Listening into our Natural World

The Earth has music for those who listen.
~ George Santayana

February already, and Valentines Day as well. I hope that you are treating yourself to something delightful today. It's been so humid here that even a walk on the beach late in the day isn't bringing much relief. But our art journal group is in action and creating some pages to add to our collection. Here is a nature inspired journal entry from a recent prompt.

Some inspiration to create by today. "Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes -- the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae -- for 45 years. In that time, he has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practices thought to be environmentally safe. A surprising look at what we can learn through nature's symphonies."

Something I learned from watching today, is that every tree makes a difference.

Art journal prompt should you care to participate: create something from a Ted Talk that has inspired you.

Some more inspiration from Louie Schwartzberg. "Louie is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who captures breathtaking images and stories that celebrate life -- revealing connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty. His notable career spans feature films, television shows, commercials and documentaries. He won two Clio Awards for TV advertising, including best environmental broadcast spot, an EMMY® nomination for best cinematography and the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award for the feature film "America's Heart & Soul."

His new film, Wings of Life for Disneynature, won Best Theatrical Program at the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards 2012, and also won a Best Cinematography Roscar Award. He is currently directing Mysteries of the Unseen World, a 3D large format film for National Geographic. Louie is active in the TED community, having spoken at the TED 2011 conference in Long Beach, CA, TEDxSan Francisco and TEDxJackson Hole. His YouTube videos have collected over 25 million views. He is also launching Moving Art™ on Panasonic Smart TV's this fall, an IPTV channel that will inspire, entertain and transform the home viewing screen into an emotional immersive user preference experience."

As the sun sets on 2017

As the sun sets on 2017 I want to wish you and yours, peace for your soul, love for your heart, and a space for your creativity.

Join me in 2018 to explore your creativity, through The Artist's Way, Mindfulness and Expressive Art Journalling.

The Great Round of Mandalas - Stage Five

The Stand Point Mandala. To create a stand point mandala, stand on a piece of paper, draw an outline around your feet. Afterwards, draw a circle on the page to contain your feet. Then decorate.

Stage five of the great round. What do you stand for in this world? It can be a challenge to stand and speak out for what you believe in this world. To not hide out, or to remain quiet.

What do you stand for? | Heather McPhie | TEDxBozeman
Olympic freestyle mogul skier Heather McPhie talks about goal-setting, self motivation, and a journaling system that she used to push herself to succeed.

"We assert our beliefs when we take a stand on an issue. We also may stand and be counted when we cast a vote in support of an issue in a democratic process. In these instances we demonstrate verbally or physically that we are present and that we have a personal point of view. We may stand to be seen so that others will know that we are present. In taking these actions we assert the importance of our existence and proclaim our presence as a unique individual with our own identity." ~Suzanne Fincher in The Mandala Workbook.

ART 180: "What Do You Stand For" from Community Idea Stations on Vimeo.

Virginia Currents takes a look at ART 180's "What Do You Stand For" project. The traveling exhibition features 8 foot tall self-portraits by 25 sixth grade students.

Some of the images for the music video above may be challenging to watch.

The Great Round Mandalas - Exploring Stage Four

Stage Four - "is the domain of the good mother. It is reminiscent of your first relationships as an infant." Suzanne Fincher in The Mandala Workbook

I discovered this beautiful image when on a day out at Foster, NSW. I happened to go for a walk on the beach there at sunset, and noticed the art that had been painted on the beach wall.

Another beautiful image representing mothering at a local pre school in our town. Have you been lucky enough to have had a 'good mother' in your life? Are you a 'good mother' to yourself? What makes a good mother do you think?

I took the photo of the image at the centre of this mandala outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in July 2017, I was so drawn to the image that was posted outside the Cathedral. The spiritual mother figure - do you have a spiritual mother figure? In the religious training that I grew up with, there were no feminine images... so sad really, now I am very drawn to the spiritual images of mother. A lack of balance in the patriarchal religiosity of my heritage perhaps.

Explore The Great Round of Mandalas - contact me for more details.

Native American Indian Spiritual Music - Ceremony to Mother Earth

The Great Round - Stage Three

The Great Round Of Mandalas... Labyrinth.

OK, now let’s get practical. In our first show, Be Limitless: Breaking Down Mind Barriers, Dr. Larry Dossey talked about his new book, One Mind, in which he reports convincing data for our being limitless. The idea makes sense, but how do I tap into the One Mind; how do I get in touch with that part of myself that is more than what I currently know? The Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress will share with us one tool for doing just that. She is the leading expert on the Labyrinth. Not only has she written books on the topic, but she actually brought this ancient spiritual tool into modern day usage. She went to Chartres Cathedral in France, removed the chairs covering up the labyrinth and copied the dimensions. Since then, labyrinths have been created around the world, indoors and outdoors, in secular settings, hospitals, religious institutions and people's backyards.

Visit Lauren's Website: Lauren

More mandalas from Stage three - dream catcher mandalas.

"Dreams are an important communication from your unconscious. Remembering them, journalling about them, drawing them, and sharing them in a dream group are ways to integrate the healing messages they convey." ~ Suzanne Fincher

"Mandalas of Stage Three often suggest depth and the twists and turns of plant tendrils along a mysterious path through the jungle. The possiblity of moving from one level - of experience, consciousness, emotion - to another is often suggested by mandalas of this stage." ~ Suzanne Fincher in The Mandala Workbook.

I created the dream catcher to represent my dream mandala... perhaps I have had a dream about a mandala, but I don't remember it.

The Great Round - Creating Mandalas - The Void

Mandala - The Void

Into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled. C.S. Lewis

Come with me and explore The Void while listening to Daniel Ketchum's amazing music.

Creating Mandalas - The Great Round - Bliss

"Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life."
~ Pema Chodron

I think that we are so lucky to be living here in Port Macquarie, the natural beauty is quite stunning. Last night hubby and I stopped in at the beach to see the last of the sunset. The sky was a golden orange and hot pink. Dolphins jumped in the waves. It truly was blissful standing there appreciating it all.

Mandala - Bliss.

Listening to the gorgeous music of Daniel Ketchum and journaling on Bliss. What do you find bliss - full?

The next step to create a mandala that captures the swirls and movement of the sea...

Creating a Bliss Mandala with Inks and a secret ingredient. It is so much fun to create these, swirling and playing.

The next step after creating the mandala shapes applying them to the journal page.

Begin Where You Are

"Begin where you are with who you are. In order to go where you want creatively, you have to start somewhere. And that best place to start is precisely where you are." Julia Cameron Walking In This World.

I'm always inspired by those artists who have spent the hours sitting and sketching, the ones who don't do it perfectly. I find people such as Danny Gregory very inspirational, and have at times done little sketches, but never made a commitment to 'everyday'. This year I am starting out with a little sketchbook and doing something from my everyday. I invite you to join me...

This is an art journal group I admin on facebook: Art Journalist Mixed Media if you'd like to join in and post pictures there.

If you happen to be in Cleveland Queensland, visit The Lighthouse Restaurant ... we had a fantastic experience dining there... And, i's a gorgeous place to sit and watch the sunset - byo a delightful dinner companion/s to share the experience with.

New Year 2017

A New Year - May it be one full of Creativity, Abundance and Self Care and the occasional Adventure thrown in. With that in mind I decided to continue along the Artist's Way path, and work through Julia Cameron's other two books in the series, and again, ask others of like minds to join in. First we will be focusing on Walking in This World, and then Finding Water.

If you would like to join in, here is the link to our facebook group... click here

Artist Date Forster

We had a gorgeous afternoon dancing Salsa at Forster and watching the waves from the deck. This is the view we had over the beach pool. I grew up on Sydney's northern beaches and we were so lucky as kids, to have fabulous ocean pools like this one to swim in. There is a move on in Port Macquarie to persuade the council to build us one here. If you are in favour, there is a petition going around, do sign it if you get the chance.

After a fabulous few dancey hours, I wandered along the beach and was delighted to discover some street art on the wall.

Click here to find out about Salsa in Forster or Port Macquarie

Written on the Wall

Life is an artist date in Paris... simply walking along the streets fills your spirit. You never know if you are going to come across a wonderful building, an decades old book shop with mystical invitations ooozing from it, or artworks... big sigh...

It is so much fun to be wandering along and to see the Eiffel Tower peeking out from the distance. This year we visited Paris for a month. We adored it and are hoping to go again next year to continue on our artist dates over there. In the mean time...

If you haven't been already, I hope one day you get to walk the street beside The Seine, and take it all in.

If you do, stop at Pont Alexandre for a treat at the Bistro, tell them we said hi. Better still, we'll meet you there for coffee.

Day of the Dead - Día de Muertos

"Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. It is acknowledged internationally in many other cultures. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008 the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO." Wikipedia

Share Your Voice

There have been many posts this week on social media about the presidential election in the USA. One artist friend invited other artists to share their work with an uplifting quote. In case you didn't see that invitation, here is another one - you are invited to join in too.

Weren't these women brave? Have you ever stood for something you believed in? I wish we could sit and have a cup of tea together, I want to ask you.. - what was it - what did you say - how did it feel - were you heard? Tell me more.

Are you willing to share your inspiration and creativity? How would you like our beautiful world to be? What do you see as a future for us all? How can we co-create this vision?

The Art of Travel

For the last few weeks, hubby and I have been busily wandering the streets of Paris, the halls of The Louvre, Versailles and many other wonderful places in France. We were offered a home in Paris to stay in for the month of August, and grabbed the opportunity when it arose.

As we wandered from The Metro station up to The Eiffel Tower, we were delighted to see this little friendly face from home, looming over us on a building.

It was the middle of summer when we arrived, and thankfully Paris wasn't yet in the grip of the heatwave that would finally arrive at the end of our trip.

We made our way to the Eiffel Tower, and found these gorgeous gardens and a rather beautiful merry-go-round, at the base of the tower.

Everything seems beautiful in Paris, from the Metro Signs to the street lamps or just wandering along the sidewalk.

On to The Louvre...

Image above courtesy of Wikipedia By Alvesgaspar click on image to enlarge

Photo above: the base of the pyramid at The Louvre Photo courtesy of The Louvre Website.

We found our way into The Louvre from The Metro station. The metro is a great way to make your way to any of the wonderful sights of Paris. The entrance via the metro takes you underneath the main building and you will find yourself surfacing under the pyramid.

Contrary to many of the warnings we had about large queues to enter The Louvre, the ticket counters underneath, had very few people lining up and those that were there moved quickly. There are quite a lot of automated ticket counters with well marked line barriers, so no pushing in to be experienced.

Sadly this beautiful fresco by Botticelli hasn't photographed all that well, the colours were stunning and the artwork one of my favourites from The Louvre. To see more of these frescos visit The Louvre - click here.

Winged Victory was amazing, the size and presence of the sculpture hushed the crowds of people visiting.

We and hundreds of other viewers found our way to The Mona Lisa... hubby managed to find his way to the front of the viewing rail, I got this close ;). I loved the photo that I captured of this fellow artlover dressed in red, we had a similar smile - or was that just Mona Lisa's influence?

Coming in a close second for favourites were the sculptures. There wasn't enough time to 'ooo' and 'wwwooow' over them. Again, the skill of the sculptors and the way the details are captured are truly amazing.

If you've been I'm sure you'll understand what I mean. If you haven't been to see them, I so hope you get to go one day.

Just look at that detail, I wouldn't have been surprised to see that foot move! Then again ;)

I wonder what lucky lady once sat here? I didn't have time to read all the details, we were really pushing ourselves to see what we did, in the 7 hours we were there.

A piece created in the 1500's - it still looked as vibrant as if it had been created yesterday.

So many treasures - and so little time to see them all.

"La Joyeuse" The sword of Charlemagne is the only one known to have served as the coronation sword of the Kings of France. Visit the Louvre to find out more - click here.

The staircases that once Napoleon walked down, Louis the X1V

The Louvre has to be seen to be believed. Allow yourself many hours and days if you have the time to see just a little of what they have in the collection. It truly is awe inspiring.