Selfies? for or against? I am speaking more of the selfie photos, however self portraiture has been around for ages, camera's have just made it easier.
I don't feel I am huge selfie person, but I am a believer of having someone in the photo. Ever since having Kieran I have been more likely to take a selfie, otherwise I would not have many pictures with him and I. My reason for not taking selfies is more of being to self conscious to do it-in public and to post them.
Self portraits/selfies are great, it puts you in context and gives you the reigns to be the author of your own story. I am not going to take a selfie every hour or anything, or every day or week, but I do once in a while and I don't think that it makes me look like I am over important. It isn't because I have a self inflated ego (and so what if I did).
I also think that in this digital world we have created, we are physically alone more often, and the selfie is a way to connect.
It doesn't matter to me how many selfies you take, but for me and my selfies they are purposeful and have a meaning...although I have been known to take a few silly ones too.
Well I have been posting lots of pictures on my instagram and Facebook feed lately with scavenger hunt photos, so I don't have too much new to share.
Kieran did not want Apple Pie a la Mode and refused to use a fork or spoon to eat his pie hahaha.
Took him to Mispec on Wednesday and we had so much fun playing in the water (fully clothed) and then we walked through the trail to find the little waterfall.
Last night he got to sit on his uncle's motorbike, which he loved.
To me a smash book is an anything goes journal/scrapbook. They can be beautiful, they can be messy, they are for whatever you want: Receipts, ticket stubs, scraps, gum wrappers, testing out new pens, art journal....anything. You can use it day to day, keep it in your bag with a pen and a glue stick. You could theme your book around travel, family, lists, recipes-whatever you can dream of.
I find that my Smash Books provide me with a snap shot of my life at the time-and it is real and authentic because I am not trying to impress anyone. They are a place to vent, explore, wonder, create, research, and get messy. I am not a scrapbooker-tried that once and it did not go well-at least from my perspective (I am sure with practice it would come, but I wasn't passionate about it). I like to just throw things in and be done. I find that smash booking is a little more low-maintenance, unless I choose to do more. I love that every page seems to take on its own personality and that they don't need to fit together, they just are.
I have seen the ones at Michael's by K&Company-they have beautiful patterned paper inside and come with a pen/glue stick-I love the look of them, I love the feel of them, I love what I have seen other people do with them, I even bought one with good intentions to use it....but...I am afraid to use it because I think it is so pretty. Someday, Someday I will dive into it.
My alternative is to make my own out of a cheap composition notebook from the dollar store. I create a lovely book , so it is still magical, but my inner perfectionist is less likely to care about how I handle the pages because I made it I can make it again, it was made out of cheap supplies -so not hard to replace, and finally it is probably already a mess, so why not just get at it. It feels less intimidating to me to start.
I love making my own smash books, I have used them for an art course that I took, I have used them to teach from in my online course, I have used them with a theme to research the cycles of the moon, I have used them for planning, and I have just made the one above as an inspiration collector and art journal playground to experiment in.
I have just finished filming an online class for you-walking you through how to make your own smash book.
It will be on dale for $35 from today to August 20th to celebrate my sister wedding and mine and Kieran's birthday :). After the 20th the price will be going to its regular price of $50. Click this link for a closer look at the class.
Here is my second Fairy tale painting for Tamara Laporte's (willowing.org) class Ever After 2016. This was created through Tam's instruction, I made a couple changes and love it.
For me The Little Mermaids message is "I am Enough".I read the original Little Mermaid and found it very interesting-of course images from the Disney version play in my head with instant comparisons and contrast but over all I think the same message can be found in both. The little mermaid is a strong character, with hopes and dreams of the human world. In the real story she does find and fall in love with a prince, but when she learns that humans have an immortal soul that is what she desires the most. Because in this story Mermaids only live for a few hundred years before they die and turn into sea foam. Unfortunately the only way she can do this is to become human and have the prince fall in love with her, because when we love we have enough soul for both. Spoiler alert...that doesn't happen.
The Little Mermaid chooses to take a short cut by visiting the sea witch (who also takes her voice) but otherwise has no other motives, it was her price to become human, and if the Mermaid does not get the prince to fall in love with her it is instant sea foam for her. To the surface she goes and whole the prince likes her he is already in love with another (a woman that he thinks saved him from the water, when it was the mermaid), So he doesn't fall in love with her and she witnesses his loving wedding to another-when her sisters appear and say they have all traded their hair for and antidote, so she can live and become a mermaid again-but she must kill the prince-she couldn't do it and she dies-but happy ending in a way, she becomes a child of the air and if she fills her time with good deeds some day during her eternity she will gain an immortal soul..
She desired so much something that relied on outside sources, and put herself and others in danger because of them. She did reach a pathway to her immortal soul in the end, but perhaps she could have gotten there anyway being herself. So for me the message I take form this Fairy tale is "I am Enough".
I am Enough. sounds easy but something I struggle with all the time-worrying what others think or what the right thing to say or do is, and often sit silently instead. When really the only way to find happiness and your dreams is by being yourself and doing it your way. I just thought of how the little mermaid was quick to sacrifice pieces of herself for her desire but when it came to others she could not. Something else I am familiar with, putting others needs above my own...a lot. Maybe the Little Mermaid didn't feel worthy enough of her dreams on her own so she went to seek out the witch instead of taking her time. So perhaps another affirmation for this story is "I am Worthy". Worthy of love, worthy of my dreams and goals, worthy of self care, worthy to be myself.
Are there any times in your life where you didn't feel enough? maybe even today? When do you feel unworthy, or that you don't deserve the things you desire?
What is one thing you can do for yourself to make you feel good? could be a hot bath, could be a cup of tea. What is one action you can take to move you closer to the thing you feel unworthy of? perhaps it is small like going for a walk, or putting $20 into a savings.
I dare you to believe that you are enough and you are worthy.
So I couldn't wait for Mommy Monday to upload my favourite pictures from our PEI camping trip-so many have already seen them....oh well.
I have to say our first camping trip was a success. Kieran had so much fun and so did I. We with family and took over two sites, so Kieran always had someone. We were there for three nights. Our first day/night was rainy, Kieran still had fun playing outside and getting soaked, but bedtime was another story. He had to go to the bathroom after I got him all dry and ready for bed-not an easy task with a squirmy toddler, in a small tent, flopping around on an air mattress, but we got it all figured out after an hour or two. It was also pretty chilly and Kieran likes to kick is blankets off, so the first night he was pretty restless.
Day two was lots of fun, still a little grey and chilly, but no rain. We did some shopping and had Cows ice cream! yum. Then he played on the beach and fell in the frigid water, haha, but recovered. Kieran had fun learning how to do cartwheels from a little girl camping across the way, which was too cute to watch. Kieran with his big run , stop, hands to ground and kicking feet up 2cm off the ground. We had a fire that night, which he was excited about, but more concerned that we knew our fire safety-need to put fire out with water or sand he told us many times-thank goodness he pays attention to 'Paw Patrol' and know his fire safety. I told Kieran that his Grampy was my dad-I think I blew his mind, ever since the trip he will randomly stare off into space and say "Bumpy is Mommy's Daddy?".Before we could roast any marshmallows he was asking to go to bed.
Day three was gorgeous, and hot hot hot. After lunch we spent the rest of the day at the beach, and the last hour or more Kieran and I took a nap cuddled up in the shade tent. That night Kieran got to try roasting marshmallows, and s'mores. After two of them he wanted to go to bed, it was 10 pm. So we went to the tent, and a cracked a couple glow sticks, and then he wanted to go back to the fire, so out we went for a sword fight and his Aunt popped popcorn over the fire. A really great way to spend our last night
Day 4 we packed up and went to the playground with a pirate ship-Kieran loved the hat his Auntie got especially for the occasion. Then we headed for home.
It was a great trip, and I look forward to doing it again.
This section is the last section in Elizabeth Gilbert's book " Big Magic" and is the shortest. Elizabeth Gilbert uses a story of Balinese dance to show that the divine is everywhere and everyone deserves beauty in their life and has access to it-whether through participation or observation-or at least that is my interpretation of it.
She says in conclusion that "Creativity is sacred and not sacred. What you make matters enormously, and it doesn't matter at all". That creativity is full of paradoxes but the most important thing is that you show up and say yes.
I know this to be true, I treat my creative practice as sacred (most of the time) lighting candles, and setting intentions, but I also try to remember to not take myself too seriously-something that I often struggle with, and to enjoy the process of creating without focusing on the outcome, or trying to force it to become something.
I found since I started creating more often I began to see things around me differently, everything has beauty and is a source of inspiration if we allow it to be. I have random photos filling my phone, random words scattered around on papers, scraps and bags, and bubble wrap, and other things my husband would call "garbage" hidden amongst my tools (just ask Peter, my husband, I am constantly collecting things).
So what inspires you? What lights you up? Where can you see beauty and the divine around you everyday? What will you create, do or enjoy? How can you spend and live each day as if it is a work of art?
well, so much for the grass growing....Kieran enjoys playing in the fresh dirt with his digger lol.
Kieran went to his first official movie in the theatre on Tuesday! It was fun, we went to Finding Dory and he sat through the whole thing, like a pro, with his snack propped on his belly. Although unlike me he didn't want popcorn....he preferred some Swedish berries.
Another funny comment he made this week was the shock that our lawn had been cut and that someone had "taken" his grass.
By the time you read this, we will be on our next adventure....camping.... To be continued....
I have been creating lots, but I rarely get he chance to blog about it. I am much better at posting my work and work in progress on Instagram and Facebook. I have been working on my own stuff as well as course work. I recently started another class organized by Tamara Laporte (Willowing) called Ever After 2016-which is a 4 month class of all fairy tale inspired art lessons and artist interviews and prompts on developing your own style.
The painting above is of Snow White the lesson was by Annie Hamman. I really loved this lesson, her style and techniques inspire me. I love the looseness and realism of her style, and how her paintings tell a story. So far from the prompts I have learned that I am a little farther down the road in developing my style than I thought. Most of my paintings include a female figure along with an animal or natural elements that come together to form a story or message.
I followed Annie Hamman's lesson closely-the only thing I changed is the hair placement and the hand-just very slightly. I drew every thing free hand with a reference photo. The hand was the trickiest-my phone is full of weird selfies of me trying to get a good picture of my hand in this position, but I really enjoyed the challenge.
For fun I have also been reading the original fairy tales to pull inspiration and see what messages I can find. Annie said that she chose to have Snow Whites hair blowing in the wind, symbolizing change, keeping that in mind, Snow White has emerged from the forest and has awakened in this painting, will she be fooled by the apple?
Did you know Snow White dies three times in the original story, each time by the queen/witch in disguise, even though the dwarves tell her over and over not to open the door or trust anyone while they are at work. Once was by lace (the queen tied it so tight Show White could not breathe-saved by dwarves), the second was a poison comb (again saved by dwarves), and the one we all know-by the bite of an apple. The dwarves couldn't help her with that one so they placed her in a glass coffin-and long story short a prince passing by asked if he could have her because she is beautiful and he would like to look at her-so he attached the coffin to his horse and began home-the ride dislodged the apple from her throat and she woke up...how sweet and they were married and got revenge on the queen to say the least.
Snow White is very passive life just happens to her and she floats through it. She acknowledges what happens to her, but doesn't seem to be angered or frightened by it-she accepts it but doesn't seem to learn from it...ever. She lives in the present but is not grounded. I am not an expert in chakra's but I feel as if her root (home/safety, sense of belonging) and her Solar plexus (self worth and power). I think that the message Snow White is carrying for us when she emerges from the trials of the forest is -I am grounded and ready to stand in my own power. I could keep going, but I will stop there :)
Are there any area's in your life where you feel you are too passive, or floating through it, to the detriment of yourself? Where are you ready to dig in your roots and stand in your own power?
My Canada Day boys, aren't they precious haha. Bouncy castles and pony rides weren't up and running when we got to the feativities, but we did get to look in a fire truck and play basketball with his cousin.
Saturday Kieran came to a different cousins wedding, he wouldn't let me put him down until after the ceremony, and then I didn't see him again until it was time to go home. He had so much fun! Although j just about died when right before the ceremony Kieran got very excited and exclaimed "Mommy, Pirate" and pointed at a man with an eye patch. Later in the evening I saw Kieran talk to him and the man gave him a high five. Would love to have heard what they were taking about.
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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.