Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tea with Gabriella

Tea with the Muse
Elisabeth's invitation read: “I am so excited to be offering my first 'Color of Woman Method' painting workshop, "Meeting Your Creative Muse", on February 15, 2014, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at my new art space in my home. This process uses intentional creativity, visionary imagination, and intuitive painting, to encounter the Muse, thus accessing our own inner world and feminine wisdom, for guidance, inspiration, and imagery. We will be using acrylic paint on a 16" x 20" canvas in a step-by-step process. As a first time offer, which is part of my Color of Woman teacher certification requirements, you can take part in this fun and insightful workshop at a discounted rate. Limited space available so I recommend you sign up soon.”

Inga and I signed up right away, & I got more eager as time for the class approached. Elisabeth has been studying Color of Woman with founder Shiloh Sophia McCloud, both online & in workshops with Shiloh and other Cosmic Cowgirls in California.

Elisabeth with her drum
A few days before the workshop, Elisabeth sent a message on preparation: “Please bring a journal/sketchbook, pencil, and a bandana or eye covering with you. In preparation for the class, I would like to ask you to contemplate and write down beforehand, which areas in your life have benefited and been enhanced by your acts of creativity; where are you maybe holding back from expressing yourself; when do you feel most in alignment with your soul and spirit; has your creative fire been nudging/calling you to show up for yourself and/or your community this year in new ways or directions; and lastly, what questions do you might like to ask your Creative Muse when you encounter her (these can also be general questions about life, calling, relationships, etc.).”

Background & Portal
Finally, it was Saturday, class time!! After some snafus getting there (we were a bit late, then took a wrong turn... did I mention Mercury is Rx?) Inga & I arrived! It was a rainy, blustery day, perfect for being indoors & painting! After some orientation, we brewed cups of tea, & settled in for a check in,  & grounding. Next came a drum journey, to 'meet the muse' as we entered her home, & settled in for another cup of tea, & did the Red Thread Ceremony.

After some sharing & instructions, we took to our canvases, & wrote a statement of intention in charcoal, which was then spritzed with water infused with flower essences. We began painting the background, with three colours chosen intuitively. We covered the canvas with abstract play of colours. Since we worked in Acrylics, the drying time was fairly quick. And we had a bowl of seeds & nuts, and another of blueberries to snack on! (plus some heavenly dark chocolate!)

Muses conferring during our lunch break
The next step was painting a portal for the Muse to emerge through, & when that was dry, roughing in a portrait outline, first in white charcoal, then with white paint. Symbols from the first journey were roughed in as well. Then: Lunch time!! We ventured out to a nearby deli for a bit of a break (while the 3 muses conferred!)

When we returned, we did another little journey, to receive symbols & ideas of how our Muse wished to be portrayed. We again chose three or four colours: fleshtone for the face & neck, one or two for the background, the last for the hair. After those dried, we painted highlights & shadows, then facial feature; finally 'opening' the eyes! The last step before leaving for the day was applying a glaze (thinned paint) with a big brush, & quickly wiping off! Shiloh has a sample video tutorial of this step on her website.

Highlights & shadows
Sometime during the afternoon, the name 'Gabriella' came through. After a closing circle, we packed up to return home, with our Muses safely protected for the journey. More details will be added, symbols & tools; & we've been journaling & listening to Museal promptings … 

Elisabeth did a wonderful job of setting & holding space for creativity to flow, and for the Muses to emerge! I have journeyed before, & especially appreciated the shamanic aspects of the workshop. Her teaching style was clear & she was quite willing to answer questions, or encourage us to 'ask your muse!'


The tea, the snacks, the background music, essence sprays, and Elisabeth's BEAUTIFUL studio space helped set the tone for sharing a delightful day. I enjoyed the balance of her helping us, & working on her own Muse portrait! I can see many applications of this process. Notice how different pallets emerged as our paintings progressed! Elisabeth's began very watery with blues & greens, while Inga's and mine had more browns & purple!

It was a powerful experience, which I could feel integrating for several days after our time together. I feel inspired to let creativity flow, & to take more introspective time, especially in the morning. I've also got several other pictures 'percolating' (though my Muse is also still in process!) …. where to begin?
The Three Muses (mine, Elisabeth's, Inga's)
Photos and art by Nadya King, Elisabeth Freise-Mick, Inga Gelford


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