The Honeybee, lover of flora, giver of life. Will she return, as she must if we are to live under the summer’s sun once more?
Its a strange thing to find myself actually working from home. Taking my materials outside I craft in the sunshine and it is work. I am the owner of a business, fledgling as it is, a ‘Business-Woman’. This title I once felt I couldn’t claim for myself, I thought I was uncomfortable with the concept but I’ve realised this past month that the concept did not scare me, rather I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to accept the label for my own. As a registered, self-employed artist now I find the label fits comfortably and I’m excited to play with this new hat on!
Especially when it means I can justify sitting in the sunshine listening to the bees love the flowers!
Strange how much it takes for us to feel justified doing the things we love…
When I finished writing my Faery Heart book I had a dream for the artwork on the cover – a gateway between two trees through which the magic of Faery would shine. I took up my brush and painted the first of my Faery Gates series, pouring magic into each brush-stroke as a prayer in pigment to bridge the worlds and allow enchantment to pour through for each person that gazed upon it.
My flat is now full of these gates, they flow from my brush and feel like coming home. But the second that I began… it remained formless for two years. I painted the faery-light but there was something missing. So I painted others and waited.
And then my bunny died.
She reappeared in the painting. Finally, it was complete.
Domino was a rabbit, but in the picture she also becomes a moongazing hare, carrying the magic of the ability to burrow into the dark places for healing and the sacred swiftness and stillness which is twinned in each of the long-eared Goddess-beasts across the neo-pagan world.
The hare has long been seen as a familiar, or a form, of the witch, wise-woman, magic-worker, the one who crosses the gap between the worlds beneath the full moon’s light to bring back knowledge and power into our realm. This picture is one of reflection, of becoming aware of other worlds and other possibilities deep within ourselves and within the heart of the world. It is an image of love and the peace before action. As a painting it holds all that I poured into it and all that you find within it. As a prayer, a spell, it carries the magic of the otherworlds and the blessings of the spirit-world into our lives. And it honours the hare, the rabbit, the Goddess and those that we have loved and lost who are never far away…
I am producing a limited run of 50 canvas prints, hand-made, mounted, numbered and signed by me. When they’re gone I won’t be printing any more like this!
You might have seen my recent post inspired by Creating With Care in which I talk about the reasons why creative folk would be best off respecting nature when we work. It can be tricky to work out how we are to do that however, so I’ve crafted a mini-workbook to help, which I offer here for your enjoyment 🙂
All you need to do is click the image in this post and you’ll be guided through a process which signs you up to my newsletter and delivers the link for you to download the mini-workbook all ready for you to print in colour or black and white, complete with tips and instructions to help you get the most out of it!
I’m excited to be able to offer this mini-book and I’d love to hear what you think 🙂
Recently I stumbled across a very shiny project called Create With Care.
It was about looking at our art-making practices and challenging ourselves to clean up our acts… our creativity is often inspired by the natural world, our lives depend upon it and our very materials come from the earth. Without big ol’ Mother Nature we creative folk (and that’s all of us) would be in very dire straits indeed!
I wandered into the party a little late (as usual!) and was just in time to send in some afterthoughts on why exactly we should strive to be aware of what we do – especially when we’re being creative – which Yaga kindly published… and I was inspired to put together a mini-workbook on the topic too. Sign up to my newsletter to get it when it appears!
My thoughts on the topic ran like this…
Our world is built on technology which has grown through a belief that the world is here for us to use as we wish. This belief has lead to clear-cutting of forests, polluted skies, oceans of plastic, extinction and genocide. As folk who are inspired by nature, who are connected to the most fundamental and natural human instinct after survival – creation – we can see how clearly this disconnection has cost us and we can show the world. We are capable of inspiring others to care for and protect and respect the world around us. This respect is what might, ultimately, save us and the land we live on.
If we are to do this, however, don’t we need to do our best to take this respect into the very practices that we love so much?
Read the rest over at Shiny Bubbles!
I’ve been painting more now, when I have to travel to my studio, than I ever expected. Having a dedicated space encourages me to set aside time for painting and encourages focus. I’ve got at least five paintings in progress now, including ones I’ve not worked on for almost a year which are suddenly talking to me again!
The more I paint the more truth I find in the thought that painting is prayer and prayer is conversation with the divine. I’m finding my magic leading me deeper into art and further into working with the magic of the land I live upon and the people I am descended from. The stories of Y Mabinogi resonate in this landscape and the Norse tales echo in my bones. I find myself painting Blodeuwedd and Freya side by side.
My own work with the Faeries is still central to all that I do and it is becoming clear that my path is taking me deeper into exploring the magic of this land. As I open to listening, the responses come back clearer and clearer…
I find myself stepping back magically from other traditions (though they still inform my practice) and deepening the connections within my heart, working directly with the spirits and gods who are walking with me. Its an exciting time and I do not know quite where this path is heading but I know it is enchanted!
It is wonderful, the magic that occurs when you make space for it.
How are you making space for the things you love? And what path opens up to you when you do so?
Perhaps painting is a prayer.
A prayer as a conversation with the divine… sometimes one-sided, sometimes where understanding flows thick and tangible between those present.
Once released into the world it becomes an invocation… invoking into those that view it the feelings found by the artist in dialogue with the divine.
A blessing or a curse.
Through what do you pray?
And what do you invoke into the world?
A month ago I posted about my longing for room to paint… since then I have cleared a corner in my living room where I can prop a large canvas and give my wings space to stretch and it worked! I made space and the expanses of colour I’ve been dreaming of became possible!
Suddenly it felt easier to breathe into my art-making, to relax into it without a sense of constricting and confining what I make. Working on a small scale became easier too. I created the final three cards for the Faery oracle deck I’ve been working on directly onto the cards as I travelled.
And then, this Full Moon, I had an unexpected phonecall.
An offer of a space in a shared studio, in the centre of the town I work in!
A collective of artists, a light, airy space, a new project with room to grow…
How could I say no to the perfect opportunity?!
I am so excited to see where this leads next…
As I learn again and again; when I say yes to what I truly want, it comes to me.
What do you need to say yes to today?
Whatever’s wrong with whimsical?
Its whimsy lightens up our heart
And makes the world happy.
Much as I adore the night,
And dancing with the moon,
Its whimsy that lives in my soul
Winking from my dreams at noon!
~Haloquin, Friday 13th May 2011