I am not just writing about this because i am a Connie-o-phile - any one who reads this blog regularly will know that already...
I am writing this because it gives me the chance to enter the competition to win two places on the workshop
one for me
and one for one of you -
So part of the entry is that i get to talk about the 3 people i really wanna learn from - now that is just too stinkin hard - mainly because there are friends teaching on there from BIG and of course i wanna learn from them - they are juicy and gorgeous and their ideas are remarkable, and i like hanging out with them.... so that makes me biased so i will go for someone else (sorry my honeys but i had to choose)
and i choose... JET-SET JOURNALING: SOUL JOURNAL STYLE TRAVEL JOURNALING FOR ARTISTS ON THE GO Sarah Whitmire :: Soul Journaling (we are going to the South Island for the Christmas hols this year and i have already been thinking about what toys the girls will need to leave behind to get my art gear in the van!! :-P kidding (just))
EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK: USING COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS IN YOUR ART JOURNAL Heidi Newstrand-Dilley :: Heidiology
Well i am an old hippy at heart so i am all for making the old and used beautiful... i know people say upcycling nowadays but hey - i am an old hippy!
and lastly CONVERSATIONS WITH SELF: LETTERS FROM YOUR INNER CHILD Angelia Thompson :: Angelia's Art Journals
i had a very powerful encounter with my inner small Jane yesterday and i think she has a lot (see how i did that Meg??) to say... and i wanna hear her...
so there it is - our chance to win
also if we don't win it is still our chance to join up with what promises to be something bloody marvellous....
i did this as a journal page - i was experimenting with the masking tape being ripped up on the page and when i finished they looked like the little crosses that litter our roads...
memorials to the spot where people's lives ended
i am not alone in being a bit freaked out by death
the end of life as a breathing talking walking entity....
i used to be so scared of it i couldn't garden - growing my own veges meant i had to kill something in order to eat it...(Roald Dahl and his story about screaming plants really has a lot to answer for!)
now i see how death is part of life
the leaves that fall generate food for the plants to come
the lives of those who pass are never forgotten by those who love them and who are left...
I also realise that patterns in my life that seem natural are as ephemeral as anything and that in order for new nourishment some of them need to die
and so this page became a list, a memorial to things that i see that need to die...
like ...Self judgement
like... Being too busy
like... vicious self talk
like...feeling responsible for everything
like... feeling ugly
each little arm of the cross holding the energy for the soon to be departed feeling or pattern...
today i have felt powerlessness Powerlessness over natural processes
my lovely 7 year old woke at 4am with a bad dream
tears on her face she came into our bed and i didn't get back to sleep. I knew i would be tired and jumpy today - the flu has seduced my energy reserves away - they are feeling each other up behind the bikeshed i am sure - and i felt overwhelm at all i had to do on too little sleep.
the more i worried and tried to sleep the harder it got. i had no power to make sleep happen so i rested there, between my husband and my little girl, still clutching my hand and felt the immense gratitude of surrendering to that... that moment that i hope i remember when my baby is a seething mass of hormones...
Powerlessness when you are ill equipped then we woke up to have a sick and sore little lamb... nothing i could do right then would ease her pain, or the anxiety and fear my eldest felt. Simon thought i should wait, should ask for advice. But i realised i had no power without help to fix it, so i rang the vet, who arrived straight from bed to administer some gruesome but effective treatment. Surrendering to my incapability and not struggling to bash on saved Ripple's life.
Powerlessness when you are scared
I had to go for a repeat boobultrasound today (running the word together makes it seem less scary so humour me)
They asked me to get there 10 minutes early - i arrived on time for the appointment but not 10 minutes early. I think they thought "ha! we'll fix you". There were no other patients, this is a private clinic so no urgent cases rushed through the door. So they made me wait for 20 minutes in a cubicle with a gown that wouldn't secure (my daughter too distraught by the lamb trauma was in the waiting room). Then she scanned me huffing and sighing. I didn't ask any questions - i was upset. Then they made me wait another 15 minutes after the scan was done.
i feel mad. I feel violated. I feel dehumanised by the waiting by the lack of communication by the ill fitting gown, by the threat to my health. All of a sudden i am not Jane with the rather lovely boobs but i am that woman who is late who has the odd complex cysts....i composed phonecalls to the manager, letters to the editor... all witty and erudite of course...
Well crap - i am surrendering that too... all of it - i am snatching back the sense that there is nothing i can do about this system's lack of compassion. I am not responsible for their behaviour. it is out of my control. i am powerless to be their monitor. I choose to take a sense of powerlessness.
Not that i don't think for a minute that i am powerless - o lordy no - i have power in ever second that i live and breathe to make the life and the world i want. But i choose to not be putting my precious heart in the machine they have created.
i nestle back into the knowledge that i am swept along on this stream of universal love which directs me with my utmost good in mind.
I surrender to that trust and that releases me in so many ways.
letting the rain wash away the busy-ness the shoulds the timeli-ness the coulds the tired-ness the woulds the dirt of life and roles and all the pressures those lies make that lay heavily on the door to the truth
this idea of being still has been reinforced in all sorts of ways...
this morning i got woken early and unable to go back to sleep but not wanting to disturb simon i lay there quietly and heard the world around me wake up... gentle rain, light emerging, one bird then hundreds greeting the day.
stillness gave me the gift of being with the miracle of a new day arriving. I didn't have to do anything about supporting it or shaping it, i just had to be still and the more still i was the more i could be present as it unfolded.
i am also reading "LIFE, PAINT AND PASSION. Reclaiming the magic of spontaneous expression. By Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley.
it is a challenging book which alternately makes me want to lock myself in my painting space for a week or run and hide under the duvet
but the phrase which rang out to me last night was this
"Theories can be made one way or another about the content of your painting. .... There is an intelligence within you that is superior to any solution contrived by the mind. If yu dare follow the inner call without reservation, you are putting your trust in a reality that can never be captured by ideas or concepts. This is the challenge of creative exploration."
The mind loves theories - they are the noisy proclamations the mind can make that muddy the waters of creating.
I feel, in order to connect with the creative spirit that lives outside of me, that makes me feel like i am coming home when i am in it's presence and working through whatever it is that it delivers me, i must be quiet.
Quiet not only in the stillness of not making sounds but quiet in the head.
Not constantly asking if i have balance or what tonal values work or what my husband might say when he walks past...
none of that action and noise
what i desire is the stillness to be present to what is happening right inside me, right in front of me
then i won't be a painter with a reputation or a body of work or an income
i have been reading a book about Princess Caroline of Brunswick, also Princess Caroline of Wales, also Queen Caroline of England.
She was married to George, the Prince of Wales who was by my reckoning, acted like a right twat.
He was already married, to a "commoner", when they married by arrangement between the families.
He detested her on sight and spent his life making her life a misery.
She left England and travelled through the continent drinking and bonking her way around the place until she ended up with a tasty Italian chap and seemed rather happy.
Unfortunately she came back to England and underwent a trial based on her sullied reputation.
She was not without a rich and varied love life but her trial was never about who committed adultery first.
"the purity of women was prized in society... precisely because men could not aspire to that honour and grace which embellished women, espcially English women. Hence, to safeguard that purity, adultery in women was a crime, and a ground for divorce, while it was condoned in the stronger sex."
this flabbergasted me.
mostly because, taking away the archaic language it is what my mother passed on to me about sexuality.
that was spoken in 1820.
two hundred years ago
and i am still carrying echoes of it in my bones.
i am glad that Caroline went and shagged her handsome Italian (and all the other men she did) she was handed a bum deal in life and she went out and made lemonade (and drank it in exotic places with lusty men)
i am sorry that she was dragged through the mud by the double standards of the day
but i am even sorrier that i haven't examined this ridiculous peice of twaddle before now...
i held it as a virtue that i have only ever slept with my husband
i had always thought it was up to me to uphold the balance of that energy in a sexual transaction....
stronger sex my arse - women had to uphold their virtue and rein in their lust to manage the uncontrolled lust of a man....
when my heart feels the weight of the possibilities she feels too small when my heart hears the whispers of the shoulds she feels too torn when my heart smells the ashy odour of the fears she feels too much heat when my heart sees your smile she fills with shining, shimmering, light
The colour of the sky *the ocean * Elizabeth and Maeve * people who reach beyond the ordinary * genuine generosity *good food * watching things grow * the miracle of birth *a woman's power *tenderness in all its forms * the cycle of life * courage * people with a sense of fun * compassion * beautiful jewellery * art that is made from the heart - without a view to the purchaser or the market but made because it has to come *Clarissa Pincola Estes * grace
LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS THESE ARE MORETHINGSTHATITHINK
i welcome you with warmth and love to the thoughts that grab me .... and the way they come out of my fingers when i make the time in my day as a mother and artist and poodle walker to write them down.....