Monday, July 23, 2012

Art keeps me free

Shabbat Candle Lighting

I am sure I already told you, I am a recovering perfectionist. I also am a people pleaser to the point I have to stop and think if I really want something or if I am just doing something to please someone.

As I watch the television, I realize how hard it is to be perfect. 9 out of 10 commercials are about what's wrong with my body, my hair, my face, my toe nails, my butt, my reproductive organs, my life... 9 of 10 of these commercials are aimed at women. Sure, my statistic is completely non-scientific and to tell you the truth, I didn't even count. But I was baffled how many messages of "what's wrong with me" were bombarded into my head.

The Fiddler  

Today, I know that no matter what I do, how hard I try, how much I change or don't change, some people will not like me. Some people will not like my art. Some people will not like what I write. When I was in elementary school, this girl who used to make my life hell, told me she would be my friend if I abided by some requirements she had. She handed me a list of things I could not do and had to change in order to be her friend. I basically had to be her bitch (pardon my French) and was not allowed to express any opinion of my own. It lasted about 4 hours and that afternoon, she was back to hating my guts again. It was only when I stopped caring that any hold this girl had on me vanished. I couldn't care less about her, her requirements, or even if she was around.

That's how I feel when I paint. No matter what people think about me, my art, my posts, this is who I am: imperfect, flawed, but free.

49 comments:

turquoisemoon said...

Good!!! It's not vain to love/like yourself. It's important. I've been sending daily quotes(by famous authors)to my sons, and this message has been repeated, in different ways, for ooh...maybe a thousand years. When are we going to get it???

Almost Precious said...

Women seem to set their own standards and, as a whole, we are extreme perfectionist always aiming for the impossible. Have you ever noticed that men don't seem to care that much if they have a beer belly or a five o'clock shadow that's gone well past 10:00 PM ? They also don't care if they're caught wearing their most rattiest clothes and don't mind fixing something with rubber bands and duct tape. :D

Too bad somebody can't invent a pair of glasses that could see passed the superficial and into one's soul, their very spirit. I have a feeling we'd find some of the most beautiful souls in some of the homeliest bodies. :)

An artist has to create what their spirit longs to create and they must do it their way ... if they forced themselves to do it any other way then they would not be artists. :)

Jane said...

I always say that I'm a frustrated perfectionist! Somehow we need to find a way to silence the negative messages - the next generations of young women are depending on us. I love receiving an affirmative message every morning from 'The Universe' - and who'd know better how special & unique I am than the source of all :) www.tut.com

Naquillity said...

well, i love your art and your imperfect, flawed but free ways and i've only just met you. it's good to look at oneself from time to time and change those things one WANTS to change not what one is TOLD to change. be happy... have a great night~

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Consumer society runs on self-hatred, you're right, and advertising is designed to stoke it endlessly. The most subversive thing we can do is love ourselves, imperfections and all!

Gloria said...

I left a message but service was unavailable. I'm testing to see if it's working.

Gloria said...

Hi Ana.Okay I'll try again. Your pieces are just awesome. I love them both and can almost hear the violin if I look deeply into your piece. As for that person who gave you the list, I would have been boiling and would have answered her list of do's and don'ts by saying:

After reading your list, I have decided that I don't have time to dilly dally with such an unproductive type of person. Therefore I don't desire to be your friend. Excuse me while I go "shine On" elsewhere. TA TA. :D

Your work is wonderful, I love it and you do Shine On!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Wouldn't it be lovely if we all started posting affirmative messages to one another on a regular basis? Hmmm, I may have to blog about that this week.

Along with a lovely, and loving, soul you have a uniquely creative way of examining the world around you Ana...I find it exhilarating to discover a new post from you and the gems they contain. Treasures which are as spiritual as they are visual.

NatashaMay said...

Did you know that while watching TV we are mostly in an alpha state of mind and this is where we are most susceptible to suggestions. Hypnotists use this very alpha state to suggest affirmations to their clients. That's one of the reasons I don't watch television. And exactly how you said, it is us who give power over us to people and things. We're lucky we have our paints. :) Love your musician. :)

La Dolce Vita said...

I loved reading your post. Just like you, panting gives me solace and keeps my mind away from those "meaningless and mindless chatter".
About TV ads, I agree with you and that's why I never watch TV although we have a t.v. at home. I prefer to read the newspaper instead, that too selective reading. About friends who are demanding and insensitive, not only childhood friends, but also adult friends tend to be like those demanding children sometimes and I have learned by now how to avoid them so that I can do something better with my precious time.
Ana, I was also like you -a perfectionist and people pleaser. How I changed, with time, I am simply amazed. Maybe I simply got fed up.
Your art is soulful and spiritual. Love the man playing the violin { love the way he is engrossed in the act of playing, with eyes closed} and the lady praying.
Have a nice day !

La Dolce Vita said...

I read your previous post just now ! Congratulations for getting the much deserving opportunity to share your work with a publication house /magazine! I am happy for you !
have a nice day,

Buttons said...

I can see the freedom in your art I love that.
We should be who we are meant to be. I hate those stupid commercials and worry about the women behind us who may fall prey to this garbage.

I think we would have gotten along well in high school and my list was non existent. B

Arkansas Patti said...

Smart you to let that little tyrant go her own way. Can you imagine the misery who ever shares her life today must be going through? Or perhaps she is in prison where she would fit right in.
I always record my favorite shows and fast forward past the commercials. Ahhhh.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

We are bombarded by messages that remind us of everything that is wrong with us; it's enough to drive us batty. I don't pay attention anymore. And I have reached a point in my life where I don't really care what other people think of me. It is truly liberating. It took time to get here, but here I am.

Your art is beautiful, Ana, and it is a great escape from the day to day stuff.

That girl in elementary school sounds like she was quite a pill. Good for you for not allowing yourself to be bullied and controlled by her. I wonder what type of adult she turned out to be.

Sherri B. said...

Your words have such an impact! I am a people pleaser, too...even at 50, I still struggle with this at times. I'm glad your art gives you complete freedom! It sure does bring a lot of joy to those who are lucky enough to see it. :)

aimee said...

Ana! I love your art! So happy I found you. The candle lighting painting makes my heart sing! Please let me know if you ever put that (or a print of it) in the shop. xoxo Aimee

Red Shoes said...

So what, if someone doesn't like your art...or the way you write... or whatever. Does that REALLY affect who you are?

I don't think so. I used to worry about stuff like that. I wanted everyone to like me... to want to be my friend.

Blah...

I've figured out that I like who I am, and where I am at this phase in my Life.

When you paint, write, etc., you are expressing who it is that you are... and where you are heading.

Just don't look back too often. :o)

~shoes~

Jess said...

Good to hear! What a nasty girl that was at school, she must have been a very miserable person to have needed to act like that. It's the best thing to be free with your art and I find with art, the more you try to please other people, the further away you get from producng something wonderful. If you please yourself from your heart, others will be sure to recognise that. I love these! They remind me of Dufy and other french painters. :)
Jess x

Wendy said...

First: Your art is AMAZING!!! Second, I like the way you think. :)

Francie said...

Funny you should say that. Last night I was re-reading parts of Matthew' Fox's Creation Spirituality. An artist follow's God's 'Via Creativa' according to Fox. We co-create with Her.

Creatively yours Fi said...

Yes Ana, I've had that very same experience with a girl. I'd stand on guard so nobody would find them smoking. Just so they'd like me!! awful. I hope my daughter never feels the way I did in those vulnerable days....So true about being bombarded by our media environment ....I love the colours and emotion in your paintings, just beautiful xX

Susan said...

Most of your posts make me sit and think of who I am/ Sometimes they take me to my past. I too have been a people-pleaser (don't think it has been completely erased even now) One thing that even I've realised is you cannot make the whole world love you but I myself should be aware of my worth and it is all that matters.

Scarlet said...

Wow, I love the way you write and the message behind it. Wish I could've been friends with you in elementary school, chica. We would still be buddies. LOVE your art and passion!! You inspire me...ty.

Ducky said...

And positively divine just the way you are. It is astounding how much of media is so negative about all the things we can "do" to improve ourselves. I tend to keep it as simple as possible...trash in = trash out. MOST days I consider it a luxury to be able to age. On the days I am complaining about it, I remember my sister died at 35. No doubt she would love having had the change to get old and more imperfect.

Lisa Graham Art said...

I NEVER watch TV...the commercials are 99% why.

Your art is lovely...especially your musician fellow. My son is a piano major and music has always been in our home...I should paint more music themes.

rebecca said...

gorgeous....moving... sumptuous...
the fiddler has swept me away, so that all my words tumble into music.

your honesyt is beautiful and well worn bright soul. how fortunate am i to know you.

alteredstatesstudio said...

Ana- i am loving your art! the colors and the feelings- beautiful! glad to hear you figured out she didn't matter- but, i too struggled with this, especially as a kid. i finally free like i don't have to make everyone like me- and there will be some that just plain don't- and i am finally ok with that. thanks for the post!! to remind me- it is ok!

Jeanie said...

You really have taken control -- that's wonderful. I'm so very fond of these paintings, especially The Fiddler. The bright colors move my soul!

I think I've hit that point, too. Even Rick, my partner, doesn't "get" my art... it's not his thing. That used to make me sad, now I just figure that we enjoy other things together (and frankly, I don't get all of his stuff, either!). Works fine! (And he is supportive, which means all the world!)

And thank you for visiting Marmelade Gypsy and leaving such nice comments on my posts!

gigihawaii said...

I don't know how you found me, but I am glad I found you. I like your art. It's very colorful and full of life!

Amalia K said...

Wisely said, Ana. I think most of us have had the same feeling one point or the other in our life. It's a shame that the "world" deliberately offers us a canvas to paint and in the same time tie us down with their silly expectations to be perfect the way they prefer us to be.

Well, who needs that? We are who we are and noone can change that but ourselves. :)

Ophelia said...

From the moment I began reading your post, I thought of me...my thoughts exactly, and I was surprised as when I got to the end of your writing...it is me. Exactly how I am feeling as of late, and I truly appreciate how you pour yourself into your posts. Honest, open, truthful...and you reach so many by your words. I absolutely love that from your blog. I come here and leave refreshed...your posts are so mindful, inspiring, and so very encouraging. Keep going my dear....keep going!

Meera Rao said...

Your paintings and writings are very expressive and vibrant! Wise observations and beautifully painted!

An'Angelia Thompson said...

Wow! These are wonderful, Ana. I love the vibrancy of your paintings. "Free" is a good place to be. Consider yourself fortunate . A lot of people live their entire lives without coming to that realization. ♥

geetlee said...

You bring up such a valid and profound point. Bravo :)
Only the other day I was watching this youtube clip speaking of how advertising treats women like objects and how this has caused so much harm to so many young women in America.
Your message is strong, true and much needed today.
Thank you
xo

design elements said...

b e u t i f u l, Ana! big hugs

BamaTrav said...

You should have just wished her away.

Martha Lever said...

...and your art is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS...and so is what you wrote. I agree 100%. So from one recovering perfectionist to another--here's to you!!!!!!! :))..and me!

laughingwolf said...

geez ana, if everyone was perfect, like i am, life would be dull, as there'd be nothing left to bitch about! ;) lol

seriously... be who you you are, and to hell with what others think... comes right down to it, you'd be surprised how few do, and most of those only want to tear you down, cuz they're envious of your talents, lacking any themselves

Sulky Kitten said...

We all seem to have these negative little voices in our heads but it's better to try and live your life without letting them gain centre-stage. Keep the spotlight on the good stuff !

AguiLeon said...

hello anna nice art you have a talent now following you, keep in touch

Elena said...

Love!!!!! You, the words, the art!!

Jenny said...

Love your blog and your post Ana... such truth... there is a saying I like... it is none of our business... what other people think of you... it took me many years to get to that place... but it is the way I live now... and I love that you are free...

Hugs
Jenny x

Jenny said...

Oooooh forgot to add... I adore your art...

Shaharoh said...

I am diggin' that Violinist:) Aww, the pains of youth and the yearn to be "included". I agree with you wholeheartedly on everything you wrote. As a kid, I tried soo hard to fit in and hated isolation. Now as an adult, I can't get enough alone time! It wasn't until my early teens that I decided to just be "me" an individualist. You have no boundaries and could never fit into that frame you describe commercials try to fit us women in. You're a rarity.

Zena said...

As a recovering perfectionist myself, I can relate to your words. At this stage of my life I am not concerned anymore by what people around me wants me to do, or how they think I should live my life, it has been a long way but I am happy I finally understood that perfection is a deception. Even so, the most hard part of the whole process has been what you said: accepting that some people will not like me regardless what I can do.

Now I know that I won´t be able to please every one, I only have to please myself, but previously I had to accept that I was important enough

denthe said...

So beautifully said Ana ...

AntiquityTravelers said...

how beautifully said ...

The Roof said...

I feel this way too, and it can be exhausting. sometimes we just gotta let it go and be happy for what it is, not what it ought to be in our minds. easier said than done, but it's definitely true.

Carmela said...

Great post! And the artwork is beautiful. I wish I could be a little more care free when I paint; then maybe I would have more completed canvases.