Friday, January 17, 2020

Colour Play - Mothercolour

How do you use and play with colour in your art? 

This year the Intentional Creativity Guild and CoW students are delving into color theory to bring more coherence to our work and teachings. After Shiloh began her art career, she started as an Art School drop out - frustrated with the rigid Rules and emphasis on creativity stifling critique - can you relate? 

I loved my HS art class, and was one of this kids who drew in the margins of her notes, sketched the neighbors' horses, and played with geometric patterns. I'd get a paint by number set, then use any left over paint on a canvas from the Dime Store. A couple of college art classes were followed by occasional occasional Community College or Art Guild classes, with color theory part of the mix.

The Color of Woman method has relied on a more intuitive use of colour, with the intermittent use of glazing for unification. This year, Guild members from several traditions are bringing in color theory and teachings on using Mothercolour in our paintings. Our first Mothercolour lesson came from Australian artist Jassy Watson
Mothercolour swatch
A Mothercolour is created by mixing several colours together (often 3), and then experimenting with adding different amounts to each of the pure colours. Thou see this in some of the paintings of the old masters. 
The glazing process we use, covering the canvas with a thin coat of a transparent color at least once, has a similar unifying effect. The recommendation to have several colours on our palette, and dip the brush into ones we wish to use together, rather than thoroughly mixing them before painting, also contributes. A tip from Shiloh's teacher Sue Hoya Sellers was to add a new colour in at least three spots around the canvas.
Mothercolour swatch #2
I was reminded of a quilt show in the 80s - one group chose a fabric for each woman to use in her square, and set the squares with strips that harmonized. The colors were more cohesive and pleasing than the random sampler block quilts from other groups.

Jassy studied color with the Australian Flying Artist, Merv Moriarty, who learned to fly so he could take art classes to romote areas around AU! Now in his 80s, Moriarty is still passionate about color, art and education! Both Watson and Moriarty are influenced by the Australian landscape.
Among the Tree Sprites 10-19
In the online Treesister class last fall, Jassy encouraged us to look to our surroundings for shapes and our colour palette, and limit the colours we used. In the first class I took from Jassy, painting Gaia in 2014, she also invited looking to our environment for inspiration. The leaves were from the Rowan yes in my yard, and the amethyst colors from a crystal in my collection.
Mama Gaia - 2014
This video from local artist Flora Bowley offers another way to explore colour and contrast with the paints in your collection. This is a good time to pull out some of those rarely used, and experiment! 

What are some of your favorite exercises for exploring colours? Do you have ways you bring unity throughout the piece or a series?
Share in the comments below - and HåPpÝ Paint Party Friday!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Guild Gathering

In 2018, our teacher Shiloh Sophia revived the medieval practice of gathering those who have developed proficiency in an art or trade into a Guild of Journeywomen. Our preparation includes the year long Color of Woman teacher training and competing our Thesis - an Initiate Book summarizing the assignments and offerings we've given. There are now over 250 graduate Guild Members worldwide. Check our directory for someone near you! 
Sepha, Nadya and Shiloh, 2016
Nearly 20 Guild Gals currently live in Oregon and Southern Washington, and several of us met for the first time in classes, at graduation, during travels, or an in-person gathering. It had been several years since we had a local gathering, so in November I invited the local gals to a Gathering at the studio in MECA gallery. We set it for the afternoon, and Jan from Southern Washington, 3 hours away, choose to stay overnight! 
Sharing Purple thread with Sepha and Janet
While we do Red Thread circles when gathering with students and beloveds in our broader community, when meeting with other Guild members, we use a Purple Thread of Leadership. I've shared purple thread with several SiStars as they traveled through Oregon, weaning strands of connection. It's always a delight when we gather, and this was no exception! 
Olivia, Sepha, Uma, Nadya, Jan  - Nov 19
We shared chocolate and tea, warmth and SiStarhood. Our Muses must have consulted - our colors were delightfully coordinated! We passed the thread, and shared highlights from our year, and dreams for the future. 
We planned to share a Metacognative drawing practice (Uma is taking the Motherboard training), but after our check-in round we just kept talking!  And talking - laughing, commiserating, and finally said our fond goodbyes, with a stronger connection and sisterhood.

We've made plans to meet again quarterly, likely in Portland or Olympia. Each time we're together, in person or virtually, the connections strengthen - we're just a thread away ...

Purple Thread cuff
I used the purple yarn from this and other circles with my Guild SiStars to crochet this little cuff bracelet. It's both decorative and a wonderful reminder I can just give a tug, and the support and love from my sisters is on the other end! 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Zines for planning

When preparing to teach a class, i generally make notes of what I plan to include in my journal, and I have a sets of prompt cards for the flow of an intentional creativity class. Last summer, I happened on a call with the lovely Denise Daffara on working in little "zines" ... but had missed the instructions, lol! 
So after the call, looked up how to make one, and was enchanted! 
Calendar and Zines in process
Who doesn't like tiny booklets? And with the central slit, they fold into a cover and several pages - perfect for a little collage session, or a planning booklet! 
Double Calendar spread, paint and collage
We made zines at our next Red Thread Circle, a double spread from this calendar made a fun booklet that is a bit larger. I liked some of the black and white illustrations of candles and beeswax, so worked around including them. The small blue Zine was made from one calendar page. 

Acrylic paint and collage
The double calendarspread, or even piece of notebook paper is a great size for a small "class notes" booklet, which can be written in directly or painted and collaged. Hers a little "kid friendly zine" tutorial.
It could also be:

  • A poetry booklet
  • A mini art journal
  • A process page - write what you want to compost on the 'inside,' paint over' then flip and fold to "grow some lilies"
  • A booklet of symbols you use in your paintings
  • Writing about your painting
In our community we create Vision Plan books on watercolor paper as part of the Color of Woman quest. These are a lovely visual way of collating ideas for our work with IC, but in a larger format. 
Vision Plan Book
I am enjoying the compact booklets for collection my class ideas, as another option. 
What's your favorite style of booklet? 
Happy Paint Party Friday!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Painting with Intention

Intentional Creativity® offers an approach to painting (and other creative projects) where we set our intention at the beginning, and follow our curiosity, using inquiries and letting the brush lead. It is a way to activate Breakthrough, without Breakdown, to attune to  inner guidance and own images. It can also be a powerful mindfulness process. As we paint dots, dashes and other repetitive patterns, we move into a flow state. 
Changes occur in the electromagnetic field around us, when receive from the unmanifest, and bring that information through the portal, into our painting. 

We begin with a theme, often choosing an archetype to provide a framework and images for our painting.

  • How do we connect with our Muse of Creativity, or lead a more Legendary Life? 
  • What are our Super powers? 
  • What gifts sand talents are in our medicine baskets?
While the themes, and archetypes are limitless, we are encouraged to choose one that lights us up, or has us "shaking in our boots!"
Siren Song 
Whether working on our own, or teaching a class, I use a step-by step method designed to foster insights and inner access. Founder Shiloh Sophia writes, "There's something sacred about the container, about the formula holding you, that allows for freedom to emerge. You are going to create an intuitive painting, from the heart of your own self. You'll learn to use your visionary lens for Active Imagination to connect with the light and spaciousness of your own sovereignty."

We usually begin with a visioning, a guided Meditation focused around the archetype it theme of the painting. Everyone has their own paths of access, so while some may receive visual images, another will "hear" something, and yet another may have a more tactile experience, including the hint of a scent. 
There's no "right or wrong" way! Even if you feel you didn't "get" anything, as we spend time with our Journal and canvas, images and symbols emerge. The painting become our visionary Portal.

Juju Journal · One of the keys to the intuitive painting process is moving back and forth between the canvas and our Journal. Using image and inquiry, we follow the thread of the story we are weaving, and access information we didn't know we knew. This practice of asking for information and allowing images to emerge helps is transform old stories, and gives us more bandwidth for good juju.

As we move through the steps, we build upon previous layers. Something you loved may later get lost, to, perhaps, re-emerge later, like a dear friend, well-met after years apart! So we remind ourselves, don't get attached! (And take photos!) 
With our inquiries, we note where something similar happens in daily life, hmm... and may ask, 'how does our guide receive information?' 'What symbols does she have?' 'What are some of the trials and dangers faced?' 'How does she overcome them?' 'What weakness is she ready to transform?'
Student painting - in progress
Partway through, we send our lady into the mist with a risky glaze, spraying the canvas with water, and using a big brush and diluted transparent color to unify the painting, and send her into the Fog! I wrote about glaze options in my last post, and additional glazes adds depth and luminosity. This is a great time for journaling, exploring what is going behind the glaze and getting lost, what is coming through? How does she want to re-emerge?

Step by step, we journey to the heart and soul of our lady, to our own heart and soul! Sometimes we get discouraged - have I lost her?? ... Ah, no, there she is! Lose her, find her, lose her! ... This dance may occur several times, as we move towards completion. Confused about what's next?
Ask her.
Listen. Record ...
Bring in more light, illuminate - we're *cooling sacks of stardust* - the light beams from within! 

At some point - during the Workshop or later, as we feel compete,  we sit back at least 6' and hand her the pen. This is a time of inviting information, her statement, perhaps a poem. There may be a message about the next mission, insight into an old story, a recurring roadblock, codes, secret language, a lexicon of symbols...

And even after we'd done this "final step," ... We may get called back to the canvas (often years later!!) Because she wants something else! ... 
And if we're listening, we come!  

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

When in doubt, take it to the journal ...

In our Intentional Creativity Classes and personal practice, we spend significant time with our journals, unpacking information and insights. 

A wonderful practice is to begin the day with a cup of your favorite beverage and your journal. I recently moved a wicker chair about 6' from my easel, (which my kitty thinks is especially for him, lol) I have my colored pencils, a book of poetry, and several journals nearby, for this important part of my process. 
Symbols for Wonder Woman
During a class or after, there often comes a point where the student becomes frustrated, and just wants to slap a coat of gesso over the canvas, and start over! 

Ah ....

This is such a potent point, which can be an opportunity for recognizing old patterns / unconscious reactions, and shed light on the issue, on ways we've been stuck. It's one of the ways we call access a breakthrough, rather than a breakdown
How can we use it? 
What if we tried something different this time?

In the classroom, two of my favourite phrases for this stuck/I wanna start over point are: "When in doubt, Glaze!" and, "take it to the Journal!"

** If you just got home, I suggest waiting at least overnight before making any changes! Give your canvas (and yourself) time for reentry. This is a great time to journal about your experience and anything that came up.
Collage - vessels over watercolor pencil
  • Take it to the Journal: Move back about 6' and sit with your journal. This is a good time to write fast and furious about whatever is coming up, and is fun to use watercolor pencils. If something seems important, you may want to note it elsewhere, or just process - get it out! (I hear Shrek, "Better out than in!") Is this something that's come up before? Is there a voice attached to it? (Can you identify a person who told you that?) You may want to dialogue a bit with your Muse. You can let the words and colors cross and build.This is your compost layer ... 
  • Next, One option is to sketch a flower, lotus or rose, or perhaps a simple daisy, in the center, and activate the colored pencil around it with water - no mud, no lotus! You can use paint over the flower petals, to highlight the shift. You can also use collage (like my image above) 
  • Here are 150+ prompts if you want to completely step back and puddle around with something different for awhile! That's a good option! 
  • How do you feel now? Look at your painting again, how do you feel about it? Did you get insights on how to proceed? Ask your Muse what she wants you to do! At this point, you can write about the shift, before you return to the canvas. Let it sit! Go do something else for awhile! 
  • It can also help to return to the initial visioning and inquiry - return to that page in your journal. Ask yourself if/ how what's coming relates to those? What attracted you to this class or project in the first place? What's shifted who've you first wrote? What insight is arising?
Applying a partial Glaze in a recent class
  • When in doubt, Glaze: Glazing can be scary, and is so potent!! It is a great way to integrate what has gone before, and is another key component of our process with Intentional Creativity. In class, glaze partway through with a transparent color - Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold is a favorite! Each layer adds depth. You want to gesso? Look for a transparent color, water it down a bit, use a big brush and cover the canvas with a layer of glaze. (Golden Fluids work best for this) you can lay it flat to dry, or use a piece of T-shirt, to rub and "burnish" the canvas. ... 
  • Then, you guessed it! 
  • Sit back with your journal, and write about what's being integrated! 
  • Glaze options: a) partial glaze, use one color on half the canvas, and another on the other half. Smudge the line between the two, burnish if you wish. b) 4 directions: choose 4 transparent colors. Spritz the canvas with water, then use the first color along the top, spritz again and let it drip ...rotate the canvas, spritz and use the next color ... Spray, paint, play with the drips. Turn the canvas again ... c) White!! If you REALLY want to gesso the whole thing, try spritzing the canvas, choose a direction, paint white along the "top", spray again and let it drip! Or use white on the area you "don't like" and spray it, let it drip ... d) Gold! Our inner Critics are easily distracted by shiny objects! Spray the canvas, and use splashes of gold or another metallic in a few areas! e) White and gold, in different areas.
  • And - however you glazed, grab your journal, and write about what's coming up, what's being integrated. Do you still feel like starting over? What happens if you turn the canvas and get a differing perspective? 
In our process with Intentional Creativity, each layer builds on the last, and we are invited to return to our Journal, and our notes in messages from the original visionary journey, and our intention for the piece. 
What if there was nothing we could get wrong? 
What if we let the canvas rest while we do, sleep on it, and revisit it in the morning? 
Magic brushes and altar
Paint brushes are magic wands - will we let them work their magic?
Happy Paint Party Friday!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

CODEX - Crystal HeArt Song

Crystal HeArt Song

Whispers from harp strings
Cross the bridge of veils
Between the worlds, written, unwritten
Named, unnamed
Language shimmers and shifts 
On pages in the Akashic library
Sun crystals hold the records
In our very hearts. 

We sip nectar from
The chalice of remembering,
Remember, remember!
Flowers bless the air with their subtle perfume
And the liquid with the memory of summer
Bringing healing and wholing 
To the people
To the SiStars and mothers
To the children
To the fathers and brothers

Access through creativity is coded in our very DNA
Our hands read the Braille
Of our memories and old knowing
As we sift through the treasure trove
For hidden gold.
Practices which bring joy
Hold the key

Will you hear and be heard
As we strstrike the ringing strings
Feel the shift in your bones
Come, come
It is time
Let the heart Crystal ignite
And reverberate its song to the stars

Crystal HeArt Song© Nadya 2019

As we compete this 13 moon journey, and prepare for the next adventure (Anthropas) I dedicate this painting to several beloved teachers and friends.

  • Marion Coe, my piano teacher - who would love that I play the harp! Wise and kind,I thank you.
  • Lynn Marchant, with whom I began studying ballet as an adult, who infused Grace into my life, thank you.
  • My friend Given Bliss, who passed last year on my birthday - too soon gone dancing on her Cosmic body!
Tea Camellia
A few days ago, my tea Camellia flowers caught my eye, and I decided to make a flower essence (here's how I create an essence) - and one landed in the painting yesterday!

Molly Sheehan of Green Hope Farm essences offers a lovely definition for Tea Camellia, "I AM the Ancient One, rooted in timeless beginnings. I bring Stillness, connection to one's True Self, and provide a mirror for self reflection.
Camellia flower essence
Wishing the Color of Woman class of 2019 many blessings on their graduation this weekend and next week - well done!! 
And happy Paint Party Friday to my blog rolling friends, and 100 Days of Creative Bliss bodies!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Cross pollination

As I spend time in my little Atelier, I'm embodying how each painting informs others in I'm working on! The reverse stencil technique and landscape background from Treesister came into play as I was brewing remedies in the apothecary yesterday. 
Apothecary -Good Medicine
As I looked at my journal notes from last year's Apothecary, In the Still Room, I realized several symbols had showed up in my CODEX painting as it evolves, the Hamsa hand, the 7 Pointed fairy star, and of course the harps in Apothecary and CODEX! 
Vision Plan Book
Part of our CODEX journey, and intentional Creativity, is to attend to these common elements and symbols, as we engage our intuition and inner knowing. 
CODEX - in process
What common elements do you find in your work? 
Happy Paint Party Friday!