THE NUDITY IS OVER?!

I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN!

I am shocked and stunned: all the people in my paintings have suddenly called out to be dressed!

All these years of painting nudes, of the figures in my paintings being emotionally- psychically- and physically-bare, now they just took on a whole new meaning!

centred on the self

i found one with small underwear on! made in cyprus, 2002

Let me be clear about this- over the past two decades, there are literally only a handful of my paintings where the folks wear any sort of attire: maybe in another 20yrs, the nudey ones will be collectors’ items!

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leaving the circus, detail

This new vibe began with the Circus painting, last week, when the central figure asked to be clothed.

The Circus painting is about breaking out of patterns, escaping from the circus, getting away from the chaos and drama of others…

The costume she has on felt important as a means of identifying her in place and time- at this circus- and perhaps it was important for her to be in her costume, so she can fully acknowledge where and what she is, before making her move to leave/ transform?

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leaving the circus, detail

Anyways, I felt this call for clothing sort of spreading, into the other figures in the Circus painting! And then, into the other paintings I am working on! Once one had a suit on, they all wanted a suit!

It was like a mutiny of sorts, a righteous rebellion! Suddenly, they don’t want to be exposed any more!

Perhaps they can express more strongly and clearly, if they are tucked into wee suits, just like I feel more able to express my full vibrant being, as I step into my authentic creative self, in a balanced structured lifestyle.

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detail from a work in progress

I find this fascinating and potent- it is my first significant change in symbology in decades.

Usually I paint completely intuitively and spontaneously, always allowing the paintings to form themselves; a lucid-dreaming state as I work.

For me, the intuitive is much more than the sum of all the parts, meaning I consider it a higher form of wisdom than the limited logical brain.

This idea is at the core of my life-and-work, which have been cultivated in such a way as not to be bound in the mundane world of ‘reason’ (i.e. what our current dominant culture of capitalism states ‘reason’ to be).

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detail from a work in progress

This un-nuding is a revelation, because it feels like something energetic and personal too, something in myself which is changing: it’s like my sensitivity has suddenly grown an extra skin.

The story of my sensitivity is a long one, which I’m writing about in my book(s!), to do with having had deeply ingrained coping mechanisms for most of my life, which made me act like everyone else -like I was much less sensitive.

This led to me be in situations which I was extremely uncomfortable with, whilst allowing myself to be told that I shouldn’t be feeling anything.

I became exhausted easily, and ill at regular intervals, but this pattern changed irrevocably, once I learned to pace myself, avoid situations which caused me stress, and to generally live a gentle life! Then, I didn’t feel so ‘naked in public’ as it were.

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detail from a work in progress

The Circus Painting, and this one below too, are coming to completion this month, and I’m pretty excited to develop this phenomenon, to see where it will lead, how it will feel.

I’ve tried a few times (just out of the curiousity to experiment) to change my painting style- to prepare the image and idea more, before I begin a painting. But it always came back to the intuitive and the spontaneous. It simply wants to be that way, as it reflects who I am.

For me, working in the intuitive is a vital freedom; being able to be wholly present, and in the moment.

Again, this is a subject which I’ll expand on in later writings, as it’s another biggy: how we limit our imagination, our vitality of spirit, by working only from the small part of the brain which is compartmentalised logic.

This disconnects us from the potent alchemy of every moment, and thus disconnects us from our divine purpose in life, and all manner of other magical aspects of being alive as a human being!

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work in progress, november 2014

Anyways, as I was saying about this new phase of clothed people in my paintings!

This also coincides with a new phase in my life and business, as I begin to organise my creative activities and moneys in a more methodical way, with a long-term vision more clearly in clear focus -rather than the goal being a wee bit tagged on at the side!

It feels amazing to get into this rhythm of ‘organised’- hehehe- never thought I’d see that happen, either!

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expo in caserta, italy, 2013

It’s quite a challenge, you know, stepping things up to the next level: sustaining a dream, and growing it rather than just ticking along with it as a hobby.

I acknowledge that I’m quite the expert at doing magical things with very few resources- of bringing beauty and energy, gardens and pop-up shops, festivals and exhibitions and installations into being, with barely a couple of coins and some found obects…

But after 40 yrs of getting by in spectacular fashion, I’d rather like to have simple order and daily rhythm, quiet moments, reflection, that I can develop my work in the world, on a far deeper level.

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work in progress, november 2014

To do this, I first need to focus on my own nourishment as priority.

The past 5 yrs, since buying my house in Guardia Sanframondi, I’ve kinda been stuck on a treadmill of service to outward things: from transforming an abandoned house and ‘saving the old town’, to supporting arts residencies and new festivals, all whilst running a busy studio and B&B.

Much of this has had me putting aside my easel, to make way for someone else’s story, dream, need to share a glass of wine, want to buy/ sell a house  -and the cycle ending in the grand finale of my being passionately involved in Scotland’s independence campaign and cultural-political-spiritual awakening.

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performance in caserta, 2011

They’ve been an exciting few years, and great improvement and success have come to my lifestyle, compared to my preceding years!

But this time I’m entering a phase of subtle magic rather than the on-the-stage, rollercoaster, funfair, circus kind of magic!

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performance with recycled fashion, edinburgh 2009

Hehehe- my next outfit will be slippers and dressing gown!

Tante belle cose, Clare

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