2017 Scene and Story #8: A Self-Portrait

A dear friend who is now passed once explained that, in her opinion, beautiful things could magnify your essence. She felt it was important to surround yourself with carefully chosen colors, textures, and sounds. She had a powerful, resonant singing voice and wore bold glittery eye makeup every day. 

I started making art earlier this year because I realized that all the women I looked to (then and now) for inspiration had compelling style. The backdrop for their words was visually stunning and graceful. 

I wasn't fooled by the effortless appearance of their real-world or online presence. I understood that they had cultivated a sense of beauty and had honed it purposely to enhance who they were. 

In keeping with my word of the year: IGNITE, I have pushed myself outside the cozy boundaries of writing. Needing original photos for my blog, I dove into aperture, shutter speed, and stillness. Framing shots led to macro photography, patterns, visual storytelling, the golden ratio in nature, and playing with light. 




Wanting a mock-up for my first book cover, I began sketching, which led to charcoals, watercolors, and hand lettering. Each new skill I add to my repertoire has opened a dozen other doors for me artistically. I see tiny improvements in my efforts each day. 






The act of writing doesn't take up much physical space. Even so, devoting a third of my desk to art supplies is a big change. It's hard not to make art when the tools are right in front of you. 




Beyond creating expressive charcoal sketches, and delicate watercolor floral wreaths, I also started wearing mascara and shoes that are not flip-flops --another deceptively small change in my daily routine that makes a huge difference in the expectations I have for myself.  

In short, I've been igniting the fears that stop me from trying new things. 

For all of 2017, I'm joining Sarah from Paisley Rain Boots and Lee from Sea Blue Lens for a monthly Scene and Story Linkup. They are a couple of the women I look to for my photography and style inspiration!

20 comments:

  1. You have created some beautiful art. Even your art supplies are beautifully displayed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! There are many, many more "good effort" pieces than pieces I'd share with others. I love looking back through the stack and realizing my progress.

      Delete
  2. You are moving mountains girl! Art is such a rabbit hole, a good rabbit hole. I have a desk for photography and writing and a desk for painting. No room for a third desk, so I guess this is it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, a third desk. I like that idea! I have a little collapsible table that I sidle up to my writing desk when I need more space to make messes and splatter paint. I have claimed so many little cubbies in the house already. I've found that whenever I expand my creative space the kids do too. Right now the entire kitchen table is covered in art supplies. I kinda love it.

      Delete
  3. Rachel, I always love your Scene & Story posts so much! It's a delight to read that I'm an inspiration to you, because you inspire me! I'm in the midst of decluttering and clearing out unneeded "stuff," and hoping to find space to actually use all the art supplies I own. Your art is a lovely reflection of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Decluttering is almost as much fun as cluttering. :) Thank you for the kind words!

      Delete
  4. Lovely post! Isn't it amazing how as we learn one thing it leads to another! Your artwork is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's fun to trace the path back to the first art course I took, too.

      Delete
  5. So enjoyed your story of art! And i love your word for the year! Such a good and inspiring word that is! Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! My word of the year has been spot on for me :)

      Delete
  6. I'm excited for you in the growth your word has inspired. Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It wasn't the kind of growth I was expecting, but I'm still enjoying it!

      Delete
  7. Oh I love this. I love your word "ignite" and so inspiring to read about your adventure so far and your discoveries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Masha! It has been an unexpected adventure. :)

      Delete
  8. Hmm...beautiful things can magnify your essense...I like that. A lot. For sure beauty matters and it's a gift in so many forms for absolutely everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I asked my friend about it I was trying to understand my desire for beautiful things in a household when money was tight. My friend was speaking in more general terms, but it applied perfectly.

      Delete
  9. Trying new things can be such eye openers and life changers. Yes, they can be scary in the beginning, but it's such a great feeling to overcome those fear and just dive in. Your art is beautiful and very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. My fear was actually a worry about wasting supplies and producing disappointing projects. I did produce terrible things, and nothing bad happened. I just learned what not to do. :)

      Delete
  10. All I can say is "you go girl"......so proud of you and what an inspiration you are for others.

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear what you think!