sydney

Panoramic Bushscape: bookbinding & watercolour workshop...

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Last Sunday I spent the most wonderful day at Eramboo Art Studios, learning all about bookbinding and watercolour techniques with photographer & book maker Sam Mackie, and watercolour artist Ingrid Bowen. I knew Sam from years ago when she ran my favourite cafe on the Northern Beaches, The Cook’s Larder in Avalon. And Ingrid I’d met online and admired her work, but had never met in person until Sunday. They are both incredibly talented women who are so generous with sharing their knowledge and time, it was such a treat to spend the day with them, learning new skills and meeting new people…

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Sam had set out all the materials we needed to create one of her stunning accordion books, using beautiful watercolour paper, explaining all the varying qualities of different styles of books along the way, what to use them for and why she uses various materials. We also learnt how to make the different cover pockets. Sam has an incredible eye for detail and is so generous in sharing her passion & knowledge gained over her years of making books. I can’t wait to try making another book with Sam’s instructions, I have a few ideas to try out.

After a delicious lunch and chat, we all eagerly observed Ingrid paint in her signature style - using the bush as her inspiration, she creates watercolour scenes often using only two colours. Ingrid shared her tools, techniques, watercolours and inks, and encouraged us to play with these techniques to see what would come about. Like me, Ingrid works intuitively - her tools and techniques are uncomplicated, her style is completely her own. It was so much fun to sit and paint using her tools and techniques to see what would transpire. Both Sam & Ingrid’s aim was for us to paint directly into our newly created books, and I think most of us did manage to do so - I loved walking around the room to see how unique each person’s book was, what a treasure. I didn’t finish my book as I wanted to come up with a specific idea for it, and I knew it would take a little time to evolve. I have the idea now, and am looking forward to finishing the book, it will be a gift to my daughter and I’ll show you when it’s finished.

Here is where we hung out for the day at Eramboo, nestled in the bush. As soon as I got out of my car and took a breath, I reconnected with the land of my youth…

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For more information you can head to their websites, I’m sure they’ll be sharing new workshop dates soon, it was a hit and I know it will be popular! So check out: Ingrid Bowen, Sam Mackie & Eramboo Artist’s Environment. I would also recommend joining the newsletters so you don’t miss out on upcoming workshops and events. Thank you both for such an inspiring, nurturing and soul-nourishing day! xx

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New Work: The Confetti Effect for Happinez...

The confetti is actually over 50 years old - it was in a box in my grandmother’s home many years ago and I’ve kept them all this while. They are made from tiny shapes of paper and I just love them. For the diary shot above, I combined them with petals and pods found outside my studio entrance. The beautiful ribbon is from  Tinctifolia . Little glimpses of joy are never far away.

The confetti is actually over 50 years old - it was in a box in my grandmother’s home many years ago and I’ve kept them all this while. They are made from tiny shapes of paper and I just love them. For the diary shot above, I combined them with petals and pods found outside my studio entrance. The beautiful ribbon is from Tinctifolia. Little glimpses of joy are never far away.

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Here is my latest work for Happinez Magazine, featured in their Intuition edition, out now in The Netherlands. The assignment was to create 6-8 photographs inspired by the book and talks by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Ingrid’s concept with The Aesthetics of Joy is devoted to a simple, powerful idea: that our greatest source of joy is the world around us. The art director wanted me to come up with simple ways to showcase this, through little things in our everyday lives - be it a new page in your diary, light & shadow play, or nature. My assignment was to translate this feeling to a colour range that fitted with their moodboard for the issue. I also needed to give the concept a bit more depth, meaning and spirituality. To say I enjoyed creating this series is an understatement - it was pure joy…

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I foraged most of these flowers from the beautiful nature reserve down by the water near my studio.

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Moon cookies! I made these using all natural ingredients with only a little coconut sugar. If you’d like the recipe let me know and I’ll write it up in a seperate post.

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Citrus and pomegranate seeds are bursting with joy! This shot came together beautifully,

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The sparklers were quite smoky and I was worried the studio fire alarm would go off!! It was a tricky shot but I love the effect. And the shadow and light play I created on the studio porch, using the sun as my muse.

xx

Sweet Nourishment: a tasting workshop for kids...

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A few months ago, I was having a chat with my daughter Laly about the amount of sugar in snack foods, and what she calls “treats”. She loves to snack, and I’m fine with that as long as the snacks are nourishing. We got talking about why there is so much sugar in these packaged snack foods, and what the difference is between a nourishing treat and one that is, well, the complete opposite.

It’s a hard concept to explain to a 6 year old! That’s when I got an idea: Children (and us too!) learn so much through experience, so I suggested we make time on a weekend to create a nourishing treat tasting platter and she was so excited, she began brainstorming about all the foods we could put together! It went from being a ‘boring’ conversation to planning a visual feast!

Soon after, I attended one of my friend Emma’s events, which was in collaboration with a beautiful new local waterside café called The Galley. Emma is a renown naturopath with a passion for food. The Galley team was celebrating their arrival into the neighbourhood and wanted to share some of the wonderful dishes they offer on the menu, their focus being on fresh, seasonal ingredients. It was a beautiful sampling experience, with Emma sharing her incredible knowledge and passion for nutritious, delicious food, introducing us through our senses to the 5 best foods for cleansing during the spring season.

That’s when the next idea struck me: in collaboration with Emma, we could share the nourishing treat tasting with other children, creating a fun, interactive workshop! She loved the idea, and within an hour discussion we had nutted (perfect pun!) out the details. So here there are!

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If you have a child between 6-10 years old and live in the Inner West of Sydney or beyond, and want to empower your child to make healthy eating choices, we would love you to join us!

It will be on Saturday November 24, from 3-4:30pm at Emma’s beautiful clinic, Studio You, in Balmain. 

In between Halloween and Christmas, this is a great time to teach them what it means to nourish their mind & body through food, and to learn the difference between healthy sweets and damaging ones. They will be sampling all sorts of delicious treats, and you will both come away with your senses filled, empowered and ready to enjoy the approaching festive season in a nourishing way!

 You’ll find all the details here, please click to find out more and place your booking.

Here’s a little more info about Emma & I:

Emma Sutherland - Founder and director of Studio You, an integrated clinic supporting kids to thrive and grow into healthy adults. With over 15 years clinical experience working with families, Emma is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Emma is mum to 6 year old Sophia.

Pia Jane Bijkerk - As well as being a published author and photographer, Pia has worked as a food stylist for publications around the world, focusing on taste, colour, texture and nourishment. Her passion is to connect people to their creativity and intuition through her work. She loves working with children, creating interactive workshops that ignite creativity through play. Pia is mum to 6 year old Laly. 

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I LOVE creating interactive, intuitive workshops for kids, and I can’t wait to host this one with Emma. Hope to see you there! Let us know if you have any questions.

With Love,

Pia xx

UPCOMING EVENT: The Alchemy of Creative Intuition

This Saturday, October 27 from 4:30-6pm I’ll be on the talks stage at Turn Out, a fete for grown ups! I’ll be interviewed by my dear friend, presenter and podcaster Shona Smith, about the alchemy of intuition - what it is, why we need to prioritise tapping into it now, how we can benefit from it both creatively and in our lives, and what it has to do with developing a ‘bullshit-free zone’.

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Shona will be asking some great questions! She’s a lot of fun and such a great presenter, so I can’t wait to answer her questions and meet the audience. I’ll be doing a Q&A at the end, and there will be time to chat and sign books as well. I’ll have all copies of my books, including (hopefully! It’s still at the printers!) my new Festive Season, Reimagined - of which there are only a handful left to purchase, thanks to everyone who has been pre-ordering up a storm! All books will have a special fete price, and can be individually signed.

Here is a peek at the book sample I received earlier this week. I’m so happy with the colours and paper stock - it’s beautiful matte paper, not too thin and not too thick, 100% recycled, printed locally.

Here is a peek at the book sample I received earlier this week. I’m so happy with the colours and paper stock - it’s beautiful matte paper, not too thin and not too thick, 100% recycled, printed locally.

I don’t do many events through the year as you know, much preferring to be hunkered down in my artist’s retreat, allowing my ideas to run rampant! So it’s a rare & special occasion to be out under the spotlight for a moment or two, I hope you can join me.

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Shona & I have also been working on something fun (“and very useful!” says Shona) together which we will be announcing on social media as early as this afternoon! And we will be talking about it at Turn Out too. The above pic is a little clue!

Happy full moon to each of you.

With Love,

Pia xx



Feel like a weekend away staying in my private artists studio?

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I'm now opening my private artist's retreat for weekend stays. This unique space is ideal for a creatively-minded single or a couple wanting an artist's retreat experience, holiday, or short term business trip.  It's a beautiful sun-filled one bedroom apartment close to the bay in the heart of Balmain. In a secluded location surrounded by palm trees, it is a minute walk to the ferry to get into the city or Cockatoo Island, and a minute to Darling St: the main shopping street full of wonderful boutiques, bars, art galleries and restaurants. For more photographs & information, please click here. 

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Bookings made through Patreon receive special additions, so please check out the rewards on my Patreon page and join the creative collective....

Vivent Les Artistes!

With love, 

Pia xx

 

My Artist's Retreat in the making, ready to take bookings...

...my artist's impression of of my artist's hideaway in Balmain.  

...my artist's impression of of my artist's hideaway in Balmain.  

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For those who follow me on instagram, you'd know that a few weeks ago I embarked on a new, wonderful adventure, sharing with you a bare space in the midst of being transformed into my artist's retreat. It's a one bedroom apartment in the heart of Balmain: a minute walk to the ferry to get into the city, and a minute to Darling St, the main shopping street.

It's something I wasn't planning to do at all, but as happens with following my heart, things don't make sense in the moment, but I now see it was leading to this sweet abode all the while...

I had been looking at artist studio spaces over the last couple of years- spaces that were part of large artist communities, and as much as I loved the idea of sharing an artists space and being among other artists, it never felt right for me - I couldn't imagine myself in any of the spaces, no matter how much I loved them or the artists I'd be working alongside. 

Then, just out of the blue, with no clear reasoning whatsoever, I got a feeling to look at some one bedroom apartments in the area. I looked at three, and this one - this one, had it.  Housed in a humble 1980's white brick building, tucked away from the street, with a tiny galley kitchen and bathroom off the bedroom tiled in slate, it simply sang to me. The energy of the space is beautiful and serene and so open to creative flow. I felt the magic of it coarse through my veins and couldn't stop feeling all it will be - to me, to my work, to my new mentoring clients and their work.

So over the past couple of weeks, I've been hanging out there when I can, spending time listening, observing, and feeling, letting the ideas flow, and in the next couple of weeks I'll be shaping it into a fully immersive, multi-disciplined creative space...

Two ESSENTIALS that I had to claim for the new space from  Drunk on the Moon , my go-to vintage treasure stop in Newtown: an artist's stool and an anchor. The significance of the anchor will be explained in time :)

Two ESSENTIALS that I had to claim for the new space from Drunk on the Moon, my go-to vintage treasure stop in Newtown: an artist's stool and an anchor. The significance of the anchor will be explained in time :)

Gathering flora (and weeds!) from around the neighbourhood, as I get to know the surrounds and bring nature in to inspire... 

Gathering flora (and weeds!) from around the neighbourhood, as I get to know the surrounds and bring nature in to inspire... 

The space in its beginning phase. 

The space in its beginning phase. 

And, with only a couple of weeks away from being ready,  it's with absolute delight that I am now taking bookings for my personal artist’s hideaway in Sydney!

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This is a truly unique opportunity to step into my world; into the world of My Heart Wanders

Spend two nights fully immersed in your creative genius, with all access to my multi-disciplined space, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions with me throughout your stay.

My mentoring clients around the world are currently writing books they never knew they could, making art they never thought they would, and most importantly they are doing so ignited by their own fire, which, through my unique approach, they’ve learnt how to feed and cherish, never wanting to let it turn to ash again.

Please note: As many of you know, I don’t muck around. Once you book your time with me, you open the doorway to your creative calling. And I need to make this clear: This is not creativity as a hobby. This is not creativity as a side project; this is creativity as your calling.

As a prolific author, photographer and visual storyteller, my work has been featured in dozens of magazines and books across the globe over the last decade. I am an artist and I’ve never been starving. Every day I make room to ripen; every day I’m in an alchemical state.

And, now and then, my creativity erupts to make something wonderful that resonates with thousands of people across the globe

I live the creative life, the heart-led life. I am the real deal. I go against the grain. I’ve stood in front of my fears, time and time again and moved through those fears, time and time again. I am an artist, I play by my own rules. I am authentic. Passionate. And I’m living it – there is no pretence. There is no bullshit. My work is tangible. I am visible. I live my truth.

And when we work together, you & your authentic work will come through quickly and become visible too, so you need to be ready & willing: it's simply how powerful our connection is, and when you're open, it will flow. 

Bookings are now open for November and December. There are limited spots, and it's by application only. UPDATE 26/11/2017: Bookings now closed for 2017. Bookings from March 2018 now open, please click here to find out more

Two magical choices:

1.     I welcome you into my artist's hideaway, and then leave you to your creative self to finish off a project you’ve urgently needed to – providing a nurturing and artistically supportive space, plus access to me when you get stuck!

2.     I mentor you 1-1 during your stay in my space – this is powerful, transformative work; identifying your creative calling and showing your how to make it a reality!

There are going to be lots of wonderful, personal touches to this experience - this is not simply booking a couple of nights accomodation in Sydney, this is opening yourself to YOU. It is a transformative experience that is completely unique and exclusive... 

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For more information, please click here. 

Vivent Les Artistes mes amis, Vivent Les Artistes! 

xx

The Alchemy of Assemblage Workshops 2017

Last year I held my first ever workshop, in the beautiful antique & restoration warehouse, Elements I Love, located here in my neighbourhood in Sydney. It was a collaborative workshop with owner Brooke, who shared her fabulous expertise on woodwork finishing while I guided participants to connecting with their unique creative flow as they each made their own assemblage boards. It was great fun,  and the energy in the room was magnetic.

After some wonderful feedback and several consultations with a workshop specialist over the past months, I have designed & redefined The Alchemy of Assemblage into something delightfully unique & I cannot wait to share it with you! So without further delay, I am thrilled to announce  I have two exclusive & intimate workshops to be held at Elements I Love next month (and two to be held in Amsterdam in September, which I'll share the details of in a moment!).

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The first one coming up is a weekend workshop, spread over 2 days - from 11-4pm on August 26 & 27, 2017. Join me for a rare opportunity to spend 10 hours together learning how to connect with your intuition to unlock your own unique style and journey toward finding the beauty & magic in your everyday.  With a limit of just 6 participants so I can genuinely connect to each person, this unique workshop is a life-enriching experience that reaches heart & soul. 

On Day One, you’ll acquire the knowledge to create your own distinctive piece of personal art on wood using a collection of elements you love. Through the process of creating your own assemblage board (collage on wood), I will guide you on how to recognise and follow your intuition, allowing your creative spirit to flow freely - a technique you’ll be able to practice and strengthen over time. I will help you discover how to approach a creative project by guiding you through making your own beautiful and evocative collage: it will be like learning to bring to life one of the pages from My Heart Wanders but even more wonderful - this will be your very own. 

We'll enjoy a delicious & nourishing French-inspired lunch with champagne surrounded by incredible antiques from all over the world and have the chance to talk in more depth about creative blocks and how to work through them. 

On Day Two, you'll have the opportunity to practice what you've learnt from Day One and take it one step further by creating your own styled vignette with selected objects from the beautiful Elements I Love collection. Through the styling of your own vignette in a supportive, nurturing and captivating environment, learn how to get in touch with your intuition and work with your creativity to find beauty in the everyday.

This is where you'll learn my creative principles which I apply to styling & photographing for clients as well as magazine and publishing shoots.

After another delicious lunch together and more time to deepen your intuitive connection, you'll be ready to head home feeling empowered, nurtured and with joy in your heart.  You'll have gained confidence in your creative abilities and be inspired to nurture and grow your heart connection in a new and magical way. 

Here are the dates and details for the Sydney Weekend Workshop:

Date: Saturday and Sunday, August 26 & 27, 2017

Time: 11-4pm on Saturday August 26 & 11-4pm on Sunday August 27. 

Location: Elements I Love, 124 James St Leichhardt.

Price: $800

Learn: how to approach a creative concept and learn skills that will enable you to craft other assemblages.  Gain insight & knowledge into the thought process behind creative and artistic projects whilst learning the stylist’s trade techniques that make it happen.

Bring: (optional) one or two mementos from home that represent a moment, a place, a time, a memory or a person you love. For example: a photograph, a scrap of fabric, a piece of leather or similar, an old letter or card, a ticket etc. 

Supplied: boards and materials, beautiful organic teas & coffee, lunch (please inform us if you have any dietary requirements), champagne and afternoon tea. 

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The second Sydney workshop is a single day workshop, incorporating everything from Day One of the weekend workshop, here are the details:

Date: Saturday July 22, 2017

Time: 11-4pm 

Location: Elements I Love, 124 James St, Leichhardt, Sydney, Australia

Price: $400

Learn: how to approach a creative concept and learn skills that will enable you to craft other assemblages.  Gain insight & knowledge into the thought process behind creative and artistic projects.

Bring: (optional) one or two mementos from home that represent a moment, a place, a time, a memory or a person you love. For example: a photograph, a scrap of fabric, a piece of leather or similar, an old letter or card, a ticket etc. 

Supplied: boards and materials, beautiful organic teas & coffee, lunch (please inform us if you have any dietary requirements), champagne and afternoon tea. 

There are only 6 places available for each, you can click on the link below to learn more and book your place...

Now for the details about Amsterdam...

Yes! Very excited to share with you my friend Leslie's incredible studio in Amsterdam for these workshops. All the details are as above, but they will be held at Swarm: Leslie Oschmann's wonderful world of making. Being an artist hermit (like myself, we are alike in that way :), this is definitely a rare opportunity! Here are the details...

Amsterdam Weekend Workshop:

Date: Saturday and Sunday, September 9 & 10, 2017

Time: 11-4pm on Saturday September 9 & 11-4pm on Sunday September 10.

Location: Swarm, Vereniging De Loods, Zeeburgereiland, Amsterdam

Price: $885AUS (600 euros)

Learn: how to approach a creative concept and learn skills that will enable you to craft other assemblages.  Gain insight & knowledge into the thought process behind creative and artistic projects whilst learning the stylist’s trade techniques that make it happen.

Bring: (optional) one or two mementos from home that represent a moment, a place, a time, a memory or a person you love. For example: a photograph, a scrap of fabric, a piece of leather or similar, an old letter or card, a ticket etc. 

Supplied: boards and materials, beautiful organic teas & coffee, lunch (please inform us if you have any dietary requirements), champagne and afternoon tea. 

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Amsterdam Single Day Workshop:

Date: Friday, September 8, 2017

Time: 11-4pm

Location: Swarm, Vereniging De Loods, Zeeburgereiland, Amsterdam

Price: $445AUS (300 euros)

Learn: how to approach a creative concept and learn skills that will enable you to craft other assemblages.  Gain insight & knowledge into the thought process behind creative and artistic projects.

Bring: (optional) one or two mementos from home that represent a moment, a place, a time, a memory or a person you love. For example: a photograph, a scrap of fabric, a piece of leather or similar, an old letter or card, a ticket etc. 

Supplied: boards and materials, beautiful organic teas & coffee, lunch (please inform us if you have any dietary requirements), champagne and afternoon tea. 

For more info, follow the link below...

If you have any questions at all, please send me an email.

With love, 

Pia xx