Saturday, October 29, 2022

Practicing Peace

 It seems like just a blink and we are at the end of October.

My garden still has blooming marigolds and pansies that are trying to hang on, and there have been some vibrants red colours in my maple tree.

I can see the changes in the light and how it reflects on the trees and I know that the cold season is coming. That means I have to look a little harder to find  the hidden gems in each day. But they will be there. Earlier this month, I released some new class information. The Flights of Fancy Class is a 5 month long study program through the Gentle Penman.  The class is more in the form of a mentoring journey than just a teaching situation. I want your skills to soar.

 The students will actively participate and find their own vision and path. When the class opened for registration, it sold out in record time. We were overwhelmed with requests to run a second time slot. So a very limited seating for a second group of students is being offered and will open for registration on October 30th at 12:00 AM EDT which is 12:00 PM HKT. Even though we are opening this small group of seats for this course, I will not be able to accommodate all of the requests for students. I feel humbled and overwhelmed at the response and I am so grateful that you want me to accompany you on this journey.

I have a lot to do to prepare for the course and I have a robust teaching schedule for 2023. No matter how busy I get teaching, I have found some very peaceful practices to share with you. I love to write, draw, gild and paint. I love designing compositions and finding a way to share them with my students. An added blessing has been the peaceful mindset that comes with the drawing and painting. I remember early in my journey, that my grip on the brush would be tight and I would be stressed over the final outcome of the painting. Over the years, I have learned that it is the process and the practice that is most important. The final outcome is always negotiable. Now when I paint, I take a deep breath and reflect on my subject. I try to find what lesson each particular project will be teaching me.  Will I have to correct a mistake? Will I be patient and peaceful as I work through the details of the design? Can this piece I am working on bring joy to someone else? How can I share this with my students in a way that is easy to communicate and understand? The practice of drawing, gilding and painting has become a peaceful one for me. Just like writing and flourishing, it brings me so much joy and I have heard from so many others who find that same sense of joy and wonder. Although my schedule can not possible accommodate all of the student requests, there are two upcoming courses that are still available for you if you are interested. Next weekend, I will be teaching Woodland Peace which is a study in miniature painting.

I provide guides for the painting but also share how to compose your own painting. The Gentle Penman will donate half of the proceeds of the class to the World Wildlife Fund. Registration is open.  And if you want to look ahead to the hope of an early Spring, I will be teaching For the Love of Birds for Ardington School. Enrolment is kept small with Ardington so I can work closely with the students. If you wanted to find a sweet way to draw and paint birds in a foliate setting, this is a great class to start with.

You don't need special skills or drawing experience for either of these classes. I believe in the process of finding peace through working with your hands. Even if you don't think you can draw, there are entry level strategies that we can learn to make things easier.

The work that we create can be such a blessing to others. Whether you create a design for a card or an original to be framed, you will surprise yourself with what you can do. As we come on deck for the Festive Season, I hope you find joy and peace with the work of your hands. Please continue to let me know if you want to be added to the blog subscription. I also have a draft of my 2023 teaching schedule ready to share. I hope this last weekend of October is a beautiful one for you. Hugs all around. 

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