Category Archives: authenticity

Pondering authenticity

Pondering authenticity is what I did this morning, and yesterday too, as I worked in my art journal.  There is the eternal question of “who are you?”  Besides a spark of the Divine that we all share, what is truly important in my life?

The answer is easy: to grow my soul. It has nothing to do with art, but I’m using that as a medium.  It’s about becoming more, to expand, to learn, to deepen.

Lately, I’ve been feeling empty, Inspiration has been far away.  Not even a promise of cookies and ice cream has brought back the muse.

To some extent, I have felt uncomfortable with the art I have been making. There is a very fine line between copying and authenticity.

What with so many e-courses and workshops offered about intuitive art, which is my main art interest, I find that you’re prone follow the “ways” of the teacher, and you learn to let go of the restraint of conventional art beliefs. This is all great and all the courses serve a purpose.

But what if you feel stymied even with these free-flowing ways?

I have tried it all, and always come back to myself, feeling there is a piece missing.

I’m left with myself and my feelings of inadequacy. If I truly follow my art moment to moment, the pieces won’t be popular or get many likes on Instagram. This is a fact. I have delved into my art making this way, and then felt I could do better. It’s the ego that wants recognition and praise for the “beauty” of the art.

That is not authenticity.  It’s sooo easy to fall into styles, be it spiritual art or abstracts or avant-guard non styles.

If I allow my art to develop, one paint stroke at a time, I come up with these blocky paintings.

pondering authenticity

pondering authenticity

pondering authenticity

These paintings tell a story. They are not pretty, but I sense myself in them more than in any other kind of art. Here is an example of another painting that I then painted over because it wasn’t worthy. (Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.)

pondering authenticity

The painting then turned into this:

pondering authenticity

So much prettier, right?

I suggest we are slaves to styles, trends, and what is considered beautiful by the majority. i know because I’ve tried to cater to the crowds by making my art pretty and acceptable.

I do have many paintings where I have followed the brush strokes, and they haven’t sold, for the most part.  Here are a couple of old paintings that I still have on my wall.

pondering authenticity

I painted “Moon Goddess” in 2009. I find that my truly intuitive leaning has a hint of the indigenous art you see in many cultures.

My art journal spreads reminds ME of something indigenous in Mexico of old. It’s more of a feeling than a fact.

Below is the process of a painting, “Balance,” that I painted in 2008. It’s one of my favorite paintings and now it’s hanging over my bed. I had it for sale for years, but no takers.

pondering authenticity

pondering authenticity
old studio space

pondering authenticity

My friends say they can see me in all of my art, which is probably true, but to me it’s about exploration.

So authenticity is not really a noun, it’s a verb that means DOING, or taking action. Only through action can we evolve. Authenticity is something strange and wondrous that you explore, not in your mind, but with your hands and heart.

Authenticity only deepens as we dare to go down the road of “not pretty” or sales-worthy.  The good thing about art journaling you don’t aim to sell any of it. That takes the pressure off.

Authenticity can’t be explained, only experienced. You can’t really ponder it, but it’s there to be felt.

Whatever the online gurus fling around the internet as in “be your authentic self” is not practical to the individual.  You can follow their lead, but it’s ultimately your inner exploration / prompt that is valid to  you. Other artists’ ways will put a restraint on your soul.

However, any art making is good as it moves you forward. 🙂  Just do it any way you can!

Want more inspiration? Check out this post: Trusting The Unknown.

Looking for a gift? I have items for sale in my etsy shop: Earth and Faery.

Have a great weekend!

Maria

Smoke and mirrors kind of life

smoke and mirrors
smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors belong to Halloween (and politics), but all of us live in an illusion that we claim to be “normal.”

A few years back I went to a huge Halloween event. It had a horror house that was so creepy I wowed never to enter one again (unless it’s a kids’ version.)

The horror house was filled with goblins and creepy crawlies, and one room was stacked with floor to ceiling mirrors and a white fog. I kept bumping into mirrors and could not find my way out.

I found myself almost panicking as I turned around and came face to face with a 7 foot monster, probably some highschool kid making a few extra bucks.

It did a number to my head though, and I could not see my way out until a friend grabbed my hand and pulled me through the fog to another room.

I think it’s a good example of how our mind can play tricks on us.

The whole world is made of “tricks” that we judge as normal.

Do you really know anyone? Truly.  Do you know their fears and deep-seated beliefs or do you only know their persona(s)?  We don’t, and then we get baffled when someone acts out of character.

Somehow we have all bought into the illusion that we are meant to work 9-5 at some crappy job or whatever your illusion.

We feel sorry for the homeless, but what if some decided not to buy into the illusion of 9-5 and stepped into the persona of a hobo.

Who are we really?

That can be a lifelong exploration.

You can only live as much authenticity as you are authentic to yourself.

We inflict the smoke and mirrors on ourselves as we stubbornly hold onto our beliefs and misconceptions.

“I’m right and the other person is wrong.” What a narrow way to live.

The point of this post is that authenticity is something that happens incrementally as we get more clear on our connection to the Greater energy of our being.

I feel a great love in my heart. It’s not for people or animals or trees. It is the essence of me, the power that keeps me alive.

When I feel that the strongest all my games and ideas and ploys fall away and I am only energy, a GREAT energy.

When I’m aligned to that, I can sense what my next step is as far as moving forward in my 3D life.

That can change daily. In other words, there is no way to “lock down” that power, only a way to follow its lead.

At some point you stop identifying with the personas, the smoke lifts, the mirrors break, and you can see clearly through the illusion of everything. Until you fall into it again and start acting out of fear.

That’s why I say that authenticity is incremental in 3D life. There is a constant, pure, authenticity within, but until that is the only thing that leads us, we fall into the fog and stumble against mirrors.

Though, there is one consolation. The authenticity of the heart is always there.  I plug into it every morning and aim to see what my next step is, and how to deepen my connection with my heart.

I express it in my art practice, which is always in flux. It’s too great to control, and that should be a consolation and a big sigh of relief, but I always try to impose my will on it.

That can be the most frustrating and confrontational thing ever.

Your heart and soul will always stretch you through what calls you, and if you’re up for it, it can be a wild ride. Not for the faint-hearted, but wouldn’t you rather live a life based on as much authenticity you can surrender to NOW, or live a meaningless life based on other people’s expectations?

Your choice. Your energy (or lack of it.)

Go within, find your true North Star and trust it.

smoke and mirrors
illusion

Here is another blog post where I talk about fear of living the life you want.

P.S. I have some new cool art journals for sale in my etsy shop. They are primed for the enthusiastic art journalers to embellish. 🙂 EARTHANDFAERY