"Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames." ~Rumi
The final week of my online course is afoot, and I must say I am in a state of such sweet gratitude and awe for what has taken place. An unconditional network of support and synergy full of kindness has bloomed, into that where participants are sharing their vulnerabilities, dreams, journal entries, photos from the backyard to surrounding areas of natural beauty, self-portraits (a nerve-wracking but affirming task), and of course, paintings. Knitters are learning to use the AquaBrush for hand-lettering techniques to creating paintings of delicate details, and beginning artists are exploring a variety of materials to create works of much heart and intention. I have also shared several holistic healing traditions, including how to make your own flower essences, a cherished practice of mine. It was very touching for me to see the motivation when students had picked lilac, orchids, sunflowers, and honeysuckles within the very next few days and begun to make their own. Serendipity was present, as the flowers in their own backyards tended to be ones fitting for what they were choosing to heal and transform. All of this has been taking place alongside with the release of my new book, now available for pre-order, which has received some wonderful buzz and at one point hit #42 in the best-selling books within the Creativity section. This has left me feeling such an innate sweetness, and more commitment and passion for what I do. I realize it is my life's work to help people realize their innate worth, beauty, and gifts. I love to witness someone transform from a place of self-judgment to that of acceptance and enthusiasm for their own creations. I further realize I have been on this path for quite some time, when I took my first graduate Art Therapy course fourteen years ago. Whats more than that, is I remember what a profound effect Julia Cameron's books had on me around that same time, so to be doing that type of work today is a dream long held close, finally coming to fruit. I am even more ignited to create paintings too, as I find myself being reminded of so much by my students, and my love for creating mixed media painting grows even stronger.
Here is a lovely blog post from the lovely Toni Lovoi Carreiro, a knitter, who shares what her experience has been like in the course. Below are two paintings by course participants Ingrid Ellison and Megan Thompson.
The self portrait exercises have proven to be the hardest for some of the students, and understandably so, as taking a photograph of yourself in a state of acceptance can be a challenging feat. But once completed a sense of let-go and self-love seem to emerge, as much care and attention is given to each post shared within our sacred group. Taking photographs of Nature have been shared in abundance, and seem to have created a bond and link between all, along with getting a glimpse into everyone's life and natural surroundings. Below is is an example of each by Kelly Burns. Squam Art Worshops and I will be sharing a gallery of more of the work and such as time goes on.