Tag Archives: inspiration

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:

Offenes Atelier 5/6 Mai (Open Studio)

For English please scroll down.

Ich freue mich auch in diesem Jahr wieder die Türen meines Ateliers für interessierte Besucher und Kunstsammler zu öffnen. Wolltest du schon immer mal wissen wo und wie meine Kunst entsteht? Welche Prozesse, Materialien und Ideen inspirieren meine Kunst? In welcher Umgebung gedeiht sie? Vielleicht kennst du mich aus den sozialen Medien und möchtest mich mal persönlich kennenlernen? Das ist die ideale Gelegenheit!

Das Atelier ist immer ein kreativer und inspirierender Ort! An diesen zwei Tagen kannst du in entspannter Atmosphäre Fragen stellen: Zu mir, meiner Kunst, oder zur Kunst im Allgemeinen.

Die Tage des Offenen Ateliers bieten auch die Möglichkeit, kleinere oder ausgefallenere Arbeiten zu sehen, die man sonst nicht zu sehen bekommt. Natürlich ist es auch die ideale Gelegenheit eines meiner Kunstwerke zu erwerben, für euch selber oder vielleicht sogar als Geschenk.

Wer mich und meine Kunst kennt, weiß dass es da eine große Vielfalt und Auswahl gibt. Kleine Arbeiten oder große, Malereien, Zeichnungen, Naturarbeiten, Skulpturen, abstraktes oder figürliches, auf Papier, Leinwand oder Teebeuteln… für jeden ist etwas dabei. Auch preislich.

Ich freue mich auf ein Wiedersehen oder Kennenlernen und auf interessante Gespräche. Natürlich gibt es auch Getränke und was zum Knabbern, damit auch der Körper (Genuss?) nicht zu kurz kommt während die Seele inspiriert wird.

Offenes Atelier im letzten Jahr / Open Studio view from last year.

English:

Open Studio Days: 5/6 May 2018

Have you always wondered where and how my art originates? What processes, materials and ideas inspire my artworks? In what surrounding they are birthed and grow? Or maybe you know my artworks and me from social media and would love to get to know me personally and see my art in real life? This is the ideal opportunity. I am pleased to open my studio doors again to interested visitors and art collectors.

An artist studio is always an inspiring and creative space! And during these two days you have the chance to experience it in an open and relaxed atmosphere. I will be present all the time and happy to answer any questions about my art and discuss deep or frivolous ideas about art and art making, or life… whatever comes up.

The Open Studio Days also offer the opportunity to see and experience a wide variety of artworks, which are not shown anywhere else and last, but not least, it is a great opportunity to purchase that original artwork which has touched your soul and take it home. Or give it as a gift to somebody special.

Those of you who are familiar with my art know that you will not be lacking of choice. My artworks come in all sizes, styles and materials. There are paintings, drawings, sculptures, figurative or abstract works, nature art, Teabag Totems, fun, pretty or serious  … something for every taste. Also in every price range.

I am looking forward to meet again or to get to know you for the first time, to interesting conservations. It goes without saying that there will be some drinks and food to nourish the body, while your soul gets inspired and elated.

Opening times: 11am till 18pm
Address: Birkenstr. 11, 16515 Oranienburg, O/T Neu-Friedrichsthal
Contact: 0151 26686090 Imke Rust

Lucky Free Workshop Recipients

kadinskyquoteI am very happy to announce that we have two winners who will receive the 21 Secrets Color! Color! Color! Workshop package.

I made a list of all the old subscribers (who wanted to participate) and new subscribers. This morning I was happy to have Patrick Tagoe-Turkson, an artist from Ghana who currently is on the Global Nomadic Art Project with me in South Africa, to name me two lucky numbers, so that I have a totally impartial selection.

So, without further ado I can now announce the lucky two people who will hopefully soon spend their time emerged in colour and creativity and learning lots of new information and techniques.

The winners are Number 6 and 9, which translates to:

Drumroll….

Renate N. and Jackie B.

Congrats, I hope you will enjoy your workshop!

For everybody else, I am so sorry that you did not get the free workshop package, but you can still buy it by clicking on the 21 Secrets Image on the right-hand side column of this blog, or click here.

(The winners have been notified per email.)

Click on image to find out more or buy the workshop.

Click on image to find out more or buy the workshop.

21 Secrets – Color, Color, Color! Workshop Pre-sale and Give-Away (time sensitive)

21-SECRETS-2016-Color-artistblock-imke-rustI am thrilled to announce that I am one of the teachers presenting this year’s 21 Secrets – Color, Color, Color! art journaling workshop, which it is going on sale NOW.

Connie Solera from Dirty Footprints Studio, initiator and organizer of this successful workshop series says: “… because you can never have too much color – I went a little bonkers and invited 24 talented teachers instead of my usual 21 – all for the same low price!”

And this low price is: US $98!  — for a plethora of information (follow the link or see below, to find out about all the goodies which are included).
(for European people, that is about 87€ and for my Namibian folks: N$ 1320.)

To celebrate we’re having an Early Bird Sale now through Friday.

Enter discount code: COLOR and save $10.

Click here to get to the Early Bird Sale!

Click here to get to the Early Bird Sale!

AND…

You have a chance to receive one of two courses, which I am giving away for free to my valued supporters!!!

I love free goodies, especially when they are so valuable and exquisite and it is an even better feeling to be giving them away myself…

All you need to do, is to

  1. Subscribe to my blog – in the left hand column. If you already are a subscriber, please either comment below this blog or send me an email to tell me that you want to be included in the draw.
  1. Share this blog widely through your social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Tag me, so that I know #imkerust21secrets.

Signing up to my blog gets you one vote and sharing another, so if you spread the word your chances are increasing of being selected to receive one of the two workshops.

Recipients will be selected randomly by a third-party person and will be announced on my blog between the 19th and 23rd of September.

To make sure you do not miss out, even if you are not one of the recipients of the two free courses I am giving away, you can pre-order the course now and should you be selected, you have the option to cancel your pre-order (up till the 26th of September 2016) and receive a full refund. Or even better, just give away one of them as a gift to your best friend, so that you can do this course together!

I am an affiliate for the 21 Secrets course, so please use this link from my page to get to the 21 Secrets Course and purchase your workshop. That way you will support me and ensure that I can continue sharing my creativity with the world, as I will be earning a percentage of each sale generated through my page.

What is this 21 Secrets – Color, Color, Color! workshop?

In short, 21 SECRETS is a 150+ page downloadable eBook filled with 25+ hours of videos, full colored photos, templates, and clear instruction that will guide you through a colorful adventure with your art journal!

But what makes 21 SECRETS spectacular is that you receive all the content at once. We know you’re busy, so YOU get to pick and choose which workshops to do and when! Dive into your favorites first and never once feel rushed or falling behind — these workshops are YOURS TO KEEP baby!

Find out more about the teachers, short descriptions of each of the courses on offer and other information by clicking on the image below:

Click on the image to find out more...

Click on the image to find out more…

Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to ask – either by commenting below or sending me an email to: imke(a)imkerust.de   (please replace the (a) with an @ for sending your email)

Oh, and please do not forget to share this widely with your friends who might be interested too! Thank you!!!

21-SECRETS-2016-Color-medium

Longing to Belong

69 Strands of (be)Longing, Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

69 Strands of (be)Longing,
Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

In May I had been in Maastricht as an invited artist to the International Land Art Maastricht Symposium. I had shared some pictures from this wonderful event together with an invitation to come and see the results, but I have not had the time to tell you more about the artwork that I created there. So today I would like to share with you some thoughts and images, especially for those of you, who could not see the work in person.

Artists were asked to propose an artwork that they would create in the park of the Chateau Jerusalem. The theme of the symposium was ‘Connected’. We had five days to complete the work, which then was on exhibition for the following two weeks.

This is the concept, which I originally formulated for my plans:

“I am exploring the ‘Connected’ theme through a material that everybody connects to African women: long, black braided hair. Although they usually are made out of fake artificial material, they have come to represent a certain identity (African), but at the same time they are also an imitation of another identity (western, long, smooth hair). In so many ways they are connecting different worlds. To me they are also a strong metaphor for belonging and identity. Hair and braids can also be used as ropes to climb to another life (Rapunzel), and relate to the migration of refugees to Europe.

As a white African I am intrigued by working with this fake hair, as a form to express the duality and paradox of my own identity and belonging. The combination of synthetic and natural materials, illusions created and the process of braiding are additional aspects, which I want to explore.”

69 Strands of (be)Longing, Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. May 2016

69 Strands of (be)Longing,
Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

I had some vague ideas of how I wanted to proceed, but since I have not seen the park and have never worked in this material before, I decided to stay open and flexible and just trust the process.

When I arrived there and saw all the grand and impressive plans from the other artists, my heart sunk. Maybe my work was too timid, too small, too unspectacular? And what if it does not work out in any way I had imagined? I had no chance to try it out before, so either it worked or it would fail… What could I do, besides just start and hope for the best? I started and was flooded with even more doubts. Am I allowed, as a white woman to make art with this kind of hair, which usually is only used by black women? Could I even dream of braiding as neatly and perfectly as those hairdressers back home in Namibia do? Aren’t they the real artists who can make the most stunning patterns and styles for their customers? Who am I to now want to use this method and material to create my art?

Well, I had a lot of time to think, while I braided. And every time the doubts and insecurities became too strong, I heard the inner voice saying: Just trust the process.

I remembered that one of the reasons why I initially wanted to work with braiding, was the repetitive process itself. Somehow it is a process that is fairly easy, but demands just enough concentration and focus, that you have to stay in the here and now, but also leaves enough space for your mind to relax and wander off into thoughts that you usually are too busy for.

This work quickly became much more about that process and the inner dialogue that happened, than the final physical artwork. For five days I just sat there, under a beautiful tree, in the middle of the park and braided. I got to understand how this synthetic material reacted to humidity, dryness, wind and weather. How it sometimes could be so stubborn and putting up a real fight to get under control, and other times it just flowed through my fingers as if it was the most natural thing to happen. I became calm and looked forward to my work and every next strand.

My thoughts turned to my first memories of braiding. When I was a young girl, it was my father who braided my hair every day. And it was also he, who taught me how to braid. And I was so proud, that I even knew (from him) how to braid with more than 3 strands. While everybody looked at braiding as a typical female activity, I connected it to my father. And yet, it was my mother who had to go and buy the fake hair in Namibia (yes, these hairs were made in Namibia and sent all the way to Germany), so it was kind of a family effort that ensured I could sit in Maastricht in a park and braid ‘my’ hair.

Masculine and feminine… control and wildness… order and chaos… expectations and reality… appearance and authenticity… there were so many concepts that flowed into and through my being and into the braids (or did it flow out of them or the process?) while I was working.

With every next strand I had another chance of flowing. The focus changing and shifting… With every movement I moved on, the strand started, got longer and longer, and then, suddenly it reached the end.

I made a rough knot into the strand to keep it from coming undone and originally thought I will melt the ends to make a neat and proper ending. After a few strands with wild and chaotic knotted ends, I noticed the beauty, the wildness and the dynamic of these endings, the contrast to the neat braids… and decided to leave them just like that.

Through folding thin strands of hair over each other again and again… the central aspect became more obvious for me. With every movement there was a longing. A longing to come to the end, but also a longing for so much more… To belong, to understand, to control, to find the balance, to find a (my) place … to just be.

Where do I belong? To my home country, where I am too white in the eyes of many? Or to Germany, where I appear (on the first outer impression) to rather belong, but where I am a stranger? Do I ‘belong’ to be more controlled, or more wild? To fit better into the pattern of society or do my ends just come loose anyway?

Click on the images below to see a larger view and read about some further details.

Braiding, braiding, braiding… in 5 days I managed to braid 69 long strands. I managed to contain my sadness in these braids, to reassess the world and my ideas about it and to learn that I can and should just trust the process. The process of an artwork, but also the process of life…

Life is like these strands. Every day you begin with a new one, a new chance. You do your best to get as far as possible. But in the end it does not matter how far you come and how many days you get. What matters is your experience and your insights, your joy, but also your struggles and what you have learned through them.

Trust the process…

Here is a video taking you around the final artwork. In the photos one aspect gets lost, and that is how alive this work seems. How it dances and moves in the wind. The video gives you a small impression of that.

 

‘Let’s be more adventurous’ she whispered

Lying awake at night I saw myself painting a huge canvas entirely black and immediately I thought how dark and depressing that would be… and dismissed the thought.

Then I remembered that some time ago I promised myself and the universe, that if I get any clear inspiration, I would trust it and follow it. So the next morning I took a 100 x 100cm canvas and started to paint it black.

It did not feel dark or depressing… it actually felt comforting, calming and very rich in its smooth deep blackness. Not at all as bad as I had imagined.

While painting I got the following insight:

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems...

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems… (Text added digitally to the photo.)

Then nothing. No new idea, no insight as to how and if to proceed. I hung the canvas on the wall and waited.

Yesterday I heard the kudu softly calling me.

Paint me! Remember, we have a long and special history together…

(When I was about three or four years old, my father worked in the field and my brother and I explored the near-by hill. I was the one who spotted the kudu, very close by. It did not run away immediately, which these wild antelopes normally do. How exciting… a tame kudu!

So what do little girls do? They wanna go and cuddle and play with any nice and tame animal…

Fortunately I had my brother follow close on my heels. We were really unbelievable close to this wild animal and it did not make any signs of running. Being older and already more knowledgable about the wild, my brother noticed strings of saliva running down from the kudu’s mouth. A sure sign that the kudu had rabies and was dangerous. This also explained why the kudu seemed so tame…

Immediately he grabbed me by my arm, softly, but urgently told me to back up and run. I was not very happy about this, as I already was so close to touch this cute and majestic animal. But, fortunately big brothers can be very persistent when they are about to save your life. 

So we ran. Down hill, all along a fence. Chased by a rabies infected kudu.
It is a common symptom that animals with rabies appear tame, but then also attack you… We ran for our lives.

My brother was faster and ahead of me. I realised that the kudu is getting closer and my short little legs had no chance against his (or hers). Somehow I realised that I could slip sideways through the fence and hope that the kudu will continue with his downhill chase. It worked…

But now the kudu got closer to my brother and my brother was getting close to the corner of the camp, with another fence right in front of him. He duck through the fence and at the same time the kudu lifted into the air with his powerful hind-legs to jump over the fence…

Another thing which happens with kudus who have rabies, is that they get weak. Usually they easily and gracefully jump over fences, but now they do not manage the height and get horribly tangled in the wires. Caught with its legs by the wires, this kudu came crushing down to the ground where my brother had just climbed through the fence. It fell partly onto my brother, but fortunately he could quickly get away and was not hurt.

My father, who was already alerted by my screams that something was wrong, came towards us and once he has ensured we are save, he put the poor kudu out of his/her misery.

This was a pretty unusual childhood encounter with a kudu and probably one of my very earliest, clear and lasting memories. And it made a huge impression on me… )

So yes, I do remember. Also the first time that I was asked to paint your portrait. I answered in my mind.

Ok, so will you paint me again?

Mhhh. Ok, maybe with white on black, that could look cool.

Ok.

What do you think of this?

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Uhh, I like it. It is pretty. But…. hey let’s be adventurous tonight, otherwise we are finished so quickly… and black and white are so… mmhh, boring? Let’s just try something crazy…

I don’t know. I am scared. You look so pretty, what if I will mess that up?

You might, but wouldn’t it be fun? And anyway… if you do mess it up, you can just paint another one like this again, can’t you? Common, let’s just be a bit wild tonight… I dare you.

Ok, I trust you. And yes, I need to remember that I can always start over again. Art, like life, lets you start over and over again, as long as you are breathing. Mistakes can happen and they do. But it is not the end of the world and often they lead to amazing new and unexpected results.

So, yes, I dare…

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

So this is the kudu at this stage of our dialog… I think we leave her like this. Maybe, we will rather start another adventure on a different canvas.

And till we do, I am enjoying her presence. We are having fun, like girlfriends do, giggling and enjoying the neon colours we used, her prettiness and weirdness, marveling at the world, laughing at our vulnerability, fears and constant search for the elusive perfection… And think: who cares? When we can just be pink or turquoise or whatever we feel like? We should be more adventurous and less scared of making mistakes.

Calling the Spirit of Rain and Water

DSC01521In my research about rain making I found several interesting stories of how magic drawings on rocks would attract rain. Some of which suggested that you have to find ways to draw the water spirit’s attention and curiosity. Like this story, which made me smile every time I thought of it.

The antelope, who only arrives after it has rained, is presumed to be linked to the water spirit and its favourite animal. The water spirit likes a good party, and will presumably like to attend with their friend, or… favourite animal. So, if the rainmaker draws images of the antelope and dancing people on the cave walls and pretends that there is a good party happening (for instance through dancing, singing and holding a ceremony) she/he will attract the water spirit’s attention and interest to join. But who likes to go to a party where you do not know anybody? Right, so the water spirit, who can turn itself into rain, would like to have its favourite animal friend there too. But the antelope only comes when there is water, so being a good friend, the water spirit will let it rain.

Like, hey, if I’ll buy you a beer, will you join me at this party?

And voila – the rainmaker has made it rain.

So last Saturday we visited the farm and I decided to hold a small party, well – make some rain…

The more the merrier

I chose a nice visible spot, a straight cliff face on the top of a small koppie (hill) and asked my father, brother and husband to join me in creating a rainmaker. This is a part in my different experiments, which I always wanted to try: working together with more people instead of just creating on my own.

I believe that working together does create a more focussed and stronger energy. I guess that is also why it already says in the bible, if two or more people come together and pray, the prayer will definitely be heard.

(Please click on the images to see the full view, thank you.)

 

I stuck to my typical cloud and rain drawings, because I believe that the rain or water spirit will recognise itself and will become curious. And that

like attracts like…

Each of us drew a raining cloud with chalk on the cliff-face, my brother even drew a puddle of water where the rain collected on the ground. The cloud drawings were nicely visible towards the east, where the water spirit usually resides (where the rain usually comes from.) We all had fun drawing and imagining how we are making rain.

Shortly after we started, I remembered to take a picture of the area and blue sky, and was surprised to already see the very first faint rain clouds on the distant horizon.

If you look closely you see the very first small clouds appearing on the horizon

If you look closely you see the very first small clouds appearing on the horizon

 

Offerings – a sign of your abundance

Lastly, I wanted to implement another ‘new’ aspect into this rainmaker. The idea of making an offering… We sprinkled the rock and rain drawings with actual water. I have always thought that adding water to my rainmaker experiments would be another magnet in the sense of ‘like attracts like’, but I realised that there might be another aspect that I have overlooked.

If we are willing to offer a small bit of what we are asking for as a gift or offering in return, we are signalling that we are part of the natural flow. We will not unnecessarily hoard or obstruct the flow of the goodness which we are inviting to us. We believe that there is more of what we have just given away, we believe in our own abundance and the abundance of the water, instead of fearfully holding on to the feeling of lack and scarceness.

 

While we were busy with this, we definitely already attracted the attention of some baboons who were curious of what kind of party is happening…

Baboons are curious and try to figure out what is happening on our side...

Baboons are curious and try to figure out what is happening on our side…

Gratitude expressed

Just before we left the site, I decided to once again express my gratitude, by writing a thank you note on a piece of bone, leaving it at the foot of the koppie for the rain, once it arrives.

A little thank you note for the rain and water spirits...

A little thank you note for the rain and water spirits…

All done we left and it was amazing to watch how the clouds suddenly appeared from all directions, as if somebody had shouted:

Here is a party and there is free beer for everybody!

Anyway, I was slightly peeved that it did not rain that day, although so many clouds came up so fast…

But I also remembered that we must continue to believe in the manifestation for it to become real, no matter what. I have to give thanks again and again, and acknowledge my faith that our prayers will be heard.

I do not know if it is from pure stubbornness or something else, I have long ago started to tell myself if a wish is not immediately granted, it is just because the universe is busy preparing something bigger, better and more awesome than I could even wish for… after all, something that grand takes a bit more time.

And so it was.

Two days later, on our departure to Germany, we received the excited news from the farm that it was raining. The rivers were flowing and everybody was excited that suddenly there was so much rain after such a long drought. And in the coming days Facebook (the modern bush drum) was filled with images and videos of the massive rain received all over the country.

I am grateful and happy.

Rain on the farm and flowing rivers on 18 January 2016 – Photos kindly supplied by Amanda Koekemoer ©