Thursday, 31 October 2013

Venus favours the bold

Two years ago eight artists decided to share their art in a round robin art journal. Two years and two books later I've just finished the final pages in Tammy's journal which is now winging its way back to the southern US of A.

It has been an adventure! Every month an ever-growing art gallery has been dropping through my letterbox. Each parcel bursting with layers of paint, collage and above all love.

I know I wasn't the only one to struggle a little with these final pages. I'm not sure if it was the pressure of seeing all that amazing art that I felt I had to match, or just knowing that once this one went in the post we were all finished... I certainly don't want this collaboration to end. Shall we do another one next year ladies? Please say yes!

So, onto my pages... Tammy chose the colour theme of black, white & tan.

I started Venus before watching Lady GaGa doing her own interpretation in her undies on the X Factor at the weekend. Bonkers was the first adjective that came to mind - along with a healthy dose of respect for a woman who just does what she wants! You see, I do think a bit of bonkers is good for the soul!

It was the print of Botticelli's version at the back of Tammy's journal that provided the inspiration for this piece - rather than the scallop shell bra.

I thought that Jennifer's quote was particularly appropriate for this project:

"You know when I feel inwardly beautiful? When I am with my girlfriends and we are having a Goddess Circle."

As Ovid said - Venus does indeed favour the bold as indeed does fortune and both have done Lady G a bit of good.

I'd been saving these pages for a while to collage with...

My tag to add to the collection...

Perfect colour scheme for this owl - plus a real owl feather.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

To dance

My blogging slipped into a stupor over the summer and I confess I'm struggling to return to it. A whole range of reasons and excuses are presenting themselves connected with burnout and fear that I just can't do it anymore - that nobody will want to read or comment. What if people don't like me anymore? What if I've been away too long and they've all moved on?

Then, I sat and thought about why I started this blog in the first place and it was never about gaining a readership - it was writing practice. And so, this evening these words shall flow across the page














  eas       ure





Sunday, 27 October 2013

To love beauty

This week I've been enjoying walks in the fresh air sucking up the autumnal beauty before it threatens to all blow away this evening when gales and rain are set to sweep the country.

Is it my imagination, or has this season been more beautiful than falls of the past? The leaves seem to have hung around for longer and really shown off their colours. Maybe it was the opportunity to spend a week away exploring ancient Britain and showing it off to those who were mainly not so familiar with these shores (the majority of the sisters I travelled with were from the US).

I've been back from my pilgrimage a couple of weeks but its memories cling on and I feel the friendships reaching out and little legacies taking a hold.

For example, this week I'm taking a course with Latisha, the Herb Mother and fellow pilgrim. We are learning the medicinal powers of herbs, or 'erbs as those from across the pond insist on pronouncing them... I am planning to brew up all manner of tinctures and salves, lotions and potions. Latisha is helping to connect us with the power of nature's offerings - a reminder that this stuff doesn't have to come ready packaged, that the skills of our ancestors are still relevant today. By actually touching the plants, getting their scent and oils on our fingers and building experience we are connecting. It feels good.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Anam cara

I have long known and shared that the day I rediscovered my love of art - around four years ago now - was like finding the piece of me that had long been missing. Art and being creative is as important to me as ever, if not more so, but in the past week I've done some reflecting and realised that the tribe of sisters I've connected with because of that creative outburst is the glue that holds this part of me together.

I've just returned from an eight day pilgrimage around just a handful of England's sacred sites with a powerful group of just some of these women - sisters in soul spirit. As I've learnt from previous retreats, the power of our sisters is truly a magical thing. There are women out there who you are meant to be with - who bring out your own beauty and share a little of their own soul with you. This is Anam Cara. Friendships are formed to last a lifetime, we connect with a bond that cannot be broken.

Fellow sister Stephanie shared this with us before we left:

In their book, The Archetype of Pilgrimage: Outer Action with Inner Meaning, Wallace and Jean Clift describe the various reasons for embarking on a pilgrimage: to answer a call to adventure (one of the first stages Joseph Campbell described in “The Hero’s Journey”); to experience a place of power; to hope and ask for healing or a miracle; to express a love of God or Goddess; to find or reclaim lost pieces of ourselves; to give thanks; to ask for forgiveness; to leave the routine of ordinary life and experience something new or numinous; and to prepare for death.

We each had our own reasons and purpose for being together - some were apparent before we embarked on the journey and others told us their story as we travelled. We are the weavers.

These ladies accepted me for both who I am and what I wish to be. Each of them taught me something unique and special.

Oh yes... and we ate cake...

And drank cider...

And then, on my return the magic and pull of the creative tribe kept on working. I stopped to visit Kat whose artwork and writing I have admired for years, who I've chatted with on the phone and whose art passes through my hands every month on our Magical Journal Journey with seven other sisters. At last we were able to meet in person and give the tightest squeeze of a hug. I have the last journal in our current journey waiting for my input. I'll write my emotional outpourings on this project in a separate post, but it is once again, Anam Cara.

I have so much more to share about my experiences in Avebury, Glastonbury and Cornwall (plus a few places in between) - please watch this space... In the meantime you can read the experiences of my sweet sisters on the pilgrimage here, here, here and here.

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