Leaf me a alone


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.

love Denise.


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.






Friday Night Fatigue – the good kind


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littledd painted out

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’


Have you met Little dd ?

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 …

don't abandon yourself

You’ll find lots more of her on my instagram.


I will share more of my new paintings sooooon,

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

framed mix denisedaffara.jpg

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,


Denise xo

You’re invited to our


with two artist friends and myself

join the fb page here if you’d like to

Trio  Ad 10 April.jpg

March Here


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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.




Letting go

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

courage tea

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.

High protein pancakes ~ almost paleo, but not quite

highproteinpancakesp pancake

kindof a bit ‘eat, pray, love’ over here today, I have been listening again to some Liz Gilbert and Brene Brown, and passed on the goodies of their books to my partner via kindle.

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


Let Go says Flora B


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7 pipes 17

I have been ‘battling’ somewhat with a canvas these past couple of weeks, and thought I’d share some of that process with you.

I already ‘can paint’ and yet.. I’m completely dissatisfied with how I used to make a painting . . . so for the last several years I have been pursuing the notion of intuitive painting and having it become more of my spiritual and integrative life practice. I work out my ‘shit’ on the canvas and or page.

This example I’m sharing here.. comes very close to being a life changer for me… and… I still have the fear I’ll not be able to do it again.

I began with a tarot spread to connect with the Divine . . . and/or the Feminine.. I was so moved by the meaning of the card I wrote a passage of it down onto my canvas.. a beginning… an intention … an invitation. Going in. This one held the words of the 7 of Pipes (Carol Bridges – Medicine Woman Tarot)

7 pipes


the “Let Go” comes from this month’s prompt given by Flora Bowley … she’s one of my inspirers in the world of art making, her example/way of teaching painting stretches me to my very uncomfortable edge.

7 pipes progress A

At the above stage I’m feeling almost sticken with fear.. so much so.. I just write that on the canvas in red paint… it’s the only thing I could feel to do in that moment, staying with the process, and declaring exactly how I was feeling.

7 pipes 10

fear : I have felt this many times before, this too shall pass.

Seriously.. not joking the feeling of fear : this is ugly, what the hell am I doing, this isn’t really working, what the hell do I do next…  and again I was reminded of ‘Big Magic’ words by Elizabeth Gilbert… have fear sit in the back seat.. NOT DRIVING.

7 pipes progress B.jpg

I had somewhat an image of an hourglass going on at some part..and I realllly loved the sphere like image I had going on above her head… but then that seemed to just get a bit heavy to keep holding…

‘weight of the world’ and all that . . .

7 pipes C progress

Oh, but she grew branches before I was ready to let all that go . . .

as I released her hold on that mass above her I could feel myself lightening up as well… haha… go figure!

she was naked.. then a deep blue black watery, satin like, evening gown seemed to just want to slide up from the lake..

7 pipes progress D.jpg

I feel like she’s praying,

drawing in energy from above,

and really standing in her own power at the same time…

in a lake..

in an evening gown…

as you do.

IMG_9855.JPGI’m not quite finished her yet,

more glazing and listening to happen here . . . but oh what a treat it’s been having her arrive, to be with me here.

She’s going to be at the Visionary Art Exhibition I’m in with two other artist friends Jassy Watson and BJ Long,  5th – 11th April 2016 ‘Dreaming Into Being’ is our theme.  We’d love to meet you… if you’re in Brisbane, Queensland around that time. Visit our event page on Facebook.

I’ll sign off for now,

bright blessings to you,

and may love be at the centre of our being,

Denise x

Take yourself for a walk.


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walk with aura inner child

I woke this morning in a groggy fog-like feeling and literally did not know what day it was. I had to go through a number of ideas in my mind to arrive at the realisation that is was in fact Friday morning.

Feeling a but under’achievey of late (read, business has been slower than a snail with a suburb on it’s back)

I frequently am reminding myself to ‘love the one in me who is afraid’ … rather than berate myself for being a not-so-fabulous-at-this-moment-business-maker  …

So… today’s little inner child drawing.. is the little one in me who needs comforting and absolute pure love which she readily gets from our pet dog Aura … and who when I pause momentarily I am always able to love her, no matter what when I REMEMBER that’s kindof all she needs.

I have some fairly LARGE canvas’s on my easels at the moment . . . dancing with the layering technique championed and introduced to me by Flora Bowley and then Tracy Verdugo …. it’s a hot mess.. actually a cool mess.. of aqua’s greens and lime.. a little black as well… they’re the beginnings of who knows what…

chaos of letting go

under the layers 1and the writing I made on the blank canvas’s was inspired directly from a tarot spread with Carol Bridge’s Medicine Women Tarot.  I was so taken with the meanings she’d written about ‘Seven of Pipes’ “Doubt overcome by Action, Spirit Freed” and ‘Five of Pipes’ “Play for all your are worth” which were the first two I drew.

Medicine Woman Tarot by Carol BridgesLetting Go is the current theme of a class I’m participating in.

How apt . . .

onward …

thanks for visiting,

Denise x

Ginger Crunch


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Ginger cruch

Last week I was in New Zealand spending some special time with my parents. This is my tea at the airport…one of my favourite kiwi treats is a sweet slice called ginger crunch. I found a recipe for it online here, (from the Edmonds cook book) in case you’d like to make it.

Travelling ‘home’ to the country I was born in and experiencing it as a visitor is curious to me in some ways. I feel far more at home in Australia than I do there…. probably because I’ve lived here since 1988 and I chose to move here for the sunshine and beaches.

I think it’s all a bit too fresh, my feelings and unravelment, too soon to share about.

Here’s a ‘selfie’ of my Mum and Me… laughing as I said I needed to hold the phone up higher so we didn’t have double chins.

DD and Mum selfie

I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book while I was away “Big Magic” … it’s terrific for reminding me of the futility of perfectionism, and great encouragement to keep going on my creative path.

liz gilbert pertectionism denise daffara

I’ve been in a bit of a ‘holding pattern’ with my painting . . . a foolish notion had taken root that if I couldn’t paint ‘perfect’ or ‘sellable’ art, then I was wasting my time and not worthy of being called an artist. FFS, where does that bs come from, really?

liz gilbert murder creativity

So… my latest thought… allow myself to paint shit paintings and see what comes after that  . . . sure some of the shit ones might work out ok.. but they can’t have that kind of PRESSURE on them to be so before they even exist.

deeply disciplined half ass dd

This is also one of the reasons I have taken to making these simple little ‘inner child’ drawings.. #drawlikenooneisjudging is my mantra when making these, they DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT, they are me, allowing myself a playful moment or two. You’ll find more of them on my instagram. 

Here’s to becoming a deeply disciplined half-ass!

bye for now,

Denise x

Divine Worth


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The futility of the over thinking self…


my doubting one yells from within.

The self abuse of not believing you’re ok, is a sad and sorry tale, carried by too many of us I imagine. Sweeping statement of grand assumption there, yes.

Perhaps that is why I am so drawn to Tosha Silver’s ‘Change Me Prayers’, they get right to the heart of the matter and give me a tool to wield that’s counter to the 6 planets in virgo that inhabit my being and natal chart.

May I also remember, as my darling astrologer friend Divine Mystic reminded me again today, that some of those traits I am all too quick to judge as ‘bad and wrong’ are INTRINSICALLY who I am, and that could be my divine nature.

If you’re seeing this as a self indulgent post . . . relax, it’s easily applicable to anyone who judges harshly the very natural things they find they do by heart, could it be that they are a gift you didn’t realise you had.

I am often puzzled how women of great gifts take themselves into a swirl of self doubting torture simply because they don’t have a clear way of looking in from the outside at their true beautiful nature.

Can we please learn to be kinder to ourselves,

can we please release ourselves from this smallness,

Here’s another one from Tosha Silver :

Change me Divine Beloved into One who knows my own true beauty, dignity and worth.

May I always be a vehicle for Your Love.

May I know my own radiant Soul in every way. Please use me for the highest good. I am Yours. You are Mine. We are One.

that’s all today.

with much kindness,

Denise x

A soft place for yourself to go

aj pink page sadness

So…  a sip of my tea this week, it’s a bit scary and strange, we (my family) received news that our Mother has a malignant tumour back again, we await tests and scans to know what the next options are.

I am unable to focus or free myself to paint on the canvas prolifically  … but I want to not let go of arting, not when I need it most.

Something about writing down my fears or concerns onto the page and drawing/painting a face over the top, or whatever else really.. but the face is a go to favourite. I paint a friend to hold the pain with me, she’s like a prayer, when life and times are confusing and filled with unknown timing and tumult.

Turning my fear into faith and

thinking into trusting.

I read an extraordinary blogpost recently by a talented artist who makes exceptionally exquisite dolls. ‘the pale rock’ she spoke with such honesty and the kindred spirit sensitivity of an artist that I was transported, inspired and encouraged by her words.

going gently,

Denise x

Feelings onto the page.


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a sad page Sip of my teaNot many words today I suspect,

But making these faces on my page sure did help go a liittle way toward allowing some feelings to be felt. Each time a bout of sadness shows up I’m somehow surprised by it,

like it doesn’t seem to ‘fit’ . . . or I don’t know what to do with it, sometimes it seems to take the longest time for me to remember… all that can be done is to feel it.  Not run from it, feed it with food, just, simply be with it.

I’m not even up for the task of explaining it, but arting it.. that is something I can recommend, and share here.

If you’re feeling sad today, I salute you, we’ll get through this.

Being human, is not always easy.

that’s all.

D x

Hearing news that stops you in your tracks.



Hello friend I maybe haven’t met,

I just read an email and blog from SARK.. Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, she spoke of her deepest fear and greatest blessing… her Partner has received a cancer diagnosis, and so they are travelling that big path right now.

I was gobsmacked at the honesty and openness with which Susan shared their current life experience.

I am stopped in my tracks momentarily by it . . .  I count Susan as one of my dearest Role Models, I did an e-course with her in 2011 that helped change my life in a bright new direction. Obviously she’s still one of my dearest role models, and after reading her blog, I am even more grateful to have been led to her in the first place.

Having people like this in my life, via books, shows, blogs… wow. It’s incredible to me how much they impact by their sharing of their truth, their experience.

Thank you dear Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy for being so much of a lazer beam of love. (that’s her words, her life purpose : “which is to be a transformer, uplifter and laser beam of love.”)

If you want to read Susan’s blogpost for yourself, this is the link.

I’m not even sure why I wanted to blog this as such, but I felt I wanted to say something out loud.

This is a little drawing I made this morning as I was feeling all bent out of shape about something that I made myself upset about.

That’s another gift from SARK . . . the gift of drawing like no-one is judging, and being free to draw my inner child in this way brings me a freedom I didn’t used to allow myself.

ct inner child SEENwith heart,

and deep respect for those who are being with very hard to be with news and diagnosis’.

love Denise x