Ever After Giveaway

Tamara Laporte Willowing

Woot Woot, Another Giveaway- That’s 2 this week along with the FREE LIVE session with Amanda Grace!!

Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts has written another book: Ever After: Create Fairy Tale-Inspired Mixed-Media Art Projects to Develop Your Personal Artistic Style and we are giving away a copy!

I’m so excited to see some of our wonderful artists from the Make Create Express and the Creative Retreat contributing to this book including Micki Wilde, Andrea Gomoll and Mariëlle Stolp!!

You can learn more about this book by visiting HERE


This giveaway is now closed, and the lovely winner is: Marjon van den bos
Thank you to all who played along :)




How to enter the give-away:

1. Share this give-away on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

2. Join our newsletter to hear about other giveaways, free events, workshops and exclusive offers HERE

3. Leave a comment below letting us know why you would love to get a copy of Tam's book!

I will announce the winner here on the blog on the 4th of September- be sure to check back.

Be sure to check out the other artists in the Blog Hop:

Ever after blog hop

Lúnasa: The Art of Harvest

lunasa.jpg

Lúnasa is a Celtic Festival which marks the season of harvest. It is a time to honour and give thanks for the years journey and what we have achieved. Sometimes the path of recovery can seem slow and challenging. And it's true. Progress is slow and it is challenging. If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it, right?
N.B.- if you are in the Southern Hemisphere and are curious about how this might still be relevant to you visit HERE

This session is about honouring recovery as a process.

Last year when we ran one of these with Amanda Grace many participants found it a beautiful and immensely helpful session.

☆☆☆

Where:

In our Art is Magic Community Facebook Group which you can join HERE (please mention Lúnasa in your request to join and be sure to request joining before the live event to allow time for approval into the group and then just show up during those 48 hrs). The session will be lead by Amanda Grace of Pilgrim’s Soul and our RAW guidess.

When:

The session will be live on the 29th of August at 8pm BST UTC+1 - to find out what time that is in your part of the world use this converter HERE
N.B.- The lesson will stay available in our group for 48 hours after which it will be available as a bonus in the RAW workshop. If you can make the live session then all the better as there is a potency to the group energy coming
together like this.

Amanda Grace Pilgrim's Soul
Supply List:
  • Your Journal.

  • Pens / crayons / Coloured Pencils

  • White Paint / Black Paint / brushes (acrylic is best)

  • 2 Paint colours.

  • Found imagery from stash. (See note)

  • Tissue or scrap papers for collage

  • Glue Stick.

A note on found imagery:
You are about to begin a ‘stash’ of found words and imagery that will become fodder for your visual vocabulary. I recommend collecting your images into a folder. 

Your source can be magazines or papers you can pick up from your doctors office, charity stores, a collection you have gathering dust in the basement or your local library Cut & Tear from these, words and imagery that appeal to you. Don’t go looking for specific words or images. Don’t be literal about it. Just choose images that call to you for whatever reason, you don’t have to know why, just gather, you will feel the pull. Trust it.

Amanda Grace Pilgrim's Soul women's circle

Artist Profile- Amanda Grace

Why do you create art?

It makes me happy. My creativity affords me an outlet to explore and express my inner landscape, gives me a sense of meaning and purpose and many ways to shape it. Creativity helps me remember who I am and it gives me hope about who it is I am becoming.

Tell us about your journey to become / claim the title artist?

I’ve been a creative, expressing myself in some form or another all my life. As a child, I just liked art and I benefited from the story that I was ‘good’ at it.

As a teenager, creativity became a second language to me.

When I was about 16, a letter I wrote to a friend reporting my summer holiday shenanigans, was read by her mother who went ballistic and shamed me for it.

I began to journal using collage and symbols, cryptic verse and ‘code’ to hide my secrets in plain sight. It was also a safe way of my expressing the intensity of my emotions at the time.

I thought only ‘happy’ emotions were acceptable and that I was failing to be happy because I had a lot of dark and messy thoughts and feelings.I believed I had to hide them.

At 19, my family emigrated to America and I used creativity to cope with this massive transition and what felt like an identity crisis. This continued throughout my 20’s as I negotiated which side of the Atlantic I was going to live on. Of course, I chose Ireland in the end. It’s where my Pilgrim Soul belongs.

I’ve mostly used creativity as a container, somewhere to ‘put’ and sort through all that gets tangled up inside me. It helps me to create a distance from my thoughts and emotions and to explore new perspectives.

Even though I’ve always had an instinctive relationship with creativity, I never really considered myself an artist. I, like many, defined an artist as someone who was ‘good at drawing’, I thought of it more as an objective, technical kind of skill. Someone who could work to a brief.

My creativity has always been in service to the subjective and the expressive. I was in my late 30’s before I recognised my ability to express the subjective, as a skill and an art form. I just always thought I was ‘doing it wrong’, that I had potential but lacked any real discipline or ‘true’ talent which I also believed, was fixed and not something you develop.

In the meantime, I was studying psychotherapy and facilitation. I’ve always had a fascination with the human mind, emotions and behaviour, not to mention the concept of soul. It was in my experience as a client in therapy, that I learned to appreciate the value of creativity for recovery and transformation.

Gradually, I arrived at a place where both these skill sets, the creative and the facilitative made perfect sense together and the ‘kind of artist’ I am, finally revealed itself to me.

Amanda Grace Mixed Media Art Journal
What is it about making art that stirs your soul?

I get to meet myself, which is something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. I would ask ‘What is it like, to meet me?’, ‘What is it like to know me?’, ‘Who am I?’. Mostly where that stemmed from was insecurity. What I was really asking was ‘Who am I to you?’, because unknown to myself, this was how I was defining and shaping my identity. I was who YOU said I was, not me.

Living from the outside in like that, is detrimental to one’s sense of self and I completely lost contact with mine. I became an exile to myself and how this manifested in my life was reflected in the relationships, lifestyle and identity I had constructed as a result of outsourcing validation and significance.

Creativity brought me back to myself. It reintroduced me to myself and through the various creative modalities of journaling and art making, symbols and story, I deconstructed a self image that simply was not working for me and learned to shape for myself, a new one that would.

I then began learning to live from the inside out. And it changed my life! Now I call creativity a vehicle for all you know and an oracle for all you have yet to know.

What is currently inspiring you?

My father’s life and death. He passed away in July.

We spent our final 10 days gathered together as a family, walking him right to the threshold where we handed him over with profound love and infinite sadness.

The experience and subsequent outpouring of love and grief from his friends, fans (my dad was an entertainer) and the nurses who cared for him in his final days has been life changing on many levels.

My da lived his life a certain way, he was always true to himself, but it was how he approached his death that opened a portal for me and for those of us who loved and cared for him, to a whole new understanding of what it means to live and to die.

Amanda Grace Pilgrim's Soul
What does your creative Practice look like?

Right now, my practice looks like a lot of note and photo taking, gathering, remembering, tending, crying. I’m in an intense gathering and processing phase. I’m deep in the process of navigating, mourning and lamenting the loss of my father and transitioning to a new life living with my mother in Clare. I left Sligo on my father’s passing.

I’m still living out of a suitcase. My studio, my office and most of my belongings are in a container right now and so I’m a little unsettled and there’s very little of the ‘art’ part happening, though that will come, I’m sure.

Right now I’m gestating and collecting and writing and voicing and reflecting. I am very much pregnant with my process. Not all phases of creative practice are ‘obvious’ or even visible creative acts, but they are all important and valid. I’m never not engaged with my process.

How do you keep your creative practice fresh and inspired?

My muse is my inner landscape, which is rarely boring or dull. I mostly keep myself inspired by having as loose a grip as possible on how I define my practice and creativity in general. I don’t imprison myself with rigid ideals of what it ‘should’ look like.

What sort of creative walls do you hit?

I think time management is my biggest ‘wall’. I tend to prioritise ‘productivity’ and relegate play to the back of the line. I also tend towards perfectionism off the page and so by the time I finish my day, I’ve worn myself out and I’ve nothing left in the tank. I’m currently scaling up my creative business and so my poor creative phase (the actual acts of art making) keeps getting shunted lately. Also, every time I ‘try’ too hard, I hit a wall.

What do you do to move through them?

Accountability works for me and I currently have a weekly meeting with my assistant who helps me with the productive / strategic end of things, though I’m going to have to start incorporating some accountability around where that line is. Where do I stop so that I have enough left in the tank for the other phases in the process.

As for trying too hard, how I move through creative blocks is as I shared above, having as loose a grip as possible on how I define my practice and creativity in general. I don’t imprison myself with rigid ideals of what it ‘should’ look like or what I ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be doing and I don’t judge my efforts.

I love everything I do, when I do it with this attitude. If you were to measure my abilities as an artist or a photographer for example on technical ability, I probably wouldn’t rate very high but I don’t really care about the technical execution of my creativity. I care about the level of satisfaction and catharsis I get from it. It’s about what it facilitates in and for me. I care about the function of my creativity more than I do the output.

Amanda Grace Journal Spread
How has your process evolved?

The very nature of coming to an understanding and more importantly, honouring of process, allows for it to evolve naturally. The journey of that evolution, of course required me to exhaust my frustration in valuing & hence following the path of product over process and the objectification of art.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your creative journey?

Not to define ‘artist’ as ‘good at drawing’.

Do you have a Creative Self Care Practice?

YES!! I have altars, to which I tend. On them are trinkets of hope and memory and recovery and healing. I tend to my spaces very intentionally, atmosphere is very important to me. I like to engage my senses, I use candles and essential oils and incense. My bath and bedrooms communicate serenity and calm. I walk and swim in nature and take photos and sometimes voice notes as I ramble. I like to cook too and music is a big part of my life.

Amanda Grace Creative Recovery
Do you have any creative rituals?

Candles, incense, music. I sometimes choose symbols, cards and / or words to help me set intentions and / or I use questions or sayings to open portals of exploration, inspiration and inquiry as I approach the page.

Where can we find you?
 

WebIGFB PageFB Group ☆ RAW

RAW Testimonials:

The Holy Trinity- Classwork

 
Sacred Arts The Holy Trinity mixed media workshop
 

It has been amazing to watch the beautiful, intricate, deep and soulful work that has been created in The Holy Trinity Sacred Arts workshop.

Each week we explored one of the Holy Trinity: Plant Allies, Animal Spirits and Stone Clans; forming a deeper connection with each and inspiration to take to our art practice. The words that come to mind when I think about what was created are luscious and sensitive. The participants dove deep finding their own way with the material, their own relationship with the subject matter (the Holy Trinity) and their own beauty in their art work. It has truly been an honour to watch and oh what gifts have emerged.

So it is my great pleasure to share with you some of the work created over the last few weeks in the workshop. Take a look, perhaps you too will be In*Spired as I am.

“Scared Arts: Holy Trinity workshop has been an inspiring and awakening journey. I have been developing a deep communion with all living beings as the workshop unfolded. Today I was painting at the beach with watercolor in my journal and the details, expression, and shapes are much more present to me now. For example I was painting a barrier reef and it felt more like a conversation than an observation. I am blessed to have found Galia Alena”

Joan F Matos

“Loved the technique of really sinking into a flower. An animal. A stone. It totally changes your entire being.”

Fran Malone

“Thank you for the wonderful class. I learned so many practical things about mark making, such as gelli printing, which I’ve wanted to do for years! And also about technique and materials. But the most wonderful part was learning how to go within, and make art from there, and also begin and strengthen the relationships with my allies and guides.”

Jacqueline Manni

“The Holy Trinity workshop gave me the chance to slow down and be really present while connecting to different beings, be plants, animals or stones allies… It’s a gentle ongoing conversation that thins the veils between different realms, showing the gift of communication, if we only take the time to tune to different frequencies, listening to them…Thank you for your blessings.”

Antonella, Zimbabwe.

“Holy Trinity art is rich and goes deep. Made me connect differently and let me found inner peace while working on my journal pages. Not easy for me to fall into that meditative state. Will never look at stones in the same way again.”

Martine Vormezeele

The Holy Trinity is now available as a self paced instant access workshop- you can find details HERE

To see some of the work created in the Sacred Arts 13 mOOns workshop visit HERE & HERE

Join Us:

Artist Profile- Melanie Rivers

Why do you create art? 

I create art to experience the present moment. I tend to be someone who worries a lot and creating art makes all of that melt away. I enter into a state of flow where I do not feel time and I experience serenity. It is also a form of expression for me where I can work out a feeling or I can connect to a wiser part of myself.


Tell us about your journey to become an artist?

Seven years ago, I did not even imagine that I would be creating art. My mom and husband are artists and I did not see myself this way at all. I had absolutely no artistic skill. I could do was draw stick people and I didn’t understand how to work with colours or any art supply. When I was looking for a way to relax, I saw a 30 day doodle challenge. I joined and immediately saw the benefits of engaging with creativity. Shortly after, I took my first painting workshop and went straight to the art store to pick up a set of paints and brushes. My little art cabinet had 10 things in it!! I never looked back. Every day I engage with art and creativity in some way (and I have a lot more art supplies!!). I’ve learned from so many amazing art teachers around the world through online art classes.

Melanie Rivers
What is currently inspiring you?

I am reawakening my inner writer and I love to incorporate story and poetry with my art. Each painting takes its own journey, I just follow it and capture the story at the end. It is another form of expression and way to engage with my creativity. Combining painting and story telling together is very rewarding for me.

What does your creative Practice look like? 

Each time I go to the canvass I set an intention for creating. Do I want to learn a new skill today? Express an emotion? Get grounded? Play? Find an answer to a life question? From there I decide whether I am going to do a lesson, use my non-dominant hand, paint with my fingers, use large or small brushes, create a story, or do some journaling with the piece.


How do you keep your creative practice fresh and inspired? 

I am incredibly inspired by the online art community. I regularly take classes and I gain so much inspiration from all the artists I am connected to on Instagram and Facebook. When I see beautiful art, I can’t help but get off the couch to go to my art table and create myself.

raven-voice Melanie Rivers

How has your process evolved? 

I kept waiting for my own style to emerge. Teachers kept saying it would and to just keep painting. I found it by paying attention to what brought me joy and following the techniques and colours that I love. For me, this is incorporating antique book pages, using beautiful patterned paper, incorporating story, painting expressive female faces, and using layers and texture.


What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your creative journey? 

I wish I had known that creating art is a learned skill, not some innate talent. With time, skill and style evolve. For me, this evolved because I focused on enjoying myself while I painted over any other focus. As long as I enjoyed myself, I kept creating, which in turn meant my skill and style evolved.

moon-woman Melanie Rivers
Do you have a Creative Self Care Practice? 

I strongly believe in building a self-compassionate art practice. My inner art critic often tells me that ‘I am not doing it right’, ‘I’m not experienced or skilled enough’, that ‘I don’t have anything important to say’… Does that sound familiar?? So, I breathe and am kind to myself. I tell myself that it is just paint, I am learning, and that the most important thing for me is to enjoy the process of creating. I have recently re-engaged with art journaling and find this an incredible way to nurture my creative practice.

Where can we find you? 

WebsiteInstagramPinterestFacebookYoutube channelCreative Retreat 2019

Melanie’s husband’s website as mentioned in our chat: Splashing Eagle

Melanie has created 2 wonderful lessons for the Make Create Express Workshop- here is a peek at one of them:

Melanie+Rivers+mixed+media+workshop.jpg

Journey

Presented by Melanie Rivers

A journey—the unknown, adventure and possibilities, a becoming, an un-becoming… In this mixed media lesson, we will explore the idea of a journey and portray this through imagery, color and writing. We will create an expressive female portrait in acrylic paints and I’ll lead you through writing a short poem (3-5 lines) to capture her journey story --real or imagined.

Blog Hop Winners

Make Create Express Free Creative Retreat Weekend

Thank you thank you to all the people who participated in our Blog Hop Giveaway!!

& the winners are … Drum Roll …

Jerney Marisha- Randi Kuhne
Louise Gale - Clare Chambers
Leslie Wood- Rebecca Torti
Katrina Koltes - Donna Thomas
Renata Loree - Deanna Lee Heitschmidt
Jenny Grant - Christin Clausén
Melanie Rivers - Rebecca Ruff
Hali Karla - Lauren M. (Mack)
Fonda Clark Haight - Barbara Youngman
Mariëlle Stolp - Michelle Davis
Muriel Stegers - Faye Pedri
Kiala Givehand - Tanja Sandmann
Connie Solera - TBA
Karine Bossé - TBA
& the final two - Aimee Mattila & Debbie Carr

We will be in touch with you all over the next few days :)

The Early Bird Price for the year long Make Create Express workshop ends this weekend.

And if you haven’t already- sign up for the FREE weekend happening this weekend HERE

Artist Profile- Renata Loree

 
 

Renata has created 2 wonderful lessons for the Make Create Express Workshop- here is a peek at one of them:

love and after.jpg

Love & After

I am often asked how I create a journal page. This particular process is my favorite. I usually start with images and then some colors and see where it takes me. The details I add come spontaneously to my mind and I usually add on what ever needs to come to the surface and if it becomes covered later then that is the process. The final stage is then adding some doodles with gel pens to complete the story.

Artist Profile- Jenny Grant

Why do you create art?

I create art because it is something deep inside of me that tells me that this is the right thing to do. Making art stirs my soul! This process is hard to describe but when I find my flow I just paint and when I step back after a session in flow I often get surprised by what I have created. The feeling and energy I get when the painting is taking shape is magical. It fills me with energy and can energize me for several days.

Tell us about your journey to become an artist?

I have always been creative and painted, since I was a kid. For many years I painted with almost only water colours. I always had a picture in my mind when I started and I almost always got disappointed that I could not transfer the picture onto the paper in a good enough way.

I have always been very fascinated by mixed media. 10 yours ago I got the courage to start to experiment on my own and I just loved it. When the media stopped setting the boundaries something opened up inside me. The braver I got the more intuitive my process became. I started to let the painting decide what it wanted to be and tried to stop the pictures in my head to decide.

When I got pregnant with my third child I got a leave of absence from my job and we moved a couple of years to New Zealand. I decided that this was the time for me to pursue my hobby of painting and start to build a business. I painted a lot and I started to call myself an artist. I started to exhibit my art in real galleries and I started to run art workshops for kids.

When we moved back to Sweden two years later I went back to work part time and I continued to build my business in Sweden. 2017 I left my part time job and I started to run my art business full time.

Share Jenny Grant
What is currently inspiring you?

I get very inspired by other artist. I love following artists on-line, both how their art develops but also how they develop their art business and how they develop as humans. I love the energy in galleries and museums but the best is working together with other creative souls and be creative together and collaborate in the creative process. The energy around creative people is what inspires me the most at the moment!

What does your creative Practice look like?

When I start a blank canvas I very seldom have a picture in my mind. I start with adding paper collage as a meditative practice; I write words and poetry that pop into my mind, onto the canvas. These layers and words inspire me through the process. I add each layer based on my feeling at that moment. I am big advocate of Jackson Browns sayings “Don’t wait for inspiration - it will find you”.

I let my feelings and the layers guide me through the process. I might see something in the paint or I get an urge to paint something special. The images might take a major part in the final painting or it may not. I continue the next layer and focus on what I like. This process is hard to describe but when I find my flow I just paint and when I step back after a session in flow I often get surprised by what I have created.

I work in many layers that ad great depth to my art. When I get stuck, I just keep going, I grab a colour and I work a lot with my own stencils and stamps to push through the obstacle and bad feelings. I work hard to concur my inner critique. My imagery and colours grow through the process.

I let my work-in-progress hang on the walls in the studio so that I can see and feel them. When I get inspired or see something I grab the painting and add paint to it, in the middle of something else.

I work with mixed media - acrylic paint, watercolour, ink, colour pencils, wax, fabrics, paper, photos... anything that comes my way. With layers on layers my work becomes very rich with every layer adding depth and texture. People usually find my art very peaceful even though it is quite busy and colourful.

Brave soul Jenny Grant
How do you keep your creative practice fresh and inspired?

One of my favorite ways to relax, learn new techniques and just play is in a handmade junk journal. Not a bought nice art journal with white clean beautiful pages or a precious art journal where every page is perfect. But in a grungy, “ugly” junk journal made out of scrap paper. A journal where the process is the important part and the result and outcome is secondary.

For me art journaling is my resting place where I give myself time to recover. My art journaling process is totally free from requirements, rules, results or obligations. For me it is a way for my creative soul to be totally free and a way to find the unique creative source within myself. Art Journaling is a very important part of my creative process and it also allows me to relax, to let go and to find my flow. I feel safe working in my art journal. For me art journaling opens up the magic of what is unique within me.

What sort of creative walls do you hit and what do you do to move through them?

I usually start my painting sessions and every new canvas with paper collage. I do this to get going and to get rid of the white surface which I find very intimidating. It is a very meditative process and gets me into my flow.

One of the hurdles in my process is the “ugly phase”, this is somewhere mid through the painting when nothing works and I have no clue what to do next. I let my paintings hang on the walls so I can see them all the time even though I do not like them until I feel what to do next. I try not to use my brain too much in this phase but only feel what I want to do without analysing the consequences.

Another thing that I found helping me through the process is to not finish any part of the painting at an early stage. If I do a face I move between all the parts throughout the process, I do not finish anything until the last couple of strokes. I also leave the eyes “open”, I do not paint the iris or the pupil, until the last couple of stages. I have found that that gives me the opportunity to ”see” the soul of the face throughout the process.

Another key is to trust the process and just continue and be brave… all through the ugly phase … and when I do I usually come out the other side with something that is soulful and has some magical beauty in it.

My Power Jenny Grant
How has your process evolved?

I have not always been painting mixed media and certainly not faces. I have always been creative and painted, since I was a kid. For many years I painted with almost only water colours. I always had a picture in my mind when I started and I almost always got disappointed that I could not transfer the picture onto the paper in a good enough way.

I have always been very fascinated by mixed media. 10 yours ago I got the courage to start to experiment on my own and I just loved it. When the media stopped setting the boundaries something opened up inside me. The braver I got the more intuitive my process became. I started to let the painting decide what it wanted to be and tried to stop the pictures in my head to decide. I started to see eyes everywhere in the paint. I was very hesitant but decided to be brave and actually draw what I saw. It was a slow but very rewarding process. I used to be very critical to my own drawings and paintings and especially faces that I “knew” I could not draw… but when I started to let my heart and soul steer my creative process and I dared to continue even though I didn’t like what I saw, something magical started to happen.

I am so happy that this transformation took place and that I started to trust the process and be brave enough to let my paintings get into “the ugly” stage without putting me off. What I found was that if I continued, even though I hated the look of it, I could push through and end up with something that I really liked. The more I practiced, the braver I got and the more I pushed the boundaries, the more I loved it.

Jenny Grant Book of Flow
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your creative journey?

I would have liked to really feel and follow what I enjoy doing. When I really listened and followed to the things that makes my heart tick and I incorporate and work with these things I started to find my own voice and get that into my work.

I believe that we can reach very far if we do listen to our hearts, our intuition, our inner voice or inner Witch or Wizard. And I do believe that by doing what we love and enjoy doing our soul gets into our work.

When we use the processes and techniques, rules about color, values and composition that we have learnt, we can make great paintings. BUT when we listen to our heart and use our feelings, to steer us, we find our own voice and our own language and the soul gets into our work!

Let go and just do it!! This is the most important advice to find my own flow. As soon as I get stuck for one reason or another I just have to let go and just continue. I think this is not only a good advice in my art process but also a good advice of how to live my life. Let go of the past and just do what I need to do to go forward!

Do you have a Creative Self Care Practice?

For me art journaling is a resting place where I give my self time to recover. My art journaling process is totally free from requirements, rules, results or obligations. For me it is a way for my creative soul to be totally free and a way to find the unique creative source within myself. Art Journaling is an important part of my creative process and it also allows me to relax, to let go and to find my flow. When working in my art journal I feel safe. For me art journaling opens up the magic of what is unique within me.

Where can we find you?

Mail: jenny@flowbyjenny.com
Web Facebook Instagram Youtube Pintrest

Jenny has created 2 wonderful lessons for the Make Create Express Workshop- here is a peek at one of them:

art journalling workshop with Jenny Grant

The Path is the Goal

In this lesson I will bring you into my magic world of art journaling and give you an input in how I practice to find my flow and my creative spark. I will create with collage and paint on a spread in an old book. For me, art journaling is my resting place where I give my self time to recover. My art journaling process is totally free from requirements, rules, results or obligations. It is a way for my creative soul to be totally free and a way to find connection to the creative source within. Art Journaling is a very important part of my creative process and I’m excited to show you how it helps me to relax, to let go and to find my flow! Ultimately, art journaling opens up the magic of what is unique within me! The process, the path, is the important part, the result is secondary.