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Art with Lórien Studio set

Art with Lórien Studio Video Production Set

Hello My People!

It has been a bit since I have posted here, and I will just say that I have been involved!  Involved with creating and producing lots of art and art education content!  Whew!  Check it all out on my website, especially take a look at Art with Lórien, my fairly new online learning platform and community!  Woot!  I have also been up to the following hobby of mine, which is supporting women in the media.  One of my favorite organizations is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, an organization that engages, educates, and influences the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under.

Also, I am a huge fan of the #heforshe campaign that Emma Watson launched with the support of the UN Women organization.  Check that one out and recruit your guys to support!  🙂

One of the “armchair” ways that I support women in the media, is my consumption of films that are directed by women, are written by a woman and/or feature stories about women.  One of my guiding litmus tests for the content of a film, is applying the Bechdel test.  What is  the Bechdel test you may wonder?  It asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added.

So, to solidify my commitment to my hobby and quest, in January 2016, I pledged to watch one film per week as part of the #52FilmsByWomen campaign sponsored by Women in Film.  What I am really excited about is discovering the #52weeks List of Gayle Nachlis, Women in Film Senior Director of Education, so many superb films on her list! I also learned about Film Fatales, a network of women filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive community in which to make their films. Here’s Film Fatales list of films directed by women streaming on Netflix USA, 245 and counting!

In other news this year on my journey, I went a red-carpet premier in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theater where the series was created and written by a woman.  Even though the content was not my style, too much violence and cursing, it’s always good to see a woman get up and address a full theater of guests (invited) viewers, supporters and talk about their vision being supported, funded and birthed into the world!  Super cool!

And, so as we approach the end of 2016, and my 52-week pledge, I am sharing what I have enjoyed so far… And, I do pledge to continue into 2017 and beyond.  With our evolving landscape, values, priorities and the balancing act that is occurring, there will be much to catch on the screen, big and small!  Enjoy and join the fun!

MY LIST from 2016 so far: (in no specific order)

Miss Representation- Watched this in 2014- a must see on the topic.

The Women’s List

Jenny’s Wedding

Joy

Bessie

Iron Lady

Mustang

Woman in Gold

What Happened Miss Simone?

True Cost

Diana

Tig

Tangerine

Trainwreck

Hello, My Name is Doris

All About Eve

The Story of Ruth

East Side Sushi

Séraphine

The Lady in the Van

Coco Before Chanel

Suffragette

Brooklyn

Carol

Joan of Arc: Virgin Warrior

He Named Me Malala

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Hanna

Miss Potter

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Maggie’s Plan

Frida

India’s Daughter

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

Zootopia

Me Before You

Dukhtar

Girlhood

Middle of Nowhere

Selma

Ride

Pariah

Orion: The Man Who Would be King

The Letters

Big Stone Gap

Under the Same Moon

Testament of Youth

Still Alice

What Other Couples Do

A Ballerina’s Tale

Conviction

The Intern

Me Without You

Under a Tuscan Sun

Ai Wei Wei Never Sorry

Citizen Four

Wonder Woman

Planeat

The Future of Food

The 33

The Whole Truth

Our Kind of Traitor

Mia Madre

Certain Women

 

and counting…

And, please take a look at a blog post here from earlier this year that features a new documentary called Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct by friend Cady McClain,  She is directing, writing, and producing along with Kate Super.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my Facebook page, check out my Art with Lórien art classes on YouTube, get to my website, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

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Glam squadThe artist in her element with Water IV ©LEAD

1. I can be in my DIY “glam squad” mode and still work on my paintings!

Sometimes I will have a split commitment, so I’ll take a paint break, shower, get those hot rollers on, then come back and continue with my painting flow!  Love that flexibility!

2. I get to choose my material/content to explore in my creative life.

One of my most favorite aspects of what I do is the fact that my art practice is a personal laboratory in self-examination and an ongoing research project in what I love, what I value.  My original art collections reflect my creative process and the road less traveled that I find myself on steeped in truth, beauty and adventure.  I love this quote by Lena Dunham, “As an artist, you get the opportunity to write the world — or create the world — that exists in your fantasies. It’s a really beautiful thing to do.”  And this quote by legendary Italian curator Massimiliano Gioni, “Artists are people who do things with images in order to understand the world. They have a fierce desire to know themselves.” Oh yeah baby!

3. I get to choose which art materials I am making my art with.

IMG_0832_2Palette colors make me smile. ©LEAD

I love that we have access to so many art materials and tools to play with!  Today, artists can choose from a HUGE selection of store-bought art supplies and oodles of re-purposed surfaces, media and materials to create with.  My new favorite art supply store when collecting some materials is Lyon Art Supply. It’s one of three stores in a fairly small chain with a rad selection of papers, and sometimes “hard to find” tools that I use.  Also, it’s close to my studio and the best thing about this place, they offer a great and rare 30%! discount for teachers and students!  Awesome!

4. I get to listen to music of my choice and sing out loud whilst I work!

I have a secret passion for singing!  This is something that just a few people know about ’til now!  I used to sing in my classroom and my teenage students were often shocked and caught off guard as they thought,  “who does that?” 🙂  I heard something interesting about people and singing.  There are three places where folks sing freely, do you know where they are?.  1. in the shower 2. in the car, and 3. drunk karaoke! Let’s change that!

When I am in my studio, I am usually plugged into one of my fave Pandora stations… 80s, Indigo Girls, Fleetwood Mac, Ani DiFranco, Donna De Lory (to name a few), and belt it while I am painting or simply in studio.  Perhaps I’ll include an audio clip in a forthcoming blog post….

5. I can make a mess and be outdoors! AND I get to play and it’s super fun!

IMG_5971My blue hands. ©LEAD

I love making a mess and luckily, I don’t mind cleaning up after! Great fun indeed!  The ability to play, to be a child, to lose all sense of self-consciousness and of “doing it right” or having the “correct answer” is one of the rewards of honoring the call to live as an artist in these contemporary times.

6. I can make my own schedule according to the rhythms and cycles of nature.

Sunrise, sundown, seasonal changes, daylight savings, planetary shifts and the cycles of the moon.  I love all of these changes that we get to experience affecting our daily lighting, moods, temps, and keeping the energies alive and fresh.  The ability to be in sync and in harmony with these ever-changing cycles is one of my favorite aspects in keeping my microcosmic creative process in tune with the macrocosmic flow.

7. I get to break the “rules.”

The art world and the world at large operate on many layers of unspoken and spelled out rules and regulations.  One of the best characteristics of being an artist is the fact that although there are these tangible parameters that exist like the art world “market,” art fairs, galleries, critics, etc, bottom line–there is no True North for artists.  To walk the path is to create your own.  This is what is meant by breaking the “rules,” even those we make for ourselves; to create, innovate, re-invent and be willing to fail and to keep going is part of this journey.   One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from Marina Abramović , “When you repeat, you really lose respect for yourself… For me, the studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution. Nothing new happens. You don’t surprise yourself. Artists are here to risk, to find new territory. Risk, especially when you are a known artist, includes failing. It is an essential part of process. Failure is healthy for your ego.”

8. I get “free dress” every day, not just sometimes.

IMG_1160_2The artist in her “free dress” mode. ©LEAD

I love fashion and I love creative self-expression, even if this means wearing an old tank top with worn-in yoga pants and Havaiana flip-flops!  One of the best parts of my day in the studio is the freedom I have to wear whatever I please, especially if this means my most functional and comfortable clothes.  I have worked in many job settings from corporate to educational institutions and have certainly worn the heels, the stockings, the pencil skirts and dry-cleaned shirts.  I loved those days too, and believe me, I will do it when necessary, yet nothing beats comfort and the freedom to move and get dirty without constrictions or limits!  Love my painting clothes!

9. I can work from home with a short commute of two flights of stairs=smaller carbon footprint.

As an artist, I have mainly worked from a home studio, a designated work space ranging from a small room to an outdoor studio to a garage space.  The best part of this setup is the commute is ideal and I feel so much gratitude that I can be green through my choice to work from home.  One of my last teaching jobs included a brutal commute during rush hour, round-trip to the far side of downtown Los Angeles.  That was certainly the toughest part of my day, waking up at 5am and getting home well past 6pm reminded me of what I truly value in life ~ quality time with my loved ones and less time in a car on the roadways!  A friend once said to me, “The quality of your life is reflected in your commute.” Wow.  Check this out.

10. I get to express myself and share my gifts and talents with the world!

Water V artist 1The artist with Water V at a recent art exhibition in Southern California. ©LEAD

And, lastly, I feel immense satisfaction from getting to be an artist today.  With so many ways to share our creations and expressions through social media outlets, networking and the internet overall, it’s such an easy pleasure to create and know that I can share my artwork with the world without many obstacles or fuss.  Success is guaranteed when we share our unknown with our community and keep on creating from our essential truth.

I leave you with these inspiring words for the artist in us all from one of my favorite artists of all time.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant — there is no such thing, Making your unknown known is the important thing — and keeping the unknown always beyond you…” — Georgia O’Keeffe

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit

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lorien in the studio with fire seriesIn my outdoor studio with my new Fire Series in the works, (l-r) Fire II, Fire III, Fire I ©LEAD

WHO IS YOUR MUSE?  Where do you find your inspiration?  What inspires YOU?  Where to start?  I recently was chatting with a woman at an event I was at, she told me that her challenge with creativity is where to get ideas.  Hmmmm.  She asked me about where I get my ideas and how it all starts for me.  Well… that question is one of my favorites to reflect upon as I am regularly inundated with yummy inspiration, a flood of ideas and stimulation emerging from both within and without.  The early stage of the creative process is for me often my favorite, although the entire journey of the creative process is exciting and enjoyable.  I wrote a bit about my creative process in my last post, Trust and the Creative Process

Fire 1Fire ceremony ©Photo LEAD

pele goddessPele~ Hawaiian Goddess of Fire

Inception of an idea can start anywhere, for example, a hunch, a whisper, a dream, a conversation, an image, a word, a glance, the options are endless really.  To illustrate, I will refer to my latest inspirations for my new Fire Series, as past of my Elements Collection.  From water came fire for me and it was (and tends to be) a spiral-like journey, vs. a straight line.  My initial interactions with the element of Fire was ignited strongly whilst on the Big Island last year when I spent time in meditation, retreat and ceremony with Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcanoes while at the Kalani Retreat CenterPele grabbed me and I have been under her tutelage as my main Muse through this moment as I continue to create my new Fire paintings.  Pele urges us to follow our passion… what’s yours?  Are you following your passion?

fire 2Pele flowin’ on the big island of Hawaii ©Photo by MaKia

Fire I in processExcerpt of Fire I in process, 3’X4′, Mixed Media on Canvas ©LEAD

kilauea volcanoKilauea, Hawaii

Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world. The Hawaiian mountain has been steadily flowing since 1983! That makes it one of the most long-lived eruptions known on Earth.

I look forward to sharing more about the journey into the Fire as I roll out my paintings one by one over the next few weeks, sharing the story and artwork here and on my website.  Stay tuned and in the meantime, there is a wonderful NEW art show where I am showing the paintings below at,  MUSE: The Art of Transformation and Healing.
Cosmic XCosmic X, 9X12 inches, Mixed Media on Paper ©LEAD

EckBLagoon Nebula III, 12X16 inches, Mixed media on paper ©LEAD

MUSE flyerCurated by Art 4 All People

June 28 – September 28, 2014

Commonweal Gallery, a nonprofit health and environmental research institute
451 Mesa Rd. Bolinas, CA 94924

Opening Reception and Arts and Healing Festival
Saturday, July 12th from 1:00 pm – 6:00pm

The Opening Event Line-Up

Closing Reception
Saturday, September 27th, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

All are welcome! 

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.lorieneck.com

“Art has the power to heal.” ~ Lórien

 

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water II source photoInspiration Source Photo, Pacific ocean, Kauai, Hawaii, May 2013 ©LE Art & Design

Hello my readers!  I am back… I took a bit of a sabbatical from this blog roll, as I am have been deeply engaged in my creative process on a new series of paintings for my Elements Collection.  It feels good to be back here and I am excited to share some thoughts about Trust and the Creative Process.  I’ll start by posing these questions: Where do ideas come from? How do we get inspired to create something? Where do I start?  As you know, inspiration and creative ideas can come from anywhere anytime…and for me, my eyewitness inspiration is WATER, specifically the ocean blue.

For me, creation and creativity come very naturally and I usually have an abundance of ideas.  On the flip side, the challenge for me has been to have  too many choices, feeling overwhelmed or just simply, choosing one to focus on.  As a painter, I have a way to take on the abundance of ideas which is to organize them into collections and sometimes a series within a collection.  I have eight “working” painting collections that serve as containers to hold the individual creations and this is key for the constant creator.

To illustrate the more nitty-gritty, messy and juicy creative process of one of my individual paintings, I have selected Water III, a mixed media on canvas painting.  It is one of five paintings in the Water series within the Elements Collection.  This painting was the 3rd (of 4) in the series that I was making last summer for a show and I must say, my creative process with this painting (and most paintings) was not a straight line.  And, this is what I really would like to share here.  Once the spark of an idea is lit, (in my case I was focused on water as a topic and paintings as the creation), all kinds of curves, twists, turns and some of the following may come up.  And if any of these do arise, the important thing is to stick with the journey and follow the guidance, both your inner guidance and source energy/Creators guidance.

  • unbridled inspiration to start, gather info, research and develop the concept
  • love the work one day, dislike it the next day (even abhor it!)
  • feelings of  anger, frustration and general un-ease and negative emotions
  • desire to quit or start over completely
  • feelings of doubt, the illusion of fear and even questioning the skills set and/or innate talents
  • struggle with the materials or the natural elements (for example, I work outdoors and sometimes the heat dries the paint too darn quick even with methods to slow it down)

Throughout the creation of this painting, I rode the cathartic wave experiencing everything between elation and agony.  At times, I truly thought that this painting was not going to make it.  But, to the best of my ability, I trusted.  I trusted the guidance and love of our Creator to lead me on through; letting go and trusting both at the same time.  Suggested practices that have helped me along the way that you can play with are:

  • when the stuff comes up, FEEL…
  • when you feel stuck, change something, anything!
  • go on daily walks, bike rides, movement and balance has helped me even more than maintenance during an intense creative project
  • pray, meditate, breathe deeply, take long baths, talk to a trusted friend, write about it- we are NOT alone!
  • if necessary, and I just did this with another painting, set it aside and start or work on another project, take a break, but come back to it when you feel ready
  • let it all incubate and gel, relax and seriously chill out when not working on project~ whatever that looks like for you!
  • the main idea is to find the JOY in the creative process and to EnJOy every step of the way…

Now, my practical creative process step by step:  I started with the photo image I took of water, see above, as my source image (what I use as a spring board for an abstract painting).  The canvas size is 24 inches X 36 inches and I used acrylic paint and a variety of mixed media materials.  Below are a series of photographs and the final one is the finished product from start to finish.

water III.1The Beginning

water III.2Next Stage

Water III.3And then this…

water III.5Top portion of the painting

water III.finalNearly done

Water III.4Almost done (reflections on the painting from the sun)

Water IIIFinal Painting, 24X36 inches, Mixed Media on Canvas

insta_WaterIIIMe with Water III at the Bridge to the Soul Art Show

All Images ©Lórien Eck Art & Design

Since its completion in August 2013, this painting, Water III, has been featured in two art shows, one in August 2013 at one of my  galleries Hale Arts SPACE, in Santa Monica and in the Bridge to the Soul traveling show in Los Angeles, November 2013-February 2014.  This painting is available for purchase either through Hale Arts SPACE or directly through me.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.lorieneck.com

“Art has the power to heal.” ~ Lórien

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