On June 8th, in the early morning hours, I left something special around the beautiful town of Pensacola, FL, in the form of 100 sculptures.
I was inspired by the recent sale of a sculpture by artist Salvatore Garau. His sculpture auctioned off for $18K, but I wanted my sculptures to be displayed prominently around town for everyone to enjoy.
This particular project required days of planning and plotting to pull it off, after all, 100 sculptures are a lot of works of art. Luckily, I made them small enough to handle in one trip in my vehicle, and Klee helped me move them into place. I wanted them to be small enough for people to take home. I only ask that they do not take home multiples.
Because the sculptures are small, I estimate the value of each at about $500.
Salvatore Garau said of his sculpture, “It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination.”
In February of this year, at the Piazza Della Scala in Milan, Salvatore Garau exhibited BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION. As seen in the picture, this sculpture is marked out by square tape on the cobble-stone.
I determined that the tape would eventually fade and fall apart, so it was unnecessary. In fact, I believe it is damaging to the sculptures, and thus, none of my sculptures are marked out by tape.
The 100 sculptures have been left in prominent areas around downtown Pensacola and displayed by some of my favorite businesses.
My sculpture series is called “No hay nada aquí,” and I hope they will bring much joy to the beautiful people of Pensacola. I also hope this inspires other artists around the world to share their art with their favorite places. I plan on expanding on this series and displaying them around New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. My ultimate plan is to eventually display the series in cities and towns around the world.
Salvatore Garau said, “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has an energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”
However, my sculptures are made up of the evaporated tears of a captured chupacabra who cries when tickled with a fiery Pheonix feather. Since the artist mentions the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the wrong context, I would like to say that my pieces are explained by the theory of relativity. So there is your explanation with some physics thrown in.
I also have a painting that is part of this series for sale in my store. Please check it out by clicking on the image below. Once you see the listing make sure to click on the “find out how to purchase” button for some additional info.
To hear more about our thoughts on this particular art style, you can watch the video below.
Also if you happen to be in the Pensacola Beach area Rafi will be having a solo exhibition at Luna Fine Art Gallery at the Hilton On Pensacola Beach (12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561) from June 29th – September 9th. By the way, this show will have tangible paintings you can see and touch, although I may bring some of my invisible sculptures.
View the amazing artwork of the Rogue Artists in this amazing show. The Challenge for inside out had three parameters:
Parameter 1 – Juxtaposition of Inside/Outside and whatever that means to you. Can be emotional, physical, topographical, etc.
Parameter 2 – Incorporate a tree that represents one side of this duality. The tree can be as literal or abstract as you like ie: made of mechanical parts, composed of sound, a combination of fantastical elements, etc.
Parameter 3 – Incorporate a landscape that represents the other side of this duality. The landscape can also be as literal or abstract as you like ie: a completely imaginary landscape, a soundscape, or an interpretation of a landscape memory, etc.
I am excited to share these with you because they really push some boundaries. If you are interested in any of the pieces below that are for sale, please contact the artist. Enjoy this awesome show. You can watch the video below, enter the virtual gallery (on a different site), or scroll down this page.
Esther L Jones
Artist Name: Esther L Jones Best Way To Contact Artist: https://www.estherljones.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $272.00 Name Of Piece: These Rocks Are Thee Artist Statement: This piece exemplifies a poem I’ve loved for years: the title is my favorite line from the poem. The rocks can be seen as a hindrance or as protection. The lack of nutrients and harsh landscape can be perceived as a desert that deprives or a place that forces slow and difficult but very strong growth.
Ellen von Reiser
Artist Name: Ellen von Reiser Best Way To Contact Artist: Commissions@starrynightdiner.com Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Secret Garden Artist Statement: This piece is full of significance for me personally. Every object has a story. The garden is full of things I love or admire. The forest is full of my current life. The piece was drawn in Adobe Fresco with an Apple Pencil.
Artist Name: Angel Coleman Best Way To Contact Artist:
Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Picnic With Mom But Without Her Artist Statement: This was a very emotional piece for me to sculpt. Mom is the center of the family though her illness is larger than life and hangs over the entire family. She is oblivious to her children and husband that play around her. Only the alcohol brings color to her life. Emaciated and haggard, she continues to drink until the poison spills out of her and will eventually spoil the family outing.
Sherry D Beckstead
Artist Name: Sherry D Beckstead Best Way To Contact Artist: FB.com/sherrysoilpaintings.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $1,500.00 Name Of Piece: Path to Consciousness Artist Statement: This piece represents the duality of life. The tree represents humanity standing in the reality of the now. While the landscape represents our ever-searching path for something more that can only be found within us. The higher consciousness of our beingness.
Artist Name: Jeanne GFellers Best Way To Contact Artist: email Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Growth Along the Road of Disability Artist Statement: 5″x7″ This is a very personal collage piece. The desert landscape bears many but certainly not all the negative wordage I’ve heard over the decades as an author, artist, and disabled person. Defying these words is the full-of-life woodland being who is turning it all out and wears positive affirmations. This happy tree person is who I strive to be. Pushing the multi-layered negative BS aside and the resulting growth hasn’t been an easy process, that’s for certain, but it’s been my unique road to take and one I’m still on. You can find my writing and art at https://jeannegfellersauthor.com
Artist Name: Melissa Peacock Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $200.00 Name Of Piece: Be Productive Artist Statement: Visiting the peach orchard for the last time, I was shocked to see the trees had hollowed out until there was only bark left. My grandpa filled the trunks with wooden planks and wrapped them with ropes so that the trees could have one last productive year. Despite being half-dead, the orchard was ready with its harvest of peaches as usual. Relatable.
Artist Name: Debbie Tlach Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.com Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Feeling Human Artist Statement: The will to grow as a feeling human in the face of forces (relentless cogs) that can cause us to retract and shut down (emotionally or otherwise). We can consciously decide our reactions to these forces (hopefully to deeply feel & still flourish). artistgirlsmuse on Instagram
Artist Name: Corey Johnston Best Way To Contact Artist: email Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: The Tree of Hopes and Dreams Artist Statement: Digital Art, Procreate App, 12.9″ iPad Pro and Apple Pencil
This piece is about stepping out of dark vast empty space, and toward an inner light that is brighter and laden with potential, but scary, too. For me, it is about a state of middle-ness. It is about the transitional state of not knowing whether something is sinister or safe and whether trust can be extended or not. Between being sure and being vulnerable. As Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be.” There is a moment before making the choice, before taking the step, before walking into something unknown from something sure (even if it’s dark and endless). It is about not knowing how to interpret the signs you feel are obviously there. It is about fear of the unknown, even if the known is eternal darkness of endless depth.
I think we learn how to deal with this state in different ways as we grow up. For me, as a young person, this fear was sometimes paralyzing at moments. And I see many young people in my life experiencing the same trepidation of the unknown in their own ways.
Artist Name: Dana Ellis Best Way To Contact Artist: https://www.danaellisart.com/ Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $220.00 Name Of Piece: Letting Go Artist Statement: She feels trapped by her thoughts, her life, her insecurities, and feeling judged. As she sets the bird free, maybe she will free herself.
18″ x 18″ oil painting on stretched canvas. Free US shipping Instagram: dana_ellis_art Facebook: Dana Ellis Art
Artist Name: Annie Sylling Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $500.00 Name Of Piece: Inner Peace Artist Statement: I was contemplating this challenge while lying awake one night, happens a lot (the lying awake). This idea popped into my head. Use the challenge to portray keeping inner peace despite the state of the world around us. The painting depicts a girl in meditation surrounded by the chaos of the world. Inside the girl is a peaceful garden with a tree. This is her place of refuge. I believe we can find peace within ourselves while living in a chaotic world. I used a 22″x28″ canvas incorporating collage, acrylics and marker. You can view more of my work here: http://anniesylling.com
Artist Name: Zoe Noble Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $1,000.00 Name Of Piece: 2020 Artist Statement: I designed this hoop as a reflection of the year. I wanted to show inside as a tranquil, safe space, so I made the scene outside the window barren and fiery in contrast to the thriving plants inside. I added a landscape painting to the wall to represent our memory of the outside compared to the actual scene out the window. Personally, I started missing school and trying to keep up with classwork at home in my teens when I became chronically ill and disabled, so to me this piece is also representative of my own experience with home being a refuge in comparison to the inaccessible outside world, and how that has become a common experience amid the pandemic. I wanted to make a scene that idealizes staying inside instead of portraying the inside as a prison and framing the outside as the place the viewer wants to be, not only because I think it’s important to protect ourselves and our communities in the midst of a pandemic as much as we can, but also because framing social distancing as a cage is, in my opinion, framing the experiences of disabled people like me that have been staying home and asking for digital access to things like work and school for years as a pitiful or miserable existence, and I don’t think that’s true. While it’s absolutely understandable to miss life before the pandemic, I think it’s important to remember that preferring in-person jobs or classes does not make the digital access we have created a bad thing for everyone.
Artist Name: JulieAnn (TheRosemaryCat) Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Theories of Relativity Artist Statement: Graphite on 11×14 Bristol Paper
‘Theories of Relativity’ touches on perspective of both space and time. We often give the concept of time much more power over us than it really has. Time is what we create it to be; it can be either fluid and expansive, or it can be rigid and confining. Likewise, the way each of us sees the world around us makes space subjective, as in how we may perceive the trees outside the window, or the ‘tree’ in the room. Our personal freedom depends on our perspective rather than our environment or circumstances.
TheRosemaryCat can be found on Redbubble.
Artist Name: Cruz Kai Best Way To Contact Artist: cruzkaihawaii.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $200.00 Name Of Piece: Interdependent Artist Statement: This painting represents climate change -in which animal, plant life and the humans are directly and indirectly affected. Acrylics on canvas – 16” x 20”
Artist Name: Kelly Sterr Best Way To Contact Artist: Kellysterr@comcast.net Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $480.00 Name Of Piece: Morning Sunrise Artist Statement: 16 x20 Acrylic This piece reminded me of the journeys down the shore when I was younger to go fishing early in the morning with the sun rising up above the horizon.
The Clover Artist
Artist Name: The Clover Artist Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $20.00 Name Of Piece: Crystal Spire Growth Artist Statement: I just got the space in my life to figure myself out. Sometimes left feels like an alien planet i’m trying to travers. Sometimes I feel like a small sapling most thought was dead but just waiting for the right conditions to flourish. So I made this striking piece to symbolize how I feel in the alien landscape we all call life. Some problems seems monumental some seem so vast you’ll never reach the other side but if you just keep going, just keep growing it’ll all work out in the end. I create art to enlighten the soul and transport you to magical places thank you for coming along with me on this journey!
Artist Name: Klee Angelie Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Two Trees Artist Statement: This poem is about a being that is trying to understand itself and its relationship with its world, by observing others around it and questioning which ways of “being” are most valuable and fulfilling. In that way, it’s about making comparisons and never-ending questions that don’t provide any real answers. What is underlying the story, is the idea that the being isn’t looking at “others” at all. What it’s really observing is a partial reflection of itself in one direction (representing the past and memories), and a changing shadow silhouette of itself in another direction (representing future hopes and aspirations). Neither provides a full picture, and neither (past or future) allows the being to live in the present moment while it remains wrapped up in these observations and questions. It understands in a way, that it thrives and feels most whole in the present, just being what it is, but it’s unsure if this is a worthy and meaningful existence. I think deep down, it knows it is.
I saw two trees from a distant view, In a distant light, as I focused sight, As I pondered old and I pondered new, As I wondered what’s real, and I wondered what’s life.
One stood by a river, in a valley below, It’s roots appeared strong, but it seemed to quiver. As if never too sure what form it would know, As if never too sure it was there by the river.
But the sun shone upon it, Just like it did me, And even though it was faint and hazy, It felt known, and on it, Just like upon me, There did seem a tangible quality.
As I reflected, a question asked, If I felt uncertain, and what did that mean? Does a strong foundation one can almost grasp, Make for a full life, down by the stream?
One stood by a manor, on a hilltop high, It’s branches immense, almost endless in reach, But no roots to behold, just aloft like the sky, As if never knowing the soils deep.
But the sun shone upon it, Just like it did me, And even though it was changing and vague, It sprawled out, and on it, Just like upon me, There did seem a dynamic something at play.
As I projected, a question anew, If I felt ungrounded, and what of it still? Do dizzying heights one can barely view, Make for a full life, up on the hill?
My companions would come with the light of each day, And would go then each night, and would leave me to wonder. Sometimes I would dream them and such they could stay, But always would daunt me with theories asunder.
What tree would I be, which tree has the knowing? If I only could choose to aspire to one… Which of these two trees truly lives and is growing? Which of these two trees can feel soil and sun?
As for me, I stand present, between these two. As for me, I grow steady, both day and night. From the deepest of depths which embrace my roots, For impossible stars grace my branches alight.
But is it enough if I’m only this day? If I only know now, and with simplest mirth, If I reach ever deeper, but also I stay, In the moment which, each moment, gives me new birth. If I reach ever higher, but also I stay, In the moment which, each moment, renews my worth.
From a singular vantage, endless worlds to unearth.
Artist Name: Marianne Hasseldal Best Way To Contact Artist: my instagram: marrys_gallery Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: If I were the last you would choose me Artist Statement: A contrast between life and death. Life symbolized by the tear and death symbolized by the barren landscape reflected in the eye. After many weeks of pondering what to paint for the collab challenge, this vision dropped into my mind very suddenly and I loved the disturbing thought of a tree growing and making an eye its home. This is a digital painting. You can find my work on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/marrys_gallery/ If you are interested in purchasing my art you can send me a message there.
Artist Name: Christopher Doll Best Way To Contact Artist: email, Discord, or JOIN ME ON TWITCH.TV EVERY WEDNESDAY 6PM PST Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $250.00 Name Of Piece: Pressure Inversion Artist Statement: Extreme weather and tornados were frequent dreams, having grown up in Michigan. The skies would turn quickly. It’s a scene I had witnessed several times. The wind picks up, bending the trees. Shredding them. I am outdoors, and there is little time to get underground. Where it’s safe. Often I witness the scene through a door with a window. But it offers no protection. I haven’t yet captured it properly in paint, but I try every few years. 9″ x 12″ Oils on canvas Contact me via email or through my site at https://www.christopher-doll.com
KYLE M WOOD
Artist Name: KYLE M WOOD Best Way To Contact Artist: http://www.kylewoodcreations.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $900.00 Name Of Piece: Living Within Worlds Divided Artist Statement: Seeing the line between realities leads to the door of answers, but the door of answers is out of reach. The same tree is organic in one world and mechanical in the other. They are borrowed from each other’s reality to bring a magical light into life. Mixed media on two-foot by three-foot wood panel at three-quarters inch thick. Prints will be available on my site. A small printable version is free on my treasure section of my site.
Sara Vicky Neville
Artist Name: Sara Vicky Neville Best Way To Contact Artist: Email address. Saraartist1508@yahoocom Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $600.00 Name Of Piece: Princess of the moon and her pet cow contemplating whether to jump over cause she afraid of heights Artist Statement: I love the moon. Period. And all things moon-like Saraartist1508@yahoo.com 2/8×10’s..1/11×14. Acrylic
Artist Name: Rafi Perez Best Way To Contact Artist: https://rafiandklee.com/contact-us/ Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $395.00 Name Of Piece: Born Out Of The Cold Artist Statement: This piece symbolizes growth and rebirth. In 2020, especially in the dark winter days, it was easy to get wrapped up in the darkness of it all. The world felt like a dark place. Turmoil, death, and horror seemed to be the main topic of discussion. The piece is about the realization that even in that darkness, you can bring sunshine, you can bring color, and you can bring joy. No matter the circumstance of the world around you, the world you carry inside of you is impacted by you and only you. So even when inundated, you can be born out of the cold and into the warmth. Klee stated that the piece makes her think of spring being born out of winter, which felt very powerful to me and is in line with my feelings. 18X24 Mixed Medium, plaster face (my face)
Artist Name: Thomas Wofford Name Of Piece: Cerat Mirazur Artist Statement: This creation is an interpretation of the collab theme in an extremely abstract vision reflecting on a front view “Cerat” which is outside. The inside vision is a mental picture of “Cerat” and Mirazur which is the vision of blue. The tree representation is slender lines throughout the piece.
I am now turning some age in February where I have been deemed an old fart. I’m not being elusive about my age, I simply can never remember how old I am. However, I do remember that it happens every year on February 5th and for the most part, I like to relax with Klee and do nothing that day. No fanfare, no parties, no big todo, just a relaxed day, doing everything I do on just about every other day. I celebrate “me” a lot whether it is my birthday or not. This has led to the disappointment of some very good friends who love to celebrate birthdays and me.
This year is going to be slightly different. I’m having a party.
Well, February 1st will be my birthday bash… February 5th, I’ll be relaxing and doing nothing, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
I decided that the birthday party would be a fun art-stravaganza thing where Klee and I could show our latest art and jewelry, and have some really cool art reveals. We also picked a location that is eclectic and just plain awesome! Dolce & Gelato is such an amazing place full of unique personality and fun.
Back in the day, making excuses was like breathing air for me. I had some great ones, in fact they were so good that I didn’t realize I was even making excuses.
With that in mind, let’s break down 10 of the many excuses that I used to make, and tell me if they sound familiar.
Excuse #1: There’s just not enough time…
I still use this one every once in a while. What I found is that when I make this excuse I’m just not feeling enthusiastic. Usually, at the core of this excuse is the fear that I’m not good enough to do the thing that I’m claiming I don’t have the time to do. The moment I feel overwhelmed by lack of time, I can talk myself out of anything. Sometimes it may be something that I genuinely don’t want to do, and in that situation I would rather cancel the project than keep it rattling around in my brain jar. But when it is something you really want to do, but your claim to non-fame is that you don’t have enough time, ever… then I would think twice about that excuse.
In fact, if I look at my behavior in moments of overwhelm, I actually become less productive, which causes there to be less time, and even more overwhelm.
Excuse #2: There’s just not enough money…
I find that no matter how much money I have in the bank, whether it is thousands, or negative somethings these words will blurt out of my mouth. To be honest, I have a weird relationship with money that I have been working on throughout the last few years. I think it is important that we look at our relationship with money because it is either one of two things: a good relationship or a bad one. In other words, if you feel like a victim to green pieces of paper then it’s a bad one. Most of my baggage when it comes to money is partly from poor money mentality in my household when I was growing up, but like most relationships, it is something you can improve once you look a little deeper into yourself.
Excuse #3: I don’t have an education…
This was my number one excuse when it came to pursuing art as a career… well, it was one of many number one excuses. There are numerous multi-millionaires and billionaires who have nothing more than a high school education. Some don’t even have that. Yet, I spent a lot of time in my life wasting my precious brain power believing this gibberish. I’m not knocking education, there’s value in it. If you want to pursue an education, pursue it. If you want to be an excellent brain surgeon, definitely go to school. If you want to sharpen your creative skills by taking classes, by all means… but don’t let an education, or lack thereof, define what you can accomplish with your talents.
Excuse #4: I’m just too old or too young…
I’m old enough to have used both of these excuses… blah blah blah. Right now, it’s the too old excuse. I’m too old to be in a band, I’m too old to do YouTube, I’m to old to make a significant impact in the new generation of humans… blah blah blah. While you may not see me on American Idol anytime soon (they have a no geezer age limit of 28 which I find outdated and discriminatory, but whatevs…) I am most certainly young enough to excel at whatever I gosh darned please, as long as I’m breathing.
Bonus Excuse: I don’t know how…
This is an excuse I rarely use because I am very dogged at figuring stuff out. I am a stubborn figurer-outer. This means I make mistake after mistake after mistake, until I get it. I simply don’t like not knowing how to do something, or being afraid to try. This has, so far, worked out in my favor.
Excuse #6: I just can’t change…
This used to be true for me, I was pretty set in my ways and the words “That’s just who I am!” would spout out of my mouth as an excuse to justify some stupid thing I did. It wasn’t until I started thinking long term, determining whether that’s how I wanted to be and live in ten, twenty years, that I realized perhaps being willing to evolve is to my benefit. When you think about the cycle of stubborn habits repeating time and time again over the course of twenty years, you get a fire under your but to start that change immediately.
Excuse #7: I’m afraid to fail…
I think we get taught this stupid thing in school… “Do everything you can to succeed, failure is the mark of laziness or lack of skill.” I’m sure that might seem like sound logic to those who have never tried to do something that hasn’t been done before. But, if you want to blaze your own trail, you are going to have to fail several times in order to reach anything resembling success. I think we should embrace failure, learn from it, and plan ahead so we know how to use the failure to do it better the next time.
Excuse #8: It’s just not the right time…
Yeah, if these little words pop out of your mouth then you should just swat them down mid-air like a fly, before they reach anyone’s ear holes. I knew a wonderful woman who was in her 90’s that fused the following words into my brain “If not now, when?” and I get it, sometimes it’s just not the right time to take action. However, more often than not this is just a lame excuse.
Excuse #9: I am not ready…
Sometimes you will hear this come from someone who is standing at the edge of a pool, about to jump in and they say “I’m not ready!” when actually they are merely paralyzed by fear. There they are, standing there in their swim suit, the water is good… how much more ready can you get? There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future or taking the time to lay out a clear plan of action. However, if planning is all you do, this could indicate that there might be fears preventing you from moving forward. Understand this and you will overcome your need for over-planning… in due time.
Excuse #10: I’m just not inspired…
This is a big one, yet I find that most of the time when these words come out of my mouth it has more to do with laziness than inspiration. I know that’s harsh, but it’s true. Sometimes I’m not inspired because I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself and clogging up my brain circuits with all of the above excuses. Whatever the cause, when this excuse crops up I know it’s time to take a leaf blower to whatever doom cloud is lurking overhead, and start fresh.
Sometimes we get so absorbed in making excuses about how things didn’t turn out the way we had expected, that we forget to focus on making the best of every situation — no matter what the outcome.
So go out and make excuses for how awesome you are. Make excuses for how you have more than enough time, and how it is the right time for you, and how failure is no big deal. You can say and do anything you want, just pay closer attention to the words that come out of the hole in the front of your face.
Ever felt that there must be more to life? Well, good news, there is! And it’s right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice.
As an artist, I have taken a notice of color and contrast in the world. There are times where a vivid sky or blade of grass will stop me in my tracks, I will take in the color combinations and imagine using them to translate into the emotion I’m feeling at that very moment.
I remember at a very difficult time in my life, where everything just seemed wrong and I found myself downward spiraling into despair, that hope came from a simple place. I was on my way to work, and I felt like breaking down. I pulled over and despite running late, decided to sit down at a park bench.
There I saw people walking their dogs, playing with kids, and relaxing. This was a stark contrast to my mood, and actually caused me to feel more bitter. Suddenly, a sad little weed caught my eye, it was the way the sun was casting a shadow that almost made it seem to glow. It was this ugly, little, insignificant weed, and it was glowing brighter and more vivid than anything else in that park. Suddenly, I couldn’t hold back the tears.
I sat there, me and my new glowing friend, for quite some time. I turned off my phone, and just sat there, and took everything in… This time, without judging what I was looking at through a filter of misery.
For the first time in probably my whole life, I just sat there and took everything in. I wasn’t thinking or worried about the future and I wasn’t dwelling in the past… I was just there, in that moment.
That moment changed me forever.
Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, so we get more out of the day-to-day.
As artists, we can sometimes be stereotyped as serious and tortured. Which is hilarious to me because, in my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. That being said, it’s easy to get in the habit of being in the semi funk seriousness of being an adult artist.
Sometimes you have to stop what you are doing and ask yourself- When was the last time you burst into a gut hurting laugh? I have a friend who laughs so much and so loud that she leaves a memorable experience for anyone within earshot. I think that is amazing, her laughter leaves a positive impact on people and probably annoys all the curmudgeons within a ten mile radius.
Sure, it’s fun to share a good laugh. But did you know it can actually improve your health? It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body.
Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.
As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults, life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. As an artist, I tend to hold on to that childlike instinct to use my imagination, but sometimes I hold back from just letting out a good belly roll.
There are ways to get your laughter back, if you have temporarily lost it.
Find things to laugh at daily, whether it be putting on your favorite comedy while eating dinner, reading funny comments, or just playing music and dancing goofy dances. You might even consider laughing for the sake of laughing, as a change in your body affects your brain chemistry, which ultimately affects your mood.
Laugh and you will find yourself actually feeling better, even if you have been a sourbutt for the last few hours. This is why it’s important to surround yourself with positive, upbeat people.
By the way, if laughing annoys you, that’s when you know, you need to laugh more.
We have been busy in the studio and have some awesome pieces that we want to share with you. Enjoy!
Rustic Sterling Silver Compass Necklace
This piece for me is all about keeping a “guiding star” talisman close to heart. Something that reminds us of our true north. Whether that’s a person, place, belief, goal, or anything that keeps us growing and moving forward on our individual journeys, it’s meant to be a small reminder of that. I personally like to wear jewelry that helps me stay focused on what’s important to me and what’s true for me.
I wanted it to have a very rustic old world feeling about it, as though it’s a piece of bullion or an ancient compass artifact. I felt it was important to acknowledge the human history of journey and self discovery, and I also wanted it, for the wearer, to feel as though it was always there with them and always would be there, as a steady and steadfast companion. -Klee
This piece symbolizes the two sides of empowerment. The fierce and tender nature of someone who takes fate and destiny into their own hands. The butterfly symbolizes cause and effect. The sword symbolizes the knowledge that she can overcome any obstacle that is in her way.
In my mind it is important to maintain that balance. To know that you are truly powerful, you understand that it is all about giving. One who has true power, will always defend and show love. Powerlessness and insecurity is where displays of power come in. -Rafi
I created the “EMPOWERMENT” series based on self empowerment, as a tool to be used as a daily reminder. This is my social commentary on the way that people talk to themselves or the way they see themselves. I believe we all have the ability to feel confident and strong, but for the most part we have made it a habit to talk to ourselves in a way that makes us feel powerless.
In reality, personal empowerment is not something we feel, it’s something we do. Our sense of empowerment is a reflection of the increased personal value and self-worth that comes out of our experience of having real influence in our lives.
Empowering ourselves and creating change, which ultimately leads to the increased sense of personal value and self-worth we call the “feeling” of empowerment, involves some very specific steps.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Start improving yourself
People tend to compare themselves to others because at times it will make them feel better about their lives or something they are trying to do. For example I know a lot of artists that feel better about their ability to create art because they compare their art to stuff they consider inferior. This is a double edged blade, because they will also compare their work to other work that they consider vastly superior. When they do this it leads to a devastating realization that their work isn’t that great. The truth is, nothing is better or worse than anything else, it’s just our perspective which can change.
When you resist comparing yourself, you will be less engaged in judgement, and self-judgement, YOU WILL focus instead on your work – this alone will be empowering.
Taking responsibility means simply to be responsible for the way you respond to a situation. Most importantly, no matter how much you want to blame someone else for the way you feel, it’s important to remember that no matter what anyone does, you are ultimately responsible for how you respond to the given situation.
There are many small opportunities throughout the day to take responsibility for your emotions, play around with the concept. This will put the power back in your hands and no longer let your emotions fluctuate depending on the people around you.
Do Something. Take Action!
One of the best things you can do to feel empowered is take action. Think about all those things you wish you did or that you want to do, but maybe you feel lazy or unmotivated. Whenever you don’t take action on it, it can have a devastating effect on your self esteem. Make it a habit to just take action and stop thinking about doing it.
Taking action means remembering to have fun, at least that’s what it means to me. Have fun!
There are lots of ways to empower yourself and create positive change in your life. These are just a few things I try to keep in mind daily, or remind myself if ever I’m feeling less than empowered. Above all, remember that you are a beautiful luminous being, and go out and rock this life thing!
I’ll be doing a demo and talk about the beauty of imperfection at the Santa Rosa Art Association on February 23 at 9am.
I will share some of my experimental techniques, insights, advice, philosophy and inspiration while assisting in pushing outside of comfort zones by allowing the participants to get comfortable with making mistakes and seeing what comes out the other side. Embracing imperfection, and viewing it as perfection is my ultimate message.
Members and guests are invited to bring whatever art project they are currently working on and I will assist with the time remaining.
One of the subjects I’ll talk about is Wabi-sabi to describe the perfection of imperfection. According to Japanese legend, a young man named Sen No Rikyu sought to learn the elaborate set of customs known as the Way of Tea. He went to a tea-master who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden.
Rikyu cleaned up debris and raked the ground until it was perfect, then scrutinized the immaculate garden. Before presenting his work to the master, he shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly onto the ground.
Wabi-sabi understands the tender, raw beauty of a gray December landscape and the elegance of an abandoned building or shed. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time and weather leave behind. It is to see the singular beauty in something that may first look decrepit, ugly, or unfinished.
Ultimately, wabi-sabi opens space for love. Love for others, and no less for ourselves. Love for our virtues and our scars, our strengths and our vulnerabilities.
It is this love that can lead to a deeper satisfaction with life. A deeper satisfaction with our art and creativity. To allow for the happy little accidents that can enhance the feeling of an original work.
After all, in a lifetime of fleeting moments, one after another, what bigger gift than to stare in the eyes of beauty – whatever form it may take – and to revel in its reflection of love.
The Santa Rosa Art Association meets at Pensacola State College, Milton Campus, in Building 4800 at 9 am.
It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone that my favorite concept and mystical beast is the phoenix. The symbolic meaning of the phoenix is about renewal. The phoenix is about overcoming darkness and rising to the challenge to become powerful and succeed over adversity.
It’s a symbolism that I have used a few times, but never like this piece that beautifully displays the body language of both anguish and freedom.
I wanted to create a piece that showed the transitional moment of someone taking a leap of faith into the unknown. This leap is taken with complete abandon and freedom.
Several years ago I took a leap of faith that was terrifying. I remember thinking that I had to forget everything I thought I knew, because all those thoughts were telling me I was crazy. I was essentially burning the bridge to my old life, a life that was all I knew for 30 years. It wasn’t the most happy life I could live, which is why I decided to change it. This required me to hop in my car and leave all security and certainty behind… which was absolutely terrifying, yet was such a pattern interrupt in my monotonous life that I needed.
Essentially, from the ashes of my old life which had completely self destructed, I rose and felt stronger than I ever had.
The thing is, I could have stayed in my old life… there is always a way to keep things going, but I had made a decision that I wanted things to change.
I feel like the Phoenix is a powerful reminder that no matter what, you can always be reborn from the ashes of your old life.
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