Top 10 Highlights of 2017!

It warms my soul to sit back and look at the whole year as a book telling a story of who I am, and how I am creating myself.
2017 marks a crossroads in my creative path where the currents of the Divine Muse took the reigns and steered me towards deeper expression through my visual art and writing. I was moved to begin weaving the stories of my ten vision quests into a book, which I’ll continue to work on in 2018.
Here are my Top 10 Highlights from 2017, may these inspire you to ponder what shaped your year.
Learning about the Kintsugi Bowl Ceremony and making the bowls for my Wild Hearts Women’s Group (to break and glue back together with gold paint in the fault lines) made my heart sing in 2017. Read a Poem about Kintsugi here
A trip to New Mexico brought me the inspiration to write a short story titled “Coyote on the Fence”. The scene wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote the story. Read the short essay here
Two art classes with Ruth Armitage catapulted me into the realms of abstraction. Now I’m obsessed with painting rocks. Rocks under water, rocks under the earth…Rocks, rocks, rocks!
I held five Shrines for Hope and Healing workshops here in my studio. Makers created 30 shrines that now sit on shelves and hang on walls bringing more beauty into the world. “Take your broken heart and make it into art!” Carrie Fisher
Teaching SoulCollage® at Breitenbush Hot Springs with my soul friend Ann Christensen was surely a highlight in 2017. Eighteen people joined us for three days of soulful creativity, sound healing and deep introspection. I can still see the beautiful open faces around the circle!
My tenth vision quest on Modoc land in May brought me daily visits from the Antelope with a dose of animal medicine that opened my heart to living in the paradox. Read more about vision questing with the Antelope here.
The Art Department Supply Store here in Salem sponsored my first ever solo art show. I was thrilled to have fifteen of my pieces shown there. And my dear BFF, Linda West, gave me these beautiful flowers in honor of my career milestone.
Another Kintsugi Bowl Ceremony–lucky me. My friend and long-time vision quest guide, Anne Stine, asked me to facilitate the Kintsugi Bowl Ceremony in the forest near Hyatt Lake outside of Ashland, OR, to celebrate her milestone birthday. My heart was singing in the midst of all these goddesses! Look at how beautiful she is.
Will any of us ever forget where we were during the total eclipse of the sun in 2017? The air seemed to hold its breath as did we. I doubt if the effect of witnessing a total eclipse ever quite passes away. These three pieces I created are titled, Eclipse 1, 2 and 3.
I spent ten days in Mexico for girl-time with my two sisters, Lea and Dea (they are identical twins). On the last morning I took a walk along the beach. Right at my feet on an incoming wave Grandmother Ocean delivered this amazing heart-shaped shell. Another intimate gift from nature.
And a bonus photo! These littles ones are the loves of my life–great grand kids Nora and Jack, grand kids Silas and Thea– the highlights of every year! They keep me young at heart.

Shrines for Hope and Healing Workshop in the Down to Earth Studio – Take 4!

Another exquisite shrine building workshop on Saturday, December 9, 2017! What a joy to bring people together and act as a midwife to help them birth new beauty in the world. A group of five noodled, chose, cut, glued and placed for hours to create their unique pieces. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to be doing this? I must have done something really good in a past life. And the world is a better place for their efforts!
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Shrines for Hope and Healing Workshop in the Down to Earth Studio – Take 3!

I realized I hadn’t posted pics of the third shrine workshop we did back in October. Another amazing day of open-hearted creativity. More, more, more! We just can’t get enough of these sweet temples of delight. We had a full house here in the Down to Earth Studio that day. Creativity vibes were floating in the air. The Muse was present and working Her magic.

CollagePlay! Student Creations

 

 

 

Humans beings are inherently creative. It’s true. Every time I teach a collage class I become more amazed at how students tear paper, dab paint and combine shapes and colors and create beauty where just minutes before there was nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art is very personal. Each person takes what’s in the heart and puts it out onto the canvas to express a longing or a knowing. Miraculous! And so fun to witness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get to be the midwife who sets up the tools and instruments, encourages deep breathing and watches something be born from the Soul. Lucky me! 

My First Solo Art Show!

Paper only! An Art Challenge at Sitka

It’s great fun to create in ways that come easiest, not always comfortable to be challenged to do things differently. Every year my friend Linda and I take a class at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast. This year we took a collage class with Margot Voorhies Thompson.
My normal way of approaching a collage piece is to add paint and paper in layer after layer. Margot encouraged us to work in simple compositions, using fewer materials. These pieces are the result of working simply, with paper only. I met the challenge!

Shrines for Hope and Healing Workshop – Take 2!

 

Yesterday was another magical day of shrine making with seven Creative Souls in the Down to Earth Studio. Shrine makers worked intently on crafting every small detail, sometimes in silence, sometimes with laughter. The day just flew by as we were held in the flow; time seemed to stand still in that space. And, once again. the Down to Earth Studio was blessed with the grace of community creating together.

 

Once they are finished shrines want to be witnessed and appreciated to fully work their magic. They can bring us peace and comfort and serve as reminders to slow down and focus on what is important in our lives—our hearts, and our souls. Here are photos of yesterday’s little beauties.

 

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There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground (Thank you, Rumi). We can all do our own form of ground-kissing and kneeling. It really changes the world, don’t you think?

 

And when we spend more time kneeling and kissing, our big fat egos get softer, and our hearts get lighter. We become more soulful.

 

And when we hug it’s not our ribs and arms touching, but something more.

Namaste’ Dear Ones, GG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kintsugi Bowl Ceremony With My Wild Hearts Women’s Circle

Kintsugi is the 500 year old Japanese practice of recognizing beauty in broken things. Another name for it is the golden joinery. You may have heard of this before: broken things, like bowls, are mended back together and the cracks are painted with gold.
While the general Western view of broken objects is that they have lost their value, practitioners of kintsugi believe that never-ending consumerism is not a spiritually rewarding experience. The kintsugi method conveys a philosophy not of replacement, but of awe, reverence, and restoration. The gold-filled cracks of a once broken item are a testament to its history.
My Wild Hearts Women’s Circle meets quarterly in Ashland, Oregon. We also participate in a vision quest ceremony together every year. We go way back with our friendship and story council. I had the privilege and honor of making small bowls so that we could participate in the kintsugi ceremony together. We witnessed each person breaking her bowl, one by one. Then we worked together to glue the pieces back into place, some easily, others more challenging. Our bowls ended up not good as new, but better than new.
Ernest Hemingway said “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places.” Breakage and mending are honest parts of a past which should not be hidden. Our wounds and healing are a part of our history, a part of who we are. Kintsugi is another way to take our broken hearts and make them into art.
Here are photos of our beautiful bowls.

Practicing my 4-A Ideology: A.rt A.s A.n A.ntidote

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