Archive for the ‘Attitude adjustment’ Category

Envisioning Ourselves: Draw this First

Monday, May 26th, 2014

my ladies and iI’ve been working on an online portfolio. I find that whenever I’m slogging through something, I have a soundtrack of things I say to myself to pull me through.

It runs currently like this.

There’s nothing like reworking your portfolio and resume to make you take a close look.

Before you pick up a pen or a brush, or sit down to your machine, there’s a whole other art piece you need to create. You make whatever it is you make. You give it life and breath and spirit and hope in that creation. But along with that, you’re creating yourself.

Our vision is what we choose to see.

Our decisions make us what we choose to be.

Our limits define our strengths. We do what we do often because it is a work around for what we can’t do.

Our courage continues in a process that isn’t linear or rational or always along with the flow. Art is not for wimps. Of course it isn’t measured in how you feel. It’s measured in what you do.

All of those things make us who we are as artists. And who we are as people.

Vision is that person viewpoint which is wholly our own. It doesn’t matter if we see the world in dead bones, or trees, or flowers or space ship parts. We see what  we see. Our vision may be the most powerful gift we have as artists.

As I’ve been reworking my online portfolio, I’m finding that everything I’m saying here is simply what I need to hear. I’m whispering to myself in the dark. But that’s an art too.

Please come see my new portfolio at ellenanneeddy.wordpress.com and let me know what you think.

Back up on the Horse

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

eddy-cicada-song detail“Humans are amphibians…half spirit and half animal…as spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time, means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters

 

 

Someone once said about a rather true insult, “I resemble that”. I’ve always loved C.S. Lewis’ quote about undulation, and always held it true. It isn’t that we always do something, or that we consistently do something. It’s that, even when it’s not working, we do it over and over.

I’ve heard that described as insanity. I’ve heard it described as perseverance. Probably a mix of both. Most of our vises are really virtues in the wrong place, used for the wrong task.

One of the things that gets endlessly tired in an artist’s life is the process of entering things. And facing the statistical likelihood of rejection. I’d hit a point where I really let that slide. 

Then the call for the SAQA portfolio came in the mail box.

“Where is that horse? Can I get up there? Do I get to use a ladder? Do I know where that photo is?” This should be familiar. Sometimes it feels like a ground hog day experience.

All of the above. I sent in my entry, be it the last day to do that. And remember that if I don’t put work in public it will never shine. So my cicadas will sing in public. Probably better them than me.

A Word for the Year: Satisfaction for the Very Short

Monday, May 5th, 2014

850 Magic Mushroom 2I’ve been quiet for a while here. Sometimes a year is full of words, and stories, statements and tales. Sometimes it’s full of silence. Sometimes it’s full of redirection and rethinking. 

But it’s my birthday today, and with that in mind, I’ve chosen a word for the year. It’s not what I think will happen. It’s not exactly what I hope the year will be. It’s my commitment to myself. And perhaps to the people who either live around me or depend upon me, or just hope for me. The world I’ve chosen is “Satisfied.”

This is not about prediction. It’s about predilection. It’s about choosing to find the satisfaction in the day, the month, the year. Last year had a lot of losses. Most of them too personal to  try to talk about.  I have been, in my life, a championship whiner. I’ve decided that’s not improved even by cheese. I’ve spent the year searching for a way without whining. what I’ve done is to pull in. I’m waiting for the story to flip.

There’s a day for story tellers, when the awful awful thing that happened to you becomes Awe Full: A thing full of some kind of odd gift, odd humor, deep humility and true silliness. Tragedy flips into comedy simply by how we tell the story and where we end it all.

I think satisfaction might be a kissing cousin to grateful, with the difference that there isn’t a need to dig for more, more more. Just an understanding that something in the now is in it’s own way, enough.

One of the things I lost this year is one half of an inch in height. It doesn’t sound like much but if you’re only five feet tall, your measurements become more significant. I’ve grew up in a short family so tall people just seem sadly alien to me. And to be pitied. They must hit their heads a lot in airplanes. And they need to buy more fabric for dresses. And it’s so far down for them to reach the floor.

But the other truly sad thing for them is that they look serious. They look like they need to be taken seriously. No short person suffers from this. Short little legs, tiny hands and feet, a round head, a head below other people’s head. No wonder people laugh at short people. It’s like having  an odd wise child at your feet.  It’s probably the juxtaposition of a childlike  physique and wisdom earned by age.

And what a soap box! Short people have, for centuries, been able to say the unthinkable, which really needed to be thought about and said.  It’s the position of the fool, the clown, the wit. And though I’ d die rather than put on a red nose ( my rosacea is plenty bad enough on it’s own), I find myself loving that part of myself that is waiting for the flip. And is willing to tell the story.  Waiting to think of the way this will be funny in time. Or at least cautionary. And while I’m waiting, I’ve decided to choose a satisfaction in what is where it is. Just for right now.

 

 

 

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