Head down...

Wowser what a month so far...

I have been filming for two different creative platforms and it hasn't been easy.  My headspace was deeply challenged, my Mac completely full and my canvas wasn't playing nice.  Plus I was in a full on battle in myself and my creativity, which usually happens when you are on a deadline, right.  Only when I stopped fighting with myself could I surrender to the process.

The whole month has felt like that.  It's been a real push and pull in letting go of the control, surrendering and feeling the relief.

Always tough lessons.

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Today I submitted my second assignment for Gillian's workshop.  I am not going to lie, I'm out of my comfort zones.  The chapter was brilliant and challenging and I'm realising so much about my creative process.  It's deep, there is no doubt about it and I have felt a little in pain at times but I'm walking through it. 

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Sorry I have been quiet on the social medias but it's been a head down kind of month.  Besides teaching and filming and working during the day, I had to do homework and work on my assignment.  This chapter has been about exploration and experimentation and I'm in deep.  We are working in sketchbooks and I am creatively playing and exploring and I'm loving it.

I could do with another month in this section.  It's been brilliant.  I'm so grateful to be in this season of learning.

AprilLove...

April was visually beautiful and the moments sweet....

 
  • Lots of showing up in my studio
  • A little long weekend away with Kitty
  • Stolen moments of quiet here and there
  • Beautiful and brilliant audible books
  • Coffee dates and artist dates
  • Beautiful green and beautiful flowers
  • Rainy days... a few
  • Walks on the beach
 
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Thank you sweet April.

Moments of Beautiful...

I am still finding and capturing moments of beautiful wherever and whenever I can.  When you seek, you always find.  To me it's the beautiful gift that comes in the art of observation.

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When the weeks are hard and they have been hard this year.  I am needing these touchstones more and more to help me hang onto the moments of beautiful.   They help me to stay connected, grounded and completely humble.  I am grateful in the small moments when I forget this small tangible fact...

 
Life is Beautiful...
— My friend, Gayle Braithwaite
 

EveryDay, EveryMoment, EveryBeautiful.

The Forgotten Language of Love and Life...

My LifeBook lesson is finished.

I'm shifting into my editing and uploading mode and I'm trusting my filming is good.  I am so excited to share my lesson with you and I hope you will love this as much as I did.

Thank you for the love, encouragement and support with my journey through this piece.

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My lesson is about TheStudyofSelf - a self portrait lesson and how speaking words of life and love over our creative journey really matter.

Ikigai - finding our purpose...

I have been reading such great books this year and this one is just beautiful and deeply profound in it's simplicity.  The Japanese Secret to a long and happy life.  I feel this is so in line with me finding art late in my life.  I'm so grateful for this gift and I want to read it again, immediately.

 

Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning.  When we spend our days feeling connected to what is meaningful to us, we live more fully, when we lose the connection, we feel despair.  Modern life estranges us more and more from our true nature, making it very easy for us to lead lives lacking in meaning.  Powerful forces and incentives distract us on a daily basis, don't let them take over your life.

 

10 Rules of Ikigai:-

  1. Stay active, don't retire
  2. Take it slow
  3. Don't fill your stomach
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday
  6. Smile
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your Ikigai
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Life is not a problem to be solved.  Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people who love you.

The Sacred Art of Showing up...

I had been dragging my feet with my LifeBook lesson because I felt overwhelmed about my commitments.  I am not sure how it happened exactly but I ended up with two lessons due on the same date for two different platforms.  I have been fearful that I could actually come up with teaching ideas for either lessons and it completely sent me in a state of procrastination.

I know that sounds strange but I've been in a weird and different space this year.  But like with all things that feel overwhelming, all that was required was to actually just start.

 TheStudyofSelf - 16"x16" Stretched Canvas - Black gesso and Titanium Buff and brown Stabilo pencil.

TheStudyofSelf - 16"x16" Stretched Canvas - Black gesso and Titanium Buff and brown Stabilo pencil.

Day one, I put my canvas down.  Day two, I drew up and day three, I did my undertones and that was enough to give me the momentum I needed to start.  I worked steadily everyday after work and I managed to film my lesson and I have to say, I loved the journey.  I loved that I had a theme before I started and I loved the introspection work that went along with this piece.  Working mindfully helped me think deeply and helped me find my way.

To me there is still a sacred quietness that comes out of the act of showing up everyday in spite of where my heart is at.  Sometimes I forget that.  When I have a week like this, I'm reminded that there is so much growth that happens in this place of daily work.  I am encouraged.

 
Small actions lead us to the larger movements in our creative lives...
— Julia Cameron
 

Growing...

I moved my one Zen paved circle to another part of my garden, where grass just won't grow.  Moving the pavers means there is less dirt for me to contend with.  And for that I'm so grateful.  This week we had 1-2 glorious days of on and off rain and each drop is a celebration, literally.

Considering we haven't had rain, my garden is gloriously green.  The 100 year old trees that surround our property are evergreen and this definitely helps my survival and wellbeing.

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I noticed this week that my succulents are actually growing and spreading between my pavers and I'm thrilled.  Some of my lavender has bounced back from the heat and growing.

My star jasmine hedge in the making is doing well and my potted jasmine and frangipani are doing beautifully.  In terms of occasional waterings during the hot no rain weeks, I am using grey water that we are catching from showers.

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Cement will be thrown where the old zen circle used to be and the wooden wattle stick walls will go up and big green potted plants will move in.  We will place wooden chairs and a moveable fire pit and this will be a bbq area.   Then I will have just one zone left of dirt.  That will be my final zone and I'm still working on a plan for that area.  I have some ideas.

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I am hoping the winter rains (when they eventually come) will settle everything down.  I'm already seeing a shift with the small bit of rain we have had and I'm encouraged.  What I am hoping is that by next Spring, we will be able to use this space outside instead of it being a derelict abandoned zone of nothingness.  We can walk around and sit on the outside benches and enjoy the autumn days outside before the cold fully arrives.

That's already an improvement.  I am encouraged.

A MothersLove in a time of no water...

This unfinished piece had been haunting me for months.  It's a big canvas - 24"x24" and it had completely overwhelmed me.  They were beckoning me for ages to finish them.

Part of why I couldn't move forward with this piece was because I wasn't sure what I was going to do to finish them.  I decided to use an element of my daily life at the moment. 

 24"x24" - I'm busy editing this and it will be up in my class later this week.

24"x24" - I'm busy editing this and it will be up in my class later this week.

With our lack of water and the dryness I see and feel all around me, I've become almost desperate in my need to see green all around me.  So I keep buying green indoor plants with big green leaves so wherever I look I can see this beautiful color.

My soul feels parched and we are all feeling it as we patiently wait for our rain to arrive.

The nights are cold but the days are still so hot and dry.

I am afraid, we are afraid.

Still studying things...

I am loving this so much.

Who knew something so delightfully simple would make me so happy.  I continue to look around me for things to paint.  I have two more indian stamps to paint and the matching saucer to my sweet little teacup (that I truly had no idea I could paint) and one or two other little things.

And then... who knows what I'll find.

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For now my studio feels like a place of experimenting and testing little things.  It feels like I have little pockets of this going on in one corner and that going on in another.  I am still feeling a little all over the place and I'm trying to pull it altogether but mostly I'm just enjoying myself.

Gilly is away teaching in the USA so we are spending this time catching up on things we didn't finish and doing some exercises until she returns and then we dive back into class and schedule.  For now I'm just showing up and getting used to set hours #inmystudio working on things.

And loving it.

TheStudyofThings...

Can I just tell you how much I loved this mini exercise.

I had no idea painting paint tubes would make me so ridiculously happy.  This project isn't for anyone else, or for any particular reason.  It's just something I have been wanting to do for myself for some time now.  I think I silently needed to know if I could paint anything other than a face.

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6"x6" Stretched Canvases - Primary colors in different brands

There is something about painting the mundane that hugely appeals to me for some or other reason.  Maybe it's in line with my photographic project about finding a beautiful moment in each day and capturing it.  Even the beauty of weathered tubes of paint.

So for now I'm playing here slowly and just enjoying the process.

Lost in Translation...

It's been such a big week and I've been utterly overwhelmed.

News about our Orvieto class went live this week and within 3 days it had filled up.  I have to say both Ivy Newport and myself were so utterly blown away and humbled in every way.

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Thank you for the beautiful friends, new and old who signed up.  No words can express what this means.  Now we wait for that sacred special time.  So much goodness to look forward to.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

If you were hoping to join us, we are looking to expand the spaces so please use our wait list in case more spaces become available.

TheStudyofThings... Hand of Mary

I found this wooden stamp the other day and I'm particularly fond of it.

Visually, I find it beautiful but I know there is much history and messages to this hand in various faiths.  I kind of love that.  I remember seeing it in my brother-in-law's home once, he is Israeli and I was intrigued because I didn't realise it was an Israeli symbol, amongst others.

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4.5" x 4.5" Stretched Canvas, The Study of Things #1

This is what I've found out...

 
  • In Judaism they refer to it as the hand of Miriam, to honor the sister of Moses.
  • In Levantine Christianity it’s known as the hand of Mother Mary, after Jesus’ mother.
  • In Islam it’s known as the hand of Fatima, after Muhammad’s daughter.

I loved painting this wooden block.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it.  I started slowly and procrastinated a bit.  I worked in stages until it appeared and I was a little surprised when it turned out how I hoped.  I am delighted.

xoxoxox

Come join us in Orvieto, Italy...

I've been waiting for this day to arrive so I could share this exciting news with you.

Next year September, I'll be returning to my Beautiful Orvieto but this time I will be returning to teach alongside my special friend and wonderful teacher, Ivette Newport.

I'm beyond honoured and thrilled to be working together with Ivette again.


Come weave a...

 Creative Tapestry of Orvieto

with us in September 2019

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"Soul Ties" - to a hilltop village far far away  12"X16"x1.5" Stretched Canvas


This will be the 4th time returning to Orvieto and every time I go, it's a kind of private pilgrimage and I do highly recommend you taking this incredible journey for yourself.  It has deeply and profoundly changed my life, my art and my soul in every way.  It has captivated my every being and I don't think I'll never stop dreaming of creating in the upper room at the Monastery and taking in the incredible ancient world of Orvieto.

We are expecting the class to fill up quickly so be sure to get on the list because there will be limited spaces.  We are both so excited and I couldn't think of a wonderful teacher to work alongside.  Thank you Ivette and Michelle, Adventures in Italy for this incredible opportunity.

#365TinyCaptures - March is a wrap!

It was a big month.

I love having these beautiful little keepsakes to remind me of the goodness of each day.  When the days and months are long and hard, these are beautiful reminders of the goodness too.  It's good to have touch stones.  This month, I listened to 2 great books, pretty life changing actually.  I have been showing up almost everyday to paint, albeit slowly I did manage to finish 3 pieces and do 2 drawings this month, so I'm happy dancing.  It's been good.  I'm working on some other things, I'll share more soon.

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I am still working most days in the City for the filming season.  We had a few public holidays this month and the extra days off where a treat.  I also managed to squeeze in a 2 day book binding class. Having family was also a treat and the girls are both on holiday now for around 10days.

So on that note, farewell March 2018.  Thank you for all the beautiful!

Garden Love...

Thank you for all the messages asking about my little garden.  It's settling in and I have to say I love how it looked after the 2 days of rain we had this week.  It was so good for my soul.  My Frangipani plant is doing beautifully and my Rosemary is flowering.  My Star Jasmine hedge has survived and the ones in my pots too.  Most of my lavender is doing okay and my water wise plants are beautiful.  I am about to move into the second phase of my yard project now that this has settled down some.  I spent the morning measuring out and walking around and getting new ideas and I think I have a new plan.  I'll start executing it in around a weeks time.  I love how it's settled and I'm excited for my new plans. Like all things, it takes time.

We are heading into our rainy season and we are holding our breath for our rains to come.

We are hopeful!

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Autumn is here...

We have entered into beautiful Autumn and I have to say as I've got older, it's become my most favourite season of all.  It's nostalgic and deep and contemplative. I am not sure what it is, but there is just something about it.  It's staying darker for longer and the mornings and evenings are getting colder and the days are mild.  I do love it.  Our fur-babies are already anticipating the colder weather.  Riley is like me, he doesn't do well in the cold.  He definitely gets the winter blues.  We have to put his bed right next to the wall heater to help him cope.

The cold is coming and they know it.

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A Grand Affair...

It was that time of year again, when my folks come down to Cape Town for the South African Cheese Awards.  It's the Creme-da-la-Creme of the Dairy Industry, excuse the play on words.

The past few years have been really incredible for my parents and this year was equally as precious.  They made history again this year and they asked my Mom not to miss this occasion.  They were the first dairy ever in the history of this competition (185 years old) to win Gold medals in the Cows, Goats and Sheep Dairy categories.  They won a total of 8 Gold Medals of which 3 were Cow's cheese products, 3 Goat's cheese and 2 Sheep.  Plus they won 4 Qualite Awards which means their Gold Medal cheese reached a certain percentage.

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 It's pretty remarkable really when you think they are a small boutique cheesery.  To achieve what they have is mind-blowing.  I am so proud of my folks.  They are both 71 this year and they don't seem to be slowing down any time soon.  I know it's keeping them young and getting to do what they love every single day... it's what life is all about.

 I love their work ethic so much.

They have beautiful purpose and their love and passion shows.

#soproudofmyparents

The Counsellors...

I am still playing with this theme a bit and I already have a new one in the works on my studio desk which I will hopefully start today.

It's playful but seems serious too.  It feels deep.  I am not exactly sure why but whatever it is, I am going with it and I'm moving gently and slowly.  I have a few pieces juggling at the same time.  I had some old abandoned canvases from last few years that got gessoed and painted over and I've started working on one of those big ones.  It is completely green and I'm in heaven.

I'm back in learning and experimental mode and I'm loving it.

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SOLD 18"x24"x1.5" Stretched Canvas - The Counsellors

A beautiful day in the country...

We had a mid-week public holiday and we took a two hour drive up the coast and out of town.  It was a beautiful peaceful drive.  Lots of laughs, banter and moments of quiet.  I love road-tripping but more than that, I love making memories.  It's something we have always done as a family and I hope it's something we continue to do.  Getting us all at the same place at the same time, is taking more effort these days.

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We had brunch at a Slow Food Restaurant called Graze and it was well worth the drive.  We arrived hungry and the beautiful organic veggies brought in by the locals, was a highlight for me.  It also meant I didn't have to stop for supplies during the week which is always an added treat.

After our meal, we popped into the some lovely shops along the main strip.  It didn't take long because the town of Stanford is rather minute.  We popped into an antique store where I found this beautiful Fallow Deer Antler.  I didn't hesitate, I bought it on the spot for around $15.  It's something I've waited a very long time for and I feel a little beside myself about it.

We took a slow meander home and it was just such a great day.

#HappyDay #HappyHeart