All the Art Winter 2019/20

Page 19

WHY I WON’T BE AN ARTIST ... BUT MY MOM IS By Anastasia Chostner

Growing up, I have watched in awe as my mom turned paint into people. My mom is an amazing mother and artist, and I strive to be like her. Sadly, I realized my art is more like stick people, and I would rather write. To be honest, I won’t be an artist because I don’t want to mess up my clothes with streaks of color, or stay up until 1am painting. (I have YouTube for that.)

Anastasia Chostner: How is painting like parenting?

My mom, Angela Chostner, has been busy getting ready for a two-woman show, which features paintings of angels and flowers. She is

Angela Chostner: Painting is like parenting in how it demands you stay tethered to the present moment, and how it challenges assumptions, and how ultimately, it makes you dig deep to find what is needed. Luisa Otero Prada: They are both beautiful journeys, where we should enjoy and value every stage we are going through. Most of the time, we need to be patient, to observe, to

accept and the most important, we need to keep going! Anastasia C: How have your paintings helped you be a better mom? Angela C: As wonderful as parenting can be, it can also be depleting. It demands we give so much of ourselves, constantly being in a position of meeting the needs of others, and often putting our own needs last. It’s like a vegetable garden where ripe tomatoes wither on the vine, weeds run rampant, and there is no time to replant for the next season. Painting is my place to plant seeds. It provides me with a sanctuary that helps me stay in touch with my own dreams and ideas, a creative outlet that is healing and rejuvenating, therefore helping me be present and available to the needs of my children. Anything that is fulfilling, creative, and makes a parent feel alive is a good thing, for both parent and child. Anastasia C: Luisa, how does painting affect you mentally? LOP: I think it affects me in a positive way; the fact that I am expressing myself is a very good practice independent of the result of the work of art itself. I am a little perfectionist and I learned through my painting not to stress when things are not perfect or my "studio" is not fully organized, which is most of the time. Anastasia C: Luisa, what do you love about painting? LOP: What I love most about painting is that at times I am immersed in it and nothing else exists. It is a space of time that can only be measured by the peace I feel. It is beautiful. Anastasia C: Luisa, what type of flowers are your favorite to paint and why? LOP: I love all flowers, but my favorites to paint are the ones I recognize from my hometown. It had a tropical climate where nature is very lush. Cannas and orchids are my favorites. There are so many kinds, I could never paint them all. Also many wild flowers — I never knew their names, but when I saw them, they made me smile. Anastasia C: Angela, if you have a message to spread through your paintings, what is it? Angela C: There is beauty and purpose in everyone, even if we do not yet recognize it in ourselves. I describe my work as “art that speaks to the sacred essence in us all.”

Anastasia Chostner in front of Angela Chostner’s Justice, (image courtesy of the artist) ART & PARENTING ISSUE

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the angel part, and her friend Luisa Otero Prada is the flower part. Here are some things I wondered about:

ART & P ARENTING ISSUE WINTER

Anastasia Chostner (age 12) interviews Angela L. Chostner and Luisa Otero Prada on their exhibit Kindred Spirits.


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