Karma Art! Update

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Karma Art! was an awesome experience. Thank to everyone for the support and encouragement!

I received seven lovely offers, all of them so different, many of them with touching stories about how the painting spoke to them, or about who they wanted to give the painting to.

It was a difficult decision, and I chose Nan Nassef. Her response spoke to me on so many levels. The painting meant so much to her, pictorially, metaphorically, and figuratively, and I love the gift she brings to the world: compassion. I have been on the receiving end with Nan, and there’s nothing quite like having a friend who can really listen.

I would love to hear any feedback you have about Karma Art! Would you like to see this again? Any suggestions for the next one?

Love,
Belinda

P.S. Thank you Lynda, for reminding me to follow up on this!

The Hole.

There is a hole inside me.
It wanted to be filled, and I have tried to fill it.
I’ve tried filling it with other people’s words, other people’s actions.
I’ve tried filling it with my own affirmations, my own actions.
Nothing worked.
It’s still there.

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Day 98: The hole. #selflove365

I always thought the hole needed filling.

It doesn’t.

Excerpt from “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo, April 8, p. 116, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2000.
“In keeping the center of the I empty,
the miracle of life can enter and heal.

It’s not by chance that the dark center of the human eye, the pupil, is actually an empty hole through which the world becomes known to us. Likewise, in a spiritual sense, the I is the empty center through which we see everything. It’s revealing that such a threshold is called a pupil, for it is only when we are emptied of all noise and dreams of ego that we become truly teachable.”

Even with the hole, I am whole.

Karma Art!

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One of my favorite things about painting is knowing how much someone loves my art, or how it has inspired them to begin creating. That’s the point of it all, right? By sharing my creativity with you, hopefully you will be inspired to share your gifts with others, too.

This Friday, I will be offering my painting “Rebirth” (see photo above) to you.
Acrylic on canvas
16″ x 20″

Karma price: pay what you want.

Yes, you read that right! :)

Send me an email (magknit[at]telus.net) telling me:
1. Why you want this painting.
2. What gift you share with the world. Maybe you do already, or maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about. Be generous with yourself here. You have many gifts.
3. The amount you wish to give for the painting.

Some things I would like you to know:
- there is a minimum cost of shipping to cover if you are outside of Calgary. $30 in Canada, $40 to U.S.
- I sell other paintings of this size for $300.

Once I choose who will receive the painting, I will contact you with details about payment methods.

Much love to you!
Belinda

Nude Modelling (!)

Figure drawing has always been one of my favorite artistic activities. There is nothing I find more interesting to draw than the human form. While taking many figure drawing courses and classes over the last 25 years, I often wondered what it would be like to model. Many years ago, I put nude modelling on my list of “1001 Things in 101 Days” (a sort of bucket list), thinking that it would never actually happen. More recently, the wondering became a wanting.

In the last few months, my friend Deseré Pressey (an amazing artist – check out her work) began the Off-Beat Figure Drawing sessions in Calgary. There are several models at these events (read about one male model’s experience here), and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun. When Deseré decided to host a special woman-focused session for International Women’s Day, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to make my first attempt at modelling.

There were two reasons I had for wanting to try nude modelling. First: my meditation practice has been more regular in the last few months, and I look for opportunities to try longer practices. This seemed like the ultimate meditation practice (nude, in front of strangers, with long poses). Second: my journey to fully and completely accepting my body is far from over, and it seemed to me that exposing myself in front of strangers would either push me further into acceptance, or at least, allow me to learn more about my process of acceptance.

The session was held at the beautiful Wolf Willow Studios, and was an intimate gathering of women, with accompanying harp music by the amazing Eily Aurora. I had been excited all day, which flipped into nervousness in the hour before dropping my robe. Luckily, a more seasoned model was willing to give me tips and she helped me feel more comfortable before we began.

Turned out that there were women attending that I knew, but I didn’t allow that to freak me out. I noticed that I thought I “should” freak out about it, but I wasn’t really feeling it. The hardest part was dropping the robe, but that was easier once I saw that the other two models had done so already.

During the first few poses, I noticed that I felt a bit closed off from the group, and I think my poses expressed that somewhat. By dropping my physical protection, my mind gave me a mental protection, a kind of barrier. Eventually, as the night went on, I relaxed and was able to drop that feeling.

photo by Michelina Bamford

photo by Michelina Bamford

The modelling portion of the evening went well – I didn’t choose any poses that I wasn’t able to hold, and none of my body parts fell asleep – YAY! I did notice, though, that because I have been an artist at figure drawing sessions, I have preferences about what I enjoy drawing (women more than men, and women with more folds and curves more than angular, thin women). These preferences influenced the way I thought about my body during and after the session. My usual feelings of not measuring up because of the way society tells me I should be (flat stomach, clear skin, thin, etc), completely flipped around to feeling like I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t large enough, wasn’t curvy enough, didn’t have enough folds – basically, not interesting enough to draw.

Fascinating how the mind works, yes?

Instead of feeling not good enough, I would love to come to the place of fully accepting that all bodies are beautiful. I understand it, I just don’t completely feel it yet within myself. Getting there, though. And I’m a lot closer than I have ever been to really knowing this.

So many people commented to me that I was brave for doing this. This hasn’t completely sunk in, or I maybe because I have done it, I no longer think of it as that big a deal. Or maybe, I didn’t quite understand the sentiment. I don’t think it’s necessarily brave to stand naked in front of strangers, but I do think it’s brave to try something that is completely new and a little scary, whatever that may be for you.

Drawing and photo by Deseré Pressey. The two central figures are me!

Drawing and photo by Deseré Pressey. The two central figures are me!

Valentine’s Day :: Painting Auction!

"Intimacy"  Auction painting.

“Intimacy” Auction painting.

Happy Valentine’s Day! This painting was created exclusively for a special Valentine’s event happening tonight.

“Intimacy”
24″ x 24″ x 2″

This painting is now up for auction!

Starting bid: $100

Shipping not included. ($40 Canada, $50 US)

Bidding ends at 10:30 pm M.S.T., February 14, 2014.

Please bid in the comment section of this post.

Here is a video of the painting in progress:

Self Love 365 – Live at Wolf Willow Studio!

For the last few months, I’ve been thinking about teaching, but not getting down to work and actually planning a class. As a professional procrastinator, this is nothing new. A few days ago, I was asked if I would teach a class about the Self Love inchie project I have been working on. I said, “YES!” and jumped right in. I love getting that kind of kick in the butt to get me moving!

I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with Michelina Bamford at Wolf Willow Studios, and I am super excited to share this project next week!

Here are the details!

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Belinda Fireman and Wolf Willow Studio present a romantic evening of appreciative, fun, adoration and art for the most deserving and important person in your life – YOU!

Based on Belinda’s compelling 365 art projects, this accomplished artist will share her annual endeavor to shine more light on her soul via easy, colorful, meaningful practice. After an informal presentation and demonstration from Belinda, students will be creating their very own “inchie” art pieces that reflect and acknowledge their own beauty! (Absolutely no artistic experience is required to love!)

Please learn more about Belinda and Self Love 365 here: http://belindafireman.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/self-love-365/

Our Self Love Valentines celebration will be complete with the addition of a selection of beautiful teas and chocolate from local proprietor, Naked Leaf Teas and maybe even some special gifts and surprises!

Please bring: Your commitment and favourite drawing supplies.

Conscious Investment: Includes supplies, treats, support and LOVE!

$25.00 online registration, or $30.00 at the door.

*Space is limited! If not registering online, please confirm your attendance to create@wolfwillowstudio.ca

“Do I love myself? I wasn’t sure with the voices in my head telling me otherwise. With the hopes of growing more compassion and gentleness towards myself, I chose to commit to a practice of drawing one thing every day that I love about myself”. –Belinda Fireman

To register online, please follow this link:
http://wolfwillowstudio.ca/new-products/self-love-365

Self Love 365

After taking on the 365 Project last year (one self portrait a day for a year), I wanted to continue with some kind of daily project. I really loved the rhythm created by having something to do each day, the creativity involved in making each photograph unique, and the collection amassed (and sense of satisfaction at having completed it) at the end of the project.

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I considered doing some kind of gratitude project, like Lori Portka’s “A Hundred Thank-Yous”, where she created 100 paintings for people she treasured in her life. At some point, I will do a similar project, but what occurred to me is that I need to love myself before I can really love and give to others in such a big way.

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This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time: Do I love myself? Sometimes it feels like the answer is no. The voices in my head are so nasty sometimes, so critical, that it hardly feels like love. On the other hand, I go out to dance once or twice a week, I am doing the thing I love the most (painting), I go to the gym every other day, and I eat relatively well (but lets not get into food now, because food is my go-to source of love when I am down). Those things all sound like I take care of myself, that I am doing things that show love for myself, right?

This is where the critical voices come in, saying, “You aren’t doing it right”, “You still aren’t good enough”, “If you loved yourself, you would just know it”, “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t need to do this project”.

Bullshit.

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And so, Selflove365 was born. I am drawing something I love (or like) about myself in a 1″ x 1″ square per day, every day of this year. The first 15 days were pretty easy, but then it felt like I could hit a wall soon, and run out of things I like. So far, I haven’t, and if that happens, surely I can still find something, even if it’s my fingernail. I sit at my desk and allow it to come to me, rather than planning ahead, the same way that I paint.

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I’m curious about how or if I will change by the end of the year. Two of my friends have joined me in this project, one of whom is sharing her squares (as I do) on Facebook. Will you join me? I also post my squares everyday on Instagram. Tag your photos with #selflove365 so we can encourage and support each other!