Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Blooming Magical

I'm just gathering my self together to reflect on my trip to Estoril, Portugal.  

Where to start?  I'll start with the kitchen window as this just made me take a breath.... Oh to have windows that open inwards (why do they not do that in the UK? )   I was staying in a lovely Portuguese guest house apartment above Margarida's language school and it really was so charmingly lovely...  

I took the time before the workshop to write, journal, rest and recharge before Flora Bowley's Bloom True workshop, which took place in Margarida Alberty's  Art Studio.  

It was all just truly bloomingly lovely.  

Effortlessly, Flora coached us to not fear the blank canvas, to move with music and to begin by mark-making.  Such FUN.   I have never done anything like this before.  I have never been to an art class, nor have I painted 'large'.  She also planted the seed of non-attachment within a painting. What she meant by this was - to 'let go' within the painting and to not become attached to parts of the painting but to BE BOLD and MOVE forward as the painting constantly changes.  We were always turning the painting, to see what we could see, from another direction.  We also spent time looking back, from the other side of the room and this had a huge impact on me.  

In fact, it was quite an Aha Moment!

I reconnected with an urgency to paint and to have Flora's experience by my side, it was just wonderful.  We were only 9 in the class, so we had so many opportunities to watch her, ask her and just bathe in the lushness of her artistic flair.  

Changes to canvases were happening by the minute!

At the end of day one. Phew, that was some painting class.  
10am till 7pm

I began to see swirls and circles wherever I walked that night.  This was the local supermarket boarding.

Watching Flora paint was meditative, to say the least.

After 2 days, one of my canvases looked like this.  I would have liked to spend more time on this piece but I think I may leave her now and start on a new canvas, a much bigger one and just 'go for it'.  I love painting this way and I'm sure it will add to my Jules Dolly Art, but this releases another part of me that I never knew about!

My two finished pieces.  

Our group: (Margarida is taking the pictures) 

To complete the weekend, we went to a lovely Portuguese restaurant where we laughed and laughed (and enjoyed some sangria!)

I'm still floating and there's more for me to reflect upon, but I felt that I wanted to post my initial, raw, thoughts from the workshop in Portugal.  Thanks Flora, Thanks Margarida and Thank you creative spirits that were in the group.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Off to Portugal

Flora Bowley

On Wednesday I'm off to Portugal.  Take a breath Jules... it has come round sooo quickly and I'm not quite prepared for what I'm about to do.

I'm going to Bloom True, to take a 2 day workshop with Flora Bowley.  I have loved and do love her work and I'm pretty excited to be learning a different stylee of painting.  Having had no real painting tuition, we're going to be completing 2 big canvases (by big, around 75cmx75cm).   Wow.  How on earth am I going to get them home on Easy Jet.

I had really wanted to go on the Do What You Love Retreat in Yorks organised by Beth Nicholls, which happened recently, and from the feedback from my friend DillyBoo Swirly Girl that looked amazing (Flora did a 3 day workshop there) Check out Dilly Boo's painting, it's amazing!  So I saw the workshop that was suddenly put on in Portugal and in talking it over with Will, decided that it could be a real retreat for me.  A Re-Treat.   So I'm going Wednesday, returning Monday and will have 2 days on my own there, 2 days to explore Lisbon and the area where I'm staying, which I think is called Estoril?  I'll be back on Monday and hopefully have in my possession 2 canvases.  Here's hoping so. xx

A bit about Flora Bowley

She is an internationally celebrated painter, teacher, inspirationalist, and world traveler. Flora believes there are no mistakes in the creative process and strives to do something new in every piece.  Her unique process of layering free-flowing color with natural forms and expressive mark-making combine to create lush paintings born from the present moment; chaotic, subtle, mystical and ever-changing.  

Flora lives and works full-time as a painter in Portland, OR, where she is inspired by magical forests, abundant gardens and a thriving community of fellow artists. Throughout the year, Flora enjoys traveling, painting, and teaching her “Bloom True” workshops in colorful locations around the world.  Her work can be found in numerous galleries and also on a variety of unique products made in collaboration with the uber-groovy paper goods company, Papaya.  She is currently working on a top-secret book due to be released in the Spring of 2012.

One of Flora's many paintings "Deep Peace"

Monday, 9 May 2011

Jules Dolly Workshop Success

Anyone who delivers workshops know that the preparation and toolkit required can be quite hefty.  I have spent my fair share over these last 10 years delivering and facilitating workshops within employment and within my own self employment. Workshops based on a self-development theme, e.g. Vision Board, lots of activities that require preparation and group work.

However, it NEVER ceases to amaze me how much stuff I take to a Healing Art Workshop! 

I love it!  

The colour and the textures, the shapes and the smells.  

I have a checklist and tick things off as I gather my supplies.  Never forgetting incense, my playlist and ipod speakers plus my tibetan symbols to clear the energy.   Setting up, the room looked like a children's tea-party.  I was only able to access the room an hour before, and boy, could I have done with 2 hours? Yep!

It looked great.  Coverings on the floor, coverings on the back of each seat and lovely wash away tablecloths.  

All our 8 ladies turned up, 2 from Lytham St Anne's near Blackpool, 2 from Kirkham, near Preston, and 4 from Liverpool.  I was so excited to share the process.

After introductions, I asked everyone to write down their worry on a post it note and sealed it in a silver foil dish.  Anything that may have been troubling them: "Am I good enough to do this?" "Will I find my way home after", "I should be spending time doing something else today".  Whatever their worry (and some wrote a few), they all were popped into the foil dish to be put to one side and with the aim that it would not be at the forefront of their mind during the day.  

Funny, I forgot to ask if they wanted their worry back at the end!  Maybe they wanted to take someone else's home with them?!!  

In clearing up, I put the foil dish in the bin bag - so noone gets any worries!!


Things got well under way and before we knew it, everyone was getting stuck in, preparing their background with collage material, tissues, papers, felt, fabric.  They had all brought a rich supply of their own, which was wonderful.   This was an introduction, however some of the ladies had done collage before, scrapbooking, acrylics, and we even had an art school grad in the mix.  So in using my Jules Dolly template everyone created such a different end result.  Don't you just LOVE it when that happens?

We had to break for lunch, and it gave everyone a chance to have a walk around the wildflower centre, visit the little gift shop and enjoy the break in the rainy clouds - they were so kind to us yesterday, just when we stopped for lunch.  

You know what it's normally like when you go to workshops, everyone drags themselves back into the afternoon session, feeling the affects of the lunch, people tend to droop.  Not this GANG! Oh no!

They were back in before our lunch time had finished and eager to carry on with their dolly canvas.

The room was a real healing zone - a meditative space - contemplation was happening.  At times there was chatter, certain moments I would be talking, guiding, visiting each of them to assist and advise.  Other points in the afternoon, we listened to music, and it was quiet.  Blissful Healing Art in the Make.  

I was so taken aback by what they achieved.  In an Hour and Half just as we stopped for lunch, they had formed their background and fixed Dolly Template.  In the afternoon, they steamed ahead and by 3.30, they were finishing off and signing their names.  Truly Remarkable.    

Magic happens when healing art is given the space to appear.  I felt that happen yesterday and I'm sure they did too.  So before I write far too much - here's a round-up of all the lovely ladies and their finished paintings.  







It was a special day.  

I'm planning the next one and the next one and the one after that.

With love
Jules xx

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Lamplight Rennovation

The original lampshade
Have you ever looked at something in your house and thought that you could do something to spruce them up?  Well we have 2 lamps and the lampshades are looking somewhat plain.  There and then I decided I was going to renovate.  I really am on a splurge here.  It's all good!

I have lots of small pieces of paper that I use in my mixed media paintings and I wondered how they'd look if I collaged them on to the lampshade.  

So I did!

Of course it helps when the sun is shining and I can sit and stick.

I also had a shirt that I didn't wear anymore but had a lovely pattern on it, so I began cutting it up!  Very cathartic.  Nothing to waste in this house.

Here are the finished pieces.

This is the fabric lampshade
This is the paper leftovers

Lots of Love
Jules xx

Only 4 days to go until my Create your Cocoon Canvas workshop at the National Wildflower Centre

You May Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...