And just like that here we are in December, the whole year gone by in a blink of an eye. I have been negligent of this blog for a number of reason one of which, I am not proud to admit, is procrastination. Nevertheless I have decided to share with you the highlight of 2019 - my watercolor exhibition.
Little over six month in making with the support of my family and friends it ended up being a truly great experience.
The decision to show my work was fueled in part by my life in a world of modeling, more specifically the rejection aspect of it. We all know the feeling, it is less then unpleasant, but it is an innate nature of modeling, like it or not, but if you choose to connect your life with the world of entertainment, you would be judged on a daily basis…
Growing up I never thought of myself as attractive or beautiful, and I sort of made my peace with it, then I moved to Saint Petersburg and was approached by scouts, I was told I could be a model - for the breath shinny moment my confidence soared “I could be a model’ what a lovely notion for a young girl’s self-esteem, the victory, however, was shot lived, because right after I found out that “my face is unbalanced”, “my torso is way too long” and “my legs are not long enough” the list goes on and on… Very quickly I realized that the industry I am joining in not as rosy as one would hope. This is rather complicated subject and I wouldn’t want to go in depth about it right now, I would just point out that the main problem for me is that modeling in many ways places the value on the way you look and it is becoming hard to separate your own “self" from the “self" that is being judged and chosen or not chosen.
It became important to me to try and find alternative ways of expression, to do something where importance lies not only in the way I look, but in what I can do - so I have decided to share my watercolor works. I need to mention that I was fortunate enough to find people that supported my idea and were so helpful during the whole process and gave me an opportunity to share my ideas.
I have been fascinated with flowers for the very long time. Seemingly fragile, they remain very strong: you can see flowers growing on a side of the mountain, at the highest altitudes; making their way through concrete in a steel jungles, that are our cities; they are striving in the harshest environments and still keep their ability to bloom.
To me a blooming flower symbolizes sheer life force, raw power of creation. There’s many lessons we can take away from it. The flower does not care if you (the beholder) think it is beautiful, the flower will bloom, no matter if you watch it or not, the flower blooms simply because it is in it’s nature… I think we can try to be the same, we can learn to do things, without the need for validation from the outside world, we can be ourselves, simply because it is our nature. So as you can see flowers became central subject for my exhibition.
The idea that something can be both gentle and strong at the same time came through many of my tea ceremony practices, that I have been studying, under graceful guidance of Souheki-san, for past four years. Tea ceremony shows you that in order to make things look seamless and effortless you need to have strong “core", you need to be grounded and balanced. If you find your “tanden”(丹田) and trust in it, your practice will flourish.
Flower celebration and tea ceremony exploration are interconnected to me, that is why I decided to hold two tea ceremony demonstrations in conjunction with my watercolor exhibition to make it more of an immersive experience. Being able to share my passion for Japanese tea ceremony and to talk about my art work, to hear what struck the cord, what people got connected to and inspired by, was surreal, in part because up until the very end I was not sure if anyone will care, if anyone would show up and if what I have even worth sharing.
Through out all the uncertainty and doubt, organizational challenges (and If you ever tried to plan anything you know that things will fall thru at the very las moment ), financial predicaments this “Flower Dreaming” project ended up being the most incredible thing that happened in 2019.
I was amazed by the support I got from my friends and loved ones, turning the idea born out of pain of rejection into the celebration of appreciation - what a great lesson for the year.
So I am guessing the point of this post is this - "do not be afraid to put yourself out there”, “take a chance” and “fear not”. And right now I am talking to myself even more then to anyone else, because I am the most scared person there is.
For 2020 - let stop being afraid, let’s live and bloom just like a flower, simply because it is our nature.
Happy New Year.
P.S. You can see my watercolor work in here www.dinarachetyrova.com/watercolor.html