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July 8, 2014 / alice

Art for Transformation & Healing

I noticed I have been using my Facebook Page to share ideas, articles, and updates. While I love using Facebook and instagram as my main medium of sharing- focusing solely on them has prevented me from taking the time to fully express myself and share my upcoming adventures on and off the page.

During this time away I realized I want to make the switch back to using capital letters. I prefer all lower case but it can get a little confusing when I am trying to capitalize days of the week or names or other things. Also how do I decide which social media circus gets capitals and which one doesn’t?  I like the little “i” instead of “I” and I like my name to have a lower case “a”. Convention can be so lame! So I am giving this whole capital letters thing a try again.

One of the most exciting things that has happened recently is being chosen to show my work in the show MUSE: The Art of Transformation and Healing. I have wanted to participate in a juried show for some time now and I am honored to have been chosen to participate in this amazing show. If you click on the link you can learn about the show as well as the amazing art & healing opening reception. I sadly won’t be able to participate in the opening of the show.

What I wanted to share with you is a bit about my journey getting my art to the exhibit hall. It was such a magical foggy journey along the California coast. I went South on the 101 to the 1 passing through the redwoods, to Stinson Beach, finding waters shrouded with fog and clouds, bits of sunshine and at the end of the journey I stumbled upon a sound healing ceremony as I dropped off my piece of art at Commonweal. If you have never been to the Commonweal in Bolinas find a class to take and GO! It is a wonderful resources and their commitment to social change and healing is phenomenal.

Here are the photos from my short journey

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Stinson Beach town

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fog moving through Stinson Beach

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the cloud bowl over the bay and marsh

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another view of the clouds (these pictures almost capture how beautiful this was)

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Commonweal Bolinas

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Foggy glory

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fog constantly changing

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up the stairs to the gallery

 

Once I got upstairs the gallery seemed to be closed- but I knocked on the door and peeked my head in. There was a circle of women sitting there and a sound healing ceremony beginning. I quickly ducked out feeling like I had interrupted something. I was then invited to come in and join them. As I walked in the door a singing bowl was held to my chest and then moved up and down my body as I stood there. I  sat in a circle with a group of women and we listened to the flute speaking directly to our souls. The leader reminded us we were there to live our creative work. I was renewed. WOW. I so needed this beautiful experience. I am so grateful for this experience. Thank you for drawing me.

This also reminded me that synchronicity is waiting to happen and there are wonderful moments in our path if we take the time to stop, look and take them. I hope you get to make it to this awesome place sooner than later.

much love,

alice

March 19, 2014 / alice

the wilds of a blank page

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i sat down last week to get started on a project for a friends wedding. i had a very detailed sketch and knew exactly what i would be sitting down to work on.  still the empty page haunted me. i want to share with you some excerpts from my writings that day about the challenges of a blank page.

 

as i  sit down at the table i have butterflies in my stomach, my heart is pounding and i am lost in the land between excitement and anxiousness. it is so hard to start!!!! it’s pretty unbelievable how intimidating it can be to start a project.  the fear of something going “wrong” is heavy, heavy, heavy. But also the anxiety of knowing you are about to embark on a new creative endeavor is WILD- so wild that is feels like you really are in uncharted territory- as if in the outback, the wild west or deeeep in the heart of a jungle, where only those raised in the unfriendly elements know the way through. and this is the challenge of every artist, every person and every creative, life affirming endeavor.

i want to dissect this a bit with you.

– although i am an artist- a practiced professional and am always sitting down to a blank page-it is still not easy!. i see this happen to my students regularly and i feel for them every time. i work to reassure them to start, knowing something beautiful will unfold. i create lesson plans to create a bridge between fear of starting and starting. i also work one-on-one with students to help them move through the fear around a blank page. as you sit down to stare your blank space in the face know you are not alone. you have a universe worth of creative energy on your side. think of the metaphor of a bud breaking- something beautiful is about to unfold.

– there is no “wrong” in art making. usually something needs tweaking, changing, erasing even – – but there is never wrong. there is however flexibility and flow. in the moments we adapt thoughts, ideas or actions is where the inspiration, spiritual connection and awe inspiring beauty arises. in these moments we learn not just about art making but also about life.

-the wild endeavor is a challenge to create something out of the emptiness. yes, it is terrifying and also awesome. the feeling of freedom comes when you are able to release unreasonable expectations and self doubt and work from a place of  faith in your ability.

– working in the unknown is part of every life challenge and change. working with this in the space of art can be an excellent teacher. making art isn’t just about making art. it’s also learning about life.

 

 

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February 25, 2014 / alice

the earth knows the way through her seasons

sunshine and nature are true joy in the morning

i look around to find spring in february and i feel our california drought at a molecular level. we are out of synch with the natural world. i acknowledge our earth is hurting. i look for answers but none are immediately clear. so i do what an artist does: tell the world what i see and feel. challenging others to work with me to take action. but i still find beauty, gratitude and inspiration. here are some photos i took this morning. take a listen to one of my favorite reggae songs and feel the sunshine. i couldn’t get the embed feature to work so you will have to click through.

 

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thistle to seed

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mustard bloom

 

much tuesday love <3

 

 

 

February 18, 2014 / alice

little bits of art making

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a little water color painting of an ammonite

 

a creative rut can feel like a giant mound of dirt on your back. you want it off, you aren’t sure how to get it off and you’re a little scared of what life might look like if it wasn’t on your back (meaning your scared of what you may or may not create).

this analogy could also apply if you are someone who rarely embarks on a hand crafted adventure or feels intimidated by creating a visual picture. i imagine it feels the same way plus a large boulder on a giant mound of dirt.

so whether your someone who is crafty or someone who hasn’t made anything visual in a while here is a round up of some art projects to get you comfortable with your new found self– the one without the giant weight of earth on your back.

doing a project, even a small one can sometimes feel a little intimidating because of the set up, materials gathering and clean up. so instead break the process down to two steps. designate time for set up the night before you want to do your project. gather your materials and ready a small work station. so when you are ready to work you can just get started!

collage book marks

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make this project with recycled items you have at home.
– skip the modge podge and just use elmers glue with a few drops of water added to it
– use magazines or inspirational images & quotes
– find ribbon from old gift bags or cut thin strips of fabric from an old scrap or favorite item that ripped.
– use an old shoe box or piece of cardboard from anything else you have laying around for the base

 

pen and paper water color

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all you need for this project is a felt tip pen or marker (not water proof), a brush, paper and a cup of water. even an old makeup brush or Q-tip would work great if you don’t have a brush readily available. doodle your everyday doodle and watch it jump off the paper! i love how the author writes about how she loves how creative you can get without much. that is kinda what this post is about.

journal page

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i linked this one to my pintrest page. i am always seeing beautifully illustrated quotes. why not make your own? these images are somewhat extravagant ideas versions but you can get the idea.

write an inspirational quote on a piece of paper or your journal and decorate around it.

some ways to decorate:
-water color splatter paint
-marker abstract shape design
– illustration of what the quote means to you
– black and white pencil/pen doodle

i hope you see some ways that you can find a project in the simplest of places. sometimes making art isn’t about the a big final piece, something you have to share, a “good” or “bad” outcome. it is about taking time to be with the creative process and just making something. so make a plan to do a project you have been wanting to do or one of these little projects.

February 14, 2014 / alice

heartseed

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plant a seed in your heart and let love grow

February 12, 2014 / alice

transitions- the stuff life is made of

i keep finding myself procrastinating posting here. as the new year came and went the more hectic life got and the easier it was to push posting aside. we have passed the anniversary of this blog- 2 years moving into the third year. i am not quite ready to relish the celebration until i am able to get back into the blogging habit. i have had a lot of things i could be blogging on but the blog topic for today —transitions — create much inspiration and freedom as well as upheaval accompanied by uncertainty.  the strange thing is, my transitions are all leading to the positive and i generally regard them as such but i keep finding myself feeling challenged by the feeling of uncertainty.

as i embarked on this transitional phase i felt free… like a weight of worry had been lifted. i felt lucky, loved and welcomed into the land of transitions. this is not to say that there are not challenging moments. in contrast there have been many challenging moments.

we all experience transitions throughout our lives and  which brings a wide array of experiences and emotions. so this post is to honor all transitions past, present & future

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transitions. water color paint & pencil on shizen 300lb paper

acknowledge balance, or lack there of
when life feels as though it has been thrown into a fan that is spinning quickly it is most likely because the elements of life that make you feel whole are out of balance.

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wellness wheels

in wellness coaching (and other fields) we use a wheel to symbolize the importance to have all elements of life working in conjunction. a wheel can not roll if it’s uneven. our lives will always be ever evolving towards evenness. but transitions can make you feel especially out of balance and downright unhealthy! know that part of what you are feeling is because of a lack of balance and know that balance will come back! you will find your way back into even. in the mean time think of 1 or 2 small things you can do to help you feel more in balance? which part of the wheel do those things address? tell someone or find another way of holding yourself accountable to your balance inducing goals.

for me it was making sure i made myself a healthy lunch to take with me. making sure i am scheduling time for myself/exercise.  for you the list may be completely different– maybe it is making time for friends and family or finding more down time.

which brings me to my next item!

eat grounding foods

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root veggies with herbs and garlic

choose warm, hearty dishes with lots of nourishing foods. root vegetables, mushrooms, butter from pastured cows, coconut oil, in season fruits and plenty of protein. spice things up with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, garlic. stay away from convenience food, dry crunchy items, and sweets. it is even harder when we are working from a place of stress to give up the unhealthy treats. listen to your intuition and find foods you love that love your body back. if you are finding this article during summer– make alterations for the season you are in. squash rich, dark green foods, eggplant, green beans, and fresh berries.

eating grounding foods will help you feel more grounded and in balance in contrast to the rather spaced out thinking that can come with transitions. eating healthy foods will also helps you feel better. there are so many more reasons, but i will stop there.

spend time outside in nature & in the sun

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we all know how good spending time outside feels and how good it is for us. but make it a special priority through your transitions.

journal, draw, meditate, sit quietly– whatever works

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find the time to do one of these things or if you are feeling up to it, try something new.
use this time to connect with yourself and refocus your energy on what is.

be grateful, be kind and let go

find time to be thankful and reflect by how good you do have it! try to see the glass half full by appreciating all the big and small things you do have going for you… however hard this may be. this will help you find solace/peace/gratitude and brush off any ickyness or out-of-sortness you may be experiencing.

be kind to yourself. (one of my hardest tasks) know that you are human. love yourself unconditionally and steadfastly! (you know what i am talking about)

let go of anything that isn’t serving you. maybe it is how hard you are being on yourself,  or maybe it’s a plan you know isn’t quite right but are sticking to it anyway, an idea or someone else’s expectation or standard. again, you know what i am talking about!! listen to that little voice.

to all of us with our transitions of past, present and future– cheers to more good to come!

 

November 25, 2013 / alice

winter solstice salad

this beautiful and simple warm salad is perfect for your holiday meal. this one is dedicated to my bookwormettes! this salad is also HUGE and will serve 8 with left overs.

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winter solstice salad

 

i named it winter solstice salad because it highlights the beautiful colors associated with the plants and flowers that bloom during winter.

the beauty of this salad lies in the slight cooking and wilting of the kale from the heat of the quinoa, acid of the citrus and oil.

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ingredients:

1 large bunch of medium sized kale

2 cups quinoa

4 cups water

1 inch piece ginger

medium shallot

2 lemons or limes

1 large pomegranate

plenty of good olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

 

to prep:

add quinoa, salt, and ginger to water in a med sized pot. bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer. let simmer for about 15-20 min. each tiny circle should have uncurled and expanded, the water should be gone from the pot.  remove from heat and let sit for 10 min.

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while quinoa is cooking prep kale.

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removing thick parts of stem

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stacking the pieces and cutting into ribbons. put into a large bowl.

 

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chop shallot and add to bowl.

 

when quinoa is done cooking add hot quinoa to kale and shallot. toss well. there should be equal parts kale and quinoa.

 

add juice of lemons or limes and olive oil to coat kale & quinoa. add salt and pepper to taste.

break apart a whole pomegranate and add to salad.

 

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i’ve been thinking about how you could make this a grain free dish. you could sub the quinoa for grated cauliflower but you would have to cook the kale a bit and let the salad sit longer to marinate.

enjoy!

 

 

November 21, 2013 / alice

weathering winter

weathering winter

the seasons are shifting again! maybe you noticed some changes in your body between summer and fall? belly aches, dry skin, a desire to eat different foods, slight grumpiness or some other minor differences? with the flux of weather and sun i have noticed changes within myself. friends of mine have also remarked on some of the bodily changes they have been experiencing as of late.  with these changes in our natural world we too have to change our behavior to match the world around us. this is even important for people who live in areas that don’t experience as much seasonal shift. i also want to recognize that this California girl has a lot to learn about a REAL cold winter- but nonetheless here is a list of some ways to help our bodies, minds, and spirits feel best as we prepare for the cold- wherever you may live.

 

to defend against dehydration: drink a cup of (warm) water upon waking


sleeping through the night, we lose moisture while we breathe and our bodies use the water we consumed during the day to filter our blood.  so we wake up in the morning already dehydrated. by beginning the day with a glass of water we rehydrate and begin to flush out anything our bodies can’t use.

in the winter it is easy to forget to drink water because it isn’t hot out and it’s easy to find a hot beverage to drink instead.  additionally, many people sleep with a heater on or work in heated offices. heaters and even fire places are drying which aggravates our skin and mucous membrane in our sinuses, mouth and throat (and many other places). having mucous is important to our overall health and is at the forefront of virus protection. so bottoms up on those cups of warm water, room temperature water and nourishing herbal teas (steer clear from rooibos tea as it can be drying).

 

eat warm foods and trade cold salads for warm veggies & leafy greens

 

leafy green already prepped in the fridge. sorry for the plastic 🙁 i didnt have a big enough glass tupper-wear. i also reuse my bag!

 

now is the time of year that you may find yourself craving warm foods, soups and hearty veggies. there is a reason you are craving these foods. our bodies are feeling the effects of the cold and are in need of warm, balancing nourishment. if cold green salads are your main source of veggies try trading them for warm veggies especially leafy greens. eating warm foods will help your body stay warm during the winter months. another good rule of thumb (which i often talk about)- eat seasonally.

here is a great link to find out more about your local seasonal eats. sorry it doesn’t cover every area of the U.S. please let me know if you find something that covers more regions or other parts of the world.

what are some of your favorite warming foods? how can you start incorporating them into your week?

 

stock your stock

 

keep your freezer full of veggie broth, chicken stock or beef broth (in glass tupper-wear) whatever you prefer to make your own soup in a jiffy. defrost and add a bevy of veggies and anything else you can imagine and you’ve got an easy meal. this is especially handy in case you feel that cold coming on! you can quickly get the frozen stock out of the glass tupper-wear by running it under warm water.

 

nourish: oils for skin and body

spoon full of coconut oil

spoon full of coconut oil

with the cold and dry weather it is important to cook with healthy oils like ghee, pastured butter, and coconut oil. eat your flax, take your fish oil, or whatever you do to get your Omega 3’s. you can even use natural oils, like coconut, as if it’s lotion-keeping skin supple and happy.

 

find time for sunshine

 

where do you find beauty?

sunshine!

this time of year it can be hard to get outside. steal moments here and there  while at home or at work to take a quick walk during the day in the sunshine to warm up. find time to sit in a sunny spot outside at lunch or to read a book. make plans on the weekends to spend time outside. bundle up to take your favorite walk, go to an outdoor holiday event, or make a plan to enjoy an outdoor winter sport.

 

don’t give up on movement

we know participating in regular exercise is good for the mind, the body and the spirit.  but during the fall and winter you may be spending more time inside to stay warm but don’t give up on enjoying moving your body. think about what kind of activities you LIKE doing and remember what helps you feel your best. is it going to a class with a friend? a bike ride with your partner? a hike by yourself? going to the gym and sitting in the sauna after? swimming in the rain? whatever it is… dig deep, think about what you enjoy and you’re more likely to keep it up.

what are your tips to weather winter?

happy cold weather all!

 

November 12, 2013 / alice

we are all artists

recognizing the artist in each and every individual is the reason i created avenues of artistry. each one of us is an artist. this reaches beyond our ability to put pen to paper, paint to canvas or shape into a block of clay. this idea, this FACT! that each one of us is an artist is multidimensional.

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fact one:

our life is our art. our gifts are our art.

please do not forget that whatever it is that you excel at, that thing that you love- that is your art. your health, your wellness is your art. how you live your life is your art. every step you take every day can be part of your art.

being a great artist is how you make your art. whether it is in the beauty of an algorithm as a mathematician, the food you cook as a chef or the curriculum you plan as a teacher. ~brett cook

listening to artist and community activist brett cook this weekend reminded me that i needed to share this message with you dear readers. this is truly the reason i named this blog avenues of artistry. we each have our own art, our own avenue of sharing our art with the world. and i will pose the question to you that concluded that quote above

how do i make my life my art?

 

fact two:

each of us can make beautiful visual arts.  i often encounter individuals (mostly adults) who say they “can’t… X”.  that “X” is whatever project they are judging themselves on in the past and whatever they fear their inadequacy may be in the present. dissatisfaction with your abilities to express yourself visually doesn’t allow you to experience making something. creating a visual piece of art work is about more than the final product. it is about the process of making art and the experience of letting yourself translate your minds eye onto paper.  if that translation from your mind doesn’t go exactly how you planned?  try to shift that vision to see what it is that actually created rather than what your hope was. find the beauty in what did make and grow from what you did create.

i hope this post reminded you to follow your art to wherever that leads you! there is so much more to write on this topic and i know that this discussion will continue!

 

 

 

 

 

October 21, 2013 / alice

heart vibration

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H E A R T * V I B R A T I O N

the fourty days of my meditation has finished but i know my meditation practice has not. i also know that a daily practice will continue to be a part of my life. yesterday i coincidentally (or not?!)  ended my 40th day of meditation with a group meditation and intention setting. it felt like such an appropriate way to spend my 40th meditation and the end of my sunday. each participant focused on what they were letting go of with the new moon & fall and what they were bringing into this new chapter.

joy welled up inside last night as i finished the meditation,feeling pride in accomplishing my commitment. it felt wonderful.

reflecting on my 40 days there were many highlights and getting back into regular blogging was part of this. the most notable change has been my ability to priortize events/tasks and schedule a reasonable amount of activities rather than overbooking myself or setting up unreasonable expectations of myself. a feeling of evenness has settled into my life. not that there are not some high or moments of low but my time feels more even.

looking forward to continue sharing my personal and professional worlds with you!

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