I am pretty excited about this Soul Lover Interview as I got a chance to interview someone very important to me in my life – my Mum!!
My mum is Susan Farrell, an intuitive artist and teacher based on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia who specialises in healing and visionary art. She created the very popular “Serendipity” art workshops which re-connect people to their inner artist and creativity and is also the artist behind the successful Animal Voices Oracle Card Deck released by Blue Angel Publishing. Many of her paintings have been commissioned for gift cards and her beautiful artworks can be found all over Australia and the USA. I have been privileged to attend quite a few of Mum’s workshops and always find them to be a lot of fun. She is a brilliant teacher who supports all her students to really unlock their creative inspiration and produce beautiful pieces of art that reflect their unique essence. You don’t have to have any painting experience to attend, all that is required is an open mind and desire to give it a go! It has been wonderful to watch Mum blossom as an artist especially over the last few years as she has really cemented her own trademark style.
My clients and students who have been to my home will recognise many of her pieces, as her art work is all over my walls. I always take great delight when someone admires one of the paintings to proclaim proudly, my Mum did that!! Many of my clients have also attended her Serendipity workshop and found it to not only be fun, but a deeply healing experience as they reclaimed their creative spark.
Can you let us know a little about yourself and how you came to be a painter and an art teacher?
I have always loved drawing and anything creative. When I was at School I believed that Art was going to be my career. But after a year studying Graphic Art at Swinburne University, I decided that field of Art was not for me. Back in those days, there was not a lot of choice in Art based careers. So I gave up on my dream and settled for a clerical position. I married and had my little family. Being a Full time Mum was very fulfilling but I always kept creating art in some form or another.
It was a very pleasant surprise years later to find that now my children are all grown up and I am in my 50’s that the door has once more opened up to my old dream of having a career around my art. I launched my business Susan Farrell Art back in 2010 and was constantly being asked if I would consider teaching.
This was something I had never thought about doing but finally I decided to give it a go, with my first workshop late 2010.
What inspires you?
Teaching has become my passion. I absolutely love watching my Students evolve through the process. Some of these Students have never painted before. At the end of a workshop they are ecstatic with the result. A gorgeous painting that they created themselves. Many have said they never dreamed it was possible.
Teaching has helped me discover that there is a need for a more holistic approach to the creative process. There are so many wonderful souls out there who would love to paint but they really believe they can’t. This is the reason I believe I have been gifted my abilities and destined to teach, inspiring those people to actually take their first steps on the path to creativity!
How important is meditation and spirituality in your life? How do you connect to your own “space in between?”
It was due to a major life change that I discovered my spirituality and through meditation that I have been able to discover my true self. Ten years ago I started meditating and it has opened up a whole new world and enabled me to access my creative intuition.
I also completed my Reiki 2 Practitioner Level late 2014. This has enhanced my healing abilities and has definitely strengthened my abilities to connect to my higher self.
I do channel my paintings. Quite often one of my subjects (recently the Flamingoes) will pop up continually in my meditations, in my dreams and just about everywhere. For a month prior to me finally painting them, I was seeing Flamingoes everywhere. On the Television, Shops, Cafes. My belief is that a particular painting, or subject has been painted for a special Soul who will feel the connection to it. Whether they purchase the original, an art print or just enjoy it visually on my web page. I know they will receive the messages meant for them.
You were commissioned to do an oracle card deck “Animal Voices” with Blue Angel Publishing a couple of years ago, that is pretty exciting! How does it feel to have your own deck out in the world and what was it like creating the artwork for it?
I was both honoured and excited to be asked to paint this series of 25 animals by Toni Carmine Salerno, from Blue Angel Publishing. Animals are after all my passion!! When I discovered that the theme of the card deck was to highlight the peril of endangered animals, and that the cards were mainly being created for children, I knew it was a perfect fit for me.
I have learnt so much about these beautiful creatures as I researched each one thoroughly. I was very saddened to learn about the animals’ and bird’s plight. Some are critically endangered while others are close to it. It has been a great way to remind people and let them know what it is happening all around us. We can take these wonderful creatures for granted, but if we don’t change what is happening to them and their environment we will lose them all together. Our Children and Grandchildren will never get to see these unique beings.
I was very proud to be a part of this beautiful oracle card deck. The deck was launched September 2013. Which was very exciting!! It has been received really well.
(You can purchase the deck directly from Sue here, or it is also available in all major bookstores and spiritual shops around Australia that stock the Blue Angel Gallery range)
What is your personal fav painting you have created?
Wow! That is a hard one! Mmm? My little Spirit Guide and Mentor, Oscar the owl from “Shooting Star” will always be a special favourite. He has been with me since the beginning of my Art career. Another one that is also very dear to me is “The Lotus” depicting Kwan Yin. I also feel a very strong connection to her.
In actual fact all my paintings are like my babies and I do find it difficult to let them go to their forever homes. But I know that when I channel these paintings, it is usually because they are meant for someone else.
Do you have a ritual or process that you do when you are preparing to paint?
I always have a fair idea of what subjects are needing to come through. I prepare my canvas and set up my easel. I usually mist the room with Sacred Clearing (MK Wellbeing flower essence and essential oil blend). Burn some incense. (Nag Champa my favourite) and put on my music.
I do sing…. Very loudly!
What do you do when you feel creatively blocked, or if you ever get to a point where you don’t like what you are painting?
I do sometimes get blocked when I paint. Paintings can go through the ugly stage. But I know it is only a stage and if I keep evolving and creating it will become beautiful again. In actual fact the paintings that have blocked me the most are usually the ones I love the most.
When I get blocked I usually will take a break and go for a walk. Other times I just turn up my favourite song and dance. I can just lose myself into the song and it takes me away. Then when I come back to the painting I can see it with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
You run a very popular workshop “Serendipity” across Australia can you let people know what the workshop is about and what they can expect from the day?
The Serendipity Intuitive Workshops are mainly about having fun! It is a day, or a weekend spent just relaxing, playing and reconnecting to our creative selves. There are no rules and I encourage students to have no expectations. Just to be free and let go of any inhibitions and control.
When I teach the Workshop the day begins with a guided meditation before we commence. The meditation helps the students to just relax and connect to their own intuition and creativity. This way we start the day painting in a beautiful mind space with no stress and no pressure.
I teach different techniques throughout the workshop including stencils, glazing and much more. Our paintings go through many layers and with each layer they evolve and morph into a gorgeous masterpiece that is unique to each student.
What do you love most about teaching your Serendipity workshops?
I absolutely love watching my Students evolve through the process. At the end of a workshop they are ecstatic with the result. A gorgeous painting that they have created themselves. Many have said they never dreamed it was possible. Teaching has helped me discover that there is a need for a more holistic approach to the creative process. There are so many wonderful souls out there who would love to paint but they really believe they can’t.
I love that so many of my Students have gone home and kept painting! It is my wish to inspire as many people as I can to do just that. To keep being creative!!
Why do you believe that creative expression is so important?
So many people are living very left brained lives with a tight control on everything they do. Totally driven to succeed in a very materialistic world. This can leave them feeling unfulfilled and drained. The human body needs to be balanced. The perfect blend of right and left brained activity can be achieved, if we really slow down and listen to our bodies and to what our Soul needs.
Fulfilled creativity brings much needed balance into our lives. We are able to perform so much better and meet the challenges that every day life can present to us.
What can we expect from you in coming months and in the future?
At the moment I am getting ready to travel up to QLD for a 2 day Serendipity Workshop mid March. I am also planning a trip for later in the year back to South Australia to teach the Chakra Tree of Life Workshop.
Of course I will be running other Serendipity’s from my usual studio here in Mornington throughout the year. I have a couple of new ideas for some other intuitive workshops brewing as well.
I am also working on a very special project at the moment that will mean that my Serendipity Intuitive Workshop will be available to overseas participants as well. Stay Tuned!!
Keen to attend a Serendipity workshop, or see the latest art from Sue? Then bookmark her website and follow her on social media, links below!