First and Next Show, find ten differences, and an Invitation to Arting in the times of Corona 101

 

It will have been fourteen years since I first showed my art publicly (when I don’t count the picture of a sun when I was four that got hung up in the kindergarten, up on the noticeboard for all the parents to see…since then I don’t think my pieces ever made it up on the noticeboard again, see I was never very good at drawing inside the lines, and that is what mostly counted as I grew up in the communist and later transitioning Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic).

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Here it is miraculously, surviving all the moves and transitions since. The four year old me’s reminder to grin at it and shine. All the time. I owe her a lot.

My first show was a group one, and it was of works by clients of a psychiatric clinic I ended up at when twenty five. It was called, Art is a State of the Soul…could not agree more…however reflecting upon the exhibited works, my soul or psyche had not been in such a great shape then despite, or perhaps because of?, the care I had just received…it looked a bit like this, though this is a later work.

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To cut a long story shorter…I am here now…in London, preparing another solo show, for Goldsmiths gallery, which just had to be postponed, understandably due to the corona situation and lockdowns.

It is called #artofwithdrawal and maps the period of my prescription drug withdrawal, not always and easy process…but very nourishing and enlivening for the aforementioned soul/psyche. Hanging in there. Both with my soul and the show.

I am looking into ways how to take the project online at the moment and make it more participatory…earlier I had opened up my photographic series #everydaycourages to sharing and contributions by other artists and artingers. I might do something similar this time too.

Would you be up for it? Do you have some experience with #recovery from #psychofarmaceuticals? Is art/arting one of your coping and survival strategies? I would love to hear from you for an open conversation about the possibilities.

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If you feel drawn and inspired by this…and not too put off by my unofficialness…it really at the moment is just me in my studio…and/but the Goldsmiths space too in the foreseeable future…let me know :-).

Let’s talk…abre el corazon…I have just opened my heart in Spanish, been tandemming and picking it up after years of non-usage, the same with German…what I love about this whole corona situation is the fact that people, when not destitute, and worried sick for their livelihoods were able to slow down and take the time to do things while in lockdowns that they normally would not have given themselves the time to, or simply would not been able to make it. Hope you are among them too, and/or getting support you need.

I have opened a free challenge #21DaysArting in the Arting Group  aimed at the first three weeks of lockdown over here in the UK. You can still join us, not too late. It is a creative first aid of sorts for artists and artingers. After day two, following the process, I have come up with yet another angle, another inspiration, I literally breathed it in…so invite you to do the same. Come over.

Infinite Love and Gratefulness…and of course Arting…my Corona invitation for you…

First of all, I hope you are keeping well. From where I am, it looks we might be soon stuck at homes with this thing going on for quite some time… So while doing everything possible right on a personal level I have also decided to offer support to my fellow artingers in the following way:

For a month now, you can access my course #becometheartistyouare CCC option for a bargain price of £33 or a donation. CCC stands for course, community and coaching.

Course option

You can spend a month developing and uplevelling your arting from the comfort of your home with me at your side in a focused and you-tailored way.

Who is it for? How does it work and what have people said about it? Read more here.

In my work I draw on my art, art history, art education, art therapy and creativity coaching expertise and experience. More about the what, why and how in my  work here.

All you need to do is click the button in link or contact me for paypal details.

Are you in? Just drop a line with potential questions. See you on the other side, meantime take good care.

Book Day…book a day…off…in…out…inside…on reading…writing…and sharing

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How have you spent the International Book Day?

I have shared a snapshot of my current reading on social media with question mark and invitation to share your reading ideas and recommendations.

so far so good…response-wise and communications-wise. Head over to my insta to see more and join the fun. I love reading and even more than that, putting into practice and discussing what I had read, be it fiction or non-

The image is of reading a poem from Being Alive, BloodAxe Anthology of Poetry, I really love and keep coming back to. It is all a conversation…

Let me know what you are reading. And sharing with others.

 

 

 

#betheartistyouare and #neklid

This week I have fully dived in into my inner healing process…both with arting and writing. It has brought stuff up, I have had to rest and process, let the body do the work, let my soul/psyche and heart heal.

I had published my #neklid story for an anti/alternative psychiatry blog in Czech. Here it is. It has ruffled my feathers in September when I was in a tapering process on a much lower dosage than I am now. I had been talking to people in Chci zit bez psychofarmak and NEKLIDni fb groups about it and their shared experience, supporting each other.

What came up for me from this was the necessity of addressing my trauma experience through some form of bodywork, so have revisited what I know from biosynthesis and other body oriented psychotherapeutic approaches.

On the practical level, the theme of absolute acknowledgement and appreciation came up…and that of hundred percent responsibility for myself…my feelings, my health, my life. I am no child anymore. I am forty this April. What it means to be an adult in this day and age though remains up to debate…discuss. Especially with past psychiatric and psychology experience. Still getting over it, through it and on with it 😀 <3.

Since last week I have also started the teeny weeny #betheartistyouare challenge in the FB Arting group. Been posting the prompts…and so flooded with all the above that not fully focussed on them myself. Back to it though as of today as the theme of radical healing, forgiveness and self care are knocking on the door once again.

See me to see yourself…in Arting…or through my images, paintings, portraits, photography and projects…above the latest #foundaroundthestreettreasure with Hermes wings and lotus flowers…see what the cat, aka my partner dragged in. Bless him. I can see a painting in that…among others.

What are you arting right now? Do leave a comment or get in touch otherwise.

Love,

Irena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#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

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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.

What is behind my arting…where is it coming from? And what is behind yours?

Today I watched a video by Alexis Fedor of Artists in Business that talked about core values…for myself, my art and my work with clients.

Connection
Courage and Healing
and Inspiration with Encouragement

came up for me, after a brief thought, almost by impulse.

And that brought me down to my knees and back to where it all began…back in 2006, in a psychiatric clinic in Kromeriz, in Czech. Not the best place to be, and art about the only solace and connection to be had.

So for me, the outpour of arting then came after about ten years of having not allowed myself to art, because, as I had been fed and told I was not good at it. See, only talented enough individuals were allowed extra art classes when I was a child in the then communist Czechoslovakia.

Since then, mapping my recovery journey of twelve years, I have worked in (the National) gallery in Prague, studied learning through art and art therapy and experiential learning methodologies. I have created along the way – with people, on my own…knowing that art has a special way of connecting us to who we are, and build those connections between us. By allowing ourselves to art we heal ourselves, and thus the/our worlds.

Now based in London, I have taken my work online, put what I know about overcoming those “not good enough” resistance and fear and doubts in your art into an e-course. It has been my labour of love. If you so feel inclined check it out, but most of all, hit comment/reply and tell us, what is the why behind your arting! I really want to know.

 

 

My here and now feels/like my breath been drawn in for/a long time. Exhale

Yesterday I said I was going to write up a day chapter of my book. I committed. Today, I almost chickened out in a very clever way, by almost having forgotten about it, having yesterday, after having committed also persuaded myself it was pointless. Anyhow.

 

 

Here I go. So do you.

 

All you need for the following 33 days is yourself, a piece of paper and a pencil and a (phone/digital) camera and about 20 minutes of time.

Today, easy start. See below. I made a mistake: haiku is in syllables, not words. So count those, it will press you into a form, which might be uncomfortable, but useful to start with.

 

 

#0 Where are you-

How does your here and now feel?

Just write.

Great. Starting point, always already where we are.

My here and now feels like the title of this blog.

More tomorrow.