My new series of paintings is about powerful women with a story, a history and a journey and three bright red warrior marks, evidence of their battle scars.
‘I AM – Two of the most powerful words because what you put after them shapes your reality.’ Quote by Bevan Lee.
These two very small, powerful words resonated with me. Usually the negative brain kicks in and words like ‘not enough’ or ‘unloved’ steal the limelight.
But what if I filled that little gap with words like ‘beautiful’ or ‘complete’ or even ‘goddess’?
Step aside negative mind and let the positive mind through.
It was in that moment this series of powerful women started to pour through me as if I was downloading data through my paintings.
Every girl in this series has their own story, their own challenge, their own warrior marks to emphasise the battle scars life has thrown at them. As you look into their eyes you may find a shared experience, may feel their emotion, their loss, their sorrow. I cried real tears as these girls poured out of me, all of them me in some way. I felt their war against themselves and heard their stories.
They are now available as a limited edition print or hand embellished printed canvas. 22 are also featured in my newly published ‘I AM …’ book which is also for sale via my Etsy shop or my website
Encaustic Art is a fascinating art medium using hot wax. The effects and textures created are random and beautiful in equal measure. Encaustic wax is so versatile one needs no actual art training to use it, just a brave and eexperimental attitude. Which leads me into a new art retreat I shall be including on my programme this year at Cortijo Las Salinas. Douglas Mehrens from Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA is an Encaustic Artist and will be here from 24-29 October introducing us to this very ancient technique which is becoming the fastest growing medium used by artists right now. We will be exploring this wonderful and unpredictable medium on board, canvas, paper and include charcoal, acrylic paint, inks, Crayola crayons mixed with beeswax, imagery and mixed media to produce some beautiful paintings which you will take away with you. Here are some examples which I saw at his museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico last year.
Encaustic is a Greek word meaning to “burn in”. Heat is used to adhere it to a substrate, so that each layer of colour is fused. It might sound difficult or complicated, but the ease and flow of learning this process is perfect for beginners with no experience in art and Douglas will be here to help us all the way. As the colours blend through dripping and splashing and worked with any and every tool, you can watch the magic happen. It’s basically just a fun medium which can take you anywhere.
On this art retreat you will enjoy 4 days working with Douglas and during the week Adrienne, Douglas’s wife, will be sharing a day of mask making with us – taken from her experience with the Native America Cherokee tribe. Each day will begin with either a yoga session, or a morning walk to the river or up to the top of Dos Hermanas Hills. All materials, food, accommodation, yoga and gong sessions are included and the cost for all this is 950 Euros. This does not include your flights, transfer or travel insurance. The spaces are limited so if you want to reserve yourself a spot please email me and I will make sure this happens. If you make your reservation deposit of 150 Euros before the end of February you will take advantage of the 50 Euros early bird discount.
So if you have always wondered about this interesting medium or want to explore and expand your existing knowledge, or if you just want to try something a little different, then this could be the retreat for you this year. More information about Douglas and the Encaustic Art Museum he runs in Santa Fe, New Mexico go to https://www.eainm.com
I was so privileged recently to be able to spend a few days with an amazing group who wanted to embrace their creative side, find their inner child and be free ! Ranging from 19 years old to 73 years old, with a few first time painters joining a few who had painted before, we unleashed our inner artist and immersed ourselves in to 5 days of all things creative.
We painted together, we danced together, we sang together and even cried together as the creative process began to nourish us. We wrote poetry and Haikus whilst listening to the lovely sound of the gong, we practiced daily yoga and Kundalini yoga, we meditated down by the river, we ate amazing vegetarian food and shared stories by the fire in the evening.
We really did let the creative process nourish our soul.
Here are some photos from the studio and our sketchbook work to get us started
As the process unfolded we learnt to ‘Stay loose’, ‘Watch snails’, ‘Hug Trees’, ‘Make friends with Freedom’, ‘Believe in Magic’ and ‘TO BE FREE !’
We finished the week with an exhibition of our work
Art is a therapy in itself and the creative process is crucial to our holistic well-being, so my next Art Retreat is going to be held on 12-17 April 2018 in the Art Studio of Cortijo Las Salinas, Andalucia where we will find a variety of wonderful ways to unlock our creativity held within and become immersed and inspired as we take an art journey together like no other.
Creativity nourishes the soul, so what better way to discover a personal transformation than through the process of expressive, intuitive painting. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist I will help you to develop confidence and a personal direction in your artwork as you paint in the warm sunshine surrounded by spectacular scenery, landscapes and sunsets.
On retreat for 5 days, together we will start the day with some yoga with Chloe of My Happy Body before breakfast to get the body moving and the creative energies flowing, then we shall begin the workshop in the Art Studio with creative exercises to build confidence, particularly if you have not painted before.
After lunch there is time to siesta before meeting again for some more creative immersion, which will include some creative writing and we will begin a canvas which will develop as your story unfolds over the next few days.
Also included will be gong bath meditations, moon light chanting and fire pit gatherings, amazing and delicious vegetarian meals, a warm twilight jacuzzi, a walk to the river and a trip out to discover the local wild orchids that are in flower at this time of year with many other surprises along the way.
My painting holidays are designed for everyone and non painting partners are also welcome where they can sit by the pool or go for a swim, take a walk or just relax with a book.
You will be amazed to see what you can paint and how you heal when you drop expectations and allow the creative process to unfold. Deep down we are all artists who have whatever it takes to express our inner world through art, the only thing holding us back is the limitations we place upon ourselves.
Places are limited so book today, your investment is £695 per person for shared accommodation or £750 for your own private suite which includes all materials, 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day, complementary teas and coffee, yoga and art tuition.
email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.steffisartwork.com
I am so proud to have the above painting used for the design on a yoga and fitness clothing range. The painting was from an abstract collection of work called ‘Spiritual Exploration’ and was originally painted in watercolour on paper. I had no idea how this would work on a clothing range, but now the range is complete and I am thrilled with the way it looks on this collection.
The collaboration between myself and ILU Fitwear has been an exciting journey to see how artwork can be used in this way and because of the nature of the printing process, each item is different and unique. It’s like wearing an original piece of art as no two pieces are the same.
I love to paint the land and the sea, especially if I can be outside in the elements and with nature. However there is another side to my creative work which gives me freedom to just apply paint, texture and colour without any thought for the outcome or with any ego attached to the potential saleability of my work. This 5 minute film shows the development of a large piece created over 5 days. It took many changes along the way and the finished piece hangs in the yoga shala at Cortijo Las Salinas. Hope you enjoy the film and, as always, love to hear your feedback.
I have just recently said ‘adios’ to my two very special friends who spent a week with me at Cortijo Las Salinas painting goddesses. It was such an amazing week as we meditated, danced the Five Rhythms, laughed, created body maps and cried, did some creative writing, Haiku, told stories and painted life sized goddesses. As our stories developed so did our imaginations and we began what became a 5 day ‘lock-in’ to my studio as we began the painting process and our goddesses emerged.
After our meditation and story telling session, we began by drawing around each to get our own life sized body shapes, then the paint went onto the canvas and the goddess journey began.
First layers are always interesting and its important to clear as much of the blank canvas as possible. Using the intuitive process painting technique, we allowed our intuition to guide us, along with our meditations and story writing.
The paintings developed and flourished as our goddess painting became a part of our personality. My goddess was Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, beauty and eternal youth.
We even used ourselves as the paintbrush !!
Details of the finished Goddess Aphrodite.
It was so sad to finish our paintings as the whole experience was so intense and emotional for us all. However the next goddess ‘paint-in’ is in the planning already !