For the classes, we were divided into two groups, and stayed within it for the entire time of the retreat. I am sure it helped us create strong bonds (but not only).
On Thursday, we started off with Danielle. Oh Danielle… let me tell you: I’ve got a crush on her even before she actually shared her soulful paintings. She was still Danielle Fraser, her maiden name.
I remember when she was the owner of a bead shop; there was something regarding the pictures of her in her blog/website that just resonated with me on a deeper lever (I know I sound totally crazy, but I’m totally okay with that). And I remember when she announced that she was closing her store, how afraid I was to see her disappear from the cyberspace I was happily following her in.
I can’t say why but my Soul felt connected to her (ok… now you do think I am a total nutjob), I think it is just difficult to really explain the feeling if you’ve never experienced it before, yourself (did you ?).
A while back, I contacted her to tell her the Truth: how much I loved her artwork, how happy I was to know she was a fellow Canadian even if it is like the other side of the World because of the distance, and more I guess that I don’t really recall of. But I told her: «we will meet someday. I don’t know when. I don’t know where. but I know we will meet eventually.» And we did 🙂
I could not wait to hug her and learn from her.
Because she was (and still is somehow) a teacher for so many years, this is flowing in her veins. Danielle’s heart lays in story telling. In each and every of her paintings but also in the forms of words (can’t wait to know more about her book); she uses both to express her stories, the ones of her ancestors and what is true to her. She lead us through what she jokingly called «quick and dirty writing», and… well, quick and dirty it was. No time to think. Let the hand writes, the mind answers, and then move on to something else.
There were lots of tears during her class, emotions were released, into our writing, into our paintings. I felt so safe not to be ashamed of my tears for once. I was understood. We were her first class, I know she was nervous but she rocked it more than she even thinks. She is gentle, she is honest, speaking her truth (as her tattoo says ;)) is what matters to her and she passed it on perfectly to us.
Some of the things I came home with, learned from/thanks to Danielle:
- Be proud of who you are
- There is no story that can not be told somehow
- How to create brown skin Nixies
- Words and Images have to be linked for me to be really happy with what I do
- There is nothing to be ashamed of when tears fall from my eyes
- You can be both sensitive AND strong
- Beauty is everywhere
- I still love writing
- No dream is too big
- It’s okay to have an evolution in our process
- Speak your Truth(s), no matter what.
I will be forever changed by this day with Danielle as my teacher…
Here are some of the paintings that I created during this class: