For my future art retreats I will be simplifying; offering meditative, gentle guidance, setting intentions, using guided meditations, tools such as ‘inspiration bundles’ to construct narratives, knowing the painting as secular prayer and meditation. Using some of the tools I have learned from others, but mainly teaching my own techniques. Teaching the methods I use such as painting my birds, how to paint a face, glazing, colour washes, pattern, how to bring forms forward or push them back through glazes. Some of the under-painting can be used through abstracted techniques, adding white, or leaving white space, using words as under-painting too. Under-painting using three colours we are drawn to.. techniques such as glazing and stippling. Working from my favourite themes: Goddess archetypes, the Divine Feminine, Jungian archetypes, shamanic and alchemical totems, sacred geometry, pattern, ornament, process and intuitive painting. Using music alongside too. I will work with others who can offer complementary insights and teachings: music, yoga, sound healing, gong baths, walking, touring. Set intentions for students who bring humility and graciousness.
For me, there must always be the still-point. The point where you find the zone, where the painting is painting itself through you as the conduit. Or you come to a point where there is no need for words. This is my intention in my art practice and in teaching.
Some photos above and below of the recent retreat. Some moments of which were truly wonderful. The connection and raw honesty with the beautiful students. Terre’s energy and enthusiasm. We packed so much into the Seed Retreat. Walking in the Alpujarra, visiting Granada, a flamenco night, beautiful healthy food cooked by Steve for every meal, yoga and belly dancing in the mornings, painting in the studio, making hand-covered books, guided meditations, inspiration bundles to create narratives, painting ‘our alchemical selves’.
Walking in the Alpujarra and the connection I find to that place and the joy it gives me.
Connection, communication, grace, humility, humour and reverence/irreverence. The sacred and the profane.. Laughter, sharing our stories and fun.
My huge thanks to Terre Cerridwyn Busse, Steffi Goddard and Steven Robinson for all the amazing contributions, guidance, energy, creativity and friendship.
I want to facilitate meditative/ contemplative art, aligned with intention / manifestation using painting as the prayer or seed for future retreats. This is my offering. I will find a place in the Alpujarra and offer my own truth in teaching and art practice.
Below is the process Terre used for the Seed Retreat: Note well; this is not my technique, but one that Terre used and adapted as learned from Shiloh Sophia. I find many of the aspects of it are in line with my own philosophy. Shiloh Sophia and I have appeared in several publications together, including the Soulful Woman guidance cards and a Reve-Elles Agenda Lunaire book.
1. Visualization or guided journey to find symbols, animals, seeds, basket of our tools and meet future self. Write about it.
2. Paint our intention for the painting onto the canvas in a few words. Or paint a blessing onto the canvas.
3. Pick any three colours you are drawn to. Use one of the colours to paint any symbols you saw in visualization. Another colour to paint the path. And the last colour to paint the river or the crossing. Can use the spray bottle to let paint drip. Then mix all the colours and add “glow” – painting all around the images you just painted. Leave lots of white space on the canvas still.
4. Next outline your image in a light or dark colour – depending on the colour of your image so far. For face it is a series of U shapes. For the face a big “u” with a tail – for one side of the neck. Add the other side of neck. Next eye brows. Then closed eyes. Nose tip. Nostrils. Upper lip – mountain shape – line peaks up with where nostrils go. Next bottom of top lip. Then bottom lip. Ears. Chin. You can open eyes by putting an upside down flat “u” shape and adding eye and pupil. Remember eye and pupil are not a full circle, but meet the upper eye lid. Next add hairline and outline of hair. Can also add adornments if you want. All is outline at this point.
5. Next use a light colour – or mix a color with white and add dappling all around painting. Like dappled sunlight through leaves.
6. Lights and darks next. Pick a light colour and a darker colour for lights and shadow. Add lights to rounded areas on face. Examples: forehead, below eyebrow, eye lid, checks, tip of nose and nostrils, upper lip and lower lip, chin. Shadows go on the down side of the facial curves and Neck under chin. And add more detail as feel inspired to.
7. Blocking in with colour. Next we picked two colours plus white. You can mix the white with each of the other colours. And begin to add blocks of colour to the outlined image you have. Again, leave areas where the under glow or under colours show through.
8. Next we added warrior marks – significant things that happened in your life. They don’t define you but they are a part of who you are. Or the Line of Unavoidable Tragedy – this is something that happened that you may not have forgiven yourself for. Or paint a box to represent your old framework, then paint an open box showing your are breaking the old way, then a shape to signify how you responded to that old way, then a line to signify no more will that be true. And a small dot to say, “I will not play small to make others feel better”. (?) (NB: perhaps it’s a cultural thing, but I find this very curious how this bit (the dot) doesn’t resonate with me.. a philosophical debate needed for this…)
You can spray bottle all of these and let drip if you want, you can also paint a symbol to represent anything else you are letting go of.
9. Sit with painting and write. Does your painting have things to tell you? What story does it want you to know?
10. Add any details that came up during the writing that are important. Remember these can be symbols that represent something to you.
11. Pick your final three colours for your image and begin to paint in your image. Stick with three to start. But feel free to add more as needed for detail etc. This was the painting. Remember to leave “glow” or the under colour in places. Makes the image interesting.
12. Add lights and shadow back in as needed. Add any more detail or images that want to be there. Add decorations. Dots. Textures.
13. The last step is to sit with your image and let it tell you a story. I suggested that we write from the perspective of the painting. But you can do this many ways. Have fun.’