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

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.

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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

END AS YOU MEAN TO BEGIN…

There’s a heck of a lot of unnecessary tension around the New Year!

As if the excess of Christmas and the cabin fever of being stuck inside with the rest of the family weren’t challenging enough… then there’s resolutions we ‘should’ make.

Rather than being a serious attempt to improve our lives and wellbeing – a New Year’s resolution is mostly a rigid dogma set on our shoulders like a heavy sack of coal.

As with many aspects of our culture, it’s all about the guilt and then the rebellion against that guilt – keeping us in that cycle of neediness: comfort, reassurance, material objects and distractions.

What if we approached it more holistically? Rather than expecting ourselves to take one giant leap into a new lifestyle, why not look at the infinite small steps we can make towards a higher goal: we could even think of it as the presence we can have, in each and every moment:

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Loving our work; following what nourishes us; respecting each other; cooperating; sharing; being aware of our immediate effects in the world – and our long-term effets; navigating from health and happiness rather than what’s bothering us this particular moment; being true to our hearts – to what makes us joyful.

This New Year is like every blessed day we have: a day filled with immense possibility to create, make, invent, philosophise, enlighten, inspire!

Don’t let the magic of your real reality, be squashed into a naff plastic box by banal collective traditions – get on with enjoying the beauty and joy of the everyday, every day!

The shops mentioned in the video are

ETSY

for my paintings and

LULU

for books and calendars…

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HAPPY SHOPPING!

Clare xx

THE PAIN BODY WE SHARE

responsibilityDETAILresponsibility (detail), 2002, Cyprus

There’s a lot of emotion being thrown around our collective consciousness this week. More than the previous week, despite the heavy fact that just as much death and terrorism was being created (and on our behalf, by our political representatives) over the previous 7 days.

There is so much wrong with the media and with commonly-held perceptions, that I won’t begin to talk about all that, but I’m writing today about something which lies deeper than this surface discourse, and which might serve in this moment to distract from the chaos.

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responsibility, 2002, Cyprus

Firstly, the collective conscious – what is that? It seems to me that there might even be equal and opposing parts of our collective thinking/ being: those of us who are completely unconscious and those who are (or are beginning to be) self-aware.

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Tear Baby, 2000, Findhorn

And then there’s the pain body (I found this phrase useful, listening to Eckhart Tolle recently): the energetic field within and around us, which is locked into a pattern of uncreation and atrophy – rather than creative vitality and expansion.

Tolle describes eloquently how this pain body becomes our actual identity – our reason for being, our means of identifying with others. We share our collective emotional disturbance, because that’s what’s considered the ‘norm’. This makes us highly susceptible to manipulation, both individually (in relationship, family, work, e.g.) and collectively (through media, economics, politics, etc.): it keeps us all in a state on non-conscious tension and anxiety. We blame our suffering on things outside of us, things we (perceive we) can’t do anything about.

(I’ve found other ways of speaking about this ‘body’, through painting intuitively over many years, channeling that deeper wisdom which comes through creative practise and meditation.)

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Running (from the Domestic Alchemy series), 2007

Having been ill recently. I had some deepening insight into the pain body, and the effects I’ve been having both inside and outside myself. I approach illness like a retreat; I know that whatever physical symptoms I have, originate from first mental/ emotional imbalance. And I know that symptoms experienced are linked to behaviours/ patterns leading up to this point, and that I’m in charge of correcting my course – whether or not I take medicine.

In order to be well and happy, we have to look first inwards, rather than seeking to destroy the symptom – which is our teacher!

Illness – or friction – as teacher is a great metaphor for our current collective state; our political and economic warring, our violent foreign policies, our perverse obsession with focussing on the negative, and our absurd falsity around being the righteous victim on the world stage, willingly gulped down daily by the masses.

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Couple With Boundaries, 2000-4, Cyprus and Edinburgh

We have many choices at our current global crossroads. The knee-jerk one is trying to destroy the symptoms, even though they’ve been caused indirectly and directly by ourselves; inflicting even more death and destruction willy-nilly, starting even more people on paths of righteous vengeance, and so on.

Another is that we all begin to look deeper, be more conscious, more aware. We see behind the curtains of the world stage, and we bring light – awareness – to what is suppressed. In this way, we start to see that what we do individually has a radiating effect on our collective situation, our collective ‘pain body’. Rather than reacting out of anger and fear, rather than condoning further violence under the unconscious (and very dubious) thinking of “well, we have to do something!” or “I just want those bastards dead, those people are evil!” – we start instead to look at where do these ‘symptoms’ originate – really: where do they come from, and what are we doing to change that?

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Laughing At Anger, 2001, Burghead

On a personal level, I’m bringing quiet conscious awareness into the part of me which is out-of-kilter, in pain. It is giving me huge insight into how unconsciously I have occupied my body and my mind in recent years… I’m certainly not the most loutish of citizens, but there have been more than a couple of occasions when I’ve chosen to ‘raise my voice’ with indignant negative emotion, rather than presenting enlightened – peaceful – insight.

As my awareness is more infused with light and love, I radiate out that light and love, rather than my own bigotry or indignancy – even though our individual acts seem so small and inconsequential, now more than ever before, we have power to share widely, whatever we are thinking, feeeling, intending. I have optimism we can collectively rise our vibration at times like this.

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I’ll be writing more about the subject of the pain body and transforming creatively, in the Live Like A Happy Artist book series.

Lots of love, Clare xx

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PS! Get a window into my studio, book excerpts, insight, sharing, and very special patron boons which no-one else gets, right here.

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MAKING SPACE TO MAKE/ START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON

I am not so comfortable on the camera -yet! Here I am though, pretending to be totally confident: fake it ’til you make it!

As I mentioned last week: I am going to bite the bullet, and do more videos on my blog and website – this means a steep learning curve, so thank you for bearing with me – and thank you for your feedback, it helps guide me forwards.

I highly recommend regularly sitting down, writing out a list of things that you want to do, but are not quite ever getting around to… Continue reading

EVER SAID “I’M NOT CREATIVE”?

 IT ALWAYS STRUCK ME – THIS MANTRA WHICH WAS SO OFTEN REPEATED

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I came across it at practically every exhibition I ever had; it was the first thing folks said to me, like a disclaimer, before expressing a view on any painting.

“I don’t know anything about art, but…”

“I’m not creative at all, but…”

And these confessions were invariably accompanied by mild shame.

Folks seemed embarrassed by some unworthiness to pass comment on art and/ or the creative process – the latter being perceived as a magical-mystical skill and the exclusive realm of the fine artist.

It’s no small thing, and it comes up again and again; this tendency to confess inferiority prior to speaking their (now watered down) truth.

It might seem like a very minor neurosis, but to me (as a working artist having spent 41½ yrs delving deeper and deeper into the creative process) it appears more like a compounded symptom of disconnect from the divine.

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BUT WE ALL HAVE INHERENT ABILITY TO CREATE AND MANIFEST MAGICALLY IN THE EVERYDAY!

This might all sound rather dramatic at first, but understanding how we have been literally brainwashed out of our inherent spirituality, is a key factor in unlocking many of our cultural and societal ills.

What our feeling “I’m not creative” really means is:

• our spontaneous activity in the everyday is completely interfered with

• from a young age we’re taught to always doubt our intuition

• we’re brainwashed into believing that logic should always over-ride feelings

• we’re encouraged to have significant shame about our own emotions

• we’re conditioned into having only specific feelings, because they can be monetised

• our shame is also monetised

It effectively means that all of our problems and choices in all the situations we come across in our lives, are interrupted with in one way or another: instead of seeking spontaneous solutions with what we find around us –and our own ingenuity, we automatically think of a transaction we need to make, which would give us a neat manufactured remedy for the issue.

Again, this might all sound rather over-the-top (in a world where it is entirely acceptable to be stiff and closed energetically, aggressive and controlling psychologically, and/ or über-neurotic), but if you look behind the thin veneer of social orderliness, you can see a contrasting alternative reality, glaring back.

If we don’t step outside of the collective ‘norm’, we tend not to challenge this reality. But if you don’t know something is broken, you wouldn’t assume to fix it, eh?

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I’m excited to be working on the first books in the LIVE LIKE A HAPPY ARTIST series right now: they aim to open peoples’ eyes to the sacred everyday – and the many ways in nwhich we can unblock our creative potency.

The series begins with simple colouring-in and mark-making books, and will build up to more powerful transformational projects.

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I’m particularly looking forward to the doll-making one, as I have a passionate interest in how we can both understand our relationship with our body by drawing it intuitively, and how we can change ourselves by hand-making bodies which are metaphors for how we want to live!

Looking forward to sharing it all with you!

                                            Tante belle cose, Clare xx

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we are all divinely creating, always

MI E’ VENUTO IN MENTE SEMPRE – QUESTA MANTRA ERA COSI’ FREQUENTEMENTE CANTATA

Ho trovato in quasi ogni mostra ho mai fatto; era la prima cosa le gente mi hanno detto, come una rinuncia, prima d’esprimere un opinione su d’un quadro.

“Io conosco niente in rispetto l’arte, ma…”

“Io assolutamente non sono creative, ma…”

Queste confessione stanno quasi sempre accompagnata con una tipa di lieve vergogna.

Le gente sembravano sempre imbarazzate, d’un tale indegnità per commentare sull’arte e/ o il processo creativo – quest’ultimo essendo percepito come un abilità magica e mistica, ed il regno esclusivo degli artisti.

Non è una piccola cosa, e succederà ripetutamente; questa tendenza di confessare, prima d’esprimere loro (adesso diluita) verità.

Può sembrare una nevrosi minore, ma per me (come un artista molto attiva, con 41½ anni d’esperienza zampando più e più profondo nel processo creative) sembra più come un sintomo aggravato di sconnessione dal divino.

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MA ABBIAMO TUTTI LA COMPETENZA INNATA PER CREARE E MANIFESTARE IN UNA MODA MAGICALE OGNI GIORNO!

Al inizio, può sembrare un po’ drammatica, ma comprendo come siamo stati praticamente lavato del cervello per perdere nostro spiritualità innata, è uno fattore chiave nel sbloccando di tante nostri problemi – sia sociale e culturale.

Ma nostro sentimento “Io non sono creative” significa in realtà:

• nostra attività nella quotidiana e completamente interferito

• d’un età infantile, siamo insegnato di avere dubbio su di nostri intuizioni

siamo lavati del cervelli, per credere che il logico dev’essere sempre in controllo degli sentimenti

• siamo incoraggiati per avere vergogno assai di nostri emozioni

siamo condizionate per avere solo emozioni particolari, perché possono essere monetizzate

nostro vergogno è anche monetizzato

In realtà, questa significa che tutti nostri problemi e scelte, in tutti i situazioni dove arriviamo in nostre vite, sono interrotto in qualche modo; invece di cercare per soluzioni spontaneamente, con c’io che troviamo vicino – e nostro ingenuità, pensiamo automaticamente d’un transazione dobbiamo fare, che può risolvere la problema in una moda molto pulito e distaccato.

Ancora, questa può sentire proprio esagerata (in un mondo dove è completamente accettabile per essere molto rigido e chiuso energeticamente, aggressivo e controllando psicologicamente, anche/ o sia super-nevrotico), ma se si vedi dietro il velo sottili di ordine sociale, puoi vedere una realtà alternative, che contrasta molto.

Se non scapiamo un po’ della ‘norma’ collettiva, abbiamo la tendenza di non avere interessa per cambiare niente. Ma se non sai una cosa è rotto, non pensati per risolvere, no?

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Sono emozionante per essere lavorando su i primi libri nella serie VIVERE COME UN ARTISTA FELICE in questo momento: i libri aspirano per aprire le occhi delle gente per vedere il sacro nel ogni giorno –  è per le tante mode in cui possiamo sbloccare nostra potenziale creative.

La serie inizia con semplice libri per colorare e disegnare, e sviluppano fino libri su progetti più potente nel senso di trasformazione creative.

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In particolare, non vedo l’ora di fare questo su facendo bambole, perche ho un interessa passionata su come possiamo sapere nostro rapporto col corpo, quando facciamo disegni in una moda intuitiva. E’ come cambiamo per il meglio, quando facciamo a mano simboli dei corpi, che sono metafore per come vogliamo vivere!

Sono impazienta di condividere tutto con te!

                                            Tante belle cose, Clare xx

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