#seemetoseeyourself online while in lockdown

See me to see yourself end of March

Quick note from the studio again, so blessed and honoured to be creating more for the #seemetoseeyourself ongoing project portraits.

See, I draw and paint women in #recovery, helping them see themselves for who they truly are…on the road, journeying, full of potential, full of light despite what they had been through or had put themselves through in the past.

The process is quite simple, yet intuitive:

I sit with the sitter, I hold the space…

Whatever comes up comes up

We meet. Each other. Each oneself.

I hold the space.

The sitter shows up, as in puts down the protective masks and shows up in their heart self.

I take up my pencils and paints and capture that.

I hold the space.

The sitter is witnessed for who they truly are. I bear witness to that.

They connect to it, themselves, the resulting piece a reminder of that meeting.

Simple. Not always that easy perhaps, for we are making it difficult for ourselves most of the time.

But finding that recently sitters have been more open with themselves, opening their hearts more readily…perhaps because I have done so too? Mirror mirror on the wall…

Funnily enough, it works online too…despite the distance and technical disembodiment of the experience.

If you feel like it, being part of the ongoing project, let me know #seemetoseeyourself.

At the moment, especially with what is going on with corona, I would like to serve as many women in recovery as possible, so the sitting is on a donation basis, covering the materials and p&p. Get in touch.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

should and could…into can and shall

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I still did not get a round…tuit. John Wickham, former history teacher of mine will understand this joke, does anyone else? To it…as in painting. Because I had read another story from Neklid.net and got involved this time.

See more here and let me know if and how you can help. 

The story I know bones of resonated in me as I can easily imagine myself having ended up in a similar position had I stayed in Czech, on meds, in the psychiatric and social care system,  had I not started tapering my drugs, which, though a bumpy process, I feel is the right one for me. Reading all these Czech psychiatric horror stories (I know there must be some good ones too, but I have not really met or come across any really, sorry) opened up a lot of things and memories too. In a good way. It is about time. It is about bloody time.

To cut a long story short…I also took action, on behalf of somebody who is unable at the moment, along with other people. You have a friend. We all should do.

Disclaimer: I don’t know the woman in question, personally,  I only read her story, from her perspective, she had sent the www.neklid.net journalist webmaster, that she wrote with a help of a peer person. She may well have multiple problems in her life…all I know becoming homeless is not gonna help solving any of them, it is just gonna make things whole lot more difficult. Who am I to judge. From what I have learnt over the years…I never know how much has the person next to me on their plate…so I try to stay kind…unless they are an absolute asshole…and even then I can kick ass in a kind way.

What have your life lessons been on kind/ness and related? So far, anyway.

 

#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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#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

The Eye eye eyeys have it

This week, while in the second week of another minitaper round I have come up against another withdrawal symptom, at least I think that is what it is…and not my body signaling me something…unsure about this: whether it is detoxing only or my body woking for me, as it always does.

My eyes, started hurting, puffed up, it is painful to see, to watch, to look. Bit of a bummer for a visual art peep like me…or anyone really…methinketh…so I have been resting, tea bags on my eyes, loads of fluids, hoping it is just the CNS adjusting to another lowering of the prescription drug..and not the-my unconscious knocking on the door…who knows?

But painted a bit too

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…but mostly stared into the green in the garden and been digging some of it for next year.

How has your week been?

Arting greetings, to wherever you are-at. More later. AND HAPPY EQUINOX.