For I have not blogged.
It has been 3 months since my last blog post.
So… where oh where have I been?
Pondering life and art and my place in the world basically.
My one little word for the year is SIMPLIFY.
It’s about clearing out the clutter. Physically. Mentally. And in so many different ways. Getting rid of clothes that are worn out and no longer fit or just make me feel blurgh. Who wants to feel blurgh? So out they go. Letting go of my other blog. Deleting twitter accounts. Cleaning out the pantry. Hello expiry date from 2008… And just as I hoped, clearing the clutter has made space for new things. Beautiful things. Just what I need things…
Every day the lessons from this retreat are tapping me on the shoulder. And whispering in my ear. After having my heart broken with my art adventure before, I am dreaming again. Dreaming big. Believing in the possibility of it all. I’m doing lots of planning and giving myself the courage boost to chase after my big wild crazy dream. And for the first time, I think I am really understanding the possibility of this life. Of how it can become real. How it could become real for me if only I have the courage to get back on the horse and ride around the block again.
I won a scholarship to Flora Bowley’s Bloom True workshop.
I have adored, seriously adored Flora’s work for such a long time. I fantasize about buying an original if I ever win lotto. The day after I got back from the Mentor Retreat, I filmed a video to enter a giveaway. I was sweating like a demon in the humid Queensland summer with my hair plastered to my head and my face flushed red. It took a few takes but I did it. I wasn’t glamorous but I did it. (Tried to film my entry before I left for the retreat when I looked all cute hair and makeup but the dude next door decided he had to mow his lawn in that moment. Then as it fell silent and I was ready to shine, it turned out he had to whipper snip too. of course.) Despite my dishevelment, Flora blessed me with a place in her class.
She encourages you to learn from her but to paint like you. Not just to copy her. I discovered I don’t want to paint like her in a literal sense. But I so badly want to paint like her in the spiritual sense. For it to be about your surroundings being creative. To find a bliss and serenity and connection to the process of art and making. And of course, I learned it’s all about the layers baby. I’m going to chase that big, broad idea in my art so much more. I’ve really fallen in love with how I want to feel as I make art. As I create. As I send it out into the world. It’s not just about getting inky and painty anymore. I can never go back to it being just about that. Flora’s class gave me some amazing ideas around this. And her art theory as part of the class was something I adored. Because of this class, I am forever changed.
Going on a tribe hunt.
People talk about ‘finding your tribe’ and it’s kinda some passe saying these days. But after doing art by myself in my dark little space, I’ve really been chasing connection with other artful kindred spirits. I’ve learned if you put your heart and your intentions out into the world, your soul sisters are out there waiting for you. I’ve been having breakfast art dates and dinner art dates and lots of texting and messaging. I’ve been dreaming big and out loud with these girls. It’s scary and we’ve been convincing each other our art dreams are possible. We’ve been figuring out stepping stones together. Setting deadlines. Finding courage. It’s not a big group, but it’s a very special group of dear sweet souls that I am trusting my heart and my dreams with.
A square bear has to do it her way.
I’ve always chased the idea of finding my own style. Of having my artwork ‘there’. ‘There’ of course being that magical place I think my art sHeroes are at where they just know. Know their style. Know how to start a blank page. A couple of weeks after the Mentor Retreat, I had an epiphany about something I do. That isn’t me copying from someone else, or something I learned from my teachers. It was all me, baby. And once that first one came to me, others tumbled into place. I knew where some had come from. Others had been in front of me for years and I hadn’t realized *slaps forehead*. I feel like I’ve been given the combination to the safe, and now I just need to figure out how to tumble them all together to open the door. I’m wickedly excited about this and can’t stop my mind ticking with ideas on how to put the puzzle together. It’s a huge leap forward for me. Clarity. Epiphanies. A calling pulling me in a direction I’ve wanted to find for so long.
I’ve also done my square bear thing and hit the books. My back issues of Somerset Studio, my favourite art books and ones I didn’t like but somehow are now teaching me the most. I’ve been writing out lists and ideas and having more epiphanies as I turn the pages. Lists and writing is how I process things. How I understand things. Very OCD and Capricorn and Square Bear. All me.
So that’s me. That’s been my year so far. My big moments. And little moments merging together to be something magical. And leading me down paths I have been dreaming of for as long as I can remember.
So… what have you been up to?