Friday, May 26, 2017

Creative planning

Yesterday I saw a Facebook post by an art biz coach who advised doing a progress review at the end of each week, noting at what happened, and what goals you met. Coupled with his observation that all to often, artists let the business portion of being artists lag.

... while I appreciate his suggestions, I was reminded of why I love the whole brain, Muse led approach, which we favor in Intentional  Creativity! Our biz-coach, Stella Mac had us "Create a business plan using your winged eye – you have to know how to look with a visionary lens to craft a business that reflects who YOU are." 

And Maestra Shiloh wrote: "I answer the call to create, without feel long I am taking away anything from something or someone."

One of the biz tools I used last year was taking the year long plan we created during our teacher training, and doing a monthly Smashbook spread with my goals spa splashed about, "popcorn" style. Some were specific to that month, while others are ongoing (hosting monthly Red Thread Circles, painting, blogging)
I could see at a glance what I accomplished, and what I still wanted to work on. I'm about to start a new Biz-Musé journal, and will include creating these monthly goal pages! 

Red Madonna - Sacred Path
I blocked in my ladies on my Red Madonna canvas this week, and look forward to seeing where they lead! I love the little Phoenix and dragonet! 
The canvas is repurposed, from our Habitat ReStore, and is two 24x30" screwed together! (So 48" wide). It was a simple big sky landscape, and under $10! I'm one of the Hearth Tenders for this online offering, and love the rich teachings from different cultures. 

I did another of lights and darks on Mary Magdalene this week as well. She is emerging.

Happy Paint Party Friday

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dark Skin Tones

This week I was the Hearth Tender for Works in Progress (WIP) over in our Red Thread Cafe Classroom group on Facebook. It's such an honor, and always interesting! One of the inquiries was from a SiStar whose lady was dark skinned, and she felt the white she'd used for highlights made the skin look muddy. 

When I was participated in an online class in 2014, my lady wanted dark skin. Hmm, I was new enough to painting that skin in general  was a challenge! So I sought out online tutorials. I adapted my formulas from Eric T. Thomas. I remembered I had my notes on skin tones in my art journal for the class, and shared them with my friend.

I use Titan Buff, rather than the Titanium White Eric suggested, and tend to mix my colors on the canvas, rather than blending them on the palette. I used the first palette of colors, with Jenkins Green for some of the dark, and added red to the lips.
Spirit Dancer

Mars Black
Titan Buff
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Naples Yellow
Indian Yellow Hue
Cerulean Blue hue
Jenkins Green
Quinacridone Violet
Glaze: Red Iron Oxide, add a bit of Burnt Umber or Van Duke Brown

Foundation/blocking: 3 Naples Yellow, 3 Indian Yellow hue, 1 Burnt Umber, 1 Quinacridone Violet
Dark: Jenkins Green or / Burnt Umber (or blue, can alternate darks)
Medium: 1 Burnt Sienna, 1 Naples Yellow
Light: 3 Naples Yellow, 3 Indian hue, 2 Titan Buff, (2 Burnt Umber) 

Formula 2
Foundation/blocking/ medium: 3 Naples Yellow, 1 Burnt Umber, 
Dark: 2 Burnt Umber, 2 Burnt Sienna
Medium: 3 Naples Yellow, 1 Burnt Umber, touch Sienna
Light: 3 Naples Yellow, 2 Titan Buff, 2 Burnt Umber, 1 Cerulean Blue

Dark 1: Mars Black/ Burnt Umber or Paynes Grey and black
     2: 2 Burnt Umber, 1 Burnt Sienna
     3: 2 Naples Yellow, 1 Burnt Umber
Any mediums and lights for highlights

Dark: Burnt Siena/Naples Yellow
Medium: 1 Burnt Sienna, 1 Naples Yellow, 1 titan Buff

Light: 1 Burnt Sienna, 1 Naples Yellow, 2-5 titan Buff

My friend's inquiry was timely, as my Mary Magdalene has dark skin, and I was just getting
ready to do a round of lights and darks ...
Shiloh suggested using Quinacridone Nickel Azo gold glaze/tint over the face after the lights, to give a golden glow, and I suggested my friend glaze, then go on to another layer of darks and lights. 
The tree in the picture represents one outside the cave in Southern France where Mary is reputed to have dwelt after her years of teaching...
I hope this color guide is helpful!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Love's Call

Three years ago, when I was just beginning my journey with Intentional Creativity, Shiloh offered her beautiful painting series "Love Called My Name" at Easter - free for forty days! I jumped on board! The Apostolorum Apostola, Mary was a beloved disciple and one who continued to share a message of love and wisdom over the next thirty years.

I so appreciate Shiloh's generosity, and her sharing of Mary's Message. This year we are offered a more recent set, Voyage of the Magdalene, with Magdalene scholar Kayleen Asbo. This offering is rich with photos from Kayleen studies, and story. 

Yesterday my younger grandkids helped me with the background. Keira used my large sash brush with aplomb, to paint Mary's cave in Southern France, and Z-man sprayed!

I intend to download the videos today, as the free access is nearly over (did I mention how I appreciate Shiloh's generosity?!)
Spray bottle! 

Last weekend, Sepha and I had a booth at the Mystical Magical May Faire in nearby Corvallis. It was fun to connect with other benders and new beloveds. I brought several ladies, plus flower essences and tuning forks. 
Mary, the Migdala

Today I'm finishing the pdf for my project that's one of the "bonus" offerings in my friend Heidi's year long art journaling class, Come to The Fire! I'll share some pics here after its released.

Happy Paint Party Friday!
Magical May Faire

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Painting panel

I love painting on wood! 
When I was in my Color of Woman teacher training a couple of years ago, I found our "Art Doc" Leslie's tutorial on buying and mounting a hardwood panel super helpful.
I painted both my Taliswoman, "Songs of Light," and my Alchemist, "Firekeeper," on wood panels my dear son-in love helped me mount. I bought and had the panels cut at Lowe's, then took it to Matt, who has the tools, workspace, and is handy. (And loves my art!) I got a little sanding block and sanded the wood, and watched a tutorial that recommended applying a couple of coats of GAC-100 (polymer, the binder for acrylic paint) before the gesso. 
The suggested drying time for the polymer is 3 hours, the gesso drys much more quickly. 
I was blessed to provide online support for last weekend's Legend class, "She's a Piece of Work," with Shiloh and CoW graduate Jassy Watson, and decided to paint on wood again. I didn't have time to assemble a board this time, so purchased an "American Easel" birch painting panel.
I followed the same process of applying two layers of GAC-100 (the first Thursday night), then three of gesso. I diluted the first layer gesso a bit (no more than 25% water!) dipping my brush in water, then the gesso. I sanded each coast of gesso lightly, before applying the next, and wiped off the surface each time. I paint in my dining nook, and propped the panel on my kitchen sink and chair back for the preparation!
By the time we were ready to paint Friday afternoon, the board was ready! This is (much) lighter than the panels we made, so won't be as heavy to mount. I hope to hang Her at the Gallery which hosts my work when She's complete, and I think she may want some "gold" leaf (which goes well on wood!)
Ready to paint!

Happy painting, and happy Paint Party Friday

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Legend 2017

Two years ago, I joined Maestra Shiloh Sophia and a group of our SiStars as we embarked on a journey around the inquiry "what does it mean to live a Legendary Life? Legend is Shiloh's core course for women drawn to the 9 month Color of Woman quest and teacher training. After painting my Legend Shande'nea, I went on to join the quest, and graduated from Color of Woman, at the end of 2015.
Shande'nea© 2015

Shiloh revisits this core course periodically, and this weekend we are beginning another Legendary round. The theme this spring is "She's a Piece of Work!" (Have you ever been told that?!) Yes you are: a masterpiece, a legend, a wise woman!  
This year's quest includes painting a self portrait (lots of women artists have!) Writing your legendary story, creating a chapbook with Shiloh's mama, the poet Caron McCloud, and lots of juicy journaling and painting.

I'm excited that CoW graduate and Guild Member Jassy Watson from AU will be in the studio painting with Shiloh! I took Jassy's e-course to Paint Gaia in 2014, Ooo, was that fun!  She will also be Shiloh's guest this Friday's on Power Creatives TV, season 2. 
For our legendary journey, Mary McDonald and Jenafer Joy will be on board with writing prompts, painting and sweet support. The course is offered both in person at Musea Sophia in Sonoma CA, and online. 

Lady Gaia© 2014
I'm thrilled to be on the virtual support team, painting along with this weekend's Livestream, and connecting with the Legendary group via Facebook and group calls over the next three months. (The painting videos will be available through the end of the year, so those joining will have lots of time to complete.) I'm resetting my altar, and getting out my Legendary Essence from the last voyage.

I need to prepare my painting panel with a coat of GAC and then gesso. During the Color of Woman training I painted two of my ladies, Taliswoman: Songs of Light; and Alchemist: Firekeeper, on Birch panels, and love working on that surface. 
My son-in love Matt was a great help, attaching the cradle board onto the backs of birch plywood from Lowe's! This was quite cost effective, but we don't have time to craft panels this time. 
I'd love to have you join us; Happy Paint Party Friday!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Winged One Playshop

In the studio
My friend Margot invited me to offer a painting Playshop at her Corvallis studio over the weekend, and we gathered to paint our Winged One, and give our dreams wings.  Four of her friends joined us for a lovely time of journey, sharing, red thread and painting.
Though I'm teaching, visiting her country  home always feels like a retreat to me as well. This is the second class I've offered there, and both have been well received. I played harp for our journey, we drew cards from the Mother Mary Oracle, and read poems from"Tea With the Midnight Musé."
Margot and Sherrie with their Winged ladies

As with all workshops, I love it as students get into their own painting grove, and each is drawing from her inner images and inspiration. Their creative Musé takes the lead, and their own style begins to emerge. 

As Shiloh says, "We us a step by step method, and my request is that you DO stick with the method. Magic will come - even if you are already brilliant at painting! And especially if you're Not!
"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."

Through Intentional Creativity, you may:
Lillian and Sherrie

  • Discover and integrate your own gifts and treasures
  • Create poetry and prayers inspired by the process
  • Receive clarity on what you are here to cause and create
  • Access your own imagery and symbols which may only have meaning for you, or may affect the collective
  • Embrace painting as a sacred practice
It's pure magic!
Sharon and Nadya

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tea With the Musé

I'm excited to host a series of Musé Day offerings in conjunction with other Intentional Creativity Foundation Guild members around the globe, beginning this Sunday afternoon, Feb 19, with our Musé Day Tea Party! Other gatherings are happening in S Africa, Australia, Denmark, France, Sweden, El Salvador, and around the USA. Shiloh will offer several Musé Day classes and livestreams from Muséa Sophia, in Sonoma California. Musé Day events coincide with the recent release of Shiloh's book of poetry and inquiry, Tea With The Midnight Musé.

Did you know that paint brushes are Magïc Wands, and with them Musés light fuses? 
Magic wand paintbrush
Musé inspired creativity gets energy moving. Poetry and tea help it keep flowing. The Red Thread remind us we're community, and Chocolate soothes the tattered heart! 

Setting Intention is key to the process, and gives Access to your creative fire. What if we could acknowledge, then learn to override the voice of the critic; the inner vice that replays old criticisms: "not good enough," "not talented," "too (old, out of shape, boring...)? 
Shall we activate the voice of our Inner Wisdom, which adores us and is constantly encouraging, giving cour, heart, to all that we are, all that we do? That's the voice of the Musé (here are some of my early Musings on the Musé)

Star Song
In a recent Power Creatives TV episode, Shiloh Sophia and her guest SARK explored our how we access or block inspiration, tagging our Inner Wisdom, and how activating creativity in turn leads to living juicy.

SARK offered these inquiries:

  • Who or what inspires you?
  • What/who blocks inspiration?
  • What/who supports your inspiration?
  • In what ways am I inspiring to myself?

I invite you to spending some time journaling on each of these, and heartstorming on increasing opportunities for inspiration. (Inspire: take a breath!) SARK suggested one way to deepen our relationship with our own Inner Wisdom comes by writing daily love notes from Her.  

Over the years, I've received many of these "love notes," and uplifting guidance in the form of a dialogue. When I embarked on my Color of Woman Quest, I received, "dear one! You are blessed beyond measure! It is up to you too SHARE those blessings - the time you spend in circle Jones/prepares you and those with whom you journey for the Next Steps.... open your eyes, ears, and heart, dance through the doorway, you are invited!"

I extend the invitation to you! If you're in the Willamette Valley, join us this Sunday

Other ways to connect with the community: 

  • Check the Musé Days page for info on MD events around the globe and/or access to the livestream. 
  • Red Thread Cafe Classroom on FB where thousands of women from around the globe post Intentional artwork (I find my artist groups very inspiring)
  • Visit the Power Creatives TV page, where you can register for access to the 13 episodes in season one, FIERCE. (Shiloh's interview with SARK is the most recent).
  • SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) and on FB 
  • Join our PNW MeetUp group for updates on circles and playshops. 
  • I also post events on my FB artist page and on my website.
I honor all your creative goodness! 
Linking to Paint Party Friday

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Self Care

What are some of your favorite self-care go-tos? 
This week on our Cosmic Cowgirls call, we each shared some of our personal practices and aids. Here are some we came up with:

  • Movement several times a week (Qigong, walking, yoga, Ballet, etc)
  • Art practice, journaling, painting, craft to begin and end the day
  • Grounding, perhaps outside with a tree
  • Drum or play flute 
  • Stay hydrated! Water and herb tea
  • Healthy food choices (don't turn to food)
  • Time in circle with friends/family (supportive)
  • Time with animals pets (new kittens!)
  • Art blogs and artist groups on FB
  • Meditation/ quiet time
  • Receive bodywork or do self-Reiki
  • Epson salt bath with a candle, soft music
  • Include self, step in, engage! - not waiting to be "invited!" (Check-in if you need, find a group that's harmonious, avoid isolating ourselves)
  • Slow down, take time for things you enjoy
  • Balance responsibilities and "fun stuff"
  • Saying prayers of your tradition
  • Guided meditation
  • Essential oils, smudge
  • Take action, if something is bothering you!
  • Come from love "let love be the center of your choices!"
  • Become a lifetime learner, study something new
Candles of the Red Thread SiStarhood

Your turn, what are some of the ways you nurture yourself?
Happy PPF!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Holy Water and Red Madonna

On the 6th of January, Shiloh shared a lovely practice of making Holy Water for our painting process this year for Red Madonna. She attended the Theopany ceremony at her church Russian Orthodox), and guided us through the process to craft our own, using what we had on hand. Our community will have the opportunity to make Holy water for painting at our February Red Thread Circle. (Registration for this year's Red Madonna online is open for one more week, through January 27.)

Altar with Magïc brushes and Holy Water

My blessed water included well water, Bulgarian Rose Oil, Hathor oil blend, and Our Lady of the Cosmos flower essence bouquet (formulated for Red Madonna 2015). I placed it in a cut glass, stoppered bottle, which I'd used for Holy Water from a Buddhist lama in the mid 90s. We also added some to one of our spray bottles. 
On my altar: my Magïc paint brushes, crystals and coral, a carved red turtle (Kenya), reindeer antler, a goddess of fossilized horn and silver, Hathor oil, rose  beads (around the angel), the flower essence bouquet, smudge sticks, a Red Jar candle, and chocolate!

Then last week it snowed here and in various other Northern cities, and several of us added snow melt to our holy water bottles. I also finished getting my table cleared and the altar reset.

Snow for Holy Water
We "painted" symbols and designs on our black gessoed canvases with some of the water (no pigment added), after blessing them. The photo was taken in the evening, so the water shows up dark, and gold.
Canvas "painted" with Holy Water

I have been purchasing fresh flowers for the altar, with a rose each week. I'm enjoying having the new smaller table, and have several books, my Mother Mary Oracle cards, and my drum on the shelf beneath.

This week we received our first painting videos on the full moon (January 12) ... I spent several days across town at my daughter's during the snow time, I've watched the videos, but not yet added paint! Soon, ...
Happy Paint Party Friday

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Blessings in the New Year!

The Monkey has been wiggling its tail these last few weeks, getting ready to jump aside for the Rooster! It's cold and clear here in the Pacific NW, and a great time to clean up and rearrange my Atelier! This article offers some tips and inspiration.

Much of clean-up time is simply getting out the broom, dust pan, garbage and recycling cans and applying some elbow grease, LOL! Stuff does pile up, at least in my studio, so next comes reorganizing what's there. (I like the suggestion by one artist to tidy the studio daily, .... or "not at all!" Since creativity often generates a certain amount of stuff!

I continue to work in acrylics, so have my paint containers pretty well organized: one oz in a chipboard container, 4 oz in containers on a higher shelf. Stencils and interference paint are housed in two smaller lidded containers. Then there are my Smashbook and Art journals (shelves), brushes (containers in a cleaning caddy), spritz bottles, rags (T-shirt squares). And in our Intentional Creativity tradition, I have a area set as am altar with fresh flowers, a candle, crystals, incense and things to represent the elements.
Before the dethug

I currently have the brushes and other supplies both on a small rolling cart and a table. I'm thinking of switching shelves from another room with the table, to have more room for painting, and for storage on shelves. There's also an armoire which houses my laptop and some of the supplies. 
This year I will journey with Shiloh Sophia in Red Madonna, following the Sacred Path. I am honored to be one of the Hearth Tenders in the online Red Tent, holding space and honoring the other travelers. Shiloh filmed a little video recently of the art supplies we commonly use for these classes.

I'm partway through the "elbow geese" portion, always the most daunting! I hope to share the"after" view next week! 

Happy Paint Party Friday!!