Entries in painting (24)


Gallery TS1 Winter Selling Exhibition

I'm so excited! 

For the first time since 1986 I have some paintings in a gallery!!

 Here's one of my framed small works on paper - Magenta Goddesses - in the window of Gallery TS1, Middlesbrough.

Gallery TS1 is an artist run gallery selling high quality, fresh, affordable arts and crafts by emerging and established local artists.

I have on show six little paintings and some small works on paper all inspired by the goddess.   

Here's a little video about the exhibition created by Victoria E A Dektereff, one of the other gallery artists http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OPYUwkvNPc&feature=youtu.be

For those of you who live locally, the gallery is located at 57 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough TS1 1LT. The exhibition opens tomorrow (Saturday 7th December) and runs until the end of the month.

Join us on Saturday 7th December for a mince pie celebration and support your local artists and artisans by buying your gifts from them!  Everyone welcome!

From my heart to yours

Rachel xox

ps Don't forget to check out my Goddess Yearbook 2014 - you can sign up for a free extract!


writing v. painting 

Writing versus painting - do you have this kind of dilemma?

For me it's no contest really - painting always wins hands down.

But I'm writing a lot at the moment - a lot.

I'm writing: 

  • more regular blog posts  
  • a couple of guest posts
  • a course for someone else
  • my own online art courses

The ideas seem to be pouring in at the moment and I have to get them down on paper as soon as I can before they disappear.

I like writing - and I love writing courses.  But it's taking up a big part of my time that I would normally use for painting.

So, which do I do - writing or painting?   I don't want to have to make a choice.

So how to fit it all in?

I'm having to be much more organised with my time than usual - and I'm really not good with this.  I'm more of a 'go with the flow and see how things pan out' sort of person.  However, I'm beginning to see that scheduling time for writing is the only way I can get it done AND fit in my painting time (not to mention my therapy business).

With great serendipity (I love the way the Universe works) the Artizen Coaching Newsletter from Jennifer Lee -writer of the 'Right Brain Business Plan' - dropped into my inbox this week with 'Writing tips to help you with your book or other creative projects'.  

Jennifer's tips are: 

  • Schedule time - block out time in your diary for writing - then show up to the laptop/journal/notebook
  • Say 'no' to 'yes' - have boundaries, say 'no' more often, delegate where you can
  • Brain dump - get those ideas onto paper - mind map, journal, notebook, open a Word doc, email yourself
  • Repurpose - istead of staring at a blank page, use existing materials to build on - ie the ideas you've 'dumped', journals, scribbles, old blog posts etc etc
  • Put placeholders - if you get stuck on a section, make yourself a note about what will go in there and come back to it - this helps to keep moving forward
  • Go where there's flow - kinda related to putting placeholders - write the section that's flowing just now
  • Have an external deadline - there's nothing like a due date to hand in a finished product - if you're writing for yourself and you don't trust yourself to hit that deadline, get an accountability buddy and set a date
  • Trust - trust that you have something to say and that someone wants to read it.  Jen says, 'In the end, it comes down to simply trusting. Trusting that I have something to say. Trusting that I can say it. Trusting that what I have to say will have a positive impact. How will you remember to trust your own voice and creative process?'

These tips aren't just about scheduling time; they're about moving your creative project forward.  It's good to know that I am already doing some of these.  I already write down my ideas as soon as I can before they get lost.  I'm quite good at setting deadlines (though not perfect). I already repurpose, use placeholders and go where there's flow.  (And I realise, I do these things in my painting process too.)

But it was also interesting to note that these 'tips' for moving a project forward highlighted my issues. The biggies for me are scheduling time, saying 'no to yes' and 'trust'.  Now I know they are issues, I can work on them in my journal (more writing!).

Writing v. painting?   It's still painting - painting wins everytime. 

Are you a painter and/or a writer?  A journaler and/or a quilter?  Which of your creative projects claim more of your time?

Do you schedule time for your creative projects?

Do you trust that your voice will be heard and your art work be seen?

Have you got some tips that I could add to this list???

I'd love to hear from you.  Please leave your comments below!!

From my heart to yours

Rachel xox

ps don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to receive my blog updates, inspiring ideas, new artwork and workshop news direct to your inbox.


maintaining creativity

There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it! It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.' 

 Martha Graham

Did you keep your creative channel open this week? Life got in the way for me; some of it was good stuff - catching up with friends, writing a new holistic therapy course .... some of it routine - admin for the business, running errands - but somehow it transpired that four days passed without my getting into the studio :-(  By day four I was feeling a bit desperate and determined that I would spend a good chunk of my next day painting.  

Yes, desperate... I recently attended a workshop about developing my practice and we had to do a 'speed dating' exercise.  We had to introduce ourselves by saying who we were, what we did and WHY we did it.  I found myself saying over and over again that the reason I made art was because I had to and that if I didn't I got depressed.  I said that making art is a fundamental part of me and that to not make art is to deny that part of my self.  (I should know, I denied it for over 25 years - you can read more about that here.)  What was interesting (although not surprising) is that most people were saying pretty much the same thing. 

So how do we maintain creativity?  If we have other lives to lead, jobs to go to, businesses to run - how do we maintain our commitment to our creative soul? 

I know other people have written about this but one of my favourite writers is Austin Kleon in his little book 'Steal Like an Artist'.  He recommends keeping a calendar and a logbook.  The calendar means that you book your creative time in with yourself and the logbook records what you've achieved.  I have my own version of this; it's my 'to do list'. I log in that I want to 'paint every day' when I set my objectives for the week.  Sometimes it doesn't happen, most times it does.  A good week has lots of ticks :-)  (I like to walk every day too - looks like it didn't happen this week...)

Austin Kleon also says 'Writing a page a day doesn't seem like much, but if you do it for 365 days you have enough to fill a novel.'  It's the same with my painting - maybe I can only do an hour or two a day, and on some lucky days I can be there for 3 or 4 hours but those hours add up and this routine maintains my creativity.

So after my four days away, I made a commitment to myself to get back in there.  The little paintings in this post are the result of a great afternoon in the studio.  They're not finished - they're works in progress - but I feel full, I feel fed and satisfied.  My soul feels replete.

I have to show up, I have to turn up every day I can at my desk and do the work.  At the beginning of the day, I earmark the studio time.  Book an hour in your day, book a day in your week - whatever works for you.  Don'f feel guilty about it if you don't turn up, but ask yourself this - if you booked a lunch date with your best friend and you didn't show, how would she feel?  If you book your art date with your creative self and you don't turn up, how is she feeling right now? (Sorry, that is pretty guilt loaded, but I just know so well what happened and what happens if I do this to myself.)

How do you maintain your creativity? Does it feel like hard work, or is it a necessity? What strategies do you use? Do you show up every day, once a week? I'd love to hear from you.

From my creative heart to yours

Rachel xox

ps just a little reminder that I am teaching on 21 Secrets 2014.  You can read more about my Glorious Goddess workshop here


A Flower Fairy, a transition and a letting go


Today is the autumnal equinox and in my corner of the world here it involves a Flower Fairy Commission, a transition and a letting go.

This little painting is a commission.

It has a unique story, as do all painting requests. It is for my youngest son's girlfriend. They're both off to Uni today and Hannah asked if I could paint her a picture to put in her room! This came as a total surprise to me - a very lovely surprise but a bit of a shock really. You see, I had no idea that she liked my paintings. Neither she nor my son, James, have mentioned them before now. What's even more surprising is that James likes them too!! I was under the impression he thought my painting was just something a bit quirky that his mum did, nothing you shared with your girlfriend or discussed. But apparently not!!

I'm so pleased and proud and feel quite emotional about it. I also feel very honoured that this lovely young woman wants one of my paintings to adorn her wall. (and more than a little excited that a bit of goddess energy is going with them - they are both going to the same Uni)

It's been a strange time the last month, knowing that James is leaving soon. And now it's upon us. As a mother, you spend your life letting go of them - first play group, first day at nursery, first day at primary school, first sleepover, first scout camp, first day at secondary school, and more recently - the first music festival and a lads' holiday abroad.

For him, stepping onto his adult path, there's some reluctance - I want him to be excited but it's not apparent at the moment. I'm excited for him!! There will be tears, undoubtedly, but I wish him all he wants for himself; I wish him joy and lots and lots of love. 

On this day of equinox, the point of balance, when day and night are of equal length, my son and I stand poised in transition. He from childhood into his adult life and me from my being a mother with children at home and moving into my next adventure (and there is one I can assure you - details coming very soon!).

I feel as if we are both like the Fool in the Tarot, poised with one foot in the air ready to take the next step off the edge of the cliff, stepping through the portal into tomorrow not knowing what lies ahead but perfect in the knowledge that the Universe will support us, ready for adventure, ready for this new life phase. As James and I make this step of transition, I trust implicitly that we are perfectly supported as we step through the portal, perfectly supported by the abundant flow of the Universe and that only good will come rushing up to meet us as we take this next step.

Where are you today on this point of balance? Are there areas of your life that need more balance? Are you also in transition from one phase to another? Please share, I love to hear from you...

From my trusting and transitioning heart to yours

Rachel xox


Self care and paintings

There's been a lot of painting going on recently and a lot of self care.  

This has meant no blogging during August.  An unplanned blogging break, but the self care has been entirely necessary and a break from computers where possible was a part of this.  I'm lucky enough to be self employed and can set my own hours and schedule me time when I need it - for this I'm very grateful and feel very blessed to be where I am right now.

Other self care principles for me are:

taking walks with my beloved (or on my own)

being outside in my garden

being by the sea (as much as possible - given that I don't actually live by the sea)

making time to spend with kindred spirits for meditation and healing (or just to chat and yes, I often chat to this lovely furry kindred)

self healing using Angelic Reiki (every day)

and, of course, art every day 

What does your self care look like?  

Do you take time out every day for yourself?  

I'd love to hear from you... please leave your comments below...

From my grateful heart to yours

Rachel xox