Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
addicted to creating backgrounds, how my art is changing and the link between healing and creativity
" Let the cracks between things widen until they are no longer cracks but the new places for things." -Colson Whitehead, Zone One
And here is an image over one of my backgrounds. I feel a new energy and aesthetic emerging!!! I have been creatively stuck for the longest time. I mean....ages and ages. But what I am now realizing and experiencing is that there is a distinct connection between my healing and my creativity. As I become stronger and healthier...as I process more and more of my childhood traumas that have kept me frozen for so long....my creativity flows easier. As I begin to clear away old debris and false belief systems....as I begin to truly and deeply feel my feelings and remember those old buried away traumatic memories of abuse....my creativity flourishes. I am going to continue writing so much more about this as I heal and get healthier because there is still so much for me to learn, experience and discover.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
2016 is different for me, somehow. I feel the cracks within me, all of that broken-ness that has inhabited my inside spaces...I feel it all widening up to hold new beliefs and ways of being. I feel an expansion of mySELF that is unshakable yet fluid. So many many times when I was very weak and broken, I allowed other people's stories to nourish and guide me. And I am ever so thankful because I don't know what I would have done without them. Their stories were lifelines that kept me from drowning and I most certainly wouldn't be the person I am today without them. And now that I feel strong enough...I have decided to give myself permission to be inspired by my own journey. I am allowing myself to look within, to recover parts of myself thrown away. To discover parts of myself that were long lost and buried. To create mySELF as I want. I actually get to do that!!! There is such freedom and peace in this knowledge...an absolute trust in the universe and self. Grace.
" there are feelings.
you haven't felt yet.
give them time.
they are almost here.
-fresh" -Nayyirah Waheed, Salt
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
*they invite me to play...you simply can't NOT experiment and play with them! I mean...it's impossible! Nor can you plan things out...it's very intuitive...the colors I use, where I place them etc.
* totally compatible with all other media from oil pastels to collage to chalk paints etc.
* works with multi tasking...I can apply some inks and let them dry for an hour or two while I attend to something else and when I come back...ready for the next layer.
*not terribly expensive...and a little goes a long way.
*I can layer white tissue paper over the inks to mute the colors and designs but they still show through...creating really interesting textures and color variations.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
The year began with Tim having not one, but 2 major surgeries. It was an extremely difficult time for our little family. We tried to keep things as normal and routine for Tara as we could but she simply couldn't understand why daddy was sick. Lots of talks with her, answering her questions, listening, listening, listening...hugs and comforting and validating and loving. And Tim, while he has the fortitude of a warrior...struggled through his surgeries as well. There were ups and down and all the usual emotions that accompany loss of health. As for me...my mantra became self care, self care, self care. And that was the only way I was able to hold everything together.
As for me...2015 brought me my own healing.I began therapy last year to finally confront and deal with my abusive and dysfunctional childhood...the layers and layers of denial, lies, abuse...on and on and on; it never seemed to end.The more I uncovered...the more there was to uncover and just when I thought...there can't possibly be any more crap for me unearth....there was!!!Earlier this year, I wrote this on my FB page:
"Been writing pages and pages and pages lately...working through huge webs and layers of lies + deceit that I had been taught to believe in my childhood. Not only generational and cultural lies/false beliefs...but also "Family of Origin" lies. Examining my many survival programs I had to adopt...that have served me well as a child but are counter-productive now. It has been staggering + cathartic + draining...and I have only just begun! But learning to validate mySELF, my experiences and my truth...taking responsibility + ownership for my healing process. And every tiny little step leads me to another...slightly larger expansion + letting go."
And what it's really about is this right here...Dismantling False Belief Systems. When you grow up in a very toxic, abusive and dysfunctional "family" of origin (as I did) then you learn to accept the unacceptable. As a child, you have no frame of reference, defense or perspective; you simply accept the situations because, quite frankly, you have no other choice. Well...tied in to all the dysfunction are false beliefs that all build up on one another...a huge web of lies that form our belief systems. At first...it was overwhelming to untangle all these false beliefs...like a million balls of yarn that were all knotted up into one big mess that I had to sort through. But I kept at it and kept at it slowly and steadily and this is what I discovered: all these lies were built into one another...like a house of cards and once I began to dismantle a few of the huge ones...the rest fell away.I also learned that recovery is not an event, it's a (lifelong) process. I learned to trust mySELF, stand firm in truth, stop seeking external approval and most of all...I began a journey of self care.
You are a sea of light. Open your eyes. See yourself. ~ Nayyirah Waheed
"in our own ways
we all break.
it is okay
to hold your heart outside your body
at a time.
-heal." - Nayyirah Waheed
And 2015...you brought me to this moment right here where I truly feel that the Universe rose up to meet me exactly where I was in time and space. A large part of recovery work is grueling. Mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally draining; it's difficult! But I kept at it....even when I didn't want to, even when I felt I couldn't take one more step, even when it seemed impossible. I had made a commitment and promise to myself and I was going to keep it...through all the tears, frustrations, sufferings and acceptance of hard truths. For most of the year...it seemed that I was slogging away at healing and there was no progress, no change, no steps in any particular direction; it appeared thankless and futile. But then....all of a sudden...in November when we were in Mexico...I feel as I was given grace. I feel as if huge weights of toxic shame that was placed on me when I was a child....lifted. For the very first time in my life...I felt myself opening up to life in ways I never thought possible! I felt gifted, transformed and set free. Layers began peeling off and I deeply feel as if I turned a corner somehow. I felt more at peace than I ever have in my entire life...grateful.
And 2015...you brought changes to my art...more playing, more experimenting, more trusting, letting go and whimsy. More stories and truthtelling and intuition...more layers and colors...more mystery. Less perfectionism, less in my mind and more in my heart. I can't wait to see what unfolds!
So...goodbye 2015...you were wildly life changing for me. You broke me down and put me back together again in new configurations I have yet to discover. You gave me answers to deeply held questions I have had my entire life and opened me up to new ways of being. I am thankful and grateful beyond belief. You showed me that gifts don't always come to us in neat little packages...sometimes they come storming in and tear our lives apart and grind us down to dust and then wow!!!! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I've been meaning to write this blog post for such a long time but never got around to it! Here goes.
* Derwent Inktense Blocks. I tried these out for the first time about 6 months ago and instantly fell in love!!! What's not to like? The colors are rich and lush...you can use them wet or dry. I can mix them with water or with my oil pastels. I use them to draw or sketch and also to paint with. Totally versatile and portable. I mean...serious magic.
* Gelli printing plate ...I tried this out for the first time a few months ago....and it opened up an entire world of possibilities!! Totally invited creativity in! Bonus....Tara loves it too!
* Waverly chalk paint. I actually saw these in the craft aisle in Walmart and decided to try out a bottle. Whoa!!! Instant love! These chalk paints come in about 7-8 different colors, have serious covering power, is opaque and provides an excellent ground for paint markers. They also mix well with other paints to create rich and varied tones.
* Dick Blick Matte acrylics ....super economical and comes in 101 different colors. They are opaque and rich.
* acrylic inks. Liquitex, FW or Dr PH Martin...I love all of them! They give such intense colors and you can mix them with water or other acrylics. I started off with a few bottles and now I can't get enough.
* Posca Acrylic Paint Markers. These markers are amazing!!!! I wish I had known about them sooner but ever so glad I have them now. Really pop when I use them over the chalk paint!
* lokta paper. I just discovered these handmade Nepalese papers a few months ago and bought a few variety packs from Dick Blick. Love love love!!
One of the things about trying out new art supplies is how it really allows me to let go, experiment and play. All so good for the creative process.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
what about undoing yourself.
-the fix) -Nayyirah Waheed , Salt
Friends...I haven't written in my blog for some time (about 3 months) because I simply had to gather myself. Undo myself...and then gather myself back up again. That's how the road to recovery continues to be for me...not a linear path but more so circular. A back and forth, sometimes stalling and dead ends...lots of trial and errors and every now and then...acceleration, respite, expansion. I have made it absolutely no secret that I had a horribly abusive childhood...that I come from an extremely toxic and dysfunctional FOO (made even more damaging by the fact that it was portrayed as a loving family). One of the things about abuse (especially childhood abuse) is that there are two main tools of control; one is shame and the other is fear. But (in my own experience) shame is the one that stays the longest, that is the most powerful because long after the fear is gone....shame still persists. Toxic shame to be exact. As a child....when you are constantly abused in every way...devalued and negated....when your experiences are distorted and denied...you tend to internalize the shame and accept that you were abused because you did something to deserve it. Of course....our adult minds know this to be a false narrative but our child selves...in trying to make sense of the abuse, accepts and internalizes the blame as our own. And so we go forward in our lives carrying shame that is not ours to carry. This toxic shame prevented me from speaking up for much of my life because even after I became an adult...there was still a sense of shame regarding my abuse.And it was this all pervasive shame that kept me locked in disconnection, pain and self negation. And of course, abusers want it this way! Fear and shame once internalized prevents people from talking about their abuses, from standing in their truth and owning their stories.
we all break.
It is okay
to hold your heart outside your body
years at a time.
-heal." -Nayyirah Waheed, Salt
But I feel that all the work I have done in recovery this past year has led me to this place right here when I can really look at the toxic shame that was instilled in me and let it go. It's not mine to carry. I can simply...let it go. This realization has freed me, it has brought me to tears and a place of peace and understanding that has evaded me my entire life. I feel as if the Universe has risen up to meet me where I am...and I feel so much gratitude for this gift of grace. So much more to come, friends. So much more to come. xxx
Saturday, August 1, 2015
I haven't been here at my blog in forever it seems. This year has been difficult in so many many ways but (as usually seems the case) has also gifted me with tremendous growth. I feel stronger, healthier, more sure of myself. I am carving out a new life for myself and, more importantly, I am setting intentions on what I want my life to look like. Powerful heady stuff!! I have been painting up a storm...experimenting and playing and trying out new techniques and art supplies. I am currently taking a class called A Year of Painting by phenomenal, totally awesome (and way too cute) boho free spirited artist Alena Hennessy. Loving it every step of the way and am ever so grateful that I was gifted this wonderful opportunity. Letting loose, letting go and stepping into possibilities. Feels so good...I can't even begin to articulate. And so I find myself in a very different place than I was just a few short months ago. Grace.
when it is wanted
and when it comes
it is neither wanted
-you are too late" -Rupi Kaur
so much pain
and here you are
making gold out of it
-there is nothing purer than that" -Rupi Kaur
Thursday, May 21, 2015
"One of the best-kept secrets in this technically oriented culture is that simply speaking truth heals." - Rachel Remen, M.D.
I love art journaling!! Always have. But lately, I have been obsessing over it, getting up in the (very) early hours of the morning to work on my pages. With no rhyme or reason...working on new and old pages as my heart and soul dictate...art journaling has been consuming me full time. I think because I have been working so hard at recovery lately...spilling all my thoughts, feelings and images onto these pages is a natural extension of that. And for some reason...as soon as I open my journal and start working...my inner critic gets kicked to the curb;! Brilliant!! Also...I love the small pages, the "no rules" mindset and combining text and image. And it has been so cathartic!! There is magic...alchemy...healing that emerges from art journaling...storytelling from the soul.
Derwent Ink Blocks which I love and adore. There are so many different ways to use them (water soluble and can mix with oils!), rich colors and gorgeous tones. A whole other blog post on my fave. art supplies coming up!!