candlewax

this old container collected dust for a while. then it collected my colorful candle wax. 🙂

paintbrushes on concrete

i worked at a ceramics studio, and it gave me the best inspiration for photos and sketches. there were huge windows, so i could always play with light. something i still try to focus on is showing beauty in the mundane. there is always some irony in that. it makes people feel uncomfortable and ask,”is this truly art?” asking questions is always a good response in my book.

Below are some similar photos from the series.

(c) erinish

robot copy_wm

(c) erinish

(c) erinish

getting kicked out of grocery stores

a photo from art school. the next few photo posts will include photos that i developed myself in a darkroom. looking back, they seem like nothing spectacular as far as subject matter. but to me, i carefully selected aesthetically pleasing subjects that i hoped would translate to film. it’s all amateur, i know. but there will always be a special bond to these photos because of the time and care it took to develop them in the dark room.

(c) erinish

i actually got kicked out of the grocery store for this series, which made me feel like some epic photo grocery journalist at the time. below is one of my favorite photos. i really think it shows a different viewpoint of something as simple as a sugar container. it looks other worldly, at least to me. maybe i am partial since i spent hours staring it in the darkroom.

(c) erinish

hey kitty cow

i’ve been going through some old sketches from high school and my time in art school during college, and i thought i would upload a few fun scans. i remember so vividly having things spontaneous ideas and being not only able, but encouraged, to sit down and draw what was on my mind. it makes me smile looking through these and remembering that lucky feeling of constant inspiration. if onlyyyyyy i could go back in time. 🙂

erinish.com

it’s official! i started an art blog. i thought for a long time about combining erinwhatley.com and erinish.com, but i like having this blog strictly for all of my random musings, and i wanted a more commercial space to put my art stuff. i really don’t know what to anticipate with the art blog, but i am really committed to creating more recently.

i would be lying if i said i didn’t want to be successful in licensing some art or creating something completely unforgettable. i’ve been back and forth about taking the leap. it’s just so easy for me to feel insecure and cynical about putting myself out there. i follow so many artists and get so irritated knowing that i can create but that i am not doing anything about it. so, i am going to give it a shot. it may never be anything more than more colorful musings, but it’s worth my best shot.

i don’t really have much in other news. i’ve been struggling to stay positive through some difficult situations at work. nothing major, only the nuances of a sales job. if i didn’t work at a great place, it wouldn’t be as easy to get through, but i do enjoy my coworkers and clients. i often want to be negative about the things i can’t control, but i am really pushing to stay positive through all of the stuff going on. i hate i can’t be more specific, but i just don’t want to speak out in a way that might seem inappropriate in a professional setting.

justin and i are doing well. he’s working a lot on threeforty, putting together events and proposals, and of course doing a lot of secret whispering and planning for this year’s georgia throwdown. i couldn’t be more proud of him for following his dreams, and that’s kind of what’s inspired me to start following through a little more on my art career.

we’ll be taking some trips for two of my friends’ upcoming weddings. though i love my girls, i am so ready for this season to be over. it’s a lot of stress and cash to be a part of these things, and that surprises me daily when i think on it! i have ultimately decided that i will elope or do something similar when it comes my time. i will probably have a big party with loved ones once i have had my non-stressful time with the groom in jamaica somewhere. i just hate to stress out myself, my family and my friends with all of the crazy details of weddings these days. i’d rather enjoy $50,000 post-wedding than push everyone around me to make this one perfect day at the same extraordinary cost. i am totally supportive and excited for my friends who have gone to such lengths to plan their day, but it has truly helped me realize how little i care about all of the wedding buzz when it comes to my own plans one day.

other than that, i have started working out some. which i haven’t done in over a year. after pushing myself for nine years of fighting the pounds, i needed a good break. and i may not be totally back in the saddle. who knows? i have been feeling better through exercising and eating cleaner, but i could be back on burritos and the couch by friday. we’ll see what happens.

so, here it is.

i bought erinish.com about a year ago, but i have procrastinated and been kind of nervous about sharing my ideas and creations with the grand internet abyss. it’s really intimidating. but i am attempting this whole thing, and i plan to give it a good shot. i’m not going to force myself to do anything extravagant, like a post a day. but i will be sharing things i’m doing or things i like. whether they be ideas or the creations themselves.

so, my creation for today is this blog and a facebook page: facebook.com/artishbyerinish

i’ll make a legit post soon, but for now i would like to say hello to you, the person who has happened upon my wild, brain vomit of a blog. if you want to know more about me personally, check out erinwhatley.com.

i’d also like to say hello to you, blog. now you are no longer empty!

the scales

i hit 230 pounds in the 8th grade, and i’ve been struggling with keeping my weight off ever since. i’ll turn 25 this year, and i still look in the mirror sometimes and see the discouraged, overweight 13 year old girl looking back at me. no matter how many times the sweet people in my life tell me i’m pretty, there’s somewhere inside of me that it just doesn’t sink in.

up until this past december, i would religiously weigh on my bathroom scales three to four times a day. i justified this as a part of my OCD that would just never go away, and day after day i would look at my side profile in the picture–analyzing my belly and feeling digusted if i seemed bloated. i’d punish myself by weighing after enjoyable meals and pulling at skin (and fat) to show myself just how far i was from “looking good (in my mind).”

and suddenly, one day my scales were gone. upon investigation, i found my boyfriend justin to be the culprit. with sad eyes, he told me that he was tired of me beating myself up when he thought i was so beautiful, and he confessed how much he hated seeing me frowning in the mirror out of the corner of his eye sometimes when he walked by.

after our conversation, i resolved to give life without the scales a shot. it hasn’t been easy. to me, weighing multiple times a day was helping me monitor the rights and wrongs i committed throughout the day, and without using them i might literally blow up. but something interesting happened after a few weeks. i simply forgot them. i focused more on doing active things and eating a little better day by day (if and when i felt like it), rather than seeing how much i could eat and still prove to the scales i was as healthy as the day before.

i haven’t really thought much about those scales, and only occassionally do i itch to get them back out to use. earlier this week, someone asked me if i have lost weight. i had to reply that i was trying to be healthy, but that i honestly didn’t know. what a weird reply, i’m sure–but it kind of felt good to be free of such a heavy (no pun intended) addiction.

after a month, i got the scales out today. i was in a good mood, and i don’t know what struck me but i took a deep breath and waited on those numbers below my feet to judge me, size me up, decide my future mood. i looked down, and i have lost a couple of pounds if any. while a little disappointing, i was glad that i had proven to myself that weighing on the scales had no correlation to what i actually end up weighing at the end of the day, week or month.

i decided to “hide” the scales again above my kitchen cabinets. i’ve decided that maybe i look skinnier because my scales aren’t weighing me down.

the fog

it happened a week or two ago. i inexplicably just started feeling better. i have the drive to be involved in my life again. i sense a familiar optimism about the future and about today.

i spent many months in a strange depression that i haven’t shared with many people, because i haven’t understood it myself. losing my job put me through a range of emotions. i invested so much, but i loathed what the investment cost me. time with friends and family, missed memories, a missed life. my life was simply planning events in a really negative environment that never gave any slack. the rest was a blur. but i loved the trade, how i got to build memories and create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for others on a regular basis. it was my opinion that you couldn’t really beat that. and there were other, more personal, details that were both relieving and hurtful that i also released with my previous position.

i can’t really explain the feeling i have felt since last may. while i have experienced great things, i’ve experienced them through a fog. maybe i was subconsciously protecting myself. who knows? it just felt like i spent six months on my couch looking through my phone. i didn’t want to become attached to my new job, my relationships, etc. and everything i did, i felt an undercurrrent of loneliness, anxiety, sadness, regret, and really just anger that i couldn’t enjoy the moment like i was used to experiencing it.

my boyfriend, justin, urged me to feel better throughout this time. and really, without him, i can’t see myself feeling as fortunate as i do today. he is in a place in his life where he is following his dreams with everything he has. he went through some tough circumstances a while back, and instead of regressing, he put all of his energy into his music business, threeforty creative group. and since then he has been a part of bringing some of the best music to an area that hasn’t seen positive in a long time.  and what’s nice is that i didn’t have to be miserable while watching him live his dream. he included me in it. i got to share in all of the experiences with the georgia throwdown and other great events. and though i wasn’t in the frame of mind to enjoy it completely, it helped in keeping me positive through a hurtful time of picking up the pieces.

a bit after christmas, i was visiting with my mom and she shared with me the story of ann reese grote, a sweet little girl who passed away on christmas eve during a tragic swing set accident. i followed the stories on a facebook page honoring her memory, and it stirred this familiar feeling in my heart. a feeling of loss and deep anguish. the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ made me angry, but i couldn’t quit looking at the photos of the sweet little girl who lost her life. what struck me most was the family behind this little girl. ann reese’s mother, specifically, was mentioned giving some flowers from funeral arrangements to a local nursing home, thinking of others in such a horrific time. she has been posting uplifting,encouraging words of thanks to the Lord on this facebook page since her daughter’s death, and i couldn’t wrap my mind around the strength she was displaying in this terrible situation. and then i remembered. i, too, have that strength in my heart through Christ.

how easily i had forgotten to see the beauty in today. the hope in tomorrow. and how trivial my woes seem in relation to what i was scrolling through online. my life isn’t perfect, and there will be trials ahead. but if i can keep the right Goal in view, i can experience peace and joy beyond explanation. i have been praying for ann reese’s family, and i hope that you will, too. i hope if you happen upon this post or the facebook page honoring that sweet little girl that you, too, will feel moved to experience more of the next moment than you did the one before.

as for me, i am continuing to fight the past that haunts me–but it seems trivial when i look at a bigger picture. everything in life is going to change for me at some point. i will experience losses and gains. everything will change, except one thing–Christ. which makes me eternally grateful to know his peace and joy. so, so grateful.

old love note

finding such as this reminds me why my standard are so high for love.

“there is something about words that, i think, means a little more, when they are written. i dont mean to be long winded, but i wanted you to have something to wake to in the morning. i see you struggle with your self esteem nearly every day, and the way that it’s never far from your thoughts. nothing major, but i notice. i notice you cut your eyes when we walk past a window with your reflection. i notice the way the things you eat can change your mood a little. most people dont, but i do. i notice them because i love you, and i cherish the way you look. i want you to know that if you worry about the way you look for the rest of your life, i wont care. i think your beauty is exquisite right now, when you weigh 180. ill think you’re beautiful when you weigh 174 in a week or so, and ill think you’re beautiful if you weight 203. it doesnt really matter to me.

my teacher made us read about all these artists who tried to define what made art, art. one guy said that he thought the way you looked at a woman was different than the way you look at something that was crafted. he went on and said that kind of beauty fit more in the category of rhythm. im learning how to look at art, and decide what makes something more beautiful than the next. i dont need to compare you to another, or fit you into a different category to know you are perfectly unique and wonderful. you fit into a class of your own. not rhythm or beauty or craft. even photos that i love get old to me, but i never get tired of looking at you. and, i never get tired of your big smile after a long day.

im learning to admire you more and more erin whatley because you really are an amazing person. all the kind things ive said, and all the things ive said that the boys have said before me, are more than true. all the lines about your eyes and your smile are from a poem you wrote me with your glances. poets and writers spend their lives telling the story of the great loves. in this scene they beat all the odds and spend their lives together, or in this stanza he swoons over her beautifully made features… love at first sight. i think ive found the love people write about and make movies about, and im completely committed to this. i just wanted you to know at nearly four in the morning, the way i felt about you. completely in love, and completely committed to you. i love you erin whatley, and i always will.”

all mine!

after nearly five years of blogging, i finally own a self-hosted blog. i’m really proud of this. i’ve always been so interested in the latest social media trends, and i’m fascinated at the endless interactions and self promotion that can be gained through various social media platforms.

i tried to explain my involvement in twitter, facebook, tumblr, foursquare, wordpress, etc to a friend this weekend, and i realized how much social media culture was ingrained in my identity.

i’ve kept a journal since i was eleven–that’s twelve years now. and it has been an awakening experience to say the least. documenting your life, your innermost thoughts–having the ability to review decisions you’ve justified and ultimately having the truth as a reference at any point in your life–is overwhelming. those who haven’t kept journals can allow their mind to change the reality of their past based on their current perspective. but having a record of memories–some of which i’ve allowed myself to forget–is both wonderful and haunting.

journaling led me to blogging. practicing the art of collecting my thoughts through writing gave me courage to share them with the unknown audience of the Internet. i cringe when i look back at this blog sometimes, but ultimately, my journey is documented, which is thrilling.

so now, i am erinwhatley.com. i’ve branded my blog with my name, and i’m leaving a mark, even if it is small. how exciting!