TropicalSecretGarden_process_image ©Louise Gale

I am now back home and reflecting on my wonderful month in Bali. It has been so amazing to dedicate this time to explore, meet new friends and of course create! I was so fortunate to be spending time with my gorgeous friend and artist Tracy Verdugo on both of her Sacred Marks retreats and a group of amazing creative women.

Spending relaxing time in a new environment can do wonders for our creative spirit. I have been soaking up all of the colours, the shapes and patterns which are influencing my imagery and work here, both on the canvas and in my altered book, one of the creative sessions I hosted (a work in progress blog post here)

I created four paintings whilst in Bali, so wanted to show you my first painting from week one in this series of start to finish images where it was most certainly all about the colour blue!


Nature Sketches from Bali

We spent time sketching the shapes around us and collecting nature that had fallen (just as we do in my Nature Trail Sketchbook class) to help us get started with drawing out some symbols as a first layer onto the canvas.

Bali painting work in progress ©Louise Gale

Getting Started Painting

I drew out the shapes in a deep purple “knowing” colour and added in some blocks of this hue to help define the shapes a little more. It was lovely to work in this colour alone for a few hours as I walked around the canvas. The next step was to add vibrant inks.


Above, I am reflecting on my painting so far after adding some bright coloured inks, letting some of them drip and run down the canvas. I also added some words and felt “calm” and “Tranquility” summed up how I was feeling in this magical place. I loved the energy of all these bright colours but knew that I was being called to pull this all together somehow with more of a monochromatic look and feel.


So I chose the marine blue which seemed to be calling me right from the start that day. I layered the blue and consciously left little suggestions of the other bright colours underneath. I loved how the pinks and reddy purples peeked through.

It was so wonderful to paint outside in this beautiful place with Tracy who was such a huge inspiration and a group of creative women. Below, here I am in my element. (thank you so much Chrystie Hile for the photo!)


I spent a few hours adding variations around my motifs, creating shadow and light. Below are a few close ups. I also felt called to add some gold to this painting which added some warm glow and sparkle of course! 🙂

bluepod ©Louise Gale blues close up ©Louise Gale goldburst ©Louise Gale

To finish the painting off, I wanted to add something more uplifting so chose the pureness of white. I remembered a gorgeous flowing plant that was hanging over one of the hotel entrance ways in Sanur, so decided to go for it and paint my interpretation from memory to add to the final painting. Here is some of the white detail.

white detail on lotus ©Louise Gale white detail with pods whitedetail and gold motif ©Louise Gale

It was such a joy to create this piece and spend so much time dedicated to a creative practice with Tracy and these wonderful ladies.

Bali retreat

The creative energy was vibrant and overflowing in our little sanctuary.

Here is the finished painting

Bali expressions painting ©Louise Gale

My finished painting “Tropical Secret Garden”


I also added this painting to a few of my Society 6 store products. Hope you like them.



Would you like to join me on one of my online classes?

STARTED: Monday 1 September 2014 – STILL TIME TO JOIN US!

Registration for my “Color Energy Class” is open

Creative Colour Energy WorkshopWould you like to embark on a colour adventure, play with mixed media, and learn about the 7 levels of energy?

We will explore and play through:

  • colour vision journaling/colour stories
  • mixed media,
  • painting and
  • photography


STARTS: Monday 20 October 2014

Mixed Media Mandalas online classWould you like to explore the sacred circle and mixed media mandalas further? I would love for you to join me to dive deeply in the 4 week “Mixed Media Mandalas” online class.

By the end of class, you will have a journal full of sacred circles and at least one finished mixed media piece of artwork to hang on your wall.