Thursday, 15 January 2009

photo a day & 12 secrets book club

thank you all so much for your caring comments re. my migraine yesterday. i so appreciated them. i woke up feeling much better this morning and i'm sure your caring thoughts helped.


today, i shopped til i dropped. i am attending a wedding this weekend so decided to treat myself to a new dress. you all know how that goes, right? i checked out local stores yesterday but just couldn't find THE one. so, today, i took the highway to another suburb.....

....and after much walking and numerous visits to changing rooms, i finally settled on one.

helen's comment yesterday prompted the next couple of pics. helen complimented me on the fact that there was no mess in my journal decorating pic but i just couldn't tell a lie. these pics show my work tables from a different angle.....

and the floor showing all the trimmed wool fibres...

not so neat after all.......i tend to get quite messy when i'm working. lol


well, here i am, just skimming in for the end of week one in the book club. i did read the chapter on friday but this week has been quite busy so i didn't get a chance to post about it until now.


my journey so far -

in my younger years, i was hooked on sewing. i studied 'homecrafts (cooking/sewing)' in high school and i found it to be very beneficial, particularly when married life came along. at that time, i sewed A LOT of clothes for my kids and my extended family. i loved the feeling of accomplishment in seeing a garment created from a length of fabric.

i had no idea i even had an artistic bone in my body until my early-thirties when another school mum had a minor accident with my parked and vacant kombi van. it turned out she was new to the area and was hoping to start teaching 'folk art' classes. i managed to organise a group of my friends together and we made up her very first art class. from the moment i picked up a paintbrush, i was totally hooked! art was my new found passion and sewing quickly took a back seat. we learned how to paint little wooden cut-outs and mastered the basic brushstrokes. after a few months, our teacher moved away leaving me devastated and craving more. having battled low self-esteem all my life, i didn't have the confidence to seek out another teacher so i decided to go it alone by teaching myself from books.

after years of painting florals on wooden, decorative items, i tried painting on canvas, and animals then became my new subject of interest. i loved the challenge of realism in my art.

not long after, i was approached by a few people to teach so i did. i taught from my home studio for two years and, then started teaching at someone else's studio for over a year holding weekly classes and regular workshops. it went well for a while but i started to feel the pressure of a domineering studio manager, who happened to be one of my students, and i also realised that i rarely had time for my own painting anymore. most of my time was spent prepping and painting example canvasses for students and workshops. i yearned to have my own painting time back as i greatly missed that. i stopped teaching at the other studio and taught solely from my own home studio for another year. by then, i was over the whole teaching thing and now, i am only teaching one student for one day a week until she has finished her current project.

i feel like i lost myself over the course of the past few years because i was so busy creating what others wanted to paint. however, in 2009, i plan on finding my creative self again....claiming my power back and releasing the creative goddess within.

positive and joyful change is in the air.


  1. WOW! What a journey! It's awesome that you literally help start your first teacher's business despite the fact it started with an accident. How wonderful are you!

    I am happy you are now focusing on your own creative expression. :)

    Mess=Art in the making :)

  2. I'm so happy to hear you are feeling better today.

    I hate shopping for clothes. When I don't need clothes, I see all kinds of things I like, but if I need a certain piece of clothing I can't find anything I like-LOL!

    Good for you re-claiming your time and getting back to creating what you want instead of what you need to create for a class.

  3. I've always heard that--if you teach you never have time for your own creations whether it is art, writing, crafts, sewing, beading...whatever. But teaching must have really helped your self-confidence and was what you needed at the time. It will be an adventure to find out what you want to do and what direction to take next!! You are a woman of many talents and a curious mind. Have fun!! :):)

  4. I quit the local doll making club for similar of the overbearing women kept telling me what I should be doing for them because I had some knowledge of certain things... .. how I should be producing more..... teaching...etc... blah, blah... finally I got ticked, said so, then, just quit going .... I've hardly done any dolls since... But, this year I plan to make some just for me..and just because I can....

  5. Thanks for writing about the challenge between being teacher and creator. I get that!

    I envy your studio, messy or not. It's important to have a place to make a big mess, where it's nobody's business is you do!

    Glad you're in the book circle.

  6. I for one am glad you made it back to your creative self. I love seeing what you have to share. You can add two more creative things to that too. Writing and photography. You do both of those things quite well also! You are always very inspiring with whatever you are creating!

  7. "in 2009, i plan on finding my creative self again"

    good for you! and thats not that messy, should see my desk lol

    I love that pic with the blue sky, such a nice sight :)

  8. Yes, you creative goddess! This is your year! How magnificent. I can't wait to see what you create.

    much love,

  9. Hello Serena! I am glad to be on this journey with you! The fact that there are so many of us out there who want to connect to our creative souls and others just like us is so encouraging. I just got my book and just started reading it, so I am a bit behind. But check back and I should be sharing more of my own journey. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog.
    Enjoy the day!

  10. Wohoo! Good for you finding your creative self! I look forward to that (:

  11. so looking forward to another book blogging journey with you! and what a creative journey you've had on your way here! i love how your artisitc talent was discovered so accidentally ;)

  12. I refuse to apologize for the state of my studio -- ever. Everyone has their own preferred working style, and when I can't find the floor through the layers of debris, that's when it's time to excavate and rediscover buried treasure. That's my way anyway. Sigh... I don't even want a maid, because then I'd never be able to find ANYTHING, LOL.

  13. Nice perfectly messy and perfectly perfect studio!!!

  14. What a great work area! I'm sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well but I'm glad you're feeling better.

  15. Love the idea of reclaiming your creative self. I, too, quit a wonderful, yet stifling situation with my co-op this past year when I realized that it was "taking from" instead of "giving to". Thanks for sharing your journey.

  16. Loved reading about it all and your artistic endeavors and how it started.

    And I always enjoy peeking in one's studio.

    Totally enjoyable post. I could not get on the internet hardly at all yesterday, cable problems for once, not my computer.

  17. thanks for all the wonderful comments ~ :)

    rita - teaching had its good and bad moments. it did make me more confident at standing up for myself as i was unfortunate enough to have one or two very negative minded students who would sometimes effect the positive flow of the classes.

    bree - thank you!

    erin - thanks for dropping by ~

    judi - i like your way of thinking ~ :)

    rhonda - that is exactly how i felt about teaching. it was 'taking from' my creative flow instead of 'giving to' it.

    sandy - bummer on your internet probs ~ :(

  18. Serena, I really enjoyed reading this. Seriously your paintings are AMAZING. You must have done this in a past life or something.

    I'd say that kombi accident was no accident. Great story!

  19. Serena -
    I'm so glad you are rekindling your creative self and claiming her!

    As for teaching...what makes teaching most meaningful to me, when I get to do it, is the opportunity to do it in a way that inspires and nutures creativity. So many of us got shut down in classroom settings, by the teacher's words or approach. I treasure the opportunity to do it differently. And of course there are seasons for it, and seasons for being totally with one's own work.

    Happy to be in 12 secrets book club with you.

  20. Thanks, Jessica ~ :)

    Thanks, Tara - unfortunately, my class students were mainly working mums who really had no interest in discovering their own styles. They just wanted to copy and have something pretty to hang on their walls. They expected to be told every step of the way....much like following a decorative art pattern. Sadly, I found this very draining and the overbearing, negative studio manager/student made classes unbearable for me. Instead of looking forward to teaching classes, I got that way where I would dread them....not very good for my own wellbeing so I decided to call it a day. I would have LOVED to teach a class where students wanted to discover their own creative potential.

  21. I was given the opportunity to re-claim some power that was taken from me about 3 months ago by a woman who was what my Mom refereed to as a "vampire"! She sucked the creative power right out of me and I accidently let her! Any way, like I said I was able to re-claim this power with grace and I want to say IT FELT GOOD! So good luck with your new re-claiming project for 2009! :-)
    Have a great hair day! Becci


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