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Archive for the ‘Creative Process’ Category

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Hello!  I am happy to be back writing here in my blog, after a turn-of-the-year hiatus and by demand of very clear, poignant and pivotal events of late. In this blog, I am embarking in an area that is not often openly talked about and is quite a complex, layered, and profound area of the human experience.  For some time now, what has been brought to my attention once again, is the grieving process, the stages of grief and my own personal layers of grief that began in earnest with the death of my six-year-old sister when I was eleven years old.  For me, grief had been a very scary and sensitive topic (death and dying included) and I avoided or denied those feelings with some underlying.  I was a young girl, just in the 6th grade and the space and stages of grieving were paused and delayed in earnest until I was about eighteen years old and a freshman in college.  It was a car accident where I was injured, shaken up and overall, experienced trauma and stress, and was the catalyst to a profound spiritual awakening and the earnest start in my search for meaning and truth.  It also was the impetus of my own conscious grieving process of the physical death of my only sister and my desire to connect with her spiritually.  This process has been a constant, as with every death “out there,” all loss and grief is re-triggered for me.  And like everything in life and personal growth, progress not perfection has been my ally as I continue to navigate the many losses and feel the grief in my life and in the collective.  One of the ways that I process and integrate loss and grief now is through my art practice and I will be blogging more about art, healing and grief in subsequent blog posts… stay tuned.

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Here are my observations right now and what inspired this post today.  The veils are certainly thin these days, and I am being reminded once again how truly precious life on Earth is, to cherish every moment and to continue to LOVE above all else, especially when the external realities are extreme and polarizing.

sobonfu Sobunfu and I at the Rowe Center, MA, June 2000

This is from January 19, 2017: Today I started my day like many others, morning rituals, welcoming a new day to embrace, embark and do my very best.

I learned of the passing of one of my very special teachers, a powerful healer named Sobonfu Somé. I do not know the details of her passing to the Spirit world other than the fact the she was with her family in Burkina Faso. What I do know deep in my bones, is the impact that she had on me and the sweet memories I have with her, studying her books, learning from her culture, the Dagara in Burkina Faso and most importantly, being with her in sacred ritual at the Rowe Camp and at the Omega Institute in NY, both in 2000. Her name itself means, “keeper of the rituals” and her work and legacy touched many many lives here in the West.

I was introduced to her work through another teacher and mentor of mine who has also passed, Joy Parker, who was studying with Malidoma Somé. I was excited to study with him but destiny guided to study with Sobonfu instead! After devouring her books, I was able to be with her in person at one of her grieving ritual 3-day retreats, this one at the Rowe Center. It was powerful, transformational and taught me about honoring the sacred in everyday life, to honor my ancestors and to embrace grief, something that was and still is a life long learning curve.

Sobonfu also taught me about the sacred element Water. She founded Wisdom Spring, working diligently to provide various villages in West Africa with drinking water and to provide resources for education through its various programs including Art for Africa and Walking for Water.

Ironically (or is it?), there is a Grief Ritual scheduled for March 2017 near Washington, D.C.

Anyway, I’m continuing to reflect on how knowing of and receiving Sobonfu’s life gifts here on earth has impacted me and what more I can do to integrate and honor her legacy.  To learn more and benefit from her wisdom, visit http://www.sobonfu.com

It is comforting to me to know that she is crossing over to the realm of the ancestors and her Spirit endures through her work and us…

My reflections so far about Sobonfu and her teaching will continue in forthcoming blog posts and revolve around her legacy of discovering and sharing our gifts and for me that includes the healing, art-making and evolving through the grieving process.

Something that I heard today from another wonderful teacher/friend of mine, Georgette Star of the Life Blessing Institute, who said. “I’m learning to “share this intimacy of grief with others who can hold that level of sharing. What an incredible gift to connect heart to heart.”  And, with that my friends, I’ll share that my heART is here to heal, to teach and to inspire healing the hearts of others and the world through engaging intimately with the creative process.  I truly look forward to sharing my three new art program launches this spring which range from a foundations in art-making course to a program that facilitates a deep dive into your creative healing process with me as your gentle guide.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connect to me via my Facebook page, explore my Art with Lórien art classes on YouTube, and if you would like to make sure you are notified about more content like this, please sign up for my newsletter here.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love and the spirit of Aloha,

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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Art with Lórien Studio set

Art with Lórien Studio Video Production Set

Hello My People!

It has been a bit since I have posted here, and I will just say that I have been involved!  Involved with creating and producing lots of art and art education content!  Whew!  Check it all out on my website, especially take a look at Art with Lórien, my fairly new online learning platform and community!  Woot!  I have also been up to the following hobby of mine, which is supporting women in the media.  One of my favorite organizations is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, an organization that engages, educates, and influences the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under.

Also, I am a huge fan of the #heforshe campaign that Emma Watson launched with the support of the UN Women organization.  Check that one out and recruit your guys to support!  🙂

One of the “armchair” ways that I support women in the media, is my consumption of films that are directed by women, are written by a woman and/or feature stories about women.  One of my guiding litmus tests for the content of a film, is applying the Bechdel test.  What is  the Bechdel test you may wonder?  It asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added.

So, to solidify my commitment to my hobby and quest, in January 2016, I pledged to watch one film per week as part of the #52FilmsByWomen campaign sponsored by Women in Film.  What I am really excited about is discovering the #52weeks List of Gayle Nachlis, Women in Film Senior Director of Education, so many superb films on her list! I also learned about Film Fatales, a network of women filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive community in which to make their films. Here’s Film Fatales list of films directed by women streaming on Netflix USA, 245 and counting!

In other news this year on my journey, I went a red-carpet premier in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theater where the series was created and written by a woman.  Even though the content was not my style, too much violence and cursing, it’s always good to see a woman get up and address a full theater of guests (invited) viewers, supporters and talk about their vision being supported, funded and birthed into the world!  Super cool!

And, so as we approach the end of 2016, and my 52-week pledge, I am sharing what I have enjoyed so far… And, I do pledge to continue into 2017 and beyond.  With our evolving landscape, values, priorities and the balancing act that is occurring, there will be much to catch on the screen, big and small!  Enjoy and join the fun!

MY LIST from 2016 so far: (in no specific order)

Miss Representation- Watched this in 2014- a must see on the topic.

The Women’s List

Jenny’s Wedding

Joy

Bessie

Iron Lady

Mustang

Woman in Gold

What Happened Miss Simone?

True Cost

Diana

Tig

Tangerine

Trainwreck

Hello, My Name is Doris

All About Eve

The Story of Ruth

East Side Sushi

Séraphine

The Lady in the Van

Coco Before Chanel

Suffragette

Brooklyn

Carol

Joan of Arc: Virgin Warrior

He Named Me Malala

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Hanna

Miss Potter

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Maggie’s Plan

Frida

India’s Daughter

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

Zootopia

Me Before You

Dukhtar

Girlhood

Middle of Nowhere

Selma

Ride

Pariah

Orion: The Man Who Would be King

The Letters

Big Stone Gap

Under the Same Moon

Testament of Youth

Still Alice

What Other Couples Do

A Ballerina’s Tale

Conviction

The Intern

Me Without You

Under a Tuscan Sun

Ai Wei Wei Never Sorry

Citizen Four

 

and counting…

And, please take a look at a blog post here from earlier this year that features a new documentary called Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct by friend Cady McClain,  She is directing, writing, and producing along with Kate Super.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my Facebook page, check out my Art with Lórien art classes on YouTube, get to my website, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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insta_WaterIIIWith one of my healing Water paintings, Water III. To lean more about my Water Series, click here.

I am thrilled to start up a new blog series theme: Artist Interviews.  In this blog series, I will be interviewing inspirational artists and will sharing these insightful and inspirational messages in a variety of ways that I look forward to launching soon!  For now, I am sharing the first interview of yours truly.  In 2014, I was interviewed by Art 4 All People as part of an art exhibition focused on arts and healing.

Here is the interview, short and sweet!

How would you describe Transformative Art? 

Transformative Art is art that reaches into the soul and acts as a mirror revealing the deep and rich inner beauty of the Self, as well as the shadow self.  It has the power to shift consciousness and not only raise the vibration of an individual, but shift the collective consciousness.

What inspires your own Art and what does Art mean to you? 

My own spiritual journey and quest for beauty, for what is true, and as a devotion to the Sacred is what informs and inspires my art practice.

In my experience, art serves as a visual response to the questions that one asks or that the collective is asking.  For example, questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be a Spiritual being having a human experience, or about what is possible in the human experience.

As an Artist what is the significance of doing Transformative Art in these times, in this century in the now?

If an individual feels the call to create and share their art with the world, the significance of doing Transformative art now is ad infinitum.  Art is a bridge between the mundane and the Sacred and has the capacity to bridge the gap of disparity between suffering and pure bliss. Artistic expression gives meaning and healing to the human condition.  Art is the glue of the Universe and provides a safe space for the Soul to rest and take refuge.  More than ever, art and artists serve as the foundation for the evolution of human consciousness.

 

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, check out my Art with Lórien art classes on YouTube or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

~ Denis Waitley

When asked to explore the topic of BE LOVE from my friend Kat of Gently Moving Forward, I felt overwhelmed and still do honestly. The topic of Love is no small thing. Artists of all kinds, from fine artists to songwriters, authors, screenwriters, dancers, musicians, actors and on and on have been diving deep and pulling up expressions on Love for millennia. I am reminded of something that a good friend and mentor said to me once, ART is like LOVE, it’s not easy to define or contain, Love is endless like the ocean. So, with that, I will contribute my current musings on this call to explore “Be Love.”artist palette

My artist palette, water series.

Love is finding a soul mate and life partner in the most roundabout and curious manner… I am amazed and grateful each and every moment of this miracle.Kevin and I

LOVE with Kevin

California Adventures!

Love is Mother Nature in all of her manifestations, the vast oceans, rivers and lakes, the rich and varied earth forms, the life-giving air, and transformative fire. She is my core inspiration for most of my artistic expressions in painting. The four primal elements and our home planet Earth give Love to us so abundantly and freely without any complaints, demands or refusals. She is always giving selflessly.mamma ocean

The majesty of mamma ocean

Love is the joy of creativity in any medium. I create art through painting and I have also discovered the joy of cooking for others in what I call my “creative kitchen.” I believe that conceiving of and preparing a meal for a beloved and loved ones is a simple necessity that has become one of my creative expressions throughout the days… as the saying goes, “a girl’s gotta eat, right?”creative kitchen

Home-made meal for two!

Love is the creatures of all types—four-leggeds, winged-ones, swimming ones, creepy crawlers, buzzing bees and the humming birds…. Every day I am in awe of our co-habitants and Spirit helpers. Love exemplified.wild dolphins

Sweet sea soul companions

my babies

Angel and Shanti

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MuBee- a few weeks old!

Love is that profound knowing and love between my family, both biological and kindred-spirits in community. Love is when we just look at each other, communicate telepathically and feel each other through the breaths of everyday living, whether near or far.

Alisa and I

My inspiration, my sister Alisa and I at the tide pools

Love is feeling compassion and being loving to the Self and Other despite the emotions that are stirred up when seeing injustices, inequalities, imbalances, or the pain and suffering of any living being through inner or outer wars or violence of any kind. Being a highly sensitive and empathic individual has its benefits for sure, though we may feel too much sometimes. The key I am discovering through the gentle and ongoing practice of Self Love is to continue to love, accept and be at peace with all aspects of the Self and of Other. A couple of modern-day teachers who explore this perspective are Byron Katie according, author of  Loving What Is  and  the work of Matt Khan and his Love Revolution and book Whatever Arises, Love That.

The I Inside

Looking ahead with the drishti (or soft divine gaze of Love)

Love is “not taking it personally,” this principle being one of my key intentions for the year of 2016 and believe me, once I shot that arrow into the air and shared that intention publicly, the little tests showed up and sometimes continue. The inspiration for transformation is LOVE indeed!

And, lastly for now, Love is remembering Who I Am. After many years of awakening, of teachings from teachers, readings from astrologers channelers and the like, to meditation retreats in India, Central America, across the US and beyond, guided rituals, self-help and psychology books, volumes of personal journals and on and on… One thing I have heard and seen over and over are these wise and simple words, Know Thyself, Remember Who You Are. And this my friends, is BEING LOVE and it’s free of charge, simply requires remembering more in the game of remembering and forgetting.

I leave you with one of my favorite poems on love by Rumi.
Let us fall in love again
and scatter gold dust all over the world.
Let us become a new spring
and feel the breeze drift in the heavens’ scent.
Let us dress the earth in green,
and like the sap of a young tree
let the grace from within sustain us.
Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts
and let them light our path to Love.
The glance of Love is crystal clear
and we are blessed by its light.

~translated by Azima Melita Kolin

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my Facebook page, explore my Art with Lórien online classes or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit

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My featured Guest Blogger is Cady McClain.  I met Cady through a mutual friend from my childhood and boy am I glad that she reached out!  We connected through our shared interest and passion for women’s voices and representation in the field of arts, both visual and performing.  My video post on balancing the genders in the arts connected us online and I am so inspired and excited about the powerfully awesome documentary film that Cady is directing, writing, and producing along with Kate Super.  I promise, you will feel inspired and like me, looking forward to the release of her film.  Thank you Cady for being you and sharing your inspiration here and with the world!
Cady’s Blog Post:
For the past five months, I’ve had the honor and privilege of getting to interview women who direct film, television, and theater for a documentary I am working on called Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct. I’d like to share with you a little bit about a couple of women I’ve spoken to in order to give you a bit of the inspiration I’m enjoying!
Leah Meyerhoff is the founder of a group called “Film Fatales,” and graduated from NYU Film School with an amazing film called I Believe in Unicorns, a coming of age story filmed so sensitively, so creatively, I practically felt like she was whispering to my inner teenager. Film Fatales consists of female filmmakers who create “peer-to-peer mentorship” by meeting once a month at each others’ houses and participating in conversations that help each host with a topic related to the project on which she is currently working. This organization is also making a mark on the Independent film scene with its outreach programs and support of filmmakers on the circuit. I admire Leah so much I was practically shaking when I met her, but by the end of our conversation I felt quite at ease. She’s that kind of person. Incredibly well-spoken and clear, thoughtful and kind, super organized (which I loved), and without the slightest tinge of bitterness for the gender bias that is so rampant in our industry. She says that she “took the script and flipped it,” and I love that expression. Instead of identifying herself as being at the hand of gender discrimination, she proudly took on the label of “woman director” and created a whole movement of creative women who are now all owning their gender status and creating flourishing careers. I am proud to say I am now a fellow fatale!
 
Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 8.02
 (This is Leah Meyerhoff with a traveling coffee mug that looks like a camera lens. A gift from me to her as a “thank you” for her wise words and journey!)
I also got to interview Deborah Kampmeier  whose first film, Virgin, had a huge run on the festival circuit, and whose second film, Hounddog, caused an international scandal due to its subject matter: the rape of a child. Honestly, I was very concerned myself about watching the film, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a beautiful film and nothing like what it was made out to be. Sensitively done, considerate and respectful to the issue of sexuality in a developing girl, and surprisingly insightful into female sexuality. Deborah works with a passionate authenticity and a deep respect of her and others “womanhood.” She understands things about being a woman that I never heard anyone say, or even suggest. Listening to her talk I was brought to tears by her commitment to her artistry, and her passion for her unique vision. Her work is daring, original, and important, and reminded me that I must take risks in my own work, despite everything.
Deborah
(This is a shot of my interview with Deborah, taken while playing back on my big screen TV!)
I think that is what really inspires me the most: women committing to their unique vision, despite all. No matter what anyone says, no matter what the statistics are, they persevere, the drive forward. Sure, everybody gets afraid sometimes. But these women (and many more) don’t submit to the fear. They continue to stay above water and true to themselves. There’s no being shut down by “the business” and all that talk about how you “have to compromise.” No mam. They talk about being clear about who they are, what they love, and how to work in spite of the obstacles.
And that’s inspiring stuff!
Here’s a link to a promo about the film: https://vimeo.com/145945236
And to the films’ FB page: https://www.facebook.com/WomenDirectors
Cady
(And this is me with Mr. Peanut, my loyal and loving super buddy.)

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Marla is a phenomenally inspired woman: her job title even happens to be “Chief Inspiration Officer,” so inviting Marla to share her #HolidayHumanity Storytelling Campaign was a natural fit.  I had the pleasure of meeting Marla through a mutual friend, another inspired woman, when they were on a so-called “Artist’s Date” (à la The Artist’s Way) in 2012.  As the owner of Embrace Your Spotlight, Marla does amazing work as a mentor and coach for entrepreneurs looking to build a genuine, trusted and compelling personal brand while redesigning a leveraged business based on a healthy money relationship generating leads, ideal clients and higher revenues.  I am honored to call Marla my friend and power-walking partner along the beaches of So Cal.

Check out her blog post here and perhaps you’ll be inspired to contribute your story to her #HolidayHumanity Storytelling Campaign. 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace Your Spotlight

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What inspires you?  Sometimes life can feel flat, dull and dry. How do we change it up, keep inspired, happy and moving forward in the direction of our wildest dreams?  Maybe we lose sight of what our dreams are, what makes our heart sing or excites or moves us…  We are spiritual beings having a human experience and this can happen from time to time to anyone, especially if you are like me and tend to review, reflect and reinvent myself over and over again!

kalalau 2In one my fave places doing what I love… moving my body and Spirit near the sea…

We are creatures of change, of transformation and always evolving.  And, whilst moving along, my journey, purpose, joy and following my bliss can at times seem foreign and distant.  When I have found myself in those places or in a funk, which I have, one of the ways that I have navigated back to my joy out of sadness or fear is to look for what inspires me and sometimes this is jump-started by the simple act of taking a walk outdoors in nature…

gold sandBeauty is all around us, in nature, in the raw primal elements…

What inspires me is all around me, all of the time.  I find that it simply requires paying attention, being awake and being aware.  Sometimes, that’s easier said than done!  What I find works best is to keep it simple, be gentle, at ease and simply focus on what feels good.  What inspires me is the natural world on Earth, the cosmos, love, natural beauty, color, family, good friends, the ocean, kindness, puppies and all that is good in our world.  Truly there are infinite possibilities of inspiration ~ my motivation to stay inspired keeps me seeking and finding it.

sushi spreadtulips

 

Here are some of the people, places and things that inspire, give me life and provide light to be my best self and to do what I am here to do!

outdoor labyrinthme and babies

alisa and frog

 

pink sunsetspring water venice masks stained glass and sunlight
pigment colors

 

lilies meemie  fire 2-up gold sand kalalau 1   color leaf

dotted leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

may17 event 7

paris and K and me

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Let’s face it, it’s easy to slip into the habit of taking the simple things in life for granted and at times, forget what is truly of value, especially when those things of value cost nothing.  We are so fortunate in so many ways, nature providing abundant nourishment, life force energy and the essential basics of fresh air to breathe, water to drink and the heartbeat of the mother herself keeping us all nurtured and cared for.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit

www.lorieneck.com

 

 

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