art · life curation

My (Not So) New Hobby – Painting!

During my time away, I had a chance to resume one of my interests: painting! There is something so therapeutic about applying paint to a canvas . . . The brushstrokes, the blending of color, the magic of taking a concept and turning it into a tangible work of art. I love to paint and I can’t wait until I have more time to devote to my craft. Until then, here are a couple of pieces that I’ve created:

Me with a piece I completed earlier this year: I premiered it in Los Angeles in June 2019

Recent piece in progress

I’m so eager to see where this curiosity leads me. I would love to continue developing my skill, take a few classes, and work with some new techniques and materials. This hobby relaxes me and gives me a much needed creative outlet, so I’m sure I’ll have more paintings to share in the future!

 

 

words of wisdom

Rest in Power, Ms. Toni Morrison

As you all recall, Toni Morrison was the subject of a Words of Wisdom post from July 2018. In that post, I shared some of my favorite quotes from her, and I commented on how her words sweep me up every time I open one of her novels. Her encouragement, to write the book that we want to read, is one of my biggest inspirations behind my own writing practice.

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It broke my heart to hear that she became an ancestor on August 5, 2019. As much as it hurt to know that I’d never be able to tell her, face to face, how much I love her writings, I believe that she had done her work, and deserves her rest. So may she continue to rest, and may her words continue to inspire us to be better versions of our selves.

If you aren’t already familiar, now would be a fantastic time to acquaint yourself with some of Ms. Morrison’s work. My favorite is probably Sula, but The Bluest Eye and Beloved are also fantastic reads. Her last novel, God Help the Child, has gotten great reviews (I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list).

     

I also saw a book of Toni Morrison quotes that I’m adding to my wish list. It has 365 quotes: perfect for daily reflections.

Such a beautiful cover

How fortunate we are that we get to enjoy and learn from Ms. Morrison even as she rests eternally! I hope that you check out her works for yourself!

life curation · Uncategorized

It Feels Great To Be BACK!

Hi my dear friends! I’m so happy to be BACK on the blog! As you may recall from my last post, I’d been experiencing some health issues that were making it difficult for me to keep up with my blogging schedule. To be honest, I didn’t feel like getting out of bed on most days, and even little tasks felt like huge chores, so blogging fell WAY down on my list of priorities.

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Smiling because it’s great to be back!

After experiencing some pretty dreadful symptoms for several months, I was relieved when I finally got a diagnosis. I have fibromyalgia, a disorder that affects your entire body and causes widespread pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and a host of other symptoms. I’ve read countless articles and found that most doctors agree that this is a neurological disorder and not a joint/muscle issue. I often find myself needing a lot of rest and even small, stressful situations can lead to a “flare up”, where my symptoms are more intense and I find it difficult to function. When I experience “flares”, I have to rest more and use stronger pain medication in order to get some relief.

Through all of this, I feel truly blessed. Yes, this condition is annoying and I wish I didn’t have it. But, I have a wonderful support system, and I recently moved into my first home, which is much closer to my care providers. My new home is beautiful and serene, and being in this setting has contributed tremendously to my overall health. I’m so fortunate that I have an understanding workplace that allows me to work from home as needed. And now, after making a few changes with my providers, I finally have a healthcare team that has given me the treatments and tools to feel better daily.

This experience has taught me SO much and I am excited to share these lessons with you all. I feel like I have a new lease on life! Now, I still have pain occasionally, and I have to monitor my symptoms daily so that I know what I need and how to best care for myself. But simply KNOWING that I’m not just tired or stressed has been such a relief. Knowing that I have an actual condition that is medically recognized and treatable means that this isn’t “all in my head”, and if other people are experiencing this, then that means I’m not alone, and there’s a good chance that that are treatment options that can really help me minimize my symptoms.

So I’m BACK! All of my posts won’t be about fibro: I’m going to leave those discussions strictly for Fridays, which will be (for now) Fibro Fridays. I’m excited to share self-care tips, lessons, and more information that I’ve gotten since learning about this condition. I look forward to sharing this journey with you all, as well as resuming my art, music, luxury, and lifestyle posts! Take care!

life curation

On a Serious Note

Hi friends! I’m coming to share a bit of a health update with you all. It’s been a while since I’ve “bared my soul” on the blog, and I feel ready to share this latest experience.

Recently, I have been experiencing some health issues that makes it difficult for me to carry on with my normal routine. I’m still going through lots of testing and such, but at this point it looks like I may have fibromyalgia.

I know that having an illness doesn’t mean that my life has to stop, and for that, I’m thankful. And as severe as fibromyalgia symptoms can be, I’m thankful that I’m not experiencing “the worst” that can happen. However, I’m faced with making a lot of changes in order to accommodate my “new normal”, and it isn’t easy. I still love art, culture, good food and excellent wine, and travel. But I haven’t been able to partake in those things as much as I’d like. And I’ll be honest, it sucks to be limited in this way.

I’m working through the pain and doing my best, but if I miss a post here or there . . . It’s probably because I’m not feeling so well. As soon as I have a better sense of what’s happening with me, I’ll share with you all. Until then, please send some good energy my way: I could use it ❤

art

Think Like An Art World Expert: Episode 2 Review

In the second episode of Think Like an Art World Expert, host Glen Hardwick-Bruce interviews Anakena Paddon, Studio Manager for Kevin Francis Gray. Paddon explained her role in the studio as handling many of the operations and logistics details so that the artist is free to focus on creating works. I really loved this interview because Paddon distinguished her role from that of a personal assistant (a role often confused with studio management).

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Paddon describes her role as involving a great deal of coordination between Gray’s UK and Italian studios, as well as serving as a representative for the studios when interacting with other entities (such as galleries and interested collectors). She also worked tirelessly on creating the uniform social presence that Kevin Francis Gray studios now enjoys online.

A peek inside of the studio as Gray works

I love the many facets that Paddon outlines in her role, and I will listen to this one again and take good notes! Definitely check out the podcast, or, if you’re interested in learning more about the studio, check out Kevin Francis Gray either on the website or on Instagram.

art

Find a New Artist to Love!

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week. And for those that are reading this that in the areas where the polar vortex touched  down, congratulations on surviving the extreme cold!

Today is February 1st and I am so excited to share what’s happening on my Instagram. Every day this month, I’ll be highlighting a new artist for you all to check out. My goal is to bring more exposure to some of the creatives that I personally enjoy.

_Even if love is full of thorns, I'd still embrace it for I know that in between those thorns, there is a rose that's worth all the pain._

Because it’s a short month, I want to give myself a personal challenge as well as a social media challenge. I hope you all enjoy the artist that I introduced to you and please give them your support either by purchasing their work if you love it or sharing them with in your networks so that they can get some exposure and perhaps a few new customers.

View this post on Instagram

Kicking off this month of #artistshoutouts with a video of @emboldenedexpressions in the creative zone. You know how I feel about art: the studio is hallowed ground, and watching an artist create is to witness an act of divinity. #art #artist #artlover #artlover🎨 #creative #painting #thebronzebutterfly #thebronzedbutterfly #bronzebutterfli . . . . #Repost @emboldenedexpressions with @get_repost ・・・ Rollin’ into #2019 like… . . Harvesting #Reciprocity and #Abundance 🍯🐝 . . . #LiveArtist #RawArtist #UrbanArt #LA #SF #NY #Oakland #Melbourne #SaatchiArtist #AbstractArt #ModernArt #ContemporaryArt #Consciousness ✨ . . . #EmboldenedExpressions ⚜️#Patreon #LinkinBio 🔝 . . Featured 🎶 “Cracks” by Freestylers . .

A post shared by Missy Delano (@bronzebutterfli) on

My first artist to be featured this month: @emboldenedexpressions

The post is going to be super short today, because I have started my latest 21 day challenge and I need to direct as much energy to that as possible. Again, remember to check out the artist that I’ll be sharing with you all month, and I will talk to you all on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Ntozake Shange

“Where there is woman, there is magic.” – Ntozake Shange

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The tragic recent passing of playwright and poet Ntozake Shange inspired me to write this post. Shange’s death in October 2018 both surprised and saddened me.  I had no idea that she had been ill for over a decade, after experiencing a series of strokes. I take comfort in knowing that her words are immortal and will continue to touch hearts and minds for time immemorial.

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I became familiar with Shange’s work nearly ten years ago, after seeing the live-action movie “ For Colored Girls”, directed by Tyler Perry. While I wasn’t particularly impressed with the movie (the original work was a stage play and I feel is best experienced through life theater), I fell in love with the words and stories being told by Shange.

The most inspirational part of Shange’s legacy is the insistence upon creating her own identity. From changing her legal name to aiming to craft what she described as a “special aesthetic” for black women, she continued to form her own identity in a world that’s operates upon putting minorities into fixed boxes. Even for her most famous work,  for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, Shange had to craft new language to describe what she created. She titled her work a choreopoem, which merged music, poetry, prose, dance, and song in an innovating and inspiring way.

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I don’t want to belabor this post with overanalyzing Shange’s incredible literary career and legacy. I’d much prefer that you all learn more about her for yourselves. I’m going to add a couple of links from YouTube for your enjoyment. And, in her memory, take some time today to create something new. Your soul will thank you for it.

 

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

(photos courtesy of QuoteParrot, AZQuotes and TheQuotesIn)