Monday, June 6, 2016

Beth de Loiselle and Hans Guerin - Painting Parents

"Love and Comfort" 16" x 12" Oil" By Hans Guerin
How many children do you have? What are their ages? One, 13 Months old

How did your artistic career begin? Members of my family (Hans) have been artists for 6 generations
including my brother and me. Both of us, my brother and I, both went to college studying subjects other than art but we decided without coercion to study at our family atelier, The Schuler School of  Fine Arts.
Ornate Magnolias by Beth de Loiselle
My wife, Beth, is the first of her family to endeavor to become an artist. She won a scholarship to the
Schuler School’s summer program in 01, fell in love with the school and me and the rest is history.

What is your Parenting/work/art situation? Right now we are still struggling to find studio time with
trying to be very active in our little boy’s life. We arrange it so that if I’m not teaching I watch the little one so Beth can paint in the daytime. I paint at very late/early hours when I’m not catching up on otherwork for the house, our art business, or the Schuler School.

When do you make time to do your art and do you have a regular art routine? Somewhat. The days we teach are scheduled. My time at night is available to me if I’m not too tired or don’t have very important duties to address. Beth paints when I am home unless we decide to do something else as a family.

Do your children get involved with your art? Yes he doodles on pads of paper while we prevent him
from putting the pencil into his eye or his mouth, the cats, the furniture, etc.

"Mother Earth", 48" x 36" Oil by Hans
Do they inspire aspects of your art? Yes, We both have ambitious compositions that involve him in some aspect but further, our paradigm of life has changed. We are more optimistic, nurturing and  more outwardly expressive of love outside of our personal and very private lives together. That definitely comes through in our art

How has having children changed your artwork? A little early to tell, Beth has been painting mostly
commissions and I have only produced a limited amount of artwork since his birth, most of which was already planned beforehand.

How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks? The amount of work, non-art, has increased but we still make time to keep the house clean and maintained. I don’t sleep as much to help get it all done. The time for artwork has suffered, especially for me. It’s getting better as our boy is less fragile and we are finding better arrangements for others to watch him.

How do you encourage your children to be artistic? Our Art is very much a part of who we are; it has to translate into the way we interact with him. We teach and play with him instinctually and things like color, composition, spacial relationships and attention to detail will come through. We make sure that events for him are well decorated and fun for him, like his Winnie the Pooh themed first birthday party and Christmas. Most of the people outside of us are also artists in some way; his artistic influence will come from many directions.
Sentinel of Beauty by Beth

Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic? None at all. I was never
pressured into the arts. My parents and Grandparents only encouraged us when we tried art but never
pushed it on my brother and me; my wife and I will do the same for our boy.

Have you seen your children take inspiration from your artwork? A little early to say; my wife and I think he’s brilliant but he is very expressionist in his technique.

In what ways does being an artist make being a parent harder or easier? Easier in that we can push and pull work hours to better accommodate his needs. Harder in that when we sacrifice time for our art we suffer financially and with our reputation/relevance. A household of both parents with a variable income is also difficult especially with planning for his future.

The Nocturne, 24" x 16" Acrylic by Hans
Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist? I think so, artist have a
stereotype of being daydreamers, slackers and leeches, making objects of beauty or treatises on
humanity without the rigmarole of real world experience. Even though in reality that description doesn’t really apply to my wife and me, not even most of the other artists we know, being a parent can add relevancy and relatability. It also changes our artist’s perspective on life; caring for a child might make the artwork relate to the art-viewing public whether they know you are a parent or not.

Are there any other things about Balancing Painting and Parenting that you would like to share? I think there is a stigma against professional artists that don’t prioritize art over all and can’t put in a full time schedule. I think that dismissive attitude is bs. I prioritize my family over my artwork and feel whole doing it. My and Beth’s work remains relevant in that my recent work has been recognized and awarded; Beth has been killing it with commissions. The amount of work may have suffered and the quality would most likely be better with more time painting but life is more than that; an aspect that I appreciated before my son was born but reinforced since.
Baker Dogs by Beth

Spotted Great Dane Miniature by Beth

You Can't Take it With You
Oil on Canvas Panel
By Hans

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