The Hostility Of The Mainstream…

work in progress, May 2019
mainstream media hostility to ideas, feeling, innocence…

My podcast this month speaks some thoughts on how we find the right container for our treasures, our gifts to the world, our uniqueness – when the mainstream is hostile to them.

If you like these ideas and this art, join me now on Patreon – you’ll also get a beautiful welcome package, to the only place on the internet where I share everything…

Blessed day to you, with much beauty, synchrony and good vibes,

When Did We Decide That Nudity In Art Is ‘Pornography’?!


This is how mainstream ‘social’ ‘media’ would like you to view my art – see the painting in full, below

Hi dear friend,

If you’ve been following me on ‘social’ ‘media’, you’ll know that my art was censored (yet again) on both Facebook and Instagram last month.

This had me raging, taking my art off the two platforms, and thinking VERY deeply on what the whole issue means: for me, for my business, for my art’s visibility in the world, for the direction that mainstream is leading folks, for the future of human consciousness that is not being exposed to art, what happens to all the artists, what happens to people when they are no longer permitted to see imagery of unclothed human beings… without them being in some way sexualised.

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

Ironically, the image in question (this time) did contain a big, happy, golden erect male member, BUT this is NOT a ‘SEXUAL’ IMAGE: this is a painting which speaks to the deep harmony between a man and a woman, as she prepares herself to take in his lineage, his genetic and familial heritage, holding the space for hers and his family stories to become one – in her gestating their child.

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

His lingam is a holy transmitter of his deepest essence and power: it is neither weapon nor means of attacking or hurting the femine, nor is it offensive or against family values (haha – how ironic!) or any other negative connotation (as our culture projects onto it).

The beautiful engorged lingam is a divine symbol of connecting worlds; the lingam and the sperm which it transports, are all about connecting spirit, life, vitality, love, fortitude, stability – sharing it from the masculine into the gmeinne, so that it may serve the harmony of our shared future.

The painting speaks to the profound humility and SERVICE that we bring to the world, in our vulnerability in love, and in making new life.

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

It also speaks of this deep feminine alchemy; the sacred offering-up of her very identity and story, her vulnerability and potent ability to O P E N on all levels, to accept the other, and all that comes with him. Her strength to both hold all of her own sentience, herstory, sense of self, whilst simultaneously accepting another’s reality and family line to literally come through her, be woven into and out of her…

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

As I speak to in the video below, the sensuality in this context, is something VERY DIFFERENT than the peak-orgasm-focussed, immature male, superficial titillation, or the ‘porn model’ of ‘sexuality’, which is so prevalent-and-at-the-same-time-‘forbidden’ (‘forbidden’ meaning really, commercialised and marketed like fuck, ubiquitously) in our modern world.

This ‘forbidden-and-yet-everywhere’ is one of the major methods of bondage into the patriarchal power/ energy hierarchy. We’re all are trained early on to:

  • separate our ‘sexuality’ from the rest of our physical, mental, emotional and energetic body
  • to see this ‘part’ of us as something ‘rude’ or ‘bad’ and so to be kept hidden
  • at the same time, to have our emotions, minds and physical bodies to be stimulated artificially and superficially, into tension and instant gratification

Which pulls us completely out of the path of self-knowledge, integration, healing, expansion and illumination, that sensual union is ultimately all about. In many ways, I feel that even using the word ‘sexuality’ or ‘sex’ is hugely misleading and distracting from the truth of the matter.

This is a video of this new painting illiustrated in this blog – and my feelings around it having been censored on Instagram and Facebook as ‘pornographic’.

So the whole event of art and ideas like these being censored in the mainstream, is intimately entwined with a) the non-mature masculine concept of sex as peak/ tension orgasm (hugely limited view of human potential!), and b) the de-evolving of human consciousness into the collective presumption that nudity equals (the afore-mentioned kind of) ‘sex’ – that the human body has no other significance nor can it be interpeted in any other way.

This essentially gives us a profound collective sense of our lives being COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS AND SHALLOW – and gets us into this drive of desperately trying to titillate ourselves, be that sexually, with food or drink, substances or clicking on nice pictures and stories online.

Which in turn leads us further into this spiralling atrophy, because what we are seeing in mainstream online, is the systematic removal of profoundly important images of ourselves – images from art in particular, which DON’T tow the corporate-values party line. The System will have you think that the sacredness of (especially women’s) wholistic, sentient ecstatic existence, should be shut down, hidden and labelled as ‘dirty’.

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

Censoring the human body is no small issue: we have had the human body in art and at the centre of community life for millennia – since the beginning of time, in fact. The human body without clothing is a vital symbol of ourself, ourselves; of what we inherently are, what we feel, what we represent and can be, and much more. The fact of not adorning the body, not putting clothes on, gives us the directness that art needs – to speak of truth, vulnerability, unmasked reality – without being bound to a particular time and place. The naked body is what allows art to speak across centuries and cultures, languages and norms.

Clare Galloway artist http://www.clareartista.com

The more I unravelled this ball of tangled, contrary ideas and assumptions, the deeper I realised that it goes… I speak more strongly in previous podcasts around this (here, about leaving social media, on my Patreon pages), as I have swung from being heart-broken to raging to THIS MUCH CHANGE to oh, there’s actually a whole other world out there of people like me who are also leaving the mainstream for the same reasons!

So I’m also now seeing-feeling-understanding the gift in having been censored and effectively strong-armed out of the mainstream. I speak in this month’s podcast about how something that can seem huge and challenging, often holds treasure in its heart, if we’re able to see how it is aligning us with our deeper truth:

This month’s podcast is on ‘Spontaneous Holy Work’ or following one’s Creative Flow – allowing our work to flow through us…

The gift that I speak about is something that I’ve always worked with: when something (seemingly) disruptive, disappointing, or even soul-destroying comes along – we have two main choices; we can try to resist it, or we can move with it and through it. The latter being the more productive and rewarding path, which leads us to deeper understanding of the world, our place in it, and our direction as a collective of human being.

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

It might seem like we should be martyrs, welcoming pain or suffering, but it’s actually a suggestion that in not being attached to hardship, we’re able to move through it (and get beyond it) much more quickly and efficiently – and we’re able to glean great lessons and treasures from it.

When we really bring our full presence and attention to our personal struggles, without trying to control them, to get rid of them, or fight against them – when we simply accept that this is part of life, this experience has purpose and potential in it, and that it will pass… we allow something precious to come through us, which simply cannot exist when we’re tensed up in combat towards whatever is happening around us.

detail from Sharing Ancestry, Creating Future painting, 2019

There’s a subtle-but-quantum difference between seeing what is happening around us as meaningless or random, and seeing it as having deeper underlying purpose and reason.

Clare Galloway artist http://www.clareartista.com

When we look with the latter perspective, we can feel ourselves as an integral part of the universe, and we can feel our way forward too – we can feel what wants to be said and done, for the good of all things, in this moment – rather than scrabbling full of fear to survive in a world which appears to be unfolding chaotically – even violently, dangerously – our tense minds and feelings always somewhere other than now.

Although it might seem (on the surface/ at first) that having art removed from the mainstream might threaten the very soul of the world… Actually, it might make profound sense to remove the real art – art that transmits deep truth – to a safer place, away from the collective projection that ‘bodies without clothing are inherently wrong’. And thus to make it all the more visible by its absence…?

Clare Galloway artist http://www.clareartista.com

Two additional videos this month, which you will see always on Patreon if you join me there:

Don’t think you can just monetise you art… Unless

And Clare Galloway artist – income and expenditure 2018

I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this – do comment below, and please share if you think people should be being more aware of what is happening behind the scenes in social media (which is limiting what we’re able to see, hear and think about our reality)!

Much love and a beautiful deep day to you,

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  • If you feel generous, please make a donation to all that I’m doing on Patreon or Ko-fi – click the links to find out more. Most of what I share in the world doesn’t immediately get rewarded financially, and I’m moving more and more into the gifting culture to support my creative flow
  • My art school website has moved, and is now part of this website, see here; my art is on Etsy – see all the paintings currently available in my catalogue; art holidays with me in Italy are on VAWAA.
  • Social media: I am leaving mainstream social media with my art – keep in touch via Patreon or Ko-fi, or join @clareartista on Steemit/ d.tube/ Partiko

30 years’ dedicated art path

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Hi – this is a podcast about the 30 years I’ve been dedicated to art as a means of transformation.

A reminder that you can also read the Bella Caledonia essay I refer to – and the comments underneath it.

Very good wishes to you,

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now only make occasional public posts. If you’d like to be in touch more often; join my newsletter HERE or join me on PATREON – I really look forward to having you in my inner circle!
  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 and Blurb, and art holidays on VAWAA.
  4. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page, Twitter – clareartista

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.

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

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 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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STEPPING OUT OF SEASON

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all imagery from newly-refound paintings

I’ve been enjoying a mild form of ecstasy these past days, as I reach yet another milestone: all my paintings up online; all with shiny fresh listings, and the correct details…

Hehehe – it’s no mean feat, and hasn’t been without a few cock-ups, for someone whose mind and heart are immersed deeply in the intuitive. Reining in the energy, to get everything measured and photographed, then listed and accounted for … it’s like trying to train an excitable wild elephant to sit on a small chair – for a long period!

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So anyways, in all the joy and chaos of putting things in order, I’ve also found another load of paintings – in a portfolio which I thought was empty. Talk about reaping an even bigger harvest than expected – it feels like that moment when you come across a ton of extra crop, maybe in an unexpected place, like potatoes in the compost heap!

That part of a harvest is my favourite – the unexpected boon at the end of the year: the plant has chosen a place to settle, so perfectly right for its unique needs for flourishing. It has sat there, unnoticed and undisturbed, throughout the season, only to seem to appear, so unexpectedly.

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That metaphor resonates with finding these paintings – it has been a very philosophical end-of-summer for my practise: there’s a real sense of leaving an old world behind, and stepping confidently (if a little tentatively) into the new.

And reaping more, every time the cycle comes around to the same point again – that’s a concept I studied in permaculture, which appealed immediately to my strong intuitive – that we accumulate wisdom, skill, and the power to grow energetically – and the ability to share all of the good stuff, more and more, as our lives and work ripen.

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 In the passing of the summer, I think of all that has passed, and then of how to organise what has come out of the growing and producing part of the year: what to gather and how to store it, what to tidy up and put in more efficient order, what to let go of completely – what to dig out and burn… and all the things to be grateful for: all the experience and the great spectrum of things I saw, felt, heard, enjoyed with the full spectrum of my senses.

It’s so easy to rush ever onwards, and to forget to be happy about all the flow in our lives; all the creativity, harmony, connections, opportunity. And every one of us is guilty of focussing on our lack, rather than the hugeness of what we do have – though of course it’s hard not to follow media brainwashing, with its incessant trumpeting about our projected wants and needs.

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This autumn I’m reveling, truly luxuriating, in an absence of rush, an emptying of trying to juggle too much, an embracing of/ satisfaction with the simplest of pleasures, the smallest of achievements, all of which have grown into this great reaping of riches. As I reap the rewards of all the small actions of the year, and ‘let the soil rest’ as it were, it really feels like a kind of earthly paradise.

Tante belle cose, Clare

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