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More or less monthly posts about Transformative Healing Dolls
Happy New Year!
Hey and welcome to the new year! Earlier this week, I went on a lovely field trip to see the new Matisse exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum. So inspiring! Afterwards my friend and I drove through the city looking for a place to eat. We weren’t having any luck with the on-line guides to restaurants. We weren’t finding anything and then just decided to park just because there was a spot. And it turned out we were in front of a delicious Chinese take-out restaurant, with “hand-pulled noodles,” so it turned out perfectly. Sometimes life is like that.
What follows is a kind of long e-mail, since I haven’t written here in a while.
From the Matisse in the 30's exhibit, three color studies for his "The Dance" commissioned triptych.
Not wanting to “push against the stream”
Up until the writing of this newsletter, I have been easing into the year very slowly. It was both because I wanted to take time to absorb all of the events of the last year, which for me had been quite busy and eventful. I wanted to take the time to reflect on what had gone well, and what had gone not so well. I didn’t want to “push against the stream” or go against the flow of what needed to happen. Finally, this week, I have felt that it was ok to move forward and I got confirmation from this newsletter from Beth Owl’s Daughter, a wonderful tarot guide, whom I have been following for a while.
Review of 2022
What I did was to reflect, using imagery and reviewing my journals of the past year, first on what I had experienced internally and in the outer world, over the past year. I went through all my journals, including my dream journal, looking at themes. I did several drawings after this review, not exactly reproducing what I had discovered, but more, reacting intuitively to collage images that showed up and my responses to them. I also drew some tarot and oracle cards. Below are some of these images.
Finally I created a vision of 2023, again responding intuitively to collaged images that I found, and then worked into those images. The image that resulted is below. The angel at the top playing a web into being is an image I have been sitting with for a long time, in various forms. As is the sort of "green man" below. and the narwhals and elephants. I need to mull over it for a while. I hung this image on my studio wall, along with my visions from 2019 and 2020. I didn’t do one last year because at the new year, I was still holed up at home with a broken ankle and couldn’t get to my studio.
One realization that came out of this review was that I need to create a bit more space for time in my studio. I have a couple of projects that I haven’t been able to get to as much as I would have liked, so I have decided for now, not to offer the Maiden, Mother, Crone Death class this year. I hope to offer it again next year. See below for what I am going to offer this year, or at least what my plan is. I’m not making any big promises.
Some of the collaged paintings I did as part of my review of the year. The last image is a detail from the image to the right. This process was inspired by a New Years visioning workshop offered by the wonderful Fonda Clark Haight
Sanctuary: Take Comfort Now, collage, watercolor crayons, watercolor pencils
Intentions for 2023
And now, to turn to a brief summary of some of what I am thinking of offering in 2023, so far. I may change my mind.
Tending Your Inner Garden
For the last two years, I have offered this seasonal workshop as a way of easing into the new year, tuning into the rhythm of the season. It was centered on an honoring of Imbolc, a Celtic celebration of early spring. This workshop was about celebrating the very beginnings of, the first sign of buds pushing up out of the ground, even though mostly early February is still a time of caring for our roots and reflecting. In the past, I had been asked by a few of the participants if I could offer this workshop throughout the year, celebrating each of the “cross-quarter holidays.” And so now I am deciding yes, I want to do this.
I want to change my Imbolc offer somewhat and haven’t quite figured out how that will look yet. So, for this year, I am going to offer the e-book and videos for Imbolc, as a self-paced course. Over the course of the year, I will offer the three remaining cross quarter celebrations as “in-person,” Zoom sessions. Here is a link to the self-paced course, as well as the beginnings of a description of how this will look going forward.
What are the cross-quarter holidays? In the Celtic tradition, these four holidays, Imbolc, May Day, Lammas and All Hallows come exactly between the two solstices (winter and summer) and the equinoxes. Each represent a more subtle shift in the season than these “main” holidays, where the shift is more dramatic. These four holidays are a means to tune in to the subtle shifts in the season and the ways in which they are experienced in our bodies when we are more in tune with nature. Here is a link to my description of this offer.
For the last Befriending Our Shadow class, I suggested that the participants might want to make a small badge to represent their shadow. I created these four badges as examples.
Befriending Our Shadow
This course has staying power and I am going to offer it again this fall. Here is a link to this year's dates for Befriending Our Shadow VI and some of my other offers for this year. I am still processing the previous (fifth) version of this course that I offered last fall. What a wonderful group of women in this class! More about that later.
What’s happening in my studio?
One really exciting thing, you will already know about if you follow me on Instagram. Last year, I got a kind of big commission for a doll and it was meant for someone who lives in Berlin. The doll, which I made in response to specific intentions that the recipient had given me, took about four months to complete. But then it took a while to get it off to Berlin. Somehow, she got stuck at the airport in New York for longer that was expected. But she finally made it there last week.
Pesha's doll, commissioned doll, now in the collection of a recipient in Berlin, Germany. She named the doll "Heather."
Another doll, this small crone doll, also took a journey at the end of last year to a new home. She didn’t have to go as far, only to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Small Crone, sticks and soft sculpture, mixed media, wall hanging, 13 x 10 x 3. 2021
And I am working on illustrating a children’s book, written by a friend, Channie Greenberg, whom I met after several collaborations on the Spark project. This is a collaboration between artists and writers, where the artist gives the writer an image to respond to and the writer gives the artist some writing to respond to. Below is one of the images I made in response to one of Channie’s stories in a Spark project a while back.
Finally, as those of you who are local to the D. C. area know, I work in a studio at the Jackson Art Center. We have Open Studios twice a year and this year will also be hosting artist talks, many featuring our own artists. If you are local and interested in coming to one of these, here is a link to a list of up-coming events.
I've been making dolls for about ten years now. I believe that dolls serve as representations and reminders of the best part of ourselves. I am excited to share with you here my learnings about new methods and techniques for doll making and healing. So glad you are here!