Monday, January 16, 2017

We start today- Infinite Possibilites & Spaciousness

"Each time women gather in circles with one another, the world heals a little more" Unknown


Infinite Possibilities 

“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”
- T.S. Eliot 

Bhuvaneswari has been with me for awhile now, creating some beautiful spaciousness and showing me just how connected to the heart she is, its one of her gifts, HEART EXPANSION, how beautiful right?

She is the Mother of all Mothers, Great Mother, Cosmic Yoni- she births the world that she is. She is the space between thoughts, the pause between breaths and the silence between the notes, she is also, of course, the thoughts, the breaths and the music itself.

This session of Circling with the Goddesses STARTS TODAY and is free so please join us for the dance:
Hope to see you in circle.

I took an at home retreat, a week either side of the still point of Solstice. Lots of space was created for this retreat and Bhuvaneshwari arrived and planted many beautiful seeds of possibilities into this space. This Story Keeper figure below was one of the creations that emerged from this space, as well as a new knit scarf, many journal pages and lots of reading- I will share more soon). Most of what was created was not what I had imagined. Tell me, I'm wondering what you would like to make space for and what might manifest that you haven't yet imagined?

Magic, right?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Heart & Soul GIVEAWAY

It's no secret that I believe ART is MAGIC, and art making is magic making- alchemical, transformational & healing.  The world is needing transformational art making more than ever. It is needing us to express our souls and hearts, to show up and be way showers, to open a portal for truths and to share our hearts and souls. I'm needing this, are you? So naturally I'm delighted to be taking part in this new year long art course Paint Your Heart & Soul with so many talented artists. Will you join us?

To celebrate & to help spread the word of this fabulous class I'm doing a giveaway below for a place in the class, woot woot.

Now I'm off to tidy up my studio ready for guests (you ;) ) and get to creating- I'll be shooting two lessons for this year long course- what would you like me to share? Seriously, if you could see the state of my studio, lol, it's creative chaos.

To Enter: Now Closed

The Winner T. Shakti who said:
"Art has opened me in ways that I am just now discovering; deep ways. I've spent much of my life being attracted to creating art and knowing at the same time that I was holding back out of fear of not making anything decent to look at/not having a technique base to work from. Here I am realizing just this month that my color palettes have been all wrong. I have begun to work beginning with a black canvas and suddenly I feel free to explore and create and I don't care at all about doing it "right". I feel free to play."

♥♥♥ To enter tell me how art has touched your heart, pop it here in the comments and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.
To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following to spread the love, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments: ♥♥♥
For Additional Entries:
☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform

☆ subscribe to my Winged Love here.

☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)

☆ Tell me why this class is calling to you

☆ subscribe to this blog

To find out more about this fabulous year long class visit here

And don't forget to sign up for my free offering Circling with Bhuvaneshawari,  starting in the new year. You can sign up for that here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

We Stand With You

This morning I posted these two images, the Emperor & Lustrous Gem (below), both fresh off my easel in this tumultuous week, with the words:
I stand for you and in doing so I stand for me,  for we are one splintered into a million and none can be saved if all are not.
I offer you my hand for it holds my heart, I offer you my dreams in the folds of petals, fragile and full of beauty and hope.

When I saw Pixie Lighthorse's "We stand for you"  #artistsforlove image and call I knew that my emperor warrior, sacred masculine, protector of the forest, of life, of love, wanted to stand for all, including water, #waterislife. In her words:

"Artists For Love is on a mission to create a big wave of solidarity, sending a message of hope and healing to those who are feeling alone, afraid, ostracized, carrying fear about their bodies, health benefits, access to clean water, and their place in this country’s economy.
I believe that there are few things more powerful than a group of love-minded people who have decided to use their platforms collectively to create a strong statement of unwavering indivisibility, what Lincoln referred to as “preserving the Union”. Those of us who may have had an easier time enjoying our rights must step up our game to protect those who are struggling to establish and hold on to theirs. Though many of us have very different concerns and priorities, and may not understand where the other is coming from, we can take the opportunity to honor one another as humans." Pixie Lighthorse

If you wish to print a copy you can find it here (by following the hashtag #artistsforlove you will find many others to choose from) and following Pixie's lead, I will post a collection on my blog so email (info at galiaalena dot com) me any creations you make yourself if you would like me to share them (including your name and details).
Galia Alena, Manipura- Stardust & Fallen Petals

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Super Full mOOn in Taurus

{Pick a Card- Super Full mOOn Reading} Hello loves, I hadn’t planned on doing another one of these collective readings this year but, well, things don’t always go to plan.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Rumi got it wrong, the wounds are not how the light gets in, the wounds are how our light gets out, you are already filled with light, so much light, time to let it shine out. 

When the name Stardust and Fallen Petals came to me it was a working title, I didn’t really understand the meaning at the time but I now see how we are all fallen petals who have forgotten that we are made of star light. Some of us are feeling as fragile as fallen petals right now and are scrambling to reconnect to our light. So many of us are wounded and grieving and not sure how to move forward- some of us will rage and anger loudly tearing down, others will be the soft balm that invites across bridges, some will be the flame lighting a plethora of flames that they never go out, others will tend to their own inner shadow work, healing themselves, some of us will heal others-all of it rippling outward. All of it is needed, all of it is right, all of it. If you are not sure what now or how to move forward, if you are not sure how to steady yourself then this is for you.

Take a deep breath, find your center and see which card is calling you (name it in the comments, name whatever else you need to name or know). These readings will be full of love and a blessing for our collective well being, they will be a guide to your own knowing and to help you steady your footing. In love always Xx

You can find the cards and the audio to the reading here 

13 Moons Readings for 2017 are now available here. Moving through the year with an awareness of the moon cycles is a beautiful way to connect with divine feminine energy and honour your path. It also a beautiful way to connect in with the energy of each moon cycle and the seasons. These readings will look at each moon for the year, drawing two cards for each moon cycle to sit in dialogue with each other and with the energy around that moon. Together they will offer insight to guide you throughout that lunar cycle.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Gift from my heart to yours ♥♥♥

Circling with Bhuvaneshwari- Galia Alena

I have a gift for you, a warm invitation, a free offering: Circling with Bhuvaneshwari. I know so many women are wondering what Circling with the Goddess is all about, and its hard to explain the magic that takes place in the circle when we invoke the Goddess, when we invite her to walk with us, to guide us, to bestow her gifts upon us, to embody her, to acknowledge the divine feminine within each of us. Its equally hard to explain the energetic created and magnified by gathering in circle with other women, each holding the others in their highest potential and beauty, each witnessing and holding space for the collective. And who better to guide us through this than Bhuvaneshwari,  Great Mother, Cosmic Yoni, Space Holder, Creatrix of all.

"You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the mighty ocean in the drop.”

Do you feel the truth in that? This is Bhuvaneshwari's truth, or one of the many paradoxical truths she holds, great holder that she is.

When I was working with Lakshmi I could sense Bhuvaneshwari stepping forward to work with us next, so imagine my surprise when I was checking in to meet the Pantheon of Goddess for 2017 to discover she wasn't one of them. I was sure she would be next, but Saraswati, Cerridwen, Kali and Artemis were very clear that they would be the Pantheon for 2017 and who am I to argue with the will of the Goddess. A couple of weeks later Bhuvaneshwari made it clear that she wanted to hold space for all the women who were curious about what these Goddess Circles were all about. Seems perfect that the Goddess of Space Holding, of all possibilities, of all creation would step forward to play with us in this way. I'm so excited for this circle, not many know this powerful deity but I feel her wrapping her arms around us already. Are you ready to lean into her embrace?

"She's... the eternal mother energy who spins the universe out of her own body the way a spider spins a web- and then lives in it."
Sally Kempton

I would love for you to join us, remember it is a free offering, just pop over here to register. Of course I would also love to see you in the Goddess Council so if you are feeling called there too, please join us, its going to be fabulous.


Svadhistana - Galia Alena

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Goddess Council

All women are a reflection, a mirror of the Goddess. Remember, you are the Universe figuring itself out. R Rumi

I'm so excited to be announcing the Pantheon of Goddess for 2017- there was so much magic created with the Goddess Circle this year as we dove into the gifts of Kuan Yin, Persephone & Lakshmi, and I know the Goddesses who stepped forward to work with us next year bring some deep and power magic.
Are you curious?? Pop over and have a look, I'm so curious to see how they will speak to you.

Last week I put a call out on Facebook wondering what you might call a gathering of Goddess other than a Pantheon and I got so many gorgeous responses, here are just a few:

A Glory of Goddess
A Murder of Goddesses (like crows)
An Embrace of Goddesses
A Devotion of Goddesses,
A Cascade of Goddesses,
A Vivacity of Goddesses,
A Universe of of Goddesses,
A Wildness of Goddesses,
An Elevation of of Goddesses,
A Splendor of Goddesses
A Reverence of Goddesses,
A Celebration of Goddesses,
An Exaltation of Goddesses,
An Honor of Goddesses,
A Brilliance of Goddesses,
& of course, Home, Tribe and Women

I love an Exaltation of Goddess, which one resonates with you?

And the Pantheon for 2017:

Saraswati- She who Flows- Inspiration, Truth & Wisdom
Cerridwen- Witch Goddess- Keeper of the Cauldron
Kali- Fierce liberating force of Divine Grace
Artemis- Wild goddess of the hunt and the Moon

To find out more here:

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Reveal

The Cards:
Butterfly Song
The Night Dreams of You- Moon Card
The Keeper of the Ways

Wow, I just can't believe how many beautiful souls felt called to join in with this reading- bowing and thanking you all. You can hear the reading below.
 Please please please let me know in the comments, what came up for you and what you see when you look at the cards- I would so LOVE to know.
Blessings and kisses Xx

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Moon Reading for you

Pick a Card- New Moon Reading

Hello My Loves- which cards is calling you- Top, Left or Right- pop your pick in the comments and I'll be back with your reading tomorrow for New Moon in Virgo. It's been awhile since I've done one of these, and the first time with my own cards- so exciting- New Moon Blessings Sweets

Welcoming Spring
Daffodils and bees tell me you are not far off
and I will lift my face to the explosion of blossoms
and soft rain will fall like the scented baptism of
the year reborn.

You will crack my heart open, Beauty,
And I will walk in wonder
amongst the buzz of life and death
drinking deeply and desperately,
and mourning you before you’ve left.

There's also a 50% off Spring Sale on all my self-paced classes & workshops until the 7th of Sept. - you can find them here.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lakshmi's Gifts

I've come to see Lakshmi as the Goddess of Yumminess as we've walked together over the last few months. More than that I have come to see how she lives within with her beauty, abundance and generosity; beauty, abundance and generousity which is mine. When the practice runs deep we get to realize our embodiment of the Sacred Feminine, in all her varied forms. By spending time with each of her many manifestations we spiral ever closer to the divinity within.  

In many ways she is a tough task master, I feel that, the mama love who wants only the best for her babies, so she demands, but oh, the yumminess...

Lakshmi's Gifts:

 ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Gift 1- Giving and receiving and Generousity
Gift 2- Abundance
Gift 3- Beauty & Awe
Gift 4- Pleasure
We'll also be diving into the Sacral and Crown Chakras and their connection to each other.

Circling with the Goddesses is an invitation. An invitation to invite the Goddess in, to sit with her, to listen to her, to dialogue with her, to embody her wisdom, to explore her lessons and to seek where she dwells within. In circle we do it in community, gathering outside the linearity of time and space, amplifying the energy. Practicing with the Goddesses allows us to access the divine and sacred powers of the various archetypes that reside in each of us. Communion with a particular goddess connects us more deeply with that aspect within ourselves. To find out more about this circle visit here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Trust in the Dance- Pay What You Feel

You have no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.

I’ve been asked about the Pay What You Feel fee. It is a first for me but it just felt right with Lakshmi, it honours her energy and I like to believe that perhaps she herself whispered the idea into my ear when she stepped forward to work with us.

Circling with the Goddesses sessions are a way of dialoguing with and collaborating with the deities. Lakshmi is the goddess of abundance, an abundance of giving and an abundance of receiving. Offering up this circle as a Pay What You Feel was a way of really inviting Lakshmi into a relationship of co-creation- co-creation between myself and the participants and Lakshmi. It honours both the giving and the receiving as we each get to show up in our own generosity, allowing ourselves to both give and receive.

Often giving is easier than receiving, we can give from our hearts whatever we have, we are taught that to give is “better” than taking. This gives us immense pleasure and yet it can also drains us. Often as women we give more than we have and if our self care practice isn’t healthy, that is we are not giving to ourselves, then we don’t take the time to refill in order to be able to give more. For this we need to allow ourselves to receive, to fill up our baskets. Both the giving and the receiving are part of the flow and there is a balance between the two, a dance if you like. I’m quite sure that the giving and receiving are not separate things, on first glance they may feel like opposites, but that is to dismiss the gift it is to allow someone the pleasure of giving to you or the intrinsic role that they both play in the flow of life. So lets not think of them separately, lets think of them as the same.

Flow ♥  Energy Exchange ♥  Love ♥  Dance ♥  Gratitude ♥ Great Fullness

Let’s allow it to flow, let’s invite the flow, let’s dance in the flow

It requires TRUST. Trust that all who show up are moving from their own heart’s and integrity. Oh, I trust this, the women who circle with me are full of heart and integrity.
It’s a gift, holding these circles for these women.
It’s a gift to see how the journey unfolds for them, to witness their transformations.
It’s a gift to have my own experience with the goddess amplified by the power of the circle.

Do you find joy in giving? Do you find joy in receiving? Do you dance in the flow of life?

 I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
Rabindranath Tagore

And we’re not talking tit for tat here- you gave to me so I am obliged to give back to you. No, you gave to me so I graciously receive it, I allow you that pleasure, and then I dance on paying it forward however that feels right and so on. I give wholeheartedly, I receive wholeheartedly and no one is keeping score, that’s not how karma works. There is just natural flow, and joy, and trust, and integrity. And its all a generous reflection of our time together. It is the rich abundance of life with its many gifts of all forms.
And yes its a practice.

Which do you need to practice with grace- giving or receiving?
Are you in a state of natural flow with giving and receiving?
Do you trust your desire to give?
Do you trust your desire to receive?
Do you give from a place of abundance or scarcity?
Are you prepared to receive?

So Circling with Lakshmi is a Pay What You Feel, and I trust that this allows the women who yearn to join us, who need to join us, who wish to join us to do so, I trust that this allows the work with Lakshmi to expand, I trust that is already a way to work with Lakshmi, I trust that this allows women to gift this circle to their sisters. I trust I trust I trust…

Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain



I believe that the thought that women together can change the world is emerging into the minds and hearts of many of us, and that the vessel for personal and planetary evolution is the circle with a spiritual center.
Jean Shinoda Bolen

This is the latest painting fresh off my easel. It seems timely right, when we all need to stand together and listen with sacred ears, deep listening and honest hearing of each other, and acting from our heart floor. This is my wish this week, a simple prayer, I hope you'll hold it tenderly too. Xx

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Photography as Portal

A reoccurring theme I hear over and over again when I speak to women who take or make photographs is how photography is such a portal for them. A portal of self-discovery, a portal to the moment and the memories, a portal of reflection, a portal to their creativity and ultimately a portal to life. In this way, mindful photography can be such an integral part of our practice- our creative practice and our spiritual journey.
One of the greatest gifts photography has given me is the art of seeing and tomorrow the next session of The Art of Seeing begins- would you like to join us?
Meet some of the wonderful contributors to Camera Craft below who will be sharing some of the ways they use photography in their own creative practices.

Deb Taylor
Deb is a colorful mixture of artist-photographer-blogger-foodie-hippie-beachcomber-peace seeker living in sunny Florida. She cracks her heart wide open and shares her vulnerable brave stories and self portraits at She is Three and also invites you to sit a spell at her blog to see What's Deb Doing

Vivienne McMaster
Vivienne McMaster is a photographer, workshop leader and positive body image advocate. She who helps folks around the world see themselves with compassion through their own camera lens. You can more about her at 

Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark is the visionary fire behind UmberDove, an artistic amalgamation of silversmithing and light weaving, painting and soul diving, word crafting and childlike wonder.  She believes deeply in the creative potential of humanity, stands in the truth that we all hold a bright spark of imagination, and feels that art is but a storytelling of our experience. 

Holly Clark
Photographer. Writer. Soupatraveler. I record life as I see it: messy, beautiful, unscripted and daring; I invite you to do the same. Let’s connect to our inner beauty together, one soul-soaked image at a time. Join me here: and 

Jeanne-Marie Webb
I'm an amateur, self-taught photographer, on a creative journey and I’m having the time of my life. Our lives are busy and full on and what I love about photography is how it slows me right down to find and capture the gentle, quiet and precious moments, sometimes in the mundane of everyday life.

Jessamyn Turgesen
I'm a chaser of light, a believer in the unseen, a conjurer of truth and an explorer of the human condition.  The one thing that feels most stable is the forever unfolding journey of becoming. May we all find peace, may we all know love, may we all come alive in our living. 

Bella Cirovic
My desire to be seen and heard morphed into a deep craving to witness and to listen. Through my photography practice, another great passion of mine, I have had the pleasure of documenting women at various stops on their journey.  You can find me here: 

Narelle Carter-Quinlan
My work is an embodied ecology in image, word, and felt experience. Everywhere I look I see reflections of the body in the land. Edges and gorges of rock bone, the flush-gush braid of our internal waterways, lichen and neural nets. We are, after all, all One. When I enter the land, I remember who I am. I come home. Making photos is my prayer to place.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A {Still} Life


Stand still.
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you Are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows Where you are.
You must let it find you.”
- David Whyte

Hello there lovelies, its the final countdown until Camera Craft begins and I'm  getting super excited so I've decided to funnel all that energy into a Free Photo Invitation- A {Still} Life. I hope you'll join me (and if you are wondering why I am calling it an invitation instead of a challenge then you can read about that here).

This is a FREE online Instagram Photo
challenge Invitation. It is a 10-day offering based on some of the lessons/themes of Camera Craft with prompts to get you reflecting on some of the things I love about photography (and Life) and its expressive potential.

A {Still} Life refers not just to the traditional still life (although that's one way to go) or to a life in stills, but rather to the contemplative conversation we can have when we get still and go within and how photography can guide our introspection- it is such a wonderful tool for both  exploration and expression.

You can join us by simply following along on Instagram here or if you would like prompts right into your inbox pop your name here and I'll deliver them right to you to be sure you miss none.

I'll be posting a new Photo Prompt every morning, June 13th until June 23th on my Instagram feed.

Once you get the daily prompt, create your image, post on your Instagram feed with the hashtag #aStillLife so we can all connect together and support each others soulful and expressive work.

Below is the first Xx

1. The Art of Seeing

"To pay attention, this is how I pray"- this has been my mantra for the longest time. It is how I pick up the camera.

One of the gifts photography has given me is the ability to really see, to pause and hold a moment gently, to caress its beauty and notice all its nuances- the way the light touches it, its curves, its shape, its shadows and especially its temporality. We are sensual beings, us humans, and we see with more than just our eyes. We see with our souls, our bodies are the portals to that experience- sight, sound, touch, taste, smell- all enhancing our experience yet to really see is to step through these and beyond, into the infinite moment, to pay attention, deep attention to the moment, to life and the Greatfullness of it.

'Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.' Mary Oliver

Friday, June 3, 2016

Art as Magic- Musings on art & crreativity

Musings on Art & Creativity... Some thoughts, random and otherwise, on art making and the creative process and the importance of filling our intuitive wells and the cyclic nature of the creative process.

Intuitive Well

What is the intuitive well you may well be asking dear reader. I am calling this that magical place within each of us that holds all of our interactions with the world. That is our experiences, lessons, beliefs, thoughts, and so on. It is our repository for everything and in that repository things are incubated, cross-pollinated, explored, given new connections, new forms and transformed .
Our intuitive wells are only as good as the beauty we fill them with and how we tend and nurture them. I like to fill my intuitive well by learning new skills and ideas, immersing myself in the truth of beauty (that is delicious food, transcendental music, beautiful movies, great works of art of all forms, and by great I mean those that truly touch my heart and speak to my soul), time in nature, conversation with kindred spirits and so on.

The Conversation that is You

One of my biggest stumbling blocks is this idea that its all been said and done before and yet there is this drive in me, this desire, this unquenchable need to say and do it all again in my own voice, in my own words, with my own marks.
There is no doubt that I am a particular intersection of circumstances, experiences, culturally inherited values, personal aesthetics, and so on which all meet in me and me alone. No one else ever has lived my journey, coming from my background and has my particular way of engaging with that particular journey at this particular time in all of history. All of that makes me unique just as you are. So my unique voice arises from this particular intersection of so many things which make me me. If my work comes from engagement with that intersection, from a dialogue with my life then it follows that it hasn’t all been said and done before, that my particular conversation is unique, as is yours.
Beyond all that, it is imperative that I be in that conversation, that I have that dialogue, that I am living the contemplative life so whether it has all been said and done before is irrelevant. The truth is that I have to say and do and create what I am compelled to say, do and create. The process itself is the conversation, the conversation with life, the conversation with self, the conversation with spirit.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, the expression is unique... It is not your business to determine how good it is; not how valuable it is; not how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”- Martha Graham

Love what you love- Follow your own curiosity

Begin in Wonder- Socrates
So, dear loyal reader, you are probably wondering why I use this quote so often, it is one of my most frequently used quotes. And that’s a good thing, if its inspired wonder in you. For me it is fundamental to everything we are as humans. Curiosity and wonderment. The “What if”, in fact all the “?” and our desire to see what the answers might be, could be.
When you follow the threads of your own curiosity, that is instead of the threads of the prescribed canon, you are honing in on what is going to speak the most to you and nourish your own conversation with life. There is both an energy and a truth in that which will shine through what is produced as a result.

Learning from the Masters

“The Artist always has the masters in his eyes.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I call myself a self taught artist, by which I mean I have been taught by all the great masters- in my own way I have studied their composition, their brush strokes, their colours, their use of light, of tone, of shape, of line. I continue to study them, I always shall. It is part of the following of my own curiousities and the filling of my intuitive well.  It also is a way for me to dialogue with them, to engage in their own conversations with life and thus enrich my own conversation.
“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.” - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  Discerning Eye vs Critical Eye

“No artist is pleased… There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” Martha Grahamn
The critical eye is that annoying little gremlin that sits on our shoulder and dares to try to stop us from moving forward, his criticism is designed to paralyse us, to stop us in our tracks and if we let him he will. He compares us to others, to perfection and to unattainable ideals. The discerning eye is that same critical eye put to our service, the discerning eye's agenda is to move us forward, to help us grow and expand, to aid our mindfulness and to be of service to our voice and our highest potentials. The difference is the conversation- how can we turn our critical eye into our discerning eye?

Excellence vs Perfection. Perfection is arrogant, it assumes that you know how a thing should be, that you know the destination, it dismisses journey/process and transformation. Excellence allows us to give our whole heart to something, our best in that moment. It asks us to show up fully. Not too mention perfection is an impossibility- we are all perfectly imperfect and as a result imperfectly perfect as we are.

Are you asking yourself about what’s not working?
What would it be like if instead you focused on what was working? What if you followed that thread? What if you went deeper with that and explored where that could take you?

By all means examine what’s not working, look at it, remedy it if you can- paint over it, use it in some way to take you somewhere else, see it as an opportunity for a new creative solution. Just don’t let it become the focus much less the barrier.

Flow vs Critiquing-   The creative the flow,  otherwise known as being in the zone, dancing with the muses, channeling or whatever it is you wish to call it, is that creative space when it all comes together and the work seems to just pour out of you outside of time and without forcing- you can feel In*Spiration at play and all that is inhabiting your intuitive well just bubbles up magically. When we are in this state the frontal cortex of our brain, that part of our brain which controls rational thinking and critiquing, has loosened its grip and is operating at a diminished capacity. While critiquing might be a useful step in the process, it has no place in the actual production of work. In fact, this part of the brain needs to be inactive in order for us to reach that ever so desirable to state- flow.

    A word or two on failure:
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis
Fail often and fail big- make glorious mistakes, examine them, learn from them and then fail some more. It is your path through creative play, experimenting and learning all the way. Allow yourself to fail and make mistakes, give yourself a lot of permission around it. Sit down at your work space and say to yourself “today I am going to see how many wonderful mistakes and failures I can make” and learn something new from each and every one of them.
“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” - Stephen McCranie
See a “failed” painting as an opportunity- there’s no risk here, you can’t muck it up or ruin it, you can only improve it or learn from it. So be daring, be brave and try something new with it- experiment and play and pay attention.
"If you don’t fail it’s because you did not risk enough, and if you didn’t risk enough it’s because you didn’t put your whole self out there." - Carlos Barrabes

Show up

'Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.’-Pablo Picasso

The cyclic nature of creativity

While the muses may like to find you at work when they come to sprinkle their magic upon you don’t underestimate the amount of work you are doing when it seems you are doing none. The creative process moves in cycles, just as all living things do. For me the cycles include:

Dreaming and imagination. This is a time of dreaming, it is the realms of ideas where anything and everything is possible unhindered by the realities of the physical world. For me this is fed in dreamtime, during medicine walks, sitting in nature, the flow of water (showers, the ocean) and in the being of life rather than the doing. Never underestimate how much is done in this space of nothingness- nature abhors a vacuum and fills this space with a creative idea, an inspiration. Are you open to receiving it?

Filling the Intuitive Well  This is where we fill up with inspiration, ideas and techniques of both others and the natural world. We fill up on beauty, on music, on concepts and experiences all of which feed into our unconscious ready to be transformed by the particular intersection that is us.

Practice & production: Here we can hone our skills, work on our craft, master our art whatever that might look for each of us. This is the busy work of putting in the hours.

Play and experimentation: Here we are lead by our curiosity and our wonder, allowing for happy accidents and learning from glorious and magnificent mistakes.

Incubation and cross pollination: Here is where the magic and alchemy occurs, where our individual intersections and conversations cross-pollinate with all the things that have filled our intuitive wells and new things are born. This is where one plus one equals more than two, infinitely more.
Phoenix rising: From the darkness of our underworld the new creation emerges and is made manifest.

Discernment and self-examination: Here is where our eyes of perpetual curiosity and wonder, and our desire to be continually striving to create something new and excellent get to assess our own creations and continually course correct.
"I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room."- May Sarton
And on that final note, dear reader, I too, shall wander off, fill my well and dream all with glittering eyes. May you too, wander and wonder at the glorious conversation of your life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

iPhone Magic

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena

As a photographer, the question I get asked the most is “which camera should I buy?” and while the variety of options on the market from compact to dslr to mirrorless and so on may feel overwhelming the truth is that for most of my daily shooting practice, my personal practice, it is my iPhone that gets the biggest workout- it is convenient, it is always with me (more so for taking photos than taking calls ;) ) and the quality is quite astounding when you think about it.

Perhaps rather than getting a fancy schmanancy big girl camera, or even a little point and shoot for your handbag, take a moment to really get to know and learn how to use the camera you probably have with you all the time…

1. Touch Screen
Many people don’t realise that the camera works as a touch screen so you can adjust things there right on the screen.

Exposure- by touching various places on the screen you can adjust which area of the image that the camera is calculating the exposure. This is really important if you are shooting a scene with a great dynamic range, for e.g., a dark area against a bright sky, the bright sky will mean that the dark area is too dark but by touching that area you are telling the camera to expose for here.

Focus- next touching the screen a little longer tells the camera where to focus. Use this to select which part of the image you wish to be the sharpest

Focus Lock- by holding the screen for a bit longer you can actually lock that focal point to stop the camera from refocusing, allowing you to control where the focus is.

Pause- And keep in mind that the camera doesn’t actually take your image until you take your finger off- take a moment to centre yourself, breath and connect with what you are doing.

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena 
2. Light
Light light light, light is the magic of photography- look for the light, and look for how it dances with the shadows. Experiment, try different things, different types of natural light, shooting into it, shooting with it behind you, twilight, the golden hour, a sunny day, an overcast day, dappled light at the park, the open shade of a forest, light streaming in the window, city lights on a rain wet evening- the light is where the magic is. (and turn that flash off)

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena
Eiffel Tower
3. Composition
Simple composition can take your image to the next level. All the normal rules guides for composition apply equally with your iPhone, composition can add so much dynamics to your images with some very simple steps- learn the rules so you can happily and creatively break them (rule of thirds, angle, framing, repetition, negative space, leading lines, colour, scale, dominance, harmony and so on).

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena

4. Processing
Just like film and digital photography, taking the image is only one step in the process, how you express yourself in the processing of the image is where you get to let your true voice sing. Ask yourself- does this image express what I felt in this moment? What am I trying to convey here? What is its essence? Then use processing to help your image be a reflection of that- we see with more than just our eyes.
What are your favourite apps? please share in the comments.
For me expression is the most important part, over subject matter, technique and  quality- find your voice.

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena

 Processed in Instagram- filter (Stinson), lux, fade & highlights
 Text added in Rhonna

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena
5. Express

Think of your iPhone not just as a convenient device to capture a few memories but as an artist’s tool to allow you to express your soul- what would that look like for you? Use it for fine art photography, abstract, impressionistic photography, conceptual photography, whatever intrigues you, play with it, its literally at your finger tips.

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena

6. Apps
Oh my so many apps so little time- and so many of them are free. Download a few and play. Over the years I have downloaded more photo apps than I can count- granted not many of them were keepers, but the ones that I have kept are brilliant, and what a way to kill a few minutes sitting in the car waiting to pick up the children or waiting for a Drs appointment and so on. Play, mix them up, use multiple combinations, play some more, find what you love.
Here are a few of my must haves (but play, find the ones that work to express your visions):

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena

8. Equipment
Did you realise you could get equipment for your iPhone- lens adapters, cases, tripods and other fun things.

While I don't have a selfie stick I love love love my little macro lens to get in nice and close- the goddess is in the details right.

9. Select / Edit / Back up
Digital allows us to take a variety of photos so do- try different angles, different compositions, different lighting, different apps and so on and then pick your one favourite- you don’t need 20 photos of the same thing, you just need that one strong image that speaks to what you are wanting to express about that moment. Selecting the best, the strongest image from a series is an important part of the process- don't be afraid to take a variety of images and then delete 80% of them. And don’t forget to back your photos up (imagine losing all those precious memories if you lost your phone).

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena
10. Allow Happy Accidents
Shoot shoot shoot, and stay open to what happens- magic is rarely planned, but it does require presence, and eyes of glittering wonder.

11. Get them off your phone

So often now we forget to take our photos off our phones and do something with them- perhaps it is because we now have so many (see the importance of editing). Use them, let them give you daily tangible pleasure.

Here’s a few ideas-
Instagram- share, be inspired, be encouraged and learn.
Prints- frame your favs and put the on your wall
Journal & mixed media (I l♡ve encaustics)

12 tips for creating expressive iphotos Galia Alena

12. And above all- Play, Experiment & Think outside the square

If you would like to explore some of these concepts further, such as composition, processing, light and other photographic techniques, not to mention all the creative expression from our guest contributors as well as a plethora of inspiration join us for Camera Craft beginning on 27th of June.

Camera Craft Collective


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