Accepting your gifts and honoring them...

Hey all,
Back at this blogging thing for the diet and the art.

I want to talk about taking yourself seriously.
I did in some things, but not all things.
Like, my job as a mom...I take very, very seriously.
There is, in my mind, no more important job.
You are molding people who have to go into the world and function.
I am hoping to raise them to function in a well balanced and happy manner.
I want them to have INNER drive.
I want them to be go getters, to dream dreams and make them happen.
Not just talk about them.
I want them to know that the universe is ordered.
That there is a God.
That they have an ultimate purpose.
This I take seriously.

For a long time I didn't take my health seriously.
I made jokes...I saw it (the fat) as a joke.
At least that is how I portrayed it to the outside world.
I would say things like
Know why I don't wear corduroy? I might start a fire.

Well, that' s enough of that.
I won't rehash them all.
In both cases...in my art and in my health I downplayed me.
I didn't want people to think I thought I was special.
Or talented.
When people would compliment me I would say;
'Anybody can draw'.
But as my oldest said the other day...
Not everyone can draw well.
And certainly, no one draws exactly like me.
I crapped all over my talent to fit in.
I tried to squash every last vestige of my style to be good in the 'correct' way.
What in the world am I talking about.

I worked for years to remove my accent as it were.
Much in the same way newscasters strive to get rid of regional accents and dialects.
I gave no weight to my own style, or point of view.
I wanted to be 'great' in an objective way.
I have never taken my art seriously, ever.'
In fact, when I posted my art yesterday....maybe the first three people saw some comments under the picture downplaying it and saying it was too colorful etc.
I couldn't just offer it up and let it lie there.
It's almost like a knee jerk reaction....
It's the same way I acted when I was fat.
I made fat jokes before anyone else could.
I have maybe 10 or 15 pieces of art that I have deemed 'good enough' to keep over the years.
The rest I threw away.
That angel would have hit the trash bin.
The only kind of art I have ever thought was art were realistic still lifes.
Realistic portraits.
My 'accent' is stylized.
If I have any sort of artistic talent, it would be as an illustrator.
But I never thought that was good enough.
I wanted to be good in the way picasso in his realistic phase was good.

that picture above was picasso in his realistic phase.

For the life of me, I couldn't understand why on earth he went from that to

Here is one realistic drawing that I kept...

I liked this one so much, because it was so 'realistic'.

After I drew this I didn't draw for nearly 13 years (not in any real way) and for the longest time I had no idea why.
I think I finally know why.
I got no joy in drawing it.
I had managed to squash my accent. my style.
In the process I removed all the joy from drawing.
I had lost all motivation to draw.
For me it was like taking a dump and wiping my rear.
It was a chore.
But I finally had gotten it 'right'.
Getting it right brought me no joy.
So, why bother?

I later came across this quote, it seemed to me that it partially explained his abandonment of realism and his embrace of different concepts.

Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?
Pablo Picasso

Good question.
Did I merely want to portray the subject or the emotion in the moment.

Do I like, say, Andrew Wyeth because he was realistic, or do I like him for what the painting was saying underneath...or was it both?

Am I getting healthy for the image, for the way I look on the outside?
Or am I getting healthy to honor me and the life I have been given?
To live fully to my potential.
I have stopped trying to be something I am not- art wise.
I am correcting my false assumption that the weight is about how I look.
It's all about who I am.
Regardless of anyone or anything else.
If I were indeed, the. last. person. on. earth.
And no one were standing around judging....who would you be?

Then be that.
For you. For God.

Have a great night guys,


Robin said...

I know this is going to sound like I am "correcting" you, but I don't mean it like that. You said, "I am going to stop trying to be something I am not - art wise." Actually, your journey began when you decided to stop being something you were not ~ period. When you decided to lose the weight, you decided to be something you weren't. When you decided to clean out the chicken coop, you decided to rid yourself of the things that you weren't, or the things that didn't serve you well. In other words, every proactive choice you have made in this journey is you deciding to be something that you are not. The art, and you choosing to paint or draw what you love, is merely one more step. The fact that you have the courage to paint what you love, instead of what your head used to tell you was beautiful, is merely another measurment of how for you have come. This is all about the journey and every choice you make reflects that. I suppose when you can present your work with pride, you will know that you have arrived, in terms of your art. Naturually, there will always be another challenge waiting. That is why we call it a journey. Love this post.

Carol said...

Painting is like singing or any other form of self expression. It is putting out there what you see, feel, here and what you are for all the world to see. It is difficult to offer up your soul and have some people reject it, but remember others will love it. The most important advice I was ever given(concerning painting) was to just DO it. Some will be good, others so so and sometimes you hit it out of the park. you learn from each and every painting.

Carol-the gardener

Elisha Dew said...

If the weight is "all about who I am," then who am I not at 100+ pounds overweight? Is the journey, the process, the struggle about defining and redefining, or about finding myself in the first place?

I've been told since I was a child that I am an excellent writer, but I wrote it off because, as you say with drawing, everyone can write. (I can't draw stick people to save myself, just FYI. :) )Now a friend is encouraging me to have a piece published, and I'm terrified. Terrified that it will change who I am, that it will solidify who I am and how I write, that something, somehow will be different--even though that's what I want, of course.

Is it worse to present a me that is of yet undefined, or to not present at all?

Of course, I know the answer. You have to jump. But the knowing doesn't make it less terrifying.

cmoursler said...

@ robin, ahhhaaa grasshopper...I actually think it's the reverse.
I think I was shedding the things that had attached to me over my life that AREN'T me. That and the things that had been added, not only by me but by other's definition of me.
kind of like a sculptor getting rid of the extra stone to release the figure within. double double back

Jane said...

I love your angel, and I admire that you are drawing for yourself. I think all the great artists ultimately created for themselves, if not in the beginning of their careers, perhaps later.

It has been my experience that when I am overweight I can rarely be myself completely, because I feel that I have to please others in order to be liked, loved, or just a part of things. You must feel a great sense of freedom because of what you have accomplished on your weight loss journey.

By the way--you look very good in your picture!

Deb Willbefree said...

:D ! :D You said in this post, what I was trying to say in my comment on your angel--only, of course, you said it better. :D

Your analogy about accent was perfect. Art is only art if it is your creative expression.

Otherwise, it's something else--a pleasant decorator piece perhaps. Which is nice, too--I love pleasant decor items. :D but you've got so much more than that.

It takes strength and fierce determination to face down years of having had that spark stomped out by those who don't understand.

That enforced blandness of our language is a pet peeve of mine, by the way.


logmyloss said...

Chris, you have gone through, and continue to go through, some serious inner-growth. How incredibly awesome.

p.s. My CAPTCHA word is "human". What a great reminder - we are all human, all different, but all human.

Fiona said...

Well said :)

Rettakat said...

What a great journey you are on! And I can totally identify with burying your own style and vision under the pressure and expectations from others... I did that, too!

I could draw/paint "realism" with the best of 'em (okay, maybe not the BEST, but you know what I mean). But it wasn't where my heart was. It's great to have the foundation--to learn the basics and master the skills, but we need to be encouraged to fly from there in our own direction!

My true vision was more impressionistic, folk arty... bright color... lots of detail and design. But for too many years I listened to the opinions of others. And yes... illustration was looked down upon. As was folk art... sigh.

I am so happy to find you, the real you, emerging strong and gaining confidence. I feel that way too, and it's wonderful!! I am JUST really finding the courage to let loose the real me, artistically speaking. I'm glad you are, too. :-)