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.

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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!

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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…

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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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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 http://www.grezzoitalia.it/cioccolateria-grezzo/

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/131910233665909/

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

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Collage by Darling Clementine

There’s no place like Rome

I clicked my heels with a one two three and was transported from Cali to Canada to England to Germany and have finally landed on my feet here in Italy. All this movement truly makes me feel like a restless shape-shifting Dragonfly and I have discovered a new longing to stay in one place for a while… I thought that would be California because I was really so very happy out there riding horses and surfing but I am here now and maybe this is where I am meant to be, for a while anyway…Romeing.

urlAs I write today, I am streaming Trent Reznors & Atticu Ross’ new score for feature film “Gone Girl”. I suggested you click on this link: Gone Girl,  press play and listen to the same music as me as you readon.

If you find the experimental and industrial nature of Reznor’s productions is not to your taste then try any of the artists listed in this article for some top rated Conscious DJ’s & Producers…also a perfect soundscape for reading this blog.

It’s been a whirlwind and I am so grateful to have caught up with so many beloveds across the globe in such a short space of time and to have made it to the wedding of a very very dear friend, shed a few tears when I first saw her step out in the stunning Westwood dress and danced wildly, high on jetlag and exhaustion for two nights in a row.

So, what’s keeping me on the conscious trail at the moment.

Yoga of course, I am back to being a student for a bit to improve my Italian. I am studying Iyengar yoga in Italian which is quite fascinating as I know the moves and the postures so well by know that I do them with my eyes closed so hearing all the directions and body parts in another language whilst I am moving seems to embed the language deep into my cells. And I just love the sound of Italian, the way it rolls like a soothing lullabye- in a yoga class at least not when you hear the way people shout at eachother or debate animatedly along the cobblestone streets. I’d love to be able to teach some classes here in Italian so I have also signedup for a language course. The course is SO much fun and more surreal than I ever imagined a language course to be. I do two hours a day of “conversatione”, discussing art, culture and current events all in Italian. I know my Italian is rapidly improving from this immersion yoga, daily life and conversatione all in Italian and I feel like I am getting smarter too- we actually debate what is in the news and it is such a fabulous motely crew of characters; each of us with completely different points of view. I love this little microcomsic celebration of diversity within a language class. And the best part is that it involves cooking lessons too in Italian of course- though really sort of glutinous pasta pizza type of recipes that are not actually in my diet- but every once ina  while a little gluten can be reeeeallly delicious eve if I feel like passing out and sleeping for hours afterwards. Gluten is basically glue in the stomach yuck.

After my morning Italian conversation class I sit down and go through rushes of the sound healing footage from Bali. I am looking for direct in roads to Channel4 or the BBC to see if they may comission this as a series and am half jotting down pitches for them. I intend to do that next- submit proposals for this project and what it could grow into as a series to Channel 4 and the BBC as I slowly assemble a roughcut at my own pace with the hopes that I will be enlisting the services of a professional editor in Cali or in London to polish it. I feel such a sense of duty now to all who let me film them, that is the thing I hate about having a camera is that moment when people start asking you when they can see a finished piece and it’s always waaaay before I am ready  to show anything or else a big hassle to try and meet the requests by digitising and transferring photo or video files to help them promote themselves or their buisness…. I guess as far as this project goes…I am working on it right now as a producer- submitting applications to tv and documentary comissioners and as an editor by assembling a roughtcut. Frankly it feels like I have bitten off more then I can chew right now and I at times want to smash the computer and just be fully presnt in Italy but then that would be sabotage as this computer is full of my words, songs and videos so I wont smash and I do frequently back it all up and I do just keep on trucking with more then I can chew in my gob as has always been the creative norm for me  “Go Bold or Go bust”. I have a new work mantra too now it is

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY & PASSION OVER POWER (Repeat 10 times everyday.)

I’ve also been revisiting the four agreements. Slightly wondering why I haven’t had this stuck on a fridge or somewhere obvious so I could read it everyday too.

10419578_10152713379843535_5354025454962250550_nI’ve also embraced a new affirmation that I stumbled upon when I was surfing podcasts. Finding this quote made me feel really sad for a moment as I realised just how hard I have tried to impress people throughout my life and how much of a relief it would be to stop doing that. To know that I am enough, that I have a ton of experiences and skills under my belt and to start paying more attention to who shows up and seems interested in me- personally and professionally rather then being a “let me entertain you” dancing monkey which I have definitely been at times too. I would like to become like a kung fu master who knows they could kill someone with their skills but would never do it for that is the integrity of a true master- to embody all that they have learnt and know whilst remaining humble, kind and honest- well yikes that’s a lot of work for me to do still- maybe I should take up Kung fu rather than just using it as a metaphor.

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I love podcasts and one of my favourite ways to relax is to have a long soak in a very hot bubble bath and listen to podcasts- usually about sex, tantra and relationships or maybe Ted Talks with passionate speakers ranting about empowerment, authenticity and healing…or maybe some kind of amazing music mix I find on soundcloud when I don’t want to hear the voice of anyone preaching or teaching at me.

I was recently reminded that it is not important to strive for mastery of the self but rather to work on self-acceptance every step of the way, forgiving myself for clumsy slipups, negative thinking and unconscious/lower vibration thoughts. words or actions- that is probably very much the true key to happiness- self acceptance.

I am becoming very aware these days of when my thoughts, words or actions are coming from a darker lower vibration place of fear, anger, mistrust, jealousy, control or a higher vibration place of love, and trusting that everything is as it should be.

I have been challenged massively a few times with this and what I notice as a repeat pattern is that everytime I listen to the darker materials and chose the lower vibration words or actions…things just get well worse! When I rise above and consciously choose to let go of controlling situations, to trust that all will be well- whadda ya know things work out just fine. So that’s a daily practise and I know in a place like Ubud or Findhorn or Esalen everyone is going around operating in that sort of conscious way but in all the cities I have been to- L.A being the worst actuall probably I can’t help but judge that people are just mostly ambitious, tough, vampires, schmoozing, using and looking for the next best thing… competing to be the best or get ahead and behaving in pretty ruthless ways seeming to have no conscience or sense of karma at all…

L.A is full of bulldozers!

I know thats a severe judgement and not a very fair statement but more of an observational stereotype…I met some good people living in Venice and reconnected with a bit of an angel who was one of my sort of mentors over the years so it’s not all dangerous there. Please recognize my judgements as low vibe silliness and take them with a pinch of salt and maybe even lol right now (cue the canned laughter from Friends).

For example, I was there in L.A for a meeting with a big film Producer about a project that I really want him to put into development, A filmmaking girl I have met once at a dinner party runs over shouting my name and gives me a space invading hug and sits down on the empty chair beside me, then proceeds to introduce herself to the Producer I am talking to and grills him about who he is and what he does and then seems to have no emotional intelligence or a ruthless determination as she dominates the table, pitching her movie project, flirting and moving in to sit really close to him, sends him a friend request on facebook whilst sitting there and then takes off with a wave. I felt bulldozed by this Alpha female who pretended to be my friend but wasn’t acting like a friend. and how did I deal with it? I shrank back and started to feel myself shutting down whilst  the coach voice in my head was saying “NO! Do not dissappear, do not become small, do not start to doubt your own worth… you need to be fully present right now and firing on all cylinders to impress this guy who might make your movies see the light of day in a big way”. As soon as she had left I shifted gears out of dealmaker mode and just wanted to chill so we might both want to hangout more and eventually work together on this project or something else. I really didn’t want to bombard him with ideas anymore after her intrusive intensity. The rest of our lunch was pretty pleasant but internally, I was struggling to shake off that fairly random person’s energy.

In hindsight that would have been a great moment for me to put up an energetic shield or just excuse myself maybe or even point blank told her to please go away because she was interrupting our meeting and I only had one day to make my movie dreams in Hollywood come true and these were really important meetings for me and she was messing with them…..or maybe I could have just sat back and enjoyed the show more, practising the art of detachment and learning how the bulldozers network in Hollywood…

I sometimes I feel easily drained by dominant personalities- the sort who laugh or speak loudly to be heard and seen totally irks me unless they actually are funny…

I also sometimes feel drained by the weight of other people’s problems and secrets. I am a keeper of secrets and I am proud of knowing I am very good at that…but I think it can be alienating to be so super sensitive or at times full of other people stuff. Sometimes being “strong” for others both professionally and personally can get a bit too much for me, so I do cleansing ceremonies with sage and palo santo, crystals and chanting to clear and heal and create space for me to show up more and to fully be present and at peace…to radiate my own frequency instead of absorbing those of others- that is really important stuff which I am realising is a necessity for survival- grounding and clearing!.

I don’t like to appear weak….which is stubborn so must be a part of my shadow…

I have learnt thought that that is inauthentic to always want to appear brave and strong.In a way this blog is about undoing that part of me that wants to rescue others and often ends up feeling drained in the process. This is about me eploring my inner maze and trying to make sense of that point where the inner world and the outer world meet and becoming more human and soft in the process…unless I am having a bad day or a down day and then the rants get heavier and expose much more of me then I would dare to put out there under my own name.

I have just sat down to do a small writing assignment which was completely inspiring and which I found very emotional. I have been writing letters to my teenage self and also from my future self to me now. It’s an experiment really. I believe in the law of attraction and I am experimenting with writing my life story from the point of view of a much older me looking back and also writing from my own point of view full of advice to a much younger me…I am very curious to see if anything of these almost predicitions will manifest and I am also full of blocks about wanting to write down only what I do actually want to manifest not what I don’t want to manifest- careful what you wish for right?

There is probably a book in all this but one I probably will not publish until I am dead. I will deliver it all as a document in a few days and upon first sitting down to write it, out poured about 20 000+ words over a few hours…and that is only the tip of the iceberg really of what I could deliver on that subject….when it flows it flows…

I am going to keep doing this blog thing until November at least and then I would like to publish a blogbook. There is definitely enough material and imagery up here for a book and I feel that “The Conscious Hipster” is a Zeitgeist title. I would flesh it out though with more handwritting lists, tips, quotes and ponderings I would like to maybe insert some interviews with well known speakers on the subjects of style and consciousness to deliver a book that is a eeting of those two worlds through my curated and mostly created text and imagery. I would like to publish a book that everyone I know would buy and give to their friends as a present (hopefully because the like it and not just to support me).

That’s my intention- one year of blogging and then I have more then enough content for a book. That would be one month away then so if you know a publisher who might be a good fit and if youare a publisher and you are reading this and you want to give me a book deal or an advance to keep blogging or just stop blogging and write it out as a book- I am very seriously up for that kind of a deal!

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Back to the consciousness…..and walking the talk….I know that’s all I really have to do in this lifetime and everything else is a frilly bonus. I just have to live, lern, grow and walk the talk- practise what I preach or better yet not preach at all just ramble it all out in freeflowing blogposts from time to time…and take some advice from Gandhi-Ji

“Be the change that I want to see”

Every step of the way and everyday…. be mindful of and forgive myself for the mistakes I make along the way.

Until the next time

(Are you a publisher or do you want me to write for you? Maybe you just want to say hello or tell me about the cool stuff you make or do? You can contact me here)