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Monday, September 1, 2014

Shadow Gardener

Galia Alena mixed media art Shadow Gardener
Shadow Gardener
Shadow gardener
picking seeds off the bones,
out of the darkness
what precious fruits
she will conjure

Shadow gardener
diving past mask’s reflection
through turbid depths filled
fertile with life’s shunned
unpolished gems

Gentle hands
healing through attention,
disregarded treasures
rise with flamed wings
to guide even Persephone


Shadow Gardner
rises through the veils
by the wings of her
gifted prize
no gold coins needed

She who gardens the shadows
stands tallest in the light

Available here


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boundless & Feathered

You are not bound by these bones,
The many stories held,
Layer upon layer
Written to give you wings,
Unfold your stories
And see that they are feathered.
Galia Alena mixed media artwork Boundless & Feathered
Boundless & Feathered

Available here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Notes from the Garden


Thursday- There are moments of grace to be had walking out through the garden during breaks in the rain that has fallen for over a week now. Baby daffodils are emerging against the soft pink of the Camellias and Azaleas that seem to take turns flowering. Almost every time I step into the garden I delight in some new discovery as we get to know this new garden full of mysteries. Today's was the Sakura by the front gate.
Even taking out the compost has become a labour of love, often followed by shouts of "come see, it's all pink", "look what's popped up" or "is it a weed" "I don't know, leave it, it's pretty" or "what do you think that is going to be" and "look what I found" or "smell this", "is that kaffir lime" and so on.
When my mother last visited she swooned to find her mother's namesake, Daphne, growing all through the garden and the last of its heady scent still permeates.

Friday- Today I found the Japanese Pearl flowering down a path and  brought some in to liven the house which is still in the midst of sick babies. It looks so delightful on the new eggshell blue table, in fact everything looks beautiful against that blue.
I look forward to the openness of the weekend mornings when the babies will sleep in and there will be just me and my thoughts in the quiet of the morning light and the soft falling rain.
I've been enjoying reading May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude, and it comforts me to know that she was so prolific that when I reach the end I can pick up another memoir. And yet I am never in any hurry to finish it, I've been reading it for a few years now, picking it up every now and again, reading a few entries, like catching up with an old friend, and then each of us going about our own lives until we meet again. It never even matters if I am reading passages read before.
Saturday- There's this urgent sense that the old needs to make way for the new as Spring is just around the corner and a week of rain wakes dormant seeds. I walk around with secateurs and hack at plants and pull away dead leaves. Today I was thrilled to find a Magnolia tree in the far corner next to the baby Magnolia that bloomed in winter, its buds almost ready to burst forth its magnificence. I planted out the  basil which hopefully will be pleased to stretch its legs beyond the restraints of the greenhouse tub it came in. It looks happy gently swaying in the breeze and momentary sunlight before the rain start again, almost grateful.

The garden looks wild and unkempt next to manicured and well kept gardens on either side of me. I like it wild, my attempts are just to nurture and nourish it and watch it, to let it flourish and be continually mystified by the constant new discoveries and growth. I hope I do more good than harm, of course I have no idea. And all the while I am reminded how much I love our little corner of the world here ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Taste the Sacredness

Galia Alena mixed media painting
"Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness." Rumi
New in my Etsy shop

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In Print and life

Galia Alena Artful Blogging

I'm delighted to have a copy of Artful Blogging in my hands, in which there is an article featuring my work and words. We don't get the Stampington range here unless you order it and have it shipped so it is brilliant to hold one in my hands old skool style. I was also featured in the last issue of Memories but my artist's copy never made it across the oceans sadly- I am scrounging for a copy headed for the recycle bins since the issue sold out (if this is you it is the copy in the sidebar and I would be ever so grateful). It is a beautiful issue and I am honoured to be featured with all the other wonderful artists. It is strange holding it though, even though I wrote the words I didn't think anyone would be reading them. Sure I write words here too, but they disappear into the cyber world and who knows if anyone reads them. In print though, it feels so much more tangible.

Galia Alena water colouring in the gardenWhat else is going on over here: I've been trying to keep up the water colour a day challenge but a sick child (including a trip to ER) has thrown a curve ball at that as things tend to go with children- c'est la vie. All in the right time. I did get a few more in but while the water  colour palette has been out I decided to start working in my Klee homage book (a peek into my Matisse one here). Love his work.

Galia Alena- Klee inspired journal
Klee homage journal
We've also loved getting out and exploring some of the amazing bush walks in our local area- so many gorgeous ones and we've only just scratched the tip of what is on our doorstep.

Galia Alena Leura Falls
Leura Falls

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Watercolour a Day

I've been so busy marking other people's photos (work) that I barely get time to make it into the studio these days, especially with the cold days and the sun fading early. So to keep my hand at creative play I am following along with One Watercolor a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity Using Watercolor, Pattern, and Design (One A Day). This keeps me doing a little creative painting everyday.
Day 1 through to 6
So how does it work?
  • Firstly- no rules (so if I miss a day or stop altogether the art police wont come and cart me away and better still, I wont guilt myself).
  • Quick and loose- no attachments, no trying to make "art"
  • Exploration of the medium
  • Keep it fun and playful- no mistakes possible
  • Follow the books prompts but with my own twist as it unfolds :)
Day 7 through to 12
How does that look for me- well since we have recently acquired a fabulous eggshell blue dining table made of old Balmain wharf sleepers (I love it can you tell) I don't feel so guilty taking over the kitchen table (despite the fact I also take over the dining table- which is right now covered in beautiful sea glass waiting to be strung up and hung in the windows to dance with the light). I sit on one side of the table, mark a few photos, then pop over to the over side and lay down some more colour. While that dries I flit back to the other side and mark a few more photos. The effect is that at the end I feel like I've painted rather than worked and, since my patience for allowing watercolours to dry between layers is short, the work helps that. Its a win win (unless you want to use a table in our house to say eat at ;) ).
View from here (that's my studio through the window that I wish I was in)
The book and its prompts will take me through until Spring (or close enough, I think Spring will be early this year) when I plan to start a Field Guide or Nature Study to explore my new backyard and all the delights which I keep discovering out my backdoor. The daily watercolours are like a warm up for the Field Guide (with the added bonus that I will fill my current Fabriano Venezia Art Book and have an excuse to buy a new one fresh for my Field Guide, I love these books). The Field Guide will also be a lovely little break in my working day, wandering slowly through my garden, soak up some sun, bathing in fresh air and really noticing. The Field Guide will also be both research and a warm up for a couple of other projects in the dream/create stage (more on that later).


If you want to play along, here is the book along with two other inspiring watercolour books I love (click on the images for a look inside).

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Shape Shifters and a Blog Hop

Shape shifters Galia Alena painting
Shape Shifters

 Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~Rumi
I was asked by an artist friend to join her in a blog hop, so here goes. First some questions about my work and process and then I will introduce you to a few friends on this blog hop whose work you should check out :)
 

What am I working on?
Creativity is not a replica of life but rather a tool for insight. Carnwaith
At the moment most of my creating time is going into a series of mixed media paintings, some  of which you can see in this post (and there are more in previous posts). The work is coming faster than I can keep up and I have to steal as much time as possible to get into the studio and lay the paint down as the paintings demand. Other projects which I thought I would be working on have all be shoved aside or abandoned for now as my energy is demanding to be given over to these pieces.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

  
The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.”
― Miguel Ruiz
 
I’m not sure what “genre” per se we would be speaking of here but in general after struggling with the postmodern conundrum of “its all been said and done before” I’ve come to realise that that doesn’t really matter. I have to say and produce what I have to say and produce, I have to repeat it for myself, something within demands I do. I’m constantly struggling with the grasp of the language i.e. my skills and techniques are still learning and the results never quite land where I want them to but the process itself is paramount and each attempt gets closer to articulating what I’m trying to convey. The work is an intersection of all my experiences and perceptions of them at a certain space in time, that is how I process my unique experiences through my own eyes and my experiences, all the little things and the way that I perceive them are at once universal and yet unique to me, unique and ever so precious. That we each have a unique voice, and that if we allow them all to sing truly, then we have something beautiful.

Why do I create what I do?


The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create -Ben Okri

The simple answer is because I have to. When I try to create something different, or nothing, it doesn’t work for me. If I set out wanting to do a different style, a more intentional piece or try other colours I like, or make work along the lines of others' work I am drawn to, then I get stuck, it feels wrong, it’s not me, it’s not “authentic”. I can practice other styles and techniques to train my eyes and hands, to hone my craft but then I have to produce the particular work that I do and often that just means getting out of the way and knowing that it is not up to me to judge the work.


How does my writing process work?

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”  Vincent van Gogh
This quote is exactly what my process feels like at the moment- the images that I’m painting are coming to me in dreams and visions, I get the images down quickly and then begin to work with them, painting the layers, listening and watching what else wants to comes through. The paintings change from the first vision as new things show up in the process and dreamtime works with them by night. For me they are full of meaning and symbolism, some of which is surprising and yet obvious. For example, Butterfly Song had first been visualised with a different sort of butterfly, more like a flower unfurling from the throat and I knew the image would have a lot of blue in it for the throat chakra. When I started painting it, orange also wanted to be part of the image, orange which is representative of the sacral chakra, where our creative urges stir. Once I thought about it, it made perfect sense that liberating the throat chakra, from where we speak our sacred truths, that our sacral chakra would also be liberated. The butterfly itself also has strong feminine imagery in it with the valva but you can also see very clearly the hands in the peace sign, Namaste…
So I guess you could say that this group of work is an exploration of dreamtime.





Now let me introduce a few friends:
Laly Mille is a French artist who lives near Tours, in the Loire Valley of France. Her soulful paintings and poetic assemblage pieces invite you to listen to your dreams. Laly is also currently working at a nursing home where she facilitates creativity and art workshops for the elderly. You can find her on Facebook or visit her blog at www.lalymille.com. Her beautiful artwork is featured in the July/August edition of Somerset Studio, the popular artist’s magazine.


My work as a fiber artist working with fabric and fiber to create abstract 3-dimensional forms was my focus for many years. I started painting full time in 2009 focusing on portrait/figure work painting in acrylics, watercolors and mixed media. Fractured Angels is the continuous thread throughout my work. My art parallels my spiritual journey and I identify with the flawed, cracked and fractured human yearning for peace and fulfillment.
The older I get the stronger the pull to explore and express this theme in my work. Along the way I discovered I loved teaching. I find the creative process so incredibly interesting. My energy lies in that process and to share that with others has been the most fulfilling role of my life. The spiritual nature of the creative process is something that I think about a lot. The idea of constant practicing of my craft along with allowing myself to let go in moments of creating is the key to authentic art. 


Becky Cavender is a writer, relationship coach, artist, and single mom living in the Pacific Northwest. Becky has several articles published on Huffington Post and she has lived in five countries on four continents -- including Myanmar, where she published a guidebook for expats moving there. When she’s not writing poetry, traveling, interviewing inspiring creative types, or working on her novel, you can find her at any of the best local coffee joints sucking up her caffeine.
You can read more of her work and learn about her coaching services on her website:
http://beckycavender.blogspot.com/

Veronica Funk was raised in Northern Manitoba, studied art & design in Alberta, apprenticed with potters, stone sculptors and painters and spent a year painting on a farm in Saskatchewan. She is inspired by the changing colours of the Rocky Mountains and prairies which surround her foothills home.  She has been painting professionally since 1999 and is currently continuing her education towards completion of her Bachelor of Fine Arts designation.  Despite forays into mixed media, altered books and pottery, she has always returned to the medium that got her career started: painting. Over the years she has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and her work and writing have been published in a number of art books and magazines.  Her goal is to create a visual story.  She combines symbols, imagery and vibrant color through the use of opaque and transparent acrylic glazes, stamping, utilizing her hands as tools and drawing with her brush. Her images are an endeavor to capture the essence of Canada. http://www.veronicafunk.com/
 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Of Women made of Moonlight Magic and Macabre

Women know how to let things go
how to let a dying thing leave the body
how to become new, how to regenerate
how to wax and wan
Who's inspiring me right now? Dominque Ashaheed, whose work InSpirers in the true sense of catching my breathe, pausing my inhalation, "inflame; blow into".

Today I'm sharing this poem which cut right through me the other night as I stood in the kitchen serving dinner to waiting children listening with my body as I do with her words, tears flowing from my belly up through my eyes. I shared it on my facebook page and groups and watched it go viral amongst my friends as it spoke to their bones, souls and BLOOD. Her words speaking to all our truths and our wishes for our daughter's.


You can find another of her poems I love "i am learning how to become a flower" here  and visit her web site here


And in honouring this "necessary conversation" I am putting my "Of the Heart" on-line workshop, my daughter's menarche book, a mixed media love letter, on a 50% sale Details here .

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lotus Fairy

Galia Alena, Lotus Fairy painting

"In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty." Kabir

Dragonfly medicine, bringer of light, cuts through illusions and her shifting colours help with transformation and transition as we move through the mud of this world to be raised pure as the lotus. She helps us dig deep through our emotions while keeping a lightness of being and joyfulness.

“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world” Buddha

Friday, June 20, 2014

Butterfly Song

Butterfly Song- Galia Alena painting, butterfly medicine and throat chakra
Butterfly Song
"When you do not speak, the thousand stars that lay upon your tongue slide back down your throat only to be swallowed one by one, jagged, pointed and weighing more than planets. When we swallow the truth, we turn our bodies into graveyards." Tama Kieves

Butterfly medicine is about transformation but also about joyfulness and here the lightness around speaking your truths and the transformation that those truths can herald. This painting speaks of the voice chakra and its connection to creativity when we find our sacred voice and the inner peace from allowing our sacred voice and creativity to merge.


This original painting is available in my Etsy :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS


CREATIVE PLAY * SELF EXPLORATION * EXPERIMENTATION
PERMISSION TO REVEL IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS
BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS
DIGGING DEEP * FULLY EXPRESSED

Finally I'm all settled into the beautiful Blue Mountains where a rainbow of winged ones visit my studio daily, the skinks scurry as I walk through the garden and the lorikeets spit gumnuts down from the top of the tees. Here in this beautiful setting, I'm excited to be able to begin my live art journaling classes and workshops, and surround myself with kindred spirits and creative souls. Are you called to express yourself between the pages.

Classes:
These are weekly, “how to” classes, covering a range of topics such as Overcoming the Blank Page, Backgrounds, Collage, the use of Text, Exploring mediums, mark making and so on. A great way to get started if you are new to art journaling or a wonderful way to pick up some new techniques if you are seasoned.

Circle:
This will be a group of women committed to coming together once a week to explore and support each other’s practice in a safe and sacred container. Together we will use our journals to explore such things as our chakras, moving around the medicine wheel and through the seasons and elements, exploring our personal symbology and other rich and delicious tools.

Workshops:
The workshops are day long intensives where we explore a particular themes, such as Nature Journal, Mapping the Interior, Collage Jumpstart, Fire & Water, Beneath my Feet.
Perfect if you are coming up to the Blue Mountains for a weekend or day trip. 

For more information on either the live workshops or online classes please subscribe to my newsletter in the sidebar (selecting which you are interested in) or email me.
There are more examples of art journaling on the Journal Page in the menu bar.

 Art Journaling in the beautiful Blue Mountains

Galia Alena Blue Mountains

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pixel Dusting Photoshop Tutorial

Pixel Dusting logo

Finally I have uploaded the first of the Pixel Dusting tutorials, amidst an uncooperative hard drive, I'm hoping I got there in the end. It's on making a watermark brush to copyright your photos or artwork before uploading to the web.
I hope you find it useful :)



More to follow shortly.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Between the Pages


Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media
 It's been awhile since I've shared some of my journal pages here so I thought I'd post some today.
Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media 21 Secrets
This one above is from the class I taught for 21 Secrets Spring, a page rich with meaning for me (there's a little video on this over here). 21 Secrets is still going on- I'm loving seeing all the work that's coming out of that.

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum
And here is the page I guided for Spectrum, a very different lesson from what I put together for 21 Secrets- the diversity you can have in your own journaling process is amazing- sometimes there is more pondering and other times just following the flow. Below are  just some of pages I've done in response to other lessons and topics coming up in Spectrum. I know my Spectrum journal is going to be bursting at the seams with juicy goodness by the time we're finished. Spectrum continues until December so it's not to late to join in with this deliciousness (link in the sidebar).

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum
 And a quick little sketch of my view in QT before I said good bye to it:

Galia Alena art journal page

Then Orly Alvenri inspired me to do a few pages for her new project No More Silence #yesallwomen. In her own words "So we have written letters, we went to the street, we protested, we discussed, we commented, we shared, we cried, then internalized, we yelled and quieted down again, we denied and then remembered, we meditated, and spread love, cause we think it all starts with one, ourselves, we defined fear, origins, causes, and solutions. All of it needs to be done. But WE, people who express ourselves through the VISUAL LANGUAGE, our fury, our beauty, and our silences, should use this platform big time, to make a change in ways that are fresh and bold and different. We should never feel like oh well what can my little journal pages do other than express my little intimate world. Well lots!! Think about THE 1000 JOURNALS PROJECT or NOTRE COMBAT. We are going to do this together my friends, one journal page at a time and all at once, collectively." Orly

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed mediaGalia Alena Art Journal page mixed media
How do you let the rawness out on your pages?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finally my Etsy shop is up and running again

After a long break, my Etsy shop is finally open again with some new works from below.  I am still not able to take any custom bowl orders at the moment but I am hoping that I maybe able to again soon- fingers crossed. In the meantime there are a couple of lucky last bowls from the last batch :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recent work- keeping up with the Muses


"The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself." Rumi
Galia Alena- The Great Wings Beating were Her Own, painting
The Great Wings Beating were Her Own
"The garden of the world has no limits
Except in your mind.
Its presence is more beautiful than the stars
With more clarity
Than the polished mirror of your heart." -Rumi
Galia Alena- More Beautiful than the Stars, painting
More Beautiful than the Stars
“I am a garden of earthly delights.
I am the apple you would fall for a thousand times.”
― Diane Lockward
Galia Alena- In the Garden of Earthly Delights, painting
In the Garden of Earthly Delights
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
― Rumi
Galia Alena- Fly Towards a Secret Garden, painting
Fly Towards a Secret Garden
There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into Light.
~Rumi.
Galia Alena- Dear Heart, painting
Dear Heart

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