Friday, December 5, 2014

A Tribal Gathering on the Emerald Isle

I have found my tribe. 
A colourful clan of mixed media art journalists.  
Some prefer to make their own books to hold their expressions.
Sometimes what we do in our journals spill out onto canvas. 
But the starting point is almost always in the safety of a journal. 

Keeping a journal is much like inhabiting a home - it is a place of nurturing, a place of rest and revitalization, a place where we feel safe to be ourselves, play, make our marks, make mistakes and learn and grow. 

We keep journals for different reasons - creating art, to gather information, to preserve images, for travels, for self-understanding and personal growth, for healing, to express gratitude, to capture precious childhood moments and to chronicle our spiritual journeys. 
The list is infinite. 
The purpose constantly evolves depending on where we are in our lives. 
But always....a journal filled with imagery and colour.

So during September this year, 45 of us slowly made our journeys from various points on our planet towards the meeting point - Bantry Bay on the southern shores of Ireland. A place of astonishing beauty.  

Our venue was Bantry House and Gardens. It was built in the 1600s and had been owned by the White Family since the 1700s when it was inhabited by the Earl of Bantry. Overlooking the bluest of sea lakes surrounded by layers of greenest peninsulas, islands and hills that gradually fade into the distance. 
It became "A Space for Dreaming".
(Click on the link for a beautiful montage of photographer Tara Morris' pictures)

The light was soft, the views were soothing, surrounded by welcoming eyes, open arms and supportive hearts from the Netherlands, Germany, England, the US, Mexico, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Canada and Denmark.  For 6 days we poured our hearts out onto paper. Facilitated by the wonderful Orly Avineri, Flora Bowley, Pauline Agnew (visionary artist & retreat organizer), Melinda Cootsona and Tara Morris (photographer & cheerleader/praisesinger).

Side by side we created.
Sometimes silently.
Sometimes giddy with laughter.
Sometimes tearfully.
But always, always choosing to see the beauty. 

Together we weaved a memory blanket.
We became a tribe. 
We still throw our blanket open regularly.
Supporting each other in cyberspace through whatever life brings.
My heart is full. 
And brimming with gratitude.


Gillian Pearce said...

What a wonderful post Anel. I love it. Seeing those pictures took me straight back to those days (even when it rained :-) ). I hope you artists journey continues to go well and you will look usup should you ever find yourself in the UK.
Much love
Gillian xxx

Gillian Pearce said...

That was supposed to say "Beautiful SUNNY days". :-) x

Elise said...

This is a beautiful post!! Thank you for taking the time to remind me of the magic I experienced.

cindy said...

What a wonderful gem in my mail today -- these photos and words take me back to that special week. A smile on my face and in my heart; our souls forever intertwined. Happy December Anel.

Anel Stricker said...

Awesome to hear from you Gill! We'll definitely meet in the UK in 2015. Keep painting girl! xx

Anel Stricker said...

So happy you were reminded of the special times we had Elise! Have a sparkly December! xx

Anel Stricker said...

Oh Cindygirl! I so agree with our souls being connected! So happy you enjoyed this. Have a special, special December with your new "baby"! xxx

jennifer anderson said...

and a blog is a journal!