Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Favorite Things

Joey Alexander - My Favorite Things (In Studio Performance)

 Let's lighten it up a bit! A genius behind the piano, although he does not consider himself a prodigy!  This little guy, all 13 years of him, can truly jazz it up! I guess I'm impressed by his particular brand of piano magic. Presenting Joey Alexander of Bali Indonesia in a jazz session in the Studio.
 In Tagalog, "Ang galing!"  More of where this came from.
I can literally listen to him the whole day

41 tiny huge lessons I learned for living happier

I subscribe to a free newsletter called Happier by Nataly, its founder and CEO because...why not?  
I'm certainly not subscribing to Lonelier! haha, joke!  Instead of writing down a To-Do List we all have trouble following come New Year, here's her year-ender message worth sharing to all especially to artists like me.  My favorite lines have been highlighted in Pink!
So, without further ado, here's a list of 41 things I learned this year about living with a fuller heart, a (slightly) more peaceful soul, and whole lot of tiny moments of joy. 
1. If you feel a pull to do something, just start doing it and the purpose will reveal itself later. 
2. The best way to win an argument is to drop the argument and do something kind towards the other person. Yes, really.
3. Default to "yes" more often than you say "no". A lot of unexpected amazingness emerges.
4. You don't need to believe in miracles or the hard-to-imagine being possible. Just take the steps that might make it possible.
5. If you don't notice the subtle signs the universe -- aka the world, people around you, your inner voice -- sends your way, it will speak louder. That might hurt in the short-term, but later you'll recognize it as an act of kindness.
6. Spend more time with people who make your insides feel warmer.
7. It's OK to feel like everything is awful as long as you don't forget everything that's amazing.
8. It's an incredible gift to be able to help someone, even if it's just one person.
9. "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." Ralf Waldo Emerson
10. The magic is in the doing. Start doing. 
11. You can be grateful even when life sucks. Even within disappointment, pain or difficulty, you can find something to be grateful for, like learning something new, being stronger than you thought you were, or being able to help someone else.
12. When you're filled with self-doubt, the best thing to do is to focus your attention on someone you care about or a cause that gives you a sense of meaning. When you refocus on yourself, you'll have more clarity and perspective.
13. Self compassion is the furthest away from self-pity. It's not a weakness. It is an act of courage to treat yourself with kindness even amidst challenge or failure.
14. Sometimes you just have to step away from it all and paint. Or cook. Or sing. Or run outside in the rain. Or take a drive with your windows down and music blaring way too loud.
15. Blast your stress with kindness. The best remedy for feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious is to do as many kind things as possible towards others. Try it.
16. When you change, some people will joyfully come along with you, but others won't be able to let go of their story of you. That's OK and it's also OK to miss them.
17. One of the hardest things to know is whether mounting obstacles mean you should work harder and keep going or recognize that it's time to change directions. Keep paying attention; eventually you'll know.
18. When someone you care comes to you with a problem, the best way to fix it might be to not fix it at all but just be there and allow the person to feel all the emotions that they feel.
19. Don't try to be fearless. If you're human, you'll have fear. Accept your fear, ask yourself why you're afraid, and remind yourself about your love, commitment, dedication, and passion for what you're doing.
20. Say thank you to people who have impacted your life positively, even in tiny ways. Don't assume they know or that they don't need to hear it from you.
21. One of the biggest gifts we can give to people we love is to listen to them without judgment or expectation (and without checking our phones as they talk).
22. When in doubt or facing a huge challenge, ask yourself WHY you're on this path.Then hold on to your WHY as you keep going.
23. You can't give what you don't have. Take care of you, your insides and outsides, and commit to self-care as a practice that's necessary to you and people you care about. Oh, and quit feeling guilty about it.
24. It takes very little effort to be just a little kinder, but few things have such a huge impact.
25. Give yourself permission to feel good. You don't need to earn the right to feel joy and there isn't a "joy authority" out there, with a checklist of what you must do before you can feel happier. You're enough, right now, just as you are.
26. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Buddha
27. This is supposed to be hard -- living, being, creating, discovering, evolving. We're supposed to feel disappointed and triumphant, sad and joyful, challenged and at ease.
28. When you create -- paintings, projects, meals, songs, ideas -- your job is to keep working, keep creating, keep improving your craft. The job of judging, of liking or disliking what you create is not yours; it's for those who experience your creations. So do the work and detach from the outcome.
29. It's OK to walk away sometimes. Not everything is supposed to work out.
30. Kindness is a practice. You get better the more you do it. Don't beat yourself up if sometimes it doesn't come easily. Just keep practicing.
31. The purpose of a lot of your work, your effort, and your creations, may be to lead you to your best work, your best creations. Even disappointing efforts have a purpose.
32. Greet people you love as if their arrival is the best thing that happened to you all day: Smile, say "hi", look them in the eyes, give them a hug (unless they are in the no-hug-teenage zone). It might be the best thing they experience all day.
33. If you're stuck, take a step, any step. It doesn't need to have a direction or be the most perfect optimal step in the right direction. Once you move some energy inside and out, you'll see what your next step should be.
34. Share your struggles. It's not easy, but it will help you feel less alone and you might be able to offer hope to someone who really needs it.
35. Write thank you notes by hand. Send and bring small, unexpected gifts. Sprinkle joy as often as you possibly can.
36. "Great things are done by a series of small things." Vincent Van Gogh
37. Take a few minutes every day to be still and silent, to just allow the day to settle in. You don't have to close your eyes; just be there and receive the events, emotions, and ideas of the day.
38. You absolutely should drive out of your way for your favorite latte, sunset view, or person. Invest in and cherish the experiences that bring you joy.
39. At any moment, you can see beauty, create beauty, or share beauty.
40. "If you powerfully believe in the value of what you offer the world, your love and passion for it will become an unstoppable force." Rod Stryker
41. It's OK to not always be OK. Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions, including the sad, difficult, painful ones, without judgment or pressure to feel or not feel a certain way. The distance between how you feel and how you decide you should feel is the valley of suffering you create. Instead, treat yourself with self-compassion, accept that what you feel is what you feel, and you'll notice the intensity of the difficult feelings ease up. From that place of acceptance you'll have a much better chance to see more clearly what you might do and practice to feel better.
Thank you for reading and for being. Happy holidays and wishing you a 2017 filled with grace, joy, kindness, self-compassion, and new discoveries.

Happier co-founder, CEO

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Macoy the Driver

Here's a little painting, 12"x16" to be exact, I did these last days of 2016. It's our very own Macoy Reyes beside his Honda City car. Of course it's not his. It's actually an aging stick-shift car I use whenever I go out of the house but when it's stranded in the garage, then Macoy plays with it as if it were his own.  Somehow, by years of enjoying trips in the city, like to and from school and always sitting by the driver's side, he has learned to rev it up and park it by himself.  I'm not really sure how I should react to this given that he shouldn't but I'm secretly happy that he can. The only downside is I keep paying for the gas even when I'm not using the car!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

One more thing

The last thing I'd like to share today is this video from TIME of the Journalist as Artist.  Watch Molly Crabapple and her amazing up-to-the-minute sketchbooks.

I need a break!

Thank God for Bruno Mars!

Super Bowl 48 2014 Bruno Mars-Full Performance Halftime Show HD
and the 2016 one below.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Art Advise from the Ant #7

What I've been keeping up with Facebook lately are artworks, art groups and the like. Here's something I thought ought to share.

"In your Art Practice, think like the ant #7

To finish this series I wanted to talk about the statement, “go to the ant, consider her ways and be wise.” To consider and be wise. To consider, to think carefully about. To think carefully about all that the ant does and how she acts in such single mindedness of purpose, always for her best possible outcome. I think if I could say what I learned out of this series was that the ant was relentless in purpose, saw no obstacle as a barrier but something to over come and she always considered the future. The ant was always thinking future and working hard in the now to assure that future. It did not waste or use up all its resources in the now, but saved up resources so that it knew it would always survive, so important for Artists to do the same, be wise.

As Artists, because of the volatility of our industry we must be like the ant and work very hard in the now always aware that hard times could hit and we must be prepared for that. Work hard in the now and take every opportunity that comes our way. Do not squander your resources in the now and denying tomorrow and the reality that hard times could come, remember life happens to us all. Save hard for tomorrow, knowing that tomorrow will come. Be wise like the ant, always preparing for tomorrow while enjoying the good times of the now, without wasting your resources. I suppose true wisdom is the ability to be content in the now and enjoying the rewards of your hard work, while continuing to work hard for the future and always saving towards that future. Please feel free to share."

---From Mark Shellshear

Watch the “ Ask Mark Art Show” daily on my Facebook page, or please click on the link here.

Watch Neil Shellshear theVIPshow Ep024 - Sales: Transacting vs Engaging. Here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

And the winner is...

Pacquiao Fight

Among the assortment of artworks just posted, and being a critic to my own creations; I choose this sketch as my very best because of the spontaneity and (facial) accuracy of how it was done. It was drawn from the front page news of November 13, 2011, right after Manny Pacquiao's triumph over Juan Manuel Marquez III. On the roof and done with much gusto!  I don't think I can ever do this lead/graphite sketch with the same abandon as I remember doing it then...and achieving the same result.  But let's not cross our fingers just yet!

Oh, my crazy, fruitful days under the sun!* Hashtag #ThrowbackTuesday

*Just a footnote to history.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Art for All

I just noticed that I haven't refreshed this blog since January of last year (quite a long time of Internet ennui) and recently have I discovered a worthy blog to post and a new story to tell. So listen up!

One annoyingly quiet day in the Summer of 2015, out of sheer boredom and quite serendipitously, I found myself driving to UP Vargas Museum where I used to study College and is very near our place (quietly hoping for work); then enrolling in a Saturday morning Art class which I would spend otherwise idly by.  I didn't end up finding suitable work but surprise of all surprises!  After a couple of months of basic training, I ended up bagging several medals including Excellent Workshopper of 2015 from renowned Filipino artist Master Fernando Sena, all without the usual fanfare one enjoys with family and friends.  I distinctly remember not even attending graduation maybe because I hated to go the event all by myself (which really shouldn't be the case)!  Did I mention I got the excellent medal award?  I guess when milestones go unnoticed, acclaims fail to sink in.  Either that or I suffer from S.E.B.T. (Self-Effacement Big Time!)

This however revived my interest in painting mainly with watercolor, acrylics and oil.  From then up to today, nearing the end of 2016, I have collected quite a few artworks, some of which have been sold to either a kind and appreciative buyer/friend/teacher/former classmate --all much to my delight!  The pictures above are a montage of just some of my fave drawings, creations if you will (from even before 2015), in my collection.  I'm not going to say they're 100% original because some of them have been plucked out of the web, as exercise.  I'm not a professional yet and I haven't done much or nearly what I can, given the gnawing time in my hands.  But as the days go by and my earthly age keeps marching on, I have to seriously re-think my strategy in life and really begin selling, mainly for my own practical purposes.

So here goes 2016 and here comes 2017!  Story short.  Let's all have a blast!