For the longest time (my memory tells me age 15) I started to believe I couldn't draw.. it haunts me still. Sometimes I even believe it. I prefer to paint rather than draw, any day. (or is that just drawing with a less precise implement…?)
I want to speak of this because I think (and I could be wrong) that it is a very commonly held belief by many. So last Thursday night I took myself for the first time to meet a (new to me) group of local artists and joined their warm invitation for an evening of life drawing. I had a chat to my inner critic/s on the way there in my car… out loud… "listen guys… I am going to need your kindness and love tonight please, other times I have experienced a small hell in life drawing classes where I compared myself to the others and felt like I was constricted, a fake and absolutely hopeless at drawing.. so … you guys have the task to take notice of the details that I may be able to use at a later date.. and otherwise… leave me alone to experience this in a very positive way please".
As it turned out.. the group were amazing, the model a delight and the experience for me held a profound moment that I did not expect.
How 'right' this image does or doesn't look is not the point here… the magic.. and the moment that happened.. was that as I drew that chin.. I had a wave of emotion hit me, overwhelm me, and spill out of my eyes.. I was stopped in my self.. for me.. something in that moment/line/page/model/space/time reminded me of my sister Min… (she died in June 1997) and I was struck by the gift that was. … and that it came to me in the midst of something I have avoided, as I believed 'I couldn't draw'.
the note I wrote on the page says:
"Min's chin …
it stopped me in my self…
tears came to my eyes…
a capsule of emotion.
So unexpected a gift,
to let it go again
is painful …
but I have captured it
with my pencil."
I don't think it really matters how well we can draw… it's what the opportunity of creativity can open up for us that matters to me far more. I might even go again. … to life drawing. Drawing life… what a gift to even be able to give it a go.
bye for now,
love Denise. xo
Good morning friends,
This makes me want to write one for myself… do you have one?
I shared the link to an interview in another blog post in January, but having listened again in the car this week to Jamie's and Tami's chat I heard again his 'Creativity Manifesto' and I wanted to keep it, read if often, and share it with all & sundry.
As I begin February, and the Year of the Wooden Horse, this realllly spoke to me, I have had a shit time this past week dealing with my hyper vigilant perfectionist, mild anxiety associated with my creativity resulting in feeling frozen and not painting, it's a new month, I'll be addressing it for sure, and this kind of truth telling (Jamie Catto's creativity manifesto shared below) goes a long way towards helping me release the crappola and move into some kind of grace, a space for self forgiveness and self love.
Insights at the Edge.
From a podcast called: Breaking the Approval Addiction and Expressing Our Creative Gifts
Tami Simon: " OK, here we go. So this is from Jamie Catto’s "Creativity Manifesto:"
Jamie Catto: "I’m in. I love hearing you say it."
full transcript of the interview can be found here:
You know there's only a little difference in the placement of letters between sacred and scared . . . creating and sharing something this close to my heart is both/and.
Gypsy Rose by Denise Daffara
Painted using the Color of Woman Method.
May you find
not scared enough to
not take action.
love Denise xo
In December 2013, I donated this painting to a Women's Shelter as a token of love and hope for them.
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
I share a poem I received today via email ... it's one of those show stopping... take a big-deep-breath-in ones that make you want to live your life a lot bigger. I also found it so close to my heart resonating so clearly. I believe the greatest thing I could do with this right now was to share it with you.
love Denise xo
YOUR LIFE IS YOUR CANVAS
Your life is your canvas.
You are your own greatest creation.
Don't you remember
how when you were little
you knew in your bones you would be able to do anything?
Anything that was really yours to do?
This is our chance, right now.
To move out of the place
of victim and into the place
of creating our life as if we could do anything with it.
I know you feel trapped sometimes
I know you don't see the way through
I know the mountain is so big
that needs moving.
But I also know this...
Our life is our art.
You are art.
You are the one with the brush
and the one with the colors.
Your emotional landscape
is the place to create your life from.
This isn't about it being
and there being no mistakes.
This is about continuing to
create even when you feel like you are on fire or
underwater with no way to catch a breath.
This is about opening your
heart to love one more time.
About risking being hurt,
About moving the cage of
the body off and dancing
your hips back to life.
About moving the grimace
of your mouth away and kissing
kissing the very air in front of you.
This is about an inquiry
into how to be in love with anything
and anyone even when you feel
so all alone. I know you feel so all alone
some days. So do I.
But there is one thing I know for sure,
that you are with me and I am with you.
The red thread of connection
between is as strong as ever and if you
close your eyes you will see
I am your companion for the journey.
Fellow seeker on the path of life
looking to make art out of the past
and make the future into our own
I once thought, not so long ago
that the best of my life was behind me.
I now know that is a lie I told myself.
It is my decision for the best of life
to be in front of me.
Will you choose with me?
Right now will you CHOOSE?
See my hand extended reaching for you.
We can do this together.
We can open to love again.
Open to light again.
You don't have to get rid of your
fear first, or your pain.
There is a divine spark
at the end of God's finger
lighting the pilot light of your
heart right now.
I see itI! I see it!
Come with me...
Come with me...
Come with me...
to the other side of the
scars of the heart.
Come with me
and together we will
paint our new legends
over cups of steaming
tea and use as much
gold paint as we feel
we need to make the world
~ Shiloh Sophia
... just a little test to see how to put a you tube clip into my new blog...
"Life without art would be like a series of emails, be quite boring"
bye for now
off for Saturday chores and things... assuming life doesn't end according to some freaked out individuals out there... bless them... I hope they're not too disappointed on Sunday or Monday when they wake up again to life as they know it.
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.”