If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silence. ~ Vincent van Gogh
intuitive painter. creative catalyst. permission giver. sacred space holder. compassionate guide. renegade artist.
Welcome. I would like to invite you to re/connect with the wholeness of your being through a powerful painting process I discovered in Austin, TX in 2008. It's called Intuitive Painting.
'For me the expressive arts embody the union of dichotomous yet complementary forces. A conscious balance of grounding and transcending, structure and flow, expansion and contraction, masculine and feminine, guiding and supporting those who are called to creative freedom and living from the wholeness of their heart.'
From a very young age, my Mother told me that as long as I had a sketchpad and some drawing materials, I would be happy. In the seventh grade, when asked what I wanted to do when I left school, I knew it in my bones, “I want to go to art school”. After four years studying at Sydney College of the Arts in Australia, majoring in painting, I felt I had lost my creative innocence - that intrinsic connection we all have to creative life force. I shut down, overwhelmed with the critic, and didn’t fully commit to painting again for eight years (I know! Tragic right? Apparently this is not unusual…) until I discovered intuitive painting through Fire Tree Studios in Austin, Texas.
In those eight years I repressed my own personal creative journey, searching for that part of myself everywhere but within, knowing in my core that something fundamental to my being was missing. I channelled all of my energy into gaining a degree in art education and teaching children through to adults in various educational, healing, community and cultural development environments including special needs, disadvantaged, at-risk, multicultural and English as a second language. In my spare time, I practiced authentic movement, meditation and yoga. Through these diverse experiences, I have become progressively aware of the immense capacity that the creative process combined with somatic awareness has on personal, emotional and spiritual healing and well-being.
After a year of travelling with our first child, we landed in Austin, Texas where my husband and I were privileged to immerse ourselves in the stuff that lights us both up; me – expressive arts, movement and yoga, him – guitar making and live music. Soon after arriving, I serendipitously walked into Fire Tree Studios for an intuitive painting class and felt a familiar sense of something I had forgotten within myself. It was akin to wrapping myself in a well worn and loved childhood blanket. At once, recognising a deep calling within, I invited Melissa D’Antoni (www.firetreestudios.com) to train me in this powerful creative process and embarked upon a three and a half year training and immersive apprenticeship in the expressive arts, intuitive painting and coaching in the Fire Tree Method.
In the safe space of Fire Tree Studios and under Melissa's gentle and incisive guidance, I painted like I have never painted before. Showing up week after week, I battled it out with my art school trained, well honed inner critic who defiantly held on to her preconceived notions of what painting is and where it stands in the canon of art.
I showed up committed for four years. I gained insight into the mind's capacity for self-sabotage and the wily ways in which the ego grasps vehemently for the helm, distracting me from truly listening to the language of my heart.
I fell to my knees as I witnessed my shit all up in my face. Right in front of me. You can't hide from a painting when it's mirroring your vulnerabilities, the culprit paintbrush in your own hand.
I allowed emotion to move through me as I painted what was true for me in each moment and I witnessed in awe as it shifted every time. Reconnection. Expansion. Flow.
Slowly but surely, I noticed the desire to grasp onto less than serving beliefs and allowed them to dissolve as a gentle yet fierce inner voice found her way into my consciousness.
She's always been there. I know that. Yet somewhere along the line I'd turned down the volume on her wisdom. I believe we learn this, often to our detriment, and now more than ever we need to reclaim this part of ourselves. Our INTUITION.
We are all inherently creative. Children don't doubt whether they are creative, they seem to know inherently that it is their birth right to imagine wildly, to fully express themselves and yes, create with abandon. I am committed to supporting and guiding those called to re/discover their wholeness through wholehearted creative permission.