I had a small melt down this week (in great company.. inside a mastermind group I am blessed to meet with) about this smash book teaching thing… because it seems to be counter to creating art/painting/whatever (this is very likely the voice of my inner critic.. because it’s never happy, never thinks I do enough, or am good enough, or paint enough, or sell enough *&^*%*&* the list could go ON)
… but… on deeper probing… I discovered.. that for me. my Smashbook is a self created safe space.. and it is this Opportunity that I feel compelled to share (that is.. HOLD SPACE for) ... it has the potential to be a self created safe space… and that is quite intrinsic to a life of an artist. (or human BEING for that matter)
As I went into my beliefs around my creative process.. my self as ‘artist’... the thought also flitted past... that I wish I had been shown this as a child.. growing up... I recall some really harsh teachers.. and how rubbish they made me feel... they didn’t realise (or care?) at the time the turmoil I had going on inside me.
So, in my workshops I always hope that I can create circles in which artists, mums, friends, sisters, daughters, sons, dads, people who are grieving, people who are healing, anyone's really.. can come and through the gentle process of intentional creativitea ….. enjoy a restorative space in time.
The picture above is from my art table on Sunday.. I'm creating a smashbook called 'MOTHER LOVE'.. so I am putting in anything that reminds me of my Mum… and some things that relate to me as a Mother myself… when you create your own alchemical container.. you can decide whatever you like that will go in it.. and it's perfect. Perfect for you.
I'm having a competition? no.. I hate that word.. I currently have a delightful opportunity.. for one dear person to win an Intentional Creativitea Session with me via Skype.. and a personally created Smashbook for them. You can find out all about that here. Entries close 1 Sept 2014.
And… if you want to find out more about smashbooking with me… (visit info page here) I have two workshops open for registration being held at Doonan - up near Noosa..(Qld, Australia) on Thursday 11 Sept.. and another on Saturday 13th Sept. These will be held at LuluArt .. at a gorgeous super sized art table with seating for 8… and windows overlooking a beautiful dam.. and birds singing.. and water lily's floating. It's very retreat like… and as always.. there will be plenty of tea. #smashbookdd is what I'm using on my instagram to share pics relating to this.
love Denise x
if you can't be bothered moving to another page to read What is a Smashbook
… I'll write it here too:
What is a Smash Book?
Here I am… a day after the end of THE 30 days.
Yesterday… when it was the 'finale' day.. i spent much of my day on the phone and no time at all creating … today.. not a whole lot more… except this lady here. Since the Gypsy theme is on my mind.. for the upcoming retreaty/workshop at the end of July I have been wanting to do some playing around with this theme… I wasn't quite prepared for this sorrowful gaze… so I let the pencil tell me something . . .
"It's not so easy being a Gypsy you know" my pencil wrote automatically . . .
"yes we can feel wild and free, and without rules but all of us feel pain, sadness and loss - there is no escaping these human feelings. But, coming back to yourself and lovingly treating yourself kindly, you'll be ok."
… this challenge has been a great reminder to just keep showing up.
so… now we are in July… and another 31 days are piled up like boxes on my calender… let's just keep going.. shall we?
bye for now,
A bit of a melancholy start to my day.. pondering how it would have been my sisters 58th birthday (she died in '97) … and having a go with the loose style I've learned a bit from Misty Mawn.. so I keep trying it in my art journal.. funny how I can be much more free on the page sometimes…. maybe because it's not 'fraught with added expectations' . .. and as an astute artist I met said… "oh.. and you can hide it".
Day 14… and I am still keen to keep this thing going.. and w a n t t o f r e e u p s o m e m o r e
bye for now,
"What a difference an app makes!"
Several hours on this painting again today and still the man's face and head look redonkulous. nope.. can't even share it. I'm having some fun though.. pouring lots of love into this painting.. it's like a gift to my marriage.. which may sound weird.. but all the love I pour into other paintings.. they're most bound for another location.. but this one.. if/when I ever finish it to a point i love it all… can hang in my house :) I mean.. who else is going to want a Chagall like tribute.. that includes a star ship enterprise.. and until a few hours ago.. a giant tea pot, tea cups and a large colourful chicken on that tea table.. GRRR.. see.. I painted over that chicken as it 'wasn't quite right' .. but (^(%(*&*( it.. sometimes I want to keep the .. not quite right.. interesting.. my fingers just typed that without me filtering … hmmm.. curious. Ok.. note to self… I have permission to put whatever the hell I want into this painting because it's for meeee.
Good morning friends,
This makes me want to write one for myself… do you have one?
I shared the link to an interview in another blog post in January, but having listened again in the car this week to Jamie's and Tami's chat I heard again his 'Creativity Manifesto' and I wanted to keep it, read if often, and share it with all & sundry.
As I begin February, and the Year of the Wooden Horse, this realllly spoke to me, I have had a shit time this past week dealing with my hyper vigilant perfectionist, mild anxiety associated with my creativity resulting in feeling frozen and not painting, it's a new month, I'll be addressing it for sure, and this kind of truth telling (Jamie Catto's creativity manifesto shared below) goes a long way towards helping me release the crappola and move into some kind of grace, a space for self forgiveness and self love.
Insights at the Edge.
From a podcast called: Breaking the Approval Addiction and Expressing Our Creative Gifts
Tami Simon: " OK, here we go. So this is from Jamie Catto’s "Creativity Manifesto:"
Jamie Catto: "I’m in. I love hearing you say it."
full transcript of the interview can be found here:
As some of you know.. SARK is one of my favourite inspiring people in the world… and I listended to an 'unplugged' interview she shared this week, I've listened to it twice already I loved it so much and there was so much upliftment to be gathered. (I'm doing some stencil work as part of a commission and my inner perfectionist critic would have me get all flustered if I let it.. so I distract her with great talks on podcast, or interviews like this one.)
I was particularly taken with a gorgeous notion she shared …
when she said "What I enjoy, are Rituals that are born out of the Moment."
that alone was so comforting to me. I transcribed as much as possible word for word… I didn't want to leave anything out… earlier in her chat she had shared that she is scared about lots of things, but doesn't let that stop her from doing what she wants/needs to do. One of which was being audited by the tax dept (which actually happened) she gave a FABULOUS account of how that went, including reference to her Wise Self, and the Wise Self of the IRS agent.
So, I go walking with my partner John on the beach almost everyday . . . and we will get into subjects sometimes that start being less than;… nourishing, let's put it that way, we're repetiviely talking, or we're getting into scarcity, or we're going into fear … whatever, one of both of us are, and so we started this Spontaneous Ritual …
I tried it this morning with a piece of pumice at Pt Cartwright beach... it helped me shift my focus, and on our walk yesterday afternoon I told my husband about it .. and he's a love… he tried it out too, with a stray leaf on the path in front of him.
that's it for now.. I just really wanted to share that simple, yet powerful idea with you.. in case.. you might need help sometime to shift your focus…. and like me… you enjoy fun.. unusual.. yet simple ways of doing so.
love Denise xo
p.s. if you'd reeeeaaaallly like to hear that interview.. email me and I can forward you the link, it's inside an email. It could also be available on her fb page, I'm not sure.
well… it's quite interesting my 'no facebook January' … I'd have usually shared pics on there so today I've gathered some snaps to share about my week at Woodford.
I spent some time just taking in the sights and the feeling of fun and freedom that pervades woodford, 11.30pm was magical … 3 minutes silence outside with hundreds of people each holding a little candle and thinking of our loved ones and those not there… I didn't catch a photo of it… I chose to 'be' there instead.
on News Years eve at midnight I was on my own biting into a giant byron bay doughnut… listening to a tribal kind of band… New Year's Eve's are charged times… so much energy about the place… I felt ok to be alone.. alone in a sea of lovely people, I didn't feel lonely.
here's some pics to give you a glimpse into my week.
Oh… I visited this place several times and sat to write a letter… it was DIVINE… the art of letter writing was revived with a delightful twist at woodford this year… that gorgeous posty girl… would collect the letters people had written for stangers.. perhaps only describing them by an item of clothing, or a gender and age range… and sent a letter off to them for the fun of it, to brighten their day perhaps. If we wanted to send a letter to a friend at the festival all we needed to do was write their phone number and name on the envelope and they did the rest. I LOVED THIS SOOOO MUCH.
I hope you're enjoying the start of a whole new shiny year…
bye for now,
love Denise xo
You know there's only a little difference in the placement of letters between sacred and scared . . . creating and sharing something this close to my heart is both/and.
Gypsy Rose by Denise Daffara
Painted using the Color of Woman Method.
May you find
not scared enough to
not take action.
love Denise xo
In December 2013, I donated this painting to a Women's Shelter as a token of love and hope for them.
A smash book is an energetic
Container for our ideas, hopes, dreams
Anything we intend for it to
Hold, nurture, grow, enliven
Contain, bless, flourish.
The one pictured below.. for example I have called "Beloveds" ... and my intention for it is to be a portable altar... each time I have a client/workshop booked in.. I can make a page dedicated to our time together. I believe very much in setting intentions.. 'Intentional Creativity' is part of what I have been learning through the Color of Woman course I did this year. Allowing our hearts desires, longings, and questions to come up and then to give them space to be is a powerful tool for real change/growth/enrichment and transformation in our lives.
I am grateful to Catt Geller for teaching me how to make and teach 'Cosmic Smash Booking' you can find her blog here : http://streetlightpeopledotorg.wordpress.com
I will be introducing some Smash Booking Workshops soon. Join the mailing list if you'd like to hear about when and where workshops are coming up.
If you have a group already who would like me to come and teach a Painting workshop or Smash Booking session, email your information and I'll see if we can make it happen in 2014.
love Denise xo
.. “Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there” Rumi
As I embark on the newest little part of my creative ventures... mixed media works on wood and paper ... I hear 'those' voices... "Oh this isn't real art.. you should be painting every bit of it" ... "What... you're using cut out pictures in there" ... "this is crap... this really will not do" .... "grow up" .... Oh the list could go onnnnn and on.
But with the strengthening of my Muse voice... or my listening to her... I'm hearing other whispers too... really quickly.... following on from the mean bitch voice... like,
"This is a new adventure"... "we're here to have fun"... "if it's bringing you joy... then... hello... do.. it" ... "this little piece of art you're making.. is not going to hurt anyone.. and if you're filling it with such enjoyment then maybe someone else might actually love it too" ... "try it and see" ... "experiment" ... I'm taking a new bunch to the framer this week... and they'll make their debut up at the gorgeous gallery that has my work.. and if anyone has a critical comment to make about them... well... let them say it to my face and hear about the 2 years of being blocked and depressed about it.. hahaha.. that'll learn them!
I'll post pics of the new ones once they've been revealed at the gallery. ... I can maybe show some snippets . . .
I am returning to a place of play as much as I can when making these pieces... and that feels like a really good place to start.
ps. They'll be on display at Tiffany Jones Fine Art Gallery later this month.
Books I Love
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”