What Always Helps Me Out When I’m Stuck in ‘The Void’

forest1 lr

‘The Forest Time Forgot’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Lost in a Forest of Doubt

“Trees are amazing life forms as they are grounded and rooted to the earth yet their branches are always caressing the sky — the ultimate metaphor for balance (as above so below, as within so without).”

At the beginning of last week, I found myself in a bit of a funk.

Not only did I have a bout of the despair demons but I also found myself lost in doubt — I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

  • What am I doing?  
  • Why am I doing it?  
  • Is any of this actually helping me or anyone else?  
  • How am I going to make my rent this month?  

Yup, the usual stuff that throws you a curve ball when you least expect it.

That night, I went to bed feeling rather low.  I woke up the next morning feeling the same.  I sat on my sofa staring at the wall, unwillingly thinking I should just pack it all in and go get a ‘proper’ job.  Oh, woe is me!

How can I carry on offering ‘self help’ and creative advice when I am in a quagmire?  My mind was tripping out on this dichotomous conundrum.

Of course, this just made me feel worse and less worthy to carry on with the site.

Who’s Only a 100% Organic Human Then?

Dream LandscapeLife isn’t all about the ups (although they’re great), it’s how to hoist yourself up by the bootstraps when you stumble into a deep hole too.

We’re all human at the end of the day (note to self and any others out there who think they need the ‘stiff upper lip’ approach all the time!).

Swallowing My Own Pills

Looking back on some of my articles, I decided to take my own advice and go be in nature.  After all, I had to prove to myself that I wasn’t talking out of my own ass with the advice I dish out.

So off I went to take a walk on the beach.

Sea Breeze and Water Underfoot

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.” — William Wordsworth

Holy Carumba!  Within 30 minutes I had not only got some decent walking in and some good time to think but I had also done breathing exercises and a bit of gratitude meditation too — I was feeling a lot better.

After all of this, I sat on the sand looking out at the ocean and the beautiful blue sky.  What a paradise!  I started to chuckle to myself.  This was definitely working.

I could feel that depression had completely left me and I was sitting in appreciation.

Get Your Kit Out!

I rushed back to my studio to begin work on some paintings that I saw in a vision whilst I was meditating.

This picture at the top of this blog, which I have called ‘The Forest Time Forgot’ (and, yes, I am shamelessly promoting it here in order to sustain my livelihood — click on the picture to take you to the poster shop, if you fancy this adorning your wall) started out as a form of colour therapy for me while I was mindlessly doodling the background into existence.

I stuck to Pthalo blues and Emerald greens which are very holistically calming and balancing colours.

I was listening to classical music whilst painting this which I think comes through in the sweeping motion of the cosmic sky.

I beg you to listen to ‘The Aquarium’ by Saint-Saens (below) to truly get the gist of this picture (I have compiled an audio-visual video so you can listen and view the picture at the same time).

This song cropped up on my playlist when I was busy at work and it just fitted so much with the overall feel of this piece.

Branch Codes and Cosmic Undertones

With all that in mind, ‘The Forest Time Forgot’ has a feel of whimsical calmness and universal wonder to it.  The trees seem to have taken on a life of their own with ‘facial expressions’ that were not intentional.

Trees are amazing life forms as they are grounded and rooted to the earth yet their branches are always caressing the sky — the ultimate metaphor for balance (as above so below, as within so without).

What do you get/feel/see when you look at this picture?

I was feeling really ‘child-like’ when I painted it.  Very adventurous, playful and serene.  Does that come across?

Naturally Tried and Tested

Fantasy worldSo, seriously now,  when you find yourself in a funk/void/chasm of doom — get yourself out into nature.  I did such a quick turnaround when I  decided to take some time out at the seaside — the transformation was just so quick!

The creative surges came through thick, fast and furious.  So much so that I managed to pop out 3 paintings this week in 2 days.  All the pictures in this blog are the after effects of the beach outing.

Proof that a bit of Gaia therapy works.

Try a bit of the great outdoors next time you feel the demons of despair pounding away at your door.

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” — John Muir 

Poppy Field Facebook Timeline

To download as your facebook timeline, click on picture then right-click and ‘save image as’ to your computer. You can upload it onto your facebook timeline from your computer.

Other articles you may enjoy:

3 Bizarre and Unreasonable Motives to Stay on the Planet

What is Free and Priceless in the World Today?

4 Practices to Help Cure Negative Thinking

7 Ways to Lift You from Depression

9 Great Reasons for Getting Creative (No Artistic Experience Needed)

Are You Letting the Wonders of the World Pass You By?

Do You Lack Self-Worth When it Comes to Creativity?

6 Techniques to Stop Worrying

What Nature Can Teach Us About Art

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How to Artfully Get into Your Element

Life is the power that’s greater than I can ever comprehend. The way life runs through everything, even the tiniest elements of nature – that makes me humble.” 
— Michael J. Fox 

Handel - Elements 1Handel With Care

No, the sub-heading is not a typo.  I decided, this week, to paint to the music of classical composer, Handel.  I’m not too familiar with his work or his life story but just decided on a whim that he was the one to explore this week.

I did have a slightly pre-conceived idea that I wanted to paint 2 separate landscape paintings but how these landscapes turned out was beyond my reckoning.  I seem to have stumbled onto a very elemental theme with these 2 pictures.

Earth, Fire, Water and Air

“The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we inhabit are not only critical elements in the quality of life we enjoy – they are a reflection of the majesty of our Creator.”  — Rick Perry 

I used a lot of mixed-media — such as bits of the Giant Redwood bark that I had picked up in Tokai forest to metallic strips of foil that give this painting a unique ‘elemental’ feel.

I started off listening to his ‘Water Music Suite’ which I think lent to the overall theme (there is an aquatic feel in the first painting in the blue ‘lake’ and in the second painting where it looks like there’s a waterfall toppling into the earth’s core).  However, as soon as I stepped back and viewed what had come out, I saw all four elements immediately.

The final touches of this painting were the cloud high-lights which gives a peaceful calmness to the painting.  The hand in the clouds (in the first painting) was not intentional, it just kind of popped out as I was working on the sky.

So what interested me about these pieces was the running elements theme.

  • Why are these 4 things so important to us?
  • What do they represent for us?
  • How do we embrace them?

Getting Into Your Element

Handel - Elements 2Most of us are living in the rat race, going from one building to another via a freeway of hustle and bustle.  Then we are stuck to electronic devices pretty much most of the day having little or not time whatsoever to embrace the sheer splendour of the great outdoors.

What is missing from a lot of our lives is that raw connection to nature.

Wouldn’t it feel grand to…

  • get buffeted about by a strong wind, swirling around our body as we stand with no resistance and let it tickle our skin and gently blow into our ears.
  • make a bonfire — pile up the wood, strike that match and be mesmerized by the eternal grace of the flickering flames as they lull us into a state of hypnotic awe.
  • skinny dip in the buoyant bliss of deep blue waters — wading, swimming, floating, bobbing about in the supportive delights of this glorious element.
  • stand with our feet growing roots into the soil as we feel the connection to our beautiful planet and all the life she supports.
  • let go and let the awesome symphony of nature penetrate every crack or opening of your being.  Let your soul soak up the splendour of mother nature and revel with appreciation for our beloved Gaia.

Can You Handel a Bit More?

“And the truth must finally lie in that which every oppressed individual feels within himself but hasn’t the courage to express”   Wilhelm Reich

A fellow creative and confidante was the first to see the pictures a day after I had painted them.  He told me straight off the cuff that he was no fan of Handel but when he saw the paintings, he bought both immediately (thank you, because I know you’re reading this!:D).

He said that, in his opinion, the paintings represented the truth behind his understanding of the origin of the music.  He went on to divulge the most remarkable story behind Handel — the very reason he didn’t care for him.

It went something like this (the regurgitated succinct edition):

His music was ‘tailored’ for British aristocracy and therefore very ‘stiff upper lip, old chap’. No passion allowed, no blatant display of emotion.  And all this paved the way for the onset of a new rigid era.  

So, on that note, my friend and I took a deeper look into the grandiose tale of this composers life…

Georg Friedrich Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) supplied music mainly for the English nobility which influenced his style to be more aligned with religious and social ethics.

Handel’s music was almost opposite to the music of Bach (they were around at the same time).  Handel was a conformist which was deemed favourable at that specific time because England had descended into a frivolous decadence.

He supplied music with structure and conformity, reintroducing social etiquette.  Glorification and the fear of God was what his music aimed at on a surface level.

His pious music injected a very tightly bound corset of primness, formality and ceremoniousness into the English society.  The aristocracy welcomed this due to the growing debaucherous behaviour in British society.

The direct result of that was Victorianism.

Fake, Plastic Tunes

Now, it’s interesting to take note that people who hide under the cloak of righteousness are usually hiding something of this nature in themselves.  Handel seems to have forged a pious world where his music perhaps tamed his own passions, his own story.

It’s interesting to also note that the structure of Baroque music was mostly stringent, however, bubbling underneath this composer was a burning passion — a passion that was never revealed as his private life was extremely hush-hush.

Another interesting observation is that Baroque music has also been known to connect the left and right hemisphere of the brain.

To read more about and to listen to Handel, click HERE.

The Extracted Essence

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”  — Albert Einstein 

Both these paintings (above) show a remarkable resemblance pertaining to this bit of  rigid but saucy history.

There seems to be a very ‘fake’ landscape painted on top of a what feels like a bubbling inferno (Handel’s passion?).  Could this represent the suppressed passion for life that was stifled into forced subjugation — pomp and ceremony as opposed to naked truth?

I hope that this painting is an opening for the observer to see that all forms of artistry can reveal the innate truth if one is persistent enough to dig deep.  There could be contained emotions lurking beneath even the most austere of displays.  So what is the message here?

Don’t judge a book by its cover?

Or, perhaps, feel free to express who you truly are — it’ll save you a lot of time, hassle and stress.

On that note…here is your free poster/quotation of the week:

To download, click on the picture and then ‘right-click’ and ‘save image as’ to your computer. I don’t mind if you share this on your social networks or print it out for use around the home or office. Please can you leave the copyright notice as is, thanks.

If you would like to purchase a full-sized poster of the above quote, please CLICK HERE.

You may also enjoy:

The Bald-Faced Truth About Self-Portraits — Photographs and All!

Zebra Fever — Jazzing Up Your Walls With Stripes!

The 12 Hour Saatchi Art Competition Challenge — Start to Finish

Healing Through Art — The Gates to Wonderland Just Got Flung Wide Open

 

 

Healing Through Art — The Gates to Wonderland Just Got Flung Wide Open

Lust For Life

The Poppy Forest

I started off my career in art exploring what I like to call ‘decorative’ painting.  You know the sort;  flowers, trees, butterflies, sunsets, whatever tickled my fancies.  There is nothing wrong with this kind of expression and it paves the way for mastering specific techniques and mediums but I always felt a yearning for more expansive art.

However, painting ‘decorative’ art allowed me to express my love for anything resplendent — the beauty of nature.

Pink PoppiesMy art took a turn when I started painting my gold patterned backgrounds (as seen in the picture — right), I was testing the grounds for a more out-of-the-box approach.  It was well received and I was happy for a while doing it.  These complicated hand-painted motifs of swirly patterns represented ‘life energy’ — something I have been able to see all around me all the time.

I still felt a hunger for something new.  I tried to dabble in abstract art, I have always had a love for abstract but found it the hardest thing to paint.  I dug deep for this but it still didn’t fit the criterion that was swaying in my soul and keeping me at bay from realizing my fullest potential.

Spirited Away

I dreamed up the ‘Rock Art’ series last year and half-heartedly began my journey quite blinded to how it was going to unfold.  After the Radiohead painting emerged out onto the canvas, I literally had a dream and was shown what it meant (read article here).

“Tut, tut, child! Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.” — The Duchess, Alice in Wonderland

Interested by this unusual turn of events I endeavored with the project and Metamorphic Dilatation (The Beatles Art) was born.

         Jeff Buckley --- Raw 24 x 36 LR

Love Story

Heart close upThe festive season came and went and I lost a tiny bit of my momentum with this series until I decided to pick up a brush and start with the Jeff Buckley painting (no. 3 in the series).  It was going to be Muse but something changed my mind.

What happened with the painting ‘Raw’ changed my life forever.  You can read all about it here.  After the painting was done I had a dream…

What Dreams May Come

I was taken by a man (couldn’t quite make out who) into a room where I was shown that an artist could extract the essence of a message be it through music, literature or any other means and purvey the idea into a picture — a kind of visual therapy.

“Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction.” — The Doorknob, Alice in Wonderland

I was told that it is quite difficult to get most people to listen to music outside of what they know.

  • How many of you have tried and failed to get people to listen to the music you like?
  • Or try to convince them that something that resonates with you should immediately resonate with them?

Same thing goes for literature.  You can read a book and have an epiphany but to get someone else to read the book let alone have the self-same striking realization is a difficult task indeed.

It doesn’t mean that there is no message in the song or novel and it also doesn’t mean that your friend is an idiot for not ‘getting it’ or bothering to listen/read.  We all work to a different schedule.

But how cool would it be if you could, like an alchemist, extract that message and translate it in a picture?  Something that you need to just look at to get or understand the underlying current?

People are usually willing to look at something visual which can only take a few seconds of their precious time.

The meaning I got from my dream was that you can imprint a message or a code (something that sparks off something in you on a conscious or unconscious level) to trigger a healing within you to take place.

Or a prompt to get you to explore the music or literature (or whatever medium is being transmuted) further which may activate that message you need.

The Sound of Music

To download as desktop wallpaper or to print and use around the home/office as mini-posters — just click on the picture, right-click and 'save as' to your computer.  All rights reserved.A good friend (who synchronously is a musician who is working on healing music at this very moment) and I were debating and bouncing off concepts of a universal and quantum nature (we came up with the caption to your right).

We were discussing how music, in itself, can transport you to places that words only try to point you towards.

Obviously, not all music does this — there is music and there is music.  Some music can be very base and hollow, coming from the ego or the want for fame and money.  Other music relays a message — it could be a cosmic or earthly message.  It could be consumed on an unconscious or conscious level.

  • Have you ever noticed how music can lift your spirits?
  • Or get you to go deeper into your emotions?
  • Or simply move you to tears of bliss or sorrow?

The classical composers like Bach and Debussy excelled at elevating the soul.  It’s as if they could take you to a higher dimension to feel the music in and around you — letting the vibrations pulsate through every cell in your body, literally absorbing the encoded transmissions of the wonders of 8th dimensional sound frequency.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

blue butterfly pngThis brings me back to the many epiphanies I’ve been having this month through dreams, synchronicities, ‘a-ha’ moments with friends and family members and opening my mind to new possibilities with the all-encompassing help of the Universe itself.

Talk about unity consciousness at work!  We are all so interwoven into this fabric of existence and we reflect so much to and in each other, which ultimately, reflects the entire cosmos.  We are One.

So, Alice has been journeying into the reflections of herself and has pulled out all her resources to finally discover what she’s been prepping for.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” — Alice in Wonderland

I started this site wanting to merge my passion for writing with my love of music and art.  I set out to do this as best I could, floundering a little at times as I tried new ways to do this.  None of which truthfully felt like the puzzle pieces fitted.

With this new insight I finally feel like the puzzle has at last become a recognizable picture (as we are usually given the pieces without the added benefit of having the box image for a reference — no, that would have been too easy).  I get to merge the trinity of music, art and literature into one capsule that can benefit the observer in a flash.

I couldn’t have asked the Universe for a better connection to work through me, expressing the Source, than this!

No wonder you’re not supposed to try to ‘control’ the nooks and crannies of how your path will unfurl — nothing out-of-the-box will ever develop with you trying to manipulate it at every turn with only your current understanding of how the world works.

They Call Me Trinity

I need to trim my time expenditure on this site and neatly package it to fit this new revelation.

So, instead of having an art/creativity blog on Tuesday, a spiritual blog on Thursday and a Free Giveaway blog on Friday, I have decided to reconcile all three if these into one new and exciting blog (to come out every Wednesday from next week) that will have inspiring verses, tasty visuals and something for nothing.

I will, from time to time, blog articles of value or interest on any given day but you can rely on the Wednesday blog to be a weekly occurrence.

That’s All Folks!

And that’s the rundown of how this year began for me — thanks for journeying with me and I hope you’ll stick around to see what’s to come in the bright and uncharted future of this magnificent virgin Wonderland.