Wednesday, September 17, 2008

more squam love + a giveaway!

i want to share the beginning of my talk i gave with kelly at squam. it was a huge leap of faith for us to tell our stories in front of 100+ peers! thank you all for your kindness in listening to us (and no tomatoes were thrown!). you know when you have nightmares of something... speaking in public is mine... and then you wake up and it's true! that was me for many, many days proceeding. but when we arrived to squam the nervous energy bubbled, but it felt like a welcoming space designed for this kind of storytelling and then after, like i was lighter and stronger than ever before. i want to hold onto that feeling and spread it to all who cross my path. starting with a print giveaway! if you want a cleaner print there's this one, or if you'd rather choose one entirely different go ahead! just put a comment below with a dream you're having that you want to manifest, big, little, crazy, fantastical... all the better. xxxx
**giveaway winner will be announced friday, september 26th @ 1pm PST.
martha graham quote
(this background was made in the amazing misty mawn's "spontaneous painting" class at squam. i learned so much. she was so, so generous with all that she knows and had such a gentle and nurturing presence that encouraged us all to create, and the music in the class was perfect and the rain pattering outside, take me back).

here's to my beginning... maybe i'll share the details of my story later:


My path has not felt linear. It has felt like I’ve been climbing a mountain, but instead of going straight to the top, I’ve been going around it. Stopping to camp, make a fire, gather provisions and getting lost again and again. Wondering is that the same tree? And am I even on the right mountain?

To prepare for tonight I sat with a stack of journals from over the last 8 years of living in San Francisco. I wanted to look closely at where I have been, where I currently am and what were the steps that took me to get here, where I am finally and recently making my living as an artist. I also wanted to give you the most authentic version of the story.

I want to share this entry I wrote 5 years ago when I was taking a day long writing and collage workshop, similar in many ways to Squam.

I wrote: “I am giving myself this gift today of being here ”
And I want to acknowledge that we are all giving ourselves this gift of being here at Squam. For this time to grow artistically, build community and learn from one another.

I also write:
“I am one week away from my first art show and party. It will be a party and I will be an ARTIST! It will be OK. No, it will be beautiful. Well, it will be what it will be—a gathering of friends, good music and food. I look forward to it and I am taking strides, wide leaps and becoming Mati Rose… it is certainly hard work”.

It reminded myself that it took me a REALLY long time to call myself an artist. Has anyone else ever struggled with this?

This title of artist seemed so uncomfortable and unattainable to me. I had all these preconceived notions of who an artist was. Artists have huge shows in fancy galleries and paint in airy lofts. In particular I believed that real artists never doubted their ability or lacked confidence.

Now that I identify as an artist, I realize I always was one. We are all artists if we choose to be. It is about having a creative life. It is a switch in the brain that is open to the possibility of seeing, documenting, recording, writing, appreciating beauty and living an integrated life where one experiences life in a rich and full way. From cooking, to sewing, to gardening, to making a gift… it is not narrowly defined to making huge paintings and showing. It is about embracing the potential of the creative life.

I love this quote by modern dancer Martha Graham:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.

This is the biggest lesson I have learned in hindsight, and the quote that keeps me going when I doubt myself. We are all artists if we wish to be and we each have our undeniably unique and authentic voices.

42 comments:

lauriecoyle said...

oh -- gorgeous!
well... as for dreams of mine, I'd have to say I'm dreaming of having a job title that looks a lot like the word "Artist." And to tell as many people as I can when they ask what I do, that I am an artist. (hear me roar!).

You make me smile Ms. Mati!
xo
Laurie May Coyle

risa said...

I have a dream of creating more mosaics for public spaces...community gardens, parks, etc.

thanks for inspiring me!

jenica said...

my dream: to paint every day... it would be a huge plus if someone else actually likes it too!

xoxo

i think this is really beautiful. i love your work and am particularly fond of your elephants. ;-D

robin west said...

everyday i realize i am living my dream. i look out my window and see the most majestic mountains and desert and everyday it is amazingly new and different, i sit and paint in front of this window and know i don't have to dream, my mantra, be here now.

Sarah said...

I so needed to hear this today!

kelly rae said...

dude, i'm still loving your words. seriously.

and yes, count me in. i want to win!

kristen said...

my dream is to have a photography show. there i said it.

The Whole Self said...

count me in, inspiration-girl!

my dream is that today i get brave enough to start working on my freshly-gessoed canvas that i bought yesterday! it will be my first....we'll see! :)

Amy said...

No better place to say it than here on your beautiful nurturing blog: I dream of speaking about my own creative journey at Squam myself one day. Gulp. No I will not hit the delete button. . . and the elephant has left the room.

betsy said...

What a beautiful post, Mati. I love that print and Graham quote. My biggest dream is to authentically live a creative life, and to inspire that in my children as well. For me living a creative life not only includes embracing who we each are as artists but also by being compassionate, empathetic, kind, creative members of our community who inspire and support those unique and individual dreams in others as well.

More concrete dreams? Yes, and lots of them. I want to work on big canvases. I want to write and illustrate children's books. There are a few others too but I'm not quite brave enough to say them out loud yet...

I'm so happy I met you, Mati. xoxo

liz elayne lamoreux said...

so proud of you and all that you shared that night. i still see you and kelly smiling and sharing pieces of yourself with us.

a current dream is to feel brave enough to contact shops about the possibility of carrying my creations. yep. there it is.

love this print dear girl!

Colorsonmymind said...

I am printing this post out and hanging it in my studio. From the moment I sat with you in the dining hall I felt moved and pulled in by you.

You have become a wonderful part of my life.

My dream is to integrate my photographs and illustrations.

Woah no clue where that came from. Your cool babes.

love and kisses

misty said...

mati, it's so beautiful and very much you! i love it and would love to have it on my wall... ;-)
it was really so nice to have you in class, thank you for being there with me...i hope we meet up again!
....my dream... god, where do i begin. my dream is to find my place, where i feel like i am home, there, always, in the moment, happy, loved, at peace, where there is clay, paint, food, tea, friends, sand, water, trees, and an anthropologie not too far away... ;-) that's all attainable, right?!
take care Mati. xo

emily said...

yes yes yes yes yes mati!
oooooh i wish i could have been there!
The dream I am wanting to manifest lately is health. While there are about a million artistic dreams, this is most important right now. I have been packing it all on so heavy, loading up hours at work, expectations, schoolwork, relationships, andi just can't live up to it all- no one can. But it makes me sick- litterally, with worry. I want to manifest balance and health...

i love all your prints and i would love to add one to the collection!
:)
xoxo
emily lyles

daisies said...

i love this, it is so true ... i have so many dreams and have already seen so many come to fruition, it always amazes me ~ my dream is to be able to quit my day job and do my photography business full time and to finally finish my novel. : ) i love putting it out there, thank you ...

wish i could have heard you speak :)

the camp said...

i too feel like my climb has not been linear. when you spoke those words that nite, my little ears perked up in joy...ah ha! not just me.

as far as my dream, it is to simply continue to take each day work hard to make contact, no self sabotage and continue to paint and create. for a long time i have complained about the lack of support and resources here. and before i left for squam, i told myself that when i got back iwas going to bring a group of women together and start my own little tribe in middle indiana. that is where my dream is.

peace.

Carmen said...

Thank you so much for sharing that quote Mati. It is exactly what I needed to read today. I've been searching for inspiration for something I have to do on Saturday and this quote and your post today have given me that gift.

Thank you.

xo,

Carmen

steph said...

count me in!

my dream is to live abundantly and to continually seek inspiration in the mundane

Ali said...

Love you :)

Rowena said...

My dream right now is kind of a big one and really fits with your post about Squam. I want to buy land and start a kind of art camp, teaching workshops and hosting retreats and creating an artistic community. It seems really far right now, so if it could be, i could really use some of that little lucky elephant fortune. I remember how much my grandmother loved elephants. Trunk up so the luck doesn't run out. Come to think of it. I love elephants. They are so wise. And I love their paintings.

art said...

wish i could have been there to hear & see you. great, honest chat mati. let's get together soon. xxx.

oh! & also, let's see, i have a dream that european wanders will open my eyes/heart to even more creative fullness in the world. and i want to pursue this wholeheartedly & with a passion to explore more.

nadia said...

my dream would be to wake up every morning to the sun shining in my window and fall asleep at night with the sound of the waves. all this would be made possible by my art supporting my partner and I. I would love to be able to say "honey, you can stop working so hard, relax, I have it taken care of". I guess that is more than one dream.

Poppy said...

How beautiful! I know exactly what you mean.

I am dreaming of using my art to raise money and awareness for the animal rescue I volunteer for. And hoping that someday peole might use the word 'artist' to describe me as well :)

missie said...

beautiful words. my dream would be to continue my peaceful pursuit of artistic learning and to be comfortable when people say that i am an artist. beautiful words.

Amy said...

So glad I got a chance to meet you at Squam, and to be your cabin-mate was an extra little bit of goodness! Then I was lucky enough to get to know you a little better on the way to the airport-so great!

You are lovely and kind and talented, and I hope you make it to Utah soon!

XOXO, Amy

justagirl said...

Thanks for sharing your words...

my dream would be to one day write and illustrate (especially illustrate) a series of children's books. I always say one day and I don't want to grow old and realise that the one day never happened.

Reading yours and Kelly Rae's post lately have inspired me to get onto that dream...

thanks so much

Katherine

x

justagirl said...

one other thing I forgot... you said it took you a long time to call yourself an artist.

I was the same, other people were calling me an artist way before I did and still now I feel weird, even though I have had seven solo shows and been involved in countless group shows... Really deep down I sometimes wonder what I am thinking, pretending to be an artist and am worried I will get found out. One day someone will tell me "you can't be an artist if you work off your kitchen table"

A funny story about that, someone heard that I work at my kitchen table and they thought it was an actual gallery called 'The kitchen table'... hee hee.

matirose said...

you folks are blowing me away, completely in love with all of your dreams!!!
xxxx
mati rose

Stephanie D said...

What a gorgeous post Mati. It was such a treat to meet you the other night at ETA. I only wish there could have been more of it!
My dream...oh there are so so many. Right now I dream to live slower and more simply. to appreciate the subtleties...the way the sunflowers sway in the wind, the sound of crickets at night and the smell of my son when he gets out of his nightly bath. I want to be present for all of it and miss none of it. I want to pay attention more and remember to breath deep and be grateful for all of it. Life is such a gift and I try to carry that throughout my days.

Liz said...

beautiful post! wow! and all the dreams here, another wow, so my dream, my current dream is to paint each and every day, but that has been a dream for a long time, I have a new dream, and that's to organise a group show of art around a theme from a large group of women and have it be a yearly event, with the theme changing every year. The first theme would be "Little Lights that Shine", will you be in the show? There, I said it, kind of out loud... and who else will be a part of it?

Swirly said...

Count me in!

Jill Nalette said...

Dearest Sweet Mati- I feel like I had one of my biggest dreams come true when I met you and Kelly. Another dream I have is to create art and not just with myself but with survivors of rape. I'm a survivor and the one thing that made me feel safe and still does is art/crafts. I have wanted to create a safe place for children, teens and adults to make art. Who knows, I look at you, Kelly and so many others that HAVE made it for yourselves so maybe there is a space for me too.
Thank you Mati for your beautiful words. You truly are beautiful in so many ways!!
Smiles and Hugs,
Jill

Holly said...

i dream of helping our local arts community grow...

tonight i will also have layered dreams of getting married next weekend and visiting squam next year - it was so hard not to go!

Jeanine said...

Absolutely beautiful... my first dream is to attend Squam next year and perhaps my other dreams will manifest from there.

Geek+Nerd said...

Wow...I don't think that I've ever seen a blog giveaway that was more meant for me. Martha Graham!?! Yes, please!

My dream is to start my own non-profit dance company and school here in New Hampshire. It always has been, always will be, and I feel like I'm finally listening to myself and going for it. I just grin whenever I think about it!

:: Big Hugs Mati :: You inspire me so much!

Steph said...

That's a beautiful print. How very generous of you!

My creative dream is to someday leave my government job to open a studio in the country - perhaps close to my home - to make art, write, play, host retreats or offer the space for others to do so, house other artists, help grown men and women re-discover their creativity when they're feeling in a slump. I see colour, a fireplace and many a smile.

Phew! :)

Meadowlark Days said...

I dream of many things...learning to let go of clutter, actually using all the art supplies I own, writing the essays that are in my head...bit by bit, I hope!

stef said...

Count me in!

My dreams ~...well....to be home with my kids and to find a creative medium that lifts my spirit!!

xoxo

love this :)
see you soon

Kirsten Michelle said...

i'm so glad we got to spend this day together in the talented and ever~so~lovely misty's class...
even though now i'm missing you like crazy ;-)

today, i'm dreaming of a tiny little studio and a pretty little website. i'm dreaming of becoming a photographer of lovely things.

xoxoxo

jwood said...

Wow, such a powerful post!
My current dream is to believe in myself, let the doubt go. Try new things, don't stop because they may not be perfect. Give myself the freedom to fly.

jetfuellines said...

my dream is to not teach 110 students science...and make more art at home...and finish renovating my studio/office so I have space to create it (yeah...that would be nice!) to get there my dream is to have the space in my life to create a little every day

You are a beautiful person and I feel lucky to have met you. Thank you for putting your blog thoughts out there to help us all keep the saw energy alive!
Jess

Gypsy Alex said...

Love this post, Mati. I wish I were there to support you in person for your talk... Meeting you has been one of the most precious gifts for me. I am looking fwd to walking the artist path by your side and in the save haven of this community.
ps: All the photos of you are stunning!!! :)