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Increase your Creativity through Art

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Increase your Creativity through Art

How do you increase the creativity in your life? How do you feed yourself to inspire and make ideas pop? This has always been a mystery to me.

Living with empty walls is boring and uninspiring. It makes sense that when walking into your home, art is there to remind you of vibrancy and life. The story of your life reflected to you through art lets you escape. It gives you the inspiration to live a bigger a life. A life of self reflection. A life that reminds you to keep going.

Increase your creativity with Art in the Workplace

What about your workplace? How do you increase you creativity? Do you work in a cubicle or office that has empty walls? Are you having meetings in a conference room that is stifling? Are you going back to work in the office and dread it? Now is the time to rejuvenate and to find a window of escape.

It has been found that art reduces stress in the workplace,  increases creativity and encourages expressions of opinions. It gives us the courage to look at things a bit differently. Most importantly, it reminds you that there is life beyond those four walls that you sit in for 8 or more hours a day.

Studies have shown that Art enhances Innovation

In an article in Forbes titled “The Impact of Art in the Workplace”, statistics showed that there was a 32% increased in productivity by people who worked within an enriched environment. Therefore, it should be considered how the environment encourages inspiration. As a manager, are you thinking about the workplace and how it encourages your people to stay a bit longer? How it makes everyone think bigger and with more thought?

Art can do this. Such a simple idea to hang something on the walls that reminds you to think bigger. Thinking creatively means to think outside the box. To speak your mind and express your opinions.

According to a recent study it was stated that “aesthetic in the truest sense means energy giving which is what a workplace needs, rather than a bland industrial environment”. It makes sense!

Art does not distract, although many think this may be the case. In fact, looking at art engages us in an intellectual way that reminds us about innovation. Most importantly,  it reminds us of an escape.

Looking for prints and available originals see www.memoryartgirl.com

 

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What makes good art?

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What Makes good Art?

This is a question that is often asked as collectors look for the perfect piece for their home. No one wants to have creative work that is bad. However, this can be a judgement that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Long ago, in my school days in NYC at the Parson’s School of Art, I participated in an intensive independent studio program where the professors and critics often brought up the issue of “what is art”. Never mind what makes it good.

At that time, the statement was that if an artist intended for the piece to be art, then it was art. On many levels this may be true. However, I think that good art is a bit different. Making it good means being authentic. It means that you are engaged, called to the image, taken in by the story of image, colour and design. That it seduces you and is on your mind several days later. This seduction reaches into the viewers mind and soul and calls for recognition.

Does good art need to be sold?

As I travel through art fairs, selling my art, I am struck by the fact I really can’t sell the art. It actually sells itself. It reaches out to the viewer and invites her, or him,  to look at themselves with the art as a guide. Opening up of a memory, or a story about themselves. That is what makes good art and what makes a collector need to have the art in their lives.

In the piece highlighted, titled “Flying High”  , there is a sensation of taking on a risk. Diving into a space that is unknown and free is a perfect message for the viewer. It speaks to release and acceptance.

The reality is that the viewer has to be open to it. To let your mind and spirits guided to a place of self recognition and validation. When a collector decides to purchase a piece and says “I’ll buy it”- I have a moment of surprise. A small moment when I realized that the art, that I made, has made an impact. That it has reached this person and preserved a moment of familiarity and self reflection.

Does making great work take deep thought?

When creating work, I am often in a space of doubt. Will my message be clear? What is the message? How do I use colour, subject, patterns to create a piece that has resonance. The goal to be able to reach the viewer can be cumbersome. On many levels, it does not trust the artistic training and practice that I have had for over 30 years. This trust in the message will be conveyed without conscious intention.

I believe that there should be a reflective understanding of the importance of the message. What is its affect? How will it support ideas that are bring a bit of joy and love in to our minds? This is what makes work great.The ability for the viewer to think and feel.

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Positive Thinking and Art

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Positive thinking and art are intertwined.

The interaction with art can enable you to have a moment of escape. To be able to experience a moment of innocence, ease, hope, tenderness and light. Key pieces to being human and surviving a world that seems to be upside down, and full of images of despair.

How to remain positive?

Focus on the good things. Remind yourself of that which is good and not the challenging. This is how positive thinking and art complement. An image, colour, moment, are all pieces of art that takes you to momentary respite. It can remind you to be strong. To take on the beauty and use it to fortify your resolve to step into the day with an attitude of change and strength.

Art engages you with hope

The approach to creating my art is focused upon this engagement with hope, lightness and love. Each image has a bit of whimsy, a touch of memory and nostalgia that takes you to another place and time.

In the piece highlighted, titled Thing of Beauty the image has an aura of strength and determination. The figure walks towards you with a smile and confidence. Surrounded by blossoming flowers, this pieces has a context of positivity.

Looking at confidence and brightness reminds us of our own place. And in this place is gratitude. So much time is spent focusing on our loss. In reality, understanding how lucky we are and how difficult life can be for others needs to be a daily ritual. By doing so, we are able to manage the onslaught of the negative.

Building resilience by thinking positive.

It seems that these times means that we need to have an armour of resilience. In order to build this armour, you have to push back.  The trick is to know how little acts can help our mental state.  To withstand the depletion of the positive, the first step is to activate the positive.

There are several ways to build the positive. Being grateful,  surrounding yourself with people who are positive, open yourself to humour and whimsy,  and starting your day on a positive note are just a few ways. In my opinion, making your home a place of joy and lightness is key to this.

A good place to start is to look at images that bring you happiness.

Check out my print store at https://www.memoryartgirl.com/shop-art

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Growth Mindset defines your World

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The power of mindset.

The question is how do you maintain and insure that you have a growth mindset and not a fixed one? How do you insure that the negative does not affect you?

The difference between growth and fixed is one of looking at the future. To have a growth mindset means that you are learning and looking to the future. The people around you, your family, your home are all part of this process.

Life should not just be followed. You need to challenge the status quo.  You need to control your mindset and be aware othe negative imagery, films, conversations, news that we are exposed to. In fact, the ability to grow, and be positive is directly linked to your environment.

Your Surroundings influences your mindset

The past two years have shown us how being in one spot creates a paralysis of action. The lockdowns, the lack of travel, have made our world very small. The result, is the feeling of  sadness- the lack of looking at the future and looking at life with a view of light and brightness.

One of the main sources of being positive is your home. Its different rooms, has an influence upon your mind. The colours, light, comfort all play a role in how you feel. Art has a big role in this.

Happiness brought to you with Art

When creating the Happiness Series, I was aware that the imagery provided a positive view. A hopeful view. Each piece presents a story of joy, escape and a place where there is an optimistic outlook.

In the piece highlighted, Wonderful World, is a story of hope, future and joy. The figures are from vintage ads with the text referencing the song What a wonderful World. The outlook is being positive and cherishing the moment.

To see the full Happiness Series, click here. 

 

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Art and finding Happiness

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Art and finding Happiness Plays Together

How can art find you happiness?  Happiness are three parts, enjoyment, satisfaction and meaning.  All three parts play a part in how art can bring you happiness.

The most important piece  is “enjoyment”. Of course, we can look at this word and just say “I enjoy this piece of art, so I am happy”. But recently I have been looking at it a bit more deeply- In fact the question I keep asking myself is “why”. Why does this particular painting create more of a feeling of joy, or enjoyment?

Stories of Connection

There are two pieces to this; the connection to others, and pleasure. When creating the stories I create, at the root of the pieces is love.  As in the piece “Springtime Love”, to love others is at the core of these visual stories. This may seem like a trite premise, maybe a bit over sentimental- but in reality every piece is the celebration of this concept. To be with others, to share in a moment, to tell the story of this sharing is at the core.

Layered over these stories, is fun. The ability to enjoy pleasure, or “how to have fun”, is part of every piece I create. This would mean going for bike ride, walking in the rain and singing,  or being in the garden. Every moment to be connected to a moment of light and joy. Every moment shared with others or being mindful of its beauty. The satisfaction you feel when you realize that life is more than the routine. It is the being in the moment and being mindful.

Mindfulness is looking at life with an awareness. Absorbing the light, the sounds, and the colour of the moment. Revelling this this moment and feeling alive. If anything, looking at a piece of art that strives to bring happiness to the forefront is key.

Finding the Fun

If anything, these pieces reminds you that we should have balance in our life. Fun, or that moment of being satisfied that life is good, is a mindset we have to keep working at. It just doesn’t come. We need to stop, stare and look at it. To absorb the incredible moment. To dream about going on a trip, to share in a celebration with family and friends, to be in the simple moments of connection with your partner, your children, or being with yourself creating a piece of art. These are ways of being engaged with life. These are ways you can find your “fun”.

If anything, art and finding happiness, goes hand in hand.

To see the latest collection of my Happiness Series click here.

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Make your life better with art

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Art gives you a depth of meaning and makes your life better.

How can art make your life better?  What is its power/ Can art change the world? It’s a question that many have asked and answered.  Art, in its many forms, can reveal the power that we can acquire through the engagement and understanding of the stories behind art. For this reason, just filling a space in the wall with an image that has no meaning to you undervalues the power and impact that art can have. In fact, the power comes from you taking the risk to surround yourself with Art that inspires you, makes you feel the power that art can have.

“Art does not show people what to do, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your senses, body, and mind. It can make the world felt. And this felt feeling may spur thinking, engagement, and even action.”

No one wants an empty life. A life lacking in colour, in drama and in story. This time of year can be a time of paralysis. Winter descends and the cold tightens its grip. Hibernation seems to be the best alternative. This is where the power of art becomes integral to moving forward. Dreaming of another time and place is integral to survival. And survival is where this year has began.

Paintings that tell a story give you the power of knowledge

There are times that I create art that sets a clear truth, a story of women together, walking, striding to the same goal of recognition.  The Empowered Series is an integral part of my artistic vision. The painting highlighted is titled “Give Yourself a Lift

This painting uses the glamorous Pan Am stewardesses as the point of departure. Women who were elegant and at the forefront of the professional definition of women’s work life. Yet there is a sarcastic twist to this image.

A target practice image is set in the back ground with the text ‘greatest show’- which is from the circus promotion from Barnum and Bailey. These women walk with strength. But will they achieve their goal? The point is that this image inspires and tells the story of strength.

 

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What is a mother?

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A mother’s love can be expressed in so many ways. When we ask “what is a mother” we are referring to the type of  love that brings a warmth and care into our lives. It can come from a feeling. It comes from stepmothers, aunts, caregivers who are present and nurturing.  Most importantly, it comes from the individual who realizes that the world does not end with their own lives, rather they want to create a better place for children for a better future.

What is not a mother is the devoted, submissive woman who stays at home and serves the every whim and complaint of the children in the home. In fact, the mother of today is the one who balances and has as much obligation to serve her own needs as those she lives with.

How do our children succeed if they don’t realize that the Human Being of the Mother is a force that teaches and provides the energy and guidance needed. This energy and recognition that the definition of mother means a definition of being a woman. A person who honours the fact that their own needs are an important source for giving then energy of mothering.

This balance- the work, life, self care and giving to our families- should be at the core of celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s about taking care of so many pieces that are about making the world a better place to live in. To take care of oneself, is as much important as taking care of others.

 

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Mothering takes Time

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Mothering takes time.

Time is scarce. So often the balance between work, and taking care of family, can be stressful and exhausting. You often have to keep your resentments in check. Remind yourself, as mothers, that taking care of your child is rewarding and short lived. Does this sound ungrateful?

When I was a mother of young children, I spent my days trying to find things to do with my kids. But I also tried to find time to work. To create paintings that reflected the  fun moments of childhood. This time was a time where I just tried to survive. So much time of motherhood is about this.

Nostalgic for that time again

It now seems that I have the nostalgic yearning for young children. Conveniently, I have forgotten the torment and exhaustion. Now I exist in the sense of loss. That loss of time that I can just go to the park and hangout with the two year old.

All that is left in my memory is the cuteness, and fun, that I had with my kids. It takes my husband to remind me of the reality of that time. This is probably because my husband has some guilt in that he loaded all the childcare onto me.

And what is with this?

Time is the biggest gift

I have realized that giving time is the biggest gift we can give. This isn’t only about mothering. Most importantly, giving time is a gift in friendship, partnerships and parenting. Perhaps this is a piece of wisdom that can only be realized as we age. Who knows.

Mothering takes time and realizing this is the key piece to self care.

The past year has put an extra burden on many women. Mothering has become the juggling act of working at home, teaching your kids, and making life seem normal. There really is no time to just be. There is a sense of instability in mothers at this time. Many are feeling pushed to the edge, waiting for the end of this pressure.

Time is the gift that mothers are mostly appreciative of. Therefore, when you look at your kids, give yourself a moment to be kind to yourself. Realize that you are doing the best that you can with the time that you have.

To check out images of children that are available see www.memoryartgirl.com/home-sweet-home

 

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How to Be a Mother

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You have to learn to be a mother.

To be a mother is a challenge. When I first went home with my baby son, 25 years ago, I was in disbelief that the hospital trusted me to take this living, breathing human home without any supervision. How did they know that I could take care of this child? My husband and I, were on the same page. We had to make sure to keep this thing alive. Never mind celebrating the fact that we had a child. It was really just about trying to keep it eating, breathing and not crying.

The learning began before he was born. Of course, we tried to get as much information as possible to know what to expect. The reality is that much of this information becomes moot when the tiny thing comes home. It really is about survival.

Spring brings mothering into the forefront

With spring in the air, and newness around us there is a sense of the unknown. Mothering, and learning how to mother, are emotions that reappears at this time of year. As we build to the celebration of Mothers in May, this time is the beginning of this marking of this moment.

Understanding that the lifestyle choice of being a Mother is an innate human condition that balances between choice and obligation. What it means to be a mother can be complex and difficult. What “mother” means brings in a definition of sacrifice, strength, love, nurturing and power.

Men can fit into the definition of what it means to be a mother

Considering these are the definitions of “mother”, then men can take on this role. The concept speaks to being a central figure in the family structure that maintains the engine of support. This central caretaker, is often the one who runs the pieces; insuring that the children are fed, taken care of and nurtured. Mother make certain that opportunities are provided to educate.  That social change and diversity in experiences are provided. To just give love and nurturing.

It isn’t about mother vs. father. It is about how the role is defined and maintained.

Unfortunately, not enough men take on this role. As seen this past year, it was women who sacrificed their work and their own personal goals to insure that the children were ok. Maybe the reason was the economic difference, in that men could bring in more of the dough. Or maybe it was that the Mother was the woman.

Mothers are the first to take a step back from work.

Why do they do this? The reality is that mothers know that they have to sacrifice themselves to make certain their kids survive. Mothers ultimately know that this time will pass, and that they can find their track again and work. This past year has shown this.

Considering the role that mothers have taken this past year; it is time to really focus on what this means. Just saying Happy Mother’s Day is not enough. Understanding the importance of providing support to Mothers to succeed in their own life is a reflection of a culture that supports children. What does this mean? It means providing universal childcare, flex time work schedules, remote working opportunities. Just simple structural changes that enable women to provide for their families and be a Mother.

Creating Images of Mother and Children

This spring, a new series Mother’s Memories Project, will be presented that highlights the power of the mother. They will celebrate the sprinkles of happiness that celebrates motherhood.

Take a moment, enjoy the pieces, and think about how, without mothering, we are a culture of chaos and sadness. Most importantly, cherish the images to reflect your own value. Whether you are a woman or a man, being the Mother, means being the centre. These works will be a direct expression and result of this role.

Children and Mothers are part of my Home Sweet Home series. A group of pieces, now available as prints,  that looks towards the “home” where we connect, find our place, and be nurtured. Each piece from the Mother’s Memories Project will be part of this series.

To see full selection of prints see www.memoryartgirl.com

 

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Memories and Childhood

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 Reminding ourselves of Escape.

Memories of our children can be fleeting. Do you have moments where you look at your grown children and just think about them as young toddlers? Lately, as a mother of two young adults, I find myself in a space of thinking of when they were young. Memories and childhood are ways to find the warmth. To find the escape.

The moment passes quickly. Embedded within your mind is that moment. The moment when the sprinkler goes on, and she jumps. This type of memory is that moment of escape. A core piece that we witness our children go through that reminds us of fun; of life and of joy.

This is the marking the moment of escape. This cherished moment takes you to another place. Another time when the day consisted of trying to find time to work, and then find time to play. The search for daycare, the carving out of time to explore the city were all part of the day.

Motherhood without guilt

I remember when my day was spent walking through the streets of Toronto pushing a stroller. There was a this sense of “mom zombie” looking for others just like me. For some, thinking that motherhood is a walk in the park is just wrong.  Going to the drop in center to socialize my daughter. To just get around other people. These were the pieces of being a mother that was not the best.

But then there were moments of pure joy. Of going for a bike ride with my daughter being towed in the tailer. We would go to the park. Playing in the wading pool, or going to the beach and throwing in rocks into the lake. Little moments where there is motherhood without guilt. A way to think of memories and childhood that enables us to be in that moment.

Memories and childhood are the inspiration.

It are these moments that are the inspiration for my new series Mothers Memories Project. As my new series develops, these are the little moments that will be surfaced. To celebrate the escape in order to remind ourselves that escape is a way of survival. A distraction. Motherhood can be isolating but it can also be rewarding. Of course, it can. The goal is to isolate, highlight and celebrate these moments.

The best part about memory is the ability to choose the good.

Ways to Remember

In looking at memories and how they are formed; there are two ways that memories and childhood embed; individualist and collectivist.

The “individualist” are those isolated moments. It seems that the only way that these moments appear in our child’s memory is if we elaborate on the moment. Description of the colours, the events are described and the child is encouraged to remind themselves of this moment. This type of memory recall is not usual in our family, Lately I have been trying to find out if they kids have these specific memories and it doesn’t seem to rise to the surface. Yet I have them. The little moments of spending time with them when they forced me to think of something else than work.

The “Collectivist” memory has more of an impact. It is the sense of your family and the experiences that relate to the larger social responsibility. That which references the nurturing, caring and value of respect for others in the group. These are the type of memories that my kids have. They are very clear about how supportive, thoughtful and empathetic they should be. These traits seem to come through when I ask them about their childhood.

Looking at these two ways of “memory”, the collectivist would seem the best way. Yet those little individualist moments give me the escape place of warmth that I yearn for.

To just be back in that moment.

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