A couple of months ago, I had the incredible good fortune to meet (in a blogospheric way) the glorious Faith Evans-Sills. And I just adore her. Her blog is super inspiring and her paintings are breathtakingly beautiful, vibrant and full of life and strongly Strongly feminine. Imagine my delight when she agreed to be interviewed!
Me: You wrote recently on your blog that you are in a “space in between”. I’ve been wandering in that space for a few months now (maybe that’s why we met?) and I find it wildly interesting but not altogether comfortable. How are you feeling about it? Do you have any advice for other wayward travelers?
Faith: Ah yes, the “space in between”, I have been swimming in these murky yet wonderfully exciting waters for a while now.
My best advice is to be in the “space in between” in the most conscious way possible, engage it, figure out why it is that you are there and what it is telling you about yourself, maybe about what needs to change and where you are going.
This is hard and takes a lot of energy, especially when that “space between” is leading you towards a big move or a career change. What I find that I need to focus on more and more is self care…making sure that I am taking time to take care of my body and to eat well, instead of being constantly caught up in my thoughts about the next big thing!
You’re able to talk/write about your work in a very confident and affirming way, yet you seem not at all stuck up. Its one of the (many) things I admire about you. How ever do you manage it?
Well, thank you my dear. I always try to come from a place of acceptance and authenticity. I know that authentically I am a wanderer on a journey, each of us is, and one of the ways that I find meaning on my journey is through making my art and through finding beauty in even the littlest things around me. Coming from that perspective there is no cause ever to be stuck up, how could I think that the place that I am on in my journey is better than where someone else is on theirs? I have found truths that I hold dear and I try to share them from a place of clarity and openness…which for me is the only way that things remain accessible.
On another note, the attitude of being “stuck up” is one that I can least tolerate in other people. To me it shows that the person is not open to life’s possibilities, they are missing out on the journey and what they can learn from everyone else that they encounter. I have met people who’s ideas I greatly admired, but who were very “stuck up”, when I was younger I was much more accommodating but I have learned that people like that can be difficult and tricky, really I just don’t and can’t make space for that in my life anymore.
How do you think that mothering influences your artwork and vice-versa?
That photo is one of my favorites, I can hear the laughter in both of those pictures! One of the things that I am learning to say with confidence is that becoming a mother taught me more truly to be who I am and that when I became a mother I became more “myself” than ever before. For me this happened gradually, after I had my first child. I had always been a prolific artist but I took about 6 months off after my son’s birth...and I ached for the work, I was always dreaming of the paintings that I would make when I “got back to the studio”, but then I realized that I was waiting somehow magically for time to appear in my life again to go back to the studio, to sit with my work and ideas like I had before and it became clear to me that the time was not going to just appear. It occurred to me that perhaps I would never get back to the studio if I didn’t just make my whole life about who I am as a creative person.
As a mother there could be no more compartmentalizing of the artist me, the wife me, the mama me….it was all a messy lump of “me”, so I just took that and ran with it in all of it’s glory. What I came to see quickly as my children grew is that eventually they will feel a strong call to pursue their dreams, and the best way that I can prepare them to do this is by showing them that I am actively pursuing those things that make my own heart sing. This made me kick the priority of making my art it into an even higher gear.
There are a few things that I never thought I'd be able to do with my work before having kids...having a studio in my home, working on small canvases, jumping right into painting immediately from doing other things just because I have a limited time (like during nap time), actually sometimes combining multitasking with working (gasp). All of these things are now parts of my working process by necessity and have made me realize the truth that if something is so important to you that it helps you LIVE, then you will make it happen no matter the constraints.
This leads me to think about how soft I have had to be with myself as I have pursued this new way of making my art as a mother. I do always keep myself open to inspiration by always keeping paper and pen with me...there have been countless time when out of the blue I will get a visual on something that sends me running to the studio, which is just right upstairs now.
What does your To-Do list look like today?
A bit of this, a bit of that, but always too full. Something that I am currently working on is the whole idea of pairing down the to-do list into bits that are actually do-able in a day. I tend to put huge projects on my list and then get upset when I can’t cross them off day after day.
I recently read SARK’s wonderful book, Make Your Creative Dreams Real, in which she talks about taking micro-movements towards your dream, even if your dream is cleaning your bathroom. Thinking about what I can do in 5 minutes to get closer to that dream is so much easier for me, especially when my to-do list not only includes all of the details of keeping two small people clean, clothed and well fed, but also acting as chief scheduling consultant for our family, working at our co-operative Waldorf playgroup, attending the occasional birth as a labor support doula AND creating my art! Well, you can see where I need to emphasize the breathing room.
Coffee or Tea?
I recently gave up caffeine, a very hard decision since I love my coffee, but I already feel more in control without the highs and lows that I was getting with caffeine throughout the day. I’m not a huge fan of decaf coffee, so now I’m a tea girl. I’ve always loved tea lattes and the whole idea of British afternoon tea is a tradition that I like to honor. My brother lives in England and around 3pm at his work everyone has teatime, I just love that!
Wes Craven or Wes Anderson?
Anderson definitely, especially since I don’t watch horror movies so I’ve never even seen one by Craven, ever, don’t get me started.
I consider Rushmore to be a masterpiece, I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen it. I love Bill Murray and in that movie he is at his desperate hilarious best!
Comfort or Style?
Comfort with personal style…come on, I live in NYC! You have to feel good and sometimes feeling good has little to do with style rules, I focus on how something makes me feel when I wear it. For me that’s a lot of black yoga pants, bohemian tops, favorite jeans and lots of accessories. I’m such a jewelry girl, with a big collection of pieces that I have worn for years, my favorite pieces are ones with personal meaning, like a turquoise bracelet that matches one that my mom has, my grandmother’s rings, and pieces that I have bought while traveling.
Sunbathing. I know, I know, but it just feels so good!
What was the best thing you saw or heard today?
Mandy Moore’s song Most of Me. Many Moore, can you believe it? I was surprised to hear how much like Sarah McLaughlin she has become, especially in her lyrics, so insightful and inspiring…seriously. I had 3 painting ideas while listening to it in the studio.
This is what I know, if I am always open to it inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.
All of the images in this post belong to Faith Evans-Sills. Except the one of me and my babes. Did you not think I could work a photo of my kids into ANy post. People, I will show a picture of my kids to anyone unable to flee.