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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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Studio Truths

First, let me say, I’m blessed to be able to pursue what I love.  Second, know that life gets in the way of our pursuit and it’s okay to pause.  Passion will bring you back.

My studio is overflowing with pieces in various degrees of completion.  I will finish them over time (who knows exactly when, some of them I tinker with for months).  The reality of so much in progress would have caused anxiety in years past.  It could be overwhelming and daunting to think about what to do first or prioritizing tasks.  Mostly, I think, because of societal conditioning to follow through with what you start in a timely manner.  I’ve talked about perspective before, how you view your circumstances, etc.  In altering perspective I opened myself up to growth and I was amazed by the result.

Because I was a regimented, scheduled soul for so many years (like 20+) the concept of not working on an individual piece to completion was foreign.  What I have noticed in changing perspective is one project often sets forth another idea, sets forth another, etc, etc.  They commence within and without addressing that inner voice, it could be lost or forgotten.  Now, when that inner voice nags at me to explore something, I listen.  In doing so, my anxiety was reduced and I am able to literally ‘create’ stress away!  What a great concept!!  It is completely refreshing to explore, experiment and choose a piece to work on based on inner voice instead of exterior deadlines.  Profound concept, I know.

One step further; this applies to most everything we do in life.  As human beings we start out as an idea, if you will, hardwired with a basic design.  Given our individual circumstances, that design is slowly developed by family, faith, friends and community.  We have a basic understanding of what we may want our finished outcome to be and then exterior influences beyond our community make an impact on our being and we morph/change.  In my 42 years here, I’ve experienced this numerous times.  Changing and improving with each phase of our ‘life project.’

Viewing my art in this manner allowed me freedom of choice  When I step into my studio and often before I allow myself the guilty pleasure of quieting my soul to hear what is being said.  I know which pieces will need attention or detail, which ones aren’t developed enough and which ones are ready to impact somebody else on their journey.  As humans, we aren’t meant to be complete until our journey has ended and I would say the same of my work.  My art will live on in the viewer, it will change/morph and inspire someone else in a way uniquely personal to them.  For this reason, and the pure joy of creating, I choose to continue the pursuit.

Happy Art-ing all you Be-YOU-tiful peeps!

 

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Inspire

INSPIRE was the word that showed up today while meditating and reflecting along with the color yellow.  (If you know anything about chakras that refers to the solar plexus, the emotional connection of our being, aka soul, where everything combines together) Being quiet and listening to that inner voice speaking kind of caught me off guard, sort of like being bungee’d straight into the sky and losing your breath along the way.  What does it all mean?

Journeys can change at any given moment.   Each day is a new chapter in that journey.  I wake up and my course has been preset, even though the schedule may say something else completely.  Be ready for detours; they come in all shapes, sizes, challenges and surprises!  I’m learning to have a goal, but perhaps not an ‘exact’ way to achieve it and let the universe guide me.

So far, each decision I’ve made on my path of great self discovery, has delivered stepping stones for my future.  I’ve been able to renew relationships from the past.  It’s brought new people into my life from seemingly out of nowhere.   I’ve given all up to “Faith”  and am able to lean on “Hope” for the future (I know these are my daughter’s names, but there was another reason we chose those names many years ago).   My past was also necessary on this journey and I’m made more aware of that each day, as well.

I know that in time, my creativity will be used to inspire others, but it is important for me to be in a good place mentally and spiritually in order to help them on their journey using creativity to foster self acceptance, move beyond fear of failure and even heal from previous hurts.

I’ve been consistently creating, joined the Valley Art Association, got over my fear of hanging my work to display for more than ‘just’ family and friends.  I feel like I can trust my creative thoughts a little more after hearing comments from others about my work and how they perceived it as I envisioned the work to be viewed.   That being said, I had a creative light bulb also surface today shortly after meditation and I cannot wait to share what I’m thinking about trying in 2019, I shared this vision with my girls tonight, and they thought it was great.   You probably will be seeing some yellow in my work for a little while, and with it some emotion also.

I told my husband and several others that it is difficult to reign in all that has happened and how fast it is hurling this direction.  It’s important to recognize that when you truly follow your destiny; you may have obstacles to overcome but nothing can stand in your way!!!