Inner Voices
1Oct/113

Sharing the evolution of Inner Voices

Hello dear hearts !

I am kind of struggling writing this blogpost, for more than two weeks now. I am beyond excited to share with you what's been shifting in me, and therefore in my artwork, but also a bit nervous of what the reaction could be.
I think I am putting so much pressure on how it will be received that I am losing the joy of sharing. So I will make this shorter than what I thought and then present you my latest girls (I have to come up for a general name for them. I had one but I am fearing it is just unpronounce-able in english).

Each time a girl comes in my painting, she tells me her story. What her life is, what she has been through and her positive message. What she likes and what she can't stand.
I usually only share the message, that appears clearly on the painting... but for a month or so I have been feeling the urge to share her story as well. It may not be a long beautiful essay but just some stuff about «what's behind».

I am still wondering if I should put it beautifully and add it with the painting when someone buys it, with the original only or with the prints as well ? I know people could benefit from more than the positive message that is present on the painting, I just have to find the best way to do it.
Any thought of it ?

Here are a few peaks of theses ladies (I will share them next week):

Keera

July's face

Sherry

Alyss' Ginette

30Aug/116

The day I do not recognize myself anymore

It is 6:28pm. My girls are loudly playing while in their bath, my husband is not home from work yet and my brother-in-law came back from his adventures not so long ago. Surprisingly, my daughters napped quite long today, and to be honest this is a good thing as I am a total mess being around.

I do not recognize the Nolwenn I used to be anymore, and it scares me. It makes me hate me.
I knew that fibromyalgia would change my life, would maybe change me. I don't know if all is linked or not. I just know that I just don't like feeling like I do because it does not look like me.

Body image issue is hitting me back in the face, when I did not expecting it at all.

I am moody, sometimes mean, I want to be alone (usually i am just happy to have my relatives around, now it is just too much).

I won't spread the details, I am just not in that good place I used to experience, not finding this Inner Voice telling me that everything will be alright that I should not worry that much, that I should stop hating myself for what I am (or am not). Praying, begging for signs that do not come or that I do not see...

I just needed to create to shake things, hoping it would shift something.

Not finished yet but I wanted to share the words with you. Hoping it will speak to someone as well...

26Jul/113

Art as a way of accepting myself

As I was writing yesterday in my Gratitude Friday blogpost, creating is currently more than ever my safety valve, my way of screaming my pain, of doing like nothing was going on, my way of trying to balance the physical pain. Wether it is in my art journal or on canvas. I am not expecting anything  anymore from my artwork, I don't expect it to look good for example. I just let it flow and usually, it is quite surprisingly amazing to me. It seems like I am less attached to it (at least, I try to convince myself with that) so I can go on and create again and again. And again.

I am what I would call a skinned alive person, even if I am so aware that some had/have a way sorst life than mine, it does not dimish it. And I notice it shows in my artwork, despite the bright colors and fluffy bunny style my pieces can seem to be. Maybe I am good at camouflage ?

This portrait is the closer one to be a self-portrait. Kind of. Not a 100% one, obviously. Can you believe this is absolutely not what I thought this artwork will end as ?

When I was a kid, and struggling with who i am and being brown in a white family (where I was born, not adopted), I was dreaming of being blue eyed. Maybe because at least, this will be something people were expecting regarding my first name («Nolwenn» is a name from Britanny, the celtic part of France where people are blonde and pale and blue eyed).

This mixed media portrait is full of texture, the hair are really pretty (in my opinion) as you can touch the three dimensions, the face is not flat at all and the lotus transfer on her shirt pulled some part of the plaster away (makes me think of peeled paint on walls).

I feel naked. But creating this artwork taught me a lot about me: I finally am more in peace with my origins, and what I am (half and half, not really black not totally white); I have to accept that sometimes the outside does not meet the inside but I can work on it; going forward, as simply as that.
Creatively speaking, she taught me that errors happen and can be fixed. Her skin tone was horrible, now she is not realistic but kind of reminds me of the first characters I created a few years ago, with their greyish skin.

I feel like this painting is filled with character, this je ne sais quoi that makes me smile. A happy content smile.

20Jun/112

New prints available in the shop & some thoughts about authenticity

I updated my Etsy shop with great pleasure. Not a lot of new stuff but three new prints are now available (more about that later in this blogpost).

I have a kind of fascination for shamanism for about ten years now; their way of seeing the World they live in, their culture, their rites... there is something calling my name with them. I remember when we first came in Vancouver in 2006 for our Honey Moon, it was the Native week with lots of celebrations; we attended a concert with traditional dances... we both had tears in our eyes. The sound of their voice, the beats of the drums resonating inside of me, it was a really powerful moment. It was then we know we belonged here. I dream of being part someday of a tradition ceremony.

People sometimes ask me: «why are all you girls white-ish, you are not ?» This is true. Caucasian skin is easier when you begin (in my opinion), so i want to be comfortable with it and then experience. All these girls I create are somehow a part of me, and I am not white (50% of me actually is), so I have to play around that. I love diversity and the idea of creating people from different ethnies warm my heart. I just need (a lot of) practice, and perseverence.

I am digging hard to figure out «what is missing». I am on a quest toward authenticity, sometimes I feel like I am going away from what makes my hear sing and it's like I am losing myself in my artistic Universe. There are so so so many things calling my name, I want to experience it all. But I have to accept to focus on one or two subjects at a time, commit to it and then doing something else. My lack of focus is killing me.

I am feeling out of place when it comes to the artistic community, seeing people becoming really good friends and then there is me. I never was at ease with people, fearing to be too different, too strange, not enough talented, not enough/too much this or that.  I decided stopping waiting for others' validation and as long as I love what I do, I keep going.
Creating for myself, what pleases me, what is whispered to me ears. And there maybe sharing it, but not in the aim of receiving whatever response could come. Letting go the affection (or the lack of affection) coming from extern people and focusing on what I do feel while creating and pushing paint over.

I refuse to force myself to write it so I am sure my stats won't fall down the rabbit hole. I refuse to talk just to talk; I wish to discuss what I want, when I want. It took me a very long time to come to this conclusion, I've learned it the hard way.
I also refuse to make you think life is like living in a pink bubble gum, because we all know this is fake. Even when we, like me, go head and heart and soul first in personal developpment and positive thinking, Life still happens and throws a huge fist in our face. And you have to get up, again, maybe you will have to fight too. I don't want to project an image of a me I am not, I don't want to be what some call «a troll», someone you meet in person and don't recognize because is the total opposite of what you've seen online. I want to be authentic. And if life is sending me lemon, I won't tell it's sweet. It is sour, that's it. I am not there to comfort you all the way, I am not the rock in the river; I can be, I actually am most of the time, but sometimes the current is too strong and I have to follow the flow of the river I live in. My artwork also reflects this. It can be light and fluffy but deep and dark too.

So... I said what I wanted to say, and I really hope I have not offended anyone because this was not the goal at all.

Here are the three new prints available in my shop. I really really like them three.
Canada Post is currently on strike and we have no idea when it will end... So I accept orders but know that unfortunately it cannot be shipped to you yet. If it lasts for too long, we'll cross the border and ship it from the US.

«My Story» is my way of remembering this small favorite ritual of mine: setting an intention for the day to come.
When I began this artwork, I had absolutely no idea what it will become. I already had the pink background (sometimes, colors are just calling me to be pushed on canvas, so I just listened.). I started to see the face, I love her soft confidence and the softness of it all.
Believe it or not, I am not a huge fan of pink (when I was pregnant of Grenouille, people used to tease me about being pregnant of a girl and me not liking pink at all. The idea of being surrounded by pink all over was making me crazy). I learned that sometimes, you just have to go through your a priori and try to overtake your limits. Today, I appreciate pink, even if it is in small amount at a time.

What if every morning, I decided with intent of the Life I wish to live ? Not thinking about yesterday, not worrying about what could happen or not happen tomorrow.
What if I decided to blindly trust The Universe, knowing that no matter what I will experience, it is for good, even in tests and in pain ?
And what if I finally decided to trust ME, every morning, knowing that every choices I will make during the day will be the right ones and that if I go sidetrack a bit, it is okay as long as I stay true to my values ?

«Perfect». I already talked to you a bit about her right here.

She means a lot to me, she even has a name (which, to be honest, never happened before) ;) Only a really small few people know her whole story (her=the girl you see on the painting, and the painting itself). Why ? Because it is very personal and I am not strong enough yet to tell the whole world about it. AND I love when people see things I don't in what I create. Every tiny detail has its importance, there is no coincidence in there (even if it happens intuitively and I tried not to overthink her). There is my heart and soul inside.

The original artwork is sitting on the dresser in front of our bed. This image is the first thing I usually see when I wake up and it is for me a good reminder that I am perfect how I am (still trying to improve though).

It is essential to me to be surrounded by art that fuels my soul, that ignites something deep. I can't wait for the day we'll have enough money so I can buy artwork from artists I admire
This painting is a reminder of where I am coming from and where I am going.

«Ya'at'eeh» Until the end of last week, this painting was untitled. It is a re-work of a journal spread I created, I loved it so much I knew she had to get out of the pages.

These earthy tones were crying to be there. I am a lot into browns lately so don't be surprised to see more brown in my future.

The title is a Navajo greeting meaning «Everything you are, everything that is a part of you, is good, is beautiful.»
It came accross my path thanks to the shiny Jamie Ridler in a blogpost she published recently. It was just what I was waiting for, perfect for this artwork. There is no such thing as coincidence.

As I was telling in the beginning of this post, I am practicing darker skin tones. I LOVE using PanPastels for the skin of my girls, it is smooth, I can easily overcome mistakes... I'll try with paint later.

I am over the moon with creating braids in the hair of my characters; I found an easy peasy way to do it and love the result. Having lots of fun.

The first two prints of this canvas are untitled as the original is wordless, but it will appear in the next versions.

 

 

I hope life is currently sweet with you. Be sure that storms are not there forever.

17May/112

«Perfect», when I let the creative juice flow freely

If you follow my adventures on facebook, twitter or even on flickR, you got a taste of my latest mixed media painting almost step by step.

I don't know what sparks your creativity, but songs and music is a huge trigger for me. A sentence, a word and BAM a lots of images are being created in my mind.

A few months ago, I told you just a little bit about Pink's song «Fucking Perfect». This song, this video, moved a lot of stuff in me. Some of these things that belong to the past and you wish to never think of again; but that come back sometimes without any warning signal and spank you violently. This is what happened when I first watched this video that left me breathless, the tears running like a torrent from my eyes, sobbing in front of my computer. How could this be happening ?
When my husband asked me to put some words, to speak about what this song was doing to me, I was uncapable of producing a single word. It is always like this when emotions take over. Words are piling up in my throat, willing to get out, and stay stuck in there forming a huge painful lump. It took me months to write everything down about it. 5 pages got dark of words in my journal. Come back in the past, analyze, thank, appreciate the path that is mine since then and that brought me where I am now. It forged me with a hot iron. Something bad leading to something better ?

The end of her music video acted like my own special prophety. It arrived in my life perfectly on time when I needed it, when my heart was heavy with doubts about what I should do, where I will end eventually. This was the light at the end of tunnel.

I felt the need to put this into images, and this is how "Perfect" was born.
I must confess that Fear invented herself along. Fear that the finished painting would be ugly. Fear of being overwhelmed by emotions that would be too strong for me. Fear to get too attached to the painting. Fear of what you could see in it. But when I look at it, I realized that it is light and discrete. I am the keeper of her secrets, the only one to know what is hidden underneath the layers, under of glitters in her hair, why there are tears in her eyes.

She taught me not to be affraid when a step deflects from what I had originally in mind.
She taught me to embrace imperfections.
She allowed me to go on more serenely.

I still have one tiny thing to do that is linked with her. I have to dare doing what I have in mind...

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