Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sketch a Day, week 3 and I'm still here

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

There's a constant pushing through that comes with the practice of daily showing up to these sketches. It's not necessarily that they are getting better but there is this space and freedom created which means that new things are tried, techniques, marks, mediums are all expanded out. Maybe it just comes from the sheer boredom that would come from doing the same thing for 30 days, maybe its from the accomplishment of having created "X" already so why not move on.

There's also an intimacy with oneself and process that comes from the daily practice, an exploration of themes and marks in a way that seems random until the daily practice stacks them on top of one another.

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

The preciousness is also removed. If I'm only doing one sketch every blue moon then there is this desire for it to be "good". When I do one everyday, that pressure is removed and replace with curiousity and experimentation. In a way the intensity of the challenge like this, one a day for an extend period, brings gifts that the spread out regular practice can not. I am keen to see this challenge through and then start the next one I have planned for later in November.

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 2- Sketch a Day Challenge

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, mixed media
Week 2 and I'm managing a drawing/sketch a day, although I am not keeping up with Gillian and all her wonderful exercises. As you can see we are mixing it up with a variety of mediums, subjects and methods, although it is the face that draws me in again and again. I'm loving that these are just sketches, exercises and explorations- in letting go, in mark making, in form and tone, in looking, including and leaving out and on and on. No pressure to make anything, just an opportunity to grow, to watch and see. Already I can feel the growth from the daily practice.

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, Drawn to Expression

One of the sketches found its way onto a page in my journal tarot, my favourite book to work in lately. How I  just love to while away the hours working and exploring in here:

Tarot Journal, Galia Alena, mixed media

And I thought I'd share a little out take from shooting for Camera Craft- Into the Light, the blossoms are just so pretty...
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
Cherry Blossom, Galia Alena, Camera Craft, e-course, online photography workshop

Sunday, September 13, 2015

When petals fall...

sketch a day- Drawn to Expression

I have this tendency to focus on just one project at any one time, even though there are always a dozen or so on the go. It will either be the project that has the most energy around it, that's piquing my curiosity and has the muses showing up for it or it will be the one that is most current (i.e. time frame driven). I always circle back to the others...eventually, but this usually means life is somewhat "unbalanced". This is where practice steps in. Practice for the sake of practice. Practice for the virtues of just showing up, no agenda or inspiration needed, just a sprinkling of discipline.

I'm not very good at discipline, and so I allow myself wider parameters around this knowing that anything else will get the rebel in me offside. And besides who wants to set themselves up for failure. So I just start and see where it goes. I've done these before. Here when I was doing a face a day and although I didn't get far I saw some definite changes in the work. Here when I tried writing a paragraph a day (quite frankly I bored myself with this one). And here when I was sick with fevers for a week or two so I committed myself to just one quick painting (around an hour) a day to balance all the foreign films I was watching which became my Fever Ladies- Trail Blazers. Ooohhh, and there was the Water Colour a Day one I started last year until Spring came and paralysed me with her beauty.

So while I am knee deep in Camera Craft, working on future lessons and diving in with the students in the classroom (loving all the work by the way, so inspiring) and dreaming up another little project (teaser here) I thought I would set myself a challenge to do so that I could keep my hands moving whilst my attention was else where. I had planned something a bit different but then Gillian's class Drawn to Expression popped up and offered the perfect container for a challenge (she is a wonderful and generous teacher, and she will be joining us in Camera Craft as soon as her own class finishes). So drawing everyday for the next moon cycle is the plan (although you can see I am already 5 days in). Let's see how far I get and even more importantly, lets see how the work develops. I will post weekly in an attempt to keep myself honest ;)

Lotus - Galia Alena Photography
When petals fall
Seeds scatter, loosened from their fragile dream
birthed from dying beauty & spilled against the light.
Tiny tiny seed, what mysteries do you clasp,
When petals fall...

My moon sister Maya is weaving together some magic over at Empress Tides, part of a project raising money for some orphanages over in Nepal and I am doing monthly readings from my paintings so head on over if you are feeling the pull of the moon.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Wild and Glorious Dance

Camera Craft- The Art of Seeing- e-course, online photography workshop
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl
The Alchemical Magic of Photography- I've been thinking about this of late as I piece together the final pieces for Camera Craft. There is such an element of magic and mystery with analogue photography and moving in the digital world of photography takes some seeking to find but it is there in many many magical ways.

So much heart and soul has gone into putting this together by both myself and all the wonderful contributors. It is a glorious dance between rooting down with the bones of photography and soaring to creative heights with soulful inspiration- a wild and glorious dance.
If you're feeling the pull to be part of this dance of play, inspiration, rich content and joyous images then take your place in our creative circle- there is magic to be found.

I am loving (and surprised by) how many pieces of mixed media are being offered up, the intersection of the digital and the tangible, adding that tactile element to the digital, allowing for the raw and the real while still holding all the magic (who wants to live in a world without magic right?) and turning visions into touchstones. Yesterday I was adding Misty's lessons to the classroom and, as always, she has inspired me yet again. There are always ways to spiral in deeper with your craft, to find new inspiration and see things fresh, like a child, to see the magic and to hold it tenderly for even just a moment, a split second of grace ...

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety." Ansel Adams

And a sneak peek from Camera Craft-Into the Light:
Camera Craft- Into the Light- e-course, online photography workshop
To find out more visit here:

Or to sign up:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Camera Craft Guest Contributors

With less than a week until we begin I wanted to introduce all the amazing creatrix and photographers contributing to Camera Craft. Take a moment to sit back and drink in all the beauty they create. EnJoy...

Misty Mawn Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop


If you haven't already fallen in love with her and her work as I have, then start with this video and then head over to her website:
Studying photography many years ago, she has dedicated her life to growing as an artist, leading her to play in many mediums, like me that's means they all call to her to express her soul through them. Photography is one that allows her to hold the beauty of her family, her travels and her days, honouring both her love and life through her lens and heart's eye.
Everything she touches is steeped in soulful beauty, I can't wait to take her lesson myself where she will be sharing on portraiture.

Danielle Cohen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop

Danielle Cohen has a sweet and gentle way about her yet her images hold depth and power. In her own words,"Mostly, I help people fall in love with themselves and their lives." Her work is all about helping people be seen and fall in love with themselves.
To learn more about her and see some more of her work visit here

Danielle will be sharing some of her lighting  techniques.

Ashley Fincham Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop

"I want to make images that resonate deep within...I know this life is like a lightening bolt; beautiful, electric and dancing. However it is fast and fleeting. I believe wholeheartedly it is worth every bit of documenting." Ashley takes beautiful images, but beyond that she is a creative through and through. When I look at her images I see soulful interpretation, I see the world as if through her eyes, I see her vision. She also is the curator of a wonderful series of creative INterviews over at her on line home A Global Walk, where you can read interviews on many inspiring creatives, exploring idea’s about sacred living, what helps with mending and what rhythm looks like, including other contributors like Danielle Cohen , Erin Faith Allen and myself.


Erin Faith Allen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
Erin and I first met many years ago when we were both active in Female Photographers of Etsy (fPOE) . I was particularly drawn to the intersection of her photography and her mixed media work. Over the years it has been my great pleasure to watch her work blossom and her creative practice become richer and deeper. I love her work and her soul that shines through it. If you are not familiar with it make your self a cup of tea and settle down with this video here and then explore some of her wonderful short films on inspiring creatrix, Soul Shakers, such as Orly Avineri and Jennette Nielsen. Its all good stuff, juicy stuff, inspiring stuff.

Stacy de la Rosa Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop STACY DE LA ROSA

Stacy's work is all about rising women up in their power and how they see themselves, working with story and archetypes. In her own words "I'm a photographer, advocate and instigator for creative women. I am a woman awakening her Queen within. I take photos, write words, and offer courses designed to reflect back to women their unique brand of beauty, magic, and joy. My greatest passion is to bear witness to women who rise into their power and create the life of their dreams."

She shoots like a girl... 
Ivy Newport Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop 

Ivy is a mixed media artist who is doing amazing work on the intersection of photography and painting in pixels. And she is such a generous soul that she has put together two gorgeous lessons for you, one on post production (making your images beautiful after shooting them) and another on encaustics and photography ( I love love love encaustics and it adds such a wonderful and tactile effect to photos). You can find her and all her wonderful work over here:

Eileen West Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop EILEEN WEST
Eileen is a photographer and a life coach, she use photography to explore her everyday world and she helps others to develop their own intuitive photography to express their inner creativity. You can find out more about her and her photo a day challenge here:

Believer in the universe…
Jeannette Le Blanc Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop

Jeanette LeBlanc is a writer, photographer and inspirationalist. She believes in chocolate and the ocean. She also believes in the artist in EVERYONE and the beauty in EVERYONE. She will be sharing a piece on the intersection of photography and words and will be doing so with a surprise guest. To find out more about Jeannette visit her here: & 


Liz Morgan Lamoreux Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
"Self-portraits are one way I invite myself to feel deeply seen. How I give myself the gift of knowing that I’m not alone. How I remind myself that I’m not disappearing into the roles I play.
Through my lens I capture joy, grief, silliness, quiet, fear, exhaustion, stillness. I capture all the pieces that make up me. This is how I practice self-care and how I reach toward an understanding of who I am..." Liz, excerpt from Camera Craft
 Liz shows up fiercely vulnerable and true to herself and strives to give other women permission to do the same.
Have a listen to her talk about her own work. Be warned though, she may just make you tear up like she did me.
You can find her here

To find out more about Camera Craft visit here or  to try a sample lesson visit here. And, of course, to sign up, you can do that below :

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There is healing in the light (and the winner is...)

Galia Alena Photography
Creativity is the type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual. Koestler
I have this quote on my teaching page. It makes perfect sense to me. It is both how it should be and how I want it to be.  There is much to be gained from staying open to learn as you  teach, both from the process and from the students. Yet I wondered how that would play out with photography “101”, what would I learn in a field I am already  an “expert”.

Well class hasn’t even begun and I’ve already  learnt so much about my own photography (and myself), about how deeply to my core it is rooted, how it is a form of both meditation and prayer, how I honour precious gifts with it and how much further I have to go with it. Both the digging deep, through my own archives and my reflections in putting the lessons together as well as the beautiful cross-pollination  that comes from collaboration (not to mention the beautiful and heart felt comments on my last post), have cracked a wound open that I have with this medium (its complicated ;) ) to let the light stream both in and out. 

There is healing in the light.

I’m finding for myself all those things I’ve promised to the participants: connection, inspiration, light and shadow dances, seeing, magic, play, curiosity, delving deeper and then more inspiration. It has renewed my own dialogue with this craft, and the dance between technique and pure expression. There’s been some unschooling and some wide openings. It’s the edge where light and shadow meet, that magical place. And, as for so many women, it is the portal, the invitation into deeper creative expression and self discovery. The beginning of a new journey...

Galia Alena Photography

And so putting this together has been both a labour of love and a gift- now, go forth my little baby, and inspire…

And, the name pulled out of my singing bowl is Brandi, so pleased you will be joining us. Xx For anyone else feeling the call, join us here.

Galia Alena Photography

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Savouring Life Intensely- A Giveaway Xx

 “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
- Ansel Adams
Camera Craft Photography e-course

Photography is one of my first loves. I love the way it holds moments tenderly and how it can express what is precious, I love the way I am able to open a book of photos and suddenly I am holding my new born child again, I love the way I can be looking for something on my computer and am suddenly swept back to a magical day. I love the way it speaks that which has no words while leaving room for the mystery. I love the way it allows me to breathe in the moment, to drink it deeply, to savour it...

Camera Craft Photography e-course

I've put together an e-course to honour that love of photography and share it with others. It's part technical, part inspiration, and fully soulful AND I have some amazing collaborators joining me sharing their love for the medium (pop over here to see who these wonderful women are). To celebrate I'm giving away a spot in Camera Craft.
Camera Craft Photography e-course
To enter, all you have to do is tell me how photography has touched your heart, pop it in here in the comments and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.
To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following to spread the love, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform
☆ subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
☆ Tell me why this class is calling to you
☆ subscribe to this blog
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck. And if you want to join in this amazing journey click  HERE. We will be starting at the end of the month and I can hardly wait :)
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud
Camera Craft Photography e-course

Monday, July 20, 2015

Knocking down the walls of the Labyrinth

Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting
Through the Thinning Veil
I disappeared into the labyrinth of this painting. It is one I started ages ago, last year sometime. Perhaps it was about the second or third in this series. As often happens when I start more than one painting at a time, one pulls forward with stories to tell, paths to follow and I have naught else to do but to obediently follow. The result is that the others get abandoned, left to go stale. Quietly they taunt me from the corner of the studio. Several times I look at them in an attempt to find my way back in. Never to any avail.

WIP- Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting

The thing is that I'm no longer the same person that started this painting so trying to find the thread of where I was originally heading is no longer possible, like trying to step into the same river twice. The person who started this one had a child in primary school, and hadn't been to Paris or London for decades. She also hadn't painted the other dozen or so in the same series, a series which took an unexpected turn of its own. I thought I'm never going to finish this and that's ok, if I don't finish it, don't resolve it, I could leave it a question.

WIP- Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting

Contemplating this, I decide just to paint, to risk all, to cover bits I like in order to find others I liked better. To just watch and see. So the painting becomes a labyrinth, one which one must enter deeper, risking getting totally lost in the hopes of finding treasure and the way out. I also learned that sometimes the only way through a labyrinth is to knock down and rebuild the walls entirely.

And so I paint- layering and layering, burying and uncovering, risking and finding, detached and curious- just watching. Practicing the Practice.

Detail- Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting

In other news, registration for Camera Craft is now open. If you would love to hone your Camera Craft skills and be inspired by some amazing photographers, pop over here for the details:

Camera Craft- Online Photography Workshop, e-course, Galia Alena

Friday, July 10, 2015

Guiding Stars

Deep Listening 
Women need to be witnessed and heard. By listening compassionately and neither judging nor giving advice, we can hold each other, see each other, honour each other and support both our own and each other’s wisdom to heal ourselves.
✯ Begin in Wonder ✯
Curiousity ✯ Play ✯ Staying Open ✯ Experiment  ✯ Trust ✯ Attention
✯ Trust ✯
 Yourself (you’ve got this)
   Each Other (confidentiality in circle)
   Process (no judging, just witness)
✯  Intuition (Deep listening to yourself).
Mistakes are impossible. The page is both a place of safety and freedom, it can take whatever you want to give it. Things which might be considered “mistakes” are opportunities to create something new and to see what is being triggered. Safety of the Circle- this is a non-judgement zone- we’re all on our own journeys at different stages.  A well intentioned but misplaced comment can unravel a creative process therefore no commenting on each others work.
✯ Nurture ✯
We each nurture the circle by being responsible for the energy we bring and we nurture ourselves by owning our own experience and asking for what we need.
✯ Creativity ✯
Everyone is a creative being and accessing our creativity can be a  portal to inner wisdom, self knowledge, growth, healing and strengthening our intuition.
 This post was inspired and worked through with Connie's Creative Circles Guide book and the ongoing inspiration of Pixie Lighthorse. (click for details):

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Wheel

The Wheel of Fortune, Galia Alena, tarot

What will you do with this one wild and precious life. Mary Oliver

There are two things I’ve learnt to rely on in this world- one is change and the other is contradiction and this card embodies both.

This card may throw up questions of destiny and fate vs free will, it may question your existential beliefs, it may have you wondering where your free will fits in and about your dharma and whether you have any control at all or whether it is all an illusion. You could chase your tail for a life time on those questions, many have, but what you can’t question is the cyclic nature of it all- of the days, the months, the seasons, the life times.

This card has such a feminine quality to it- the energy of divine timing. What this card embodies, women too embody. The ability to cycle and change and to let go is part of what it means to inhabit a woman’s body which ebbs and flows with the moon, which creates and nurtures life and then releases it into the world and which eventually ceases to release that monthly life force to turn it inwards towards sovereignty and wisdom, the stillness at the centre.

The wheel turns and what was is no more, there’s no stopping it, there’s no freezing those precious moments, those full to exploding moments you would like to inhabit forever like that moment when your baby girl, wet from being lifted out of the birthing pool and laid to rest on your bare and expectant chest, looks up at you with dark eyes as deep as lakes holding all the wisdom of the universe. You can’t hold onto that moment, you can only embody it and tuck it away in your heart just as it slips away. You let it go because this precious baby in your arms is destined to become herself.

So the wheel turns and sometimes you hold on so tight and sometimes you just allow it, going with the flow. That’s where you come in, choosing how you will live this change, these cycles, gracefully allowing or fighting, or both at once. Will you slip into the expansive calmness of the center or will you try to hold onto something which is already gone just as it arrives?
How will you walk your own medicine wheel? How do you embody your cycles?
What I learnt today is that even the act of writing itself is an act of letting go.
Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Camera Craft- The Art of Seeing

'Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.' Picasso
I'm so excited to be able to finally spill the beans on a project I've been working on all year, or more like 20 years, and I am thrilled that I have some amazing contributors adding their own unique magic to the offering. Here's a sneak peek about it but please visit here for full details.
You love taking photos but somehow your images don't quite turn out the way you imagined.
You're overwhelmed by the choice of cameras on the market these days and are not sure where to start.
You have a camera but you are not quite on a first name basis yet.
You learnt photography back in the glory days of film and are not quite sure how it all works in the digital age.
You admire many photographs and wonder how they achieved this or that effect.
You want to add some more magic to your images.
You've tried to learn photography before but the technical side leaves you cold.
You just want to play and be creative and express your vision but the how is tripping you up.
Or perhaps you are just like me and the beauty of this world catches your breath and taking photos is a way to explore, hold and honour it all.
Camera Craft is designed to help demystify your camera and the technical side 
of photography, empowering you to follow your inspiration, and make expressive
  and beautiful images. It is photography 101 and it is so much more. I want the
 participants to walk away feeling like they have enough of a grasp of the technical 
stuff that they can really let their creative voices sing. Between all the samples 
and the guest contributors you wont be able to help but be inspired.To find out more 
visit here or sign up to my newsletter in the side bar to hear when sign up goes live.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It's in the Cards

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena

 I had so much fun with this over on Facebook this week, and a little shocked by how many people played along and shared with me how much it resonated with them, so I thought I would share it here too.

Have a look at the cards above and use your intuition to see which one is calling to you right now, and then scroll down to see what that card has to share with you :)

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Peacock Cloak
1.  This card is about shedding your past feathers to allow your own true beauty, your individuality to cloak you. Wrapped in this protective shield of inner beauty unique to only you allows you to walk your walk and to show your true colours. Yet remember not to take things, including yourself, too seriously. The gift of laughter keeps you grounded while the white feathers sweep you up. That she has shown up today suggests that there may be some past life experience you need to be checking in with, some karmic story which needs clearing. You are supported in this work and guided to looking through to the past and into the future.
Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Flower Raven
2.  Step into the moonlight, there is work to do and Raven is here to help you bring your magic into this world. By the light of a full moon her magic and the blossoming seeds of creativity join forces to bring to fruition a seed planted in your deepest dreams. Call on Raven, and the power of the moon to help you realise into this world something that is dear to your heart. Trust that you are supported by the magic that slips gently between the veils and that a seed already planted just needs the nurturing support of you doing your creative work.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Cry me a River
3.  This card speaks of emotions that are not felt. What is it you do not want to feel that is sitting stuck, attached to who you have become. Dive in deep and allow those emotions to wash over you, feel them, unleash the well of tears that have not been allowed to flow because you fear this it too deep to unleash, too painful, too scary, too unknown. Once you allow the deep feeling of this emotion you will unleash the flow and restore some balance that you didn’t even know was stuck. Sit quietly and ask your body “what is it I don’t want to feel?”, remind yourself that you are safe and that unacknowledged feelings can sometimes hurt you more than allowing them, they are not you and your gentle enquiry will help release you from them washing them away.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Night Eyes
4.  This card is about allowing your intuition to help you see more clearly. One sees not just with the eyes, and the other senses, but also with intuition, imagination and memory. Sometimes we see clearer in the dark than we do in the bright daylight. Listen to all those messages that are coming to you through your dreams, signs through out the day and messages in nature. Let your inner knowing guide you. What you see with your third eye holds much power for you.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Heart Speak
5.  This card relates to the throat chakra and speaks of truths waiting to unfold. There is something you are holding onto which wants to help you spread your wings in your becoming but you need to speak it and not let it stay silent. There is much unfurling of self that come only from being able to stand in your own truths.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Lily White
6.  Lily White is here to remind you that it is the pure light and passion that holds us steadfast to our dreams and desires giving us the perseverance necessary to actualise our destiny. Whatever is truly yours will be but it is not always easy knowing what is really meant for you with so many shiny objects to distract you. Sit quietly and check in with yourself about where you are putting your energy, is it into what you truly desire at the deepest level?

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Let it Be
7.  This is a time to go slowly and gently, to let things unfold as they will at their own pace. You may feel like things are not happening as fast or in the way that you might think you want. Trust that all is as it should be. Exercise some patience and allow yourself to rest in ease knowing all is unfolding perfectly.

Let me know in the comments how that went for you, I'd love to hear and if you would like a full reading you can visit me here:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sweet Medicine

Galia Alena Photography earth medicine Rotical Honey

I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. Mary Oliver

These winter roses bloomed just in time to help make a bit of plant ally medicine, sweetness for the cold months as we edge towards Winter Solstice.
  •  Raw Honey
  •  Ginger
  •  Petals
Very simply I mix the petals and some chopped ginger into a jar and then I pour over the liquid gold and allow it to be infused with their fragrant goodness. I'm going to place this on my window sill where it will catch the winter sun, turning daily until the new moon and then it will be ready for use- full of grounded sweetness...
And there is just enough honey left for me to make a new cleanser for my face.

Galia Alena Photography earth medicine Rotical Honey

Ohhh, and Connie is having a flash sale on 21 Secrets where I contributed a lesson. If you haven't experienced 21 Secrets, now is the time :)


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