Artist’s Statement and Creative Bio

Within each of us are many worlds, many stories; in my artwork I seek to express my inner knowings through image and word.  My art is inspired by my personal history and dreams, my studies, my ancestors both familial and spiritual, and by the collective ideas and symbols found in many cultures.   I access these symbols through visionings, inner journeys, “in-the-world” journeys through the art and writings of spiritual seekers through the ages, and in the spiritual and dream symbolisms from around the world.

My images and my words are my record of navigating life’s depth dimensions.  I dig deep, bring up treasures, and express them on canvas and the page.  What is the beauty within?  Where is the wisdom within?  The world reflects back to us so much heartbreak, and we’ve all lived through our own difficult times.  Many of us, too many of us, have survived great traumas. Having already thoroughly explored that territory, I now choose to create intriguing and evocative reflections of spirit, love, and the Feminine Divine which first of all inspire and empower me.  I hope to then inspire and empower the viewer towards their own inner explorations and expression, towards healing and life lived expansively, towards personal power and choice.   I choose to express the truths of beauty, hope, and the promise of possibility as I see them.

I have been creative all of my life, through music, fabric arts, knitting and crochet, cooking, writing and journalling, scrapbooking and art journalling, and most recently through multi-media, poetry, and acrylic on canvas.  I find that bright jewel tones best express the strong imagery I love, along with the multivalent meanings of the symbols I use.  Sometimes an image or feeling spontaneously presents itself to me, needing to be expressed, but most often I explore within through active imagination or shamanic journeying with a specific inquiry or question. I bring back color or image, and then one image opens into another, and another, and meaning blossoms.  I hope that my art unfolds meaning as a rose unfolds in beauty.

I believe that self-expression cannot belong only to those whom society recognizes and privileges as “the artist”.  I focus more on feeling and tone than on dramatic technique, and use media that are readily available to most of us: acrylic, watercolor, paper, and canvas. I hope that the viewer is inspired to say “I bet I can do something like that!” and create their own art, rather than my wanting the viewer to admire my great technical skills.

I am deeply grateful to my painting teacher Shiloh Sophia McCloud and her teacher Sue Hoya Sellars, to Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Meinrad Craighead, Caron McCloud, Mary Oliver, Frida Kahlo, to Frances Stefano, and to many others who create out of original voice.

Stories within worlds within stories between worlds: In the paradoxes of daily life, I want always to remember the stories that create meaning and that we can access the treasures that already live deep within.  And when someone resonates with what I’ve been gifted to put onto canvas or paper, I am filled with the joy of connection and the mysteries of life, symbol, story.

 

CREATIVE BIOGRAPHY:

How do you really live a deeply meaningful life, living gracefully within the paradoxes and challenges life hands you?  Where are the depths of soul?  And how do you get to those depths?  What is a soul, anyway?  How do you let what’s within you be expressed in ways that are helpful and contribute to positive change?  Do you ever fully heal from the traumas you survived?  How can life be more colorful and creative?

These are the questions I live out of, every day.  I do soul work.  I’m a contemplative educator, counsellor, and artist, and I help women and men navigate the Depth Dimensions of their lives through image, word, silence, and dream. I believe that the most important work each of us can do is to live out our gifted self fully, creatively, and freely, in an overculture which too often wounds our bodies and souls and colonizes our minds with distractions, commercialization, and other people’s agendas.  

I’m a master of the labyrinth, the way of experiencing life’s twists and turns as pilgrimage — through having lived it.  I believe that there’s always the unexpected — I first became a mother at 40, and an artist at 56.  I work in the ways of women’s wisdom — and gotten skilled at unravelling the knots of internalized oppression.  I live expansively and joyfully — and also with serious chronic pain.

I invite you to join me in Intentional Creativity afternoon sessions, in Story Circles, Study Groups, and Painting Workshops, and in customized individual sessions where you explore and express your own lived wisdom and beauty in watercolor, acrylic, and journaling.   Each season I respond to the needs of my beloveds with new offerings based on the themes I discern as immediately relevant.

Professionally, I’m a student of the wisdom traditions of the world, with a Masters in Education, 4 years’ graduate study and a B.A. in Theology, plus more than 35 years’ experience in service and education, including as counsellor and Executive Director of a sexual assault center.  I am trained in post-trauma counselling and as an Intentional Creativity Coach. I have taught in university, in high school, in professional development, and in my own workshops and classes. I also home educated my son to the university level.  I live creatively with the limitations of several chronic illnesses and engage actively in ongoing learning and reflection, most recently with Shiloh Sophia McCloud, visionary artist, and Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (author of the groundbreaking bestselling Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype) in 9 of her summer training intensives. 

 

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