The decision to be me sketch

How a impulsive decision can change your life.

On one warm August summer day in 1982, I got a ride home from the airport. I didn’t know then my future husband was besides me at the steering wheel. I had spent three long, boring weeks with my parents and other family members in Greece in holiday. It was so boring I can’t even remember where or what town it was. Prior to this ride home my future husband and me were good friends. At last day of school my fellow students and me went to celebrate the end of school at a restaurant. We had no other option as we studied to become sous-chefs, so no celebration without food. My classmates phoned their boyfriends and girls to accompany them. Not wanting to be the sad girl with no boyfriend, I phoned my best friend and within 30 minutes he stood besides me. So it will come as no surprise at the end of the night he was my official boyfriend. Bingo! I found a someone I can rely on.

Anyway, on our way home somewhere on the highway between Brussels and Antwerp all of a sudden, quite unexpectedly, he popped the question after dating for only two months. “Will you marry me?” I was 17, he was 18.

As I had no further plans, and being 1982 with the nuclear weapons looking over our shoulder ready to drop, I thought marriage would be a last thing to do before we all died. Yeah, I was a real beam of sunshine at the time. So my reply was very calm and controlled, “Yes”. Nothing more, nothing less. A simple yes, and we continued our journey to Antwerp.

Thinking back on it, my husband was a kind of knight, in not so shiny armor. He knew I lived in a controlling environment with hardly any freedom. Being the unhappiest 17 year old he had ever met, the only thing he could think of was marrying me to give me the chance to become a person, not and object to show. And of course he also loves me.

The happiest day of my life wasn’t that at all. My mother did her best to make everything picture perfect, but I felt neglected and just being there to play a side role in her story. So my wedding day didn’t go as the fairytale I was told when I grew up, but at least I had my knight besides me. Chances of me exploding at our wedding day was real as I was a ticking time bomb, but it didn’t happen. I really felt all the aggression building up inside of me, and the man walking next to me had the magic power of calming me down.

Yeah, bingo! I found the right guy for me.

The decision to be me.

Everyone knows getting married is a major step in our lives. For me it was a first step in making a 180 degree turnaround. Looking back at it, the awful day in June 1983 was the best decision I ever made, although it was an impulsive one. It was the start of a long road to live and not being lived. Every step I made walking the long and winding road, with many obstacles released me from some stones I carried with me from childhood, getting lighter every step. I got the chance to grow into the me I am now. Getting rid of the enormous ball and chain hanging around my leg. The ball and chain is long gone, but I’m still trying to let go of the past. But if it wasn’t for getting married to the guy who’s still at my side and supporting, me I would still be one miserable mess.

This little story inspired me to make “The decision to be me”. The bride cuts the string of houses which is a metaphor for the umbilical cord or ball and chains of my parents. You’ll notice, if you look very good, she is cutting the cord with one hand while the other hand is doubtful and holding it back. Cutting yourself free from a controlling upbringing isn’t the easiest thing to do. It’s scary, I felt small, and uncertain. But in the end I’m managing. The thing I would have liked to do was to cut up my awful dress, instead of the houses. But the dress that I hate like I hate walking in the poring rain, still is a symbol of me getting away of the situation I was in then. So I chose to use the string of houses to symbolize getting away from my childhood house. Me, cutting my way to my new life. Me, making the decision to become me.

46v2-the-decision-to-be-mev2

You tube video the re-make of “The decision to be me”
What life changing decision did you ever make?

Have you actively made a decision that changed your life in any way? It can be a tiny thing with big consequences, or a big step with changes only you notice. Tell me your story because, we all have one. Everyone makes some kind of step that make your life go in a different direction.

I would love to hear your story.

With a hug and a smile 😊

Sabrina M

Quack

Here did it all start.
I was teaching a Adobe Photoshop course and I wanted the students to learn blending modes and color in a fun way.  One day I found a bunch of black and white images and thought this would be the answer to my quest.
So I stared colouring, masking and playing with the image. Making a serious photograph of a goose stepping soldier into a fun half waterbird half soldier. 

 

Quack
– Quack – © Sabrina M – 2015 –

 

Bound together

Bounded-together
– Bound together – © Sabrina M – 2018 –

The have a dark skin but their names are Flemish.
A journey from warm beautiful Ethiopia brought them here.
Seen as strangers in the land they live in, seen as strangers in the land they come from.
They have one advantage, they are forever bounded to each other.

This is something I tried to show in this commission piece. The bare, misty Belgian landscape opposite the rock they float on. They float between their homeland and birth land.

Leave a comment and let me know how you feel about the image, about adopting or the love between a brother and sister. I’d love to hear.

Where do I see myself in a year?

To be honest, I never think about the future very much. I hardly make plans, I just “go with the flow”. Not a very good tactic, I know. I never expected anything from my art. I started it to keep my mind busy and perhaps relief from all the negative stuff from the past. (As you can read here in a previous blog post)

But then about two years ago I got the question “would you like to exhibit your work here?” I felt so honoured people actually wanted to see my work that I didn’t hesitate for one second. In all my excitement I forgot the expenses it would involve. Without prints, no exhibition. Without frames, no beautiful presentation of the prints…. you get the picture. But my husband supported me and said “go for it, grab your chance, it’s perhaps a once in a lifetime”

So my first prints got made, a whole adventure in itself which I will blog on later and my first show was a fact. A permanent mark in my own little history, you know something to tell your grandchildren. 😉

That same year I found a little gallery near Bruges that was willing to exhibit my work and I sold my first fine art print. I can’t even describe how I felt. People didn’t only wanted to see my work, they also found it good enough and the images had enough emotion that they were willing to put it on their wall. I was flabbergasted, what an honour and truly humbling experience.

One thing lead to another and in 2018 I got accepted to 10 shows. 5 in the USA (a big achievement for a European), two shows in France, Paris and Arles (I mean the thought of being on show in Paris and Arles still gives me the shivers and goosebumps) and three shows in Belgium, one being a solo (little me, a solo? Still can’t believe it)

In 2018 I sold 15 pieces, yes I still have to pinch myself to believe it. I also made a little quirky book and sold a few.

So how can I set goals for 2019? I already achieved so much more than I ever could of dreamed off. I’ve already accomplished more than I ever thought would be possible. My depression is a thing from the past now. I’ve never been happier in my life and with my life as I am today. So what more do I want? Nothing really.

But the topic of this blog post is “where do you see yourself in a year?” So I’ll forced myself to make a little list.

My fine art

  • To have the same amount of shows I had this year.
  • Being represented by a gallery, although I have no clue how I could achieve this
  • Make new work no matter what my health is like and don’t let pain problems get in the way.
  • Do some commission work

The surreal Passé composé series

  • Sell “The perfectly bizarre and fake Family Bell” in a bookstore.
  • Make a new series around a new theme.
  • Do some commission work “pop surreal style”.

Personal goals

Have the courage to have the treatment that might help with my chronic pains and however scary it will be trust the doctors to solves the back pain issues due to all sorts of stuff so I can finally devoted more of my time to making art instead of waiting for the pain to go away.

If you are interested in buying the little quirky book “The perfectly bizarre and fake Family Bell” you can see some the family without their stories they have to tell se the link below and order it on my Etsy shop or send $40 and your contact information to my PayPal

Why do I create?

Photography is phototherapy for me. It all started when I was diagnosed being an Asperger girl. Before that I suffered from severe depressions, was called manic depressed or the said I had on acceptable social behaviour and the list goes on and on. Until … Asperger. I got the advise “you are bored out of your brain”, your brain needs food, you are bored out”.

So I picked up my camera and start learning again. Not just clicking everything I saw but really tried to ventilate my troubles and emotions.

And so my fine art started.

I always start from an emotion, a story, a struggle, something I want to ventilate and channel into a image. At first it was all about releasing cropped up emotions until more and more people started asking me about my art. People begun to tell me their stories, their hurts and hurdles, their struggles. And I realised I was making art not only to help me self, it also helped others with their feelings.

So gradually my fine art became not only important for me, but it opened conversations. It’s all about sharing, getting stuff out there, opening up boxes that would otherwise kept closed. Giving dark images sense of hope. Showing everyone goes through dark times and that it’s normal to have dark or weird feelings sometimes even you yourself don’t understand. No Facebook or Instagram wall shows us real life, no ones life is instaperfect.

On the other hand I’ve been creating some pop surreal images too. You could say it’s miles apart from my fine art but actually it isn’t. As a kid I’ve always been called weird or different. Nothing a kid wants to hear, they just want to be a part of the big “normal” tribe.

But now I know I am weird and different although this has cost me half a lifetime to accept. I’m not a typical grey mouse and I’m beginning to be proud of it. So why not show my twisted side too. You could say they are the opposite of the darker fine art images. Although still strange or creepy most of them put a smile on peoples faces. And the conversations don’t go about deep difficult emotions but the images open up conversations too. They are more an expression of the “newly accepted me” more fun, less serious, still strange.

I’d love to hear your stories. So let’s share them. Don’t be afraid. I may be weird but I don’t bite 😉

You can follow my fine art on my Facebook page Fine art by Sabrina-M

Or Instagram @sabrinamfineart

And website Sabrina-M

My pop surrealism page Passé composé – Instagram @sabrinampassecompose

“Flying is done largely with the imagination”

This is the work I’ve made with the tea topic question “What would you like to do that you’ve never done before” .
Well, I would love to fly, not in an airplane or ULM or even jump out of a plane with a parachute. No, I mean really fly. Spread my wings and take off, just like that. Quiet frankly this is only possible in the imagination.
⭐️I hope you like it, give comments and share it with your friends.⭐️
http://www.sabrina-m.be/ to sign up for my newsletter and see all my latest work.
If you want to #buy an #limited museum quality Glicee artprint or represent me in your gallery just mail me.