Category Archives: Prompts

Finding my voice through finger painting

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Doing a new course I started via an art bundle by Alena Hennessy.. I was asked..

What did you discover or uncover by doing this lesson?

What surprised you? What felt familiar?

My thoughts below on these questions along with my art piece..

I pulled out the colour acrylic paints that I was attracted too. Started in a sort of flow pattern using my fingers not a brush. I was less worried than I have been before about what I was actually doing. I always approach painting even something as simple as finger painting with a bit of trepidation. I feel it has to mean something from the get go. I’m not used to free form painting I’m used to my art having some sort of structure. I did do it with that lurking in the back of my mind. So I am not quite free yet but every time I paint I am a little bit freer.
What surprised me as I got started is that I instinctively started to form something on the page without thinking. And even though I did not have a formal plan it started to take a shape of sorts. I just kept it up and used the colors I had originally been drawn too. Only now I found another separate color would come to mind and I went and got it and added it. Not for any reason but that the color came to mind so I used it. I started with blues, greens and a maroon color. Then for some reason I thought of the colors yellow and bit later white. I added pink as well. I didn’t wait till it dried before adding more so that changed some.. It surprised me that I was thinking of colors out of what seemed like thin air. Then as I kept at it I felt that things were fitting into a kind of pattern. It was starting to mean something and that felt really good but there was also no pressure on me whatsoever. The relaxing meditation before I started really calmed me and although my body didn’t appear to be giving me any messages at that time.. which was one of the things we were asked to take note of. My painting did actually feel like I was painting my back bone and blood and it was channeling my creative flow and the wonderful growth and beauty it is bringing to my life.

So astonishingly enough my body was actually speaking to me cause there it is on the page!! I could literally feel that flow in my fingertips and how all my creative endeavours up to this point in life have been changing me within and ‘tada’ this is what was showing up on the page.

Familiar feeling to me was using creativity and enjoying my art journal.. Feeling free creating and feeling that now I’m expressing myself on a page I’m a true artist.. I had the idea as I kept it up that it wasn’t finished. So I just kept adding to it.. kept going till I was done..

The longer I painted the more I could feel where I wanted to add a color and how that color fit onto the page.

When I look at it now I feel its finished. How do I know?? I do not know lol.

I sense the word ‘Persistence’ when I look at it. I have had to be Persistent in my life, faith & art.. stubborn to keep my chin up.. Develop a back bone and creative expression has been a major factor through which Gods Spirit has brought me back to life.. Cause I’ve really felt in the past I was almost extinguished and felt stagnant.. separate to everyone else because my path became so narrow.. It was like I’ve been walking down a long, dark tunnel mostly on my own for a very long time but I can still see the world I just can’t break through.. Art has been the roots of a new strong me breaking through!!

I really like seeing in this painting that my life is beautifully flowing again.. and it’s all connected and I can truly say I am no longer stagnant or feeling as separate and alone..

I am really surprised just how colors that I have so easily finger painted onto a page can be so meaningful.

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Expectation

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I am doing an Advent 2017 challenge via face book. Run by Mary Brack. I will add the link here. People are still joining in so come find out what’s it’s all about and join with us.

Advent 2017

The word I am up too lol is ‘Expectation’ and I laugh when I say it because I am already a day or two behind because this was for the 5th of December but that is American time not Australian.

Reading scriptures Isaiah 64:1-4 and Lamentations 3:24-26

I did a journal page and the words in italics below just flowed out of me as I thought about it so I will leave it as I wrote it on the page. Random thoughts just in case anyone is interested and can’t read it directly from the page.. the word ‘Quiet’ stands out in the scriptures I read..

It is good to wait quietly for the LORD to save. Lamentations 3:26

I am really not a quiet person. I speak loud, apparently snore loud, sing too loud lol and live loud because I cannot hear to do anything quietly or to gauge what is the norm. I slam doors, slam kitchen cupboards.. Even wash dishes loud.. I have been told..
But in a group of people I tend to be invisible and quiet because I cannot hear to join in. And I don’t know what is being talked about so I cannot really add anything to any conversation going on plus I am shy.. I am really too quiet apart from my own little deaf inner soul.. I hope ha ha I am loud in some way bravely putting this into the world.. it’s my hope..

But I do still feel quiet in my art cause it is so simple and doesn’t really stand out and wow people :).. I say that because I want to be a light in darkness..

And though I put it out in the world via social media and internet and art is my way to communicate. Not too much feedback so it is rather a lonely quiet stubborn journey.

So as in life and art I am apparently quietly doing my thing.. I think this is why the word quietness in this scripture really just reaches out and comforts my soul which longs to be a much louder part of the world but isn’t at least not in the way I wish.

To be a part of the world we are all living in but circumstances tend to shush me and I do wonder why and is it all for something so yes you do need to keep believing, keep trusting and just expecting that YES it is for some good.

All of my life combined has made me feel I am in the background for so many years.. But that God said it is good to quietly wait for revelation/salvation it just encourages me to ‘shine on’ as I am.. Loudly or quietly whatever the case may be.

I guess this IS supposed to be Advent.. Religious flavoured leading up to remembering the birth of Jesus into the world. I just tend to tie it in with my own life as I am right now.. But like the world waits for all the things God has promised to come to pass and really that can be a struggle when the world and our private life groans with stress of life and different trials.. We all wait and carry expectations for our faith, life in general, our dreams, for our family, Christmas coming soon, the new year of 2018, our future hopes and for our world all of which is yet to come to pass..

The word quietness jumped out at me. Resonates with my soul, my experience of life, faith and emotions. Parallel world I live in. Introverted, deaf, doing my own thing. Yet God calls it good. I’m so thankful HE knows. In a world full of noise, people have to stand out but many do not.
They fight to be seen, acknowledged, accepted.
Do thier thing quietly. I think of all the people who ‘could’ have seen the angelic hosts announcing the birth of Christ, it was the shepherds. Quietely tending flocks of sheep. Quietness doesn’t describe the hustle and bustle of Christmas crowds. Loudness booming everywhere.
The cries of the needy, lost to the world buying more they don’t need.
We all wait though expecting more.
The answer to what life means may just come quietly.

Buried Treasure

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I am so thankful that I won a place a while back in a course by an online artist friend called Jen Morris. Called ‘Journalling Into the Deep”.. I’ve been plodding through this course at a snails pace.. Just knowing how blessed I am to have been selected to win this 9 week course has helped me keep at it.. so very grateful.. 

To better explain I’ve been facing a life crushing lack of motivation in recent months and nothing much has sparked my soul to create so this has been a real God send..

My writing and art journal page below are my thoughts on one of the excercises.. Dealing with looking forward and using visualisation to see what my life might be like in 5 years if I didn’t use my hearts desires and dreams and left them as buried treasure.. 

** Really surprised with this one.. I don’t like my writing but I share it and let loose anyway.. I got a real inner sense of how much difference I do make.. 

I’m a total introvert.. hardly see a soul week in week out.. stay at home single mother so I’m a homebody most always.. online is where I love to be.. so I can find happiness as I am.. 

I love sharing my art journals too on Instagram/face book and I have a blog also but haven’t blogged in ages.. I think I might share this though!! Here I am!! 

I don’t get a lot of response to my sharing so there is nothing physical, as in signs that my getting less than I am, would make much difference in the world.. 

Yet as I visualised my life and leaving my treasures buried and not pressing on with the desires of my heart and the things I love to do.. I did get a real sense of it being a darker place.. a real sense of quite a negative impact not only for me but it really felt like it would impact others as well.. quite severely.. Considering my life and apparent hiddenness from the world it encourages me that my art does more than just keep me occupied..  

A quote I’ve loved in the past came to my mind.. from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”..

Clarence the Angel: ‘Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives.. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

Find out more about Jen Morris and what she offers at her web site –  Jen Morris Creative  

Month of Paying Attention

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Glass 

I fussed over this because I did not know what I could photograph that was glass and make it interesting.. than late yesterday afternoon I had to run my daughters’ friend home and passed our local lake. 

The Glass House of course.. famous for housing Begonia’s; we even have a festival for them around March.. Sorry the pic is a bit dark.. our last month of winter but Spring soon.. Had to wait till the wind blew the Australian Flag enough so it showed!! 



My Eyes

I don’t like close ups.. my eyes are hazel green.. more hazel than green.. I was really fatigued so yeah EVERY line and EVERY year of my age 47 shows on my face 😩


A month of paying attention

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Away for a few days so playing catch up. Posting pictures every day of August.. this is for the 3rd of August to today the 5th of August. See earlier posts for link with more information.. 

Roses are not in season/bloom in our part of the world. 

Roses
Would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? 


Where I live 

Winter starkness.. Two children & I house share with my parents; Uncle lives in a camper van on the property too.. I’m a single mother on a disability pension.. So it means my family have more money to spend.. overheads are much cheaper.. We live at the back of this house which is a big house.. sharing kitchen & laundry.. my parents live at the front.. 

Bicycle 

Visiting oldest son with youngest daughter who lives in Melbourne for a few days so this was taken today on our little break away.. Lots of city people ride bicycles & I couldn’t help getting a bit of street art in too because this suburb of Fitzroy is well known for it. 

Gold

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A month of paying attention during August via Susannah Conway. 

August Break 2017 – links to other blogs taking part. 

Today’s word is ‘Gold’ and what better golden beauty than bright yellow daffodils stretching up towards our winter sun.. They remind me Spring is coming & warmer weather.. I had to capture the clouds too because they were wispy & feather like. 

August Break 2017

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A month of paying attention.. Found at Susannah Conways blog. Link below. Joining in with many others around the world who are sharing on Instagram & thier blogs too and the idea is to simply take a photograph every day for the whole month of August. 

August Break 2017

Here is mine for today..  

Prompt is — Morning — 

And it had to be taken fairly quickly because my daughter had high school and we were running a bit late.. I’ve added the months prompts here if anyone interested in joining in. 

— Frosty morning. No matter the season morning always welcomes the bird life. Last month of our winter here in Victoria Australia.  — 


Contradiction

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Prompt – 

The Contradictions of my life include..

I had to look up the meaning of contradiction lol. I definitely love the meaning and it really does sum up the continuing story of my life.
Definitions for contradiction
Noun
opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas

One of the major contradictions has been my religion and how I live and express my faith.

If you were to scroll through my face book feed for example you might have a hard time pinning down my exact beliefs. In fact it might not show outwardly that I am much of a Jesus girl at all but anyone who truly knows me knows my heart. I have gone a different path from the outward signs and believe it or not it has not been easy. But I am getting freer.

All my life basically I have spoken, read, acted a certain way. Christian way. It is hard after 40 years to divert I can tell you. I have not thrown the baby out with the bath water at all though it may look like it. This path I have taken has unfortunately appeared to separate me from the main flock though. But like deafness which did the same this experience has changed me and helped me learn much more about God and myself than I knew and thought was possible. I know my boundaries very well but because people and distractions have been minimal Gods presence is more evident to me and I know within myself what is of me and what is not.

A living between worlds you might call it. What I always thought I knew opposed to what I am knowing and learning now because any type of survival living increases your knowledge. Truth is beautiful and it has been a huge step out of my comfort zone. Finding God via HIS Spirit with me in the here and now and that HE is always present and that I don’t need props to experience spiritual life gives me so much space but that has also meant separation from people which has been peculiar I can tell you. Still getting used to that.

The thing is it’s what you find on the edges and beyond that is so fascinating and not at all what you thought it once was. Of course it is hard, very very hard to go against the grain and live differently. The guilt oh my. The disconnection and I am deaf too so I’d honestly say it destroys you and builds you into a whole new person cause it makes for a very hard, dark, cold and lonely world when people turn their backs and nothing remains the same. You either return tail down defeated, shrivel up and die or find a whole new way to live. Spirit and Art has been my way through. I truly meet Gods Spirit in this whole process. Like a steady bubbling river always flowing and the awareness of even the smallest of details around you seem to line up and everything has deeper meaning and purpose but it appears to come at a cost you disappear off the radar. No longer can you live via external appearance and behaviour.  It has to be an inside job.

It forces you to actually think about what you believe and why you believe the way you do every single day. You are not just relying on what you are doing or what you are saying or what you have always done. You are actually thinking and in the moment every moment not just going into auto-pilot. Believe me when you are in midst the majority a lot of it is simply talking, doing and living like everyone else because that’s what you’ve been taught and you don’t realize it but every time someone affirms you who believes the same it keeps you in line. You will want to stay away from anyone outside that and that should be a warning sign because God is everywhere. We are all His children, people just do not know & realise the whole truth.

If everyone else around you is the same. It’s easy/easier to be that way especially if you only associate with similar minded people. Stop in any way doing or being like everyone else or being around people like that and suddenly you are faced with a dilemma you start to be challenged on all sides. I have been careful not to just throw everything away. I especially want to be real not fake. Such as.. if you say I am feeling fine when actually you are not.

I want what I believe to radiate out of me because it’s who I am within my heart rather than outward words or actions. Being deaf has taught me the value of looking into someone’s eyes/face, reading body language, the power of touch and just how an acknowledgment no matter how small when you can understand can change the direction of a day. I don’t want to force what I believe on someone or expect them to do what I do because its right or wrong. I especially love a quote by Rumi.

Out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

I want anyone to be truly comfortable being themselves in my presence as I believe God wants us to feel in His presence. Same as in this quote. I think of nature and how we don’t go out into nature and argue with it as to how the trees are planted, how the flowers grow or the sun is shining or not. We just enjoy it for what it is. To show our enjoyment we might take off our shoes and walk in the grass if it’s a nice day. Or we stand somewhere safe and watch the thunder storm or we look in awe at a mountain peak or even climb it. We spend hours walking along a sandy beach with water lapping at our toes. We gaze up in wonder as the stars come out at night. If only we could be in each others presence and just enjoy it the same. Just as we are without trappings, expecting someone to change or trying to find fault.

I feel religion is like a competition and I am always a loser. I know it is supposed to be ALL about God.. But do this or do that or don’t do this or that. Its all comparative. Least on my own with God I can totally be myself. I don’t have to put on airs and graces. He sees and knows all that other crazy stuff anyway and I can just enjoy HIM and HE me and its natural. I speak like myself and I can sing loud or crazy or cry or laugh or moan. I can just thank HIM or pray for people or my world. I also do not feel guilty because I failed in some way or another cause I know HE loves me and HE did it all perfect anyway so I don’t ever have to ever feel a failure so I can drop the ever present need to better myself.. In religious settings you cannot easily be yourself there are trappings and ways to do or not do things.. You can admit sin and all but you have to deny yourself and although I am not against change perse or focusing on God. I think those things will happen and should happen naturally and I think also when you know HIM in a real way and you know HIS love for you.. you just do different when you learn the truth and it goes down into all those difficult hurt places and you do not feel the need to pretend, put on a mask or perform..

Art-wise being spiritually expressive I am not forced, not stunted, I am free, not doing it because everyone else is doing it and I can enjoy it or even when I might be suffering in my soul I don’t know but you are dealing with it in a way that naturally heals and helps you through the release of it where your not being held accountable by people or clergy, shame, fear or judgment and its flowing out freely by choice not because you have too. It is pure Spirit.

I hear God say he is looking for true worshipers who will worship in spirit and truth. Authentically and with a whole heart I can say this is my aim.

It is another world really yet it is found within my skin and flesh. Kingdom of God is within. So why should I be trying so hard on the outside when the most important is all within? 

I especially want to voyage to..

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JOURNEY: 30 Day Journal Project that’s taken months lol but not giving up.

Day 29
ADVICE

Prompt — I especially want to voyage to..

Some people travel the world I may never get to do that. But every day I have access to me. So many things in my life including people have tried to shut me down. The person who I am. My prerogative is to live out loud and at the very least enjoy my life and let that joy be released somewhere. All the better if it helps someone else!!

Lately so many photos on my face book news-feed have been of friends I know traveling the world sharing their adventures. It is lovely and how easy it is these days to share what one is doing even on the other side of the world. I get to see places I could never afford to see but alas it does remind me of how closeted I am. How boring and poor I am lol travel wise. 🙂

I enjoy seeing the world though but it can make the four walls around me seem to be closing in mighty tight especially when you think outwardly too much about it and wish yourself away but you cannot go there in person.

When I was thinking about this prompt I mean obviously there are many places in the world I would love to see. I grew up learning about the bible and the stories in it and I actually would love to travel to the Holy land and see those places for real.. I am best friends with a Canadian on line so obviously as I have talked to him all about his life and where he lives I have grown an interest in his part of the world that would be fascinating to see in person especially cause it would mean meeting him too.

But honestly thinking too much about what I cannot do is quite self defeating.

So my mind was whirring as I contemplated this prompt and suddenly a song popped into my head. The song with lyrics “I’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to me..” Vivian Chow is the artist and Ron Miller the composer.
I have not been all over the world in fact I have never traveled out of Australia except to Tasmania lol which is an island state but daily I can visit and trip to ‘me’ and lack of money cannot bar me from this journey.. The imagination alone of one human being can change a world. Look at artists and authors whose imagination has brought much joy through the ages!! Dr Suess, Ronald Dahl, J. K Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet.. Andy Warhol.. to name a few.. So I shouldn’t be so afraid of being in my own little world.

You can never be bored if you open up your mind, use what you have at hand and introverts can really be at home with themselves and enjoy their own life much more than extroverts could.. If you can be happy on your own and find your own amusement right where you are it makes the hard times extremely bearable and you can still have a full life. Paint your world red or blue or green or multi-colored and change it every day if that’s what you wish.

Obviously art journaling, prompts, blogging etc all these are ways to explore myself and my faith and life. If I can keep doing it daily it truly helps me stay positive, happy and stops me shutting down. Cause we all know life can be hard and a daily slog and when not much changes around you, not much money etc you can pine away and lose hope.. Creativity keeps the inner world alive and kicking and imagination can take you places that are fun, challenging, deep or shallow and do not depend of others being there or not.

That song I quoted before many of the lyrics resonated with me so I added them to my art journal page.

It’s interesting as I look at the pages which I did a while ago now. That although the black figure which represents me seems boring it is surrounded by very bright colors!!!  I can see in my art I am depicting that I am not found where naturally one would think I should be.. I live on in my art and I don’t know whether other people do see that or not. I do not get a lot of responses and although I am not really very social at all I think my art is me being extremely social!!!

My art continues to go out into the world so people can find me if they really want too and I hope get to know me better this way.
The key word for this days journey is Advice and mine is ‘Live out Loud’ which just seems so appropriate and what my life has been all about as I am said to be a quiet, introverted person yet bright yellow in the background really does scream something quite different doesn’t it.

Deaf people are often muted in the world simply because we cannot communicate in the normal way so we can be easily forgotten and left out.

One important way to live fully functioning for a deaf person is through expressive sign language which I don’t think anyone can help noticing!! It’s very visual and many hearing people nowadays enjoy learning it.. A whole new path to communicate.

Art has been my path and it so beautiful and I am very thankful to God for it. Loud is  expressed in the colors that I use. Loud is speaking my truth and sharing my spirit/heart publicly often even when it appears no one is listening.

Sharing my blog which is my thoughts etc into the world via social media IS being loud. It all says something about who I am and what my message is to the world and sometimes I am amazed just what I am expressing and how easy it is to do when in the natural I feel quite tightly bound and muted. I cannot physically put myself out into the world like I wish I could but here oh wow I am as free as a bird. So where I am missing in this world.. you can still find me.. right here is where I am and what I share is what I feel and think and see. So where I cannot travel in a physical sense with words or in person or to different places because I do not have the money or availability to do so. I can travel through myself via the creative expressions I use.

This lyric from the above mentioned song say it perfectly.

Because I had to be free.

Escape

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JOURNEY: 30 Day Journal Project — Day 27 

(haven’t given up just taking my time lol)

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” — Twyla Tharp
I wish I could communicate like everyone else. I often get tongue-tied even when I am with people and that’s without throwing in deafness. Every day conversations aren’t deep enough either and I go away frustrated that I didn’t say or ask others the things I really wanted to say.  I turn off easily and that’s not the fault of people I’m with it’s just I crave deep soul connection and it’s tiring having to try to hear and understand even half of what’s said and find a way to dig deep as well. I also like to chatter on about everything too but that’s hard to do when few are around and there are barriers.

 Art stops me giving up shutting down completely.  I used to wish more people saw it but now I just have to churn it out to survive. 🙂

Somehow when I create.. everything i miss and all that’s unsaid inside me doesn’t need to be said. Somehow it’s absorbed into what I’m doing and where my art takes me and it’s enough.. I don’t have to go anywhere and yet I feel fully alive and happy. As if I’ve travelled all over the globe and sailed the widest ocean. 

When I create and express myself I’m not disabled and I can go as deep as I need. 

It doesn’t have to sound right, it can be loud or soft, bright or dull. Angry or sad and I’m not restricted. Yet it still says what I need to say. 

Things fit together in this world. I don’t have to explain myself here. I don’t have to miss out.. 

Why I love what I do is when I started looking for cut outs from magazines for this page. With the word prompt “Escape” in my head I found the word almost straight away. As if this very page was exactly what I was meant to do today. It was waiting for me.. My life seems fitted for creativity and I run here more often than not.

I see it as God going before.. meeting me here. I’m welcome. I’m free. I’m happy. I’m contributing. 

I find the connection I need to live the life I live. Meaningful & with purpose. I can let my emotions sparkle & shine. I can share my heart & soul and enjoy doing it. Where I can be fully me and speak my truths. Live a full life within this skin and the circumstances I’m born into. Where joy springs from within no matter how many emotions I might have felt up to this point. I belong and gracefully even my imperfections are perfectly at home in this place.. 

(( For this Art Journal page.  I painted over an image in a magazine with water colours and gelatos and it ripped unfortunately when I pulled the page out.. I’ve kept it and didn’t throw it away.. symbolises embracing my own imperfections.. I’m learning colouring skin, drawing faces and the shaping of the face, shading, colouring and practising finding my own way to express my own unique art.. ))