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…



The Next Buddha May Be the Artist’s Sangha

Lately I’ve been thinking about a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay), spiritual leader and peace activitist: “It is possible the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and lovingkindness, a community practicing mindful living.”
Thay’s quote seems to come to life as I witness the ever-depending sharing of art and introspection during our monthly SoulCollage® gatherings. I believe it’s deepening partly because of the sacred space in the Down to Earth Studio, but also because we all share a desire to know ourselves and one another more intimately. We want to be together in community to see and be seen, share what is real and true, and know we are not alone in this wild ride we call “life.” We are creating our own version of sangha—an artist’s sangha, if you will. Read more…



Never Not Broken at GG’s Down to Earth Studio

Have you met the Hindu Goddess, Akhilandeshvari? Akhilandeshvari (Ahh-kee-lawn-dish-vari…fun to say, once you get the hang of it) is a goddess who embodies the ability to come together and fall apart, again and again. “Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess.

Akhilandeshvari is the personification of healthy annihilation and the archetype of unexpected change. She breaks apart in order to come back together as a more powerful version of herself. Indeed, it is exactly because she is able to break apart that she is so powerful. She does not expect that things will stay intact and the same.

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Magnificent Failure at GG’s Down to Earth Studio

I have a fear of visibility . . . of being seen. I mean really being seen—for the flawed human that I am. When I think of my book being published, an iceberg of terror forms in the middle of my chest. Bearing all my deepest faults and fears in writing for everyone to see—it’s horrifying! And that’s just the emotional side of visibility; then there’s the physical side: too old, too fat, too emotional, and on it goes. In my experience our patriarchical culture encourages silence, subservience, and invisibility.

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