Artists and art exhibitions

Why perseverance is important for all of us


How many books on the subject of creativity do you have on your bookshelves? One, two, perhaps ten ... even more? who knows .... sometimes we buy beautifully colourful ones, with lovely designs, believing that they will be enough to get us going.... but how often do we notice that our enthusiasm for our lovely new book rarely stays with us for more than a few days .. so we start again, this time doing some of the exercises ... then we stop ... we put it on the side for later ... still dreaming about the time when we will use our creativity to create that amazing, amazing, magnificent ... "something" .. maybe a book, maybe a painting, perhaps taking that adventurous trip to a learning destination that we had been thinking about ....but somehow we kept postponing until later .... or a woolly warm pullover we decided one day with great enthusiasm to knit ... or that gourmet meal to cook using a recipe from one of the many superbly published books we have ....which too easily become photo albums of what might have been... 


Everything but absolutely everything depends on our PERSEVERANCE, yes our perseverance .. Without it .. nothing happens ... we can of course tell ourselves that we do not have enough time, that we need to put aside an hour or two to start our creative project, but we are too listless and so prefer to chill-out on the sofa with something nice to hand to watch yet another something.... just for a few moments of course ........ to simply disconnect from OURSELVES. 


I am just like you ... I get distracted by lots of things.......  but after years I have come to understand that practice, and practice, and practice makes it possible for me to open the gates to my imagination.....(because, like a rusty door, it always opens easier if it's oiled) and it's always amazes me that when refreshed and exercised, my imagination consumes me, it takes control of my hands and mind, that I can be making or sipping a coffee while my imagination is somewhere completely different enjoying itself.

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It is almost the end of February and, despite the distractions and the weather, I have continued to explore the endless possibilities for my own creative journey, helped along the way by the exercises suggested in my own book Be a creative explorer ....yes, I use my own workbook to help me to exercise my own imagination. February was a very, very dark, cold, windy, rainy month here on the southern coastline of England and I really loved hiding away from what was going on outside and completing a few more pages of my workbook (you can see the photos up and down this piece) which invites you to ... write a letter to yourself, to create a collage about the happy moments in your life, to draw perfectly imperfectly (like life itself), to colour in as it takes you then and there....and so on and so on. 


Be a creative explorer invites you to get rid of the desire for perfectionism (because life is for living), to START NOW, to experiment, to make mistakes and to work out how to take advantage of them.... and in so doing to transform your amazingly grow that sense that Yes I Can. Start now, start wherever you are, your imagination is waiting for you. 


Fusions of colour an exhibition


What appears on a painted canvass, what you speak of, the words you write, the fragrances of the spices that rise from what you cook, are all reflections of a past spent somewhere, sometime, a past spent in a buried context.  Colours have differing connotations for me......... red can mimic drama but not always, green a life among beautiful hills, blue and white a life lived near the sea. My work is based on untold life stories, a fusion of colours with meanings that can only be worked out by looking at them, by thinking about what they are saying to you. 


I took part in my first exhibition 4 years ago, very soon after leaving a soul destroying job in London. I was exhausted, the newest member in an established semi professional art group and everything was exciting to me. It was a new world, with new rules, new expectations, new battles, new challenges and a very, very naive me. 


This is my first exhibition where I exhibit with only one other artist. It feels so different, so exhilarating, so liberating. Funnily enough I can breath with ease, no unexpected dramas, no ego battles. Oh boy it feels different ... it feels good. Sometimes, in order to find yourself .. you need to go your own way, you need to take a leap of faith.


The exhibition starts on April 23rd until May 5th.

Private view: Saturday, 25th of April from 2pm-6pm. 

I will share my passion for intuitive painting and will speak a bit about how painting arrived :) in my life through 2 taster demonstrations on Friday, April 24th from 11-1pm and April 30th from 11-1pm. 

You can find out more about Orna and her work at and you can see more of my work at

I hope to see you at The Grange Gallery in Rottingdean


An introduction to Intuitive Painting Workshop, March 7th



Expressions of the Souls presents

An Introduction to Intuitive painting 

with artists 

Corina Stupu Thomas and Julie Caddy


Join us of this one day workshop and explore the unexpected, be liberated by the process of Intuitive Painting. 

Using a multi-layered approach that incorporates acrylic paints, collage, mark making and stencils, you will be able to create art that is meaningful to you. 

Continue if you wish with an on-going series of Creative Workshops throughout the year. 

No previous experience needed. 


Saturday March 7th, 

9.30 am till 3.00pm

£70 +£12 materials 

(30£ deposit required)


Contact: Julie Caddy 07930347536

Corina Stupu Thomas 07866543782


Venue: Feathered Earth Drums& Art Studio

Unit 1, 42a Commercial Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3XE



Spring time and the exhibition at the Hop Gallery

I love spring! I love paying attention to the leaf buds appearing slowly on the birch tree in my garden, the Carmelia showing the first flower buds early in February followed by the daffodils appearing in unexpected corners of the garden, then the rhododendron and azalea (which are waking up slowly at the moment ... always in the same time).


Paying attention .. doesn't come naturally to me ... not at all ... back in Romania I don't remember noticing the nature around me ... things were happening .... but somehow it seemed as if it was in a parallel world. I was busy ... very busy ... studying, preparing for exams, passing exams after exams, going by bus to and from school, college, university, jobs ... I was coming ... going a hectic rhythm ......... I was in a hurry .. always living in the future .. studying for the future, planning events related to my job .. in the future ..... the truth is that ... I did not miss nature, I did not have time to miss it. It was my normality. 


But things change, life rhythms change .. and I find this fascinating! 

Fascinating is also the fact that ... nowadays .. I paint ......... I have never painted in Romania but here, by the sea , in a different country, i do and it seems natural, it seems normal. It is another normality, connected to the who I am now and here.  If you are in the East Sussex area, do visit the exhibition I am taking part in at the HOP GALLERY in Lewes. The exhibition is open until May 5th, every day from 10.30 - 5 pm. You will have the chance to connect with 12 dynamic artists, 12 different styles, 12 different ways of interpreting .. reality! Enjoy! 


How to clear your negative emotions with a brush and paint


If you are human you are definitely prone to mood changes .....  highs and lows ... it's the way life works. How you deal with such moments is very much connected to what you saw in your family, how they dealt with challenging situations, with stress. Of course you add your personal touch  :) but ... a lot it is  learned behaviour.

When we hit rock bottom and our old "how to deal with stress" techniques don't seem to work anymore,  we start to look for alternative  ...........ways to cope when life gets tough. 

I'm sure you : 

- meditate

- talk to a friend

- write in a journal

- go for a drink and maybe more

- go shopping

- run

- cry 

- shout  ..... 

What I'm proposing today is ... to "wash away the blues" with a brush and a few paints. 

So, let's suppose you've had a hard day, a day with things really seem dark and gloomy. Pick up a glass of red wine ... or maybe white ... or maybe a cup of tea ... or two, a piece of paper (it can be white or it can be one of those old paintings you are fed up with), a tube of black paint and maybe dark blue as well, a few juicy pens ... and .... that's about it ..... you can start .... the process of washing away your dark feelings ...  


 Step one - take an old painting you don't need anymore (see my image above) or a piece of paper .. size is not important but not smaller than an A4 size

Step 2 - take a juicy pen and start writing down your emotions, the ones you want to let go off and just scribble ... in big, big letter, turning the page upside down many times. 

Step 3 - time to use your brush and the black paint .. and cover the whole page with black ... 


Step 4 - fold the paper (see images above) and paint the white side and fold again ... and paint the white side again ... keep folding and painting until you end up with a tiny piece of folded paper  .......... all black and dark and small now ... now ... you have a few options : 


1. burn it 

2. chuck it away in the bin

3. wrap the paper around a stone and throw it away in a river, sea .... 

Try this and ... let me know how you will feel! 



Intuitive painting workshop on September 1st - postponed


The magic of intuitive art


 Would you like to spend a wonderful relaxed day in the countryside a few minutes away from the beautiful Bodiam Weald in East Sussex?

Would you like to nurture your soul, experience painting for pleasure and not for result?

Would you like to awaken your creativity?

 Join us on September 1st, 2013 from 11.00 - 3.00

 Cost per person - £30.

All materials are provided. Be excited to paint ...BIG!

Light organic lunch is included in the price. The lunch is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

10% of the investment will be donated to a charity of my choice.

 Come and explore intuitive art with Corina!

 All details will be sent via post once booked. Only small groups taken so book now!

 For more details call Corina at 07866543782 or email

Here are a few testimonials for previous workshop participants: 

"Corina, is an amazing intuitive art tutor and coach. She has been a true inspiration, helping me unblock at my very deepest level. I have read many books, taken many classes, however, Corina's understanding of the human condition and her ability to inspire you to paint free from you deepest fears is truly unparalleled. I cannot thank her enough.

If you really want to be free to paint intuitively and break your fears once and for all, whilst being inspired to live a life of self actualisation and artistic joy, Corina is the tutor for you. I cannot recommend her highly enough!" - Phyllis P 

"Leave all self-expectations behind and be prepared to be amazed at what you discover about yourself at Corina's Healing Art workshops" - Chantal 



"African dream", photos, poems, memories

Years ago my English teacher Jane introduced me to Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "IF" ....... 

"If you can keep your head when all about you

are losing theirs and blaming it on you. 

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you ...... here to read the whole poem

I remember copying it by hand and sticking the piece of paper on the back of my bedroom door. It was late '80s in Romania and the poem spoke to me on so many levels. 

Little did I know that years later I will live not far from Rottingdean, a place where Kipling wrote a number of his famous books .... but, meandering as we did yesterday, through "Kipling's Gardens", this is another story for another time. 

African dream poster

I want to speak today about "African Dream" a photographic exhibition being hosted by the Grange Gallery in Rottingdean, East Sussex. I just couldn't have asked for a better exhibion to attend as a way of being introduced to the village and to the Library/art gallery/coffee shop. 


An exceptional collection of African sculptures in the Grange Gallery's garden

 The exhibition is a joint effort of Bob Webzell and Wayne Visser .....two people passionate about Africa and who are ready to share their view, hope, gratitude  with the world through photos and words. 

When I read Wayne Visser's words: 

"I am an African 

Not because I was born there

But because my heart beats with Africa's ......."

tears came to my eyes because I had vivid flash backs of my own memories of Africa and its brave people, neverending generosity, joy of life, stunning scenery, raw and pure's words and the images of life taken by Bob surrounding me in the exhibition helped me reconnect with the Africa of my own soul. 


Wayne Visser and Bob Webzell


You can read more of Wayne Visser's  poems written from the heart here  and also buy the inspiring book based on this exhibition here 

When one has the priviledge of talking to the artist himself, everything becomes brighter, stories start pouring, the dance of shared passions is a music that one cannot but join in and celebrate .... and this is what happened, it really did.... we visited the exhibition for 5 minutes, just to have a quick look at the premises (because I will exhibit my paintings there with Art flow in October)  ...... two hours later ... we were still there !  Read more about Bob and his passion for Africa in words and stunning photographs  here 


What do yo know about me?


I couldn't leave without one framed photo of Bob's in particular .... I call it "What do you know about me?" and it moved me beyond words ... it still does. Every time I now look at it I see another story, and another one, painful ones and yet oozing strength, determintation, resilience. This is .... Africa! 

 One last thing .... all proceeds of their exhibition go to supporting an inspiring project in a tiny village in Tanzania. I'm planning a special feature on their special school project in the Monduli mountain area, close to Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti, a project with the sustainability of a great tribe, the Maasai, in mind but until then, please have a look at their website here


Paint 5 exhibits at the Hop Gallery in Lewes


"Visualize your dreams"  .... I read those words a few years ago  .... visualize, dreams ... words that did not make too much sense to me at that time. Our upbringing, the society we grow up in, the family environment puts such an imprint on the way we think, feel, assess reality. 


I'm sure that years ago when the members of "Paint 5" painting group started to paint for the first time ... exhibiting at the Hop Gallery in Lewes was ... a dream ... something to be desired. Today I've had the joy of visiting the exhibition that started on June 22nd and it really made me feel good especially because I had the joy of meeting 2 of the artists ....Kate Penoyre and Sheila Marlborough. As an artist in a small community one comes across names of other artists, sees their work in various exhibitions but it might take years to meet them in person. This is why I really like exhibitions where the artists are required to steward  .... the whole experience of visiting an exhibition changes, it's richer, more memorable and sometimes ... it translates into friendships. 

I know that ... because it happened to me. 

One last thing ... given our strange summer, where rain is the name of the game, one needs uplifting colours as much as possible ... this exhibition definitely gives you, the viewer, the gift of colours and atmosphere. 

The exhibiting artists are  ... Angela Perrin, Lesley Robertshaw, Kate Penoyre, Sheila Marlborough, Sue Barnes. 

Anyway my darlings ... the exhibition ends on July 4th so there is still time ..... :) While in Lewes don't forget to visit Buttercup Cafe. It is a delightful, quirky place with divine cakes, delicious, creative lunches cooked almost in front of you. And ... the place is full of ... colour :) 


The Royal Watercolour Society, The Royal Academy of Arts and Manet

Situated only a few minutes away from the Tate Modern and next to the new Blackfriars station entrance, the Bankside Gallery which belongs to the The Royal Watercolour Society was clearly a revelation for me a few days ago when I was finding my way to The Royal Academy of Arts. I was in quite a hurry ... as the cold wind was really cutting through my coat but the moment I noticed the gallery I turned on my heels and it was a matter of ... Manet can wait for a bit. 



The current Bankside exhibition consists of the successful entries to the Royal Watercolour Society's annual open competition and it offered us a delightful half an hour in a splendid environment, surrounded by lots of styles of painting ... making me really dream about a day when one of my paintings might be displayed there. Everything starts with a dream doesn't it? So the next step is to try and go through the process of being accepted to belong to this prestigious society.  

Twenty minutes later, we found ourselves five minutes away from the Royal Academy of Arts, a place I had never been to before. But another stop, another discovery delayed our journey and we found ourselves in "an Alladin's cave", surrounded by lots of nuts, coffee, dry fruit, smiles and inviting smells .... in "Carpo - nuts, chocolate and coffee", a brand new shop at 16 Piccadilly. It is a family business, opened 3 just weeks ago and it originates from Greece. I just adore independent shops and salute any independent initiatives ... I know how challenging this is and I would love Londoners and visitors to support this shop. The products are divine that's for sure! 



A week ago I had the pleasure of seeing right in front of me Manet's "A bar at the Folies-Bergere" (exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882 )  at the Courtauld Gallery. Having been to see the acclaimed Manet - Portraying Life at the Royal Academy of Arts I cannot but still think that for me "A bar at the Folies-Bergere" is my favourite of his. 




Is it because I am seduced by the sad eyes, the vulnerability that comes from the barmaid, the luxurious surrounding reminding me of Alexandre Dumas, fils - "The lady of the Camellias" ... who knows. I'm just delighted that I will be able to see it many times given that it belongs to the Courtauld Gallery. 


But let's go to the special exhibition open until April 14th, 2013 at the Royal Academy, the first major exhibition in the UK devoted to the work of Edouard Manet. What you will be able to admire are mostly portraits, starting from the early paintings of his family to the later works created around 1878. His love of capturing the soul of his sitters on canvas is pretty obvious and portrait after portrait you will have the chance to meet members of Manet's family and friends including famous writers and poets (Zola, Mallarme, Baudelaire), artists (Eva Gonzales and Berthe Morisot) and much more. 

Although it was an enjoyable experience, and it was incredible to read that many of the paintings had not been shown during Manet's life, somehow I was left with a feeling of longing ... longing for his painting Olympia (the painting that caused such a shock and astonishment when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1865), I missed feeling his non conventional side! 

It is definitely worthwhile visiting the exhibition but stop at the Courtauld Gallery and make a note to visit Musee D'Orsay in Paris and admire Olympia. 

Art brings souls together, art travels through time and for a while makes us feel that the past, present and future are one.