Keeper of the Ways

Keeper of the Ways- Galia Alena
Keeper of the Ways

She is Grandmother Spider who weaves the web that holds our communities together. Taking rituals and traditions she spins them into her intricate web while singing ever “Remember where you came from” a question spiraling in layers… 

How far back do you remember, how deep, how high?

this body, 
ancestors, 
community, 
earth, 
the stars.
 

What sort of stardust are you made from?


She weaves it ever inward, ever stronger, ever richer- 

Remember, Remember, Remember-

Beneath it all ever the reminder that you are more, so much more & if you live those rituals instead of just doing them, then you will be pulled into the moment, the expansive sacred moment where all the strands meet. 
I walk with these ancestors when I remember what was taught, what was given, when my grandmothers stand by me and see me bake, sew, create, grow.
 Slowly, being present, stitch by stitch, the ritual brings you back always into that moment, that slowing down that allows the quiet breath to speak in silence and you listen to all that is, all that was and all that will be again. You see it all, quiet and rhythmic, like breath, like pulse, like ritual- and so she weaves. 


Heirophant, Grandmother Spider, Crone, Wise Woman, Medicine Woman, Medicine Keeper, Ancestor, Elders, Record Keeper, Keeper of the Ways

Life as Medicine

Galia Alena Mixed Media Listen- Dream Express
The way home lies in your imagination,
In your dreams,
In the whisperings of the Winged Ones and the Ancestors
Hear the truths floating on the currents
And the breeze through the trees
Sing the stories you've forgotten.
Waiting in the unseen that enfolds,
Lies pure potentiality
and Magic
and all that is too precious to hold
I’ve been humbled these last few weeks.

Over the Solstice break, the shift of the polar energies, in that still point as the pendulum swings back, I got clear messages that it was time to make some changes in the work I do, to step forward and offer up my gifts. This is no easy feat for some of us who do work that is hard to define, that has no easy labels and doesn’t fit neatly into a category. I’m still not sure but what I do know is that I clearly understood that I needed to offer up my medicine. If you are on my winged love notes list then you would have received a video where I talk about this, about offering up what heals me, and allowing that to heal others. Even this was pushing my edges since  I am completely comfortable behind the camera and not in front of it- some of you who know me well will know how deeply that one runs.

There is this real sense of ease that comes with this work, not that its easy but that there is a natural flow to it- right livelihood as my friend would call it. So following that, and just listening to what was coming up for me I am still painting the paintings that are birthed in dialogue with the muses, spirit, dreamtime and myself, always a journey and always a conversation. I also stepped out bravely to create my first circle. I’ve sat in various circles for years, and I’ve taught and facilitated workshops both in person and online, but a circle is different. A circle meant not knowing, trusting and listening, a circle meant guiding not teaching, a circle meant holding space, a circle meant doing the work alongside and being vulnerable and open, a circle meant inviting in women who could do their own work but who would appreciate and grow from the power and strength of being held in circle.

And Kuan Yin... she came forward to work with this circle, and work with us she did. It was heart expansion good work where we were cracked open for such growth, such vulnerability and such strength. We cried powerful rivers, we connected our power centers to our heart centers, we acknowledged the softness and the strength as one, we touched our own divinity. We practiced compassion on ourselves and radiating out from the heart. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Through it all was life, front and center, offering me opportunity after opportunity to walk the walk and practice what I was preaching (not that there was any preaching but I’m sure you know what I mean), bringing me back again and again to that heart space, the infinite heart space that has no boundaries. Oh we put a shape, a design, symbol for our minds to hold it but can not be contained, it is endless and the practice is to stay connected to it, to be expanded by it. I believe in this work, I believe it is foundational to all the rest we do.

And the humbling, beyond the work I did myself in circle, was the women who showed up, the messages I received about the life changing experience they had (you can read a few here). I couldn’t even have imagined, I’m tearing up even thinking about it now. So humbled and grateful, I’m still integrating all that magical work, that circle which we will never be done with, that circle that will be circled back to again and again. And I’m still listening, and allowing the next one to step forward, the next goddess to whisper to me “its time to work with me, its time to explore my gifts”, and naturally, life is supporting this exploration.

Life as Medicine

We begin with the Full Moon in Scorpio- how perfect. Find out more here Xx

http://www.galiaalena.com/circling-with-the-goddesses/

Fractured Portraits- 21 Secrets

I'm teaching for 21 Secrets, Woo hoo
This session of 21 Secrets is designed around tools and techniques and when Connie asked me to contribute a lesson based around my photographic work it pushed me out of that comfort zone... to the magic.

Pointing the camera at myself is not easy, yet every now and then it is a demon I have to face, and with facing it  comes a new layer of healing as I strive to clear away old stories. This page did that for me. I believe that art journaling is one way of to find myself, Meeting Myself on the Page and this page of Fractured Portraits was not exception. There is magic in this process, and I really love the results, (which is  a side benefit and not the aim in my art journaling practice).



http://tinyurl.com/21secrets-galia
21 Secrets has 21 artists all offering up a wonderful lesson on art journaling technique as well as an opportunity to Meet Yourself on the Page. Come and see... I'm really excited about getting to be a student with the other 20 teachers!!


And there's an Early Bird Special when you use the code "springsecrets" (but only until the 19th).
http://tinyurl.com/21secrets-galia

Spectrum- Holistic- Creative Workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Welcome, Creative Heart!

You are a radiant SPECTRUM of Life & Wholeness…
… and the insight & joy you seek is within you!

Creative journaling – expressing yourself with words or through mixed-media {art}making – is an amazing way to access, celebrate and awaken what feels invigorating, meaningful and vital to you.

Sometimes that feels active, edgy and playful.
Sometimes it is calm, centering and healing.
It is definitely full of discoveries, growth and gifts!

I'll be joining an amazing line up of artists and healers (over 40 creatrix), teaching a class on Archetype Exploration.

Join us in Spectrum 2016, for a holistic-creative journey that will nurture, spark and expand the ways you explore your heart’s truth, honor your expressive nature and engage with your soul’s calling.
Very simply, Spectrum 2016 is an online multi-media workshop & community, with weekly inspiration and exclusive classes for your creative practice & holistic awareness, including mixed-media art lessons, writing prompts and holistic-centered perspectives & activities.

To find out more visit here 

Here are some page from the last session I did, can't wait to dive in again, join us:


Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshopSpectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop

Spectrum mixed media art journaling workshop
http://tinyurl.com/spec-galia

♥ A Giveaway ♥- you shine with the light of a thousand suns...

http://www.galiaalena.com/circling-with-kuan-yin
I remind you that you shine with the light of a thousand suns. 
Kuan Yin 


 And the Winners...

Thank you to all the beautiful women who entered sister friends into the Circling with Kuan Yin Draw either here or on my FB page- it was so beautiful to read them all.
The names drawn to join us are Diva & Denise
And as a bonus thank you, anyone who entered who wishes to sign up will receive a free place for their sister friend to join us too. Big love to you all Xx




I hadn't planned on doing a give away/competition but she had other plans and I am listening to her. She wants you to share this with a beloved sister and that's seems perfect to me. So here's how its going to work:

To Enter:

♥♥♥ Tell me in the comments who you would l♥ve to sit in circle with Kuan Yin, who you would feel to gift this to. I will be drawing two winners in a week and both you and your sister friend will win a place in the circle ♥♥♥

For Additional Entries:
☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform
☆ subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
☆ Tell me why this class is calling to you
☆ subscribe to this blog

To find out more about this circle visit here.



This year so far has felt slow and dreamy, like that still point of solstice is still holding on to me. Yet despite that gentle movement, I have painted three more paintings for my series (Celestial Grace & the Lovers), and they are both now in the shop.

Love is the bridge between you and everything. Rumi
This is the card you are never done with. Time through time, back to this one - always. After Tower, after Death, after the Devil and the Wheel of Fortune, after them all- always back to this card, to choice and of course, to practice.
Love is a practice & a choice, everyday, every moment, scary ego shattering, heart splitting, soul reminding, alone, with other, together, always this- a choice and a practice. Never done with. Always a new choice, always a new layer, whether you are marrying those parts within yourself, raising children, choosing partnership, showing up to humanity- always a choice and a practice.
Big love, little love, passionate poetry inspiring, ship sailing love, daily love, mundane love, unrequited love- all of it a practice, in the moment, to chose that reason you came, to remember why you came and to live who you really are.
There is so much more to say on this card- about dissolving boundaries between Other, about mirrors, about alchemy and sacred magic, sacred union, about the soul’s truest flight... Only I stand here, at the first corner of this dark and wondrous labyrinth, bare and naked, in fierce vulnerability I choose...

All that lies in possibilities

Somewhere between a dream and a memory
I pull back to hear a whisper
Do you remember, she taunts,
when you saw between the worlds,
all that lies in possibility.
 
Wishing you all a most JoyFull New Year filled with "all that lies in Possibility". For me there was a quietness that descended with the Solstice as the earth stilled for awhile allowing me to collect pieces together and rest awhile. Just now I can feel the shift again with the New Year beginning. 

2015 you were a beautiful bridge, even if somewhat bumpy and steep at times. You were the bridge that allowed me to meet myself in that still point and connection. You were the healing from when I jumped and found my wings weren’t quite ready to unfurl in time to catch me. You were the journey I had to take without leaving home. You were bitter and sweet medicine all in one, you took me deep and you carried me to here.

2016, ahhhhhh, I feel you as a soft balm already, a gentle gift, a slow unfolding. I am so please to meet you and linger in the dreams of your possibilities. I know you have good stuff planned, magical and inviting. I know you are the way home. You are the one I’ve been waiting for.

(Above is one of the paintings I finished last year (SOLD), there are a few I've just been too busy to share with you yet, but I will, I promise).

Circling with Kuna Yin

 She's been calling to me, whispering "rest, rest your weary heart, I've got you, I've always had you", I see petals, roses, I see soft light, I feel warmth and tenderness. She is Fierce Gentleness. She is mama ocean of eternal love. If you would like to know more about Circling with Kuan Yin then pop over here.

Winged Love Notes

I have put together a little something including a collective reading for the new year and a personal message for those on my Winged Love Notes list. If you would like to receive this please pop your name on the list here & I will occasionally write a little love note to wing its way to your inbox Xx
WOTY Readings




WOTY readings are available until the 31st of January and are proving to be powerful insights into working with your word- I am still digesting what came up for me in mine (although if you received my winged love notes then you'll know that my WOTY may be shifting).




Medicine Sphere- mama earth


Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year

Today I sat in circle. It was a warm Summer day and we took our Chai outside and sat on the soft grass in the shade of a tree to share. On returning home I walked through my garden alive with the vibrancy of summer and heady with the scent of Star Jasmine. Today is the day the family gathers to decorate our Christmas Tree. I walk in the front door and I’m engulfed by the smell of ripe mangoes, the smell of Christmas and I hear Christmas carols - “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. The house is shut up to the heat of the day and we drink champagne while I place a Christmas display upon the wood burner, we won’t be using that for awhile.


The days are getting longer as we head towards Summer Solstice. I walk in the cool of the evenings, and the children’s dinner is later and later as I’m drawn to watch the setting sun linger in its swan song before dropping behind the horizon and I finally head home. I tell clients in the Northern Hemisphere that its time for turning within, for shadow work and facing the Great Bear in this darkest time of the year as they move closer and closer to the longest night, Winter Solstice.

Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year, Earth Medicine


Not long ago I celebrate both Beltane and Samhain.  Both with a strong presence around me, existing simultaneously in my world. One present in the physical world around me , in my garden, in the bush I walk, the seasonal food I take into my body, in the birdsong that is the soundtrack to my days. Mama nature holds this, the land around me. The other which is energetically just as true, in my bone wisdom, in the traditions of my ancestors handed down through rituals transmuted. The collective unconscious holds this, the psyche of my culture. I celebrate both- the thinning veil and the fertility. Roots digging down deep in the earth, wings soaring ever higher to spirit.

Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year

You would think that these contradictions would throw me off kilter as I try to reconcile what is in front of me, what I live, with the traditions of our unconscious collective and I think for awhile it did while I tried to reason with it and find the logical solution. I felt a certain disconnect, and a longing. However as I've delved deeper into the study of the medicine wheel, the wheel of the year and the lunar cycles, I am able to hold these two dichotomies and contradictions at once. Polar opposites yet inextricably tied together.

I’m taught in a Medicine Wheel tradition that starts in the East and goes around clockwise South, West and North. East the time of new beginnings, of air, South the fiery time, of activity, West a watery time of emotions and North, of Earth and the ancestors. When I walk the medicine wheel in my garden I don’t even think about it twice, I instinctively start in the East and move to the North (fire) and then around to the West (water) and finally to the South (earth). I’m tracking the sun. The circle I sit in physically here moves in this direction as well, the direction of the land we sit on, land of the Gundungarra and Darug tribes, although the elements and energies are different (west is earth and north is water). Here  it is called the Dreaming Circle. I am of the moors in Scotland where my people were displaced and I am of this land I was born to that has be in the care of other tribes. I grow where I am planted, here, on mama earth, one earth whole.



Galia Alena, Wheel of Fortune


When I conceptualise the medicine wheel, draw it, think about or talk about the Medicine Wheel, I still do so clockwise, in the tradition of the Northern Hemisphere, this is my symbolic and mythical reality. Yet my body in this land knows that it is exactly how I hold it in my mind I just move through it physically differently, like walking through a mirror. There is this moment of unconscious outward and physical interpretation. There is also this part of me that understands that its not a circle at all but a sphere where polaric points hold each other in perfect balance, as they should. I am completely happy standing in the midst of contradictions and I understand that truth is always a plural. It has taken me awhile to integrate this, to step out of the head that wishes to make logical sense of it all. Impossible, we are talking about bone wisdom and spirit. So I hold these opposing energies gently and in balance with consideration to my ancestral lines that head back to pagan times and celtic traditions, to the people that walked this land for millennium with their dreamtime, to the many Native American tribes whose traditions have taught my teachers and my understanding of the medicine wheel and to all the ancestral traditions that have come down and influence the traditions of the culture I sit in such as the Siberian Shamans whose traditions inform how I understand Christmas. All of these many traditions, so different and so varied and yet so much the same, come to me to be practiced in my own way, with my own School of Wisdom to navigate and honour and what I see and honour is the interconnectedness of it all. And so it is…

Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year, 13 Moon Readings, tarot

I am currently offering 13 Moon Tarot Readings for 2016. If you feel called to see how the cards would like to guide you through the year then have a look over here. Moving through the year with awareness of the moon cycles is a beautiful way to connect with divine feminine energy and honour your path. It also a beautiful way to connect in with the energy of each moon cycle and the seasons. These readings will look at each moon for the year, drawing two cards for each moon cycle to sit in dialogue with each other and with the energy around that moon. Together they will offer insight to guide you throughout that lunar cycle.

http://www.galiaalena.com/offerings/#/13-moons/

I made it- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge

Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge

 I did it, I made it through the 30 Faces in 30 Days challenge. All finished, and many of them winging their way across the oceans to their new homes. I have a few people asking when I'm going to do this again, but for right now that is furthest from my mind. I love doing it, and I learnt a lot, but right now I am ready to dive back into my other paintings, the ones that take days, weeks, to actualise, the ones that are dreamy and not on a deadline ;) as well as other things like my 13 Moons Readings, and a few other things in the work (teaser here).

Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 28
There are still some available here

Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Days 24, 22, 29

I loved the freedom to try new things that doing it this way offered, like the day I did a dot like painting (day 12)- I had been wanting to play with that idea for awhile, and like days 11 & 17 where I wanted to try different colour palettes with the same idea. I also enjoyed playing with colour, texture, mediums and brush strokes. In this way it was quite liberating. On top of which I had to mix it up each day to keep myself interested, I didn't want to repeat the painting from the day before.
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 25
 There's also a few I would have got precious with, either not pushing or going in the next day to rework and fix things. The one a day freed me of that attachment, paint and move on to the next the next day with only a limited amount of time for each, what with life going on as well. There's a release in perfectionism with that, and it helped with the dance of knowing when to stop and when to push further, the limitations dictated and took my head out of it.
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Days 21, 27, 23

 If I do it again, I think I won't share as I go. Even though there was a certain amount of holding myself to the task that comes with making it public, there is also  a certain constraint to the pushing and experimenting as I knew that at the end I would have to share it. There will be a different freedom in not sharing that will also be fun to explore.

Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 26
It did serve its purpose (as did my sketch a day earlier) in keeping me painting (or sketching) while I was holding space for Camera Craft- I knew that  I would be able to disappear down the rabbit hole of a painting while Camera Craft was in session.
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Lucky last- Day 30
That's all my sweets, now I am off to disappear down the rabbit hole of a few larger paintings that have been whispering and calling to me. Xx

30 Faces in 30 Days- Pt 2


Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 14
 Well apart from feeling pretty pleased that I've made it this far I'm not sure what else I want to say. I am learning things as I go, things that I do consistently that I need to be aware of. I'm also noticing how much I'm loving playing with colour as tonal value and I'm loving the freedom of trying different things and the surprise of just what shows up (for example, day 15 below was in response to Paris).
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 13
 On top of that I am loving that these are resonating with people, either for themselves or as gifts for others for Christmas- many are winging their way across the seas.
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 11 & 12
 The two above were painted from the same reference image- I love how many different directions you can go from the same reference and essentially the same palette. The image below is a similar painting to Day 7 only I wanted to play with a softer palette.
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 17
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 19
 Some are still available here in my shop
Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Days 16 15 & 18



I'm on the home stretch now, 10 faces to go. Curious to see whats next? Me too :)




Galia Alena- 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge
Day 20

all of us in circle, this earth, together


Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.


Dalai Lama

I took these photos on Saturday, I had been sitting with the pain of the wounded earth, Paris, Lebanon, Syria, the Congo, all of it, so many places, so much pain and I am determined to move away from the hate that these attacks are designed to stir. Instead I cry for the mothers, and the babies, and the wounded men and broken women, I cry for mama earth being stained with our ambitions and I check in to see where my responses are coming from, from compassion, from knowledge of the complexity and contradictions of things, from love.

A year ago I was in Paris, celebrating my mother's 70 turn around the sun. She says to me now "If I was born a year later..." yes we would have been there, and yes I would have been one to hug that brave Muslim who stood blind folded and trusting humanities ability to respond with compassion and love. We must keep our hearts, our minds and our borders open.

I dreamt these images, of course they changed in process as things do, but their intention is still the same- all of us in circle, this earth, together, fragile, broken, torn, but together- and at the center... there can be only one thing.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.


Mahatma Gandhi
And a shout out to Catherine Just whose prompt on Begin Deepening had me express it all in images.

30 Faces in 30 Days- a new challenge

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 1 & 2
I'm here, again, knee deep in the middle of another daily challenge/practice. I didn't plan to be here so quickly, but there it is, the energy drew me in and I began. I'm a third of the way through, learning lots, making mistakes and growing from them and wondering how to sustain the energy that kick starts these challenges- a practice needs to be a marathon not a sprint in order to build the muscles needed to sustain a practice and the growth beyond the challenge- because none of it is about the challenge, its about stretching, pushing edges, and sustaining that growth into a real challenge.

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 3
So the Rules:
  • Rule 1- there are no rules ;), only guidelines, an opening, an opportunity, a container for mark making and growth
  • Guideline 2- Paint a face a day
  • Guideline 3- Try new things, different ways, different palettes, different brush strokes, different feels.
  • Guideline 4- Try the same painting again, this time pushing it further, past that point you stopped at last time out of fear of losing it.
  • Guideline 5- Stayed aware and observant but detached.
  • Guideline 6- Offer them up daily (facebook & and in my shop) as part of the detachment practice, all of them and at a reduced price- release them, let them go.
  • Guideline 7- be kind to yourself, some days will be harder to show up, and then, of course, there is life, allow for life.
That's it- want to play- #30facesin30days  -I'd love to see Xx

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 4

I'm loving playing with colour, under painting and accents and glows, using colours which don't usually make it onto my palette like the magenta below, so I want to play with that some more. It is the brush strokes that I really want to get more comfortable with- being more confident with their application and just leaving them, not blending,




Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 5 & 7
They are all available here, in my shop, $45 each, perfect if one is calling you or if you are after a unique and original artwork for Chissy presents.

And a big shout out to inspiration from Flowrsinherhair, who is on the home stretch for a Face A Day for a Year challenge, I can't even begin to imagine, and Gillian, who is always inspiring but specifically did her own challenge a few months back and planted the seed for my own. Thank you ladies for shining brightly Xx

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 6
Let's see where the next ten take me- back in a week and a half :) Xx

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 8, 9 & 10

And that's enough- a sketch a day

Galia Alena- sketch a day challenge
The thing about challenges like this is, well, Life. I started out well, keeping up a sketch a day. Then I started to notice the other things that were dropping away to make time for this, for example a daily walk or yoga. I've always been frustrated with that saying "If you really want to do something you'll find time for it". It just doesn't allow for the creatively curious who really really want to do many things- there's still only so many hours. Oh if I could pause that precious hour when the house is quiet and the day hasn't come a knocking yet, then I would totally be doing all my yoga and meditating, I'd write, starting with the morning pages and then moving onto other things, both my journal and other projects, I would lay pages in my art journal, go for a walk in nature, tend my garden, paint, sketch and and and... Really I would, because I really want to do all those things but try as I might, I just can't bend time. An hour is still an hour and I have to choose.
And apart from all that there was also the day I had a migraine, the school holidays, a long weekend when the house was full of house guests and so on- Life. Not to mention that my palette was also calling with a few paintings insisted on being birthed even though part of the reason for this challenge was to keep my hands creating through a time I didn't think I would have either the time or the space to paint while I was immersed in Camera Craft.
Galia Alena- sketch a day challenge
All of this is why I am very clear that these challenges aren't designed to trip me up, to have an opportunity to fail, and get all self-loathing over it. Nor to stress through a day when I didn't find time to do one. No, this is strictly an opportunity for growth and expansion, to explore both practice and technique and to see what emerges. It is merely the container for things to happen in- not the destination. And things did happen, edges were stretched, things were discovered, inspiration did come a calling, technique was developed a bit further, threads were followed and ideas are forming. Onwards right?
Galia Alena- sketch a day challenge
So I'm now on a break from "challenges" but I already have the next one waiting in the wings, starting sooner than I think. It will be the same loosey goosey container to keep me moving ever forward creatively. And that's enough...
Galia Alena- sketch a day challenge

Sketch a Day, week 3 and I'm still here

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

There's a constant pushing through that comes with the practice of daily showing up to these sketches. It's not necessarily that they are getting better but there is this space and freedom created which means that new things are tried, techniques, marks, mediums are all expanded out. Maybe it just comes from the sheer boredom that would come from doing the same thing for 30 days, maybe its from the accomplishment of having created "X" already so why not move on.

There's also an intimacy with oneself and process that comes from the daily practice, an exploration of themes and marks in a way that seems random until the daily practice stacks them on top of one another.

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

The preciousness is also removed. If I'm only doing one sketch every blue moon then there is this desire for it to be "good". When I do one everyday, that pressure is removed and replace with curiousity and experimentation. In a way the intensity of the challenge like this, one a day for an extend period, brings gifts that the spread out regular practice can not. I am keen to see this challenge through and then start the next one I have planned for later in November.

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

Week 2- Sketch a Day Challenge

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, mixed media
Week 2 and I'm managing a drawing/sketch a day, although I am not keeping up with Gillian and all her wonderful exercises. As you can see we are mixing it up with a variety of mediums, subjects and methods, although it is the face that draws me in again and again. I'm loving that these are just sketches, exercises and explorations- in letting go, in mark making, in form and tone, in looking, including and leaving out and on and on. No pressure to make anything, just an opportunity to grow, to watch and see. Already I can feel the growth from the daily practice.

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, Drawn to Expression


One of the sketches found its way onto a page in my journal tarot, my favourite book to work in lately. How I  just love to while away the hours working and exploring in here:

Tarot Journal, Galia Alena, mixed media

And I thought I'd share a little out take from shooting for Camera Craft- Into the Light, the blossoms are just so pretty...
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
Cherry Blossom, Galia Alena, Camera Craft, e-course, online photography workshop

When petals fall...

sketch a day- Drawn to Expression

I have this tendency to focus on just one project at any one time, even though there are always a dozen or so on the go. It will either be the project that has the most energy around it, that's piquing my curiosity and has the muses showing up for it or it will be the one that is most current (i.e. time frame driven). I always circle back to the others...eventually, but this usually means life is somewhat "unbalanced". This is where practice steps in. Practice for the sake of practice. Practice for the virtues of just showing up, no agenda or inspiration needed, just a sprinkling of discipline.

I'm not very good at discipline, and so I allow myself wider parameters around this knowing that anything else will get the rebel in me offside. And besides who wants to set themselves up for failure. So I just start and see where it goes. I've done these before. Here when I was doing a face a day and although I didn't get far I saw some definite changes in the work. Here when I tried writing a paragraph a day (quite frankly I bored myself with this one). And here when I was sick with fevers for a week or two so I committed myself to just one quick painting (around an hour) a day to balance all the foreign films I was watching which became my Fever Ladies- Trail Blazers. Ooohhh, and there was the Water Colour a Day one I started last year until Spring came and paralysed me with her beauty.

So while I am knee deep in Camera Craft, working on future lessons and diving in with the students in the classroom (loving all the work by the way, so inspiring) and dreaming up another little project (teaser here) I thought I would set myself a challenge to do so that I could keep my hands moving whilst my attention was else where. I had planned something a bit different but then Gillian's class Drawn to Expression popped up and offered the perfect container for a challenge (she is a wonderful and generous teacher, and she will be joining us in Camera Craft as soon as her own class finishes). So drawing everyday for the next moon cycle is the plan (although you can see I am already 5 days in). Let's see how far I get and even more importantly, lets see how the work develops. I will post weekly in an attempt to keep myself honest ;)



Lotus - Galia Alena Photography
When petals fall
Seeds scatter, loosened from their fragile dream
birthed from dying beauty & spilled against the light.
Tiny tiny seed, what mysteries do you clasp,
When petals fall...

My moon sister Maya is weaving together some magic over at Empress Tides, part of a project raising money for some orphanages over in Nepal and I am doing monthly readings from my paintings so head on over if you are feeling the pull of the moon.

A Wild and Glorious Dance


Camera Craft- The Art of Seeing- e-course, online photography workshop
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl
The Alchemical Magic of Photography- I've been thinking about this of late as I piece together the final pieces for Camera Craft. There is such an element of magic and mystery with analogue photography and moving in the digital world of photography takes some seeking to find but it is there in many many magical ways.

So much heart and soul has gone into putting this together by both myself and all the wonderful contributors. It is a glorious dance between rooting down with the bones of photography and soaring to creative heights with soulful inspiration- a wild and glorious dance.
If you're feeling the pull to be part of this dance of play, inspiration, rich content and joyous images then take your place in our creative circle- there is magic to be found.

I am loving (and surprised by) how many pieces of mixed media are being offered up, the intersection of the digital and the tangible, adding that tactile element to the digital, allowing for the raw and the real while still holding all the magic (who wants to live in a world without magic right?) and turning visions into touchstones. Yesterday I was adding Misty's lessons to the classroom and, as always, she has inspired me yet again. There are always ways to spiral in deeper with your craft, to find new inspiration and see things fresh, like a child, to see the magic and to hold it tenderly for even just a moment, a split second of grace ...

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety." Ansel Adams

And a sneak peek from Camera Craft-Into the Light:
Camera Craft- Into the Light- e-course, online photography workshop
To find out more visit here:


Or to sign up:

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&i=1439372&cl=226019&ejc=2

Camera Craft Guest Contributors



With less than a week until we begin I wanted to introduce all the amazing creatrix and photographers contributing to Camera Craft. Take a moment to sit back and drink in all the beauty they create. EnJoy...

Misty Mawn Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop

 MISTY MAWN

If you haven't already fallen in love with her and her work as I have, then start with this video and then head over to her website: http://www.mistymawnart.com/
Studying photography many years ago, she has dedicated her life to growing as an artist, leading her to play in many mediums, like me that's means they all call to her to express her soul through them. Photography is one that allows her to hold the beauty of her family, her travels and her days, honouring both her love and life through her lens and heart's eye.
Everything she touches is steeped in soulful beauty, I can't wait to take her lesson myself where she will be sharing on portraiture.

 
Danielle Cohen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 DANIELLE COHEN


Danielle Cohen has a sweet and gentle way about her yet her images hold depth and power. In her own words,"Mostly, I help people fall in love with themselves and their lives." Her work is all about helping people be seen and fall in love with themselves.
To learn more about her and see some more of her work visit here http://www.danielle-cohen.com/

Danielle will be sharing some of her lighting  techniques.



Ashley Fincham Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 ASHLEY FINCHAM

"I want to make images that resonate deep within...I know this life is like a lightening bolt; beautiful, electric and dancing. However it is fast and fleeting. I believe wholeheartedly it is worth every bit of documenting." Ashley takes beautiful images, but beyond that she is a creative through and through. When I look at her images I see soulful interpretation, I see the world as if through her eyes, I see her vision. She also is the curator of a wonderful series of creative INterviews over at her on line home A Global Walk, where you can read interviews on many inspiring creatives, exploring idea’s about sacred living, what helps with mending and what rhythm looks like, including other contributors like Danielle Cohen , Erin Faith Allen and myself.

ERIN FAITH ALLEN


Erin Faith Allen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
Erin and I first met many years ago when we were both active in Female Photographers of Etsy (fPOE) . I was particularly drawn to the intersection of her photography and her mixed media work. Over the years it has been my great pleasure to watch her work blossom and her creative practice become richer and deeper. I love her work and her soul that shines through it. If you are not familiar with it make your self a cup of tea and settle down with this video here http://www.erinfaithallen.com/about-erin/ and then explore some of her wonderful short films on inspiring creatrix, Soul Shakers, such as Orly Avineri and Jennette Nielsen. Its all good stuff, juicy stuff, inspiring stuff.




Stacy de la Rosa Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop STACY DE LA ROSA

Stacy's work is all about rising women up in their power and how they see themselves, working with story and archetypes. In her own words "I'm a photographer, advocate and instigator for creative women. I am a woman awakening her Queen within. I take photos, write words, and offer courses designed to reflect back to women their unique brand of beauty, magic, and joy. My greatest passion is to bear witness to women who rise into their power and create the life of their dreams."

She shoots like a girl... 
Ivy Newport Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop 
IVY NEWPORT

Ivy is a mixed media artist who is doing amazing work on the intersection of photography and painting in pixels. And she is such a generous soul that she has put together two gorgeous lessons for you, one on post production (making your images beautiful after shooting them) and another on encaustics and photography ( I love love love encaustics and it adds such a wonderful and tactile effect to photos). You can find her and all her wonderful work over here: http://ivynewport.com/

Eileen West Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop EILEEN WEST
Eileen is a photographer and a life coach, she use photography to explore her everyday world and she helps others to develop their own intuitive photography to express their inner creativity. You can find out more about her and her photo a day challenge here: http://www.westofwhimsy.com/

Believer in the universe…
 
Jeannette Le Blanc Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
JEANNETTE LE BLANC

Jeanette LeBlanc is a writer, photographer and inspirationalist. She believes in chocolate and the ocean. She also believes in the artist in EVERYONE and the beauty in EVERYONE. She will be sharing a piece on the intersection of photography and words and will be doing so with a surprise guest. To find out more about Jeannette visit her here: www.peacelovefree.com & www.jeanetteleblanc.com/blog/ 


PEACE LOVE & CHOCOLATE


Liz Morgan Lamoreux Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 LIZ MORGAN LAMOREUX
"Self-portraits are one way I invite myself to feel deeply seen. How I give myself the gift of knowing that I’m not alone. How I remind myself that I’m not disappearing into the roles I play.
Through my lens I capture joy, grief, silliness, quiet, fear, exhaustion, stillness. I capture all the pieces that make up me. This is how I practice self-care and how I reach toward an understanding of who I am..." Liz, excerpt from Camera Craft
 Liz shows up fiercely vulnerable and true to herself and strives to give other women permission to do the same.
Have a listen to her talk about her own work. Be warned though, she may just make you tear up like she did me.
You can find her here



To find out more about Camera Craft visit here or  to try a sample lesson visit here. And, of course, to sign up, you can do that below :

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&i=1439374&cl=226019&ejc=2

There is healing in the light (and the winner is...)

Galia Alena Photography
Creativity is the type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual. Koestler
I have this quote on my teaching page. It makes perfect sense to me. It is both how it should be and how I want it to be.  There is much to be gained from staying open to learn as you  teach, both from the process and from the students. Yet I wondered how that would play out with photography “101”, what would I learn in a field I am already  an “expert”.

Well class hasn’t even begun and I’ve already  learnt so much about my own photography (and myself), about how deeply to my core it is rooted, how it is a form of both meditation and prayer, how I honour precious gifts with it and how much further I have to go with it. Both the digging deep, through my own archives and my reflections in putting the lessons together as well as the beautiful cross-pollination  that comes from collaboration (not to mention the beautiful and heart felt comments on my last post), have cracked a wound open that I have with this medium (its complicated ;) ) to let the light stream both in and out. 


There is healing in the light.

I’m finding for myself all those things I’ve promised to the participants: connection, inspiration, light and shadow dances, seeing, magic, play, curiosity, delving deeper and then more inspiration. It has renewed my own dialogue with this craft, and the dance between technique and pure expression. There’s been some unschooling and some wide openings. It’s the edge where light and shadow meet, that magical place. And, as for so many women, it is the portal, the invitation into deeper creative expression and self discovery. The beginning of a new journey...

Galia Alena Photography

And so putting this together has been both a labour of love and a gift- now, go forth my little baby, and inspire…

And, the name pulled out of my singing bowl is Brandi, so pleased you will be joining us. Xx For anyone else feeling the call, join us here.

Galia Alena Photography

Savouring Life Intensely- A Giveaway Xx

 “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
- Ansel Adams
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

Photography is one of my first loves. I love the way it holds moments tenderly and how it can express what is precious, I love the way I am able to open a book of photos and suddenly I am holding my new born child again, I love the way I can be looking for something on my computer and am suddenly swept back to a magical day. I love the way it speaks that which has no words while leaving room for the mystery. I love the way it allows me to breathe in the moment, to drink it deeply, to savour it...

Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft


I've put together an e-course to honour that love of photography and share it with others. It's part technical, part inspiration, and fully soulful AND I have some amazing collaborators joining me sharing their love for the medium (pop over here to see who these wonderful women are). To celebrate I'm giving away a spot in Camera Craft.
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft
To enter, all you have to do is tell me how photography has touched your heart, pop it in here in the comments and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.
To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following to spread the love, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform
☆ subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
☆ Tell me why this class is calling to you
☆ subscribe to this blog
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck. And if you want to join in this amazing journey click  HERE. We will be starting at the end of the month and I can hardly wait :)
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

Knocking down the walls of the Labyrinth

Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting
Through the Thinning Veil
I disappeared into the labyrinth of this painting. It is one I started ages ago, last year sometime. Perhaps it was about the second or third in this series. As often happens when I start more than one painting at a time, one pulls forward with stories to tell, paths to follow and I have naught else to do but to obediently follow. The result is that the others get abandoned, left to go stale. Quietly they taunt me from the corner of the studio. Several times I look at them in an attempt to find my way back in. Never to any avail.

WIP- Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting

The thing is that I'm no longer the same person that started this painting so trying to find the thread of where I was originally heading is no longer possible, like trying to step into the same river twice. The person who started this one had a child in primary school, and hadn't been to Paris or London for decades. She also hadn't painted the other dozen or so in the same series, a series which took an unexpected turn of its own. I thought I'm never going to finish this and that's ok, if I don't finish it, don't resolve it, I could leave it a question.

WIP- Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting

Contemplating this, I decide just to paint, to risk all, to cover bits I like in order to find others I liked better. To just watch and see. So the painting becomes a labyrinth, one which one must enter deeper, risking getting totally lost in the hopes of finding treasure and the way out. I also learned that sometimes the only way through a labyrinth is to knock down and rebuild the walls entirely.

And so I paint- layering and layering, burying and uncovering, risking and finding, detached and curious- just watching. Practicing the Practice.

Detail- Through the Thinning Veils, Galia Alena, mixed media painting

In other news, registration for Camera Craft is now open. If you would love to hone your Camera Craft skills and be inspired by some amazing photographers, pop over here for the details: www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

Camera Craft- Online Photography Workshop, e-course, Galia Alena