Welcome to Soul Art

You are complete!

Yes, you ARE complete – exactly as you are and don’t need anything added to you or taken away from you in this moment!

When I was studying for my Fine Art degree, I felt inferior to people who were good Draughtsmen. In the end, I decided to do my own thing and not worry about what I felt were my lack of drawing skills. I discovered a type of painting called Abstract Expressionism and looked at painters like Ian McKeever, Mark Rothko, Maria Chevska, Therese Oulton and Helen Frankenthaler. When I took on this way of painting, suddenly I found people sitting in front of my work meditating! This is just to illustrate that, by doing your own thing, rather than doing the sort of work you feel people will like, you can expand your confidence and you’ll be able to see that you are absolutely fine as you are.

I now treat creativity holistically and add lots of practices, such as meditation, Kashmiri Shaivism and using all the senses. So really, my classes are about conscious creativity, rather than just doing a painting that you can take home with you. It’s a space for experimentation. I’ve discovered that you don’t need anything added to you or taken away from you in this now moment. Can you ‘allow’ this moment, exactly as it is? If you feel you cannot, can you allow that instead? This relaxation and allowance is the return of the feminine and we can just relax because we can’t really mess up. Allow yourself to drop into your own inner-knowing.

I run art workshops every other Sunday (dates on my Blog or workshops page). Firstly, my 2hour usual ‘contemplation and abstract painting’, then, on the next second Sunday, 3-hours going into more depth and possibly either jelly-printing or collage etc The 3-hour workshop is more of an afternoon Retreat. The only rule I have at my workshop is ‘no narrative’!!!! When there is no narrative involved, eg, wanting to draw a tree or a house or something, our energy flows more coherently and we can stay for longer in non-conceptual awareness, rather than having constant narration from thoughts. We start by making a mess on lots of pieces of paper, using rags, twigs, sponges and fingers. This helps you to feel you don’t need to get attached to a narrative or analyse what you’re doing. We then do a couple of other exercises, finishing up with a few more ‘concrete’ paintings and taking into account how the painting ‘reads’ etc. David Bingham says that “The mind is given too much attention by us, because we’re told that the mind represents 100% of our consciousness but in reality, the mind represents less than 1% of our consciousness and the rest is non conceptual awareness.” I usually then take an example from an artist who paints in an abstract expressionistic way – eg Joan Mitchell or Helen Frankenthaler and we can use aspects of their ideas for the rest of the workshop. For instance, if we look at Joan Mitchell’s Sunflowers, the painting takes into account the memories, feelings, sensations and perceptions of sunflowers, rather than making the painting look like a photograph of the flowers.

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Denise Blackburn and bluebells
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