It Really Helps To Know Who You Are


So school is out and kids are holidaying!
I bravely pulled out an old etching of mine and
started to rework it into something new.

I’ve added red ink and white chalk.
I’ve added pencil and words from the newspaper.
The result is a mixed media type of artwork.

It sits, a work in progress on my dining room table.
It felt good to put my hand to something and try to put into
practise all that I preach.
You know the “don’t fear – just do it” mentality I am often on about?

I realised that when I was at art school years ago,
I was intent on producing works that could sit nicely on a lounge wall.
The need to produce ‘pretty’ sat nagging at my shoulder.
It was a struggle because “producing pretty” doesn’t come naturally to me.
Producing passionately … now that’s another story!
Trying to be who I wasn’t was exhausting.
It took the joy out of my exploration of forms and textures.
It removed the passion.

To imagine that I could create something that turned out fairly ugly
but taught me loads, just went against my good girl mentality.
Of course I love and believe in beautiful art or craft.
But to explore… now what does that mean?

It means to travel through unfamiliar territory in order to learn.

Unfamiliar – that which is not known.

But we like to KNOW don’t we?
Giving ourselves over to mystery could just be too much.

The art work on my table exudes passion.
It’s walking me into new territory.
It’s not pretty.
But I am exploring –
sometimes with my breath held…

What is it that you need to explore?
What territory is beckoning?
What is holding you back?
The unfamiliar is scary.

And what is it that we really need to know?
I believe two things.
KNOW yourself.

Go out and learn.
Go out and be passionate.
Go out and explore.
You can even do it ‘prettily’ if you want to.

This is me Tania Ahlfeldt and I have red ink on my fingers…


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