Monday, September 16, 2013

What I've Noticed Despite Pain

What I Noticed #1 - Ink on Paper ©Toni Ruppert
I did not realize how pain could affect me. And my art.  Physical pain affects the way you think and move...and talk and create.

I have had weird pains in my back. Hopefully, this will be taken care of over the next few weeks as I am scheduled to see a specialist next week. Sometimes I've had to sit still so I would not feel anything.

This has obviously affected the way I see myself.  I've seen myself frail...

On top of that, we recently moved.  With the pain and moving, I've noticed EVERYTHING.

Details. Cracks on side walks. Reflections in window glass.
Here is what I've noticed so far:

What I Noticed #1 - Ink on Paper ©Toni Ruppert

At the grocery store, I was getting a package of hashbrowns or something, when I turned around to see a guy who was IN my personal space. We locked eyes and in the instant that it took me to notice the joint in his right hand, I felt fear. I said hello, signaled my daughter and went on. That whole day, I thought about him and what brought him to THIS morning. I felt like this guy was a kid at some point. This drawing is the result of my encounter with him.

On My Mind (Detail) - Ink on Paper ©Toni Ruppert

Two friends of mine who are missionaries in Santiago Chile have been on my mind. They care for abandoned children among other ministry programs.  Jack and Janine are extremely faithful and committed. You can read about them here: 

On My Mind #1 - Ink on Paper - ©Toni Ruppert
On My Mind #2 - Ink on Paper - ©Toni Ruppert

On My Mind #3 - Ink on Paper - ©Toni Ruppert

All I know it that it is important to keep creating despite the pain.  Jesus es vencedor (In Jesus we always have the victory.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Today is the Day: Art Show Reception

Today is the day.  

Our show opening is today and already I am thankful. There were sponsors and friends who helped make tonight's reception a success.

I feel blessed to be able to share new work.

Having 18 paintings to share means I:
  • connect
  • create
  • work
  • plan (a little)
  • labor
  • toil
  • serve
  • compose
  • produce
  • cultivate
  • exist

And that is enough.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Way to See and Transcend...

"Over 40"  Acrylic/Permanent Marker on Panel  12x12 ©Toni Ruppert
Do you struggle with seeing clearly?  No one talks about the mechanics of seeing either physically or mentally, just how it feels.

If seeing your way clear is easy for you, no need to keep reading.  If you answered Yes, read on to  pick up a tip to overcome this struggle.

One day this week, I got so frustrated about a situation.  I literally could not even picture a solution.  At some point, I looked out of my living room window at the blue sky.  Since I have been in love with clouds lately, I have been looking outside often.  At that point, though, I noticed something more.

My window was reeeeeeally dirty - it was gross.

I grabbed the window cleaner and attacked the grime and dirt.  Round and round and side to side I went.  Is there a science to window cleaning?  There probably is  - but I was delighted by the basic job after it was done.  I felt an exuberance and clarity.
Photo ©Toni Ruppert
 Even today as I type this, I smile as I look out and behold everything.

I had a revealing conversation later with Colleen Klimczak with Peace of Mind Professional Organizing.  She said that cleaning my window was an analogy for making way for the new - new ideas, new resources, etc.  She pointed out the physical and spiritual connection between cleaning, organizing and moving beyond situations. 

Transcendence.  To exist or experience beyond the normal or physical level.  That is what we want everyday, right? 

Do you have any similar victories to share? How have you transcended lately?

Reflections: 3 Artists Look at Life is an art show about seeing life differently.  I am showing work with artists Sharon Burrink and Jean Lewis.  Our opening is Friday, August 2nd at the Vogt Visual Art Center in Tinley Park, IL and the work will be on display for the month of August.

Cleaning this week has helped me see.  Hopefully, it comes out in my work.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Whoaaaa - I Could FEEL Him

©Toni Ruppert "Bones"
Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by an experience? 

I intentionally let my curiosity lead me where I usually don’t go...and was utterly amazed.  

First, I asked two people at my brother in-laws 50th birthday party to let me draw them.  I was attracted to something visual about them.  Though one of my sitters I’ve seen at almost all of my brother in-laws parties, there was something beautiful about him and the other sitter today.

Yet, I know that there are barriers--cultural, gender, and etc. that keep walls firmly up between them and me.  Outside of my brother and sister in-laws house or at a family funeral, we would probably never cross paths.

But anyway, just for kicks, I asked Bob--a guy they called “Bones” if I could draw him.   His look was THAT GUY.  Biker, beard, beer and all of the stereotypes that go with that for me.

Bones sat for me quietly - for a long while.  Today I SAW him beautiful.

Another guy at the party - Derick - said he’d sit for me.  He told me he was a musician. He loves the blues, Led Zeppelin and writes songs for his band.  I paused and thought “What?” His father is also a musician...and his sister.  I’ve seen these folks for as long as I’ve seen my sister in-laws family.  We talked about real music and being authentic with people...we went deep. Whew!

©Toni Ruppert "Derick"

Later - maybe because my mind was open--my sister in-law’s friend Sue told me her husband’s son was also a musical genius.  Later, I had a chance to hear his music.  I had followed Sue’s husband out to their car. I overheard him tell Derick about going out there to listen to music.

I heard good music.  Amazing layers of vivid, colorful lyrics and real instruments.  I kept looking away ‘cause I could not believe this moment was happening. This guy was good.  He even included a harp on one track. Whoaaaa - I could FEEL him.

Have experiences like these always been available?
Why are we given these creative gifts?
Who is this talent for?
What does a genius like Davey do with his gifts?
If artists don’t show stuff...sell stuff...change stuff - is it good?
Is it OK if it just touches 1 person?
What if its all just to stay sane?

Like I said, I was blown away today. Today...was real. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Reflections Show Opening Reception, Friday, August 2nd

I am looking forward to showing my art with artists Sharon Burrink and Jean Lewis!


August 2 - August 30th


©Toni Ruppert - "Head in the Clouds" - 9x12 - Acrylic on Panel

Vogt Visual Arts Center

17420 S. 67th Court

Tinley Park, Illinois 60477


The evening also includes a jazz concert outside in the gazebo. (Be sure to bring a chair for the concert). Light refreshments will be served and admission is free.

As I type this, my daughter Imani is playing in my hair - she wants the computer.  So I will make this brief.  I am showing art with Sharon Burrink and Jean Lewis--two amazing artists.  Sharon creates these awesome images using photo collages.  You will find victorious images about freedom, contemplation and celebration.  Jean Lewis on the otherhand, is a virtuoso with the drawing mediums of pastel and graphite.  She brings an attention to the figure and to still life that is rarely seen. 

If I can get the computer back--I will share more soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Creating My 2013 Mission for Art and Life

"for Auntie Katie, Oil, ©Toni Ruppert"
Lately, I’ve been re-reading a life-changing book I picked up some years ago. “The Path, Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life” by Laurie Beth Jones helped me create my mission and hone in on buried talents that were lying dormant.  In the book, the formula for creating your mission statement is:


M=(your mission is to:)
v3=three action verbs which you are attracted to)
cv=(your core value or values)
t=(your tribe--the group/cause that inspires you)

You got all that?  The first time I worked through it --almost fifteen years ago--my mission was to inspire, enliven and envision loveliness in the world.  Uplifting, huh? As I said, I picked up the workbook recently to see if anything had changed.

Things have changed.

My Mission

Recently, after redoing the questions in the workbook, I discovered that my mission had indeed changed.  I now envision, encourage and express harmonious relationships in the world.  I do this via song, via friendships and through my art.
"Higher Learning, Watercolor, ©Toni Ruppert"
"Time for Classie Mae, Mixed Media, ©Toni Ruppert"

I guess that is why I love to paint people and encourage connectedness amongst people. The paintings above were awesome to paint for this reason.

That is why I love it when I have the opportunity to paint someone, and show the extraordinary in the ordinary.

In the painting posted above, “Auntie Katie,” I painted from pictures recreating a piece that was previously nonexistent.  I was able to present the painting last week after spending a lot of time on it.  The fact that there was such surprise and delight made me happy.

In Gratitude

As this is my first post for 2013 and my first painting of 2013--I reflect in gratitude.

  • I get to paint in freedom as often as I wish. 
  • I have the ability to really see. My daughters, will tell you of the many times I shout with glee motioning toward the sunset so she can take it in. 
  • I am appreciative of having “vision.”  There is something about seeing in your minds-eye some happening and working diligently to see it come to life.  In life and in art this is important.
  • Building relationships-- I appreciate my relationships 
  • I am grateful for wonderful friendships with other artists--I have two friends named Pamela--both artists who support me and encourage me.  There are many others who are there during the good and bad.  When I have a new commission or even when it is  slow times or I am unable to get through a part of a painting.--I can count on my friends.

So what is your mission? Have you discovered your gift to the world?  What are you grateful for?

Chime in below in the comments.

I’m so glad you’re here.