New Art Retreat in Spain

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My next art and walking retreat will be in a beautiful bohemian mountain farmhouse in Las Alpujarras in southern Spain.  One of the most beautiful locations I have ever seen.  The accommodation is in traditional Alpujarran style, with solar-powered hot water, compost loos, with the most amazing views and a wood burning stove for warmth in the evenings if needed.

I am aiming to hold the retreat in November 2018. Exact date to be confirmed.  The weather is often sunny and warm in November, with cooler evenings.   The retreat will be self-catered and there is a fully equipped kitchen.  The nearby town of Orgiva (a short walk away,) is lively and has lots of cafes, bars, shops, health food shop, and a Sufi vegan cafe restaurant called Baraka, which sells the most delicious food.  There is also a weekly outdoor colourful market.  I plan to take guests on a beautiful walk with a professional guide, up in the higher mountains to see ancient trade routes, natural springs, threshing floors, and beautiful nature surrounding.  There will also be a day of yoga and meditation.  The walk will not be too difficult and no climbing involved.

We will be painting together.  All tuition and art materials will be provided by me.  The painting classes will be based on my practice of meditative art in the lovely art studio.  Transport on the walking day will be provided.  Space is limited.  This retreat is for up to six people.

Email: alicejulietmason@gmail.com for more details.

 

 

 

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Nispero

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“Many take the path well-worn, but they are only given a half-lived life. To those willing to brave the unknown path, the dark thicket, a remembering of love, magic, and purpose returns. There is a wild woman under our skin who wants nothing more than to dance until her feet are sore, sing her beautiful grief into the rafters, and offer the bottomless cup of her creativity as a way of life. And if you are able to sing from the very wound that you’ve worked so hard to hide, not only will it give meaning to your own story, but it becomes a corroborative voice for others with a similar wounding.”

Toko-pa Turner, from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home” (belongingbook.com)

Painting by me.  The details for the online class for this simple painting can be found here:  https://www.alicemason.net/my-online-painting-course/

 

 

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More photos of a fleeting trip to the magic mountains.

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Alpujarras. La Taha.

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The Wanderer

“Embracing the archetype of the Wanderer, whether through an external journey or internal one, is what many people find themselves doing at key moments of transition. But wandering is not something that’s been traditionally associated with or available to women – perhaps because of the danger it entailed, or because their responsibilities wouldn’t allow for it.

In our cultural mythology, women who wander are perceived as threats, damaged goods, unsavory citizens, and far too often, victims of violence. These images distance us from setting off on our own, and bind us firmly to hearth and home, despite whatever desires burn in our hearts. But there are women who venture out despite the warnings. The woman willing to embrace the Wanderer archetype can shed confining roles and reinvent herself in new and remarkable ways.”

Author: Kristen Roderick

Painting The Red Veil, by me

Red Veil

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Passion.

la reina

Passion is the energy that love creates with no object other than itself.
The energy born of love is creative – it makes everything it touches new. To see how passionate you are, look around at what you have created.
The source of passion is within yourself. When pasion wanes, it must be rekindled at its source.
Deepak Chopra.

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The Blue Room 2

the blue room 2

Painting in my Etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/601308960/the-blue-room

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Primavera

PrimaveraNew painting

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Random Recollections of Phoenix

I was sitting and painting just now, and randomly remembered the first time I went to Phoenix, Arizona.  I hadn’t been in America long and was working for a start-up magazine, as a P.A.  I was staying at a friend of a friend’s house, with a woman with whom I got on really well. She was a nurse called Pat.  She lived in a place you never find in England or Europe.  It was more like a holiday-let, with swimming pools, laundromats, community centres and little walkways between cactus gardens, and apartments with small ‘yards’ which were more like terraces or patios with little walls surrounding,  and all was on ground level.  No one walked anywhere, ever.  Even to go to the grocer’s shop (the market as they called it,)  two minutes away, people would jump in their 4 by 4s and go ’round the corner for a pint (or quart) of milk.. I would walk.  I was the only one walking, as I was in L.A. when I lived there..

One day,  (I was only there briefly,) Pat announced to me that we had been invited to a ‘naked party’ with her doctor and nurse friends.  A naked party.  I remember the name of the doctor.. It was sort of a secret.  I was a little nervous, but took it all in my stride.  My life was often strange back then, as I allowed the weirdness and welcomed it..

We turned up, were offered drinks, (margaritas) and everyone casually disrobed.  (I don’t remember how.. maybe they slipped into a bath robe, which slowly came off.  I think I was handed a bath robe (towelling) and put it on, and later slipped it off.  Perhaps as the margaritas took effect, the bath robes slowly fell off.  I cannot remember clearly.  However I remember it being fun and pretty harmless.  People played volley ball.  Naked men in sun-visors, peering into bushes (of the plant variety) for lost balls (of the volley-variety..)  It was surreal.  Naked bottoms tilting towards the sun in search of balls lost to bushes.. I also remember mild flirtations.  We were all in the jaccuzzi.  Me and a load of doctors and nurses.. I was a fair bit younger than they were.  I was only about twenty five or six and the others were around  thirty five, forty and fifty.  I did keep my undies on.  I was the only one who did though.  It was nice, sunny, warm and strange.   As I later recounted this to my American friend Elizabeth, she found it so funny, because she thought as an outsider, not an American, that I must have thought this was the sort of thing Americans did all the time, which did cross my mind..I had no idea really, but they don’t.  It was the early nineties.  America was really quite conservative.    And in my five years in California thereafter, I never was invited to another naked party.  And you could get fined for being topless on the beach.

I also recall another aspect of conservatism of the time, in California.  It was against the law in Beverly Hills ( and possibly still is, unlike in Europe) to drink beer at a sidewalk cafe.  My friends and I asked for a beer outside.  The (French) waiter said he would see what he could do, and he brought our beer out to us in a huge white teapot, with three cups.  What a genius idea.

I loved Phoenix though.  It was like being on the moon, compared to the UK.  I think the naked party was in Scottsdale; the posh bit of Phoenix.  I loved how, as you were driving, that you would drive around a mountain which was just ‘there’ like a huge red pyramid in the middle of a vast flat city with huge pinky-blue skies..

I had a job for a week painting a mural at a doctor’s house (one that I had met at the naked party.)  I was painting the mural by his swimming pool.  It was hot.  So very very hot.  Maybe 110 degrees fahrenheit.  I would paint, get too hot, then jump in the pool to cool off.. would dry off while painting, then jump back in the pool..  It was so bright, the light.  I remember coming in from outside, my eyes so unaccustomed to being indoors, walked into my guest bedroom and walked straight into the edge of the coffee table.  I still have the scar on my shin.  A few days later, people were driving around with bumper stickers declaring they had survived the 110 degree heatwave.

Sonoran-Desert

 

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The Longest Winter

It feels like we are emerging from the longest winter I can ever remember.  Being mercurial by nature, I wonder how I have survived.  I am very affected by barometric pressure and lack of sunlight.  I tried one of those SAD lamps and they made no difference whatsoever.  However I realised they are very good for painting in low light, which is how I now use mine.  I have kept sane by walking religiously for 40 minutes each day.  I am so lucky to have a beautiful green space with a cliff path overlooking the sea to walk along daily, but the rain this winter rendered the path so muddy it was virtually impassable, so I donned my wellies and hiking poles and waded through every day; through wind, snow, rain, sludge and mud, slipping and sliding and sometimes shouting out of sheer frustration.  I refused to join a gym with that path on my doorstep.  I feel like walking re-formats my mind and body.  I can feel the endorphins kick in after 20 minutes and I return home happy.

I also decided, alongside my sporadic teaching jobs, that I would paint sun and warmth, if the sun wouldn’t come out.  So I wanted to channel a bit of Mexico and a bit of Spain, (although according to friends, Spain has been through a couple of months of unusual cold and rain, so I didn’t make my default getaway there.)  So here are my latest paintings:  ‘Frida and the Tree of Life’ and ‘Red Planets and Hills.’

In my Etsy shop:

 https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/593995400/red-planets-and-hills

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/592686636/frida-and-the-tree-of-life

All paintings on this blog are my copyright.  Copyright Alice Mason 2018.

Frida and the Tree of LifeRed planets and Hills 1

 

 

 

 

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