Finding Beauty in Imperfection – Breaking and Mending at GG’s Down to Earth Studio

It’s spring and green shoots are breaking through the muddy ground and moving toward the light. New growth is everywhere. Last Saturday in the Down to Earth Studio we did our own version of breaking and emerging to let the light shine in.

Eleven of us gathered around the table in the studio…read more here 

Musings from an Art Doula

In the past I jokingly referred to myself an art doula when explaining my role in teaching and facilitating. “I’m sort of a birthing doula for artists,” I’d say, “encouraging and supporting them through the process.” Then, I realized it’s not a joke. I AM an art doula! I am there by your side to coach you through birthing your creative ideas out into the world. I even had it added to my business card: “Glenda Goodrich, Mixed Media Artist, Art Doula, SoulCollage® Facilitator.”
What exactly is a doula?… Read more

Gratitude for the Top 10 Gifts of 2018 !

First of all, thank you for joining me on this creative journey. Thank you for reading my newsletters, coming to my art and SoulCollage(r) workshops, and for buying my art. Because of you, I have had an amazing 2018. And because of you, I am able to fulfill my heart’s desire to make art and share my gifts with others through teaching.
How can it be year end already? I sit back and look at the 2018 as another chapter in a book that tells the story of who I am, and how I am creating myself. I invite you to think about the 2018 chapter in the book of your life. Better yet, I’d love to hear about your year and witness your dreams for 2019! Come and join me for one of the new year workshops I am offering in January (more info on “workshops” page of this website)
2018 has been full and fulfilling. My wonderful astrologer, Carol Ferris, told me in my last reading that I am in a full-sun cycle, and I felt that this year, in spades! I wanted to put into place every good idea I had…and I practically did! I felt the universe pulling me toward what I love and inviting me to step further in to my creative potential (see list of my top 10 below).
I am still working on my book of vision quest stories…loving it when the muse takes my hand and leads me, hating it when I get bogged down in minutiae because I can’t turn off the editor in my head. 😉 I thought I would sit down and easily have that book written in a year or so. Ha! It takes what it takes, and it’s taking more thought, time, and dedication that I ever imagined. At this point, the book is taking on its own agenda and leading me…exactly where I am not sure. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
Here are my Top 10 Highlights from 2018, may these inspire you to ponder what shaped your year.
1ST PLACE AWARD: I won a first-place award in the Artists in Action Something Red Show for Ancestor Spirits in My Garden. I was shocked and thrilled to receive this award out of 100 entries.
KINTSUGI: Blending my workshop, Kintsugi – The Beauty of Imperfection, with SoulCollage(r) brought deeper healing and forgiveness to participants in the September SoulCollage(r) gathering. And, the cards they made were extraordinary! I am offering a combination Kintsugi Bowl and SoulCollage(r) workshop in April of 2019 (see “workshops” page of this website).
KINDRED SPIRITS: 2018 was a year of welcoming more amazing women into my life, and inviting them to collaborate in Down to Earth workshop offerings in 2019. Left to right: Tammy Jamieson (Kintsugi workshop co-facilitator), Kathleen Paul (The Spiral Gaze workshop co-facilitator) and Larisa Noonan (Ancestral SoulCollage(r) workshop co-facilitator). Collaborating with other talented women feels like the next right step to spice up my studio offerings, plus I love working with and learning from them.
SITKA WORKSHOPS: I participated in three workshops at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast, two art and one writing. So much fun to totally emerse myself into the creative process!
PHOTO SHOOT: Need a boost for your self image? Try a professional photo shoot with Caren Ann Jackson! My first ever, and Caren Ann made it so much fun. Here is a link to her website.
BREITENBUSH RETREAT: The June 3-day Breitenbush Hot Springs SoulCollage(r) Retreat was, again, one of the highlights of the year. Crystal bowl sound healing from my dear friend, Ann Christensen, the sacred grounds of the old growth forests, and the open hearts of the participants make this retreat one of the things I’ll remember fondly on my death bed! It is life changing. (see description on “workshop” page of this website).
MY ART IN WE’MOON: I was honored that my art piece titled, Dark Spirits Roam Free, was featured in the 2019 We’Moon datebook. Here is a link if you want to order one of these amazing calendars with detailed astrological events.
CREATIVE EXPERIMENTATION: I managed to find some time to experiment with new art techniques including a hanging banner titled “Searching for My Tribe,” and a dimensional piece with raised images titled “Tribe of Wild Word Girls.”
TEACHING ART & SOULCOLLAGE(r) WORKSHOPS: Lucky me! I got to teach 22 SoulCollage(r) workshops, 10 art workshops and 2 Kintsugi bowls ceremonies during the 2018 year. Definitely in my full sun cycle and riding the wave!
FAMILY! I traveled to Maryland twice this year. My son, Bill, married Rachel, the love of his life (and one of the loves of mine, too!) in May of this year. Then I went back again in October to visit granddaughter, Meg, and great grandkids, Jack, Nora and Caroline. Plus, my weekly visits to Eugene to be with daughter Susie, her husband Nate, and grandkids Thea and Silas, made for a year of lots of kid time and grand-mothering.

Kintsugi for SoulCollage®

At the September SoulCollage® gatherings in The Down to Earth Studio, we took the concept of Kintsugi, finding beauty in broken things (What is Kintsugi?), and applied it to SoulCollage®. The results were stunning, both visually and in the way it opened up our hearts and souls for deeper connection with one another. It still brings tears to my eyes when I reflect on what we shared together. 

 

I took a chance with this idea of Kintsugi for SoulCollage®, not at all sure whether it would work. I was soon reassured by the openness and willingness of the 17 women who came together for this unique experience. It was a gentle reminder to trust my instincts. Thank you, beautiful spirits, for making last

Friday a memorable day. Here are some photos of the cards we made, tore apart, and mended with gold. 

 

 

 

 

The Earth Says Much to Those Who Listen

I have a wall hanging in my home that says “The earth says much to those who listen,” and I believe it’s true because I’ve experienced it through many hours spent in intimacy with the natural world, listening and paying attention. If you stop and think about it, you probably have too. When you look out at a glorious sunset or see a sweeping vista of mountains and your heart aches a little in joy and melancholy, that’s your connection to the voice of the earth. more…

 

 

Solstice Soul Renewal Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs

 “The highest calling for a human being is to be a soul friend for another” Brigit of Ireland 5th Century.

 

That’s exactly how it was for nineteen women who came together with open minds and hearts to explore the magical imagery of SoulCollage® at the Breitenbush Hot Springs SoulCollage® retreat. We spent time together in sharing circle, meditating, moving, journaling, making and reading our SoulCollage® cards and sharing rituals to connect with one another in community. We used the Four Shields of the Wheel of Life to deepen our connection to the natural world and honor the Summer Solstice. The creative juices were flowing and the cards were spectacular. These pictures say it all.

Retreat dates for 2019 are June 9th through 12th. Come join us next year!!

 

 

 

Newport Paper Arts Festival Creations

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. This is especially true after a class like last Saturday’s NPAF Collage Reveal technique. The participants were upbeat, kind and fun; and they created some amazing works of art. I loved every minute of moving around the room like an art doula, helping them birth their creations — so fun for me!  

 

We started the day off with setting some intentions for ourselves: Here are the words they shared: Supportive, Creative, Open, Peaceful, Playful, Open to being Open, Playful, Explore, Explore, Inspiration, Brave, and Brave! And here is the art they made. Some of these are still a work in progress, but you’ll get the idea of the beauty that was blossoming forth.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Old Crone in Death Valley

I’m writing this note to you from a hotel in Beatty, Nevada, just outside of Death Valley. A mourning dove coos a rhythmic chant outside the window. A not-so-wild burro woke me at 3 o’clock this morning rummaging through a garbage can right outside my hotel room. I opened the door to see what was going on. The beast looked up and brayed rudely at me, then went back to foraging.
I came here to visit my first questing site from sixteen years ago in Hanaupah Canyon. Last week I was in New York City, surrounded by massive glistening man-made structures and too many people who refuse to negotiate passage on the sidewalk; they hold their ground fiercely. This week in Death Valley I’m in the company of stones and mountains which also, by the way, refuse to move aside to let anyone pass. They have been here for thousands of years and, by all rights, they do have the territorial imperative.
There are very few people here. What there is, is an unfathomable number of rocks– a crash of stones. The billions of stars in a clear Death Valley night sky are mirrored by the billions of rocks on the ground, everywhere I look. Spring wildflowers bloom from cactus and bush tucked between stony outcroppings, reaching desperately to flag down insects as they fly by, “Choose me! Choose me!” they beg.
Yesterday I visited Hanaupah Canyon after a 10-mile drive over a road so rocky and rutted that the movement measured steps on my Fitbit even though I was sitting in the car. When I finally arrived in the Canyon, I got out of the car and stood absorbed in the view. I looked east toward the Badwater salt flats which lie two hundred feet below sea level, then to the west at the cascading ranges of the snow-topped Panamint Mountains at 11,000 feet, great aprons of rocky debris spreading out toward the valley floor. I heard the sound of a bird’s wings, looked up at the dark silhouette of a raven flying overhead. I breathed the silence down into the deepest branches of my lungs, relishing the solitude.
I love this place. I love the way the categorically flat land meets the uncompromising rise of mountains, forced up by the compression of the earth’s plates fifty million years ago. It is a bold and daring landscape, yet uncomplicated in its simplicity. There is flat land and there is mountainous land. There is peace and there is a chaotic fight for survival.
The sun blasted my face, already burning at 10 o’clock in the morning. Death Valley is like an old dry crone, ancient and wrinkled from baking sun, the scent of minerals oozing from her topographic pores. She holds strength and wisdom. She speaks of being true to your natural self, enduring life’s hardships and getting by with little resources.
I did not find my questing place from sixteen years ago. I thought I knew exactly where it was. Something had changed – my memory, or the landscape. Flash floods move rocks in and out of the crevices changing the topography, and memories are not always reliable.
I walked back up the steep hill of the canyon got back into the car and drove back to Beatty watching dark clouds billow up in the western sky and hover over the Panamints. I felt disappointed and silly, coming all this way to visit my first questing site then not finding it. I thought about an adage I’d heard or read somewhere: You can’t go home again.
When I got back to the hotel I googled the passage to see where it originated, and found this auspicious quote:
“Something has spoken to me in the night…and told me that I shall die, I know not where. Saying: ‘Death is to lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.” from You Can’t Go Home Again, by Thomas Wolfe
Even though I didn’t find the exact place where I’d first quested, I did find a re-connection to my love of the Old Death Valley Crone with all her austere beauty and eternal wisdom. She reminds me to accept what is, make the best of it, and live life on life’s terms.
Here are photos from my collection titled “Patterns of Death Valley.” Enjoy!

Two Girls in the Modoc ~ A Vision Quest Story

Many of you have asked how the writing is going. “Two Girls in the Modoc” is a sample of the stories I’ve been working on. I have a whole new respect for writers these days. William Faulkner said, “If a story is in you it has got to come out.” And they are coming out…let me know what you think!
After my experience in the Modoc, this 10 minute documentary brought tears of awe and gratitude. I want to go there! herdfilm.com
Coincidentally, my art piece titled “Dark Spirits Roam Free” was just accepted by We’Moon to be included in the 2019 datebook. Two horses are featured in my story and in this art, which was painted four years ago!