Happy New Year 2024 from GG’s Down to Earth Studio

The artwork on the left (titled “Shamanic Explosion”) is my version of capturing the essence of a shamanic energy healing performed for me this year…just one of the many amazing gifts that I was fortunate enough to receive in 2023.

Wow, what a year! Talk about counting your blessings! I know it wasn’t a good year for everyone. Many around the world have experienced horrible tragedies, and I don’t mean to discount any of that suffering. My heart aches for all the pain in this world. And I know that hardship and happiness live side by side in my heart. As one of my teachers, Francis Weller, says: “Grief and love are woven together from the beginning.” Paradoxical extremes often exist side by side. Read more…

The Reciprocity of Giving and Receiving at GG’s Down to Earth Studio

In my book Solo Passage: 13 Quests, 13 Questions, which is a collection of essays about my vision quest adventures, I wrote about how I would often go out on walk-abouts to search for herbs, bones, feathers, or interesting rocks.

In fact, I even drew a parallel between my behavior and that of the sneaky packrats (who obscond with things and hoard all manner of flotsom and jetsom in their nests), both of us searching, finding, and taking for our own.

Now I am reconsidering that behavior. Collecting stuff from nature is based on the premise of lusting after something. It’s as if finding the right thing out there might make me feel more happy and fulfilled.

The idea that nature is there for me to go out and try to get something for myself like physical mementos or even emotional states like peace and beauty, could be seen as a subtle form of dominance and entitlement and, if taken far enough, even a type of colonization. Stay with me for a moment while I explain. Read more

From Red Dot to Green Light at GG’s Down to Earth Studio

Back in 2010 I set an intention on my annual vision quest to come to peace with the feelings of envy I sometimes felt about other artists. I shared with my questing sisters about entering my work into art shows and praying to see a red dot on the wall tag indicating the piece had sold. When I’d look around the show at other artists’ works with red dots, I’d feel intense envy—perhaps bettter described as outright jealousy! Read more here


Visibility, Vulnerability and Voice

Last month I was standing in the light celebrating my full and wonderful life. This month I’m feeling a little less bold. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a good, rich, and very full life; it’s just that it’s hard to quell those negative voices inside that cause me to question what I’m doing as I prepare for the visibility and vulnerability that will come with my book launch. Read more




Living My Best Life at GG’s Down to Earth Studo

In October of this year I will turn seventy-two. That’s almost three-quarters of a century of living on this planet. And yes, there are days when my body lets me know just how long that is. But then there are other days—most days in fact—where I am amazed at this beautiful life I am living. I have a lovely cottage home and garden. I have an active art practice creating, mentoring, and teaching (in June I hit the 100 mark for SoulCollage® gatherings at the Down to Earth Studio). I wrote a book. I hike and I go out into the wilderness each year on my vision quests. Read more here

Owl Wisdom at GG’s Down to Earth Studio

Last month I went out into the Modoc National Forest on my annual questing date with Mother Earth. This year I renamed my time out there “quamping” (part questing, part camping) because aging has limited my ability to fast for extended periods and my body requires more comfort and convenience than traditional questing dictates. But the delicious time-alone-in-nature aspect remains, as does the call to pay attention. Each time I go out into the wild I return with an unexpected treasure. This year I discovered…read more 

Earth Love Art Show Sponsored by GG’s Down to Earth Studio

This is an invitation for those of you who live locally to come see the Earth Love Art Show in April. The show will feature shrines, banners, paintings, and ceramics that express love for our earth home. Most of the shrines and banners were made here at the Down to Earth Studio. Click here for details

Wisdom from a Siberian Shaman

Shhh…the Earth is listening.

We must tell her how beautiful She is.

This is an invitation to let your earth love flag fly and come join me in March at the Down to Earth Studio to create shrines or banners for the Earth Love Art Show (details below). Our work will be featured at the Art Department Store in downtown Salem during the month of April. There are still a few spots left and I’d love to fill them up. By the way, if you have an Earth-related art piece (painting, fiber art, or assemblage, etc.) that you’d like to include in the Earth Love Art Show, please let me know! Let’s jam the Concrete Gallery with expressions of our love for Mother Earth.
What inspired me to host this art show is a quote I recently read in Trebbe Johnson‘s newsletter. Read more

5 Things I’ve Learned About Creativity

Happy Imbolc!
Imbolc (pronounced em-bolk) is a pagan holiday associated with the goddess Brigit and marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Yay, we are half way there! Buds have formed on the clematis bush outside my kitchen window and it looks to be a bumper crop year for its fragrant white blossoms. Meanwhile, it’s a wintery 27 degrees out there, which is super cold for us west coasters. The good thing about this weather is that I spend more time inside working on my essays or down in the studio creating art.
It was on a wilderness vision quest in 2005 when I found the courage to claim the title of “artist” for myself. Read more...

Take Heart – We’re Doing Our Part!

Happy New Year! In preparing to write this year-end note to you, I looked back over 2022 at everything we created together – all the beauty we added to the world over this past year. And I was surprised to learn that we gathered for twenty-one workshops, seventeen here in The Down to Earth Studio, and four offsite (the Art Department Supply Store, Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival, Breitenbush, and the Alton Collins Retreat Center). With an average of eight people in each workshop, that’s a total of 168 (probably more like over 200 when you consider that people often make more than one thing at a gathering) paintings, collages, SoulCollage® cards, shrines, goddess banners, eco-dyed pieces, and Kintsugi bowls.
Wow. Let me say that again: Together, in 2022, we added somewhere around 200 new items of beauty into the world. Yay us! Read more…