thanks for visiting,
thanks for visiting,
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 . . .
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 ‘innerview‘ thing 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.
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
As a curious one, I subscribe to rather a lot of interesting teachers, healers, inspirers of the world . . . I get snagged by those landing pages, ‘click bait’ … ‘lead magnets’ [nod].
This means, I get to receive some of their thoughts, gifts and offerings into my email box… some VERY regularly, and well, if they are over zealous I allow myself to unsubscribe but some I choose to keep..
… I read the subject line, it draws me in.. and whoa.. before I know it I’ve read a page that transforms some of my thinking, or meets me right where I am, and THEN… can come the self harming part.
I want to speak about this part, self harming without cutting. Not unlike those vicious paper cuts that catch you by surprise, and sting like a bee. I’m referring to the moment you take a message read on the page, the screen and COMPARE your own output, or achievements, or experience in a way that has you sense, or feel you are not enough. Not doing enough. Not being enough. Not giving enough.
Do you ever start to look at the author or artist as a super human? One who hasn’t had a day of self doubt in the last 6 months and they are thriving and flourishing in their online arena blooming like a springtime garden?
There are likely many psychological reasons we humans do this, probably running patterns of ‘not enoughness’ from childhood osmosis. I seek to make a safe space for myself to be ok in this world just the way I am. I am always, all ways, open to growing, and learning, that is not my issue here.
To me a landing page is one in my art journal where I can show up wild and true and free, and give my words and feelings a safe place to land.
My issue is how I mistreat myself, and feed self doubt.
Marketing blue prints can come across as an assault to my sensitive soul.
Today’s world of free stuff, social media and marketing is so full, it can crowd out our own still small voice of reason and strength. Authenticity is the current catch cry of the online arena.. and I mean catch. cry.
It is so so so challenging to find a way to bring ones gifts online without losing, or indeed bruising the very heart and soul that you begun with.
To me a landing page is one in my art journal where I can show up wild and true and free, and give my words and feelings a safe place to land… not a first page of a web site that captures peoples addresses so that I can fill up their email boxes to the point of madness.
To be honest, I am conflicted, I am an artist and I hold space for online courses myself, and I am currently seeking ways to connect with those who are drawn to my way of sharing and being in the world so that I too may welcome classes filled with delighted participants. But this cannot be in lieu of my integrity. It really cannot. I call BS on this current flood of too muchery and not enoughery.
I want to hear real and be real, sans bullshit.
When I am hit with the barrage that sometimes comes in the form of “you asked for it, now I’m gonna give it to you” I am sometimes left feeling bewildered, emotionally drained, and definitely not enough just as I am.
I’ll use a recent happening as an example… it began with a free video series, powerful, shiny, beautifully presented. … but when it came time to sign up, to commit, to buy in… I started to receive daily emails: one that said it was from ‘The Universe” .. not the sender.. and then “ a note from myself, to myself’ .. the email was written in a form (by the seller) that it was my future wise self talking to my current self … basically saying how much this program had made a difference and how I really needed to sign up.
What the actual f? This may work for many, this may seem to come from a sincere place of someone seeing great potential in me.. but I start feeling irky inside and I have to pause.. which you cannot do if you are reading and watching every piece of marketing that flies into your in tray (inbox).
I call PAUSE on this, I feel it is dangerous and potentially damaging. I witness and sense the desperation this vibration tends to connect with and it’s not where I want to have myself nor my work live, breath and flow from.
Right now I am in the wonder zone, the intersection of receiving so much information on how to do an online business, the whispers from inner wise voice and my own upper limits. My current challenge seems to be letting go of the fear of rejection. Facing what success and failure means to me, why marketing makes me so freakin mad.
Autumn in Adelaide, I felt so delighted by our hostess’s garden, such seasonal changes aren’t always part of Queensland life.. so taking a trip to the bottom of this big land was a new adventure, not just geographically.
Smashbooking with a gorgeous bunch of women in Adelaide was a real treat for me. I was welcomed with open arms by a friend made online 5 years ago, but not yet met in person. Dana Sparkle and I met in Dream Boogie with SARK about 2011 (I was in a very perplexing state of ‘artist block’ which was really ‘inner critic takeover of my whole life’)
From where I was then, to this day, being picked up by Dana and Gina and driven off into the Adelaide hills to meet new friends and teach a workshop was a beautiful enriching experience for me.
Time away from the busy, brings such beautiful moments where we may pause and be.
This workshop begins with a circle, we find connections and come into a space of allowing what wants to be heard, and felt. I loved observing how tentatively we can begin this process. There are parts that take us deep within to find our inner whisperings, but once they are brought out, and secretly written down we tuck them in safely.
… a sense of playfulness arises as colour is added…. and when the pages are ‘smashed’ that’s a whole other release of energy and Perfectionista is seen racing out the back gate as she cannot stand this part.
The freedom and joy that unfolded as these smashbooks were made was pure alchemy in action. I’m smiling again as I write and see these images.
Surrounded my angels and fairies we were, in the gorgeous back yard of Ilona’s home in the Adelaide Hills.
Thank you beautiful Adelaidies Gina, Cristy, Jane M, Teena, Dana & Ilona.
often associated with Christmas by our Northern hemisphere friends… but of course.. we have winter mid year! Holly and ivy growing in Ilona’s garden.
Smashbooking is a delightful freedom seeking release for my creative spirit, taught to me by the wonderful Catt Geller .
I teach an online course called ‘Creativitea Time’ where we begin with making a smashbook to hold the activities and offerings made. I am available for private workshops and very occasionally I hold them in my home.
There is one coming up at the end of July, if you are able to make it to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in Australia. more info here
I am envisioning a long table ‘ala long italian lunch esq’ … strewn with art materials,
surrounded by women with less worry lines and more smile ones, a sense of PLAY, whilst holding a very sacred space of inner wise self soothingness.
China cups of coconut milk chai tea, or any number of other choices – a hug in a cup.
Snacks for lunch along the lines of delicious things you might find at a high tea … scones, cream & jam, lemon slice… cucumber sandwiches. . . and more tea.
bye for now,
“We are needing to find and maintain our daily light, and that is what will charge us.”
Lee Harris and his most recent energy update have sparked me into wanting to make a post, a page, a memory tweaker, a sweet reminder note.
“If we forget to do it we get upset at human density, we get upset at the dark or the suffering side of the world without remembering we’re all here creating it and influencing it with our vibration.”
“So if you can indentify the things that LIGHT YOU UP or give you relief and apply some of them every day as either medicine to the part of you that’s struggling or support to the part of you that is here to go deeper with your purpose. Because that is ‘if you like’ an annual theme for this year – everybody on the planet, whether they’re spiritual or not, there is a strong sense of, everything is under review.”
“What is my purpose. Why am I here, what am I doing this for.” – Lee Harris
I SO relate to this. I know I am a light ‘seeker and worker’. I understand the need and place for darkness, and I need daily light to see my way forward.
Not content to sit around in a funk for very long, I find that very exhausting and seemingly pointless. As I was listening to Lee’s update, and the idea of ‘what lights you up’ I instantly thought of the litte drawings I make of my inner child – Little dd. She puts me in touch with an inner innocence and my own experience here.
Drawing her and sharing her quirkyness with the world is a small commitment I can make to my own creative practice right now, encouraging myself to #drawlikenooneisjudging. In doing so, I trust, that others will also be encouraged to draw like noone is judging if that is something that lights them up.
This creative life is a devotion.
A devotion to bringing more light into the world.
.. holding a space where light is welcomed.
I have been finding it very challenging to hold on to my lighter self with all of the harshness unfolding and yelling across our news reals and social media.
I weep for the brokenness and rail against the negative patriarchal energy and blatant abuse of women and girls and minority groups. It’s really bloody awful out there.
I need ways of bringing joy into my own darkness, healing my own inner demons, so I will continue to seek out my personal daily light.
So when others pass by my digital home, they’ll see a light on, and teacups at the ready, creativitea served daily with love.
love Denise x
I have devoted several hours of quiet contemplation time to making floral collages this week. (Oh sure, my inner critic thinks this is a decadent waste of time when there is ‘real work’ that could be getting done) but let me make a stand on behalf of CREATIVITY / CREATIVITEA and self healing!
I am of the belief, that not all therapy takes place in an office with a therapist. A lot can happen with myself at my own art table. I’ve experimented with this far too many times and been gifted with many divine messages, inner calm and inspired ideas as a result.
I’ve noticed how PINK MAGNOLIA’S were beaming out of the magazine pages for me to see and love … these are a new flower memory maker of my Mother’s that I hold close – she and Dad moved from an isolated old place into town in the last 8 years of her life and a large magnolia tree was seen from her kitchen window in the neighbours yard. She and I would pause beneath it and just love it’s beauty.
I was up very early on the weekend and hand wrote a letter to my Mother as I sat with a pot of tea before the sun rose as she was known to do quite regularly … and I told her I’d post it behind the magnolia tree.
When you glue larger images on the page leave a pocket ‘unglued’ where notes can be hidden inside… if that idea makes you smile especially.
jam recipes are tucked in behind that tea setting there 🙂
ohhhh warm scones, cream and jam with freshly brewed tea! mmmmmmm
In this one below I can picture my sister and I sitting at this coffee table, and chatting… so… I’ve chatted on the pages beneath as though she IS here.. because that is something I can do, to keep in touch with the love that remains.
tucked in behind that book is a chocolate beetroot cake recipe.. magazines make such a beautiful display, I love to bring things that speak to my soul into my smash books where they hold memories with me and we make new ones too.
I believe that my writing and tucking things into my smash book / art journal, I’m setting intentions for new things to come to pass – intentional creativity ™ works like that. Something like writing notes to the Universe/Source/God perhaps. As well as appreciating what I already have in my life and heart memories.
Speaking of new memories. I have a little character I call “Little dd” she is an outpouring of my own inner child, and sometimes mixed with my inner wise self.
This week I decided to give her, her own facebook page, because she and I have some creative projects to do and share in the coming months/years . . . so she let me know it was time she made herself more known out and about.
If you’d like to find Little dd on fb she is here.
That’s about it for today.
Perhaps you join me in the love of collage, and flower love language . . .
I shared this image on my instagram earlier this week, and afterwards, when I slid the flyer away.. I saw a space.. and made a hill for my little dd to stand on, and then … these words flowed out of my pen.
When you put yourself out there you often (sometimes) have to overcome a mountain of shit.
The last time I had an exhibition it was a big flop, fail, fuqup if you count on sales being your measure of success.
Wonders, doubt fear, worry, concern. Am I enough, will I be able to paint enough. Will anyone want to buy my paintings?
Perhaps not all of the time, but in the creative life I notice how much I am faced with my own inner demons. Self doubt has been a lurker for years, but I am pleased to report I found a way to quiet that one to be able to make some new paintings that I absolutey love . . . I’ve used this method before, I just listened to a different podcast… this time around it’s been the lovely Dee Wallace and her show Conscious Creation that has seen me through hours and hours of letting myself paint while my mind, and perhaps critical thinking self is busy listening to her show. And loving it!
I’m feeling optimistic and really quite calm amongst the sometimes sleeplessness of making lists in my head of what needs to be done. But I wanted to share with you that it’s a challenge, a privilege, and gift as well.
Below are some of the works to be seen at next weeks Exhibition, and a link to our online facebook event
This one is a repaint … underneath is a whole different painting I made in an online class with Pixie Lighthorse.. but I felt inspired to paint over that . . and leave the butterflies from the previous painting and see what wanted to happen . . . the branches with the birds also remained.
The new version reminds me a tiny bit of Monet with the feeling of movement, the peaceful sense of a secret garden, softness, femininity, Mary and her rosary links directly to my Mother.
Another surprise to me addition that is featuring in my art is my series of petite paintings called SHE FEELS.
SPACE HOLDERS OF RAW EMOTION
I am really in love with these little space holders of raw emotion. This is one of the most freeing gifts I have given myself in the last year . . . time with paper and fabric cutout dolls which led to a whole series of expressions.
well, bye for now dear reader,
thanks for stopping by,
Perhaps I’ll meet you at the gallery, or indeed online . . . life can be a bit mysterious like that these days.
This image encapsulates how I feel at the moment.. and for much of today.
It’s about everything, and nothing. I ‘have no right to be sad, upset, whatever’ when there is real suffering going on in the world, says one of my selves. It’s both true, and false.
Another is grieving the loss of my Mother, many of my selves maybe grieve that loss, who knows whether it’s normal to compartmentalise one’s selves in such a way.
I’m reading a book written by a neuro scientist Eben Alexander who had a NDE (Near Death Experience) and he is now convinced heaven is real : hence his book titled “Proof of Heaven” .. of course I’m choosing to believe it, and then you google to get the link for this post and there’s a bunch of ‘so called’ stories giving the skeptic’s view of his story. Fuck I get over this constant too’ing and fro’ing of what the fuck is this all about anyway?
I have a deep knowing that we are so much more than our crazy minds give us credit for half of the time, and yet, I still succumb to a day of what feels like a ‘pathetic waste of precious time’ to be brutally honest, but it’s ‘what showed up today’.
“What is the gift in this?” I might ask myself.
nup. not ready to go there.
I’ll let gratitude filter back in, I’ll turn on some music. but for now, I’m going to press ‘publish’ so I can have done something today. Something. Not much, doesn’t change a life or save one, but it shows me I’m alive and willing to show up.
Even when the feels are not so fine.
and the exhibition date, is looming, I’m freaking out that the new paintings I have been doing are not good enough, .. which leads to I’m not good enough.. so.. really.. it’s no mystery as to how the feeling of that image above comes about. It’s the critic, the self talk that isn’t kind, the feelings of fear and inadequacy stirred up from some long lost childhood time and triggered today.
And. This too shall pass.
That moment on a Friday night, your (my) studio is a complete mess… (see below) and a feeling of great satisfaction sweeps over your fatigued body and you have to STOP because to keep going in this state is simply asking for trouble.
Ruining some of my last several days work is not how I want to end this extraordinarily fulfilling week.
I’m drawn here to make mention of it, as a celebration for mysel really, to remind myself that THIS CAN HAPPEN… I’m experimenting with a completely new palette than I’ve used before, I’ve banished ‘red’ from the room as far as using it in a painting in this new collection.. (thanks to my friend Nancy for that helpful idea) too late for the Frida one.. she neeeeded her red dress and shoes.. and walking across the red thread/ribbon ‘tight rope’
She’s my inner child who helps me express myself these days, she’s outspoken in a good way, unashamedly true to her heart .. my heart …
You’ll find lots more of her on my instagram.
they’re still in the incubation phase and tender place of not quite ready to be scrutinised . . . I want to bring them to a place where I KNOW in my heart I LOVE them, and so I’ll not be so easily swayed, disturbed, pissed off or perturbed by anyone’s elses opinions be they good, bad or indifferent . . . one of the gems I learned in Tara Mohr’s book ‘PLAYING BIG’ is to not ever take too much notice of the criticism OR the praise.. let them be useful in their place, but not measures on which you base your self worth. Because that is fraught with disaster for a sensitive soul…. which most creatives i.e. humans, are.
I’ll share some little bits of larger works.. that feels doable . . .
I want to bring them to a place where I KNOW in my heart I LOVE them, and so I’ll not be so easily swayed, disturbed, pissed off or perturbed by anyone’s elses opinions be they good, bad or indifferent
You may think by now that I should be over this kind of concern.. well… ever since school in my report card comments like “she’s too sensitive”, “easily distracted” … “talks too much” were frequent… so… I figure… this is just me. (hence #littledd drawings of self kindness arriving in my late forties for no other reason but to be a voice of love in my world.. and maybe the world of those who are drawn to her).
bye for now dear reader,
I have a number of painting in progress at the moment, readying for a group exhibition in Brisbane early April. This both freaks me out and excites me in kindof equal measure.
Below is where one is currently at… and two preceding stages of it . . . I’m painting over one I did last year and was no longer attached to keeping.
I’m learning a lot about letting go . . . which is pertinent to me in more ways than one at the moment.. in the space of time since I last visited this blog and posted . . . I have travelled to New Zealand twice to visit my Mother and our family.. and in January our dear Mother died, I had the privilage of being with her for the days leading up to her departure and the bittersweet moment of her last breath.
So much cannot be said when regaling the complex relationship between mother and daughter, but suffice to say she taught me so much about grace and presence especially in her last days with us, she gave of herself so generously, I can learn much still from my memories of her, and also too, I am learning to let some of the old practices she was given by outdated systems go, they are not necessarily mine to keep even if they were passed down from generations.
I am aware that a new relationship will be ours now as I believe she is just across the veil.
Blessed be : A Patricia Fahey 9th May 1929 − 18th January 2016
A very special priest cared for us and our Mother during this time of grief and loss, Fr Phil left an indelable mark on our hearts as he gave us a glimpse of a beautiful man of faith with so much humility and grace and immense kindness. He cycled around to my parents home and left an envelope for me on the afternoon of Mum’s funeral, inside it on a piece of paper was written :
Cup of Tea
Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves
without rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
On a practical note . . . I’ve been needing to keep strength up, and a dear friend reminded me of the benefits of a higher protein intake to give more energy.
So, here I will share the pancake mix I made this morning, I did the milling of the nuts and oats in a thermomix, but any device you have is worth a try.
This morning, while doing the dishes, this video of Elizabeth Gilbert was great company. I love her. very. much. and am so grateful for her passionate voice in our social media world.
bye for now dear reader,
love, Denise x