Sarah Merry // Studio Session
I think I might do a personal creative portrait series on artists/creatives who are also mothers. I am one myself and find I’m always juggling, always teetering on some precipice of sanity. Finding space, both physical and emotional to create is difficult enough without children, a mortgage, general pressures of life. But throw kids into the mix and it’s, well, mayhem.
I went to Sarah Merry‘s new backyard studio recently to do a branding session and was filled with so much inspiration.. this space is flooded with light, paint, luxurious paper and cozy furniture. I can’t even explain how gorgeous it is… just check out the photos below. Creating fresh lifestyle portraits for her in this space was a dream.
Sarah Merry is an accomplished artist who studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her paintings have been exhibited all over the world and are in numerous private and corporate collections.
Since I’ve known her, she’s painted mostly abstract, colourful paintings full of texture of life. Recently I saw more of her representational work which was also stunning! I often forget that some of the best abstract painters are also shockingly incredible representational artists as well.
Sarah is in downtown Collingwood where she lives with her partner and their five year old daughter, Poppy. I asked her what it was like to be a career artist while balancing family life; how she finds the energy to dig deep enough to catch that little thread of creative inspiration while under slept, meeting the needs of a child and running a home.
The best advice to appease my moral conflict came from friend and fellow painter, Steve McDonald. “You can keep painting 100% and hire a nanny. You can do both, but 50% attention goes to each. Or you can give your daughter 100% and relish this irreplaceable time. It’s a sacrifice. But it’s worth it.”
It was a 2% chance miracle that I became pregnant, so the gift was not lost on me. I have created every day since Poppy was born… and all of it has been collaborating with Poppy. Only in the last little while have I begun to reconnect with my painting practice, thanks in large part to a triptych commission. The real strategy is to tidy our home to a degree that satisfies me so I can go to my studio and work with a clear conscience while Poppy’s in school. I’m deeply grateful for my relationship with creativity – it is a profoundly meditative zone with no sense of time or distraction. And the new space is such a sanctuary that I move differently in there. My energy shifts and I’m back in alignment with mission, purpose, love.
Thank you Sarah, for inviting me into your space 🙂
Branding Photography / Business Portrait / Brand Building / Studio Portrait / Artist Portrait / Entrepreneur