It’s over a month since I finished the wonderful Visual Quest class from Pixie Campbell. I was very lucky to win a spot in this class and what a journey it has been! Pixie describes this class as a “5-week journey combining creative process with the insightful, ancient tools of shamanism.”

When I first saw this class advertised, I was immediately drawn to it. The idea of shamanic journeying, tools for visiting various worlds and working with animal totems was very intriguing.

In my first journey, a bear greeted me and I felt that this was my animal. I even realized that the bear was in my night sky in Spain and I had already been looking at it every night. I gathered inspiration and made some sketches of bears which began to form a mini-book (still a work in progress!).


Then all of a sudden one afternoon, after smudging my studio. I launched myself into painting, painting and painting…..

It has taken me a while to share this painting with you as I have to admit, I have been letting it sit with me for some time.

I named the painting “Message from Iris” and for the life of me I do not know who Iris is. I believe she is the ‘grey’ in the center of the painting, looking out at us all.

This section of the painting really fascinates me. There is a very strange figure coming out from Iris’s ear and on the top right hand side of the paintings, I can see a “fish man” or maybe he is a ‘feather man” and a koi looking fish on the right. I looked up the animal meaning for koi here and this is what it says

painting left side

“It is a sign of good luck and prosperity. Look for new opportunities and take advantage of them. Or revitalize old projects that have gone unfinished. Alternatively Koi brings you the opportunity for transformation through meditation and altered state of mind. It is the gift of fantasy and dreams that come true. Now is a good time to have faith and dream big!”

As the whole process of Visual Quest was to work with animal totems, I was surprised that none (other than a koi) turned up in this painting. AND no sign of my bear at all (apart from the dictionary words I had pasted on when I started it)

Here are some work in progress pieces to show the evolution of the painting. You can even see some of the elements (such as Iris) in the first layer.

Stage 1: Laying down some texture, words and lines. I shared some of this process in a blog post here

Work in progress, message from iris

Stage 2: I didn’t take a proper image of stage 2, where I added in Prussian blue to the whole piece!

indigo wash

Stage 3: Adding color

Even at this stage I could see the faces starting to emerge and ‘freedom guy’ is very prominent (on the right hand image)

WIP_flower-600pxls wip_freedom_600pxls

Stage 4: Defining shapes, images and adding more color.

The freedom guy is still there, very subtle. (bottom left of the heart)


Final stage: I got to a point where I couldn’t bring myself to add anything else


So this painting rests in my studio for now. I do say hello to iris and ask what she has come to tell me, but she simply keeps on looking out. I know when the time is right, i will receive the message.

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into this painting. I would highly recommend Pixie’s “Visual Quest” class. It has certainly opened up a whole new world for me. Literally!