A conversation with muse Stella Marina
On a beautiful day in early September we headed to the wild edges of Cornwall with muse Stella Marina; artist and sailor, to explore some of her most treasured places in the county. The atmospheric and dramatic scenery was the backdrop to a conversation that touched on ideas of connection, womanhood and creativity.
Do you know your skin type? Has it changed in your adult life? If so how?
My skin has definitely mellowed as I have gotten older, maybe all of me has! I am not sure of it’s type, but I am using the Balancing face oil at the moment and it seems to be very much enjoying it.
When I was younger and studying in the city I would spend a lot of time indoors and my skin used to be very sensitive, with the slightest trigger from sugar, alcohol or stress. Now that the majority of my time is spent outside I have seen the positive effects of sun and salt water across my whole body but particularly on my skin.
Do you have a creative discipline or passion which you dedicate your time to? How does it impact your health/wellbeing ?
I studied printmaking at university, given a choice I would spend all day making prints, drawing and painting. However I have come to terms with saving that for the future. Studying a creative subject sets you up for life in so many unexpected ways and informs my being daily. But it is just a hobby for now.
At moment the my passion is sailing, and trying to find a more sustainable way to move forward as a sailing community. Sailing is an occupation that keeps on giving and giving to me. There is always more to learn, more confidence, more trust to build and more knowledge to garner. You rely on your body, your wellness, the people around you and your vessel to survive. I feel so lucky to be making a living in this way at the moment.
When do you feel your most radiant self?
On a boat for a long ocean passage I am the best version of myself.
Day and night lose all meaning, you find a new rhythm in the passage of time. There are few distractions and the people around you become your life support.
You are granted front row seats at the most majestic sunsets and the most magical sunrises. I have seen the night sky turn completely green and heard the rush of a shooting star. At sea I am on top of my world, unleashed across time and space.
Do you have any self care rituals that ground/nourish/energise you?
With all that in mind, reconnecting with my body on a closer level surely aides in feeling at peace.
A swim in cold sea is a sure fire way to clear my head and nourish my soul, along with any exercise, yoga, running, rock climbing….
I think I spend more time on self care in the tropics, it’s a slower pace of life with time to take care of yourself. The heat and humidity make it important and you spend more time with your skin in the sunshine. My current trick is to take a glass spritz bottle and put a few drops of my Basho oil in, with maybe a few extra drops of essential oil. Sweet orange and Bergamot are my current faves, keep it in the fridge and then spritz over face/neck/body when ever you need a pick me up. It honestly energises me straight away and leaves my face all fresh and zingy.
Traveling a lot means my self care and grounding routines are fairly minimal. There have been times when I have felt so much fear and sadness at the thought of travelling, but over time I have learned the those fears and that sadness were nothing to do with being away from home. They were deep seated in me and I have learnt to overcome them wherever I am. Travelling and adventure have made me (I hope) quite resilient, cutting through that resilience and allowing myself to be soft and womanlike is how I nourish that resilience.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty to me is the ability to allow yourself to be beautiful in any way that you want to. It is the freedom to decide who and what you want to be and becoming that person.
My personal views of beauty might not be what you expect? My grandmother was a PanAm air hostess, and my first “beauty” memories are of her make bag, of talcum powder, red lipstick and combed black hair. I love the finesse of classic beauty, the regime, the ritual and the loaded expectation of traditional glamour.
Is that odd for someone who spends most of their time bare-faced in the elements?
How do you reconnect when you're feeling out of touch with yourself?
When I feel a little distant, or like the world is a bit too much I come back to drawing. I close the door, turn off my phone and spread paper all over the place. Working on a yacht can be tough, it’s a close environment and you have to work to a very high standard. When I feel I have had to make compromises in order to get a job done, drawing and painting remind me that I am more than a job, or a boat. That we each have our own telescope for the world and the time and space to explore what I see through mine is my true freedom.
How do you embrace your own sense of womanhood?
By spending time with my wonderful girl friends. Women need other women, this is also something I have learned.
I feel incredibly lucky that I have a group of girls around me that I have know since I was around 12, each time we see each other it is as if no time has passed. I get butterflies when I know I will see them all together, we giggle until our ribs ache and laugh with joy at knowing that we will have each other for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. They are my safety net.
Is there an inspiring/empowering poem or quote that you could share with us?
There are many deeply intellectual and philosophical quotes out there, but for me this one gets right to the point.
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants” ~ Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel