I was in my Layering Class at the Estuary Art Centre and we have a fabulous bunch of people and there was a question I felt is very valid
When did I know I was an artist? Did I always know that I wanted to be an artist?
I think it is a path. If we ask ourselves if it has always been inside of us, in you? I think somewhere in there it was always there. Drawing design patterns in the sea sand on the beach or making tracks with the tires of our bikes. For me I have always been creative in some way and I was funnily enough a dance teacher for many years. I taught Latin American and Ballroom Dance, I showcased and danced professionally for alot of my 20's.
There is a path, where there are things that are linked, crafting is one, part time creative, hobbyist artist then there is a moment when we become, a subtle shift in time when we become an artist in our own mind. We begin to realise we have been developing our own style for so long. Sometimes this can take years! The part after that is when we find our voice. Sometimes this can take years, wait I have heard this before, and it is not something that just happens at the click of our fingers. It is something that develops and grows and is nurtured. Nurtured I say, by us and all the people and things we come in contact with. When we find our voice that is the thing. That’s when we really know, even though we absolutely question not only our skills and our sanity along the way,
Growing up we were always told what to do and how things are “meant” to be done. This always bothered me as I could not stop thinking about how there must be another way to achieve the desired result. Surely I could create in my own way and then it would be mine, and not someone elses.
I also became aware that in the years gone by we all had to fit in, if we didn’t fit the mold we were cast out! Geez it was hard work trying to be the same as everyone else, I lasted about 5 minutes. Yes the worst 5 minutes of my life and all that….now saying that in reality it is actually true, I was lousy at fitting in. I was simply happier doing my own thing and being happy was something that was important to me.
My dad, he wasn’t just my dad, he played a huge roll in my life. He taught me what love is. He taught me that being alive is such a gift and to see those beautiful moments in every day because one day they may not be there. He died when I was 8. I am the luck one, I spent as much time with him as I could. I think I spent more time with him when my siblings. I am so grateful to have had those 8 years with him. I am getting full of emotion just writing this. He was such a warm happy wonderful man with the most fabulous energy.
He taught me that we can be creative and do things in a way that is ours, and not everybody else’s . He was one of my greatest teachers. My mother plays just as much a significant role in my life even though she believed she could not teach me anything. She never really wanted or felt she could teach me to cook or sew (two of her things she loved to do)
I have to admit that I never really thought that anyone would ever be interested in anything I had to say. Why would they, I mean really! I seem to have some different ideas to people around me and they really don’t always fit with others beliefs so no one would want to hear my ideas. Though I have been asked to speak a couple of times now and it is starting to grow, ( who would have thought) but it seems there is a select few ( I have no real idea, just the people that are as … well come from a similar pod to me?)
The reality is I started to realise I speak to numerous artists every week and for quite a few hours, EVERY WEEK. I speak about art and the process and how to get the best out of yourself and your skills. I speak about how to develop those skills and the best questions to ask yourself. So really people have been listening to my blaa blaa for ages “ without me really giving it much thought)
Besides for which I get a bit flustered when I speak to people I don’t know and say things that don’t always make much sense even to me. Lets keep doing what we are doing.
It's important to move around with intention in our day. It is important to feel good about what we are doing. As we are aware of our thoughts, we create our day.
I have always been fascinated with the way we as a human race move around in our own world. Some believe that life is hard and their lives are hard. Others believe that life is wonderful and abundant of many treasures and it is. Same world. Well I know what world I want to live in. I world filled with wonders!
I have been reminding myself in the last week of why it is that I do what I do. I teach because I want to help inspire people to take off the limiting thinking and do what they really want to do and achieve it.
When I was little I was taught that there was a right way and a wrong way to do things. That is all very good for baking a basic cake but once you can do that the good chef plays with the idea and creates something new. Now that is the freedom we all need, but we dont because we have been told how it is done and we stop there.
It is the same in art. I have been teaching for far too many years to count and in this time the thing that stands out to me most is that we stop when we feel we didn't achieve the result we are looking for fast enough. We have this belief we should get it done in a specified time frame. I ask who's time frame? One that was specified in class by a teacher as we follow instruction of step by step or a youtube video?
I have done that, watched a youtube video of someone painting beautiful flowers and they make it look so easy and I , the accomplished artist finds it extremely difficult to do it and make it look the same. " But she said I could" " they said it would be easy" Then I feel like mine is not good enough and I can't do this. Oh but we can, let me continue.
I paint because I love the details we really dont see unless we really want to look close enough. I want to show those precious details and that they are there if we look. It lifts me, inspires me, to do my best, to feel my best and to uplift others. I want to take away those limiting beliefs that we all have in us and open us up to believing we absolutely can. We can do absolutely anything.
I read a fabulous book last year that pretty much sums it up. It Is called Limitless by Jo Boaler. It is a great book! In a nut shell when we believe we can, we do. I have taught so many people and sometimes all they need is someone to believe they can and then they do. I have seen so many people who say to me" I would never have taken this on and never have believed I could do this." It is taking away the limiting beliefs is the key.
My sister was an incredibly artist, had a natural talent and everyone marvelled at her natural ability. I dint have that, I had to work harder and therefore it made me believe I didn't have that natural talent she had. She had been touched by magic and I had not. So much negative and damaging thoughts I had to overcome. When I was in my teens I decided I wanted it that bad, I really wanted to be able to draw and be brilliant in my own way. Slowly I began to trust my inner voice.
Lets move into the NewYear with a vigour our relaxing the limiting beliefs.
Around this time last year I made a decision to change my life and it did.
Being a mother and looking after a home and all the other things that go with daily life left little time for my creativity. I found myself in the place no woman ever wants to be in, feeling alone and defeated. As an artist I paint from the heart, I paint with emotion. Those who know me are very well aware I prefer to be happy and speak joy in my words. There was no joy left in the environment I was in. I made the decision to walk away, leave the hurt and destruction behind and started over. To be my own best friend and love myself again. Its been a year of getting to know me.
This message is my celebration of life, a gift we all deserve. A gift we all can give ourselves and I say choose you. To a all the beautiful people out there, don't give up, you can find a way, you can get out and stand tall again (even when it feels like there isn't ) we can feel alive once more.
Over the last year I have rebuilt, a rebirth and definitely has not been easy. I have blossomed in so many ways, as a mother, a friend and an artist. I have also had the privilege of working with some fabulously talented people and I am so grateful for each one. Being a part of so many journeys and helping people believe in themselves is such a blessing.
Working with Steve at Pheron creating art prints of my work has been incredibly exciting and very satisfying to see the results. Their standards match my own and I couldn't be more happy with the work done.
Building a new website and store has been exciting and uplifting with all new work from this year alone. To say I shed my skin and started new is an understatement.
Creating new photographic opportunities for my paintings has developed into another avenue I have embraced. Life has become a joy.
Looking forward I feel the pressure of all that is to be done and have to remind myself Rome was not built in one day. We need to be kind to ourselves and that is the way to be productive and be the best versions of ourselves.
Below I have shared some images of the first official professional quality art print of my graphite and paint pieces.