Entries in inspiration (9)


q&a with artist and yogi Caol McDonald


Caol McDonald is a  artist, yogi and a wonderful person.  Many evenings I have thoroughly enjoyed whiling away the hours in conversation with him. Even a quick conversation on the stairs of flow makes me wish we had more time to chat.  Caol is full of wisdom and his eye for light is thrilling.  He has a gentle spirit with the strength of a warrior that really sees what is around him.  You can connect with him  on Facebook and Instagram and buy his art on his Esty shop from FlowCo and Souk Belfast, practice with him at Flow Studio Belfast and other places - check out his Facebook page for details of classes - I highly recommend you make taking one high up your to do list.  The painting Caol did for me inspires me to keep lifting up.


Who are you, what’s it like being you…

My name is Caol, a 27 year old creative type, yogi by day and painter by night with a passion for exploring the great outdoors

Where are you from, where are you based…

I live in the heart of Mid Ulster N.Ireland, currently based in Cookstown

Talk about your work ... How do you find inspiration?

As an artist my work is my voice, what comes from within; I have doodled and created art for years and that voice is still growing. I’ve lived in Ireland all my life, and it being a small island, it’s possible to journey and discover your surroundings become changeable landscapes from mountains and forests to oceans and cliff views easily, the lens through which my mind perceives this world has been predominantly a visual one, my inspiration comes strongly from the raw Atlantic islands scenery and the concept of the human spirit, and it’s always been my passion to try and communicate and strengthen the bond between Humanity and nature.

I am simply a secretary to my own sensations, living a life through colour, and through the resulting expressions I paint and record on paper I aim to help re-establish our connection to the natural ways of the world.

More recently I have been taking this visual lens on an internal exploration of the landscapes of human nature through yoga, and drawing parallels between these conceptual, internal landscapes and the external environment and listening to how both yoga and art can inform how one sees the world.


What are your future plans ..

In an ideal situation I hope to find a place where I can be self sufficient by teaching yoga, creating and to live ecologically here in Ireland.

who you are inspired by ...

Creatively…artists such as Brandon Boyd or Jose Parla to name just two, also people who are living for a living, people who are kind and who live compassionate lives to each other and the world we live on.

Describe your space ...

There is always a cup of coffee in hand, a candle lit and an open window

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Having a quiet moment to yourself each day, even (especially)if it’s simply to enjoy a coffee. 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

While not necessarily the most encouraging I’ve ever heard, I was recently shared words written by Nikita Gill from my Mother that struck a chord

“You carry both lightning and thunder in that space between your bones and soul, become the storm you are hiding from, a hurricane does not run from the rain”

Your work life philosophy is ...

You weren’t born to pay bills and die, make room for enjoying life. 

What is your favourite smell ...

Petrichor…the smell of the earth after rain. (…or morning coffee)

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

My tastes in music vary but currently I like Nahko Bear- Great Spirit

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

I’ve wanted to for years but only recently I have been eating a plant based diet; for just almost a year now, it took time for me to longer miss my old favourites I thought I couldn’t do without. Now my most often ate meal is roast chilli broccoli with some form of tofu, … but my favourite food is 100% peanut butter, I could eat that all day!

Three things or products that have changed your life...

The addition of my dog to the family tribe instigated my proactivity towards a plant based lifestyle, yoga has taken me to Asia and back, offered growth and opportunities to connect with some of the best people I now call friends and colleagues and of course Art.

How do you relax ...

Meditation…whether that be the traditional method, yoga or meditation via art

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Adventuring into nature with fresh air, places away from daily routine where you can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world, I’m particularly drawn to the Irish Coast and the wild power of The Atlantic.

What do you most value in your friends ...

Individuality of character 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

As somebody who lives with the constant urge to communicate or convey sensations…ideas and concepts, whether that be to other people or simply to myself via meditating or painting or writing, a few words I happened upon this year resonate with me

“Make ceremonies out of the air, and breathe upon them"

I conceptualise this phrase visually, as an artist or a yogi plucking inspiration from anything, what they see, hear and experience or from their own mind and using it to create something wonderful. A painting, a memorable day out or a great savasana!

As for currently, in terms of books; I have an obsession with the works of J.R.R Tolkien and I just finished rereading The Silmarillion (a grand prequel to the more popular Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit). I also am keenly following any news articles or social media stories about the current political and environmental protest happening in America, where the Native treaty lands of the American Indians are under threat by Oil companies, I feel the Earth is an island and we have nowhere else to go, we need to protect what we have, Water is Life.

Share some words of wisdom ...

I came across this a while ago, I’m unsure of its author but I love it;

“You think in your idle hours that there is literature, history, science behind you so accumulated as to exhaust thought and prescribe your own future. In your sane hour you will see that not a line has yet been written; that for all the poetry that is in the world your first sensation on entering a wood or standing on the shore of a lake has not been charted yet. It remains for you; so does all thought, all objects, all life remains unwritten yet”




Thank you Caol, it was a joy to have your at our place.

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable


Thoughts for your week

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable


You are Awesome 

My friend Laura sent me this beautiful piece of art she created.

I smiled.

Her use of colour and her creativity shine in her art.

I was so encouraged and uplifted by her work I wanted to share it with you.

May you know today with every ounce of your being 'You are AWESOME'

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable


Get Excited & Change Things  

Don't know about you but all this keep calm & carry on is a bit stuff upper lip, for me. A bit too lets just accept things the way they are. It's seriously lacking creativity.

Today I was in West Belfast with a 24/7 prayer team & as we prepared to hit the streets this piece of art was on my friend Laura Brown's wall.

I was. I am. INSPIRED.

We need to get excited about life. We need to go out there & change things. Shake them up. Bring hope and love and peace and life to the streets of our city that for too long has been a prisoner of violence and pain.

Each of us face battles on a daily if not moment by moment basis. Keeping calm of course is important but not at the expense of becoming stuck. At just chippig away at the same old thing hoping and praying for change but not actually taking to the streets of our lives, our situations to do anything.

You are an unique creation. There is no one else on earth who can fulfill your potential. Only you. Only you can bring your make up and gifts to this world. Get excited about your ability, your talent your creativity, your sphere of influence. Get excited as change things. If your stuck in a rut keeping calm as carrying on takes you nowhere but into the rut. Instead shake things up by becoming excited about your potential.

Go for it!

What do you think? Will you join me and get excited and change things in your situation?

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable.


Words of Wisdom from Nelson Mandela

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable


Be so good

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable


Great artists inspire us to play it forward


Creation inspires me.  Whether that is the creation of the creator throughout our planet in the natural world or the creation of others.  

When I look at the creations of others I am stimulated, feeling myself naturally moved to think about a part of life, be that mine of the universal life.  Sometimes I am motivated to create something of my own.  Other times, I am able through my reaction to the creation that I look at to learn more about myself.  I am one of those people who can sit and look at paintings or sculpture for hours on end.  Or just sit on a beach watching the waves, absorbing the light. 

I love to chase light.  Often driving for miles to catch a sunset, or rising before dawn to see the new day bathed in sunlight.   And, when I talk about places that I love, very often I will talk - usually at length -about the brilliant light, that I experienced there. 

Day Six of Jeff Goins Series (15 Habits of Great Writers) suggests that great writers and artists steal.  There is something that sits uncomfortably with me about stealing from someone else.  However, I think it might just be a semantic because I believe artists inspire us to play it forward.  In that I mean to create something of our own. Our own piece of work, that belongs to us but one which had its seed germinated by seeing or experiencing, feeling another piece of work.  Be that music or prose. Photographs, paintings, sculpture, jewellery, film, buildings, drawings, food.

My favourite bible verse is 'In the beginning God created ...'  

Simply I find myself marvelling at the idea, that before God did anything else he got creative.  He Created!  Today Jeff asked us to share something that inspired us to create.  I have chosen my iPhone photograph of Hawthorn Blossom.  This June snow turns the countryside hedgerows into a mass of white.  The blossom begins to turn light pink as it ages.  I took this particular picture as I walked through the field on an early morning walk with Foinn.  The form, of the buds of the flower, the sticky green tinged with red of the leaves caught my eye, and got me thinking about the intricacies of life, the beauty of life in the small things.  It left me feeling quite etheral.  I created my art in this photograph by chosing an angle and a perspective.

Does this picture speak to you - what of?

What inspires you to play it forward, let me know in the comments?

Today I am linking up with the wonderful Sweet Shot Tuesday community hosted by Kent Weakley, please do join us.

That's it for now ...


Salt and Sparkle - Life Remarkable