This little (big) guy is ready for a peddle bike! He is so tall that he has out grown his balance bike, the seat will not get any higher. This weekend we took him to the bike park for the first time, I think he has found his new favourite spot! He did not want to leave, especially after he mastered the big hills.
Let's see, oh this week he learned (thanks to his Daddy) that our handles in the car are "poop handles" as in holy poop handles. Everything we say he picks up in one try.
I love the big smile at the end!!
So this is how Spiderman gets around these days. His web must have run out!
My favourite moment this week: I went out Friday night and when I got home at midnight, and quietly went into my room, through the darkness a hear a whisper of amazement and wonder "you came back!".
We are also babysitting my brothers dog, who's name is Ghost. When I asked Kieran if Ghost can stay with us a few days, his response in a very casual tone was, "no, he is spooky". I think we were talking about different ghosts.
I find one of the hardest things to do is show up to my creative work when I am just not feeling it. I drag my feet, my heart cheers me on "You can do this!" but my brain and hands are saying-"lets just lay on the couch and look at facebook, watch a show, pin 100 pins on pinterest. no one needs to know."
It's okay to need a break but you can't fool yourself. There is a fine line between a needed break and just being resistant, and lately there have been some days I have been feeling resistant. I can tell because I get irritable and frustrated really quickly. The inner critic pops out a little more than usual.
But the important think is to just show up to your work, your passion, the things you love, even if you might not be feeling it. Work through it, It tells yourself (maybe subconsciously that you are there for your passions, your dreams, even on days you don't want to). The only way to grow is to show up.
How will you grow in the direction of your dreams? How will you show up?
Above Painting "Dancing in the Light"
Last week I took a break from Fairy tales to nurture my inner Diva, with Shiloh Sophia McCloud-Lewis's class DivaX, and it was awesome.
The intent behind this piece was to connect to my body at a soul level, and check in on my relationship with my self. This is the first time I have shared a nude-ish painting. I have a little secret, I really want to do more nudes. I have always wanted to, even since I was a child. I Can remember being at my grandmothers and drawing a naked women when I was 6 or 7. My grandmother never judged me, and in fact she saved them and now I have them. I would share them except I think they are more risque than the one above. As I got older I still wanted to draw them, except I would throw them out immediately for fear, and maybe even shame. It felt like I didn't want to be caught with them. Even now I feel anxiety posting the one above, even in her early form, I didn't know if I could post her. What does that say about my relationship with my body?
Something else that came up for me during this process was how I behave when I paint by myself versus how I paint when I am around others, including my husband Peter. When I am alone and creating I dance crazy, sing, skip, act out...it is when I feel the most free and the most myself. When others are around I am very aware of their presence even if they are not paying any attention to me. I am more reserved and less likely experiment with my supplies. When I became aware of this I felt sad. What a shame that when I feel the most me, no one is around to share it or witness it. I am not sure where to go from here on this. I feel like I have extreme social anxiety-it stops me from participating in most things. Even something as small as going to a store, or making a phone call can set me off. I am constantly battling what-if's, and what to say, do and act, watching others around me for reactions, and also what I should be doing or how I should be acting. I feel I have made some huge leaps over the past 5 years, but I still have a ways to go. Somethings are getting easier, I take more 'risks', and search out opportunities more often, and I would say that nurturing my creative side has played a huge role in this.
As always, I sat down with this large painting and wrote a letter to myself from the perspective of this dancing Diva. Usually when I do this my ladies have a soft, meditative voice, but not this one. She was forceful and excited and dropped the f-bomb all over. I don't even think I can share the whole letter. It starts like this:
"Dear Wild One,
Yeah you! You are cosmic and don't you ----ing forget it!"..."Don't let this day to day worldy bs get you down!----in' rock it, shake it up-make your own gd grid-you create your world. Stop hiding. It's okay to shake in your boots, but for god's sake get out there and shake what your mama gave ya and ---- it if they can't take a joke. You don't owe anyone enough to lock yourself away."
...I am already feeling butterflies in my stomach at the anticipation of posting this but in a good way.
So what is your relationship with your own body? What self love and kindness can you offer yourself today?
How will you shake up your world?
Big trucks, motorcycles, trains, planes...just a few of Kieran's favourite things. Thanks to his daddy for this awesome picture!
Yesterday Kieran woke me up my snuggling his head into by belly and saying "I love you so much!". Melted my heart. But, as much as his sweetness is growing so is his attitude. When he gets angry now he will try and squeeze with his best scrunched up angry face, and it takes a lot of effort from me not to laugh.
I really enjoyed this lesson in Ever After 2016. This one was taught by Carla Sonheim and was so playful and fun to create! Carla Sonheim was one of the first artists classes I took 6 years ago when I started living my passion. I really enjoy her playful style, it is so different than what I normally work on. I find it really freeing to work in a different style.
I am really going to have to think about what insights I gained from this fairy tale. My first thought was -a little boy who goes out with the intention to help his family, makes a decision that seems immature at the time but ultimately saves his family...however what makes it okay to go and steal from the giant/ogre...mind the ogre does eat children, and Jack's stealing ultimately leads to the giants demise...I guess one could say Jack lives in the moment...for better or worse.
Living in the moment and taking opportunities is something that I try to practice, however I believe there has to be a balance.
How do you balance living in the moment in your everyday?
Successful week back at work and Kieran at the sitter. The first day back he was so excited, couldn't wait to see his sitter and friends, by Wednesday he was a little sadder to be left-but still didn't want to come home at the end of the day!
Kieran has discovered the Ninja Turtles this week and we have watched the animated movie more than I can count.
We also took another trip up to the Moncton zoo-thanks to Michelle Standring for the above photo-we had a fun day with our friends and their family!
For this fairy tale I read the version in Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Women Who Run With the Wolves. To paraphrase this story there is a maiden whose father unknowingly trades her to the devil for riches. After The devil attempts to claim the maiden but is unable to due to her purity he eventually orders the father to cut off her hands, and the devil still can not take her. Her family offers for her to stay, but she decides to leave on her own journey, eventually finding a castle with a pear orchard which is surrounded by a moat. A spirit helps her to get across and to get a pear, one night the King sees her and wants to care for her and marry her so he does. She gets pregnant, he goes to war, the baby is born, a letter is sent to the king announcing the birth, the letter is intercepted by the devil who says the child is dog faced, the king responds with love regardless, but that letter is intercepted (this happens a few times) and changes the message to the maiden and child must be killed. The maiden escapes with the baby and lives in the woods for seven years and her hands gradually grow back, king returns is upset that is love and child are gone, he also goes into the woods for seven years they find each other and remarry...this is very abbreviated, it is an interesting story, so if I have peaked your interest, definitely look it up.
So now that that is all out, lets talk art. I made two paintings for this story. One under the instruction of Galia Alena in her lesson in Ever After 2016, and the second is my own version experimenting with different techniques. Below is the painting from Ever After and above is my own interpretation.
For mine (above) I wanted to use the significance of the number 7 in the story. so I made seven background layers using various techniques (collage, stencils, doodles, writing, spray paint, water colour, gesso) and then added my image on top. I wanted the water from the moat-as water is life, and change. I didn't want her to have her hands, and the trees are white representing the spirit that helps her. She is in white for her purity and her hair is wild as she learns more about herself and wild nature.
There were a few interpretations that rang true for me from this story. One is the question-where in my life do I cut off my hands in order to hide my nature from others? maybe for love and acceptance? After journaling about this story and my thoughts, and my emotions, where I am at in my life I came to the conclusion that this maiden was probably at the lowest low of her life-even more than when she hid in the woods she had her child. But when she left her house with no hands she had no plan and no one. She didn't stop, she made the choice to move forward. Over time (a fairly long time) she finds herself again, she has reclaimed physically and spiritually the lost pieces of her self.
My question is where have you cut off your own hands? What actions can you take to claim the lost pieces? The things about you that you miss or have forgotten that you love?
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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.