Welcome to Literary Mama Rewind! Every few weeks we’ll round up some of our favorite essays, stories, poems, columns and reviews from the Literary Mama archives relating to a particular theme. From dance to play writing to painting to song, many kinds of art fill our lives. The pieces we’ve collected this week explore finding the balance between motherhood and artistic ventures, how our children’s art affects us, and the art we learn from our own mothers.
- Mother is an Artist: A Profile of Visual Poet Mirella Bentivoglio by Toti O’Brien in Profiles
She had no doubts, Bentivoglio said, about her intentions to start a family while continuing her artistic path, because she felt moved in both directions by an overwhelming enthusiasm.
- Between Art and Motherhood: A Review of The Absence of Anyone Else by Cassie Premo Steele in Reviews
Balancing the twin passions of art and motherhood is Grace’s highest priority, but this isn’t always easy. I am reminded of the documentary Who Does She Think She Is? The film points out that while 80% of students in art school are women, only 20% of professional artists are female.
- Essential Reading: Mothers and Art by Libby Maxey in Literary Reflections
Now that my children are older, it’s important to me that I perform for them. With every passage I practice, every recording I play in the car and every character I play on the stage, I’m making a place for them in my musical community, too.
- Exposed by Ellen Blum Barish in Essays
In the days leading up to talent night at my daughter’s middle school, Emily would only share that she had a short moment on stage.
- Same Old Song and Dance by Francie Arenson Dickman in Creative Nonfiction
I point to the laundry baskets of dance costumes piled on the mudroom floor. “I know,” I say. “I thought I’d be churning out thoughts by the thousands. They’re in there, but I can’t hear them because they’re buried under all of this crap.”
- Muse of Fire, Muse of Floss by Jennifer Matthern in Creative Nonfiction
Since receipt of my particular Muse (“The Sophia”) in April 2001, I have been unable to complete a single full-length play. In fact, I have been rendered utterly incompetent, thoroughly incapacitated, and virtually impotent as a playwright.
- Learning to Paint at Age 45 by Jayne Pupek in Poetry
The goats on the canvas could be cows.
Look at their udders.
- Art and a Mother’s Legacy by Karen Murphy from the Column Motherhood from Afar
My mother was no artist. One day when I was eight she brought out a boxed art kit and drew fantastic trees with wonderful wild wiggly branches and roots. I drew my trees that way for weeks, but Mom put the art kit away. No matter how much I wished it would, the art kit never came out again.