Above is a painting I completed of a sand dollar while in Saint Andrews a couple weeks ago. Those that have been following me for a while know that usually my art work has a deeper message for me than just the image. While I worked on this, there are layers of journaling and meditating on value, self-worth, and abundance. After I finish I piece I often write a letter to myself from the perspective of the painting. They don't always flow perfectly or make sense at the time, often sound very "woo-ey", and I typically don't edit them-they are what they are. Here is the letter/message from this painting:
"Abundance-tighter you hold it the faster it turns ti sand and slips through your fingers.
Be free, be generous, but be smart. Have a goal and plan but don't make yourself sick trying to follow it. All will be well, money is in our head, society has built this construct and really it holds us back. Creating scarcity and a need to have enough rather than be enough.
Time is valuable, you are valuable, your knowledge is valuable. Share it in exchange.
Worry serves no purpose here, except to create illness.
Be free. Lay on the beach, let the water wash away and carry your worry. Sand dollars are beautiful, life is beautiful. Radiate beauty and plenty (but not wasteful) rather than lack.
Replace lack with beauty, bounty, You will get through this.
Abundance grows and stretches. Feel into it, live it. Abundance of possibility, experiences, love...support each other, lean on each other, hold each other."
I am currently struggling with value, self-worth and abundance, as I am sure many of us do. What I am working on right now is what is the value of the work I want to put forward in the world. Sharing my creations and coaching others to tap into their creative expression. I want to keep things accessible to all, but at the same time I want to be able to support myself and family with this.
I always have placed my work lower than others because I feel I am not good enough or ready to charge more, or if I charged more people would not accept my work or come to my creativity classes. This is basically how I run in day to day life to when it comes to how I present myself. I appear very quiet and reserved because I feel that what I have to say and my experiences are not worth sharing, or maybe could be seen as boasting. I am slowly beginning to step out of this belief but it is a struggle. This feeling of lacking is not very nice.
That being said I have been researching pricing originals, and creating prints of my art work and what strategies other artists use to price their work. To price my work too low would be a disservice to myself, you, and other artists who aim to make a living from their work. Art work should appreciate over time. A lot of time, thought, and materials goes into creating and that all needs to be taken into account.
So what I have decided to try is opening up a Society 6 store with a range of prints and accessories that can make my work accessible to different price points and raise the value of my originals to match the work that goes into them.
I feel silly writing this post, but it is my way of figuring out what it is that I am doing, exploring my worth and declaring it, as well as giving some insight to you about me. My hope is to share my journey with you as true as I can be and this is part of it.
If you are curious to see what prints are available here is the link to my Society 6 store
I would love to here your thoughts on self-worth and abundance. (in the comments or on facebook)
Had a wonderful, but busy weekend. Kieran had 2 birthday parties to attend on Saturday, and we went for a beautiful boat ride on Saturday, couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. I don't know about him but I am exhausted!
He got his first nose bleed at the second party, a little rowdy in the bouncy castle, but he was okay. Wasn't long before he was back and running around.
He loved the boat, He tricked me though, when we stopped for a swim he told me he would get in the water if I did, but he didn't....little stinker.
That smile gets me every time!
Well summer has arrived here, and Kieran and I have been having a blast (most of the time). We have played in the mud, slept over night with friends in a cottage in Bouctouche, went Kennebecasis Island to visit with friends and their family-Kieran, Peter and I were both excited by the little ferry that takes you there!
Canada Day was pretty damp, but a lot of fun shared with great company. Kieran got to hang out with his best friends and so did Peter and I. We were up in Bouctouche and visited the dune in the rain, the kids got really sandy, while the dads chased them around and the moms sat under the board walk. Lots of jelly fish in the water. The boys got to do sparklers and a pinata-Kieran always had to do a huge run, to a huge build up, before a gentle tap on the pinata :)
Last week I found a peony that had bloomed in a garden that I planted 5 years ago, that I have let go to the weeds! First time I have had one bloom, that the deer didn't eat. So we had to play with it and enjoy it a little.
Back to reality-a shopping trip (I don't like shopping to begin with), which should have taken 1 hour tops-took Kieran and I 4 hours to do! It was a pleasant enough trip and filled our day but still 4 hours! We only went to 4 stores. Although one was the new toy store over east called Mastermind Toys-amazing store-so we spent a lot of time there.
I am a week into vacation and loving it.
Can't help but post a few more photo favourites.
One more week of work left, and then it is Kieran and I for the summer! Hoping to spend a lot of time outside. We already have a few camping trips planned. So excited to take family trips with my boys.
In this photo, Kieran is playing the on the go version of Hungry Hippos. He loves it, we will have to find the real one for him to play. He is growing up so fast-as you can see from his size 13 shoes.
The other night Peter and I were putting him to bed, laying on either side of him, he grabbed my arm and pulled it over to cuddle him and then grabbed peters hand to join mine, then he snuggled in with a contented look on his face. Too sweet. He also noticed my wedding ring the other night and asked why I don't take it off. When I explained it to him, he was very upset that he too didn't have a ring. He is picking up on everything!
Did you know that there are many dangers for your indoor cat outside that include (but not limited to) Hot Lava. According to Kieran that should be our biggest concern if Baron gets out.
I love the video above! Kieran playing his Rescue Bots songs-guess he really is watching me. I think it is amazing the connections he makes.
We have also been flying kites and planting flower gardens-were Kieran mostly points to where he wants the flowers and then throws the flowers to me.
To be honest, I feel like I am in some sort of funk, a loss of words. Do you ever feel like, you just don't feel like it? I am still creating, but it feels like a trickle, I haven't blogged-not even Mommy Monday.
I have some sort of inner argument going on. I just came back from an amazing trip, trip of a lifetime. Incredible, inspiring on many levels, and I have written nothing here. I spent the week after the trip, catching up with my journal and art about Scotland, I am still working on it-processing it. The trip was packed of juiciness, so packed that I didn't take time to process it there.
Maybe I am overwhelmed with inspiration and where to start. Sometimes I wake up and ego says, why are you even doing this, it would be so much easier if you just stopped, I imagine throwing out all my stuff, and I walk around frustrated.
In my heart I know creating is where I want to be, and what I want to share, but it has its ups and down. Usually when I feel this way, resisting it, I make myself show up to it. Write now it is this post.
I think that Scotland was such an expansion of my comfort zone, that I am going through some transformation. I have cocooned myself in my house-taking lots of alone time-which has been amazing, it is something that I rarely get-but is also leaving me feeling disconnected.
So maybe this post is my first step out of the cocoon. Time to spread the old wings again and put myself out there and see what happens.
Do you ever feel this way? Do the things you love to do or dreams feel so big that you feel like giving up, even though you know that is not the answer? I guess sometimes you need to see the other side so you can reject it. What do you do to get out of that funk/mind set?
The Mixed Media piece above is one of the ways I work through things. There is layer upon layer. I journaled about my trip and experiences, feelings, thoughts, ideas-crumpled, ripped and glued them down-along with a map of Edinburgh, and other papers collected in Scotland. I covered it with gesso and used a photo I caught of a sparrow at Urquhart Castle. An image that I completely fell in love with. Creating no matter what the visual outcome, helps me process and work through my experiences and feelings, sometimes answers reveal themselves sometimes they don't. Sometimes I feel better, sometimes I feel worse-but something comes out of me regardless and makes room to grow, and that's all I hope for.
I am not one for putting myself willingly into the spotlight, but I did, for 20 minutes at least. Friday night I competed in Art Battle. Which is a competition with 12 artists, over 2 rounds each with 20 minutes and 6 artists each round at the canvas, and a final round with the top 4 artists and a larger canvas with 30 minutes. The audience circles, observing during the 20 minutes and votes at the end of each round for their favourite.
I was so nervous. This was a huge leap out of my comfort zone for me. I was excited leading up to it, practiced and planned out a couple paintings. The day of-my stomach was in knots all day, worrying about what if I win, what if I look foolish, what if I don't finish my painting, maybe I should change my paintings...I am sure I drove Peter crazy, exclaiming all my self-doubt and fears every few minutes. Once I got there the anxiousness changed. It was more a feeling of this is happening so pull it together. My heart rate was through he roof, I could feel it beating in my chest, but it was the excitement of starting.
A day...morning in my life (and I am sure many others): Wake up on a Saturday at 7:00 am because in my world now that is sleeping in. Peter has left for the gym, Kieran spent the night at a grandparents. I have a rare couple hours all to myself, I make my oatmeal, while cleaning up the disaster of a kitchen created throughout the week, pour some yummy tea, take out my book and journal, give Rocky a treat of some leftover ham in his dish, take a deep breath and sit at my table facing outside to see all the chickadees. Deep breathe, this is so nice, eating my breakfast and journaling....then it happens. Rocky starts gagging, up I jump rushing him down to the basement in the race to get him outside before he pukes on the floor...didn't make it, right before the door it happens-his whole breakfast and the ham-chewed-can't even open the door to finish letting him out the pile is so high. Geez Rocky, I say calmly, you need to chew your food bud" I am not even mad, because I still have lots of time, still feeling zen. I clean the puke, let Rocky out, go upstairs to throw the bag of puke out....and there is zen disappears for a few minutes as I see on the top stair a raspberry mashed in to the beige carpet from my foot. A lone berry that must have been hidden on the floor from yesterdays breakfast that I unknowingly smashed my foot into and then mushed into the stairs on my rush to get Rocky out. Said a few choice words there, got the stain remover, cleaned it up let Rocky in, zen restored back to breakfast. Came down stairs to write this blog....stepped in cat puke....sigh, oh well.
P.S. Kieran had his first dentist visit. He was amazing, he was so excited to be there, he did every thing they asked, without a hitch. He didn't want to leave. Afterwards he asked me why the dentist didn't have candy.
Having a great few weeks with Kieran, but haven't taken the time to post lately. Last weekend we went on the new kids train at the mall. My little Ninja Turtle was so excited, smiles and giggles and a face full of wonder. So much fun. After we went to Indigo and he got some Rescue Bot books which he carries with him at all times!
The past two nights Kieran has slept in his bed with out complaint, and is so proud of himself when he wakes up. Knock on wood that I didn't jinx it by posting it.
Last week the in thing was that Peter and I were only allowed to whisper at the diner table. All three of us had to whisper, and if we forgot, we got told.
We took Kieran on a playdate to go bowling this weekend, Which Kieran was excited about. He played a little but then the flashiness of the arcade caught his attention every time between turns-so most of it was chasing him around until our string was finished. Then we all played in the arcade. It was a lot of fun.
Kieran is getting so big! He is a little over 3'7 and 40lbs! He is the same size as some Kindergartners I teach but he is only 3! One of the hardest things I find right now is trying to remember he is only 3, and the expectations that others who may not know or forget his age because of his size. He shouldn't have to act like he is 5 yet. Let's let him be 3 for a while, don't let him grow up faster than he needs to; he will get there.
Jennifer Russell was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada.She is an Intentional artist who focuses on creating meaning full connections to her work for herself and others. Nothing is more satisfying to her than hearing that her work has inspired someone in their own life.
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