A dose of the Arts

This morning I stumbled across a talk on ABC's, The Drawing Room, called Get yourself a dose of the Arts

Art is good for you. That's what the science says. Mike White is a pioneering researcher in art therapy and art intervention, in Melbourne for the 6th annual Arts and Health Australia conference. He joins Ann O'Connor, Arts Participation Adviser to the Arts Council of Ireland, along with Waleed Aly in The Drawing Room.

Click here to visit ABC and listen to - Get yourself a dose of the Arts

She knows a way to beat the blues - artwork by Kareen Fellows

A Life in Paint

Lulu dreams of Lennox - underway

Such beautiful weather of late to paint outside, and with an old board ready and awaiting my attention, I decided to give a new technique a try out. Well a new technique for me anyway. I learned it from Margaret Olley while watching A Life In Paint. I noticed Margaret outlining a new work in chalk to get an outline down. So today, I decided to give it a try.

First I applied black gesso to the board and let it dry. With the warmth of the day, it didn't take long. Then out came the sidewalk chalk. Two things I noticed. 1.Gesso makes a great chalkboard paint. I have no idea as to the longevity, but I had a lot of fun drawing and rubbing out with a wet cloth. 2. Chalk works a treat as a design layer - wish I'd known this ages ago. Thank you Margaret.

Margaret Olley - A Life In Paint - Cover

If you haven't watched A Life In Paint yet, it is a tender insight into Margaret's life. An intimate tour of Margaret's world, in her richly inspirational artist's home, the people who influenced her and those who touched her life. Sadly Margaret passed away in 2011 however, her home has been re-created at The Tweed River Art Gallery and we are all invited to visit.

Interior of the Hat Factory at The Margaret Olley Art Centre

Fruits, glassware and a bowl of eyeballs on the mantle, Hat Factory

View of the Yellow Room at the Margaret Olley Art Centre

Celebrated Australian painter Margaret Olley had a vision to ensure her contribution to art extended well beyond her lifetime.

The icon of Australian art, who died in her Sydney home on 26 July 2011, expressed her wish to have her studio and elements of her home and collections re-created at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah. The Gallery was a natural choice of location for Margaret, who loved the Gallery - recognising it as one Australia's leading regional galleries - and who spent her childhood years in the area.

Margaret Olley's painting chair, Hat Factory

Margaret Olley Art Centre photos courtesy of Tweed Regional Gallery. To find out more about Margaret Olley & The Margaret Olley Art Centre visit: Tweed Regional Gallery

A Life In Paint: I discovered my copy in the art section of our local library - it is also available from ABC shops and Art Galleries.

Let's Paint - An Invitation

An invitation to gather together to paint, journal, doodle, draw, create. This is a way to connect with others of similar interests, not lessons, just a chance before Christmas to take some time out.

When: every Thursday morning from the 13th November - 11th December... BYO something to eat for morning tea and your supplies.

There's a pool, so if it's hot you're welcome bring your cozi and take a dip if you want.

It doesn't matter if you are are just starting out with art, or have been doing art for a long time, just come along and join in.

The house overlooks the golf course and there are usually kangaroos and the occasional koala visits. It's green and lovely and a nice space to gather.

Give me a call if you'd like to join in. I'd love to have your company. These aren't lessons, just a space where we can all create together.

Happy Halloween

We've been having fun with Halloween over the last couple of years. It seems as though the celebration is growing here in Australia, I'm not sure if we'll ever catch up with the US, but I notice that the stores are gradually bringing in more and more Halloween themed items.

Giant spider underway... muuhahahaha

After last year's effort we've been creating a few more decorations, as the kids visiting had so much fun, and thanked us for Halloweening the house.

Día De Los Muertos Artwork

Day of the Dead - 2014

Roses and lavender from my garden with Dia De Los Muertos Artwork

Last year I noticed an artwork by Mel Rudgley that really grabbed my attention at Deck Cafe in Dee Why. Ever since I've wanted to attempt a artwork skull to celebrate Dia De La Muertos myself. So with Día De Los Muertos rapidly approaching, I thought that now was a great time to attempt a sugar skull artwork with symbols that represented ones that I have loved and lost.

Artwork by Mel Rudgley - the one that inspired me

What is Día De Los Muertos? Día De Los Muertos means Day of the Dead... I'll let Wikipedia explain... Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration starts at midnight on October 31 and continues through November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of All hallowtide: All Hallows' Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls' Day.[1][2] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world. In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

Cast your eyes on the ocean

Cast your soul to the sea

When the dark night seems endless

Please remember me

Please remember me

(words from Loreena McKennit - Dante's Prayer)

Art and Healing - Can Art be Medicine?

Foundation for Art & Healing - Can Art Be Medicine? from Jason Schuler on Vimeo.

Art & Healing - Can Art Be Medicine? by Jason Schuler

I hope you enjoy this video by Jason Schuler, I think it is an excellent example of how art can be used in such a variety of settings and with a wide range of cases. I started painting around twenty years ago now, and over the last few years I've become increasingly interested in the role of art in the therapeutic process, and have taken part in many courses in expressive arts. From the role of art in the counsellor's process to art therapy classes. Right now I am waiting on a class on the role of Art in Trauma Recovery with Cathy Malchiodi to start - so looking forward to learning with Cathy. How lucky we are as therapists to be able to access the top trainers in the world from the comfort of our own studios!

In my practice I offer expressive art / counselling / mindfulness sessions, as I believe the combination of talking, meditation and making art helps to heal us on deep level while being a very comforting and peaceful healing process.

Seize Your Moments

A recent art prompt from a class I've been participating in, asked us to contemplate special moments that have happened during our lives as therapists, and then to create little art tags, where we record those moments. It occurred to me that this would be a lovely exercise to do at the end of each day, to journal about the special moments throughout the day, special moments that sometimes we forget over the course of the weeks and years. I thought that if we were to collect these, it would help us realise how many wonderful moments there really are in our lives - how special the 'small stuff' can be. To train our brains to go over and over the lovelies - rather than the worries.

Like the butterfly I noticed on the flower that was exactly the same colour... or the bird running up and down and turning somersaults on a flowering branch of my neighbours' camelia plant... the little stone that was shaped like a heart on the beach... the dog that ran up wet and soggy from it's swim to say hi, and the feeling of it's surf fresh body from the waves as it rested on my leg. I know when I go house sitting I am more in tune with the little everyday wonders in my life as I blog, so that pet owners can see what their pet is up to, so I tend to notice more in my walks, awake to little delights to photograph and mention.

Art Tags for Art Journaling

Some art tags I created for journaling processes - you can collect old tags from clothes and paint or collage over them, or use old cereal boxes, cut the tags out in any shape and size you'd like to. The class I am participating in has used old laminate samples - they are strong and you can link them together with key ring clip. Easy to flip and read once you've made them, as well as being a great self care heart warmer.

Visit Gretchen Miller for some wonderful ideas

I was having a browse around google - as you do - for images relating to art tags and discovered something related to tags (I thought anyway) Janne Williem's art cards. Janne is working her way around the world collecting art cards done by peope she meets on her travels... here's a video of her time in Nepal.

Visit Janne's site Seize Your Moments

Finding my art on other sites... a request - let's give each other credit where credit is due...

It is quite flattering to discover my art and photography on various sites - there's just one little thing that bothers me about this sometimes, and that is when there is a lack of acknowledgement that it is my art. You see art takes time, emotional and financial commitment, going to classes, experimenting with technique, more classes, love and attention - to develop, to create. It's kind of like sending your baby out to the world when you finally complete a canvas. Can you see why I'm big on giving credit where credit is due?

I recently discovered my Hawaiian Angel Art on Pinterest, linked to another site, hmmmm... anyhows... this artwork was actually a christening present that I made for my little neice Ashleigh a few years ago... on it has a bible verse 'Behold I send you an angel to guard you on your way'.

So if you'd like your own angel - do drop me a line - and you're most welcome to share my art, and I just ask please give credit where credit is due. Mahalo

Outside my window today

You just never know what is going to pass by - here's a little delight from my world.

Is love all you need?

This Valentines Day I invite you to consider all the ways that you take care for yourself. Art journaling is one of the ways that I take time out for myself, to reflect on, and appreciate, the things that I hold dear. I think it's so important for us to have a creative practice that nurtures us, and then to carve out time in the day to do a little of that. Maybe even just 10 minutes. It would be lovely to think that love is all we need, but in reality we need quite a few things to keep us healthy... what are those things for you?

Artful exchanges

Some art exchange mail on it's way to the USA at present.

Years ago I had a pen pal Kyoko who lived in Kyoto in Japan. I delighted in receiving her mail, and she would include in the letter, a piece of her beautiful origami. Little creatures made of folded paper would fall from the envelope as I opened it, and for a young girl in Australia, who had no contact with another culture at that time, it was magical.

Art exchange mail received from the USA and Canada, turned into a journal page.

The same feeling still happens when I open an envelope from one of my art exchange friends across the world. Art exchange is a bit like having a pen pal, but included in the envelope may be little pieces of ribbon, papers, an art work, or an Artist Trading Card.

If you'd like to participate in a fun art mail swap... just drop me a line.

New Year New Art... Up Up and Away...

At the beginning of each year I join a creative group or two, to share art and dialogue with other artists. I've met friends from all over the world this way, and learned so many new things. Up Up and Away is a prompt from Journal52 - you can join in at facebook or visit Journal52.com here .