You can find adventurous Artist Mom on the Street Molly Neves painting outdoors on most days. Her love of nature has translated into her outdoor plein air landscape paintings, and her children have also adapted her passion for art.
Read on to learn more about this creative, caring Mom on the Street.
Molly Neves was born and raised in Utah. She attended BYU, graduating with a BFA in Printmaking and a degree in Art Education. She taught art as an elementary art specialist for five wonderful years and completed her Master's degree in Art Education at Brigham Young University. While studying as a Master's student, she fell in love with landscape painting and the personal connection it creates to our surroundings as she worked with students on several place-based art education projects. She especially enjoys plein air painting and feels at home in front of an easel outdoors. She has three children with one on the way and looks forward to times when she gets to create and be outside with her children.
Have you always enjoyed art? I have always enjoyed creating, and the family joke is that you could find me by following the trail of paper scraps. I grew up doing summer art camps and taking art lessons and telling everyone I wanted to an artist, but it took me a while (and two art degrees!) to find my niche.
What is the inspiration behind your work? I love going on adventures with my family, and many times we have to stop and pull over so mom can take reference photos for paintings. I am surrounded by so much natural beauty where I live it's hard not to be inspired.
What do you enjoy painting most? I never get tired of painting mountains. I just love how grand they are and the colors and shapes.
What sort of materials do you use for your paintings? I use oil paints and usually paint on a linen panel. I also have a travel easel I use to paint outside.
How do you want to grow as an artist in the future? The most exciting part of art for me is pushing myself to be better and better. I feel like as my eye develops, I can see so many technical flaws in my work, so I am hopeful I can learn and practice to more accurately depict light in my paintings.
Do your kids, husband, and friends support you as an artist? My kids love to draw and paint, and it makes my heart so happy! My husband is also a great partner in that he takes the kids on little adventures when I paint (and does my taxes!) I am also lucky to have a great community of creative friends, which have been so helpful with advice and encouragement.
What has been your toughest moment and proudest moment being an artist? Lots of tough moments happen alone in the studio. It is so hard sometimes not to doubt myself or be overly critical of my progress. My proudest moments are also personal. When I finish a painting, I enjoy looking at and seeing the growth I made while creating it; that is when I feel very fulfilled.
What are your tips for artists, especially other artist moms/creatives? I would say to remember that you need to make sacrifices to create as a mom, whether it be a clean house, perfectly folded laundry, or an afternoon watching Netflix while the baby naps. If you want to create, you need to choose carefully how to spend your time and eliminate a few of those non-essentials.
Do you see a similar enjoyment of creativity in your children? Yes! My kids and I started working in sketchbooks during the (first!) pandemic shut down in March 2020. My kids have already filled up 5 full sketchbooks each. They love to draw and paint and find so much joy in it. They must be related to me!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? I love to be outside with my kids and husband, hiking, skiing, camping, or riding bikes.
What’s been your best family vacation? We always look forward to our annual trip to Lake Powell. The kids have a blast in the sand and water, and there are so many great locations to paint.
Best parenting advice: “Everything is a phase” (Referring to the good times and the bad times). It helps me to remember to savor the good moments and not dwell on the bad.
Parenting true confession: We have a thing at our house called “Fast Food Friday” and I love it so much! (and sometimes lots of other days too!)
What has been your toughest moment/proudest moment as a mom? I feel proud of my kids when they are kind to each other. I hope they always get along with their siblings.
What’s your go-to family dinner? Homemade pizzas. My secret is to use the pizza dough yeast. It makes the dough so easy to roll out.
Which three words best describe your style? Comfortable. Stripes and Jeans.
What are your favorite places to shop? Madewell, Boden, and dare I say Target?
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without? I love my Birkenstocks.
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos? Butterfly clips and white eyeliner!
What’s your best style secret? As a mom of almost 4, I would definitely say dry shampoo.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? Great British Baking Show. Hands down.
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? Amy Pohler- as long as the screenplay was written by Nora Ephron.
What’s your favorite beach read? I would also say anything written by Nora Ephron. I’ve read her books, so many times she feels like an old friend. Plus, they make me laugh!
What song would you dance to when nobody’s watching? That's a hard one because I love music! I would have to say Dreams by Fleetwood Mac or my two-year-old’s current favorite, Mi Gente by J Balvin.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Norway. I really want to see those Fjords! Or following the Tour De France is a top bucket list item too.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? With a bowl of key lime pie from Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and a good book.
Molly's passion for plein air painting and adventuring outdoors gives us so much inspiration. Her creative and bold take on life invites us all to follow our passions and explore. You can follow her on Instagram or check out her website to follow along on her artistic and adventurous motherhood journey. And for more interesting and stylish moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street!