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Dreams can create Change

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Dreams can create change. The defining of the “desire” to be someplace else, be someone else or to increase your pleasure in life comes from the ability to dream. As we look out into the world at this time, we see many having to change their lives and deal with intense amount of change put upon them without their choice. Loss of family, friends, jobs- so much change that is not about dreaming. Yet dreams can create change in our minds and in our souls.

So where do you start when this harsh reality is thrust upon us? How do you step into another mind space that looks to the light? Every step that is taken, every day that we spend upon the loss is another day that we do not dream. Yes, it is important to recognize this but the discipline it takes to move through it and redefine the reality is where we are at in this  Great Pause.

This term, the Great Pause, has made me wonder. Is it a pause? Or is it a shift? We are in a moment of history that is significant. As we reflect upon life that is so different today we should be able to register what is good about our lives today. Not pause. Rather step into it and be it. We can dream of the big world and the future while also reveling in the moment.

Yet daydreaming must be part of your daily life. It is an act that provides you with possibilities. The opportunity to be somewhere else, to be with someone else, to enjoy a piece of life that is full of fun and laughter. It is free to dream. Despite the physical restrictions and the curtailing of travel,  we can still dream.

As we go through these difficult times there are ways to initiate these dreams. Music, art, reading, film are all ways that makes us think of alternate realities. To step into a piece of art and be in another place is a way to dream. It is a way to remind us that there is Joy just beyond the initial reality.

In the piece highlighted titled Wondrous and Alive a couple walks arm in arm surrounded by the large floral patterns and bright colors. A celebration of love in a time where we can dream of love and beauty. Art is the perfect way to put yourself somewhere else. To step into another time and place and remind ourselves that life is still good.

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Hope can Heal.

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Hope can heal your mind

Hope can heal your mind and soul and art keeps you hopeful. The two are inextricably linked. The question is how?

Stories are the answer.

It is through stories that hope can heal. It is in stories that we can imagine another time and place and imagine a life where there is more light. A place where we can exist beyond the immediate.

By doing so, a feeling of hope comes upon us and the imagined world creates an endorphin rush which helps accelerate healing. The brain has to find ways to overcome hurdles and move to a place of recovery. By experiencing the stories there is a “narrative support”, a type of support that makes you think of another time and place.

What does art do?

So many things; it creates a story of hope, it reminds us of the simple things in life that we can overlook, it nourishes us and informs us spiritually.

Perhaps, most importantly, it reminds us of the best of ourselves. It takes us into a place where we can celebrate simple pleasures. The pleasure of being with others, or soaking in the sunlight, or hanging out in a place of beauty and light.

In the image, Being Home, we are taken to the that place of fun and vacation. Hanging out at the campground, enjoying your home on wheels. A place that many of us experienced this past summer. Being in a space where we are with family and friends enjoying the wider space than being at home. Yet home is with us.

As we manage our lives during these times, finding art and music that takes us to another place becomes part of the quest. The hopefulness that occurs can change our brain. It can block pain and give you the sense that all is good. At the end of it all, that is the most important piece. Just feeling like there is hope.

To see prints of escape see www.memoryartgirl.com

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Why Art is Important

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Creating is to give you vision.

Why art should be part of your life? Are you looking for inspiration? For escape? For distraction? So many reasons we look towards an image, a piece of music, p0etry, theatre or film. So many ways to look at something that reminds us that there is more. More than the everyday stresses and pressures.

How does art make you feel?

How do you relate to images around you? What does it mean to you? Does it empower you? Does it distract you from life or remind you that life is bigger than right now?

Creating pieces of art is more than just making a pretty pictures. Selecting the subject, putting the pieces together all, layering different elements of color, composition, tone all make a piece about a feeling. Yes, a feeling. An emotive space that speaks that moment that gives you power to learn about yourself.

Ultimately that is the most important piece. Artists think of big ideas that speak to a vision. One that is not set in the present moment, but one that speaks to the wider experience.

When adding art to your home do you think about matching a couch colour, or do you think about what it says to you? Obviously, the story that the art creates in your mind is much more fulfilling than the colour matching. Inspiring, questioning, provoking curiosity, excitement and outrage are just a few effects that art makes upon the mind and soul.

In a time when technology has been the main conduit of communication, there is an appreciation of how art can convey history, culture and traditions. Looking at nostalgic images plays right into this vein. Being reminded that the image reminds you of a time that seems more colourful, romantic and connected enables you to deal with today.

Life is more than today.

Despite undergoing a lot of hardships, or being surrounded with information that is about hardship, art gives you the courage to keep going.

The truth is that art is more than just a practice – it is a way of life. Art is more than just a skill – it is a passion. Art is more than just an image – each one tells a story.

To see prints and a full inventory of originals see https://memoryartgirl.com

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How are your happiness levels?

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How do you feel?

How are your happiness levels? Do you self check on a daily basis to see how you feel? Is there a time, at the end of the day, that you feel you are OK and you had a happy moment that day.

I have this quote pinned to my wall;

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence (…) Happiness depends upon ourselves” – Aristotle

Happiness levels comes from a variety of sources; material goods, helping others, ego gratification when comparing to others and finally, searching for balance of previous three elements.  It is this last piece that seems to be the most distant and unreachable. The ultimate bliss. The sense you get up in the morning and be grateful for those who love you, in your achievements as a human being. Pieces that we can take for granted.

The little moments count the most.

In times such as these, there is a focus upon the micro. The little bits of events that happen that may be spontaneous. These micro moments, by registering them, seem to give a bit of a boost to the happiness levels.

So where does art exist in this happiness levels?

It has been found that art can create happiness levels in the hormonal level etc;

“A study by neurobiologist and University College London professor Semir Zeki found that looking at a work of art can actually have the same psychological effect as the euphoric experience of romantic love.”

So this leaves you with the antidote to sadness! Having art in your home increases your happiness levels. At the very least it may give you a bit of a boost that reminds you of colour, of life, of a moment to escape. A moment that you can register that you have control over.

This is the thing that seems to be important. The ability to control our environment. In a time, when we seem to not be able to, checking into our happiness levels is a piece that we can nurture and register.

It is time to search for the joy;

In the piece highlighted titled Time to Celebrate, this piece is part of a new series that searches for the joy in a moment. A moment of a party; dancing, laughing, and being part of life. Sharing in a moment that reminds us of our humanity and being.

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Hope can set your Free

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How can you be free from today?

Hope can set you free. A simple statement although one that may think is a distant one during these times. How do you keep hope alive? How do you live your life so hope can set you free from the pressures of the daily grind of life.

When looking for “hope” there is list of strategies that can bring light to your day.

Strategies to finding hope

The act of  self-reflection when looking at art or listening music brings you to a place that there is another reality. A reality that celebrates the moment.

Another strategy is the listing of your successes and strengths. You have been in a different place, at a different time when things are riding high. By doing this simple list, there is a goal of looking at the good. Look to what has been positive.

Probably one of the most important pieces is to jump into helping others and be involved with a community. Volunteer, reach out, be accessible to others. Probably most importantly, surround yourself with positive people. By doing so there is a focus on things that will empower you.

How can art remind you of hope?

Of course, these may sound like easy things to do. However, I am left with the question of the role of art in this process.

How does art play a role in this pursuit of hope? How can art bring hope to you? This act of looking at thoughtful pieces of art, the simple act of listening to music, to searching out the beauty of the moment, all contribute to finding a space where Hope can set you free from the darkness. It brings you to other stories, other moments that celebrates life.

In the piece featured, titled Cloud Chasers, this piece brings to reminds you to be free. To release to the moment and let the sun, the wind and the being with others lift you up. To be in the moment and be alive and to remind yourself that art can bring hope to you which can set you free.

To see prints and art that brings hope alive see https://www.memoryartgirl.com

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Look for Light

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Look for light as you go through your day.

“Look for light”, says my mom as I work through the realization that my life is so drastically different. Without art fairs to travel to in the US and events canceled in Canada, there is a coming to terms with the fact that the Covid effect is going deep.

Deeper than I expected.

Part of this realization is the fact that the mindset in dealing with this change is how to manage the stress, the grief and the loss. Of course to look for light is the goal.

To stay on point and be within the art, the creative and the purpose. When doing this there is a sense of “look what the light did now”. There is a sense of accomplishment and moving forward. Moving forward is a way to look for light.

The Fixed vs Growth mindset is the first step to growing.

At the basis of this approach is the fixed vs. growth mindset. The fixed mindset is the static. The place where we try to survive and defend ourselves in the understanding that maintaining a success is where we need to be. A growth mindset works to challenge, to learn, to take in stride our mistakes and grow from this.

Understanding this difference can help you meditate on the success. On the future, on the hope.

As we work our way through this Pandemic, with all of its ramifications there needs to be a discipline of controlling the mind to look to the good. Not to be caught up with the dark.

Look what the light did now

Of course, there is a need to register the loss. To grieve the loss of a job, or a person you know is part of this. However, survival has to be activated by focusing on the positive.

To step into the light, absorb it and use it to be productive,  creative and hopeful. Really is there any other choice?

To have a look at pieces that bring light into your home check out https://www.memoryartgirl.com

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What is your perfect day?

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How to decide on what is a Perfect Day?

What is your perfect day? A day where everything lands just right. Have you gone through the process? From the beginning till the end looking close to the things and actions that make it perfect. Your breakfast, your work, your day to enjoy the outdoors, the perfect dinner. All the things that take you into the world of the perfect.

Is this all there is- making of the perfect day? Are there not pieces in this perfection that speak to trying to achieve goals?

How do achieving goals become part of the “perfection?”

What about your goals? The things that make this perfect day work so well are the things you work towards. The radical goals; like making the world a little bit more meaningful, or making the world a better place to live in, helping others so the world is less bleak and blocked. This last piece seems to be the trend lately. The marching in the streets,  the call to action for change.

The last few months have made many to take pause. To reset and look a bit more closely at their life, goals, the  way time is spent and what their perfect day looks like. There is just so much energy in a day- so learning where to put this energy to achieve the goals is the first place to start. As we stopped, there is an assessment of what is important.  In other words, now is the time to think in the silence and feel what is right, feels good, and helps others.

To work towards a goal is to add to the perfect day.

To find this perfection- this place where we are fulfilled, challenged and working towards a goal of a place of idealism is always about the first step. The first step to change. As this step is taken, then the vision starts to become clearer.

Perhaps this is where things get tricky. What about the “universe” and its power to help you achieve this perfection. I am a believer in serendipity. The blending of the different people and events combine to make goals happen. When you take the first step, a goal is about to be achieved. As a result, perfection begins its journey.

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho has a theory about why this is the case: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

How have you pushed towards this better place?

In my small world of making art I have looked closer at the message of my art. The way the story invites the viewer to reflect upon their own life and how it firstly inspires and secondly empowers them. Two ways that keep you moving forward to finding your perfection.

In the painting featured, titled Sassy Girls, there are three cowgirls standing with an attitude and looking straight at the viewer. All of the pieces in this painting bring together the message of strength and making things happen. It is a piece of art that reminds you to be inspired and to not back down. Almost a way that so many of us feel today. Moreover it is time to step forward and take the action to achieve our days of perfection.

To see more art and prints see www.memoryartgirl.com

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Happy Place of Escape

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How to find your Happy Place?

Finding a way to salve your soul, to give you a respite from the tensions of the daily life is a way to survive. A way to make certain that you heal and take care of your mental state.

There are many ways to take care of yourself; get rest, take care of others, exercise, eat well, keep in touch with friends and family- and find a way to enjoy the beauty around you. A garden, blooming lilacs, watching children ride a bike, the sunlight on the lake, the warm wind on the beach. All things that take us into a place where lightness elevates our inner selves.

Finding Happy in art is a perfect way to be.

Of course art is the perfect place to find the Happy Place.  Being aware of how colours and story  can make you feel plays a role in elevating your mood. Finding a happy place puts a moment of lightness in your mind and gives you an escape.

Colours have been found influence us particularly; Blue makes you feel safe and relaxed.Yellow makes you feel happy and spontaneous. Red makes you feel passionate and energized. Pink makes you feel playful and romantic.

Surround yourself with colours so that you are reminded of a another space.  A happy place.

In the piece highlighted, called Dream Lady, the blue brings an inviting place full of life and colours. This is a calm, meditative space that has a playful quality. Flowers and music are embedded and brings a touch of love and romance to the image. A couple kissing, inspired by a vintage comics from the 1950s, brings the story of love to this city. So many pieces which combine to create a Happy Place of escape.

Art is your constant companion.

Use art to make you feel calm. This is an easy solution. As it is not a screen (phone, computer, tv) it is always there. To be seen in a moment, glanced at as you walk into the door, looked at the first thing in the morning. So many ways it can remind you of peace, of story, of another place and time that is full of happy.

 

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Dreaming and Art Can Help

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Dreaming is like Art- it takes you Away

Art can help you escape. It is a way that we can be in a place that is not in the present. For many this time has been challenging, drawn out and challenging our patience. The Great Pause has also placed a pause on the ability to plan.

Looking forward to an event, a place to visit, a family gathering are ways that we look forward. Without this, there is a stillness, a sense that a paralysis has happened and there is no life. So how to combat this? How to step aside from the effect of a Pandemic Nightmare?  In fact there has been research that notes that dreaming enables us to manage crisis situations. That dreaming and sleep enable us the tools to withstand stress.

It’s the Little Things that have to be Marked

However dreaming still doesn’t answer to the need to look forward to something. So how do we deal with this?

Perhaps it is the little things in life that marks a moment. The cup of coffee in the morning, the sitting in the sun, the end of the day and being with your family or partner reviewing the good that happened that day. Little things that reminds you of the positive. It may not be a way to look forward to but it is a way to mark a moment and enjoy.

Dreaming is a way of survival of a time when events cannot be planned. Creating art with these dreams plays a role in this as well. The little bubbles of life, stories, emotion, movement that a piece of art brings a moment of joy. A moment of respite from darkness. A conscious way to be in a place that takes us away from not being able to look forward.

How Art can Help

The painting highlighted is such an example- an image that takes your mind and allows you to escape. To be in a place that takes your imagination to another level. Titled Sun of my Smile, this piece was inspired by an old  postcard of a motel. Doesn’t it take you to a place by the pool hanging out and enjoying a day of being? Of soaking the sun, sharing time with others, and waiting for a Pina Colada? Embedded within the piece are phrases from the poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. Phrases that speak to withstanding adversity. Being able to say to yourself that you can make it through the day.

 

 

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Time to find your joy.

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Your Home is your Place for Delight.

Is it time to find your joy? What delight are you finding in your home? What are the things around you that is bringing you pleasure? A comfortable chair, an old photo of your family, or looking out the window with the greening of the outside from the burst of the spring. These things can have a great impact on your psyche.

The concept that the tangible object- the soft pink blanket that you wrap around yourself to escape the day, the vase of fresh tulips on your dining room table with its call to spring, or the painting you look at everyday are intangible objects that give us a sensation of escape, or enjoyment.

There is a deep desire for a moment of rapture- a glimmer of the lightness and beauty in an item around you. Not necesarily “happiness” which can be defined as how we feel about our work, the people in our lives or the meaning we may embed into our daily life. Joy is more of a moment. A flash of the good. The focus upon a brief second of pleasure.

Register the Sad to find the Joy

Most importantly, recognizing the depth of sadness, frustration and loss in our times of today is part of this. However, by doing so, does not mean that the grasping onto the beauty of a moment is irrelevant. There is a contrast. Understand the feelings of sadness, and take this in stride in order to search for the moment of pleasure.

As the time of The Great Pause continues, there is an avoidance of  reality. A sense of being numb to the news, the avoidance of connecting to reality seems to be happening the longer this continues. However, numbness also denies the celebration of  beauty. As Spring blooms, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the air feels warm. Registering this is a form of healing. A place in which our  mind goes into a space of a high. Savouring the beauty, understanding that there are short moments of sadness, and then there are the highs of enjoying the beauty. Both experiences are part of maintaining a balance.

Gratification makes us more Resilient

By understanding this balance we become more resilient. Registering the moments of gratitude, and joy, gives us a deeper engagement and meaning to the events today. By knowing this, we are enabling ourselves, and gives us the permission to enjoy the good that surrounds us.

And of course, to see a way to celebrate the good have a look at my online store on my website!

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