Categories
Indigenous Knowledge

South Africa – Art for Social Transformation

Johannesburg South Africa is the location of the 5th ARTIZEN Conference presented by the Teaching Artist Institute.

Incase you weren’t aware, I am Raining in the Dawn Woman of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa people. I am a spiritual leader and learner, intuitive, mother, artist, and art educator. I have been honored to share my journey and passion with the people of South Africa, and I could use your support.

This sacred journey of life has led me to learn many things and meet many people. The importance of our sacred journey is shown in the story of Anishinaabe, the original man, and his first responsibility. Great Mystery said to Anishinaabe “go and name all the things on the earth.” To name something is to form relationship with that thing. To acknowledge, observe, and share your journey with them as they have shared theirs with you.  This teaching helps us to recognize the importance of following our own paths and sharing our experiences with each other. When are aligned with our paths, our light shines bright and shines on others paths so that they might see themselves clearly.

Turtle Island to South Africa

I grew up in American, one generation out from being raised in a boarding school. My mother and her brothers and sisters attended boarding school, having their spiritual way of living taken from them. My parents raised three amazing daughters, while dealing with their own trauma, because they always instilled in us the importance of compassion. Love is what moves us, but we first must know and love ourselves.

I believe in the importance of sharing our journeys with one another, as this is how we remember that we are all connected. Now I can see how all that I have experienced and all the experiences of those who have come before me, has led me to connecting with the Great Mystery through art to help heal the trauma that we hold.

The arts enable us to express ourselves authentically with one another, in ways that surpass any language barrier. Art is a powerful tool, not just for gratification of self-expression, but as a vehicle of personal and collective transformation. Art is Prayer, a sacred and vital discovery of one’s own special presence in the world.  Through creation, a person illuminates and illustrates their inner being, while creating something which also stands separate. Through exploration and experimentation each of us can shine light on our inner world, allowing us to utilize expression as a means of awakening our Divine I Am.

Turtle Island to South Africa

I feel blessed to take knowledge from my journey on Turtle Island, to the Mother Land – Africa. To share the teachings of the Anishinaabe people, and shine light for others to know themselves more completely. Turtle Island is the North American continent. The turtle has deep meaning to the indigenous people, as is told in their creation stories.

Sharing the Indigenous teachings of the Anishinaabe with people of South Africa will form connections that remind us in a powerful way how we are all connected. I am certain that the teachings I learn in South Africa will be powerful for the people of Turtle Island to learn and grow on their paths in life.

Join me in supporting real change. Let’s support good in the world and make a difference. Help us create connections and pathways for healing and transformation through Indigenous arts around the world.

Categories
Art Class Most Popular Video

VR Project

VR stands for Virtual Reality. If you follow me, you know that I was awarded Educator of The Year last year and received a $500 donation towards a project for my classroom.

VR in the Art Room

We were able to purchase, and did receive two Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets before the end of last year! The students LOVED using them and we explored many ways to create art! Check out the video on my YouTube channel! Like and subscribe to stay up to date on the coolest things about Art and Life!

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Divine I Am Intuitive Henna

Kids Yoga Love Festival

The first ever Kids Yoga Love Festival was held at Amethyst Retreat Center in July 2021. Chelsea Parcels created a wonderful event for children of all ages!

Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artists once they grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Kids Festival

This was more than just a Yoga festival, it was full of experiences that allowed our inner child to play, dance, create, and explore!

The event offered Yoga inspired classes for all ages, Vendors, delicious food, ice cream, hiking, dancing, drumming, community art, beginner friendly. Kirtan, henna, forest meditation, friends, kittens for adoption, magic show, super hero martial arts class, Qigong, nature + SOooo Much More!

The day began with an opening ceremony with Chelsea Parcels & Emily Turin who performed of her very special song, “Send Out A Smile.”

Nicky Yesser lead us all in dance time.

I truly felt my inner child filled with joy as I danced along with the kids! You can feel her heart as she leads the kids to express themselves through dance!

There were many yoga classes held, Jennifer Lynn Teens Yoga Class, Kids Yoga Class with Erika Malorzo, Holly Keich, Kids Yoga with Suzi Zappile, Nat Aiello Yoga for Toddlers, Jennifer Lynn, Erika America Family Yoga Nidra, and Amy Necci Tween & Kids Yoga.

Rickie with Reiki by Rickie lead workshops for kids. It was so wonderful seeing Rickie work with kids and teach them about Reiki! So powerful to see children taking time to slow down and listen and feel the energy around them.

Dani & Shelley Herlihy played Kids Kirtan for us. Their music is beautiful and all the kids enjoyed sharing in song with them!

Julie Niblett read her book “The Talking Stick,” based on a true story of a boy who was bullied, and utilized the native American traditional talking stick to communicate and overcome obstacles.

Participants were able to make their very own talking stick, followed by a traditional circle discussion about effective communication. This was such a powerful experience for kids to have! We need more of this.

There was a Magic Show with River Barry, who has been immersed in the entertainment world for over twenty years. One of the most original and in-demand acts out there, River’s style of entertainment emphasizes moving beyond the present moment to help find an equal balance between self and nature, allowing the individual’s movement to be inspired by the moment. A magician, bubble artist, and rock balancing artist, River is committed to sharing the expression of the four foundational pillars of physical, mental, spiritual and financial.

Emily Turin, read her book “Herbert likes Sherbert.”

About the book: It seems at first to be a story about a child’s reluctance to try new things. As the story progresses, he learns that while cherishing memories is beautiful, sometimes holding onto something for too long can hold us back! Share in Herbert’s discovery as he braves the outcome of making new choices.

William Autore shared, ”Finding Your Future”

About the book: Finding Your Future written by author/artist William Autore, featuring his son on the books’ cover, is a comprehensive guide to self awareness and discovery of one’s purpose. Debuting in 2017, Finding Your Future is currently in talks of becoming a school based curriculum in New Jersey and an independent short film.

Kathy Conners Bucher lead everyone in Super Hero Training where they practiced their special powers and talk about what makes these super humans special. They finish the class learning what special powers they possess and how to bring them forth to help humanity. Experiences like this set the stage for a more self aware child!

Tammy & Jack Bray Yoga “Sacred Silliness” is always a favorite of mine. We did group giggles as we stretched, moved, and got our joy on playing in Laughter Yoga. So amazing… to show kids its ok to be silly and be you!

For the weekend I offered Intuitive Henna, and sold prints of my artwork.

I also hosted a Flower of Life workshop for the kids, allowing them to co-create in completing flower of life murals. This taught them the importance of our choices, and being tolerant of others choices. Also it was a nice lesson in the idea that sometimes things don’t always go the way we expect them to… the universe sometimes throws new things in the mix.

There was also William G Pagan Live Performance with his Didgeridoo, which were out of this world! Qiqong with Kathy Conners Bucher, Chad Brown live music, Forest Meditation with Erica Jo Shaffer, and a community fire with music, and s’mores!

Thank you Emily Zebel for capturing the day so beautifully!

Chelsea did an amazing job bringing together people from different backgrounds to create a safe and magickal environment of creation, exploration, experimentation, questioning, expressing and reflecting.

Her next event is the 2nd Annual Yoga Love Festival. (this one is for adults.) The first Yoga Love Festival was an amazing success! I am so grateful and honored to call her friend and be apart of these amazing experiences!

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Most Popular

Open Projects

Ever get to the point where you have so many projects going on at once that you feel like you can’t complete any of them. Its like a game of ping pong, bouncing from one thing to another.

I am feeling that way this past few months. Really since Aquarius season started (Aquarius rising here). So many ideas are coming to mind, so many projects that will enhance the other projects, so many things to share with others!

What I have been learning since moving into our home is that projects come in many shapes and sizes… and they just keep coming. Even if they aren’t from your own imagination. I can create new ideas for projects all day long, but the more I do that the more the universe presents me with other projects. Perhaps its to keep me grounded, (mostly air and water energy here.)

Passion Projects

What I have found looking at all of the things I have going on, what things I would like to complete soon, and how these things relate… is that they all come back to one thing… my passion for sharing art, nature and spirituality.

Creating a nonprofit 501c3 for the arts and education of the whole human, with deep connection to self, nature and one another, is one of my ultimate and most driving passion.

Thinking of all of the things on my to-do list for this goal is where the projects start. Making a list of all of the things I need to do to get to that goal is usually where I start. Once I make that list, I begin the tasks.

I look at each task in terms of how quickly I could accomplish that specific task and begin accordingly. That’s usually why I have multiple things happening at one time!

Passion Projects

Reflection Projects

Stepping back and reflecting on why something is the way it is, allows a person to see things with less emotional attachment.

When I was driving to work today I started thinking of all the things on my lists, and I started to feel overwhelmed. I started to FEEL like I wasn’t doing something right because I had so many open projects!

Now that I’ve taken time to write it out and reflect on the whole situation… I realize how beautiful it is to have so many open projects. How much life and energy there is flowing around me, that I can direct it as I will.

Reflection reminds me that there isn’t anything wrong… its simply a matter of seeing it differently and being open to new perspectives. That is why I love writing. One of my favorite exercises is to do stream of conscious writing, where I write whatever comes to mind for at least 3 whole pages. This has really helped me to be able to step back during the day to evaluate my thoughts and feelings and to realize everything is about learning and growing. To know this allows us to have compassion for ourselves and one another when things dont go as we expect them to.

Expectations are good in only that they help us to strive for our greatest desires. However things usually never turn out exactly how we expect them to, so if we hold on to these ideas… we usually are never satisfied.

You know you are on the right path, when your passions align with your everyday projects. You know you are doing what you love, when your everyday life is aligning with your passions.

<3 Keep shining, keep creating

Categories
Art

The First 7 Prints

I have been extremely fortunate to come across a family owned printing and framing company in Hanover Pa., M2M Innovations and Martins Gallery.

Working with Adam Martin has been a pleasure. His attention to detail, and ability to explain the process is extremely helpful! Adam walked me through the process of how the prints are created and even printed examples of the different paper styles before we decided on what to go with.

The Gallery is a beautiful space where artists are showcased and frames are made! I am excited about our partnership and looking forward to working with them more in the future!

The First 7 Prints

Since I have been awarded an artists grant, I have been working on editing pictures of my paintings and creating new pieces. Learning to use my iPad and Procreate has been fun! My students have really helped me learn the program pretty quickly, middle schoolers know about all the newest technology.

Prints available for the following pieces:

There are three different size prints available, message if interested!

Giclée printed on Matte or Luster Paper
8×10
11×14

Giclée Printed on Canvas
16×20

Categories
Art Class Education

Teaching Creative Living

Since quarantine, teaching has changed so much. As a public school educator, I used to be in a classroom full of students and buzzing creative energy. When we went virtual, all of that energy was displaced and we had to learn how to channel it in a new way. Learning Zoom, figuring out Google, making dynamic presentations, creating new activities to increase engagement, and figuring out what to do when technology doesn’t do what we expect it to.

Teaching in a new era

During quarantine I had an opportunity to really think about and plan the many ways I desired to teach creativity. To generate a creative energy in others, so that they might learn more about themselves through creative expression. I believe this is the way of the future, the way to heal, share, and communicate with one another. Art has always been a driving energy. It records history, shares stories, documents ideas, communicates emotions, and connects us to nature, ourselves and a divine God source energy.

I believe in creativity, and creatively living.… in everything we do.

Teaching Creativity

Aside from teaching in public school, I have developed art lessons for children and adults on the evenings and weekends. This has been a great time for private lessons, with quarantine restrictions being lifted. The lessons range from realistic drawing, material exploration, and creative thinking to using new digital art technology!

One of my most recent art lessons, and most favorite, is to have the artist come up with a narrative based on objects of their choice. This can be adaptable to any age, we can go deep into a situation to uncover how we feel about something, or we can let our imagination take us away!

I really enjoy creating a sacred space for all to feel safe to express themselves through the creative arts! Here are few images from lessons I have recently had in person and via zoom.

Creative Balance Studios is in the process of setting up our art studio space to hold creative classes for kids and adults this summer!! Contact me if you are interested!

Categories
Art Education

Virtual Reality Community

After winning the Brainly Educator of the Year Special Award, I received $500 from Brainly towards a project on DonorsChoose!

I decided on two virtual reality headsets for my classroom.

Personally, we have two Oculus Quest 2‘s in my household… and I completely enjoy them. Using the Quest 2 for virtual art making has been one of my new favorite things. Especially when its collaborating with other artists in VR.

I posted the link to my project and as I was writing this today, the project was FULLY FUNDED!

We received the headsets 2 days after the project was funded!! Just before the end of the school year, which is super exciting. I am looking forward to showing them art museums in VR and letting them create worlds in virtual reality!

Thank you everyone who voted for me for Brainly Educator of the Year, this wouldn’t have been possible without you all! And a HUGE special shout out to my son Landyn, thank you for nominating me! You are such a blessing to me. <3

Thank you to the two donors that helped the project become fully funded. The students were super excited when I shared with them that we will be receiving our new headsets soon!

Keep an eye out for future blogs about what we do and how it goes!

Categories
Art Intuitive Henna Southern York

York Art Fair

This weekend was the York Art Fair hosted by Gymnastics of York! It was Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm. There were many different artists, vendors, music, open gym time for kids, food, and great people!

I had the pleasure of doing henna, and selling my artwork. Saturday my friend EliArtSparkle came with me and sold out of her real mushroom resin jewelry.

On Sunday Element and her friend Lauren came and sold stress balls and slime that they made together! It was so awesome seeing them figure out the details of running a business together.

York Art Fair Vendors

There were so many amazing people at the fair. I met a few artists that I am excited to make art with in the near future! I also added a few new things to my collection of wonders.

A coffee mug from Maybe By Meg

A mala from Liebe Krafted Designs

This amazing air plant came from Guichang Garden.

Perfectly potted succulent by Fringe and Leaf

I also met a few other amazing humans throughout the weekend!! Lakesha is an abstract visionary artists in the Hanover area! You can feel the energy in her work. I am excited to paint with her in the future!

I am so excited about building amazing things in community!

Categories
Art Class Education

Together Again

It has begun! Students and teachers are together again! I have missed my students a lot. Seeing them in the classroom, creating and smiling. Its been too long since we had this type of interaction. There is nothing like creating art together with other people.

Over the past year I have taught students art virtually. In doing so, I have learned so much about myself, teaching, and digital space. Learning what I love and what I can let go of. Seeing what I have to offer my students, even without being in their presence. Realizing that our energies can still influence each other, even if we are miles apart.

Now that we are together again

I missed seeing my classroom full of students creating. Walking in to my classroom filled me with anticipation!

We can create as a community. We get to gather and share. We get to feel that energy flowing through the classroom. Even though we are missing a few of our fellow artists in person, we have been able to nicely integrate both in person and digital work space!

RMS Together Again

Our PTA is the best ever, I just have to give them a huge shout out. They are so supportive of the teachers at Ridgely, and always go beyond to show us how much!

Categories
Cryptocurrency Art Most Popular

NFT Art

There is so much hype going on around the NFT art scene.

An artist that goes by BEEPLE sold one of his NFT art collections at Christies auction for $69 million, the first time ever a digital work of art was sold at Christies!

NFT Art by BEEPLE

Kings of Leon released their newest album as an NFT with special perks, generating over 2 million in sales.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will sell NFTs of digital artwork. “The Museum of Mahomes,” will launch March 17 on the digital art market MakersPlace.  Mahomes will donate part of the proceeds to his foundation called 15 and the Mahomies as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs in Missouri.

So what is NFT art?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token… A unique digital file stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain. NFTs are not mutually interchangeable and thus are not fungible. An NFT is created by uploading a file, such as an artwork, to an NFT auction market.

Basically, it is a smart contract that is put together using bits of open source code, which anyone can find from platforms like GitHub, and used to secure that digital item. Then minted, or permanently published, into a token on a blockchain, like Ethereum.

Some sites you can use to mint an NFT are:

Any digital asset that the creator wants to make unique can become an NFT, like articles or event tickets.

Once the NFT is purchased, the owner has the digital rights to resell, distribute or license the digital asset as they please. The creator can program code for how it gets used, and write in any extra bonus’ for the purchaser. NFT creators also have the opportunity to earn royalties off of future reselling transactions.

Things to consider

So there are many uncharted territories when it comes to this digital crypto reality. There are many questions about the carbon foot print of minting an NFT, this is because cryptocurrencies and blockchain are run through an algorithm called Proof-of-Work (PoW). Things in the blockchain world are shifting and changing fast! Proof-of-Stake is happening soon.

Proof-of-Stake (PoS) concept states that a person can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds. This means that the more Bitcoin or altcoin owned by a miner, the more mining power he or she has.

This uses less energy, but it also allows those who hold THE MOST coins to have more power. This is less decentralized then PoW, however there are benefits that we must allow to out-weight the cons, because this is not going away. Blockchain technology is the new digital paradigm. Just like our current system was the new paradigm to the “founding fathers”.

So yeah NFT’s are like collecting digital baseball cards, and are selling for extremely high prices to people who have the crypto to buy them.

But artists can also use NFT’s to create rare one of a kind pieces for their patrons. For example, an image of an actual painting can be sold as an NFT, and with the token the purchaser receives the actual painting. Some artists are also adding bonus’ to the purchase, where you receive a video of the work being created! I really like how artists are adapting to this technology and making it work for them and their patrons!