Archive for the ‘quotes’ category

YIN Art Exhibit at Hillside House Gallery in Nassau, Bahamas

November 8, 2018

YIN.exhibit.logo.signatureDelighted to be part of this group exhibit with five Grand Bahama artists—Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and me, Paula Boyd Farrington—celebrating feminine energy and spirit, opening November 9, 2018, from 6 to 9 pm, at Hillside House Gallery, #25 Cumberland Street, Nassau, Bahamas. Bring a friend and enjoy our new art, live music from Shelley Carey-Moxey, and handcrafted Bootleg Chocolates flown in from Grand Bahama’s chocolatier. An Artist Walkabout with the artists on hand for an open house to talk about their work as you browse through the gallery, will be on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Our thanks to artist Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA, Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting, Ontario College of Art and Design University, for her writing about the work.

Yin Calls Forth a New World of Feminine Transformation

I’ve always said the fact that all women aren’t stark raving mad is a complete miracle because to live in a world where basically every bad thing that happens to you, you’ve somehow brought on yourself by being female … it’s just like, come on, man! It’s like … to the least of us, whatever is going on, it’s happening to all of us.”

Callie Khouri, screenwriter of “Thelma & Louise”

The past two years have been extraordinarily difficult on the psyches of women around the globe. Newsfeeds are full of disturbing stories of sexual assault, the falls from grace of several male celebrities and cultural icons, and the pulling back of dark curtains revealing immense pain and abuses of power in all sectors of our society. Social commentary abounds on how the enormity of this abuse was allowed to go on for such long periods of time. Women from all levels of society began to speak out in large numbers, bringing what was hidden behind closed doors, out into public view. Secrets of violence whispered to each other in back channels were suddenly being blasted loudly on cable news; relentlessly dissected, cast with doubt, and denied by powerful men. How does this onslaught affect our consciousness? How does bearing witness to these damaging stories change the way we view ourselves and the women around us? How will these revelations and their ubiquity change how we interact with one another? What does the future hold for the human relationships we hold the dearest? These questions and versions of them are swimming about in the public consciousness.  Although it is much too soon to know the answers, what seems clear is that if we are to have a way forward; we need a hand in the design of what we want our future to look like. We will need to be creative, manifest new ways of being with one another, and imagine possibilities that bring us back into a healthy balance. 

In this exhibition Yin, Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and Paula Boyd Farrington work towards this seemingly impossible intention. Through a visual journey into a return to balance, these women begin to show us, through art, a time of harmony, a return to respecting the sacred feminine and the healing it has to offer the world. Upon examining these works, one can imagine these women in their studios working past the misogynist upheaval through the vehicle of their artistic practices. Around them, as they move in and out of creation, the mass media amplifies stories of environmental disaster, men overpowering women, reactionary politics, and sanctioned state violence. However, in this sacred space, they create as artists, a new visual language that calls forth a beautiful world where humanity can return to harmony. A world that manifests celebrating women echoed in organic shapes, sacred patterns and communal collectivity. As one moves through the space of this exhibition, forgotten is the angled hard world that values the impersonal, and the individual. The world that protects the abuser and defames the storyteller is banished. The hard angles and the rough edges of a society that value power, and worships what is keeping us off balance, fades into the distance. It is instead replaced by a new warm, beautiful future where the Goddess reigns supreme. 

Is it possible to manifest a new world through the creation of art? In her book Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, bell hooks states that  “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it’s to imagine what is possible” (hooks 281).  These women compose this declaration clearly, stating that their work is a celebration of “each a half of the harmony of the Universe, balancing sun and moon, light and dark… homages to the empowerment of women as vessels of love, healing, and transformation” (Yin Artist Statement). In Tuchel’s naturalistic portraits of senior women, we see a homage to the faces that are relegated to the sidelines in our patriarchal worship of the young and nubile. Her larger group painting brings women back together in a dancing collective that become one with each other through colour, gesture and texture. In Del Foxton’s sculpture of women from across the globe, they stand in a group sharing their compelling stories on a path to healing. Their shoulders hunched in a communal discussion. As viewers, we can imagine these women walking away upright with the strength of their stories straightening their backs and empowering their way forward.  A coming together of collectivity is echoed in the figures of her doll-like cutouts that hold hands, dancing across the recycled paper that, in its very existence, shows us a new way into a future of environmental sustainability. Small cut out daughters held in their bodies travel with the figures along with a new path in the community. As we move onto Chantal Bethel’s work, this concept is reflected in her sculptural and painted vessels that call forth rebirth, reincarnation and the new life that we yearn for. The lotus flowers, water symbolism, birth and rebirth that exude from each piece immerses us in a return to nature which provides us with the answers of how to begin again. Bethel calls forth in three dimensions women’s power and a human kinship with the natural world that once lost can be found again. Claudette Dean carries this narrative through her work as we see the divine feminine, head down and meditating. We can feel her protagonist magically imagining and drawing forth a new world. The vaginal openings in her tree focused paintings centre the viewer on the cycles of the earth and the blossoms that represent the rebirth that spring will bring through a universal womb. As we work through her paintings, this rebirth she tells us will have women as the metaphorical gatekeepers; enormous and powerful in stature, branches reaching up to the heavens. In Paula Farrington’s work, we see the manifestation of a new world in the visual form. She illustrates through vibrant colours, glittering shapes and reflective surfaces, the universe bringing forth a new way of being. A new world in which the Earth Goddess is returned to her rightful place of the sacred. We feel the movement of our positive thoughts through splashes of colour that move in and out of one another. The beauty of her saturated colours stand in direct resistance to the oppression and darkness of what is being revealed in the movements of Me Too and Times Up. Organic shapes, complex colour symbology, groupings of symbols and subjects, intricate patterns that live alongside free intuitive ones, metaphoric vessels and literal vessels, water, land, earth and sky all communicate with one another between these artworks. Yin takes us on a journey to the answers to our burning questions. It asks us to remember the power and value of women; to bring our lives back into balance by protecting and respecting the land and water. It tells us that the answers are all around us and inside our humanity.

In the book, When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone writes that ancient goddess worshipers believed their deity was “creator and law-maker of the universe, prophetess, provider of human destinies, inventor, healer, hunter and valiant leader in battle” (Stone 11). Out of the studio and into the gallery, the artists of Yin bring forth a deity that battles oppression with visual expression. A prophetess that tells us a story of a new way of living and being that is coming in our future. A healer that literally and figuratively births a new harmonious way of being that is balanced and respects the environment that we inhabit. She is a hunter that goes out on a journey and brings back the qualities of love for oneself and love for others through intention and imagination, collectivity and collaboration. Magical in its optimism, the Goddess that Yin manifests will provide the viewer with a new space of transformation. She provides us with a space that shows us what is possible when we come together in community to honour women and the communities that they bring forth. 

Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA

Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting

Ontario College of Art and Design University 

Work cited:        . hooks, bell. Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. Routledge, 2008.
                           . Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.

 

The exhibit continues through early December. Our thanks to Antonius Roberts and Paula Roberts of Hillside House Gallery, The Charitable Arts Foundation of The Bahamas, and our husbands, families, friends, and YIN sisters everywhere for their support.

Pineapple Perspectives: Welcoming Voice & Vision

January 5, 2017

pineappleperspective-displayed

The humble pineapple—a staple of feasts among Taino and Carib tribes—was prized for its exotic rarity in colonial times when a pineapple dressing your table or entry was a luxurious sign of ultimate Welcome and Hospitality that grew to be recognized the world over. The word “pineapple” is a composite of “pine” (taken from the spiked shape of a pinecone, once revered in many ancient cultures as symbolic of the intuition, or third eye—the “pineal” gland in the center of the forehead is named with the same root word) and “apple”, to epitomize fruit.

Pineapple Perspectives: Welcoming Voice & Vision re-imagines the ubiquitous tropical pineapples as an icon of Welcome to our innate Creativity, Imagination, and Intuition—sacred gifts available to all as Artists of Everyday Life, regardless of our field of endeavor. Intuitive creativity helps us to find ways to embrace different perspectives, to walk in each other’s flip flops, to make music of the mundane, to take good notes when the heart speaks, to shine light on our best and worst impulses, and to surrender to a deeper dance of natural grace in every aspect of daily life. To glimpse a pineapple anywhere and be reminded to simply pause and quietly ask ourselves about one creative dream—and any small small step we can start taking toward realizing it—begins a valuable dialogue.

More awareness of our intuitive powers in these challenging and oh-so-spiky times re-opens the doors of hospitality to the sweet satisfactions of creative process in the many ways we grow and celebrate our shared humanity within this multi-layered and ever changing collage of life.  — Paula Boyd Farrington

creative-nourishment

Creative Nourishment: Curiousity, Gratitude, Awareness, Childlike Wonder

there-is-a-crack-ineverything

The American Dream & Experiment: Held Together With Safety Pins (There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen)

sea-fan-prayer4protection

Sea Fan: Respect & Honor for the Ocean–A Prayer for Protection from Overfishing

Sea Fan closeup detail

creativecurrency-time

Creative Currency: Time … A Nickel’s Worth To Start Then Time Flies

sacred-geometry

Sacred Geometry | Creativity: The Basic Shape of Things

Flowering Empathy: Walking In Each Other's Flip Flops (close up detail)

Flowering Empathy: Walking In Each Other’s Flip Flops (close up detail)

I am humbled and thrilled to have this mixed media work on view as part of the NE8 (National Exhibit 8) at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in Nassau through April 2017.  The exhibit is beautifully curated by NAGB Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe, and the amazing array of 50 featured contemporary works has been presented with incredible polish, panache, and heart by her super-talented staff (rock on, Team Ninja!!).

It’s a show worth seeing. Very grateful to be part of this conversation on art and culture that happens every two years in The Bahamas. Was fortunate to get to hear some terrific Artist Talks from Bahamian artists all over the world following the Opening Night event. Loved getting to be there opening night to see the message of making our own intuition, imagination, and creativity more welcome in our everyday lives so warmly received. Small gold pineapple icons were handed out on opening night in bestowing greater awareness and reminders to pause and ponder the power of our combined sacred intuitive gifts.

Beginning A Happy New Year

January 3, 2017

Seemed like an apt thought for beginning 2017—or anything!!  (Enjoy the day-to-day layers of the unfolding collage of life.)youdonothaveto-quote-b

 

Finding Über Bliss: A Wildly Creative Journey to the Present Moment

June 21, 2016

Jill.UberBliss.Graphic

Excited to announce that this January 19-22, 2017, I’ll be collaborating with one of my most favorite, brilliant, and fun-loving mentors, the inspirational humorist/author/illustrator/yoga teacher and Founder of the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Training program— Jill Badonsky—to offer a warm-winter retreat and joy-centered learning experience in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida: Finding Uber Bliss … A Wildly Creative Journey to the Present Moment.  It’s an amazing opportunity to hang out with Jill in person and discover more ways to deepen your own imaginatively-inspired life as an Artist of Being Alive. You’ll be guided through stories of wisdom, creative adventures & writing, smart camera art, drawing, painting, brushes with the absurd & sublime, and enlightened contemplation … all in a gentle, non-pressurized, rooted-in-playfulness environment.

Imagination.Freedom.GRace

For KMCC coaches, it’s an ideal chance to ground yourself and learn in-person as you become certified to lead your own Finding Uber Bliss groups or classes. And for any creativity-loving attendees (artists, writers, gardeners, non-coaches, musicians, spiritual-seekers, everyone welcome!), it’s a wonderful way to amp up your awareness, more fully embrace your own distinctive creative thinking, deepen peace-of-mind practices, meet more mirth, and enhance the ongoing layers & blending of your own daily collage-of-life.

Jill.Badonsky.Inner.Sanc

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.” ~Giacomo Puccini

Anyone at all who is known for having found a path to consistent, recurring joy — cites staying present as the essential teaching.” ~David Cain, Author of You Are Here

Living creatively, you don’t constantly manufacture a future, you grow the life that is present.” ~Thomas Moore

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each MOMENT. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”  ― Henry David Thoreau

“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” ~Henry Miller
 
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

Jill.Badonsky.Creative.Voices

Why the name “Uber Bliss”?

(A note from Jill Badonsky about Finding Uber Bliss beginnings)

“Über” is a German word meaning “over”, “above” or “across”. 
 
“Uber” crossed over from German into English in 1883 when German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche coined the term “Ubermensch” to describe the higher state to which he felt men might aspire. Mensch means “man” in German.
 
The name of this program, “Uber Bliss”, was a spinoff of an explanation Dr. Seuss gave when people asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” He invented a fictitious account involving a hamlet in Switzerland called Über Gletch where he claimed he went every August to get his cuckoo clock fixed and while waiting, strange people would give him his ideas. It turned out to be an explanation that was as absurd as the question, “Where do you get your ideas?”
 
“Where do you get your ideas?” is a confounding question to most artists and writers because the genesis of ideas is elusive; there often is no explanation that the conscious mind can grasp. Because he was so imaginative, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), was frequently asked this question and rather than get annoyed, he invented a description, which showed us his tongue-in-cheek resourcefulness, his ability to rise above predictability, and his comfort with being imaginatively absurd. (All handy elements in the creative process as well as in life.)
 
The Greeks, who were known for inventing myths to explain the unexplainable, invented Muses to justify where ideas come from. So you see, Muses and Uber Gletch have a common theme—not to mention, the reference to “uber” as aspiring to a higher state.
 
When the transportation network, Uber, created a new association to the word, I was concerned people would be think Uber Bliss was related to a taxi service and considered changing the name. Instead, my inner Dr. Seuss helped me get resourceful, which was easy since both the Uber transportation network and Finding Uber Bliss, “transport” people to places that will make them happy.
 
Consider that you are about to get a lift to a new way of existing in your world. – Jill Badonsky

 

Jill.Badonsky.Deeper

Uber-Bliss will be held in a five-acre wooded retreat center (Duncan Conference Center) in warm-winter Delray Beach, Florida, where peace and serenity abound alongside delicious and nutritious food, two labyrinths, a heated swimming pool, and state of the art meeting space.

KMCC grad, artist Victoria Bronfman, who lives close by to the conference, will be guiding us to some extras at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, and a nearby Greek restaurant where we can allegedly dine AND dance on the tables if so inclined. (Opa!) www.victoriabronfman.com
 
Fort Lauderdale International Airport is the closest major airport to the conference retreat center.
Register with the links below for an Uber-Wonderful experience that includes Duncan Center lodging, and most meals. Choose Option A to be Certified, or Option B to simply come and go through the Journey to unleash your creativity for more joy and peace of mind.
A. Certification Cost with the Journey
Early Registration $1285
After November 19, 2016 $1385
Option One
Deposit: $400 (receive early registration cost when balance is paid off by November 19, 2016 ) (ask for a payment subscription)
Option Two
Paid Full Balance Early $1285
After November 19, 2016 $1385
Rate includes a private room with private bath and free wifi.  All meals are included except Saturday night’s Greek Taverna outing.  Sunday breakfast and lunch included. Also includes license to use the Finding Uber Bliss name and materials, promotions and goodies related to Finding Uber Bliss, and a hard-copy manual with step-by-step instructions on running classes, workshops, logistics and marketing. Also, inclusion in the Finding Uber Bliss network.  
B. Florida Journey Experience of Uber Bliss Without Certification:
Option One
Deposit: $400 (receive early registration cost when balance is paid off by November 19, 2016 ) (ask for a payment subscription)
Option Two
Early Registration $985
After November 19, 2016 $1085

Includes all the above except no license, Hard-Copy, or network.

Sign up for Uber Bliss with a friend and share a room together to each save $100 off your registration! Email Jill at the address below for that arrangement.
Duncan.Center.Lodging.Photo

Duncan Conference Center Room

 Duncan.Retreat.Center.Pool
Limited Enrollment for this in-person training! If it fills, we’ll put you on the waiting list for the next training. This Finding Uber Bliss training will be offered through Zoom Teleconference in 2017. However, I highly recommend the in person experience—the off-time socializing and bonding is rich and a lot of fun.
Any questions, please contact Jill Badonsky at info(at)themuseisin.com
Jill and I hope to see you there; oh-what-fun!!
Jill.Paula.Bliss.Circle.web.A
Uber-jazzed,
Paula

 

Stars & Angels

December 24, 2013
L'ange (angel) mixed media collage ©2013 by paula boyd farrington

L’ange (angel) collage ©2013 by paula boyd farrington

Love came down at Christmas

Love all lovely, love divine

Love was born at Christmas,

Stars and angels gave the sign.

— Christina Rossetti

(A Merry & Blessed Christmas to All!)

Get Started: Revving Up Your Creative Energy

July 30, 2013

kmcc+poster+bad+draft

I like this quote. It’s a great reminder for me, and for anyone who wants to rev up their writing, art, business, or any creative endeavor—including life!  Lowered expectations at the beginning of a process helps obliterate the paralysis that comes from expecting yourself to be unrealistically amazing all the time. Is there somewhere you can lower your standards in order to get started? Can you trust (even just a little) that simply starting will lead you to take the next small step, and then the next … and that whatever you’re working on will develop (sort of like a Polaroid coming into focus), sharpening and getting clearer and more polished along the way?

I know that lowering expectations helps me get started. It will also help me get this quickly posted right now, in the midst of several other projects, rather than waiting for a more perfect moment to write a longer post about the many enthusiasms I have for the gentle and deceptively-powerful Kaizen Muse Creativity tools and philosophies—creative support and va-va-voom that I’ve already written about glowingly here! Enjoy …

Wholehearted Work & Play

June 8, 2013
wonderful quote found via Robert Genn's Twice-Weekly Letter at The Painter's Keys ... a source of community and inspiration for artists and creatives.

wonderful quote found via Robert Genn’s Twice-Weekly Letter at The Painter’s Keys
… a source of community and inspiration for artists and creatives.
(as recommended by the fabulous Jill Badonsky | The Muse Is In)


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