How is it September already? As we embark on a new season, nearly everyone I know is experiencing some major transition in life. I’m not just talking about going back to school (although this IS the first time our kids have been in school for a full day since March 2020 – so that’s a pretty big transition for everyone). I’m also talking about career changes, continued financial stresses or changes, new homes, major natural disasters, fallout from said natural disasters, and of course, the on-going covid uncertainties. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say we are and have been coping with major stress for quite some time now.
So when I was making the images for my 2022 wall calendar and deciding what classes to offer this fall I asked myself, “What do people need?” The answers I got back were “hope” and “ease”.
When making art – especially for my calendars – it’s always a trick. I’m thinking a year or more ahead when I make the images. Do people really want or need to see images that are painful like the one above? This is the image that I ultimately decided to include at the September image in my 2022 calendar. It was a tough decision. I want my work to inspire and elevate people. Why would I include an image of wildfire ripping through a forest and birds fleeing the scene?
I believe to feel hope inspired by art, we have to first feel a connection to the artwork – see ourselves in it in some way. And then we can be led towards hope and deep truths. In my case, I find these universal truths in the natural world. In this piece, I included the Lao Tsu quote, “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
Yes, there is incredible devastation in the wildfires, the floods, the hurricanes, and earthquakes our world is experiencing. But the natural world accepts those events and begins again. Some species even need those evens to prosper. Ignoring the hard experiences and leaving them out of my artwork doesn’t feel right. These natural disasters are bringing us together in new ways. This pandemic is connecting our world in a deeply profound way. I believe depicting these scenes and facing the darkness honors the light that grows from them and in turn – offers some hope.
In this same vein, I have chosen to keep my classes virtual for the fall. Nearly everyone I know has massive decision fatigue when it comes to safety for social activities. We have unvaccinated kiddos or elderly parents. We’re trying to keep our families safe, and support mental and emotional well-being at the same time. How about some ease?
I’m offering a 6-week series for 5–10 year-olds on Wednesdays from 3:30-5pm PST. Get your kids home from school, have a snack, and set them up with art supplies (that I will provide) at the computer or iPad. You do your thing while I lead them *live* through Zoom for a creative play date! We’ll do a unique art project that incorporates social/emotional learning and lessons on the natural world. It’s a win-win. Ease and grace for all.
For adults, I’ll be doing some special “intuitive collage” type Art Nights on October 15th and November 12th. Both will be virtual events focused on allowing ourselves some create play and space for our intuition to guide us. You can do all of this in your pjs from the comfort of your own home. Again, lots of ease and grace.
I hope these offerings and maybe some of my thought process behind their development, resonates with you. If you have any ideas for future classes or subject matter that you’d like for me to address in my artwork, please reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you. I really do this to be of service in our world.
With love and gratitude,