It is past mid-winter and been a long while since I wrote anything about my life as a contemplative and active artist. I had hunkered down to inner life and organizing and working in my new studio-living space in late Autumn. The Winter has brought short days, many journal musings and a shift once again in how and what I paint. I can feel the quiet murmurings of dreams and ideas planted at Solstice as the days start to grow longer. I also feel a yearning for the quiet of dark days to remain so I have more time to clarify my dreams. The gentle pulls at mid-winter remind me to plan structure for the activities that will come once Spring arrives so I move into the longer days with ease rather than frantic scurrying.
This Winter, I have prayed for more understanding of Grace. She shows up when ego driven desires diminish and my heart opens to receiving and giving love. She disappears in the presence of fear, hidden and accessible, waiting for that moment when I surrender to not knowing outcome. She visits me during my daily walks among the trees when I am able to listen and hear the whisperings of wisdom that flutter among the branches and rise up from the roots, strengthening my faith in connectedness. Those are the moments I feel Grace embrace me. And those are also the moments I want the quiet of Winter to last longer. The time I spend in the wilder places, in the forest, I feel most at home, connected to what feels important and more easily access Grace. I created space for the forest to grow within me so that I might carry wilder-ness into my civilized life and feel more at home with Grace wherever I may be in this world.
This new Winter season also brought new ideas about what I will teach this year. Creating a wilder place within myself inspired me to re-structure Creative Conjuring to Intentional Conjuring. Creating balance between my mind and my soul makes a lot of sense, so I am incorporating practical painting skills into my conjuring classes. Painting skills allow an ease in expression that awkwardness with materials can limit. That ease brings confidence for the painter and a flexible ability to be intentional.
If you are local to Ithaca, NY, sign-up for a class, the second Sunday of the month; see what I’m painting in upcoming exhibits at Liedenfrost Vineyards March and April, Moosewood in June and Hector Wine Company in August.
Enjoy the embrace of mid-winter and I’ll be in touch in Spring!