From a sacred place

Leaf from the Bhodi tree 1

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you we are doing well.

The other day I got home from work and I saw this leaf in a nice wooden frame, I couldn’t remember seeing it before so I asked T where it came from.  He told me that it’s a leaf from the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya in India and it has been pressed between the pages of a small buddhist book we bought when we were there in spring of 1976 over 41 years ago!

You probably know that Bodh Gaya is a very sacred place.  Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment meditating beneath the Bodhi tree and became Buddha in the 4th century BC. Of course the tree that this leaf came from is not that original tree but one planted on the same spot in 1881.

There are many buddhist temples in Bodh Gaya the main one which marks the spot where Buddha gained enlightenment under the tree is the Mahabodhi Temple.  There was a big religious festival while we were there.   T told me the festival was to celebrate the solar eclipse which took place on 29th April.  I don’t remember that bit but I do remember the masses of Tibetan monks assembled at the temple, the thousands of butter lamps, the music and the chanting.  It was a spectacular and moving event, we even recorded some of it on a cassette which I’m sure we still have somewhere, but we have no way of playing it now.

Anyway I am so pleased this beautiful leaf decided to show itself again after all these years and bring back some magical memories.

I’ve been wondering what new art I could share with you now that I’ve completed the Radiant Warrior Women project.  This page is from an altered book I started back in 2012 and still haven’t finished.  The book was a children’s book called Bringing Down the Moon, but it won’t be recognisable when I’ve finished altering it.

Spread 1a with copyright

This page isn’t actually new but I haven’t shared it before.  It’s the first page in the book and it was created when I attended the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat run by Erin Faith Allen at a place called Croydon Hall in Somerset in September 2012.  The workshop was run by Orli Aveneri.  The page was a collaboration between myself and (I’m not sure about this but I think it was) Pat Beaumont from Liverpool we both worked on each others pages under Orli’s guidance. I really like how my page turned out.

Attending the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat was a huge, scary adventure for me.  As an introvert I was out of my comfort zone and incredibly nervous (actually “freaked out” would be a more apt description of my state of mind), but it was a fantastic experience.

The other workshops I attended on the retreat were run by Teesha Moore, wife of my friend Tracey Moore who I had met in 2007, and they have both had a massive and positive impact on my life and my art. I love them both.

The truly wonderful Flora Bowley also ran a workshop and she got us dancing and painting intuitively.

I met some fantastic people at Croydon Hall and many of them have remained friends. (I met up with some of them recently when I went to London to see the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican called Boom for Real, I’ll tell you about that in another post). The whole Art Retreat event was good for my soul and my creativity.

That’s all for now.  Take good care of yourselves and I’ll see you soon.

Big love from me

AJ xxx










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Grow & Blossom

Something weird is happening to my computer this is the third time of posting this, the first two times it just disappeared!  Let’s hope it’s third time lucky!

Hello friends

I hope you are all well.  Well this weekend went by in the blink of an eye and it’s back to work tomorrow!

Still I managed to get some art done and even some housework too (that’s almost unheard of)!  I am really loving the Visionary Journaling that Teesha Moore taught at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat and I am now working on the back of the pages I started in her class.  This is my favourite page so far.  My husband likes it too which is high praise from someone who hardly ever comments on my art.

Actually that is not strictly true, I recently finished three A4 size canvases painting in the way that Flora Bowley taught us (also at COTWS) and he is insisting that they are hung in our dining room.  I guess I must be getting better at this art game 🙂

Anyway apologies for the short post but I have a mountain of ironing to do before tomorrow and I also have a presentation to prepare for a talk I am giving next Friday about some of the historical people from my town.

I hope all is good with you, everything is Tickety Boo here.

Big love

AJ 🙂

(Fingers crossed the post stays in place this time)

Jump for Joy!

Jump for Joy

Hello friends

Sorry I missed posting on Sunday because I was sick – same thing as happened to me when I was on the Art Retreat, blinding headache and sickness only this time much worse and I spent two whole days in bed!  But I am much better now and went back to work today, so it’s time to catch up 🙂

This is the second page that I started in Teesha Moore’s workshop and I finished it yesterday.  I really do like this way of journaling, it’s so different to my usual style – it’s bold, sassy and ‘in your face’.  I like doodling all over my pages, but I think I need to try some different styles, I seem to be stuck on the same few motifs at the moment 😉

I am going to link this page to Challenge 2 of Fall Fearless & Fly over at Artists in Blogland.

This time the prompts are:

Headline prompt:  Taking a Chance, Color prompt: What color do you like least? Use it! Quote prompt: Don’t refuse to go on the occasional Wild Goose chase – that’s what wild geese are for. Anonymous

Click on the link Fall Fearless & Fly for more information and the rules.

My page is all about taking chances and doing something different, I’ve used combinations of colours I wouldn’t normally use and I picked my quote because it seemed to fit with the image on the page and also it made me laugh because I misread it at first as “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily, not to dare is to lose ones elf”   Well you wouldn’t want to lose your Elf now would you?  You’d be lost without it!

Take care everyone and I’ll see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂



Making Connections

Call of the Wild SoulClick on the image to see it full size

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you because everthing is fine with me.

This time last week I was at the Art Retreat.  Above is a journal page that I started in Teesha Moore’s workshop.  The main reason I decided to go to the Art Retreat was because Teesha was going to be there.  In 2007 I met Tracy and Trista Moore (Teesha’s husband and daughter) at the Lomographic World Congress in London.  I had known Tracy online before I met him in person and the three of us spent a lot of time together, I loved them both from the moment I met them.  As a result of that meeting I got to hear about Art Journaling.  Tracy carried around with him lots of cameras and a huge handmade journal which he encouraged everyone he met to write or draw in.  It was fascinating, but I didn’t think it was something I could do.

Some time later I thought to myself, “I wonder what Tracy Moore is up to these days” and I ‘Googled’ his name and I found Teesha’s YouTube videos about art journaling and that’s what got me started.

It was so good to see Tracy again at the Retreat and to meet his adorable wife Teesha.  What an amazing woman!  Unfortunately I was really unwell on the day I had Teesha’s workshop, I had a really bad headache and was sick a few times during the day.  Eventually I had to leave the workshop about 2 hours before the end as I needed to go and lie down in a dark room, but while I was there, even though I was struggling with health issues, I loved what Teesha was saying to us.  She is a very beautiful vibrant woman as you will see from her art work.  AND she is generous, she brought her wonderful journals which we were allowed to handle.  When you see the images on line they are awesome – when you see them in real life you realise they are priceless pieces of art but Teesha is not precious about them and shares everything she has learnt.  I am so happy to have met her and I truly hope that we will meet again one day.

Above is one of the pages I started in Teesha’s workshop but couldn’t finish.  Before Teesha left the Art Retreat she generously gave me a bag of pens so I could complete the work and I have been working on it this week in my spare time.  I love it!  It also sums up for me what the Retreat was all about.

I am so happy to have met so many beautiful, inspiring and supportive women.  Thank you to Erin, Simon and little Poppy – you all did a great job, thanks to Teesha, Flora and Orly – you were amazing and generous teachers, and especially I’d like to thank all the wonderful Wild Soul Sistas I met there.  It was awesome!

Big love

AJ 🙂

PS I can’t post any photos of the event yet because yesterday I left my camera with all my photos on it at a friend’s house!  I’ll retrieve it next week.