Sunday, September 18, 2011

Art, Art, I Love You

Our family won a trip to Paris, and this is the very first time that we've won a price so huge that it took us by surprise! I always thought good luck happens to other people, so now I'm blessed into changing my mind. Even though I've been to Paris a couple of times, this is the first time that we went in the summer and I L-O-V-E the sun. Malaysia is summer all year long, but for a traveller, it's always best to enjoy a place without having to endure the harsh and chilly winter.

On our way to Paris, we stopped by Vienna and Budapest. I made sure my eyes are wide open to capture all the art that surrounds and breathes in corners of the city. Below: a mermaid-angel-Goddess hybrid by the riverside in Vienna.

Was lucky enough to see a graffiti artist in the midst of working his passion. He was doing a little dance to get into the feel of his work.

Street artist. So talented. I was so amazed by the ease which he exudes as he makes his artwork in the eyes of the public eye. I love the theme of his works: the majestic earth in the foreground and planets and stars revolving around. It feels out of this world. I fantasize about me painting in public. While this young man took an average of 15-20 minutes to complete one I might need a few days. I'm inspired to work more with spray paint now. I'm so surprised by the things you can do with spray paint and paper.

In Paris. Of course it's a must to snap a picture with the Eiffel Tower! Love the glamorous sunglasses!

One of my fav painter: Claude Monet. The genius who founded and led the French impressionistic art movement. I was enchanted by his paintings of the lotus pond and was amazed how his deceptively messy brushstrokes actually conveys a sense of water moving. I felt I was being taken for a pseudo boat ride as I walked along the masterpiece. I could feel the love and passion he has for his garden (in Giverny) and art, which he spent much of his time tending and painting. We were required to be very very quiet inside the art museum, and were hushed if there was slightly noisy. A very stern environment of art appreciation.

My dad who's a darling accompanied me to Musee d'Orsay even though he's not particularly interested in art and sculpture. I had to held my breath as I stood in front Van Gogh's paintings of his room in Arles and his self-portrait. He was really much too perceptive for his times. And there's fierce honesty and vulnerability in his works which I appreciate.

Pierre-August Renoir, Bal du moulin de la Galette, 1876 oil on canvas, image from and link to Musée d'Orsay. One of my favourite works from the artist. The sunlight playfully dancing and merging with the men and women in indulgent moments like this. There's a surreal lightness to the artworks, the lines are undefined, the impermanence of the moment captured. Fleeting pleasure and beauty.

Malaysia in comparison, has a very short history in art. I do hope my country is opening itself up to the awareness that art is not only for aesthetic purposes, it's a direct expression of the people's spiritual growth and identity and it demonstrates the maturity of its people in terms of self-reflection and contemplation about life and the big questions surrounding it. I look forward to the day where everywhere I go there'll be displays of artworks that invite me to contemplate and appreciate its beauty, meaning and message.

After inhaling all the painting, maybe it's time for me to exhale some of mine?

I'll be wordless and quiet in the meantime. I think it's essential for most artists to go within to look for inspiration after visually feasting on other painters' works of art. See u soon! =)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art and Angels

Last Sunday I attended a soft pastel class conducted by a bubbly Japanese lady who's married to Malaysia, it was my last minute decision to sign up because I was worried I couldn't finish my Masters assignments. But my heart says "go, go, go!" and I have to listen to the insistent voice. Turns out that not only it was insanely fun and inspiring, I also had a creative de-stress session while I plunge my head, heart and soul into painting with soft pastel. I've never attempted that medium so was delightful to find that it's effects are dreamy and surreal.

The teacher, Yoshie (bottom right), sharing about soft pastel art while us students listen on intently. I was running around like a restless child taking pictures!

Her works, colourful manadalas. If you're familiar with Carl Jung, a psychotherapist, he says mandalas are the doorway to understanding about your SELF. I think my teacher's SELF is beaming with gorgeous-ness the way the picture is drawn here.

Adults "heart" at work, it's cute to see grown-ups (especially men) concentrating on creative expression. There's something inherently healing about making art in the presence of others, and sharing what the art and creative process means to you in a group.

I picked a card that says "beloved One" and this is my attempt to portray the kind of soul-mate relationship I envision to have and experience. Very lovey-dovey and loaded with sweetness I know. *Blush. Also, I wish for the spaciousness and growth in it too.

Me "heart" at work, drawing my own pairs of wings to get me fly high and soar! Everything you see on paper is drawn by our dainty fingers. It's a very gentle and patient approach to art I felt. If you're the impatient sort of person this really helps train you to be present in the moment and not rush the process. Anyway the process is as much rewarding as the end product. Or more.

Another student's art, she's way way too brilliant and artistic. I love the beauty that each piece of her art conveys. Speechless is a term I would use to explain my response as I savour her work.

Some of our works, proudly displayed on the wall.

I'd so much fun I couldn't stop savouring everything about the day. Art has this magical touch of uplifting your spirit and moods, and help you gain an alternative perspective if you're feeling stucked and dry. It's a reminder of the beauty you're capable of expressing, and the joy of being a creator. My next mission-get meself a box of soft pastel and start making a dreamy, happy mess!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creative Souls Blossoming

I spent the whole day today coaching a spirited social worker that works with high-risk street kids, drug users to learn alternative art therapy so she could incorporate in her work. I felt an urge to conduct the class in nature, surrounded by trees and fresh air, away from the confinements of four walls. So we ended up in the park, our paintbrush, colours, paper all make a happy mess on the table under the shaddy tree. And I'd so much fun coaching especially when new ideas flow into my moment of inspiration when I least expected it!

Kat is lovely, she's a really curioys and enthusiastic student, and I know that fun for her is so crucial (a priority actually!) so I tried to coax her to paint using mediums other than paintbrush and crayons. She love finger painting- this is her in the process of painting her life purpose with her fingers! her favourite activity of all!

Love the bamboo tree behind her. The painter is fully engaged in her creative process!

(Below) A message from her wise self, a creative poet making poetry! Using old fashioned ink dipped pen and writing in cursive letters really channels an old-soul kind of wisdom! hehe

(Below) Kat's divine soul portrait.

Awareness exercise. I asked her to take pictures of things in the park that represents who she is. This aims to expand one's awareness. And Kat was absolutely ecstatic to be wandering around the park with my pink camera taking snapshots of pieces of beauty that we might not noticed if we didn't pay attention.

She's very observant. She shares her insight that the dead and dying leaves are nourishing the new baby plants. Life/Death/Life is always a very present cycle.

Someone's junk. But perhaps it was there to remind a passerby to pray for Japan. And to keep praying. I felt a solemn need to say a prayer when I see this.

(Below) Appreciating little beauties. With the touch of her hands perhaps the flowers could blossom even more vividly.

Eggs. Hidden from human eyes new life awaiting...

Even as the teacher my student teach and reminds me to walk free, as she paint with orange glee the message that her body needs. She's really free-spirited, and with a heart of gold, it shows in her love for her work with the marginalized community, even if the work is tiring, but she's still so passionate about serving a purpose. Her love for life and people, and her simple philosophy and wisdom that precedes her age humbles me.

It's wonderful after a day like this, I'd come home with a tired body, but my heart and spirit uplifted and inspired because I deeply love the nature of my work and the fulfillment it brings. Both of us, nature-lovers, creative spirits, big dreamers, had so much fun teaching and learning about the healing prowess of art. Who's the teacher? Who's the student? The line considerably blurred. I hope to keep doing this soul work, making this soul art. More people need to know the benefits of art, and learn the magic it promises.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sacred Marriage

The real thing and the shadows, both complemented each other in a beautiful union.

I've been contemplating about dualities, and how most of our sufferings are stemmed by it, revolves around it, and can be healed by resolving it.

We give meanings to things, and when we perceive something as positive and another as negative, we reject the negative and want it disappear, gone, vanish. And when we perceive something as positive, we tend to want it, desire it, demand it.

We suffer when we don't get the +ve, we suffer when we get the -ve.

But most of all, we suffer because our reality is divided into this either-or dichotomy.

For example,

In my mind,

I appreciate my depth of being, and think shallowness is such a shame. So I judge someone else as shallow when he or she is not as deep as I wish them to be. It's my bimbotic self that I've rejected. But in all honesty, being constantly in the deep is like diving underwater, I'm no mermaid, so I felt suffocated if I remain there too long. It feels good once in a while to come up to breath air, and clear my head space, and it's ok to be silly and poke fun at myself and things. I have accepted that while I'm philosophical and I always dig deep for meanings, there's a part of me that's sheer nonsensical.


In the past, before I've come to self-empowerment, there are so many times when I've looked for others so that I could transfer my powers to them. Mr. Perfect used to be so intelligent and so brilliant in his studies and mouth-crackingly funny. No faults, just pure awesomeness. In comparison, my own light is dimmed. I'm not enough. Not brilliant enough, not funny enough, not beautiful enough. It's as if you're wearing a power-transfer lense in replacement of the wisdom of your soul-eyes. Either he is perfect or you are imperfect.

But when I've learn that true empowerment comes from within, the lenses broke into pieces.

Mr Perfect is just half divine, half human. Half human now because you see that while he's funny, he might be using humor or words to cover other insecurities. While he's brilliant, he can also bask too much in the glory of his mind to be down to earth. Half divine because you acknowledge that this person has so much potential and so much beauty, even in his flaws and imperfections, scars and wounds. You see that if he gets down to business to heal his shadows, his gifts emerge and he'll be awaken to be a powerful and compassionate human being.

Can a man only be strong or vulnerable? Can a man be both? Will you appreciate or trust someone who only has one side of that, either fully strong or fully vulnerable?

I'll appreciate someone who is both strong and vulnerable, because that's balanced..

I'm saddened when I heard men tell me that it's a men's world, and you've to fight to stay in the battlefield. You've to put up a tough front, survival skills, be macho. And you know these men are bitter and angry because they aren't allowed to experience their vulnerability.

Can you understand why this world is so tired, so stressed, so unhappy? Because we're coerced and manipulated to think we can only choose to be one side of the coin.

So all you can do is to love him. love the differences. Love you, Love yourself. Because whatever shadows he has you have too. All the people have them. And I have them too.

I'm my shadows and my gifts.

So what heals the dichotomies, the binaries, the dualities?

In healing that split in the mind, to love both and to appreciate both and see them as one, one cannot exist without the other. The union and acceptance of the opposites is what heals.

I'm craziness and sanity.

I'm devilish and angelic.

I'm childish and mature.

I'm foolish and wise.

I'm selfish and selfless.

I'm dirty-minded and pure.

I'm narrow and open.

I'm my body and my mind.

I'm soulless and soulful.

I'm full and empty. The lists goes on... and on.

I'm all the above and none of the above.

The union and marriage of the opposites lift the burden of separation in my heart. When I married all my inner opposites, I no longer battle them and peace persists. Perhaps if the world heal the illusions of separation, there'll no longer be battle of the sexes, or religious wars, or warring of any kind.

No more me vs you.

Just a reconnection.

Of Me=you. One= All. All= One.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do little things with great love

"God does not command that we do great things, only little things with great love."
-Mother Theresa

(A love-shaped leaf from a hanging plant outside the patio yesterday evening)

This quote by Mother Theresa strikes me. I am a giant thinker. Big dreamer. But sometimes I fall back a few steps when it comes to Doing. Perhaps the dream seems so BIG that I was afraid and lost to how I'm suppose 2 go about it to make it come true. Perhaps I was so preoccupied with the end result that I lost the enjoyment of the PROCESS. Or that I've this habit of living in the future, dreaming of great things I could achieve. While it's wonderful to be optimistic, I've to remind myself to come back once in a while to earth. The present is the gift isn't it?

I look at life from such a BIG picture that at times I miss the beauty of small things. And I'm beginning to take notice.

Nature grounds me. Little things are precious too. I realized now more and more.

Do little things with love, for me now it includes eating to fill my body with love, blogging with love, doing house errands with love, even if just breathing, also done with love, the tiniest thing we most often overlooked. It's not that easy because I get lost in my mind so quickly.

Life has been a little quiet a while ago. While my monkey mind complains and demands for some action and drama, my inner circus trainer tries to tempt it to obedience by training it to observe little signs of beauty and wisdom everywhere. Being a work-from-home creative girl does have its down side, it can get pretty quiet at times. Unlike the office ambience where there's colleagues around to chit chat and hang around to reduce boredom, the work-alone creative girl is basically her own muse, friend, boss, disciplinarian, servant, counselor and agony aunt. It can get a little daunting to some extent, to play so many roles especially when it pertains to one's livelihood.

While mastery of a craft usually means that one has to spend alot of time alone, it's really important to balance this part of life with recharging with friends and families. I used to be jealously guarded about my me-time, but now I appreciate getting to know people especially when it concerns their interest in living their creative dreams. It's a good shift, this focus centering in self to people.

Painting allows me the space and time to be alone, engaged in my creative process.

Teaching art therapy allows me the space and time to connect with others, on a very soulful level and creative sharing expands my horizons. Both works fulfill me in very different ways. But both makes me happy.

If I were to stick to only one I'll go crazy in its one-sidedness. I'm grateful that I've the balance of both. Am having lots of work piling up and loving the momentum. I love having the freedom to decide when, where and who I work with. I'm keeping a grateful heart and feeling the fullness of abundance bestowed to me in my heart.

Do you know the trick to manifesting what you desire most?

One of it is, when you wish for something whole-heartedly, you take the necessary action to fulfill it, but you need to let go of the outcome, so that your contribution is half, and the rest of the half the Universe will provide. Sometimes in ways un-imaginable. Most times just plain miracle. Heard of the saying when you take a step towards your dreams, your dream take a hundred steps towards you?

It's true.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Natural Beauty

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,

Love like you'll never be hurt,

Sing like there's nobody listening,

And live like it's heaven on earth." — William W. Purkey

A commissioned artwork by a mother for her two ballerina daughters. It feels wonderful and such a relief to complete a long overdue artwork. I'm learning the lesson of procrastination and how it's a bad habit, better to make baby steps to finish something than have the nagging feeling that you've things undone.

It's a good challenge to paint Malaysian Indian children; I thought I would have problems with getting the skin tone right but it turns out gorgeous. It's a good challenge because I think the discriminatory thought that only fair skin are beautiful and desirable that is so inherent within the collective consciousness can be overturned. Dark skin is beautiful too.

I enjoyed making the tree textured and had lots of fun making the colourful background from scrapbook papers. Even though my artwork has grown more "adult" but it's still fun to come back to naive and child-like painting, my trademark girls with Big eyes to get in touch with my own childlikeness.

And let me digress ...

Natural beauties found in my garden.

Anonymous plant. Bright yellow and orange flowers blossoming and what a contrast it makes with its dark olive green leaves.

Pitcher plant. Dangerous beauty. Do you know they seduce insects with a kind of scent, lure them in and trapped them in their belly and then digest them? Sounds totally deadly isn't it?

Droplets of shimmering water after I water this carnivorous thing.

Am learning to see the world with a new pair of eyes; curious and different perspective than before. The world seems to go by in a hurry these days, and it's really an artform to be able to engage in stillness amidst the chaos. I'm feeling the joy of simplicity nowadays, simple lifestyle and simple choices. Perhaps in the simplest things lie the most profound truth.

I'm such a hopeless philosopher sometimes! ok, Back to work ...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Soulful Beauty

The 1st thing on my wishlist I've promised myself is to be present to the beauty which surrounds me. Because I'm a hopeless geek, and I cannot seemed to take a break from my healthy addiction-which are books, I've been reading ferociously, a few books at one time- and Piero Ferrucci's "Beauty and the Soul" has been a faithful companion these days.

Beauty and the Soul, a book like its name, is beautiful and soulful, and it's wonderful because it's written by a man, which debunks the myth that men cannot be sensitive to beauty that are soulful. I love his keen insight about how beauty doesn't have to be limited as an experience in art museums or luxury goods, which modern city people are accustomed to think. His book challenge his readers to see beauty in a whole new way, to open ourselves up to the beauty of each moment and be present to capture that essence.

For me, beauty is so essential to keep us alive and joyous. One of my weakness I realized is that I lived so much up on my head. Thinking thoughts of the past and future, reliving mistakes and nostalgic memories, hoping or worrying for a future that has yet to arrived. I lived so much in the space of my head that in moments where I am awakened, I think-oh no, how much beauty of the present moment have I missed because I grasped at illusions? Not good, not good.

I don't want to sleepwalk in a dream state, I wish to be awake and seize each moment. That, I felt, is being truly alive, is being an active participant with the world.

(So today, when it rained which has always been my favourite weather, I seized my camera and captured the refreshing raindrops showering my garden.)

Beauty is free, beauty can be found easily. If you but noticed.

(Behind my house, the scenery feels foreign when it rains. I'm still practising with my camera. I know I do need more practice, both with being present and with using my camera.)

I remembered there was a rare moment, after gym and I walked home. I passed a row of trees sheltering me from the sunlight. It wasn't a particularly hot day. Just nice. It was a place that I passed by daily, usually in a car. Yet maybe because I walked the experience was different. The way the sunlight was seeping through the space between the leaves caught me in a state of breathlessness, I was left so speechless by the play of light and shadows on my skin, and the beauty of that moment was so piercingly vivid that a space in my heart was forced open to receive, and I could only respond with tears.

Thinking back, I could judge myself as being silly to be so overly sentimental. But I know it's me being present, to allow myself to be vulnerable in the face of beauty. Caught unaware. To be transformed into a state of awareness.

A beautiful new born baby bird ready to take flight to experience the world. My Mom and I took such drastic measures like covering the plant with a plastic bag so the crows will not know the existence of the nest. I felt fiercely protective of birds who laid eggs and make nest in our garden. I think it's a very natural maternal instincts. As a woman, to want to nurture and protect. Even though it's not my child, and it's not even a human. But life, in whatever form it takes, is precious. Thinking back, it was funny how protective we got.

Maybe because a new life is just so beautiful in its fragility, and also on its limitless potential.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mondo Beyondo Wish List

(Wild Wolf Woman: Untamed, brave, fearless, and possibly very powerful)

Jin and I has been talking about the miracle of magic. And how it's possible to create magic by wishing for something for our own goodness and believing absolutely that we deserve it. Jen Lemen, one of my favourite blogger who blogs here, cofounded Mondo Beyondo which is an online course about dreaming BIG and believing that dreams do come true.

So here is my Mondo Beyondo list, which is really a wish list for dreamers like myself, who more and more believe that writing down a wish and giving it a chance to come out to daylight is similar to casting a spell. I believe this is how miracle happens, at first it's just a thought, and when you do take your dream seriously yet at the same time be able to let it birth itself with the assistance of the benign unseen forces, and be unattached to the outcome- Voila, your dream grabs your hand and takes you for a ride!

So here goes my Mondo Beyondo wish list,

1.) Breathe and live consciously. Be present to life and the beauty which surrounds me.

2.) Fall in love with my self on a daily basis. Appreciate all I have.

3.) Teach art therapy to aspiring teachers so they are empowered and go on to spread the healing prowess of art to the rest of the world.

4.) Be a vegetarian for health reasons and also to reduce the burden of climate change.

5.) Rest and Play: Be silly and have fun and not take myself too seriously.

6.) Travel and teach art and therapy; preferably in Bali, Italy, Spain, Greece

7.) Swim with dolphins

8.) Scuba diving: Get certified and explore the underwater landscape and marine lives all over the world.

9.) Open my own healing/ holistic and conscious living centre and have it furnished like a Bali style resort which offers soul care and support to people who need the sacred space

10.) Open my own art gallery and support visionary/ mythical artists like myself.

11.) Go on a spiritual pilgrimage (I'm thinking India, Bali, Hawaii)

12.) Publish a few books on art/ therapy/ spirituality

13.) Fall in love with the most compatible soul mate and celebrate and explore our journey together.

14.) Leave my hair long and curl it.

15.) Lose weight and have a slender and physically strong and fit body.

16.) Learn to dance salsa, bellydance

17.) Learn a foreign language. I've Spanish/ Italian in mind.

18.) Go travelling across the globe with an art journal and document my journey with a pencil/ paintbrush

19.) Learn and master all the desserts ever existed and perhaps open my own cafe along the way

20.) Learn and master singing and perhaps be able to sing publicly and not feel overwhelmed

21.) Have my own living space which is furnished Bali style

22.) Have my own pet dog.

23.) Create and design my own oracle card deck.

24.) Learn yoga and love it.

25.) Be financially abundant and support a charity drive on a consistent basis.

Wow. I didn't know I've all these baby dreams waiting to be birth in my belly. It's nice to daydream at times and remember who I am and what I desire and what matters to me most. I've been so busy I just feel like I'm drifting aimlessly in the passage of time. What I need now it not so much in "doing" anything but more of accessing my brave heart and watch for the next sign of magic. And see what happens next.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Because Magic Happens. =)

Have you ever experienced the state of fullness where you feel so filled up that you've nothing to say? That's me right now.

The month of May and June are a whirlwind and tornado of events. Dreams coming true. I must apologize to my readers if you've been visiting and wondering why the silence. I've just been so occupied with work that I neglected this sacred space which I regret. So now I'm back, promising myself to be a little more consistent in blogging. And I will visit your blog soonest and be inspired by your life!

I wrote in my diary many years ago that I'll have my 1st art exhibition in 2012. At that time it was still a blurry image of an idea. More wishful thinking than anything else. Yet so many things happen along the way to made the impossible possible. And the gift of dreams achieved was given to me a year earlier. I'll be lying if I tell you that there's no struggles on the way because there are. So many. Blocks mostly self-created. And I'm full of gratitude to being given assistance every time to unblock all these resistance to come back to painting. And proud that I've been so brave, so persistent, and just plain strong headed.

(Me at the art opening of Love's Pilgrimage on 20th May this year. In front of the beautiful crowd which are mostly friends of family, still very shy and raw and a little unsure about talking about the meaning of these very personal artworks for the exhibition.)

(Precious friends from university. Very supportive people who turned up to encourage me and which I appreciate so much)

(Alison and I, both of us joining hands together to make this event a successful one. I learnt so much from her. I don't remember what made us cackle so hard during the speech)

(More lovely people who grace the event with their presence)

My virginal art exhibition, which I jokingly called ended with much success and it's splendid to see friends interacting with one another and enjoying themselves. I learnt about overcoming my shyness of presenting my artworks in front of a crowd. I learnt about the procedure of working with an art gallery, which is managed by a very quirky curator call Vinh and owned by the gorgeous husband and wife team Aiie and Lara. Most of all, I learnt about my own capabilities for creation.

I also told the Universe this year that I'm going to teach art therapy despite being unsure, scared, fearful of making mistakes and being imperfect. I gave up the security of teaching English classes conventionally in centres and pursue this path.

Of creativity. Of pioneering. Of teaching people their highest potential and the path to awakening.

And I'd my 1st art therapy student this year. I've always believe in the healing prowess of art and how it can transform our lives if applied consciously. And even though I was the teacher I end up learning from my student and being inspired to continue this work. Because it is so intensely fulfilling. I truly believe in asking for something which serves both you and the world and the request will be fulfilled.

Magic happens when you come from a place of inner knowing. When you know this is your highest purpose. And you heed the calling. Despite the voice in your mind warning you about the consequences of failure.

And Anais Nin couldn't say it better when she says

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Love's Pilgrimage-An Artful Dream Come True!

I am still feeling like this is really JUST a dream state- this wonderful dream come true of my first art exhibition with Alison is nothing but real! But I pinch my skin and it hurts, so it's indeed happening, and it's happening THIS coming Friday!

I have been so immersed in painting for the past 2 months preparing for this coming event that sometimes I forgot to be amazed by the fact that this is NO small thing for me! I have Jin designed the invitation card for me (above) and it turns out oozing with love vibes, as Alison claims it to be, and it does. THANK Q JIN!

I have to hold the cards with my bare hands and be striked by how real and amazing ALL these is! I have to sit back and breath and remind myself, "Eva, you're having your 1st art exhibition, this is BIG, this is after so many struggles and hardwork and prayers and hope!" And I'm truly proud of myself!And grateful. So so so deeply grateful.

Even at this moment of saying this my heart is overwhelmed with the strong waves of thankfulness that I am on the verge of tearing. I thought back at the journey that lead me to this point of life, I looked back and saw so vividly how each person, each opportunity, have pushed me to come to this stage. I believed in miracles, I do, I deeply believed that if you feel passionate about something and you work all the way towards achieving that, people and events run to serve you so you can have your dreams!

My parents who have been so cute as they become my most personal and trusted art critics, telling me if they think a piece feels undone or just beaming with pride and showering me with compliments whenever an artwork is done. My parents who have the patience with an artist-daughter who mess up the house with paint and who takes forever to clean up. My parents who have to put up with their child who quit the security of being a teacher and who instead chose the path less taken. I love you so deeply for being so supportive.

My precious friends in real life, kindred spirits of blogland who are always there to drop me a kind word about pursuing my passion and being on this journey!And for believing that I'm cut out to paint when I doubt myself! I'm forever and truly grateful.

And then there's the Universe who I know have been keeping an eye on me, guiding me through paths and leading me to walk through doors of opportunities, who sometimes really push all my buttons so I may be braver, surer, shinier and more powerful! It has not been easy but I am so grateful too, and greatly humbled on the way here!

Everything feels so right now. My artworks are ready for display. Alison is ready too. I have been hearing a voice telling me to invite her to join me for a joint exhibition and I'm so glad when she says YES to the invitation. It's such a blessing to find a kindred spirit who believe in similar things, and who paints too. Because both of us are at this phase in our lives where we are remembering to come back to LOVE everytime, we lovingly titled this maiden art launch of ours "Love's Pilgrimage". I paint of women, lovers, nature and animals alot this time to show we are ALL Interconnected. By Love. And almost all of my artworks have the moon in it, perhaps to signify a return to the feminine, the intuitive, the soft and vulnerable. And it is such a beautiful coincidence that the gallery is aptly named "Small Talk with the Moon".

Images of the gallery below. Such a quirky yet cozy little place.

I just feel like I'm embroiled in magic. Every loving thought is manifested into reality. I feel like a sorceress cloaked in modern clothes, and my paintbrush is my magic wand! I'm keeping the joy and feeling greatly enveloped in this love because I know it will bring me to even better places and even greater blessings.

And here's wishing that your dreams come true too, because you truly deserve anything your heart desires!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Souls Intertwined

I've been contemplating on love, how it is the only purpose of our lives at the end of the day. Each moment of living is the exchange of love, receiving and giving of love.

I read Georgianna Das's "The Goddess Within" and in one of her chapters on intimate relationships, she says

"We are surrounded by soul mates if we allow ourselves to connect to each person with innocence, truth, love and openness...

When we love it may not returned, but I believe, it comes back, with a higher force, from someone else, another lover or sometimes in the form of a blessing or even a miracle. And, you wondered sometimes, when good things happen in your life, what did you do to deserve it.

It was ALL because of the brave love you so freely gave, when you could have chosen not to. Because love is love, it never waits for love in return, it is devoid of all expectations."

If you're like me and everyone else, because we're essentially composed and strewn with the same divine stitch that is pure love, and you're not afraid to love and be loved, then you know love tears us apart, so that darkness and our shadows is revealed and if we dare, we will forever change and be transformed by light. Then you know that love wounds, hurts, make us longed for it yet make us also fearful, because in the face of love we have no choice but to be humbled by it, be vulnerable because it is a far greater force which is incomprehensible in the level of the ego-mind, to be completely engulfed by it yet remaining open. Because to be close off to love is lonely, alienates us from a beautiful experience. Love keeps us on our toes, makes the ground under us shake so we don't take things for granted, force us into awareness, to be aware of every moment of the shapes that love takes is to become that form, is to become love.

I used to think love is limited to the all-consuming affairs of the heart with a special someone. Of course that too is very important. The soulful connection of two person coming home to embrace one another's beauty, grace and greatness. To be in the presence of your soul mate is a terrifying yet fulfilling experience, it is beyond words. It is like being in the presence of an embodiment of divinity, of seeing glimpses of god in another person. To be able to see another soul in that perspective is to acknowledge that the same divinity and pieces of heaven dwells within us and to live from that space of wonder and appreciation and love for oneself and that special someone.

Love is a moment by moment awareness,

I see it in the joy of the jogger running along in the park with his dog, I see the loving gesture of the father who attempts to get the balloon by trying to jump high for his son, I see it in the gesture of my mom who tirelessly prepare delicious dinner even after a long day at work, I see it in the appreciation of friendships between women who trust one another because they care, I see it in the smile bestowed by a stranger, I see it in the gift of nature, given unconditionally in the form of the warm sun dancing on skin, in the miracle of baby birds born and learning to fly, rain fall to cleanse us off our worries and overthinking, in the magnitude of silence when night falls and the world goes to sleep.

Have you celebrate love today?

I wish you deep, deep love.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Art Journaling/Playing

So in Natasha "the Mad Cartwheeler" Reilly's workshop, she got us to write an old-fashioned self-introduction, so below this is what I've written. (But this is not the most exciting part yet) You can read about her here where she blogs.

My name's Eva and I'm from a faraway place in Southeast Asia call Malaysia where it's summer all year long. (I can almost hear wows from all of you hehe) I'm a self-taught artist who has been on this artful journey for 3 years nw. B4 I had the courage to pursue full-time painting, I worked as an English/creative writing/drama teacher and tutor in gender studies, and also a filmmaker in a women's organization. I'm also a certified art therapist and is working towards facilitating workshops soon. But right now working on my artpieces is most important to me as I'm holding my 1st art exhibition in this coming May! Yay! I'm also pursuing my masters in english literature in a local university, am working hard to complete it so I can focus entirely on art.I'm 27 years old and am single, my true love is painting at this moment and I'm devoting much time and effort to make my dreams come true! I've never been to USA but sure hope I save enough to fly there someday and attend workshops and meet inspiring artists-teachers-kindred spirits!

It's like a sort of compressed summary of labels about what I do previously. Very factual information. And then Natasha got us to rip those papers of and rewrite "Who I am" without the labels of our religion, work, nationality, sex, married status, definitions that put us into boxes rather than allow us the freedom to "be".

So below is what I rewrote what "I am" made of, and I had so much fun I almost manage a cartwheel.

I'm the gaze exchanged between two lovers,

where no conversation is needed, and silence says everything.

I'm the smile of a new-born baby,

full of innocence and ageless knowing,

I'm the wisdom of the owl's gaze,

I hold all the mysteries and wonders since the most ancient of times,

I'm the full moon on a cloudless night,

guiding lost souls home,

so they may rest their fatigued bodies, mind and spirit.

I'm the rich sweetness of a cup of hot chocolate,

filling the belly with a glorious lust for life.

I'm the strength of my mother's hand,

toiling hard so her children may be fed.

I'm the sunlight dancing on my father's torso,

when he washes his car, gently humming to himself,

lost in the dance of his own private moment.

I'm the warmth in the palms where my grandmother

held my hands to walk across the busy street

I'm the memory of my grandfather's pampering love

the way he carries me on his lap,

where I relish being his favourite grandchild,

I'm the songs that sings of the ocean's secret inside a seashell

that has travel across the sea

and come home to its mother's shore,

I'm all the intricate designs of fallen snowflakes

melted away on a palm of a stranger

who has glimpsed and appreciated my beauty

I'm the rhythmic beating of all hearts,

I'm the air, the invisible force connecting everyone's inhale and exhale,

I'm the breeze that misbehaves,

waving my unseen fingers to make tree leaves sway

I'm water to quench a traveler's thirst

I'm so much,

and I'm just beginning to understand.

I'm so vast,

and I've just starting to comprehend.

The writing has got me an "AHA" moment. I suspected that besides having superpowers in painting, I might have a buried and sleeping superpower that awaits to be awakened and the superpower is writing! tada~ especially poetry!

She got us to randomly picked out from amongst prompts and I chose "sensational" and "give". So in my art journal page I coloured my hands pink which meant I give love unconditionally and freely and I give gold which means invaluable goodness, whether through my intention to help, or to paint and touch hearts in sharing my art, whether it's to pick people up when they're down, or hugging/ gently soothing them.

And my journal page look like this. Quite "Zen" like. The papers of labels we made out of ourselves we ripped it and I sticked onto the page outside the palms and coloured over it with purple and turquoise to indicate I'll let the wind of the Universe blow away my false identity so I can be renewed and free!Even though I was working on these home alone, but I had so much fun and felt absolutely like I was back to my childhood, licking an ice-cream while I played with my colours. Just being fully immersed in the creative process and enjoying the moment of experiencing creating is so healing and make me feel so alive! I can't wait to start another's teacher workshop and sharing my progress with you all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beauty is soul-deep

I am so excited to be "playing" starting on April fool's day in the 21 Secrets-an art journal playground e-course where 21 superbly creative women will be sharing mixed media techniques, including my most favourited artists momma of all time- Tamora Lapote who blogs here. She is soulful, artistic, authentic, and just plain beautiful, in heart, mind and spirit. This is my second e-course to date since Kelly Rae's Taking Flight e-course and I'm so looking forward to it I wish I could fast forward time. If only I have superpowers...

Above are Tam's artwork and I love how she advocates the notion and importance of using art for healing ourselves. I myself believe so much in the inherent power for self-expression and self-discovery in art and I am deeply attracted to her art. I love her because not only does she advocate art for healing heart, her Willowing art network provides a space for creative souls like myself to showcase my works, connect with other women and getting in touch with them.

If you're an artist and you are interested do check out Willowing's art network at the top right corner of my sidebar.

I was contemplating about the intrinsic definition and value of beauty and what beauty means to me since eons ago. How women like myself is forever struggling to achieve some very elusive ideals standard of beauty to fit in, or to gain approval from this society. How I need to lose 10 more pounds, dye my hair this colour, wear dress with cuts that flatter my curves. It's great to accentuate your assets, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful because it's a very natural impulse of being human. Yet when physical beauty becomes the only obsession is when things get boring.

There are those pretty women who people steal looks when she enters into the walkway, of a restaurant, a pub, a party. But when she starts a conversation all she talks is about herself, and in being so Big she becomes small in her self-absorption. And her beauty is just skin deep, or actually, skin shallow.

And then there are women who are beautiful, women who love the way they look and make sure they give positive impression, women who are in touch with themselves and who takes care of themselves. Women who are pretty yet humble about it, who are not particularly self-conscious, who doesn't fret about looks so much, who doesn't think about themselves all the time, but who cares about people, who reaches out to touch hearts, and who serves. Instead of wanting and needing to be served or worshipped because they're born beautiful. They extend their hands out to connect authentically.

Their beauty has nothing much to do about having a to-die-for gorgeous face and figure, their beauty has everything to do with grace, and the capacity of love they are able to receive and return. I am lucky to know some beautiful women who are this genuine in heart and soul, some of them friends, some of them mentors, many of them just plain inspiration.

I will be lying to you if you think I am not trying hard to lose my excess weight in order to look good. I am always on some kind of diet. I am still not very happy about my body. I love being feminine and girly, I love trying out new shades of make up that flatters my skin and makes my eyes look larger. I want to be beautiful and feel beautiful. Yet I want to define beauty on my own terms. Beauty that is rooted in compassion, kindness, wisdom, humility, love.

I know some very beautiful women in real life. But in blogland and within the women artists' circle online, I see profound beauty in so many because you share your wisdom, your stories, your doubts and vulnerabilities. And I have so much gratitude for all of you because not only do you share your art, you also share your heart and you reach out to comfort and encourage kindred spirit like myself!So this is a real and heartfelt Thank You to all you beautiful souls out there!