Intuitive Painting

I’m pausing to reflect on a recent art therapy experience I had in Rome with Marianne Cordier at Atelier Creativita. I had been feeling a longing to paint for a few months, to just have a tiny corner in an artist’s studio, to see what I might make with the space, time and tools to paint.

I spent much of my downtime as a teenager in the art studio at my boarding school- building a portfolio to eventually present to Art Colleges when I started to do the rounds of interviews at age 16 and 17. I was more into photography then painting though I loved art and ended up studying Fine Art at Saint Martins.

I hadn’t done any painting since my first year at Saint Martins, as my focus there became film-making.

Something in me was calling out and asking me to paint again…so I started to google- to see if there might be somewhere I could go and paint for a few hours.

This led me to find Marianne Cordier, who offers one-to-one and group “Intuitive painting sessions. This resonated with me as a great place to start dipping my fingers back into paint pots under some guidance, as I knew I would have some blocks coming up about what to paint and where to start again.

MArianne’s studio is beautiful, in a large complex of art studios and exhibition spaces. She is a practising artist, counsellor and art therapist and a super cool chiquita.

She greeted me and asked me to pick a card to begin our discussions.

I picked a card that looked at first glance to be bit ominous and fore-warning to me, but we talked about the image from different points of view and came to the conclusion that this girl in the image was lucky to walk right through into the unkown- avoiding catastrophe. In hindsight I realised that the card might have represented the Berlin Wall- as I had just returned from Berlin, celebrating 25 years since the smashing down and fall of the wall-feeling lucky to have the freedom to move about as I please and to able to walk freely from East to West.


We then had a chat about where I am currently at in life- personally, professionally and creatively. I felt very inspired and safe in the creative healing studio space Marianne had created. I then lay down to close my eyes and was led on a guided meditation through a very colourful adventure to meet a spirit guide. I have done quite a few Shamanic journeys and guided meditations wherein I have sometimes re-connected with spirit guides that I have met and known before. On this occasion however, I met a new and very powerful spirit guide- a Griffin or Gryphon.

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In the meditation, I was given a gift by the Griffin and then returned with that gift in a box by boat, up a staircase and through a garden to my conscious self once more. I was then led to an alter with paint pots and a blank canvas and was guided to choose a colour and start painting with my hands. I chose gold and was at first very delicately trying to make something pretty on the canvas but MArianne interrupted and encouraged me to move, to dance and to flow- to make more of a mess and to start using other colours. At one point, I was even blindfolded and really started to make a mess as I could no longer see which of my chosen colours I was using. Then again, without the blindfold I started to play with and test out other tools, paintbrushes, sponges etc… then returned to smearing it all around with my fingers- It was all so spontaneous and so much fun!


After some time Marianne told me I only had a few minutes left to give my painting whatever I thought it needed…It needed some white and some bronze…actually I felt like it probably needed a lot of work but I understood that in that canvas had gone the energy and the gifts of the Griffin and somehow in the mush of it all I could see the Griffin’s white feathers, the fields of flowers I had run through, the mediterranean sea I had floated on to get to the island where the Griffin lived and the bronze gold of the gift it had given to me.

I was then asked to sit in front of my painting and to ask it if it had a message for me…



The painting told me this:

  • don’t worry about perfection, create with spontaneity, in a free way
  • dive into creativity in your daily life by dancing, painting, singing.
  • Embrace imperfection and all the colours of life

All in all, it was a beautiful experience to be led through meditation and intuitive painting. It was an opportunity to merge my inner child and my higher self. It was a chance to make something that I can frame and hang on a wall and remember the power of the imagination, the power of surrender to creativity and the power of intention. I had literally called the experience into my life because I wanted and needed to paint again.

If you are feeling a creative calling but unsure of what form that might take, I would reccommend “Art Therapy” “Intuitive PAinting” and if you can- to do one of Marianne’s creativity workshops or a one-to-one session and unleash the creative potential within. You can purchase gift certificates too- a wonderful birthday or Christmas present!

“Gift A Creative Experience”.

Below are some photos I took of Marianne in her studio. I would definitely like to return and do some more intuitive painting with her when I return to Rome.

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Berlin Rocks!

After an amazing week in Berlin I’m ready to sit down and write it out of me… Berlin is such a cool city, alive with the pulse of potential and creativity. I had the rare opportunity to catch up with many family members: sister, 6 cousins, their other halves, my Grandmother, Aunt and Uncle, Great Aunt and Great Uncle.

My sister and I found a fantastic rooftop apartment in Prenzlauerberg on airbnb that only cost 40 euros a night. Every morning began with a meditation on the rooftop and most sunsets too. It was really magical to see Berlin from the perspective of a private rooftop. Airbnb is where it’s at for me if I’m going to spend a week or more somewhere and so far all of my experiences with it have been great.

I re-connected with Nick Mockridge, the Creative Director of Like A Wild Beast’s Fur which is a monthly event fusing techno and conceptual theatre at Berlin’s notoriously hard to get into nightclub Berghain. We got to celebrate his birthday twice- once at an intimate dinner in his art loft, where I was very happy to make a massive salad for the night; and on another occasion in a huge loft event space which was catered by some very creative gourmet chefs with several Berghain DJ’s, Nick Mockridge aka Anonymous Love and his 17 year old brother “DJ Thumbsucker” hitting the decks so we could dance the night away dressed in “Shabby Chic” eclectica.

I also made it down to dive into the street party celebrations- 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. There were white balloons all around Berlin, where the wall once stood and at 7pm on Nov 9th they were all released and floated up to the heavens whilst people cheered and cried and Peter Gabriel sang “We could be heroes” which David Bowie had originally recorded in Berlin.

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A new friend Louise took us to a beautiful yoga studio- Spirit Yoga- where we did a very hardcore power yoga class with Adam Rice. He’s a great teacher and his advanced class highlighted for me how easy I like to take it and how quickly I can loose my strength. I have been doing Iyengar yoga in Italy-in Italian and it is very much about realignment which is what I felt I needed after spending many hours transcribing video footage and editing on the computer. Getting back into ashtanga was very intense for my body but also motivating as I am determined to get stronger so I can hit the waves and surf when I return to Bali next year. Strength is a must for surfing along with balance which I seem to still have from my lighter almost daily yoga practises. I think it’s time for me to step up though and return to Birkam or Ashtanga yoga training- for the physical and mental strength it catalyses. Where in the world is my favourite AShtanga yoga teacher Danny Paradise? It’s important for yoga teachers to have a daily practise but it can become a lot maybe even too much when teaching on top of it. Luckily my teaching is mostly one on one and is a mix of life coaching and yoga, so I’m not physically pushing it by practising and teaching everyday… I’m really looking forward to 5 Rhythms dance and Yogabeats when I’ll be in London for a few weeks.

I got to hangout and have an art day and visit a ton of art galleries with music producer Lenny Mockridge and Izzie Baxter, the lead singer of my favourite new band “Black Honey”.

The highlight of the gallery tours for me was visiting Blain Southern’s massive gallery in what was once “Die Zeit” newspaper headquarters- a HUGE space! That whole area is full of galleries and the area even offers a gallery map- definitely a great way to spend a day in Berlin.

I caught up with Matthew Mockridge who is the co-founder of Neon Splash Paint Parties which are massively taking off in Europe and drawing huge crowds for their interactive colourful raves.

My sister and I hit several vintage shops and found them full of amazing pieces. I picked up two long 1970’s dresses, a thick Tirolean sweater and a yellow knitted cape.

Being with family for my Grandmother’s birthday was so comforting- just completely being myself and feeling such gratitude and wonder for us all being in the same place at the same time to celebrate with her- she is incredible and her life story is unbelievable.

My Godmother Margie Kinsky was in town too, doing her new one woman show. It is based on her new book which has made it onto the German bestsellers list- Go Girl! Ich bin so wild nach deinem Erdbeerpudding

On a slight come down after such a fun week in an exciting action-packed culturefull city but today was a really inspiring day back in Italy too, so I’m going to write a seperate blog post just about today.

One last thing please checkout, rent, buy, download, share this Independent movie that I was involved in making 5 years ago in NYC. We are all really happy that it is finally available worldwide so more people can learn about the internal struggles and PTSD faced by soldiers returning from war. It was appropriately released worldwide on November 11th 

Bye for now


Hoopy Halloween

Collage by  Darling Clementine

Collage by
Darling Clementine

So many people- adults and kids, floating through the streets of Rome in spooky costumes; it was all very Fellini. I didn’t dress up this year- well I wore my very “so bad it’s good” Moschino fleece jumper, sewatpants, a woolly London Underground hat and trainers…I guess I might have been a “Rude Girl or a “Chav” more by accident then intent. It’s kind of one of my comfortable looks- tacky vintage sweater, sweatpants, trainers and a beanie- it’s a very London look, or it makes me think of London and is all about the trainers really.

This Hallows Eve I set out to meet Darling Clementine to buy a collapsible bronze polypro hoop.

I love the global hoop tribe phenomena. In every major city, there is a tribe of hoopers and there hoops are a portal into some very interesting dimensions of the city. I usually try to track down the hoopers and find out where I can buy a hoop if I am sticking around a city for a while. Hooping has become a moving meditation for me and a part of my workout.

Darling had been so understanding when I was unable to meet up due to the film festival shenanigans and then some late nights transcribing video rushes. I was grateful that she kept a sense of humor about it and being an American in Rome, I figured she might like to finally meetup on Halowwen.

I pickedup a deliciious little Halloween candy gift of some amazing Raw Chocolates from Grezzo Chocolates in Monti- maybe my favourite area this time in Rome, for all it’s little vintage shops, weekend market, bio and vegan cafes

Darling and I had inspiring chats about Psychology, Ayurveda, Yoga, Tantra and Circus skills whilst drinking decaf soy cappucinos.  She is a super interesting person and founder of the Rome Hula Hoopers Network

We had fun hooping in the streets outside the funky cafe, while a man played a saxophone and another man in a wig started hooping too. Every hooper I might around the world has an interesting story and I love connecting to this magical tribe, making new friends and learning new tricks.

It was fun to watch her spinning the psychadellic LED hoops on the street, the patterns the create are mesmerising and I also love my new bronze hoop I have named “Diva”.

It was fun dancing back through the streets of Rome and the many people in costumes, occasionally throwing “Diva” high in the air or spinning around my head like a lasso.

Definitely plan to shoot a video of Clementine hooping with that LED at night around Rome, she’s got some good tricks and she taught me many in a short space of time.

So this year it wasn’t a big wild fancydress night for me but I’m glad I got out, away from the computer and transcribing documentary footage.

Hope you had a fun one


Collage by Darling Clementine