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Day in the Life: Baltimore visual artist Jessy DeSantis finds time for art and family

Baltimore artist Jessy DeSantis balances being a mother, wife and artist amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Day in the Life is a series of occasional articles in which The Baltimore Sun looks at how Marylanders have been making their way through the coronavirus pandemic.

Today: How Baltimore visual artist Jessy DeSantis juggles art and motherhood.

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"I’m a relatively new gardener. Last year we, especially my then-2-year-old, snacked on cherry tomatoes. Very excited to be growing more in the garden we expanded a couple of weeks ago."
"I’m a relatively new gardener. Last year we, especially my then-2-year-old, snacked on cherry tomatoes. Very excited to be growing more in the garden we expanded a couple of weeks ago." (Jessy DeSantis)

Baltimore visual artist Jessy DeSantis, 29, is a wife, mother of two and, until school ended recently, a teacher for her older daughter, Adela, 5. Jessy spent part of her day homeschooling Adela now after schools closed due to COVID-19.

Baltimore artist Jessy DeSantis with her daughter, Elisa, 3. "I’m trying to sell my work virtually now and it’s difficult. Pictures of the work is not the same for some." Jessy DeSantis
Baltimore artist Jessy DeSantis with her daughter, Elisa, 3. "I’m trying to sell my work virtually now and it’s difficult. Pictures of the work is not the same for some." Jessy DeSantis (Jessy DeSantis)
Elisa DeSantis 3, helps get the plants ready for the family garden. "Like today, it was nice out, so we gardened in the morning in our backyard." Jessy DeSantis
Elisa DeSantis 3, helps get the plants ready for the family garden. "Like today, it was nice out, so we gardened in the morning in our backyard." Jessy DeSantis (Jessy DeSantis)
"My favorite thing to cook is Central American foods, mostly Nicaraguan like rice and beans (Gallo pinto), maduros, tortillas etc. My husband will tell you that’s all I do. He’s more of a diverse cook than I am. Our household also benefits from my mother’s Nicaraguan cooking." Jessy DeSantis
"My favorite thing to cook is Central American foods, mostly Nicaraguan like rice and beans (Gallo pinto), maduros, tortillas etc. My husband will tell you that’s all I do. He’s more of a diverse cook than I am. Our household also benefits from my mother’s Nicaraguan cooking." Jessy DeSantis (Jessy DeSantis)

She also enjoys making crafts and gardening with her daughters in their backyard. She occasionally leaves her house by bike with her husband to make local deliveries from the sale of her artwork.

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"As an artist I am a small-business owner, and I have online orders I need to print, package and deliver." Jessy DeSantis
"As an artist I am a small-business owner, and I have online orders I need to print, package and deliver." Jessy DeSantis (Jessy DeSantis)

“As an artist I am a small-business owner, and I have online orders I need to print, package and deliver. In my mind I think I’ll have time in the evenings when my mother and husband are ‘off work,’ but the kids end up with me anyways because that’s just what they are used to,” says DeSantis.

Jessy's daughter, Adela DeSantis 5, is making crafts at their home in Baltimore. "Homeschooling is hard. Some days we get a good amount of work in; other days we focus more on keeping the peace and not getting work done." Jessy DeSantis
Jessy's daughter, Adela DeSantis 5, is making crafts at their home in Baltimore. "Homeschooling is hard. Some days we get a good amount of work in; other days we focus more on keeping the peace and not getting work done." Jessy DeSantis (Jessy DeSantis)

Finding time to work on her art has been challenging, as she will wait for her daughters to fall asleep before taking out her brushes to paint. “I would describe my art as magical realism inspired by nature, my family and my Central American roots. I enjoy painting in vibrant colors over a contrast of white space.”

DeSantis was looking forward to a solo art exhibit of her work at Yellow Arrow Publishing in Highlandtown, which had to be canceled due to the pandemic. “I’m trying to sell my work virtually now, and it’s difficult. Pictures of the work is not the same for some. This definitely has been a challenging time and we are trying to hang in there. I find myself reflecting every day on how we can make the next one better, more loving and more peaceful.”

"I am a visual artist. I would describe my art as magical realism inspired by nature, my family and my Central American roots. I enjoy painting in vibrant colors over a contrast of white space." Jessy DeSantis
"I am a visual artist. I would describe my art as magical realism inspired by nature, my family and my Central American roots. I enjoy painting in vibrant colors over a contrast of white space." Jessy DeSantis (Jessy DeSantis)

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