Inspired by her children and her own upbringing, Betony Coons” whimsical paintings and murals (shown in the background, above) depict the beauty and wonder of childhood. As the current artist-in-residence at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, she will create a special piece of art for the museum—a large interactive mural based on a theater stage. Families can work alongside Betony at the museum during open studio hours (through October) and join in on the creation of the piece while exploring different medias and techniques. “I am so thankful to get to work alongside children and parents from all over the United States and the world,” she says. “I love inviting others into my process and seeing what new discoveries we can find together.”
Betony’s Me Time:
I’m a working artist with four small children whom I homeschool, so me time is something I’m pretty bad at. Taking care of everyone’s needs, the piles of laundry, all the errands, and the endless to-do lists can really erode you. As a mother, in our highlight reel society, it is very easy to feel insufficient and shoulder a lot of guilt if you step out of that. For me the idea of me time is really about being grounded and centered. It is things like working in my garden, baking something that takes time (like bread), or creating with no end goal. Me time is one of those moments when I can follow my own desires without feeling the pressure of time.
How do you carve out Me Time?
For me, giving myself permission is the hardest. Specifically adding myself to my to-do list really helps keep it a priority.
Why is Me Time important to you?
I truly believe that in order to love those around you and create your best work, you have to first take care of yourself. And a lot of that is the simple things: enough sleep, real food, fresh air, etcetera. When I am centered and grounded, I am more the person I want to be for my family and the world.
What is your mom “must have”?
Indoor plumbing and air conditioning.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Although I do pull a lot of inspiration from my upbringing and my children, it is actually the process of making where I find I’m the most innovative. For me, the creative process is like an excavation. You uncover bits and pieces that come together to tell a story. It is through making things that I discover insights about myself and the world.
Visit with Betony in the museum’s art studio during open studio hours, on select Fridays: September 1, 15, 22, and 29, and October 13; 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. mychildsmuseum.org