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2020 Vision?

Are you still searching for a purpose? Do you wonder how to navigate this incredible chaos we have been witnessing for months now? It has been chaotic for decades, we have grown accustomed to a life of fight or flight. A life of forced consent to mass influence and malicious leadership, picking the”lesser of 2 evils.” To systems that seem to be designed to divide our world by labels and judgement. To adhering to personal beliefs in spite of the nasty criticism. To questioning our own morals and values based on a scale that seems to be going backwards. You are not alone, I too, felt like this. It is time to be heard. It is a time to share. It is a time to be compassionate and careful not to judge one against the other. It is a communion of souls who are tired of working for a common goal that doesn’t align with their beliefs and truths. I can tell you this will fall by the wayside when you engage your uniqueness. That is why I have used the term Be-You-tiful for years now. It is important to love and find that beauty within. See, the thing is, you are not meant to be like the others. You have your own light to shine for humanity. You ARE called for more. I will be posting more regularly about this. This is my calling, to share what I’ve been receiving in prayer and meditation for years, and have only understood those messages for the past few months. It is time to step into your own, Be-you-tiful Ones, open your eyes and do not fear anymore!

I had a glimmer of my truth in 2017. At a time when many of my immediate family members were not with me here on Earth and I spent time wondering, what now? I had utilized my energy outwardly for so many years, since my early twenties, on everyone else that I simply lost touch with me. So many of us are on this hamster wheel of life without much regard for the “why.” Much of humanity is searching for a purpose, a love, a truth to hold on to and sustain. It is without a doubt in the teachings of Christianity that I learned to engage in a life of love and light. Systems beyond our control have been attempting, and succeeding in many cases, to hijack our ability to access our higher consciousness. Systems set in place thousands of years ago that are still rooted among us. Make no doubt that when you discover the ability exists within yourself to seek the One who designed this higher spirit within your human existence, you will experience love, be joyful and experience a peace like no other. It is within that search you will discover your calling and your truth.

To break it down simply, think about the first thing all of us on Earth experienced when we left our mother’s body for the first time. Breath. We inhale our surroundings. This very practice brings you to the only place you need to search for. That Love that created you (Whether you believe that to be your parents, specifically, or you extend it to God/Higher Source/Creator) is accessible from within. It is our responsibility to go within and discover the very person we were created to be. Not that of which our upbringing, surroundings or circumstances added to the blueprint of our life. Those are all additional traits.

To explain this in a simpler manner I will reference a game. The designer (Creator) has determined the main goal of the game. That designer may have associates whose job it is to develop certain aspects of the game (i.e. demographic, theme, character development, etc). Further the game design by the influence of the characters. What the character personality is, what their agenda/goal is, what tools or special ‘powers’ they may have, all providing influence in how a person navigates the game. Now the player has ability to choose their character which often comes with a preset program and navigate the game with those skills and level up by performing specific tasks. We can view this as our childhood, the basis of how we begin to view our surroundings and adapt within the confines of the protection or lack thereof in that current environment with parents/guardians, close family members, perhaps religious affiliations and friends of family. All a relatively small circle of influence

Now the next level in the game would represent elementary school age where we are exposed to new surroundings and new people of influence and peers. We learn to navigate a new space developing new skills along the way. Much of life programming at this time is social skills within the confines of a regimented space with still small circles of influence. Expanding our person in developing cognitive and coping skills based on personal and external judgement of that which we are engaged in. Enter standardized testing, “grading” based on peer development and averages, none of which promote personal growth from a place within, its mostly exterior by this point. (Ever wonder why children seem to fall short, perhaps we can view the system as putting them in a position with lack of understanding the actual systems that are in place.

The first few levels of the game are pretty basic, following a preset program and maybe adding a special tool or power along the way. Let’s, for example, say that you come from a home where there is ongoing responsibility and social activity. You have learned new skills to navigate the predetermined program in the game and can level up faster than your friend who may not have the same types of skills. Is this a “bad thing?” Is it fair to “judge” yourselves equally? In this circumstance, I think most people would say they would not place judgment, just understand that there is a difference between individuals upbringing and circumstances. Some may even go so far as to extend this knowledge or special skill to their friend to help them advance. Human nature is that of love, understanding and expansion of those skills.

Moving onto “level 6 or 7.” This is where most children would enter the middle school age or ‘tween’ years. More independence is sought as skills grow and change. Now, in the game you can choose to complete “special tasks” to advance your characters skills even further. In life this may be youth groups, sports, music, organizations such as “Scouts” or “4-H” (in my mid-west communities), community organizations, etc. All of these would develop specific sets of skills further ‘advancing’ ones character that will change the way you play the game and ultimately, the outcome of the game. We can start to understand the perspective that societal differences may significantly play a role in how we develop skill sets. This doesn’t make it right or wrong, we just play the game with the skills we have. We maintain the ability to share with peers how to navigate the game with our skills, it simply becomes more difficult as we age to do this as our game course is established, in a sense, and we may have to undo a task/s and reapply the new skill knowledge to promote more quickly in the game.

I’m going to interject some thoughts at this point for you to ponder till my next blog post that will continue on this subject. Can you start to see a trend in how our Creator had the best intentions for us at the very start, but how quickly entering this world puts us in a place of influence out of our control? As I continue on this topic, you may further understand the analogy of the game. It is very clear to me that I’ve been chosen/anointed/blessed with gifts of artistic spiritual expression and a voice the ability to open hearts by sharing using both of these sacred gifts from the Divine. I expect my gifts to be different from yours, as we are all unique. We all have our own truths creating millions of them worldwide. Embracing that difference and knowing we all are correct in our own truths is a result of trusting the process of listening to the Creator. Once we acknowledge our gifts from the Divine we can access how to acquire the skills necessary for carrying out our purpose in humanity.

Peace and Blessings to all you Be-You-tiful humans, I love you where you are at. ~ Tammy

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Create Change

Our current world is far more sinister than the one I grew up in, and although humanity has persevered through very dark times, none feel as dark as this.   Evil is masquerading about, disguising itself as well-intended and dare I say even “good.”  We are discerning right from wrong misguided by people who understand how to manipulate our minds and our decision making.  Think you are obsolete from this?  I encourage you to read on.

Inherently, we are composed of both good and bad.  Our conscience, that when influenced, can sway either way.   Knowledge is available in an instant and literally at our fingertips.  We are rapidly making choices and decisions without understanding who may be misguiding influence in a particular way.  It has been proven that so much of our day to day decisions are not made of our own accord, but by those influences.  Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, offers his thoughts on this particular subject in his TED talk way back in 2008.  It is interesting to note that as we have become more engrossed in our high speed, online based lifestyle, we have also forgotten our real need for personal human interaction.  A point I will pick up on later.

Fast forward to our world today.  The Covid-19 “Pandemic”  Why do you think they chose that term?  One word, FEAR.  Charts, graphs and “strategic” projections based on too many variables making it difficult to comprehend.  Why?  Could it be to  create visual uncertainty?  Leaders offering daily repeated messages that seem far to general in offering clear solutions to problems at hand, and proliferating the agendas of those who have ability to influence.  I’m quite sure it’s to misguide our thoughts and sway our opinions.  Terms like ‘pandemic,’ social ‘distancing,’ ‘infection rates’ and ‘death tolls’ lean focus on the negative.  It’s no wonder people walk around like zombies with their heads down while doing their “essential” tasks.

I understand death is subject not talked about simply because of the real fear people have of death itself, probably why that remains the focus.  A message of hope in all the despair that is being projected is to step away from the messages of ‘gloom and doom’ regarding death.  It is the finality of LIFE, it’s not a new concept.  My experience with death is not at all despair or gloom.  In fact, what I have experienced with several loved ones dying is it may be sad but also very powerful on a personal level.  When it comes to understanding one’s own spirituality, I believe it’s almost not possible unless you’ve experience the joy of first and last breaths.  Grief, most often experienced as a negative emotion of death, is the counterpart of love and though it is painful and unpleasant, it is directly related to how much you love someone. (or something.)  We actually experience grief in all loss and it is justifiable and healthy to express.  Just as you are born, it’s certain you will die; what isn’t certain is how or when, it’s not really up to us.  What is also certain is you have a choice over what to do with that life, how you want to influence or lead others and what you want your legacy to be.

We also can choose how, with whom and where to spend our time.  There are 525,600 minutes in one day.  An hour contains only 60 of those minutes, make whatever you do worthy of that time.  It is certain you cannot get it back so use it wisely.

Getting back to the previous comment on personal human interaction, it has become clearly apparent how significantly lonely individuals are, yet we were too busy to recognize it.  Families, friends, businesses and communities have supported, without a hidden agenda, and have provided for each other in this time.  I’m overwhelmed with emotion when I see how as a human race we have bonded over this recent affair.  So many have joined together as humans and responded with hope and extended help to those in need.  Seeing beyond the power and greed showcases those that have pure hearts and wishing to lead from a place of love. 

I believe the messages presented in our world from those who are leading with impure hearts further cloud common good and common sense.   They are clever in their influencing and we may have to pick the ‘best of the evils’ in how our systems operate due to greed and power.  It takes far more courage to stand up and speak truth and lead with love than ever and it is certain we are in desperate need of those who will do so and make major change in our world.  

It all starts with us and where we choose to lead from.  I choose to believe that most people are of good intention, and may have unintentionally been misguided by influential propaganda directly out of their control.  Creating change we must remain true to our heart and lead with love.  This is an honorable propaganda that needs to be spread worldwide and for the greater good of humanity.

Definitely not my usual art related blog post, yet this was a heart led message that needed to be shared.

Please stay safe, be well and I love all you be-you-tiful peeps!  Art Hugs ~ Tammy

 

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My 2020 “Acrylic April”

AA_2020_week1

I’ll give a brief synopsis for any not familiar with what “Acrylic April” is.  Cinnamon Cooney, whom I discovered through my kids, is a YouTube Acrylic Art Phenom!  (It was with her online tutorials I rediscovered my love and need to emote through painting.)  “The Art Sherpa,” as she is known, teaches acrylic painting techniques for beginners and more recently, advanced artists.  It was her 18+ Online Facebook Challenge that encouraged my art business.  (You can refer to previous blog posts for more details.)  Her mother, Ginger Cook, is an esteemed pioneer of acrylic techniques.  Ginger’s paintings would have you believe she uses oil, they are amazing. (think ‘old dead guys and gals’ good!)  Combining information from both of them has helped me develop my own style of painting and I LOVE IT!!!  Last year, Cinnamon offered a painting a day during April with instruction; introducing more people to the wonderful world of acrylic painting and how daily painting is beneficial for more than developing skill, but our mental health, as well.  She has since copyrighted the term “Acrylic April” and evolved the event by creating tools and collateral for those wishing to participate.  Her mission, teaching skills and spirit are beautiful.  As an acrylic painter, I will participate in this annually to inspire creativity within myself and improve my own skills.

Now that you’re up to speed, you can see I’m off to a great start one week in.  Who would’ve thought that a pandemic’s timing could actually be in line with what I am doing.  I’m thanking my lucky stars I can use this time to create.  The images I’ve chosen are aligned with what we are experiencing.  April has 30 days, 30 opportunities to grow, show and reflect my life into images.

A word prompt is available to all who participate.  Week one consisted of the following in order from left to right and top to bottom in the photo above: “Glow,” Unexpected Journey,” “Fire and Ash,” Innocent,” “Lighter than Air,” “The Art of Zen,” and “The Spirit of Hospitality.”  I take time to reflect and think about each phrase and how I can relay a relevant message.  (Skills I often use when doing commission work.  It’s important to know and understand your subject work in order to create pieces that are successful.)

Emotions have been running a muck as of late.  Up, down, up down, sad, mad, happy, unsure and on and on.  Of the emotions, optimism has been a difficult one to grasp.  I’ve turned off unnecessary news and media updates of the negative aspects of our world, yet they seem to make there way into our social media sources.  I prefer to see and share messages of love and support rather than doom and gloom.  Thank goodness most of the people I follow are of the same mindset.

My body is emotionally tired, I know that sounds strange, but emotion manifests itself in our bodies in physical ways and this week it is breaking me.  My response currently to our new “normal” would be to go outside and scream at the top of my lungs and release the anger, then I’d like to paint ferociously on a couple large canvases.  Then I can focus on how to keep bills paid and build this little art business into something more that can offer an outlet for others who are feeling the pressures as much as me!

Feel free to share your paintings, if you are also doing “Acrylic April” with me.  Share how you are approaching this new “normal”, and how you take time for yourself in spite all of this.  Stay safe and well.

Big Art Hugs to all you Be-you-tiful peeps! ~ Tammy

 

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Green Flash

It’s 6 O’Clock on what I think is Monday.  Both my girls are back to being freshman today.  (One in high school and one in college.)  Our new normal has brought insight to each of us as we navigate our days together; schedules aren’t necessarily parallel, but we’re making it work.

My brain is in overdrive and I’m struggling to manifest ideas into reality.   My in-house makeshift studio table has officially cluttered the space between our music/sitting and dining rooms with loads of “essentials” and mediums (from my studio) for small journal work, Acrylic April and mixed media playtime.  It has been my outlet space for now.  The word prompts for AA are producing introspective work, albeit they are only 8″x 8.”  Even with all of this, I cannot completely immerse myself in the process; the distractions are abundant which try my focus.  This week I WILL venture to my studio (In a building we own 30 minutes away) to get messy! I’m hoping it will help sort out the brain clutter a bit.

FORD_01_Flash at DuskDawn
“Green Flash at Dawn/Dusk”,  12″ x 24″,  Original $285

My artwork is very emotionally driven, so all of this Covid chaos surrounding us has really affected me more than normal.  Over the years I’ve learned to use meditation, stretching and deep breathing for focus.  I go for a walk or bike ride to sort out my thoughts, sometimes listen to classical music hoping to clear out my head, yet there is an underlying feeling that I cannot seem to extract no matter what I do.  It is troublesome not understanding what and why it’s out of reach.

It is taking quite a bit of time getting my online store up and functional.  I will update it with prints soon and streamline how it shows.  What a learning process!  The good news is I will be able to use that knowledge for my hubby’s business, as well.

I wish you all a wonderful Monday evening, may it be spent doing what you love to do.  Stay safe, wash your hands and get creating (that goes for me, too)!!!

Art HUGS to all you be-you-tiful peeps!  ~Tammy

 

 

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Covid-19, WHAT??

April is Earth month and here we are three weeks into “Safer at Home” orders from the WI state governor, how am I holding up in this new surreal world?  Let me share…

It took 25 years to realize what my calling is in this world and I left a 20 year career in Dec. 2018 to focus on building an art business.  I was determined to succeed and followed my passion.  Now I have to ‘temporarily halt’ my business growth.  (Don’t even get me started on the fact that a majority of my former colleagues and friends are forced out of work as hairstylists, nail techs, esthiticians, massage therapists for the duration of this.)

I am free to create with the amount of supplies (I haven’t needed to order anything because I stocked up over winter preparing and creating for all the spring, summer and fall shows), yet the Cultural places, theaters and many business where my work can be exhibited, displayed and sold are now closed, some concerned they may not open to the capacity they were because they are non profit.  This keeps my work to an online viewing audience that is momentarily captivated by ALL that is COVID-19 related.  Moments of guilt come over me regarding what I do as being valid or essential, then I realize without the arts (musicians, writers, actors, illustrators, creator of all sorts of fine art) society’s extraordinary events would go without a view from those who have experienced them.  Those who have lived and felt can emote something intangible into something tangible.  Our work is MORE important right now than ever to record how humanity views this pandemic!  Stories need to be heard and shared.

I live in the suburban mid-west.  Small town raised, we say ‘HI’ to everyone, wave and chat.  Now I walk into a store and encounter people with their heads down, glancing yet avoiding eye contact.  If you cough, sneeze or walk too close to someone it could warrant a sneer or death stare..  Families (including those who may be single parent households) are told one person, over the age of 16, should shop for the entire family.  Temperatures are being taken at big box stores and blue tape arrows designate direction and X’s mark safe distance in line.  Limited quantities of items are enforced because people cannot seem to police themselves and are hoarding irrational amounts of items.  Heaven forbid you have a family of 5 or more, and have to explain why you need more than 2 loaves of bread, 2 dozen eggs, and 2 pounds of ground chuck.  Dairy farmers are being told by cooperatives to dump milk and produce less; there is an overabundance and they can only make so much cheese with the excess.  Fresh food is available, yet fear of a proper process to safely clean it creates fear around buying it.  Toilet paper might as well be currency, I watched people at a local store load up entire SUV’s full of it three short weeks ago.  (Secretly, I hope it was for a group home or assisted living facility, but I’m doubtful.  I’m grateful to have a system to maintain certain quantities of designated items in our household, and replenish as needed.)

Then there is the stay home, only work if you’re essential.  Who’s essential, you ask?  Well, a whole lot more than you would think, yet not enough.  (This is a good time to pay attention to all ‘necessary’ areas of our lives and realize the importance of those that make it possible.)  Travel isn’t essential, yet we will lift fees for the state parks and trails so you can use that space to get out and be active.  Don’t use any equipment though or sit on a bench, throw a ball or frisbee, that isn’t considered safe social distancing, nevermind you’ve told us sunshine kills the virus on surfaces.  Do drive like fools without regard for others who are sharing the roadways with you because you think you are above the law and they won’t bother coming after you.  Limit your time on social medial, but use Facetime, Zoom and Google hangouts for connecting to others from your home.  Stay active and take a nap.  My head is spinning from the never ending barrage of contradictory information being thrown at us daily.

I’ve resorted to obscene behaviors in my household I never thought I’d be doing.  Sanitizing everything, alot! Having “house only” clothes and “going out for essential trips” clothes that go right into the wash upon entering our home, showers when returning from work or the store.  (I’ve not been wearing PJ’s and maintained regular attire during the day, but I cannot say that I haven’t accidentally slept in those clothes after binge watching something on Netflix)  I’ve not started wearing gloves or a mask when I go out simply because I may require some serious anti-depressants to deal with anymore of this chaos.

In a nut shell, many of us are NOT FINE and I finally am able to share that fact.  We will do the best we can to deal with the ever changing situational day to day events and even those things that may affect us for a lifetime.  Some we can control, but most we cannot.  Stay as safe as you know how to.  Take time to share with others how you feel.  We need validation from each other to make it through this epic time.

Look for some interesting art and images when this is all done.

April is Earth month, and I still want to support by donating 50% of the sale of “Making Ripples” to the “Alliance for the Great Lakes.” FORD_02_Making Ripples

Visit my store or message me if you are interested in purchasing.

Big ART hugs to all you be-you-tiful people and thanks for clicking and sharing, you’re the best!

~Tammy