Myths, Narratives and Conceptual Worlds

Everyone is living a myth, you just have to figure out which one you are living in” – Romanyshyn, Author and Professor

Play Ground
12 x 12

I remember the first class in my Doctorate program and the first thing my professor said. This quote above were his words. I also remember being so puzzled by what he meant. Now, 20 years later, I still think about this.

It seems we are all living out our mythologies steeped deeply in our upbringing whether we realize it or not.  I recently hired an art coach. Instead of critiquing my art, she has me looking at my inner narratives; those things I say to myself while in the studio. I have been getting reacquainted with my Rebel Self, the part of me that grew strong in spite of a highly dysfunctional family. This rebellious voice, or self, has been absent in my work in the studio. Although I have found her in other ways and grown to appreciate this part of me, unfortunately, it hasn’t been with me in the studio.

Instead, the Good Girl has been in there. She is the part that wants to please other; to do pleasing  art. She is the traditionalist..doesn’t want to cause waves. I have an artsy friend who dyes her hair purple, pink or sometimes turquoise. My rebellious part just loves this friend because she has no fear of expressing herself any way she pleases.

Out of the Box
12 x 12

These 2 parts are players in my mythology ; they are my inner narratives born out of my past. They are alive and well, even though I have worked with them in other ways, they are now in the front seat fighting over who gets to drive when it comes to painting.

Consequently, I haven’t been producing much art. This incubation period to put it in another framework, has been rich with self assessment, daily writing ( The Artists Way style) and uncertainty. According to Bayles and Orland in their book Art & Fear,  uncertainty is a good  thing. We just have to learn to tolerate it. To stay in the uncertainty means not knowing where you are going… its hanging in there even though its not the ‘comfortable’ place.

Reading Art and Fear was actually homework assigned by my coach. At first I thought, “no way, I am fearless in my art!” But that was only what one part thought, but the truth is, I have been in a stuck place with my art ( hence the coach). The truth is… well, I am not so sure what the truth is…

Never Mind
12 x 12

I have posted these 3 pieces before… but what I have realized is that they were painted by my Rebel ( she must have snuck into the studio).  These are her titles, and as I thought about them, I just now recognized it was that part of me that was in the studio painting that day. Notice the titles of these pieces: “Never Mind, Out of the Box, and Playground”.

I am thinking I will imagine a new mythology for my inner artist…one that plays Outside the Box! I may just invite her, whoever she may be, in more often as well.

Until next time,

Whats New:

Art Walk: I have been invited to show my newest work in Old Town at Sierra Moon for the first Art Walk of the year on April 7. Please plan an evening out and stop by. It is right next to Bistro 103 on the corner of Sacramento St. in Auburn. I will be there from 6:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

April 3:  I will have my “Ancestors”series for sale and can be seen at The Bag Lady in downtown Folsom on Sutter St. if you are out that way, take a look inside. There are over 20 artists showing there and Anita has wonderful shaggy-sheikh line of clothing in her store.

Cloth Paper, Scissors Award: My’ Gateway‘ piece won an International award in the Mixed Media Magazine, “Cloth, Paper, Scissors”. As a result, the Placerville Art’s League invited me to do a demo for their group. I am excited to show them the many ways mixed media can be used in Fine Art. You can see it on my website!

Last but not least: I will have at least 2 openings in my Fall art class; Painting from the Inside Out. Usually , there is a wait list, so if you are interested, let me know and I will save your place. Read more about it on my website.

 

Intention and Goal Setting

“Every day is a canvas waiting to be painted” – Craig Sagur

Do you have enough time? Of course you don’t have enough time to do it all! No one does.

I have been procrastinating getting to my “to do” lists… after the December rush, January came and I hit a wall. I met all my deadlines with the holiday shows and all else it entailed and guess I just needed a bit of time off, mostly from working in the studio. That is ok, we need to be able to give ourselves “time off”.

However, now that February has arrived, I am feeling the need to re-prioritize my intentions and goals for the year (I usually like to do this in January). With this in mind, I got out my journal for organizing my time and setting my intentions, and thought I might share a few important keys to be successful when setting intentions.

Art that Inspires me in my work

Freedom. I used to wish I had more time when I was working full time as a psychotherapist. Ironically, I got more done then with the time I had. I had to be much more organized to be able to manage everything. But now that I have more freedom (and more time), it is actually harder to have the discipline needed to plan my goals and keep them. Yes, it is a luxury to be able to say, “I will do it tomorrow”, but that can get in the way of meeting goals.

Goal setting. Create a goal and be sure you are 100% committed to it. Whether its weight loss, a new exercise program, or carving time out in your studio, evaluate your commitment on a scale of 1-10. I find the things I am not ‘that’ committed to just don’t happen. Ask yourself what may be the underlying reason. Perhaps you have a goal to write a book, then you plan to write every day…but are you committed? Maybe you really don’t like writing after all!

Procrastination. Being busy all the time is a form of procrastination, an excuse not to arrive at the goals or plans you have made. I get an A+ for this one…I always used to say yes to everything else when I finally realized by saying Yes, I was saying No to myself. Which brings me to the next important step: setting boundaries.

Boundaries. I absolutely have to set boundaries around my time in order to carve out the time I need in the studio. If I don’t do this, it just doesn’t happen. Seems silly to have to be structured about free time, but for me, it’s vital to give myself this in order to reach my goals in my art business. This is true for all goals…you have to make time to devote to that plan of action to meet the goal. Any successful person has found the balanced equation between being disciplined and have freedom of mind.

Art that inspires me in my work

Accountability. I need to be accountable to myself and to do that I have a support team that helps me. I have an artist friend that that helps me keep my goals. We trade with in order to help each other stay on track. A support team is so valuable to help you no matter what your goal is.

Motivation: And last, none of this will be helpful unless you feel motivated! So, figure out what motivates you. Is it a you-tube video, a class, a group of like minded people. How about making a vision board?  Perhaps this should be the first thing on the list – but if you have this one thing, the rest become easier with that determination driven by motivation; the engine that gets you going. I hope this has been helpful.

*Some of these ideas have been borrowed from art coach, Alyson Stanfield.

Until next time,

What’s new:

Between Heaven and Earth

I’ll be showing this piece in Rocklin’s Annual Fine Art Juried Show at the Rocklin Event Center: Feb. 4 & 5, from 12:00- 5:00 each day. We have 135 entries! Be sure to stop by and vote for your favorite. All works of art are for sale.

 Save the Date! March 10 & 11: Mixed Media class in Rocklin at the Gallery I Q. Gini Crepps and I will be teaching this class again this spring. It is for all levels.  Go to my website to register. Early registration ends Feb. 17.

Never Mind !

” An artist is only an artist on the condition that he ( she) neglects no aspect of his ( her) dual nature. The dualism is the power of being oneself and someone else at the same time”– Charles Baudelaire   (Parentheses mine)

Never Mind  12 x 12
Never Mind

Recently, I was invited to place art in several businesses in Sacramento. The problem though was that I didn’t have enough art in my inventory as it was already in other places. So, yesterday I had time to be in the studio – all day. I had waited for this week and day and was excited to finally have time to get out there and paint uninterrupted. I also had an envisioned an idea of what I wanted to paint. As I began to put that idea into action…it wasn’t looking so great. I re worked it to no avail. Finally, I got frustrated and thought, “Never mind!” Then I began thinking about that phrase.. yes, good advice: Never mind!

How many of is live our lives minding the other, minding the rules, the societal norms, etc? What does it mean to step out of the box, to not mind the inner judge and ruler? My inner critic tells me that I am not weird enough to be an artist. I lack the Jackson Pollock extremism that makes abstract art a question instead of an answer. Yes, my critic thinks she an art critic! I have to mindfully not listen to her. How many times do you listen and believe your inner critic? Perhaps yours is telling you lies as well.

Play Ground 12 x 12
Play Ground
12 x 12

That inner voice may be trying to keep us from feeling embarrassed because it has rules to keep us safe. The critic is formed when we are small in an attempt to stay in line, not get into trouble, or feel ashamed. Problem is, it’s not so helpful in the studio when creativity needs to be unleashed.  Take the axiom: Never Mind with you when you need that crazy unleashed freedom to play, experiment and imagine that comes with creativity. An art teacher I have studied with, Robert Burridge, calls this “Fire in the Belly”.

Get out of the box, just play. That freed my imagination and I was then able to move into that zone where the muse shows up and painting happens…I just happen to be on one end of the paint brush!

Out of the Box 12 x 12
Out of the Box
12 x 12

So, it’s time for me to head back out to the studio…. I am taking with me the thought, ‘Never Mind’ while I play. How will you play in your playground?

Whats New:

I was juried in to the Old Town Gallery in Auburn. I will have a wall there soon. TBA. Look out Pollock Jackson!

Don’t miss the annual Placer County Art Tour, Nov. 11, 12 & 13. If you let me know ahead of time, I will hold a brochure for you that has a map of all the artists and their studios. I will be located in the IQ Gallery in Rocklin, 3700 Midas Ave. The hours are from 10:00- 5:00 all 3 days. I am showing with 2 other  fine art artists. Gini, owner of the gallery, has wonderful gifts in her gallery as well as Trisa, who makes one-of a-kind glass plates, jewelry, scarves and more. Last year, we had lots of people who came through, loved the gallery and shopped for Christmas! To get a taste of what is in the gallery, click the video here.

Until next time,

 

Honoring the Ancestors

The past is not dead; it’s not even past” William Faulkner

I  started painting a series recently called Honoring the Ancestors. It was born from a prior series called Artifacts in which I was exploring the idea of how and why we are fascinated by what archaeologists find in their digs from long-ago civilizations and what they leave behind.  I  am intrigued by what it is that is important to us with regard to these ancients’ sites and relics.

Indigenous Offerings
Indigenous Offerings

I began to wonder if the people who lived in and at these ancient sites were our ancestors. Who were these people? How do they shape our lives and psyche today? These questions have seeded my imagination. I have been wondering how our ancestors inform who we are now? And, perhaps more importantly, how do we pay homage to them?

On a sacred journey one year to Egypt, I remember being greeted by the guide. He said, “Welcome home.” This became a familiar greeting all over Egypt. It is said that Africa is the cradle of all humanity, therefore the foundation of all our roots. Homo sapiens have been around for 3.2 million years and perhaps science will someday confirm that we all have roots from the ancient past in Africa.

Keeper of the Stories
Keeper of the Stories

Malidoma Some (pronounced Somay) wrote a wonderful book called Of Water and the Spirit. Some, a West African of the Dagara people and teacher, told how his elders are honored once they have died. He described a scene in his own household in which his family would set the table for ‘grandfather’, the most recent elder who had passed. They believe that the elders are not gone but, in fact, are even more available for counsel with daily family matters. Some said that Americans are lost because we have forgotten our

Holding Space
Holding Space

ancestors; the very  thread of who we are has been broken. We are, he says, bereft of the richness of our collective and cultural roots.

Along these lines, I have been reading a thought-provoking book called Jung and the Ancestors; Beyond Biography-Mending the Ancestral Web, by friend and colleague, Sandra Easter. She asks these same questions by exploring the foundation of who we are now by reaching back into our ancestry. It is not just our personal ancestry that is important but how our collective roots shape us as well. I love this book and highly recommend it if you are interested in this rich topic of how we are who we are because of those who lived before us.

SoulMates
Soul Mates

My sister-in-law gifted a family member with a test to trace her ancestry. This niece was surprised to learn that her DNA showed an entirely different lineage than that which she was told. As a result she now knows herself better.

I have also decided to trace my ancestry through ‘23 and Me’. I can’t wait to get the results!

Until next time,

What’s New:

New You tube Videos!

I have been making you tube videos called Tips and Techniques for Painting. Please go to my You tube channel and subscribe. It’s under Connie Rodriguez Art. Here is a link to one of them. Hope you enjoy it!

Last Art Walk of the Year:

I will be at Forever Enlightened in the Gold Co. Mall at 882 Lincoln Way, Auburn with a wonderful clay artist, Terri Goodman. Our show, called, “Where Spirit Lives” will be on Oct 7 from 6:00-9:00. There will be Al Fresco dining on the street and dancing afterward with a live band. Streets will be closed off, so park on High street. Make it a fun evening out and be sure to stop by.

Terri Goodman's Art
Terri Goodman’s Art

Placer Art Studio Tour -Preview show

Once again, I will be in this year’s studio tour at IQ Gallery, Rocklin, on November 11, 12 & 13.  We are having a preview show of 14+ artists who are in the tour on Oct. 15 at the gallery. Come and enjoy wine, art and fun from 5:00- 8:00. The preview show includes fused glass, jewelry, wearable fine art and paintings.

 

 

 

Symbolism in Art and Life

I dream of painting, and then paint my dream” – Van Gogh

We live with symbols all around us; some are universal, some are personal. Symbols can be things, such as an animal, or ideas such as a Journey. For example this painting is a Mandala symbolic of the Self.  A circle is a symbol of wholeness and is seen  all over the world.

Sacred Portal: Throat Chakra
Sacred Portal: Throat Chakra

Earlier in the month I was on a women’s retreat in a gorgeous lodge up near Tahoe with 8 wonderful women. Our topic we chose to work with was deep. It was on the subject of Grief. All kinds of grief, not just death, but other losses as well. We all chose medicine cards to help us with our personal journey with grief. I picked ” Wolf”. Wolf is symbolic of many things including the teacher. Wolf totems include Loyalty, Compassion, Communication, Creativity, all which I relate to.

Spider is another personal symbol I have. According to Native American lore, She is the weaver of all life: the web of life.  These are personal symbols that I could use in my art and would be meaningful to me. Perhaps they would have meaning for others as well depending on their experience with these symbols, but more important is the symbolism they hold for me.

Symbols that have universal meanings Carl. G. Jung called archetypes. These symbols hold meaning for everyone, everywhere.

Between Heaven and Earth
Between Heaven and Earth

This is what Robert and Sara say in their blog called the Painter’s Key about symbols:

“I guess there’s about a billion paintings of sky, mountains, trees and water. Beneath these basic and universal elements lie symbols that may empower our work.

For example, the sky may represent infinity, eternity, immortality, transcendence or inspiration. As the traditional residence of gods, the sky may suggest omnipotence. The sky may also be symbolic of order in the universe.

Mountains are thought to contain divine inspiration, and are the focus of pilgrimages of transcendence and spiritual elevation. Mountains surpass ordinary humanity and extend toward the heavens. They symbolize constancy and permanence and at their peak signify the state of absolute consciousness. Mountains can also signify danger. Climbing a mountain may depict inner elevation. Trees may invoke struggle, rebirth, and other traits such as barrenness, complexity, productivity, fecundity, and the presence of the sheltering mother.

Tide Pools
Tide Pools -SOLD

Water — by way of river, lake and ocean — may be suggestive of ambition, tranquility and life-force. Ocean, in itself, suggests the beginning of life on Earth, and symbolizes formlessness, the unfathomable, and chaos. The ocean can also be seen as a symbol of stability as it has existed largely unchanged for centuries. The ocean is considered to be boundless, a place where one can easily be lost, and can therefore be seen to represent the boundless span of life and the way one can become lost on life’s journey.”

I couldn’t have said it better. So you can see that there are so many symbols that we can photograph and paint in our art. I am sure many of you love butterflies, hummingbirds, dragonflies, etc. and have a story that echoes why you love these symbols. Let me know what your personal symbols are and why!

Until next time,

WHAT’S NEW

Changing Seasons
Changing Seasons

This painting, ‘Changing Seasons’ was awarded first place in a juried exhibit in Folsom, Ca! It will be hanging  at the Bag Lady downtown Folsom beginning Oct.3rd. Its beautifully framed as is for sale.

Coming soon! Youtube videos with tools, tips, and short demos.

Stay tuned…

Passages

“To move from here to there, sometimes there is a need to suspend the present realities; they can be a distraction” – Bidemi Mark-Mordi

We all go through passages in our lives. Births, marriages, divorces and death are all examples of archetypal passages that we, as a culture, celebrate or remember in someway as the time ‘before or after’.

Even the season of the year marks passages in time. Other kinds of passages, can be more of a spiritual journey that marks  going in to self and coming back changed or wiser.

This summer, I saw that the Blue Line Gallery was calling for artists to submit art for a juried show called, ‘Map It Out‘. This particular show asked for pieces that included maps.

I have had a very busy summer and little time to be in the studio, so I wasn’t going to enter this show. But I kept thinking about it…

I began thinking about the archetypal symbolism of a map. Of course, maps show us how to get from one place to another. They take us on a journey, one we follow using lines printed on paper; how to get from point A to point B. Maps also show us all the other ways we can get to our final destination. But what they do not show us is how we experience these journeys.

The mountains, boat and turtle are all done with maps
Night Sea Journey

Along these lines ( pun intended), I began to wonder about our journey here…on this planet, in this life. We are all on journeys, as a soul, learning the lessons we perhaps arranged at a time before birth. As a psychotherapist, I worked with many on a Night Sea Journey, or as it is often referred to: Dark Night of the Soul. Those who were going through grief, depression, sorrow and anxiety knew that this described what they were feeling. These are archetypal journeys many encounter in our lives as Joseph Campbell explained in the Hero’s Myth.

Passages
Passages

The painting shown here is called ‘Passages’ is about these difficult times that we all seem to go through, coming through it changed – with more wisdom perhaps. It ripens the soul bringing humility to the ego.

Soul Journey
Soul Journey

And this painting called, ‘Soul Journey’, is also about making our way on earth as we gather our lessons, not always chosen by the ego self, but by what Jung called the capital’ S’ -Self. The last one I am still working on is called the ‘Return.‘ It is about coming down the mountain, like Moses, from  the Soul’s journey. It’s reflected in the tale of Odysseus who returns home to his wife, Penelope, in the Odyssey, forever wiser and a changed man. Oh, how I have wished for a map to have helped me through all these kinds of life passages! Unfortunately, paper maps don’t guide us in this way.

These kinds of journeys are filled with the unknown and often with helpers that appear along the journey. Answering the call of the Soul is frightening. We don’t know the way, we know its dangerous and feels life threatening. Just like Dorothy who has Toto in the Wizard of Oz, or like, Lyra, the girl in the Golden Compass who has her spiritual  daimon  with her through her trials and tribulations ,I included  in each painting a creature as a spiritual guide. These always symbolize the instinctual in myths and fairy tales or the part of us that we can rely on when we are lost. If you look closely, you can see that I have used maps in the mountains, paths, and the boat.

Until next time happy creating!

Whats New:

These pieces can be purchased or viewed during the exhibit at Blue Line Gallery, Roseville- August 27-Sept 1.  Please stop in and let me know which one you like.

My Solo exhibit, called Artifacts,  is still up until August 27 at the Chamber of Commerce in Roseville

and last…

The next ‘Sip and Paint class is August 25; we will be painting these Sunflowers! The are only 4 spaces left! Register on my website by August 16th. No supplies needed…just you and a friend.

Sunflowers

 

 

Inviting the Muse

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do”– Edgar Degas

Muse
Muse

It’s Wednesday. I have nothing on my calendar. I am excited because I can spend an entire day in the studio. No phones, no internet. Nothing to interrupt me from being in my favorite place. I fix my cup of hot tea, put on my paint splattered apron and get ready to paint. It’s just after nine o’clock. I start to clean up my work space, look through my art magazines, peruse through my art journal and notice I am sort of hungry. OK, I need to get some breakfast…now its 11:00. I still haven’t put down any paint on my canvas. And so the day goes by. Sound familiar?

I often notice that there are times when it seems that I am filled with inspiration and can’t paint enough. Then at other times, its as if the muse has completely abandoned me, leaving me wondering if I will ever feel the urge to paint again. Several years ago when I was writing a book, I had only one day a week to write. Every Monday. Like some days in the studio, some Mondays I just sat there waiting to be inspired. Those days seemed endless… Nothing productive; the day wasted mostly on ramblings. Then other times I couldn’t type fast enough…thoughts and words seemed to flow out of me, as if someone else was in charge, channeling the information through my fingers.

What is it that changes from one day to another? Why do I feel creative some days and others not? I would say that most people engaged in the arts, no matter what field, would say they also have this on/off experience with creativity. Some artists will put on music before starting to paint. One well known artist plays his drums each morning before beginning to paint. Others do “warm ups” – small quick paintings to get the juices flowing.

I understand that Some feel they don’t have any creativity at all, however, I would say they have never been visited by one of the muses!

A Piece of the Puzzle
A Piece of the Puzzle

 

In Greek Mythology there were nine muses, all daughters of Zeus, who watched over the arts. These goddesses’ duties were to inspire all artists and philosophers. The Greeks would call on a specific Muse when they needed their help with inspiration. I find this practice of calling on the Muse helpful when I am at a loss, when I wonder what I will do with that intimidating white canvas staring back at me.It seems that the muse visits when she wants, not the other way around. I am always grateful when She has accepted my invitation to play with me in the studio!

Until next time,

Whats New:

“Sip and Paint” class- June 30th     Sponsored by Tre Bella Salon and Gallery-  1237 High Street, Auburn

$49 -$59 at door if space allows. Paint this Fall Aspens piece/ 6:30-8:30 p.m Sign up and pay on my website or call for more information: 916-709-1010. No prior art experience necessary/ all supplies and wine included/ ladies night out! Next time: August 25th..Stay tuned for the “Sunflower” paint night.

Limited to 13 spaces.                  Fall Aspens

ConnierodriguezArt.com or send a check to me @ Tre Bella, 1237 High St. , Auburn, CA. 95604

Roseville Chamber of Commerce exhibit:

I have been invited to display my ‘Artifacts Series’ at the Roseville Chamber of Commerce from June 25- August 26th. This series includes 20 paintings all of which are inspired by ancient times and places. My painting, A Piece of the Puzzle ( above) Is part of this series. I hope you will have time to stop by the Chamber to see the exhibit.

 

More student work as promised:

There is only one space left for the fall class: Painting From the INside Out. See my Website for more information.

Lynette's Sunflowers
Lynette’s Sunflowers
Felice's Landscape
Felice’s Landscape

Window to the Soul

“An artist never knows- we guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” – Agnes de Mille

image
Gorgeous Roses in Cambria, CA

I was recently invited to be in an art show with this title and theme: Window to the Soul. Since Soulmatters was my business name as a psychotherapist, and now Art and Soulmatters is my blog site, of course I wanted to participate in the show. But then I realized I didn’t have any paintings that would fit within this show’s theme!

I knew I needed to paint a few images, but of what? How do you bring an image to such an elusive concept? Portals and doors have always been important symbols for me. They depict the unknown, the future, or the next phase in life. Thresholds, or places between have also captured my attention and still do. I have written about threshold spaces, painted a series of doors and portals, and always like to photograph these “hallways” to the unknown.

However, ‘ Windows to the Soul ‘ stumped me. My imagination began percolating. What would the Soul look like? What symbol would best bring the feeling of soul into a painting? I know how that theme moves me and love the idea of it…but still – how would or could I paint this concept?

I began to look at imagery. Perusing through art online, I found angels and doves, but that didn’t quite fit what I wanted to convey. I wanted the art to convey a feeling of the soul, maybe not so much an iconic image. Perplexed with this conundrum, I waited. I called in my muse and asked for help in depicting this ‘feeling’ I had when thinking about the theme. Still nothing. Maybe, I thought, I wouldn’t be in the show after all…

And anyway… It is impossible to capture, paint and convey what Soul is!

Is it spirit? Does it have wings? Well, maybe…for me though, it moves me in the deepest way. Soul brings me to tears -on my knees – in reverence to the Divine. Paint this? I don’t think so.

Fast forward…still wanting to paint the Soul. Now lots of ideas are swimming around. I go out in the studio and begin by putting paint down in colors that depict the ethereal. On another piece, I begin gluing down words, papers on paper.. And lots of color. I am immersed in this process as I react to what shows up all the while keeping that feeling upfront and foremost.

When the Soul Call, My Heart Listens
When the Soul Call, My Heart Listens
Song of the Soul
Song of the Soul

Done! These pieces are the ones I am entering into the show, but I am far from done with the theme of the Soul. She has me. I am Her captive audience.. I find her in Buddha statuary, clouds, flowers, the sea at sunset. I hear Her voice in waterfalls, ocean waves, and birds songs. Can I paint this? Probably not, but still I must try…

You can view the show at the Satori Salon from June through July: 300 Main St., Roseville. Several artists are participating. Thank you Trisa for triggering this journey!

Until next time,

Whats new:

I just have to show you some of the work my class did in Painting from the Inside Out! These are from many students new to painting (My Ipad camera unfortunately did not capture the breathtaking imagery of these works). I will post more next month. Check them out on my website as well:

Eileen M.
Eileen M.
image
April A
image
Susan R.
Student works of art
Lynette S.J.

Next class begins in Sept. We meet once per month for 3 hours on a Friday. 7 sessions.  Only a few remaining openings. Check my website for more information: ConnierodriguezArt.com

 

 

Multitasking and Mindfulness

Zen Garden
Zen Garden

I used to pride myself on how well I could multitask. I was a busy wife, mom, had a full time career, author, workshop leader and managed to fit in some creative endeavors..all without skipping a beat. Unfortunately, after years of this busy lifestyle, I took a hit health wise and had to slow down -way down- or maybe it was fortunate.

Now, when I think about it, I wonder how I managed it all. I think it was mostly because having all those roles- and responsibilities- it was just plain necessary. It’s what we do. At the time, it felt like there were no other choices.

I got a degree in art in 1984, but because I had to work, I knew then that making it as an artist was not going to pay the bills. I took a left turn and went into psychology making a career out of art, Jungian sand play, and therapy. I became internationally certified in both play therapy for children and Sandplay, and taught these modalities both in the U.S, Ireland, and Mexico. Although it was extremely gratifying and I loved it I didn’t get much time to paint or to play. But I always gave myself a creative time – maybe one evening a week- like a clay class, art class or something ( once I took a clogging class!) just for fun.

After 30 years and the coinciding health diagnosis, I retired from a busy psychotherapy practice. I wanted more time for myself; time to just play and do art. I wanted to have more time in meditation, nature, and just quiet time. Along with that, it was becoming impossible for my brain to keep everything going. Multitasking went out the window. Who I had been was no longer me. It was hard at first, but I have to say now I love being able to focus on just one thing at a time. I love going slower. Being mindful is truly a discipline but also a joyous experience.

Spring
Spring

I live more in present time now. This is what creates the pearls of our memories and lives. As a practicing artist now, I feel it is more of a mindfulness experience.  It’s a mediation of spirit.

I also know that many of you reading this will relate and may feel frustrated with not having enough time for yourself. I know because I have been there. But if you can just find a day per week; an hour even to spend in reflective, meditative’ no time’, I promise you will find that the rest of the week days time will go much smoother. I used to say to my clients, if you run out of gas, you won’t be able to go anywhere, but if you fill that gas tank which takes only a few minutes, it gives you a week of benefits. So whatever it is, even if its a long soak in the tub, make it a priority! Make time for yourself a creative endeavor.

What’s New

My artist friend, Gini and I had a wonderful time with our students in a recent workshop called: Painting with Mixed Media. Here are some of the paintings they did. These are done with paper and acrylic paint. One of them had never painted!

Lenore Blauuw
Lenore Blauuw
Gayleen Haynes-Gibson
Gayleen Haynes-Gibson

 

My next class will begin in Sept. – We meet once per month for 8 months. I only have a few openings left! You can contact me through my website: connierodriguezArt.com if  you are interested.

New Perspectives

“Every Artist Was First an Amateur’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

New Perspectives
New Perspectives

I recently attended a week long workshop with Skip Lawrence in Santa Barbara. Skip is an artist; a long time artist who teaches all over the country and has been painting for over 40 years. I was on a wait list for 2 years before I was able to get in. The thing is, I hated just about every minute of it. He has a reputation for being very forthright and hard on you and your work. But that part was ok as I was prepared for that. What was hard was that I had to unlearn practically everything I had learned in art and painting over the past 20 some odd years. Every evening I would go back to the hotel feeling irritated, angry, and just plain frustrated. I couldn’t tell if I felt angry with him, or because I couldn’t do what he was teaching or that I didn’t ‘get’ why he was undoing everything I had known, such as nixing the focal point.

Skip Lawrence giving a demo
Skip Lawrence giving a demo

Well, now that I have been back for a while, I am beginning to see that what he was teaching does have value, but it turned me upside down. It reminds me of the tarot card called “The Hanged Man”, who is literally hanging upside down by one leg. This card speaks to seeing things from another or new viewpoint. Imagine seeing the world from an upside down position. This same thing happened when I was getting my doctorate as well…everything I thought I knew  was really the opposite when looked at from a deeper perspective. Having life as you know it completely altered forever changes you. Have you ever had this experience?

It would be easy to just throw the whole thing out, to dismiss it by saying  he didn’t know what he was talking about.  But I’ve learned to sit with it, to let it percolate and let it in for me in ways that are not comfortable but still worth exploring.

Foggy Morning
Foggy Morning

I think the most important thing I learned ( so far) is how much there is to learn. A wealth of skill and knowledge is out there from other more seasoned artists. Joseph Addison said, “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.” Workshops inspire skill building, connectivity and personal development for both professional and personal reasons. Its called a “work” shop because it’s a place where you are working at many levels. A workshop can renew you or your passion in what you love.

I certainly developed new perspectives from that week; many I am still integrating.

It definitely challenged me, but then, that’s what I wanted.

What’s New:

April 1st Art Walk.   I am preparing for the first Auburn Art walk of the year. I will be showing at OLAS (The Old Library in Auburn) at 175 Almond St. from 6-9:00 p.m. with 4 other very talented artists. The date has been moved to Friday evenings. Please come by and say hello.

 

2 Day Workshop- Painting with Multimedia:

Numerology
Numerology
Mutilmedia by Gini Crepps
Mutilmedia by Gini Crepps

 

A 2 day workshop at my home studio presented with gallery owner and artist, Gini Crepps. This workshop invites you to explore a unique process in new ways of self expression. We will lead you into creating your own mixed media painting by combining textures, unusual mediums with various materials.  You will go home with a completed painting!  April 8 & 9,   10:00 – 4:30 p.m. Friday lunch included. $275 early registration by Mar. 20. Register on my website, or contact me by email for a flyer or for more information.

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