Friday, October 30, 2020

Creating with Intention

 We are often asked, "What is intentional creativity?"

The simple answer is, any creativity that begins with a purpose! Time out of mind, people have combined setting an intention with creative process. Knitting a sweater for someone? We think of how we want them to be cozy and warm! Cooking a meal? We intend that those eating our food will be nourished.

Flowers in paint water
Our friend and fellow Intentional Creativity® teacher, the Bejeweled Baroness Elizabeth Gibbons writes, "By creating with intention, we create a cosmic portal, a quantum field where we can explore our potential and possibilities. We shine the divine light of our higher self into the darkness of our shadow self. We are able to heal and integrate all aspects of our psyche and to access a miracle field, the space between the thoughts where our divine spark lives."

When asked if they are creative, 95% of young children say 'YES!' ... by middle school, that's dropped to about half, and by late teens, only about 5% see themselves as creative! What changes? 

Often, that thought begins with a thoughtless comment, criticism, or a comparison with someone more 'talented.' Unfortunately, that comment is often made by an "expert," a teacher or a "more talented" friend. In reality, Creativity is the birthright of all humans

With Intentional Creativity, the process is more valued than the 'product,' though chances are you - yes YOU - can create something that brings you and those around you pleasure and joy, and looks good to boot! And like any other 'muscle,' the more we create, the more skillful we become.  

Intentional Creativity *Metacognative exercise: 
1) Take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself a question, perhaps 'What am I passionate about?' - 'What upsets me?' - What brings me joy?'  Take a marker or pen, use a piece of paper, a simple composition book, or fancier art journal; place the tip of your marker on the paper and doode for a minute or so, just letting the line flow. (You can use your non-dominant hand if you wish.) 
Doodle, non-dominant hand
2) Then begin writing, inviting insights from your quick doodle. Write what comes to mind. Did new awareness arise? Write for about minute or two. 

3) Now, move to another page, choose a pleasing color, and sketch a symbol and wrote some of the words around it. Draw a line (a kind of ripple around your symbol and words) more words, and another ripple. 
Symbol and word ripples
In this case, the layers were
  • What becomes possible when I bring more scared space into my life?
  • What form does it take?
  • What needs to be released/added in my physical space?
Musea Atelier - step 4 sketch
4) Do a simple sketch, bringing form to your insight - here, we sketched our muse holding the visionary screen depicting our sacred space (my Atelier studio) 

We can jot down a couple of action steps that will help us bring our vision into reality, and choose one or two we can do in a day or two. I often put these on little cards in my Vision Planning pockets.
Visual Planning Board
*Metacognative drawings can be done for most inquiries, this way of "thinking about thinking" brings our thoughts conscious, so we can acknowledge, fine tune, and release ones which no longer fit! We often use Metacognative drawing in our Red Thread circles and IC classes are a way to quickly shift state and tap our intuition. 

In our Red Thread Creatives group, we explore bringing intention and awareness to different creative practices in our circles and classes. 

How do you bring intention to your creative process?

Friday, October 23, 2020

Glazing and Repurposing

When I took that first Muse class in 2014, I was having a good time with ceremony, visioning, painting and journaling, ...

Then Elisabeth told us we were going to paint over our canvas with a Risky Glaze - ¿paint over? ¿glaze? Yikes!! 

She demonstrated, choosing translucent paint, and some water,  spritzing the canvas, then applying with a big brush, then rubbing it with a square of old T-shirt, to burnish ...well, that wasn't so bad! And it did integrate the different colours. Now, it's one of my favorite processes!

Recently,  new painters in our Red Thread Creatives group have asked about preparing new raw canvas, and about repurposing our own or thrift store canvases. 

For a new raw canvas, you'll need to apply several layers of gesso, give plenty of drying time, and sand between layers. You can also prepare wood panels.

When I'm reclaiming or repurposing, I generally use a glaze rather than gesso! 

Good Medicine - 2019

Glaze to reclaim a canvas

  • If you're revisiting a canvas after a time, a lite glaze is a good way to reclaim it.
  • When you're called to continue, pull out your journal notes about your painting
  • Light a candle and pour a cup of tea
  • Sit back about 6' and return to the initial visioning and inquiry.
  • Ask yourself What attracted you to this subject  or class in the first place? What's shifted since you last painted? What insight is arising?
  • Are you drawn to continue, or start something new? 
  • Spend some time with your intention,  and write it on your canvas/in your journal. 
  • Get fresh water, and perhaps reset your altar
  • Glazing can be scary, and is so potent!! It is a great way to integrate what has gone before, and is a key component of our process with Intentional Creativity. It is also a simple way to add Mothercolour 
  • Use a transparent color - Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold or Transparent Red Iron Oxide are some favorites! 
  • What's gone before and each new layer adds depth.
  • Want to gesso? Consider choosing a transparent color, watering it down a bit, use a big brush and cover the canvas with a layer of glaze! How does that feel?  Write about your process!
  • Translucent Golden Fluids work great for glazing - you can lay it flat to glaze and dry, and perhaps 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:
  • 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.
  • 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 ... 
  • 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 ...
  • 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!
                              Thrift store pansy

Repurposing a canvas
  • I love finding a large canvas at the thrift store, and reclaiming it! 
  • When I get it home, I spritz it with water (often with flower essences) and wipe it down, and use Palo Santa or cedar to smudge it. 
  • A bit of salt in a bowl of water, and damp washcloth are another option for cleansing and clearing.
  • If there's a lot of texture, I might lightly sand that area, and dust off with a dry cloth.
  • When you're ready to glaze, consider the colors already there, and your approach. 
  • Bless the canvas, and pull out your journal, to write and sketch
  • Write your intention on the Canvas (I use Neocolor 2)
Some examples:
  • A painting of a spaniel was white and gold, with very dark eyes, I painted white over the eyes, and perhaps glazed the whole piece with Quinacridone nickel Azo Gold. There was a lot of light texture, which added interest to my painting!. 
  • On the big pansy - mostly dark purple, I added more purple around it, and to the white triangle in the center. 
  • I might do partial glasses, or a 4 directions glaze on a more random piece
  Pansy - after several layers
This became "Good Medicine"

Do you have favorite ways to repurpose canvases? 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Vivid - Legend 2020

In the invitation to the newest Legend course, Shiloh Sophia invites us to examine what we are harvesting and what we've learned in 2020. In a bold move, she is offering Intentional Creativity® teachers the opportunity, after completing Vivid, to be licensed to offer this signature course to prospective students! 

As Shiloh began teaching the process we've come to know as Intentional Creativity, one of the first steps was a journey to reconnect with our Legendary Self in a several month course that includes journaling, visioning and painting. As the prerequisite for the Color of Woman teacher training, I first painted my legendary lady, Shanden'eah Star Path in 2105. 

Before taking Legend, I had the opportunity to take several local IC classes, from Elisabeth Friese-Mick and Heidi Moondancer; plus two online from graduates Flora Adobe and Jassy Watson. It was invaluable to have these in-person and small group experiences as a foundation for the course, and benefit from different teaching styles! And though I could include them in my initiate book, they didn't "count" toward the course.

Shanden'eah Star Path - 2015

Earlier this year, I again had the opportunity to paint Legend in the Oracle and Ally, and to help tend their online classroom. As in other years, some of the students began their IC journey in my classes. I'm excited at the prospect of offering the prerequisite course, both in person and virtually! 

Here are some of the students, and part of their stories: 

While I was still in Color of Woman, my friend Sepha Nisbet invited me to tea, to pick my brain about CoW. Long identifing as an artist, Sepha has taught watercolor, clay, and was offering Paint Night parties - but longed for the depth of creating with intention! She took my first Muse class and shared great practical suggestions for setting up and flow, and always asks the best questions! 
Sepha graduated from CoW 2016, and we co-facilitated many circles and classes before she took to the Road as a Travelling Artist

When it came time for Sepha to offer her 13 step class, Christy Cozby was one of the students, and I played harp and assisted. Christy came to another of our classes a couple of years later, then enrolled in CoW 2020, and will graduate November 1! 
I felt I'd come full circle to take Christy's 13 step class, Princess Silver Hands last month, virtually! I am so pleased with this small canvas and transformed princess! 

Linda AllenAngie Delaplain began coming to classes from several hours away, both in McMinnville and at my friend Margot's in Corvallis, before deciding to enroll in Color of Woman! Linda competed the Red Thread Circle Guide program first, then decided to take the plunge and do CoW. They both took my spring 2019 class, Embracing Mother Gaia just before their CoW Quest began. 
They graduated fall of 2019, and Linda took the 2020 Cosmic Smashbook course, with founder Catt Geller! Linda co-facilitates most of my virtual Red Thread Circle, and has led several, Angie will lead her first this week! 

Another student in the Gaia class, Carol Fairbanks, has taken at least 4 classes with me, and attended numerous circles. An older student (78) Carol also has extensive art experience, and her paintings are phenomenal. She has taught paining and yoga, and is a dedicated environmentalist. She took my Harvest Queen and Wonder Woman classes last fall, shortly before enrolling in CoW 2020.
She chose Harvest Queen as the theme for her virtual class, which I also attended, and offered one of her other events via our RT Circle. She is graduating Nov 1 as well. 
Carol at Harvest Queen - 2019

In the summer of 2017, my friend Glenda's sister Sherry Rueger Banaka and I chatted on the way to Glenda's book reading, and the next week, Sherry contacted Shiloh for early enrollment! 
Sepha was one of the Art Doctors for Legend 2018, and with our local friends Sherry, Angie and Rema in the class, we decided to offer an open studio for those finishing recent paintings or in Legend. Gals loaded paint, brushes, and their big canvases in their cars to join us. Sherry graduated in 2018, and last fall we co-facilitated Grief to Gratitude. 
Sherry, Nadya, Rema and Angie 2018

Rema Tillet began coming to Red Thread circles several years ago, graduated from the Cosmic Smashbook training, offered by CoW graduate Catt Geller.

My cousin Leah Hankins has been a steady attendee of the Red Thread Circles, and also took Harvest Queen - she completed the Red Thread Guide certification in the summer, and I look forward to her presence and facilitating local circles soon!
I found it invaluable to have had in-person experiences as a foundation for the training, and have gotten wonderful feedback from the students who have gone on to take trainings themselves. There's a benefit from smaller classes, and experiencing different teaching styles! I am delighted at the opportunity for graduates of Color of Woman to "refresh" with Legend, and have the opportunity to be licensed to teach MYSTIC! 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Instagram -Tags and Tips

Yay, I now have 1000 followers on Instagram! 

I began posting on Instagram two years ago, after Maestra Shiloh Sophia suggested we  use the #intentionalcreativity, and see if we could boost the numbers of posts over a thousand or so tagging our brand! We are now at 13.4 K! 

In those early days, I wrote, "It's been fun playing with my pictures for posts, making little montages (which don't always behave!) And meeting new virtual friends! I love the journal pages @quantummemoir does, and ... I'm @nadyakingartist ❤"

  • When you start typing a tag, suggestions will come up - bypass ones that have over a million, and look for ones in the 50 - 500k range ... 
  • Look at tags other friends and colleagues in your community use - make a note of those which fit! 
  • Choose a few that are unique to you, or your small group. Recently I added red thread Creatives, as that's the name of my Facebook group. 
  • It's a good idea to check out the tag, and see how the posts match your intention - I usually click "recent" as well 💖
  • I took part in a pod early on, where 6-8 of us tried to post daily, follow each other, and like and comment on each other's posts - Quantum Memoir was one of the pod, and we're still in touch.
  • When you have a bit of extra time, visit some of the folks who liked recent posts, and choose several which appeal to interact with and comment on.  
  • Post a link to your website or blog in your bio, and update your site regularly. If you're promoting an event, make more information/ registration easy to find.

Here's a recent post with other suggestions on using hashtags.

Are you on Instagram? You're invited to post the link to your account, and share an tips you've discovered.