Some of my most joyful and deepest creativity has been teaching at the Art & Soul Retreat*at Kanuga in North Carolina. It is a feeling of stepping into a stream so strong and deep that it takes me to a place where my soul feels at home, really at home.
It was a week of inspiration in New Mexico. In Santa Fe I found this beautiful symbol on the statue of Mary in the grounds of the Santa Fe Cathedral Basilica.
The sharing and checking in brought up my bee hive in the nearby garden and a poem by Emily Dickinson titled To Make A Prairie.
I thought it would be a week of drawing dread, instead it turned into a joy to wake up and find something that calls me to be seen, deeply seen.
This is the first day of a creativity adventure titled “A Drawing, Design or Doodle a Day” – Inspired by Nature – Learning to See Creator in Creation
A Month of Drawing, Design or Doodling a Day. I’m very excited about my Kanuga 5 day spiritual art workshop. This is an online preparation.
Birds bring wings to our hearts with their song, movement and beauty. The language of birds, which if understood by humans, has been told in ancient texts to reveal the wisdom of divinity. Perhaps it is the divinity of their beauty that has inspired some of our most famous artists, especially John James Audubon.
As I prepare for teaching my August five-day art workshop in North Carolina at Kanuga*, I am spending time in the dance of drawing, revisiting its joy and terror. Drawing is a dance that unites the essence of what is being drawn with the eyes, heart and hand of the person drawing. That dance takes place when a person sees, truly sees.
A most beautiful book, The Lost Words, reclaims nature words removed from a children’s dictionary. Acorn was replaced with analog.
A Sacred Circle of Creativity workshop was a three-day journey into the mystery and manifestation of our own creativity. I am so thankful to the creative souls who joined me…
Some of the deepest sharing of souls takes place when a very special book group gets together. We call it the Crystal Book Group, named for a location but also for the clarity and power of our sharing. Our sharing includes an art activity that deepens what we have read. We recently created sweetgrass braids and painted stones.
Total Solar Eclipse -In the recent mandala circle gathering we brought our awareness and creativity to this once in a lifetime event. All of us in the circle are fortunate to live in the area of the total solar eclipse.
I am working on a new practice, like the practice of yoga, meditation or prayer. It is the practice of becoming bilingual in the language of animacy.
Today I finished planting my garden. It’s the last on the list of the many gardens I work in. Before digging in the dirt I took some mandala photos of the garden and flowers that touch my heart and share my time.
It was the weekend of Earth Day. A guided meditation connecting Mother Earth to our creative centers started the evening of our mandala circle.
It was a charm* of hummingbirds that called to my son and me as we heard the hum of wings. Although the tulips and daffodils were lovely, the hedge full of humming wings most captured our attention and awe.
Flower Freeze. Tonight winter comes back with 20 degrees F. Spring was here all winter and the flowers grew.
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” Maya Angelou
There is light from within and light that shines upon us. Our light comes from deep within our soul, from the womb of our being
The first “hard frost” was a few days ago. I picked the last flowers blooming in my garden a few hours before.
I love my garden and the beauty of flowers. I love growing flowers and bringing some inside to be near their beauty and energy. These are some of the flowers from my garden from this year, in vases I love, many that I made out of clay.
For decades I’ve wanted to travel to Esalen, take a workshop and immerse myself in this unique Big Sur land of delights, dreams and depth. The delights are the land, waters, air, light and their gifts. The dreams are the calling from dreamtime at night, and the depth is exploring into […]
Soon I’m leaving for a to a place I’ve wanted to go for decades – Esalen in Big Sur, California. There I want to settle into a deeper place in the center of my heart and the center of our earth’s heart.
Spring is almost here. There are a few flowers blooming in St. Louis now. Their small flowers are a joy, but their small size sometimes isn’t enough.
Teaching at Kanuga F.A.C.E conference. Little did I know it would be a life-changing journey to my own and other’s deep creative heARTs.
In this time of increasing light, let your inner light shine brightly. A Month for Mandalas, session two was about connection to nature’s elements. This is the last connection to the elements – fire.
A Month for Mandalas, session two, is about connection to nature’s elements. Here are the mandalas honoring and becoming one with air and earth.
A Month for Mandalas, session two, which ended a few weeks ago, was about connection to nature’s elements. Here are the mandalas honoring and connecting with water.
The beauty of roses in late fall have their own power. For me they are a healing balm and light. A light much needed in these darkening days.
Loving Fire – A Month For Mandalas. This is the third week of A Month for Mandalas – Session Two – Planting Mandalas, Mindfullness & Prayers – Connection to Creativity & Nature.
There are Wild Things going on in my garden and in the downtown Saint Louis Library. There are celebrations and exhibits of the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak . Wild Things have invaded my garden too.
The last mandala circle get together was about an hour away at the home and prairie of Christine and Gary. The ten acres of restored and loved prairie and woods are called “Earth Mirrors”. It’s a mirror into the soul and long history of the land and those who care and cared for it.
I’m back home after an incredible journey that was deep and wide. A journey that opened new doors of creativity, community and connection. Sometimes it is hard to get grounded after such an experience. For me, it is spending time in the garden that gives me grounding and welcomes me home.
In years past I’ve received emails from the Missouri Botanical Gardens saying “the sacred lotus are blooming”. I haven’t seen the email yet this year. I hope it isn’t too late. Lotus is one of my favorite plants. Not only for its beauty, but for its spiritual meanings.
Here is my rewritten art journaling story about my stressful life in May as a garden designer. It has changed my life. The outcome is at the end of this blog.
Oh how I miss flowers and living colors this time of year. A few days ago with new snow on the ground I visited the wholesale flower district in St. Louis. I headed for the coolers full of flowers first.
Sunflowers. They bring beauty, joy, nourishment and healing. And their sacred geometry shows the infinity of life.
This blog has a link to an amazing circle dance with the sunset and a hula hoop. The sound is the surf of the ocean. The dance is by Sarah Larson, the daughter of a dear friend. Sarah is a dancer who grew up in St. Louis and now lives and dances in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I can’t stop myself from watching this over and over again. The sun and Sarah are perfect partners as one moves closer to the horizon and the other celebrates the beauty of this beach.
A Month For Mandalas – Week 2 – Remembering the Truth of Your Soul. We all have truths of who we are, who our authentic self is, what gifts we bring to the world are, what passions feed our souls. These truths are always inside of us, at our deep true core. In the quiet, in the flow of creativity these truths whisper to us. Remember them for they are always there.
Recently I pulled into a parking spot in Maplewood, Missouri. I parked behind a blue pickup truck. I saw flowers and vegetables in the back. I thought they were in pots ready to be planted in a garden. Boy was I surprised when I looked closer.
Georgia O’Keefe was born outside my hometown of Madison Wisconsin in 1887. She lived there until 1902. I recently went to Madison to visit family and friends. On the 6 plus hour long drive home to Saint Louis, I was surrounded by clouds that made me feel like I was in the twenty-four foot long Georgia O’Keefe cloud painting at the Chicago Art Institute.
Last year I got the best compliment about my garden ever. A dog walker who came by daily told me my garden looked like an Alice in Wonderland garden. Although it is mainly organized chaos and a Midwestern version of English Cottage style, I like to think of it as a wonderland with its own quite tame adventures compared to Alice’s, but adventures none-the-less.
100 Days for Mandalas – GROWTH. I am surrounded by the explosion of growth that comes into the world at springtime. Each day I walk outside to find new blossoms, new bird songs, new joys.
I am sending this blog to all who visit my site. It is such a joy to share my passions for the beauty of nature and the beauty of people’s creativity.
Today I am blue for flowers. Not just because it is in the midst of a very cold and long winter, but because I am feeling a grieving for the flowers that may be lost to this winter’s cold.
In the winter I look at my flower photographs, not only to remember the beauty that isn’t here now, but to bath in the light of the computer and find hope for the next growing season.
This time of quiet reflection is a balance to the busyness of the end of the year and the now gone growing season. I need to find pockets of serenity now.
It’s been a full week – full of sweetness with my two day Mandala Workshop and full of bitter with the first killing frost in my gardens. The sweetness of shared hearts and creativity during the workshop still lingers in my heart, home and home art studio.
This is the third week of the third session of 100 Days for Mandalas. The inspiration for this and the following week is PAUSE.
If you live in St. Louis and you say you are “going to the garden”, it only means one thing. You are going to the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The sculptural beauty of desert plants – succulents and cactus – can be seen in a most amazing garden where these plants have been growing for over forty years.
Each year I plant more hydrangeas in my gardens. I love the flowers with their many colors and shapes. In the last few weeks the hydrangea bushes have been blooming in a symphony of colors from white, to pink to amazing blue
Springtime has arrived and for me that means long days and crazy busyness of transforming gardens from sometimes bare earth into glorious wonders
I love the plants that grow from seed in my garden. I raised them infancy to maturity. I know them better than those I buy already growing.
When I walk my sweet dog Sarah, or my son and his fiance’s sweet dog Sienna, I get to spend time really looking at trees.
Today I didn’t walk my dog. Sarah is recovering from successful surgery to remove a tumor. She comes home tomorrow. So I look at the tree photos, […]
Yes it is that blue time of year when I miss the blossoms and greens of plants. I once had a psychic tell me I lived in Atlantis and my job was to help in the creation of new flowers that would bring healing with their beauty.
This poem was shared by two dear friends. It was written by E Klingner, a friend of those who gave me this poem.
To me it says so much. The words ” until routine becomes ceremony” and “disregard detours – a trip around the world when you prefer instead full moons […]
A few months ago I discovered that I could save the native persimmons from my backyard for puddings and bread. A few weeks ago I discovered another type of persimmon while walking my son’s and his fiance’s dog when I visited them in California.
My Aunt Lonna’s* fairy houses are some of the most creative sculptures I have ever seen. The sweetness is seen in each detail of these creations made from nature’s materials. I know the fairies were guiding my Aunt to find the perfect mushroom, acorn, branch, roots, moss and other fairy delights to use […]
The women of my family have given me a lineage of shared love for beauty and creativity. I feel the thread of hands and heart working together to create home, garden and family that has been passed down from generation to generation. This feminine power sustains me. Although my mother is gone, her presence comforts […]
The leaves are turning and the weather is chilly. Nature provides the perfect inspiration to create and see mandalas.
These fall inspirations were created by Christine Torlina at her country home.
The plan to teach a course at The Mandala Center in New Mexico didn’t happen. Not enough people signed up. BUT Plan B, to create mandalas in New Mexico at a silent retreat Monastery did happen. Yeah for grander plans than our own. I really needed a quiet easy time to create, […]
MONDAY MANDALA INFORMATION, INSPIRATIONS & MEDITATION
MANDALA PROMPT – AIR
This week’s theme – air – is inspired by week seven’s mandala called “Sacred Elements of Life: Air, Earth, Water, Fire”. Air is our atmosphere. It holds the oxygen that sustains our life as we and other animals breath. It holds […]
MANDALA PROMPT – WATER
This week’s theme – water – is inspired by last week’s mandala called “Sacred Elements of Life: Air, Earth, Water, Fire”. The balance of the four elements sustain life on earth. Here […]
This beautiful mandala by Corlita Bonnarens is the inspiration for this week’s mandala prompt. As we enter the middle of 100 Days for Mandalas (today is day 47), […]
Humankind has made marks of patterns and images upon many surfaces. Those that have survived the longest are on stone. Nature herself makes patterns and images in many forms of creation. Take time to see mandala patterns – a […]
PRAYERS and PRAIRIES
MONDAY (actually Tuesday) MANDALA INFORMATION, INSPIRATIONS & MEDITATION
This mandala was created by Tina Sparks in honor of her sister Cheryl who is now in the prairies of South Dakota for four days celebrating the Sun Dance. Tina and her sister are part of the Lakota tribe and the Sun […]
The main reason for the recent road trip to New Mexico was to experience The Mandala Center in Des Moines, New Mexico. What would it be like stay in this beautiful retreat center dedicated to personal and spiritual growth? Would it be as wonderful as the website photos and descriptions? My friend Kelly […]
I meant to blog during my recent week long road trip through New Mexico, but the trip was so beautiful and powerful it kept me outside and within myself in a state of awe and enchantment.
ROAD TRIP – I am soon off to New Mexico for a Heart Journey Road Trip with a dear friend. It is a heart journey in more ways than one. It’s off to cities, high deserts and mountain lands. Santa Fe, The Mandala Center in Des Moines, Taos and Abiquiu here we come.
A recent visit to my son’s new home in California included a trip to Bean Hollow Beach.
Bean Hollow Beach is a California State Beach on the Pacific, south of Pescadero.
It is known for its unusual rock formations called Tafoni.
“When I touch a flower… I am touching infinity”, is the George Washington Carver quote in my garden. Seeing and touching the infinite in the mandala shape of a flower is what draws me to the garden.
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