From the studio…notes on creativity gone…out and about and back and forth and bigger better slower more

The withdrawal process is seemingly unpredictable and requires a good measure of “go with the flow”, do what you need to do RIGHT NOW, stay in the MOMENT.

I have been infamously rubbish at it. Learning. Bear with me.

I have been running away from the now, the feelings, the e-motions and physical sensations, allowing my mind either to roam the vast range of regrets in the past or indulge in the promises of the future.

Bugger that. HEEEERE and NOW, my body, mind and spirit require me, to be. Right here, right now, keeping calm, keeping on keeping on….and CHILLing.

Art, i.e. in my case what I call arting has been really helpful. It really is art, I am just still too selfconscious to call it Art with capital A, let alone myself an artist, after thirteen years and counting…when is it gonna finish??? or click?!…, AND/BUT more importantly I really enjoy the processuality of that word ARTING. Bit like playing, messing about, goofing with…whatever.

Anyway…my art…arting has proved a saving grace once again. Above a couple of snapshots from the studio as it is at the moment.

#seemetoseeyourself portraits #couloringbooksforbiggirlswhodontcry, mess on my picture board (how did Nicole Kidman and reinterpretation of Origine du Monde with a butterfly get on there???) and my nest, with the aforementioned affirmative chilling cushion.

What I am trying to say…when I chill, like proper…stop harassing myself for being in recovery, in withdrawal, not in a (proper) job (DOH!!!), being a fake and all the associated nonsense my negative mind churns up on a second to second basis…I can actually just enjoy the peace that is within. AND THAT…is SOMEHING ELSE…then I can create from a place of joy, as in “radost” in Czech, and as we know there is never enough joy…not enough joy in enjoy and “radosti neni snad nikdy dosti”. Only there is more and more…when I allow myself to notice it.

So…I wish you a merry rest of the holiday season, and check out #premrawat if you get a minute. It is SOOO worth it. I just keep forgetting…and need to be reminded…all the time. Honest.

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My #becometheartistyouare challenge week four

Running the experiential #becometheartistyouare challenge this March again. Here I have been documenting the outcomes of my process, and the insights.

Week 4 in the #becometheartistyouare challenge is all about exploring the principles binding the elements together.

So I got to play with balance, harmony, contrast, scale, rhythm, etc. The above are the outcomes of arting 20 minutes a day…

….which have lead me onto a #helpinghand project idea that I shall bring into life in the community this Easter. Am keeping you posted.

 

And how do you like the #pompomstatement necklace? That is pretty eastery, right?

 

#Easter on, if you celebrate, and #freetime on even if you don’t.

Either way have a lovely time & let me know what you think of the above.

 

 

my #becometheartistyouare challenge week two

Arting twenty minutes a day to dig deeper into your inspirations. Week Two is all by being inspired by one of your favourite artworks from art history and questioning it from several viewpoints. This opens up a whole new way of seeing it, and yourself.

This past week I had been retelling the story of creation The Touch by Michelangelo, from the Sistine Chapel. Sitting with it daily for some time, over a period of week has enabled me to go from Lost Touch to Hommage in Sky Blue Crayola, which I would love to turn into a painting. On my to do list.

Let me know how these make you feel.

Get in touch or head over to the Arting FB group for more.

March on in Arting

The be/cometheartistyouare challenge is on in March.

So far we have

…haikued our HEREs

…attempted to make a baad drawing only to find out that it is really difficult

…drew a line and let it free our arting inspirations

…looked and saw…what is around us. In new and fresh ways. Avidly seeing.

The above are my images but others are going through the process of allowing themselves to art for 20 minutes a day, prompted or not, along with me and seeing the magic it does to their arting…and living.

You can still join us in the Arting group for free this month. My aim and mission is to get as many people arting as possible, so do spread the word. Please. Thank you!

10 Arting Books to read/have a look at over Christmas to get arting in 2018

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Arting Manifesto, photograph, 2017

Christmas as you would probably agree is one of the best times for reading. So before it finishes, why not check out these books, even if you may not have got them (there is Amazon, oh no, I did not say that! or the local library). So which books should you read/have a look at to get arting (more serously or with more fun) in the new year?

Here are my top ten

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I know, I know… if you are really feeling stuck and combating those inner demons and blocks this will help.
  2. How to Become an Artist by Michael Atavar if you are already taking it “seriously” and need a bit of pep talk.
  3. Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp if you need to rock your creative habits, obviously
  4. LifeLines by Dion McInnis if you need some more interesting ways to dig biographical inspiration.
  5. Foundations of Art and Design by Adrian Piper to revisit the basics of visual language, even if you are only looking at the illustrations and consider the headings of each chapter.
  6. Make Mess by Keri Smith to get a bit more playful and irreverent, any of her books, really.
  7. Women, Art and Society by Whitney Chadwick to appreciate, even if  not that perfect, gender relations in the field.
  8. The Tate Guide to Modern Art Terms by Simon Wilson and Jessica Lack to get your head around some of the art books, magazines and art gallery labels. Or approach it dada style – pick a random term and create around that.
  9. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, check it out really really, if you have not already.
  10. 100 Artists’ Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists as selected by Alex Danchev to get inspired (or steal like an artist) to pen your own one.

These are my top ten for artists at any stage, shape or form, plus of course…read anything AND everything BY your favourite artists. No harm in that. Not necessarily ON them, but BY them, says I as an also trained art historian.

What would you add up to the list? To help your arting itch? Let me know

And if you want to take it more seriously (arting itch) with a bit of fun (a lot actually), why not join me on the #becometheartistyouare course in February or take the self-study option anytime? Let’s get arting in 2018!

Irena Ellis is an artist/educator living in London, running her own Arting online and offline workshops and art practice aimed at photography, painting and butterflies.

 

 

Merry and Happy

Wishing you a merry festive season and a happy new year. May all our creative seeds sprout and grow!

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If you want to get an arting start in the new year, why not join me on the Arting webinar on 28th December at 6 pm GMT. Just let me know on irena.ellis.arting@gmail.com that you want to join.

#becometheartistyouare (1)

I shall be teaching overcoming arting fear and inhibitions and finding inspiration within and outside. A kind of arting kickstarter. Hop on! Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

Great for awareness raising…

…that was the comment one of the visitors had left at my #buttefliesamongwalls installaton exhibition for Amnesty International Czech.

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What I came to realize over time is that all arting is great for awareness raising – and not only for awareness of social and global issues, but for self-awareness too.

The act of arting gives us the chance to move between going deep in and the outside reality. By learning to observe, to draw for example, we learn to see, and understand how things really are…and by following the inner process while arting – we come to understand how we really are.

It is powerful stuff. Enhanced by sharing with others. If you want to try it out even if you have not tried to draw since you were at school, come along to my Arting Kickstarter online class on Thursday 28th Dec at 6pm GMT.

Places are limited so let me know via email message here that you want to take part.

Looking forward to facilitating the awareness thawing, digging and surfacing process. See you in ten days!

P.S. And if you want to support my global awareness raising campaign, you can have a look at the #butterfliesamongwalls images at Atfinder as well as purchase them.

Arting and Loving Oneself. Work it.

becauseyouareI have recently been thinking about how important it is to integrate selflove into arting.

Or rather how arting requires selflove and makes it grow. And vice versa.

What do I mean by that?I am talking about loving oneself…by giving oneself both space AND boundaries.

Giving oneself  ENOUGH space to pursue your arting – physical, temporal and mental. By enough I mean SOME. To start with, you can begin with as little as 20 minutes a day (this is a principle my #becometheartistyouare challenge works with) and make it grow. Experiment.

The seemingly opposing requirement is to set yourself limits – boundaries, banks of the river through which your arting can flow. So make these twenty-minutes REGULAR, daily appointment. Carry sketchbook everywhere with you and really log in the twenty minutes a day wherever you are. Once a week go through your sketchbook and see what came up. Give yourself some form of structure – like daily and weekly reviews and planning/dreaming up time. Put them into your system. No matter if at home over a cup of tea or on the commuter train on the way from work. Experiment with what works for you.

And work it does, if you make it work.  Make it work by working with what is. Accept. Appreciate. Be Grateful. Be excited. It is exciting! Those are elements of selflove.

Go experiment, work. Enjoy. Regularly!