This is my nr. 101 blog-post. So, so much has happened since my first post. Shy as I was about blogging, I didn´t even dare to write that it was my first post!!! That was in july 2011, 5 months after I began painting again. 101 definitely calls for a celebration! So, a bit like 1001 nights fairytales, I decided to make a 101 blogpost give-away, and here it comes….
THE GIVEAWAY HAS 5 WINNERS.
Those who win can choose between the two prizes below:
Prize A: two A4 prints (yes, two prints per person, signed by me and ready to frame), or….
Prize B: 4 Big double postcards (can be used as luxury cards or small prints).
So, keep on reading or skip impatiently to the bottom of this post for the details about how to enter the giveaway (I don´t mind at all!!!).
(Above is a selection of 20 different A5 big double cards. The winners may choose any 4 of those if they go for the postcards)
Here´s more words for those who like a small story:
Since february 2011 I have been on a journey that has been incredibly joy-filled. I have written a bit about it here and here. It has involved beginning to paint again after 15 + years, selling and exhibiting my work, producing a line of postcards and posters, opening a web-shop, and beginning writing this blog. But more than anything, it has involved so many heart-warming meetings, often with people I have never met before. Kind people who reached out either here on the blog or amongst my dear FB friends (you are welcome too, just send me a friend-request). I have enjoyed the openess and kindness to the fullest!!!
(Prints and cards from the webshop ready to be sent by mail to kind people all over the world)
People I didn´t know before has offered to be volunteer-agents for selling the cards and posters in their city, building new contacts with shops in different countries. I know it´s been the kind of bliss that often follows anything new-born on this planet, like kittens or toddlers that seem to have protectors coming from out of the blue, rescuing them from dangers they had no idea existed.
I could not have gone this alone. I needed help to be able to find my way through so much new territory, and to carry on. I believe we all need help from time to time, and that our actions, however small at first, are our calling for the kind of help we need to be able to fulfil a certain job. We just have to be willing to take the first step, the first small action, even if that is simply asking someone for help.
So, dear you, whoever you are: I am so glad you are here!
(Me, dancing on the beach of Bornholm, an island here in Denmark. Photo by Justine Hoegh)
DETAILS FOR THE GIVE-AWAY:
To enter, you simply post one comment in the comment-field below. It could be a few words about something you are truly inspired about, or which images you would like in case you win, or whatever is in your heart today. It doesn´t have to be long, a line or two will do. That´s it, you are in the game! Oh no, one more thing: Please add your e-mail in the section when signing in for comments, that way I can reach you if you win!
I will choose the 5 winners (randomly) on sunday the 30th of june. The winners will get an e-mail with further details.
Oh, and I would love it if you would share this post with your friends on FB or twitter. That way, they get a chance to win too. Thank you, and wishing you luck!
Here comes the second part of the story about following my passion and beginning to paint again after more than 15 years. You´ll find Part 1 here if you missed it. Part 2 is actually the beginning. Like I promised, this one has a video in the end with a song I wrote one inspired evening.
Do you have your cup of tea or coffee ready?
Long, long ago I loved to paint and draw. The passion stayed with me as I grew up and later I thought that was what I wanted to do for life, paint.
LIFE TAKING OVER
So off I went to art school. Then I took up dancing to get more body in my paintings and got swept away with the love for stage-expression. So I went to theatre school. Later I got busy teaching and many other things, all good, and involving a steady income. I had two wonderful children with my dear husband, spending much time on family business. All the time thinking that of course I would paint again, some day.
Often friends or family who knew me as an aspiring painter, asked me if I had made any new paintings lately. That was so strange, because when I answered, I wanted to say “yes”, – I almost felt as if I had just been painting. Only I hadn´t.
(From Creative quickie book: “Imagine that you woke up one day and discovered something much greater than you ever expected growing out of your pot!”)
Now I can see that all those years I avoided taking responsibility for my deep passion: creating. I mean this in no regretting way, truly not. I don´t believe we are here to get everything right straight away. I simply believe we are here to do our best and learn whilst we do. And I learned so much. Many things that are utterly useful for me in what I do today. But true passions have a way of not leaving us alone. They are our own voice whispering persistently, and they will keep on whispering (even shouting) until we listen. Sometimes a lifetime. We may not be open, but the passions are there, ready to play the moment we are still enough to feel who we are.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AND ACTING ON IT
One day I stumbled upon a book about finding your passion and creating your life and income from that. I was totally on fire about this and systematically did the self-study during almost a year. Through that book I learned that we may have many passions in our life and that it is no shame to pick and follow one, then another, and then a completely different one. I had always thought that I had to get it just right, and did not dare to fully go for my passion since I was not sure if I knew which passion would be the right one to go for. I was also afraid I would make a fool of myself because of lack of true talent.
TALENT, PASSION and WORK
Oh, talent! Talent is wonderful. It is the gift we arrive with, ready to use as we choose. We all have them. But we need more than talent. I have a talent for being creative in many different ways. But god knows I wasn´t born with a big talent for taking charge of my dreams. It took me so long to realise that I had to deliberately work for that, if I wanted my own direction in life. Working with the book helped me choose one dream, for now, and try out what may happen when I dedicated time and effort to follow that. After finishing the book (only available in danish, but I believe there are many books on the subject in english), I attended a workshop with the author. Truly inspiring! And enough for me to get started on my first dream: to teach workshops about creativity.
During the coming year I created workshops designed to spark off a daily inspiration and a clearer vision of what you want in your life, using bits from all the artforms I knew and loved: Dancing and movement, writing, vocal exercices, creating images and working with life visions.
After each workshop I taught I was happy. And proud that I had given my dreams wings in the real world. And then, when I was done celebrating that, I started to hear a whisper that had been waiting patiently underneath this whole time:
“I want to paint. Please allow me to get dirty with paint and real canvas. Are you going to be too tired or busy for that forever? Isn´t that what you teach in your workshops: How to create time and space to do a bit of what you truly love, each day? So please listen to me, I REALLY WANT TO PAINT!”
(A creative quickie: “When you wish to help a plant grow, It won´t help to pull in it. Instead you need to discover how to nourish it´s own power to grow.”)
I felt ashamed. I had found my passion and followed it. I knew a lot about how to nurture creativity and do more of what you love doing. I was even teaching it, and still, the thing I kept dreaming about seemed almost impossible to do. I had been thinking about it, longing to paint on real canvas for so long that I was terrified I would let myself down if I dared to paint again. What if i was no good, or even worse: what if I would find the painting process donwright boring?
I needed a shift, a helping hand, something that could bypass the fear-effect that came from dreaming about, but not doing the painting.
One evening in october 2010 as I was sitting at my computer, I finally listened to the advice from a very caring lady who told me to visit Kelly Rae´s blog. She said that I absolutely had to check it out.
That was my first visit to Kelly Rae´s wonderful universe. That night, I just sat there at the computer, watching one painting after onother. I remember becoming very, very still inside. Such simplicity and freedom in the usage of colors, forms, words, images. The free mix of it all. Wauw! Here was the spark of inspiration I needed. I was transported into something similar to meditation, I must have sat there for hours, soaking in the goodness. And the following evening too. The paintings worked like healing, and up and out came a song, want to hear it?
(You can find the lyrics to this song here)
Seing Kelly Rae´s paintings helped me find back the freedom to paint from goodness. And to keep it really simple and close to my heart. A big thanks to her for inspiration, courage and belief! I know she helped so many creative souls listen to their passions, following their dreams. Whilst stayting true to her own.
(Heart, spread your wings of joy)
To end off this celebration I want to thank to all of you who gave your support this last year. You told me to keep going. You spoke kind words. You bought paintings when I started selling. You gave me a practical helping hand. You listened to me and was bearing with me during lots of words about my process. You commented faithfully and cheered me on here on my new blog. I believe all creative souls need some cheering and confirmation. In the end, all humans do. This year, your support meant so much. Thank you!