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,
I was inspired to write this as I was heading to sleep last night.
off to pick up the brush,
love Denise xo
Oh gosh... I almost forgot to write today.. I thought of it this morning, this afternoon and again early evening and STILL I nearly didn't get to it!!! Memory issues are a bit of thing of late! I was given this 'key' by a lovely lady from my Cosmic Cowgirl community, she meditated on a bunch of keys she had and asked for the right one I needed. (yes... I'll have to go into that some time won't I)
So today... I've been in that daunting/challenging/irksome/teetering on the brink of relief stage of trying to pull some paintings into COMPLETION... where my inner critic, perfectionist, free spirited-artiste and tired self all vie for my attention and buffer me about like a mini tornado. It's seriously full-on inside my head when I'm 'trying' to finish for a 'deadline'. I'm not sure that will ever change or improve... but I'm willing to give it a red hot go... to retrain myself.... here's what I did today when I was just getting overrrrr it ... (besides taking a blurry photo of my tea and journal)
I went and boiled up some hari chai & water, added some ginger... little spoon of suger (out of honey) and some soy milk once it had boiled enough. And brought a teapot back to the studio and got my trusty 'you-can-write-anything-in-here' journal.. (based on the concept of morning pages by Julie Cameron.. I really don't get around to those much at all...) so i just grab my A5 notebook whenever i need to empty out the over-thinking thoughts and get a bit of relief from holding them all inside my head. Want to hear some messages from my Muse... this is quite private.. and she wrote in red.. which kindof reminds me of the red thread... so I liked that ...
Sweet Chai my love, Sweet chai...
True fact. That's what I wrote, stream of consciousness once I sat with my tea in hand.. and picked up the red pen. I then just vented whatever, whatever after that with purple pen haha.. and felt somewhat relieved for the time being. Did I go back and 'complete' those paintings.. NOPE... I had to dash off and pick up my daughter, run some errands, cook dinner.. and then watch Good Wife with P. ... So.. tomorrow.. I get to do it all again.
But I can be more mindful.. and re-read the little note from my Muse.. she's right you know.. I loved a saying once that said "Everything you want is downstream" (Esther Hicks) .. I know for the doubters that just sounds like total bonkers... but I'm a dreamy optimist... I love how that sounds.
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 hope you enjoy it... just a little trial of making a movie with stills,... of a piece of art I made.
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 been learning some wonderful art journaling lessons from Effy Wild, in fact... I've been meaning to share with you all the A M A Z I N G news of a GIVEAWAY prize package we all have the chance to enter. O M G I have never been so excited about an online prize pack such as this before. Click the link below to find out all about it.
GIVEAWAY FROM WILD SOUL ARTS!
FREE SEAT IN LIFE BOOK 2013 and FIVE OTHER PRIZE PACKAGES!
I thought I'd share a few fun pics I've been taking of my art journal pages whilst in process/progress . . . a recent page was quite heart wrenching for me, but with some patience, self kindness and understanding friends... I got through the anguish and created a page I feel really proud of.
It's deeply personal, but not a new story . . . and the words I've used jumped out from some random pages I took from two different old books... I was in a vulnerable place ... and just had to trust that process, that if I stayed with my feelings I would come through the other side. It was such a gift to allow myself this time, and the peace came eventually too.
Having trouble uploading two more pics... :0( dammmmmitttt
I might just share them on my fb page... and see if weebly will let me add them another time.
I'm toooo tired for this... I spent 4 hours learning about Golden paints for my second time (there is so much to learn, and so much is new to me, and I'm so freakin excited about them I chose to go to another demo by the amazing art educator Nancy)
night night, lovelies
Yesterday I made my first little video... I had a bunch of photo's from my second solo show back in 2008, that were waiting for me to get to them. As I worked my way through it's creation I was moved by the smiles on the faces of my family and friends and visitors to the opening, it was an incredibly celebratory day for me, and the gallery in which my work is represented shines beautifully thoughout the pictures.
On a more personal note... I felt like I was making a movie about someone else... someone I actually love and admire, but have not been so in tune with for the last 18 months or more, with the global financial crisis in late 2009 came a bit of a jolt and a personal artist/life crisis as well. Various things have contributed to bouts of depression and the fact I had allowed myself to become anemic once again, have brought me to a big check point where I am taking a long hard look at my life and health and wanting very much to clear out the rubbish and embrace my true self once again... with renewed strength and clarity.
I’m not quite there... I’m somewhat confused about my work... but more ok about that lately than I have been these last months... after all, beating up on myself for not doing enough, not being enough, and not having enough is really the most unhelpful I can be for any kind of progress to come out of that same scenario.
This little video actually made me feel genuinely happy, the music by Frou Frou is such a gorgeous accompaniment to the feeling I had for the artwork. It is my pleasure to bring something joyful into the world.
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.”