The Well Within

I’m reading Soulistry by June Mack Maffin in BOD-P with the gorgeous women who have opted in to deepening their journal art experience with me. Every week I release a PDF and full length video in which I ‘art to’ a prompt contained within the book. While not formally instructive, these videos do cover supplies & techniques as well as my own musings on the subject we’re tackling that week.

It’s mahoosively fun, and the work around self-inquiry that I see being done is totally gobsmacking. Totally. *Awestruck*

This week, we’re talking about digging deep and letting the waters of the well within flow. In response, I made a Glastonbury inspired painting of what could be Mary Magdalene or Morgan Le Fey or a mermaid. Who knows. What I do know is that I spent two hours in the zone. Here’s what I made:

She’s wearing a pendant that’s modeled after the cover of the Chalice Well. I sewed it on. Fun, fun! Around her hair and face, I’ve included portions of The Charge of The Goddess by Doreen Valiente.

Here’s a close up of her tender face.

She’s truly mixed media. I used mark makers, water soluble materials, acrylics, charcoal, spray inks, all on a piece of watercolour paper.

While Soulistry and what we’re doing within it is definitely very much a part of the Book Of Days experience, it is also a beautiful stand alone experience. If all I ever did from week to week was sit down to make my Soulistry inspired spread, I’d be satisfied. I intend to begin releasing these full length videos and PDFs as standalone, instantly delivered ‘mini workshops’ for a nominal fee ($5 per mini-workshop) with a Facebook group set up so those who are ‘in it’ can be ‘in it’ together. Info about that will go up shortly. If you’d rather get the full meal deal, signing up for BOD Premium will get you in for all of BOD plus Elements plus Soulistry. It’s a sweet deal.

Here’s a Time Lapse version of the hour plus long video that was released in BOD-P yesterday.

Thanks go out to June Mack Maffin who has been sharing the link to the BOD page since she previewed some of the work being done in Soulistry. She approves. :) We are very stoked to have her as a guest in our platform so she may witness the beauty her book is creating in the world.

Pure Joy

This is the year of my Camino-grueling pilgrimage in journal art, which means that I rarely get to just play for the sake of play. Please note: this is not a complaint. Just a fact. :) I love doing what I’m doing in BOD and moving into week 17, I honestly can’t remember how I used to spend my days. Things are structured now in a way that has completely incorporated journal art (and therefore self-inquiry) into my life.

It’s pretty darned wonderful.

But sometimes a girl has to take a break from digging around in the deep stuff (difficult and triumphant as the case may be) and just *play*. Just plaaaaaaaaaaaaay. (Those of you who watch my videos probably *heard* that as you read it. :))

Play for the sake of nothing more than play is pure joy. It is the stuff that feeds the soul ~ and we’re not talking about junk food, either. Play is full meal deal. The pick and choose exactly what you want and eat it roll out of the restaurant you’re so stuffed up on good stuff meal.

Sometimes I forget. :)

It’s Saturday here in the little house that could and I’m ignoring the urge to make headway in the projects I’m involved in. I sat down with my Strathmore Visual Journal (9×12 ~ JUICY SIZED!) and I *played*. Just played.

Heavy body paint. Brayer. Acrylic inks. Fluid acrylics. Metallic paints. Stencil. Black gesso. White pen.

Joy.

I had a blast.

Here’s a video to prove it:

***
How’s your weekend shaping up?

Love & Glitter,

The Effinator

Tamara LaPorte, NVC, and Much Squee!

I realized today as I had a Skype session with Tam that while I have thrown a lot of glitter her way in terms of telling people I LOVE HER and she changed my life, I haven’t actually said why!

I must change this. Stat. So, here’s a video:

Here’s more information about NVC.

Here’s Tam’s Happy Place For Making Art: Willowing!

Here’s Tam’s Blog!

Here’s more about Life Book 2012!

Here’s the AWESOME blog post I mentioned by Kelly Diels (who I am totally crushing on!)

Later, my raspberry filled frosted poptarts!

Love & Glitter,

Effy

Ten Steps Forward, Five Steps Back

Yesterday was MAHOOSIVELY AWESOME in so many ways, I stopped counting at fifty. I do this thing these days where every time something GOOD happens, I write it down. It’s Andrea Schroeder’s fault, really. She recommends this in her Creative Dream Incubator, and while I usually REFUSE TO DO HOMEWORK, I was compelled to take this practice up.

I’m so glad I did.

Something is happening. Shifting. My awareness is no longer sucked into the vortext of OMG DOOM as easily as it once was. Shit happens, and more often than not, I find myself shrugging. Okay, well, whatevs. What juicy bit of HAPPY can I find in the next ten minutes?

It’s not denial. Denial feels all jaw clenched and taking it. Imagine me dressed in a kilt, wielding a sword, covered in blue woad paint…THAT’S it. Right there. Visual sweet spot. This feels like freedom. FREEDOM! FREEEEEEDOM!

***

Today is NOT one of those days. It’s an anxiety day. I’m all “OMG DOOM” despite my best efforts to curb it. I think I need to move my body or something. Move that adrenaline out of the blood stream. Sweat it out. And I will. But I wanted to make note of this:

Change happens in fits and starts. 

(Effyone, are you listening?)

It’s all ten steps forward and five steps back. 

And that’s okay. I can be gentle with myself. I can let myself do this dance without self-recrimination because I am unfolding as I meant to. Some of my conditioning is really stubborn. Some of it has taken decades to unravel. I can TRUST that it will unravel in good time, but not if I bludgeon myself over the head about not unraveling it fast enough. It’s unraveling as it should. I can trust that.

I know why I’m anxious and I’m doing my best to fix it but it is something that isn’t within my control. (I HATE THAT!) I am afraid I upset someone without even knowing when or how. I am filling in the blanks where silence is. I am all “WHAT DID I DO?”

Probably nothing. 

But triggery girl is triggery, and I need to roll with it when the anxiety kicks in. No amount of talking myself out of it works. Movement helps. Arting helps. Self-care (of the EXTREME rose absolute in the bath water, candlelight, chocolate and soothing music variety) helps.

This lovely meditation helps to. In the spirit of inviting the flow of goodness and ease and relaxation back into my anxiety addled body, I want to share it with you.

I’m off to soak in rose absolute and then I’m going to art this out. <3

UPDATE

See, Effyone? It was totally nothing. *grins sheepishly and goes about her day*

Persephone (w/VIDEO)

DSC_0006Persephone is very much alive for me right now in the dance the earth is doing with the sun. I love her story and her symbols. Seeds. Pomegranates. The descent to the Underworld and the return. The mother (Demeter) who grieves for her and in her grief witholds her gifts from the world until her daughter is returned to her once more. 

I went hunting for Persephone poems tonight and found a few that really rocked my world. They were all found in this extraordinarily fine poetry quarterly that I'd never heard of but stumbled across in my search. I believe the title of the quarterly comes from a poem called "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rosetti ~ one of the first poems I read out loud for the sheer joy of the words on my tongue, and the first poem that made me cry the ugly, snotty, red faced cry that one prefers to cry in private. 

Serendipity feels spring-like, doesn't it? 

Let me explain. 

I am a blocked poet. A lot of you have read that in my bio. I started arting because I couldn't write, and prior to the block, writing had been the way I got through *everything*. Having no outlet, no means of creative expression was *killing me* and if you think I'm kidding, I'm not. I was so depressed I could barely get out of bed. It was the winter of my discontent. I was Demeter in those dark days, grieving, only I felt that the gifts associated with Spring ~ inspiration, new beginnings, poems ~ were being denied to me. 

In pursuit of a deeper understanding of the divine feminine inspired by my experience in The Red Madonna, I recently went looking for some poems I'd written that I *thought* were about people in my life, but realized were actually about The Mother/Sister/Crone. A few tweaks, and yes. These were poems about longing, about wanting, about women, about sisterhood, about the divine. The *very week* I did this, I got notification about the monthly Red Madonna call in which we were invited to read our own writings. 

How do you say no when the Universe comes knocking in such an obvious way?

You don't.

So, I swilled two glasses of CabSauv, and I got on that call, and I lit a candle, and I read.

Here they are. As an aside, I write as 'F. Stuart' and have since 1997. 

This Is What It Is To Want                          

As though it's spring and I hear water
lick my lips, prepare my mouth to open wider.

As though sense receives a hint of herbal green
in the last white days  of dying winter.

As though heat hovers over what is cold;
lit match over wick, 
winged mother over egg
or open, wanting beak.

As though there is no water near,
winter is new, 
the match won't flare to life and 

the mother bird, fallen, flightless, 
is silent, 
empty bone and feather.

As if she always was, went from me
and is returning.

As if she never was, never,
and is now beginning.

©F. Stuart 

 ***

Magdalene's Mirror                                                  

Unlike silver on glass
giving back
only what crosses the face;

clenched jaw, nod, smile, furrow.

She is black ink in water
three a.m. river
sipped Shiraz in the
lupine hour.

Not cheaply bought

in press board gilt frame.

Magadalene’s mirror.
Dreamed of sister.
Under skin twin.

©F. Stuart

***

Remembering that I once wrote, that I could write, that I may write again brought me into stark awareness of the return of Persephone in my life. She just arrived, holding a pomegranate and offering the juice as ink, beckoning me to take a taste, wiping her mother's grieving eyes. 

Here's the video

 

A thousand thank-yous to JournalArtista who demonstrated the stencil technique I used to create the background, and to Shiloh McCloud who is teaching me oodles about painting stylized, iconic portraits. 

Supplies Used
(wherever possible, I link to my source for these products) 

Strathmore Visual Journal 9 x 12
Frog Tape (great masking tape that seals against acrylic paint)
Liquitex Basics paint
Stencil by Julie Fei Fan Balzer (purchased from The Art House Store)
Baby wipes. :D
Dylusions by Dyan Reavely
Stewart Gill Paint
Copic Multiliner 
Floral stamp by Donna Downey
Pan Pastels
Archival ink in black by Ranger
Sakura Gelly Roll (metallic) 

Music by my 'art-to-guy', Anugama. 

Inspiration provided by Persephone and her glorious return from the Underworld. Thanks, Hades. We'll send her back soon. xo

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