inspire(d)

a broken chair in a subway

Last week I read this piece by Karmomo on non-attachment to technology. This spoke to me on several levels. Firstly just the principle of non-attachment. I really want to ‘want’ less (irony much). Maybe I am a little bit buddhist or something but I the art of enoughness is something I mostly fail at but often consider. I had never thought about this though in terms of technology. I spend so much of my life on my computer. It is a beautiful tool in that it creates connections, allows opportunities and let’s me catch up on the latest episodes of my favourite shows. But perhaps my reliance on these tools is too strong.

So this week I am practising non-attachment with my technology. That is not to say I won’t use them but will be working on using them less and seeking other means to meet my requirements of connection, entertainment and inspiration. Also rather than saying ‘no’ I am saying yes so these are five things I will do this week:

1. Make a real life inspiration board.

2. Read a book, maybe a real in your hands with pages kind instead of a reader. Where is the line with this one?

3. Take some pictures with my film camera.

4. Talk to a friend about some of the workshops that I am doing (which are all happening online!).

5. Write a letter to a friend.

How about you. What do you think about non-attachment to technology? And what ideas do you have to practise it?

I wouldn’t say I am one of those obvious shout out loud sort of feminists but honestly being a woman and living in the world we live in I don’t know why you wouldn’t be a feminist. Also as I get older I recognise more and more the little ‘unfairnesses’ and more obvious statements of every day sexism in the West (I won’t even get onto the subject of the situation of the vast majority of the world’s women).

Anyway I saw this video the other day …

It is beautifully done but I noted that of the 90 portraits shared only two of them were by female artists.

So I thought I would highlight some female artists from history that you might not have heard about and I think could have been included in this video.

Artemisia Gentileschi

Allegory of Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi

Gentileschi has become more well known in recent years as knowledge of her sort of ‘disappeared’ after her death. However, in her lifetime she was the first female artist to become a member of the Design Academy in Florence and counted the Granduke Cosimo II de Medici and several other royalty as her patrons. Her paintings often represent strong female characters, thought to be influenced by her rape at the age of 17 by her father’s friend who she also studied under.

Sofonisba Anguissola

Sofonisba-Anguissola-self-portrait Anguissola was perhaps less dramatic than her later counterpart, Gentilesche. She excelled in portraiture at a time when women weren’t allowed to study anatomy and nudes and so were limited to portrait compositions. I saw one of her portraits in the Brera Gallery in Milan and loved her modestly sized self-portrait. She seems like she would have been interesting to know don’t you think? She lived into her 90s and this is one of her older self-portraits.

These two ladies aside I was also thinking about Frida Kahlo. And was watching a programme the other day to discover that I knew Tamara de Lempicka’s work without knowing that these famous portraits were made by a woman. I am kind of blown away by these women who must have faced such difficulties in an ‘industry’ that was incredibly male driven on top of living in a much more patriarchal society than now. Wikipedia has a whole list of other women artists through different periods who have also ‘stood out’ if you want to learn about more female artists.

Do you have any favourite female artists from the past, or present? I’d love to learn more!

Image 1: Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1630s, Royal Collection (possibly self-portrait)

Image 2: Self-Portrait, c1540, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan (taken by me on my iphone)

i have decided

i-have-decided-2-mycreative

The past 11 months have had their ups and downs, but lately I have been in a really good space. I am generally an optimistic sort but I think sometimes I need reminding. I saw this on pinterest the other day and it really resonated with me.

Obviously horrible to horrific life events aside, in the every day it is really our choice whether we have a good day or bad. You can decide to grumble about the little inconveniences or be grateful for the little windfalls. I find it very empowering really that it is up to me. Why give the power to someone else to influence your day?

i-have-decided-1-mycreative i-have-decided-3-mycreative i-have-decided-4-mycreative

So I made a poster with my new daily mantra. It is helpful seeing it in the morning but even just repeating it often to myself pre-poster making has been good.

Do you have a daily mantra? How do you stay positive in a world that is sometimes a little bit inconvenient?

home inspiration portrait collection

Every few months my attention turns to decorating my flat. I scour pinterest, stare at the walls for hours and ponder what to do. Sadly, not much happens from that point as generally the budget does not stretch to do the things I dream.

That doesn’t stop me dreaming though. Of late, I particularly like these collections of portraits on the wall. Either a single one in an unexpected place or as a gallery wall. I am thinking a collection might work well stacked on the shelves above our bed. The furniture in the bedroom is really ‘peculiar’ with a shiny black finish and odd layout. I have done very little to the bedroom but am keen to stamp some of our own personality on it.

I’m hoping I can start building a collection from the variety of vintage shops that are around in Trieste but cost might mean I just end up with one. Although something like this looks grand.

Images: 1 | 2 (via) | 3 | 4 (link is broken – anyone know original source?) | 5

cy twombly bacchus

While in London the week before the wedding we visited the Tate Modern and wondered into their rooms on ‘Energy and Process’. Cy Twombly is one of my favourite painters and I had some lessons for life reaffirmed while looking at a room of his works including the Bacchus Series.

cy twombly bacchus - go big or go home

>>> Go big or go home. Don’t play small!

cy twombly bacchus - off the edge

>>> Don’t be afraid to go off the ‘edges’ (not in a crazy way but more colour outside the box sense)

cy twombly bacchus - do over

>>> It is okay to paint over and start again

summer intentions

summer intentions

It is going to be an amazing summer. Tim’s summer holiday lasts from tomorrow until the end of August!!! That requires multiple exclamation marks in my opinion. I start working part-time at the school after the summer so I am planning on having a productive and beautiful summer and thought I would write down some intentions so I can keep myself in check.

  1. Find my creativity again. I have not even felt like picking up my camera of late. I am going to play around with a few other crafts. Sit down with paper and colours and explore my creativity.
  2. Make adventures.
  3. As much as I am not enamoured with the idea I definitely need to work on my dissertation.
  4. Switch off the computer and spend time outside.
  5. Read some books. After ages of not reading too much (it is hard when you are studying to justify) I have been reading a bit more lately (procrastinating on writing my dissertation perhaps) and definitely
  6. Feel the sun on my skin.
  7. Regular dips in the ocean.
  8. Make some popsicles (I just need to find popsicle moulds – why didn’t I think to pack them when we moved?).
  9. Eat lots of salads.
  10. Keep exercising.

What about you? Are you planning on anything special this summer?