journal pages

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 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

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

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
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art Journal Pages

From the Fires of the Earth

Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
Finally made myself a blessing bowl for my own altar and I'm so excited, totally in love with how it turned out. We were lucky enough to do a pit fire this weekend with cuttings from the local pinot noir grapes and they turned out just beautifully. I'm totally in love with the alchemical fire markings in black and "pinot" wine colour, and specklings. I had to restrain myself from including too many close up shots because the texture is exquisite. Only wish I had had more time to make pieces for the firing but I am keen to try this again and soon. so delicious
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 On the back is a Rumi quote "When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you a joy."
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 All perfect, reflecting the work done in Woman as River- exploring money mythology, through second chakra work around flow. Below is a journal page I did inspired by an artwork shared in the group (artist unknown). Pixie's next Woman as River starts next Monday, details here: Woman as River
Galia Alena mixed media journal page inspired by unknown artist

Galia Alena ceramic wip pit fire
 This piece is still a work in progress, she needs her hand dyed lace and feathers but the pit firing has turned out better than I could have imagined on her, although the earth did seem to taken an offering of her snake and a flower or two. She might be awhile before she's finished but I'll share when she is.

Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire

Calling in the Elements- a mixed media journaling e-course

Calling in the Elements- a mixed media journaling e-course by Galia Alena
 Calling in the element of air, of dreaming and ideas, of where creation gifts first sprout their tender seeds, of the realms where the muses reside, swirling and blowing, flying freely. I call on the  elements of air to visit me in my dreams and deliver me gifts of inspiration and divine sparks that remind me I am one with all.
I look out the window here and I see the wind moving through the leaves, the earth reaching up to the sky and meeting in the middle with a layer of snow on top of the mountains, the light  which stretches out across the lake shimmering and sparking, the delight of spring pushing its way up through the earth to smile at the sunshine and soft transparent clouds drifting between the valleys. I feel the sacredness and the depth of such simple pleasures and magnanimous beauty. When Jane from The Trodden Path first approached me to teach a class on her ning page, after the initial woohoo and excitement and honour, I knew straight away that I wanted to work with the elements in some sacred journaling. It took awhile before I was able to sit with the elements and see what they had to teach me but finally the class in live on her site and I would be thrilled if you felt called to join us.

In this class we will be Calling in the Elements to deepen our connection with both our artistic practice, the elements and ourselves. Through some intentional sacred journaling we will be accessing a deeper level of consciousness and bringing some of our personal symbolism to the fore.
Using collage, painting, doodling, free associative writing you will learn one method to use your art journal practice as both sacred play and personal exploration.

To join this class please head over to here: Calling in the Elements

Calling in the Elements- a mixed media journaling e-course by Galia Alena Earth

Arm Chair Traveling {Just One Paragraph 7/30}

Galia Alena Photography Easlen Retreat
Today the house was too small to contain me; small and crowded with laundry and dirty dishes, small with having been pent up in it for too long with a sick household, small with the winter chill keeping the doors and windows mostly shut. My body wanted me to stay put and rest, my soul desperately wanting out into the world, out of this house, even if just for a walk in the winter sun or better still, a trek up the mountains. Not much to ask right? Sadly, my body insisted on having its own way with violent fits of coughing every time I moved, the world will have to wait. Luckily some of the world came to me yesterday photos from my recent trip arrived in the mail and today I got to spend some time revisiting adventures and friends as I cut up and glued them into my travel journal. Instantly I was swept back onto Monica's balcony with the sun setting golden over the fields streaming through the gum trees, or I was strolling the luscious garden's at Easlen observing the Californian poppies with their little beanies, or I was contemplating the cloud trees (Cypress trees) and marine lair (layer) of  the Californian Coast. So many adventures jammed into one month and a journal who generously returns me there any time I lay my hands on her. Arm chair traveling: suddenly the house wasn't so small and I am given space to dream up the next adventure.

Not much begins at the beginning. {30 days 30 posts 1/30}

This morning I indulged in the guilty pleasure of crawling back into bed with my coffee. It's school holidays and the children have been sick the whole time, and while I haven't had to do the grueling school run, my mornings have been marked by getting up to see who was sick in the night and to get the fire blazing so they will be warm. This morning though, they are on the mend and the winter sun is heating our loungeroom.

Galia Alena mixed media artist art journal

I'm always amazed how much creativity flies when I allow myself this "indulgence". I had my sketch book handy and before I knew it I was busily writing down notes for my next e-course, one I plan on starting to video next week when the children are back at school. Ideas I've been scrambling for for weeks are gently gifted to me in the space created when I stop "doing". Why is this such a hard lesson to learn? To stop calling "doing nothing" indulgent, to allow myself to loiter, to just be, to open? That work ethic dies hard, as does the sense of self that is tied to doing rather than being. And again and again I am back at this lesson...
Galia Alena mixed media artist art journal
"The night has eyes to recognise its own"- Whyte
Meanwhile, there are muffins baking in the oven, pumpkins roasting and the winter sun is beaconing me into the garden where the lavender awaits some care. This journal ends back at the beginning as so often is the case, not much begins at the beginning.
Just One Paragraph

Solstice Offering

Whether you are moving towards the light or away from the light, join us in this Solstice celebration:
Summer Solstice Art Journal Page Galia Alena

Click here to download the Summer Solstice Worksheet
or here for Winter Solstice Worksheet 

I'm in the home stretch of Of the Heart, and loving watching what the participants are creating, and loving the twists and turns that my own book is making. Just love how well made plans can evolve into something new, unexpected and special when you stay open to the whispers while you work. Once the last week is over I will be offering the class as a self-paced, instant access to all the lessons so if you missed out on the first run you can still play along (and I have a few more bonus lessons to add through the year).

Meanwhile the snow is falling here, and the muses are calling me to curl up and go inward for awhile, to dig deep around the recesses of my imagination, churning it all up ready for a rebirth of creativity in Spring- Happy Solstice- Go Deep, Stay Light.

And I'm guest blogging over at Amulet today with thoughts on Winter and Summer Solstice and moving between the light.

In my Travel Kit

I'm often asked what supplies I take for journaling when traveling so I thought I would do a quick post on it. Space is the biggest issue, so I have to narrow down what I "want" to take to the bare must have necessities. And then there is the huge "I'll throw that in if I have room" pile.
 The must haves:
  • A mechanical pencil
  • A water proof pen, such as a Pitt Pen, I like to use a brown rather than black, its just a bit softer in the images.
  • A writing pen
  • A water fillable paint brush
  • A pencil, a rubber and a smudger
  • A portable mini watercolour set (loaded with favourite colours) this is the

    Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Field Box
  •  Small cosmetic containers, one loaded with gesso and another with a glue of some sort like gel medium or modge podge.
  • A trusted and much abused brush
  • Loose off cuts of water colour paper (for when the journal stays in the hotel room). Quick sketches can be glued into the journal later.
  • The smallest sketch book I can find, for quick notes and sketches to transfer into the journal later.
  • Something to hold it all in.
  • And, of course, the journal itself. I like to make my own, and each depends on where I'm going and how I'm traveling as to what sort I might make.
  • Not to mention the photography and computer set up, but that's another story.
The I'd really like to take if I have room list:
Every trip has its own possibilities and challenges. My last trip, for example, was complicated as I needed to fit a complete professional photography kit (as I did a few shoots) as well as supplies needed to teach my journaling class in the States. But as it was to America I knew I could buy many supplies there a lot cheaper than taking them with me, so my supplies grew as I traveled (oh what fun, and an extra suitcase on return). When I went to Bali I knew that I would need to take with me what I needed but would be able to include some beautiful text and batiks. My theory is if you've got room take it because it's a long way to go back for, but prioritise your favourites, your trusted go tos and adapt each kit to the mood and character of the location.

In other exciting new I am teaching part of the wonderful class "Angels in my Studio" with some other amazing artist such as Chris Zydel, Tamara Sheri Ann Ponzi,  Melissa Muirhead, Rachel Payne, Claudia Olivos, Justine Van De Weg, Liz Kettle, Kristen Powers, Cheryl Irwin and Havi Mandell. It is going to be a wonderful, soulful mixed media journey. I will be leading a sacred journaling exercise where we will be inviting our angel guides to visit with us and share their messages as we connect our hands and hearts through our journaling practice. Click here to view more details

Journals, journals, journals

Galia Alena mixed media art journal

Galia Alena mixed media art journal

Galia Alena mixed media art journal
Here are some recent journal pages from my journal that sadly has only one page left in it. It won't be coming with me as I head off on my adventures in a day. As I finished the coffee pot page above, I felt a sadness not to have this journal with me even as I am excited to be switching gears to be working in a travel journal and so looking forward to seeing what goodness emerges there.
Travel journal, water colours, Galia Alena
 I've made my new travel journal, although the signatures are loose. Unlike when I made my Bali journal (which I knew was going to have a Batik cover, just wasn't sure how the stars were going to align to make that happen) this journal has absolutely no ideas about how its cover might develop. I guess I'll just have to watch and see.
The trickiest part of packing is working out which supplies to take. I'm taking my Polaroid camera as I can't imagine an American road trip without a Polaroid or two and thanks to the Impossible Project that is still possible. Still haven't decided which other camera to take, and as for art supplies, today I decided that despite the fact that I'll be buying supplies as I go I still had to chuck out a pair of shoes or two so as to get in some extra supplies.

First stop Sydney where I get to be a tourist in my home town, hug some girlfriends, and enjoy a gallery crawl.

Sanctuary of the journal page

Art Journaling mixed media journal page Galia Alena
 The chaos of life with a family (or I should say with a teenager) has put a stop to my Face a Day challenge as well as pretty much every other creative project I was juggling. Somehow, though, I managed to find my way back into the sanctuary of my journal pages where I found much creative solace and release. Here are some recent pages. I would love to hear how you manage to stay on path with your creative urges when life has other plans...
Art Journaling mixed media journal page Galia Alena

Art Journaling mixed media journal page Galia Alena
 I also have the first test batch of bowls back that I've been working on, still waiting for the right clay to arrive, but in the mean time I've been taking a lot of frustration out on some stoneware clay, pounding and pounding. Hopefully my supplies will come this week and I will have time to make and fire some gifts for many friends I will soon be seeing. Less than a month until I head off on my adventure... HOLDING ON TIGHT
Clay bowl, Galia Alena

Of the Heart

I'm really excited to be offering this: Of the Heart- an e-course, a mixed media workshop making an heirloom. Mine will be a gift for my daughter, to celebrate her menarche when it comes. I'm hoping to pour much love between the pages of this treasure book which she can carry with her throughout her womanhood. Pop over here to see more, I really do hope you'll join me.

The class doesn't begin until May, after I've returned from teaching at SoulFire Retreat, but there will be plenty in the classroom to keep you busy until then.
Bisous, Gxx

New journal, new possibilities

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

SoulFire Retreats

I'm so excited to announce that in April I'll be heading across the big pond to teach a class at SoulFire Retreats in the most gorgeous beach "house" in North Carolina. So excited, did I mention that. The retreat is going to be for an intimate number of women to to help reclaim, heal, and fall back in love with their truest self. This delicious offering is going to be hosted by the magical keeper of the stones Athena Perrakis of Sage Goddess and bare footed Queen Stacy De La Rosa of Clover and Sage. Its going to be super magical and infinitely expansive, if you're feeling the calling pop over to SoulFire Retreats and get yourself signed up, I'd love to see you there.
And what will I be teaching: Journal as Sacred Container:
When we engage our hands, heart and spirit, we are able to tap into our deeper wisdom. To this end we will be using mixed media to explore how to use our journal practice as a sacred container to provide us a safe place to play and explore, for self discovery, for noticing, for our gratitude, for holding our dreams and desires,our inspirations, our intentions, our tools and our daily lives and for releasing resistance and obstacles. In essence, returning to our centre and innate wisdom.
Through mixed media (collage, paint, writing, photography) we will be noticing and exploring rituals, personal symbols, the chakras and anything else that tickles our interests or feeds our souls. We will be exploring how our practice can be away of bringing what we know (or what we are discovering through the process and our intuitive wisdom) into our body wisdom to reside at the cell level. Suitable for the absolute beginner to the seasoned journaler.

Galia Alena, art journal pages

Galia Alena, art journal pages
For more journal pages click here

Bali Travel Journal

I've finished putting together my travel journal from Bali, well as finished as you can ever be, I'm sure there will be more doodles and writing, but finished for now. I never know what to call them, half journal, half sketch book, half art journal, half memoir, and yes I know, that's a lot of halves. I guess really its a no rules applies way to process and sit with the experience of traveling to another place. Some is done there and some is done on return when photos are processed as are experiences. What I do know is that they are a very tangible memory, especially the marks and brush strokes laid down in a place. I need only rest my hand on the cover of my Canadian journal and I am swept back.