Recently I sent out a regular e-newsletter and got an enthusiastic response from a former customer from my boutique days in Venice, California.
Liz Mohler, a career and life coach from Los Angeles was coming to London and wanted to know if I wanted to join her and do a Street Wisdom walk together. I wasn't sure what that was, but I was all in. I love the collaborative energy of kindred Los Angeles spirits, so I knew that it must be good. I watched a videos on the practice, created an Eventbrite page and coordinated with Liz via zoom how to get a listing on the Street Wisdom website (thanks to the ever helpful Rachel from Street Wisdom who helped with the listing!). We also did some social media blasts to see who wanted to come along. We were excited.
The idea was to do a meditative walk in Hoxton in east London, then head to my art studio and create an art journal page. We set the time and date - Wednesday, March 30. Liz and her husband, Dan met me at Long White Cloud cafe, where I currently have a solo show. Sarah and Jasmine also joined us and we chatted at the cafe before starting our walk.
l to r - Jasmine, Liz, Sarah, Dan, and M.E. at Long White Cloud Cafe
Liz introduced us to the concept and led us on our way. We then started making our way for our meditative walk and talk (then were often silent) ... We reflected on anything from our favourite street in the world, opened up our senses, and tuned into what was really drawing us in. I tend to walk around with headphones on, but it was nice to really sense things more. To listen, to open up. Memories of my favourite walk as a little girl to the park just behind my grandparent's house in College Park, Maryland came flooding back. What joy.
Slowing down to look at this street art wall by Lily Mixe
So we kept moving. What were we tuning into and what was resonating with us? For me, it was the sound of kids in a playground, not visible but clearly there. The texture of the city, soooo many things that beg to be looked at and touched. A real life please touch museum without the requisite guards and alarms, warning you to stay away, to back off. The streets instead inclusively ask us to look deeper, to touch, to open up our senses. To slow way, way down.
I love this wall, featuring art by Zombie Squeegee, Donk, Neon Savage, Skeleton Cardboard, and Stinkfish
Street Wisdom chat at one of my favourite street art walls in east London.
Walking through the city is always full of the unexpected. I love how random city still lives just happen to present themselves to us - a chair, street art, an empty can, and some ivy created a lovely composition, random. Love it. Then I spotted a friendly spray painted corrugated metal wall with a sweet star, softened up with a friendly face. And on we went, to a splendid mosaic tile mural put together by school kids that could stand up in any museum. What a treat this wall was to see when we turned down onto Columbia Road.
Random city still life. Chair, soda can, and art by Subdude and unknown artist.
I love this smiley star by an unknown street artist.
Detail of the mosaic wall outside of Columbia Primary School 1987/1988
Next to the Columbia School mural, stopping to take in the scenes.
Cherry blossoms like pink popcorn. A little dog without a collar who seemed lost but sure of where he was going at the same time. He wasn’t hanging out, waiting to be rescued. He was finding his way home. Trash. All bagged up, ready to move on.
Zoomed in cherry blossom like pink popcorn
Off of Columbia Road...
At the end, Liz prompted us to ponder on a final question - something that could be answered from these moments on the streets. Here was mine: I often wonder if I'm really doing the right thing by pursuing my art. And so I asked the question - do I keep going, do I open another boutique? And so the answer came. KEEP EXPLORING is what I heard. This is often difficult for me. I don’t love the nebulous middle of things which is where I have found myself very often over these past 7 years. But the truth was in the walk - keep going.
More street art gems on Diss Street
Take Your Power Back by Charyl
A few gems on Diss Street - Art Under the Hood, Phoebe NYC, XLVII, and sweet lips by and unknown artist.
Afterwards, we headed back to my art studio to do a single art journal page, prompted by the walk that we had just done. I started out the exercise with a bit of flow writing directly onto the blank page.
Flow writing by me - "walking and meeting up with new and old friends. Slow down what do you see? What leads you to the next place? A flower? Sooooo many textures - what is next? Make a decision or keep exploring how have I gotten here? Why can things feel so difficult? Because you're not done. There is more to see and do. Keep going. Keep exploring. I got ya. You will grow and evolve even better. Be patient. It's not over It's just the beginning."
In my studio with Liz and Sarah
Then we got to work, adding bits of collage, paint, and embellishment to top off our writing during out morning session. What a joy to do this IRL, to chat with others about what they were doing. It was a safe zone to chat about what we were seeking. I love how the intermingling of walking, observing, talking, then processing through art can help us make sense of what often feels like endless chatter in our minds.
Jasmine with her piece.
My page with flow writing and embellished, based on the Street Wisdom walk.
I have to say, I'm so glad that I did this. I think I'll do it again. Thanks to Street Wisdom, and Liz and her husband Dan, and Jasmine and Sarah who came. And if you're interested in a full on art journal class in my studio, check out my in person AirBnB experiences that I offer in this same studio in the heart of Hoxton.