Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Self Esteem
Why is it that we can feel that our self esteem decreases as we grow older?  When I was around eight or nine,  I made a plaque that said “Curls are the Best”.  I gave it to my grandmother for Christmas.  She had it hanging in her bedroom for the next 20 or more years.  It was a piece of a confident, artsy, spunky me.  When she died I found it among her things.  My first thought was, “This childish thing…” then I held it and thought, “my grandmother kept this part of me…”  I offered her me for Christmas that year, just me – and she kept me close to her all those years.  I took the plaque and put it up in my bedroom, by my mirror.  When I look at it reminds me of the essence of me, confident, happy, accepting, ready to go out into the world, and the future ahead of me.  It also redirects me – away from feeling down, or scared, or nervous about being just me…from the time the world and experiences have squished me down.  I tell myself, “remember that glee of a little girl, offering just herself and that was enough.”  I remember even making that plaque, rolling out the clay, doodling a face, using a spring to make indents for the crazy, curly hair and then writing the declaration that curls are the best.   I remember wrapping the plaque up and putting it under the tree.  I remember my grandmother opening it up, and saying it was lovely, she was happy to have a part of me.  I remember her giving it a special place in her bedroom.  Now I have it, it is a place holder to me, to remember the best of me, that self esteem and inner joy that I had and still can have. 
                I am now in a  time in my life where I can explore what is next in my life, how will I build on my self esteem and inner joy.  How will I find meaningful work and still offer myself confidently to the world.  The next thing is to take confident steps towards my future.  I can only be me, curls and all.

P.S. All hair types are fine, you only need to be comfortable with yourself, and you are the best you.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

#2 Fear/Apprehension


I have just begun to work with a new spiritual director/coach.(Heather Plett - She is really helpful, right from the start)  I has been hard to decide how to live my life since cancer.  I am happy it is all over but I don't know what to do next - I can't go back to my old life and I don't know what my new life will look like.  She did a visualisation with me, and asked me to imagine starting a new journey, getting out of a boat and what would be there.  Well I couldn't even leave the beach!  I drew a picture of it - I had a child with me - my fear.  Here was the adult me pushing on and the child me having fear and apprehension.  If you look at the child she is resistant, there is no way - the body is twisted in the other direction.  We often push on in life without addressing our fears.

Monday, 15 October 2012

I had an idea or a vision that I can put up 50 pictures with the words and sentiments that they portray.  For me, my art is a placeholder for emotions and where I am in my life.

# 1 Bliss/Contentment
I did this painting as part of an Internet course call BIG for Fearless painters. It was of a memory of when my friend, Barbara and I took home our recorders in grade 4.  She came over to my house and we played random tweeting for an hour.  Barb died when she was 30.  She is often on my mind - she did not have an easy time growing up and later got sick.  I don't know if she ever had bliss or contentment in her life.  I sure she had moments she had a great laugh- giggle that never ended.

When I painted this girl, her arms were not able to play the recorder, instead she hugged herself! She can love herself and play her own horn.  This is something that women or myself have a hard time doing.  I am confident in myself now.  I love myself, I am content - even blissful.  She has her eyes closed and enjoying the present moment - that is what I do - I am blessed

Saturday, 29 September 2012

I am going to do more art in my life and I want to blog more and share me and my art with the world.  Not for selfish purposes but to share my story so that maybe someone else can be helped or inspired along the way too.  This is me in a recent article

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Draw to God

I recently came across a book called Drawing to God: Art as Prayer, Prayer as Art by Jeri Gerding.  It put together what I have been thinking about art for the last few years.  Making art can be a spiritual activity.  It connects us to God in a different way other than with our words,  we communicate  at a subconscious level.    For a while I have been doing art as a form of prayer,  I find doing an art activity gives me comfort and insight.  It has been refreshing to share faith and art in the class in the PCF church office. 

For this class, I began with a children’s story with beautiful paintings of God’s creation.  I read several quotes from Drawing to God. This was one of them.

“Of course making museum quality art is not our purpose as prayer. Depending on the activity, the art you make is either a record or journal of your experience or it is a gift, unwrapped and presented to God.  You are opening yourself, making discoveries, and sharing all of this with God. Sometimes it will be only the process or act of creating and not the final product. Sometimes its final product that is the focus.  If you find yourself becoming uptight about how well you are performing, stop and remind yourself of the real reason you involved yourself in the first place, which was to pray.  What do you imagine God is thinking about or listening for while participating in this task with you?"  P. 21

Then we did warm up activities with markers and chalk pastels.  We drew free form shapes with markers, then shaded them in with pastels.  Then we rubbed out the pastels with tissue.  I think a warm up activity is important just as in singing with vocal warm up and sports with stretching. I also think it helps with the transition out of our ordinary lives into a more creative zone.  For the activity we did simple illustrations of scripture verses.  We did this for a hour and the pictures were awesome!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Art as prayer

Tonight was the first class of Art as Prayer.  We talked about the different ways you can pray, words, singing, walking, playing an instrument and creating art.  We watched the youtube video of Praying in Color. with Sybil MacBeth. We then started our own prayer doddles.  Several steps,
-center ourselves with a song
-wrote God at the center and doodled around that
-then added our prayers/doodles
The time went by very fast and was very meditative.  Here are some pictures

Monday, 9 April 2012


Free is the word that I chose a couple of weeks ago, or it chose me.  This past month in Chatelaine magazine there was an article by the editor asking people to think of one word to describe themselves.  It was a one word challenge.  My word was ‘Free.’  It is a word that has been bubbling up in me.   I clipped a picture from a magazine of broken chains – thought it would be good for use in art.  I put the picture on my easel – in the art studio I am setting up in the basement.  I left it for a while until I felt free to paint.  It was there for a month and in the back of my mind as well.  I painted the background last week and left it again.  This morning I woke – toke laundry downstairs, (Monday is laundry day – from laundry we cannot be free) I walked past the easel and looked at the painting.  I took it upstairs to finish it by drawing in the chain in coloured makers.  Then I realized it is Easter Monday – We are free! Christ is risen and we are free to live in fullness of life.  Free means for me that I am free spiritually, I am free from cancer (18 months since I finished my treatments) I am free for the future to see what I will do next.  Whatever it is I want it to include my freedom of expression in art. 

Free! Free! Free! I am free! I hope that others can find this freeness I have found.  I have a freedom to explore faith, art, relationships, hope for the future.    Chains can be broken.  Some we break for ourselves, some others break for us, some we help others break their chains.  The greatest freedom is when it is received as a gift.  That is my gift this Easter is that I am free!

I was looking for the word free in an online concordance and this is the verse I found:

Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message paraphrase of the Bible.

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

This passage spoke to me because I have seen it in a new light.  I have heard it many times in funerals as a comfort to the family (in a different translation) Here however, I felt that whatever will come next for me will be well suited to me – it won’t be ill-fitting – it will be just right and very freeing to show God’s work through me.