mixed media

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

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

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.

The Wheel

The Wheel of Fortune, Galia Alena, tarot

What will you do with this one wild and precious life. Mary Oliver

There are two things I’ve learnt to rely on in this world- one is change and the other is contradiction and this card embodies both.

This card may throw up questions of destiny and fate vs free will, it may question your existential beliefs, it may have you wondering where your free will fits in and about your dharma and whether you have any control at all or whether it is all an illusion. You could chase your tail for a life time on those questions, many have, but what you can’t question is the cyclic nature of it all- of the days, the months, the seasons, the life times.

This card has such a feminine quality to it- the energy of divine timing. What this card embodies, women too embody. The ability to cycle and change and to let go is part of what it means to inhabit a woman’s body which ebbs and flows with the moon, which creates and nurtures life and then releases it into the world and which eventually ceases to release that monthly life force to turn it inwards towards sovereignty and wisdom, the stillness at the centre.

The wheel turns and what was is no more, there’s no stopping it, there’s no freezing those precious moments, those full to exploding moments you would like to inhabit forever like that moment when your baby girl, wet from being lifted out of the birthing pool and laid to rest on your bare and expectant chest, looks up at you with dark eyes as deep as lakes holding all the wisdom of the universe. You can’t hold onto that moment, you can only embody it and tuck it away in your heart just as it slips away. You let it go because this precious baby in your arms is destined to become herself.

So the wheel turns and sometimes you hold on so tight and sometimes you just allow it, going with the flow. That’s where you come in, choosing how you will live this change, these cycles, gracefully allowing or fighting, or both at once. Will you slip into the expansive calmness of the center or will you try to hold onto something which is already gone just as it arrives?
How will you walk your own medicine wheel? How do you embody your cycles?
What I learnt today is that even the act of writing itself is an act of letting go.
Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

It's in the Cards

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena

 I had so much fun with this over on Facebook this week, and a little shocked by how many people played along and shared with me how much it resonated with them, so I thought I would share it here too.

Have a look at the cards above and use your intuition to see which one is calling to you right now, and then scroll down to see what that card has to share with you :)

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Peacock Cloak
1.  This card is about shedding your past feathers to allow your own true beauty, your individuality to cloak you. Wrapped in this protective shield of inner beauty unique to only you allows you to walk your walk and to show your true colours. Yet remember not to take things, including yourself, too seriously. The gift of laughter keeps you grounded while the white feathers sweep you up. That she has shown up today suggests that there may be some past life experience you need to be checking in with, some karmic story which needs clearing. You are supported in this work and guided to looking through to the past and into the future.
Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Flower Raven
2.  Step into the moonlight, there is work to do and Raven is here to help you bring your magic into this world. By the light of a full moon her magic and the blossoming seeds of creativity join forces to bring to fruition a seed planted in your deepest dreams. Call on Raven, and the power of the moon to help you realise into this world something that is dear to your heart. Trust that you are supported by the magic that slips gently between the veils and that a seed already planted just needs the nurturing support of you doing your creative work.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Cry me a River
3.  This card speaks of emotions that are not felt. What is it you do not want to feel that is sitting stuck, attached to who you have become. Dive in deep and allow those emotions to wash over you, feel them, unleash the well of tears that have not been allowed to flow because you fear this it too deep to unleash, too painful, too scary, too unknown. Once you allow the deep feeling of this emotion you will unleash the flow and restore some balance that you didn’t even know was stuck. Sit quietly and ask your body “what is it I don’t want to feel?”, remind yourself that you are safe and that unacknowledged feelings can sometimes hurt you more than allowing them, they are not you and your gentle enquiry will help release you from them washing them away.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Night Eyes
4.  This card is about allowing your intuition to help you see more clearly. One sees not just with the eyes, and the other senses, but also with intuition, imagination and memory. Sometimes we see clearer in the dark than we do in the bright daylight. Listen to all those messages that are coming to you through your dreams, signs through out the day and messages in nature. Let your inner knowing guide you. What you see with your third eye holds much power for you.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Heart Speak
5.  This card relates to the throat chakra and speaks of truths waiting to unfold. There is something you are holding onto which wants to help you spread your wings in your becoming but you need to speak it and not let it stay silent. There is much unfurling of self that come only from being able to stand in your own truths.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Lily White
6.  Lily White is here to remind you that it is the pure light and passion that holds us steadfast to our dreams and desires giving us the perseverance necessary to actualise our destiny. Whatever is truly yours will be but it is not always easy knowing what is really meant for you with so many shiny objects to distract you. Sit quietly and check in with yourself about where you are putting your energy, is it into what you truly desire at the deepest level?

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Let it Be
7.  This is a time to go slowly and gently, to let things unfold as they will at their own pace. You may feel like things are not happening as fast or in the way that you might think you want. Trust that all is as it should be. Exercise some patience and allow yourself to rest in ease knowing all is unfolding perfectly.

Let me know in the comments how that went for you, I'd love to hear and if you would like a full reading you can visit me here: http://www.galiaalena.com/dreamstorming

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

Lotus Fairy

Galia Alena, Lotus Fairy painting

"In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty." Kabir

Dragonfly medicine, bringer of light, cuts through illusions and her shifting colours help with transformation and transition as we move through the mud of this world to be raised pure as the lotus. She helps us dig deep through our emotions while keeping a lightness of being and joyfulness.

“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world” Buddha

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