Full Time Artist-in-Residence

With a new year come rhythms unfolding, sparks both light and dark. With 21 years of traveling as a gardener behind me, I am grounding, nesting and resting in Winter’s slow rhythm. I vacillate between peace, sureness and excitement, to sheer panic, dread and loss – the latter being brief – but I am honoring its hindering energy’s existence (inhale) then letting it go (exhale). The loss of regular income has two of us now working our irregular creative lives out of our house. The adjustment of both of us working full time out of the same box is interesting. It can be stunning as the creative sparks are flying under one roof. It has been a challenge carving out my work space, while honoring “quiet time” for my husband’s work with his clients. I set about cleaning out my show/clothing/storage room and transforming it into a working space. As soon as the felting mats arrive for my new 8’ x 5’ table, I will be off and running. Meanwhile, I am foaming at the bit to start the creative process for my new vision.

My new work will include a collection of five long art gowns that I call “Skin Walker”. Inspired by the Native American and Celtic folklore, the cultural history for this collection is steeped in the transformation of obtaining the power of an animal by wearing its skin. This vision came to me during a relaxed, almost trans-like state during a long breath and bodywork session with a shaman. I saw a melding and healing between Native American and Celtic/Anglo past patterns released in this work, between my ancestors, a healing rooted in my mixed blood. Interestingly, after this vision, I learned that my great grandmother was the daughter of a Saginaw Chief. This melding and creating peace fuels transformation, sparks creativity and unleashes the natural magical flow we can all tap into to thrive. The making of my “Skin Walker” collection is to visually stimulate this healing with the beauty of art. For me, it is an honoring of my ancestors through listening and the process of making art.

Another surprise stemming from not living like a gypsy out of my suitcase is having the time for regular sleep, meditation and yoga practice. Wow, what a gift! My Prana Danda Yoga has been so amazingly fluid and full of relaxing-letting go-opening up and being present. Also, I am so grateful to be assisting Ariana Bates in March at the Sedona Yoga Festival with Yoga Trance Dance, three days of moving meditation bliss. Embodiment of the creative flow through breath and movement, together as a tribe with music, is a deep-rooted practice that is being revived. Celebrations, funerals, wisdom seeking and cycles have all been honored in this way through many cultures, present and past – release, celebrate or just letting go. There is an untapped power in movement and breath. I witnessed this on the Gaian Soul Retreat that I co-led with Joanna Powell Colbert this past Fall on Whidbey Island. I led a beautiful ecoprint project, but the real joy was watching the women let go as we facilitated their first sacred Trance Dance.

The future will find me exploring India, sacred sites, temples and textiles. I plan to travel with Vijaya Stern and a group of beautiful souls to India to explore sacred sites, temples and textile adventures. We will be collecting and meandering through some of India’s most precious textile markets to stitch, sew, block print or just meditate and fall in love. After we are infused with the energy of our adventures, we will gather local flora, sticks, and roots for an ecoprint, or an indigo or natural dye pot. We will create a sacred cloth, a treasured unique heirloom infused with the magic of India and our experiences. Vijaya Stern is a renowned Ayurvedic naturopath and will be sharing her knowledge for those interested in Ayurveda, and a health, holistic lifestyle. I hope to be hosting a pre-India workshop this Spring or Summer so that participants can get a taste of what may unfold on our trip. Stay tuned as it manifests and please contact me if you are interested. It’s looking like a mid-October 2016 trip. If you are interested in joining the workshop or us in India, the Facebook group is called “Exploring India, Sacred Sites, Temples and Textiles”.

So, Happy New Year – welcoming change, new faces, rhythms and experiences, one breath at a time . . .

Posted on January 27, 2016 .