This has been unearthed.. or stirred up during the Color of Woman course... I can't even recall if I've already shared this here on the blog (sorry for repetition if I have... maybe I better get some more iron suppliments to assist memory)
I've left it in an 'interview like format' because I really liked answering it in that way.. and editing down to a succint, slick, paragraph just is NOT my current happy place forte!
One of the most interesting things for me to note when spending time with these questions.. was my subject choice and the feeling I desire to evoke in my paintings... I didn't know it at the time, but perhaps each one was healing a little part of me.... and I guess it goes without saying.. why there may be a tinge or more than a tinge of sadness in some of the faces that have showed up on my canvas's. It's a curious path.
WHY YOU MAKE YOUR ART,
I make art to ease the agitation I feel when I am not creating something. I make art to free a part of myself that needs this to be alive. For over a decade I made art as a celebration of fun and freedom, now I am learning to explore other avenues into my creative expression and not just when I am feeling happy.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE IT,
I have been inspired by my teachers and other artists who have gone before me, there is something in me that positively lights up when I visit a gallery or exhibition, some artworks take me to a place of pure bliss and even a natural high at the energy and beauty I sense and feel in their presence. The fact that an image can come through an artist onto a blank canvas is still a mystery for me and I love that. I have been drawn to images of feminine figures long before I started learning to paint in 1999. Some I have been inspired by include : Chagall, Klimt, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Whitely, fashion designer Valentino, and icon Audrey Hepburn.
WHAT IT SIGNIFIES OR REPRESENTS,
I would say most of my artwork at least in the first decade signified or represented a light and happy side of life, celebratory of feminine fun and freedom. It was in contrast to all of the negativity I had experienced in the preceding years before painting became such an integral and wonderful part of my life. Things such as alcoholism in a parent, domestic violence, hideously low self esteem, an abusive relationship, a cult-like church experience for many years, and the absolutely life shattering event of my sister being murdered. I made no place to paint any of this. I did not know how to approach it creatively.
WHAT ABOUT FORMAL STUDY,
I have not engaged in traditional university study of art. Partly due to fear of not meeting the standards they require and partly due to just plain not wanting to fit into the deemed worthy parameters of academic artistic value and expression. To be judged and moulded and critiqued...(my inner critic has done a pretty savage job of that already) my fragile self just wasn't up for that. As I write and contemplate this, my current leaning is that my arrogant or bold self just won’t have it. Maybe one day when I grow up I might venture in to that, maybe not.
HOW YOU MAKE IT,
I make my art mostly by a process of many layers, it undergoes fine tuning and transformations along the way until it reaches a place that I am satisfied to let it be. (I have had to adopt a sense of the 80/20 rule... if I can’t be 100% happy with it, then 80% is workable, and there is always another opportunity on the next canvas/board/paper). Perfectionism is a harsh master, and I cannot let her rule entirely because I would never deem anything as done or enough.
In 2013 I have been studying under Artist Shiloh Sophia McCloud who has introduced me to her Color of Woman Method, which is based heavily in Contemporary Symbolism. It is a welcome extension to my previous style and subject - still working with the feminine, but in a richer, deeper, more soulful context I feel.
WHAT IT'S MADE OUT OF,
I began by exclusively using acrylic on canvas, guided for 4 years with lessons from talented artist Peter Hales, in recent times I have been introduced to the wild wonderful world of art journaling by Effy Wild, thereby giving way to working on paper. Another new medium I am exploring and enjoying is working on wood.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU
Painting has become my sacred practice, it connects me to Source and celebrates all of my feelings and emotions. My passion is to connect with others in ways that have us both feeling nurtured, energised, validated and liberated. It means I have found my place in the world, creative expression is home to me, it’s not always easy and comfortable, but it’s where I feel drawn to, time and time again.
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
Below is verrrry simple video I made just to have a go with the You Tube diy thing ... it was quite easy... so am sharing it regardless of its simplicity :)
I painted the random colours over some writing in my journal the day before, then after a long conversation with a dear friend I just sat down at my art table, did a very quick pencil sketch, poured out some black paint and decided to take a photo of each line after I'd painted it. I don't have swish cameras set up for taking video so this was an experiment.
The one below... yesterday I wrote about 'sometimes i have a headache' because right now, my head is hurting.. for the second day in a row.. I left that to dry and this morning before I did anything, sat in my studio in my nightgown with a pot of tea... and painted this girl. The look I see in her eyes is quite 'fed up' ... and in regards to having a headache... I'd say that sums it up about right.
Not sure what possessed me to do this... but... I started a brand new blog in addition to this one
... it's called "A Sip of my Tea"
it's a place I can collect my tea pics
and sprinkle in a little art as well.
Wordpress is not as easy as Weebly
but for now, I'm enjoying it.
Visit it here if you're cuuuurious. Denise xo
Tonight I'm sharing a work in progress with youRed Riding Hood, not little anymore.
... as part of our Color of Woman journey we each are to do a painting of our Legendary Self... this is one of the painting sessions that has challenged me greatly, and took me a long while to get from its beginnings.. to the middle stage that is pictured below. I am sharing it because, it already has given me such joy by its sheer existance, it's showing me a strength and grace that I admire very much and I guess I seek to embody... it's somewhat empowering to and for me... to see qualities emerging in a painting that I want to embody in myself.. this is an intrinsic piece of the alchemy that I have been witnessing in this Visionary painting method I have been learning... and will soon be teaching.
She has messages for me.. and one of her totem animals seems to be the Heron.. Strength and Grace are central characteristics and the 'little red riding hood' reference goes back a long way, and probably has several meanings. One of the memories my Dad recalls having is of me as a young girl; I was wearing a hooded red rain coat and riding on the back of my sisters bike "you looked just like Little Red Riding Hood" he always says. My view of my Dad has been tainted by many years of stuff, so having small cherishable memories like that, is precious to me. I also never liked the feeling that Little Red Riding hood seemed helpless to the trickery of that wolf, so now she has grown up, she carries her own damn axe and is not beholden to any wood-cutter to come and rescue her. I feel empowered when I look at this painting, and so.. with a deep breath.. I'm sharing it here.
Oh... I had my 45th birthday on Saturday, wow!! that was fun too, I went to Noosa National park and swam!!! got spoiled by my husband and daugther for the weekend, went to a fancy dress party with a friend who shares my birthday! might share some pics tomorrow or this week sometime... oh.. and pressies... two new tea cups with Klmpt art on them.. ooohw, LOVE those... they will feature in new little tea pics soon.
I really love when people offer specials when it's their birthday.. if you've been eyeing off a print let me know and I'll see what kind of birthday discount I can offer you.
Hello creative one,
I have been mentioning the idea of 'Visionary Painting' a little more of late... and so I wanted to share a new painting I just did this week, using this visionary painting method. I had a canvas that I'd covered in pictures creating a vision board back in 2009.. most if came true in the following 12-18 month time period. (yes, imagine that, amazing!) So... I painted over it and dripped paint, stenciled did a bunch of playing.. then set it aside deciding... uuuhm.. I've kindof ruined that, may as well throw it out.. but in true artist form... put it in a stack of 'wtf-do-i-do-with-these-canvas' against the wall in the corner of my studio.
So.. when I was given a video series in my Color of Woman course by Shiloh.. I thought .. hey.. I'll give that a whirl.. and voila this gorgeous lady appeared... I'm jazzed about her because.. the intention I wrote in behind the layers of paint was for her to find me gorgeous venues to hold my painting workshops, I am gearing up to be teaching this beautiful method of painting and it would be ever so helpful for me to find just the right spaces in which to welcome you if you would like to come paint with me and a circle of women.
"You must give from the overflow"
I rarely use glitter... but this Lady of the Divine Spark asked for some! She has a sparkling candle, rose and magical tea is pouring from her teapot into those cups.. and the overflow onto the saucer - reminding me of a valuable lesson... You must give from your overflow, so that you're not depleted all the time. Fill yourself up with the things that strengthen you and keep you grounded, fueled, inspired, feeling loved.. THEN... you have so much more to give.
Secret wish... I'm sharing with you ... I have a desire to travel to New Zealand once or twice a year and teach a workshop or two.. and visit my Mum & Dad on the Kapiti Coast ... so... I'm putting that out there, with this Lady of the Divine Spark watching over top... that we will be welcomed to just the right places, meet just the people who are calling out to be able to paint a visionary painting with me... and be in circle with a red thread ceremony. Christchurch is on the horizon for May 2014 with a friend of mine who is also a teacher of this painting method.
Visionary Painting Workshops are coming...
I'm hoping to offer one in Buderim in September.. and another in October ... this kind of painting above can be created in a one day workshop, if you have a group who already gather and you'd like to hold a red thread ceremony / visionary painting workshop with my facilitation, do contact me. email@example.com.
That's about it for the minute... and I'm sorry I'm not a prolific... organised... same time same place blogger... I do write on a whim a lot of the time... that may or may not change.. and I had thought I'd share a whole lot more of my CoW journey here... but truth is... it's been really full on.... a lot of inner work has been required, and I have been tending toward going within and not writing out here all that much about it... it needed to settle in me first. And.. I had my trip to California, which just blew me away, heart and soul so uplifted and loved up, truly amazing ... I don't think I've even written much about that here either? see... intermittant at best... sigh... if ever you have questions about this journey of mine.. you can ask.. and I'll do my best to answer.
I am hereby naming this patch of my studio 'My Magic Wall'... I use it to put reminders and also WISHES... e.g.. several months ago I had a little post-it note saying... Bali - Flora Retreat...with the dates... and also California - Color of Woman weekend.. and the dates for that... and I just left them there and carried on with my life.
Both of those things have come to HAPPEN... I enjoyed an amazing week in Bali learning about being Bold and fearless from Flora Bowley (May 2013)... and I've just returned from an OUTSTANDING visit to California... where all manner of mystical, and magic and WONDERFUL things happened ... and this is what I had on a slip of paper.. in preparation for this trip... I put it up only a few weeks ago.. a matter of days before leaving ...
One of the reasons I'm sharing this with you is I've just read Danielle Laporte's most recent newsletter and she is encouraging us to share our GOOD news stories.. happenings, experiences etc. So... I thought.. why not.. it's not to sound like a complete wanker... it's really in celeberation and gratitude and sharing an idea that might just work for you too.
Yes... I do write the words "learning and loving, and being loved and seen" because one of my unhelpful patterns or limiting beliefs is one of 'being invisible" so.. the counter point to that is being SEEN! ... ask and you shall receive. :) ... and treat others as you'd like to be treated.. works so well too.
I did something I've never done before.. and that's travel across to the other side of the world without having booked all of my accommodation.. and left a couple of nights in the hands of my Muse to help me find a place to stay. It turns out those nights were with an amazing woman who is also doing the Color of Woman teacher training. ... and when i asked for "yummy seats"... would you believe... I had a late flight that was cancelled, so the check-in guy at San Francisco just kindly changed my booking to another flight so I would meet my connecting flight in LA... got there.. a Virgin Au lady was looking for me.. 'I've been tracking you since 5.30pm she said" ... all good... then I go through to the boarding gate and WOAH.. I hear my name over the loud speaker... so I go up there and that guy has also been looking for me.. and so they're all happy.. they found their lost passenger... and.. since I had his undivided attention I said... "ummm, the seat I've been given is a window... I really usually prefer an aisle.. but I can try it out and see if it works out... " ... he looks on his computer and says these MOST AMAZING, GORGEOUS, THANK GOD, AND ALL THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN FOR EVERMORE... "there are no others in that row" ... my jaw dropped... and I touched his hand and said THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH, YOU HAVE MADE MY WEEK! and GLORY BE if I didn't have 3 whole seats TO MYSELF for an almost 14 hour flight!!! It honestly felt like business class to me... and I'd been imagining myself in business class (I played a game with myself... my daughter is learning to drive, so each time she drove us to Brisbane - 1 hour+ drive, I would sit in the back and pretend I was travelling in business class) ... hehe... crazy shit like that works... I'm telling you. :)
While shopping in Haight Street (oh my gosh, check out google images)... I was asking my muse for some lace clothing... I'd tried Maceys and I'd tryed lots of times in Au... well... I found a shop... and bought about 5 lace items.. and they were all $27 each! whaaat? yep. true.
A bunch of my paintings sold just before I left so there was plenty of spending money..
I'll do my best to get around to blogging some pics from my trip... ugh... I'm really trying to spend less time on the computer these days... I really got that message loud and clear while I was away from home... I reeeaaaalllly want to be creating and painting more than I'm on the computer... it's IMPERATIVE for my sanity and growth as an artist. (if you follow me on fb i put a few on there already)
bye for now,
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.
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 did this painting rough and raw a few years ago I think.. inspired by a vogue magazine picture of a girl holding an axe 'just so' and in recent times while doing the Color of Woman course.. I was inspired to share her with my group and called her "Muse of Cut the Crap". I've just read a very long and lovely blog/share of my incredible teacher Shiloh Sophia.. her pure open honesty is SUBLIME. I am so opened up by that... and freed, and warmed.
FEMME SE OUVRIT: GIRL UNFURLED – VOYAGE TO PARIS AND THE ISLAND
Being around people who are so willing to be open and honest is the magic of life.
I sometimes want to write and rave.. and then I think... oh who the hell cares anyhow?
So long as I keep caring.. and taking time to hear what my inner selves want me to know.. that's probably more important really.
Solstice is making me all sentimental.. I love noticing the passing of moons and milestones, seasons and solstices ... and I'm also open to cutting more of the crap away from my thoughts, stuff and life.
that's it for this moment...
I have an appointment with a Mary Magdalene painting
and a commission that includes a large leopard print couch.
and laundry to do.
love Denise xo
ps.. wondering about teaching... my current thought... this morning ...
I can talk in a small group... when everyone gets to share... I need to grow into the role of teacher/leader... it doesn't fit me well at the moment.. its a bit like a second hand scratchy coat from the op shop... I'm not sure if a good dry clean will make it mine and soft.. or if it will never sit quite right. ...
there is wisdom in there...
I need to tailor make it to fit me perfectly!!!
love it when my own ravings
I was inspired to write this as I was heading to sleep last night.
off to pick up the brush,
love Denise xo
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.”