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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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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 to buy art you Love

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What are the best steps to take in deciding on the perfect piece of art?

According to a recent survey by University College London, looking at a beautiful work of art impacts the brain in the same way as falling in love with a person. How to buy art, whether it is an original or a print, speaks to your unique vision of the world. It reflects your story and your insight to your reality. It should also give you a sense of beauty and a rush of escape that soothes your mind and your soul. It is a risk, but it has a great deal of fulfillment.

However, the biggest piece of this is the uncertainty in making the final decision. How to overcome the risk? How to take the steps that, in the end, will fulfill your need to make your home a place where it heals and rejuvenates.

A few practical steps;

First find the pieces that attract your attention at www.memoryartgirl.com  Be sure to mark these pieces as favourites in your review.

If it’s an original, read the size of the art and compare it against the dimensions in your home. How to buy art becomes easier by visualizing. To help visualize how an artwork will look in your space, just browse the art you like on any mobile device. Then use this tool to virtually place any work in your home or office with the “Live Preview Augmented Reality” feature that is on www.memoryartgirl.com

If the piece is in the prints section, see which size would work in your space. Use the Augmented Reality button, when selecting the piece, and ultimately get a sense of the piece in the space.  Likewise, a measuring tape and some imagination will go a long way as well.

Next, read the description. It will give you helpful information to give you a better sense of the work.  If you ever need more context around an artwork you love, reach out.

Searching for original art to elevate your living and working spaces?  Consider your budget, size and shape of the work and then consider which orientation is best.  A work of art in the right dimensions and orientation can anchor a room.  A work in the wrong size can look like an afterthought. If you find yourself staring at bare walls, unsure of where to begin, here’s five tips (from Saatchi Art) for finding art that is the perfect fit.

Size

Aim to fill about two-thirds to three-fourths of your available wall space. If you are looking to create a focal point above a piece of furniture, follow the same proportions.  Find a work two-thirds to three-fourths smaller than your furniture. When in doubt, go big. If you’re buying a work without measurements on hand, it’s typically safer to err on the larger side. You want your artwork to stand out and complement your space. Empty wall space can overwhelm a smaller work.

Orientation

When deciding on orientation, consider the shape of your available wall space. Go for a work in portrait orientation (vertical) to create a sense of height and openness. Is there an expanse of blank wall space behind your dining room table? Go horizontal, or landscape, to fill the visual field.

Placement

In gallery spaces, two-dimensional works are typically hung so that the center of the piece falls at eye level (56 to 60 inches from floor). This standard is a useful rule of thumb for hanging works on blank walls. When there’s a couch, headboard, fireplace mantel, or other piece of furniture involved, ensure that the work has some breathing room while keeping the look cohesive.

Salon Walls

Consider filling your wall space by grouping multiple works together. Works of equal size can be hung as a grid, but don’t be afraid to cluster works of different sizes into a salon wall.  In general, hang larger artworks on a salon wall two to three inches apart and small works one and a half to two inches apart.

Preview Art on Your Wall

If you still need help visualizing how an artwork will look in your space. Visit Memory Art Girl on your mobile device to use the the Augmented Reality function to place any work in your home or office. To use this function just look for the ‘Live Preview AR” button when viewing any piece of art on the website.  You’ll find the perfect spot in no time!

Learning how to buy art will make things easier. Deciding on the right piece, for the right place after you love the image becomes the challenge. With just a few steps, and the use of technology,  the perfect peice can be found.

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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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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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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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Brighten Someone’s Day

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Think Beyond Yourself

How do we brighten someone’s day as we progress through The Great Pause? During this time we are reminded of the essentials of life. Family, friends, safety, kindness and freedom.  We are reminded that we must have the ability to step outside of our own plans and be in the moment. To trust that the future will return.

There is a great sense of loss, on so many levels. For so many,  this loss becomes about ourselves.  Although, the phrase “we are all in it together” has become somewhat trite- yet it speaks to the sense that loss has been shared by everyone. The question becomes how to combat this “woe is me” feeling. To step outside of the personal grieving of loss and empathize that there are others who are struggling as well.

Your Mother helps Your Sanity

The journey to find the end of this dreary time is the challenge. How do we equip ourselves to keep going on a daily basis? How do we get up everyday and step into some time of routine. How do we find the space where we can contribute to the healing and stopping of the Pause?

For me, my lifeline has  been my mother. Her voice at the other end of the phone, or to see her face on the screen, has been a calming influence. She has “brightened someone’s day” by just being a calm voice. Just by asking if I am OK.

As a mother myself, I have taken this sensation of calmness and tried to share it with my son and daughter who are both dealing with the anxiety and uncertainty of today. Just by saying it is going to be ok. We will get through these times. This will pass. Be angry, be sad, but be aware that life will return. Words that must be repeated and understood to keep the journey going.

These little moments of sharing is really what it is about. Step outside of yourself and brighten someone’s day.

The journey has included the making of the home as a place of perfection. Baking cakes, hanging out, are pieces where time is shared and peace seems to prevail. They also brighten someone’s day as there is a moment of distraction. A moment of escape.

Dream and life will Return

As an artist, mother and creator of visual stories, I have seen my contribution as not only one who maintains some kind of stability, in a time of chaos, but also to give people the channel to dream.

To dream of a time of freedom, to dream of escape, of happiness, of being in a place that we share the optimism and light. All pieces that will be pervasive again.

The glimmer of light is there. It just takes a moment to reach out and brighten it. To remind them that life will be good again and the sense of loss will evaporate.

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Creative paralysis of an Artist

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Creative paralysis is a reality.

The darkness that I awaken to everyday makes me want to go back to sleep. The darkness of our reality. The movie is not ending and I have realized that this is going to be a marathon.

Even though I want to sleep to escape, I don’t.  I get up, I go to the studio and I look at the next step. When our world has changed so drastically artists freeze. We cope by waiting for the light. The light of hope, of energy around us, of working like the rest of the world. When that has stopped, we seem to have stopped. At least that is the impression I am getting from many colleagues and other artists. Of course, paralysis is also from the fear of no income. The fear that the jungle floor is all of sudden in our living room. Not able to hustle, to show, to be part of a community of artists and promote our work makes for a time of retreat.

So how to push back at the darkness? How to bring in the light and create. So many are saying, now is the time to make. To make something that we don’t usually have time for as we are getting ready for the next show. Without the show,  there is no pressure.

So it is important, as artists, to make a conscious decision to create. To start, little by little, and bring in the light. Because that is our job. To remind those who love our work that our vision of light, of beauty, gives hope in the face of despair. As many people are working at home, trying to connect, to serve their jobs, connect with their co-workers from a distance, there is sense of doom. A sense that the enemy at the door can touch those who we love and cherish.

So yes, this is a pause. However, it is a pause of forced consent. It is a pause to regroup and look to those whom we love and register the importance. It also is a time to be in the moment and look for the lightness.

So like soldiers who step into battle, artists need to speak to this.  To get over the creative paralysis is to start working and stop thinking. To initiate a bit of creativity.  To let the subconscious be expressed. Our role, as I see it, is to bring relief to those who love our work. To find a way to escape and remind ourselves that there is life. There is lightness after the dark.

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