Celebrating my 300th post with a giveaway!!

This was actually entirely coincidental but we will call it fate.  300 posts feels like it needs a celebration.

So as luck would have it I have a giveaway.  And quite a spectacular giveaway.  :)

As I announced here, I am teaching at the new session of 21 Secrets, which gets sent to people in less than a week!!!!  And I have a place to give away to one of you.

If you have not signed up yet then this is another chance to win, and if you have, then if you win, you can be refunded.

The class I was going to teach and the one I envisaged originally was called Fly Baby Fly. However as I worked through the prompts I supplied for the class (because as it happens we teach what we most need to learn!), it became apparent to me really clearly that I was skipping a step.  And before I even contemplate flying I needed to build the wings, and that changed the class.

And me.

So now the class is Building our wings.  And I am madly excited about it.  I love what I ended up with.  Here are the photos first of all…

Building your wings

Building your wings

Even now I cannot believe I created this spread.  I love it.  LOVE IT.

I have extra videos on creating some of the mixed media papers you see that I have used to build the wings feather by feather!!

Building your wings

Building your wings

Building your wings

This spread means so much to me, and I truly hope for the people that take the class that they get something out of it…even if just a new art technique or are inspired to try something else and expand on what I have given. That would thrill me. It was such a nerve-wracking labour of love. Especially when I decided to rewrite what I was going to do. But it felt right and so I went with it.

Before we fly we need to build those wings. And I literally did…feather by feather!! Thrills me. Imagine a little squeal and dance right now!

I am not normally a page planner but I did for this, although it ended up a little bit different than how I saw it.  Though I love the direction it went in. The only thing that would be more perfect is that people would be inspired by it!

So.  This is what my class will do.  And as for the giveaway, leave a comment underneath this post and I will enter you in the draw.  It would also be super lovely if you shared the giveaway news.  But you don’t have to go through 5 billion hoops or like pages that don’t call for you to like already.

It is only a short timeframe and I will draw the winner on 31 March 10am PST time.  If you don’t leave your email with your comment then please make sure you check back here to my blog to find out the winner, other wise I will not be able to contact you.

Just to refresh your memory on why you want to join there are 20 other AMAZING teachers who I am honoured and a little intimidated to be inspiring people with, whose classes all sound beyond amazing.  Just look, but make sure you leave the comment here!!

Good luck and spread the news pretty please.   :)


Reviewing old stories

So!  Feast or famine around here clearly, but there will be this post and another today.  :) Then I will give you a break for a couple of days.  :)  I promise.

So.  Back in 2011 I did Soul Restoration with Brave Girls Club.  It was the perfect time on so many levels and really was one of those courses that touched me on a really deep level and caused some major shifts in my life. There were bits in that course that resonated with me so finely that it was tough at times as well, but shining a light on those shadows always creates a healing space.  I was flicking through my completed journal from that course and was struck by how appropriate it was for me to be relooking at the truths in that book while I was feeling a bit scattered and untethered and doubting.

I realised I had never shared the pages I completed.  A lot of it was not in my own painty style and so I felt a bit funny, but also it was so deeply vulnerable.  Looking back a few years later, I was struck by how many of the truths still applied.  A few didn’t.  But mostly to see these pages is to see me in all my deeply messy glory, and that is hard my friends.  Very. Hard.

But today is a sunny crisp autumnal day perfect for airing old truths and old pages.  But know I do so a bit tenderly.  Relooking at these pages and one of the other exercises in the course gave me the idea for another series as well (In my journal is the other one I have introduced so far! :)).  I am tying this blog down to some routines to reboot it.  And reboot me.

Before I get started, can I also say that one of the exercises in particular on that course was ENTIRELY life changing and story reframingand I really recommend the course if you are on the fence.  I am not sharing that exercise here, at least not today, but it truly was a mind blowing exercise. :)

So here are the journal pages first of all.  I did the first ever version of the course where they offered the kits as an extra.  And got this very cute denim journal which I love.  I note they never offered that option again however, which is sad.

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

Soul Restoration 1 Journal (1/11/11)

So those are my pages out of one of the journals I did. One of the other exercises was to create truth cards for ourselves.

So I went through and created some.

Stack of Unfinished Truth Cards

Well started to, and then thought I was finished. But when I refound them a little while ago I thought how unlike me they were. Unfinished, not enough paint, someone struggling with collage.

So I decided to finish them off. I finished one…

Truth Card #1

And then thought this could be a series. My truth cards. Maybe a message you may yourself have need of each week as well. In any event, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at the before card and the after. What makes it more me, three years later?

Also I have always wanted to make my own tarot/oracle card deck. Maybe this will lead me in to developing that idea a bit more. :)

I am teaching at next years 21 Secrets!!!!

Oh my gosh.  Now for my announcement!! As has just been announced by Connie over at Dirty Footprints Studio….

I am so incredibly honoured to have been asked to teach at next years 21 Secrets workshop…OH MY GOSH.  Cue flailing arms AND jazz hands.  And just a little squealing…very unprofessional I know.


Keeping this a secret has been very hard let me tell you!! I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone! :D

So.  That is my big news.  The other 20 teachers are so incredibly talented and wonderful and I am so excited and nervous to be included in the line up.  Oh my gosh!!  This was a big yes moment for me and I have had more than one crisis moment of oh my gosh can I actually do this.  But yes.  Yes I can and I will be of course or else Connie will be after me!!  :)

I have taken the 21 Secrets classes since they first began so I am very honoured to now be taking a workshop myself.  They are changing a little next year…

In Connie’s words: 21 SECRETS is celebrating itʼs fifth year of delivering inspiring art journaling workshops with a total make-over! 21 SECRETS is now a downloadable eBook with all 21 workshops beautifully contained and at your access 24/7. Not only do you pick and choose which workshops you do when–but you now get to keep these workshops
forever and ever! Plus–there is both a private Facebook community and Flickr gallery
where you can share, receive feedback, and meet others art journaling along with you!

Exciting news all around.  I tell you!

My class is titled “Fly baby Fly!”.  In light of how I have been feeling during September, I have actually been working through some prompts I am going to use…we teach what we most need to learn as it happens.  I so hope that people will find it useful…and of course fun!!

The official words to describe my workshop are:
In Fly Baby Fly! weʼll use writing prompts to explore where weʼve come from, what our strengths are, and where our hearts wish to soar. From there, I will guide you in making mixed media feathers that we will use in our art journals to build wings that best represent our own personal journey into flight.

Here is the link again to find out more about the class.  I do want to point out that it is an affiliate link.  So if you click on it and make a purchase, I will get a percentage.  Which I would be most grateful for.  :)

Also…I will be having another giveaway in the near future, for a spot in the class!

Honestly I have so many exciting ideas about this workshop.  I am so juiced up about the potential of how this could look in our art journal pages, in my art journal pages.  I am already experimenting.  So excited!

And look at all the other teachers…

21 SECRETS Spring Collage

Squealing with joy and excitement!!

Feeling stuck and sitting with it

Visual Quest WIP

This is my painting for Pixie’s online workshop.  It has been in this state for nearly a week and has not moved.  I love it at the moment, and I feel stuck about ruining it.  The energy and colours (it is more teal turquoise than the blue it seems in this photo), I like it a lot.  Too much.  I am very attached to this layer.

I know that you are meant to take a photo and then add another layer.  Begin again, but I feel a bit stuck.  Also I am not feeling inclined to force myself to add another layer (or is that too chicken).  So it sits here for now.  And I am beginning work on another canvas.

Feeling a lot like a cheat, but trusting that I will eventually find the way to finish it.

This is also, I realise, how I end up with so many unfinished pieces!!

In my sketchbook

I thought I would share some of my recent sketchbook pages today.  It is no accident that they are filled with animals given I am in the middle of Pixie’s class.

It has been an interesting process, the sketching in combination with Shamanic journeying.  It will also be interesting to see if the sketches end up coming through n my art, and in what way the practice will feed into other areas.

I am trying not to get too far ahead of myself and to keep out of my own way a bit.

Playing with colour and pattern. I am quite drawn to this earth palette at the moment.

Colour and pattern

This sketch of a slug, they have been appearing in abundance for me. Unfortunately many of them have been in my vege garden. But they have been turning up in some odd places like well like randomly from heaven on my bathroom floor?! Not entirely sexy really, but I do wonder if it is some sort of totem animal for me…and they have come up for me before like here. The gift they have to offer is quite powerful and in many ways appropriate for me so who knows!? :)

Slug Sketch

Sketches of shadowy creatures…

Shadow Sketch

This. This may be my favourite sketch. I am loving sketching with my neocolor IIs at the moment.

Crab Sketch

This fierce guide made an appearance as well, completely unexpectedly. :)

Shark Sketch

A bear popped in as well, just for a brief moment but she made a lasting impression.

Bear Sketch

Bear Sketch

It is an interesting process for me and I am trying not to interfere too much and just trust in the process. Looking up the meanings of the animals afterwards has also been filled with potential insight as well.

The scribblings are notes from my shamanic journeying or insights about the animals/creatures I wanted to note down.  It just depends what is closer on whether I reach for my sketchbook or for my journal.

Navigating memory with mail art

This week’s assignment on the Coursera Art course was mail art, with the theme of memory.

I am so glad I decided to do this course.  It has been really interesting.  I was very close to deciding I did not have the time to do it, so I am glad I found the time, and decided to submit what I had, not worry if it was ‘perfect’ or not. Despite the imperfection I am learning a lot and this is stretching me as an artist.

Here are the photos and art statement about the work that I submitted as part of this week’s assignment.

The open envelope:
Ship envelope

The closed envelope:
Ship envelope sealed

The insert:
Memory map

The insert inside the envelope:
Ship envelope with insertThis work is titled ‘Navigating the turbulance’.

This work was created with mixed media.  The materials used include acrylic paint, glue, pencil, watercolours, artist crayons, and also the use of controlled burning.

in thinking about memory and what it means to me I considered the turbulent nature of some memories and experiences.  This made me think of navigating turbulent waters and from there I came up with the idea of a ship and ‘map’.  I constructed the envelope to resemble a ship, and it folds down, with the sails over the main part of the ship on one side.  Both sides of the envelope are painted the same.  I wanted the paint on the ship to be not pretty and perfect, because navigating the waters of memory is often done with a worn ship that has been through some storms.  There are two slits cut into the envelope, and the ‘crow’s nest’ threads through the two slits to seal the envelope.

It seemed appropriate to use the crow’s nest in this way to seal the envelope, as that is the look-out post, and where you look at the surrounding terrain, both for what you are looking for, and also potential hazards.  Both aspects come into play when considering memory and looking at memory.

For the ‘map’, I aged the paper using watercolour and burnt the edges.  I decided to use the map for locating memory, hence the profile drawing with a picture of the brain.  The hippocampus (in the brain) is where memory is responsible for memory creation and retention.  I highlighted that part of the brain in red, and then lightly scorched the area with a controlled flame, to indicate the potential hazards and turbulence that memories can create when we are looking at them, and remembering.  The part if the hippocampus that is missing with the scorch hole also represents missing memories, and holes or gaps in our memories.

Seeing elephants

I am doing the art course that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, and I have decided to do the art component as well.  Mine was not finished before the submissions closed, and I had a minor panic attack before I decided to submit what I had done.  It was finished enough.  The idea of peer evaluations has me worried (and filled with self doubt), but I am excited about the development potential and taking my art to the next step.

The first assignment was on Surrealism and was really interesting.  I learned a lot and I love the way the information was set out.

I have decided to share here, because this is about documenting my journey and also the idea terrified me a little which indicates this will be a good learning experience as well.  It certainly feels very vulnerable, so be gentle!! The more I look at the pictures, the more I see wrong with it, so I am going to take a deep breath and press publish! :)

As part of the assignment we also had to write an artist Statement which I have included under the painting pictures.  Another very helpful exercise that also gave me direction when I was a bit stuck with the painting.

Pachyderm Doorways

Pachyderm Doorways close up

The painting is named ‘Pachyderm Doorways’.

This was painted with acrylic paints.  I employed the technique decalcomania that was common in Surrealist art that utilised automatism to explore fears and emotions to get some initial shapes and colour on the canvas.  Looking into the shapes I saw an elephant shape so I began painting that in.  I then focussed on my inner feelings and emotions noting where I was feeling a bit anxious or emotional. Once I identified the primary emotions I was feeling I began looking deeper to get a sense of the root fear and then I considered how best to symbolise that in the painting.

At the moment that consisted of feeling like I am a bit lost and not sure which direction to go in.  I portrayed this by the repeating symbol of closed doors scattered behind and beside the elephant.  Though the reality is that I do have options, there is no clear cut option that sticks out more than the others, no arrow guiding me towards a particular door, and this is represented by the barren landscape that is empty of any persuasive signs focusing on one door.

The symbol of the elephant is said to include the following features strength, royalty, connection to ancient wisdom, removal of obstacles and barriers, confidence, patience, using education opportunities, commitment, discernment, intelligence, and compassion which seemed appropriate when distilling the root fear that was behind the piece.Utilising the wisdom and strength of the elephant to decide on which door, or even to knock down all the doors and forge new pathways.