Tag Archives: drawing

Ich höre den Schakal – Two Person Exhibition in Dachau 4 July

Katrin Schürmann and Imke Rust
will be exhibiting
at the Galerie der KVD in Dachau.
Opening on the 4th of July @ 19h30

Save the date! And please share with your friends in the area!


Hope to see you there! 😃 Ich freue mich euch dort zu sehen!

About the exhibition: (für den deutschen Text, bitte runter – scrollen)

Katrin Schürmann (1944) and me (1975) have a very interesting connection: we both grew up on the same farm in Namibia and we went to the same school in Swakopmund. We both are artists and both are now living in Germany.

Having met in 2017 at my exhibition in Munich we have kept in contact via email and exchanged memories and thoughts about the farm and our connection. Katrin Schürmann soon invited me to join her in an exhibition exploring this unique connection that we have.

After her studies Katrin Schürmann left Namibia to work in Germany and stayed ever since. In 1984 her mother sold their family farm Otukarru to my parents. So, just like Katrin, I spent a big part of my youth on the farm. Since my family is still farming there, I am also visiting as often as I can.

How do two artists of different generations relate to the same piece of land? How do the perspectives differ because of time,  memory and physical and emotional distance? Where do the perceptions differ? Where are they similar. How do the artists each deal not only with their personal histories, but also the colonial history? Especially in the current times, when it is important to critically question the history of land ownership in Namibia.

Both artists feel a strong connection to nature and Namibia’s vast spaces, the desert and the bush. Katrin works with abstract minimalism. Her monotypes and installations reflect the the barrenness of the land.

I am showing mixed media works, drawings and video works, which are mostly abstract figurative and explore my direct relation to the farm which I still call home. I am questioning the idealisation of and my ambivalent feeling towards the farm life. Current happenings, such as the drought, poaching incidents and the political call for land expropriation of white farmers, affect me directly and are expressed in my works.

Imke Rust ‘Rinderpest’ Mixed Media on paper, 68 x 82cm

Deutsch:

Wer entsinnt sich nicht an den Satz, der am Anfang des Romans von Tanya Blixen und einem sehr erfolgreichen Film steht: „Ich hatte eine Farm in Afrika“. Diese Aussage trifft auch auf die beiden Ausstellerinnen zu. Er prägte ihre Jugend.

Es ist nicht nur die Kindheit in Afrika, die Katrin Schürmann (1944) und Imke Rust (1975) verbindet – sie wuchsen auf derselben Farm in Namibia auf, gingen zur selben Schule in einem 300 Kilometer entfernten Dorf an der Küste, mitten in der Wüste. Dies alles stellte sich heraus, als sich die beiden Frauen zum ersten Mal trafen anlässlich einer Ausstellung von Imke Rust 2017 in der Pasinger Fabrik in München. Die beiden gehören verschiedenen Generationen an, die eine lebt heutzutage in Berlin, die andere in München.

Gemeinsam ist den beiden Künstlerinnen sicherlich die Liebe zur Natur, zu den endlosen Weiten der afrikanischen Savanne und der Wüste. Dieses drückt sich in der Arbeiten von Katrin Schürmann eher in minimalistischen, reduzierten Abstraktionen aus. Die Kargheit des Landes spiegelt sich in einfachen und direkten Darstellungen (Monotypien und Installationen) wider.

Ganz anders sind die Arbeiten von Imke Rust einzuordnen. Die gebürtige Namibierin, die erst vor kurzem nach Deutschland kam, weist auf politische Entwicklungen hin, bringt eine zwiespältige Reflektion zum Ausdruck, denn beide Künstlerinnen müssen sich heutzutage fragen, unter welchen Umständen diese Farm zur Kolonialzeit in Deutschen Besitz kam.

Imke Rust ist regelmäßig in ihrer Heimat und auf der elterlichen Farm. Somit ist sie immer wieder mit den aktuellen Geschehnissen dort konfrontiert. Ob Trockenheit, Wilderei oder die Forderungen nach Landenteignungen weißer Farmer – vieles berührt sie direkt und spiegelt sich in ihren Werken wieder

Imke Rust zeigt Arbeiten die auf der elterlichen Farm in Namibia entstanden sind oder in direkter Beziehung dazu stehen. Sie arbeitet multimedial und vorzugsweise direkt in der Natur, welches sie in Fotografien, Zeichnungen und Videoarbeiten dokumentiert und zeigt.

Für die geplante Ausstellung befassen sich beide Künstlerinnen mit ihrer Beziehung zu dem Land Namibia, aber auch dem Stückchen Land auf dem beide aufgewachsen sind und das für sie lange ihr Zuhause war. Wie sehen sie ihre persönliche Beziehung zu dem Land und seiner Geschichte? Welche Ähnlichkeiten und Unterschiede gibt es in der Wahrnehmung? Gerade in der jetzigen Zeit, wo Deutschland von den Herero zur Verantwortung für ihre koloniale Geschichte gezogen wird, ist eine kritische und persönliche Hinterfragung was es denn bedeutet „eine Farm in Afrika gehabt zu haben?“ spannend und wesentlich.

Mehr Information zu / More information about Katrin Schürmann:  http://www.katrinschuermann.de

Katrin Schürmann Monotypes 100 x 70cm

 

 

Studio Sale Windhoek

Dear Namibian friends, collectors and art lovers,

This is your chance to own that special artwork of mine.

I will be holding a studio sale this weekend at my Windhoek studio!! I am sorry it is at such short notice, but hope you can make it anyway.

If you are interested in my art, this will be a good opportunity to buy some of my (mostly) older works for good prices. There are big and small works, on paper, on canvas, on board… something for every taste and price. You might even find that last minute Christmas present for yourself or someone special.

I will be moving out of my Windhoek home/studio. By buying some of my art you will help me raise to raise some funds for the move and lighten the load of art that needs to be moved and stored 🙂

There will also be some art books, catalogues and magazines for sale.

When: Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th of December, 2pm to 6pm
Where: My studio in Klein Windhoek (please contact me to get the address)

Please RSVP if you are interested to come. If you cannot make it on those two afternoons, contact me to see if we can arrange another time during the week or later.

You can reach me on my Namibian cell number: 081 703 1312

Please share this invitation with your friends – I have lost many of my Namibian contacts and would appreciate your help.

I am looking forward to hopefully seeing you again!

Thank you and kind regards
Imke

Here are some of the available works, but there are many more….

A short story about an abandoned cat

My artwork on a lamp pole in Neu-Friedrichsthal

Once upon a time, in August 2015 to be exact, I created a cat, placed a golden crown on her head and abandoned it at the entrance of our village…

Okay, actually I glued it to a concrete pole and hoped it will happily greet any visitors to our little village. Unfortunately it was a very wet August and the so the glue did not stick too well to the pole and the cat, as cats are known to not particularly like wet weather, disappeared very soon.

For a long time, that was the end of the short story about the abandoned cat.

Until recently.

Recently, at the open studio days, we met some kind people who live just down the road from us. Strangely we have not met them before. Possibly because they only live here on the weekends. Anyway, these kind people invited us over to their place soon after for an evening around the fire. It turns out they moved here shortly after we did. That evening they showed us around their house and the renovations they have undertaken.

While inspecting the beautiful house I suddenly had a weird feeling, so I turned around and looked straight into the eyes of a cat. A crowned cat. Lovingly placed among family photographs on the wall.

What a delight to see that my cat is well and ‘alive’ and has found herself a warm and cosy home where she is loved and admired.

When I asked them about the cat, they said, they found it lying on the ground and they were so happy to see some cool art in this area. They thought, if such art can be found here, there surely must be living some nice people too.

And that was the short story about an abandoned and found cat. With a golden crown.

View with street and cyclist

And, if you want to know how cool our down-street neighbours are, have a look at this music video, which was filmed in their garden (and they are among the crowd). Perfectly chilled summer vibes from Meggy & Tigerskin – Bygone Eras:

Exhibiting at Roots & Wings (Windhoek)

I am excited to be participating in this upcoming group exhibition, together with many other interesting artists! Curated by Frieda Lühl.

Roots & Wings

Come to the opening on the 10th of November (6pm) at the Project Room, to see how different artists have interpreted this theme. Or, if you cannot make it to the opening, the exhibition will be on view till the 25th of November. It is not long, so do not miss it!

Address: 32 Jenner Street, Windhoek West, Namibia.
Opening hours for the duration of the exhibition:
Tuesday to Friday: 9am – 1pm, Saturday 10am – 1pm
Enquiries: info@frieda.co.za

Unfortunately I will not be present at the opening, but I hope many of you can make it!

 

Thou Shall Not Make Elephants from Mosquitoes

… or so they say. At least in German. You might have guessed that it means you should not make out a problem worse than it is or something like that. Which I am not going to do…

But seriously, the mosquitoes in Germany are huge and evil. Unlike the African mosquitoes, which I am used to, they are not deterred by wearing long clothes. They sting right through your pants or shirt. They arrive in huge swarms. And their stings lure my immune system into a huge battle, showing off giganormous red spots and itching like hell.

So during our holiday we encountered beautiful beaches just like in this photo, hanging in our rented bungalow. We had a really good time and weather just like in the picture.

Cheap calendar print of beach scene in our holiday appartment

Cheap calendar print of beach scene in our holiday appartment

Still, this photo alone does not sum our memories of this holiday, as one important aspect is missing. Killer-mosquitoes en masse. At some stage I actually think the sky turned dark from them flying by.

… and I caught myself wondering if it were not actually much more pleasant to see a herd of elephants calmly passing by, instead of these blood-sucking beasts. I cursed myself for having forgot my natural mossi repellent and being too health conscious as to buy the chemical version in the pharmacy. I also remembered the time when I turned into a serial killer (of mosquitoes) and made some art about it.

Pencil study of dead mosquitoes

Pencil study of dead mosquitoes

All over the ages people have left signs for fellow travellers, so that they could find the best spots or be warned of danger. I decided to follow suit and leave my warning on the wall for the next visitors to be better prepared for the inevitable.

The rebel in me also decided to not to listen to the Germans and indeed make elephants out of mosquitoes.

Detail of my Hotel-Deco-Busting Intervention Nr 16.

Detail of my Hotel-Deco-Busting Intervention Nr 16.

2015 Hotel Deco Busting:

Wie man aus Mücken Elefanten macht.

(How to make elephants out of mosquitoes.)

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.(Part 16)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.(Teil 16)

Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.

Wie man aus Mücken Elefanten macht Deco print with my Hotel-Deco-Busting Intervention

Wie man aus Mücken Elefanten macht
Deco print with my Hotel-Deco-Busting Intervention.
Ball-point pen and eraser on found calendar page

Detail

Detail of elephant mosqitoes

Before and After Picture of my Hotel-Deco-Busting Intervention Nr 16

Before and After Picture of my Hotel-Deco-Busting Intervention Nr 16

If you enjoyed this, you can view more Hotel Deco Busting Interventions Hotel Deco Busting Interventions by Imke Rust.

 

Facing the Creative Mess

I have not been feeling well these past days. But I tried to paint anyhow - it was a long, painful and frustrating process, cause nothing wanted to go the way I hoped... actually I do not even know what I really want to express with my art anymore... I feel lost. Although I enjoy her (the painting) I could happily do without the struggle.

‘Born of Frustration’ Mixed Media on Watercolour paper, 200g/m2, 32x24cm. I have not been feeling well these past days. But I tried to paint anyhow – it was a long, painful and frustrating process, cause nothing wanted to go the way I hoped… actually I do not even know what I really want to express with my art anymore… I feel lost. Although I enjoy her (the painting) I could happily do without the struggle.

I went a whole month without writing a blog. I miss sharing my thoughts with you, but it felt as if my thoughts and feelings were on a roller-coaster ride (and still are). I just could not focus on any single thing and write about it.

On the positive side it also means that I have been working more on my art and facing all the gremlins that come with that. You know, stuff like fear of failure, insecurity, questioning the sense of it all and wondering if what I do really makes a difference to the world?

“Anyone can slay a dragon, she told me, but try waking up every morning & loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.”

(Brian Andreas of Story People)

I often return to this piece of wisdom when I get fearful of life. And in my personal way it means facing an empty piece of paper or canvas all over again, not knowing the outcome and not knowing if it will make any difference to the world. Or if it will touch anybody in a meaningful way? Will it nourish my soul? And will it support my survival financially. Will I mess it up? Will my insecurities get the better of me and let me abandon it?

Creating art is messy. Not only in a paint-splatter way.

It messes with your soul in a weird way. I cannot tell you all the emotions that I am going through when I create art. It teaches me that I never really can control the outcome, that I need to trust the process and myself and it teaches me, that often what seems like destruction or failure is the biggest blessing to the creative process. All difficult lessons and challenges for me, but I am trying to bravely ‘face the dragon’ every day, even when I feel lost and unsure of which direction to take.

It is strange how my passion for making art can also be so uncomfortable, challenging and forcing me to face my deepest fears and insecurities. But, oh the bliss, of finishing an artwork and thinking: wow, I struggled through that and something beautiful came out of it!

Today I thought of giving you a glimpse into my studio, so that you can see what I am up to and why I have been so quiet.

I also would like to show you the wonderful packaging that my Teabag Totems now come in and the perfect frame, which I found for them. You can buy any of these existing unique little artworks as shown here or I can create one with your favourite or totem animal. If you missed reading about my Teabag Totems and want to find out more, click here. (Cost: €20 plus postage).

Please click on the images to get a larger view.

I just love these frames and how the Teabag Totems look in them! So I have decided that I will offer the option to buy the frame with the artwork. Just ask me about it.

It feels vulnerable to share with you my working space and creative mess, but hey, this is me and how I work and I know that every now and then everything gets cleared and tidied up again. 🙂

View of my working space and creative mess...

View of my working space and creative mess…

And here some views of the artworks which are partly in progress or just finished or waiting to be decided upon. When I am not 100% happy with a work, I love to see it regularly until I either change something again, or I start accepting (and loving) it for what it is.

Small drawings on watercolour paper

Small drawings on watercolour paper

The larger drawing below, started of as a black ink drawing and I expected it to stay that way. Instead it surprised me with this outcome. I love the feeling of lightness and softness, despite the tension and a bit of dreamy sadness that I feel in the figure.

Mixed media on paper and board

Mixed media on paper and board

And hey, look who appeared again! The kudu…

This painting started of with a female figure in black and white, then the kudu appeared and stole her show, so she got painted over. I am not sure if this will be the final version though…

Acrylic on canvas (detail)

Acrylic on canvas (detail)

Ok, that’s it for today. Now I have to start cleaning up the mess, because this weekend I am celebrating my 40th birthday with a few friends and need the space. Currently I am working from our living room until we get the out-building turned into a non-leaking, warm and light space – hopefully in the next few months.

Teabag Totems

I love the alchemy, which happens when you take something insignificant and useless which is about to be discarded and turn it into something special and exquisite.

For a long time I have been saving my used teabags, as they are very helpful when you want to light a fire. Now it has become winter and we will not make a fire outside for a while, and my husband urged me to rather get rid of the teabags we are now using…

He is right. But I cannot help it, that once I get pressurised into discarding something, my mind will switch into alarm mode to check if there are not any other ways to recycle or reuse it.

And so the Teabag Totems were born. A series of animal portraits painted onto used teabags.

It is not so easy to paint such tiny portraits on crumbled teabags, but it is lots of fun and I enjoy the different animal characters surfacing in the portraits. Everybody who has held one of these Teabag Totems in their hands loves them.

Their fragility, the softness of the teabag and their unique personality turn these tiny works of art into something truly precious and special.

If you are interested to have your favourite animal or totem animal painted on a teabag and delivered to you or a friend, then just contact me in the contact form below. You can also select one of the finished little teabag artworks shown below. The portraits are painted with high-quality gouache paint and fineliner onto 6 x 4cm used teabags.

The price for a unique Teabag Totem animal portrait is 40€ (excl. postage). It comes in a see-through plastic box, which is also suited as a temporary display stand. After I received your order, I will send you an invoice. Only once I have received your payment, your Teabag Totem will be sent to you.

(Please click on the images to see a larger view.)

View more Teabag Totems by clicking here.

And here is my framing suggestion:

Contact form for ordering your own unique Teabag Totem, painted by Imke Rust:

Cute is the new black.

It feels as if I have not posted a new blog for ages… Even though I have promised myself to just write and share things when I really feel called to it, I do also feel a bit guilty, when I neglect my blog and all you wonderful followers.

And the longer I do not get to write, the more difficult it is to decide what to write about. There are so many things I dream of sharing with you, so much art just waiting to be seen and ideas I would love to let out of the cage of my skull.

(Click on the images to see a larger version of the artwork.)

Today’s choice has been influenced by a dream I had in the night. I almost never had repeating dreams, but it was the fourth time I dreamed about a similar situation: A little colourful bird comes flying up to me, right up to my face. Without any fear, instead with full intention, trust and love. It then kind of snuggles up to my face, always on the left side, and I can feel its soft feathers, the lightness of their touch and a mix between the warmth of such a small body and the coolness of the stirred air around their wings. Every time I am surprized by this unusual behaviour and feel so honoured and happy to experience it. I wish I knew what this means!

So, in honour of the little dream birds, I will share with you a series of works on paper depicting small birds. I started painting them in a whimsical mood two weeks ago.

I shared them on my Facebook page and while some people really liked them I also got a remark by a fellow artist (whom I do not know personally) saying: Kitsch as kitsch goes…

Well, yes. It took me a lot of time to be okay with such comments. And still I get a tiny bit insecure, as I have been filled up with all these preconceived ideas of where I should fit into the art world, and kitsch was/is generally frowned upon.

But I have to admit, I have found that there is a part of me, which just feels as happy as a little playful and carefree girl, when I create or see cute, pretty sweetness, adorable animals or some gooey fairy tale magic. Yes, sometimes that gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling, which I need to submerge in every now and then, to feel complete.

I love what Amanda Palmer had to say about creating art:

“People working in the arts engage in street combat with The Fraud Police on a daily basis, because much of our work is new and not readily or conventionally categorized. When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.

There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to university, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

I am getting better and better at just listening inward to who I am and what my needs are and follow them. Not caring too much about the opinion or reaction of others. I am proud of that! And I love that I can do it all in my creative expression: serious art, political art, big, small, land art, installations, drawings, prints and warm and fuzzy sweetness. After all, there are no rules. Really.

And maybe you can also use a bit of adorable cuteness and lightness in your life today?

(Click on the images to see a larger version of the artwork. Oh, and in case you do not know: all my work is for sale, unless stated otherwise. And I happily ship to anywhere in the world. )

Permission to Play

Please click on images to see a larger version.

Recently I have allowed myself to make some abstract paintings for the first time in my life.

Do I need permission, you might wonder? Yes, because most of my life I thought it is too easy and superficial and thus not becoming for a ‘serious and deep’ artist like me. So I just did not allow myself to go down that route.

I had so much fun playing with my new colours and I loved the results! I posted some of these abstract paintings on Facebook and got a lot of positive response and my heart just warmed up and I felt happy and satisfied.

Those of you, who follow my musings here regularly, know that I have had my struggles with fitting into the art world and making sense of it all. I had serious doubts about just about everything. Always questioning if what I am doing is purposeful, important, serious enough, good enough, likeable and sellable and so much more.

This used to drive me crazy and kind of paralyse my creative flow for most of the time. It took so much effort to do things anyway. To get up and paint or draw or create despite all my doubts and insecurities… To make art, even though I have already so much art piling up, that will probably never find a way out into a gallery or somebody else’s home.

To deal with depression and try to not to loose hope…

Somewhere along the way things turned so bad, that I decided to take a break, even though that thought seriously freaked me out. But I knew I had no real choice. Being depressed and creatively paralysed was anyway not really supportive of producing any good art or make me feel happy and excited.

Sea Turtle by Imke Rust (Water-colour pencils, Acrylic and gel pens on acid-free 170m/g2 paper, 29 x 21cm

Sea Turtle by Imke Rust
(Water-colour pencils, Acrylic and gel pens on acid-free 170m/g2 paper, 29 x 21cm)

So I quit going to the studio. I quit pressurising myself to produce any serious art. I stopped writing proposals for stipends, grants or exhibitions. I even stopped going to see other art exhibitions, as I realised that every time I see other art, I start comparing myself: either thinking that everything great has already been done by people who are much better or feeling I have so much more to offer than the artist I see, yet they have a show and sales in a fancy gallery and I don’t.

It took a lot of courage, but I decided to start doing only things I really want to do, things that are fun or make me happy. Even if that meant sleeping most of the day – if I felt like it, I did it. Yes, my mind was racing and blaming and I was feeling so guilty and lazy, but on the other hand, my body gratefully accepted and turned around for just another few minutes of rest.

The struggle between my critical mind and my soul’s desires was huge. Mostly I could not even remember what my soul wanted and my mind was loud and full with ‘should’s and should not’s and trying to know and understand it all from a rational perspective. And very often I ended up wasting time in front of the computer, because that at least felt like I was doing something productive.

Ever since I can remember, I was very aware of other people’s needs, expectations and emotions. My survival instinct as a child quickly realised this could be a valuable gift that I hoped would help me to fit in perfectly and make everybody around me happy. I was good at that – always being thoughtful, kind and pleasing.

I am sure in many ways this unconscious strategy really ensured my sanity and survival. But it was not always successful. The more people I had around me that needed pleasing at the same time and the more complicated things became, the more I felt like failing and was failing. And the more confused I got and ultimately depressed. Especially because there was this deep, throbbing feeling that there was more to my life, than pleasing others and being socially acceptable. Just how could I ensure my survival if it depends so much on others? On a more practical level: people have to like my art in order to buy it, so that I can pay my rent.

Rhino Angels, Pencil on  grey paper 110g/m2 29,7 x21cm, © Imke Rust

Rhino Angels, Pencil on grey paper 110g/m2 29,7 x21cm, © Imke Rust

 

Anyway, I promised myself to follow my heart and listen to my soul and was adamant to push through on that. Until I figured out that I have absolutely no clue who I really am and what my own desires are – I was so good at soaking up other people’s desires, that I never gave much attention to my own. So, I tried to remember. I just could not. And every time my heart or soul nudged me with a little idea or urged me to just draw a cute little picture, my mind was racing and shouting again, finding hundreds of reasons why I should not.

I tried to compromise. I told my mind, that it is ok to play, I have a few more savings and one small alternative source of income and for right now, my survival will not be jeopardised (one of my greatest fears). I told my mind, that I will spend ‘just a tiny little snipped of time’ playing with paint or resting or enjoying watching the clouds pass by –surely that would be ok? This little time will make me happy and give me more energy to one day show up for the big work with all new enthusiasm and creativity.

The negotiations were tough and endless, but somehow, I guess out of pure desperation I nudged out more and more time and space to just be, to play, to muse and to not worry.

And I decided to ignore the inner critic as best I can and give myself permission to at least try to follow up on some crazy or fun ideas I have. To try out different things, so that I can finally figure out my own true inner desires again and express them.

 

Neon Butterfly, Acrylic on acidfree paper 170g/m2 29,7 x21cm, © Imke Rust

Neon Butterfly, Acrylic on acidfree paper 170g/m2 29,7 x21cm, © Imke Rust

The struggle has not ended, but I have a feeling I have come a far way. Being brutally honest with myself has helped a lot. And being kind and understanding with myself – wow, I did not realise how difficult that is!

It has also helped me to share my experiences and thoughts in this blog. Even though I have only allowed small glimpses every now and then, I feel that I have so many thoughts and experiences swirling around in my mind, that it would help me to just express them. And I hope it might help others reading it, to find some inspiration, help or just a feeling of not being alone with your troubles.

Much of the time I spent on the computer, trying to be busy and avoid looking deep into my own soul, has been spend on the Internet. I have read a gazillion motivational, self-help, inspiring blog posts. And yes, many of them were helpful and inspiring and I am so grateful for the access to all this information we have.

It struck me how so many people who can be viewed as successful and happy from the outside, are or have been struggling with many of the same issues that I struggle with. When such people are willing to share and expose their most vulnerable parts, their fears or mistakes, it gives me hope, as I realise we are not alone, nobody is born ‘perfect’ and if they can find answers and solutions, so can I. And I can learn from such a great pool of wonderful teachers, who probably never even see themselves as teachers.

That is the reason, why I feel that I want to share more of my inner world and thoughts in this blog, even if they are not directly related to my art. And I hope in some small way it might be an inspiration or helpful to some of you too.

Please click on the images below to see a larger version.

How to create miracles

As you probably know, I am a big believer in miracles. They do happen, all around us, in big and small ways.

Happy by Imke Rust (Ink on 250g/m2 acid-free watercolour paper, 14,8 x 10,6cm)

Happy by Imke Rust (Ink on 250g/m2 acid-free watercolour paper, 14,8 x 10,6cm)

Very often we are waiting for that one big miracle to happen! Like winning the lottery or living in eternal bliss… And then we are upset if that never seems to happen.

That always reminds me of the joke of the guy who prays for weeks to win the lottery, until he really gets upset with God and vents his frustration about his prayers not being heard. Suddenly a voice thunders down from heaven, saying: Meet me half way – buy a ticket.

So, whenever I am waiting or hoping for a miracle to happen, I wonder if I have done my half? Have I bought the ticket?

Sometimes it is so very simple: I always wish for the miracle of being able to do what I want to do with total freedom. Just create whatever I feel like. Instead usually a little insistent voice in my head rumbles: NO – you can’t do that! That will not sell! That is too easy! No way, what will people think if you paint like that?! Now, really, do you think any gallery will take you seriously when you show stuff like that? Ok, that is pretty neat, I like that – BUT how do you think this will generate any money? Remember, you need to pay your bills…

And so it goes on and on, and sometimes I find a successful way to navigate through this and be kind-of-happy. Until I realise that I have more and more work, and still very little income. Then I work harder at doing things, which I think will be better suited to generate an income, improve my career options and become a successful artist. This usually ends up with me being frustrated and depressed. And feeling like lifting up my fist to the sky and say: I have done my part, now where is that miracle of total creative freedom without financial worries I have prayed for?

During one of those frustrated times a different, kinder and gentler voice suddenly popped into my head and matter-of-factly said:

Some miracles you just have to create yourself.

What? Me? How? (I have already tried all those little tricks which I have read about, such as visualisation, praying etc.)

And then I realised: Yes – I can!

Sure. Even if it is for short periods of time, I can just choose to be happy and do whatever I like. I will not starve immediately. No seriously bad things will happen if I take an hour or so of my time and create whatever I feel like… I just need to make the choice and do it!

And so I created this miracle. An hour or two of blissful and fun painting of pretty stuff and trying my hand at lettering – just because I felt like it.

Some miracles... 3 artworks by Imke Rust (Guache, ink and pen on 170g/m2 acid free paper, each 21 x 29,7cm)

Some miracles… 3 artworks by Imke Rust (Guache, ink and pen on 170g/m2 acid free paper, each 21 x 29,7cm)

Too often we are waiting for something outside of us to happen or change. From now on, I am committing to always find what I can do to bring me closer to create my own miracles. And do it. It is a blissful feeling to see all the potential miracles around me.

You might say: oh well, that’s too easy and not going to be a long-term solution. Granted, I have to keep repeating it. I think that would be possible, if I just choose to.

So here is another real big example from my personal experience.

Many years ago, I wrote down a list of things I truly wished for in my life. I read all about manifesting whatever you want and I decided to try it out. One point on the list was a real biggy. I had bad eyesight and needed to wear glasses. I hated that. And I wanted the universe to give me perfect eyesight so that I would never need glasses again.

You would agree – if the universe got that right, then I really would truly believe that nothing is impossible. It was on the list and so I waited. And waited. And waited. A few years later I found the list again, and ticked of some stuff, but the big wishes like the perfect eyesight were still unchanged. Nothing has miraculously happened. Maybe I just had to admit that it was a bit too idealistic of me to believe that it could happen.

I pondered about this for a few days until suddenly I had a small epiphany. I just received some money, which was owed to me for a long time, and I did not really expect to ever get it. I believed that it is not good to let money lie on a bank account, it would be better to invest it into something. But what? What would be a good investment for me? Something that would not depreciate in value? Something I really wanted or needed?

A few of my friends had done eye operations and were really happy with the results and suddenly it struck me that this money would be able to cover the cost of such an operation.

The miracle was there for me, I just needed to make the choice and buy the ticket.
I did.
Within a few weeks of preparation and five minutes of operation I had perfect eyesight. What a miracle!

Imke at the Goodman Gallery, Cape Town

My first public outing after my eye operation, celebrated with a visit to the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town. (March 2011)

I often thought miracles would have to come falling from the sky in some supernatural manner. There might be some that do, but most are pretty damn ordinary miracles. I mean, isn’t it just totally amazing that it is possible to laser your eyes and within 5min have perfect eyesight? Wow! I am still in awe and so incredibly grateful!

So, remember:

Some miracles you just have to create yourself.

And you can!

Panther Dreams by Imke Rust (Guache, ink and pen on 170g/m2 acid free paper, 21 x 29,7cm)

Panther Dreams by Imke Rust (Guache, ink and pen on 170g/m2 acid free paper, 21 x 29,7cm)