Wednesday 29 August 2012

Dream Catching - Original Painting for Sale

So, I'm finally done with this one. She captures a new beginning and represents an interesting journey for me. Dabbling in abstracts has always been elusive to me. I love abstracts of others; Flora Bowley's, Tracy Verdugo's, Mary-ann Wakeley there are many whose abstract paintings I just love but I find it hard to make my own. That said, I adore this painting I just finished. And I love that I combined abstract with one of my usual faces (faces, I'm addicted, can't help but draw/ paint them). :)

I'm going on the Somerset Art Retreat end of September and will have the joy and pleasure to be taught by Flora Bowley, Teesha Moore and Orly Avineri. I'll also get to meet the enigmatic Erin Faith Allen (can't wait!!).

I hope to deepen my understanding of abstracting one's painting style by learning from Flora!

In order to put this painting up for sale, I hung it on our wall down stairs so I could take proper pictures of it and Andy (the magical husband) saw it and went: "Wow, it looks great! Can I buy it?" :) (He always knows how to say the right thing, haha!). And I said; "No honey, we need to sell it so we can put food on the table" - "Oh yes, ok, well, maybe we can leave it to hang there while we wait for it to sell".

Adorable no?

So this painting now hangs on our wall until some lucky buyer snaps it up!

So let me tell you a bit more about it:

1. It's big: 28 x 36 inches no less!

2. It's vibrant: I used mostly golden paints which are known for their vibrancy, the painting commands attention as soon as you see it.

3. Lots of contrast see #2.

4. It's created on stretched canvas - the sides are painted - it's ready to hang (though could be framed if you want to).

5. Materials: 95% acrylics.

6. I love it. The girl's facial expression is hugely emotive to me.

7. I hope it goes to someone who loves it as much as Andy does :).

Dream Catching
Original Painting by Tamara Laporte

Buy Now
£290 GBP
(+ shipping which will be invoiced after main sale as the painting is so large)

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Life Book 2013

“Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU”
is a year-long mixed media art class organised by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts.



Tam is joined by 21 incredible art teachers who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you'll be creating a minimum of 2 loose mixed media art journal pages per month (through a minimum of 2 lessons a month) which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)!

Read all about it below, watch the promo video: 

Praise for Life Book

"Hi peeps I'm just dropping in here to let everyone who's considering signing up for the 2013 Lifebook know that they shouldn't hesitate.  This is the best £60 you will pay for ANY on line course.  I have learnt so much through Tam and this wonderful community of artists - we not only learn from the fantastic tutors, we learn from each other and that's half the fun - everyone is willing to share their learning experiences, their tips and their art.  It's truly an inspirational place to hang out and chat and be a part of. It's also a terrific way to sample lots of artist's styles and techniques and perhaps to try some of their on line classes too - there's everything you need here whether you're coming in as a completely new artists or someone who's experienced, you really won't regret this.  I honestly think it's one of best 'experiences' I've ever bought into - Tam has made this a wonderfully safe place to try new things without pressure, you can participate as much or as little as you feel able or want to - you will ALWAYS find help and encouragement.  Thank you so much Tam for making this possible xxx"
 - Dee Champion, UK

*Teacher Line Up has been announced, scroll down!*

We are going to be joined by an AMAZING array of teachers INCLUDING the awesome and amazing 

Melody Ross

from Brave Girls Club! 


Don't miss out on joining this awesome course!

“Life Book – a celebration and honouring of self!" is an EPIC year long art workshop which will begin on January 1st 2013! With monthly mixed media lessons by Tam and a wide variety of additional lessons and other activities by another 21 contributing mixed media art teachers, you will be chronicling your development and growth of 2013 in many mixed media pages which by the end of the year you will combine into a journal (or Life Book). You will be part of a thriving, buzzing and creative community of artsy people for a whole year. The course will be overflowing with lessons, exercises and activities to keep you inspired and motivated. Additionally you will also be challenged to include self celebration/ honouring/ healing exercises into your journal pages which are bound to make you feel good about yourself! This is the biggest thing I’ve ever organised, I hope you’ll all take part! :) Download the monthly course outline by clicking on the PDF image.  

Download a tentative supply list by clicking on this image:

How does Life Book work?
Once you have sent payment through you will be added to a private group on my ning site. There will be some sort of activity every week, but you will get at least 2 main mixed media art lessons each month. I myself will contribute 10 lessons throughout the year and every month there will be 1 or 2 more guest teachers contributing a lesson as well. You'll be creating your lessons on single pages and by the end of the year you will bind all your pages into one big book, a Life Book. 

How are the lessons structured? 

Tam will provide 10 mixed media lesson throughout the year (she's taking 2 months off as 12 turned out a bit much in 2012, ha!). Tam's lessons will be posted on every 1st Monday of the month and this year there are 21 contributing mixed media teachers who will each provide a lesson for a month they've been assigned to (these lessons will be posted each 3rd and 4th Monday of the month). In addition there will be extra things happening the other weeks: artist interviews to inspire you, journal prompts to encourage you, extra art exercises, tips and tricks, you name it! This course will be overflowing with lessons, inspiration and stuff to keep you busy the whole year!! 

You will become part of a thriving, buzzing, creative community with opportunities to make new connections, learn many new mixed media styles and techniques and make new arty friends!
  • Download all class materials to your machine, keep them forever
  • Learn many new mixed media techniques and styles
  • Grow and develop both personally and artistically
  • Receive extra inspiration, like PDF worksheets, art journal prompts, free uplifting affirmation jpegs (for you to print and hang up), give aways, artist interviews etc!
  • Connect with like-minded creative people
  • Make new artistic connections
  • Become part of a buzzing/ thriving art community for a whole year! 

Who can sign up to Life Book? I haven’t ever done any art, can I join too?
Darling, OF COURSE YOU CAN! Life Book is for EVERYONE! :) Sure, the course will be easier if you’ve done some art already, but don’t deprive yourself of learning the awesome magic making and healing power of art just because you haven’t done it before! The course is suitable for beginners/ intermediates and masters alike! Everyone will get something different out of the course. The course is run in an open, supportive, inclusive and encouraging environment where you can play, experiment, make a ‘fool’ of yourself and start all over again! There will be no judgement, we will only love you and encourage you! :) All lessons are conducted in such a way that you can follow the tutors step by step, so you can do what they do, and if that bores you, then you can go totally off the rails and do your own thing inspired by their lesson! Sounds good? :) You are loved and welcome here, no matter what skill level, for serious! :D xoxoox

What do I need and need to know in order to join Life Book 2013?

  • You will need a highspeed internet connection to be able to download the videos. If you have a slower connection you can stream the videos online and/ or learn through the PDFs, but the best option is to have a highspeed internet connection. 
  • It will be helpful to have a basic understanding of IT, like reading emails, navigating sites like Facebook and flickr etc. If you're having trouble with some IT related stuff some help can be given, but in depth IT guidance cannot be given. 
  • If you are planning on downloading and keeping the videos you will need to make sure you have "a few" gigabites available. Each video can be between 200 - 900 MB in size. Multiply that by at least 32 lessons and you can see you'll need quite a bit of space! Unfortunately I am unable to offer the entire class on DVD/ CD.
  • With regards to the personal development exercises: please understand that none of the art teachers on the course are qualified psychotherapists or psychologists. Therefore if you are prone to depression or if you think you might be triggered through one of the healing exercises it's important to me that you only embark upon the healing exercises knowing that you have an adequate support system around in the form of friends, family and/or a therapist to help you deal with painful stuff should this happen. Though there will be an 'emotional support thread' on the course available, the teachers and I are not able to provide you with in depth emotional support (as much as we would want to!)
  • The course is not based on any specific religious faith but may refer to and base lessons on and around 'non-dual' teachings. The theme focus of the course is 'self-development/ self-love/ self-healing'. We may refer to concepts such as: "The Goddess in You", "Mandalas", "Crystals", "Yoga", "Sacred Ritual" etc.    

If you want to find out more about these lovely people, please visit their websites here:

Jane Davenport -
Dion Dior -
Mindy Lacefield -
Jane Davies -
Danita -
Effy Wild -
Christy Tomlinson -
Erin Faith Allen -
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer -

Lauren Nash -
Shiloh Sophia McCloud -
Aimee Myers Dolich -
Monica Zuniga -
Michelle Kral (Mitsi B) -
Dina Wakley -
Joann Loftus -
Jeanette Maisy House -
Dawn DeVries Sokol -
Kelly Hoernig -
Rachelle Panagarry -

Melody Ross -

More Praise for Life Book!

I always thought my creativity and abilities would not be enough to paint anything worthwile. I started life book, learned so many differend methods and developed so much personally and artistically that I now think about starting a creative business! When I really look at my life I always wanted to do something creative and didn´t have the guts... I thought I was not skilled, creative, good enough even to try! Life book changed that feeling and my art skilles about 180°! (Thank you, Tam!!!) It makes you stretch out of your comfort zone and makes you reach for the stars - and you will reach at least the moon! :-)” - Leila Freiburg (a.k.a."Amy"); Germany

An amazing course that spans a whole year, and has lessons from some amazing artists that have really inspired me to try new techniques.- Monique Green, Surrey (UK)

It's a fantastic self-paced course with world wide, well known instructors teaching methods in a way that anyone can create great works of art. The course also helps to expand the mind opening the door to creative thoughts that have been dormant in some and locked in others. With visual instruction along with readable content and available help 24/7 makes it THE online art course to enroll in! “ - Connie Foster Bissell - Marshfield, MO USA

Life Book is a wonderful, Year Long, Art course. With new lessons by different teachers each week. It's fun, and challenging, and it's full of amazing techniques, I'm learning about new to me mediums, which is great! And there's a personal development aspect too, which I love. There is so much to it and it's very reasonably priced .... it's exciting and wonderful! And at the end of the year all these pieces of art you created will be bound into an amazing book. You get lots of support and encouragement... and help when you need it. And you work at your own pace. "WOW" ....I really LOVE Life Book! ;) “
- Phoebe Thibault-Sherrard, in Kitchener, Ontario

I am taking this amazing year long art class. It has so much information to learn and is so incredible. I can't recommend it enough!” - Stacie Spencer, New Market, Maryland USA

There's this GREAT class called Lifebook, available on-line! The cost is affordable...and it is so nice to have something to look forward to each week. You can work at your own pace, you can download information if you choose. The teachers are varied in style & lessons vary in content so there really is something for everyone. I've LOVED being part of this experience!” - Patricia Bleecher, MA., USA

Monday 13 August 2012

When your dreams don't come true (and how to be ok with that).

So, I don't know about you, but lately, wherever I go, wherever I read, people are MAKING THEIR DREAMS COME TRUE! 

From moving into spectacular dream homes and releasing book after successful book to tripling -no- quadrupling their business incomes and securing licensing deals. From creating spectacular e-courses and going on hugely expensive art or business retreats to going on book tours and acquiring unicorns that serve them lattes. Dreams, people, are being made true!

And I don't know about you, but when I read about all this 'dream-come-true-making', it makes me hyperventilate, just a bit. It triggers something in my brain, a base reaction, knee-jerk, much like when I see someone else eat an icecream; I MUST EAT ONE TOO! Me tooooo, I must have more, do more, go more, have more, me me me me too! 
MEEEEE & MAKE *MY* DREAMS COME TRUE TOO! NOW now! Now NOW! Like a ranting little toddler - in my head. It's a piranha sort of frenzy that ensues. Oh the possibilities, the joy and fun I *could* have, if ONLY I made all my dreams come true!

I too, MUST move into my DREAM HOME, publish a BOOK, quadruple my INCOME, secure a licensing deal and most of all acquire a unicorn! But my unicorn won't ONLY make me lattes, no! It will also poop diamonds and speak French and oh I also NEED a private jet and a baby leopard, 6 acres of land with dancing ponies, a swimming pool in the shape of a mermaid and sparkling glass flip flops. And a butler, I must have a butler. He should be British, his name will be Jeeves, he will be kind and old and overly concerned about tea.

Reading about other people's dream-come-true-making antics makes that little muscle under my eye twitch a little more crazily than it usually does.

And then I stop the crazy for a moment, and look at myself and notice that I'm in a miserable space of lack. Projecting into the future where I live a life in which 'all my dreams have come true' and one very important thing is happening here: I'm no longer noticing the beauty of my life here now. Uh-oh. I'm no longer here. I'm there, feverishly working on my 'dream-come-true-making' plans. It can get to a state where I hardly even exist anymore. I'm not here because I'm there (in an imagined future which does not actually exist), so where am I? No where. Eep! And I've stopped noticing! 

I've stopped noticing the stunning blue of the sky. The pink of the tiny rose bush on my street, the wind on my face. Dylan's curved upper lip. The taste of basil, my breath. The gorgeous pitch black of the night. Soft peaches and nectarines. Orchids. The twinkle in Andy's eye, the grin on Elliot's face. I've stopped noticing, while dreaming.
And then, I wake up for a moment and become aware of how crazy making this 'dream-chasing' can be and then my inner zen chick comes out and has a few things to say about it too. She wants to say;
Oh Tam, beautiful Tam. Them dreams of yours, they are pretty and sparkly and lovely and all, but you have to remember one thing: dreams can be assholes. Dreams promise pretty sparkly things, but they do one thing that really doesn't serve you: they take the focus away from where you are now. From what is beautiful and spectacular in your life now. Dreams, by their very nature, encourage you to dream (ha) and to spend a lot of time in an imaginary future that doesn't exist. They can make you anxious, jittery, neurotic and stressed out. There is nothing wrong with bettering and improving yourself or your life, but don't get so immersed and caught up in your dreams that it means you disappear! Don't let your dreams take you away from here and make you believe that you are now in a place of lack. Start from a place of beauty-now, gratitude-now. Upon that you can build (and maybe make dreams come true) with joy and ease.
And I listen to her and I nod and think to myself: yes.

And then, this is what I want to say:

Often, no matter what we do or don't do: our dreams don't come true. And you know what? Instead of feeling shitty and miserable about that; I want to be ok with that. No. I want to be ok before that. I want to be at a place in my life, even if I'm in a mess, with an overweight body, sleep-deprived, a few grey hairs, without a dream house, without quadrupling my business income, without a book or licensing deal, without a diamond-pooping-unicorn, a mermaid-shaped swimming pool, a jet, butler and baby leopard and still be blissfully, irrevocably, stunningly happy, just as is. With gratitude, with awe and with joy. Because life is just that: awesome, joyful, amazing without all the external stuff. I mean like, have you seen butterflies lately?!

You don't need a house, a book deal, a car, a thin body, a jet (or whatever else) to be happy and at peace. You just need to be awake to be at peace and happy. Right now. Notice.
If you think you can only be happy when you 'make your dreams come true', you are entirely missing the point of life. You are waiting for your life (your dream) to begin. For your happiness to begin based on external circumstances and materials.

Your life is to be enjoyed now, not 'only when you've achieved your dream'. When you solely focus on 'making your dream(s) come true' (whatever they may be), you're always projecting into the future and you're not noticing what you have, what you are, what is beautiful and awe inspiring right now.

To make matters worse; usually when you DO finally 'make your dream come true' it often doesn't make you happy enough and you start chasing another dream (not actually enjoying the first dream you chased after so desperately) and that way, never really living, never really being here.

Here, Alan Watts says it better than me:

So, that is my message today: it's totally ok when your dreams don't come true, because your life is gorgeous as it is, YOU are gorgeous as you are, right now. It just requires a shift in perspective dear people. (Years ago when I had a major RA flare up, I wasn't able to do anything for about a year, I couldn't work, or take part in any kind of meaningful activities, most of my year was spent in a bed, in a house, doing very little, it was a very trying and hard time for me, I was in a lot of physical pain. A friend called me up at some point and I asked him how he was doing, he complained about his horrible boss and how the trains were always late and I remember thinking to myself: "I wish I had a horrible boss and late trains to complain about it would make me feel SO part of life, I'd be so blissfully normal and part of society and have community and a purpose of some sorts." & It's all about perspective, see?).

Also: the bits we don't like about life? The shitty hard bits that leave you breathless with pain and grief: they are usually the bits where the most healing, enlightenment and growth occurs. (Just saying. So don't diss the non happy moments, they have value too as painful as they can be).

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”


Disclaimer: I'm not advocating not to strive to be the best you you can be, and I'm not saying not to try and 'make your dream come true'. I'm saying: don't start that journey from a place of lack, instead start from a place of 'enoughness'. Start from a place of self love/ life love. Start from a place of awareness and gratitude for where you are now, what you have now. That is a fertile soil ground onto which you can build "dreams coming true but it doesn't matter if they don't because OMG a ladybird!"

And when you come from that place, that place of enoughness, awe and gratitude, it so doesn't matter if your dreams don't come true, it really doesn't because life is an amazing gem, a precious gift just as it is.
The Tamracle (my inner zen chick) has spoken.

Ohm and out.


Wednesday 8 August 2012

Lady with Roses

Lady with Roses

(original sold, thank you Molly! - prints available here)

I finished the bulk of this painting while both the babies were sleeping, a blissful time, should've been sleeping, but art time is needed too. I don't get much of it nowadays.

Here are some more detail shots:

Thursday 2 August 2012

Wild Sisters & WIP

I'm working on this monochromatic piece which I'm tentatively calling '50 shades of pink' ;). Kidding. I started the second book of the '50 shades of grey' trilogy but I was so bored, I haven't looked at it since I started 'A Discovery of Witches' (Deborah Harkness) while I was in Spain. Granted, I've not actually had the time or energy to read *any* book, but I am unlikely to go back to the world of Ana and Christian's spanking sexcapades (yawn).

I love working monochromatically and in muted tones, however, I almost always end up with more contrast than I initially aimed for. Ha. It's like I can't help but put more colour in.

I've been using modeling paste to create interesting texture. There is something so satisfying about creating messy/ layered/ textured paintings. I'm not sure why layering and texture making speaks to me so much. I think it speaks to the child in me, also, there is something poignant about the symbolism of layering and textures. To some people the below might just look like a total mess, but to me, it does something to my brain! It delights me! I call it: 'art porn'. Ha ha!

I've also really been liking the faces of my girls lately. Whoever I draw, they all come out with kind, caring and loving expressions on their faces. It's like they are kind to me, like they are guardian angels of some sorts. :)

Iris posted this cartoon on my Facebook wall:

And I can't believe how accurate this is. I am seriously often in that position: screaming baby in one hand, whining toddler pulling down my trousers. Bags under my eyes, hair uncombed, asking someone (through the piercing screams) to call me back later. The only thing that is missing in this picture is the puke/ poo and banana smear on the clothes. Yes people this is the glamourous life style of a work-at-home mummy of 2 under threes.

I do really love this cartoon. It captures the moment so perfectly, it really makes me smile and feel understood somehow. Others go through this too. :-)

In other exciting news, my art work was featured on the cover of Wild Sister Magazine! Woohoo! :) I feel so humbled and excited to have been asked! My painting (You are a Sacred Being) looks so pretty on the cover, lookit:

(You can buy your own copy/ download by clicking on the image).

For my August Life Book lesson I have prepared an in depth exercise to work on childhood trauma. It's a sensitive, tender month on Life Book. Whenever I think of the trauma some children go through, it hurts me deeply. Pain and suffering in general isn't easy, but when it hits kids who are so innocent and in need, it hits me harder. 

So I've been working on this lesson with extra attention, care, tenderness and mindfulness. On Life Book, students can choose to do the healing exercises or not, no one has to do them (or anything for that matter). They can simply focus on the art techniques if they find the healing/ personal development stuff too overwhelming. But I've had feedback from many of the students saying that the personal development stuff has made a huge difference in their lives. :-) Big yays allround for that. 

It's so rewarding for me to know that Life Book has impacted at least a few people in the way that I intended. Wow, I am so lucky to be able to facilitate artistic/ creative growth AND personal growth too. :) Never even mind my own personal and creative growth! :D

Here are some images of the art work I created for the childhood healing lesson this month, I created a heavily textured page with an acrylic's transfer of an image of me as a child, placed in a little 'safe' house. The little doors were created separately and symbolise 'safety'. :) 

There is a lot to this lesson. A lot of symbolism and care for the inner child. Can't write it all down though too long! :)

If you too want to experience these kinds of lessons and another multitude of lessons from other fabulous teachers, you still can.

Did you know that now, 7 months into Life Book, people are still joining Life Book on a daily basis? It's awesome. All videos from the beginning are still available and will be available until March 2013. Registration for LB 2012 closes on September 30th though, so if you still want to join in on 2012, you can do so until the end of Sept.) But, if you want to join a course like this from the start and experience the fabulous community attached to it, maybe wait until registration for Life Book 2013 which opens on Oct 1st 2012). Wuzzah ♥! :D


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