Something is Happening to My Art

The other day my big sister glanced round my house and commented, “Your art has become a lot more colourful, hasn’t it?” I dismissed her observation, wondering briefly if what she actually meant was, “you used to do such DULL work!”

But then I started noticing things. I’d reach for some bright orange or blue and a voice in my head would say, “Are you sure? Not too bright?” and I’d dismiss it. The paintings are coming out bolder, more celebratory, and yes, much more colourful.

She’ll never hear it from me, but my big sister was right 🙂

I’m guessing this is due to a number of things. It’s been a difficult few years and I’ve only just started painting again in full force since Greg’s cancer was diagnosed. Hard to paint and teach and keep an eye out for Greg (especially with all the emergency hospital admissions – ten last year?) … and do the dishes, the washing, the groceries, pay the bills, be a mum, a friend, a daughter. My painting took a back step.

But Greg’s cancer seems to have gone into hiding. Perhaps it’s gotten scared off by Greg’s attitude – his prayerful acceptance, his meditation, the treatment he’s received (which includes loving friends and family, acupuncture, medication and energy healing) and most importantly, his defiance of the odds and immersion in his creativity. His scans are stable. His oncologist has done an unprecedented thing and taken him off his chemotherapy for 2 months … and then, who knows? This time last year, he was most definitely dying. Now, he’s rehearsing for his very own big musical production The Servant.

Well, if he’s making art, so can I. In Very Bright Colours.

But I suspect there’s another reason for the technicolour turnaround. For the past few years, I’ve witnessed the art being made my students during my intensive workshops: Beginners, making the most gorgeous, incredible work, riots of colour and life and energy that burst out of these brave souls in one day, and blow me away each time. All that accumulated inspiration – hundreds of students making over a thousand paintings, right before my eyes. It was bound to happen.

All the while I thought I was teaching them, they have been teaching me.

I’m frequently heard saying at the end of a workshop that I want to take all their work home. And I do want to! How could you not? They inspire me, uplift me, and fill my heart with joy…


So Greg and I are making art, and if, as someone once said, “Making art is a gesture of hope”…

I might add, I think it saves lives 🙂



Comments 52

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      Hi Stephie! I would love to hear your story — it’s amazing to find common threads in all our lives, no matter how far apart we are 🙂 thanks for stopping by! x

  1. Thank you for sharing. Isn’t it interesting how life’s journey brings us through hills and valleys and we can amaze ourselves often at how we can become stronger. Love the bright colors (yes, your sister is right!). =)

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      Thank you Suzanne, for your kind words. We all have SUCH amazing journeys when we take the time to stop and think about it (and be grateful!)!

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  2. Such an inspiring story, Malini. I am so happy that you are continuing with your own creative work in the midst of everything life is throwing you way. Sending healing and joyful vibes to you on the other side of the world! So happy to have met you through Bloom True!!

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      Hello Stephanie
      thank you for your kind message and for taking the time to stop by. I’m catching those healing and joyful vibes xx

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  3. Beautiful Malini,
    I got goose bumps reading this post today x Very moving, and very beautiful. I feel you are in a much better place for you when you make time to paint and allow what needs to come forward to flow freely. This helps you support your loved ones also. Much love my beautiful friend and thank-you for always sharing your heart and allowing us to learn and grow in turn.
    Liza xxx

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      Liza, it warms my heart to see your name on my screen, always! Thank you so much for your loving words. I wish we could exchange some over your dining table and with some of your delicious beetroot cake (that I haven’t tasted yet 🙂 and a steaming cuppa 🙂 love love love

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      Hey Kel! It’s all just a stage isn’t it? I’m probably going to do sepia paintings next as I’d have had a colour overload 🙂 It was quite an epiphany for me to recognise the change, and why it was happening. Thank you for loving my paintings almost as much as I love your writing 🙂

  4. Made me cry! Not because of sadness, but joy. Both of you doing sooo fantastic work amidst the trials sent, and you becoming so much more of yourself!! Love it all (and always have). Thank you for being a friend of such talent.

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  5. Malini, your blog post touched me so deeply. What an incredible journey of healing for Greg and also for yourself. I love his attitude and what he did for his treatment plan to get him past the cancer. Such beautiful art you are both creating. Wishing you both many more blessings in your lives. xo

    1. Thank you so much Suzanne! I only recently realised that we really were two artists creating at the same time 🙂 It’s not always easy! But he has set an incredible example of grace under fire.

  6. Thanks for ‘blooming true’ Malini. Yes love your work. Art is healing, love your Art!
    “to practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your
    soul grow. So do it.” –Kurt Vonnegut

  7. Thank you Malini for such a moving and inspiring post. I believe that the mind is a very powerful tool in healing the body and in Greg’s case this is so true. Loving your new injection of colour in your paintings.

    1. Hello Kirily, thank you for taking the time to stop and read my musings 🙂 What a wonderful mysterious journey life is, with all it’s twists and turns, and potholes and mountains. Glad to share a tiny moment of that story with you!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing, Malini. I totally agree – making art/painting/being creative can be so powerful. I too have had some quite hard years – but in the start of this year I suddenly felt a deep need to begin painting again. I have always been drawing and have been painting before – but that was almost 20 years ago. Now I’m all in – and has been on the most fantastic journey ever since 🙂

    1. It’s quite addictive, once we get into it, isn’t it? I’m sorry you’ve had some hard years, but thankfully, your creativity was waiting quietly for you to scoop it up and bring it back to life! Good for you, and thank you for stopping by xx

  9. What a lovely and moving story, and so beautifully written as always.Thank you for sharing both your story and your talents . xxx

  10. Malini
    After I received your friendship request on Facebook I realised you were the person whose painting I loved posted on Flying Lessons. Pardon me for not making the connection. There are just SO MANY NAMES in the group it’s really hard to keep track.
    I love the colour and texture in your work, very reminiscent of collagraphs which I love working with. I look forward to getting to know you better and seeing more of this lovely writing as well as painting.

    1. Oh, thank you Carol! It is quite crazy making connections with so many people in cyberspace! I’m glad we’ve linked up and hopefully when things settle down there’ll be time for more quiet ‘chats’. I love collagraphs, by the way! Thank you for your kind words about my art… and thank you for stopping by xx

  11. It sounds like you’re both in a better space. I think an honest look into one’s mortality does do wonders for creativity or for any endeavour that requires getting past our own egos. I guess often in life we’re often afraid of failing, but when faced with death everything pales into insignificance and that dreadful thing called procrastination dissolves.

    All in a days work for you guys, inspiring stuff to the rest of us.

    Much peace and joy to you both 🙂



  12. Hi Malina, Your post so deeply conveys the vast mystery of healing energy and the exquisite part that creative expression plays in it. Thank you for sharing your story and the blessings that surround you right now – may they continue to surround you. I was in Flora’s Bloom True class in February 0 it’s nice that we now get to meet at Flying Lessons

    1. Hello Irene
      Thank you for reading my post, and for sharing your thoughts, I am quite touched by everyone’s response and the wonderful kindness ‘flying’ around 🙂 may we share many more stories xx

  13. Hi Malini,
    Your post was heartfelt and amazing. The part that creativity plays in our life is huge and as you attest to this I can see this touching many peoples lives. Thank you for being able to share your story. I think it will help others and touch more people than you realize. Glad to be in Flora’s class with you even though it is through cyberspace!

    1. Hello Shannon! I do hope we get to meet and share some stories in real life one day, I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about! It’s kind of you to take the time to read my story. Let’s stay in touch xx

  14. Hi Malini
    Such an awesome, inspiring story – thank you for your sharing with us. Its so wonderful that things are looking so good and my heart is with you both. I’m very much a beginner and fairly new to this art and creativity world but am constantly dumbfounded that there are so many wonderful, caring and lovely souls out there – you are one of those.One day I would love to get to one of your classes in wonderful Western Australia which I do love. Take care my fellow “bloomer” and shine bright!!!

    1. Hello Marilyn
      thank you for your lovely lovely words! Creativity is a magical thing and every day I seem to learn more of its power! I do hope we meet one day, until then much love to you x

  15. HI Malini!
    Your story reminds me how important it is to live here and now. To appreciate each day and people we love. Thank you for sharing. I love your art and I hope I get the opportunity to meet you one day:-)

  16. hey, your big sister likes your art whichever way:) I’ve been a great admirer of your art from the beginning…
    glad you took notice of my observation in the way it was intended…
    just an interesting point of view…(you know i love bright colors though)

  17. Am so glad you “blossomed” into my space because of Flora. Life just throws stuff at us, so all the more reason to color outside the lines, take deep breaths, long walks, and mostly be silly!!

    1. I’ll second that! Deep breaths and long walks are my thing…and being silly…well, I try so hard to keep a straight face but really, it’s much more fun being silly 🙂 Thanks for coming over and saying ‘hi’ Ginny! x

  18. What a moving story, I feel this has taken alot of courage to write and and I too want to say thank you for sharing both your story and your talents as well as your inspiring students work. I really like your colour and movement. It reminds me of Miro’s work!

    1. Hello Andy, what kind words, I appreciate them! You are the courageous one, being in a group of women! I appreciate your thoughts and your time in reading my story, thank you!

  19. Thank you for sharing your personal story and insights. I reminds me to look for beauty and possibility in every circumstance, not just when my world is how I wanted it

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