ARE YOU SIMPLE?!

new artwork: Radiance

Welcome to the Art Of Life podcasts!

Hi beautiful human!

This is one of my very last mailouts/ podcasts here on my website: do join me now on Patreon, if you want to stay in touch with what I’m doing:

This podcast is on simplicity… Thank you from my heart for all your support over the years with my blog and podcast: you’ve helped keep me going all this way!

simplicity…

new artwork: Radiance (detail)
You can still join this summit for the final days, including my talks with Sama

The Embodied Shakti Summit continues, with the final closing ceremony on Monday. You can hear my interviews with Sama on Sunday, as well as attend a beautiful drawing workshop with me – see below.


You can still join this summit for the final days, including my talks with Sama
Click here for the event page on Facebook

new artwork: Radiance (detail)

THE NEW SORA

Tomorrow, The School Of Real Art will be launching a brand new, super-yummy free sign-up course, and we’ll be taking down the two current free courses.


new artwork: Radiance (detail)


LIVING IN THE GIFT

Inspired deeply by the Living In The Gift course with Charles Eisenstein, I’ve been setting up a website of the same name, to gather conversations about what it really means to live in our gifts – and how we can align more with all of our gifts.

The site is here – and with Charles’s blessing, I’m calling on other Living-In-The-Gifters to contribute towards this project.

Please contact us via the site, if you’d like to share a conversation – in video, podcast or written format – we’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for listening in, thank you for witnessing, and for being there – your presence and support have always been immensely enriching for me,

Tante belle cose,

***THE END ***

  • My art school website has moved, and is now part of this website: see here. You can also get access to all new course material as it unfolds, via Patreon.
  • A selection of my art is on Etsy – but see all paintings currently available in my catalogue
  • Art holidays at my Italian arthouse are on VAWAA
  • Join @clareartista now on the Steemit blockchain/ d.tube/ d.sound/ Partiko

Why I’m Leaving Mainstream Media

Hi dear friend! A quick final note for the year – a podcast around why I’m taking my art off of Facebook and Instagram…

And a reminder that TONIGHT at midnight, the specialissimo offer for 2 paintings for the price of 1 ENDS… Let me know if you love a particular piece/s, and I’ll make a listing up specially for you on Etsy…

In the meantime;

my full art catalogue is here (some artworks have been reserved, check first)

my Etsy shop is here

you may also organise a payment plan with me on Patreon

and/ or make a donation to all that I’m doing on Patreon or Ko-fi (the former is a monthly direct debit to my life and work, and entry into my inner circle, the latter is one-off payments for the cost of a coffee (which I translate into ‘a moment of creative alignment’))

LOADS of beautiful wishes for the beginning of this new year, new cycle, new creative  possibility… I so look forward to being in touch through the new/ newly formatted platforms, in this new year!

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Huge gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired.
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to get more colour, depth, meaning, and inspiration on creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… and to support an artist creating what they’re meant to create – Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my special folks.
  4. My art school website is here, my art is on Etsy.
  5. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page
    PLEASE NOTE – I am leaving mainstream social media in the next days – more news soon via Patreon and Ko-fi!
  6. My arthouse is up for sale – the listing is here and I’m also working with the lovely British Owned Property Abroad

Resistance, the Small Mind, and Soaring In Life

I’ve barely slept, each night since I’ve been back in Italy from Scotland…

There’s something that wants to come through me, but I’m nervous and in my head, rattling off lists of things to be done – it’s like scaling a steep peak in the night, trying to keep myself in my core, my womb.

This is the period of the year when the veils between worlds are less solid, and we can access all kinds of connection with magical otherworldliness – a potent time that needs to be harnessed well: extra good self-care, tidying and putting everything in order, taking one’s dreams seriously and making steps towards them… This month my podcast is on what stops of breaking through resistance and really getting to where we’re meant to be:

The resistance is something that I also talk about at length in my School Of Real Art – and will be announcing new courses on this winter; it’s a form of internal panic, shut-down, which comes when we have to evolve into something bigger than we are now… The small mind, by its very nature, wants to keep everything small and manageable, and to avoid all dangers.

small, smiling

The small/ monkey mind is that mischievous mental force that keeps us looping and jerking around over a broken record, and which often succeeds in stopping us from doing the very things that we’re here to do on this planet… the soulful, soaring things.

But once we understand that this small monkey inside our brain actually wants to help, but that it’s a bit outdated, inappropriate in its thinking… then we can start to really work with it, and shift everything. The problem in much of ‘western’ culture, is that there is a tsunamic of external chatter all around us in every moment of the day – neuroses, fearfulness, manipulation, suggestions that you should doubt nature/ your nature and trust the system. So even when we get a handle on our monkey, then there’s the modern world to contend with.

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There are myriad ways to train one’s small mind, and to prevent it from driving your engine: coming into the body is the most immediate and accessible. It can be through walking, stretching, creating, working… anything and everything that pulls us down in that wonderful gravity weightiness, into our torso, our heart, our pelvis.

I’ve been letting my studio practise and my art school gestate for many months now. Letting things mature by themselves, without interference.. it’s a kind of aligning with nature – it’s about trusting that something big is coming through you, and that it wants to exist, but that neither of you know precisely what it looks like just yet.

I guess this might be similar to birds knowing when and where to migrate; we humans have this potent knowing in us that isn’t necessarily related to moving to a warmer climate to avoid the perils of winter (though I’ve followed that urge more than once!), but perhaps it’s about our life purpose and work in this world. Maybe it’s about, the more we can trust in that mysterious pull of the heart, the body and the deeper mind – the call to a new place, the shifting of attitude to a new work pattern, the need to downsize and to declutter, to get back to nature and to get real… the more we can start to really step into our potential.

This week I’m preparing a listing for my beautiful Arthouse in Guardia Sanframondi, Italy. It is a potent time to change, to harvest the fruits of my labours, to let what isn’t bringing life to me fall like autumn leaves. I’m going through a glorious process of clearing and cleaning the house, in preparation for the next phase.

If you’d like to know more about this, please look at my Arthouse For Sale page on my website – it will be updated this week and onwards, with news/ photos, etc. You can also contact me there, with any Qs.

Another big happening this month, starting TODAY is the tremendous Sama Morningstar’s powerful gathering of women, in her temple and summit of womb-centred healing. I’m a guest speaker! Talking with Sama about art, womb-centred creativity and healing.

Working from the womb, and with pelvic magic, is something that has slowly but surely come into my life over the past 5 years. But in finding pelvic health, de-armouring, entering an ecstatic life flow – I realised that I’d always been navigating from my energetic core. With training and deepening wisdom, listening and deep self-caring, this power becomes liberated in us, and lets us ride on waves of pleasure in life, like being at one with the sea – rather than being crushed under those waves.

If you have (or had) a uterus, I urge you to listen in on these incredible conversations and sharings of profound understanding. Our core is more than a functioning/ non-functioning organ – when we access and connect with our core (our womb), we can find our unique language around it – perhaps by hearing others, and knowing that ours is similar but different, or completely different altogether, but somehow relating… We don’t all have to get earth-mothery about it, but taking care of our core wellbeing, not just on a practical level, but on the emotional and subtle levels too, can bring other dimensions, energy, power, creativity, bliss into our lives – who doesn’t want more of that?!

Go visit Sama’s website now, to sign up – the summit runs online for the next 10 days. And please share this with other women who you know would love it…

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So much good creative vibe and inspiration to you,

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Huge gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired.
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreonif you’d like to get more insight into my life and work: colour, depth, meaning, creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my very special people.
  4. My art school website is here, my art is on Etsy.
  5. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page

 

40 Years Of Sobering Up

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Hi – here’s another occasional blog!

I had a piece of writing published on Bella Caledonia – an important Scottish cultural commentating space – and felt like I should share it here too.
If you follow me on Patreon, you might know something about the behind-the-scenes of this story of sobering up from the effects of alcohol long-term. I was raised in a culture that still now identifies very heavily with the use of alcohol – in a way that harms the spirit of the drinker (and of course those around the drinker) – and Scotland still uses it as a source of self-ridicule.

There is a rich dialogue under the article, which I hope goes some way to unravelling the dark pages of the truth of long-term damage from alcoholism – especially in parenting.

You can read or download the PDF of the writing 40 Years’ Sobering Up, also.

Thanks so much for reading, very good creative wishes to you,

 

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now only make rare public posts. If you’d like to be in touch more often; join my newsletter HERE or join me on PATREON – I really look forward to having you in my inner circle!
  2. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and share it if you know someone who’d be interested ❤
  3. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu and Blurb, and art holidays on VAWAA.
  4. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page, Twitter – clareartista

rare podcast!

Hi – here is an occasional podcast – if you are interested in what I am doing, join me via one of the links below – I look very much forward to having you in my inner circle.

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now only make rare public posts. If you’d like to be in touch more often; join my newsletter HERE or join me on PATREON
  2. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and share it if you know someone who’d be interested ❤
  3. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu, art holidays on VAWAA.
  4. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page.

6 STRONG REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD STEP INTO THE VOID…

It’s my birthday week again! And this is always a beautiful time to reflect on all that I have, all I’ve achieved, all that is coming true of my dreams.

This year is fricking spectacular: the freedoms I sought when I stepped out of what precious little security I had had in Scotland… The freedom was this, and it is now here, as solid and mysteriously epic and wildly magical as I could’ve ever glimpsed in my visionary imaginings: my own home; the deepest and most fulfilling of loving partnerships; my time filled with art and creative living, love and beauty; my view each day as glorious and inspiring as a panorama could ever be; the liberty to express myself deeply and meaningfully in a great spectrum of ways, as the mood takes me; being rewarded for what I do and am – financially yes, but also with friendship, community, heartfelt appreciation; people being inspired by what I do and believe in; being able to contribute to the world, to the universe, in the fullest of ways that I was born to do…

It’s important for me to reflect on how I got here, and to appreciate how hard I worked for it – how hard it was to get to this: 8 yrs ago when, driving from Scotland with my cat and paintings, all the way to Guardia Sanframondi in Italy… Parking my right-hand drive car – barely remembering which side of the road I was meant to drive on each day… Not knowing even how to pronounce the word for ‘bread’, and walking around the town with that particular sense of vulnerability that comes with being a foreign woman alone in a new country…

It was easy, when I first arrived in Italy, to get drawn deep into the panic of having given up all my taken-for-granted familiarity. Despite the fact that there had been a fire under my arse chasing me to Italy, the first months were full of my dwelling on that familiar discomfort of a place where e.g. I was capable of talking on the phone to resolve a bureaucratic issue… where, even if I was cold and damp and miserable, at least I knew where to buy my vegan-organic goodies, and had friends aplenty to discuss Buddhism and ecstatic birth with.

The superficial mind perpetually seeks stability, pattern, anchoring: if it could, it’d probably put the brain in a jar and have it in a secure room, fed by wires and artificial nutriment. In some ways, we’re heading that way – kids not even allowed to learn from experience that fire burns and falling down on concrete breaks skin; no-one letting germs circulate their home any more; everything packaged and everything truly natural to all intents and purposes outlawed. At the end of the day, it gets good-comfy to be laid back on a soft, sterile sofa with the perfect-coloured cushions, in front of an ever-busy TV screen and munching on sugar and slurping down caffeine to keep us perky – to maintain our ‘interest’ in life.

And it’s nice to have the steady drip of a wage: the knowledge that every single month we will have a familiar amount of money deposited in our lap, which corresponds roughly to the amount that we’ll have to put out into the world. This rhythmic symmetry makes us feel like everything is under control, despite life distractions regularly popping up inconveniently.

What does it mean to throw all that comfort out, and to go out on a limb – to stand at the end of a diving board above a mysterious ocean, and to simply jump: to enter a new country and culture and start a new life from nothing… what happens? What would happen if we gave up all the comforts and trappings, and chose the unknown, the new, the unfamiliar? (Wouldn’t it destroy us? Or fuck our lives up?! Shouldn’t we be fighting with all our domesticated life force, to hold onto what small territory we have?!!)

But seriously: what happens when we up give up an old life and start in a completely new, unfamiliar place? I’ll tell you:

  1. First, it creates a void: a void is something we are all terrified of, and yet it is the space into which the better, the best, the life we REALLY WANT to be living can grow. The void – space to think, feel, to be present in – it’s one of the greatest hidden secrets of our time: the best of us are lured into this mythology of time poverty, and of being full to the brim, overstimulated, and ready for terror, in every moment of every day. We seek all kinds of therapy and antidote to this, from holidays in countries with better weather, to titillation of the senses (hard or soft) and over-indulgence: staying up late or pressing the boundary ever-so-gently, but never stepping outside of it. Ultimately however, we all seek peace and gentleness – we want to be more sensitive and quiet, and we want our day to be full of love and significance: to have this, we need the space, the void. There is no room, otherwise, and to cultivate this space, we have to wean ourselves out of the fear of not being filled up. We have to allow life to open up around and in front of us, rather than clawing to get back in the box we’ve made for ourselves.
  2. It makes us realise what inner resources we have – because we have to actually draw on them; use them. In a comfortable life, we rarely challenge ourselves beyond the fluffy yum-numb of our routine. It feels like fulfilment – but it really isn’t: the human soul needs to experience friction and challenge in order to grow, in the same way a tree needs natural soil and wild weather to get it to its potential.
  3. It makes us see that we can actually reinvent ourselves; change, travel, upheaval – particularly when they are consciously chosen rather than imposed on us – are the most useful of tools to get us to stretch our minds into what we might also be/ achieve/ dream of. Staying at home can be satisfying to a degree, but the longer we don’t stretch our legs or hearts or energy, the more accustomed we become to the atrophied version of our self which we’ve elected to prioritise.
  4. It makes us work hard; on ourselves, on our work, on our life and friendships… There is a profound satisfaction in having to make new connections, networks, structures to hold us; there is the deepest meaning and beauty in our having to build a new household, in having to harmonise a chaotic new reality, in having to learn a language and legal system, cultural and religious norms… And that hard work is more honed than it might be if we are living a stagnant life: it is more specific and necessary. Our compulsion fires up our engine, and gets us more streamlined.
  5. It brings us into a realm of raw creative flow. Most lives are full of complacency, and this sense of ‘this’ being ‘all that there is’ – why bother changing anything, if we already have someone to drink coffee and complain about the weather/ our partner/ our boss with? If someone is telling us where to go each day, and we still get to ‘wild out’ on payday by buying a new pair of shoes, or getting drunk and laughing excessively, why would we want to re-accept the power-that-flows-through-all-things-when-we-are-aligned-with-our-life-purpose?! Hmmmmmmn – I wonder.
  6. Possibly most importantly of all: putting ourselves into a new and challenging situation like moving to another country makes us appreciate the value of things: we see how hard it is to find a thing which before was always a bancomat and a supermarket trip away. We being see how communication is so much more than constructed word formations, and that a smile or being touched on the cheek can be profoundly moving, confirming our place in the world. We learn to enjoy what little we have, essentially, rather than seeking more-more-more without questioning whether a thing is really improving the quality of our life. Perhaps our values can even deepen, in time – especially if we’re immersed in a culture which is more rooted in family, spirituality, friendship and nature…

I wanted to make a statement here; yes, about what the positive side of a challenge like moving abroad can be, but also to remind folks that NONE OF THIS COMES ABOUT EASILY OR INSTANTLY OR BY LUCK – NOR CAN IT BE BOUGHT: it has to be earned, slowly and through hard graft, humility, concerted attention and commitment, love and optimism, and by pushing oneself always to be a better human being. We have to know ourselves, and then too, to know craft and hone this self into the best we can be.

I wanted to remind myself, and to folks who are inspired by what I do: none of this happened here by accident, nor was any of it handed to me on a plate. More importantly is that I came from a place of significant fear, grief, illness and imbalance: I didn’t stride over here in confidence like many people assume, throwing it all together in happy nonchalance… I arrived neurotic and shaking, overwhelmed and reactionary, paranoid and terrified, even: nothing flowed well when I got here, and I hated most things about the country and culture. There was a dark night of the soul where I KNEW that I had fucked up phenomenally: that I’d thrown it all away and had nothing, and that I was a mess-up and useless and had sabotaged my future…

And though things got a tad better when I acquired the house, and began settling my roots into this blessed land and my heart into the community, it didn’t get any easier. There was a good 6 + years of anguish and panic, interspersed with tiny blisses and occasional profound beauty… just enough to keep my spirits above the mire, but not always. I struggled with health and social stresses, with financial fears and the strain of trying to stabilise ideas and feelings in a completely different reality.

I want to express this, even if I am repeating myself over the years, because I know that many people don’t ever change their lives because they think that one should be strong, confident, healthy, in equilibrium, solvent, and sure of what one is doing, to move abroad, or to make a big life change. You don’t, you simply have to do it, e basta.

Happiness, freedom, fulfilment grow like plants in a well-tended garden: they don’t appear overnight; they flourish according to whether or not they are planted, and whether or not it’s in the right season and soil, and the good care and attention given to them. They live to their potential not through one big showy action, but through myriad small ones. They yield fruit according to the accumulation of all these tiny attentions and harmonies – and when they are happy and in the right place and time… the fruit is bountiful – and heavenly delicious… And their seeds go on to produce more and more and more life and growth and fruit.

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Much love and creative power to you, Clare xx

 

LIVING IN A HIGH-RISE COUNCIL ESTATE

In response to the horrific tragedy, and all that has happened, all that’s unfolding, around #grenfelltower, I’m resharing an essay about my years in the Calder High-rise council estate in west Edinburgh, Scotland. It was written around 2008, soon after I moved out of the Calders.

view from the 12th floor, Cobbinshaw House

Part of the cause of such a violent destruction of life such as is the fire in the Grenfell tower, is the fact that your average citizen has no idea what it really means and feels like to live in a high-rise or council estate – and so they feel no need to speak out about/ take action around any of the multifarious, interwoven issues which affect such places and people. And so, issues compound and fester; problems become ensconsed and invisible to the outside world.

If we all felt more compassion for the comfort and safety of ALL OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS; if – in particularly – the people who make decisions about such situations, who make spending decisions and check how life really is for folk there, if they felt real compassion and made significant efforts to improve the life quality, safety and security, the spiritual wellbeing of everyone in our society… then a hell-like situation as the Grenvell fire might have been guarded against, even avoided altogether.

But greed and profit above human dignity, above human safety; that is what we choose when we live capitalism, and when we support governments who are empty or heart or soul.

mural created with local kids, 2005

Before I lived in a high-rise, I had a whole section of people cordoned off in my mind:  A WHOLE SECTOR OF PEOPLE locked away in the dark, with a sort of disclaimer to the effect of ‘they choose to live there’, ‘it’s their fault it’s so messed up’, ‘it’s a bad place/ they’re bad people’, ‘I am not that kind of person’.  They were thoughts unformed, quiet prejudices which sat unchallenged… which were blasted into the open forever as soon as I stepped onto the pavements of the Calders’ estate.

Suffice to say that when I left 4 yrs later, though I was very glad to move to a more peaceful location, my consciousness was utterly transformed… My life and work were profoundly enriched for having been a part of this dynamic, intense community. The most important quality I gained, was a humility – an ability to relate to all people, rather than just the ones which I thought were ‘like me’.

I hope this essay might illustrate something of how it is to actually live in a council high-rise; the atmosphere, the psychological and emotional issues which arise, the individual and collective challenges, and the things one has to do to get by. (Be aware that it’s fairly raw, and was written in a period where I was dealing with multiple griefs and unstable health.)

ESSAY ON LIFE IN A HIGH-RISE COUNCIL ESTATE

 

COLOUR! COLORARE!

When was the last time you did some colouring in?

And why do you think you ever stopped?

My new colouring book COLOUR THE WORLD! is now on sale!

It asks these very questions, and challenges you to go and and do some colouring-in right now! 

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There are so many things which get in the way of our taking proper, nourishing creative time for ourselves; from time limits and infinite other ‘more important’ tasks, to more passive distractions like TV and internet.

But what is so important about being creative, is the potent stimulation of hand-mind-imagination, which only comes from being deeply immersed in a creative act: everyone who gardens, goes fishing, walks in the mountains, or takes up a pencil, will tell you about it.

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As I refer to in COLOUR THE WORLD, working with colour in this way is a powerful metaphor for bringing colour into our everyday. Our choice of colour, and our pouring of it onto white paper, literally brings power and bright therapy right into our life: the drawings I use in my book are based on landscapes in Scotland and Italy, and I love this idea of bringing colour into the landscape, as if you were actually colouring in your world.

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Continue reading

COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS

sei italiano? vedi giù – è in italiano!

Those of you who’ve been following my blog and social media lately, will have seen my colouring book idea slowly coming to fruition…

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Imagine my surprise, as I got to the printing and mock-up stage, to hear in the background, as I sewed the pages together, an interview on Radio Scotland about the ‘first ever colouring book for adults’!

Aiaiai!

Despite the inaccuracy of the announcement (there have existed a few nichè colouring books for grown-ups for many years – though perhaps not rising to the same level of popularity), here it seemed that my precious idea – fermented over at least a decade, and only now coming into physical reality – was being pipped at the post! Continue reading