Why I’m Leaving Mainstream Media

Hi dear friend! A quick final note for the year – a podcast around why I’m taking my art off of Facebook and Instagram…

And a reminder that TONIGHT at midnight, the specialissimo offer for 2 paintings for the price of 1 ENDS… Let me know if you love a particular piece/s, and I’ll make a listing up specially for you on Etsy…

In the meantime;

my full art catalogue is here (some artworks have been reserved, check first)

my Etsy shop is here

you may also organise a payment plan with me on Patreon

and/ or make a donation to all that I’m doing on Patreon or Ko-fi (the former is a monthly direct debit to my life and work, and entry into my inner circle, the latter is one-off payments for the cost of a coffee (which I translate into ‘a moment of creative alignment’))

LOADS of beautiful wishes for the beginning of this new year, new cycle, new creative  possibility… I so look forward to being in touch through the new/ newly formatted platforms, in this new year!

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Huge gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired.
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to get more colour, depth, meaning, and inspiration on creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… and to support an artist creating what they’re meant to create – Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my special folks.
  4. My art school website is here, my art is on Etsy.
  5. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page
    PLEASE NOTE – I am leaving mainstream social media in the next days – more news soon via Patreon and Ko-fi!
  6. My arthouse is up for sale – the listing is here and I’m also working with the lovely British Owned Property Abroad

pleasure… art gifts… midwinterfest at the arthouse

Ciao, dear friend…

Welcome to my podcast – especially to new subscribers from the Womb-Centred Healing Temple summit ♥ 

This is one of the fullest podcast-newsletters I’ve ever done, so get a cuppa and settle in…

And there’s an über-special 2-for-1 painting offer this month – don’t miss that!

This month’s podcast is on pleasure; not surface pleasure, not peak pleasure, but the deepest, most fulfilling-expanding-interconnecting pleasure that is our birthright – and that, unfortunately, we are so very distracted from pursuing.

The podcast shares how vital holistic pleasure is, both to our well-being and to our fulfilment in life – and how letting-go is so essential to this fullest pleasure.

Most of us spend most of our lives avoiding letting-go: we find security in accumulating and compounding situations, rather than releasing, giving away (e.g. wealth/ belongings/ our home), truly relaxing. This intense focus on gathering things to us, to keeping our cupboards, wardrobes, bank accounts, etc, full – it gives us little room to feel or to imagine, and so we become emptier and emptier.

This is why art is such an important activity: it both brings us – through doing it – into a spaciousness, which permits all things to relax and release, and, when we spend time around art, it shows us (invites us into) that spaciousness which the artist inhabits.

The distinct release that comes from allowing the creative flow to come through us, and of not being attached to the outcome – it’s not like a peak orgasm, but like the long, slow building of the orgasmic state; an ongoing symbiotic, awoken, sentient, state-of-connectedness that comes about from our being aligned and enlivened in our life.

Art is like a microcosm of that state, as it’s ultimately all about – not stepping into, but being flow – allowing flow to come through us.

This kind of allowing, cultivated over many years, and honed and mastered, is like the big letting-go, e.g. of stepping out into the new by selling one’s home and moving into the unknown of a different landscape, culture, community, language, climate…

But ‘big letting-go’ is something that folks rarely do, because they equate leaving and letting go with losing things, rather than with the profound gaining of freedom, of movement, of energy and time and space… of newness and possibility, learning and growth, of constructive challenge and positive – stimulating – change.

We don’t do big-letting-go much, and so we lose all our power of adaptation; our ability to be challenged and made new.

This holding-on, over time, becomes the absence of deep pleasure, because by default, holding onto things is a kind of deep tension… which translates into ingrained tensions, neuroses, fears-as-the-norm.

Our reality becomes stilted, because we don’t know what it is to have that space of unknowing – the void of creation, the space between things, in which there is peace and…. the pleasure of being alive.

I’m not suggesting that we all should follow the thrill of abandoning a life and work, and throw ourselves into a vulnerable state by having an adrenaline-fueled trip to foreign climes…

But I am hoping to inspire you about what it might feel like to let go more… To give yourself spaciousness in all things – free of being occupied with stuff, tasks, pressures: to feel your way into that emptiness both within yourself and around you – and to get more art in your life!

Press play, to hear the Pleasure podcast:

My Arthouse is up for sale…

You can see the listing here – I’m adding short videos of each room, one at a time…

Because I’m beginning a new life-work phase, my paintings want to go to new homes too:

  • I’m setting my business up to make it much easier for you to buy a painting, including payment plans via Patreon
  • My art catalogue is available as an ebook – Clare Galloway art catalogue – 100 pages of depth-colour-meaning, packed with info and stories about the art, and how to buy it
  • You get the huge gift of 2 paintings for the price of 1 this December: either buy a painting (pay in full) before the end of December, or begin a painting payment plan, via the €50 per month Patreon patron reward level, and get a second painting, as my midwinterfest abundance gift, to you. The second painting should be of the same price or less than the first – and P&P is not included.

See my paintings on Etsy right now

Ask me any Qs about this below, and let me know asap if you’d love a particular painting set aside – each painting is absolutely inimitable, and there are a few being reserved already.

The wonderful Veronica Thai invited me onto her Curious Monki podcast…

We’re speaking about how we access creative power – and use it in the everyday, to live happily and super-fulfilled!

…accessing the place of surrender and flow by using art.  As Clare says, we all have a creative engine within ourselves.  When we access this energy, we charge ourselves up and suddenly become filled with bright ideas, solutions and all the beautiful things that want to be expressed.  Art is how we can be reunited with our innate primal sense of truth.

the intuitive artist 101…

The Intuitive Artist 101 is the new gateway course to The School Of Real Art – The SORA. I’m excited because the next phase of The SORA has been a long time gestating, and it is now putting up buds, forming shape…

You can watch a brief intro to The Intuitive Artist 101, above – it describes  what the course will contain.

You get access to the whole course as it unfolds, if you join me on Patreon (all levels of patron reward get access to all my creative outpourings). See The SORA website for much more info on the courses currently available.

the womb-centred healing temple…

This is the introduction interview to a longer discourse that I had with the incredible Sama Morningstar – I was honoured to be invited to speak as a womb-centred-healing creator, for this potent summit of deepest feminine wisdom, and the Womb-Centred Healing Temple.

We talk in the summit about how I have used art to access dialogue with my core, with my creative centre – how I began intuitively, but then became adept at working from my womb, from the creative fulcrum: how I healed my own life, using art as this primal tool to access the primal voice, truth, wholeness – to wake up my very cells and my deepest passion for life.

midwinterfest in guardia sanframondi…

My neighbours and I in the Via Dietro Gli Orti, alongside other local artisan folks, will be creating a beautiful, atmospheric event from the solstice through to Christmas eve…

I’ll be creating a solstice mandala installation, and setting up a shop with my art and books, and there will be all kinds of singing, food, crafts and festivities… There’s a lot going on in the medieval quarter this winterfest, and so it will be a gorgeous end of the year community-spirit-fuelled event…

Thank you from my heart (and womb) for listening, for reading, and for connecting with my work – it is always genuinely an honour to be seen, heard, connected with…

Follow me, etc via the links below – I so love to hear from you!

Much love and oodles of midwinterfest beauty and nourishment to you,

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Huge gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired.
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to get more insight into my life and work: colour, depth, meaning, creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my very special people.
  4. My art school website is here, my art is on Etsy.
  5. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page

GUILT AND CREATIVE FREEDOM

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Why do we have so much guilt around ‘indulging’ in art?

Ironically, delving into our creative uniqueness is one of the core primal practises that can bring our lives into harmony – but we often stop ourselves even beginning, because there’s this sense of ‘I shouldn’t’ around making art.

It might be the sensuousness, or the fact we’re simply taking the time to do something deeply personal. But the most common aspect that stops us dead in our tracks, before or after we actually get a brush mixing up colours, is guilt – that sense of being ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ for trying.

This ‘wrongness’ is something that a creative could struggle with literally for decades; it comes from a deep place, when we were being programmed as children into believing that teacher/ parent/ older sibling or peer is right, and we are not – and we should shut up and do as we are told.

THE WHOLE VOICE (detail)

THE WHOLE VOICE (detail)

This cycle of what is essentially a potent abusive dynamic, is put in place when we’re just setting foot into the wider world outside of our home. If it doesn’t get drummed into us in our first school, it certainly will when we go on to the second phase, where by now most of the kids will be implementing the power hierarchy alongside the teachers.

Guilt takes multiple forms as we evolve in our lives – if we don’t attend to it, take care of ourselves, nurture our inner landscape, it might eventually become so compacted and atrophied, that it’ll raise up and shout to be heard – it’ll become a monster, instead of a  symbiotic garden.

So the creative’s work is to listen, express, make sense of, and transform all guilt. We can use it as a compass, even; wherever there is an ‘I feel bad’ around our creative activity, we should face it and ask it – what would it feel like if I didn’t feel bad?

THE WHOLE VOICE (detail)

THE WHOLE VOICE (detail)

What art, pleasure, indulgent activities do, is they connect us to our core – to our source of power, and thus to our ability to e.g. harvest energy, be inspired, create ingenious and beautiful things…

The system, consumerism and materialism, work on the fact that we’re NOT connected to our core, and all that free energy and deep satisfaction and enjoyment.

Our culture is constructed on our neuroses and guilt, and our superficial needs, which are hyped up into a frenzy, so that we’re always looking ‘out there’ for a solution, when the answer’s right here, inside each and every single one of us.

 

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THE WHOLE VOICE – large painting on old table-top, in acrylic, oil pastel, pencil

If you’d like to know a great deal more about how to access your core creative power, and to juice your life up into the good life, join me via the links below.

°°°

As ever, thank you so much for your support and your interest in my work…

Tantissime belle cose, 

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Infinite gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more infinite gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired – ♥♥!
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to hear/ see/ read/ get much more insight into my life and work: colour, depth, meaning, creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my very special people.
  4. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, e mio sito in italiano è qui.
  1. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page

STEPPING INTO THE VOID

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The idea of moving forward into ever-uncharted territory – how does that make you feel?

We live in a time and reality where much of what we digest is prescribed – it’s created far away from us, often from materials very disconnected from nature, and we purchase our e.g. food, information, power, inspiration, through a process of exchange that removes responsibility, energy, depth and meaning….

We end up stuck in repeating circles of simply purchasing what is offered to us, rather than making life choices that truly reflect our deep values and our immense appetite for learning and growing.

So how do we make life more authentic, more dynamic, more meaningful?

We simply step out into the void: into the less-mass-produced, into the simple and natural, and into our own unique path and vision.

Even spontaneously taking a new route, and interacting with whatever/ whoever we meet on this road; even going to sleep at an unusual hour, or waking up to feel what the world is like before the sun rises; even trying an unfamiliar dish, or a spice that has never touched our tongue…

We have opportunities, grand and wee, in every minute of every single day of our lives, to experience something richer and more expanded than we were in the previous moment – when we remove our attention from the flotsam, and allowing the new to flow towards us, through us.

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Painting coming to completion this year: connected with finding our deep intuitive voice, our inner wisdom, our channeling the divine creative, by listening to our sentient body.

Living in the void, or at least delving into it frequently, is an incredibly potent portal.

It’s the creative friction between the comfortable and the non-comfortable – and so it’s the space where all new things are created: it’s like the spaces that nature fills – those borders and cracks, the place where one surface meets another one.

The creative friction, the cultural exchange, the alchemical melting pot – all have this massive potential, if we can step into them empty, and let them fill us up anew…

So this month’s Art Of Life podcast is on how we step into this space: how this is a vital part of our creative expansion, and how, when we make a habit of entering the mysterious… we enhance everything – from our sense of self to our ability to channel our dreams, our vitality and our enthusiasm about life!

 

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I hope that my Art Of Life podcast inspires you! Please comment below – I’d love to hear your response.

Other clare artista news this month:

The Arthouse tent will soon be being mounted again in the gardens below Guardia’s famous facade!

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Download a PDF of THE WHOLE WOMAN brochure in English and Italiano

A dear friend Maya and I are initiating the very first WHOLE WOMAN workshops: we’ll hold an intimate group of just 10 women in this magical setting in this circular tent,next to the Ratello waterfall.

We’ll be using yoga, drawing, sharing and sewing to bring aspects of our selves into wholeness and harmony – letting go of the negative and the old, and embracing a new idea of self in this body. And we’ll be creating a taliswoman, who we can channel our creative power into, and be guided by.

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There’ll be workshops throughout July, and then in September too: we’re hoping to develop this concept of women empowering their selves, and to develop this big network of women through THE WHOLE WOMAN group on Facebook. Perhaps we’ll even be travelling to your town in the future!

°°°

Another glorious Vacation With An Artist took place at the Arthouse this month:

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I just said goodbye to the wonderful Sajili, after her highly successful week exploring her creative potential in Guardia Sanframondi.

She’d come all the way from Mumbai in India, and had never drawn or painted before!

We had a truly glorious week of quiet adventuring, whilst I guided her to bring her subtle spiritual message of partnership and harmony, into being.

Because she was such a willing and passionate studio guest, it was easy to support her finding her visual expression – all work should be like this!

°°°

As ever, thank you so much for your support and your interest in my work, and it’s always wonderful to know your thoughts – do respond below, or ask any Qs…

Tantissime belle cose, 

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now make monthly public posts via my newsletter and this blog. If you’d like to be notified of this, subscribe to this blog, and join my newsletter.
  2. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to hear/ see/ read much more: that’s my inner circle, where I share the most with my very special folks.
  3. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and please share it if you know someone who’d be inspired! ❤
  4. My website is here, mio sito in italiano è qui, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu and Blurb, and art holidays on VAWAA.
  5. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page, Twitter – clareartista

rare podcast!

Hi – here is an occasional podcast – if you are interested in what I am doing, join me via one of the links below – I look very much forward to having you in my inner circle.

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now only make rare public posts. If you’d like to be in touch more often; join my newsletter HERE or join me on PATREON
  2. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and share it if you know someone who’d be interested ❤
  3. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu, art holidays on VAWAA.
  4. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page.

ART HOLIDAYS!!

The arthouse now has a series of windows open for folks who love art, and who’d like a one-on-one, individually tailored, painting-with-the-artist holiday: go and see VAWAA’s beautiful site, to hear more about it.

Your holiday will include prior consultation on how we’ll craft your art activity; we’ll hone in on your specific goals and needs.
We design the 4 day session just for you: you can focus on skills development, wild expressive work, creative catharsis, a personal project – or even work completely spontaneously.
I’ll be there throughout, and will also show you around this magical town, in which I’m protagonist of a growing international creative community!

It’ll be a highly inspiring break, guaranteed! A completely unique experience, super-nourishing to your creative spirit!

Please share this blog if you know someone who would love such a holiday!

Keep in touch with all my news, and with the Real School of Art, via PATREON and on THIS WEBSITE

Happy August creative expansion to you!


xx Clare 

GUARDIA SANFRAMONDI: year 7

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Seven years in Guardia Sanframondi have a big significance: there’s a 7-yearly religious festival (taking place again in the summer of 2017) in which literally the whole town is involved, plus many members of the extended family, world-wide media representatives, curious foreigners.

It’s a festival which shocks those-who-are-easily-shocked at first glance: hooded participants reminiscent of sinister American racist gatherings; bloody chest-beating; the collective following church dogma and having to painfully repent their sins.

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The real event is something else entirely: a collective catharsis with a tangibility which is beautiful – executed with precision and care, love and dedication: 5,000 souls gathering to release all that has happened in the past years; to be cleansed and made new.

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‘Seven years’ also has huge significance in the human growth cycle – we literally replace every cell in our bodies with A NEW CELL, in that time period – EVERY SINGLE 7 YEARS OF OUR LIVES. Think of what that means – of what it could mean, if we were able to consciously harness that creative power… it’s mind-blowing! And it blows away the cobwebs too, from the rigid old school thinking around our limited potentials as humans.

Il mio settimo anno this year in Guardia, and I too feel the deep significance of a cycle well-lived: the energetic wheel is coming round to completion, and all the sacrifice and sweat is bringing riches of good relationship, profound nourishment, harmonious community -an upwards spiral of personal and collective significance.

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So many meaningful conversations and connections, tears and successes, new friendships and celebrations – all of them now deepening, as we enter a period of truly settling into this new dynamic. Guardia Sanframondi has been changed in myriad ways by the incoming cultural flux, and the town continues to react positively and dynamically to all that we bring in – which in turn exponentially grows the well-being of all.

The seeming ’empty canvas’ of the mostly-abandoned centro storico – in this new period of riempiendo – started as something of a melting pot; a cooking experiment, with tons of new ingredients being thrown in willy-nilly, and all mixing and contrasting together – the resulting soup not entirely edible!

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The initial buzz, and resulting chaos, brought about by the TV show in 2012, and then multiplied by the several subsequent transmissions, attracted some really beautiful folks and vibes, but it also attracted (and brought out of the woodwork) a pile of negative qualities. In particular, greed and manipulation; over-excitement about wanting to take advantage of this (presumed at the time) brief window of opportunity to make $$$s without much effort.

It’s a subtle and alchemical work to inspire and nurture and nourish a community to continue: to encourage it to be authentic and responsible, collective-minded and without negative power dynamics.

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photo by Charlotte Sørensen

I’ve been super-disappointed at the various frictions which have come up in Guardia in the years I’ve been here – all seeming so very unnecessary in a win-win-win situation like this – old houses being repopulated, the local economy being stimulated, whilst foreigners find dream homes and idyllic life-styles: what could possibly be found to stress about?! (That’s a rhetorical Q!)

I was talking with close friends this week, about how harmony in community is not something which comes by accident, nor in a static way: perhaps that is an older concept of harmony; simply the absence of chaos/ violence. I think we are in an age where we now know that there is so much more to our presence in the world, and that our authentic presence -our integrity and vision – is something which radiates out into the long-term. Either positively…. or not.

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We’re not educated to look at the far and wide consequences of our actions and thoughts, our intentions and ambitions. But we do live in an age where it is becoming increasingly obvious that everything we do/ are/ consume/ discard, goes out into the world with epic knock-on effect… And that we have both a personal and a collective responsibility to be GOOD, as we’ve never been so bound into rhythms of interconnectedness in the history of time. We’ve never been so dependent on each other for survival and continued evolution: the whole depends on the decisions and actions of the individuals now, today, more than ever.

What I’m saying, is that the tiny, every day actions and words we use, we use either to create, or not to create. But we live in a time where we cannot pretend any longer that life (or our interaction in it) is static; that our influence only goes as far as the end of our fingers and toes, and no further. We are beginning to really wake up to awareness that we can either be channels for energy… or not. But that the world needs our genius, our creative activity, our love and our authenticity and commitment, in order to continue.

photo by Anna Wirazska

photo by Anna Wiraszka

And in order to access those aspects of ourselves, we need to be in a safe, nourishing place.

I am super-heartened by what I see transpiring in Guardia Sanframondi: it is a collection of dreams, held lovingly in the hands of those who want to support those dreams. It’s a landscape being loved anew, and the eyes and hearts of those who perhaps were taking it for granted, being opened.

It’s a brand-new, delicious cultural inter-exchange, like a fabric of glorious bright threads woven thickly or the most wonderful recipe perfectly blended and baked to bring into reality a dish never before tasted.

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At first I thought of this ‘filling up’ of Guardia’s medieval quarter as a practical necessity (quick, before the houses fall down!), and a cultural-economic stimulation exercise.

Now I see it as so so much more: as dreams being woven together to create a collective dream; as the sacred feminine and masculine being honoured and awoken; as individual healing turning into collective healing; as lives liberated – stranieri and locals alike – by shared wealth and feasts and small joys and beauty and mutual, loving respect.

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I also see our individual and collective responsibility as having to call out when manipulative, unscrupulous or aggressive behaviours are trying to take root: the long-term flourishing of any town depends on healthy power dynamics, and on those who will flag up when unhealthy frictions/ conflicts of interest arise. This in turn can lead to resistance, psychological projection, denial, threats… I’ve had more than a fare share thrown at me since coming here!

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But there’s a definite sense right now of the collective being on a more even keel – powered by fulfilment and shared purpose -and that everyone is learning to be more precise and honest in their business, because this creates the greater long-term energy for all parties: the old competitive model of win vs lose, melding into the new cooperative model of win-win-win.

 

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My own body, heart and soul have been healed by these 7 yrs. My quirky house and my quirky relationship with everyone in this town, my intuitive and spontaneous activities (often misunderstood, even by myself) slowly becoming more purposeful and productive, my business developing to a place where I really am working my life purpose and being rewarded for it… and all the time, relationships deepening and enriching beyond even my excessive, positive imagination!

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photo by Kat Tan

Guardia provided me with all the challenges and the nourishment; in equal measure, and in the correct dose – even when I didn’t want to take my medicine.

What we’ve created here together, and what we continue creating, is truly a precious and magical thing, from which an inspired sense of wholeness is radiating out and out to the world.

Bravi, tutti – and a brindisi to more of this!

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Tante belle cose, Clare xx

COMPETITION

PATREON

THE ARTHOUSE B&B

ETSY SHOP

PS The Arthouse Competition 2016 winner will be announced TOMORROW! 

THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO GUARDIA SANFRAMONDI

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It’s with great pride and joy that I announce the publication of

THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO GUARDIA SANFRAMONDI!

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with dear Lorenzo: headache trying to understand dialetto

The guidebook has been percolating for several years, and took around a year to write – it’s not a typical or superficial guide, but a frank view into life in this molto particolare culture and place, climate and economy – by someone who knows it intimately.

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hanging out with beautiful young folk of Guardia, who helped me learn Italiano!

It has 130 pages, 3 maps, detailed instructions on how to get here most efficiently and affordably, what and who to watch out for, how to navigate all the boons and quirks of the town as a foreigner. Here are some initial reactions from my readers:

Mary Tagliarino: “Wonderfully informative with a fascinating window on the culture of Guardia! Better than any ethnography from my Anthropology studies!”

Glenn T Martin: “It was FABULOUS!! I am learning so much…I didn’t even realize Guardia had a larger grocery store!! Please keep up the good work.”

Crystal A. Davis: “GREAT book! Love your writing style! I read it in one go! It’s such a wonderful book, and will be providing deep benefit for many years! … made me miss Guardia so much.”

Buy now on LULU – click here

 HERE’S AN EXCERPT, FROM THE END OF THE BOOK

photo by Anna Wirazska

photo by Anna Wiraszka

ABOUT THE NEW COMMUNITY

“The new international community of Guardia Sanframondi is growing on the shoulders of a series of protagonists and ‘believers’ who were led to the abandoned medieval quarter over the past few decades. None of us are pioneers; none of us are discoverers of an undiscovered culture: Guardia was thriving away over the centuries without us.

At the same time, we now have a truly rare situation, whereby the bright threads of our overlapping stories and dreams have started to form a strong, brightly-coloured fabric. This unique tapestry is having new threads continually being woven into it. Working together, and bringing the best of all our cultures to the table, there’s huge potential for our long-term intercultural ‘surthrival’, which is more important than ever in this troubled world.

As the community grows, and new folks compare who came first, who has the biggest key or the best panorama, it’s important to acknowledge that there were many talented individuals who came to Guardia long before us all, and who continue to go about their business and leisure without fanfare. My own arrival here followed a series of other protagonists with beautiful house projects: I was inspired by cultured folks from Caserta and Torre Del Greco, Naples and Rome. These brilliant folks continue to contribute to the multicultural diversity of our growing community, by developing B&Bs, summer camps and artist residencies, inter-cultural events and special celebrations. It’s often the ones not blowing their own trumpets who make the more significant contributions to a cultural dynamic.

I’ve always seen the potential of the old town as a win-win-win situation, and it does seem like it’s possible that there’s space for us all to flourish, particularly if we treat each other and the town with respect and generosity. If we give back as much – or more – than we get from the place, we can build a collective creative power which can stand strong in defiance of the worst cultural tensions and austerity economics currently proliferating across Europe.

Some of us felt a calling to be in Guardia – even if it was in part the €10K house price-tag tempting us! Many of us felt pulled by something intangible and yet irresistible: we followed signs and good vibes, and we found our dream home, and a high quality, chilled-out way of life.

Many of the new international community are empty-nesters or nearing retirement age, and want to be in a peaceful (and affordable) place when they’re older. Others seek silence and solitude, spiritual reflection, time in nature – sometimes as respite from a heavy work schedule back home. Yet others want the headspace to create: artists, writers, musicians, creatives of all kinds.

We all share a passion for good food, great wine, a gentle lifestyle, a breath-taking view, fresh air, clean water. We’re all stimulating the local community in some shape or form – to better appreciate the beauty and values they might have taken for granted up to now, to fulfil their own creative dreams and projects, to get organised, and to support the regeneration of the old town.

Most folks from abroad are coming to Guardia for a few weeks per annum, others for as many as 6 months. One or two hope to transfer, though no-one has yet lasted more than a couple of years during all four seasons. But within a few years, what with further TV publicity coming again soon, and several foreigners and Italians establishing new businesses; the rejuvenation of Guardia Sanframondi looks set to settle into a more permanent and dynamic international community.

Together, we all have even huger potential, and I have a lot of optimism about the inherent positivity and spirit of our movement winning over any greed and ego which is trying to get a foothold. Bravi noi!

Buy now on LULU – click here

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photo by Charlotte Sørensen

I have a unique position here in Guardia, having been protagonist in the renaissance movement, and here year-round since 2009; my first couple of years here were completely da sola,  without the language. I learned everything the hard way – so you don’t have to!

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winter isn’t always sunny and warm, here!

What many people don’t know is that alongside a colourful art career I’ve also had a parallel incarnation as a visionary – being heavily involved in several large scale community and social housing transformation projects.

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international artists, attracted by the creative vibe in Guardia!

I’ve won social entrepreneur awards, and was shortlisted for major funding for a visionary project to transform social housing in Scotland. I’m able to understand the underlying interconnectedness of things: how behaviour and systems reverberate – how these knock-on effects accumulate over time, and how we can interract positively in the patterns they make.

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photo by Soukizy Redroom of the Ri-CREARE festival, 2014

With this experience and skill, I approached the empty centro storico – not as a problem and public liability (as it was viewed by most locals at the time) – but as a blank canvas and community resource, with immensely valuable potential.

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Ri-CREARE festival, 2014, outside the Arthouse

My enthusiasm and hard work at the beginning of the interest from abroad helped shift perception about the old town in a relatively short period.

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scambia culturale and lots of fun!

I was protagonist on a practical level, to initiate the great flow of stranieri into the empty houses, and I’ve initiated multifarious intercultural events in Guardia…

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photo by Charlotte Sørensen

I continue to bring visitors to Guardia from all over the world, and to inspire locals to see the town and landscape with new eyes. I’ve stimulated masses of cultural and language exchange, inspiring a multitude of people to set up projects, homes and dreams – here and in other countries!

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2014’s Terra Vivente art studio, which I had a key role in establishing

My perspective on how it is to live as a foreigner here is uniquely deep, having been here for 6 yrs, and having been very involved in the community.

I hope the guidebook will help others to find their feet in Guardia Sanframondi.

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The guidebook is also my first step in getting my ideas around community and creative transformation, into print as guidebooks – I’ll be exploring many interconnected ideas throughout the Live Like A Happy Artist book series.

Read a further excerpt, and buy now on LULU- click here

PLUS here are the arthouse’s two beautiful CALENDARS for 2016:

coverjpglowresThe GUARDIA SANFRAMONDI calendar 2016

The Guardia calendar is a high-colour publication is an inspired collection of images of this beautiful town and its surrounding landscape. My very best photos throughout the seasons.

See a full preview and buy now on Lulu:

Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.

cover2My paintings calendar

And the Art calendar has all my favourite paintings from this year, in full colour.

See a preview and buy now via Lulu:

Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.

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More new listings have been set up on my Etsy shop!

GO TO MY ETSY SHOP!

AND FINALLY

My newsletter is going out TOMORROW – go SIGN UP (click here) to sign up!

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Tante belle cose, Clare xx

EXHIBITIONISM

Last night was the opening party for a sweet wee expo I am doing, down in Telese at Giuseppe Lese’s Hops2o beer house.

Here are a few snapshots of the preparations and vernissage:

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The kitchen has been a squeeze, with two Terra Vivente artist residency guests, and my own makeshift office and studio, as my downstairs rooms are still too damp to house paintings, nor anything papery…

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I spent at least 2 days painting all the edges of the big unframed paintings, with several layers of gouache needed on each edge.

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It has been a bit of higgledy-piggledy summer, as I moved out of my studio and down to my basement (the old stable) to allow the lovely international artists to stay in my upper rooms all summer… I hadn’t really taken into account how much stuff I’d have to house, and then the big water issue from the house above set me back loads: wet wet wet, damaged paintings, had to simplify my pop-up shop event hugely, needed to keep all delicate things at the front of the house, and avoid any wooden furniture touching the floor, etc, etc. Urgh. So ultimately, the consequence was my having to try and do all my art activities in the kitchen, which has been shared with my lovely (and very accomodating!) guests.

_DSC0299   Anyways, it felt great to get the stack of 15 paintings, some of them rather large, out of the kitchen, and up towards to car. I’m very grateful to my dear artist guest Fleur Brett, who assisted me in not straining a muscle in my back, by helping pull the trolley up those big steps. Phew! This is one of the reasons I dislike framing my artwork- glass and wood are heavy!

_DSC0301One of the slightly challenging aspects of having a house in an Italian medieval quarter: everything we want carried in or out, must be taken under our own steam, up a load of steep stairs, and up a steep cobbled hill (or two). I can get the car down to this wee piazza, but only if I fold the wing mirrors in.

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The show was about the easiest ever I have hung: Giuseppe got these fabulous vertical strips of wood attached to the walls, with nice metal hooks in- all I needed to do was put a painting on each one, in an aesthetically-correct manner, and hooray! I love seeing my colourful artwork on these warm, dark grey walls.

 

_DSC0307Here is an article in the regional paper Il Sannio: it talks about the expo being a selection of works from the past 7 yrs, which is a powerful period of time, as it represents the period in which the human body replaces every single cell with a new one. So every 7 year cycle, we are effectively a completely different person.This article also refers to my involvement in the Scottish referendum debate; the importance of our spiritual autonomy and sustainability within ourselves, in order to be a country and culture which can flourish.

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My paintings contain stories about our cycles, our patterns in life: about how we can find equilibrium by being aware of these cycles, being responsible and conscious- the potential to interact healthily in our own co-creation, by not simply following a destructive pattern to its logical end, e.g. The above painting which we used in the poster for this expo, is a good solid example of the kinds of figurative artworks I do: it has a small figure inside a bigger one. To me, the larger self represents a person who has this dialogue, energetic discourse, relationship with the smaller self inside.

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I feel strongly about leaving the interpretation of art to whoever might be looking at it in any given moment, and am passionately against the dry assumptions of ego-based art forces, which think that ‘regular’ folks cannot see art. I heartily believe that creativity is a divine right of every person, and that art in particular is a thing which we all have an eye to see, a heart to feel, a voice to speak about. I’ve had all sorts of very differing reactions to the same painting throughout my career, from sheer anger to tears of compassion and grief.

I adore the fabric that is woven around a piece of artwork, by the myriad emotions and perspectives which are presented by those experiencing it.

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We had a lovely wee presentation from Guiseppe, about his dream to bring this lovely beer house into being, and to have a place which brings together wonderful artisan produce, great music and inspiring art. His beer house is quite unlike any other place in the zone- perhaps much more like a northern European pub- I am happy to have my work there, as he shares my values and attention to detail, and creates this warm atmosphere which I prefer (in contrast to a cold gallery space).

_DSC0323Here we are cutting ribbon, with the mayor of Telese, and another of our international artists from the Terra Vivente Art Studio, Indian photographere Shiv Ahuja.

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And then we got stuck in with eating and drinking and looking at art and chatting at length! Fabulous!

_DSC0333It has been a brilliant experience, hanging out with all the artists, and with some lovely Guardia people, this summer- we have gone to many expo openings, had tons of shared meals and bottles of wine, and created a truly stupendous web of connections, which now reaches from Guardia’s centro storico to the far side of the planet!

  _DSC0335It is one of my greatest pleasures to break bread and share a good beer with new and old friends. Life doesn’t get much better than that, eh!

_DSC0336At the end of the evening, I had a great discussion with some wonderful people whose family is originally from Guardia, who have some very old property here, and are inspired by what is happening, to possibly set up something interesting too- that, and another old friend contacted me this week about scoping the town out as a possible base for a spiritual centre. Things seem to have such a good momentum here! Then I was interviewed by Alessio, Lorenzo and Mariapaola for Art’Empori until I was flagging from brain drain -hehe! I sped home up the hill to Guardia, singing loudly and thoroughly satiated.

You can read more about my work via my Arthouse website.

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