And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on this earth.Raymond Carver
This quote really struck me tonight as I realized we were heading into the week of hearts and roses. February, for some, is the meanest month. The first three weeks of this second month has a nasty reputation for good reason. Suicide attempts skyrocket. Depression afflicts those who generally don’t experience it and crush those who do. Some of us find ourselves deep in the grip of snow and icy winter, and others find ourselves juiceless and sweltering in the high heat of summer.
If you’re single, well, it’s doubly miserable thanks to Valentine’s Day ~ a day that many of us find rather torturous ~ and you’ve got a recipe for BAH! and BLAH! and sad music and drinking alone.
All we want, any of us, is to call ourselves beloved and to feel ourselves beloved on this earth.
I get it, and I feel you. I feel you *hard*. I’m wrapping you up in a hug so tight you’re stuffing is going to pop right out. I am sending you so much love, you might need me to pass the insulin, too.
We’ll get through it, yeah? You and me, we’ve got this.
If you are one of the ones for whom February is no big deal, might I impose upon you to look around at your group of friends and family and reach out for someone who might not be so lucky? You’ll be glad to give because embracing someone who needs it is the gift that keeps on giving.
Monday’s spread was a really good example of ‘arting in a crisis’. I was in crisis. I arted. Instead of letting the crapocalypse get me down, I made something pretty + there was glitter.
This spread was made up of an intense session of background making plus some of what I like to call ‘painting with paper’. Lots of doodling ensued. It was purely scrumptious
Friday was a ‘wrap up’ and included a squiggly line journal block tute. I love this method of getting text in my journals.
It is quite time consuming to do things this way, but it is also very meditative. It reminds me of mandalas in the sense that it gives my analytic mind something to do (make lines) and leaves my creative, wise mind free to work out whatever needs working out.
I also played in The Red Key
and I Bloomed True, Too.
So, I want to talk to you a little bit about that beautiful doll up there under the heading Wednesday. I have been learning how to make art since late 2009. One of the first classes I took was a whimsy class with Tamara LaPorte, and I loved it, but what I didn’t love was making faces that looked like someone else’s faces. I knew that the only way to get better at it was to keep practicing, even mimicking my favourite makers of whimsy faces, but I also despaired of every finding my own ‘way’, my own ‘voice’.
I’ve spent the last year working on making paper dolls, in private, out of public view. I wanted to come up with a paper doll/whimsy style that felt like *mine*. Granted, whimsy is, essentially, folk art, and all of it has a lot in common. Bright colours, big eyes, sweet faces, cartoonish and even childish object drawing. This painting includes all that, but it also includes something quintessentially Effy. At least, that’s how I see it.The girl is relatively proportionate compared with a lot of whimsy you find out there. She is not a skinny necked little thing, either. She is curvy. Plump. She is doll like, but there’s a hint of maturity about her.
She’s a Sweetling. By Effy. And I love her so much I could bust.
Finding your own way is simple, but not easy. Simple because all you have to do is KEEP SWIMMING. Keep working. Keep practicing. Emulate the very best artists out there who inspire you. Study their style and figure out what it is about what they do that appeals to you. Eventually, you’re going to stop arting along to their videos and you’re going to do their style from memory. In time, as you keep on swimming (sometimes upstream against the strong current of self-doubt and the inner critic), your own way will emerge.
Mine did, and I’m flinging glitter over here in celebration.
And that’s all she wrote for this week (which has been crazy and frustrating and painful and joyous and fruitful and awesome. What else? *grins*)