It has taken me a lifetime to feel good about who I am, and to know who I am. I love being imperfect. I am short, and have laugh lines, crows feet, a few gray hairs, crooked teeth, a body shaped and changed from childbirth, and many other human flaws. I love being free to be me, and happy with the natural progression of life and age. How tiring and stressful to be pressured and striving to look younger than you are, and more perfect than you really are.
It feels good to be around people who can let themselves be real and have the same attitude, personality and temperament no matter who they are with. I want to be that kind of person. I want to be the same to everyone.
I use to be so wrapped up in pleasing others, I could not even begin to please anyone, let alone myself. Now I am content to allow others to be disappointed in me, if they are. I am myself, and let go of the results. Some people may not like this post. I let it go. Some people may not like many things I do. I let it go.
Thank you AnneMarie Hamant you are a gifted photographer. You captured me perfectly.
I am an Art Educator. What does that mean? I went to school for Anthropology, and switched back and forth between an Art Ed. degree, finally I finished my BA in Anthro, and then went back to school to complete my Art Education license. I am not a Fine Artist. Fine Artists, in my opinion are no different than art educators, they just typically have spent more time in the studio than art teachers. I was "afraid" I wouldn't find work if I became a Fine Artist, but I have spent much time in my studio, working on my artistic skills. I still probably have not spent the hours and hours of time a Fine Artist has spent perfecting their craft. So, I have decided to give myself little challenges so that I will purposely spend more time getting better as an artist. About a month ago, I decided to challenge myself to finishing 100 paintings by mid November. Mid November has come and gone, but that is ok. I am allowing myself some grace and extended my challenge to the end of December. In the beginning of my goal, I was on fire, painting 2-3 paintings a day! Then, what often happens with goals, we lose steam. Right now, I am struggling to do 1 a day. ARGHH! I will not quit though, and I truly am enjoying the process, and the stages of development I am witnessing in my art.
The painting below is number 53, in my series. I started with people, and faces, and turned to a more natural, earthy kind of subject matter. I have been painting a lot of flowers, and elements of nature. This lamp was found in a deliciously expensive catalog. Sometimes I enjoy painting an item that I wish to own one day. It "cements" the goal in my mind, and helps it become more real. I am a very visual person, so combining a thought with a visual picture is more impacting.
I never expected to have children. In fact at one point, I definitely said I was not going to have any children. Now I have 5 wonderful blessings. They are all so wonderful. I could not imagine my life without them, and I can not believe how much I have changed because of them. Homeschooling was never on my radar. That was my husband's idea. I resisted it mentally for a number of years, because it was not my idea. You know how we need to feel like we thought of something to want to do it. Last year, my 3 older children went to school for the year. The year was amazing, as far as school goes. I was happy with everything, but, I missed something, we missed something. They missed what I feel like children need most. They missed the extra hugs, and kisses. They missed quiet talks with me. They missed the slower pace. They missed the one on one attention that they receive at home. They missed the camaraderie of brothers (4 boys), and the connection with their sister. They missed the time to daydream and think of the future, and who they want to become. They missed the sunshine, and fall leaves, and reading books outside. I know they missed all these things, because I missed them too. I grew up away from home. I had two loving parents who did what everyone else did. Put kids in school, sports and a slew of activities. I wanted nothing more to be home with my family, and spend time making art, and going outside. I lost myself, before I ever found myself, because that is what happens to a child when they are with groups and peer pressure constantly. They learn how to fit into a group, but they do not learn who they are. I want my children to know who they are, and be connected to where they come from. To me, that is the greatest gift that I can give them- the gift of themselves.
Designed by Jenel Schaffer PO Box 135 Bethel PA, 19507
Some photography credit belongs to www.annemariehmanant.com
Other photos are by Jenel Schaffer Artist
Copyright Jenel Schaffer, Sheep Hill Herbs LLC, 2019