When I Was the Forest

When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky

no one ever asked me did I have a purpose, no one ever
wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not

It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known

So I returned to the river, I returned to
the mountains. I asked for their hand in marriage again,
I begged—I begged to wed every object
and creature,

and when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you

For then I knew my soul—every soul—
has always held

–Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328)

Here is a painting I did inspired by the above words as well the emotions of sorrow. I first heard it years ago read by Daniel Ladinsky, a very kind man whom translated this along with many Hafiz poems (including the luminous Love Poems to God). When Daniel read it that chilly night at Malaprop’s I felt parts of my then frozen heart melt open, the ice drops coming out of my eyes. It was like he was reading parts of my heart yet undiscovered, which I would soon spend the next years doing, coming back home to what is, asking again to be married to the Benevolent force or Mystery, or a coming back home to myself. There is much loss we experience in life, there is much asked of our spirit to rise again and to hold hands with the Divine, however bittersweet, however confusing. We must. We must ask for the hand again… it is how we can go on seeing the light in the shadow and shadow in the light. Then watch the Earth breathe forgiveness into your being. Watch how she dances effortlessly, without pretense. Begin to understand, or ask to understand, that which was before you took form, that which was everything and nothing, or a soul alight that came here to learn. I do feel we are spirits here on this Earth to learn. It’s a way to make sense of the dance, the immense beauty and madness.


What Can Come of Our Brokenness?

Ring the bells that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

– Leonard Cohen

Just about everyone I speak to these days is feeling some sort of cracking or tearing at the seams. Our internal world feels it and the outside world reflects it. Some of its profoundly beautiful and of course, some immensely heart-wrenching. Its hard to know what to think of whats to come, with an answer like: well, we’ll see being both wise and a bit frightening. In certain ways, things are better than they have ever been, hard to believe, but its true (if you look at crime rate and statistics). However, awareness and empathy are also on the rise, as outcries can be heard and seen more clearly from violent and atrocious acts of injustice.  The heart begs for no more, it cries out for understanding, it cries out to be known and held. There are so many of us that want to sincerely help and yet there is a feeling helplessness too. How do we grow as individuals in that broken feeling? How do we rise and speak up, while keep our joy and aliveness alight? How can we come together even more as a collective to finally understand we are all so intricately connected?

Practices that have helped me rise out of some pretty intense anxiety this past year:

Mindful Breathing
Sweating (Moving)
Eliminating coffee + sugar (this one has been huge)
EMDR ——> This.
My beloved therapist
My wonderful sisters
My wise partner

And we can paint it all out too. We don’t need to hide. Life is magical, it’s in its woven tapestry of the nature of Creation. Nothing goes unseen. Nothing is not held, even after life.

Some concepts that I teach my students about creativity that I love to share are below. The Japanese really understood how the nature of life and aesthetics work in IMHO.

From Wikipedia:

Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.[2] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?).

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

For Richard Powell, “[w]abi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”Buddhist author Taro Gold describes wabi-sabi as “the wisdom and beauty of imperfection.”

After centuries of incorporating artistic and Buddhist influences from China, wabi-sabi eventually evolved into a distinctly Japanese ideal. Over time, the meanings of wabi and sabi shifted to become more lighthearted and hopeful. Around 700 years ago, particularly among the Japanese nobility, understanding emptiness and imperfection was honored as tantamount to the first step to satori, or enlightenment. In today’s Japan, the meaning of wabi-sabi is often condensed to “wisdom in natural simplicity.” In art books, it is typically defined as “flawed beauty.”


Kintsugi (金継ぎ?, きんつぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い?, きんつくろい, “golden repair”),[1] is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.”
— Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

We can be flawed and still be beautiful. We can come back together and fill the cracks with the gold of our wisdom and love; a reference and empathy for one human family. We can ease into this, like newborns, asking and yes even demanding a better world.

An Epic Giveaway!


I’d like to commence a season gratitude and healing, so starting today I’m having my biggest giveaway of the year! 

** Five spots will be given in EACH of my most beloved ecourses: A Year of Painting or A Year of Healing; plus, a scholarship to a workshop or retreat (these sell out very quickly), and an original painting!! What, what?! ** YES YES!

Simply follow the rules to enter below and then comment on this post so I can receive your entry. For each task that you create you will receive one entry, just let me know in the comment below so I can count each entry! The total value of this giveaway equals around 4k!! Your chances really are high in winning, and if you have already signed up for the above courses, I will refund you entirely!

  1. Instagram: Share an image of mine (from either A Year of Painting or A Year of Healing or a painting image (google search my name for images or take any from my page Alena Hennessy, or Instagram, @alenahennessy) and mention me in the main comment  @alenahennessy. You share share anything you want about it, that you are entering and hope to take the course, or a quote you like, anything, just be sure to tag me for credit.
  1. Facebook: Do any of the above but link to my website or preferred winning ecourse page (A Year of Painting or A Year of Healing). Tag my art page Alena Hennessy.
  1. Sign up for my museletters.

You can share up to 2x on social media!

I will announce the winners in one week here (as well as email you). Simply comment with your amount of entries below!

Much creative magic your way…

xox ~ alena

PS. On a personal note, I’ve made an ongoing commitment to donate a % of all ecourse sales to some reputable charities for animals + children/people of great need, which I started to regularly do a year ago.


~ LIST OF WINNERS ~ Thank you so much everyone for your entries and generous words!

Happy creating to you always!! Xxo

A Year of Painting:

Noelle noelle.nandita@gmail.com

Teresa teresajustus@icloud.com

Jill justjill2000@gmail.com

Gerri geepeace@yahoo.com

Silvana Nik98em02@bigpond.com

A Year of Healing:

Lorri carnevalelm@gmail.com

Lotte lngoede@yahoo.com

Vanessa vcabrera77@gmail.com

Jennifer jmele0402@gmail.com

Joie Joiesart@gmail.com


Amanda Chantspectacular@gmail.com


Meighan meighan.carmichael@gmail.com













Artists for Love

Here in the States there is a rumbling and an outcry occurring. It appears that we find ourselves in a divided construct within our beliefs, needs, and values. This week has also had wildfires like never seen before in Western North Carolina, or as my father aptly shared: “Mother Earth has a fever.” Last night I gathered with a group of friends and we all shared our thoughts and feelings about the election, the fires, and prayed… in the end I would say mostly we took comfort in one another’s company.

This is the time for every artist in every genre to do what he or she does loudly and consistently. It doesn’t matter to me what your position is. You’ve got to keep asserting the complexity and the originality of life, and the multiplicity of it, and the facets of it. This is about being a complex human being in the world, not about finding a villain. This is no time for anything else than the best that you’ve got.” -Toni Morrison

Some more about keeping kindred company: I was invited to partake in this heartfelt and all-inclusive movement from some dear artists friends. We are #artistsforlove. We are here to share our love for every human being who might be feeling troubled or scared during this time. Fear is not a pleasant house to live in, in fact, it can be debilitating. I’ve been thinking lately of the teachings of beings I admire, passed away or living, and the need to speak for those who may deeply concerned or afraid at this time. So here are some images we created, each in our own way:
























** Also, each one of these prints you can download for free by simply clicking on it! There are no rules about this. It is yours to keep or share.

** Again, we invite you to join this movement of inclusivity, standing for love, for all humans. Simply tag your art with #artistsforlove and include that on your image.

Upon reflection on our recent history, I feel that artists and creatives initiate such sparks to start a burning flame for those whose voices may feel small or threatened at the moment.

Ps. Here are some organizations that help such groups we mention. More than ever I’m moved beyond words to help, whether its the firefighters I gave to the other day, or someone feeling unsafe that I witness in my community. I want to speak up, I want to step in. This is a beginning motion set forth for exactly that. We are stronger together.










Some snaps of the Autumn Soul Painting retreat. My heart is so full from this experience… these women. Oh my stars. Words cannot suffice. There is an unseen and then seen magic and alchemy of healing that comes when women gather in the name of creative spirit. It is palpable and nourishing. It is a gift that is happening now. It is a movement that originates back centuries, coming alive again in the modern age.


A Year of Super Fresh Creating!

YOU ALL! This feels so so good. It’s that time of year again and this time I am re-doing it all over again with brand new lessons and painting adventures… it’s time to go on an art retreat ~ virtually ~ all year long! So just to let you know, we are filming brand new videos out here at my newly renovated studio, as its been several years since I created the first Year of Painting and I want to keep it fresh for you!

See all the details here. I cannot wait to paint the year with you.

We can all do this together, its so much sweeter that way.


Wanderlust17_promo copy
Wanderlust is whole year long journey – an online event offering you videos from 24 guest teachers and 2 resident teachers on weekly basis (each one is full length, high quality and downloadable), access to the Wanderlust Community with a supportive and friendly atmosphere, where all classes are gathered. You will also find there various activities that will stimulate your creativity and motivate you to simply enjoy the process of making art. Together with the class you will also get an exclusive whole year discount to leading art and craft retailers..
Wanderlust class is the perfect alternative to in-person classes!
Buy Wanderlust 2017 before 31st December 2016 and save 20%!
Early Bird Price – £79! (regular price £99)
Now it’s a great time to buy the class to take advantage of the current exchange rate!

Click here to view more details!

Follow the teacher’s reveals every day on Everything Arts Social Media. Every day somebody new!
As far revealed are: Mary Wangerin, Wilna Furstenberg, Amanda Grace, Clair Bremner.

My Stardust Darling

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

– Rainer Maria Rilke


There is so much intensity and polarity happening in the world right now that one must continually check in within and feel their deeper truth and stillness. Distraction, fear, despair, division… these are just some words that come to mind when I read the news.

In this year alone I have felt my own compassion expand even further, one that includes so much more of humanity, one that sees racist crimes and this current election year to be an uncovering of collective cries. I feel that we long for more unity and compassion along with this those that are disenfranchised and living in monumental fear. This unyielding feeling of hanging tight feels so needed. One’s almost duty then becomes drawing closer to the infinite well within. The hope I contain is that this worldly gunk needs to be uncovered so that so much more of us can get involved for our one human family. For that which lives and breathes: animals, plants, all humans, all life. I don’t feel that things are getting worse per se; I just feel we are becoming more aware. We are in a heightened state of the Age of Information. Underlying systematic fears are getting more uncovered and intense. I also feel that many of us are getting close and more unified in hearing the collective cry of the world.


Painting is a way to come home to your most quiet self. It frees you from the inside and out onto the substrate. You see your own inner world through color, line, shape, and movement. It can sometimes feel like a revelation.

When reflecting upon my own journey I take a comfort in knowing that when one goes through great pain one also expands capacity for greater love.


Yes dear, just know that if you are experiencing sorrow and crippling pain, which perhaps at times feels unbearable, know that you will come through. You will come out as a radiant healthier you: a little more wise, expanded, patient, kind, understanding, and simple. Pain’s medicine has a way of doing that. It forces us to grow the *@#$ up. It unveils us to more of our treasures within. We must go there, our soul is literally crying out for it when we or the world lets us down. So come gather inside your own being as well as gather with kindred company. You no longer have to be the victim of your own story, you get to be the heroine.

IMG_5588The sweet aftermath. A scene left over from a night of creating with new and old friends. Collective art-making is balm for the feminine soul.

IMG_5385Gathering together and feeling our collective oneness is essential. No one can walk this journey alone. We get by with a little help from our friends.

So get to know that golden heart of yours.

You know, the one that shines from within and is made of stardust, darling.





Current Turn Ons

IMG_2789IMG_5078IMG_5077Painting together in the spirit of collaboration with Faith Evans Sills and in retreats and workshops. IMG_4798Planning my Summer workshop where folks arrive in just a few weeks so that we can paint outside together. Oh my… Outdoor pillows, easels, rugs and circling under birdsong and wind/light in leaves. I welcome you! IMG_4960Having a proud moment when taking in all my work I’ve created over the past year and seeing it together like this. It sometimes surprises me as I reflect “Did I really make all that, Wowza.” Well yes, when we allow the creative forces to take place, we can become a channel and there is no limit to that. IMG_4752IMG_4750Sitting in the light, the fire, and realizing the benefits of simply letting things burn away inside. The clearing is a cleansing.

On taking risk

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”
― Giuseppe Verdi

“What is the fatal charm of Italy? What do we find there that can be found nowhere else? I believe it is a certain permission to be human, which other places, other countries, lost long ago.” –Erica Jong

IMG_4188IMG_4365IMG_4577IMG_4224IMG_4575IMG_4529 IMG_4484Hello wonders! I just returned from an epic 3 week viaggio in Italia. This trip did not underwhelm in any way, as it held all the grandiose aesthetics you couldn’t possibly imagine with one mind. Italians love to please the senses and do it in a way that at times is so mind-blowing, one must surrender and slow down to fully enjoy it and take it in. Not only did I become a cappuccino aficionado (and a makacino, macchiato, ciocolato croissant and all the variations) but I also ate a lot of bread. And insanely delicious pasta. Pretty much every single day. I relished in these things without the cloud of doubt or guilt that can hover us and our tedious standards of what is good or bad. So with this honoring of sweet pleasures I kept thinking, these Italians are on to something. Maybe we REALLY do need to release this idea of perfection or right/wrong. Maybe it should be more like Oscar Wilde wrote: “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” Which can be said the same for varying cultures or parts within it.

So the Soul Painting retreat in Tuscany felt so sweetly charming! I truly fell in love with every woman there. Sometimes words feel too small or limiting to describe such an experience. Logistically speaking it was not without its challenges, and a couple (more than a couple actually) angels really did come through to make the retreat as special as it was. One night about 6 or 7 of us were crammed into the little hot tub overlooking the Chianti Hills, sharing stories of love and loss, what happens when women come together in the name of warming the creative spirit (I feel it’s like a magical safe alchemy or haven) and so forth, and I was struck with how temporary this all is. Life is but a dream, so flickering, so tender and transitory. One must take risk in life to receive again. One must put forth a sincere effort for the things they wish to receive. One must ask wholeheartedly and with a humility that is grateful for the simplicity of this existence itself, saying ‘thank you’ and ‘and yes life, I am ready for this.’ Let us remember to not hold ourselves back anymore or be our own worst enemy. Let us know that we are enough, more than enough, or like Hafiz says: “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.

Such things are the reminders I wish to have emboldened into the curvature of my heart. Last winter I went through a very tough time (read: break up) and I was in the darkness of my being, the hole underground. My partner at the time moved out and it felt like a mini-divorce, one which did not go well, even with my sincerest hopes that it would. Some break ups are just too painful. My hope was that we were going to live a life of love together, but challenges kept coming up that felt too big to surmount, and that inner voice inside kept saying loud and clearly: no, not like this. So I sought help. I asked, prayed, and surrendered. Help did indeed come. I cannot thank those human angels enough for holding such light and truth around me. It felt like a huge dream of having a family was dying for me and I was beginning to not believe in monogamous committed relationships anymore. I felt like a failure. So as previously mentioned, I really effing let go. Then one day I had two conversations with two teachers/friends of mine that forever changed my perspective. I realized for how long I had held myself back to love. How subconsciously I had been wallowing (over say my divorce for one) for too many years. What is the reason I could not truly be met? If I do truly desire to be met in partnership, what would that really look like? What would he be like? What values would he have and what would it feel like to share love with him? Would he like to meditate like me? Would he love Rilke, Mary Oliver, and Hafiz as much as I do? Would he love and excel in a creative career? Would he have the most beautiful large blue eyes and softest smile? Well, yes, he could really have those things. If I knew how to let him in.

Guess what, in just a few days after I deeply meditated on this he did show up. A few days after that we had our first date. Months after that and we have just returned from Italy…. I will write more about this soon. It is really that good. Life, you never stop surprising us do you?

Xo ~ alena

New Workshop Coming!

Hi there! My Soul Painting workshops in our sweet gallery space tend to sell out pretty quickly (within a day to a few) so I wanted to give you all a little more heads up for the next one for the glorious Summer season in Asheville! (Think river swimming, big blooms and waterfalls)! The exact dates will be the weekend of June 25 + 26th! We recommend you coming the day before though. The workshop includes catered lunch both days and starts at 10 am each day. Registration now open and spots going quickly!


** For those of you wanting a full on retreat experience, I am having my last retreat here at the sublime Bend of Ivy this fall. There are just a few double rooms left! Participants from the last two retreats here have had a ‘blissful and life changing experience’. Don’t miss out on this last opportunity to really sink in to spirit, nature, and painting.

A letter that makes it all worthwhile…

I received the following letter yesterday… it truly came at the perfect time for my heart. Sometimes the reward of taking the risk to show your true self inside to the world pays off. It is a ripple that can come back and bless your bare feet years later, as did this one. The author of this letter is referring to a painting I did called ‘Sister’ ~ when my sister and I were both going through a similar but very painful loss. This letter made my world yesterday, it lifted me up out of an intense day and back into the nourishing world of gratitude.

It made it all worthwhile.

So with the permission of the author I have copied her letter below. I hope that it moves you in a similar way that it did for me.


Dear Alena,

This is a silly fan girl letter from someone you have never met but I wanted to write to tell you how grateful I am that I discovered you and your beautiful artwork I found your art in Spirituality and Health magazine about two years ago just as I was thinking about leaving a well-worn and “successful” career path. While I was an opinionated woman (politics, religion) I actually was very disconnected from my own mind, emotions and heart. If you asked me about something truly meaningful, or even: “what’s your favourite colour?” I would freeze. I literally did not know a thing about myself.

When I saw your beautiful art in the magazine, I immediately thought two things.

One, I know that the person who painted this has known deep suffering.

And two, if someone ever asks me what my favourite painting is, I could always say, “Sister, by Alena Hennessey.” “What do you like about it?” “I like how it is a supportive image. It is also admiring, like someone looking up to a big sister. Or a big sister, protective of that little sister, but the little sister is also slightly in awe of the bigger. And I love how the colours make me feel relaxed and calm, and supported. I like how it reminds me of all my sisters who I love.”

Anyway, I didn’t know that I was about to set out on a really overwhelming healing journey myself. At times, I didn’t think I could live through the last few years. My logical brain, which I’d relied on to survive my life until that point, was completely useless. What was healing me was not setting goals, making lists or learning about things. Instead, I was drawn to symbols and storytelling. Making the unseen seen, making the unbearable bearable, and discovering that what I instinctively loved and was drawn to (paintings, stories) were healing me more than the linear paths I’d always walked along.

I cannot tell you how much your lovely, feminine images have healed my soul. They are beautiful and gentle, and I needed beautiful and gentle lessons. But they are also healing on a deep, deep level. I had so much to discover and reconnect to, so much had been lost. Art has made the journey feel worth it. Yes, it is so painful – but look how beautiful. And I am starting to create a few things of my own!

I’m sorry this email is so long – maybe I needed to write it more than I need you to read it. But I must be feeling better because I find that I want to express gratitude to the people who helped me without knowing it. Thank you again, so much.

Current Turn-Ons

IMG_2784IMG_2712IMG_2653Painting a whole lot again… one of my favorite remedies and nourishment for the soul. Going back to my roots with bird painting too: a pure and perfect symbol for the heart.


IMG_2806-1My Mama’s new ecourse and the amazing work being created! So different than in my classes. I love the contrast.

il_570xN.857577656_hb6bil_570xN.912426505_5fviThese precious healing gemstone rings, handmade, 18k, arriving soon to our gallery Rosewater.

We crave the sacred, we long to remember

IMG_2264 IMG_2306 IMG_2324 IMG_2332Since I share so much on the value of self-care and nurturance, it’s key that I walk the talk. I therefore took myself on a Qoya retreat (sacred movement and ritual for women), where I am learning and un-learning so much goodness. I realize more than ever as human beings we need to experience the sacred, what we FEEL that is real to our hearts, what we have always known within but due to so many things we can forget (our true essence). We long for connection and through connection to other, through creativity, expression, ritual, through breath, … we can remember. And since I’m on the topic of longing for the sacred…

12496451_833375130107230_900078830883289372_o12418970_10204449197783501_7252348176634534265_o12525429_10156436079620788_5186109939252393730_o10653479_10206866599838322_2090394537570483770_nMy Year of Painting students are blowing me away again this year (for real). This is just a few examples of the first lesson… so if you are feeling the call to express from your heart out through your hands, something that holds meaning, intention, power, and a keepsake for years to come, now is the perfect time to join. People join all year until late Summer.

To the sacred in you and in me…

xo ~ a

Adorning the Nest

Almost 2 months ago I received the keys to my new home. I cannot begin to share how emotionally intense and fulfilling the entire experience was. It brought up so much for me because this is the first home I’ve owned since my divorce some six years ago. For years I had been saving and planning on getting a new home, but the time was never quite right. So finally this Summer I decided it was and began to take the steps. I was so humbled to find out that yes buying a home as an unmarried female artist was not only a reality for me (years ago banks would not even consider me), but I could buy something of a dream home for myself. So after sorting through about 50 houses online and a half a dozen in person, one came along where there was an immediate knowing of this is the one, I’ll take it!! That is the best advice I would give to those looking… just wait until you really KNOW. It was not even a minute that I knew when running up to the front door. What an incredible feeling… a roller coaster and a true gift! It’s been so sweet, the process of settling in.

Here’s whats been done so far…

FullSizeRender(19)a hennessy home 1 a hennessy home 2 a hennessy home 3 a hennessy home 4 a hennessy home 5 a hennessy home 6IMG_1051 a hennessy home 7 a hennessy home 8IMG_1437 a hennessy home 9 a hennessy home 10The house has incredible light and a beautiful wooded lot (with open areas too), just under 1 acre. There is a magnificent sunroom with views, perfect for meditation and warm gatherings with friends, music, and feasts. The master bedroom is dreamy, and my studio feels pretty amazing too. All in all it is a home with wonderful energy and I feel like a Queen. Thank you dear Universe for making this a reality for me! Adorning your nest so that it feels like you is a priceless feeling.

Wishing happy trails and nesting to all of you!

A Big Love Giveaway! (Winners Announced)


Usually about once a year I have a biggie giveaway ~ and that time has come once again! How perfect that I have an array of virtual offerings or learning experiences in which you can enter to win any and all of them!!! This is a MEGA-GIVEAWAY as I will be gifting the following:

PLUS ~ one grand prize winner will win a spot to my Soul Painting Autumn retreat (shared room – which just opened for registration)! This is a fully-funded package and based on financial need. You could say I am in a generous mood today ~ Autumn is absolutely singing to me and I’m feeling the love.

That’s over $4600 in giveaway prizes!

a year of healing 3

Further, I should mention, for a limited time, sign up for any of the above courses and receive access to A Year of Painting 2 for free!! That’s right all free baby – plus you will receive lifetime access. The creative beings in that group have done some AMAZING things for themselves this year, in which I am bursting with love and gratitude for.

Also, if you have already joined any of these you can still enter and I will refund your entire payment back to you with gratitude! I am pulling winners by random generator based on how many times you enter (how to enter just below).


So here is how you can win (each way counts as one entry):

  1. Share which online course you are most drawn to and why on Facebook (post any of the online courses with image and link) and tag me Alena Hennessy.
  2. Share one of the online courses on Instagram and tag me, @alenahennessy
  3. Email your network and cc me (info@alenahennessy.com) on why you’d like to win any or all courses (share the link(s))!
  4. Sign up for my museletters and stay inspired (I email 2 x a month usually).

Please comment below and let me know how many entries you made and which courses/prizes you would love to win (and a little as to why, if you wish).

arrow1paint create heal love

I will announce all winners NEXT WEEK on October 28th!

(Please comment below to win after you share your entries)!

Good luck and bright blessings to you on your creative path. May it bring you much serene and juicy fulfillment on all levels!

Xo ~ alena


A Year of Painting:

Anna O’Grady annaogrady888@gmail.com

Chelsea Robinson chels.robinson@gmail.com

Tonya Williams willhillks@yahoo.com

Ildiko Karsay karsayildy@gmail.com

Mikel Paintnwiz@yahoo.com

Linda Hawkins harleigh97@gmail.com

Sarastella sarastellac@yahoo.it

A Year of Healing:

Connye Corey connye.corey@gmail.com

Tina Tinyg57@yahoo.com

Paula.Skory paula.skory@comcast.net

Suzanne OMull dandelions@comcast.net

Aldene Nicole neondrip@gmail.com

Retta retta74@gmail.com

Natalia Bystrianyk talbystrianyk@me.com


Verena Lang lang.verena@aon.net

Soul Painting Retreat Autumn 2016:

Sarah Nakatsuka info@sarahnakasuka.com

Congrats to all the winners and thank you everyone who entered! I was so touched by all the comments coming in truly… quite moved actually!

And remember, for a limited time, sign up for ANY of the above and receive A Year of Painting 2 next year for free!!!

Soul Painting Autumn

soul painting 1a soul painting 2 soul painting 3 soul painting 4  Above 3 photos by Yulia Mikhalchuk.soul painting alena soul painting anjanette   soul painting matisoul painting miranda soul painting miranda 2Above two photos by Miranda Wildman. soul painting retreatsp autumn altarsoul painting autumn libby soul painting retreat 3soul painting groupAgain, it was an incredibly soulful and transformative experience! We soaked (hot springs), we laughed, we journeyed, we ate ridiculously well, we danced, we hiked, we sat, we reiki’d, we cried, we laughed some more, we biz talked, we flower crowned, and of course we PAINTED PAINTED PAINTED. New life long friendships were made (they are still talking everyday, truth be told, and it makes my heart all aflutter. 

I will have one more retreat next year in the Fall (spring in Tuscany is sold out). To be be on the wait list, add your email here. There will also be a handful of weekend workshops at our gallery

Heart-fulfulling creations to you always…

UPDATE: Soul Painting Autumn is now open for registration!

How do you heal?

happyLately I have been reflecting on what can bring a feeling of healing to a human. How can we go from a place of pain or brokenness to a feeling of wholeness, completeness, or in-the-moment-ness? How do we move from a place of feeling lost, confused, weak, or disenchanted to a feeling of a heart brimming with gratitude? If they say life is a journey and not a destination than certainly we have all moved from a place of despair to joy, back to despair within this human body temple. This morning I read this mind-blowing quote about the Universe:

“The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.”
― Lao Tzu

WOW. Double WOW. We are beings that transform. We grow from tiny sponge-brained babies, full of joy and sorrow, soaking in everything, to full grown adults who never stop aging, or growing for that matter. The universe within each one of us (as Carl Sagan aptly writes about, that “we are a way for the Universe to know itself”), is our experience of this life. It has its seasons, it has its shadows and light, frost and warmth, chaos and stillness. So how do we create within us a garden that emits a sacred fragrance, or full blooms glistening in the sunlight? I can only share for now what has worked for me and has seemed to work for others I know as well. This list is just the beginning, a tiny collection of stones in the infinite basket of life’s wisdom.
naturemore naturemagic1. Nature

When I spent time in the natural world, something lifts within me and also expands. My senses become aware to all the tiny buzzing songs and sounds, the way the light flickers on leaves and just how vast the Creator is. His/her creativity is never-ending and it makes my problems feel small. The Earth untouched contains within it the most beautiful music and this so rightly reflected in all this facets of expression. Walking, sitting, spending time with a loved one or simply going it alone… nature has answers for you. No matter what place in the world you live, this is still true. Going on a long walk and getting that blood flowing is so good for the nervous system and heart. In Japan they have a phrase called shin-rin yoku or forest-bathing. It is currently one of my favorite pairing of words. It means to visit the forest for relaxation or one’s well-being. There is nothing quite like clearing one’s mind on a hike in the serenity and mystery of nature. more lightlight2. Light/Meditation

I believe that what we focus on grows… so if we take time to focus on the light in our world and inside our world as well, the light will grow within us. The breath is our force of life… it is giving life to us. I happen to feel this is a unbelievably amazing phenomenon! Focusing on the breath and light within is being grateful for life itself. When we begin to realize how interconnected we are all, that the concept of oneness is actually alive and real, and that we are beings of light (or literally stardust, as an astrophysicist will explain to you), we can uplift our world into the infinite possibilities that await us. Feeling thankful in one’s heart is an ultimate magic maker… it makes you feel good. So perhaps if you are feeling in pain, start by making a list of what you are grateful for. This helps me immensely. And remember you are a child of the Universe, made of pure light and of the stars.

create3. Creativity

This is a subject I happen to feel very comfortable writing about. 🙂 I feel we are all artists, or creative beings, whether its in how we dress, cook, wash dishes, garden, and so forth. Expressing oneself through a creative means is healing.. trust me. I have seen not only art save lives but transform them into a place where they finally feel they belong. It is a timeless space, a space just for you… to express the utter uniqueness of YOU. Amazing. No two hands and hearts are alike, so what they produce will not be exactly alike either. The power of paint and color is palpable. There have been many times I have sat down in my studio, feeling heavy about something, and thusly poured it out through me and onto the page. It is a release. Try it… or try it with me. It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.

rest4. Rest

This one is a biggie. I happen to be one of those people whom if I don’t receive enough sleep or down-time my mind gets cranky real quick. We need time to reset… ample rest. Every doctor or mental-health specialist will tell you this. It is imperative. For me sleep is a time I get to restore and come alive again to a new day. I get to let go and let my breath do the work to unwind. Our souls need the darkness and we crave that quietude and stillness. Make time for your sleep, or even cat or mediation naps. Its amazing what 15 minutes can do for you. Take time to reset your being and the world will look different to you when you awake.

This list is just the beginning with more to come later.

What are some of the ways you heal or feel more peaceful within?