Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Time for Change – Heralding in the New

When the New Moon arrives, it’s the perfect time for heralding in the new. Time for releasing the old with gratitude and welcoming new projects. Definitely a time for taking a step in the direction you want to move in.

And that is exactly what has been happening today, with the new moon. I stood and watched the sun setting from the lounge window. It was a flaming, vibrant orb, almost like wet dye on one of my silks. Unbelievably beautiful. Quite spectacular. And as it slipped below the outline of rooftops on the horizon, the sky darkened and remained completely dark. The dark of the moon.

Such an exciting time, pregnant with potential. And I knew that today was the moment to make changes.

I had a few changes lined up and had been eying them with intrepidation as they represented a large step towards realising goals of mine which were due for fulfilment. So what did I undertake?

The first thing I did was to bring my 30 day video challenge to completion. I had taken on a commitment to produce and upload a video every day to document what was going on for me in my life and to share my insights with the viewers. I decided to publish these on my current Facebook page which was dedicated to my artwork. But having no other platform to share them on, I decided that this was the best option I had.

I was delighted with the reception they got as they were being exposed to people who had actually signed up to share my artwork with me. Daily support and feedback came flooding back to me in many forms and I was very touched by the general response, confirming that doing video was indeed something I should continue to do.

So when I reached the last day today, I had very mixed feelings. I had gathered momentum and come to love the daily ritual of putting myself out there, irrespective of what response I got. And I had been told that my videos would be missed… I knew that they couldn’t stay on the art page as they were out of alignment with the general themes. I had to take a decision and open a new page.

This page would bring focus to my work as a spiritual teacher and coach and allow me to explore all sorts of topics relating to self help, spirituality and personal power. It would allow this aspect of my work to come to the fore and no longer be overshadowed by my artwork. Now art and spiritual power would stand side by side as partners.

Tonight I launched the new page and it felt quite exhilirating to do so.

And the change continues as I put the finishing touches to the new blog, meaning I will be stepping away from wordpress.com and expanding my horizons.

With every new change I feel the rush of excitement, knowing that anything I am leaving behind is making space for the new. It feels as if this is the new path I am on – one of taking the steps I know intuitively will lead me to where I want to be.

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March 4, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hurrah! We’re Going to be Moving over to a New Blog Any Day Now!

I’ve been working on creating a new blog on WordPress.org and the great news is that I will be making the changeover any day now. It should happen quite smoothly and for the first while I will continue to have this one in place so that you can be forwarded to the new one.

When it happens I will make the announcement and encourage all of you lovely people who have subscribed to my blog to come over to the new one and resubscribe so that you continue to be kept up to date.

The new site will give me quite a bit more flexibility so I am doing this for professional reasons.

I so hope you’ll make the move with me and look forward to seeing you over there very soon.

Thanks for reading.

March 3, 2011 Posted by | ANNOUNCEMENTS | , , , , | Leave a comment

What do You do While You’re Waiting?

We’re in a bit of a strange position in our present house. You see it doesn’t belong to us, we only have a rental contract and the landlord is wanting to sell, which means that there are regular viewings by potential buyers.

Now this means that we’re in a bit of a no-man’s land as we have no idea how long it will take for a sale to happen and we are keeping an eye out for a new home. Some of you will remember the article I posted a few months back regarding me putting my foot down during one rather intrusive viewing and since then there hasn’t been any real momentum – Bringing thoughts, words and actions into alignment.

But now I’m beginning to feel very strongly how detached we have become from this house. Since we don’t know how much longer we’ll be here, there is no incentive at all to do anything in or to the house, particularly since it doesn’t belong to us. And if I’m really honest, it’s beginning to affect me quite a bit, since I do like to put my roots down and feel at home where I am. A lovely interior decorator friend of mine, Jen Duchene the Makeover Mixtress, has been asking all sorts of stimulating questions about what we all do to make our homes beautiful places to live in, and this stirs up such a yearning in me to have a place I can really call my own again.

This means we are in a permanent state of waiting.  And waiting in itself isn’t terribly productive. So what could we do instead? Well, I like to talk about taking the waiting out of waiting. This means coming back into the present moment and accepting what is. Finding gratitude for our present situation and making the most of it.

I’m a Cancerian which means that I love to have a cosy, secure haven to retreat to and right now I don’t have that, particularly since there is also a huge noisy building site right across the road from us which makes it a bit hard for me to switch off and find time for solitude. So instead of allowing my thoughts to constantly wander away into some fictional future where we find an ideal home to move to, it would be much more beneficial for me to bring my awareness back to where I am right now.

This is our home. It gives us a roof over our heads. It keeps us warm and dry. And for that I am very thankful. There are also benefits to the noise from the builders opposite. It means that we get up and get busy doing other things in other parts of the house. Since our front room and bedroom are on full display, it means that we make that extra effort to keep them neat and tidy. And the noisiness also means that our minds are much more open to lots of other possibilities of places to move to, whereas before we had fixed ideas of where a new house might be.

For years I have dreamt of living in a beautifully warm and relaxing place and the intrusive noise has now helped to bring my focus back a bit to the vision I have held. Who knows, it may even be instrumental in helping me to take that leap of faith when an opportunity arises.

So what concrete steps can I take to reduce the waiting? Putting nice fresh flowers in vases on the table, clearing out clutter (which we wouldn’t want to pack up and take with us anyway), drawing lovely mindmaps to free up my creativity and just taking each day as it comes.

And who knows when our ideal house will manifest? I will certainly keep you posted.

How do you manage to take the waiting out of waiting? Are there any particular things that you do to keep you in a productive frame of mind while waiting for changes to take place? I’d love to hear your comments.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do You do While You're Waiting?

We’re in a bit of a strange position in our present house. You see it doesn’t belong to us, we only have a rental contract and the landlord is wanting to sell, which means that there are regular viewings by potential buyers.

Now this means that we’re in a bit of a no-man’s land as we have no idea how long it will take for a sale to happen and we are keeping an eye out for a new home. Some of you will remember the article I posted a few months back regarding me putting my foot down during one rather intrusive viewing and since then there hasn’t been any real momentum – Bringing thoughts, words and actions into alignment.

But now I’m beginning to feel very strongly how detached we have become from this house. Since we don’t know how much longer we’ll be here, there is no incentive at all to do anything in or to the house, particularly since it doesn’t belong to us. And if I’m really honest, it’s beginning to affect me quite a bit, since I do like to put my roots down and feel at home where I am. A lovely interior decorator friend of mine, Jen Duchene the Makeover Mixtress, has been asking all sorts of stimulating questions about what we all do to make our homes beautiful places to live in, and this stirs up such a yearning in me to have a place I can really call my own again.

This means we are in a permanent state of waiting.  And waiting in itself isn’t terribly productive. So what could we do instead? Well, I like to talk about taking the waiting out of waiting. This means coming back into the present moment and accepting what is. Finding gratitude for our present situation and making the most of it.

I’m a Cancerian which means that I love to have a cosy, secure haven to retreat to and right now I don’t have that, particularly since there is also a huge noisy building site right across the road from us which makes it a bit hard for me to switch off and find time for solitude. So instead of allowing my thoughts to constantly wander away into some fictional future where we find an ideal home to move to, it would be much more beneficial for me to bring my awareness back to where I am right now.

This is our home. It gives us a roof over our heads. It keeps us warm and dry. And for that I am very thankful. There are also benefits to the noise from the builders opposite. It means that we get up and get busy doing other things in other parts of the house. Since our front room and bedroom are on full display, it means that we make that extra effort to keep them neat and tidy. And the noisiness also means that our minds are much more open to lots of other possibilities of places to move to, whereas before we had fixed ideas of where a new house might be.

For years I have dreamt of living in a beautifully warm and relaxing place and the intrusive noise has now helped to bring my focus back a bit to the vision I have held. Who knows, it may even be instrumental in helping me to take that leap of faith when an opportunity arises.

So what concrete steps can I take to reduce the waiting? Putting nice fresh flowers in vases on the table, clearing out clutter (which we wouldn’t want to pack up and take with us anyway), drawing lovely mindmaps to free up my creativity and just taking each day as it comes.

And who knows when our ideal house will manifest? I will certainly keep you posted.

How do you manage to take the waiting out of waiting? Are there any particular things that you do to keep you in a productive frame of mind while waiting for changes to take place? I’d love to hear your comments.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colour Therapy: wearing green clothing (Part 2)

I wrote a little while back about the significance of wearing green clothing and promised to get back with some further thoughts on the subject.

Colour is such a fascinating subject isn’t it and I’m sure I could write a list as long as my arm of all the keywords linked with green but what I really wanted to do was give a bit more insight into how wearing this colour can affect your energy levels and what subtle effects it can have on those around you.

Green shades with fuchsia, pink, yellow, salmon and co.

Many years ago when I trained as a colour therapist we learned how to channel the different colour vibrations through hands on healing and spring green was one of the central colours we worked with. Chlorophyl is truly the juice of life and represents a potent energiser and balancer of all dis-ease. And although the other colours are categorized as either magnetic (the warming reds, oranges and yellows) or electric (all the blues and purples), green is neutral and can be used to bring things back to centre.

For this reason, many people report feeling very safe and comfortable in green as it is in a way the protector. It is a good choice for people who are recovering from illness or who have been feeling down and need a bit of a helping hand.

Some of you reading this will know a bit about the Eastern chakra system, the 7 main energy centres in our bodies. It is interesting to note that green is associated with the heart chakra, the central one and the key to higher realms as it is linked with compassion and unconditional love. But did you know that the colour pink is also linked with the heart chakra? Soft greens and pinks have similar vibrations and so you can either combine them or interchange them when choosing clothing. These shades are perfect for people who are seriously ill, maybe even terminally, as they have a very soft, soothing, heart-opening energy. For the same reason you can dress your younger children in these shades as they help them to feel safe and protected.

Generally a person wearing green clothing is likely to instill trust and confidence in the people he or she is dealing with as it is non-threatening and induces a feeling of calm.

I’ve found through my silk painting that all sorts of green shades do indeed harmonise with all sorts of other shades. There don’t seem to be any hard and fast rules.  I personally love touches of pink and fuchsia intermingled with soft greens. I know from feedback from many of you that you also like to experiment and have favourite green/other colour combinations ranging from peaches, pinks, salmon, blues, purples and many more. Your own colouring and personality will determine what you can carry off and what you need to avoid.

And there’s one last thing I wanted to share with you on this topic. Various shades of green are  linked with wealth and affluence. So if you tend to wear a lot of green, it could be a sign that you feel comfortable handling and managing your money or indeed are a good manifester of wealth. Maybe this is something to think about next time you want to go and ask your bank manager for a loan. Instil a bit of confidence in him by wearing a smart green blouse or shirt. Definitely worth a try.

I was wondering if you had had any experiences of using green in any particular way and had noticed clear results. I’d love to hear about it so do leave your comments in the box below.

February 28, 2011 Posted by | COLOURS | , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Giving up the Struggle and Connecting with Source

I’ve been inspired to write this post by my experiences of having the flu for the past two weeks. It was the first time ever and I must admit, I got quite a shock at the severity of it because I always thought it was just a bad cold. Not so.

I think the most difficult part to deal with was the coming and going of the flu symptoms and each time I thought things were beginning to improve, the next day I was flat on my back again. The whole thing was just so unpredictable and it was a big lesson in letting go and just going with what is.

Looking back on it I was really grateful for the oppportunity to spend so much time in bed and allow my thoughts to slow down and partially stop.  Because that’s a really big one for a lot of us, isn’t it? Slowing down all the chatter that’s going on in there 24/7 and finding that still space that’s underneath it all.

We’re all so busy working out thousands of things in our heads, reliving past experiences and worrying about future events that may well not happen,  that we lose sight of our real presence in the now. It’s when we slow down and make that connection in the present moment that we tune into something so much greater than ourselves. Call it what you will, your Higher Self, God, the Source of all creation. It doesn’t matter what name you give it. The important thing is that you breathe out and feel that connection. A beautiful feeling of peace and stillness.

The more time you can spend in this space during the day, the more likely you are to create space in both your mind and your life. Space for new ideas, new things, new people. And you can be sure that these inspirations you receive are coming from an inspired place.

A great starting place is to simply find somewhere quiet where you can sit or lie undisturbed. Gently cup your hands in your lap or if you are lying, fold your hands over your heart. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Feel your breath entering and leaving your body. Allow this all to happen without trying to change it in any way. Simply be in acceptance. And enjoy the relaxation that builds with every breath.

This anchors you in the present moment. And in this state you give up all struggle and let go of distractions and worries.

This is your natural state of being. And it is an extremely powerful place to be in because nothing of your outside world can touch you in any way.

So the next time you find yourself struggling with what is happening, take a moment to bring your awareness back to the present moment. Make that inner connection and release the distractions that are creating the illusion of difficulty and struggle.

When you do this simple practice regularly, you will be amazed at how your connection with Source grows. It will enable you to slowly gain control over the runaway nature of your mind and help put you back in control. And remember that any illnesses are a golden opportunity to do this. Embrace the time you can be still and enjoy the benefits it brings you.

Have you had any illnesses where you were able to tune in and gain clarity on what was going on in your life? How do you experience the time-outs in your life? I’d love you to share your stories here.

 

February 25, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Take Action and Make it Happen

Everything begins life as a thought. All those amazing ideas we give birth to that float around in the ether are just waiting there, in seed form, not knowing whether or not we’re going to take them all the way. And indeed, many of them will remain there. In fact, the vast majority of them do.

A single snowdrop

How many times have you been completely relaxed in a total right-brain, creative space and suddenly you’ve had the most amazing idea? One that gets you so excited, you just can’t wait to share it with someone else or at least write it down on paper so that you don’t forget it. Everything else gets forgotten and this one idea just seems to consume you, pushing everything else to one side.

And then you get on with life, you sleep on it and in the morning, you get on with all the other pressing things that are in your life and need to be seen to first. What appeared to be so world-shattering the day before is now sitting there with a completely mundane air about it. So what happened?

Well first of all, let’s just get really clear on one thing. You are not alone. This happens to the majority of us.

A lack of follow-through on even the most world-shattering idea means that it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. Ideas alone are simply fairy-tale castles, without substance.

It’s when you take action and make it happen that the magic begins.

So what do I mean by taking action?

This is not about putting a huge plan into place and working through it in a fixed space of time. It’s much simpler and much more powerful than that. It’s about making a firm commitment to taking the very first step.  And this needn’t be huge. The importance in taking the first step, no matter how small, is that you are signalling to the universe that you truly want this to happen and that you are willing to do what it takes.

So how does this look in practical terms? Break it down into bite-sized chunks and do the smallest possible piece that you are willing

The Dream Grows

to and capable of doing right away. If you’ve had a fabulous idea for a book, then write this down on a piece of paper and commit to spending 5 mins minimum that very day on expanding the idea further.

Some of you may smile at this as it may seem over simple. However, if you can break things down into steps that are very doable for you, then there is absolutely no chance that you will sabotage yourself. If I don’t want to do the ironing, but say I am committed to doing a minimum of 5 mins, I laugh with delight when I manage half an hour and pat myself on the back.

Set your 5 mins, achieve this and much more if you want. If not, that’s okay too. Then reward yourself for doing it. For doing it straight away and getting the momentum going. Because that’s what’s going to breathe life into your dream. And that is true inspiration.

Don’t let another day slip away without doing anything, because that’s when the life force drains out of your dreams. And then, even the best idea in the world, slips away and is worth nothing.

What first, tiny step could you take today to get the momentum going on a great new idea you’ve had? Please share your ideas here. I’d love to hear what you are planning.

February 21, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Competitors? What Competitors? It’s All a Question of Resonance.

I was inspired to write this blog post by the silk painting community that I interact actively with online. It was founded by the lovely Francine Dufour Jones and is a wonderful place for silk painters to connect, share and ask questions. And it has struck me how so many people have been worried about how to market themselves in the face of so much competition.

Well, it’s my honest opinion that we are all so totally unique as artists and that we are not in competition with each other. Your state of being will determine what energy you radiate as you interact with others and the best way to see what that is, is to look at the people and situations that are prevalent in your life right now.

If you are letting your shoulders hang and using negative self-talk then that is what you are sending out and that is exactly what you are receiving back from the universe.

It’s always a question of resonance. There’s always a marriage of energies.

And this is very significant for artists. Because the clients that get attracted to you want to buy your artwork as it represents the energy you express. They have a piece of you in their home, whether or not they are consciously aware of it.

There are some who might argue that you do some competitor research, which of course you can do. When I did a business course a few years back when I lived in Malahide, County Dublin, part of the requirements were that we submitted a completed business plan. And of course, this involved doing competitor research.  So I set off joyfully researching potential products that were similar to my silk mandala cushions. The bottom line of it was that I didn’t find anything remotely like mine, most companies were just mass-producing in China and the prices were throwaways.

It left me seeing that artwork is simply in a class of its own and you can’t really put a price on it. The value of a piece is something that is decided between the artist and the buyer and cannot be nailed down to specifics. What it means is that if a client or artcollector decided they loved your artwork, the energy it emitted and the energy you emitted as an artist (which are normally the same) and  knew without a doubt that it would hang beautifully in their home, the price is not of the essence.

So start looking at your artwork with fresh eyes. See it as an extension of you. Learn to value it and cherish it. See it through the eyes of potential customers and treat it as though it were highly valuable. Because you certainly are. Your artwork reflects this. And when you do that your artwork will start to send out new messages.

Whether or not you are an artist, I’d love to hear from you about your personal experiences. Have you found this to be true for yourself? Please leave any comments below. Thanks.

February 13, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

How to Enrich Your Life with Mindfulness Meditation

I love to maintain many spiritual practices in my everyday life as I can tangibly feel the benefits they bring me and thoroughly enjoy the process of doing them too. I’m convinced that my daily meditations are a real anchor for me in that they slow my mind and my pulse down, pulling a brake on the racing that is happening within me so that I can make real sense of everything that is happening.

But I also know how taking the time to sit down and be in the stillness and tune in completely to my inner wisdom, my Higher Self, I can access something so much greater than when I am rushing around  trying to do everything in my head.

I wanted to share this with you as I really believe that cultivating this practice can make a massive difference in your life too,

Mindfulness Meditation

enriching it with more focus and well-being. Research has pointed towards meditators enjoying improved health and enhanced creativity as well as it slowing down the aging process of the brain as it appears to thicken the grey matter of the brain.

It’s such a bonus in my life that I just wouldn’t want to be without it any more.

And for those of you reading this who have never meditated before, let me just share with you that you can begin with something as simple as mindfulness meditation. This involves you bringing your awareness to one particular thing. It could be a physical object in the room or simply your breath. Your mind naturally wanders at will, busying itself with all sorts of random distractions which take you away from being centred. So what you do is bring your awareness to say, your breath, whenever you remember to. Be there totally. Simply observe your breath entering and leaving your body. Make no attempt to change it in any way. Simply allow .

Your mind will just start to wander again but you will lovingly bring it back whenever you can, without any blame or judgment, just gently redirecting your focus to your breath. And just be with your breath, feeling whatever is happening for you.

This practise, when used regularly, will help you to feel more centred. Your brain function becomes slower so that the beta waves are replaced with alpha waves, inducing a feeling of deep relaxation within you. And this is what stimulates natural healing within your body, regenerating you and reducing stress and anxiety. It also completely brings you back to the present moment.

When you start to take control of the state of your mind and health in this way, it can have far-reaching consequences for your life in general, creating deeper and more meaningful experiences for you.

I’d love it if you were to try this for yourself if you haven’t already. Have you tried meditation techniques like this before and what difference have they made in your life?

February 10, 2011 Posted by | SPIRITUAL PRACTICES | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Featured Facebook Fan on Friday with LouLovesLearning

What a lovely surprise. At the end of last week my very lovely friend Louise Edington contacted me and told me that I was her Facebook Fan of the Week and that she would like to do an interview feature with me.

Louise Edington of LouLovesLearning

Well, I couldn’t say no, could I? In fact, I was totally delighted. I took a bit of time out to sit down and pen my responses to her questions and send them back over to her. It’s always an interesting process to create a story about yourself for others to read, for the most part total strangers. But it’s lovely because it leads to all sorts of unexpected connections.

You can have a read at the interview on LouLovesLearning right here. And when you’ve finished reading it, you might like to browse a bit on her website as she does interviews like this every week with all sorts of fascinating people. But you’ll also  find all sorts of other inspirational articles and vlogs documenting Louise’s journey of exploration.

Louise is currently the blogging coach on the SNCC with Ann Evanston (Warrior-Preneur) and is the lovely woman who guides you through the sections on getting to grips with the ins and outs of creating blog posts that are going to really grab your audience. She also works as a childcare coordinator for the International Aupair Finder.

But Louise is truly in her element blogging about life’s challenges and all the amazing things she is learning on the way. She has come on quite a journey, working her way into the world of social media and finding her niche online. I also happen to know she is an avid reader and has piles of books at her bedside just waiting to be delved into. A very like-minded soul!

So I hope you will go over and make friends with Louise and find out more about what she does. I think you’ll have fun.

As always I’d love to have feedback from you. Please leave any comments you have here or why not leave a comment on Louise’s page. I know she’d be happy to hear from you.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blue and Green Should Never be Seen…or was it Red and Green?

I had actually been planning to write a second part to my post on wearing green clothing, however things have taken a different turn and although I’m still on the topic of green, I have decided to explore a slightly different question than what clothing you wear.

Red and green or blue and green

Most of us grew up learning all those delightful little ditties that we sang or chanted while playing or doing our homework. And there were always a few inbetween that sounded a little odd but then our grandmother or one of our teachers had taught us them and so we took them on board without questioning them.

The one that sticks in my mind is ‘Red and green should never be seen except upon an Irish Queen‘. I remember my grandmother saying that one again and again. Now up until recently I was perfectly happy using it even though I knew that it didn’t hold any water. I loved seeing vibrant red roses with contrasting green leaves in the garden. They went perfectly together, didn’t they?

But wait…”That’s wrong!” I hear you say. “It should be ‘Blue and green should never be seen except with something inbetween’.”

Now that’s very odd. I began to ask around and found opinions hugely divided on what the correct version should be. So I started digging to see if I could shed any light on the origin of the phrase. And that’s when it got really colourful.

One comment from an ex-marine stated that it referred to ships in the  night. If you see a red light on your ship and red on the other, the ships are travelling in opposite directions. If one is green and the other is red,  both ships are travelling in the same direction and if at an angle to each other, possibly in danger of colliding. Even worse is if you can see both red and green on the oncoming ship. Then you are headed for collision.

But here’s a fascinating suggestion. There was a film  in 1957 with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn called “Funny Face” and a female fashion editor was supposed to have said ‘Red and green should never be seen except with something inbetween’. Was that the US fashion rule in those days? The funny bit for me is that this film is in a boxed set of Audrey Hepburn films I gave my husband for Christmas and I haven’t seen it yet. Time to watch it.

And yet that doesn’t really make sense when you look at how all shades of green go fabulous with blue jeans.

Personally I think  both versions of this saying are  nonsense because I believe that any colour can harmonise with any other one depending on how you use them.  And nature doesn’t seem to have heard of this rule at all.

Here’s a parting shot though. The Irish word for girl is cailin (with an fadda accent over the last i and it’s pronounced colleen). Is this then a slip of the tongue that makes colleen sound like Queen? This topic is turning out to be far more extensive than I originally thought and is giving me lots of new inspirations for further blogs.

But anyway, I wanted to throw this question out to you and see if you know any more about this. Which version were you taught and do you have any idea where the phrase came from? And do you flout the rule or do you find yourself avoiding green combinations as a result? Thanks for taking the time to share.

February 6, 2011 Posted by | COLOURS | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Inspired Art and Living

Many of you will know that this blog started out being completely dedicated to silk painting. I shared all sorts of silk painting techniques, did problem solving (trouble-shooting) and explained my process in the painting projects I tried out. You asked questions and I did my best to answer them based on my own experiences and things that others had passed onto me.

The good news is that I will continue to be publishing all sorts of posts around the topic of silk painting but at the same time I’ll be exploring many new avenues. I have a background in teaching and have been involved in coaching and self-development work too. So I will now be combining all of my skills and offering services that take everything into account.

The first change was to a new name. And so, for those of you  who are here on this page for the first time, welcome to ‘Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze.’

I’ve been actively involved in an intensive online course called SNCC which has taught me so much about social media and enabled me to bring focus into what I do and be more effective online. It’s an ongoing process and you’ll be seeing the latest results of this when I launch my new blog very soon. I’ll be moving away from this platform to WordPress.org which will give me many more possibilities including using my own domain name. But don’t worry, I’ll be making this transition as smooth as possible so no-one gets lost on the way.

I’m really looking forward to sharing this with all of you and hope that you will continue to follow me on my journey as a silk artist, teacher and coach. Thank you.

Do you  have two seemingly different areas in your life that you’d love to bring together so that you can work with both of them? I’d love you to share your thoughts here.

February 2, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Silk Painting Competition – Paint a Mandala

This blog post is all about having a bit of fun and having the chance to get a nice reward for it into the bargain. And that can’t be bad.

So here’s what I want you to do.

I’m publishing here one of my mandala templates. In fact I published this in my newsletter quite a few months back but I decided that these templates would be of more use if I published them directly online for everyone to access.

All you need to do is right click on this image, ‘save image as’  and download it to your computer. From there you can print it out and create a lovely

Free mandala template

piece of artwork from it. Obviously I would love you to paint it on silk but if this isn’t your forte, why not just trace it onto paper or any other medium you use, and colour it brightly as it takes your fancy.

Next, take a photo of it and send it to me at info@silkandart putting ‘Mandala competition’ in the subject line. I will post every entry that is submitted to me on this blog.

And to make it even more interesting, I’m going to select one of them and the person who painted it will receive a pack of my mandala greeting cards as a gift.

Does that sound like something you’d like to do? Remember, you can use any medium you like – felt pens, watercolours, oils, silk paints, or crayons. I’ll accept anything you choose to work with.

So how long do you have to submit your artwork? Until Friday February 18th.  I’n really looking forward to getting email from you and seeing what you’ve created.

And in the meantime it would be great to hear from you if you’ve painted mandala artwork before. How was it for you? Please share your experiences with us.

 

N.B.: I just wanted to point out that you are very welcome to use this free mandala for your personal use. Please do not use it for commercial purposes. Thanks so much.

January 30, 2011 Posted by | COMPETITIONS | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Gain Visibility as a Silk Artist Online

Many of you reading this are silk artists or at least have some interest in silk painting generally. And I know from talking to many of you how hard you find it to get your work seen in the huge sea of work that is available these days. It’s true that we can’t just sit back and expect people to magically find our work so it’s up to us to make sure that find those people who resonate with what we do. And that’s why I  decided to write this article. It gives you some ideas of how to gain visibility as  silk artists online.

My suggestion to you is to open an account with one of the many online galleries and start to put your work on display there. Yes, there are very many of them, but you need to browse a bit and find one that is in keeping with what you are all about. I would also suggest that you pay attention to possible fees you will need to pay. Some of them charge you a fee just for being there on their site. Others only charge you when you make a listing. Others again, only charge when you make a sale. So do some homework and see whats fits for you.

It’s sometimes hard to judge what the service is going to be like before you take the plunge and join up, so why not send an email to the contact address on the site you like the look of. Clarify any questions you might have, regarding all fees, promotion, etc. And make sure you know what their policies are regarding the publication of your artwork. You’re the artist and you want to remain in control of your artwork.

There’s also Ebay to think about as it can be utilised as an online art gallery too. Go on the site and have a look at what other artists are offering and how they are displaying their work. It’s quite easy to set up an account and start selling there. They even have weekends where they don’t charge any listing fees so watch out for opportunities to save yourself some money.

If you are one of those silk artists who also paints silk scarves and accessories of different kinds,  you might be interested in looking into artist opportunities on Etsy , where you can set up a small shop with relative ease. The big tip here is to keep a steady trickle of new listings as the newest items on the site show up in the feed and are much more visible than those you posted a while back.

For those of you who feel confident enough, you could start up an artist blog and share your projects, experiments and processes with those who are interested. It takes a bit more know-how to do this on your own, so why not get started on this site, WordPress.com and make things easy for yourself as everything’s laid out for you at the click of a button.

There are very many artist opportunities available for silk artists and the important thing is taking that first step to move your artwork from confines of your attic to the screens of people looking for attractive artwork like yours! I will be expanding on this topic in due time.

What experience have you had?  Please share here if you’ve found any platforms on which to share your artwork, whether you are an emerging artist or someone who has been playing the field for a while. Or even if you are an art lover. I’d love to hear from you.

January 26, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Help! How Can I Stop People Breaching my Artist Copyright (Part two)

Since I made my last post I’ve been having a good think about the various responses I received and have come to some conclusions. I spoke about some basic steps the layman can take  to protect his artist copyright and realised that I had already come on quite a long journey in this respect. And so I decided I would share those insights with you here.

When I first started silk painting I had no idea how to get it out there and get the price right, let alone how to deal with the issue of people trying to copy it without my permission. And it soon became obvious to me that the more I worried about these things, the more I was attracting them into my life. Many people honestly wouldn’t know what they were doing unless I educated them.

It wasn’t until I began working in article marketing a few years ago that I really became exposed to putting my work out there on the net and just letting it go. I remember the guy we all worked for telling us to run some tests by Googling the first one or two lines of our articles and seeing where they appeared. Well, I was stunned at how many people had actually lifted my work and published it on their site with so much as a simple acknowledgment that it was mine. One specialist even claimed it was his work. Many of these magpie sites just disappeared overnight but it exposed me to the scale of this whole business.

Okay, back to the artwork. I began to realise that there will always be people who give themselves permission to use my images in whatever form they choose without my permission. I have decided that it is impossible for me to be vigilant round the clock. I have also decided that as long as I don’t know about it, there is little point in me worrying about it and wasting my energy. Just as there is little point in me worrying about the possibility of it happening. I am not a huge shark in the artworld, rather still a very little fish. So, to be honest, people aren’t going to be queuing up to use it.

And if I become as famous as Leonardo da Vinci is now (one of my all-time favourites), then why would I worry about bandits trying to steal my artwork?I feel at ease about sharing and trust in the process and will cross these bridges if and when I come to them and not before.,

I’m in a good space as far as artist copyright is concerned. I take care to point out publicly that my work may not be reproduced and that I am likely to take steps if this is not adhered to. But in terms of where my life is leading me now, others will find it very hard to copy and steal me, my very own brand. That is definitely something I am not afraid of.

For those of you who would like to know more about using images on the internet, have a look at this great post put together by Kathy Alice Brown about public domain photographs.

And what about you? Do you agree with me or do think differently on this matter? I’d love to hear your comments.

January 17, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , | 32 Comments

Silk Scarf Painting Workshop

Good news. At last I’m going to be offering a silk painting workshop in which you will be creating your own silk scarf. We will be using the microwave to make the whole process very quick and easy. You won’t be using a frame. Instead we will work with the silk flat on the table on plastic sheeting.

It will be a 3 hour session with mess and fun and at the end of it your scarf will be fixed for you to take home with you. Each workshop will be held with a minimum of 4 participants. If you know of 3 or more other people who would love to do this with you, why not contact me and organise your own workshop?

Evening dates: these events will run from 7pm – 10pm

Day-time dates:  these events will run from 10am – 1pm

Cost: £32.00  including a rolled edge scarf and dyes

Venue: Downend, Bristol – details on registration

HOW TO REGISTER: just email me at info@silkandart.com telling me you are interested in my silk scarf painting workshop and from there we can sort out all other details.

Looking forward to meeting you and having some fun.

p.s. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting in a mess. 🙂

April 17, 2010 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Freshen Up a Silk Scarf in 6 Messy Steps

If you’re anything like me, you may have quite a collection of silky things in yourHow to freshen up a silk scarf house. And sometimes the odd item may not look the way it did when you made it. This was certainly the case for one of my bright Jacquard scarves which had mysteriously manifested 2 green marks  not long after being made.

So I had the brilliant idea of revamping it to give it a completely different look as it was hardly used at all. The base shades were bright and middle orange and it seemed fitting to freshen it up with complimentary indigo.  It did strike me as rather a bold step, but why not have a go.

Please note that I am talking about a silk scarf that has already been steamed once and will be steamed a second time. This is not suitable for iron fix silk paints. So, back to the experiment.

The process was relatively quick and easy but extremely messy. This is what I did.

One: I laid out a thick sheet of plastic on the floor, spread the scarf out on top of it and soaked it with dilutant (Dupont).

Two: I made up two tubs of indigo. One will full strength and the other diluted 50:50 both of which I emptied haphazardly all over the scarf with great gusto. By the way, indigo really stains so I recommend that if you don’t want dark blue nails for days to come, put on rubber gloves. The process gets messy, so just keep them on. 🙂

Three: I took hold of the scarf and gently scrunched it about so that the dye was distributed over the scarf, but leaving it quite uneven with colour showing through here and there. So don’t do too much. Making it too even gives a uniform effect and here we’re going for a nice jazzed up mottled effect.

Four: I sprinkled a handful of effect salt onto the scarf and left it to dry.

Five: After a while I picked it up carefully and shook off the salt. I laid the scarf over a drying screen with a dark towel underneath it.

Six: When completely dry the next day, steam for 3 hours and rinse the excess dye out thoroughly. Put your gloves on for that again as there will be a lot of bleeding.

And that’s it. My scarf here still needs to be steamed but I am really pleased with the way the colours have turned out. It has a real autumnal look and you would never have known it was indigo on top of orange. Look at that wide palette of shades. Gorgeous.

Another very successful experiment. 🙂 If you  have a go at this, do send me a photo. I’d love to see your results.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | EXPERIMENTS IN SILK | , , , , , , | Leave a comment