painting

Fever Ladies- Trail Blazers

Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelo, Virginia Woolfe, Dorothy Parker, Anais Nin, Georgia O'Keefe, Billie Holiday Painting Galia Alena

 These are my fever ladies. I call them such because I was running a temperature while I painted them. For the last 2 weeks or so, I've been unwell with a flu like thing. Since I'm not very good at resting I decided that I would stay out of the studio and do a few quick sketches with paint. That was the compromise to bed rest- to take over the dining room table, and to paint these. I did one of these a day and after that, still not getting any better, I decided to take rest a bit more seriously.
When my children are sick, rest and sleep is my go to remedy yet not a gift I find easy to give myself. As a few friends pointed out, it was fitting to include Frida Kahlo in the collection as bed rest never kept her down. So, without any further ado, let me introduce you to some HERos:

The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.

Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolfe, Mixed Media Painting Galia Alena

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, Painting Galia Alena

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.

Amelia Earhart

Dorothy Parker, Painting Galia Alena

The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.

Dorothy Parker

 I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.

  Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Painting Galia Alena

 Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

 Anaïs Nin

Anais NIn Painting Galia Alena

 Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

  Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keefe Painting Galia Alena

If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all.

  Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday Painting Galia Alena

I made a little frame for Frida, out of plaster and Christmas baubles shattered thanks to my cat. She will serve as a reminder of all that can be achieved and expressed no matter what. Thank you Frida you are truly inspiring. A couple of the ladies have been snagged but if there is one here that interests you please let me know in the comments (they are roughly 5x7", I don't think they will get listed in Etsy.

Frida Kahlo Painting Galia Alena
Who are your HERos?

Recent work- keeping up with the Muses


"The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself." Rumi
Galia Alena- The Great Wings Beating were Her Own, painting
The Great Wings Beating were Her Own
"The garden of the world has no limits
Except in your mind.
Its presence is more beautiful than the stars
With more clarity
Than the polished mirror of your heart." -Rumi
Galia Alena- More Beautiful than the Stars, painting
More Beautiful than the Stars
“I am a garden of earthly delights.
I am the apple you would fall for a thousand times.”
― Diane Lockward
Galia Alena- In the Garden of Earthly Delights, painting
In the Garden of Earthly Delights
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
― Rumi
Galia Alena- Fly Towards a Secret Garden, painting
Fly Towards a Secret Garden
There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into Light.
~Rumi.
Galia Alena- Dear Heart, painting
Dear Heart

From the Earth and the Fires

It's been a long while since I've paid my Etsy shop any attention, but I reopened it two days ago with a few original paintings and some of my blessing bowls (including custom made ones). And I'm loving how well my bowls are being received. They are perfect to sit on your sacred altar holding your sacred herbs or flowers or just your intentions.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

Working with the clay, the wait while things dry, or go through the kiln, the mystery and alchemy of glazes doing their magic in the fiery darkness, the christmas morning feeling when you finally get to remove them from their final firing. It reminds me so much of when I first started photography. The mystery of images lying dormant and mysterious until you processed them then magically coming to life on the film or paper with the blending of alchemy- predictable yet mysterious and magical.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

This week I look forward to shaping some more clay, marking with sacred symbols and mantras. Each bowl takes a few weeks to complete and I can only do a couple at a time but the muses have been whispering to me so marks must be made. When I went to the states, I made some personalised bowls as gifts, intuiting what to put on for each individual and I loved how they turned out and am really looking forward to seeing what people might like on their own bowls.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I've also added in a few original paintings. These are acrylic, ink and pastels on plaster and fabric. Each would look fabulous in a shadow box frame or hung raw to give a rustic look. It is the first time I have put any originals up for sale, and it kind of comes with a bitter sweet sensation, sending my babies out into the world. I'm sure they will find good homes.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I would love to hear what you would like to see me put in my Etsy shop next. I'm also working on my next e-course and would love to hear what you would like to see included in that. I've had many request to do a journaling course so I'm working on that- what would you like to see included?
Galia Alena mixed media painting of an angel and a mary oliver quote




Working in the Travel Journal



One of my pleasures of traveling is in making and working in my travel journal, both on the trip itself and also when I return as I recollect and digest memories. Its a beautiful way to extend the magic of the trip and also to give the memories and experiences a tangible form that I can connect back to again and again.

So many marks made on location giving me access right back to the scent and senses of the place and experience.
The raw memories demand to be laid down in strokes of colour and words that spill forth, sleep gives way to the urgency of committing those fresh memories to form. 
Next is to write up thoughts and to sort the 1000s of photos that I took, print some and glue them into the book. Such a delicious process.

It's also the first week of my on line class Of the Heart, and I am loving being inspired by what the students are all doing, bringing me back to my own book and where I left off before I set off on adventure. And I think one of the highlights of the week was when one of my students posted a video of her front porch strewn with the project as her hands were beautifully messy in the act of creation. I think this might just have been the moment I got addicted to teaching.

Bisous

Quiet Reprieve

Wip painting, Galia Alena Mixed Media Artist
Wip
I'm taking a quiet reprieve from the school holidays, and all the journalling, journal making and painting faces practice, to finish this (well at least this layer). Now I'm standing back, looking, dreaming, thinking, imagining and wondering what else this painting demands of me. The soft dreamy colours here make it a pleasurable task (as does the G&T at hand).  I don't know where this is going, I had some ideas a layer ago but I'm not sure they apply anymore- wondering what does.
 Happy Painting Everyone

New journal, new possibilities

mixed media art journalling
I've spent a few days putting together my new journal, a mish mash of what ever I could find,  from wall paper to beautiful water colour paper, from fabric to paper bags. Each variation a new possibility, a new challenge and a new inspiration, and together it all just looks yummy and inviting. Of course, once together, I couldn't resist working in it straight away (above is the first page, and below the inside cover).
mixed media art journalling
Inside Cover
mixed media art journalling
Velvet and drop sheet cover
mixed media art journalling
Yummy pages of cloth and paper

Flower Jewels, Ocean Deep- Pushing against my painting edge

Flower Jewels, Ocean Deep, Galia Alena
Flower Jewels, Ocean Deep, Galia Alena
“I am still learning” Michelangelo
If a painting should stretch the painter, help them grow them in their artistic expressions, then this painting was a success. I just pulled it out from its hiding place tucked away behind a stack of canvases where I shoved it several months ago in frustration of not knowing how to finish it or what I think/feel about it. Forgotten, I moved onto other things like water colours, pottery and a lot of art journalling but decided to bring it back out into the light this week.
For quiet sometime I had struggled with this painting- a sense of freedom and joy and exploration danced across the canvas while my mind (you know the critical one) struggled with how to calm it down, tie it altogether, find some places for the eye to rest. I pushed against my painting edge.
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to find it” Michelangelo
Sometimes my painting feel like the opposite of the Michelangelo story of how he chipped away at the marble block until he found the sculptures within. For me it feels like I add and add, layer upon layers of paint, obscuring hidden symbols and secret images, until eventually and hopefully a painting emerges. Its like I know its in there somewhere but I’m not sure where or how to coax it out. This is how I push against my painting edge- always looking for the magic, dancing between freedom, joy and intuitive abandon and that always critical, processing eye. What I learned from this piece is that sometime this is always going to be a fiery relationship and sometimes we just have to surrender to that dance rather than trying to resolve it.
Even now when I look at this piece, with all judgements aside, there is still this one little thing that niggles at me that I know is not finished, that I will always notice when I gaze on this painting- a reminder to just let it go... 
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo

Water Colour Notes from Bali


Galia Alena, water colour, Bali
Cafe Lotus View
Galia Alena, water colour, Bali
Arma Museum
Galia Alena, water colour, Bali
Temples & Mopeds

Bali is full of so much eye candy, no matter where your eyes settle their is inspiration, rich craftsmanship, luscious foliage, offerings to the many gods and goddesses and ripe fruits hanging heavy. The place is dense with detail and life bustling everywhere. There's a sense of being in a sacred temple everywhere in Bali, even outside, where the very sky itself seems to descend and complete this island temple with its rain bearing clouds.
You can find a photo of the temple in the first painting here.