Channeling: to be inspired by, (of a person) serve as a medium for (a spirit).
It comes from the Latin root word for reed. A reed was used as a channel, to allow things to flow from one place to another.
When I start painting, I tap into a flow of energy that is coming from one place and being directed into the canvas. I use many techniques to allow this energy to flow out … such as dripping paint, spraying it with a spray bottle, scraping with a card, moving it with my fingers across the canvas, turning the canvas… tapping into the energy and allowing it to flow from my hands onto the canvas.
I am the channel for the flow of energy that is around me.
Recently my ancestors have been coming through heavily. The paintings showing up are based on the connection to my Anishinaabe heritage.
This image represents the Seven Generation Prophecy, along with transmuting the energy of the children lost at the residential boarding schools, and balancing the feminine and masculine energies within each of us.
When I paint, I can feel the energy of these experiences… I can feel the story they want to tell. It has been a powerful experience and I am so excited for the energy that wants to be shared!
This painting represents my Sundance experience. I feel as though there are still a few things that need to be added to this painting but this image has been speaking to me for a while. The man in the middle represents the dancer, we had sage wrapped in red cloth around our wrists and ankles, as well as a hoop that we carried. The middle of the circle was a tree with our prayer flags tied to it. This tree was a Y shape and represented duality coming together. We danced in a circle and a dragonfly pattern, sending our prayers out into the ether through each movement and breath.
The next painting shows the Fancy Shaw Dance, and energy of the pow wow. The energy and current that flows from dancing in circles with intention and prayer. This one is also unfinished at the moment, but I am really happy with the story thats showing up.
The energy I feel from these paintings is so intense…. I am honored to be in their presence.
a public event or celebration, typically held outdoors and offering entertainment and exhibitions.
an exciting or riotous mixture of something.
The Karnival of the Arts Organized by Kollective Grounds, a diverse group of individuals, music festival contributors and true fans of music dedicated to enhancing the community and human condition through art appreciation and inclusion.
This was my first year at this event, and it was such an amazing experience. I set up my area to paint, sell my prints, and do henna. As people arrived, the campground slowly turned into a beautiful scene of color and life!
This was my first festival that I did live painting at! There are a few artists and friends that I know who are really amazing Live painters, who go to MANY festivals to paint while jamming to live music! Jenny Mathews was the amazing artist that invited me to be apart of this experience.
When we create art, we are generating energy. We are putting our intentions and energy into each mark.
During the workshop we focused on body awareness, while moving both our hands with art materials.
We closed our eyes so we could really get into the feeling of our energetic aura. To the places in our bodies that felt stiff or tense, areas that were tight or sore. We worked those spots out in our minds eye, while moving the art materials in both hands as if we were actually massaging out all of the tension.
Healing Through Art Making
Each stroke of the oil or chalk pastel was a release of stored energy that no longer served us. Each mark presented letting go of things we no longer needed. Releasing it into the paper.
After releasing we went right into creating. We first visualized what our bodies felt like after we’ve received that which we desire. How did we feel in our bodies when we have that what we wish to receive. Then we used that energy to create another image on top of the old marks.
We listened to a meditative playlist… with two major songs: I Release Control, and I Am Loving Awareness. Such great mantras for opening up to all that is yours by divine right.
The artwork came out fantastically, and really embodied each person’s energy. Such a powerful process for making changes in our lives.
Thank you everyone who attended. This was such a wonderful workshop, I look forward to doing more!
Art educator and artist Raine Valentine joins the Creativity Department on this episode. Raine talks about her Chippewa heritage and how it inspires her. Hear how indigenous philosophies have informed her creativity as she discusses her belief in the importance of expressing yourself. Self-expression is a powerful tool that will inspire others (students) to feel comfortable to do the same! Listen in to understand how tying this altogether creates connection between us all.
On November 4th we arrived in Johannesburg South Africa. The day we had been planning and fundraising for was finally here! The airport was big and gray, as thunderstorm rolled in. We met with our fellow Artizens, the Tanzanian Magomamoto Theater Group, along with a new friend Bonface from Kenya.
The drive from the airport to the hotel was a beautiful sign of the power of the arts to bring people together. We shared songs and drums, and sang together in our different languages.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by two local South African women who just so happened to be at the hotel for breakfast, which neither had ever done before. The universe brought us angels to help us accomplish our tasks! The one woman Hanna, my newest friend, assisted us in so many things…. from finding a local woman to purchase fabric from, to taking us to the store two days in a row to gather materials for our workshops. She even took me to the airport on my last day.
Artizen Conference Day 1 – Creation
Our first day of the Artizen – Art for Social Transformation conference was amazing. Jennifer Foylan presented the keynote speech about her journey through the life cycle of the butterfly. While she shared her story, I created a live intuitive painting for her, in front of the group. This was a powerful time to show how art can express our experiences and emotions.
I was apart of the group that presented on the birth of the caterpillar and the transitional stage in the cocoon. Linda M and Raisa J were my team mates, and we each shared pieces of our indigenous knowledge with those who attended.
Day one was the birth of the caterpillar, where Linda shared the creation story and the medicine wheel knowledge and Raisa presented the tradition of ribbon skirts and how each is connected through creator. I assisted the students that attended in creating a mandala based off of a workshop Linda does through her art therapy presentations.
The mandalas were a collaborative group project that started with 4 questions:
Who am I?
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Where and I going?
Participants were asked to create a visual representation of their answers to these questions using the mandala template that was pre drawn. Each group member had a task of completing a section, while they worked together on the meaning. After the students created their mandalas, each group shared what it meant to them.
This was powerful because students in South Africa do not get the arts in school. This showed them how powerful of a tool art is to help share your stories and connect with one another.
Day 2 – Begin Ribbon Skirts
Day 2 of the Artizen 2021: Turtle Island to South Africa conference we traveled, with our new friend Hanna, to find fabric, ribbons and sewing machines for the ribbon making workshop we presented for a group of women from South Africa who are domestic abuse survivors.
Along the way we met a beautiful soul at Spirit of Stone and were gifted amazing stones and medicines. Stuart does amazing energy work in South Africa and I look forward to returning again soon to participate in experiences with him!
We were also so blessed to have found a local woman who had traditional fabric from Kenya, Mo_Fabrics_More. It was such a blessing to purchase fabric from her and support a local small business entrepreneur.
The workshop was wonderful. It was at the Turquoise Harmony Institute. Jennifer shared her story and journey through domestic violence and sexual abuse, and Raisa discussed how ribbon skirts are a form of traditional art that is healing. Even though we weren’t able to begin sewing the skirts, we had each woman pick a fabric they wanted to make their skirt from, and we measured and cut the fabric to prepare for the next day, when we worked with the women to add their ribbons and sew their skirts.
We selected fabric with the color purple intentionally, as is the color for domestic violence awareness. The women who were participating in the workshop are survivors of gender based violence, and sexual abuse. They are working with Disele May, who has created the Disele May Foundation to help women overcome these struggles.
Constitution Hill Gala
After the workshop we attended a gala… all I can say is… amazing powerful work was being done there… doors opened… and I am ready. The gala was held at Constitution Hill in the old women’s prison. There were speakers from the beginning of the apartheid, and those that worked to bring democracy to South Africa. The speakers were powerful, the performances were divine, the food was delicious and I was asked to share about my White Buffalo painting “Hope”, which was donated for silent auction. Our day even included another rainbow! Our work is blessed… as we remind each other through art that we are all connected.
Day 3 – Performance Art and Sewing
This day began with a beautiful tour of the only constitutional court in the country of South Africa. It was amazing seeing the structures of the holding cells for the jail used during the apartheid. Getting to spend time in such an historic place that was FILLED with art was super inspirational. It reinforced the need to tell our stories through art to heal past traumas.
After our tour we participated in the keynote speech, and addressed students from another school. Linda, Raisa and I shared our teachings and stories with the students. And they were blown away by our spirit names.
After the keynote, we continued to work with the women who have survived domestic violence, to create healing ribbon skirts. They LOVED it!!
After completing day 2 of 3 for ribbon skirt making, I participated in a performance with Shanna and 12 other amazing artists. It was such a powerful experience to dance free as an Indigenous person from Turtle Island on the land of South Africa.
Lastly there was an art tank competition, where Teaching Artist Institute awarded one local artist with a small stipend and free business coaching for a year. It was amazing to see all of the local talent. Arie Squires also was apart of the conference and she selected one young woman to personally mentor in branding and business!