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paint spills

20artfuldays4b 20artfuldays4c For today’s #20artfuldays spill I’m sharing spilled paint. These are pieces in progress for a series I started working on last fall when I got back from California. My natal Moon and Venus are both in the sign of Cancer in the First House. In a nutshell, this means that my self expression – the self I show to the world – is all about feelings and beauty and art and sensuality and the sacred feminine. I wanted to deal with this directly in these paintings, with images of traditional Venus figures, and the Moon, and big beautiful emotional spills of paint. I’ve stalled out on this work, and I’m hoping by sharing the work in progress, a new infusion of creative energy will be set in motion and more will happen on these canvases.

Are there any creative projects that have stalled in your life? What are they? What inspired you and why did you stop? Would you like to start again? What would help you to start? Share in the comments.


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Joanne yeadon - These are beautiful paintings! I love the colour combinations. I have a shed full of stuff awaiting transformation into a weaving studio…..I will start tommorrow!

habit, addiction, and pleasure

20artfuldays3 After promising daily spills, I have ended up a little tongue-tied. What makes me think, says the inner voice, that my expressions of mundane life could be of any interest or merit? Well, perhaps they aren’t. But my exercise, my challenge to myself nonetheless, was to share.

As part of this challenge to myself, this exploration of pleasure, I’m abstaining from a few of my habitual comforts for the duration. In the interest of not succumbing to replacement pleasures, not being seduced by numbness, and allowing my body’s natural chemistry the opportunity to provide me with some euphoria via the miracle of natural endorphins (which get suppressed by intervening chemicals like alcohol and sugar.)

It’s good to give up our habitual comforts for a stretch from time to time. There’s surely a reason that most spiritual paths include traditional times of fasting or abstinence. We need to spend some time awake to our sensations and give our bodies and intuition a chance to breathe freely. Sure, it’s uncomfortable – but that’s the idea. To allow a raw interface with the natural discomfort of existence, and to know ourselves better by observing how we respond.

I’m reading Tommy Rosen’s book about addiction. His idea is that all of us can benefit from examining the roots of addiction, because we all struggle with addiction in some area of our lives. He defines addiction as any behaviour you continue to do despite the fact that it brings negative consequences into your life. He says

Addiction carries a frequency all its own. If your mind-body is attuned to the frequency of addiction, you will be under the influence of the energy addiction brings. It will affect the way your entire reality unfolds for you. Your thinking will skew negative and feel quite loud, if not completely overwhelming at times. You will have a sense that something is lacking, and you will be disconnected from your body and intuition. Instead of living a life that attracts harmony and flow… you will feel like you are swimming upstream in life.

The idea is, if we can break the chains of habit that bind us to false, numbing ‘pleasures,’ we can begin the process of connecting more directly with life – engaging in authentic experience, which includes discomfort and pain, but also gives access to deeper more authentic levels of pleasure than we can experience if we are habitually numbing ourselves to discomfort through our ‘addictions,’ whatever they may be.

Maybe this is why we are so attracted to the idea of ‘cleanses.’ We really do crave that direct contact with life, that direct access to our bodies and intuition, that comes from taking a break from our habitual coping mechanisms. But maybe the ‘cleanse’ needs also to include lots of room for self reflection, as well as lots of room for healthy pleasures and comforts.

What habits bind you? How can you begin to gently loosen their grasp, and reclaim your vivid experience of life’s raw and authentic feeling?

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Marilyn - Dear Bronwyn
It’s a pleasure and privilege to read all of your posts. Your sharing is always
beautiful and relevant. Welcome back on the artful life! I love your work on sacred menopause but it is also really nice to have you here. Xoxo Marilyn

Bronwyn - Thank you so much Marilyn xoxo

It’s my pleasure


So I’ve been on a little sojourn. In fact, the foundations of my life have been shifting, in the very best way. New explores and momentous changes. The Artful Life has been quietly awaiting my return – now it is time – I’m craving vivid blossoms and beach walks and luscious splashes of paint, I’m craving pink and turquoise, I’m craving the company, virtual and physical, of beautiful artful women, women who make gorgeous creative messes and take chances and spill paint and squeeze the juice out of life and know their own pleasure – vivid creative women – I have missed talking to my tribe!!! Starting today, I’m doing #20artfuldays on the blog – daily sharing, jumping back in at the messy creative deep end of life – please join me – I’ve missed you!

Now, I love my life. I’m filled with gratitude daily. But I have been noticing a tendency lately – a very subtle tendency – to shrink away from sensation. I think we all develop this to a certain degree, as a natural consequence of living and accumulating the wounds of life. We are all more or less wounded, we are all more or less resilient. And we all, when hurt, will shrink. But it can become a habit. And when it becomes a habit, we find ourselves shrinking not only from pain, but from all sensation. Including pleasure. And once we start to shrink from pleasure, well, that is the dark cloud of depression just starting to show itself on the horizon.

So what to do? Lean in to your pleasure. Allow vivid spills and deep plunges. Savour. Breathe deeply and bathe in sensation. Cultivate sensual courage. Create space for sensation.

I’m not talking about being seduced by the false pleasures here… I’m not talking about justifying binges or trading authentic feeling for the euphoria followed by numbness that comes from our shadowy indulgences (whether they be cupcakes or wine, netflix or overwork.) I’m talking about real pleasure, the kind that takes courage, the kind that requires vulnerability, softness, and being vividly awake.



I’ve set myself a little challenge, a challenge to learn how to open to more vitality and pleasure. I’m diving deep for twenty days. Here’s what I wrote in  my journal:

I’m beginning to see this as a time of awakening guided by pleasure. The habits of numbing that I’ve developed over a lifetime in response to pain and stress are now preventing me from opening to pleasure in the ways that I am being drawn to. Whenever I start to take REALLY good care of myself, though, I start to get glimpses of natural euphoria and grounded joy. Maybe that scares me, because I sure seem to run away from it, back to the soothing old numbing ‘pleasures’ which no longer inspire me…. So I am challenging myself these next twenty days to seek – and explore – real pleasure. I already know the places to start with this. I know to start with movement and moderation, with nature and art, with rest and touch, with creative work and clean food. In all of these things I will seek and notice pleasure. I will seek and notice the pulse, the sensual opening, the heart opening. I’m afraid this is going to be too hard, and that I will fail myself. so let my actions be deep and deliberate, cautious but persistent, consistent, strong, powerful, momentous. Let me point myself in this direction, yoke up, and go!

So many things help me to cultivate this kind of pleasure in my life:

  • eating and drinking clean
  • loving my body with movement that’s fun, like yoga or dance or running in the woods
  • journaling
  • making art with no agenda
  • being deeply in nature
  • prayer
  • making things pretty and making pretty things
  • flowers
  • gorgeous fragrances
  • vivid colours
  • reading!
  • touch. lots of touch.

And another one of them is writing – even a little bit – right from the growing edge of my experience, right from my tender heartspace. So I am committing to do that, here, for you, every day for twenty days. My goal is to share some little vivid spills of life here every day. #20artfuldays. I’ll be documenting this on Instagram too, if you want to visit me there I’d love to see you. And if you want to join me on this adventure, just commit to taking the next twenty days to notice and cultivate your true pleasures daily. You can play along on social media with #20artfuldays. What are your authentic pleasures?

Thank you for being here.

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Welcoming spring, renewal and rebirth


Along the back of our land the wild plums are awakening to a slow ecstasy of white, throwing into the soft damp air a sweetness that makes me stop in a small swoon whenever I walk outside. The winter here always feels drab and endless, I grow lethargic and lose some of my joy; then suddenly the frog-song and plum blossoms and early green leaves come along and start pushing and pulling at me, reawakening my energy and joy.

This has been such a big year filled with change, and I am on the brink of even more change. I want to welcome the change, I don’t want to move into midlife becoming stiffer and more afraid, less likely to leap. I want to keep moving and growing and allowing big changes to move through my life clearing out the underbrush and making room for all kinds of new tender green growth. I want to stay tender and ready. And I know I can’t do this by standing still, or by holding on to things simply because I am in the habit of holding on to them.

The Spring comes along and reminds me to take the risk of growth. Just look at these tender petals Is there anything more beautiful?

On Sunday I invited my bestie and her dear ten year-old daughter over for an afternoon of Spring-welcoming activities. I said “bring some flowers and blossoms from your garden,” and they came to the door with arms full of branches of quince and camellia, stems of daffodils and heather. I brought in early cherry blossoms and very fragrant narcissus.

We made flower essences. We made flower crowns and flower mandalas. We coloured eggs, using  natural dyes and beeswax. When it was all done, we went for a long rainy walk up to a seaside meadow, where we gathered nettles to steam and eat as a spring tonic. I ended the day with my fingers nettle-stung and stained with pollen.

After my friends left, I had a big pile of flower petals that needed to be taken back outside. I sprinkled them all along the path to my door. Why not? Why not walk on flower petals when we can.

How will you welcome Spring? How will you welcome the changes that life is bringing you? On what paths can you scatter flower petals?

{I’m sorry I’ve been away. I’m back now. I’m glad to see you again.}


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Camille - Hooray! You’re back!

Corinna - I am happy to read that you are back. I missed your posts.

Beth - Hi there,
Can you send me info on your upcoming course? I can’t find it anywhere.

Full Moon In Virgo – Navigating with Grace

full moon in virgo

I found this beautiful image on pinterest and after a diligent google image search still could not find an attribution. if you know who this artist is, will you comment and let me know? Thank you…

It’s Full Moon again! Full Moons bring fruition and revelation. What seeds did you sow at the last New Moon? How have they taken root? Now is the time to look at those New Moon intentions and decide what to do next. Time to consider what needs to be released. Time to slow down a little and consider the places in your life that are full, ripe, and abundant – celebrate the fullness and practice gratitude. At the same time, consider the things that have reached their peak or natural ripeness, and need to be transformed or released or diminished. Want less of something in your life? Say so now, and watch it dwindle as the moon wanes.

This intense Full Moon at 15° Virgo asks us to deal with the Virgo/Pisces duality within us. We are being called to healing and wholeness through using a skilful balance of discernment and flow, a balance of intuition and clarity, groundedness and release.

What a challenge! Other aspects in the sky are pushing us hard to change, to grow, to release, and to feel deeply, and on some level to claim our power and fight for our dream. We might feel as though we are in limbo, or being tossed on stormy emotional seas – we may be longing to just feel ‘normal’ again. This Moon provides wisdom we need to get through this time, if we are skilful enough to use it.

Yes, change is uncomfortable. The key to surviving this period of flux is GRACE. We must dance our way through this – to dance on uneven ground requires the strength, balance, and discernment of the Virgo temperament, combined with the continuous flow and surrender of the Pisces soul.

Remember that the other meaning of GRACE is a gift from the divine. The highest manifestation of this lunation is this kind of grace. Use all of your feminine elegance, discernment, gentleness, flow, and clarity to deal with today’s challenges. If you can synthesize the light and shadow of this time, you will be gifted with true grace.


Each set of Moon Journal Pages will contain:

~ beautiful artwork and collages by Bronwyn

~ an in-depth write up on the energies of each Full and New Moon and how best to use them in your life

~ a printable moon phase mandala for you to fill in and use daily to track your moods, feelings, cycles, and life events through the phases of the moon

~ suggestions, instructions and recipes for New and Full Moon Rituals and activities each month according to each month’s moon signs and aspects

~ gorgeously decorated journal pages for you to record your New and Full Moon Intentions, plus other moon-cycle related journal prompts

learn more or purchase here

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Corinna - Yes to grace! I need it so much right now.
I am happy to read from you again. Missed your posts!
Spring blessings, Corinna