Leanne Barrett: 2020

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Walking mindfully in spring

I am imperfect. While I want to walk every day I often let life get in the way. I generally find that the best time for me to walk is as soon as I get out of bed. At this time of the morning the city streets are still quiet (only a few cars and cyclists) so I can walk more mindfully and notice the natural world around me.

We are now half way through spring and the trees are covered with leaves and there are new flowers blooming. Today the grey sky promises a potential spring shower and under this muted light the colours dance brightly before my eyes. 

In some spots along my walk I can smell the freshly cut grass. In other places the grass is thicker and longer (awaiting the gardener's mower) and amongst the leaves of grass I spy a special find that makes a smile form on my face...a feather. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

How are you growing?

At the begging of each year I spend some time dream visioning and creating a time line to achieve my goals. My main focus for 2020 was to;
  • form habits to maintain a healthier lifestyle,
  • support, connect and inspire creatives to live their dream life and
  • create art to share, exhibit and sell.
When COVID arrived I realised that I would need support from a creative coach whose energy would help keep me focused and feeling positive. 

This week I have been reflecting on how have I grown during 2020.
  • This year is the first time I’ve truly said yes to support from a coach, accountability sisters and from other wise women.
  • I am learning how to not listen to my inner critic and create new stories to listen to. 
  • I am embracing my perfectly imperfect life because forming new habits is hard. 
  • I am listening more to the knowledge and wisdom that is already inside me. 
  • I am learning to be vulnerable and put my artwork into exhibitions and competitions. 
  • I have learnt to consistently do activities that I know will raise my energy levels when I feel low.
  • I now recognise which days I need to go gently on myself and I give myself permission to take this time to rest and recover, especially at the beginning of my menstruation cycle. 
  • I have grown spiritually. Finding peace within the energy of nature and meditation.
  • I also have learnt to pause between activities and celebrate all of my small wins. 

                How have you grown this year?

                Wednesday, 30 September 2020

                Mindfulness: Being in the Moment

                There are times in life when you suddenly realise, that while you thought you were partaking in a experience, you actually weren't. 

                On my recent Dream Nourish to Kiama I experienced one of these moments. We had decided to revisit the blowhole, anticipating higher spouts of water due to a weather warning about the ocean swell. When we arrived at the point we saw the water shooting high into the air. Marvellous! Exactly what we hoped to experience. Then, out came the camera/phone to capture what we were seeing.

                But though this action, our experience changed. We lost being in the moment. We became caught up in capturing the moment for future use. The dialogue in our head changed because we began to view life though the lens. 

                The experience of the blow hole began to look like...

                Thursday, 24 September 2020

                Art of the South Coast NSW

                When travelling on holidays (my dream nourishes) with my hubby I adore visiting regional art galleries, local art galleries, art association galleries, artist workshops and I also keep an eye out for public art.

                When near Nowra I love to visit the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. At this gallery we have been fortunate to view a wide range of art from their annual Art Prize to art exploring one of their recent exhibitions with the theme of Parkinson's disease and dementia. 

                Fortunately our most recent trip away, to Tilba Tilba, coincided with the River of Art festival and we took the opportunity to visit several galleries and artists. This art festival runs until 27 September 2020.

                Monday, 14 September 2020

                Spring Renewal: There is still time to achieve your 2020 goals

                During winter I found my new daily practice began to give way to past habits, old excuses came flooding back. With the colder days I wanted to hibernate inside and by the end of August I didn't want to walk outside in the darker morning light. My energy was low and before I knew it I had stopped journaling. 

                With the end of winter there was a shift in the air. A switch had been flipped to spring. With the coming of spring there is more daylight hours. The air feels warmer and nature is awaking from its torpor and so am I. 

                On the first day of spring I went for a morning walk. I noticed buds swelling and blossoms unfolding. My energy levels began to grow with the daylight.

                Spring is a perfect time to reconnect with my goals.
                With one quarter of the year still to come it's not too late to revisit what I want to accomplish in 2020.

                Monday, 7 September 2020

                Dream Nourishing: Taking a time out of your regular life

                Taking a time out of your regular life can be as small as taking an afternoon off work or something longer like a two week holiday. 

                It is important to schedule these breaks into your calendar. The intention behind this is to ensure that you have opportunities to relax, recharge, do something you enjoy and to get away from the normalcy of your daily life.

                I like to call this time, Dream Nourishing. It is time to do things that are on your dream/bucket list and time to nourish your body, mind and soul.

                Thursday, 23 January 2020

                Watercolour Paper - What Side Do I Paint On?

                Which side of watercolour paper do I paint on?
                As I pulled out a huge sheet of watercolour paper (size A2) I wondered what side do I paint on? Is there a right and wrong side? 

                I looked at the paper and the answer wasn't obvious. I knew that my cold pressed watercolour paper had a rough side and a smoother side but what about hot pressed watercolour paper?

                So off to google I went.

                First, I wondered about watermarks on paper. Using my light box I discovered that 1 of my 3 pieces of paper had a watermark. Then as I read more I found out that this is not necessarily an indicator of the 'right' side. 

                Secondly, I discovered that sometimes the page that is on the top of a pad or block of watercolour paper is not necessarily the 'right' side either.

                In fact what I discovered was very freeing. It does not matter what side you paint on. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' side of watercolour paper

                Thursday, 16 January 2020

                The Inspiration of a New Calendar

                The festive season is over, I've opened a new calendar and January 2020 is here. 

                Questions and thoughts begin to flow around the topic of goals, the word of the year, what my calling is and most importantly what marks will I make on that blank page.

                The first week or two of January have been about planning.
                • Participating in the Woman Unleashed (Amber Kuileimaijai Bonnici) online retreat Solstice and the Schulman Art (Miriam Schulman) workshop about The Art of Art Journaling
                • Brainstorming goals of 2020.
                • Refining the goals list into actionable, bite sized goals.
                • Selection of my word of the year. MOTIVATED
                • Reading and journaling about My Dream Life with the kikki.K (Kristina Karlsson) book Your Dream Life Starts Here
                Now I'm feeling more focused and ready to paint with watercolour again. But as always after a break in creating with a specific medium (I'd been using acrylic paint in my art journal not watercolours) the fear of the blank page hits me.