Hearing Loss & Art as a Way of bonding

I was invited to contribute to an article by Connect Hearing, about creative techniques for bonding and non-verbal communication, which is useful for couples and families where one or more people have hearing loss.




by Denise Daffara

Art is visual, sensory and vast in its diversity, it can be noisy or quiet depending on it’s content, it actually often does speak to us, but to a feeling sensing part in us. Evidenced by a visit to an art exhibition, if you go in open hearted to a museum and take in the paintings; it is very likely you will be moved and touched in ways that are unique to the transmission of art through our eyes to our heart.

Creating art together can provide a powerful way for couples to communicate without words. Colour, line, shape and form can and do show up in myriad different ways. We don’t always have words to express what we might be experiencing within. Making art may connect us to our vulnerability, a part in us that may be playful, free and alive, or restricted and shut down if we received criticism as a child for our drawings.

For this reason it is most important to open up a safe space to create within. Have some agreements in place ahead of time. Freedom of expression rather than feedback on it. To make art alongside a partner is a brave act for some, but in my experience the rewards can be great. I believe that when someone creates from their heart they are sharing with you a piece of their soul. The intimacy and depth of connection this can open up in relationship has a whole world of possibility.

One of the ways I teach and encourage students is a very relaxed form of art journaling, contained in a purpose made smash book.

If you would like to experience the opening that intentional creativity can offer you as an individual or a couple I would recommend that you relax into this. Treat it as a privilege and an honour (it is) to have the trust of your partner to share such vulnerability with each other. Seek out materials and ways of creating that bring you joy.

Allow yourselves to be playful. Agree that there are no rules, if you have rules in your head already, go ahead and break them all.

There is much richness and freedom to be found in creative play, perhaps wordless ways to release our grip on worries and concerns for a time and simply be.


Warmest wishes and

may this year delight you, often.

Denise x

Tragedy of life WM Lewis dd drawing

Little dd speaks out


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Little dd is mad

Hi friends,

This post is in response to a comment I just caught myself making about my drawings of Little dd:

hey… thanks too for validating little dd with me… i sometimes feel the ‘scorn’ of the ‘fine art’ whip… and think it’s not ‘real art’ but it’s deeper than that. eeeeven when it may not look so for the ‘fine art folk’   Denise xoxo

I want and need to call bullshit on this right now, today, this minute.

Here’s the thing, I realise now, with some hindsight, that my Little dd drawings are a gift from my deepest wounding.

I am among MANY other things, an ACOA “Adult Child of an Alcoholic”. I love and appreciate the goodness my father has given to me, and wish him very well all ways. May he be blessed.

And, when you grow up in a highly volatile situation in your home many things can and are misinterpreted. These thought patterns and neural pathways become the routes we walk as teens and adults and cloud our understanding of what is real and what is imagined.

When I began to make these drawings I was given the clear message, that for all intents and purposes I was to DRAW LIKE NOONE IS JUDGING. They give me an outlet that bypasses the critic because the drawings are made so quickly as the inspiration comes for their creation. This matters to me, they are healing a part in me that is within my reach.

So, when I find myself judging those drawings it’s time to STOP and take hold of those unrelenting, hurtful, painful, thoughts and put them where they belong, OUT in the open, and out of my way.

Here are my big ideas that keep me small. 

I didn’t go to art school, I don’t have a degree : how dare I call myself an artist. Even more,  how dare I create classes and teach others.

I’m not a trained psychologist : how dare I speak about things that relate so much to ones feelings, beliefs and trauma without the degree/piece of paper to give me the permission to. 

Art is only ‘good’ if someone wants to buy it : if I’m not making lots of art and selling it I’m pretending and a fake and art is just a hobby for me. Wake up, stop fooling myself and get a job.


So, those are clearly the voice of my inner critic. Thanks for the contribution critic, you never cease to bring me pain with your projections.

But! I see you critic, and, today we’re talking about this without shame. Part of me may feel some shame, but that part is soooo much smaller than she used to be. Thanks to YEARS of marinating myself in new beliefs, new ways of seeing, sensing, feeling, loving my human self, I am stronger and healed enough, to speak about this toxic stuff.

Little dd writing signed

This brings me to one of my Mentors in life – I’ve spoken about her countless times before, but thanks to her book Succulent Wild Woman, which I have on my iPod, I get snippets of her voice in my ears when taking beach walks sometimes.

I have given myself permission to be free to create as I see fit and speak about the painful and the joyful parts thanks in large amounts to the brave and courageous example of Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy.

See below the image I posted just today on her fb page as she lovingly and generously shared about her life experience since her partner John died 18 months ago. I am so deeply grateful for the ‘permission giving’ that I have taken on by the example Sark has given in her life.

calling Sark


I wonder how many others of us are out here/there ‘struggling along’ with the critical voices in our heads beating up on us in ways that never bring us joy and keep us playing a rather small life/game?

Consider, they (critical voices) may be telling you lies!

I’m going to KEEP DRAWING LIKE NOONE IS JUDGING, and letting the voice of Little dd continue to be seen and heard. I’m not shutting her away for not being good enough, that sounds like an old unhelpful belief, we don’t take guidance from those on a good day.

And this is a good day. I choose to make it so. (hahaha.. that sounds so ‘Star Trek’ and Vulcan…. waving to my husband who loves that world.)

love Denise, and Little dd. xo


sark Delight yourself

you might enjoy :

Free gifts from Denise : join her mailing list for ‘Creativitea Time for You’

Sark’s post on fb.

Conscious Creation with Dee Wallace : A podcast I get great inspiration and support from by simply tuning in each week.



gifted by the sea


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Going through times of change, transition, challenge, pretty much can be ‘every day’ as we now know it.

I took myself to the beach for a walk to start the day off with exercise and sunshine as it’s often a really good way to reset. Today I was plagued by thoughts of fear ‘what am I going to do?’, ‘this isn’t working – that isn’t working’ . . . you know the drill. Fears of failure or success, the hamster wheel in the protective brain can sometimes spin out of control.

So . . . I thought I’d just start watching the waves, focus on the waves as they come in and go out, it became like a mantra, drawing me to say in my mind . . . let fear go out, let love come in . . . let fear go out, let love come in.  It felt really very good, and a ‘no brainer’, no need for overthinking or complicating. It was a sweet gift along my walk.

I liked the idea so very much I made a little video of the sea in case you needed two minutes by the seaside too, and some niggles, or worries and fears that might do well to go out with the tide and let a series of waves of love come in and take their place.


Let the waves carry the fears out

and receive waves of love as they come in.


love Denise.

Broken, but not without a message.

Doing a bit of clean up after early breakfast, so many thoughts already swirling, I’d done my morning pages, I’d listened to the sexy voice of a guided meditation on Insight Timer “Morning Meditation with Music” that told me to ‘Have a Magical Day’ at the end.
cup 15

It’s a gorgeous day outside . . . and then I got to thinking about how I wish I could be a bit better as speaking up for myself in some instances.

I can sometimes find it much easier to defer to the stronger voice, in outside conversation, the one who is sounding much more sure of herself/himself and choose to be quiet and not say what my heart feels is true for me right now.


and then . . .

broken cup 1

I was brushing at the tea stains inside one of my favourite cups and it fell from my hands and smashed to pieces in my sink.

I gently picked up the pieces and put them in the bin.

Then I paused . . . I got a message in this moment, the thoughts I had been thinking were diminishing my power and not at all beautiful. I opened the cupboard, and scooped up the pieces, they had more to say and I was ready to listen. I took these photos and that stirred the desire to write about these feels.

You see, this cup has meaning for me, it’s a treasured gift from my daughter, it’s my favourite colour, it whispers to me of Japan and the family holiday we enjoyed there. It has a delicate pattern against a bright red background, which reminds me of the base chakra and power and I AM STRONG presence. It’s ‘no 15’ on the quirky, tea cup oracle I made for the fun of sharing my cups with others.

So, I wanted to take one last photo of it and really see the beauty and GET the message, STOP PUTTING YOURSELF DOWN!, Stop that nonsense of being concerned that your choices for yourself, chosen carefully and wisely are not right for you. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW! This cup smashing in my sink was for me, an exclamation mark !  STOP THAT SHIT RIGHT NOW!

broken cup 2

I see a messy ‘rose’ like shape, and tea stains from the many pours of tea I have sipped from this perfect vessel. I see beauty that is broken, but a gift in my hand. Gratitude for the gift it has been and also given me in it’s broken’ness.

A reminder.

A wake up call.

Already the gentle optimist in me whispers, it’s ok, we have so many more cups. This one broke but it’s not been without a gift.

It’s a thoughtful start to my Chooseday morning, if you would enjoy a visit to my tea cup oracle, it’s here. 

with love,



Already the gentle optimist in me whispers, it’s ok, we have so many more cups. This one broke but it’s not been without a gift. xo

Two Months to ‘ Be’.


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Two months is what I feel I was gifted this year to simply ‘be’. From 24th April – 24th June I minded a friends home and her sweet cat.  I told extended family members I would be out of range for two months to have a kind of self imposed retreat and take time to seriously consider what is not working in my life and what really needs to be set down. I also chose to ditch facebook for the most part only checking it rarely, THAT was the most wonderful rest giver, my nervous system seemed to vibrate with pure relief.

Some of my most signifant of these ‘things’ weighing me down is the stories of a childhood that had me marinating in beliefs, stories and ways of being that well and truly have past their use by date for me now in my late forties, yet I or my sub-conscious was still clinging to them like a damp spider web, you can’t quite brush it off when it gets all over you no matter how hard you try. Guilt and fear drive a life of suffering.

So, I took some art supplies and a very large license to do as I please and release some of the judgements, pain and suffering I’d been fostering and gathering, and ‘running me’ for way too long.

The location was extremely supportive of this resolve, it was quiet and very near to the sea, with a tidal movement that you had to check on if you wanted to walk on the sand it was only possible when the tide was out.

It’s a bit of a long and personal story the goings on inside my head, but I did want to share how it actually took months of considering all the possibilites and responsibilities in my life to finally come to a place of acknowledging the strong YES my body gave me at the first mention of the invitation “would you like to mind my house while I go away”.

I don’t know that I could have allowed myself to do this (separate myself from life as I know it) a few years ago, I used to be driven quite mad by very loud and strong inner critics. Since committing to build self compassion into my cells and being, my life experience has been changing ‘miraculously’.

All the ‘shoulds and do the right things’ and ‘how can you be so selfish?’ and ‘what will they think’ had much less power, they were just noise and not for my highest good, I knew that. . . . I wanted to step out of the rule book and do this in whatever way showed up as feeling right at the time.

As the days stretched into weeks I was AMAZED at the many joyful moments that overtook me, the warmth of the sun on my face as I walked along the shore, or saw the sun setting any night at all.  I also noticed the deep rest in my body, as a highly sensitive empath I had been stretching myself to the limit taking on or feeling other people’s stuff and energy, with or without them knowing, it’s always felt like an automatic thing. I am learning more about changing that.

So, ‘selfishly’ taking two months to not be around people on the whole was profound!

art journal page DDaffara

I am extremely grateful for the experience and seek to bring the deep inner peace home with me. Reminding myself often that I get to choose how I respond to the happenings around me. I am capable of holding more joy, let me be open to that always.

As this page in my artjournal says, “set this tea-loving sensitive soul free” and I believe I did.

Another magical thing . . .

that happened was the seemingly random yet perfectly timed visit from a rather beautiful chicken.  I was actually have a bit of anxiety at driving a car that wasn’t mine from a tricky spot and chose to sit in the drivers seat, in the garage and breath into the uncomfortable feeling, and even said to myself, “I’m not driving out of here until I feel ready”. Next moment, I’m not kidding… I heard the unmistakable sound of a chicken ‘briiiiirk, briiiiiiirk, briiiiirking her way right into the entry way of the garage where I was sitting, peering at me with a questioning look in her eye.

FullSizeRender 5

The cute and very synchronistically magical part of this was that I had very recently sent a “Little dd” image to a fabulous author, Marilyn Jenett,  featuring one of her quotes from her very helpful book Feel Free to Prosper . In my image I had chosen to have Little dd speaking to a chicken… I happen to find much delight in the innocence, quirkiness and simply beingness of chickens.



I fed Ms Chicken sunflower seeds and water for a couple of days until her minders spotted her and returned her safely to where she had come from.

bye for now,

Denise x

Free online Creative Retreat … meet 16 teachers and create your heart out over two days.




PUSSY: A Reclamation. book review


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Pleasure page by DDaffara

Well.. Hello there

PUSSY: A Reclamation : by Regina Thomashauer

WOW, What a read! This book is so diametrically opposed to the catholic upbringing I was ‘lucky’ enough to have, that I’m still digesting some of the information to be honest. But I really want to chat about it.. here with a sip of my tea (large cup, black chai with fresh ginger boiled first, then coconut milk and honey added, strained, perfect) seems like a fair enough place to start.

This idea of Pleasure being the opposite of suffering, and we are each responsible for our own pleasure! How empowering is THAT!?

It’s become more and more curious and annoying to me over the years how much attention the christian church, and religion as a whole really, puts on sexuality and seemingly most of all on the sexual behaviour of girls and women, it’s seen as a massive sin to enjoy sex with another person if you’re not married, or indeed ‘gasp’ pleasure yourself.

The tendancy to judge, judge, judge really focuses so much on what ‘everyone else’ is doing ‘wrong’, it’s something that still makes be feel SO MAD when I have conversations with that mind set.

anyway… i digress …

One of the most FABULOUS things I read about that Mama Gena encourages and fully endoreses is, Bragging! Ha ha ha ha , I can hear the cringe on many faces. I used to be in that thought camp too but I have decided to take down that metaphorical tent and put the leaky, stupid, too small thing in the bin!

Again, perhaps why we’re so opposed to ‘bragging’ is that it was seen as vulgar, and big noting oneself and not at all polite. It’s no wonder then that the automatic flow on effect of self deprecation became the norm. Not only the norm; Australia is practically celebrated for that talent.. NZ a likely close runner in that field too in my bold opinion. Tall poppy syndrome is another very undermining practice.

So,… no to bragging, but yes to self deprecation… and what do you get? A room full of people given full permission to complain and whinge about all the things they can think of that are going wrong in their lives, because god forbid they share a bunch of things that are going right as they might be seen as skiting and full-of-themselves?

Excuse me, but how fuqed up is that? Oh and don’t mistake this for connection and friendship, this is energy sucking fuel for depression, ill health and woefully low self esteem. It’s basically toxic. We have to give ourselves permission to heal this insidious behaviour pattern. In my experience, it’s not easy, it runs very deep, generationally deeeeep. Obviously I’m not talking about genuine sharing with a view to healing a current hurt or pain, that’s quite different.

I actually want to participate in the opposite of that, I want to have gatherings where people share what is bringing them joy, what breakthroughts have they experienced, what do they feel is going right in their lives. This idea of bragging is saying at least three things that you’re jazzed about, and hearing three more things from the one you’re chatting to. YES PLEASE I want what she’s having.

I believe the more we can achieve this kind of connecting and sharing the more a massive shift of wellbeing will take place in our lives. What you focus on you make larger, stronger, bigger, more.

I’m currently having a couple of months kindof sabbatical/retreat, away from my home, house sitting and minding a handsome cat named Charlie. It’s been really eye and heart opening for me to be alone for the first time in pretty much ever for this amount of time.. and see how my thoughts and feelings dip and dive, and rise and soar .. all by what I focus on.

Being alone is giving me a stronger clearer perspective how much I tend to allow others energy to influence my feeling state. I need to understand more fully the nature of being highly sensitive and empathic, while implementing strong healthy boundaries.

Another valuable activity Mama Gena endoreses is SWAMPING.. when you get down and dirty with the dark emotions that come up in your thoughts/life/psyche … she encourages us to dress appropriately.. perhaps grunge like.. whatever floats your boat.. and put on some big music that can hold your anger and rage and let loose in a safe place with your feels. Like .. literally go wild!

How Healthy! I love this idea very much, given that I find myself having an unreasonable tendancy toward being mad as a freakin hornet … actually not unreasonable … in relation to my awareness and thoughts of how the patriarchal system has oppressed women and children and men most likely too, … makes me MAD AS HELL AND I DON’T WANT TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

Another piece that comes to mind is the Gratitude and Appreciation factor. Mama Gena reminds us to be grateful and… when you do receive actions, behaviours, gifts from someone, to show appreciation for them. Let people know you appreciate what they have done for you. Such simple things, but you know how much of a difference it makes when you receive a heart felt Thank You for something you’ve done or said.

I am deeply moved by this book, I feel like I need to re-read it already to pick up and take in more deeply what it has to offer.

I am SO GRATEFUL to Mama Gena for bravely writing it and putting it out there, she has gone through her own trials and pain, which could have rendered her energetically small and helpless, but how damb lucky is the world that she rose above that to bring us her School of Womanly Arts and all the goodies that have flowed from that, including this book.

Wishing I could pop over to New York and do her course, that would freak this introverted artist out, but in a good way I feel.

Ohhhhhh I almost forgot! Another of Mama Gena’s tips… is to do Spring Cleaning … this is most effectively done with a partner/listener. You bring up a topic that has a ‘charge’ for you… like ‘Pleasure’.

The listener would begin by asking you in a non emotive tone, simply … “So, Denise, what do you have on Pleasure?” and I would respond with a comment, whatever is on the tip of my tongue. Then the Listener would say “Thank you, what do you have on pleasure?” .. and again, I’d answer …. (repeat for 20 mins)

The idea is that you take 20 minutes to empty out your thoughts on that one topic.. it can be really interesting what comes out of our own minds/hearts/mouths. I was first introduced to this idea over pizza with a fabulous woman named Ti whom I met in California.. she was a student of Mama Gena’s and I was dazzled by her talk of pleasure.

Not surprising to me.. I am ending this ‘review’ without speaking too much about the sexual pleasure aspect that Mama Gena is NOT shy to expound on I am not so brave (yet) when it comes to this part of the conversation, but I fully endorse everybody’s freedom to love and be loved in whatever consenting ways they choose to. And indeed love themselves outrageously too.

I am convinced that there is so much wisdom in this pleasure filled tome. It’s controversial, and hugely empowering and magnificently freeing for women.

Here’s to the Sister Goddesses of the world and the ground breaking way they are breaking through old, disempowering, suffocating patriarchal ways.

with pleasure,

Denise x

PUSSY: A Reclamation : by Regina Thomashauer

art journal page DDaffara
art journal page while on retreat

Sage Priestess & Me


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Priestess Self-Study 2

Hello there,

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my somewhat secret loves, the path and presence of Sage Priestessing.

I have been steeping myself in the teachings/sharings and circles of Vanessa Sage for about 2 years and it has been having a deeply restorative and profound effect on my life.

The most significant of these would be the mentoring of holding sacred circle space, this is the piece that has risen to the surface to take precedence over much else for me. I called upon this knowing, sensing, beingness at a time when I most needed it . . . sitting at my Mothers bedside for her last days on earth. (Jan 2016) I would not have been able to hold the space the way I did had I not integrated this knowing that I did not have to do anything except be present with my Mother, and let her take her own journey, and of course provide any support service I was able to in a practical way, alongside my family, nurses, carers etc.

So, my experience of Priestess is one more of showing up and being present to what is required from me to the best of my ability rather than calling myself that by name.

There is an opportunity for you to join Vanessa and nurture, meet, tend and unfurl your inner Priestess.

Priestess Certification 1 copy

If you find yourself curious about the path of Priestess . . . I encourage you to check out Vanessa’s amazing website that has such a divine sense of sacred beauty.

I am honoured to be part of the Priestess Certification program – I will meet you there as one of the Melissa Priestesses. This means I help hold the space of the container and hold Temple Space within the program at various new or full moon times.

Vanessa has opened up registration to join her deeply sacred and life affirming work, you can choose from Sage Priestess – Self Study  and also Sage Priestess Certification.

I highly recommend Vanessa as a wise, kind, wonderful teacher who leads by her wildly vulnerable and powerful example.

I have a spot in this beautiful, comprehensive Sage Priestess Self-Study course to giveaway. If you would like to go into the draw to win that,  please send an email to me, at art@denisedaffara.com.au with Priestess Giveaway in the subject heading, and a sentence or two sharing what it would mean to you, or what draws you to this opening. The winner will be drawn later in April and notified via email.

Warmest wishes to you

love Denise.

Priestess Certification 5png




Alchemy of Emotions


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DD looking at art
Sometimes I ‘baulk’ at the idea of naming a collection of paintings or coming up with a theme for an exhibition… so as a bit of a continuing the conversation on from last years paintings with Jassy and BJ “Dreaming into Being” … this bunch on display at The NAC I am calling. “Alchemy of Emotions” … I reckon I could paint with that name for the rest of my days to be honest. I also find it hard to come up with dazzling names for the paintings and often opt for the obvious and literal . . . it’s not as important to me as the FEELS. 
It’s a bit over a year since the last longish painting session I had… around the time of my Mother’s crossing over… so these ones have a lot of ‘windows’ in them, I’m in a seeking and listening mode in my life, nearing the end of my forties, and approaching empty nest years . . . I relished the sense of freedom and ANYTHING GOES that I gave myself in these works, I imagined I wanted to paint quite calm, mostly white canvases.. with smaller pieces of colour and distinct marks… but no.. that wasn’t to be this time around. I instead felt drawn to making drips and marks, some recognisable shapes and plenty of flora and fauna like growth. Many seeds are being planted this year, internally and externally. I imagine an orchard growing up over the coming years.. not simply a single lone plant.
Apparently all of our emotions stem from just these four; fear, anger, sadness, and joy. In my artwork of recent years I seek to hold space for myself to allow all of these emotions to run through me, not judging how they show up. Often the result of allowing all of the hard to feel feels… is joy. May these artworks reach in and mend a part of you that is within your reach.
4 alchemy

1. I see you Magpie, 2. Charlie’s Garden, 3. Little Black Cat, 4. Teatime Ms Moor Hen               45 x 45cm mixed media on canvas 

Our lifelong adventure urges us to dance within the shadows and the light. Whilst witnessing the unrest, fear and terror within our world, it is still vital to release the fight or flight automatic reactions we have and to find ways to calm the fear, channel the anger, allow the sadness and practice joy.
It is an honour to be invited to display my work at Noosa Arts Cafe, I commend the generosity of spirit of Mark & Paula and their team creating a fantastic space where locals and visitors can gather and connect, be nourished and uplifted, surrounded by art and natural beauty.  The NAC : 205 Weyba Road, Noosaville, Qld 4566 
DD champagne and art

Nature Spirit acrylic on canvas 103 x 70 cm

thanks for visiting,


warmest wishes

Denise x

A Most Painful Question for an Artist


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I sat in my lounge the other day as it was filled with over 70 pieces of my artwork, I’d opened it up to have an Art Sale over the weekend. This felt like both a brave and an embarrassing act of faith and courage.

Hanging the works in one space gave me a jolt of recognition that ‘many of these are the ones that remain’, and where to from here?  It also became quite confronting for me and perhaps if I be kind, a celebration.

I was more than grateful that several pieces sold, the financial support of that is really helpful.



Audio … ‘podcast’ kind of recording.  vimeo link : https://vimeo.com/204308171

As I mention in this audio, one of the most painful questions I still ‘come up against’ is “Did you sell any paintings?” It’s obviously not the question in and of itself, it’s about what I make it mean.




I’m not looking for platitudes or wanting to take up full time residence in victim mode here, I’m simply aiming curiosity at an aspect of ‘being an artist’ that can really suck. I wonder why this question is seemingly the first one to roll of someones’s tongue.

I don’t think many other workers of pretty much any kind are asked this.

What other questions/things might one say . . .

  • How did it feel having a room filled with your creativity on the wall and people staring at them?
  • Tell me about your favourite piece in this collection.
  • Can I tell you about the one I liked the best?
  • I was most moved by . . .
  • This one made me think of . . .

Before you ask that question of an artist . . . pause . . . what is it you’re really asking, and is there a way you can connect in a new way.

What happens when something goes from being an expression of feelings and emotions and colour.. onto the canvas . . . to an item or product for sale. Can we / I the artist divorce myself from that process? Can I make it less of an issue of success or failure.


This is on my mind again, will I do the dance to create for the love of it, if it sells – celebrate the exchange. If it does not sell – celebrate the freedom to paint again, paint some more, paint over any I/you choose to.

I speak a bit more about all of this in a ‘podcast’ kind of ‘innerviewthing above that my partner and I recorded Thurs 16 Feb 2017.

I feel I live right in the middle of the paradox. Wanting to paint for the love of it, needing to have financial exchange for my work in some way shape or form . . . if not from making art, perhaps from other creative projects. This year is all about making changes that bring me more into alignment with what I’m meant to be doing here.

Making a living from ones art – this seems to be quite an issue of contention. Reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert I came up HARD against her words “I don’t make my creativity pay the rent”.

So, I believe I am still in the thick of this inquiry, I am not seeking answers from without so much as from within, but open to sharing a piece of the process with you here. I suspect I am not alone in this quest to make peace with how I/we stay true to the creative spirit within whilst finding authentic, doable ways of ‘making a living’.

Before you ask that question of an artist . . . pause . . . what is it you’re really asking, and is there a way you can connect in a new way.

Denise x

ps. It’s been over a week since the art sale, I’ve decided to remove several of the paintings from their stretchers and let them go. Already I feel an ease when I look at the smooth pine frames without any canvas stretched upon them, they wait patiently to have a new beginning, and hold a new possibility for me. I’ve also started to paint over a selection of them that are ‘done’. I may share some of them in a future blogpost soon. D x

Dear Woman on the train


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To the Woman I saw on the train yesterday

Dear Woman,

May you allow yourself to know

you are worthy of kindness

May you feel a strength welling

up within you to stand up for the one

in you who has been beaten down.

Dear Woman,

I felt the acidity of the words your partner

was striking you with,

throwing abuse at you like it was nothing

like those words weren’t sharp and hurtful,

coming from a bitterness

and an ignorance of their weight.

Dear Man,

I hesitate to call you a man, but that

is the judgement and scorn that arose

in me at seeing, sensing and feeling

the abuse you were hurling into

a public train carriage.

I spoke up for the woman you were with,

and you started verbally abusing me,

you asked who the fuck do I think I am

Dear Man,

I am a concerned human being,

witnessing the abuse of a woman on a train

and knowing IT’S NOT OK.

I am a mother who has grown daughters,

I speak from a place of concern,

What is it in you that is so broken

that you don’t see the pain you are in,

and inflicting on the woman you seem

to be in relationship with.

Dear Couple on the train,

May you wake up,

both you you.

May the courage and love that

resides within you no matter how

deeply covered over and solidified

the container housing that courage is,

be cracked open.

May you be blessed,

you are both capable of so much

better in your life.

May you be blessed.

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