6 reasons why you SHOULD STEP INTO THE VOID

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♥ BLOG RECLAIMED FROM SEPT 2017 ♥

It was easy, when I first arrived in Italy, to get drawn deep into the panic of having given up all my taken-for-granted familiarity. Despite the fact that there had been a fire under my arse chasing me to Italy, the first months were full of my dwelling on that familiar discomfort of a place where e.g. I was capable of talking on the phone to resolve a bureaucratic issue – and was sure about what side of the road to drive on.

The superficial mind perpetually seeks stability, pattern, anchoring: if it could, it’d probably put the brain in a jar and have it in a secure room, fed by wires and artificial nutriment. In some ways, we’re heading that way – kids not even allowed to learn from experience that fire burns and falling down on concrete breaks skin; no-one letting germs circulate their home any more; everything packaged and everything truly natural to all intents and purposes outlawed. At the end of the day, it gets good-comfy to be laid back on a soft, sterile sofa with the perfect-coloured cushions, in front of an ever-busy TV screen and munching on sugar and slurping down caffeine to keep us perky – to maintain our ‘interest’ in life.

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And it’s nice to have the steady drip of a wage: the knowledge that every single month we will have a familiar amount of money deposited in our lap, which corresponds roughly to the amount that we’ll have to put out into the world. This rhythmic symmetry makes us feel like everything is under control, despite life distractions regularly popping up inconveniently.

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What does it mean to throw all that comfort out, and to go out on a limb – to stand at the end of a diving board above a mysterious ocean, and to simply jump: to enter a new country and culture and start a new life from nothing… what happens? What would happen if we gave up all the comforts and trappings, and chose the unknown, the new, the unfamiliar? (Wouldn’t it destroy us? Or fuck our lives up?! Shouldn’t we be fighting with all our domesticated life force, to hold onto what small territory we have?!!)

But seriously: what happens when we up give up an old life and start in a completely new, unfamiliar place? I’ll tell you:

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ONE: First, it creates a void: a void is something we are all terrified of, and yet it is the space into which the better, the best, the life we REALLY WANT to be living can grow.

The void – space to think, feel, to be present in – is one of the greatest hidden secrets of our time: we’re lured into this compelling mythology of ‘time poverty’, and of being full to the brim, overstimulated, and ready for terror, in every moment of every day.

We seek all kinds of therapy and antidote to this, from holidays in countries with better weather, to titillation of the senses (hard or soft) and over-indulgence: staying up late or pressing the boundary ever-so-gently, but never stepping outside of it.

Ultimately however, we all seek peace and gentleness – we want to be more sensitive and quiet, and we want our day to be full of love and significance: to have this, we need the space, the void. There is no room, otherwise, and to cultivate this space, we have to wean ourselves out of the fear of not being filled up. We have to allow life to open up around and in front of us, rather than clawing to get back in the box we’ve made for ourselves.

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TWO: It makes us realise what inner resources we have – because we have to actually draw on them; use them. In a comfortable life, we rarely challenge ourselves beyond the fluffy yum-numb of our routine.

It feels like fulfilment – but it really isn’t: the human soul needs to experience friction and challenge in order to grow, in the same way a tree needs natural soil and wild weather to get it to its potential.

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THREE: It makes us see that we can actually reinvent ourselves; change, travel, upheaval – particularly when they are consciously chosen rather than imposed on us – are the most useful of tools to get us to stretch our minds into what we might also be/ achieve/ dream of.

Staying at home can be satisfying to a degree, but the longer we don’t stretch our legs or hearts or energy, the more accustomed we become to the atrophied version of our self which we’ve elected to prioritise.

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FOUR: It makes us work hard; on ourselves, on our work, on our life and friendships… There is a profound satisfaction in having to make new connections, networks, structures to hold us; there is the deepest meaning and beauty in our having to build a new household, in having to harmonise a chaotic new reality, in having to learn a language and legal system, cultural and religious norms…

And that hard work is more honed than it might be if we are living a stagnant life: it is more specific and necessary. Our compulsion fires up our engine, and gets us more streamlined.

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FIVE: It brings us into a realm of raw creative flow. Most lives are full of complacency, and this sense of ‘this’ being ‘all that there is’ – why bother changing anything, if we already have someone to drink coffee and complain about the weather/ our partner/ our boss with?

If someone is telling us where to go each day, and we still get to ‘wild out’ on payday by buying a new pair of shoes, or getting drunk and laughing excessively, why would we want to re-accept the power-that-flows-through-all-things-when-we-are-aligned-with-our-life-purpose?!

Hmmmmmmn – I wonder.

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SIX: Possibly most importantly of all: putting ourselves into a new and challenging situation like moving to another country makes us appreciate the value of things: we see how hard it is to find a thing which before was always a bancomat and a supermarket trip away.

We see how communication is so much more than constructed word formations, and that a smile or being touched on the cheek can be profoundly moving, confirming our place in the world.

We learn to enjoy what little we have, essentially, rather than seeking more-more-more without questioning whether a thing is really improving the quality of our life. Perhaps our values can even deepen, in time – especially if we’re immersed in a culture which is more rooted in family, spirituality, friendship and nature…

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I wanted to make a statement here; yes, about what the positive side of a challenge like moving abroad can be, but also to remind folks that NONE OF THIS COMES ABOUT EASILY OR INSTANTLY OR BY LUCK – NOR CAN IT BE BOUGHT: it has to be earned, slowly and through hard graft, humility, concerted attention and commitment, love and optimism, and by pushing oneself always to be a better human being. We have to know ourselves, and then too, to know-craft-hone this self into the best we can be.

I wanted to remind myself, and folks who are inspired by what I do: none of my happy creative life – with my own house, in magical medieval Italy – happened by accident, nor was any of it handed to me on a plate; I didn’t stride over here in confidence like many people assume – or saw fictionalised on TV…

I arrived overwhelmed and terrified: nothing flowed well when I got here, and A LOT about the country and culture rubbed me horribly the wrong way. There was a dark night of the soul where I really thought for a while that I had fucked up phenomenally: that I’d thrown it all away and had nothing and had seriously sabotaged my future…

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It feels important to say: I know that many people don’t ever change their lives because they think that one should be strong, confident, healthy, in equilibrium, solvent, and sure of what one is doing, to move abroad, or to make a big life change. You don’t, you simply have to do it, e basta.

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Happiness, freedom, fulfilment grow like plants in a well-tended garden: they don’t appear overnight; they flourish according to whether or not they are planted, and whether or not it’s in the right season and soil, and the good care and attention given to them. They live to their potential not through one big showy action, but through myriad small ones. They yield fruit according to the accumulation of all these tiny attentions and harmonies – and when they are happy and in the right place and time… the fruit is bountiful – and heavenly delicious… And their seeds go on to produce more and more and more life and growth and fruit.

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Much love and creative power to you

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Join my newsletter and support me on Patreon if you’d like to keep up-to-date with all my creative outpourings – and if you’re ready to step into your immense creative potential: go and see my online art school.

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Hi, dear folks!

Here is a podcast! It’s part of a podcast series from the Real School of Art: our relationship – particularly as women – as mystical creative women – with money. (podcast solo in inglese – su le donne, i soldi, e la creatività) 

f*** word warning!

Other news this week/ Altre notizie questa settimana:

Join my newsletter HERE if you want to know about the offers coming up on my art – and my arthouse! Iscriviti alla mia newsletter QUI se vuoi sapere quali sono le offerte in arrivo sulla mia arte – ed il mio arthouse!

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Because there is an Etsy sale and massive discounts for previous clients and patrons this winterfest, NOW is the time to buy my art! Perché c’è un saldo su Etsy e sconti enormi per patrocini e clienti precedenti questo inverno, ORA è il momento di comprare la mia arte!

You can see new paintings on ETSY right now, and as ever, join me on PATREON if you want to see them before they are released to the public – e.g. my landscape paintings often sell before they are published. Puoi vedere nuovi dipinti su ETSY adesso e, come sempre, unisciti a me su PATREON se vuoi vederli prima che vengano pubblicati al pubblico – ad es. i miei dipinti di paesaggi spesso vengono venduti prima di essere pubblicati.

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The Real School of Art has SPECIAL PRICES for you signing up this winter, and there’s the free intro course too, to give you a taster of the school. Just ask if you have any Qs about the RSOA – I am here to help! The Real School of Art ha PREZZI SPECIALI per chi iscrivi a quest’inverno, e c’è anche il corso introduttivo gratuito, per darti un assaggio della scuola. Basta chiedere se hai qualche Q sull’RSOA – posso aiutarti con traduzione se parli solo un po’ d’inglese.

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Loads of good wishes, and speak to you soon,

Un sacco di auguri e parliamoci presto,

Clare xx

PS If you love all that I share  – please consider making a donation, to support my creative process, thank you! PS Se ami tutto che sto condividendo – per favore pensare di fare un donazione, per dare sostengo al mio processo creativo, grazie!

donation towards clareartista’s creative evolution

With your invaluable support, I am able to sustain the hard work behind-the-scenes: writing, painting, thinking, exploring, experimenting Con il tuo prezioso sostegno, sono in grado di sostenere il duro lavoro dietro le quinte: scrivendo, dipingendo, pensando, esplorando, sperimentando

€5.00

 

THE SCHOOL!

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Here is a COMPLETELY FREE course – an intro to the Real School of Art – your go-to-place for all things related to creative transformation…!

I finally got my fabulous online art school up onto the Teachable platform: it’s neat, organised, and will make sense to more-logical brains (than my own).

It was a battle to get my vision into compatible format!!

It feels amazing to have this gateway between me and the world: a means of my channeling all this integrated wisdom about artistic expansion – living the happiest of artist lives … and hopefully setting lots of folks into a great creative adventure…

Here’s how it works so far:

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this is the FREE INTRO COURSE

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You just want to have a nosy – and get a feel for the school. There’s some art chat around what art and creativity really are, and why they’re so vital in the world today.

There’s also some insight into the school’s approach and energy – and some free art lessons!

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The MYTH-BUSTING SERIES!

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You’re keen on art and have a dream about creating something significant, but it all seems so mysterious, snobby and remote – out of reach to you. YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD PULL AWAY THE VEILS AND GIVE YOU A FRESH, ACCESSIBLE POINT OF VIEW OF IT ALL!

This is a series of short art chats and exercises for you to follow: it takes us through the most prevailing of the lies about art, which stop humans from being magically creative!

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This is course 1- on making space inside & out for your art

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You love creating or have always wanted to get creative, but for some intangible reason it seems to be an elusive process: time passes and the dream, project, painting just don’t get anchored. YOU WISH SOMEONE COULD GUIDE YOU INTO YOUR FIRST STEPS AS A SERIOUS ARTIST!

This lesson set goes over the essential shit which no-one tells you about in art school: how to arrange your space and time, and how to get over the initial inner turmoils which being creative brings up.

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This is your BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION course

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You’re keen to begin more seriously with your art studio and practise, and you feel like it should be easy – you ‘should’ just get on and create more… but then practical stuff gets in the way, and the doubts about your ability… YOU WISH YOU COULD JUST GET ON WITH THE ART!

Haphazardly winging it won’t get you near your enormous artistic gift, nor will learning tricks or short-cuts: this is how to approach your art practise right, from the start!

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This is the LIVING IT course!

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You’re a creator and have a practise, but it hasn’t seemed to develop beyond an extended hobby – and this frustrates you. Other banal stuff seems more urgent, and your enthusiasm peters out – blocked by lack of direction and inspiration… YOU WISH YOU KNEW HOW TO POWER UP AND SUSTAIN A PROFESSIONAL ART PRACTISE!

Your approach is everything: get this clear, get your commitment in place, and your practise will flow like it should – prolifically!

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This is the one to get you OVER ALL YOUR ART HURDLES!

You’re up and running as an early-career artist; out and about, connected, exhibiting here and there – you have some confidence but you want much, much more from your art career: it all feels a bit stale, and you want it to feel stimulating and fulfilling… YOU WISH YOU KNEW HOW TO FREE UP YOUR ENERGY AND REALLY MOVE TOWARDS YOUR LIFE AMBITION VISION AS AN ARTIST!

Everyone meets resistance, and at every stage in their life and work; this is a set of lessons to equip you for sailing over the jumps like a pro!

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This is the course which shows you how to KEEP YOUR ART ENTHUSIASM UP!

You’re starting to craft a healthy art career, and love your practise… and yet there seems to be an invisible ceiling above you that you can’t get beyond; a pervasive sense of limitation. YOU WISH YOU COULD GET OVER YOUR INSECURITIES AND GET TO GRIPS WITH THE PRACTICAL SHIT, SO AS TO MAKE A MORE MEANINGFUL CREATIVE CONTRIBUTION IN THE WORLD!

The deeper practical shit which many artists never get right! Here’s the key fodder to cultivate a proper art career – one that expands and flourishes!

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And this is the PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE PACKAGE

THIS FULL RSOA COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You want to commit now to the full journey – the Real School of Art is a series of 67 lessons; crammed to the edges with inspiration, depth and colour. If you’re looking for a complete course to take you from first tentative sketches … to a vibrant career as the unique creative genius YOU WERE BORN TO BE – this is your course!

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 Stepping into the life of a real artist is challenging, exciting, terrifying: it might turn your world upside-down … and then you might realise that your world was topsy-turvy to begin with!
Entering a committed life as a working artist is something many dream of, but few have the guts to do: in this school I’ll be showing you in bite-sized steps, how to cultivate the courage that it requires, to really embrace YOUR ART PATH.

I am on hand as your guide and arts professional, to support you in your transformation. And in this first phase of the Real School of Art, I’ll be offering one-on-one Skype/ Zoom/ whatever sessions to my students, as an added bonus.

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Come join us!!

Clare xx

THE MYTH-BUSTING SERIES…

The Real School of Art just launched its introduction lecture series: MYTH-BUSTING THE ART WORLD!

It’s now up on Teachable, and is a series of 10 (mostly around 10mins) inspiring lectures, each with a challenge to get you to start thinking about YOUR IMMENSE creative potential.

I’m excited about it because it’s also very affordable (20 euros), and it acts as a gateway into the school – I appreciate that all the creative chaos leading up to the launch of the school might have been as hard work for those watching it unfold, as it was for me to create it! But it’s coming up online now thick and fast, and it’s feeling more and more like the potent creative vessel I visioned it to be: come aboard and let’s do this!

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Tante belle cose, Clare xx

6 STRONG REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD STEP INTO THE VOID…

It’s my birthday week again! And this is always a beautiful time to reflect on all that I have, all I’ve achieved, all that is coming true of my dreams.

This year is fricking spectacular: the freedoms I sought when I stepped out of what precious little security I had had in Scotland… The freedom was this, and it is now here, as solid and mysteriously epic and wildly magical as I could’ve ever glimpsed in my visionary imaginings: my own home; the deepest and most fulfilling of loving partnerships; my time filled with art and creative living, love and beauty; my view each day as glorious and inspiring as a panorama could ever be; the liberty to express myself deeply and meaningfully in a great spectrum of ways, as the mood takes me; being rewarded for what I do and am – financially yes, but also with friendship, community, heartfelt appreciation; people being inspired by what I do and believe in; being able to contribute to the world, to the universe, in the fullest of ways that I was born to do…

It’s important for me to reflect on how I got here, and to appreciate how hard I worked for it – how hard it was to get to this: 8 yrs ago when, driving from Scotland with my cat and paintings, all the way to Guardia Sanframondi in Italy… Parking my right-hand drive car – barely remembering which side of the road I was meant to drive on each day… Not knowing even how to pronounce the word for ‘bread’, and walking around the town with that particular sense of vulnerability that comes with being a foreign woman alone in a new country…

It was easy, when I first arrived in Italy, to get drawn deep into the panic of having given up all my taken-for-granted familiarity. Despite the fact that there had been a fire under my arse chasing me to Italy, the first months were full of my dwelling on that familiar discomfort of a place where e.g. I was capable of talking on the phone to resolve a bureaucratic issue… where, even if I was cold and damp and miserable, at least I knew where to buy my vegan-organic goodies, and had friends aplenty to discuss Buddhism and ecstatic birth with.

The superficial mind perpetually seeks stability, pattern, anchoring: if it could, it’d probably put the brain in a jar and have it in a secure room, fed by wires and artificial nutriment. In some ways, we’re heading that way – kids not even allowed to learn from experience that fire burns and falling down on concrete breaks skin; no-one letting germs circulate their home any more; everything packaged and everything truly natural to all intents and purposes outlawed. At the end of the day, it gets good-comfy to be laid back on a soft, sterile sofa with the perfect-coloured cushions, in front of an ever-busy TV screen and munching on sugar and slurping down caffeine to keep us perky – to maintain our ‘interest’ in life.

And it’s nice to have the steady drip of a wage: the knowledge that every single month we will have a familiar amount of money deposited in our lap, which corresponds roughly to the amount that we’ll have to put out into the world. This rhythmic symmetry makes us feel like everything is under control, despite life distractions regularly popping up inconveniently.

What does it mean to throw all that comfort out, and to go out on a limb – to stand at the end of a diving board above a mysterious ocean, and to simply jump: to enter a new country and culture and start a new life from nothing… what happens? What would happen if we gave up all the comforts and trappings, and chose the unknown, the new, the unfamiliar? (Wouldn’t it destroy us? Or fuck our lives up?! Shouldn’t we be fighting with all our domesticated life force, to hold onto what small territory we have?!!)

But seriously: what happens when we up give up an old life and start in a completely new, unfamiliar place? I’ll tell you:

  1. First, it creates a void: a void is something we are all terrified of, and yet it is the space into which the better, the best, the life we REALLY WANT to be living can grow. The void – space to think, feel, to be present in – it’s one of the greatest hidden secrets of our time: the best of us are lured into this mythology of time poverty, and of being full to the brim, overstimulated, and ready for terror, in every moment of every day. We seek all kinds of therapy and antidote to this, from holidays in countries with better weather, to titillation of the senses (hard or soft) and over-indulgence: staying up late or pressing the boundary ever-so-gently, but never stepping outside of it. Ultimately however, we all seek peace and gentleness – we want to be more sensitive and quiet, and we want our day to be full of love and significance: to have this, we need the space, the void. There is no room, otherwise, and to cultivate this space, we have to wean ourselves out of the fear of not being filled up. We have to allow life to open up around and in front of us, rather than clawing to get back in the box we’ve made for ourselves.
  2. It makes us realise what inner resources we have – because we have to actually draw on them; use them. In a comfortable life, we rarely challenge ourselves beyond the fluffy yum-numb of our routine. It feels like fulfilment – but it really isn’t: the human soul needs to experience friction and challenge in order to grow, in the same way a tree needs natural soil and wild weather to get it to its potential.
  3. It makes us see that we can actually reinvent ourselves; change, travel, upheaval – particularly when they are consciously chosen rather than imposed on us – are the most useful of tools to get us to stretch our minds into what we might also be/ achieve/ dream of. Staying at home can be satisfying to a degree, but the longer we don’t stretch our legs or hearts or energy, the more accustomed we become to the atrophied version of our self which we’ve elected to prioritise.
  4. It makes us work hard; on ourselves, on our work, on our life and friendships… There is a profound satisfaction in having to make new connections, networks, structures to hold us; there is the deepest meaning and beauty in our having to build a new household, in having to harmonise a chaotic new reality, in having to learn a language and legal system, cultural and religious norms… And that hard work is more honed than it might be if we are living a stagnant life: it is more specific and necessary. Our compulsion fires up our engine, and gets us more streamlined.
  5. It brings us into a realm of raw creative flow. Most lives are full of complacency, and this sense of ‘this’ being ‘all that there is’ – why bother changing anything, if we already have someone to drink coffee and complain about the weather/ our partner/ our boss with? If someone is telling us where to go each day, and we still get to ‘wild out’ on payday by buying a new pair of shoes, or getting drunk and laughing excessively, why would we want to re-accept the power-that-flows-through-all-things-when-we-are-aligned-with-our-life-purpose?! Hmmmmmmn – I wonder.
  6. Possibly most importantly of all: putting ourselves into a new and challenging situation like moving to another country makes us appreciate the value of things: we see how hard it is to find a thing which before was always a bancomat and a supermarket trip away. We being see how communication is so much more than constructed word formations, and that a smile or being touched on the cheek can be profoundly moving, confirming our place in the world. We learn to enjoy what little we have, essentially, rather than seeking more-more-more without questioning whether a thing is really improving the quality of our life. Perhaps our values can even deepen, in time – especially if we’re immersed in a culture which is more rooted in family, spirituality, friendship and nature…

I wanted to make a statement here; yes, about what the positive side of a challenge like moving abroad can be, but also to remind folks that NONE OF THIS COMES ABOUT EASILY OR INSTANTLY OR BY LUCK – NOR CAN IT BE BOUGHT: it has to be earned, slowly and through hard graft, humility, concerted attention and commitment, love and optimism, and by pushing oneself always to be a better human being. We have to know ourselves, and then too, to know craft and hone this self into the best we can be.

I wanted to remind myself, and to folks who are inspired by what I do: none of this happened here by accident, nor was any of it handed to me on a plate. More importantly is that I came from a place of significant fear, grief, illness and imbalance: I didn’t stride over here in confidence like many people assume, throwing it all together in happy nonchalance… I arrived neurotic and shaking, overwhelmed and reactionary, paranoid and terrified, even: nothing flowed well when I got here, and I hated most things about the country and culture. There was a dark night of the soul where I KNEW that I had fucked up phenomenally: that I’d thrown it all away and had nothing, and that I was a mess-up and useless and had sabotaged my future…

And though things got a tad better when I acquired the house, and began settling my roots into this blessed land and my heart into the community, it didn’t get any easier. There was a good 6 + years of anguish and panic, interspersed with tiny blisses and occasional profound beauty… just enough to keep my spirits above the mire, but not always. I struggled with health and social stresses, with financial fears and the strain of trying to stabilise ideas and feelings in a completely different reality.

I want to express this, even if I am repeating myself over the years, because I know that many people don’t ever change their lives because they think that one should be strong, confident, healthy, in equilibrium, solvent, and sure of what one is doing, to move abroad, or to make a big life change. You don’t, you simply have to do it, e basta.

Happiness, freedom, fulfilment grow like plants in a well-tended garden: they don’t appear overnight; they flourish according to whether or not they are planted, and whether or not it’s in the right season and soil, and the good care and attention given to them. They live to their potential not through one big showy action, but through myriad small ones. They yield fruit according to the accumulation of all these tiny attentions and harmonies – and when they are happy and in the right place and time… the fruit is bountiful – and heavenly delicious… And their seeds go on to produce more and more and more life and growth and fruit.

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Much love and creative power to you, Clare xx

 

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 

THE ‘RUDENESS’ OF ARTISTS*

My online art school is up on Teachable – it’s a pretty damn huge achievement for me – though it’s only just phase one of the school (year one)!

The pace I set myself these past 6 months was a bit over-the-top: I had in my head to create a course which would have over 150 videos, and which would take both myself a year to create and the learning-artist a year to complete…
But at the beginning of this month, it was clear that, well, first of all, my schedule filled up with prizes, precious guests, my painting practise, and other important parallel activities… And there was a feeling of fullness already to the draft course, so I slowed to a halt with the making of videos and writing of worksheets…

THEN I realised that I had actually already made a year’s course! Holy guacamole / holy shit! My wonderful guests and patrons helped me see that, rather than my being 6 months behind, I am in fact  6 months ahead! Woohoo for over-enthusiastic ambitions and bloody hard work!

The getting of all these lessons and worksheets – I made 67 so far – into a digestible format for presentation to an audience…. Hmmmmf. That was challenging. It’s all there now, but I had to wrestle with multiple different platforms, contexts, structures, before my eureka moment.

So now the Real School of Art is finally being elegantly led into it’s right stable, as it were – no mean feat, for an artistic creative flow which is like a wild horse galloping along a high mountain top. (Wild horses don’t have much interest in stables, and in performing or behaving well…)

This has been an extraordinary year: the making of this school has been like a process of alchemy; the concentrating of the magic of creative flow, into a series of transformative compounds, medicinal bites to take the ‘artist’ into the real realm of art.

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Working away like this, made me think a lot about how (real) artists have to occupy a slightly different realm from the average body: we have to step into a space where we disconnect from the humdrum of life, and yet somehow become even more deeply immersed in it.

This makes us – relatively speaking – more volatile than your average being. We slip easily into a transcendental state, or a dreamy thought process… This is the pre-creation state, and is utterly vital to a human being making anything which isn’t firmly anchored in logic and science; it’s the ‘gap between thoughts’ or the hazy fog before the picture clears.

We need to exist there, in order to transmute what we see around us into our art: if we’re awake, we’re working; we are interacting with the world in a completely impassive way, but we are also bypassing a lot of the pointless distraction – the chitterchatter – of the unfolding of the everyday.

This state of being-in-creative-flow becomes more enhanced, more developed, as we mature our practise, which is something to do with why artists, writers, creators, can appear strange, rude, distant, out-of-place… It’s nothing personal* – it’s simply to do with the letting go of line and convention, and of allowing ourselves to be swept into a concentrate ‘letting in’ of energy and inspiration, raw information and inner vision. The fact that we ever manage a ‘normal’ conversation, and a semblance of regular customs, is rather astonishing!

As ever, sign up on Patreon to get immediate access to the Real School of Art in all its glory of draft format (it’s hidden here inside a members-only section of this website) –  and/ or buy the course now on Teachable.

PS Big news coming up soon about VAWAA – Vacation WIth An Artist!!

* Genuine artist space-out should not be confused with actual rudeness from ego-based creative folks, which is usually about the theatre of them pretending to be more important than the average person 

NAPOLI CULTURAL CLASSIC PREMIAZIONE 2017

Video of the award presentation! // Video del premiazione!

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The ‘motivazione’ – the ‘motivation’ for my receiving this prestigious award // La motivazione per la mia ricezione di questo prestigioso premio

Link to Napoli Cultural Classic site, with photos of the awards event // Link al sito di Napoli Cultural Classic con più foto dell’evento

Link to La Repubblica newspaper article // Link all’articolo nel giornale La Repubblica

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It was a super-fun – though nerve-racking – adventure; from the month I spent prepping the outfit, sourcing fancy shoes and a designer handbag, and scraping petrol money together for the journey, to the unfolding of the car trip, the event itself, the after party, and long ride home… // Era un’avventura super-divertente – anche se nervosa – dal mese che ho passato a preparare l’abito, la ricerca delle giuste scarpe e borsa designer, e lottando per trovare i soldi per la benzina per il viaggio, allo svolgimento del viaggio, l’evento stesso, il dopo party, ed il lungo viaggio verso la casa…

The night was spectacular, as you’ll see from the links above: I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event so well constructed, lit, choreographed and attended! And with the invaluable help of patrons and friends, I felt the part. // La notte era spettacolare, come vedrai dai link sopra: non credo di essere mai stato in un evento così ben costruito, illuminato, coreografato e frequentato! E con l’inestimabile aiuto di patroni e amici, mi sono sentito parte.

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I received donations of: money to help me get myself and my paintings to the venues; my designer handbag; flowers which ended up in my hair; photography, bag-carrying and moral support from my beautiful friends… // Ho ricevuto donazioni di: soldi per aiutarmi ad ottenere me stesso ei miei dipinti alle sedi; la borsa designer; fiori che finivano nei miei capelli; fotografia, aiuto di portare la borsa e supporto morale dai miei bei amici…

Without all this I’d have been a whole lot less glamourous and confident – thank you, precious friends – especially Randy, Speranza, Carolyn, Anna, Marcia, Chris and Vittorio! // Senza tutto questo sarei stato un po ‘meno glamour e sicuro – grazie, amici preziosi – soprattutto Randy, Speranza, Carolyn, Anna, Marcia, Chris e Vittorio!

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 It’s an extraordinary honour to be recognised by this great cultural association, and in a wider area of Italy, for my art – and to have my courage and spirituality noted and celebrated. Dedicating oneself to a non-compromised artistic path can be lonely and isolating at times; it can feel like trying to reinvent the wheel (or a better way of life for the whole planet) – at the same time as feeling awfully intangible and mysterious. Getting this award for keeping true to my inimitable path is hugely affirming. // È un onore straordinario per essere riconosciuto da questa grande associazione culturale e in una zona più ampia dell’Italia per la mia arte – e per avere il mio coraggio e spiritualità notati e celebrati. Dedicarsi a un percorso artistico non compromesso può essere solitario e isolare a volte; può sentire come tentando di reinventare la ruota (o un modo migliore di vivere per tutto la pianeta) – allo stesso tempo che sembra terribilmente intangibile e misterioso. Ottenendo questo riconoscimento per mantenere fedele al mio percorso inimitabile è fortemente affermando.

For more about the award ceremony, and a more intimate view of the life of the happy artist – go sign up on Patreon and subscribe to my newsletter // Per ulteriori informazioni sulla cerimonia di premiazione e una visione più intima della vita dell’artista felice – iscriviti o su Patreon o al mio newsletter

And if you’d like to see my paintings – go browse around my Etsy shop (keeping in mind that many works sell before appearing in the shop – subscribe to Patreon to see what’s in progress and ‘hot off the easel’!) // E se volete vedere i miei dipinti – andate a cercare il mio negozio Etsy (tenendo presente che molte opere vendono prima di apparire nel mio negozio – iscrivetevi a Patreon per vedere lavori in corso e che c’è ‘caldo dal cavalletto’!)

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Many thanks for watching, Clare xx

Grazie mille per aver visto, Clare xx