How did I ever think I could make a film?!

Hi, my name is Pamela Tanner Boll. About five years ago I was in my mid forties– married and the mother of three teenage boys. For years, I had divided my time and my heart between their care–which was so much more consuming than I had ever reckoned pre-kids–and in writing and painting. I found myself constantly in the wrong place. I hardly felt I deserved to call myself an artist since I was always doing this work in between the children’s schedules.

But now, my boys were nearly grown—beautiful, funny and still heart breakingly sweet. Lucky me. But, a part of me kept asking, “What about my own early dreams of being a writer? An artist? ” Though I had taught creative writing at the college level and had had several shows of my paintings, I felt that I’d not really lived up to my early promise.

I wondered how other women had managed to divide their hearts between what they loved and who they loved. I knew much about men who were writers and artists; the most famous seemed to feel that they had to abandon their families in order to do their creative work…think Gauguin running off to the South Pacific, or Picasso with his serial mistresses and marriages or Jackson Pollack who married a fellow artist whose own art came second to promoting his. I just heard from a friend that Rilke, the poet, who is most well known for Letters to a Young Poet felt the tension between his writing life and his “real life” all the time.

As for women who were both artists and mothers, I knew of few who had successfully combined the two.

I heard about Maye Torres–a thirteenth generation Taosinia who was making a living as a visual artist while raising three teenage boys. I heard that she lived on the far side of the Rio Grande in a solar heated house in the desert. I wondered how in the world she could support herself and her boys on her work. Meeting her began the journey that has become this film. It has been an unfolding experience of meeting amazing women–both those in front and behind the camera–and exploring the seemingly never ending themes that emerge from this fundamental question: who does she think she is?

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