A Year in Paintings and an Invitation

Next Wednesday, the 5th of August, I open my art show, Dream Maker, Heartbreaker at Culturecenter Grand Piispankatu 28, Porvoo, Finland. Welcome to enjoy Dreams and good company between six and eight pm.

Even if you can’t make it, I thought it might be fun to have a virtual art show here, at the blog. I know many of you don’t live in Finland.

Loving Self

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Loving Self Acrylic on canvas, 60×60 cm. 2014.390.00 €.

Making art, for me, is impossible if I don’t love myself consciously. Without love, I don’t ever get to the studio door, but instead I allow distractions and the needs of others to keep me away.

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Studio Door Acrylic on canvas 61×50. 2015. 349.00 €.

In order to make art, I must be able to be all of me. Every little last piece of my humanity is with me in the studio, which is why the studio door sometimes feels monstrous. Facing myself, all of me, again and again.

You can make art or you can be perfect

Crumbling Perfection Acrylic on canvas. 80x60cm. 2015. 333.50 €.
Crumbling Perfection
Acrylic on canvas. 80x60cm. 2015. 333.50 €.

Seth Godin wrote about this and I agree. The more I create, the more I crumble my expectations of perfection in myself, life and other people. Instead, I enjoy the ever growing creative energy that I can channel and trust my impulses and intuition to guide me.

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Not all Unicorns and Rainbows. Acrylic on canvas. 90×90 cm. 2015. 1,119.50 €.

Living my dreams, practicing self-love, being married, having children, working with other practicin idealists – none of it is all unicorns and rainbows. I would like it to be. Still. But I am learning to dance in this gap between the ideal and reality, letting it all move through me.

Just Breathe

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Remember to Breathe. Acrylic on canvas. 50×40 cm. 552.00 €.

Coming to the studio after a fight with the Engineer, getting two wriggly, unwilling, tired kids to school and finding out a workshop has been cancelled. I sit down in front of the canvas, relax my body, open up to my imagination and I just breathe.

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November Light. Acrylic on canvas. 73×100 cm. 435 €.

Approximately six hours later I wade through whatever weather there is, go get the children, cook, pack Taekwondo training gear and go train with my firstborn. Taekwondo keeps me both humble and in touch with my power. Centered in the midst of exploding force and knowing when to use it.

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Birthing a Dragon. Acrylic on canvas. 80x60cm. 552.00 €.
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Burning Bright. Mixed media on canvas. 50×40. 295 €.

They Will Ask: Who Do You Think You Are?

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Who Do You Think You Are? Acrylic on canvas. 90 cm. 920 €.

In any life there comes the time when someone asks this of you. Who do you think you are – to dream, to paint, to write, to shine? I think this is a kind of harvest time [despite the potential hurtfulness of the discussion]. Getting this question from the doubts inside or from people around you means that you are starting to have an impact.

That is at least what I told myself, when this happened. After having a good cry.

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Step Into My Arms. Acrylic on canvas. 140×100 cm. 920 €.
It’s Worth It

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It’s Worth It [Lazy Monkey Productions]. Acrylic on canvas 81×65 cm. 333.50 €.
A long time ago I read a book called Creating a Life Worth Living. This has always seemed like a worthy investment of my time. Life is so cumbersome, intense and scary, at times, it might as well be worth all the trouble. My fears keep whispering to me, it would be easier to live in quiet desperation, easier to “be normal”, just shut down, not feel it all, not engage it all.

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Hello Fear. Acrylic on canvas. 60×80 cm. 690€.

Then again. Each time I say hello to my fear and dare anyway, a new door opens up, a new potential awakens, something new becomes possible.

Part of Something Beautiful

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I used to hope I would find a community of people where it would be wonderful to work, where ideals would spring into everyday life and love would abound. This year especially, I have learned that we are all doing our best, even when we fall short. Maybe especially when we fall short. There is no perfection to be found.

Not in me. Not in you. And that is okay.

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Flowers of Compassion – Passion. Mixed media on canvas. 50×41. 295.00€.
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Flowers of Compassion – Beauty. Mixed media on canvas. 50×41. 295.00€.
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Tempted by Drama. Acrylic on canvas. 552.00€.
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I Forgive You. I Forgive Myself. Acrylic on canvas. 100x100cm. 1219.50€.

Compassion, taking care of emotions inside, instead of moving them into the relationship through drama. This leads to forgiveness. Seeing that things are what they are. Seeing people for who they are, instead of shooting out expectations like a sprinkler. Some lessons learned this year.

 Just Start Somewhere
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Just Start Anywhere. Acrylic on canvas. 80×120 cm. 790.00€.

If I’ve learned anything while painting fulltime, it is that starting is the most important thing. It gets the creative juices going, opens up potentials, teaches you things. Just start. The rest will take care of itself.

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A View Toward the Street. Acrylic on canvas. 61×50 cm. 349.00€.
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Longing. Acrylic on canvas. 90×90 cm. 690.00€.
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I See You. Acrylic on canvas. 80x60cm. 390.00€.
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Horn of Plenty. Acrylic on canvas. 55x46cm. 390€.
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Together. Acrylic on canvas. 61x50cm. 295.00€.
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Heavy Metal Hamster. Mixed media on canvas. 61x50cm. 390.00€.
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Tenderness. Acrylic on canvas. 60x80cm. 490.00€.
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Witching Hour. Acrylic on canvas. 80x60cm. 295.00€.
Befriending the Shadow

When you can’t beat it, learn to love it.

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Befriending the Dead Zone. Acrylic on canvas 80x60cm. 390.00€.
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Ogre Mountain. Art Encompasses Everything. Acrylic on canvas. 61x50cm. 349.00€.
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Celebrating Myself Home. Mixed media on linen. 100x140cm. 2990.00€.
And Then Sometimes Everything Goes Topsy Turvy….
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Daddy Is Proud of Me! Acrylic on canvas. 100x80cm. 1290.00€.

If you’ve been reading this blog you know that my Dad has used to be my greatest opponent. I had to literally go through him to get to my first art school. As we talked through the years, I realized that he just sees me so differently from who I am. He sees some parallel-reality Marie, an elegant, reed thin woman, who wears navy, always blends in and loves cocktail parties. He had the perfect life planned out for this first born.

Instead he got me.

So, this spring I thought I had waited long enough and I asked him: “Are you at all proud of me Dad?” He is. Despite my flaming red hair, despite my aversion to cocktail parties, Burberry scarves and navy clothes.

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Magical Woods. Acrylic on canvas. 130x100cm. 1290.00€.
Dreamer’s Ball
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Dreamer’s Ball. Acrylic on linen. 130x130cm. 2695.00€.

It’s been quite a year. It seems the further I dive into living my dreams, the more I feel – of everything. The challenges become greater, the demands on trust grow. Wouldn’t change it, though.

I hope you’ve enjoyed what you see, thank you for watching and reading. I salute you, Dreamer.

From the Animals in my Head to You

Hei Everyone,

It’s been quiet on this blog on this side of the year. I’m mostly on vacation,

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but today I have been writing an article for Minä Olen magazine and since I found a way to get my scanner to work, I thought I would come and muse in the blog for a bit.

I was sorting through all the illustrations for 365 Days of Creativity (remember those guys?)

Moo! By Marie D. Tiger, courtesy of the Thought Book.
Moo! By Marie D. Tiger, courtesy of the Thought Book.

and found many scetches, a bunch of undocumented finished ones and raw ideas.

I now have 231 documented and finished illustrations of different creative days, mostly with my inner animals, but some with my alter ego red head stick girl.

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The whole thing of course started when I got tired of sitting on my ass and wishing I would create and inspired by Seth Godin  started drawing or painting something small each day [and no matter how imperfect], posting it here on the blog. The drawings kept getting better and I learned to listen more to both my inner animals and my impulses. My imagination seemed to speak animal. Until the beginning of year 2015, when form suddenly fell away and it was just myself and the colors left.

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From my current vantage point it seems that I have most literally created myself visible. Through drawing and the inner work that being an entrepeneur gives rise to, I have slowly solved the conflicts between my inner artist, my coaching practice and my company Crealife. Instead of being a big mash up of everything, there are now clear distinctions between these.

This blog, that I started when I needed an outlet where to share my art, has slowly become a hobby, as my Finnish core art business, Crealife, has taken over. The painting process of my latest body of work Dream Maker, HeartBreaker has been a mostly wordless one, suitable more for documentation in the journal than short, intersting blog posts. Instagram has been a good way to share that process with my lovely audience. <3

2015_sssshhhhcatchingideasSo I’m pottering around the blog today, wanted to say HI and also that I am opening up inner doors so I can write in this blog again, adventure around in my beloved English language and perhaps send out a smidgeon of playful inspiration to summerwarmed imaginations around the globe. <3

 

Rant

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There is one thing that I have  been encountering this spring in both myself and in discussions with other Dreamers. It seems that there is an expectation that living your dreams is somehow easy. And that if a dream disappoints, or following it brings with it challenges or hardships, the dream is somehow faulty or wrong and has to be exchanged for another, or vilified.

Well, here’s the thing. This. Is. Not. Easy.

And I don’t think there is anyone on the face of the Earth, ever, who has found that living true to a dream or several of them, is an easy thing.

Living your dream may be carting bulky, unwieldy things while sweating like a pig and looking stupid, just because they fit your budget and it means you can offer more value in a workshop.

Living that dream may mean sleeping in the living room to give kids their own rooms, because you know that the tender balance of dream vs economy could not handle the extra intrusion of a mortgage.

Answering the call of the muse may mean getting up at five, three weeks after giving birth, to get forty-five minutes of writing done at the local café before the baby wakes.

Loving your craft, your art, your business or your whatever Dearest Vision means being willing to face your fears, doubts and resistance; opening up wide to the unknown; pouring in your time, money, focus and passion into it in order to solve yet another elusive puzzle.

It means you jump into yet another transition and accept the shifting grounds of reality so you can create more deeply, more authentically, more fully that which is burning inside of you.

You need to be willing to surrender to what is growing inside of you and to the changes it demands of you.

From the outside it may look like people who follow their dreams are driving on a highway, with a clear map they’re using for navigating all the crossroads.

“Easy for you, you’ve always known what you want.”

This is just not true on an experiential level. At first there is just the elusive calling, sometimes there, sometimes not. You have to persistently seek those clues, look for the YES! in things. And then you have to, you just have to dare take the steps.

Do you know what the hardest thing is? It is not taking that leap; getting married, getting a new job, going to study something new. Although those decisions may be agonizing and scary, what is much, much harder is doing something, each day, to express your dream. To write those words, today, tomorrow, the day after that. To do something when you’re still crap at it. To practice. To dare show up, human, unfinished, imperfect and still express what is inside of you.

When you start doing that, creating something every day. That is when you start living the dream. That is when your dream can start teaching you about its hidden soul.

Following your bliss is not blissful all the time. In fact it can be terrifying and really really crappy, downright boring and disappointing. That’s part of it. Doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Just means you’re on your way.

So. What can you create today?

Fear, Muscles and Staying Relaxed in [Creative] Battle

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After I came home from a short vacation to Ireland, getting back into creating has been challenging. It seems my rational mind and imagination are at odds. The usual suspects, fear, doubt and resistance spent a lot of time in my studio last week.

I’ve always battled fear. At some point of my life I was so afraid, even very small things seemed huge and challenging.

There was the time when I was seven years old and happened to look under the bed of our nanny. I found my mother’s things there, hidden. Our live in nanny surprised me rifling through her stash. When I, gleefully with a child’s vision of right and wrong, exclaimed that she was a thief, she pushed me down on the bed and put her fingers around my neck. The last thing I remember from that encounter was my field of vision going black at the edges.

Or once at thirteen when I was walking to the store with my friends on an after-lunch-chocolate-hunt. I had borrowed Mom’s turquoise shirt, tied it around my waist in a flattering way and I was feeling tentatively sexy, so happy about how I looked. Laughing with my friend, feeling so relaxed I was suddenly hit by a wave of hatred. A blonde, curly haired, blue kahjal’ed older girl was smirking at me. She laughed derisively and yelled: “Well look at this little slut thinking she’s sexy, when she’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Turned to a living statue, I suddenly realized I had been stupid enough to call attention to myself. I remember feeling staggered by shame and self-loathing, stumbling over my own feet, my friends looking away. Defenceless and lonely, I hastily tugged open the knot and left the shirt hanging over my jeans, rumpled and defeated.

Or when I was older, at home with my newborn son and the doorbell rang. Outside I saw my mother and although she was shaking, reeking of alcohol and smudgy eyed, I felt a moment of joy. She hadn’t yet seen her grandson. Then I felt my arms turn to soda water, when I saw the back of a man in the hallway. I looked, aghast at my mother. “Is that Dick?” [of course his real name isn’t Dick, but I’m using my creative license here, and the name fits.]

She averted her eyes and filled to the edge of trembling, with equal amounts of fury and fear, I yanked her in the door, all the while slamming it shut in the face of the approaching man. My mother had brought her violent drinking buddy slash boy friend to my home, where I had my newborn son. As I write this, I don’t remember what I shouted at my mother, I only remember Roni was screaming, I was screaming as I, after checking peephole and finding the the hallway empty, shoved her out the door. I was filled with the knowledge that I would do anything to protect my child.

Then there was chronic, slow killing fear, walking home from the mail box, having been dropped off by the taxi ride after day care, after elementary school and walking the three hundred meters of uphill first alone and then with my little sister. We were clasping hands, hard and I was praying fervently that the current nanny would be in a good mood and make the hours before our parents returned home at least humane and hopefully not violent.

Hello Fear. Mixed media on canvas, 60x80cm, by Marie D. Tiger, 2015.
Hello Fear. Mixed media on canvas, 60x80cm, by Marie D. Tiger, 2015.

Fear has always been a debilitating force in my body, turning my muscles into water, usurping my strength. It hasn’t mattered if the fear comes from an inner or outer impulse, the physical effect of it has always been the same. A fog wraps around my field of vision, my balance disappears and my body coordination becomes non-existent.

Now at thirtyeight years old, having let go of most of my past, I was growing very tired of carrying old fear responses in my body. One day after Taekwondo training, I asked my instructors about what to do about fear and its effect on my balance and muscle strength. One of the instructors was listening more to what I was really saying, than to my exact words. Focusing his chestnut brown eyes straight into mine and beyond, he asked: “And do you know where this reaction comes from?” As the past events marched across the field of my inner vision I laughed (although I wanted to cry a bit) and said: “Which one?”

“Okay,” he said, “I have experienced such events as well and have tried many things. What works best, in my experience, is to re-train the muscles. You imagine a scary situation and then you show your muscles how you would prefer to react.”

I See You, to See and Be Seen. 80x60cm, mixed media on canvas, 2015.
I See You, to See and Be Seen. 80x60cm, mixed media on canvas, 2015.

Yesterday I was walking into a tense group situation, not knowing what to expect, but ready for anything [a bit like battle without any physical violence]. The same sensations as always. Watery arms, tinglingburningchurning lower belly, trembling legs. I felt the same inner reaction to these symptoms as always – irritation. I was already scanning my memory for one or the other mental exercise to help me when suddenly it hit me like lightning: This is just like Taekwondo training. And my instructor’s voice came back to me: “Everyone is scared in battle, keep loose and limber, keep moving, relax your body.”

Shaking myself like a wet dog, outside the white door, key already in hand, I felt relief. No need to change anything about myself. Just loosen my body and I was ready for battle. So I put my key in the lock, took a deep breath and stepped in, letting them know I was there.

More and more, in the studio, in any situation where I co-create something, I notice that this simple advice is enough. Keep loose and limber, stay present, allow what is and what you can do.
What are you battling in your life right now? How might relaxing, right now, in this moment help you?

Foundations

 

A warm thank you to everyone who took part in the Giveaway. It was a delight to meet so many of you in an e-mail. The five lucky winners have either received their packages or have a nice surprise coming in the mail in a few days. 🙂

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Today it’s canvas making day in the studio again. It is unspectacular work.

Tighten,

staple,

turn,

repeat.

Work that my mind scorns and scoffs at.

But as I listen to Dan Burke’s music and work, pausing at times to smooth the canvas, feel the gritty fibers under my hand, I think of the customer who will buy this painting and I’m filled with love. I’ve come across so many hastily made store bought canvases lately that twitch, turn, bend and are wonky this way and that. Another outer authority slipping away, the thought that store bought canvases are better made than my handmade ones.

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A similar theme is opening up in Taekwondo practice. The repetitive basic moves that we practice over and over again, are blossoming into surprisingly firm kicks, swift turns and an agility I haven’t been used to in my body.

I’m thinking, what if I approached all everyday phenomena in my life, especially routines with this fresh attitude? What if I were an attuned, humble and awake beginner, filling the dishwasher? Taking the kids to school? Gathering the materials to my book keeper? If I were to appreciate the moment, my moment, enough to really be aware of what I’m doing and that I can choose the quality of the moment?

So, I’m back to tightening, stapling and turning – knowing that the painting born on this canvas will be quality, through and through. When I paint, I feel as if I’m channeling the feeling tone of my being onto the canvas and my deepest hope is that my paintings may be there in a small way as a support to you, while you work toward your dreams.

What are the foundations of your life, what are the basics you are practising?

 

Update about Living the Dream and a Giveaway

Today I wanted to write an update, about life in the studio. Since my decision to take the leap and prioritize artmaking, in late December, life has been an intense adventure. Living from my core, there is no anesthetizing, protective layer between myself, my dream and life anymore.

Hanging out in the core, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger.
Hanging out in the core, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger.

This has required extraordinary care in drawing boundaries to protect both my studio time, the tenderness of opening up widely to make art each day and also my leap of faith from the fears and doubts of well-meaning people around me.

Working in the studio has taught me new things about my chosen work. It is physical, involving building, swearing, sweating, wrestling with canvas, being coated in grime and color, working ahead always in trial and error. Translating emotion and energy into color on canvas is fascinating, at times painful as the feelings wash through me as a force of nature and it also involves a lot of interaction. Smearing acrylic color on canvas is a lot like communicating, each individual action produces a change in the whole system – often surprising changes. And no undo buttons – only the keep going one.

The biggest unfolding, perhaps, has been the sheer amount of love, both in my own artmaking and in the workshops where I teach the making of core art. I am learning that painting can also be a practice of self-love. Accepting and even more allowing the creation to be what it is, being able to encounter what I create; how it looks, what it feels like, what it says is a potent experience that some days leaves me and those I teach gasping.

Big Dreams, by Marie D. Tiger in the thought book.
Big Dreams, by Marie D. Tiger in the thought book.

My biggest joy is that for the first time, in the ten years that I have been an entrepeneur and business owner, everything is flowing. You, my beautiful darling customers, have been in touch, come to my studio and bought my paintings. I am deeply honored and moved, to be allowed to sell you these paintings, painted from my core to yours.

Since I was thirteen years old, I have felt this wordless urgency, to expand, to find myself, to be myself fully so I can participate in the world. Now I feel I am at the center of my reality, able to be of true service, just being who I am. I want to thank you, all, deeply, for following this adventure and for being who you are.

As a thank you, I am having a celebration for my blog readers. If you want to take part, please send your postal address to mariedtiger@hotmail.com before the 31st of March, please write Celebration in the subject line. Your addresses will not be used for any other purpose than sending this giveaway, if you’re the lucky winner. 🙂 I will draw five winners of all who participate and send the winners an artful surprise from my print inventory.

So, an exuberant Hello There, from my studio to where ever you are. You are seen, you are loved, you are part of something beautiful, just by being you.

P.S. If you want to follow my day to day musings and work in progress, you can do it on Instagram.

 

 

Start Again

100x130 cm work in progress.
100×130 cm work in progress.

I was painting the other day, the first canvas that I’ve stretched and primed in a long time. When I lifted it up, it was warped. My heart sank. But I let it lie flat, knowing that canvases live a bit. When I returned to the studio, the next day, the canvas stayed flat when I lifted it. Yay!

A couple of days ago, I noticed the canvas is wonky, leaning to one side. Again, I let it simmer for a few days.

But today, I took a deep breath and started to deconstruct the canvas, removing the staples and loosening the canvas.

In progress...
In progress…

You know, I would so prefer being perfect.

But if there is one thing I’m learning, these days, it is how to be a beginner. Just start again, implement what you’ve learned, keep on doing. In a way, I think we are all beginners, because each moment in life is all new, never before encountered.

So I’ll settle for being able to stand behind my work. This canvas had taught me so much today.

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I found a place in the studio where I can press my canvases into shape.

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I finally found use for this ruler.

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I did so much deep breathing while tightening and stapling this challenging baby back into place. While I worked I thought about all those days, changing diapers. Stretching canvas is also a labor of love and ultimately, not at all about me.

It is about honoring my painting, my handiwork and the client who is going to buy this painting.

Part of Something Beautiful, 100x130cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015.
Part of Something Beautiful, 100x130cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015.

The painting is a tribute to the soul nourishing music of Alexi Murdoch.

Wishing you a great week. <3

About Fear

This week has been about fear for me.

Monday, in Taekwondo training, my considerate instructor said it was time to test me for the yellow belt. The others had done the test before Christmas, when I was lying in bed with fever.

All my inner walls slammed up. I wanted to flat out refuse. I wanted to cry. I wanted to run away.

Instead I disconnected my brain and just waited for the test to start. I wish I could tell you that I aced it. Did not. I was pretty bad. But I did it. Tomorrow I get my belt.

What I learned during the lesson was that when I’m afraid, I tense my shoulders into a knot. I try to push myself into succeeding. It doesn’t work that way. Instead I prevent my body from doing what it knows how to do.

Hello Fear.

Hello Fear. Mixed media on canvas, 60x80cm, by Marie D. Tiger, 2015.
Hello Fear. Mixed media on canvas, 60x80cm, by Marie D. Tiger, 2015.

I went walking and running on ice yesterday. My intention was to explore how fear moves in my body. Just spend some time with it, experiment. I found a nice spot, a dirt road covered by bumpy, wet and slippery ice. Yellow sneakers, trembly knees, strong breaths out. Despite my mind’s screeching, fantasies of a broken nose and panic, my body knew what to do.

Relaxed, yet alert, my body, supported by my conscious breath, walked pretty normally. My feet kept slipping and sliding and correcting the balance with the appropriate movements. My shoulders kept trembling and numbing with the force of fear running like electricity through my muscles. But it was just sensation. An experience.

My taekwondo instructors keep telling me that the fear is normal, the bumbling around is something everyone does and the answers are inside.

I take their words to heart and bring them with me into the studio. Here I throw everything into the inner fire.

Work in progress.
Work in progress.

And paint for my life.

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Tule syliin. Step Into My Arms. 140x100cm, mixed media on canvas by Marie D. Tiger.

What are you afraid of? What would help you stay relaxed and alert in the midst of feeling your fear?

 

 

Who Do You Think You Are?

 

When you have a dream.

When you follow your inner wisdom.

When you Dare Big.

This is a question you will be asked sooner or later.

Insinuatingly, between the lines or smack in the face openly.

Who. DO. You think. You ARE?

Remember to breathe.

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Do you remember this picture?

Impulse by impulse, by Marie D. Tiger. Buy print here.
Impulse by impulse, by Marie D. Tiger. Buy print here.

When you listen to your impulses – all of them, not just the ones that are in your inner default operating mode – each impulse opens up a set of new potentials. Your intuition acts as the captain, choosing the most optimal set of impulses. This means that for each followed impulse, creation by creation, your life becomes something new. Tailor made for you, courtesy of your core.

That is why we can trust the Unknown, in the flow of our impulses. It makes everything possible. No matter how scary it feels at times.

So. If your life recently had a huge or even the tiniest Boooom!

Boooom! By Marie D. Tiger. Buy print here.
Boooom! By Marie D. Tiger. Buy print here.

And you’re wondering what to say to the people who ask you who you think you are, to dare so greatly and act so irresponsibly/crazily/weirdly/whatever?

You don’t really need to say anything.

Just get back to the paper, to the canvas, into the coaching room, to your children, into the kitchen, in front of the microphone or in front of the piano. You know.

That’s all.

 

Working with the Whole Range of Emotion

Painting progress picture: 80x60cm acrylic on canvas, Miss Cranky Pants (a.k.a. Orders Old Bitch)
Painting progress picture: 80x60cm acrylic on canvas, Miss Cranky Pants (a.k.a. Ornery Old Bitch)

I got to laugh ironically at my own pep talk blog post several times yesterday. Nothing went in flow, but I got to know my colors very well. Let’s just say Bismuth Vanadate Yellow and I aren’t going to be friends soon.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am finding my painting mojo again, step by step as my overloaded senses are getting their much needed dose of silence, solitude and quiet concentration. I am noticing that I do not need to be in a good mood to paint, the colors unfold, the impulses appear, the work happens quite independently.

I may have the worst day at the studio, but it isn’t personal. When I allow myself full range of emotion, nothing bad happens. If anything, it allows me to connect more fully with play space, experimentation – the flow, the screech, the obstinacy of color and its movement in rhythm or opposition with the canvas.

Is this embracing my shadow?

Whatever it is, I refuse to slize myself or my work  into the narrow confines of good and bad anymore. I choose to listen, to create, to be present with whatever is here.

Are there phenomena in your work today that you could listen to and be present with, without expectations or agenda?