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?
"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.
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.
This was the scene in the spare room of my parents home this time last year... I set this up to be like an alter right next to where I'd be art journaling for the month.. Mum had one of my prints hanging on the wall... and a picture of Mary.. or more than one in every room actually. I felt somewhat comforted by this Mary picture with her bunch of angels hanging out... so I gave her pride of place overlooking my artful adventure... little did I know... I would be joining the likes of Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Jenafer Joy, and Stella Mac and Effy Wild... and be part of a wild and wonderful bunch called the Cosmic Cowgirls ... and just over one year later I will be meeting many of them in California!
and Helllloooo... running a "Paint Mary with me" retreat/workshop this month too
Today... my Muse must have been with me.. along with my daughter.. I found this gorgeous luggage tag that has so many visual messages that have meaning for me...
The colour 'limoncello' is a favourite of my dear mentor/teacher/inspirer Shiloh... I feel like I'm flying from a cage... that's metaphorical.. I did a mixed media piece a couple of years ago..and it's been profound the many layers of crappola I've been leaving behind sometimes daily.. but you know.. on the whole.. I'm in a much better place :)... and the crown!!! well Sovereign.. and I painted Queen of My Own Heart this year.. so that's a gorgeous little addition... this trip is an adventure... a loooong adventure.. and the crossing of the San Francisco... Golden Gate Bridge is part of it too.
That's about it..a short sweet post for tonight.. there are only 2 spaces left for the Paint Mary with Me retreat.. so if you are wanting to come... register at your earliest convenience.
bye for now,
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
Main Entry: visionary [vizh-uh-ner-ee] Show IPA
Part of Speech: adjective Definition: idealized, romantic Synonyms: abstracted,
ambitious, astral, chimerical, daydreaming, delusory, dreaming, dreamy, exalted,
fanciful, fantastic, grandiose, ideal, idealist, idealistic, illusory, imaginary, impractical,
in the clouds, introspective, lofty, musing, noble, otherworldly, pretentious,
prophetic, quixotic, radical, speculative, starry-eyed, unreal, unrealistic, unworkable, unworldly, utopian Antonyms: practical, real, realistic, unromantic
HAH!!! I was in conversation today with two other wonderful women within my Color of Woman course.. and we discussed this idea of being a 'Visionary Artist' ... and since I am not really one to see great detailed 'visions' as pictures say in a guided visualisation where that is seemingly the POINT of doing it... and this sometimes bothers me... because if you're hearing the words.. and you see a door (nope I don't) .. so.. (imagine that door) ok.. now I have some doors coming slowing into focus in that place you 'remember things from'... so... I get my door .... and I realised it's totally ok to have other ways of seeing.... seeing with your heart, with your imagination... with some part of your understanding ... why else do I sometimes say to someone "I see what you are saying".
I think I will happily henceforth include the word visionary amongst my title of artist... because who isn't a bit thrilled to have such things as impractical, dreamy, imaginary, quixotic and utopian attached to ones identity!!!
My Queen agrees.
bye for now,
love Denise xo
My husband remarked to me this morning that it was 25 years since Expo '88 was in Brisbane... and I realised it's been 25 years since I moved to Australia!!! I was just 19yrs old and I arrived in May '88 and Expo was in full swing and I bought a season pass ... but I'd known since I was 12 that I wanted to live here. My three sisters shouted me a trip over when I was 12 years old... and they took me to Stradbroke Island where I fell madly in love with the golden sandy beaches of this great country, and Queensland in particular. I've become an Australian citizen, I married an Australian..and my two daughters were born here... so I'm more Australian then Kiwi these days it would seem. Except for the occasional accent that even the guy on the phone at the bank recognised recently and said 'Oh it's all about where you were at the age of 6'.
I wish I lived closer to my Mum... she's in NZ. She does a crossword most days "to keep her brain active" she tells me.
The view from Pt Cartwright... where we walk in the mornings... it's not hard to see why I love it here!!
bye for now,
I have become one to really notice the habits of people I admire... and if possible, practical or worthwhile.. maybe let that inspire me to take some action in that direction. So.. I have been very inspired by the recent 30 day blog challenge artist Flora Bowley gave herself... and ... since I am going to MEET HER THIS MONTH... (omg VERY excited) I thought Maybe.. I can blog 21 days in May.. leading up to my trip to Bali (not sure how I'll be for internet use over there.. Santa hasn't brought me an ipad yet, and our laptop is heavy and clunky.. so I'm not sure if I'd take it... ) and.. not sure if I can blog on weebly from iphone? hmm.
So.. today.. some pics from my beach walk this morning... since a very special guest made a star appearance...
a bit grey as we arrived.. but just over the dune the warm sun was rising... as it does
and taking the opposite route to which we usually walk.. we were greeted with this spectacularness around a bend in the path... (usually this is shining on my back)... and I am reminded of the idea that when we do just one thing differently.. like drive down another street on the way home or to somewhere... or walk on the other side of the street.. any little shift... can change the energy.. and gift you with a little surprise.
and here's the special guest... a grey Heron... I notice heron's on my travels almost every day! and today I loved the way our little dog Aura ran up to this one.. only to have it stare her down... then they held eye contact for a few moments... until the heron decided it was time for her to go . . .
bye for now,
I promised myself I would paint this morning and my love came in and 'caught me' on the computer.. and reminded me so!!
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.”