Monthly Archives: September 2013

“Art is to cons…

“Art is to console those who are broken by life.”
― Vincent van Gogh

Glimpse from the life of an immigrant – Dream, Live, Create!

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One of my paintings in progress “Where are my roots?” It was inspired by feelings of being very much displaced in life as a result of an immigration.

As I sit here at work on a slow Monday afternoon I am grateful that it’s slow and that the phone isn’t ringing off the hook anymore, that the much popular car exhibit has ended at last. But the time is dragging, much like it does on Friday afternoons when you wonder how you’ll make it through the day without dying of boredom.

Yeah, it’s one of those days like that.

Don’t get me wrong, a very large part of me is beyond grateful, for the steady income, a job that is relatively easy to do and most of all that it’s in the museum. I know that many people would love to have this opportunity and I count my blessings for having this opportunity extended to me…that is all well and good.

But another part of me feels like I want to crawl out of my own skin…I earn for adventure! I have an insatiable appetite for life and I want to experience as much as I can while I am here on Earth.

Yet, everything is moving so slow…my dreams and aspirations…kind of like this day. I have so many dreams and intense desires and sometimes I wonder why in the hell I am feeling this if there is no way for me to do any of it. It causes me much sadness…I feel powerless…and small. I try to talk myself out of those feelings and most times I succeed, I try not to allow myself to wallow in self-pity, it’s just that there are times when I feel stuck on this merry-go-around and don’t know how to find a way out.  I am just trying to be patient and working on CREATING an opportunity for myself! As I don’t feel that the opportunity for me to discover myself was ever given to me.  I have become strict with my time management, I had to put any kind of a social life on a back burner for now, all my evenings and weekends are spent either creating art, collages, paintings, taking photographs or studying something relating to that. In between of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping and whatever else we all have to do in our daily lives.

I want to become an artist and photographer, so much that I feel like I NEED it, not just want it, where I am doing that for a living. I want to take vacations, to be excited on Mondays as much as I am on Fridays, I want to have a freedom to take a walk during the day if I feel like it, to Visit Hawaii, to take underwater pictures, to go back to Russia and Estonia and walk in the places I used to…to see how far I’ve come. I want to have a sense of a family…to have my own family. I want for my life to be filled with meaning…. 

I’ve come from Estonia which used to be a part of Russia, 19 years ago. Yet, I am still dreaming of taking a real vacation which I have never had in my adult life and to perhaps even visit California. To me, being from another country, I feel like it’s something I really desire, to see many different places, especially US. I dream of going on a long road trip around the country where I eventually end up in California and travel to all the places I wanted to go for so long. Like the Red Woods forest. I just want to feel what’s it like to stand under that old, mighty tree, to walk where thousands of people came before me, to admire nature in all it’s indescribable beauty.

 I feel like it’s absolutely crazy that I’ve lived here for 19 years, yet I’ve never been to New York, LA, Las Vegas or any of the popular places. And not for the lack of the desire…but much like the car that won’t move unless it has gas it in, no vacations are possible without $. I have worked since I was 14 years old. And have always taken care of myself. Everything I’ve ever gotten in life was with sweat, blood and tears. I guess there are times when I really wish things were a bit easier…that I actually could work and enjoy life, not live for the weekends from paycheck to paycheck.

I want to love life, not feel like I have to fight it for every minute and every dollar.

 My mom brought me and my little sister here to US. I was 15, my sister was 4. Mom had 2 small bags and $10. We had to leave everything behind, mom made so many sacrifices for us, to bring us here…and now my sister has grown up to be an ungrateful, selfish person…it’s so painful, we don’t even talk to her anymore…she has caused our family so much grief…it has been an exciting, agonizing and complicated journey…one that is still filled with much of uncertainty…as we’re finally after almost 20 years are getting closer to finalizing our status…

Because of living in the limbo for 20 years I have made many decisions which I would have probably otherwise wouldn’t… But who knows really what it’s supposed to and not supposed to be like…In life, you can never hold on to regrets. Ever! It carries destructive power and brings doubts. Whatever happened, happened, good, bad or ugly, everything is a life lesson.

Sure, I wish that I have had an opportunity to go to college, to experience childhood, to feel like I had the same opportunities that other kids did…but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t able to go to college because of our status….I could only work and pay taxes.

I have so many dreams! Now, that I have allowed myself to dream. For so many years I just accepted what was dealt to me, being an outcast that fell through the cracks of society because of our immigration status…I didn’t dream…just survived the best I could.

About 4 years ago I went through an intense spiritual awakening. That resulted in a creative awakening as well.  Through a lot of soul searching I created an outlet for all of my emotions to be able to cope with it all. I started painting, I didn’t know how, I just picked up paints and brushes and started. I felt a bit like driving with a blindfold, but I kept with it, searching any tutorials and instructional videos on internet, borrowing books from the library, anything that was free and I could get my hands on. I just became a sponge and wanted to absorb any knowledge about art and photography that I could.

I remember hearing the words ringing in my ears: “Out of nowhere, out of nothing – a way will be made!” I guess that’s how I feel, I am self-made, everything I have I have worked hard for, anything I’ve become is the result of many at times painful life lessons. You can create your life the way you want it to! But it’s not for the weaklings, it takes a lot of determination and hard work. But most of all, you have to have hope, even if you have to create it out of thin air, and you have to allow yourself to dream! I believe in many things but most of all, I believe in myself!

I believe my art and photography will set me free. Free to create the life that I am meant to have, not the one I was dealt.  

It is my life’s mission to manifest my dreams. Doing what I am passionate about, doing what makes me feel most alive!

This dream is what’s keeping me strong and keeps me going. I know this is what I am meant to do! And I will get there, no matter how long it takes!

I hope to look back at this life’s journey and say that it was all worth it…………………..

Self-awareness and meaning of eyes

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THIS IS MY LATEST ARTWORK CALLED SELF-AWARENESS

MIXED-MEDIA TEXTURED COLLAGE

What it means to me 
As a young child I was fascinated with the expression “eyes are the windows to a soul”, I thought about it many times, what it really means. I watched people, how their eyes changed with different emotion, how sometimes an emotion could be conveyed through eyes without a single word. It has become one of my favorite subjects, especially in surrealism.The eyes mean many different things to me, knowledge, your highest power, spirit, soul, an observer within us. Eyes turned in many different directions meeting in the middle also represent self-awareness to me, seeking wisdom and expanding your own vision to seek beyond what you may know or understand.

The eye as a symbol has been around almost as long as man has been drawing. Different cultures and societies have incorporated the eye as a symbol of knowledge, providence , and divine direction. The eye is a powerful symbol representing not only the search for wisdom but also the need for protection from a higher power that watches from above.

History

Many cultures have used the eye as a symbol. In ancient myths, the eye is associated with a higher vision. According to Gerald Massey, author of “Ancient Egypt – The Light of the World,” “The eye was a great emblem of great magical and protecting power.” The eye of Horus symbolized the moon and the eye of Sut symbolized the sun. In India, the Eye of Siva is known as an all-seeing eye. During the Renaissance, the eye was a symbol for magic. According the Charles Vail, author of “The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry,” in Masonry, the all-seeing eye symbolizes the “sight that annals time and space”. In other words, the eye represents “higher clairvoyance”. In the Lodge of the Masons, the eye also symbolizes the “Omniscience of God.” On the American dollar bill, it represents a guiding, protective force.

The Facts

The eye has been used as a symbol for thousands of years. It appears in ancient hieroglyphics and it is still used today. It is commonly used because it is recognizable in all societies regardless of language. The Eye of Horus is one of the most recognizable eye symbols in the world. Another one of the most popular symbols of the eye can be seen on the American dollar bill. This eye is known as the Eye of Providence. The words “Annuit Coeptis,” written above the eye, mean “favor” and “endeavor” respectively, which can be translated to mean providence favoring American endeavors.

Function

The symbol of the eye might mean different things to different cultures, but it is almost always associated with knowledge, foresight, power and/or protection. The eye itself is a powerful organ and all kinds of sight and knowledge are valuable. The symbol of an eye represents this significance. Divine guidance is also represented with an all-seeing eye.
Significance
• The significance of the symbol of the eye remains in the function of the eye and the importance what and how we view things. In addition, many societies function under the notion that they are guided by a higher power, symbolized with a single eye watching over creation.

 

All we have is NOW

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This photo of an Angel sculpture was taken in Nashville at the City Cemetery. 
I liked it because it was dark and haunting, much like the vibe there that day, as it was a moody, cloudy day. But I like days like that sometimes and coming to quiet places like the cemetery provides me a strange sense of comfort and peace. It gives me an eerie feeling of being suspended in a time capsule and it feels so good just to be still. 

In our modern lives there is not enough of that. Everyone is in such a rush to get nowhere. You notice it by visibly diminishing attention span of many…people ask you questions and interrupt without letting you finish your answer, the drivers on the road throw caution and sometimes their lives and the lives of others around them to the wind, in silly attempts to save mere seconds…we get irritated by the commercials on tv and impatiently surf the channels, if you ever sit on a bench in the mall and see people pass you by, everyone seems so consumed by their own thoughts and rushing nervously, trying to pass slower walkers, everyone seems to be in a constant state of frenzy…it scares me. 
And worries me because I catch myself doing the same and wonder why? 

So, I take those rare opportunities and force myself to slow down, to be still and to enjoy this moment – right 
now!

My facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alina-Skye/497309530287452

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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I am fascinated with arches, tunnels, cave openings and anything that suggest going through darkness towards the light. Why? I came up with a title for a body of work that is called: “Light at the End of the Tunnel” which symbolizes my own life experience. Everyone on Earth has a different life experience, yet, we’re all able to relate on some levels. Overcoming struggles, obstacles, our own demons and self-made limitations. It takes courage to walk through the darkness, sometimes when you can’t even see the light, just with sheer hope alone, knowing that the light will be there. 

I think it’s important to have hope and to have dreams. And no matter what to never stop moving towards something, new goal, interest or just finding peace within. 

Art definitely became my outlet and my light at the end of the tunnel. I needed that to resurrect the hope within me for better future and better me. 

I like dark topics and I am not afraid to go there, but I also believe that it’s my own personal mission as an artist, to always have a positive presence and to convey feelings of optimism and hope.

Body, Mind and Spirit

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As the weather was absolutely gorgeous on this past Sunday, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else other than being outside, enjoying some sunshine as the summer comes to an end. 
As I was biking, making frequent stops at the places that I liked, I noticed that the church buildings were drawing me in, I wanted to study them, take photos of them and contemplate in my peaceful moments of warm sun and solitude. 
I love those moments, when I just feel happy, peaceful, grateful and in touch with my mind, body and spirit. Those moments in time can occur anywhere and under various conditions. Sometimes I can be hiking alone in the park, sitting on a park bench or working on one of my paintings.
I didn’t go inside the church, but I definitely felt what I can only describe as a spiritual experience. I felt a surge of gratitude, not for anything in particular, but just to be, being alive, living in this moment. I felt connected to the whole universe and somehow a part of it all. 

I think it’s important for all of us to find those moments in time, when we truly feel connected with the world around us and with our own mind, body and spirit. 
Those moments can come at different times and places for everyone, some may attend church service, others may seek solitude or connection with nature. 
I also think that we all need some time for ourselves, to be alone. For some people it may seem uncomfortable being alone, maybe because they’re not used to it. But I think there something special happens when you dedicate some time just to hear your own thoughts or your inner voice. 
From the very young age we’re constantly being told to listen to others, to seek advice and guidance from those who are wiser, great advice of course. But there isn’t enough emphasis made on listening to your own advice, to your own inner voice. 

Once in a while, we need quiet and solitude, to turn off all the interruptions that constantly pull us in so many different directions. 
Especially in today’s world with constant stream of e-mails, commercials, phone calls and noise, being alone in the silence is like a therapy and needed much more than we may realize. 
Some may call it prayer, some may call it meditation, I don’t really think it matters much what you may choose to identify it as, the important part is the connection with something deeper within us all. The precious connection of body, mind and spirit.

Multi-faceted

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I came across this artwork and it seems to fit in perfectly with the theme I’ve been thinking about and been meaning to write about it.

Each one of us here on Earth is completely different and unique than anyone else out there. Like our fingerprint. So knowing this, how is it that we still compare ourselves to someone else or to a standard invented by someone else? With this knowledge, how is it that we still feel the need to be validated by others or we put our worth or self esteem on a scale according to what others think of us?
It seems utterly unreal…

I consider myself an independent thinker, a dreamer, an artist, a woman with a child’s heart, fighter and survivor and many, many things rolled into one. I have had an unusual life filled with many life changing lessons and occurrences.
I believe in allowing yourself to be free! To be free to choose your own path, to be as weird and unique as you want to be………I believe that this life is like a movie, where you get to be a director, a producer and a leading star. This is my story, in which I am an active participant and a writer.

Sure, we don’t pick our families, the country in which we’re born or the social and economic status in which we’re born into. That much is already have been decided for us. But at some point we all grow up and I think it’s so important to understand that when you’re coming of age. That once you grow up and move out, you have the freedom and a choice to do what you choose to do to live the way you want to live, to invent your own standards.

To me, one of the most important things for myself is to remain a life-long student, to never lose my sense of wonder, the child inside of me and to always continue evolving throughout my whole life on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
 Especially on spiritual level, that’s one of the most important things to me, to become a better human being with each year of my life. We all have many sides to us, good and bad live in us side by side and it’s up to us which side we choose to embrace.

There are also many different sides and personalities that live inside each and every one of us. I find it humorous when someone so confidently says that I am this way or that way, like it’s set in stone and final.
We can be many ways. I also think a lot of it is habit, we get used to acting a certain way and after a while with continuous repetition of a certain behaviors it turns into a habit. But habits can be broken and so do certain behaviors.

I used to do that too, I still do, but because I brought an awareness to myself about doing it, I catch myself now and sometimes even manage to stop it.
I used to say that I was an introvert, incredibly shy, not a morning person, prone to depression and many other things. Sure, many of them might be true….but…… I am only those things part of the time, I am not always shy, I like being outgoing when I feel comfortable with the people I interact with, I like mornings, I just didn’t like the alarm clock and the traffic, see how untrue those statements really are.

Words are important. Being impeccable with your words is also important. Because words that you speak about yourself shape the beliefs you create about yourself.
By the way, there is a really great book about that by Don Miguel Ruiz called “The Four Agreements – A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, if you’re interested it would be well worth reading.

If during your childhood someone told you that you had a bad voice, because you might have been too little to understand that you needed to be quiet in that moment, loud and probably annoying, you carry that belief with you for most of your life. Maybe you have an incredible voice, but because someone told you that it was bad and you believed that, it might have changed your social interaction with others, maybe you don’t even like to speak, much less sing, maybe you got so shy that you speak very quietly and look down, as in your subconscious you remembered that you annoyed someone and you started to believe that no one would possibly be interested in anything you may have to say.

Words can shape your life and the life of those around you. It’s good to remember that story, so that it may help you chose your words wisely in the future.

So, be kind, let go of the judgement of yourself and others and know that you’re capable of many things you don’t even know about. You’re many things. You have many unique qualities, talents and abilities. And you can always change and develop things within yourself.

Write your own story! Don’t let others dictate or write it for you!

Art by Josh Hansen: http://joshing88.deviantart.com/art/Multi-faceted-Me-191194824
Post by Alina Skye: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alina-Skye/497309530287452

Mondays

Mondays

Survival guide for Mondays