How are you doing... I wonder, do you ever have outbursts of sadness/grief over something you 'sold... let go of' years ago?
Maybe it's menopause?
Who knows... but recently I had a big anxious reaction to a sentimental thing - I recalled having sold my daughters childhood table and chair setting. Somehow I felt completely devastated by this fact... and was willing to go to crazy lengths to get them back.. until I stopped myself and realised it would be FAR EASIER to take this whole upset to a sketchbook page!
Honestly... sometimes being a highly sensitive person, empath and artist... it's a lot going on in the head!
So... that's what I discuss on the vlog this week... just chatting through the process I took myself on the page...
I get that this may not be everyone's cup of tea... you might just prefer to see new paintings and things like that - which is absolutely cool, I understand - but for those of you who do.. like this kind of thing, yay, this one's for you!
Little Chairs & Big Feelings Vlog 9
Seeing my girls together in Melbourne this past weekend was a wonderful treat for my Mumma heart... I sneaked a few pics into the vlog...
On we go,
After much 'over thinking' about this... I decided to dive straight in and learn by doing the thing.
I was surprised to discover that having something 'to create for' has actually made me create more! So already this is a great outcome... and what I was seeking was connection and a place to share in a more quiet, real and hopefully encouraging way.. about the artist life/journey ... and what goes on behind the making of the art.
This 'Sketchbook Freedom' video has received the most view of all I've uploaded thus far... little did I realise when I began adding weekly vlogs, with just 68 followers... that many more than that would actually see my video.
I truly desire to keep making the videos like 'it doesn't matter'... but doing them the best I can.
Being open, honest, real... and hopefully this is helpful to the viewer.
Listening to a 'SneakyArt' podcast interview of Sandi Hester.. with Nishant Jain was one of the first times I'd heard of 'Urban Sketching' and made the connection that OH... that could be a thing where I live??? ... sure enough, the very next day I went to a gallery opening and met an artist named Shelley Harkness... who I'd only seen on instagram up until then... and Shelley told me she had been to URBAN SKETCHING that very morning!!
I absolutely LOVE synchronicty.
I had a whole day to myself at home... and made these two paintings on paper and had the best time! Recording the process to share made me think a bit about what I was doing and learning as I was going ... I seem to be on a quest to paint MORE LOOSE... ha!
These four were a true delight to see arrive on my boards... I had been doing several loose floral/leafy ones on paper.. and decided to treat four cradle panel boards as though they were 'just paper'. These were the results... and I discuss the process of them in Vlog 5.
I realised I get a bit ashamed of the mess I sometimes find myself creating in... so I chatted about this a bit as I was in the middle of what I truly hoped was a bit clean out... it wasn't ... it's still quite 'busy' in my studio space.
I've been hugely inspired by the way Sandi Hester puts together her vlogs and videos, I haven't watched too many others so as not to 'compare and despair', but I did find her joy and freedom an absolute delight... watching a few of her vid's tipped me over the edge towards thinking - "OK, If I can just be myself and do this thing... I'm willing to give it a go."
I felt a bit disappointed with this one... only because I am not entirely certain I love the finished painting... it could be another work in progress at a later date. So... I posted it anyway in the awareness of Process not Perfection!
That's a quick update of all of the Vlogs til now... I thought I might start adding the notes I send in my emails about the vlogs to my blog... so they are here for me to look back on as much as anything.. and again... if they're helpful to you. Even better!
bye for now,
Having picked up a bunch of 18 paintings from my framer this week…I felt compelled to have some kind of ‘completion acknowledgment’ … so I’ve recorded video of myself chatting about them as a whole… and separate short vid’s of them in all their little groupings..
It’s as much for myself to remember what was going on… how I was thinking.. how I approached this bunch… it’s been a long journey.. some are two years old??… others are quite new only a month or two old.. but all have a story.. and all have been lovingly created… even if that means painted over and over… until they’re ‘just about right’…
I’d love to hear from you if you are drawn to some in particular… or have thoughts on their meaning to you. Feel welcome to reach out, .. here, instagram or email me xo
I’ll be taking the majority of them to be in a group show at Stevens Street Gallery from 3 November, 2021.
You could call this a vlog… since it’s more talking than written…
The CVP inspired ones . . .
The K’gari Collection . . .
Inspired by Judy Woods . . .
The conversation rooms . . .
The Whiteley Blues . . .
Have you completed something and want to do some journal writing about it… to remember what you’ve gained, this can be so helpful… also to see what you’ve learned and might like to do differently next time.
Take a little time to quietly contemplate each of these questions, slowly and intuitively… tune right in to the words being asked… you might try ‘imagining yourself in a circle with that question’ - see what comes to mind.. and write that down.
It’s so INTERESTING when we give ourselves the structure of a series of questions, quiet time, pen and paper and ‘expect’ an answer from our inner wisdom… we GET IT! Hah! I love that.
Thanks for visiting,
SITTING WITH IT
SITTING WITH HIM
SITTING WITH HER
SITTING WITH THEM
SITTING WITH MYSELF
SITTING WITH HERSELF
SITTING WITH MEMORIES
SITTING WITH THOUGHTS
SITTING WITH UNCERTAINTY
These paintings are on plywood boards or
cradled panel boards. All framed in Tasmanian oak,
painting size: 30.5 x 30.5cm
material: acrylic, collage & mixed media
price: $425AUD + postage or $325USD + postage tba.
a few have sold already, so please send me a note if there is one you have your eye on.
They will be on display and for sale at Stevens Street Gallery in Yandina from 3 November 2021 - an evening event to celebrate the exhibition is on Friday 19th November.
Introducing you to my new batch of paintings... they are currently being photographed.. and then some will be heading to the framers...
The working title of this bunch is SITTING WITH IT.
Sitting with all of the ‘things/thoughts’ in my head, my experience, the ‘collective consciousness’ that I sometimes feel in my body - even ‘hidden away’ in my little studio at Mountain Creek.
We are all connected.
To be honest... I’m sort in love with these... and sort of questioning them as well. You see, I have a craving to be loose, to paint wilder, large abstracts... or wild small abstracts... whatever… however, these little ones sort of guided me along… and had ‘minds of their own’.
and... with my current state of mind, and zero hormones?? I honestly have been finding it SO HARD to focus... and as I’ve found for a long while.. to FINISH a painting... I’m more likely to paint over a painting a dozen times than I am to simply paint a dozen separate paintings.
A place to sit with plants nearby as though they are green guardians, witnessing us in our day to day. They are masters at 'simply being' and gift us by cleansing the air for us to inhale.
Pausing throughout our day to breath deeply is an appreciation of their gift, and our precious life.
She’s thoughtful, yet relaxed…contemplating people, places, things… who knows… but when I had this painting done without her in it … there was something missing… her presence is quite intriguing to me, she arrived.. and there she is.
We had a chair a lot like this in my house growing up… so the shape of it holds memories for me… and the blue is a nod to Matisse.. and Brett Whiteley a couple of my favourite artists.
A swathe of light pouring into a ‘Whiteley blue’ room, with the radiant faces of a vase of sunflowers gracing the table.
IN HER THOUGHTS: SOLD
The essence of a Parisian inspired room delights me in this space. What potions have those glass bottles held? The wildness of the floor mat being unashamedly loud in its joyous floral display. I feel a boldness as I 'sit in this space' that makes me want to be a lot more daring in my life.
Reminded of loved ones passed, and drawing like noone is judging, I remember my Mother and her love of gardening, my sister Min and her flair for interior styling and how we all loved to sit and chat over a cup of tea ... this room has so much love in it all by the way it reminds me of love I have experienced in my life.
CLOUDS IN OUR HEADS
Sometimes when my thoughts take me to deep dark places I seek to find where the light is able to come back in. Often this is by way of wisdom teachers who bring me reminders that I am not my thoughts... I can observe them.. and feel the feelings... then let them move on through me.
HER HEALING SPACE
This rose quartz pink chair with all the greens surrounding her… feels like a gentle healing space … don’t we all need a special chair that feels like home to sit in.
So... if you’ve found this blog post.. you’re seeing 9 of the collection of the works that are part of the Sitting With It theme.... I quite like the idea of them being ‘conversation pieces’ ... as though you might feel drawn to one or more to ‘feel what it would be like to sit in that space’ ...
does it remind you of anyone or a place/space you’ve visited?
I LOVE being able to share my work and hear how they reach out and touch the viewer.
I will be a feature artist in a gorgeous gallery in Yandina in November. Where you’ll be able to come and visit the originals.
Any questions about these works, please email or message me.
DETAILS FOR ADOPTING
All these are works on wood,
acrylic & mixed media
size: 30.5cm x 30.5cm or 12 x 12”
$425AU / $310USD
(framed panel boards and ply boards)
These works are available to reserve now if you would LOVE to own one… I would be more than happy to welcome early ‘adopters’. It would be so beautiful - to know they’ve connected with you... is precious to me.
For the most part, I feel I was led to painting and creating in direct correlation to recovering from a tragic death in our family.
After my sister died (1997) I experienced a deep depression and what I would describe now as a spiritual awakening. My whole foundational belief system was called into question and not much of it made sense anymore.
Out of that time came the awareness of how creativity is a healing space for me - and probably everyone.
So, many years later, along comes Creativitea Time for Grief... it's a new class/idea/course I'm creating that is to be a companion for those experiencing any kind of grief/loss in their life.
This offering is being created by inspiration, and prayer.. and in direct response to the 'inner guidance' I seek to listen to daily. I will also be creating journal page ideas in response to the stories that are shared within the course.
I encourage my students to trust this inner voice we all have. It is that voice that helped guide my healing journey after my sister died. SARK calls this the 'Inner Wise Self' ... some may call it the voice of your Soul.
For me, Creativitea Time for Grief, is heart work. Its purpose is to reach out and support you and give you tools and opportunity to be seen and heard and held in kindness and community.
I look forward to sharing it with you.
register now for the free short course that will be shared in late January... in readiness for the 4 week course that starts 8 February - 8 March 2021.
Hi fellow traveller on the creative path,
I’ve been waiting for just the right moment, to write about Vanessa’s Priestess Program, and just now as I was making myself a pot of tea it arrived.
Last night I received a beautiful surprise gift from a close friend of my daughter. It is an exquisitely presented tin decorated with a sort of Grecian design in blues.
The contents of this tin are none other that what I would say is a perfect description of the essence I encountered within the Sage Priestess Certification Program. “Sofitel Signature Noir BLACK LEAF TEA PERFUMED WITH VANILLA BERRIES AND ROSE PETALS” by Madame Flavour!
I discovered Vanessa’s Priestess program in 2015 and saw that the early bird entry was open and after much checking in with my heart, and a trusted friend as well… I felt guided to follow my knowing and say ‘yes’ to this.
First I’ll recount the tea ingredients as I see their resemblance to this work.
This speaks of the absolute attention to beauty and detail which you will encounter in every pdf, webpage and book that Vanessa Sage as created. I’m an artist, this really matters to me, it shows a commitment to going further than the ordinary to bring to us an offering that uplifts us on arrival, by engaging our vision.
Noir - black leaf tea
I am reminded of the Black Madonna, she is a revered aspect of the Divine Feminine that you will encounter in these teachings. Black tea is strong in flavour and can be enhanced by any number of additions, but having that strong foundation is what brings earthiness and depth to this tea. ( and to my favourite brew of spicy masala chai).
Perfumed with Vanilla Berries
Vanessa is a poet as well as a Priestess, she uses beautiful and powerful language to describe her subject and in her presentations - you know the kind of writing that you can almost taste and smell the exoticness of what you’re contemplating. She’s also deeply sensitive and thoughtful, so she knows a little goes a long way with words.
… last but no way least… Rose Petals…
well divinely feminine, timeless, an essence captured after the rose has bloomed in her finest silken wraps.
I also want to say now deeply I appreciate having entered Vanessa’s online temple is that it taught me the power of holding sacred space & circle space online. I did not realise this was possible or even a thing.
Vanessa models a mastery in holding a sacred space of presence and compassion for ‘everyone in the room’. Were it not for my receiving this experience I may not have been as prepared as I was to sit beside my Mother for her final week as she readied herself to leave her body behind. Learning how to hold space is one of the richest and most rewarding practices I have added to my life long learning, and I am so grateful for it.
It’s about holding a space for grace and not needing to be right, or to fix anything or anyone, but to be present to that moment, in that gathering with that person - meeting yourself and others right where they are.
Vanessa takes a modern approach to Priestessing that honors ancient lineages but is not limited to any location, gender expression, or set of spiritual beliefs. She encourages cultivating an embodied way of expressing your inner Priestess and discovering what that means for you!
If you’ve got a place in you that is very curious about meeting your inner Priestess, or indeed, you already commune with her but would like to gather with others who also either know or are learning to know, you will find for yourself a depth and clarity in Sage Priestessing.
It’s more important than ever for women to step into their light as spiritual leaders and share their wisdom with courage and strength. This program will nurture and help you reclaim your power and calling as a Priestess.
This is not an affiliate post, Vanessa and Stacy have become treasured friends I am honoured to be associated with their sacred, vital work in the world.
Sage Priestess Certification 2020 registration is now open! Join us on the spiral path!
We were warmly encouraged to arrive early and one of the participants Helen, kindly did an energy clearing for each of us on arrival, that alone sets the tone of an event, I so appreciate those extra attentions to detail/energy. It really makes a huge difference. Find out more about Helen’s work www.helenjoybutler.com - Elemental Space Clearing® and on facebook.
When we leave our home environs to maybe travel a ways, or whatever it took for us to set aside the time to attend, be ready on time and get there... it can draw us through all manner of moods, reactions, weather and traffic conditions, family commitments, responsibilities and expectations... all those ‘things that run around in our heads taking up space and vying for our attention’. These all line up... sometimes in harmony, sometimes not... so.. to be given the gift of sound healing/energy clearing when you arrive for a day in a beautiful studio space to create something honouring your year ahead., truly is an honouring of the whole group.
The morning session we did energy work, intention setting, awareness practice, meditation, crystals, aromatherapy and guided writing, letters to the Universe. All this before lunch! We set out to create a vision board, but there was so much more infused into our canvases than what one might usually do when creating a vision board.
I’ll not include all the steps here, that is for Katrina to share as it was her inspiration and careful creation of this event.
I just wanted to highlight the exceptional experience I had, as so much more than the collage paper images activity was taken into consideration. Bringing in all the elements, creating sacredness and awareness, allows the participants to go as deep as they feel to, making our experience so much richer for it.
There were synchronicities and stories, many examples of how Katrina’s vision boards made years previously have wonderfully manifested into her life in so many ways. It’s encouraging, it’s supportive, it’s uplifting and regenerative to have these opportunities to gather and create together.
Below I’m seated next to Lara…who I met 7 years ago to the day, at a Tracy Verdugo workshop.. Katrina was there too!
I was just smitten with this little photo of me… Kat asked us to bring a photo of ourself as a child that shows us at our happiest and where the "light" in our eyes is really strong.
I have only a few photos of myself as a child… so this one is quite precious to me, I forgot I had it. Approx 3 years?
Find Katrina & Red Door Art Studio
and her amazing ceramic workshops too
held on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia :
RED DOOR ART STUDIO on Facebook
RED DOOR ART STUDIO on Instagram
I went on quite a ‘mythical adventure’ gathering all the reference material and elements that were given to me as 'possible inclusions’ for this commissioned painting. It was graciously requested as a special surprise for my friend’s husband. It was still a professional project and we treated it that way, a detailed brief was sent to me, with an understanding that I’d ‘do what I was led to do in regards to the composition. I have never had such a long list of inclusions to consider before: trees, rocks, mountain, classical music, geologist’s boots or estwing hammer, specific mythical stories and scence fiction novels, a love of cats, cycling and mountain climbing, along with several favourite authors and the NZ Kea (alpine parrot) - I had my (quite tricky but fun) work cut out for me.
Curiously though . . . once I had images of most of the inclusions . . . the composition came to me relatively easily. It’s got almost an ‘art journal - mixed media’ kind of feel to it, with illustrated elements in all kinds of sizes… I LOVE it when you don’t have to be realistic.
“In ancient times cats times cats were worshipped as gods;
I really loved adding in all the details, the Kea sitting there greeting the adventurer as he begins his trek.
Both the giver and receiver of this artwork were readying to do a big walk up Avalance Peak, in the South Island of New Zealand.
It is really an honour and a joy to be asked to create a painting of such personal meaning as this. It was a wonderful feeling to finish it and have it be very happily received and hanging proudly in the new owner’s home.
Walking the creative path with you,
Following the directions given me via email, my sister Tricia and I headed all the way to the end of Longacre Road to find a gateway that had a beautiful mosaic picture of a donkey on our left and a sign clearly saying THIS WAY on our right.... So, up the driveway we went and found a hilltop home overlooking fields of green and a large paddock with several handsome chestnut and chocolate brown rather tall, horses... and 4 dear little donkeys. My heart leapt at the sight of the sweet things I’d first seen on facebook, skipping through the forest on a walk with their owner Pauline.
Warm fuzzy welcomes were made and excited faces and embraces as I met in person Pauline, a lady I’d only met online a few short months earlier via a workshop called ‘Get Out of Your Own Way - to Clarity of Purpose.' My sister Tricia was with me and we met Ting Ting who was visiting from Beijing as well as Blue, Pauline’s lovely husband.
I love how we can meet kindred Souls on the path this way. We enter a virtual classroom together and can end up friends in the wide open world outside for real, and encompassing and integrating the new/knew thoughts learned.
We shared a pot of ‘black gumboot tea’ which simply means good old black tea that comes quite strong and may be commonly called English Breakfast Tea at your local cafe. One of life’s simple pleasures is teatime shared with friends old and new.
Soon after our round table connection, off we went to meet the donkeys. Oh the joy. I’d purchased a bag of very large carrots enroute as gifts for our new long eared friends so we took them with us as chunky chopped up pieces and they were received enthusiastically by Donald, Sparky, Roma and Chippy, their crunching sounds made us giggle. It’s so great to have good teeth! I thought to myself.
Feeding and feeling into the energy of these compact likeable creatures was absolutely a pleasure. I’ve not had a lot to do with horses in my life and was a little scared of them but these miniature donkeys touched my heart and reached in to my inner child at once.
Perhaps it’s their size, they don’t tower over you as a race horse might, they reminded me of the biblical story of a donkey taking Mary to shelter to have her baby.
Getting to pat them and talk to them and see the way they come in close it feels so nurturing and an instant acceptance of possibility that love will be shared here, how can it not? I rubbed a spot behind Chippy’s ear, it stood up straight pointing to the sky as the other one stayed down and he put his head down against my legs making me feel so close to him, I suspect he was very much enjoying a little wind break my body was providing by blocking the wild west wind that was blowing on our arrival.
I sometimes feel unsettled on a very windy day, believing there’s too much ‘chi’ but curiously that didn’t seem to bother me this day as I had delightful distractions of meeting Pauline, Blue and their friend Ting Ting and also the field of green with a stunning herd of horses and four extremely cute miniature donkeys.
We ventured over to see the 130 year old house that is being lovingly restored to her former glory.
When she’s ready the hearth will be a place of grace and encouragement for participants interested in their own wide awakening and seeking equine therapy along with the wisdom and guidance of longtime Woman of her land - Pauline. She showed me the bare boards and dilapidated kitchen that will be restored to life and rooms where retreatants will sleep and find shelter from the external winds and storms or life.
Pauline animatedly shared ideas and visions of how it will look and feel and reminds me too that it's so important that each one may be reminded they are their own guru. (Deep down, we know what resonates for us.) All that is sometimes needed is an encouraging and well prepared resting and gathering place and some wisdom teachings of awakening to remind a Soul the reason they are here (and how they are being) and how they may find their way back to their centre.
I love the idea of returning to this homestead and experiencing the possibilities and opening that can come about when inner work and an open heart meet with the groundedness and intuitive nature of equine therapy. I am intrigued by this connection of animal and human.
Unfortunately our stay was brief but oh how grateful I am that we were able to have a walk with the donkeys before it was time to go.
After a good cup of ‘gumboot tea’ and a yummy pancake breakfast we were ready to go.
Pauline is such a nurturing and grounded guide, we found her in the pen; donkeys waiting with their halters on ready to walk with their companion... Chippy made his way over to where I was standing at the same time Pauline asked which donkey would we like to walk with. I remembered the little moments I’d shared with him the day before so it seemed we may have chosen each-other.
I would have loved to have had many more hours with this kindly Soul in the shape of a red/brown miniature darling donkey.
A favourite moment was at the very end of our walk I brought out some more carrots and at one point I had the crunching mouths of three little donkeys closely surrounding me as in ‘stereo sound’ they chomped and chewed happily.
If you have a chance to get to Whanganui, (aka Wanganui) New Zealand be sure to check out Pauline’s guided walks, she has a facebook page called Donkey Walking here : https://www.facebook.com/Mt.ZionStation/
Below is a link to a short video Pauline made of our little donkey walk ... https://www.facebook.com/pauline.neilson.7/videos/1902748663170692/
"Whatever state i'm in i believe myself"
I was introduced to the 'Inner Map' by Julia Colwell, she explained how we experience our feelings going above and below this 'line' many many times a day.
The idea is that when we are below the 'line' we are in what is called Reactive Brain . . . and it is not usually the best place to make good decisions from.
To NOTICE and acknowledge when I am below the line... is to remember... I'm not in the best position to respond from . . . take a breath/pause. So many things can trigger us to go into states like shame, guilt, despair, sadness, fear and anger. . . probably many of them set up when we were really young. Those 'programs' are still running along in the background and we wonder why we freak out sometimes about something that doesn't seem all that worthy of our despair.
Wouldn't the world be different if more of us could communicate about our feelings in ways like this, imagine if you could let folks know when you realise you are 'below the line' and need to take care of yourself.
Sadly . . . I notice, I am experiencing me pushing against me.
Below the line are feelings and beliefs around scarcity, competition and narrow focus, it's quite painful to be there.
I've been in a cycle of 'growth' and 'stuff' lately... and so the feelings below the line have become a lot more familiar than the ones above.
I was reminded whilst listening to an interview on Sounds True of Rob Bell.. talking about how he 'makes things'- that using my creativity really helps me to shift from disempowered thinking to something else... perhaps... neutrality, acceptance ... or even a hint of happiness! So... I took the information on the pdf above and added Little dd drawings, expressing the emotions in pictures.
Julia Colwell has a free guided meditation on her site... link is here in case you'd like it.
How to move above the line?
With self compassion and kindness, . . . what if I just give up the need to struggle about it . . . and take some calming, centring breaths.
Coming back inward, gently tenderly, acknowledging the feeling,
I see you,
I feel you
. . . and let it transform.
Truly... it's flippin hard being a human sometimes. Waving to you there and wishing for you a moment of deep kindness and compassion, and may it continuously grow like a beautiful garden in spring.
p.s. . . . and I know it can change quite quickly . . .