Choosing to be Unique

In today society there is an emphasis on Conformity and sameness. Fashion magazines tell us how we need to dress and advertisements tell us what product we need.  One thing I often struggle with is the polar opposites of being an artist. When I was learning to draw and paint, the emphasis was on getting the painting to look as realistic as possible. Now, what I am told is that people want to see my unique style.  Art should be unique and be about your vision as an artist. This blog is about my journey to find just that, My own inner vision and voice. Once, when telling someone about something I had created, I said something about wanting to bring a bit of magic,  mystery and beauty to people’s lives. To help them learn to choose being unique. Dragon Book

 

Being Stuck

Being stuck as an artist can seem like overwhelming. It may be a blockage of creativity, drained of inspiration or it could be the other kind, lack of time due to poor management of time and resources.  I have been artistically stuck for a while, with several painting sitting waiting to be finished.  In the meanwhile, I have been working within a three dimensional system to create  fairy portraits.

Day Dreams, ©2017 Rennata Tropeano

I am hoping the time away has given me a fresh perspective and will add a greater level of depth to my work. I have decided to work through Alyson B. Stanfield book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio! She is also the author of artbizcoach.  The book starts with the phrase:

Congratulations …

on deciding to take responsibility for your art career.

The first time I start to read this book, I did not take note of this, but this time it resonated with me, three words really stood out to me.

  • Career. I often talk about my art. There is something more concrete and subtle about it calling it what it is, my art career.
  • Responsibility. I have also started working with a bullet journal with the express intention of focusing on being responsible with my time.
  • Your. This is my goal and my dream, no own is going to come along and do it for me, so I need take ownership and get going. It is time to continue on my way, I hope you enjoy the journey as I move forward with my art career.

Getting Back on Track

Monday, a new start to a new week, and a good time to review goals and look at what you want to accomplish this week.  It is November and I am off to a slow start for the month, but it is better to start late and slow than to not start at all.  So two challenges this month, Nanowrimo and the Art Everyday Day Month.

AEDM

My thought for the day was that it is Easier to get where you are going if you focus on what is in front of you, not what is behind you. I am making a plan and getting started. What are you doing today to get you where you wish to be?

 

Celebrate!

So many times we get caught in the litany of bad things in our mind. That we are somehow (enter negative thought here.)  Many sources tell you to make them into affirmations in your mind, to replace the negative thoughts. A simple google search will give you a long list of lists of positive thoughts.  But sometimes words are not enough, so plan ahead with activities to do. Making the list ahead of time helps.

For me, using the special dishes, the delicate footed bowl (well actually a martini glass, but it watermelon seemed a better choice than gin) is something that takes my mind off the negative thing and focuses  the now. For you never really have to get through what ever period of time seems overwhelming, be it the week, the day, the hour, the minute, all you have to do is hold on for a second, then another and then repeat.  The problem is getting out of the thoughts in your head and into action. Doing something about it. So when the thoughts start to creep in, Do something to celebrate yourself. It re-enforces those affirmations I mentioned above.

 
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Believing

This quote from one of my favorite fairy tales, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis sums up my thoughts on believing and faith.  We are at a time when choice of who and what to believe in abound and I see a lot of believe what I believe or I will unfriend you.

The character who made the above statement was being presented with all kinds of arguments as to why he should not believe and that it would be desirable to just agree with what was being said.  He believed in what was right and held fast to those beliefs.  It is a simple message, about faith. There are a lot of area in our lives that need faith. A belief that is unshakeable and resists change, a path to follow.  This can go for your religious views, or just simply a goal you wish to achieve.

Me, I want to be an artist. I want to bring magic and beauty into everyday life. I want to celebrate that which is good about living.  I am on the side of beauty and everyday magic, even if they do not exist. I am going to live a life of beauty and magic, knowing that Narnia exists and not listen to those who tell me otherwise.

I am on Aslan's side, and will live like a Narnian.

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Taking the challenge- Healthy at Any Size

Selfie, the importance of self image.

This morning I made an important decision. I took the Healthy at Any Size Pledge.

From the HAES Community Website:

Health at Every Size is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control). Health at Every Size encourages:

Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.
Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.
Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital.

This is an idea that has traveled with me on my journey through life from time to time, but I have always allowed my self to be drawn back into the cycle of guilt and body shaming.  It is very easy to do in our society .  For a while now I have seen links to the HAES website, and I have visited it and thought about taking the pledge, but there were all these buts. I started trying to get out from behind the camera and in front of the camera to help develop a healthy self image.  That was a good start. It got me exercising and looking into diet and eating.  Yes, I was still thinking about dieting.  I had my yearly physical and my doctor suggested that I look into a weight management program, which I did. It turned out to be a program for a packaged diet and if that failed, a gastric lap band surgery.

That was a wake up for me. The health care industry’s solution was protein (chemical) shakes and surgically induced bulimia.  I found this to be UNACCEPTABLE.   I fought with the insurance and my doctor to get a referral to a nutritionist. I thought that she could help me find the perfect diet.

She didn’t. She told me that what I already knew. Diets do not work.  They will work for a short term, but ultimately the restrictive nature of them makes them fail.  She instructed me to keep a food journal, with the only restriction being that I need to record everything I eat, and suggested that I try and limit my servings of refined carbs and fruits to six servings a day.

After years of dieting, this was a scary thought. What do I eat?

On the Creative Live website I saw a class, Lose Weight without Dieting. The description said “It’s time to take control of your weight, energy, and happiness.”   Have you ever had something resonate with you so much you could feel it?   It was like a gong being struck. It described exactly what I want.   I immediately registered to watch the live class for free. ( I love that feature about Creative Live!) I also went to the instructor, Darya Rose’s blog, Summer Tomato, which I recommend highly.  I listened, I read and it kept on resonating with me. Everything she said fit into the idea of “Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.”   The word flexible had always bothered me in that statement particularly preceding pleasure. That sounded too much like permission to eat gallons of ice cream for me to allow myself to pledge that.

Listening to Darya’s 3 day class taught me a lot about eating and the artificial constraints I place on myself, a lot more than I can list in a single blog post, but somewhere along the way, something clicked inside me saying this is what that HAES pledge is all about, valuing real pleasures and listening to internal cues of hunger, satiety and appetite.

tasty breakfast

So I took the pledge. I am making a value based change in my lifestyle.

This was my tasty breakfast this morning. I did not eat it while I checked my email. I took the time to take it out on the porch and to sit and enjoy each bite of the meal, eating mindfully.  I can’t remember when I have enjoyed a breakfast so much.

 

 

Putting pattern into perspective

Originally posted here:

http://www.rennatatropeano.com/growingunique/2012/09/14/putting-pattern-into-perpective/

I have always loved looking at the multimedia sketch books and pieces of artwork. I have even tried a few,

onthewall.jpg

These two are the ones that I have been the most pleased with, but still they were not quite what I envisioned.

This morning I was reading a post by The Backporch Artessa and something about pattern, multimedia books/art work clicked in my mind. She said “I did a quick journal recently specifically to practice drawing faces. Faces are a challenge for me, so I try to practice them. However being a true ADHD mixed media artist, I get bored JUST sketching. So enter my patterns!” It was one of those light bulb moments, My problem with the multimedia is that I get bored with just patterns and abstract shapes. I now can’t wait to enter my sketches and images into the patterns. None of this is new, I have seen people use patterns and pictures in their multimedia. It was just the way she phrased it made it suddenly make sense to me. Now the only thing I have to do is to find time to try this. I found her through the Sketchbook challenge that I have tried to participate in this year. I have been better about actually working in my sketchbook, I just have not been that great at posting what I have done or really participating in the online community.
I have come to believe that the reading of others methods, processes and thoughts is critical for healthy artistic development. The creation of art, even when you are just painting what you see in front of you is draining and the process of taking these different ideas, as looking at different forms and styles of art puts something back.

I have decided to add a Category of what I call guideposts. These are people who have been of help or inspiration, They have in one way or another provided me guidance along the way.

I recommend Backporch Artessa’s blog, It is full of great visuals, not only of her work, but of how she creates it. It was her insightful post about her process that made this all fall together for me.
http://backporchartessa.blogspot.com/2012/09/patterns-for-sketchbook-challenge.html