Alive In The World

I. Fest left me speechless. I really don’t know how to write about it except to say I came home transformed, re-wilded, ready for what’s next. I love the new site. I loved feeling surrounded by beloveds. I loved feeling beloved. I miss it already and I can’t wait for Harvest.

There was *nothing* missing. Nothing. It was perfect.

II. I came home and did the usual post-fest crash, but I’m back in the swing of things now with some needed additions to my routine so I can keep the magic alive. It’s no longer enough to stoop sit and soak up the sun. My body wants the river. It wants trees and a trail to walk. It wants to move.

Of course, I broke my toe first night of fest, and I’ve done something to my knee, so that’s been a bit of a struggle, but I’m doing it. Slowly and carefully, but it’s happening.

III. I ordered a knee brace. We’ll see if it helps.

IV. I wrote a poem on the first post-fest Friday in order to remind myself that it’s okay to want things in times like these. I shared it on the socials and via my newsletter and whoa. The response has been wild. I guess it hit a nerve?

I Will To Live

As an antedote to despair
I took up pen and paper
and decided
line by line
to live
like so –
I will live to see
a concert at the Gorge.
I will live
to have something I painted
in a gallery.
I will live to see
a slim, fine volume
of my poetry
in your hands.
I will live to gather
my witches
in person
in nature.
I will live
to paint with them,
to circle with them
under the same moon.
I will live to
be loved as I have loved.
I will live to
be comfortable
in my own skin.
I will live to
strip down to nothing
without wondering
how I will be received.
I will trust myself
to someone’s eyes
and hands
fully and completely
knowing my trust is well placed
and well earned.
I will live to see you free.
I will live to see us free.
I will live. I will to live.
I will live to
fall apart in
someone’s arms.
I will live to
be dusted off
and set upright again.
I will live in fury.
I will live in pride.
I will live in power.
I will live knowing
your worth and mine.
I will live to learn
to play the ukulele
because the thought
delights me.
I will live to write
and play a song.
I will sing out loud
without caring
how I sound or if you like it.
I will live to offer my song
to the one who gave me voice.
I will live to dance
around the fire
once, twice, three times
or twenty
without wondering if
I am pleasing to your eyes.
I will live to offer my dance
to the one who gave me bones.
I will sing because I love to sing.
I will dance because I love to dance.
I will live because I love to live.
I will live.
I will live.
I will live.
I will
I will
to live.
June 24, 2022
IV. Notice that line about having my art in a gallery? I got a message from a friend yesterday asking me if I’d like to show in HER gallery, so magicks!
V. I don’t know if I’ve blogged about this in enough detail for this sentence to make sense, but it doesn’t matter. Still no word on my therapist. I live in hope.
VI. Month-end is almost completely done and then it’s time to rinse, repeat. I love the structure I’ve built into my life, but there are times when I start to chomp at the bit of it. Thankfully, I know that my kind of wild needs a schedule and a list to slay and deadlines and structure or I will spiral. Knowing what’s next keeps me moving. I’m grateful to past me for setting things up this way.
VII. I painted this for Moonshine. If you’re into painting as art witchery, you might want to check out my Patreon where a new painting tutorial goes up each and every month.

VIII. Today finds me grateful I live in Canada but also terrified about the potential “spill up” that might happen since there is a Canadian contingent that has swallowed the red pill and wants what is happening to the south of me to happen here. Today’s Journal52 touched on the fury many of us are feeling. Think of it as a permission slip to feel that fury and let it fuel the kind of action and activism that will help to change things.

Grab the file on Dropbox

 

IX. I’m taking delivery on a window AC unit today and I could not be more excited. It’s the little things.

 

X. It’s good to be alive in the world.

Healing

I did a live gathering with my art witches on Saturday during which we went over the review we do in Moonshine now and again. It came up this month because we’re in the halfway point of the program and I thought it would be a good opportunity to assess how things are going for each of us as individuals within the context of the intense work we do in our efforts to embrace our own power. Because “reviews” can be something we bash ourselves over the heads with, I did my own review out loud so I could model how I do it gently and with oodles of self-empathy.

It was tender. Stuff came up that I wasn’t even aware of – stuff that wanted to be tended to, and while it’s likely that this stuff would have come up eventually, doing the review meant I didn’t have to wait for it to fester before I became aware of it. It came up *before* it was an emergency.

And that’s why I appreciate doing things like “reviews” or keeping a practice of checking in with myself or taking personal inventories of my own stuff.

It’s not easy for me, though, so don’t read me wrong and think I’ve got this all figured out! I’m great at staying too busy to think much as a coping mechanism, and I catch myself defaulting to that a lot more than I’d like, but I also know that if I’m taking my own temperature regularly, I can avoid the inevitable crisis that comes for me if I’m not taking my temperature.

Taking my temperature on Saturday let me know that I’ve got some work to do around my right to exist, matter, receive acknowledgment & validation, and take up space. Still. Heh.

It let me know that I’m finding it difficult to feel “legitimate”, adulty, and self-possessed.

It let me know that there are a couple of voices in my head that need to be evicted because they’re a) old tape and b) terribly unkind.

And now I know, so I’m going to work on *waves at all of that*.

***

It’s Monday, so I’ve got Journal52 floating around in all my places. You can grab it here, too, if you’d prefer not to wait for the email or the post to go up elsewhere. It’s hosted on Dropbox.

I don’t know how much time I’m going to have for the bloggy thingy over the course of the next few days since I’m preparing to go to fest on the 15th. I’m slowly inching towards being all caught up with all the things that got lost in the fray that was COVID and recovering from COVID and that feels *amazing*, but I am still feeling pressed and anxious because I have deadlines and errands up to my eyeballs, so oh hey! Wish me luck?

I’ll see you soon,

Effy

P.S. This week’s art card was created from a macro of this piece, which I made for Make Create Express! I just *love* her, and I’m excited to present her to you so you can make your own!

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Sink Mixed Media

I finished the painting I showed you yesterday and I am SWOONING over it. It includes some of the Schminke Galaxy super granulating paints I mentioned, too, and they do NOT disappoint EXCEPT that, unlike other watercolours I’ve used, they go *very fast*. I’ve had to refill the pan twice already, and that’s kind of a bummer because these paints are *not* cheap!

I’ll be saving them for special occasions, I think.

I love granulating watercolours. There’s something so magical about the randomness that happens when they dry and the pigment disperses. There are a lot of Daniel Smiths that granulate beautifully, but if you’ve got paints that don’t granulate, there’s something you should know!

Windsor and Newton has something called “Granulation Medium” and it makes your watercolours even more magical than they already are. It’s not terribly expensive, either! I bought my last bottle for $9 CAD at a local art supply store.

Here it is on Amazon. Note that I’m Canadian so all links to Amazon go to the Canadian store.

I use it with my Prima palettes, which don’t granulate like the more expensive brands do. These palettes are *gorgeous*. My favourites are “Currents”, “Woodlands”, and “Odyssey”. They also have a “Complexions” palette which includes a variety of skin tones and “Decadent Pies” which are metallics. I did a search on Amazon so I could link the page here. 

The granulation medium also works well with Jane Davenport’s watercolours, which I haven’t seen in stores in a while, but you can get them on Amazon or from Jane’s website here.

Can you tell I love watercolours? :)

I didn’t always, though. When I first started art journaling, watercolours felt too fussy to me. They aren’t waterproof, I found them too unpredictable, and I didn’t know how to layer with them without making mud. Over time, though, I discovered Workable Fixative, which is another must-have tool in my toolbox. There are a couple of brands I like – namely Krylon and Blair – both aerosol sprays that when applied to your work “fix” the layer so it doesn’t smear or get reactivated when you add new layers. The word “workable” is key here because it means that you can continue to add more mediums once you’ve sealed the painting. I get Krylon Workable Fixative from my local art supply store, Bijan’s (which also ships!), but you can also find it at Michael’s (don’t forget your coupon!), but I haven’t been able to find it on Amazon in quite a while.

There are other brands – Windsor and Newton and Grumbacher but I can’t speak to how well they work since I’ve never used them.

Once I discovered how well workable fixative prevents smearing and reactivation of mediums like watercolours, sprays (like Dylusions), Stabilo All pencils, Neocolor II crayons, etc., I became a “kitchen sink” mixed media artist, which you already know if you’re in any of my classes. I am never limited by how one medium might react with another because I can seal between layers and that means I’m totally free to do whatever I want with very few limitations.

Speaking of “Kitchen Sink” mixed media…

I made this as part of my offering for Make Create Express (which will include three lessons from me – one for the free tempter session and two for the year-long e-course – this is for one of the main lessons) and it is packed with mediums and techniques. I used watercolours, india ink, acrylic ink, black gesso, charcoal, acrylics paints, stencils, markers, paint pens, and collage in this baby, which would not have been possible without workable fixative!

As I grow as an artist, I do find myself less dependent on it, though. There are times when I know that the palette I’m working with can take a little reactivation without making a mess, but learning how to judge that has taken time and practice. If you’re new at “kitchen sink” mixed media, I recommend playing around with how your mediums work together when they’re not fixed vs. when they are.

If you’re working mediums that are all waterproof, you won’t need a fixative at all, though, and just a note that this stuff does not work with oil-based products. If you’re using oils (eg pastels), save them for your final layer since you can’t use anything over them except wax or more oil.

And that’s me on this fine Saturday morning! I hope you’re having a gorgeous weekend.

xo
Effy

 

 

Maybe This Can Be My Waterfall

I. I’m working on two paintings today because I am in the weeds and I owe things for collabs + for my own programs and I’m supposed to leave for fest on the 15th, which means everything I would normally have to do by the 25th or so each month has to be done before I leave. OMGDOOM.

It’s a good thing I love what I do because I have to do A LOT OF IT over the next few days.

II. This painting is almost finished. She’s got a wicked bad case of the blues so she’s gone in search of water and stars because that’s what we do when we need healing.

She’s one of three lessons I’m creating for Make Create Express, and one of them will be featured in the free tempter session that’s taking place July 9th and 10th. Have you signed up yet? 

III. I’m doing everything I can to keep my head above water, including putting honey in my coffee instead of stevia because I need a little sweetness today. The windows are open. The sun is shining. The birds are singing.

IV. Unfortunately, it’s also true that the entire neighbourhood is doing some kind of landscaping so the soundtrack of my life is currently lawnmowers and tree trimmers, and the breeze that’s floating in through my windows is full of allergens, but whatever. It’s cool enough today that I can work without sweating, so I’ll take it. :)

V. I’ve got dinner with Kimi on a patio somewhere (there are *many* within walking distance from my house, so the possibilities are endless) planned for this evening once I slay my list. I’m hoping to have enough done that I can go do that without feeling stressed out or pressed for time. Wish me lucks!

VI. I will be working all weekend. If I get what needs doing done before I go to fest, it will be worth it, so I’m only complaining a little.

VII. FEST. My gods, how I’ve missed fest. I’m also terrified of fest, because COVID is still a thing and now, apparently, so is Monkeypox but I can’t remain in isolation forever. None of us can. Fest will be spent mostly outdoors, and I’ll be sharing a cabin with people who are already in my bubble, so I just have to believe it will all be okay, and if I get COVID again, chances are I’ll survive. Right? RIGHT? Right. Heh. Whenever I get stressed about fest I remember that our fire pit will be on the beach in front of the water. That thought alone is giving me life. TOES IN THE SAND! WATER AND FIRELIGHT! BRING IT ON!

VIII. I don’t miss him every second of every day anymore. The heart heals. Grief ebbs. I’m glad to find myself here before fest because I could see fest being kinda gut-wrenching if I was still missing him all the time. I’m sure it’ll come up while I’m there, but thankfully it’s taking place on an entirely different site, so I won’t be tripping over memories every corner I turn. I’m grateful.

IX. Typing this up was a slog through COVID fog, but it also felt like “brain yoga”. I’m out of practice, for sure, and the words don’t flow like they used to, but maybe if I keep doing it, it’ll get easier? I live in hope.

X. Being in touch with myself feels like a matter of great urgency at the moment, so I’m making space for that as I’m able. I *definitely need* a media break. I *definitely need* to find ways to fill my time that aren’t screen-related. I am *definitely* using media to distract myself *from* myself, which is understandable in times like these butandalso I know that media – mainstream and social – manipulates us with clickbait and hot takes and makes us feel like shit. i quipped (ironically, on the socials) last night about wanting someone to put me in touch with that phoneless guy who is too busy being enchanted by a waterfall to know who he’s supposed to be pissed off by or what he’s supposed to be afraid of BECAUSE I WANT DIRECTIONS TO THE WATERFALL.

I’m only half-joking. :)

If I didn’t make my living here, I’d probably opt out – at least for a while – because I’m starting to feel the weight of knowing too much about shit that doesn’t matter and not enough about shit that does.

We do what we can.

*Wanders off to go paint*

P.S. Schminke super granulating paints (I have the Galaxy collection) are lickable.

Maybe this is can be my waterfall?

Onward

It’s been a while since I last stopped in here to let my thoughts spill from my fingertips. I’m guessing I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s been happening globally, which has been compounded by stuff that’s been happening personally. The only way to get it down for the sake of posterity is to do a purse dump.

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Someone I had a complicated relationship with died before we could get any kind of closure.
  • I got (and survived) COVID and I’m still experiencing bone-deep fatigue and brain fog more than a month later.
  • COVID set me back in my ability to keep up, so I feel like I’m perpetually in the weeds
  • The JD v. AH trial was televised and I was completely sucked in.
  • Monkeypox.
  • More mass shootings than I can keep track of in the U.S.
  • Chinese fighter jets are buzzing the Canadian air force, which is terrifying.
  • COVID isn’t actually over but we’re all acting like it is.
  • Watching the news feels like reading a dystopian novel.
  • A storm here in Ontario killed nine people and there are still folks without power as a result (it’s been weeks).
  • We had our first “heat event” last week and I don’t have AC.
On The Other Hand
  • I discovered that tinted glasses help enormously with the light sensitivity caused by my cataracts, so I bought some. They’re rose coloured.
  • I was invited to do a couple of collab things that I’m super excited about. This one is especially juicy. I’ll be sharing about the other ones soon!
  • Even though I’m in the weeds and behind on everything (thanks, COVID), I am somehow still managing to put out the content that’s due.
  • I’ve been really loving the art I’m making. I’ve been pretty good about sharing on Instagram, so if you’re so inclined, please follow me there. 
  • I completed my last pottery class and now have a membership at the studio, which means I can make pots whenever I like.
  • I’ve been meeting new people and having social nights on patios.
  • Sarah Trumpp came up from the states to see me!
  • Fest is happening for the first time since 2019, and I’m going.

I think this about covers it, though I have other stressors I haven’t mentioned – all due to a definite deficit in self-care and a nasty case of executive dysfunction. Health stuff. Money stuff. The usual human stuff. Reports have been coming out about how COVID has caused a lot of us to come down with P-TSD. Given that I already have C-PTSD, welp. Need I say more? When last we typed, I told you that I feel fragile like a bomb. I’m less bomb-like now (too tired for bomb-like, I think), but I’m still fragile. I feel like the whole world is fragile, to be honest. I feel like we’re all hanging by our fingernails from a cliff and we might fall at any second.

Butandalso

Summer is nigh. Leonard the squirrel has been around. I was visited by a pair of ducks on Beltaine eve as I sat on my front stoop, and it was an enchanted moment. I *survived* COVID – something I was terrified would kill me, and from what I understand, I’ve got some natural immunity for at least a little while as a result. Monkeypox is hard to catch and apparently doesn’t kill most of the people that get it. I’m still managing to paint regularly. I am a potter now, even if I’m not a very good one. My kids are all okay and doing well in their lives despite *waves at all of this*. I am no longer in a constant state of grief or longing (thank the gods). I have moments of contentment. I love my little nest and how local it is to every place I go on a regular basis. Instacart is a thing. Pink Grapefruit Perrier is a thing. Fruit and cheese and bread are a thing.

Now is okay. Right now. This moment. I’m okay. I’m not quite sure how to move forward in times like these when things feel so fraught and fragile and way outside of my circle of influence, but I *do* know that I’m moving onward. Onward from grief. Onward from wondering why. Onward from 2020. Onward from 2021. Onward from paralysis. Onward from executive dysfunction. Onward from spinning on the hamster wheel of desire. Onward from isolation. Onward from worrying about what comes next.

What comes next is whatever comes next.

Meanwhile, now is okay. Right now. This moment. I’m okay.

***

I am dusting the blog off in the hopes that I’ll return to my practice of spilling my thoughts through my fingers on a regular basis. It grounds me. It keeps me accountable to myself to do the things I know are good for me. It gives me a place to document my life, which sends a message to all my parts that my life matters enough to document. It gives me a quieter place than social media to sit with my thoughts and feelings. I am also hoping that writing more regularly will help with the brain fog (which has been brutal, y’all!). No matter what, though, it feels good, and I don’t know about you but I need more of what feels good.

I might go back to writing ten things as a way to ease back in. I’ll let you know.

Me and my rose-coloured glasses say hi.

I’ll see you soon.

xo
Effy

 

 

 

Fragile Like A Bomb

I. If you’re looking for the 100 day project stuff, I created a page for it over here because I can’t keep up with blogging every day while I’m also trying to paint every day. Look at me, respecting my own limitations!

II. Boundaries and visibility coming up a LOT for me right now. This all came up in response to my posting daily TikToks and being much more visible than usual and everything that was coming up in response to that decision. I posted about it on Facebook, and I’m going to cross-post it here

You might be wondering why I’m doing this (or maybe I flatter myself by thinking that, but whatever…) so lemme explain:
Recently, I uncovered a nasty piece of conditioning that goes something like “You’re an attention whore and you should sit down and shut up and stop taking up so much space.”
This is clearly problematic given that my business depends on my ability to show up & take up space AND ALSO, as a HUMAN, I have a right to take up all the space I need AND ALSO, I have wonderful things to offer so why shouldn’t I offer them AND ALSO, that voice in my head is old tape and I’m over it.
So, I’m *forcing myself* gently and with a lot of self-empathy to put myself out there as though “out there” is where I belong. I am stepping into being more visible. I’m participating in class groups where I’d generally “take a seat in the back” and observe in silence.
I am coming into ownership of myself as a force for good. I *am* a force for good. I’m trying to act like it. It’s *hard* AND I’m enjoying it.
Also, someone came over here yesterday to tell me that they assume I’m a princess from a wealthy family who is masquerading as a bohemian artist, and I blocked that fucker because the misogyny in that comment was more than I could bear. Even if it was “just a joke”, it was really inappropriate. This is someone whose comments are often paternalistic and condescending, and I was *grateful* for the opportunity to yeet them because every time I see their name, I feel myself shrinking.
I’m sharing this because I want you to know that I’m aware that the more visible I become, the stronger my boundaries are going to need to be. My tolerance for other people’s projections is hovering right around *zero* as I undertake this journey to reprogram my self-talk, so if your comments sound like the mean voices in my head? I’mma yeet you the fuck outta here.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
III. The audacity of that comment…I just can’t even. And I am NOT SORRY for being a “bitch” about it either because I am at least half-wolf and being a bitch in response to this kind of fuckery feels appropriate and measured.
IV. SO if you’re here wondering why you no longer have access to me, well now you know.
V. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I sent a love letter today. Here it is in case you missed it. It includes the link to today’s Journal52, so go get it.
VI. New bedding.
VII. I always know I’m healing when I’m fucking furious all the time. It signals a shift *out* of a trauma bond. When the anger shows up, when I am thinking flipped birds in the direction of someone I’m grieving, I know I’m on my way out of the woods. This is such good data, y’all. Such. Good. Data. Once I get through the fury, the peace comes and I’m ready for it.
Notice I didn’t say “once I get through the fury, the forgiveness comes…” because the pressure on survivours to forgive is bullshit spiritual bypassing and I’m over it.
VIII. Also, this:
and this…
and this…
IX. And that’s where I’m at. Actually kicking ass, but pissed off at EVERYTHING and…
X. And that’s okay.
So say we all.