Painting The Feminine Spring Student Show 2019
I absolutely love spending four weeks in a virtual circle of women as we paint, share and deep-dive into our intuitive narratives. It never fails; each Painting-the-Feminine session comes with its own special magic, based on the unique blend of amazing women who show up. What unfolds during our time together enriches and directly influences who I, myself, am as an artist. It is always a great honor to host this eCourse.
Because the work we do in Painting the Feminine is intimate, vulnerable and an extension of one's Soul, the Student Show is an invitation and never a requirement. The beautiful paintings and statements you see below, demonstrate each artist's personal experience, interpretation and definition of what Painting the Feminine means to them.
Together we are brave. Together we are wise. Together we are Painting the Feminine.
Welcome to the Spring Student Show
The time I’ve spent in Painting the Feminine has given me the gift of confidence. My brushstroke or mark now has power, and I’m in tune with its nature. The prompts that highlight the process of discovering one’s own artistic voice helped me to return to my art with strength. Often weakened by life’s challenges, I have had a lot of fear blocking me, walling me off from my creative voice. That fear is still there, but the walls are now easier to climb. As I continue to paint, draw and play on my iPad, I know my connection and voice will continue to strengthen. I’m excited to see what comes next!
Five years ago, I participated in Painting the Feminine and it called me to join in again, so this is now my second round. Having previously seen a change in my attitude with my painting, I can now see that joining this great group of gals has freed me up even more! Painting the Feminine helps me accept my spontaneous work and not to fuss; to let it be and move on. It has gotten me more interested in writing about the process and perhaps to write on pieces themselves! With Connie's gentle guidance—not rules—I listen and absorb the comments and works of others. I'm still not one to comment much on the works of others, but I hope they know I was still observing it and feeling it. Sharing online was a big obstacle five years ago, but this group is so supportive, which has helped me share online more. I'm going to my studio a lot now and excited to make time anytime! Words I related to throughout the class and what I see come through in my work presently: believe, belong, accept, wisdom, maternal love, soft, flow, natural and nurture.
If it wasn’t for Painting The Feminine, I would have never gone out in public without a bra. That might sound strange, but it has deep meaning. Through this course, I reconnected with my feminine energy so truly, that I finally started to heal deep wounds through art, accept my body through dance and allow my creativity to be expressed as it desires, not as my mind thinks is should be expressed.
I became more brave as an artist and as a woman. I have established my daily creative practice which will go on after the official course is over. I am so grateful to Connie and all the amazing women for support, guidance and space to create, heal and grow!
I loved Painting the Feminine! It helped me through a difficult time. I felt supported and safe in the PTF community. Connie is such a caring teacher. I felt especially creative and productive during the group calls. It was so amazing to “meet“ each other. Thank you!
Through Painting the Feminine, I have deepened my connection to my creative voice. When guided by each prompt, I explored the landscape of my unconscious, healed wounds and brought into clear focus aspects of the power of feminine wisdom I had lost sight of. To create in a nurturing environment—supported by so many beautiful souls and guided so gently by Connie—was a truly transformative experience. Through the body of work I created during our time together, I now recognize my visual language regardless of the medium, technique or style I’ve chosen to express what needs to be seen.
Participating in Painting the Feminine 2019 gave me the impetus to return to a daily creative practice. Each evening I would surround myself with portable mediums that I could use with ease in the dining room. Watercolors, pastels, pencils and graphite were always on hand together with my mixed-media journal. Listening to and viewing the stories, meditations and the studio sessions instantly allowed my intuition to be freed.
Creating within a journal frees me from my inner critic. I considered these entries as times to simply have fun, experiment and allow what was within to be expressed. As my journal spreads increased in number, the themes became much clearer. Some of the themes that emerged throughout the course reflected family, ancestry, ritual, grief, rebirth and spirituality.
Having the opportunity to view Connie’s own art practice through the Studio Sessions, along with the collective discussions that accompanied them, was fantastic. Watching how the imagery evolved as the layers were added and changed was invaluable and affirmed that I shouldn’t give up. As an artist, I have found myself increasingly isolated over the years, until recently. Accessing other artists and the various ways that they interact with mediums to create has been invaluable, particularly online. Thanks, Connie. My journal will now always be by my side.
Diane Martin, PhD
Painting the Feminine 2019 has been fantastic! Connie and our PTF group created the space and freedom to explore painting with heart and mind. It’s about letting go—going within and entering into the flow. Fearless! Fun! It’s been liberating to play and build upon feminine meditative and symbolic themes that guide my work in expressive arts. Connie’s support and positivity incites color, movement and energy that encourage the intuitive process to emerge onto the canvas! The Lady in Green painting came about this way. She just flew out of the brush into paint! Lady of the Axe was more studied, but she, too, took on a life of her own; I followed. The painting titled Vision was a meditation on women together in communion, following their heart to their vision of a brighter world. Painting The Feminine rocks!
I began with a spider and ended with a juicy jaguar; what a magical journey it was each day in between. I learned through color and form how my inner voice manifests a deep inner language. Connie Solera—creator of Painting the Feminine—skillfully and with much heart, lead us through an exciting month of discovery. Together we learned what it means to connect with and express our memories—raw and unfiltered—through the “ancient future” of art. It was life-altering for me. I thank all the kindred souls that participated. Much was born from our efforts in love and compassion and a fierce vulnerability.
After taking this course a second time, Painting the Feminine has come to mean integration and wholeness for me. In my first round, it was more about learning to trust my intuition with knowing what to paint and when to stop; not giving much conscious thought to the process as it was happening, only dissecting it afterwards. Something shifted this time around, however, and I feel as if I’m more able to consciously express a concept or emotion; to be mindful of what I’m painting, while still fully engaging my intuition. My paintings even began to reflect this integration as a surprising amount of symmetry began appearing in my work.
Through Painting the Feminine, I practice honoring my true self and unique voice. My process is multi-faceted and evolving. It has taught me so much, including: to show up, work, strengthen my intuitive pathways, wonder, listen, question, uncover, let go, accept, be open, be authentic, be truthful, be vulnerable, be courageous, trust, share, connect, support and witness. As class members, we gathered with Connie to build a safe, nurturing environment for exploration.
Taking Painting the Feminine has, for me, everything to do with what it does for my spirit. It begins with a connection to other women searching for something different, whether in their life or their art. It adds another dimension to my work and keeps me pushing myself to develop a clearer, more concise example of who I am and why I paint. I use my paintings as storytellers and motivators; they tell me that my life is filled with beauty and mystery, and remind me that for every brush stroke, I am gifted with magic. There is always another painting, another story, another message. I have learnt to listen more deeply and ask more questions, and to Connie I am forever grateful.
This is the seventh time I have taken Painting the Feminine. Each and every time I find something within the feminine that wants to be seen and heard. This class with Connie—and all the amazing woman who take it—is always such a blessing for my heart. This current experience has been a heartfelt joy with such wisdom and love.
I find Painting the Feminine a safe place to reflect, nurture and create, with the support of an inspirational group of women. Every time I visit, I learn new things about my own creativity. I am continually amazed at Connie as she leads and supports the group that has collected. New connections and new understandings always develop.
Painting the Feminine came around at a time of transition for me. A call early in this course, gave me the catalyst to take a leap and make my art the center of my work life. It’s been liberating because I’ve found such joy and I discovered that not only did the world not fall apart, but elements of my creative expression have come beautifully into focus. I love this course! Thank you, Connie, for creating and holding the space, and to all my PTFers, for your open hearts!
Since Painting the Feminine, I have been in a creative frenzy. Already on a journey back to my feminine core and feeling an urge to paint again, Painting the Feminine has fanned those flames. I am a creative pilgrim on a journey of discovery, guided by intuition and intention.
Although creativity has always featured strongly in my life, the intuitive flow of Painting the Feminine has helped me relearn the simple delicious joy of creative play that I embraced as a child.
What surprised me most, was the figures that showed up and continue to do so through all my pieces. Previously, including a figure or face would have horrified me.
I shall not forget the ease and flow of creativity that has been opened to me through Painting the Feminine—the intuition, passion, vulnerability, rawness, being bold and making marks with intention. It has simply allowed the painting to talk to me and tell me its story.
As these words flow, I feel a huge outpouring of gratitude to Connie and her team who make Painting the Feminine possible, and to all the other beautiful women around the world who shared this magical creative journey with me. Namaste.
In the seventies, I devoured books like Our Bodies Ourselves and The Feminine Mystique. I went door to door campaigning for the ERA. I may have even burned a bra or two. I called myself a feminist then and I still do today. All these years later, it took an online painting class with one fantastic teacher (Connie Solera) to show me that the wisdom of feminism is inside of me and not something that resulted from my actions and outside influences. These things are important, of course, but I wasn’t developing a deep feminine interior life. Learning to paint with intention has given me silence, simplicity, solitude and slowness. I have developed a quiet place within me where I can listen to my emotions and my intuition. I am deeply grateful.
Painting the Feminine revealed a whole new way of expressing and experiencing my deepest self! At first, it seemed like there was no common thread of style to my work; no clear visual language as I experimented with watercolors, oil pastels and acrylics; with brushes, marks and drips. And now, as I look back at my body of work, I see all aspects of myself in the Feminine: strong, fierce, powerful, spirals, flowing, softness, gentle holding, love, Mother, courageous and vulnerable, sacred, veiled and hidden, bold and "out there", spiritually connected to Nature and a Being of Light in the world. WOW! To see and feel I am all these things and more, emerging through the paintings of myself and my inspired sisters in the Painting the Feminine circle, I am in deepest gratitude, Connie, for your teaching, offerings, sharing, vulnerability, practical and creative techniques, inspiration, heartfelt love and generosity! May the circle grow ever wider and more beautiful each day.
I was able to just BREATHE. Breathe, breathe, breeeeeeeeaaaaathe again. I was able to find my voice, reveal my art, my truth and breathe. That is what I needed and what I found doing Painting the Feminine this time around. Thank you, Connie and all the other wonderful women from our magical, creative, empowering and powerful circle. It was inspiring and a blessing to be part of.
When I paint the feminine, I am painting in my own voice, painting what resonates for me. I love learning to recognize my visual language and seeing it appear in my paintings whether I consciously try to put it there or not. Connie invites us to “paint simply for the sake of nourishing your soul.” That sums up Painting the Feminine for me.
Painting the Feminine continues to encourage me to remember that the only art worth making is art that is true—true to my own soul. The way to get in touch with that truth is to show up and work (play!) intuitively, following the subtle sensations of the body, mind and heart. This time around, simplicity was my guide in Painting the Feminine.
Since my Painting the Feminine experience, I am more comfortable attempting to paint, especially on a BIG canvas!
Through Painting the Feminine, I learned it's okay to create something COMPLETELY different from the art/artists you admire, worship, wish you could replicate! I learned that whatever comes through me, represents me in that moment. (I didn't even know she was in there!)
What surprised me most about my Painting-the-Feminine experience, was that I could step out of my comfort zone artistically, share my insecurities and triumphs with women I've just met and I wouldn't burst into flames!
If it wasn't for Painting the Feminine, I would have never attempted to paint—simply paint—especially on such a large surface! I am also not certain I would have tackled many of the topics we discussed or looked at painting as feminine or masculine. I worked through granting myself permission to finish or not finish an assignment on time (ever the good-student complex) and also was most intrigued as to how I approached the same questions differently from the first time I took this course. I was in such a different place personally in the last round. Also, I’m not sure I would have realized that perhaps my need to collage is based in breaking up the energy. I LOVE breaking it up!
What I don't want to forget about Painting the Feminine, are the connections this space has allowed us to form. Women from around the globe sharing through art, ideas about life, hopes and dreams, through candid, raw and kind conversations. It's been a blessing that I know I'll carry with me forever. Thank you again, Connie.
Painting the Feminine is always a unique experience. This round, I asked myself the questions “What would it take to become the real thing? What if I am a good artist?” I got to enjoy and embrace the rhythm of my creative process and my visual language. I had a lot of fun trusting the process, while having the honor to be part of this amazing community of artists.
Many moons ago, I felt called to paint the Sacred Feminine. But life intervened and the failed, half-finished pieces were stored away and forgotten. Fast forward twenty five years: This past winter, a newly-awakened interest in art journaling led me to Connie Solera. And when I found out about her class Painting the Feminine, the time seemed right to once again attempt to add the Sacred Feminine into my art. These three paintings would not have been created without this class. Thank you, Connie for inspiring me to once again reach into my inner soul and paint—from my heart—the feminine love and awareness found within.
Painting the Feminine came along at just the right time. Art is my therapy and I was stuck—artistically and emotionally. Connie and the women in PTF were so supportive and encouraging. If it wasn't for a fellow artist speaking up about how she journaled then painted over it, I would have never had the breakthrough I so longed for. Each of my paintings are so different in Painting the Feminine, because I'd intuitively journal whatever thoughts needed to be expelled; then just let intuition of line, color and shape take over until I got all the expression out. This work in Painting the Feminine has helped me with how I think of myself, my experiences, my need for deep relationships, my future and how I connect my feminine heart, head and hand to creating my art.
Painting the Feminine to me is absolutely precious! Every round in this course always helps me get on my straight-and-narrow when I need my “me” time and headspace in the art room. I set boundaries and rituals and they are all birthed from this class. It really helps me get where I need to be—in front of a blank page to move paint around!!!!
This spring was my fourth season of Painting the Feminine and I am amazed at how different each season is for me. As I grow and evolve into my feminine power and wisdom, my art continues to shift dramatically. My visual language has continued with a calming feel, though I've now added horizontal lines and have returned to my mixed media roots. I've expanded my use of watercolor and created with a more neutral color palette. There is also a shift in perspective where it appears at times that the viewer is looking up at images that are towering over her. I've introduced the group of "Three Wise Women" who perhaps are guiding me along my journey and through life's transitions with ease and grace.
Each season I make new friends and feel the strong support of a group of soulful and creative women from around the world. Connie is both our guide and cheerleader, holding the space for us to explore our emotions through our painting and allowing the magic to happen. I know that I will continue on with Painting the Feminine in the fall and look forward to new creative adventures. A special thank you to all the amazing women who make up this community and continue to lift each other up. Much love to you all.