Tag Archives: painting

On Love, Supermoons & Imperfections

 

This song is called ‘Say Hey! (I Love You)’, by Michael Franti and Spearhead, and I just LOVE it!

I listen to it almost every day. When I say listen, I mean I sing along and dance around the apartment like a lunatic, of course. It’s just so irresistibly happy, and full of good vibes that flow through the Universe, all the way into my soul. It is happiness.

I’m so happy right now, just completely over the moon – or should I say, over the supermoon! Maybe it’s the energies brought about by that beautiful full moon, or maybe it’s just me, but I feel AWESOME.


My view of the Supermoon, so beautiful!

 

I am exploding with gratitude. So grateful for that one moment almost six months ago, in which I chose happiness over everything else. Grateful for everything I have created for myself since then, and for everything the Universe has brought me as a reward for that one decision to be happy.

I am a hurricane of love.

And I want to express that love more freely, so I am going to make an effort to express myself creatively even more-so than I do now.

I want to paint more, create more, write more, live more, laugh more and love more.

I want to paint portraits, I want to start an art journal, I want to write a book about my year in China, I want to build meaningful relationships with people all over the world, I want to meditate more, I want to start doing yoga, I want to empower, inspire and make hearts smile, I want to do whatever you need me to do to help you see how freakin’ AWESOME you are.

I don’t want to sell out, conform to only writing top ten list or how-to posts, give in to anxiety, or pretend like I’m some sort of self-development guru that has it all together and promises you true happiness all at the discounted price of $99.99 – because I’m not a guru, I don’t have it all together, and I can’t promise you happiness – your happiness is up to you.

What I can do is be here, now, to go on this journey with you. I can give you my perspective, share my thoughts, creations and inspirations with you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you. I can create things for you, as resources to help you focus on the positive, reminders of your AWESOMENESS, and make pretty things to hang on your walls. I can see your beauty, and help you to see it, too.

But at the end of the day, it’s up to you. And that’s okay, you can handle that. You are powerful… so much more than you realise.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even want or need all the answers. And that’s okay, too. I’m just doing the best that I can, moment to moment. Sometimes I freak out a little, and I doubt myself a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I have what it takes to achieve my dreams.

Man, I love letting my vulnerabilities shine like this. It’s terrifying and liberating. It’s imperfect, and I love it.

I am letting go of my perfectionism when it comes to art, too. I will love what I create, even if it’s messy. I am moving forward with my creations, with my ebooks, ekits and hell, maybe even some ecourses. Because what I have to offer is worthy, valuable and amazing.

 

A messy painting I did yesterday

 

I love how this post was originally just meant to be a shout out of pure love, and it morphed into another soul-searching session.

How imperfect of me 😉

Well, thank you so much for ‘listening’ to my rants. I’m always here to listen to you, too. Whenever, wherever.

I’m going to spend the rest of the day walking in the park – the snow is almost completely melted and the weather today is beautiful enough for me to not have to wear my huge puffy George Costanza jacket, yay! Then I’ll be drinking wine and eating mooncakes with my soulmate.

I hope your day is full of double rainbows and flowers in bloom 🙂

So much LOVE,

Jen ♥

The Story Of The Bird

 

Hello beautiful!

 

Are you having an AWESOME day? I hope so!

Did you know that it’s nearly My Smiling Heart’s six month birthday?! 😀 Yay! Six months of growing, learning, connecting, inspiring and smiling at ourselves in the mirror! I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be a part of such an amazing tribe, thank you for a wonderful six months – so far!

Anyone who knows My Smiling Heart is familiar with the image above, especially the bird, that has become the MSH logo.

I just entered this self portrait into an online art competition, and the prize for the People’s Choice award is $2,500 – more than enough for me to be able to continue writing My Smiling Heart once I return to Melbourne in July! – so I would be forever grateful if you would please vote for my work here (click vote in the top right corner). Thank you, thank you, thank you! 😀

As I entered my artwork into the competition today, I realized that I have never given you the full story behind this self-portrait, so here it is 🙂

The Story Of Me And The Bird My Cat Killed:

 

That’s what this painting is called: A Portrait Of Me And The Bird My Cat Killed.

A few days before I painted it, my cat, Juno, jumped through my window with a bird hanging from his mouth. As soon as I saw it, I ran over to him, took him outside and made him drop the bird, but it was too late. It just lay there on it’s back, eyes closed.

I took it to the back of my garden and placed it under a tree. I felt so saddened by it’s lifeless body, but at the same time I was mesmerized by it’s beauty.

It was a beautiful brown colour, with specks of green and yellow on its feathers. All I could think of was how tragically beautiful it was.

The next day I watched American Beauty for the first time. There’s a scene in it where a boy is filming a dead bird, as it lay lifeless on the grass. When asked why he was filming it, he replied, “Because it’s beautiful.”

Just as he filmed the dead bird for it’s beauty, and in turn immortalized it in film, I wanted to do the same for my dead bird.

I thought to myself, what better way to give something new life than to immortalize it forever in art?

Now, that bird will live forever.

And not only that, over the past six months of My Smiling Heart, the bird has become symbol of positivity, hope, and freedom for me.

This painting represents the beginning of my journey to recognising my own power. The woman in this self-portrait, is the woman that I have grown into since I painted it. And I hope that I have been able to use my power to help you realize your own immense power.

Because you are powerful, awesome, and just so damn amazing!

You have the power to create your life, live your dreams and make this world a better place!

There is no better time to release your AWESOMENESS to the world!

Start with a smile, and just go from there 🙂

So much LOVE,

Jen ♥

 

* It’s Link Love Friday! Head over to the Facebook page and share links to your amazing blogs/websites/twitter! 😀

 

 

Hey, #reverb10! You rock! Last one :)

December 31 – Core Story What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Author: Molly O’Neill)

I think the story that is so central to who I am is my constant quest to find my own truth, see the positive in everything, live a life of happiness & purpose, & show others how AWESOME they really are.

I share my journey with the world on Twitter, Facebook, & Tumblr, as well as here on this blog, which has become so important to me.

Offline, I share all of this with my friends, family & the world by just being true to myself as much as possible.

I have to admit, though, I always found it a little difficult to talk about my feelings with people face to face, & sometimes I still do, especially when it comes to things I am truly passionate about – like positivity & empowerment.

People seem to think I’m being ‘unrealistic’ or that I have my ‘head in the clouds’ when I talk about the kinds of things I write about on here; like how we have the power to create our lives. They look at me like I’m insane; I remember a few years ago I was talking to a friend about how I was taking a course on Life Coaching, & she thought I had joined a cult.

It’s only recently that I’ve found more successful avenues for expressing my true self; painting, writing, & most importantly; living a life that aligns with my values & beliefs – deeds not words (which is also one of my personal commandments!).

And, it’s amazing how people, who once laughed at your optimism, will start to take you seriously when they see what you can achieve with a positive attitude & your ‘head in the clouds.’

I’ve found that, whilst talking to friends at a bar about positivity, self-development & empowerment makes you ‘insane’, communicating those same messages through art, writing, & the way you live your life, instantly transforms you into ‘eccentric’ or an ‘artist’.

And now, after everything I’ve achieved this year, I don’t care if people think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am! It doesn’t matter.

The only thing that does matter, is that I’m being myself, & living a life that I have created 🙂

Speaking of things I have created, thank you all so much for all the love I have received on this blog. I especially LOVE how many people are using the 2011 Virtual Vision Wall to make this year their best yet! 😀 And an even bigger thank you to everyone who has been sharing it with their friends & loved ones, you rock! So awesome!

I’m planning on making 2011 an extremely amazing year for all of us, so if there’s anything I can do to support you the way you have all been supporting me, please let me know! Feel free to add me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or email me at jenartist@live.com.au.

And, as usual; Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011! :D

“Cheers to a new year and another chance

for us to get it right.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

At the beginning of 2010, I had two major goals; sell one of my paintings; & travel overseas.

In April, I achieved & my first goal. In fact, not only did I sell a painting, ten of my original pieces were featured in my first ever art exhibit.

That whole experience was so much fun, from creating a theme that promoted women empowerment & self-love, & spending the first few months of the year doing nothing but painting every day, to sending out the invites & the excitement of opening day.

It was AWESOME & it felt so right that I know I will be doing it again in the future.

At my first art exhibit

Next to one of my paintings

Three months later, I achieved my second goal of 2010, when I moved overseas for a year. This goal wasn’t just a 2010 goal; it was a goal I had dreamt of achieving for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’ve actually done it!

On our way to China!

Arriving at Beijing Airport

Exploring Daqing

Outside of a Buddhist temple in Hailar, Inner Mongolia

I’ve crossed off a few other things from my life goals list this year too; getting engaged; using my artistic skills to help raise money for charity; & experiencing a white Christmas.

Just after Mike proposed ♥

Nonprofit campaign promo I designed

My first 'snowing' experience!

White Christmas!

Then there’s just the bonus experiences & moments that were completely unplanned but will always be great achievements in themselves. Things like white water rafting in the mountains of far north China, walking through the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, where I also explored underground Japanese tunnels from before WWII, & most recently, starting this blog & being published on Tiny Buddha.

Rafting

Inner Mongolian Grasslands

Underground Japanese tunnels

My Tiny Buddha Guest Post!

I am so grateful for everything I have accomplished, experienced, seen & learned this year. I know I have come a long way, & traveled on a path with many highs & lows & even some u-turns, but I couldn’t be happier with where it has all lead me.

So, I wave goodbye to 2010, with a big, cheesy smile & a heart full gratitude for everything it brought me.

Now, it’s time to say ‘Hello!’ to 2011, I welcome this new year with open arms & another big, cheesy smile.

My major goals for 2011 are:

  • Walk along the Great Wall of China
  • Go to the Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Return home to Melbourne
  • Marry the love of my life

Mike & I at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens

♥ Mikey & Me ♥

I have a few other goals that I’m already working on, such as finding more ways to use my blog & art to inspire others, collaborate with amazing women to make something awesome, & learn Mandarin.

Another goal of mine is to post to this blog at least once a week in 2011, so I signed up to do the WordPress Post Challenge. Part of signing up means I have to mention it in a blog, so:

‘I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.’

Most of all, I just want to take a lot of action in 2011. I’ve been trying to decide whether ACTION should be my word for 2011 (I mentioned this to someone who commented here recently), it’s either going to be ACTION or INSPIRE. Then there’s always the option of combining them to make INSPIRED ACTION. Yes, I think that’s it.

2011 is my year to take inspired action.

By the end of 2011, I want to be a better version of myself. I want to be stronger, wiser, much more confident & independent, & I want to have achieved a lot & have really made a positive impact on the world.

So, my goals are set, my hopes are high & I’m ready for the AWESOMENESS of 2011! 😀

As you say goodbye to 2010 & welcome 2011, think of how far you’ve come over the past twelve months.

Remember the good times & how much happiness you felt, & consider the not-so-good-times & the lessons they brought you.

Think of all those special moments that you will always treasure, & take note of all the things & people you are grateful for from 2010.

Now, imagine how amazing 2011 is going to be. Think of all those positive things & people that made 2010 so great, & imagine all of that & more being a part of 2011.

Last week I wrote a post about how we have the power to choose the kind of day we have; imagine the possibilities if we apply that knowledge & power to an entire year! As long as we remember to enjoy the great times & learn from the challenges we face, there’s no stopping us!

Let’s make this our best year yet!

Here’s to 2011! 😀

Jen ♥

Day 24: Quotes, Self-Portraits & A Wolf

Today is Day 24 of Art Every Day Month, so I thought I’d should finally upload some of the creations I’ve made over the past couple of weeks.

I have stuck all these around our apartment, so that I can always see the bright, happy colours & read the quotes whenever I like. I even updated my Vision Wall.

Yesterday we went to the museum of natural history in our city of Daqing, I took a lot of photos! My favourite is of a wolf, the photograph actually looks more like a painting, thanks to the painted backdrop. I added some text & viola! My creation for the day was done 🙂

I have also been playing around with my camera & setting self-portraits. I will always look upon this time in China as an awesome adventure, a time of great learning & growth, & a year that changed my life for the better…

I wanted to capture who I am now, in these moments, so that I will always have these photos as a reminder of how amazing life is 🙂 I included some of my favourite things in the photos, my favourite scarf, books, crystals, candles, incense, jewellery, fairy cards & tarot cards.

In my last post, I wrote about Tumblr. I am so in love with it! So many photos, quotes, awesome people… it’s overflowing with inspiring things to share, I’ve even started adding my own creations to the mix 🙂

Check out my Tumblr page here!

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo

The Cosmos & Other (AWESOME) News

 

By Jen Saunders 2010.

I have bee having some very interesting dreams lately. All my life I’ve had very odd, symbolic dreams, & I always look up their meaning the next day – if I can remember them, that is! Sometimes, I only remember a very tiny part of a dream, but then things happen during the day that help me to remember the rest of it, things like a conversation I have with someone in which they say a word or phrase that triggers my memory, or something I’m doing or watching on tv. It’s pretty cool 🙂

A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was in outer space, sitting on a planet, admiring the moon that was right in front of me, huge, glowing & so close that I could see all it’s craters. There was a greenish coloured planet in the distance, & countless stars twinkling at me. I felt so completely at peace, so still, & blissfully happy. Weirdly enough, I was singing Taylor Swift‘s song ‘Today Was A Fairytale’ to myself, haha!

As you can see from the above image, this dream inspired me so much I decided to paint it. It’s now another creation to put towards Art Every Day Month 🙂

The next night, I dreamt that dinosaurs were roaming the earth again, similar to Jurassic Park. I spent most of my dream running & hiding from the huge creatures, trying to stay alive. All of a sudden I saw a T-Rex heading my way, so I jumped on top of a building & saw this amazing view of the ocean. What I didn’t see was a huge tidal wave that was speeding into the city, & as I jumped off the building it swept me away. That’s it, I woke up straight after I was swept away by the wave.

So, I looked up the possible meanings to these two dreams, & here’s what I found (courtesy of DreamMoods.com):

Outer Space: To dream of outer space, represents your boundless creativity.

Space: To see or dream that you are in space, represents exploration and independent thinking. You are broadening your horizons and view.

Moon: To see the moon in your dream, represents some hidden, mysterious aspect of yourself. It is often associated with the feminine mystique and intuition. A full moon signifies completion and wholeness.

Galaxy: To see the galaxy in your dream, represents your creativity. It also means that you are looking at the broader picture and are more aware of your surroundings.

Singing: To sing in your dream, represents happiness, harmony and joy in some situation or relationship. You are uplifting others with your positive attitude and cheerful disposition. Singing is a way to celebrate, communicate, embrace and express your feelings. To hear someone sing in your dream, signifies emotional and spiritual fulfillment. Your mood is changing for the positive as your outlook in life is looking up.

Dinosaur: To see a dinosaur in your dream, symbolizes an outdated attitude. You may need to discard your old ways of thinking & habits.

Tidal Wave: Symbolizes the clearing away of old habits. If you are carried away by the tidal wave, then it means that you are ready to make a brand new start in a new place.

It looks like they were both very positive dreams, one symbolizing my creativity – which has been boundless lately! – as well as broadening my horizons & enhancing my life with positivity & celebration. The other symbolizing my need to discard old habits – negative thinking, perhaps? – & finishing with a tidal wave, meaning I have already started to clearing the negativity & make a new start. Yep, that definitely sounds like me & my life right now! 😀

In Other News:

Amazing news everyone! Something I wrote about my experiences in China & lessons I’ve learnt from it all is going to be published on Tiny Buddha! 😀 I’m so happy about this, it’s a great opportunity to inspire others & reach such a large audience with my thoughts, creations & inspirations. I’ve been following tinybuddha since it was just a little tweet, & I’ve watched it grow into this huge inspiring empire, with the website, blogs & now a book, so this is an absolute honor for me 😀

It will be published sometime within the next month, so watch this space for news of it’s release!

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for all the amazing comments I’ve received! When I started this blog, I wasn’t expecting any readers at all, let alone such kind, supportive & fantastic comments, so thanks! I hope you are getting inspiration to live your best life.

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo

Day 6: The Art of Language

It’s Day 6 of Art Every Day Month, & I wanted to create something to add to my vision wall. The other day I bought a huge fake sunflower which I hung on the wall today & it looks awesome, but the wall still needed a bit more colour. So I got out my paints & had some fun 🙂 Once the painting was dry, I decided to write one of my favourite quotes on it – so that I can always look at my vision wall & be that little bit more inspired…

“The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.” ~ Michelangelo

I really love this quote, not just because these words were uttered by the legendary Michelangelo, but because it always reminds me to stay centered & focus more on becoming the best person I can be, rather than getting caught up in the illusions of the world.

Tomorrow, I am going to make some more pieces like this to add to my vision wall – I’ll post more photos too.

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo

Art Every Day Month 2010

As many of you may already know, every year in November is NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month. It’s a great tool for writers all over the world, encouraging them to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I recently found a similar event for artists, called Art Every Day Month, & signed up immediately. Every day for the month of November, my task is to create art, so far I’ve been painting, but it could be anything from drawing or photography to cooking or decorating, just as long as it’s creative.

As well as posting my usual entries, I will be using this blog to track my progress during the month & posting my creations.

Here are my first two creations – both are paintings, my first time using gouache paints:

Both works (as well as many others) are available for purchase as gift cards, prints, etc. here:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/smilinghearts

See you again soon with more creations!

Keep Smiling! 🙂

Jen xo