“Why Am I Pursuing Unhappiness?”: …changing my Instagram feed

February 13, 2019 by Darren Clarke

“What am I doing to myself?”

That was the question, “What the hell am I doing to myself?”

A month ago I found myself bouncing from the meme happy misinformation of Facebook to the narcissistic mania of Twitter and finally over to Instagram where I was met with a furious, insult filled, NBA sports debate. And it just sucked the life out of me. All this social media screaming unchecked, overly emotionally based, perspectives down the throats of whoever dare question individual world views and/or personal taste in propaganda.

“Why am I doing this?”

And it was a really good question. Why was I pursuing unhappiness? So I decided to take action, not get up off the couch and do a real thing action, I’m not there yet (and it’s cold out and I am in Canada so settle down), rather I chose to act on what I was letting into my home. I went through my Instagram follows and removed every sports and politically related page from my feed. I then spent some time searching for and adding a large group of talented artists and photographers.

Then I refreshed my feed.

In place of partisan perspective, the tracing of lies, the unleashing of anger and frustration there was suddenly roadside attractions, vintage neon signs, black and white barbershop photos, lonesome bits of highway stretching out before snow capped mountains, labours of love, oil on canvas, works to capture a brief moment of shadow and light playing on pastel rooftops, intricately woven ink renderings of castles and forests, a giant red octopus.

The results of my change in diet were immediate. In place of anger and frustration was awe. Awe inspired by creation, by love, by whimsy, by craft, by the world around me conveyed in nuance, created without partisan leaning, created not to force me to think a specific thing (and only a specific thing) but rather mostly designed to inspire my sense of wonder.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know about threats to important things like your water supply, freedoms at large, or simply the health and welfare of your fellow man but that can’t be it, that can’t be all.

I refreshed my feed and was reminded that the world has beautiful things in it.

Here are a few random selections of some of my favourite stuff over the course of a few days on Instagram.

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At the time of the Black Power movement, natural hair in the Black community had become more than a fashion trend but also a political statement. Discrimination and regulation over Black hair has been present throughout time, from the Tignon Laws to the legal discrimination of natural hair styles, such a locs, in the judicial system. Thus, the Black community’s conscious decision to wear their hair in its natural, unprocessed state became a form of self-love and empowerment as a way of breaking away from European beauty standards. Artists often portrayed figures with natural hair styles and used real hair as a medium to further accentuate these beliefs and proclaim that Black hair and blackness itself was inherently art. #SoulofaNationBKM⠀ ⠀ Dawoud Bey, Deas McNeil, the Barber, 1976, printed by 1979. Silver gelatin print. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. Restricted gift of Anita Blanchard M.D. and Martin Nesbitt. © Dawoud Bey. (Image Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery) ⇨ Installation views of David Hammons’s Nap Tapestry (1978) and ⇨ Bag Lady in Flight (1975) and ⇨ Cliff Joseph. Blackboard, 1969. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Aaron Galleries, Glenview, Illinois. © Cliff Joseph⠀

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No humans in sight👌🏼

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Since I’m a self taught artist, a lot of people ask me how I got to where I am so quickly and how I developed my unique style. – The truth is, it took a lot of hard work and frustration. I went to a blank canvas day after day for 4 months and just painted abstractly. – Many times the result was ugly, and eventually painted over, but sometimes it was something beautiful. – Eventually my friends and Instagram followers began to point out my unique style to me, my brushstrokes spoke a universal language that really seemed to resonate. I was onto something great and every day I am working on the evolution of my style. – The truth is, my art is an extension of me and my originality. I’ve always been different, it just took me a long time to realize that being different is beautiful. – Moral of the story: everyone is different- and you should celebrate that. Fitting in is overrated. Be yourself and you’ll get where you’re supposed to be. 👍🏻😊 Oh and of course “practice makes progress”

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Working on “The Secret Rabbit Meeting" ✨

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‘Art is the only place you can do what you like. That's freedom.’ Happy birthday to artist, Paula Rego, born #onthisday 1935. ⠀ ⠀ Rego was born in Portugal in 1935 and at age seventeen came to England where she studied at the Slade. Her narrative figuration depicting psychological dramas found an appreciative audience in the 1980s, with her first solo exhibition taking place in 1981 at the AIR Gallery, London.⠀ ⠀ This portrait, by the late Chris Garnham, was taken in February 1988. It shows Rego sitting in front of her painting ‘The Maids’, a work inspired by Jean Genet’s 1947 play of the same name, which itself was based on the real-life case of the Papin sisters, Christine and Lea, who worked as maids for a rich Parisian family.⠀ ⠀ Image credit: Paula Rego by Chris Garnham 1988 © estate of Chris Garnham / National Portrait Gallery, London⠀ ⠀ #PaulaRego #ChrisGarnham #TheMaids #Photography #Portraiture #NationalPortraitGallery⠀

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Tonight's Uniqlo #TateLates at Tate Modern is themed around The C C Land Exhibition: Pierre Bonnard — an exhibition bursting with colour and peppered with pets. 🐈🐈 Bonnard often produced his paintings from memory, recalling faces, people and intimate domestic scenes and imaginatively recomposing these images in paint. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Exhibition tickets are reduced to £10 from 6-10pm at tonight's Uniqlo #TateLates. The night also includes free workshops, talks, music, meditation, nail art, poetry and sketching — all inspired by colour, memory and the art of slow looking, which is encouraged when experiencing Bonnard's work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #PierreBonnard, Dining Room in the Country 1913, Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, USA), on display in The C C Land Exhibition: Pierre Bonnard — The Colour of Memory at Tate Modern.

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"Блудный сын", 2017г. На данный момент это самая сложная тема, за которую мне когда-либо приходилось браться. Спасибо преподавателям, которые помогали и поддерживали, когда опускались руки… Тема сложная не только из-за ее религиозного содержания… Общее решение появилось, но никак не получалось найти нужную фигуру в нужном ракурсе и повороте. И друзей просила позировать, и вольнослушателей, и натурщиков наших академических-не то. Были отчаянные попытки приставать к колоритным прохожим,а однажды даже просила соседского алкоголика… Но,тщетно…так и получилось 2 варианта одной темы, потому как того самого идеального образа так и не нашла…но я не отчаиваюсь… Просто ещё не время) . . . #art #artstudent #artist #artwork #philosophy #winter #painting #painter #russianartist #artinreligion #arcadiagallery #academicart #instaart #instaartist #modernartt #modernpainting #picture #oiloncanvas #oilpainting #russianart #artsacademy #realisticart #contemporaryart #landscape #живопись #художник #искусство #church #religion #biblia

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Sunset 🌅 #fotografiaelias2003 #photoaventurero

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Shopping cart basics. #foodbasics

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Сегодня был такой солнечный и манящий день, что я не устояла, и отложила все дела на вечер) Яркий февральский свет, море под боком, а в лесу уже встречаются цикламены и подснежники (хотя снега в этом году и в помине не было) В разговорах о планах и мечтах, которые на самом деле одно и тоже, был выпит кофе. И кажется нет ничего невозможного) Сегодня сплошная лирика и никакой теории живописи, ребят)😌 🌷 #art #oilpaintings #oilsketch #tuapse #blacksea #myart #russianartist #summersketch #fineart #dreamer #motivation #composition #творчество #художник #painting #мастерскаяхудожника #этюдмаслом #эскиз #композиция

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“Lake’s Edge” #lakelife #maine

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New Print added at JimMusil.com 😊 PRAIRIE BALES, Acrylic on Panel, 12×12”, ©2018 Jim Musil When I was young, our family would drive across these prairies to go visit our relatives a couple states away. It takes most of the day to get across the width of South Dakota and I would ride by myself in the back of our old pickup truck that had been outfitted with a topper and a makeshift bed. Wildly unsafe by today's standards, right? Still, those long hours laying there looking out at this endless sea of grass had a huge impact on me. I used to imagine that these hay bales that dot the fields were like houses for some creatures that we couldn't see. Actually, I still think that, but I don't tell anyone. Enjoy! ❤ #iloveart #farmlife #clouds #art #artist #painting #artwork #skylovers . . . . . #galleryart #contemporarypainting #contemporaryartist #artcollection #painters #paintingart #ilovepainting #artaddict #landscapepainting #abstractlandscape #landscapeart #artforsalebyartist #impressionism #artistsofinstagram #acrylicpainting #artistlife #artcurator #artcollector #artgallery #artsy #contemporaryart #independentartist

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Видеть хорошее, цепляться за него — единственный продуктивный путь. Другой человек может многое делать не так, но в чем-то он обязательно хорош. Вот за эту ниточку и надо тянуть, а на дрянь не обращать внимания. Любовь — это не чувство, а действие. Не надо пылать африканскими чувствами к старухе, уступая ей место в метро. Твой поступок — тоже любовь. Любовь — это вымыть посуду вне очереди. . Пётр Мамонов Art by.: Lucía Cobo . #illustrationdaily #illustratorsofinstagram #illustragram #artgallery #artistsofinstagram #sketches #love #sobiratelzvezd #creative #picturebook #illustration #bookstagram

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СкетчSketch. #скетч #sketch

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