Tag Archives: art your heart out

Snow falls. Feathers drop. Birds sing.

As light as a feather, the bird’s song fell into my heart and lifted me up in joy.

It was an evening of laughter, joy and creativity.

Seven of the 9 people registered for the course weathered the snow and made it to Kensington Art Supply for my Art Your Heart Out Journalling Course.

It was inspiring. Energizing and above all, for me, it felt so right. So like… this is where I’m meant to be. This is what makes me come alive.

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There is something sublimely pleasing about sharing what you love with others eager to experience the joy of creating.

One of the areas I was a little concerned about is that at the beginning of the workshop, I do a guided meditation meant to stimulate creativity and help people discover the words that will guide their creative exploration.

I’m not always sure people will ‘get into’ it. That they won’t think I’m weird, it’s weird, like seriously? What’s that all about. (Yeah, I know. That critter is an annoyance I don’t need to listen to — but man. He sure can be persistent!)

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Which is why it’s wonderful that my inner wisdom voice understands the value of such an exercise and overrode the critter who kept trying to insist I skip it and just ‘get on with the workshop’.

At the end of the evening, some of the women commented on that particular exercise, telling me how it helped them relax into the evening and become more open to the experience.

Music to my ears, and heart.

I am feeling tired this morning, but it pales in the presence of the gratitude, joy, calmness that fills me up.

Part of what is filling me up is how engaged everyone was. How everyone created something uniquely ‘of them’. In each creation the beauty of the individual’s heart and inner glow was evident.

One of the things I absolutely adore and find inspiring is how, when a group of women get together, even strangers, they quickly settle into ‘friendspeak’ and collaboration. It was evident at the table last night as the women chatted and shared ideas, support, and encouragement of one another.

It was beautiful.

Thank you, Jane (your help setting up and gathering up at the end of the evening was invaluable. Actually, just having you there helped calm my nerves and gave me joy!)

Thank you, Evelyn, Charlotte, Nathalie, Ghislaine, Dantry and Linda for braving the snowy roads and bringing your beautiful selves to the table and for sharing your delightful light with each of us. You made the evening very, very special. And I love how you expressed yourselves so creatively and beautifully!

Namaste.

PS. And for those of you in more ‘gentle’ climes, this is the view outside my window as I type this morning. Winterwonderland!

 

Colour Me Excited

Last Saturday I christened my “Wild at Heart Studio” with six lovely women who came to explore, create, play and shine.

It was wonderful!

On November 19th, I am leading my first workshop @KensingtonArtSupply – a huge step for me – to offer an art workshop outside my own safe space! In this case, it is an art journalling workshop — Art Your Heart Out!  Colour me excited!

There was a time when I said I couldn’t paint. I had no artistic ability.

And then, I discovered how wrong I’d been about something I’d told myself all my life. (I was in my mid-forties when this revelation came to me!)

Hmmm…. I wondered. If I’m wrong about that, what other limiting beliefs am I holding that might be keeping me in place, stopping me from doing things outside my comfort zone?

Delving into artistic expression has been a life-giver. It has created space for me to explore my world in all its many colours, textures, shades and shadows. And, it’s enriched my life by giving me the inspiration to create opportunities for others to find their own creative expressions.

Years ago, when I first started working in the homeless-serving sector at a large adult homeless shelter, I started an art program. A church had donated funds for art-making that had sat unused for two years. I went out, bought some supplies and then invited clients of the shelter to join me on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons for creative play.

That program connected us in ways we could not imagine. It shone a spotlight on our humanity, our shared human condition and our capacity to create even in the face of abject poverty, sadness, loss. Providing space for others to delve into their creative core in the otherwise stark and soul-crushing world of homelessness was healing, affirming, possibility-filled.

That space was an opportunity for everyone to reconnect to that which homelessness crushes down — our humanity. Rather than being identified as the label “homeless”, both participants and those who volunteered in the studio, who came to our art shows and other productions were connected through the creative process to that which makes our world more caring, kind and beautiful — the creative expression of our human condition.

That program gave me a creative outlet and an opportunity to invite people to engage with individuals experiencing homelessness in more positive and supportive ways. It also taught me about my own human condition; its frailties, blind-spots, glory.

Just as back then when I started that art program I did not know where it would lead, (it resulted in some amazing other projects and creative expressions I could not have imagined if I hadn’t simply stayed present to the possibilities), I do not know where my creativity workshops will lead me. I do know, I’ll go nowhere different if I do nothing.

Yesterday, as I reorganized my studio and then spent time playing, I felt myself coming home to myself with all my being present to the beauty and wonder of the moment.

This morning, as I sit at my desk in my studio, looking out at the snow-covered grass, the bare branches of the trees lining the river, the sun shining on the waters flowing past, I feel myself connected to the amazing ordinary grace of this moment.

I breathe deeply into the wonder and awe, revel in the ordinary and extraordinary life that flows through me and say a prayer of gratitude.

Ah yes. This is life.

Beautiful. Joyful. Filled with awe and wonder, inexplicable moments of sadness and sorrow, breath-taking moments of radiance and light.

This is life.

How blessed I am to feel it flowing through me, connecting me to this world of limitless possibility.

Namaste

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Thank you JT, JD, JR, SC, WC and BB for creating such glorious magic in this space.

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As part of the workshop I created mini art journals for each participant and then demonstrated how they could create their own. As well, eveyone painted salt dough hearts I’d prepared and spent time just playing with ink, paint, water, paper and medium. What fun!