#betheartistyouare as part of my own healing journey…and yours

You are coordially invited to a teeny weeny free ten day arting challenge taking part in my Arting FB group for twenty minutes a day…unlocking our creativity, connecting to ourselves and having fun and sharing.

All you need is a camera, on your phone for example, pencil and sketchbook to start with. The prompts are short and sweet but go deep. No prior arting experience necessary. Honestly.

Let yourselves be lured and join us. For more, go here.

See you there tomorrow, on Valentine’s…give yourself the gift of arting.

Based on and adapted from my longer online course #becometheartistyouare

#becometheartistyouare (1)

#artofwithdrawal bumps and growing pains

Over the past four months I have undergone a withdrawal psychosis when tapering my medication. It can happen. It happens. It happened. It was not very pleasant. It was downright terrifying at times. It was very draining on my partner. We managed at home.

From about month three I have been able to take a pencil in my hand…and once again the everyday and mundane things have become a vehicle for recovery: the pots and cups.

Below are some of these recovery drawings and paintings. I always find they are very strong…even if technically wonky. Perhaps something from the process of anchoring myself in the reality through seeing, touching and perceiving comes through.

I keep calm and chilling. Despite #brexit. Despite #psychosis. What else is there to do after all. Keep yourselves well. And let me know what you feel when you see these.

NB: problems with uploading images. Please check my handle at Instagram www.instagram.com/arting.me

Those butterflies…of hope…again

They have made it back into my studio…first as affirmatory messages on my mirror, flutterring their tracing paper wings, then landing in my paintings and getting trapped there.

Butterflies, of hope.

Feeling lot better this week, having started another minitaper round: on 55% of my prescribed dosage now. After almost ten months. Another ten or so ahead. Midway point? Definitely if I count in the sertraline taper last year too: Slowly slowly catch a monkey…and the precision digital scales the #teddylost paintings have paid for have been of great help. Art of withdrawal indeed.

Butterflies of Hope

It is a strange and not always easy position to be in: I have always considered myself and been more of a community and participatory artist…working with people…now by the nature of the withdrawal process being pushed into a solitary confinement of the studio…being grounded…and grounding in the withdrawal process.

Following my #becometheartistyouare process meantime.

If you want to join me virtually at least, head over to the link.

To stay in touch, subscribe to my Arting newsletter here.

In the meantime…butterflies…of hope.

 

 

 

Challenge myself and you! TODAY

Arting Challenge This SeptemberEnd of summer has that kind of back to school and renewed energy feel, don’t you think? Hence the upcoming arting challenge.

Are you joining me this September? See more here.

Starting this coming weekend, so sign up TODAY  and get a f*r*e*e* access to the closed Arting FB group for a third of the regular price. Yay! No brainer right? Yes, that is option COURSE with COMMUNITY thrown in. Are you in?

I am waiting on the other side with a month-worth of creativity renewed.

See you there,

Irena, @arting.me

 

 

 

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.

Drawn to do more #seemetoseeyourself portrait sessions

/Self/ portraits have been an important part of my recovery process…monitoring, connecting and keeping in touch with myself…while staring into the mirror with a brush, felt tip or a pencil in my hand.

 

More recently I have been creating #seemetoseeyourself portraits for other women in transition or recovery too. Been drawn to them…and vice versa…pun intended.

The portrait sessions are a space to be seen and witnessed, to honour the healing process and our place in it. The resulting acrylic and mixed media artworks a witness to and a celebration of a turning point, or a particular stretch of the journey.

Feeling allowed….even…especially…onto the canvas. And the space in between.

If you feel drawn to this, or know of someone who might be,  or who is in need of this, please pass this post on and let them know I am ready to arrange a sitting, either online or in my SE London studio.

Please do share and spread the word…for more women aware of and proud of their /captured/ moments of healing.

 

Art Of Withdrawal Continues

This is a snapshot of a picture board from my studio…pretty eclectic at the moment, trying to piece it all together seeing where it all takes me, keeping on keeping on.

Nastenka

These days I am keeping myself to myself…mostly. It does me good. And I keep on tracing the process of withdrawal. Tracing small joys and pleasures. Like a cup of tea, dance to a favourite song or a blackberry from the overgrown garden.

Most of the time I enjoy this solitary confinement, this time self imposed, as I know I am getting better, stronger and readier for the world “out there”. Learning to enjoy, because I can, not just because I deserve it….that too, thinking about it now ❤ :-).

Learning to enjoy the moment called now. Not getting lost in the memories of the past and not planning for the future too much though I do have dreams…about a basement community art studio, failing that a studio in the garden…anyways…more on that to come…it might already be happening…in its own ways. Who knows?

It should take about another year of tapering safely and I have things I would like to do in the meantime. Like that book, or the arting box for children…or my arting heroines portrait series…having said that…I might need to just keep calm and chill for most of that time, my brain permitting. The main thing…is…to enjoy the ride. And the NOW. Still learning. Bear with me.

Keep Calm

 

Traced solitary…

Most of the time I need to create in order to see what it is.

As in the case of these nudes.

I just had an urge to paint them.

I had to.

 

 

Later on, sitting in my studio, looking at them…I realized what they were.

Traces of memories….memories of solitary confinement.

I could have known.

The way they came about was hurling myself, body painted in black, up against the wall of paper. Then I worked with the traces, expressively, and then felt like covering them in a layer of expressive white.

Memories of hurling myself up against walls in a clinic all those years ago came back. Something certainly had to be processed this way. It wanted out.

These ones are certainly making it to the #artofwithdrawal show that is planned for next year. ❤

 

 

 

 

Lighting up Traces of Touch and Memories

Recently I have been playing and arting with my #tracingmyself process some more. I have been capturing touches and then boxing them up or sewing them into transparent lit up objects that conjure up all sorts of things, memories of the night, memories of the touch…memories…of…

 

 

I wonder what these boxes and objects evoke in you?

Let me know. For more pieces see my instagram profile.