Why I Am Doing This
Last night I had a really great phone conference with my amazing FEARLESS Painters in IGNITE.
And during our rich conversation on education and passion and finding our element-one of my FEARLESS Painters, who is a seasoned home schooling parent, told us that some home schooling parents pour their hearts into escaping the institutional education system only to later measure their children's growth using the same system construct that they have so passionately shunned. A great example would be a homeschooling student that takes the SATs to prove that their homeschooling actually "worked".
Our discussion was not about homeschooling or if this was right or wrong--but rather, what is the point of following one form of education if you are only going to measure your success by using the measurement from the system that you are actually against.
Interestingly, after our call the movie Who Does She Think She Is was on television. This was the first time I've ever seen it, and I have to admit it was really engaging.
But the thing that got me thinking was that most of the women Artists featured were struggling with not being successful because they were measuring their success based on an institution that for hundreds of years (and still is) completely dominated by men--and built on a masculine construct.
Art museums, art galleries, art criticism, and even art schools are all linear, product oriented--very masculine structured institutions. I know--I worked in an art museum for eight years. I went to art school.
So many of my FEARLESS Painters themselves are "art school survivors". And the reason, I feel they are "survivors", is because their passion has been damaged by how art school barely acknowledges the spirit--body--mind relationship of art creation. When you go to art school it is a very product oriented, cerebral, linear, critical approach to creativity--an environment not nurturing to many women.
Women naturally relate to the world differently than men--and our holistic feminine creative expression is part of that. It is a big factor on how we learn--and how we relate to one another--and certainly how we create.
Trying to make it in a masculine paradigm is like swimming up stream. Only the strong willed survive--and not without their own cuts and bruises and wounds to bear.
My thought is why keep swimming up stream? What for?
Please understand, I deeply appreciate and honor all the struggles and accomplishments amazing women Artists before us have done--it's something I even touch upon a lot in BIG.
But why are women Artists still struggling and sacrificing to define success by making it in the museum or gallery only?
With the brilliance of technology, there is more power in women coming together to support and celebrate one another and especially to build together--than there is in using that same energy to fight a system that doesn't support us creatively, financially, or spiritually.
Plus, I believe that Artists, especially women Artists, are more than just the art they produce. They are visionaries and healers and leaders. That we have have more to offer the world than just a painting in a gallery or a sculpture in a garden. I strongly feel that our art are outward symbols of something so much greater we possess inwardly. And yes--this art should be honored, reverend, and valued--but they should not be the only thing that measures us as Artists solely.
My greatest success as an Artist--arrived when I let go of the definition of success I was conditioned to believe an Artist should be measured by--and instead, I redefined Artist and decided what my measurement of success would look, feel, and be like.
For me, my Art is about honoring, expressing, and always exploring that great divine feminine energy--that is the root of my innate wisdom and the thread that connects my heart to so many other women.
I believe in building containers where women can journey deep into their heart space--express freely the dark and light of being female--and experience wildly the divine joy that comes from gathering with other women in creativity--while building their technical skills as an Artist. I believe in changing the art world--by building a better one for women--instead of attempting to change the one that already exists.
I know that I'm not alone in this venture.
I have a dedicated circle of women in IGNITE that prove that.
My dear FEARLESS Painters--I adore you. You are my heart. You are the reason I do this.