Friday, 27 April 2012

Redefining Self Esteem

(Don't expect the image to have anything to do with the subject, I just wanted to give you a visual)

I have been reading Robert Ohotto's book "Turning Fate into Destiny" and it has got me thinking about a few things, specifically what is self esteem?

Like most people that I know, I have struggled with my self esteem. I am on familiar terms with feelings of inadequacy,  perceptions of not being interesting,  judging myself as not good enough to be an artist, or as just weird. When I was a young adult, I was arrogant and imagined I was superior to most people. As I got older I realised this was a way of coping with my actual feelings of inferiority. I have tried to heal those sensitivities through therapy, accomplishments and even positive thinking.

I came to not really like the expression 'self esteem'. Not only because I couldn't seem to 'get' it, but because it seemed to have connotations of an almost smugness, as if self esteem and humility are antipathetic. It seemed to have an attitude of 'I can do anything and be anything and have anything.' And as I grew older and a bit wiser it was becoming apparent that this was simply not true.
Instead of what I understood as self esteem I began to work with self acceptance and self forgiveness.

In his book, Robert Ohotto differentiates between what he calls self esteem and soul esteem. I find this contrast illuminating. He says that self esteem has to do with outer confirmation of one's worth, by success, social status, doing well etc. All well enough, but how resilient is anything dependent on others'  opinions? - others who even when well meaning are not reliable (meaning that their opinions are not reliable).

My interest is in redefining self esteem (taken from Robert Ohotto's definition of soul esteem). A definition based on what is True and changeless. That all living beings have innate worth, and that worth is unchanging and equal. I am not worth more or less than anyone else.
How about that? A Radical concept. But if I look deeply I see that it is True. If someone is more successful, more beautiful, more stylish, it does not actually effect their or my inherent worth.

My worth (and theirs) remains the same. No matter what I do or they do.

How about that?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Confession and Public Apology

I have had the same profile picture for the four years I have been writing my blog - Pippi Longstocking. She is my hero and kind of a alternate personality for me. The truth is, when I began writing my blog I used a fake name. I was a bit scared of the internet and it felt 'safer'. I let that go years ago, yet kept Pippi as my picture.

Now older and wiser and sensitive to issues of copyright, both moral and legal, I am embarrassed to have kept someone else's drawing on my blog representing me for so long. It is a beautiful image, one that really captures Pippi Longstocking's personality.  I don't know who created that computer image of Pippi that I have been using, but I want to offer them a public apology.

I am sorry that I used your art without your permission and without giving you credit. I still don't know who you are so I am unable to correct the latter, but I can stop using the image. As a fellow artist, I should have known better.

Here is the painting my new profile picture is from. Why would I ever have done anything else?

Friday, 20 April 2012


I spent the evening drawing this little cosmos that I peeled off the lemon tree yesterday. The picture is actually a little larger than my drawing. I did it with my micron pen - I don't know if I used 01 or 02 as the writing has worn off. 
 As it didn't need perfect proportions I just drew straight into it with ink. Gee, it was a lovely way to spend my time.

I should have taken a photo of the tree - you can see its trunk in the background. Instead as usual, I was thinking only of reference photos so this is what I shot. I wish I had had some beautiful model I could have draped it on, but still you get the idea. It is an amazing conglomeration of moss and two vines. 

Here is the journal spread, it just happened to land next to an evocative poem by ee cummings.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A Surprise Confrontation

I drew the woman on the right page first, and later I drew the woman on the left page with the bow and arrow. It wasn't until I was finished and drew in the little line of grass that they came together as a single picture and I kind of went 'oh'. I felt kind of bad that the one woman was threatening the other.

Click on the pictures to see them larger.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Did You Win a Place in the 21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop?

65 people entered the drawing for the 21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop. That is pretty huge. Many of those were multiple entries so it came to a huge bunch of little cut out squares of paper in a hat. (I did it the old fashioned way.)

(my DH picked the winner)

But, no more suspense:
The winner is

Congratulations Kelly Lynn!!!
You have won a free place in the 21 Secrets Workshop!

Please send me your full name and email address and we will get you registered. (You can email me under 'View my complete profile' on the right)

If you are one of the 98% who didn't win the free spot, please don't feel discouraged. You are in the majority, and at $59 for 9 months of 21 different workshops it is a great deal. We want you in this workshop! 21 teachers are waiting to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with you. Please sign up here

I will be disappointed if you aren't hanging with us.