Monday, 23 June 2014

I'm MOVING...


Hi there friends!

I just wanted to write a quick little post on here to let you all know that I'm in the process of MOVING everything over to my website - now everything will be all in one place! I'll be continuing my blog over there... so you can find it here:

www.mmallin.com

Would love to see you there! Don't by shy ;-) Come say hello!

x peace - love - gratitude x

Sunday, 1 June 2014

...why NOT?

Hello there, friends! You might want to get yourself a hot chocolate, a yummy pot of tea, or a glass of vino as you come and ponder with me...


Ever felt yourself wondering, "WHY?"....

(A glimpse of Teresa's exhibition)

Yesterday I had the chance to meet a few artists from around Sydney, at Teresa Myat Berg's beautiful exhibition. It was so great to meet these girls and to just chat "art" and life and share stories about living authentically and staying true to your own 'art language'. It was refreshing and inspiring to talk about the real matters and to know that we have all felt that "why" question at times. But the thing that seemed to resonate beneath the surface of these stories and musings was the notion to look at life with the resolve of "WHY NOT?"....

Why NOT give it a go?

I see my life the way that I see my paintings - a creation that is emerging, unfolding, mysterious, exciting, rich and multi-layered. The pure fact that nothing is particularly certain or guaranteed creates a momentum for seeing and choosing. I say choosing, because we are the authors and creators of the life we have. It is a dance that flows between us and all that we are connected to - you can call it the Universe, God, Angels, Light, One...whichever feels right to you. {Ah. Perhaps it all comes down to connection - but theres another post in that itself!}.

So, why NOT? Why NOT create the life you dream of? Why NOT create your life consciously and from a place of authenticity that values you for who you really are?

In saying all this, I also know there is such an ebb and flow of emotions and thoughts within this dance, within this life-painting, and as much as we would like... it is not always peachy. And yesterday I was feeling the full spectrum of this "ebb and flow"... there can be such a tension between "following your heart" and the reality of "getting shit done" (sorry - how else can I really phrase it... it is what it is). We have this habit, as adults, to always try and rush ourselves, to push and push and push. It rarely gets us very far, does it? We usually wind up in a bit of a heap, exhausted, disappointed, unhappy and depleted. So how does it work then? I don't have all the answers, though I'm working it out day by day (and I'm so lucky to have the best teachers -- the children I work with have such a way of making you see the world). I do know that by living intuitively we can find a way of these 'realities' moving together harmoniously... by making mindful choices that are in tune with your souls work (and yes, it can look however you want it to!).

(I took a moment to stop and see the view today before heading 
to the Biennale at Cockatoo Island with friends)

...So over this weekend I've been thinking about this quite a bit... about the choices we have. Dancing through the "ebb and flow" of life allows you to move in it's rhythm, whether it is fast paced or slow, soft and gentle or chaotic and loud. Sometimes in a dance you need to pause to hear the music and to find your step, and sometimes you just need to keep moving. (And sometimes you need a rest altogether, right?). Moving with this rhythm is so mirrored by the way that I paint that I often find myself actually visualising other parts of my life in the exact same way - like layers of paint on my canvas. Sometimes we can get so close to the layer we are experiencing that it can be overwhelming and hard to really see. We have to step back for a moment, to breathe and to pause, before spiralling back in - perhaps with a clearer vision, a new choice or direction to take, a new way of moving on intuitively. Sometimes we have to step away to nourish ourselves and "fill our well", to rest and restore ourselves so we can show up again and keep the momentum and the rhythm going.

Phwaaaa.... I hope this is making some sense, there is a lot swirling around my mind -- but I'll leave it at that for now. But I would love to hear from you -- tell me, how do you stay in your flow, in your rhythm? How do you dance your way through the "ebb and flow" of life? What does living intuitively mean to you? And remember.... why not?

Leave a comment below or email me at meredith@mallin.com.au :) :)

Peace, Love, Joy and Gratitude....... x

Meredith 

{.............I'll leave you with this image of one my current works-in-progress... this is a painting I've been working on mostly in short bursts of 10-15 minute speed painting sessions --- and it's very much in it's own "ebb and flow" phase of chaos at the moment. Perhaps I'll write a post about these speed painting sessions soon (what do you think?!)....................}





Sunday, 25 May 2014

Get Outa Your Own Way!!!


It seems pretty fitting that this is the street art that should happen to be in my street, don't you think? It made me so happy to see this yesterday... This is a good message for ANYone, I think. Not necessarily just artists, but all people, everywhere. To live to create. We create all the time, sometimes we don't even know we're doing it! It's true! Every day we are creating our lives, ourselves, our stories. So why not do it with consciousness and intention and create something that makes us happy.

Which brings me to something that has kinda been brought to my attention....

As humans... we are very good at getting in our own way.

{Me: GUILTY}

Yes. It is something that I can no longer avoid and down play with comments like, "Oh, but ____ (insert excuse)". I simply have become too good at self-sabotaging and letting my head get in my own way. It's a mental problem that many of us face, I'm sure. Lucky for me, now I have someone on board that is helping to give me a big ol' kick up the bum and a virtual shake of the shoulders to wake up to myself and get real (and helping me get a plan!). Sometimes we really need someone who can call us on this stuff and then snap us into action (who do you have in your life that helps you do this?). It comes down to the fact that we really cannot move on until we re-create these old stories of "not good enough", "don't know how", "will never happen", "that's not possible", "that isn't realistic"... etc, etc, etc, ETC.... 

SO.

It's time to start a new phase, to stand more confidently in what I know and believe in my heart {not in my head}. It is actually super strange to see things from this new perspective - I feel as though my vision is clearer, the possibilities brighter and perhaps somewhat more attainable. I'm so excited to be in the process of hatching a plan that honours what I am about as an artist rather than old fears and worries that have been lingering around for too long now. I'm sure that they won't leave without a bit of a struggle, but it's a start at least, and I'm so excited and happy to share it with you along the way!

Can't wait to see what happens next!


{This is a little faery that is coming into being at the moment... and she made me think of this new phase so I named the piece, "Her stars began to align"}

*Peace, Love, Joy & Gratitude* 
xxx

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hi There...

Hello Friends!

What is something that you NEVER thought that you would (or could) do? 

For me, it is probably the idea of making a video post!

Ok, here goes.... the first ever video I've made -- Woah. Scary. And I hope you'll forgive me for going on a bit of a ramble (I have a tendency to do that, ask anyone who knows me well!).... so click here below....

video

And now come and say hi --- :) 

xxx

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Reading the Signs...

Hello there Friends!

How was your week? I hope you found yourself moving within your own rhythm and flow. Oddly enough, taking the 'path of least resistance' isn't always easy to do, and life sometimes (usually always) asks us to move in a complex "dance". I'm finding that this dance, amongst other things, is all about balance, flexibility, rhythm, intuition, kindness (towards others as well as yourself) and discipline. Discipline. I began to realign myself back into my own rhythm and flow this week, and it was hard work...it took quite a bit of self-discipline...and I'm not there yet. It is amazing how we can KNOW what we need in order to feel more balance, more connected and more whole but totally resist it anyway. This past week I made this more of a priority and began my days with a little yoga and meditation, and a little speed-painting when I could. Within a week that was still hugely busy...I can't tell you how much of a difference this made. And this all brought my awareness back within...and my mind continually came back to a truth that I was reminded about last week: intuitive painting is part of who you ARE not just something you DO. This is SO true. So, so, SO true. 

Over the many times I have come into my studio and stood in front of a canvas.... I can honestly say that one of the worst feelings for me as an intuitive artist, is standing there feeling... uninspired and empty. It is a sure sign that there is an imbalance in my life somewhere. It creates a feeling like you are almost trying to force yourself onto the canvas, instead of letting the paint dance onto it in the magical way that it does when you are feeling whole and in tune with your spirit. 

So I wonder, if you ever feel this way? Feeling uninspired, out of touch, disconnected, disheartened, empty, displaced from where you once were or how you once felt... whether in life or on canvas (I'm sure that this is familiar for some whether artist or not). Perhaps instead of seeing this as a negative time, and getting lost and deflated, we can see these moments as signposts on a map. These are actually like neon signs blazing in the night sky, because there is no denying those feelings. They are there loud and clear. So the question, actually, is what will you do with them? Will you let them swallow you up? Will you allow these moments to feed Resistance? To keep your paints closed and brushes tucked away? 

Or will you read the sign posts and change direction? 

When we listen in, we can distinguish where these imbalances are (whether we like it or not). When we commit to a little bit of self-discipline we can then begin to re-align ourselves back onto our true path... Ah, these are truly points of transformation, because they allow us to grow and stretch ourselves beyond what we could otherwise. 

What sign posts have you noticed in your life? Where could you find a little more balance? Feel free to comment here or chat with me over on my Facebook page... I'd love to connect with you.



**Peace, Love, Joy & Gratitude**
xxx




Monday, 28 April 2014

Gratitude to You


A little gratitude to you, from me.

Today I am remembering the importance 
of connecting,
of sharing 
of letting in.

In sharing our stories we let light in. 

Taking myself back to the yoga mat and meditation this week, 
and re-starting my daily ritual of gratitude.

And this:

"Living is a form of not being sure, and not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark" - Agnes De Mille

And then this:

"Be really whole
And all things will come to you"
Lao-Tzu

** Peace, Love, Joy & Gratitude**
xxx





Sunday, 27 April 2014

Jumping in, question marks and all...



Hello hello friends!

Ahhhhh... How are you all? You might want to grab a cup of tea, or coffee, or hot cacao, or wine...whatever you choose...because this has been waiting awhile. And I'm in the mood for some honesty...!

...I know I have been somewhat absent from here for so long. I'm sorry...and I'm not...because I'm coming to just accept this {haphazard} part of me (I hope you don't mind). To be honest, the last few months have been filled with questions, uncertainty and fear. I know this is a common thing amongst artists (well, with most people I know). Perhaps you know the feeling, when the uncertainty of where you're going becomes a little paralysing. I felt like I was teetering on the edge there for awhile... *almost* ready to just back away from everything... woah, it's a little hard to admit that here. I guess giving up before going too far would seem less like 'failure' and sure as hell less scary than continuing to move forward. But maybe my soul knows better, because even with these big (somewhat ugly) overarching question marks hanging over my head I've been taking tentative steps forward. Tiny steps that have kinda felt like huge leaps at the same time. One of these steps was to join Society6 and started creating my own prints, bags, phone cases etc. And I've beens scared of sharing them and really putting it out there, mindful that I could still retreat before anyone really noticed. 

But here is the thing... beneath the surface my spirit and my intuition has been pushing me...gently (mostly). I've been asking questions I already knew the answers to, I just didn't know it (how's that for confusing!) A million questions, but these are a few: Should I be even doing this? (Yes.) Am I really an intuitive artist? (Yes.) How do I even move forward? (Just do the work). 

It is kinda time for me to step up and own this journey a little...or a lot. Or completely, in fact. There it is. The scary reality of committing to this thing. {BREATHE}. 

So even though I am filled with uncertainty... I can release the fear of the unknown 'future', and jump right in, questions and all. And I can't help but laugh (feel free to laugh at me too) because you know what...this whole process of intuitive painting is ALL ABOUT UNCERTAINTY. Talk about ironic...the girl who resists uncertainty is an intuitive artist... (I love the humour of the universe). Well who knows, perhaps this is at the heart of it all - through an intuitive process I can learn to embrace that which I resist most...and I know for sure that it makes me (and my painting) much more interesting, free and ALIVE... 

I spent the entire day in my studio today...with the whole goal to LOOSEN UP and PLAY. A pot of tea, LOTS of music, my yoga mat, canvas, paint...I danced and stretched my way back onto the canvas, freeing up my body and my mind and letting my intuition play across the canvas... AH. Yes, if I needed any confirmation for what I have just been saying, it was right there in that continuous motion of paint and play. Fear can't have a hold in that place...uncertainty becomes a momentum and an edge to push, a place for intuition to unfurl itself and make itself seen and felt.

Here are a few snaps of this...



(...committing to PLAY...)




Diving in...

loosening up...

Playing...


Trusting

trusting

trusting.


...stay tuned for updates as this painting continues unfurling! :)

And in the meantime, join me and:


Thanks for joining me here...

Peace, Love, Joy and Gratitude to you ALL, wherever you are!

xxx





Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Hello Morning, Hello Progress

Good Morning!

This week (year!) my goal is to EMBRACE each moment - and so this morning when I was having my usual computer issues (it has been consistent every day) I decided to pick up my paintbrush instead....

HELLO INSPIRATION. Yes, a perfect reminder that inspiration doesn't just "come" to you when you wait for it... here is the thing: Action leads to inspiration.

Progress in painting but also in the sense of 'embracing'... a good start to the day I think!


I hope your day is filled with inspiration and all things that make you smile!

M xxx



Monday, 13 January 2014

Are you ready?

So. I've been thinking about this post for awhile (well, since the 1st Jan to be exact)... and you know what? SCRAP THAT.

Are you ready?

I've been thinking about what my "word for the year" should be, what really resonates with me. And the word that keeps coming back to my mind is EMBRACE.


Embrace.

Ahhh. There is so much wrapped up in that word for me, but here is how it relates to this little space....(what it boils down to as far as I can figure out for now):

EMBRACE the "IMPERFECT"....

the stuff that doesn't "sound good", "could be said better", "is too irrelevant", "has been said before", "is said better by someone more 'qualified' for saying it"... {you see the pattern right?}
the stuff that makes me avoid writing in the first place.

Anyway, it is time for all of this **STUFF** to go. {Woot!}.

EMBRACE the good AND the not-so-'good'
EMBRACE the comfortable and the uncomfortable
EMBRACE each moment as it comes
EMBRACE potential (in self, in others, in each moment)
EMBRACE change
EMBRACE the '{im}perfect' (because what does imperfect even mean?)

Ok...your turn - what will you be embracing in 2014?! Leave a comment (or come by my facebook page!)

Let's begin this thing! Say it how it is and embrace whatever it is that YOU need in 2014....

**peace, love, joy & gratitude**

M xx










Sunday, 22 December 2013

Art Journals, Faeries, Sacred Marks and....Happy Christmas!

I'm sure I'm not alone in the fact that the last month has just raced by, but it feels good because it is that time of year where you can begin to sit back and take a breath - AH!

So what have I been up to anyway? 

I've actually been spending a lot of time working playing in my art journal - I've totally formed a new 'friendship' with my journal, so to speak! Way back in May when I was in Bali I set myself the goal of finding a new love for drawing - or at least stopping the voice in my head that says "you can't draw". So when I stumbled across Jane Davenport's sweet little e-course called "Draw Happy" I signed up straight away...and this really opened me up to just play with the idea of drawing and made me realise the necessity of my art journal. It has been incredible how much this art journal has influenced my painting as well - I'm not sure why I was so surprised, art journaling as part of the creative process is something I've always 'known' about...but I think my reluctance to simply draw was really keeping me stuck. I've realised it is totally NOT about drawing perfectly or even creating something beautiful (although it is awesome when that does happen!), but just returning to the place of simple JOY and playfulness. It is amazing how many accidental discoveries you can make! Here is one example:



Faeries have been popping up everywhere in my journal and so maybe it was inevitable that they would find their way onto canvas as well? 

{Years ago most of my art was mixed-media so it has been so fun to start incorporating some of those things into my work again - this little canvas looks so different to all my other more recent paintings, but reminds me of where I started too... I kind of love that about it. }

And then came sacred marks with Tracy Verdugo in November, down on the south coast. It is always so lovely to meet with other artists and in a space that is dedicated to being open and to learning. Tracy opened her heart and shared her knowledge of art and her art process with such generosity and spirit. She created such a beautiful space for us to open up and create something of our own. 
It was so great to be given a fresh way to approach the painting process. Using mixed media to create a collage grid  gave me a new way to create possibilities on the canvas, finding a colour palette from the papers I'd randomly picked up stretched me (even though my favs kinda worked their way back onto the painting by the last few layers!!).

Tracy also encouraged us to draw as many personal symbols as possible over the weekend that we could use as a basis for one of the paintings...these then created a story and a direction for the painting very early on, which is very different from the way I usually paint (which was a bit of a challenge for me!).

Probably one of my favourite things from the whole weekend was painting a poem - or more accurately, painting how the poem 'felt' as it was read by Tracy. We were asked to paint, without thinking, as Tracy read a poem aloud. This took a whole lot of LETTING GO....and afterward the canvas did look a bit of a mess, but I really love how that opens you up to something that just could never happen otherwise - beautiful accidents that turn into intuitive paintings!

A good reminder to stay open to the new, embrace the mess and let your intuition lead the way!

And can you believe that it is only days until Christmas? After a few days of beating myself up over the fact that I wasn't 'organised' enough for this Christmas time (I really had meant to update my shop long ago to be all ready, oops), I've just decided that it doesn't really matter and sometimes you just have to be content and happy with what you have been able to achieve, knowing that you did what you could at that time. I've had so many conversations with different people about this, and the thoughts are echoed everywhere it seems as people rush around making sure they are all 'ready'....So! It is my hope, wherever you are, that amongst all this rushing around and preparing that you remember to take some time just for YOU. Take a breath and acknowledge everything you have been able to accomplish this year - even the seemingly 'small' things.  Remember that you are exactly where you are meant to be! (and yes, this might be different to what you had hoped but that is perfectly ok too!).

Have a fabulous Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

**Peace, Love, Joy and Gratitude**
xxx 





Saturday, 16 November 2013

From "old" to "new"....

Hello, hello....

Just a quick little post today - I thought I'd share a 'before' and 'after' of the painting I did on Monday :-)

 Before I went crazy...


...and after...


Turns out following those 'crazy' urges when it comes to painting can be a GOOD thing - I think so anyway. I like how this turned out so much more than I did before, there is much more calmness and a sense of 'unity' in the painting, don't you think?

Could it be finished now? {hehe}

This painting was {is} titled "You Are Light" - I think it applies even more so now. This painting knew where it wanted to go, I just had to listen it seems.

"A painting is never finished - 
it simply stops in interesting places" 
- Paul Gardner

Enjoy your weekend! :)

--

*Peace, Love, Joy & Gratitude*

Monday, 11 November 2013

Be still...and then let go of hesitation

For the last few weeks I've been getting to Monday and feeling a little...something. I'm not sure of the word to use - flat, but not unhappy. Quiet. And each week I've tried to push myself to open up and be energised, ready to dive into whatever it is I've planned to do...

Today the message that kept coming back to me was: to allow myself to be STILL. What is wrong with allowing quiet? stillness? Nothing at all, right?

Ahh. So I cleared my desk, took out my art journal and let myself just play. I've been working away slowly at Jane Davenport's e-course 'Draw Happy' and am having a lot of fun playing around with whimsical faces and people...practicing letting go of perfectionism once more and remembering that it's an art journal, it doesn't have to be 'perfect' anyway. This was the message that came out onto the page as I experimented.......


'She let herself be still...and then let go of hesitation'...




"...Trust that still, small voice that says, 'This might work and I'll try it'..."
- Diane Mariechild

Hm. And with 'no hesitation' in mind I decided to do something a little [perhaps] crazy. I've been looking at this older painting of mine everyday for awhile and I keep wondering what it would look like "if I juuuust added this or changed that". Since it's just been on my wall, I took it down and started adding to it. GAH! It felt so GOOD to be doing something that took me to back to the edge of 'comfortable'... there was every possibility that it could "end up looking terrible, but at the same time, maybe it could look even better? I recently discovered how awesome WHITE INK is too, and so that made it's way onto the canvas in big drips and lines pretty quickly... anyway. However it turns out, it can always go back on my wall as a reminder to always push myself a little further than seems comfortable... to follow my intuition no matter how silly or crazy it may seem, to paint with no hesitation! 

What do you hesitate to do? ....Now go and do it!


"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the centre"
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


And...Go! 


*Peace, Love, Joy & Gratitude*
xxx






Saturday, 12 October 2013

Breathe.



Ahh... B.R.E.A.T.H.E. 

breathe...

 be in the present...

accept that It is.

let go of resistance...

welcome in peace

allow love

(within and without)

simply BE

be joy

be gratitude

be breath.

xx


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

You are adequate and anything is possible.



"How often - even before we began - have we declared a task "impossible"? And how often have we constructed a picture of ourselves as being inadequate?...A great deal depends upon the thought patterns we choose and on the persistence with which we affirm them"
- Piero Ferruci

Hm...how easily this becomes common. It is at the heart of so many things really...and is usually created by resistance in the first place. I realise that I often talk about these things - resistance, doubt, fear, uncertainty - but I think that is because it so often comes hand in hand with living a creative life and becoming conscious of the mind itself. It doesn't mean that it has to be debilitating or even a negative thing. When we allow ourselves to be completely present in these moments and witness these thoughts as an observer (rather than as the role of victim) then these moments can actually become powerful tools for changing and evolving, for seeing and acting on truth. What makes a task impossible? What makes a person inadequate? Funny how easily we can convince ourselves that this is truth.

And let's face it...it's pretty damn hard to turn up and be totally present (in any situation) if you are feeling like this. Whether it is in life or in front of the canvas. Often for me this starts taking on the form of ridiculous excuses - "oh, I can't apply for that grant because I don't have the right such and such..", "I can't ask to put my work there because I need to fix my website first...", "I can't write a blogpost because I've been so *insert excuse*" .... 

Today I decided that for this week (or month!) I'm going to focus on acting with commitment and dedication in all moments - even when I don't feel like it. Not an unfamiliar focus for me, but still so needed. I'm the kind of person who usually dislikes too much 'structure' and prefer letting my days be flexible and open, but I am also realising yet again how much freedom can come from having a little more structure and a-hm, yes, self-discipline (also not my strong point!). A huge part of this commitment is also the commitment to affirm that I am totally adequate and anything is possible. What would your day look like if you accepted this affirmation as truth? What if this affirmation was chosen with persistence rather than choosing to affirm a belief of inadequacy and the "impossible"? What if we choose to simply e.n.j.o.y BEing, following intuition with commitment and dedication, and allow the rest to unfold naturally?

And speaking of choosing to simply enJOY, I am also particularly grateful for the very sweet reminder of the importance of PLAY my nephews and niece offered me during a collaborative painting afternoon...nothing at all like painting with children to be reminded how to let go, be brave, PLAY and have FUN. I have to say it was the ultimate lesson in letting go when I gave them a canvas I'd been working on for months (even if I was totally unhappy with how it was!). And they totally gave me a whole new beginning point and my nephew even added in diamonds.....*love*!


It is interesting how 'serious' everything can begin to seem when feelings of inadequacy and the "everything is impossible" blues take over. The little perfectionist in me has a way of taking over when this happens and suddenly it seems imperative to be in control and to ensure everything "works out"....and god forbid a painting doesn't turn out well? So this reminder to PLAY, is a pretty important one. In thinking about this new focus of commitment and dedication too - life doesn't actually have to be so serious and perfect and controlled...in fact, think about the times you have felt the happiest and most alive - What were you doing?  How did you feel about yourself in that moment? What words describe that time? Can you make a commitment to make more time for those things that bring you to life most? You are adequate and anything is possible.

Ok, well I think I'm gonna call it a night here, and cross my fingers that whatever  I've typed makes sense as my eyes are starting to close...but I'll leave you here with this quote:

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost" - Martha Graham.




Monday, 2 September 2013

From Beginning to End!

Really? Has a month already gone by? I feel like I've neglected this space a little - I had been doing so well with my commitment to once a week. Life has had a way of doing that recently! Anyway, here I am now. 

Today I was able to finally step away from a painting I've been working on for QUITE some time and stepping back and seeing it finished is such a good feeling. It is so interesting to recall some of the challenges and 'points of transformation' (e.g. aka 'creative blocks', 'frustration', 'AH-CRAP-moments', 'resistance') I experienced over that time and to look back at some of the photos I had captured as the painting evolved. I don't think I've ever done this but I thought I would show you the process from beginning to finish! I tend to only show certain images along the way - leaving out the messier more 'ugly' phases (the 'I-wanna-throw-it-in-the-bin' phases)... but each layer has played a part in how this painting has come together and so maybe there is something in showing that too. 



Here is where I started - a wood panel, some old papers and fluid acrylics! These are always the best layers because it really doesn't matter what it looks like. Literally ANYthing can happen from this point on (you'll see) and there is not much likelihood that anything on these first layers will be seen in the end. This creates a huge amount of freedom. And perhaps (actually, most certainly) because of this often in these first few layers I come across 'happy accidents', discoveries that would otherwise be impossible.


These 'happy accidents' may come in the form of colour combinations, textures, marks, different ways to use various objects, how different mediums interact with one another...anything.


As much as I try to not let it happen, it is pretty much guaranteed that at some point I start becoming a little attached to certain things on the canvas. This can be a hard phase to push through, and really limiting! For this particular painting I recall that the first time (there were many) was the phase between the image above and the image below that I first got 'stuck'. Sometimes I may not even know what it is I'm so attached to...but I somehow find myself unable to move forward. This is the point of transformation...(and here I can often hear Flora's lovely reminders to LET GO and to BE BRAVE!). It is at this point that you commit to something new, you make a

choice to move forward despite whatever resistance might be stopping you......


And...you might not like it, either. At this point I committed to new colours and added in whatever image came to mind first. And I didn't like it. How is this for honest? I struggled to not be mad at the painting, mad at myself...before I got to the next point of transformation. If you don't like it....let it go. It sounds simple, right? And it is....it is just that the perfectionist in me doesn't like to work that way all the time - and who does? Who likes to have to go through the ugly phases? The perfectionist in me wants it to work now and more than that, wants to know where the hell this painting is going - NOW. Ahhh. This is such a constant lesson for me...and I really shouldn't be surprised when it eventually does all come together and work out. 


Now...here is where I paused......


.....for a r.e.a.l.l.y long time. I added a few little things...tentatively. 

I refused to admit that....again.....I was attached, stuck. I liked 'lots of little bits' all over the canvas but nothing all together. How frustrating. (Does this happen to you?). When the image of a girl started emerging there was that part of me that was so happy to be feeling a stronger sense of 'direction'. Yet, I was stuck? No, seriously? And then I added circles above her head (I didn't like that either) and that's when I stopped. Again. 



This painting really just sat there for quite some time...and while I contemplated what to do with it, I didn't do anything.

Until Winter Magic.

AH....talk about a weekend full of inspiration! Music, dancing, laughing, dressing up in headdresses and tutus (yes, I know) and just having the best time BEing just about sums it up I guess, well the best I can without rambling on for another hour anyway. I can't believe it was the first year I went! It was exactly what I was needing at that time to open myself up again creatively (and spiritually) - it would be hard not to when you're in a place where pretty much anyone and anything goes. Plus I had my beautiful friend to share it all with (actually, I wouldn't have gone if it wasn't for her excellent persuasiveness - one of the things I love about her!!)...


ANYWAY. The point I'm getting to? I came back refreshed and with a whole new source of inspiration within... and finally I was un-stuck from my negative 'mucky-ness'. I made a whole new commitment to this painting and the energy that came out was v.e.r.y different....



The two images began to almost reflect one another... two elements of the same. As my friend noted at around the point I took the above photo: "As above, so below". 

Of course, after falling in love with shape and pattern even more in Bali, this also began to come through more and more in this painting. I love that I've been able to combine that with some of the things I was doing before to create something that is new for me. I've always incorporated pattern and shape but probably in a less emphasised way (?). Anyway.....this is what happened.


At this point there was a lot happening in the whole painting - it was feeling pretty hectic and busy. This is the point I was at today, and so I spent time trying to find more balance and harmony. This can be such a difficult phase sometimes because it can be scary to add anything new, but at the same time often adding something or altering something will bring the whole painting into more harmony! I also felt like the second image (in the left corner) was really un-finished so I added some more detail and definition to her, still trying to keep her a little 'rough' (or at least less defined than the other image). You can't really see in these pictures but I added some iridescent silvery highlights on the face and a few smaller details along the eyes, earrings etc...

And here it is, finished!

"As above, so below"


Peace, Love, Joy and Gratitude
xxx



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Shift, shifting, shifted.


Shift - Shifting - ShiftED. These are the three words that have been surfacing over and over the past few weeks. There is definitely a shift occurring for me - a number of shifts actually, both inner soul shifts and 'outer' shifts. For the past year I have felt myself inwardly preparing, discovering and acquiring the armour needed to stand more firmly and to move forward bravely and confidently. I always imagine a gypsy-Indian-warrior-girl, adorning herself in her fine feather-headdress and stepping into her boots ready to face the world. I think of her and it's as though I can feel myself connect with her inner strength. Initially I thought I was preparing to face whatever I came up against in the 'world'....and now I realise that it's actually all the things that come up internally, all the inner 'battles' of the ego that I need to be ready for. It is these battles that can be the most disarming - it is the ego that tells me that I need to have the approval of others, that I need to be 'more talented', that reacts to uncomfortable situations, that engages in negativity, that makes me question and doubt the path that is magically manifesting when I allow my Intuition (Truth) to lead the way. It is so interesting to become an observer of these stories for a little while, to see how they unfold and impact me - it becomes such a soul-battle and it can become so confusing as to which story holds Truth. This is the shift I am experiencing though, as I'm becoming more aware of how to identify these stories when they come up and how to release them with affirmations of Truth, with acceptance (rather than resistance) and gentleness. At the heart of all this is the awareness that everything is connected and in knowing that 'who I am' - my 'identity' - is not defined by whatever stories I've created (or that anybody else has created for that matter).
Another shift has been the decision to move back into my studio at home! It seemed like such a difficult decision to make and I resisted the idea initially. What will that look like to other people? Won't it seem like I didn't 'succeed'? What if I'm meant to stay there to learn some lesson I just haven't worked out yet? Anyway, putting these questions aside (gently!)...it just comes down to the fact that it feels like the 'right action' for now! I can't believe that five months have passed since I moved in there! I have learnt so much from being there - totally confronted the fear of feeling exposed in that way and realised it wasn't really all that painful (ah-hm...I'll try remember that next time). I was also able to learn more about the art world in general and begin to find confidence in becoming part of that. Here, now, is a new phase...a new chance to allow myself to shift and continue along the path of finding my True creative voice.

I can feel the shift there too...feel myself tuning into my own well of inspiration more and more. Part of this is learning to accept strengths that I do have rather than looking for my weaknesses all the time. I know I'm not alone in finding it hard to do this and to put aside the 'perfectionist' that likes to emerge. I have been constantly reminding myself to accept the "imperfect" and to go with the flow...Allow Ease. Isn't it interesting how we can often start beating ourselves up over all of these things - for not being easeful, for example - even though by beating ourselves up it is contradictory to the whole point of everything! (and here the notion of 'doing your best' comes to mind - your best in this moment cannot become a comparison)

SO! Here is the lesson then - to be gentle and kind toward the Self even when in the process of shifting. Have awareness, notice and allow the discomfort of those shifts...do your best in this moment but! ALSO be gentle on yourself because the ego never does like to be challenged or shifted out of the way. So you can count on a challenge - but you can also know that you have already totally conquered it...your inner strength, intuition, wise soul knows exactly what it's doing all along! Trust that voice and just wait to see what starts manifesting along your path.

"When you follow your bliss...doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else" 
- Joseph Campbell

And just one more little reminder for all of us - a note from a lovely friend of mine that sits on my new studio desk as a constant reminder:

Nothing without joy.

Here is to You: May you allow yourself to shift with gentleness, ease and joy...ever closer to the Truth of who You already ARE.

peace. love. joy. gratitude
xxx