#Seemetoseeyourself Portraits

There is something about being seen, being witnessed for who you truly are.

The portrait session is a way to sit with it. With yourself and connect. To yourself. I am there to witness that process. The resulting portrait painting in acrylics is a document of that.

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Lila, portrait preparatory sketch in acrylics, 2018.

I love doing these, as usually the true spark of a person (I paint women) comes through. How can it not? And I get a chance to glimpse it and paint it. That is the most thrilling part of it all.

Women often tell me I have captured how they feel on the inside, which is what always comes through, beyond the surface of your face, or the canvas.

The way I approach painting the portrait is quite intuitive based on my sensitivity, yet is informed by painterly and drawing techniques and training. I love to map out your face, personality and beyond in bold brushstrokes and meaningful colours.

The seeing and the knowing come together.

The portrait session takes about ninety minutes in my London studio, while we sit with it,  and I take visual notes and reference photographs. When you leave I stay with the material and work with it. The process works online, via skype too.

To book your portrait session to #seemetoseeyourself get in touch.

For the duration of September I am putting on a special offer – you can get your unique portrait for the price of your three working days (minimum GBP 150). That is how long it takes me to finish one piece. For further information, get in touch.

I look forward for you to #seemetoseeyourself.

 

 

 

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May…mayday, priorities, life, magic.

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….may, she will stay.  At home. Says a song by Simon and Garfunkel. Resting in my arms again.

I have been kinda following this tune, in April I woke up also thanks to @JoGifford. Now I have been following my body day at a time in the withdrawal process. Taking time out of busy outside life, adjusting to new ways of processing stuff.

Arting has taken on a meditative, diagnostic and dealing with shit quality.

The month has started off by me standing up on Brighton beach at five in the morning in the full moon. Magic. And it continues that way. I know that simple things come together, I am on track. So just allowing, not doing, but undoing.

Back to basics. Logging off. Priorities. Needs not wants. It feels good. And I am lucky to be able to do it.

Hope you are all well, and let me know where is your arting taking 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.

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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.

Do you create your own annual pour felicite card? PF 2018!

I do. Have been for more than twenty years now.

It is mid-December so it is high time to start thinking about it.

I think this year I might use an image from 2011. It is called Everyday Courages and it is the title work of a conceptual photography series I did at Art Camp back in the day.

See, Everyday Courages were all the things that kept me going. And I captured them as to remind myself…and others.

I got to think about it as I put the image today up on Artfinder.

You can look at it here. 

Let me know how your own pour felicite card making goes!

In the meantime, everyday courages ;-).

And…if you feel your arting itch, why not join me in January for the #becometheartistyouare challenge.

The whole Christmas thing…

…goodwill and peace to men. Why cannot we have it all year round? Just asking…

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Anyway, as it is the run-up to Christmas I am offering my own little pressie to you:

It is right for you if you feel you would like to have fun, discover a few things about yourself and develop your arting.

When you get in touch NOW, you can get my #becometheartistyouare course with the coaching and community for only £99 (usually it comes to £299).

That is an equivalent of an arting coffee with me a day for a month of January.

Check it out here

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If you are interested, or you know of someone who might be, just drop me an email on irena.ellis.arting@gmail.com today and let me know. First come, first serve…putting the kettle on!

What happens when…Tracing myself, my innertapes and my process…

What happens when you start to listen to the inner tape and hear what it says for real?

It might take you to a new place in your arting.

I have been doing that over the past few days and a completely new way of painting has emerged for me.

This is the process in visuals.

It started off with me doing one of my #cycleselfies I had been doing in August-September. But this time I had included what the negative voices in my head had been telling me. Pretty shitty, I tell you. I then thought…right what would it take for me not to feel like a copy? And I followed the impulse to step into the canvas and paint with my own body. Hence the first piece #reachingouttomyself. I was fascinated to see the traces of my body and went onto experiment with them. And the other pieces ensued. #making lovetothecanvas, #headless, #butterfliesinmylap and #bigbaby. Not to mention how enlivened I feel creating these, despite their darkness.

How do they make you feel? What do you think about them? What is your reaction to it?

 

 

 

What is arting good for anyway…? Through the eyes of (happy) people who took part

Over the past year I have been developing and running my online courses.

The #ArtingKickstarter and #Becometheartistyouare challenge.

The first one is aimed at unblocking, finding/exploring and developing your own authentic inspirations. The latter one is an uplevel-ing type of creative challenge that can move you forward with mile strides when you take part in it.

This is what people have been saying about them:

Most people have….

  • reported feeling and becoming more creative in their own lives (apart from arting) and businesses.
  • reported finding their creative calling and pursuing it as opposed to years of blockage.
  • appreciated the space Arting has held for their creativity.
  • learnt to nurture their arting habit/discipline and focus.
  • reported realizing their fuller personal potential through the process of arting and increased confidence and self-awareness.
  • appreciated the coaching “helping hand at hand” that has enabled them to make important discoveries and breakthroughs creatively.

Not bad. Me thinketh.

The good news is, you can now join us for #becometheartistyouare challenge in September.

We start this Friday, September 1st.

Are you in, yet?

Questions? Pop them in here!