#artingme challenge outcomes and learnings

As part of my healing process I have dug in into my #artingme process once again. It is a seven day guided creativity challenge. This time I was sharing it with people around the world on insta.

For a week I sat mostly in the garden writing and arting following the guided daily prompts.

Still digging the process a week later and offering the prompts in a form of an e-book to download here: http://www.arting.me/how-do-you-becometheartistyouare-start-here/

Enjoy and let me know how you are getting on!

Tulips Continued, and me too

Tulips Again

The two artificial tulips hanging in my studio have become a starting point for exploration of or a metaphor for my inner states of being while in withdrawal from prescription drugs. Definitely on the feeling side kind of paintings. Felt lot better for having painted them. Pain, doubt, loss…all transmuted into something else. Hopefully!

What feelings do they evoke in you?

Prints available, get in touch.

Tulips and Tea Cups


This week culminated in these two paintings while listening to bbc6 and dancing myself out of whatever is inside.

I am learning that truly all of my art is art as therapy. At the moment I seem not to be able to paint otherwise.

So…sharing, from the deep life to darkness to a teapot for two. Enjoy.

Tea for Two

For more go to my insta feed. Prints abailable, contact me for more.

Meanwhile have a great and restful weekend!

Painting myself through…

Prayer…almost cathedral
Mount Misery Tea Pot
Isolation Memory
Child in me

Two weeks ago I started taking another generic form of my drug…and sure enough the fact that its producers are only obliged to guarantee eighty percent of active substance…lead to me going through some really intense experiences which I painted myself through:

through the feelings, flashbacks and realizations of who in me was locked up at that isolation cell in a czech clinic when I had my breakdown all those years ago…true #artofwithdrawal.

My body seems to have gotten used to it now…so perhaps some time for more cuppas. Hope you are all well in the new year!

To arting!

You can join me now for not only these intense paintings at http://www.instagram.com/arting.me for #21daysinmyartworld challenge with @taraleaver

See you there!

More on the series i work

#morningpagesintopaintings series

This Advent Time is a time of reflection and looking back.

Diligently been doing both…

It resulted in the series of #artingadvent I go deeper into in the daily instagram posts about the ongoing series I work in/on.

To learn more about these, follow the @arting.me insta account or even better! sign up for the studio news here.

Meanwhile enjoy the collage of images from the #morningpagesintopaintings series that is a result of my morning process of writing and painting between dreaming and waking, in a lucid kind of state.

How do your mornings look like? Do you set aside time for reflection at this time of the year?

Finally, let me know which piece from the #artingadvent series speaks to you the most and why…just curious, no strings attached. Just festive fun!

Reflecting and sharing myself around…and Monoprints and 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

Slow Down, Pleasure Up, for the Time Being

from The Tao of a Butterfly, Gallery Chapel, Zalesi, Rychleby mountains, Czech Republic, 2013

No, I have not been smoking Galoises, or anything else, for that matter, but, to stick with the tabacco advertisement theme…life has been marleyvous (that is an even older one, sorry sorry) this past week as I allowed my body and mind to rest this time of the month. Yes, that time of the month…and we are nearing the full moon too.

I have been following the work on female cyclicality for quite some time and dipping in and out of it. This time round I really feel I have cracked it though, or rather, gone deeper another notch. Miranda Gray’s book has been re-dusted and reopened at exactly the right time and with the right message.

Also, on the female body theme, have been dusting up some Sweating my Prayers by late Gabrielle Roth. That and her The Wave. Early in the morning, have been waking up with the sun, the circadian cycle syncing this time of the year. I have been usually up and dancing in the garden by six (don’t tell the neighbours)…following a practice and morning pages writing.

This week, when slowing down, pleasuring up I have re-read the morning pages from this past month…and made a note of all the ideas and thoughts I had not acted upon…boy, am I clear in the morning and then forgetting all about it…perhaps the dance should come before the writing? I wonder. Have tried inking the daily most important thing on my fingers, have not done this since year five…. as been struggling mentally at times, as I prepare for the taper…one day at a time.

As you can see, I have been getting back to my body and tweaking my morning routine. I have one for the evening too, in a kind of a bujo (bullet journal) format, when I am counting my gratitudes, gifts and gains. That and five to follow. If intrigued and want to know more or if you have particularly good bracketing routines that work for you, let me know. Just drop a line at irena.ellis.arting@gmail.com. Looking forward to sharing.

More on arting, writing and dreams in the making next week…then I will have gone through the dynamic phase and have something to show for them again, in a natural flow…literally.

Meantime, enjoy the summer, if you can…sending my support to the floods in Germany, tornado in Moravia, The Prem Rawat Foundation Covid-19 Relief Support and Extinction Rebellion in London while digging the garden and feeling extremely grateful for being this fortunate, for the time being, anyway.

To follow my studio and study flow for more a/musings, why not go to the insta feed here: http://www.instagram.com/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.

33 Days to #becometheartistyouare

In May I am running this unique mixture of visual art training and art therapy self-experiential challenge: #becometheartistyouare.

For a month, in twenty-minutes a day (minimum) you will unblock, find, explore and develop your own arting inspirations and learn more about your world, yourself and the things in between in the process.

#becometheartistyouare challenge prompts and pieces

This is how (a curtain pulled, syllabus revealed).

All you need is yourself, your phone camera, a pencil and a sketchbook. That will do to start with.

Week One is all about getting rid our our arting fears and finding and developing our own ways of seeing

Day 0 — Looking at where we are

Day 1 — Making a baad drawing

Day 2 — Drawing a Line

Day 3 — Looking and Seeing

Day 4 — Seeing some more

Day 5 — Write up your Seeing manifesto

Day 6 — Show and Tell

Day 7 — Arting Reflection

Week 2 is all about learning from your favourite artist’s work, which speaks to you the most currently. You learn authentically from them and about yourself.

Day 8 — Inspired By: Your choice

Day 9 — Inspired By: How was it made?

Day 10 — Inspired By: What does it mean?

Day 11 — Inspired By: What did they mean?

Day 12 — Inspired By: What does it mean to me?

Day 13 — Inspired By: Show and Tell — My Inspired Answer

Day 14 — Arting Reflection

Week 3 and Week 4 are devoted to developing the material you have created using elements and guiding principles of art and design…and looking at what it all means for yourself too.

Day 15 — Nothing/ness

Day 16 — Point and Line

Day 17 — Shape

Day 18 — Texture

Day 19 — Space

Day 20 — Time and/in Motion

Day 21 — Value

Day 22 — Color

Day 23 — Unity/Harmony

Day 24 — Balance

Day 25 — Scale/Proportion

Day 26 — Contrast/Emphasis

Day 27 — Rhythm

Week 5 is about preparing to Show and Tell, to share authentically what you have created. And…deciding how to move on.

Day 28 — Looking at it all and seeing what it means

Day 29 — Choices, Choices

Day 30 — Preparing to show/share

Day 31 — Show and Tell: #becometheartistyouare

Day 32 — Celebrate and Reflect

Day 33 — Where next?

Daily I am sending out the arting prompt direct to your inbox. When you put in the arting work, and follow/spend time on these arting prompts daily, you are guaranteed to get your arting juices back, develop a creating habit/discipline and take your arting to the next level. As well as discover things about yourself you did not know or did not acknowledge fully. You #becometheartistyouare. More of herself.

There is a friendly and safe community in place to share your ahas, questions and observations. Ready to join us? Go here.

I look forward to arting the May away with you!

Let me know if you are in!