Friday, May 6, 2016

Being Disappointed Without Being Disappointing

"Love in Diversity" - Mural proposal ©Antonia Ruppert
Life is messy. Have you noticed that there is no way around that? We are not perfect but human. And as humans, we grapple with disappointment. This week has proved this to me in living color. 

But first, might I share the last few weeks in pictures?

©Antonia Ruppert

Painting Live for After the Due Order CD release
©Photo by Les Stevens

Robin Tillotson ( and I at my Loyola U show.
©Antonia Ruppert

"Portraits of Motherhood" exhibit at the Cicero Public Library
©Antonia Ruppert
After traveling, live painting for a CD release and two back to back shows at Loyola University Chicago and the Cicero Public Library, I was not expecting this week to get so messy.  I guess I had my guard down.

This week, my very good friend and fellow artist Elaine shared a mural opportunity with me. Though we both realized too late that the deadline had passed by one day, I called the organization. I was told that I had until the next day to get my materials in.  I was elated. I jumped.  Really fast -  I jumped. My eighth grade teacher Mrs. Mae would've been proud of the way I kicked procrastination to the side and got on with it.

I decided to create something that I thought was huge and magnificent. I stayed up way too late and got up early to finish.  I even put it out on Instagram and Facebook to get input about my idea.

Which one? Top or Bottom? ©Antonia Ruppert
After all that, I finished in time.  One little messy detail was that the mural opportunity had a boundary restriction - meaning artists had to live in a specific area.  I called the gentleman back from the organization to inquire.  I eventually called twice and left an email. 

To make a long story short, just before sending the mural proposal I called the organization again. This time he picked up the phone and said matter-of-factly "Oh yes, you definitely need to live within this area." Crushed.

Nope, I did not get ghetto -  thank God. Yes, I kept my sanity.

Despite being utterly frustrated, I managed to call my friend Pastor Sarah who shared some wisdom. "You've got to be disappointed without being disappointing."

After coming to grips with the failure, I found these to be truths:

1. Thou Shalt Not Take it Personal: 
This gentleman's inability to call me or email me back is not a sign of anything related to me. It wasn't even about me, just something that happened.

2. Being Disappointed is OK, Letting It Go Is Better:
Don't run from the emotion. Hold it. And then let it go. Go for a walk. Jump on the treadmill. Write in your journal. Self-care.

3. Fill Your Head With Gratitude and Affirmation: 
Perhaps you find yourself, like me, severely disappointed in a circumstance. We can still find 10 things that you can positively be grateful for. Check out my inspirational renewal cards. Currently available, you can take 10 seconds and redirect your outlook. We can be affirming. 

4. Tons of Folk Have "Been There" Too:
In the book, "Daring Greatly," author Brene Brown talks about "common humanity" in which one can realize that "suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy" are part of being human.  All of us go through this.  

In conclusion, if you can relate today, be encouraged. Life is messy but we're not a mess.  As I leave you with my positive affirmations, remember we can be disappointed without being disappointing. 

Daily Affirmations ©Antonia Ruppert

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Antonia Ruppert: New Art, New Show.

Faithful Heart
Mixed Media Collage
Sixteen mothers. All different, all strong. Chinniese said she was honored to be a mom. Tina was faithful with the two children she had, and now holds a new baby. Elaine, an artist, mother, workshop leader and blogger managed a household and an art practice.

I am grateful to know them. 

Twenty two years ago, when I became a mom, I was a student on Loyola University's Lakeshore campus. Overwhelmed does not begin to describe my feelings. There were many mothers including my own who supported me in deep and compassionate ways.

Peggy's Future Assignment
Mixed Media Collage
Over the years, I have connected with many moms. That connection meant friendships, shared laughter and real life tips. I missed that connection after moving here. 

I decided to get to know the moms around me- one painting at a time. 

I have painted 20 paintings and am presenting them this spring--Portraits of Motherhood at - Loyola University, Lakeshore campus. Here are more details. 

Date: The paintings will be up until April 22. 

Time: 9-5:30 weekdays, please call 708-508-8400 for an appointment

Address: 1020 W. Sheridan Rd. Chicago 60660. (2nd flr. in the Mundelein Center for Fine and Performing Arts)

Here are some pictures from the opening:

Portraits of Motherhood
Opening Reception
Loyola University Chicago

Portraits of Motherhood
Loyola University Chicago
Portraits of Motherhood
Opening Reception
Loyola University Chicago

For more information about the exhibit, please click here to go to my website. 

Click HERE for purchase info. Just click on the picture.

View more of my work at

Sign up for my newsletter HERE.

My mission is to create connections using personal stories, with layers of color and meaning. I'm elated to share the joy I have experienced in making this new art. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Connection and Devotion: words for 2016

"Growing Heart and Hearth"
Acrylic Mixed Media
©Antonia Ruppert

As I start 2016 with this first post, two words comes to mind: connection and devotion. 

Connection is something that we all need. Though we are connected via technology, some of us are yet alone or lonely.  As an artist I am acutely aware of this.  I started a project, "Faces of Strength" last year to connect to other moms in my neighborhood.  I have not mentioned it in a while here, but read this short post to catch up.  

Here is where devotion comes in. Devotion. Love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.  It is only pure devotion to this gift of an idea God gave me that keeps me going. It keeps me going from good to great.

This is the beginning of the painting shown above:

"Growing Heart and Hearth," progress picture

I almost said OK, but then I listened to "Three Feet from Gold" an audiobook by Sharon L. Lechter and Greg S. Reid.  In the book, entrepreneur Debbi Fields says, "Good enough never is..." 

I went to work in devotion.

"Growing Heart and Hearth," painting in progress

"Imaginary Parts" shown below is another painting that could have stopped at good enough. The painting was really missing something at first.  Then my daughter called me. I relaxed.

After talking for a while, I glanced at the painting and then the missing piece hit me. 

"Imaginary Parts"
Acrylic Mixed Media
©Antonia Ruppert

These first two paintings of the year will be shown along with others in the "Faces of Strength" series.  I am so thrilled! They will be exhibited at Loyola University Chicago this spring.  It is my intention to share more details about the show as we get closer to the show.

Let me ask, what are you devoting yourself to this year?  How will you connect deeply as the year progresses?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Art Everyday Finale - Morning Devotion

Morning Devotion
Oil and Acrylic
©Antonia Ruppert

This morning, I awoke and had devotion time. That time reading scripture all connected with this watercolor painting to create this new oil piece, "Morning Devotion."

The collage below shows the inspiration/process. It started with the watercolor painting which was created yesterday from an idea and a batch of photography. Then this morning, after devotion time and another photo, I was curious how the whole idea would look in oil.

Morning Devotion Inspiration/Process
Watercolor - left
©Antonia Ruppert

If I learned anything from this past month's art everyday challenge, it's this- Be Open.  One never knows where an idea is coming from. 

Art Everyday.  As I end this challenge, I reflect. Though I did not post every single day, I created something everyday - for which I am grateful. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Art Everyday Month - Sunday Meditation

Sunday Meditation © Antonia Ruppert
Today's art started out as an encouragement to myself.  Some of the words are:

Be encouraged.
God will handle it.

Then I added my daughters names in the hair. And then I thought of my nieices and younger cousins. So their names were added as well.

This is my prayer/meditation for today.  I want to see these lovely sentiments for the next generation.

Art everyday=making art for others.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Art Everyday Month--painting at the edge of the day

Sketch - after the circus
©Antonia Ruppert

After cooking, cleaning, visiting the circus and putting the child to bed--we ushered in art.  Now that is creating at the edge of the day as author Toni Morrison suggests.

Sometimes these types of sketches become part of larger works--like here:

Dreaming of Innocence
Acrylic on Canvas
©Antonia Ruppert
and here:

Dreaming of Stars
Acrylic on Canvas
©Antonia Ruppert
Dreaming of Christmas
©Antonia Ruppert
Whether a sketch or an actual painting, these creations have become a testimony to the bible verse "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might." In this season of life, I try not to "despise these small beginnings" as scripture says.

Sometimes painting at the edge of the day=Art Everyday. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Art everyday- sweetness

Cranberry cake
© Antonia Ruppert

Ahhh!  This was my Thanksgiving dinner contribution. I love the cranberries folded into vanilla, almond, flour, sugar and butter. 

The family taste test results are in: the cake part was truly yummy but the cranberries were very tart.  Pucker up!

Here is a lesson--don't skimp the sugar. In an effort to lower calories, I used a 1/2 cup less of sugar.  And one could tell. 

Lesson learned.

That lesson carries over into art. Whether you are a new or seasoned collector, know this: working with an artist to create your decor is using all of the sugar.  

Working with an artist --like me--means sweet results.

I'm thankful for all who venture to work with me.  

Commissioned landscape
© Antonia Ruppert

Thank you for reading my posts, following me on Facebook, for purchasing my work and for your positive feedback.

I'll have another chance at that cranberry cake. I will make another one for a dinner party I'm hosting on this Saturday.

Believe me, I will not skimp on the sugar.  

See for ways you too can add real sweetness.