I have always felt that each of my pieces told their own unique story and this belief motivated me to develop an actual "storyteller" series. The original piece in this series was inspired by my "lonesome" beads . . . the leftovers from other projects that there were never enough to do much else with. I took out these tiny handfuls of beads one day trying to decide whether to keep them or to let them go. As I looked at the sad little piles, memories of the original pieces that I had created from them came flooding back. There was a cohesiveness to the colors that spoke of my unique artistic aesthetic and the variety of shapes all together captured my imagination. I began to see these orphan beads as tiny puzzle pieces that together told a story of my creative process and the original storyteller piece was born!
Since this first creation, countless ideas for pieces have continuously flowed through my imagination. One piece in particular captures the essence of what I dreamed and hoped a storyteller piece could. It is a piece that was inspired in every way by my daughter, Alex, who is the most unique and wondrous person imaginable. There was nothing else it could be called but "Enchanted".
Enchanted is Alex's story, created with precious tokens from her childhood coupled with select items that I felt captured her uniqueness and personality. All of these memories found their special place on a piece of river polished wood that I found in Alex's favorite place on Earth . . . Enchanted Valley! This creation tells a part of my daughter's epic life story so clearly and I feel incredibly moved and privileged to know this soul so deeply. Enchanted was Alex's birthday remembrance in 2016 and this poem that I wrote while in her sacred valley accompanied it:
for alex ~
In the magical mist of early morn,
I sit alone in silent reverence at meadow’s edge
to witness the consecrated, eternal falling.
Silver strands of liquid hope
from distant, prophetic heights
. . . we must never lose faith.
And I heard a river chorus in concert with all the creatures of the land echoing your name.
I saw your grace and beauty in hosts of dancing wildflowers,
felt your rage and grief in the woundedness of the windfall,
your resilience and perseverance in the lush evergreen forest,
and your strength and integrity in the grandeur of the ancient cliffs.
Here in this sacred refuge
I am wholly surrounded by your passionate spirit
and the depth of your soul resonates within me.
This divine landscape truly reflects the essence and magic that is you.
No wonder it is called “enchanted.”
mom – august 10, 2016
This is my brother Jeff and his beautiful puppy Jessie. They died within weeks of each other earlier this year after a heroic fight for life and light and love. They were both artists in their own incredible ways and the world is a much more beautiful place because of them. I was inspired to create this retreat while living and caring for Jeff and so I want to dedicate this year's event to him in thanksgiving for every precious day we shared together.
Autumn was my only choice for this retreat . . . a time of renewal, rebirth, harvest and hearth. "Fall is heartbreakingly beautiful. Each crisp, clear morning brings opportunities to fall in love with the world anew. Fall is also the honest season. It does not pretend that life blooms forever. This season reminds me that life and death are intrinsically intertwined . . . that cold and rain are just as crucial in sustaining balance as sun and warmth. Fall reminds me to see the fact of impermanence not as a fear-inducing harbinger of death, but rather as a useful tool in crafting a meaningful, beautiful life." (Amy Frohnmayer
As artists, we are fully involved in capturing and recreating the meaning and beauty that we discover in our lives. All too often, however, we are so isolated in our creative process that gatherings of like minded individuals become crucial to sustaining our artistic balance. The Autumn Artist Retreat offers artists the opportunity to participate in creative fellowship and growth in a supportive and inspirational environment that allows them to achieve that balance. It is my deepest hope that this retreat can be the tool that allows each artist to mirror their one precious and beautiful life through art.
"To live in this world you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal:
to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it:
and, when the time comes,
to let it go,
to let it
~ from "In Blackwater Woods" by Mary Oliver
I am a Lover of life and of living it to the fullest, giving daily thanks to God for all the close saves and second chances!!! My most brilliant life successes are my three amazing kids - Nathan, Alex and Becca - and the incredible partnership I share with my husband and best friend, Paul. I am so incredibly blessed!