Oh my goodness... I just hit send... if you're on my newsletter list you'll be the first to receive the invitation to join me on a very special one day retreat/workshop.
It's less than 2 weeks away... and I can't believe I'm offering it before I head off overseas on 18th July ... but these paintings have quite a mind of their own.. and I felt so moved by the creation of my Magdalene.. that I wanted to share that with a creativitea class as soon as I could.
Below is a picture of the flyer... but if you'd like more information visit the webpage here.
I'm excited.. and even a little nervous.. this is leaping out in faith in a direction I've never gone before... but it feels like a warm summer day to me... perfect.
love Denise xo
I arrived in the middle of the night to Swasti Eco Village and the moment I walked into my room I saw a very large Klimt tree painted on the wall.. in fact they were everywhere I looked, Swasti has made a version of it their logo. (I started painting trees like those in 2009 and was mesmerized by their spirals and patterning) ... so I guess that felt like a bit of a nod from the Universe that I was in the right place.
On the Friday that we were all to gather.. and have an opening dinner that evening... I glanced down from my balcony at some stage to see a bunch of women with suitcases arriving... and it was Flora!! and her buddies from Portland.. Kelly Rae Roberts was amongst them!!! It was so exciting to see two ‘shero’s’ just walking past my line of sight all the way from the other side of the world. (I didn’t get to speak to KRR... I got the feeling she was having a big special time with her friends and I didn’t feel to invade her space... I reeeaaaalllllyy wanted to... and usually I would follow that urge.. but... this time... I didn’t.)
The opening dinner finally arrived... most of the retreat’ants had arrived from their various places from around the globe... most from USA, and Australia. Bam... all descended on a little resort on an island in Indonesia... we each received a sweet gift on the table, that’s always a great start hah.. presents haha!
... anyhow... chats, eats.. and excitement settling down into .. being there... and we gathered afterwards for an opening circle.. we each had an opportunity to call something in and to let something go.. I called in ‘Bravery’... and let go of ‘my story about not being able to articulate myself well enough’.
Flora and Lisa Mae were the most gracious and calm of hosts and I think we all felt completely at ease within a very short time.
I awoke each morning about 6 to gather a cup of tea.. meet at the pavilion to meditate with the group at 6.30.. then meet back there for 7.30am yoga til a bit after 9am. I hadn’t done any yoga classes for a few years and so I was pretty stiff and shaky for much of it... and just plain had to give up on the down dogs they made me feel nauseous and yuck... but yoga is all about honouring your body.. listening in etc. so I kept on showing up each day and really loving the teachings Lisa Mae wove into her class, she’s a delight and a great story teller, she had also bought along an assistant whose gentle hands could sometimes be felt easing our limbs into a more aligned pose.
... and you might be thinking... WHAT ABOUT THE PAINTING??? yes... I was pretty excited about this too!!!
We gathered at about 1.45pm (along with some heavy rain clouds) and were treated to our first session with Flora... she shared some wisdoms and guidance for our week ahead and proceeded to demonstrate how to get our first layer happening.
This is a many layered process and boy did I realise how much I dislike the fugly middle layers!!! it was interesting and at times painful to observe my feelings about what I was making on my canvas... and I thought later how this could be of great assistance to others to hear... actually ... EVEN though I am proficient at painting my own style that I have been honing for the last 12 or so years... when it came to immersing myself in Flora’s method... I was really challenged, somewhat lost, floundering and not much as ease with it at all!!! I still have to let that all simmer inside to glean all there is to glean from the whole experience... but these notes are what I am noticing for now.
I did not take naturally to this method of painting... I found it challenging and frustrating and often felt really disappointed with my efforts.. that was a big learning lesson for me.. and taught me a few things and reminded me what it's like for beginners in art... it can be quite scary!!! I also had a realisation that some structure, and clear instruction is super helpful for beginners too... they are then free to take what they will, use what they like, but they feel they are making a choice, not just making attempts and feeling inadequate. Flora's example and encouragement were fantastic, she's a born teacher from what I could gather, I was amazed at how calm and courageous she remained throughout the entire week and her painting demonstrations were sublime to watch.
Making new friends, and time with my Nik was Wonderful.
So... what a big week or so it was!!! I suspect it's a gift that will keep on giving... I've met people who will continue to be in my life.. and learned techniques that will take some practice and may also make their way onto my canvas's, who knows.
Ever so grateful... and now that a week has passed since I returned home, I'm feeling a lot better and more integrated... taking yourself right out of your comfort zone can tip the scales out of balance for a few days ya know.
bye for now,
love Denise xo
With a few hours with the house to myself this morning I set about doing some cleaning up.. and also listened in to a podcast of my favourite blog talk show - Awakenings with Michele Meiche.. it REALLY helps me to not notice that I'm cleaning... trust me I need allll the help I can get in that area because I would rather do anything else much of time. Anyway.. let's not go on a tangent of the boringness of housework. Grateful I have a lovely home, *nods* excellent reframe!.
o o o O o o o
I noticed Flora's pic on her instagram, counting down the hours til she goes to Bali.. and of course it got me to thinking what it would take for an artist to fly all the way down yonder and gather a bunch of keen participants and hold a retreat where we will do some yoga in the mornings and paint in the afternoons.... and what does it mean for me to be joining her in less than two weeks ... I want to be very mindful... well not mind full of crap.. but awareness, readiness, openess to access parts of myself that may not come out to play in normal life situations... that's the gift of retreating... especially in a completely different environment.. and in this case different country!! than my home. I'm already in an aware and receptive state of learning due to the Color of Woman course I'm doing... so this is just more than I can put into words, to have this in the midst of that.
o o o O o o o
Below is a snapshot of the three paintings I'm sending in to the Immanual Arts Festival next week... I have been repainting and finishing them this week.. they are part of series I was excited to begin a bit a while ago... on the chakra's... and it was a time when I was really intent on going within, centering, seeking peace... and lots of solitude.. I really was tickled with Klimt's spiral'y trees and wanted to paint loads of them... I love spirals. The Sacral Chakra, red one has lots of affirmations written in the branches of the tree... yummy grounding energy is evident to me in that one. The 'Speak Your Truth' one with blues and greens has such clear blue eyes on that girl.. I quite love her the best at the moment. Meditative, healing and calming... that's the essence of these.
Meditative Healing Calming
Aura joined me for my morning cuppa... which I loved in between the cleaning.
bye for now,
love Denise xo
When I set the date for a full day 'Creativitea' I didn't actually realise it was 'Good Friday'.. and therefore a public holiday.. but this allowed for three beautiful lady's to come along who might not have been able to had it been a work day.
I am sometimes finding it's not always suitable for people to come on the dates I set, so please be aware, that if you have at least two friends who would like to come to an artclass/tea party hosted by me, then you can always contact me to see if we can make a date that will suit you.
I am looking at doing an evening class on Friday night 12th April - 6pm til 9'ish. ... so be quick if you'd love to come along to that one.
The idea of these current 'Creativitea' classes is really quite free... you're free to play and explore, and I am there to assist you in whatever way I can. It's been described as very relaxing, and many women express the joy of having given themselves time out to do something creative.
I will be introducing a more structured workshop/retreat style class in the not too distant future, so keep in touch if you'd like to hear more about that. You can join my mailing list here.
I love the diversity of these artworks... all fabulous... and all so very different from eachother. Magic happens!
Paint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo!
I have declared this year is all about learning new art techniques, as much as I can.. so going to Tracy's workshop was part of that ... I wanted to see in person what all this dripping and colour and creatures was all about!!! Wow, what FUN, it was hands down the best workshop I have been to so far... I have learned along the way that I am a kinaesthetic learner, I need to DO ... not just sit and listen to someone 'talk' about doing... in fact.. those kinds of classes make me want to hit my head on the desk really hard.
I was so thrilled to be painting and plain happy to be there, that grin was plastered to my face for much of the weekend... apart from when I was freaking out about covering up half of the canvas with white paint!
I was lucky enough to have several friends also booked in to do this workshop,
that made it ever so much more special for me.
Tracy's beautiful canvas... the one on the right is the almost finished piece.
So, that's a bit of a snap shot of the weekend, having two days together was really great, and allowed for us to work on 2-3 pieces, I loved it very much, and learned a bit more about .. letting go, surprises within a painting, colour, and freedom and joy to play with a whole new technique. YUMM.
bye for now,
love Denise xo
Tracy Verdugo : http://artoftracyverdugo.blogspot.com.au
Katrina Woodland : teaches art classes in Indooroopilly, Brisbane - red door art studio
I was gifted a very special surprise from Artistcellar a couple of weeks ago... these gorgeous stencils... they were a huge hit with my recent Creativitea time, and this post shows the Cathedral Series a little bit closer, with some really quick spray inks that I made! yup.. made... I'll talk more about those in a moment ... I am SO excited about the cathedral ones... after visiting amazing real life ones in Paris and Italy (sorry, but yes BIG love for those places) I have been longing for a way to paint some stained glass pieces somehow or other... and 'wallah' these appeared ... so I'll have to give that a try.
ink sprays ... well I bought a box of liquitex acrylic inks and mixed them with water (did a few google searches about this and found some other folks who have tried it) ... so far I'd say they are great for pastel or lighter shades, I have some Adirondack sprays from Artistcellar and those colours are a lot stronger. Although... I think the homemade ones are permanent, because of the acrylic inks. If I learn any more about them I'll post it here. x
bye fow now,
love Denise xo
I had a beautiful group of women come for Creativitea time on Friday, and the stencils from Artistcellar were a HIT!!! The favourite of the day turned out to me the water & coral series... I'll make another little post showing all four sets... and some spray experimenting I did with the 'Cathedral Series' *high pitched soprano voice* You can visit the online store & see the stencils here.
Creativitea is a very playful, free time, anything goes, the idea is to have as much fun as possible while experimenting and trying new things, mixed media makes this very doable. I love it when I hear back from people they haven't had that much fun in a long time... or they have found their inner artist again... or for the first time!!
I am so thrilled with the stencils I received from Artistcellar... lovely Lisa, owner of Artistcellar sent me them as a gift to share at my workshops! How wonderful was that, I am happy tell you about her online art supply store, a friend and I made an online order a short while ago and the 'stash' arrived in a really short time, under 10 days from the USA is fabulous!!
bye for now,
love Denise x
I've just received this beautiful review.
Monet for a Moment. – October 2012
Mary V T.
Christchurch, New Zealand.
When did you last paint for fun? I'm not talking about your feature wall of the nineties or your neighbour's fence at the last working bee, but creating a picture on canvas reflecting your inner 'Angelo'.
Denise Daffara, a gifted and talented local artist, guided me on a journey back to a time when life was less complicated. Expressing yourself artistically is like looking in a mirror and transferring that into tangibility.
Sounds easy... it isn't. Denise gently prompts with props, coupled with soothing tones designed to assuage your rising panic. The 'unlocking' process begins and ideas start to beat their way through like hopeful sperm to the ova.
Colour palettes selected, a theme chosen from inspirational art books, and we are now ready to commence.
The 'Aladdin's Cave'/studio Denise operates is where 'Virgo meets Vesuvius'. Attempted order reigns amongst the plethora of products at hand. The magpie's nest brims with a miscellany of material easily alongside the iconic branded furniture and technology.
The music playlist, personalised tea set and homemade cake assist in the aligning of planets required for creative awakening.
Denise is committed to your success. A generous quality from a stereotypically concentric role. She flutters about the room between students, finding audible delight in things she rediscovers from her IKEA drawers gathered long ago, to assist in your creation.
The process boggles. Basic steps are discussed and then innovation takes over.
Like a wedding cake, layers are good. A barren multicoloured canvas steadily morphs into the buzz from within your brain. Rapid drying tools assist in layering.
Anything goes, at your pace (within the 3 hour timeframe). Denise sets her alarm, lest we forget to eat and drink, so frenetic is the action.
Our inner 'Muse' battles with our 'Critic' and reluctantly concedes. Pleasantly surprised at our prowess, we depart with our masterpieces.
We have grown today, but we feel lighter.
Denise Daffara is an expatriate New Zealander residing in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast who paints full time. Her works are for sale at the Tiffany Jones Fine Art Galley, 138 Burnett Street, Buderim, Queensland. Customised art classes cater for up to four participants. She can be contacted for bookings at www.denisedaffara.com.au
Thank you so much Mary, it was my absolute pleasure to see the beautiful artwork you created.
note : although Mary is my cousin.. I would mention she is also a Virgo (like me) so her attention to detail
and easy honesty allows me to take this as a genuine and huge heart felt compliment.
I've taken quite a liking to taking photo's at every opportunity when I have a fresh cup or pot of tea placed in front of me... the comfort and simple ritual of pouring a cup of tea is never lost on me.
If you'd love to see more... I've made an album simply called "Tea" on my facebook page
I've been formulating an idea . . . I've always wanted to combine my love of tea with an art class of my own . . . it's in the wings, I let you know when that's ready to go.
Take care, keep warm ...
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.”