Reflecting and sharing myself around…and Monoprints and shosteeto

#shosteeto

This week I have started my yearly reflection of sorts. Do you do yours? I have been doing this publicly (semi, kinda) by sharing my #artingadvent calendar pieces along with their inspirations. Daily I share one of this year’s pieces and reflect on its initial inspiration as well as life, asking you light probing questions.

For more daily a/musings head over to my instagram.

While doing this more things have been unearthed and created…such as another set of #shosteeto jewellery (if you are a fan, let me know, I can create your own original from silver, upcycled plastics and museum beads) and a start of a semi-Christmasy prints. Enjoy the process, I am.

I have also been looking at my ongoing series work, from #teddylost to #tracingmyself and been reflecting and sharing more of those. All there. Enjoy.

To get onto the Studio newsletter list, and get a monthly dose of arting art and inspiration, head over here.

Orange Winter

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.

#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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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.

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.

 

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!