The Year, I Made it my Own

2016 is nearly over and I made it. Happy, joyful, changed, purposeful and holding onto my integrity with great care.

As I wrote in my last post, moments do not define me, what defines me is my integrity.

‘This thing that I am doing that is bringing me into my own.

Living in a way that is being true to me.’

Integrity

Man I have had a few moments this year and each one has helped me get closer to my integrity more than ever. I feel pretty darn lucky actually and I am oh so grateful for my year. I have had a few challenges and most of these have been with my work. I am a teacher, this does not challenge me, it makes me feel great, it is like going home. What challenges me is difficult, confusing and bloody frustrating. I understand it a bit more this year and maybe next year the challenges will be less. It all falls around my role as management.

My word of the year ‘Integrity’ has definitely helped me get through those moments that rose to challenge me. Being true to myself has helped me burrow through those moments that challenge my essence.

Thank you Integrity.

Thank you 2016.

Thank you truth.

Next year my word will be Allow, I am going to Allow myself to do those thing that bring me closer to my truth. Creativity is my thing, it makes my heart sing and colours my world with much joy. This is why I love my work as a teacher, I love the creativity. I discovered this treasure, when after 3 years of not having my own classroom, I am finally starting the year with my own class of Year 2’s and I feel so excited by it. That change has helped me better understand my role as a leader in education. I started my current job three years ago and the thing that got me the job, a leading teacher, I haven’t been doing in my own classroom. I missed it so much and I didn’t realise how much until I decided to return to my own classroom again.

This year I will:

Allow myself to make art

Allow myself to develop my creativity in my teaching work

Allow myself to plan daily

Allow myself to doodle in my art books

Allow myself to print my art and give it to the people I love.

Allow myself to print my art and sell it in my shop.

Allow myself to develop my lettering

Hello Allow

Hello Creativity

Hello Teacher

Hello New Classroom

Hello Art Shop

Goodbye 2016 and Welcome to you 2017

Top Tip 4: Allow yourself to discover a word to live your year by. A word that is close to what you need the most. Plan, reflect and set goals by it throughout the year.

Welcome to Your World

img_7462I learnt something today. It is extraordinary. I truly believe this is something I have been beginning to learn for over a year now.  It no longer sits on my shoulder and floats in my head, finally it has crept into my soul. Today I learnt that.

Moments do not define me, they do not demand who I am. It is what I create that defines me and brings forth my heart and my soul. This is what matters, my gift to the world.

There are still lots of lessons for me to learn, as this enigma of life and being has been truly complicated by the world I have grown in. I write this like I am separate from it all, yet I am not, we are completely connected.

Last year I ended my year on a very difficult level, I was wrecked, broken and feeling lost. What caused this was the working world that I live in. My work as a teacher, this I love. The destruction was coming from the turmoil I was feeling with the pull of my art and having to go to work. What I have recently learnt, during a lengthy time of rehabilitation from surgery, is that I love what I do and I have much integrity in what I do, as a teacher. That turmoil I was feeling was destroying my integrity and I needed to heal this.

I am a teacher, an artist, a mother, grandmother, partner and a perfectly imperfect human being.

I celebrate all of who I am on this day and will each and everyday live my dream and let my art define me and moments leave me with everything I need to know.

Hello artist

Hello teacher

Hello Mother

Hello Grandmother

Hello Partner

Welcome to your world.

Hold Your Breath

This journey I took with Kelly Rae Roberts in Spirit Wings was more than about making art. It become a time of self discovery, in my joy, of making art that speaks to you. I made 6 beautiful angels that have such great meaning, joy and love for anyone who sees them. Each angel carries it’s own message of truth, courage, trust, sacred ordinariness, belonging and heart whispers. The journey in creating these angels were more than just paint and paper, the journey was about listening to your heart and finding your truth.  They are about sharing some of life’s lessons that help you grow into the tender, loving deserving soul that you are.

On a practical note, I got excited about making faces. Each time I created the face of my angel my art got a life of its own. The pleasure of seeing her face was truly heartwarming. This pleasure drew me into making more faces so I joined another artist group ‘Let’s face it 2016’ with Kara Bullock.

In this course of ‘Let’s face it 2016’ I have been learning a lot about the technical side to shading and how to draw eyes, noses, lips etc. The ‘hold your breath’ type of art making that can put you off making your art.

What I mean by ‘hold your breath’ is that the hold you have on your art is so tight and rigid it becomes too much about perfection. I prefer perfectly, imperfect pieces of art because that is how I see the world around me.

To get a grip on perfection steals away the magical moments of just being. I like to create as a free playful soul that has no bounds and limitless potential. However, the lessons I am learning, using the ‘hold your breath’ art techniques, only adds to the dimension of my very own art groove.

Finding my groove is why I am here, that is my journey, that is my lesson this is my groove.

 

Hello groove!

Melanie M

Dirty Little Secret

I changed my blog name  to ‘Finding My Groove’ because my dirty little secret was out. I originally called my blog ‘Having an Affair’ because this making art was my dirty little secret. I didn’t want anyone knowing, I felt like an imposter and didn’t think my art was worthy. Now, all that doesn’t matter, it still niggles me, but my heart is enjoying creating and sharing so much, the niggles are ignored, most of the time.

Plus my tribe are liking it too, so that makes my heart proud. Thank you.

Here is a time lapse of me painting this girls hair (scroll down to see her complete). I have been enjoying watching other time lapse videos so decided to make my own until my battery ran out. I loved watching this and I think you will too.

This peaceful beauty is my angel of trust.

Mantra

May you embrace the love and heart of your beautiful messy soul and always, always remember to Trust your wings.

Melanie M

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Love, Gratitude and Top Tip #1

img_6640-1I love making art, playing with paper, paint and pens. It is the coolest thing ever. I hate that I am often so tired or I get tangled up in the world wide web looking for inspiration that time zips away and I have done nothing.

A BIG part of tiredness is the Osteoarthritis I have in my knees. It is severe, so severe that my knees are about 25 year older than my chronological age. This causes a lot of pain. This problem I have has been accelerated by the cancer treatment I had many, many years ago. The chemicals whacked into my body have damaged me in more ways than one. However, I am truly grateful to be alive today because without that treatment I would definitely not be. I am also truly grateful to be moving around on my own two legs, as painful as that is, I can do it. Soon I will be moving around with a titanium body part. I am finally good with this and surprisingly am looking forward to it.

So here is the reason for my blog post, to overcome my tiredness and to stay motivated img_6631with creating I have something that works for me and thought it might work for you. It takes a lot of discipline because going on the web can provide many distractions.

Top Tip for making more art: When looking for inspiration ONLY look in the place that has your inspirational people or ideas. For me this is Instagram, I only follow artists, BUJO addicts and planner addicts. That is my go to place for my inspiration.

What do you have or do that inspires you?

Melanie M

 

Courage

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My Angel of Courage

I have been working on this girl for a few weeks now, not just painting. I have been journaling, reflecting, daring myself and now I am done.

I think she is beautiful and reflects the work of Kelly Rae who I am learning from. I am loving the course and now can’t wait to finish it and find my own style. These Angels I am creating are working their way into my heart. I wasn’t a great lover of Angels but I do love Kelly Rae’s painting style and the story behind her artist journey. That is what drew me to her Spirit Angels course.

Now my Angels are finding a home with me and when I am done I will make a little Angel gallery so I can see them daily.

Her words are ‘may you always follow your dream to be you and know you are enough’.

Hello Angel of Courage

Melanie M

 

First Time

  It has been quite an exciting weekend with the opening of an exhibition at our local museum and I have entered a piece. Nervous excitement is surrounding it yet I don’t feel anxious. I thought I would because I feel like an imposter, that dreaded imposter syndrome that we all have at times.  I dearly hope it sells, I would hate to have to rock up there and pick it up at the end of the exhibition. Hope, Courage and Belief is my mantra at the moment.

My lovely partner also put a piece of his own photography into the exhibition and it sold on the opening night. I am very proud of him and so glad he has sold it.

Hello hope

Hello Courage

Hello Belief

Happy Sunday everyone

Melanie M

 

Taking Flight

 Very recently while playing with my paints and paper I had made this creation and was struggling with finishing it because I didn’t have the right mantra for it.

While out walking one night I came across a few feathers laying the grass, I am not normally one for symbolism. So the meaning behind them, in the moment, was just to get a photograph.

That night, as I settled in to work on my art, it came to me ‘Taking Flight with Courage’. It is hard to explain the moments when it all comes together and just makes sense except that they are awesome.

So here it is, not finished, a work in progress yet full of life.

Hello feathers, Hello art, Hello courage.

Melanie M

Learning and Playing

I have been using Creative Bug to learn new techniques with art journaling. The images in this post, where I took part in a series called ’10 easy things to draw with Molly Hatch’. I had loads of fun taking part. Learning how to draw is something I have been wanting to work on since I started messing about with mixed media art. I started out with Creative Bug using a free trial and quickly became addicted.

I will post some more photos of the latest workshops I have been working on.

What really!

2015-08-30 20.13.51I got hit with a ‘curve ball’ today. It was tough, it rocked me, left me feeling sad, deflated and hurt. My first thought was why did I start pursuing this dream to tell my story and at the same time making mixed media artworks, I am not worthy, it will never become anything and I am totally worthless. These are all the words I was beating myself up with, I would never speak to a friend like this. All because I made a mistake!

In my drive home from work I was trying to bring myself back to reality, I searched my brain for something that I had read in my book ‘Simple Abundance’, to help me to recover from this hurt and my need to feel worthless. (I have written about this book here in another time of need). This book is what it says it is, ‘A Day Book of Comfort and Joy’. I pick it up most days and always read a chapter that I am absolutely ready for. It is much like a soulful kiss on the cheek, that hits you right when you need it, with the exact kiss you need. This time my lesson was to find my blessing in everything – your dirty kitchen floor, your bank balance etc. I thought whatever, there is no blessing in this mess. As I read on, I discovered a little treasure that helped me believe,

‘if you find your blessing in everything then the universe will bless you’.

Wow, that was just what I needed.

I also realised that everything that is happening in this moment, is part of a much bigger picture. Don’t try and understand it, lean into it and find your blessings.

Keep dreaming, find your blessing even on your dark days and dance like you always have.

Make someone happy today, the world needs more happy.

Melanie M