Art journal

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

Guiding Stars

Deep Listening 
Women need to be witnessed and heard. By listening compassionately and neither judging nor giving advice, we can hold each other, see each other, honour each other and support both our own and each other’s wisdom to heal ourselves.
✯ Begin in Wonder ✯
Curiousity ✯ Play ✯ Staying Open ✯ Experiment  ✯ Trust ✯ Attention
 ✯✯✯Magic✯✯✯
✯ Trust ✯
 Yourself (you’ve got this)
   Each Other (confidentiality in circle)
   Process (no judging, just witness)
✯  Intuition (Deep listening to yourself).
 Permission 
Mistakes are impossible. The page is both a place of safety and freedom, it can take whatever you want to give it. Things which might be considered “mistakes” are opportunities to create something new and to see what is being triggered. Safety of the Circle- this is a non-judgement zone- we’re all on our own journeys at different stages.  A well intentioned but misplaced comment can unravel a creative process therefore no commenting on each others work.
✯ Nurture ✯
We each nurture the circle by being responsible for the energy we bring and we nurture ourselves by owning our own experience and asking for what we need.
✯ Creativity ✯
Everyone is a creative being and accessing our creativity can be a  portal to inner wisdom, self knowledge, growth, healing and strengthening our intuition.
 This post was inspired and worked through with Connie's Creative Circles Guide book and the ongoing inspiration of Pixie Lighthorse. (click for details):

Bowing to the Tarot

Galia Alena, tarot the One Who Hangs
The One who Hangs




 “It’s said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That’s of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it’s said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.”
  Charles Williams
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media
I bought my first tarot deck when I was 12. I remember clearly going through all the decks they had and picking the one that spoke to me the most. When I took it home and unwrapped it, it had two of the cards that represented me at the time, the Page of Cups. That has been the way with decks I've owned, both tarot and oracle, they have often had a multiple card in them, one that represents me. In Pixie's deck it is the Good Mother card (which my daughter always smiles when I draw), in Gaia deck it is the Eternal Dance and so it goes.

Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media the fool
 Lately the cards have been working much more closely with me, from my paintings ( the Fool, the Death card, the Empress, the World, the Moon and the Hanged Man have all shown up in recent paintings) and journaling to explorations of myth and story, of archetypes and life paths.

Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media star moon
At a Paris flea market last year I picked up an old book to journal in and it soon became clear that it wanted to be my tarot art journaling exploration book. It has become my favourite journal to work lately. The richness of merging words and images, symbols and archetypes- layering story upon story, weaving myths and cultures in dazzling ways. I'm always surprised, and yet not, about what shows up on these pages.
 
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media the Tower Kali
 For instance it wasn't until I had finished the painting at the top "The One who Hangs", that I realised that I had her hanging from Yggdrasil, the mythic tree that holds Asgard home to many of the Norse gods and goddesses. She hangs over the Well of Urd whose depths hold many secrets of the Cosmos. And it all showed up mysteriously on my canvas, woven into the symbols of the One Who Hangs as she gazes within releasing stars to the Well. Who knew, I guess I knew, and the act of painting and exploring the cards this way is an adventure in re-membering that which is written on all our bones, our inner wisdom. The cards have so much to show me and I am loving this journey...
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media Wheel of Fortune
 "Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them." Joseph Campbell
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media the Death Card
Galia Alena, tarot reading





If you are curious about having me read the cards for you follow the link for more information here

Paris- Travel Journaling Pt 2

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
Walking in the Silage of Stories Past
Whispering through the alleyways
Written in the stones carved soft with moss,
Across oceans, through centuries,
The echoes of lives
and the layering of stories.
I can almost hear them.
Just beyond a corner
a hint of movement
a scent familiar and strange;
Stories collapsed in time
I feel them brush up against me,
Unhinged shadows.

Sacre Coeur Paris, Galia Alena travel photography
Months later and I'm still sorting through the thoughts of the trip. I didn't take many photographs on this time, partly because I broke my arm just weeks before the trip and the cast came off a week early so that I could fly without it. To lighten the load I left my SLR and lenses at home and took only baby and my iphone. I took some photos, but the trip was not about the photography, but more about the sketching and the art. There are some photos to add in, impressions, but the journal is filled with sketches and paraphernalia that I barely feel the need to add photos (and apart from a few spaces, there is no room for them anyway so I am going to have to get creative on how to add them).

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
The plethora of galleries in Paris is overwhelming- so much to gorge on in such a short period and now, sitting amongst the clouds and trees, listening to birdsong instead of the harmonies of church bells and sirens, I can only dream of those details- the colours, the brush strokes, the risks, each of those artists teaching something different. These paintings come to life in a way you can only imagine when you stand if front of them and let their energy speak to you. Oh that I could wander the galleries with my morning coffee before I head to my own studio.

Eiffel Tower Paris, Galia Alena travel photographyMum likes to tell the story of the man who hated the Eiffel Tower but continued to eat lunch there everyday. When asked why he answered "it is the only place in Paris you can't see it from" -boom boom.

Next stop: London where I head off on my own to meet a dear dear friend for the first time.

Part 1 of my Parisian Travel Journal is here


Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal

Some thoughts on travel journaling and pilgrimage (from the new website):
A journey to a new place or a journey through a journal page will both take you on a pilgrimage to the center of your own heart, to an understanding of your own truths, to a knowing and comfort with yourself. Both will bring you closer to the peace of home and still that wyld spirit that wants to fly freely on the winds of desires, of greener grasses and the whispers of dreams.
Journaling and traveling can both be a journey on which, if you are receptive, you discover a deeper connection with yourself and the conversation with life. Both can act as a pilgrimage from which you are forever changed, giving you both new awareness and knowledge of yourself and the world, journeying simultaneously out into the outer world and deep within the inner world.
There are as many ways and reasons to travel and to journal as there are people. For me the two are similar in that they both are a way for me to embody the journey. The journey to align with my inner world as well as my outer, a journey in trust, a journey in which on the middle of the path one is expanded and changed forever, a journey in which you can meet yourself. A pilgrimage.
Both require me to stay open and curious, to watch and notice attentively, to respond with trust and wonder at unexpected opportunities. Both allow me to engage fully in  the conversation of life with wonder and amazement. Both gift me with myself.

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
"Sometimes it takes a great sky to find thatfirst, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart.” David Whyte
There are many ways to travel but when a woman travels alone there is a certain amount of trust that is required, especially when details have been left open to chance, serendipity and faith. A window is left open for spirit to enter and the unique state of wonder and awareness that traveling puts you in enhances your awareness of these moments.
A pilgrimage can take many forms, some structured and religious, some based on tradition. Sometimes one is not even aware that they are on a pilgrimage yet the journey they take will change them forever as they find themselves touched by things they didn’t even realise they were seeking.

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
Traveling allows one to strip away the usual masks that daily life demands which can bury the true self, it becomes an opportunity to get to know yourself without all the usual baggage. When you travel the normal linear day to day time is suspended and you step into a time where routine has been suspended in favour of the fullness of the moment. When you art journal there too is a suspension of time. Your hands set to work busy moving paint about, making marks, selecting papers while your monkey brain watches and hopefully is quiet and distracted long enough for deeper thoughts and awareness to come forward- a moving meditation where the heart and hand is aligned.
“and turning the corner at what you thought was athe end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:”
  David Whyte

Meeting myself on the Page

Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journal
To celebrate putting my new website together, I thought I'd try to "define" Art Journaling in words- no easy feat. The new site is here: www.galiaalena.com
Art journaling is a sacred vessel, a container which willingly and lovingly holds all I wish to give it. It is a vessel for my brightest and darkest thoughts, for what I wish to shout and what I am barely able to whisper.
Art journaling is a gift I give myself, time to quietly be, to play, explore, make marks, move colour and shapes, collect words, to hide and reveal. Here process reigns. I am free from outcome, from the opinion of others, from the need to make it a certain way, to make it pretty, from the need to please anyone but myself. I can play and play and play and in doing so I give myself permission, I allow it to be enough.
Art journaling is a playground where I can play with new materials, new techniques and new ideas. It gently nurtures these young babies allowing them to grow and expand, to develop and to blossom.
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journalArt journaling is a moving meditation connecting heart and hand in a joyous dance which allows one to breathe, witness, to silence monkey mind, to listen and to follow the threads.
Art journaling is a safe haven, a sanctuary from making mistakes- in the journal there are no mistakes, only lessons and layers of the journey to unfold. It is the freedom to fully express, in a tangible way, all that needs to be said. It is ever forgiving.
Art journaling is a bridge, connecting my inner world, heart, soul and spirit with my outer worlds, hands, body and cognitive processes. It is a bridge between my dreamstate and my awake time, a path through my shadows and a way into myself.
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journal
Art journaling is a key to getting to know myself better, unlocking the stories inscribed on my bones.
Art journaling is contradiction, a place to empty out and to fill up, a place of light and shadow, a place of knowing and mystery.
Art journaling is a practice, and like any practice, the practice itself, the showing up, allows me to go deeper and becomes ever richer.


Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journal
The outcome is not found on the page but within- expansiveness, freedom, self knowledge, connection, discovery, release, completion, growth. It is the joy of expression, creativity and new wisdom.
You can scream and rage between the pages, it will take it all, or you can fall softly into its gentle and eager embrace. A way home to yourself.On the journal page I meet myself.

I would love love love to hear how you define art journaling or what it means to you- please share in the comments. Xx

Spectrum- the year's wrap up

 Last year I had the pleasure and honour of being asked to be one of the contributors for Hali's Spectrum, which in Hali's words is a:

Holistic Creative Circle celebrating your Mind~Body~Spirit~Nature
through the living expression of art and awareness.

Here's a peek into my Spectrum journal with work I did playing along with some of the other contributors. It is filled with so much goodness, I know my journal will continue to fill as I keep revisiting the rich and soulfilled lessons. At the bottom of this post are photos of the page I did in my module which was on "OPEN".

Spectrum 2015 is now being offered with a whole new set of contributors, but if you are feeling drawn to 2014's work, Hali is now offering it as an instant access e-book with so much to get your creative juices flowing.
 
Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Page from my lesson :)

Paris- Travel Journaling Pt 1

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Walking the streets worn smooth with stories
Leaves slipping to the earth
I feel a crack in my life open,
It's always this way with travel...
Something pulses through
wants more
I hear the stories dance with mine
"Where do you belong on this tiny blue planet"
Impossible seed
Soft and longing
Demanding more and less
Precious seed
When and how you'll bloom I couldn't say
Nor what kind of fruit you'll offer,
Only that you'll stir the stardust in my well
And whisper to my soul...

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Paris first appears as both quaint and familiar, a cliche on every corner but soon I am walking in step with the rhythms of her stories. I feel the stones beneath my feet and glimpse the flicker of a past disappear around the corner ahead.
Our apartment is on Île de Saint Louis, right next to Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame sits regally, and a short walk to a fabulous food market where the quiches and pastries call me back. Through the night I am kept awake by the christmas lights that flicker outside my bedroom window as the Boulangerie directly across the way prepares croissants for my morning coffee. 

Every day we walk. Miles and miles through the streets where there is ever the sensation that not only do I walk through the city but also through the centuries. Lives past whisper to me between the constant sirens. Ghosts surround me with their tales of revolution, of poetry, of commerce, of art, of wars, of occupation, of liberty, fraternity, equality. I feel as if I could slip through a portal to another time (Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris feels totally plausible). The stories tease me, perhaps because they are in French, perhaps because I am not here long enough to grasp their fleeting breathe, perhaps because they are meant only to taunt as is often the way with ghosts- a reminder of the speck of sand that is our time, our lives. Raven is ever present, in case I should ever forget, reminding me of magic and voice, of story and song- you never know what you'll find when you travel, an element of lost which opens doors to finding, seeing, hearing. "Are you listening? Are you ready to sing" she caws.

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

I've been back for less than a week now, shaking the mist of surrealism that travel can bring from living outside normal reality, settling back into routine, snuggling with my babies (one of whom managed to get herself sick so she could have a whole day of snuggling on the couch with me and movies) and marking the end of year portfolios for my photography students.                  Grateful to have the cast removed from my arm days before flying out, it healed enough that I was able to journal while I traveled. How magical to slip into a rhythm of walking, eating, browsing, shooting, looking, absorbing, listening and journaling. The days filled with sights, inspiring galleries, stone stories, weary feet and then collapsing by night to good food, company, wine and the blank page only to rest up long enough to do it all again the next day. And the company I kept- Gogh, Picasso, Nin, Rodin, Monet, Cezanne, too many to list, too many to even begin to absorb, I just have to trust that somewhere my subconscious is holding tight to what they shared with me. Only time will tell.
Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena






I still have photos to download (having only looked at the ones I took with my phone so far) and more journal pages to share over the coming weeks as well as my time in London. Until then I will sit with the memories as they wish to unfold. 

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Homage to Picasso & Field Notes

Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homage
Time for a quick check in with what's been going on here in this luscious corner of the world. I was happily working at my  One Watercolor a Day which you can see here when, having the watercolours out, I got sidetracked by my homage to Klee mini journal (here). Before I knew it I was back playing in my Picasso homage mini journal, my watercolour a day abandoned as I explored Picasso further. It worked in rather well with the four weeks of solid rain we had overlapping the beginning of spring. 
Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homageSuch a rich and varied body of work to sink into and I was lucky to be given this fabulous book: Je Suis Le Cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso to explore his work.


Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homage

Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homage

I had planned to start my fieldnotes journal with the beginning of spring. Of course the beginning of spring was covered with clouds and sprinkled with constant rain for a few weeks and sitting in the garden sketching was impossible. However I delighted in quick and magical strolls between showers. Then when spring finally burst to life through the clouds it was heart breakingly beautiful, overwhelming and intense. For a least two weeks I walked around in a melancholic daze of amazement and wonder. 

Galia Alena mixed media artist field notes

Every time I walked into the garden it was like walking through a thick haze of hum and buzz as the bees busily demolished whatever blossoms they could find, as if they knew of the temporary and fleeting beauty that visited with sweet nectar, they devoured and made drunk on the delicate blooms. There is not a single time that I go into the garden and don't discover some new bloom I've never seen before to the sound track of birdsong. Each visit is miraculous and full of wonder.

Galia Alena mixed media artist field notes


Galia Alena mixed media artist field notesEventually I picked up a little watercolour book and started to make some sketch notes. Of course it's turned out to look nothing like I had imagined and planned but that's okay, it just is. More special is the wonder and the cracks that Spring creates in my heart for this place I now call home. So for now I am just soaking it in. On Saturday, chasing shiny butterflies, and collecting blossom, I fell on a sleeper that gave way and broke my wrist. Sketching has been halted as the fates conspire to have me slow down and just absorb. Perhaps next year, when the garden and I have gotten to know each other better, I will begin the Field Guide, nature study I had planned :)
Galia Alena mixed media artist field notes

Travel Journal- US13

Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart. David Whyte
 
A journey to a new place or a journey through a blank journal page can both take you on a pilgrimage to the centre of your own heart, to an understanding of your own truths and to a knowing and comfort within yourself. Both will bring you closer to the peace of home within and still that wyld spirit that wants to fly freely on the winds of desires, of greener grasses and the whispers of dreams.
Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena

There are as many ways and reasons to travel and to journal as there are people. For me the two are similar in that they both are a way for me to embody the journey. The journey to align with my inner world as well as my outer, a journey in trust, a journey where on the path one is expanded and changed forever, a journey on which you can meet yourself. A pilgrimage.

Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
Journaling and traveling can both be a journey on which, if you are receptive, you discover a deeper connection with yourself and the conversation with life. Both can act as a pilgrimage from which you are forever changed, giving you both new awareness and knowledge of yourself and the world, journeying simultaneously out into the outer world and deep within the inner world.
Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
  Traveling allows one to strip away the usual masks that daily life demands which can 
bury the true self, it becomes an opportunity to get to know yourself without all the usual baggage. When you travel the normal linear day to day time is suspended and you step into a time where routine has been suspended in favour of the fullness of the moment. When you art journal there is also a suspension of time. Your hands set to work busy moving paint about, making marks, selecting papers while your monkey brain watches and hopefully is quiet and distracted long enough for deeper thoughts and awareness to come forward- a moving meditation where the heart and hand are aligned.
Both require me to stay open and curious, to watch and notice attentively, to respond with trust and wonder at unexpected opportunities. Both allow me to engage fully in  the conversation with life, with wonder and amazement. Both can be a home coming. Both gift me with myself.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

Henry Miller

rnalrMixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
To see more from this travel journal visit here
or more travel journals here 
and please pop yourself on my love letters list at the side there for some exciting news coming soon :)

A World of Artist Journal Pages

A World of Artist Journals Pages, Dawn DeVries Sokol

Years back when I first started Art Journaling I was hugely inspired by  1,000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn DeVries Sokol and I referred to it again and again for inspiration and permission. It was in this book that I first meet artists I now call friends like Katie Kendricks. Now it feels full circle to be included in the next edition which is coming out early next year. I am so excited and honoured to be included in this delicious collection which I know will inspire me again and introduce me to new artists. Thank you Dawn. The book is now available on pre-order at Amazon here A World of Artist Journal Pages: 1000+ Artworks | 230 Artists | 30 Countries but in the mean time dive into the first one. I can't wait.

In Print and life

Galia Alena Artful Blogging

I'm delighted to have a copy of Artful Blogging in my hands, in which there is an article featuring my work and words. We don't get the Stampington range here unless you order it and have it shipped so it is brilliant to hold one in my hands old skool style. I was also featured in the last issue of Memories but my artist's copy never made it across the oceans sadly- I am scrounging for a copy headed for the recycle bins since the issue sold out (if this is you it is the copy in the sidebar and I would be ever so grateful). It is a beautiful issue and I am honoured to be featured with all the other wonderful artists. It is strange holding it though, even though I wrote the words I didn't think anyone would be reading them. Sure I write words here too, but they disappear into the cyber world and who knows if anyone reads them. In print though, it feels so much more tangible.

Galia Alena water colouring in the gardenWhat else is going on over here: I've been trying to keep up the water colour a day challenge but a sick child (including a trip to ER) has thrown a curve ball at that as things tend to go with children- c'est la vie. All in the right time. I did get a few more in but while the water  colour palette has been out I decided to start working in my Klee homage book (a peek into my Matisse one here). Love his work.

Galia Alena- Klee inspired journal
Klee homage journal
We've also loved getting out and exploring some of the amazing bush walks in our local area- so many gorgeous ones and we've only just scratched the tip of what is on our doorstep.

Galia Alena Leura Falls
Leura Falls

A Watercolour a Day

I've been so busy marking other people's photos (work) that I barely get time to make it into the studio these days, especially with the cold days and the sun fading early. So to keep my hand at creative play I am following along with One Watercolor a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity Using Watercolor, Pattern, and Design (One A Day). This keeps me doing a little creative painting everyday.
Day 1 through to 6
So how does it work?
  • Firstly- no rules (so if I miss a day or stop altogether the art police wont come and cart me away and better still, I wont guilt myself).
  • Quick and loose- no attachments, no trying to make "art"
  • Exploration of the medium
  • Keep it fun and playful- no mistakes possible
  • Follow the books prompts but with my own twist as it unfolds :)
Day 7 through to 12
How does that look for me- well since we have recently acquired a fabulous eggshell blue dining table made of old Balmain wharf sleepers (I love it can you tell) I don't feel so guilty taking over the kitchen table (despite the fact I also take over the dining table- which is right now covered in beautiful sea glass waiting to be strung up and hung in the windows to dance with the light). I sit on one side of the table, mark a few photos, then pop over to the over side and lay down some more colour. While that dries I flit back to the other side and mark a few more photos. The effect is that at the end I feel like I've painted rather than worked and, since my patience for allowing watercolours to dry between layers is short, the work helps that. Its a win win (unless you want to use a table in our house to say eat at ;) ).
View from here (that's my studio through the window that I wish I was in)
The book and its prompts will take me through until Spring (or close enough, I think Spring will be early this year) when I plan to start a Field Guide or Nature Study to explore my new backyard and all the delights which I keep discovering out my backdoor. The daily watercolours are like a warm up for the Field Guide (with the added bonus that I will fill my current Fabriano Venezia Art Book and have an excuse to buy a new one fresh for my Field Guide, I love these books). The Field Guide will also be a lovely little break in my working day, wandering slowly through my garden, soak up some sun, bathing in fresh air and really noticing. The Field Guide will also be both research and a warm up for a couple of other projects in the dream/create stage (more on that later).


If you want to play along, here is the book along with two other inspiring watercolour books I love (click on the images for a look inside).

BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS


CREATIVE PLAY * SELF EXPLORATION * EXPERIMENTATION
PERMISSION TO REVEL IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS
BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS
DIGGING DEEP * FULLY EXPRESSED

Finally I'm all settled into the beautiful Blue Mountains where a rainbow of winged ones visit my studio daily, the skinks scurry as I walk through the garden and the lorikeets spit gumnuts down from the top of the tees. Here in this beautiful setting, I'm excited to be able to begin my live art journaling classes and workshops, and surround myself with kindred spirits and creative souls. Are you called to express yourself between the pages.

Classes:
These are weekly, “how to” classes, covering a range of topics such as Overcoming the Blank Page, Backgrounds, Collage, the use of Text, Exploring mediums, mark making and so on. A great way to get started if you are new to art journaling or a wonderful way to pick up some new techniques if you are seasoned.

Circle:
This will be a group of women committed to coming together once a week to explore and support each other’s practice in a safe and sacred container. Together we will use our journals to explore such things as our chakras, moving around the medicine wheel and through the seasons and elements, exploring our personal symbology and other rich and delicious tools.

Workshops:
The workshops are day long intensives where we explore a particular themes, such as Nature Journal, Mapping the Interior, Collage Jumpstart, Fire & Water, Beneath my Feet.
Perfect if you are coming up to the Blue Mountains for a weekend or day trip. 

For more information on either the live workshops or online classes please subscribe to my newsletter in the sidebar (selecting which you are interested in) or email me.
There are more examples of art journaling on the Journal Page in the menu bar.

 Art Journaling in the beautiful Blue Mountains

Galia Alena Blue Mountains

Between the Pages


Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media
 It's been awhile since I've shared some of my journal pages here so I thought I'd post some today.
Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media 21 Secrets
This one above is from the class I taught for 21 Secrets Spring, a page rich with meaning for me (there's a little video on this over here). 21 Secrets is still going on- I'm loving seeing all the work that's coming out of that.

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum
And here is the page I guided for Spectrum, a very different lesson from what I put together for 21 Secrets- the diversity you can have in your own journaling process is amazing- sometimes there is more pondering and other times just following the flow. Below are  just some of pages I've done in response to other lessons and topics coming up in Spectrum. I know my Spectrum journal is going to be bursting at the seams with juicy goodness by the time we're finished. Spectrum continues until December so it's not to late to join in with this deliciousness (link in the sidebar).

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum
 And a quick little sketch of my view in QT before I said good bye to it:

Galia Alena art journal page

Then Orly Alvenri inspired me to do a few pages for her new project No More Silence #yesallwomen. In her own words "So we have written letters, we went to the street, we protested, we discussed, we commented, we shared, we cried, then internalized, we yelled and quieted down again, we denied and then remembered, we meditated, and spread love, cause we think it all starts with one, ourselves, we defined fear, origins, causes, and solutions. All of it needs to be done. But WE, people who express ourselves through the VISUAL LANGUAGE, our fury, our beauty, and our silences, should use this platform big time, to make a change in ways that are fresh and bold and different. We should never feel like oh well what can my little journal pages do other than express my little intimate world. Well lots!! Think about THE 1000 JOURNALS PROJECT or NOTRE COMBAT. We are going to do this together my friends, one journal page at a time and all at once, collectively." Orly

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed mediaGalia Alena Art Journal page mixed media
How do you let the rawness out on your pages?

Course Correcting

 On Christmas Eve, my family and I flew home after a few years living abroad. We bought a house on line and were waiting to move into it. Many said it was a brave move, buying a house off the internet. I had heard that before, that it was brave to pack up your family and move to a new country with no real plans. For me it didn't feel brave, it felt like the only thing to do when that itch to break out of one life and try another, to jump- not jumping wasn't really an option. Buying a house on line wasn't brave either. What was brave was admitting that the move wasn't working, that the children were not happy. What was brave was releasing a dream (sometimes we hold them too tight and dreams are fragile things) and doing what needed to be done to bring harmony and make room for new dreams. What was brave was risking failing, and leaping anyway, and then doing it again. Course correcting.

Luminous Mandala word of the year journal page, Galia Alena
Luminous Mandala- word of the year page
We didn't go back, there is no going back, as the saying goes "you can not step into the same river twice". So we didn't go back- we made a conscious choice to go forward, to find a place where we could all flourish. Course correcting.

View from Couch Surfing
 So on Christmas Eve we flew out of the land of the Long White Cloud and returned to the land of OZ. We arrived, with no plans but in time to spend Christmas with family and friends. After a few days couch surfing with family and then at a friends place near the beach luck dropped a little boat shed to rent for a month and we spent a few weeks with the ocean lapping at our feet.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed
Scenes from the Boat Shed
 Literally an old boat shed which was down several flights of stairs into the rocks, the old boat shed had been converted into a studio flat right on the water, so much so that if you were a sleep walker you would be in dire trouble in the night. In the mornings I was woken by the wake of the passing ferries and would then dangle my feet down into the water at the end of the bed while nursing my morning coffee. We reacquainted ourselves with old stomping grounds, caught up with friends, enjoyed the warm weather and outdoor concerts while waiting until our new house would be available for us.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed

 When the month was up, it was time to move up the mountains so the children could start their new year, and a little furnished house serendipitously fell into our laps until we could finally move into our new house.

Picasso Inspired Journal Galia Alena
Picasso Inspired Journal
 So many elements of luck and trust were at work in our move home. I made the decision to bring my family home sitting in a sweat lodge at Esalen surrounded by my beautiful sisters all supporting one another in our truths. In the dark hot tent, to the singing voice of Pixie and others I knew what needed to be done. It took awhile from the initial knowing, to the later hearing and then the final breaking of the camel's back at which point having none of the details sorted or the means to do it, I threw myself at the mercy of the universe, opened myself to trusting and declaring the intention of going home and left so many of the details open. In so many ways I/we were supported by friends, family, chance, luck and serendipity and while all the details are still unfolding it has been a pleasure to watch the pieces fall magically into place. With gratitude I sit here and type from my new home where my children are again happy (I will share more on the new home in another post, although if you follow me on Instagram you would already have had some sneak peeks).

Fleeting Altered Book Galia Alena, mixed media journal
Fleeting Altered Book
Of course, while in between lands and homes, there was light sketching and playing in little journals, a different way of working for different circumstance, an extended travel kit and inspiration from Misty (fleeting altered book and Picasso homage journal) and Jeanne (pattern journal). I hugged my children, worked in my books, listened to the whispers of the muses and let things fall where they would.

Pattern journal, Galia Alena, art journal sketches
Pattern Journal
A word on course correcting, we should all always be doing it, looking at our lives and seeing what is working, what isn't and what is missing (what's still needed as my friend Maya says), risking mistakes to find our own way, making glorious and brave mistakes, and being brave enough to course correct, sometimes a few degrees, sometimes 180, always with quiet listening and fierce abandon for life.

With Gratitude

Are you your own Hero?

There's been so much going on over here in the last few months and I'm hoping to pop back over the next week to share some of it. In the meantime I've put together a little sneak peek into my class for 21 Secrets for you:



21 Secrets will be starting very soon and I can't wait- 21 art journaling workshops from 21 different artists, some of whom I both love and admire, like my beautiful inipi sister Katie Kendricks who I shared some time with at Easlen and whose work I can't get enough of, she is such a luminous soul, and Jane Cunningham who also prepared her workshop from the land of the Long White Cloud, Erin Faith Allen who I connected with through photography many moons ago and whose mixed media pieces intrigue me deeply. There are way too many other inspiring arts that I can't go through them all but if you would like to learn more pop over here to see.

In the meantime I'm LOVING seeing all the work going on over at Spectrum and loving the discussion that are coming out of it, so much richness and beauty. Its not to late to join us- I'll be getting my journal out and digging deep with all the artists there.

Back soon with a peek into what's been going on over here of late and some new plans. Xx

Spectrum- A Give Away


 
I'm super excited for this, Spectrum kicks off in March, and to celebrate I am giving away a place in this gorgeous offering. Not only do I get to contribute to this but I am looking forward to doing all the other lessons being taught by some amazing women.

To enter, all you have to do is watch the video above and let me know how this is speaking to you 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, 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 or facebook page
  • 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. (or in the side bar)
We will be starting in less than two weeks and I can hardly wait :)

Are you Free-falling or Flying- A give away

A story is the difference between free-falling and flying.
I've heard this saying before but was remind of it (or should I say shaken by it) recently during a sweat lodge when our water pourer was telling us stories. A reminder of both perspective and how we frame things for ourselves- are the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives framed in a way to empower us or do they enforce the victim myth? In Claiming Our Mythos (the class I will guide for 21 Secrets 2014) we will be taking an event or situation in our own lives and mythologising the story in such a way to give us heroine status and to find the hidden gift in a story that might otherwise have weighed us down. We will be working new life into an old story. Pop over to 21 Secrets 2014 to read more about this class and all the other wonderful offerings.

"Thank you for the experience, and get me through the experience, help me appreciate the experience but most of all don't let me judge the experience. Don't let me leave my spirit in the experience. Give me the guidance, give me the visionary insight so that I can go through this experience and never leave my spirit behind" Carolyn Myss
We will be empowering our spirits within our stories, not leaving our spirits in our stories!!

And to celebrate the New Year I am giving away TWO places in 21 Secrets 2014 :

One I am giving away to a random draw: To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here 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, 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 or facebook page
  • subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
  • like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
  • subscribe to this blog  
The second I'm giving away based on your comments, I will be picking one that I am drawn to from your comments, that I intuit should be in this class. I love reading your comments.
  • Tell me why 21 Secrets is calling to you
  • Tell me a story you would like to reframe or one you have reframed
  • Tell me do you fly or free-fall
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck.
 “I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

What a Pilgrim Seeks- recent journal pages

Galia Alena Mixed Media Art Journal Pages
What a pilgrim seeks
must be found and refound,
each finding both
the fulfillment of a moment
and the echo of a desire
the illuminated spiral within

What a pilgrim seeks
lives within a single moment
the sillage of a promise
given when the soul forgot
that it was
slipped into silence

What a pilgrim seeks
are the eyes of wonder
that see with sparkling clarity
the delicate home
that was always
within
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art Journal Pages

Making rainbows out of lemons- Journal as Metaphor

 The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. Julie Cameron

Galia Alena Spectrum mixed media journal page
It wasn't the journal page itself I was pushing against, it was myself, it was life. All  I could see was ugly, I wanted to screw the whole thing up, I wanted to toss it in the bin. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I layered and layered, more and more layers of ugly, not the ugly teenage stage, just plain butt ugly and I didn't see any way to escape it. I hated it, it showed me up as a failure who had not a clue what she was doing. I had no control over it. Disheartened, I did my Scarlet O'hara and decided that tomorrow would be another day.

The next day I went back in determined to make things work, lemonade out of lemons. Usually I love the opportunities that mistakes give you, threads for the imagination to tug on until something gives. I tell my son that I set myself up for accidents, and his face struggles with the concept "oh, no, that's just not logical". Accidents are opportunities, ugly means I'm not attached, not attached means freedom, freedom to push against my edges, freedom to try something new, freedom to discover.

When I journal I don't need to make "pretty" pictures, I don't need to make "art", there's a sense of journey and discovery, and while pages are never really "finished" there is a sense of that is how it should be, completion, almost fulfillment. Equally there is also this sense of not done, more to discover, not authentic and other such indicators which let me know to keep going, that the messages aren't complete, that the work is not authentic, that I have to dig deeper.

I know that life is beyond my control, but on most days there is a general illusion that I have some control over my life, that I steer my own ship. On this day I didn't feel this, I felt all was beyond my control, out of control, out of my hands. Life was in the air, free falling and I just didn't know how to juggle any of it. I felt helpless and lost. This is what showed up on my page. I didn't know what I was doing.


And as in life, the next day I picked myself and kept going, pushing through and squeezing those lemons, showing up, pushing though, risking. Is the page pretty, no, is it art, no, but what it is is LIFE, my life and I squeezed those lemons and got myself a rainbow.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” ― Mary Oliver

To learn more about Spectrum, which inspired this page, or to join on this journaling journey with some truly amazing guidess pop over here: SPECTRUM