I don’t remember the year that I found the magazine ‘Stone Voices’ by Shanti Arts, but I do remember the magical time spent lingering over the beautifully printed images and reading the words of artists writing about art and spirit. The layout was spacious and the images were enhanced by the quality of the paper and the printing. I always dreamed of seeing my own work in this stunning publication.
When I subscribed to ‘Stone Voices’, I also subscribed to their online gallery, Still Point Arts Gallery. I watched the calls for entry come and go in my inbox. It never seemed the right time or theme to enter. In the spring of 2015,when I noticed the call for the quarterly show, the time was finally right. I entered a portfolio and won Best of Show for Portfolio. You can see a picture of it here. When I was asked to submit a portfolio, biography and artist statement for print, I asked about submitting it to ‘Stone Voices’. However, this was the year that the two publications merged into ‘Still Point Arts Quarterly’. The merged journal was still about Art, Nature and Spirit and just as beautifully produced. Last Spring it took me six weeks of hard work and lots of hand wringing to write the Biography and Artist Statement. I also had to assemble the images in the correct format. And to my wonder, my portfolio is featured in the Spring 2016 issue! My encaustic monotypes are artfully arranged, with my words carefully woven around the images.The images are beautifully and accurately printed. And the words, written a year ago, still ring true.
I’ve been taking online classes for a number of years with Alyson Stanfield(ArtBizCoach.com) about the business of art. She wrote the book ‘I’d Rather Be in the Studio’, which got me started following her blog and taking her classes. Well, in 2014 I took it up a notch and got involved in her Inner Circle coaching group. In addition to the awesome business information and coaching, I am delighted and inspired by the wonderful network of artists that I am now a part of. The two (so far) workshops that I’ve attended in Golden, Colorado, have given me the opportunity to meet and get to know incredible artists from all over the country and the world. Each time I have come home with a fist full of gorgeous business cards and new, dear friends.
Stepping out of the isolation of the studio and sharing the ideas and motivations of other artists is enriching, and sends me back to the studio with new energy. One of the things I was blessed to share with other artists at the workshops was my little meditative pencil drawings-I call them Pencil Prayers. I intend healing energy as I meditate and draw them, and then share them freely with all who choose to pick one out. The Pencil Prayers all have their own energy, and it is great fun to see how everyone finds the one that is meant for them. This also opens the conversation about everyone’s individual art practice. It felt like everyone, in their own way, sent their energy out into the world in their work.
I’ve always had an affinity for all things Native American, so it was great fun to meet Carolyn Bernard Young , a Choctaw Clay artist. She hand makes and carves the most wonderful vessels, tiles,mugs, and more. She says on her card “The feel of the leather hard clay as I carve it feeds my soul. The contrast between the white clay and black underglaze makes my heart sing.”
So of course, I had to order a coffee mug! You get to choose a totem and a color for the inside, and then you wait………while she creates it just for you. Raven was my first choice, and of course blue for the inside. Now, when I sit down to draw my Pencil Prayers and have my cup of coffee, it comes with a little magic!