Winter 2013

Hello lovelies,

I am back from my little Winter break and am feeling a little more refreshed after my recent run in with adrenal fatigue.  Apart from that this years Winter has been great!  It hasn’t really felt like Winter at all, well not the dreary damp rainy grey one we usually get.  We were lucky enough to spend a week down on Michael’s family’s farm just out of Hobart, in Cambridge at the end of July, for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Quality family time with both Michael’s folks and our lil boys Tully & Flynn was another priority.  We took no laptops or Ipads & switched off our mobile phones, … bliss!IMG_1764IMG_1781IMG_1771

It was wonderful enjoying the beautiful crisp Winter’s mornings that we were blessed enough to enjoy bathed in beautiful sunlight.  We enjoyed lots of walks out in the fresh air around the farm connecting with nature and detoxifying from the constant to do’s and busyness of home life.  It seemed more like Spring than Winter during our stay. So lucky and very grateful.IMG_1759IMG_1779IMG_1794

Both Michael and I were in need of some time out to just breathe and be again.  I think the stress of the past two years and the constant late nights I spent up working last year til 12 and 1am have been the cause of my adrenal fatigue.  So Tassie was perfect timing to really implement a more slower, more balanced way of life again, and rest. IMG_1829IMG_1785IMG_1815

My diet is pretty darn good so I knew it wasn’t necessarily that being the cause, and I enjoy regular multiple yoga classes each week as well as some home practice also.  So the new things I’ve implemented are making sure I’m in bed by 10:30pm every week night and sometimes 11pm on the weekends.  I sleep in whenever I can, yes that’s right!  Michael has been wonderful in letting me lie in a bit (usually til around 8 or 9am so not too extravagant) on the weekends while he enjoys some one on one time with the boys first thing in the morning.IMG_30791149070_3355565545356_596167317_n1170819_3349253907569_449044126_n

I start my day with a mug of warm water with 1 tsp of organic apple cider vinegar and the juice of half an organic lemon. I’ve also been making sure I eat my breakfast within one hour of waking and ensuring it’s a good solid breakfast with protein, fats and carbohydrates, all the good ones of course.  Things I’ve been enjoying for breaky are my organic porridge with oats, almonds, coconut, chia and almond milk topped with a dollop of natural sheeps yoghurt, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and some berries or cherries, or a poached egg on B.U. Organics sprouted turmeric and millet bread, sheeps milk yoghurt with Loving Earths buckininis, activated walnuts, almonds and peacans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, goji berries, dried blueberries and mulberries, and seasonal poached fruit on top, or on the weekends anything with eggs in it such as an awesome omelette or scrambled eggs with fresh garden herbs, or as a treat with the kids my fabulous gluten free sugar free ricotta hotcakes with berries and sheeps milk yoghurt.  YUM!  Yes breaky is a wonderful start to my day, and I’m especially grateful for this gorgeous morning Winter sunshine we’ve been enjoying, wow, so lucky!  Ok, now back to the Tassie trip…it was somebody’s 5th Birthday…IMG_3038IMG_3041IMG_3043

We celebrated Tully’s 5th Birthday.  Yes, my lil boy is growing up fast now, he starts school next year!  He was pretty excited to be going on a plane down to Tassie to see his Nan and Poppy for his birthday.  He did still put in a request for a special and decorated birthday cake though, so Mummy made him a pirate ship, just a little one seeing it was just the 6 of us.  We made a trip to Hobart’s fantastic health food shop, City Organics too to get yummy natural ingredients such wholegrain spelt flour, raw cacao, Loving Earth coconut butter, organic carrots, activated walnuts, coconut sugar, and preservative free and colour free lollies for decorating with.  So we had a chocolate carrot walnut cake that I turned into a little pirate ship which the boys just loved (o:IMG_3054IMG_1877IMG_1962

We didn’t get up to too much whilst away, the trip was more about down time and relaxing.  We enjoyed a beautiful wander around Salamanca market, a delicious breaky and catch up at Smolt with Richard of Villino Espresso and his gorgeous family, wandered around the docks where the boys enjoyed seeing the old and new sailing ships, a beautiful lunch out with just Michael at Brown Ginger ohhh so good, plenty of playtime in the fantastic Hobart parks. IMG_1864IMG_1865IMG_1822

We enjoyed much grounding time on the farm feeding and talking to the chooks, going exploring and looking for wild native hen eggs around the farm, riding Poppy’s tractors and trucks, and just enjoying some peace and quiet, well as much of that as you can with a 3 & just 5-year-old in tow.IMG_1763IMG_1920IMG_1915

I am so grateful for the time we enjoyed away together, even if it was just a week, it was special.  I love Tassie very much and am so grateful to be able to go and visit and enjoy it pretty much any time we want to.  We just need to make more time for it now!IMG_1858IMG_1772IMG_1776

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little recap and update of my last month or so.  It’s taken me a couple of weeks to find my rhythm again, but I’m now back into new commissions, taking some private art classes and group classes (email me if you’re interested), preparations for my upcoming Nature Nurture workshop, that’s right, October 19 & 20th if you haven’t already booked don’t miss out, and painting up a storm as I’ve been accepted to exhibit at the upcoming Mount Eliza Art Exhibition, yay! I’ll have more art work to share with you next post.  In the mean time pop over to my Facebook page for some daily inspiration or my Pinterest page too my ignite some creativity for you (o: A5 Nature Nurture Workshop Flyer Oct 2013IMG_0818IMG_1786

Wishing you all a beautiful end of August and a happy welcoming time into new seasons, Spring for us, in September, enjoy!

Liza xxx

June disappeared and July is almost over…

Hello lovelies, IMG_1566

Ohhh my it has been a while since I posted in here hasn’t it?!  My sincere apologies.  I promise to post at least once a month from now on, no matter how busy or tired I get.  I’ve actually been suffering from a bit of adrenal fatigue.  I’ve been feeling the effects of this on and off since late last year.  Although, at the beginning of this year when I knew I had to pull back from late nights up working and take a little more time to nurture me, I thought I was just a bit worn out.  I crashed again a couple of weeks ago though, out of the blue, no energy or motivation, extreme tiredness, and no amount of sleep seemed to make me feel refreshed and alive again.  So off to my Chinese Doctor Kate I went.  I was due to go back and see her in a month, but it had drawn out to 6 weeks, so maybe that was also why I couldn’t maintain my stamina.  She was wonderful, giving me a beautiful acupuncture treatment and talking through my symptoms and the response she was getting from my pulse.  She said yes you are displaying classic adrenal fatigue signs and symptoms, time to slow it down a bit, even more so.  I came away still tired but I must say by today I am feeling a lot better than I was. No more running for me, just gentle walks and soothing yoga which I enjoyed yesterday followed by a very healing massage.  Taking the care in getting myself to bed early, aiming for 10/10:30pm, eating a good protein filled breaky within one hour of waking, followed by regular meals and snacks so I don’t bottom out, no caffeine, sugar, regular meditation, laughing and relaxing, no taking on more than I can deal with comfortably.  So that may help to explain my lack of blogging recently.  We are heading off to Tassie for a week of catching up with our family there so that is excellent timing!IMG_2691

It’s been so chilly here over Winter, but amazingly we enjoyed a day of 21 degrees yesterday.  Autumn is well behind us now, but Spring is just around the corner.  I’ve already seen blossom on some cherry trees and most of the local wattle is out in full bloom!  IMG_2797

For those of you who want more inspiration and updates more often than just once a month over here, the good news is I do post more regularly (because it’s so much simpler and quicker for me) over on my Liza Zeni Artist / Illustrator Facebook page.  So just click over here if you’d like to see more from me more often (o:11346_405742539520261_1629711710_n

Well, I really thought Winter was going to be a great time to sit back, relax, enjoy some well deserved quiet, nurturing time out from it all.  Hmmm, that may need to still happen even though Winter is nearly over!  There’s been so much to do and so much happening for me. I recently sold this beautiful heart piece of mine pictured above.  I just love doing these and there are more in the making.  My wall looks a bit bare without this little treasure hanging on it.IMG_2870

I have been quite a busy bee with my inky illustrations.  New pieces and a few more commissions have been really enjoyable projects for me and keeping me occupied any spare minute I get.  This piece below, I have entered into the Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition (D.A.C.E) which is taking place this weekend.1044940_472730922821422_1440244049_nI’ve also taken some originals inky illustrations off to my local printer to be scanned last week.  These will be ready to produce and sell as prints next month which is super exciting.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a range of prints for sale.  These will make great affordable gifts for friends and loved ones and also for Christmas!  IMG_1656

I often find during these inking and drawing sessions that lots of new ideas pop into my mind for new pieces and so my sketchbook is always out handy to sketch down some thoughts or draw up some new ideas to remember for later.IMG_2767I finished off this piece for my very dear friends little boys 1st Birthday.  I’m so happy with it, she is going to love it!IMG_1375

I hosted the lovely Tracy Verdugo for her Melbourne Paint Mojo workshops this year earlier in June.  Wow, was it really that long ago, it feels like last week to me!  Tracy stayed with us for the duration of her Melbourne trip this year and it was fabulous to get to know her this time and spend the beautiful time we did together, chatting, laughing, pondering, dreaming, cooking, creating and just enjoying one another’s company.  Below is a photo of the two of us at the Archibald Exhibition which was fabulous.1001771_10201065715187192_225619987_nWe enjoyed some beautiful time out together this year spending time walking on the beach with the boys, cooking and laughing of an evening, and even a bit of spontaneous collaborative painting which was a first for us both.969073_10201050465165951_438916955_nIMG_1200IMG_1205IMG_1541

Her two Paint Mojo workshops this year were fabulous.  There were permanent smiles on everyone’s faces.  Both groups, yes we had two workshops, and they were big groups, were filled with so many lovely souls.  IMG_1158

Everyone was really warm and friendly and open to sharing their hearts.  It was amazing the gorgeous energy from such large groups, very special.IMG_1259We all enjoyed plenty of creative freedom and finding our creative ways without worry, fear or judgement.  Just plenty of laughter and fun.  Tracy is a very open creative, who loves sharing her stories, creative journey, and her style.  She is such a fun-loving soul.IMG_1304IMG_1337

It was also really special for me because I met a whole bunch of lovely local creative ladies from The Creative Space.  They have all been just so warm and welcoming.  It has been really lovely getting to know them and I look forward to some regular painting days with them next month.IMG_1225

I’m also excited too as one of them nominated me to enter some of my art into the local Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition.  The opening night is tonight, and the exhibition is open all weekend to the public.  I’m excited just to be going out for a social evening with my hubby, but it will be also great to catch up with these ladies again and also see all of the stunning local art hanging on display.  There are so many talented people down here on the Peninsula.  I am learning more and more each week what a special place it is that I live in.IMG_2773

Here are some photos of the pieces that I have entered.  This first one is a collaborative piece that I painted with Tracy Verdugo while she stayed with us.  It is called “In Friendship, there is Light”.IMG_2860

Below is one of my pieces called “Reminiscent” IMG_2904

This is another of my paintings called “Inner Joy”IMG_1648

And this is my final piece which is for the postcard exhibit, titled “Natural Abundance”IMG_1596

And here is a photo of me with them all (o:IMG_2950

So that’s an almighty blog post update isn’t it?!  Hope you’ve survived and at least enjoyed all the photos.  I’ll take some photos of the opening night of the exhibition tonight and post them on my Facebook page over the weekend. It’s going to be so nice to head out just Michael and I for a bit of socializing without the kids for a change (o:

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend, enjoy!

Liza xxx

Nature Nurture Workshop October 2013

Hello lovelies, IMG_1579

I know it’s been a while…yes I’ve been daydreaming for way too long haven’t I!  IMG_0818

Heeehe nooo not really, just a lot has been going on around here.  This is a short and sweet post but, I have another bigger post on what’s been keeping me from here lately currently in the making.  For now I just want to launch my October Nature Nurture workshop (o:A5 Nature Nurture Workshop Flyer Oct 2013

I just want to share with all of you lovely blog readers (remember more regular postings of my art and inspiration happens daily on my Liza Zeni Facebook page if you’re interested) that registration for my upcoming October Nature Nurture workshop is now OPEN.  Woohooo it’s going to be full of fun and I can’t wait!935641_435718313189350_1107747040_n

If you want to come there is a fabulous early bird special that is available right now until the 14th of August.  So get in early and this upcoming Nature Nurture 2 day workshop will be just $280.IMG_0713

After this date it will be offered at the full price of $300 and only available until spaces fill.  I prefer to keep my workshops small and intimate too, so spaces are limited.  I’ll be supplying a delicious and nutritious morning and afternoon tea on both days.  Our fabulous character filled venue is the Old Barn at the Briars in Mt Martha.  I’ll clear our space with beautiful oils and essences to open our hearts and allow our creative souls to explore freely.  There is lots of beautiful natural inspiration to take in and to guide you easily through the weekend I’ll be there with a big open heart and heaps of natural enthusiasm.  I’ll bring along extra supplies for those of you who don’t have the more expensive ones (Golden fluids) to try out too. The weekend is jam packed full of easy and fun expansive creative exercises and interesting pieces to create.  You’ll come away with many new art pieces to feel proud about and share with your loved ones and family or perhaps frame and hang on your wall at home.IMG_0791

To give you some more insight you can read all about my last Nature Nurture workshop here.  If you decide you would love to come along then please email me liza@lizazeni.com and I’ll send you the full information brochure.44789_435717933189388_718795212_n

The countdown is on, woohoo!  Don’t forget to email me liza@lizazeni.com if you want to join us for this nurturing creative weekend. I hope to see you there.

Liza xxx

shifting, changing, growing

I’ve had a very interesting week this week so I thought I’d share it with you all.  As you know I suffered from a migraine for the first time a week or two ago which was something new, not much fun, but left it at that and thought well it’ll most likely be a one-off.  However, into last weekend and the start of this week I was experiencing intense neck tension that was beginning to become quite debilitating as it was making me quite grumpy and also distracting me from my usual weekly routine and creativity.  The week did not start well at all.IMG_0881

On Wednesday I’d made plans to catch up with a lovely local lady whom I met at a Flora Bowley workshop a couple of years ago.  We enjoyed a really lovely chat and laugh over lunch and then she invited me to take part in an art therapy session which apart from Business coaching is a field she loves to work in.  She’d mentioned this to me a while ago and it immediately brought back memory’s of going off to a therapist of sorts around the age of 8 when my parents divorced.  Mum took me a long and all I remember is being asked to draw pictures and describe them.  For me at that age it felt terribly awkward, embarrassing, self-conscious and plain weird speaking to someone I’d never met before and being asked questions and being prompted to draw out my emotions as if I didn’t know what was going on.  Anyway not the best experience I’ve had.IMG_1096

This session however was completely different, more relaxing and less intrusive and embarrassing.  I knew it would be though and that’s why I felt totally trusting and went along.  The session started with a little meditation and relaxation exercise and then I was asked to select a couple of coloured pastels, one for each hand.  I was then to close my eyes, relax, switch off from everything and just allow my hands to do whatever they wanted to do on the large pieces of paper in front of me.  At first I thought, that’s not so hard, this will be fun.IMG_1097

However, this was harder than I thought!  I regularly meditate and find it quite easy to relax my body and hush my mind now, but to just zone out and allow my hands to do what they wanted, without my inner self telling them what to do or pushing them to do something else was really, really hard.  I at first was drawing what I was seeing, although that wasn’t right, so I really had to try with quite a lot of concentrating to just tune out from all and be guided by my hands.IMG_1098

Over time I did and felt my hands wandering the page in front of me.  I actually thought that I was about to go off the edge of the page, however when it was time to open my eyes and look and then select new pastels for the next piece, I’d notice that I was nowhere near the edges and that in fact I was tightly contained right in front of me.  Interesting.IMG_1099

My friend encouraged me in the next few to move my body with the movements of my hands.  Now I was beginning to feel a little self-conscious, but I tried to let go of this feeling and move my body.  Again, it felt as though I was stretching out far, but I’d open my eyes to see I’d only inched out a little and the patterning was quite similar.IMG_1100

Trying a few times more on new sheets of paper I slowly began to relax, switch off and be guided openly by my hands.  Big circles appeared and almost became figure 8s in the end piece.  It was such an interesting process and one that gave me great insight into myself and how I am.  I could see telling traits and also see the inner self that wants to go in her own direction.IMG_1101

I really enjoyed this art therapy session and would recommend it to any of you out there who is willing to have a go and find out what art therapy is about these days, not like the old days!!  If you live on the Mornington Peninsula and would like my contact then please feel free to email me and I’ll put you in contact with this fabulous woman.IMG_1047

The next day I felt I’d grown in my understanding of myself, again.  Always growing and learning and that’s what I love.  However, I was still suffering from the terrible tension in my neck so I rang my gorgeous Yoga teacher who is also a practicing massage and reflexology therapist to see if she could fit me in for a session.  It was meant to be, she’d had a cancellation that morning so off I went to see what would show up as causing my pain.IMG_1093

I had enjoyed reflexology sessions in the past, but hadn’t had one since I’d had my boys. Isn’t it ridiculous how we tend to let all of those little helpful wellbeing and health things go by the wayside when we have kids?!  I guess we just naturally put their needs and health before our own, but I’m beginning to realise that in fact I need to be number one in good health and wellbeing to in fact manage them and their health and wellbeing!IMG_1095

As soon as the session began I could instantly feel the beautiful healing energy and knew that I was in the right place and that this beautiful healer knew what she was doing.  The session felt endless, time stood still and I could feel her working on various parts of my body.  I fell into a deep meditative state and thoroughly enjoyed the peacefulness and gentle work.  This was such an insightful session for me.  I went in there thinking that my neck was actually out of alignment and perhaps I had tension I was carrying in my neck and shoulders.  However, it turned out that it was showing up as hormonal and even though it was a surprise, it actually made sense once we talked through it.  I’d been experiencing hormonal changes over the last 2 years and I guess this is just more change I’m experiencing.  My session also helped shift some other blockages though and this realization came from both this session and the art therapy session.IMG_1090

I’d been feeling quite frustrated, a bit put out, a bit down in the dumps and feeling useless the past couple of weeks.  It has been distracting and has dampened my mood that’s for sure.  I knew the cause of this, but hadn’t really worked out how to make a change to help me feel my normal happy-go-lucky motivated self.  Today though, about midday after running errands (which I really could have done tomorrow morning) and distracting myself with washing and cleaning (again I really could have done tomorrow on the weekend), I suddenly felt the urge to merge my two working spaces at home.  You see I’d been working on my illustration and computer stuff out in our lounge room on the big long desk, next to my husband who works as an Architect in our Architectural practice, from home.  My little studio space I’d kept just for painting.  I’ve not been spending enough time in the studio painting as much as I’d like to lately.  I thought that’s it, I’ve just got to move everything I need and work on into the one space.  I then won’t be bothered by my hubby whom I’ve felt a little bit overwhelmed by in many ways recently, and also I will have my own space which I can totally enjoy in my own way, and also hopefully get some more painting time in there too.IMG_1091

So it’s taken me all afternoon and some of this evening and there’s still some stuff to sort and throw out most likely, but I’m in here, feeling fab again and I’ve got my Liza smile back on which feels great.  Nothing like a big shift, a new space, and a fresh start to make one feel alive and invigorated.  I feel at home in this little space.  It’s still not quite right as it’s very small and I’ve just used what furniture I had at hand, including our camping trestle table (o:  The plan is though to build in my own desk along two walls, add some shelving and keep a wall free to paint against, and it will be just perfect.IMG_1088IMG_1087

We are also underway with another big change here at home, which I must say is going to change our lives.  For the better!  Michael and I have been discussing and measuring and drawing up plans for a new garage and studio space where our carport currently stands.  This is a huge deal!!  Michael as I’ve mentioned has been working full-time from our lounge room, which adjoins our living dining kitchen, with only a sliding door between him and me and our two boys.  Not ideal at all.  It’s been very difficult living like this, causes quite a lot of tension at times, and isn’t really fair on him, me or the kids.  So with a little help from family to get us started, we are going to spend the next little while building ourselves a lockable garage and a studio.  The other exciting part is that I will be able to move the trailer out and open up a section to use it as a workshop space.  Woohooo (o:  That means I’ll be able to run one day workshops from here, kids after school workshops from here, my own weekend Nature Nurture workshops from here and there will be no wasted time and energy and expense in hiring spaces once this is complete.  Yay, we are all very excited.  It’s not there yet, but our vision definitely is feeling more like a reality now.IMG_1094

Happy weekend to you and I hope you have a bit happy smile spread across your face all weekend like I will (o:

Liza xxx

Autumn; creative flow, inspiration and ease

I love Autumn!  It is my favourite time of the year.  It’s also the best time to enjoy the last of the warming, nurturing sunshine before Winter sets in and before my own hibernation of sorts settles in too. IMG_2646So, I have been making the most of it.  Our winters down here on the Mornington Peninsula can be quite damp, grey and very cold.  I’ve been enjoying the crisp, refreshing, sunny Autumn mornings and enjoying peaceful walks of solitude. Time to think and contemplate.  I’ve upped my weekly Iyenga yoga to twice a week, stretching, working on mind, body, spirit, and strengthening my lungs with beautiful vibrant breath to keep all the nasty Winter bugs away.  I’ve been enjoying precious catch ups with dear friends, family, snuggling new bubbas and enjoying some cherished girl time.  This time out with my special girls has been such a precious gift to me and I’ve always cherished my gorgeous girls.  They keep me sane, on track, motivated, inspired and filled with open love. They are true gifts in my life.  March 2012 095

The boys have been growing and expanding their gorgeous hearts.  They love afternoon run around with the soccer balls or rides on our bikes in the fading sun.  Tully has been to visit his new school for next year, and oh my is he one excited lil boy!  Flynn is learning to ride and sleeping in his bed all night more and more which is awesome!  So this is Autumn, time to nourish, enjoy and open our hearts.  Time to start to slow down and be.IMG_2629

Last week I was a busy bee with a burst of creativity coming through in my smaller paintings.  Remember it’s the smaller ones I usually struggle with. I find them too restricting, fiddly, limiting in their size, confining me in my expressive freedom that I so want to release. I just want to paint big! IMG_1022The process I’ve played with in these recent smaller paintings, is very much the same process that I have been working with for the past couple of years. The difference this time was that I took it further and trusted in it a lot more. I haven’t yet written a post about this but my word for 2013 is “courage”. 22-july-2011-003.jpg

I start with a wash of colour, simply allowing me to loosen up before the real fun begins.  I then play with the first layer of colour, usually selecting just a few similar hues and moving them over the canvas with my fingers.  I love to finger paint!IMG_0454

I then usually add some detail or texture or both, just again in acrylic medium bodied paint.  I might create this through pattern, or fine detail, or dots, making marks in the thicker sections of paint, whatever I feel like at the time just to create some variation and interest.img_2069Another layer is added, as indicated by the above photo, where I usually play with fluid translucent acrylic paint.  I either smear on a veil of translucent shiny colour over and area I want to see through later, or I’ll create a river of flowing colour and sit and allow it to dry.  Sometimes I’ll let it flow all over the canvas and other times I’ll just focus the fluids in one section and paint around and right up to it.  You’ll see in this painting below I’ve restricted the translucent colour to an area and then painted right up to and blended into it.Liza 001In this painting below the translucent paint formed a base layer to which I then added a layer of botanical illustration.  I then outlined an image and used the first few layers as a window of detail within the image.liza zeni art

May 2012 027I also use layers of translucent paint to create mystery and depth in a painting.  You can see this as an example in this piece below.  Whenever I use translucent paint though it’s always a bit of a brave process as I add water to it and it moves.  october 2011 0602012 Into the RainTranslucents are not stagnant like the heavy bodied acrylic paint that I also use.  It has its own flow and will glide across an uneven canvas very quickly and roll over and down the edge, ending up on the floor if I’m not too careful!  It will move and glide into textures on the surface of a canvas and pool.  It’s path is unknown and not easily controlled and can also end up covering parts of a painting that were once precious and meant to be retained.  It is a game of luck once I add some translucent paint and water to a painting.  But, I do love the mystery, the gamble, and the waiting and watching to see what will become of adding some translucent acrylic paint. It is the translucency that I really let loose with in these new smaller pieces last week.  Each of them had a beautiful abstract background with movement, depth and texture.  However, even as abstracts they weren’t really working for me.  I also felt that if I tried to create an image or add more detail, they were at risk of looking overworked and a bit too fussy.  I just felt they were too small for me to play with in the usual manner I would with a larger canvas.  IMG_1035

So I took a very brave step and applied translucent colours to the entire canvas.  Yes, I did have a whole lot of wet paint sitting directly on top of all the beauty that was beneath.  But, that was what created the tension, the interest in the painting in the end, and the fun in the process of creating it for me.  I had fun doing it, but then I had to sit, watch and wait for it to dry to see what it would become.IMG_1026It’s a very trusting process as I have absolutely no control over where this translucent paint will travel, sit and pool, and how it will dry.  I do have to be quite careful with my layering of colours in this particular part of the painting as well.  I have been so pleased with the results though and have really enjoyed using this technique more and more in my art.  I am in the process of creating a series of these smaller canvases in this style now which is very exciting.  IMG_1040

I’m really happy with the results so far.  They are moody, mysterious and intriguing.  You could say a bit like the process I use really (o:IMG_1037My choice of colours for this series is also a reflection of this beautiful changing season of Autumn.  These colours are in my local landscape which is a constant source of inspiration for me.IMG_1039

I will now sit with each of these for a bit to soak up their energy and feel whether I need to do anything more to them before they’re signed, sealed and ready to be sent out into the world.  At the moment thought they’re feeling very much finished. IMG_1038

Enjoying some much-loved painting time was fantastic and I really hope I can find more painting time now as we move into the cooler quieter months of the year.  I’ve been busy working on some illustrative mixed media commissions and gifts recently so that has taken up my allocated painting day each week.  But this is also creative work that I love.  I definitely have two much loved creative passions in painting and illustration.IMG_1008This piece above was created for a very special bubba.  I think I need to work on my giraffe forms a bit more though as this boy looks more like a tubby pony with a longer neck heeheee!  This piece below was created for a lovely generous local lady whom I buy my local raw honey from.  I can’t wait to give it to her next week (o:IMG_2651

This beautiful butterfly piece was created as a commission for someone’s lovely Mum for Mothers Day.IMG_2641

I also have some new commissions under way which is great.  I really do enjoy the commissions I receive.  It’s a very intuitive process for me and I really love the fun of discovery which comes with each of these.  So if you have a special piece in mind for yourself or are looking for a beautiful personal gift for a loved one, do send me an email and I’d be happy to discuss it with you.  To give you an idea of the cost involved my A5′s of this style are currently $40 and my A4′s are currently $80 each.  IMG_0965

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So I have been busily creating away here, hence the lack of blogging…sorry!!  This week I’ve been slowed down though as my two boys haven’t been feeling 100% and have been hard work!  You know; refusals to get dressed, refusals to eat meals, refusals to listen, refusals to go to bed!!!  I then experienced my first migraine on Tuesday morning which left me feeling foggy for a couple of days, and I ended the week with a touch of the sniffles.  I’m grateful for beginning to feel better again today though.  I’m also grateful for the creative fun I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks.  My art is always for sale too.  So feel free to enquire (I’ve had a few recently) if a piece takes your interest.  IMG_0990

Enjoy your weekend and I hope to be back here with more creative fun next week!

Liza xxx

PS. some musical inspiration for you.  A new piece from an ole fave of mine …Matt Corby’s new song “Resolution”

Autumn, inspiration and renewed energy

I’m feeling right where I need to be again this week; busy happily creating original art.  I’ve been so busy the past couple of months that I’ve not had clear solid time to focus and create.  My routine was totally out of order, as I had many engagements, deadlines, a mile long task list or organizational stuff, family things, and I was feeling energetically out of whack and fatigued, most likely due to overwhelm and not enough down time or thinking time in amongst all there was to do.  I also had to stay strong to myself, listen to my intuition, very, very strongly, (I asked multiple times often in meditation just to be sure) and say no to a couple of things which really tested my inner strength in some ways.20121004_westly-day-dream935435_3073613136722_1180258046_n

Autumn is well and truly here though now.  My favourite time of the year!  And, I am feeling renewed, alive, full of energy and full of creative light.  I’m loving every day again and living presently in the moment, instead of worrying about the next to do or engagement. may-2012-003 july-2012-039 (2)

I have also been seeing a Chinese Dr again for the past 6 weeks or so and this has helped me realign and completely rejuvenate my energy levels.  I was seeing a fabulous Chinese Dr regularly before we moved a couple of years ago, but hadn’t found one since the move.  Back on track again though now and jumping with abundant energy stores again.  Loving my morning walks and really hoping I can attend yoga twice a week again instead of my usual one.  Happily sending all my wishes out into the open (o:521570_10200695335367928_807386052_n

Creatively I’ve been busy organizing the two upcoming Paint Mojo workshops on behalf of Artist Tracy Verdugo.  This involves sorting venue, paperwork, payments, emailing participants, catering, thinking about venue set up etc.A5 Nature Nurture Workshop Flyer

I’ve also been working on organizing the finer details of my next upcoming Nature Nurture Workshop in October with preparations for catering, venue confirmation, workshop details, refinements and flyers.IMG_0916 IMG_0918

I’ve had more interest recently in my A4 and A5 mixed media originals too which excited me.  So I’ve had a number of commissions to work on as well as a bit of a back log of gifts for family and loved ones.  That’s certainly keeping me busy, but enjoyable busy and I love the constant flow of new work and ideas that are coming through so easily now.IMG_0818

My painting is going on in the background.  I still aim to paint one day a week, but I still feel it’s not enough to really get into it.  I’m sure once my boys are in Primary School I may get more regular painting time, even with the shorter days.  Another wish I’m putting out there!!  I’ve got a few unfinished pieces still but I’m loving exploring my colourful botanicals and there is a series of these now under way which I’d love to exhibit next year!935544_3050632242214_1909633556_n

Health and wellbeing I’m constantly exploring and researching as you all know.  I do need to get back into my regular “Wellness from Within” posts again for you all though.  I know there are many of you requesting my fresh turmeric dip recipe as well as various other recipes.  I’m now getting a regular flow of requests for my recipes and also health and nutritional advice.  It makes me light up when people are willing to make the necessary changes to their diets and daily routines to lead a healthier lifestyle.  We all need to do this, not only for ourselves but for our following generations of loved ones.  I may not have shared this in here yet, but late last year with routine yearly blood tests (I always have to keep an eye on my low blood pressure and sometimes very low iron) my GP advised me that as I was nearing 40 I should add a cholesterol test now.  I thought ok, yes, that makes sense, but didn’t think much more.IMG_2582

Perhaps I should have as there is a running family history of heart disease and high cholesterol in my family.  I didn’t think much of it though as I’ve been very aware of this and done my utmost to lead a healthy life, with improvements year after year.  I’m currently eating and living the healthiest I have ever!  I just thought well I’ve been looking after myself for a very long time for this very reason, to keep my cholesterol low.  However, I was totally shocked, upset, and angry when my tests came back with sky-high cholesterol…9.7!  The doctor wanted to put me on medication straight away, that very day, saying your young, fit, very healthy, this is hereditary and there is nothing  you can do about it, you need to take this medication.  So, me being me, I argued with them and said no I am not going on medication until I’ve done my own research.  942438_3073645737537_1543643514_n

Anyway, turns out about 3 months later I went on it, only as there were very little dietary changes that I could implicate, the herbs and vitamins that I started taking made no difference to my level, the compounding pharmacist said natural remedies will only bring it down 1 – 1.5, which is still not enough, and family and close friends were worried and said you have no choice.  I won’t go into further details, as that’s another blog post, but I will say I’ve reduced the doctor’s prescription of medication due to them not taking in size and weight and the effects and side effects that I was feeling.  However, I am still researching and looking at ways to reduce my cholesterol more naturally.  Unfortunately though for me this is all the result of my DNA and family history so my warning to you all is that no matter how healthy your lifestyle is, please, please make sure you have all the regular yearly check ups and tests to make sure all is in order.IMG_2612

Other news I bought Tully a new bike as he’d well and truly out grown his old one so much so he had the wobbles on it every time he tried to ride it.  Early birthday present!!  It’s mushroom season which is just delightful and so fascinating down here on the Mornington Peninsula which really is a little haven for a fabulous variety of mushies.  Let the magic begin!  IMG_0899March 2012 054

Ahhhh, gorgeous, loving the kookaburras laughing in the background here at the moment.  They’ve been happy chappies all day today since dawn.  It’s such a glorious Autumn day here and I’m achieving so much.  Here’s to more days like today and more regular updates and blog posts from me for you (o:  Hope you’re all enjoying my regular Facebook photos, links and inspirations too and welcome to the new likers over there, thank-you.

Liza xxx

PS. links for you to check out…

A special announcement from Lila Rogers and Beth Nichols about an amazing opportunity!!

http://dowhatyouloveforlife.com/blog/2013/05/08/do-what-you-love-interview-with-lilla-rogers-massive-giveaway-and-very-exciting-announcement/

The Wellness Warrior – Jessica Ainscough and her incredible inspiring story and wealth of wellness information

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/

The Goodness Goddess – Tasha a gorgeous girl & I love her motto “enliven your vitality, inspire your soul, awaken your inner goddess!”

http://thegoodnessgoddess.com/

The Wholefood Peddler – Skye Sutherland vegetarian extraordinaire

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wholefood-Peddler/351008758321892?fref=ts

Nature Nurture April 2013

IMG_0709Yipeee, I’m still doing happy dances in my head when I reflect on this awesome weekend.  I had such a ball, surprisingly felt totally relaxed, and thoroughly enjoyed teaching, rather facilitating, the beautiful group that I was lucky enough to have for my first ever Nature Nurture workshop.IMG_0703

I’ve been feeling really proud post workshop as this was a huge step up for me this year to launch my very own workshop.  I’ve had this little dream of taking my own classes of some kind for quite some time, but just never knew when it would actually become a reality.  I am quite surprised at how quickly it all happened once I set my mind to it.  So there you go peeps, only you have the power to make your dreams a reality.  So go and take that first step (o:529791_433951853365996_146547018_n

The weekend began with the most amazing Autumn morning.  I made sure I got to The Barn at The Briars nice and early so I could double-check I’d set everything up correctly the day before, make myself a soothing cup of morning tea and just run over my program for the day ahead.  Well, I did check the set up, made my tea, but then I put the music on and just danced around a little like an excited child on Christmas morning waiting by the tree to open presents!  Yes, I was a wee bit excited and just couldn’t wait to get started to be honest.  I just wanted them all to walk in right then so I could welcome them with warm open arms and get the weekend started.IMG_0706

My lovely participants finally turned up with happy smiles and plenty of enthusiasm and we started our weekend with a refreshing walk through the Briars gorgeous grounds and nature walks.  Along the way we collected inspiration by taking photos, gathering interesting leaves, pods, branches, flowers, and also started drawing in our sketch books.44789_435717933189388_718795212_n

There was a little hesitation at first, but it wasn’t too long and the cameras were clicking away, my basket was being filled with a special collection of inspiring goodies and a few sketchbooks were emerging.  I shared my thoughts on approaching sketching in nature and gave tips on the many things we observe and how to record them in our visual diaries as a record of what we’ve seen and experienced.  Words, shapes, colours, textures, patterns, symbols, thoughts, sounds and more.  I emphasized that it doesn’t matter what these sketches look like, that we each see things differently and each of our sketchbooks will look quite different from the other.  Some will be ordered, some messy, some tightly packed and detailed, some lose, free-flowing and bold.  It really doesn’t matter as long as you relax and enjoy the moment of simply observing and noting what you see, feel and record any thoughts that pop into mind.  Just enjoy the moment and being in the beautiful outdoors amongst Mother Natures glory.IMG_9747IMG_9736 IMG_9775 IMG_9763 IMG_9748935641_435718313189350_1107747040_n

After our morning walk we enjoyed a morning cup of tea and some beautiful nibbles prepared by me while I gave the first demonstration for the weekend.  My big test for the weekend had arrived.  Was I about to freeze up and get all nervous and self conscious whilst trying to draw and paint in front of everybody this weekend?!  This was the one thing I was feeling a little uneasy about.  I’ve never been the most confident public speaker, but creating in front of people as well?!  It could have been, or I could have been a complete mess, but I was surprised at how I relaxed into it and really started to enjoy talking about what I was doing as I went and the drawing and painting just flowed as it would normally at home in my little studio.  Phew!  Huge relief and big pat on the back!!!IMG_0838IMG_0839IMG_0751

Everyone loved the little exercises I’d prepared for our first day and fell into the lovely swing of creating, relaxing, chatting, singing and just enjoying themselves in the moment.  I was delighted in seeing the constant smiles, happy moments and wonderful chitter chatter that was going on. This weekend wasn’t about the end result of the work we created, or the food, or the venue, but simply just about relaxing and enjoying a rejuvenating, inspiring, joyful, playful, creative experience.  Look at these smiles!IMG_0728IMG_0729IMG_0713

I couldn’t help myself throughout the weekend and took lots of lovely photos of them just having fun, enjoying what they were creating, and also of the amazing pieces of art that they were creating.  There were a couple of beginners in this group too, but you certainly wouldn’t have picked them.IMG_0740 IMG_0744 IMG_0755 IMG_0756

The second day of the workshop we focused on painting our canvases.  The day before we’d prepared our canvas backgrounds, trying out a couple of different techniques, and Sunday was all about bringing together all the elements that we’d worked on the day before.  We weren’t working too big, so it wasn’t daunting for anyone.  We also had two canvases and a couple of pieces of ply to play with.  So, there was plenty of opportunity to explore and play with the new techniques we’d all enjoyed the day before on paper. Everyone totally freed up and enjoyed the freedom of painting all day on Sunday.IMG_0730IMG_0715

I gave the group some more demonstrations during the second day of the workshop.  These included mixing acrylic paint colours, blending paint on the canvas, how to layer your painting with different mediums and techniques of creating line, different brush strokes and techniques, stamping, and more.  The group also had some great questions which we all talked about and they were also open to sharing their own creative techniques and experiences with each other which was so beautiful.  Elements below that I demonstrated to the group.IMG_0774 IMG_0775 IMG_0826

Many found it was quite a different feel illustrating in fine brushes with paint, compared to fine pens and pencils on paper.  I remember the first few goes at trying to paint beautiful fine illustrative details myself.  I got terribly frustrated with it.  It was so hard to achieve a free-flowing fine line!  Lucky for these guys I was there with plenty of tips and techniques for them to master it much quicker than I did.  IMG_0748 IMG_0771IMG_0772 IMG_0789

Everyone’s work was so unique and their own individual spirits shone through in their work.  Everyone found the pace of the weekend really enjoyable and relaxed.  They also commented on how great it was to produce many different pieces of art, but without the weekend feeling rushed or too crammed with activities to complete.  Yay, I think I got the balance right.  Some finished pieces of art below.IMG_0815 IMG_0808IMG_0795 IMG_0803 IMG_0799 IMG_0798 IMG_0792 IMG_0796 IMG_0793 IMG_0800 IMG_0809

We gathered together on the last day in the afternoon and put all of our work from the weekend together on the mats.  We’d produced illustrative drawings, exquisitely painted and detailed bookmarks / gift tags, A5 painted botanical studies that were ready to be put straight into frames, mini ply botanical paintings ready to be hung, and two fabulous unique 18″ square paintings each.  What a fabulous accomplishment!  I was so proud admiring all of the beautiful pieces that this group created, full of colour, self-expression and joy.  They were also feeling pretty proud and amazed at the number of artworks they’d each created and also at how creative, beautiful and unique each piece was. IMG_0812 IMG_0791 IMG_0814So my first Nature Nurture weekend workshop was a wonderful one, enjoyed by all, and I can’t wait to hold another one.  I am so incredibly grateful to this group for trusting and opening up to having me guide them through this creative weekend.  I also feel incredibly blessed to be able to run these workshops and do what I love to do.  Yay, happy, happy, happy.  IMG_0705I received some beautiful messages and testimonials at the end of the weekend too.

Loved your nature nurture workshop.  Very relaxing setting, beautiful food, and fantastic guidance.  You have a uniquely gentle way about you which I love.  Will not hesitate to attend another workshop.”

“Thank-you for a wonderful experience. I loved your relaxed and gentle approach and generous support.”

“Loved it!  So good to reconnect with creativity and flow…  Loved how you were able to explore new ways to paint and look at nature.  Thank-you will look forward to the next one!”

“Thank-you…This is your future!  I look forward to many more workshops.”

And…..I’m also excited to announce I will be running another Nature Nurture weekend on the 19th and 20th of October 2013.  Registrations will open sometime next week so stay tuned.

Love & Creative Light,

Liza xxx

PS.  very very looong post, SORRY, but I just couldn’t not share all those gorgeous photos and I’ve been bubbling with excitement to share this weekend experience with you all.  So, hope you made it through and enjoyed what you’ve just read and seen xxx

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