, and I taught for 26 years. So and sometimes I think like what would have happened if I started my studio practice 26 years prior, but I don't think I would be in the same place as I am now. You know, the the being a teacher really opened me up to, you know, not only meeting so many amazing students, but learning how to learn again, I guess, you know, and wanting, wanting the students to have that love of learning. And when you're teaching, you're teaching all kinds of things. So you're learning as you're going and I don't know it was it was a good one. I have to say I really loved the students and And as a matter of fact, my daughter became a teacher at the same high school. So we will colleagues for seven years to teach us culinary. So that was a really fabulous. Yeah. So. And I taught at the high school where I swore once I left, I would never step foot in that building. Was back

that teaching, but Oh, that's lovely. That's a great, that is a great story, isn't it? Yeah. Sometimes we just sort of end up doing things. And you sort of, I don't know, like you said, You just fell into it. And that's the thing, if, when you said about if you had have said no to that, perhaps and then really got stuck into yarn. But then on the flip side, all those experiences that you had, and that have probably fed into your creativity over the years, so it's sort of like, Yeah, it's interesting. Yeah.

Right. And, and, and, you know, it I love I love doing things in the community and giving back and I think about the mentors that I had. And teaching was my way of kind of giving back to all those people in my life that helped me along. And so I'm really appreciative of that, and grateful for that opportunity to do that. You know, and then, when COVID hit, teaching remote, I walked out of my classroom in March, and I never went back because that was the year I was, had made the decision that I was jumping and jumping to my studio full time. Yeah, so that was kind of crazy. And yeah, to that. But I had, I knew at that point. It was time, you know, it was time for me to take that leap and jump into my studio practice full time. So it's just been under two years that I've been full time in the studio. Or just just a little over two years, I guess. Yeah. Yeah.

How does that feel? Now being able to do that? Is that a really satisfying time for you? Now you're living that dream, like it

really is? Like, I get to do this every day. And, you know, sometimes my husband's like, you're just, you know, full out, like, don't want to do anything. I've been waiting. Like, yeah, this is my time. This is what I want to do. So, you know, it's really so much fun to be able to be working at this, you know, and I want to steps out my door. So it doesn't matter what the weather is. Out here and here I am and a whole nother world, you know?

Yep. Yep. So this is a good time to mention the the three studio dogs that you have that you photos are gorgeous. Are they like us manual or some sort of retriever? What are

they? They're English Springer Spaniels, their field spaniel. So they're not the show Spaniels with the the shows being able to have longer hair and ears but they're their field spaniel. So they're raised 200,000 to do field trials and are just hanging out in my studio. One of them is 10 and Jenny and she has a broken bat. She had a broken spine when she was about a week old so she's she doesn't think she's any any different though. She's fat. She's great. She's done really well. And then the other black and white one is my daughter's but she comes every day for Nana and Grampy camp. And the youngest one is are the brown and white is sunny. So she's our baby.

Yeah, I love it. It's great. Must be yeah, nice to have that company. You know, just the just in the space with you know us

most of the time. Sometimes they're knocking me over. Oh, and they're they're wrestling into my feet and yeah, I'm done with them having them sometimes

So you're also a grandma, which is pretty cool. Congratulations. Because it's I sort of think, you know, we take things for granted sometimes. And I don't know, it's nice to be able to celebrate that we've, you know, moving through life and still doing what we love. Yeah, you have two grandsons.

You have two grandsons. So I have one daughter. And she has two boys, her and her husband have two little boys. One is five and the other is two and a half. And so the five year old goes to preschool. So I pick him up every day at preschool and have him for the for the afternoon. So I'm am doing childcare along with, along with painting full time, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. You know, I'm so fortunate to be able to help them out. But also spend that time with him. Yeah, next year, he'll go to kindergarten, and I probably won't need to pick them up. So I'll probably have have the other one though. So yeah, that's, that'll that'll be that'll be good. But yeah, haven't being a grandparent is amazing. You know, because you're not 24/7. Yeah, they can come and go. But yeah, it's, it's really special. Yeah. And they, and I love that they see me as an artist, you know, like, I'm their Nana, but they also know that I'm an artist, and they talk about my paintings, they come out to my studio, you know, they'll paint with me, I will do projects together. You know, they know that this is a part of who I am.

That's awesome. How did that go? Then when your daughter you talked about when she was in kindy? Then you went back? You were working as a teacher then. But she would have seen you she would have seen new paint before then. Was that something that you were sort of? i No one wanted her to see that. And I put this in air quotes. You weren't just her mom, because we never just mad, but that you also doing things for yourself?

Yes, that was really important to me. Because I always wanted her to have a strong opinion of who she was as a person, and not other labels attached. And so I wanted her to know that, you know, I was more than, you know, I'm not just my job, I'm not just a mother, you know, I have things that I'm passionate about. And then I'm going to pursue those things. Because those are the things that light us up and, and fulfil our lives. And so it's always worth chasing that dream. And that passion. And, and that other things, you know, may not be as important as we think they are. So I wanted I always took her with me, she knew that I was doing other things. And on the other hand, on the flip side of that, though, when I was teaching, and they had to go back to school a lot and be taking courses, you know, there was a time where I was going for my masters that it was weekend courses. So I would be gone Friday night, all day, Saturday, and all day Sunday. And some of those weekends were birthdays, you know, her 10th birthday, I was in class and so I had that difficult time of trying to figure out, you know, how do I balance this and make it okay. I can remember being in a class and giving a presentation and just cry, you know, like bursting into tears because it was her birthday and I wasn't there you know, to celebrate it with her

but yeah, that you know

that mom guilt, right?

Oh, yeah. You took the words right out of my mouth. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So is that you give me that example. But is that is that something that you've sort of over the years, I guess you've got that perspective now with the grandchildren? Is it something that you've sort of learned to let go and not judge yourself as harshly? Or is it is it's, you know, still something that you think about.

I definitely don't judge myself harshly for that, for doing what I what I want to do anymore. I wish I had known that I could do that and had that confidence, you know, a long time ago, that it was okay to let things go. We can, you know, if it's okay, if the dishes pile up in the sink. millinery isn't all folded and put away if you're, if you're doing something that you want to be doing, or you're on the floor, playing with the kids, you know, those things are okay, you know, that that's more important sometimes. I think that the area that I grew up in where, you know, I saw my mother You know, she had to stop working when she was pregnant when she started showing, you know, it was time for her to be home and be preparing, you know, being a housewife, but she was never, she, she kind of just did her thing too. You know, like, she always worked she. She, she did things that she loved to do. And so I think that that was a good role model for me as well. So I don't know, I think that times have changed, I think hope thankfully, you know, yeah. Yeah. And I think that limit and ask their partners for more help than we ever do. Well, my generation or, you know, it was different.

Yeah, it sort of wasn't sort of acceptable to, to ask for help. Was kind of that was your job, I guess. Just thinking about, you know, my mother's

Yes. Yeah. I'm pretty balanced and balanced, balanced at all. So you had to, you know, take care of juggling it all and, and not ask for help and tuck everything away. And, you know, yeah,

but thank goodness, that's changed. Yes, yes. Yeah. So when you're talking about your mom having to leave work when she started to show my mum's auntie. So the age of my grandma, I guess, was soon as they got married, they had to leave work. Because it was like, You need to give the single girls you need to give them the jobs because now you're married. You've got a husband, so you don't need to work. And don't need to work. Yeah, I know. She was very fiercely angry about it. Yeah. I couldn't imagine being told that I just be like, sorry, angry.

Well, even with my sisters, I said I was the youngest of four daughters. And my oldest sister. And the second oldest sister. The only options for them were to become nurses or teachers. You know, that was pretty much the track that they were, they were sent on, you know, and then just a few years later, I was able to go to art school. So I was I was lucky. Timing. One at the right time, you know?

Yeah. Yeah. So take them. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

With regard to what influences you were sort of talked about, it's basically your life and your experiences. So did you notice then after you had your daughter that your your painting radically changed because of all you know, the emotions and the cutting the word is, but the emotions of going through becoming a monk.

So I don't think it radically changed. I think that I became more in tune with maybe with how I my feelings and then understanding that that could be expressed through my art As opposed to just going out and painting, so excuse me something that I saw. Yeah, I don't think so, there really wasn't a huge change, I just had to find ways to do it, along with being a mum and working full time. And so it became grabbing moments when I could, making the time I would work smaller, you know, so that I could just make sure I, you know, if I had 20 minutes, I could do something that was not a huge project. So something that was smaller, did a lot of different things, you know, painting, painting on clothing, and I don't know, just finding any way I could to make sure I got the work done. And then when I started teaching, I had time to do work, because I was working on things in the studio at school, and learning different things. And I always kept my practice going, even, even through teaching. Going back to school, taking classes, you know, being a mom, it was important for me to really keep that. Keep that practice going. But I don't think that my work really. I don't think I was able to really see a huge shift in my work until I started doing it. Full time.

Yeah, it makes making a difference. Being able to do it full time. Yeah, absolutely. And did the way that the way that you saw yourself, personally, did that go through some changes when you had your daughter?

I don't think so. We try. It was difficult for me to get pregnant. So I think that I was so relieved when I was when I was pregnant, and when I had her you know, as something that I wanted for so long. And so it just felt like another piece of the puzzle, you know, that I that I wanted to have happen. And so I didn't really change what I how I felt about myself, you know, and just added to added to the Yeah, the me. I didn't lose myself. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I found another piece of myself.

Hmm. Yeah. Do you think that being able to paint all the way through? Helped that? You know, you say you didn't lose a part of yourself, I guess, because you were able to keep doing that thing that was so ingrained in you. Yes,

yeah. Yeah, definitely. I think that no matter what, creative outlet that I found, you know, I found a way to always have some, some creative outlet. So I think I would have lost my self if I didn't have that. You know, I?

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

I had a really good friend and mentor, who I took classes from her actually, when I went to high school with one of her sons. She had six kids, and found a way to continue doing her work. And she had a studio and she taught. So she really was a great role model for me that you can still do, do it all, you know. Yeah. Have your family have your career through your art, mentor other people. And she was painting. She just passed away last year, unfortunately. And, you know, we were talking art and painting and, you know, until the day she died, so, gosh, you know, it's just, she was just a fabulous role model for that.

That's very inspiring, isn't it? People? Yeah.

Now I've got to mention you. You said to me in an email that your dad played bagpipes. Yes, is so cool, because listeners will probably recall that my son Alex has been playing the bagpipes probably for about just over 12 months I record maybe. Can't think exactly when he started. It's an incredible instrument, isn't it?

Yes. You know, I grew up going to parades probably every weekend when I was a kid, you know, and, and following my father's bagpipe band and my mother toning up his pipes. And he played the chanter constantly. Yeah, yep. And he used to play the bagpipes, he used to march around our back yard and playing his pipes. And at one point, we had a goose, the goose would follow him. The neighbours would be like there is added again, you know? I love it, though. You know, and it's funny where I live now. We have a cemetery that's just down the street. And there's somebody that that goes and practices in the cemetery. And every so often I hear the sound come through my studio, and I just think that it's bad, you know? Yeah. Fabulous.

It is. It's like, Alex. So he just turned 15. And he Yeah, he never was into anything musical, like, I'm musical, my husband's musical. But I'd always say to him, do you want me to show you how to play something like on the piano? Or do you wanna sing now I don't want to do it. And then all of a sudden, he just decided he wanted to play the recorder, which is like a, you know, horrible sounding instrument. So he played that for me. And then I got him an Irish tin whistle because I thought that'd be a bit nicer sound. And it's similar was in, he's actually that's in the same key as what a bag clubs are in. So once you master that, he said, Well, now want to play the bagpipes. Oh, my God, really? The bag. But like, Yeah, but it's wonderful. It's so wonderful. And I just, I'm so proud of him, you know, a kid, the kid wanting to play such a iconic instrument and one that, you know, not many kids play, you know, he's in a band in the band of our town. And he's by far the youngest in there. And they all love him. Because it's like, they're so pleased that the next generations coming through and they're almost like his little, he's the little sort of mascot that they can put out the front and say, Look, anyone can play the back votes. You know, it's not this. You know, people think right for people who are older, but you know, yes, it's great. It

is it? Is it a like a Scottish bagpipe. Because I know there's different types

of pay. It is the Scottish cops. Yes. He wears his kilt and his little spar and a little hat. And it's just lovely. And he loves loves the lovers getting dressed in his in his outfit. So yes, it's bringing bringing a lot of joy to us at the moment.

That's wonderful. My dad had a special set of pipes that somebody actually made him from Scotland. And no. We, when he passed about 16 years ago, now, but we gave his pipes to somebody who was in a band in a few towns over, but it was sad to see them go, you know, so special to him. You know, and they were really it was such a big part of our lives. And even now, I you know, when I hear bagpipes, I know if they're good.

Yes, yeah.

And I'm not musical at all. But my dad could pick up anything he could play any instrument he would just self taught and he could just pick it up and play it. You know, but I didn't get that. Because artistic ability, but not the musical ability.

So there's no no none of your sisters play bagpipes either.

So I wish one of us had picked it up. Yeah, my he, my sister used to do some Scottish dancing but none of us wanted to play the pipes. So

if you had enough of you pop Part One lifetime.

I always loved it, I really did.

Yeah, and I think like, being involved in a band, too, it's just so good. You know, for people of any age, it's just wonderful, that connection with others, and you learn so many life skills in a band, you know, compromising and listening, and you learn how to put your, you know, your thoughts forward in respectful way. So it's almost like being in a workplace, you know, you get that same sort of interaction with people. So I'm really pleased that Alex is doing it. And it's great to, you know, to give back to the community as well, because mostly geeks, you know, they're unpaid, they're doing it because they love it. And I grew up doing a lot of that with my singing. So I think it's wonderful that, you know, you learn that there's other other things in life, you know, you don't, everything you do doesn't have to have an exchange of, of money. You know, you can do it because you love it, you can do it because other people love it. Something I'm really pleased that he's understood.

That's the best thing about being creative, though. Don't you think that? Oh, yeah. You know, I think that that is something that's kind of instilled in, in the value of being creative person that you know, you want to share. You want to teach people you want to, you know, put things out there and have somebody else have it touch somebody else.

Yeah. Yeah. Is that can is that?

Yeah, those connections. I really miss that about teaching and doing the community projects. We always did community projects. So I try to do that as much as possible. Now, you know, you're still teaching

you're listening to the art of being a mom, with my mom, Alison Newman.

Can you share with the listeners, the shows you've got coming up whereabouts they are. So they have

an online solo show, march 7 through the 20th. Virtual through women's Women United art movement. Yeah. And I'm in a show starting in March, an online gallery called gallery 118, which is called untold narratives. And another one beginning March 1, with the Manhattan arts international called her story. Yep. And then I have part of a cooperative gallery on Rocky neck here in Massachusetts and then Gloucester, rocky neck is the oldest continuous art colony in math in the United States. Oh, wow. So have a cooperative gallery there, which is open year round. And I'll have another show at another gallery on Rocky neck in May. And then I have I'm in a group show in Amesbury, Massachusetts. And then I have some other online exhibits. I'm part of the National Association of Women Artists in the United States. And so I'm part of an online winter show with them right now. And then we have a website called boy said Social, my social is my Instagram is Locust Street Studios live on Locust Street. And as Ben and I, he makes whirly gigs and I paint them so we do some kind of cooperative projects together. So that's why the Instagram is local Street Studios to kind of encompass that partnership that we have. But it's mostly Instagram is all my artwork.

Yeah. Excellent. Well, I'll put all the links to all those shows in the in the show notes, so if anyone wants to click away, they will be able to find it. So with your with the shows you've got of a particular series of works that you're showing.

So that my solo show is called tending. Excuse me, tending below the surface, the solo show with women aren't united. And so that body of work is all about the process pieces of with my friend's son who has ALS. And so all of those pieces stem from the story, his story in his words, and then my interpretation of that and how to process that. So my goal is to kind of deal with that, and the healing process of that, but and also to raise awareness. And just, you know, put it out there that there's, there's a whole population of people that are living with ALS, you know, and it's

yeah, no, that's, that's fantastic. It.

It's difficult, but all of the paintings are very hopeful, because he's hopeful, and he is never giving up. And so I want them all to show us a sense of strength and resilience and hope. That's how the pins present themselves. Yeah. So that's going to be 2020 or 25 paintings in that show.

Yeah, right. That's a lot. Isn't is that a lot? Was that about the normal range for for a show?

I think about 15 to 20. That's a Yeah. Yeah. It depends on how she curates it. So how many will will be in the air but era? It'll be great. She's fabulous.

And I Oh, finished? Are you still working on some of those?

They're all finished. They're all finished. Was like giving birth, like when putting out all of the work together and sending it off. I just was like, Yeah, did it? Yeah, I kind of was hoping that the dates for the show would be closer to the end of the year, because I thought, oh, I need this whole year to get this body of work done. But I'm actually glad that it's, it's here. You know, it's done. I'm still working on that series. I'll be working on it for a long time. But it's nice to have this one collection done.

Yeah. Yeah. So that that's your focus at the moment. That's what you continue to paint. About that? Yes. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. They go a little off. Every single painting is based on a you know, I have, I work in a series. And so I'll probably I have a lot of paintings going on at once. And so just kind of depends on where the paintings leading me. Right now, I'm, I just finished a lot of really large paintings. And so I'm working on a series of small ones. So I have a series of 36, four by four panels that I'm doing some 12 by 12, six by six different things like that. And part of part of art and found day, I don't know if you've ever heard of that. But on March 12, artists across the globe will hide artwork in their communities for people to find Oh, that's cool. Yeah, so you can go on art and found a and they have a map. You can click and there's anybody in your area that's hiding painting.

Check that out. That sounds Oh, yeah, that's really

fun. So I'm working on some pieces to put out in my community for that.

Right. Oh, I'll definitely put the links up for that if anyone around the world is interested. That sounds so cool. If you like finding you know, just that amazing buzz.

Yeah. Or a geocache? You know, it's really fun.

I got on Yeah, that's lovely way to be be involved, isn't it? Like you're literally involved in your community? You're putting your paintings into the community. I love that. Yeah. Good on your polar.

Before I let you go, is there anything else that you wanted to mention that I maybe haven't asked about or just anything that's on your thoughts you've got you want to share?

I don't think so. I think I would just say that if anybody is, you know, any more moms out there, or grandmothers, you know that are questioning whether you keep telling me Do you do it? You know? Like, you gotta keep going and keep pursuing that passion. You know, everything else falls into place when you do that, I think

Hmm, yes, that's a good way of looking at it is now instead of from the top from the top down at all it all sort of just Yeah. finds its way. Yeah, yeah. Oh that's great. Thank you so much for it's been lovely chatting to you. It's been a lovely start to my day. Thank you

it's been a lovely end to mind.

I hope the future is right, because you're there already.

Yes, it's still here. The future is still here.

The music you heard featured on today's episode was from LM Joe, which is my new age ambient music trio comprised of myself, my sister, Emma Anderson and her husband John. If you'd like to learn more, you can find a link to us in the show notes. Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mum.

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