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We have the Power

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A way to keep you going.

For the past year, I have woken up everyday and say the date. I mark the day, and repeat in my mind what is on the schedule for the day. What is my 17 year old daughter doing? Does she have a class in math? Has she scheduled her tutor? I ask my husband if he is going to work? There is so much uncertainty with the lockdown of work and school.  Our lives seem to have always been up in the air.

Yet, it has been a time to just keep going. Survival. Not enjoyment. Not looking too far into the future. To just live in the now and hope that the art will keep coming and everyone will keep something of their lives intact.

It is this context upon which a new show was created.
This show began with this first line in a story;

“As she jumped into the air, she thought I just want to be free”

This is the essence of the story for the Show “Be the Light” a series of originals for International Women’s Day on March 8th.
(As an added perk I will also be releasing a small 5×7 framed print of the highlighted image “Launching into Life”)

What is our future?

The goal nowadays is to be free from the restraints of everyday. Boredom, isolation, servitude and quarantine are just a few effects of our reality. However, this past year has been challenging for so many people, especially women. In fact, this time has been called a “shecession”- as almost 2 million women have dropped out of the working world. Most importantly, this time has set women working  back 30 years.

Of course, we all know why this is. The taking care of the family, teaching kids online, taking care of aging parents are all part of this. The sacrificing to make certain we survive is at the top of the list.

Along with this, is the exhaustion and the isolation. So many women are doing these things are their own. The mental state and understanding of that they are the one’s to help their kids keep going and feel normal is at the apex of this.

We are the Power

Knowing that so many are trying to persevere and be resilient, I decided to create 10 original pieces that speak to our presence. Each piece celebrates our power. As we are the power. Each piece is to help us remind women that they can get through to the other side. That side where kids go to school and are safe from the virus, that place where we can visit our parents without wearing masks or having a test. Or that place where we can go out with our friends or partners for dinner or a concert and revel in a moment of escape.

This will all happen again. Most importantly, it’s now time to keep the last piece of resilience and persevere to when life will be filled with the normal routine.

To look at the new selection of pieces for “Be the Light” be sure to check out the collection at https://www.memoryartgirl.com/large-original-paintings. On March 8th, this page will have the new selection of pieces that will be on Sale until March 12th.

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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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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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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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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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Postcards of Paradise

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Special Messages of Love

What is in a postcard? Really the question should be asked; when is the last time you received a postcard? A short message, with a great picture and a sensation that someone, somewhere took the time to think of you. They took the time to write a note, put your address and stamp on it and put it in a mailbox.

Usually these postcards have photos of wonderful places. Places we can escape to in the moment of receiving this message. Our mind travels, every so briefly, and is there with the person enjoying the view. Of course, you soon think that the message is not irrelevant as the person has moved onto another place. The mail could never follow as quickly as social media.

Now we have an instant experience- we can look at social media and see the place, the moment of personal reaction to the place they are visiting. The consumption of the imagery is monumental. The reception of this image does not celebrate the personal sharing of a memory. In fact, there just is no connection. There is observation.

Postcards makes us feel special

When collecting postcards from the past, there is a real sense of humanity. A consistent messaging of celebrating events in life and travel. Always a message of “wishing you were here”. The sense of absence is pervasive. Even though the postcards come from 60 years ago, the messaging is often the same.

When receiving a postcard, there is a quietness, a sense of being in a space and sharing the moment that the sender is trying to convey. You think of the person being in that space. You are there in that moment- with them.

It is this sensation that the latest body of work looks at. The moment we imagine what the image says about the sender. Is it just another pretty place? Or is there a real emotional space that the sender was in when sending this postcard? When creating a painting, such as Phenomenal Woman, there is a deeper message than the image. The layering of a feminist story, played into the image, makes for a piece that  is a deeper space. A political space.

A postcard can be more than a postcard.

In reality, no image is just an image. Every image relates to a story that can be interpreted in a way of intent. Taking the image of the postcard of being by a pool is a perfect platform for another meaning. Layering the poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou does such a thing. It puts a deeper meaning than escape or holiday. It puts the meaning of celebrating women and celebrating beauty a prime message. Two messages which makes this work, and this series, a fun and relevant body of work.

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Friendship creates memories.

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Friends makes us Happy

Having a group of women friends creates happiness and memories. Friendship brings out the lighter side of life and makes us realize that life is to be enjoyed. To not be taken too seriously and remind you to laugh a little at the absurdity of daily life.

For many women, working, taking care of kids and parents, having a partner are so many pieces that have to be balanced and nurtured. Much of our time is spent insuring that everyone is good. Having friendship with other women is just too much. It takes time to be engaged. To reach out and celebrate each other. A piece that often get lost in the demands of taking care of others.

Yet by not doing this, by not taking care of the personal, the resource that gives so much is not renewed. That resource is You.

As an artist, I spend a great deal of time alone. I’m not lonely. I just don’t talk to people much. It takes a bit of effort and time to understand that by doing this I am not renewing the resource that produces the art.

Art can remind you of the joy of Friendship

Looking at vintage photos of women walking together, striding in laughter and fun, reminds you of the joy. This image tells you to stop- listen to your inner voice and step into taking life a little less seriously.  This is an important piece.

How can art play a role in your happiness?

This is a question that I often consider when creating a peice of art. What messaging does it hold that takes you to a place that reminds you of joy, reminds you of escape, reminds you of love? Pieces of happiness that are critical in our well being.

Creating images of women walking together plays into this realm. As an artist it is an image that reminds me of the value of my friendships with women. Women who share my frustrations with relationships, hopes for my kids and advice for my career. Pieces of shared moments that cannot be taken for granted.

Make certain you surround yourself with reminders of laughter.  This gives you so much more than that moment.

 

 

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