When I started this website four years ago, I intended to use it to display my paintings, but I also knew I wanted to keep it flexible. I didn’t call it jensart.com because I knew there might be a time when I would want to change the focus from artwork to … well, I didn’t know at the time, but something else. I chose A Yellow Wood from the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_(poem) ) because I was at a point in my life where I felt I was choosing between two paths – a focus on a career or a focus on art, home, and life. I chose the latter, and yes, it has made all the difference.
Painting was fun and fulfilling. Maintaining a website was less fun. I loved painting, but I kind of hated writing about the things I had painted. It takes a more articulate person than myself to do that without sounding ridiculous or pretentious. A little over a year ago, my life changed absolutely with the birth of our daughter. The easel was moved to the basement to make way for a playpen and changing station in the living room, and that was that. I haven’t picked up a paintbrush since and I have spent maybe a total of 15 minutes feeling sorry about that fact over the last year. At some point I imagine I will start painting again, but I doubt I will ever really want to blog about it. In the meantime, I have thrown my heart and body into loving, entertaining, and feeding my wonderful little girl.
That last part (feeding) is key. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater. I haven’t had red meat since I was maybe 13, we’ve been members of a CSA for 4 years, and I’ve tried a variety of different healthy lifestyle diets. But when I started thinking about the things I ate while I was pregnant and breastfeeding, and then what to feed to my baby, I became kind of obsessed with food.
Over the past year, I’ve learned so much. I became a mom; learned how to breastfeed, diaper, soothe; watched Food Inc.; read In Defense of Food; joined an email listserv of the local branch of the Weston Price Foundation; gave up breakfast cereal; experimented with soaking grains; started following the blogs of some amazing people; and generally started feeling good about what I’m putting in my and my family members mouths.
When I talk to my friends about these things, it’s easy to sound a little nutty or self-important. But sometimes I just get so excited over things that I want to tell someone! So here’s my effort to fill my little corner of the internet with interesting ideas about food and children. Wish me luck.