Sacred Art & The Power of Support

Support. We all want it. What we create is sacred to us and requires building up & even, protection, at times. Support comes in a variety of forms–encouragement, freedom, sharing time and energy, giving, etc. We want family, friends, and even strangers to support what we do, what we create, and give us their blessings.

Kitty's art--created from found/donated objects

Kitty’s art–created from found/donated objects

My biggest supporters are my family and closest friends. I receive the support of sacred creativity from my friend and our Editor at Thorncraft, Kitty Madden. In her presence, I feel free to express my truth about art & creativity & business, free to talk about my interests, but I am also free to listen to nature and her poetic speech about her garden and art.

Kitty’s singing water bowl

She is a healer, and through her belief in my abilities and actual follow-through, she helped to heal any excuses and self-doubt I had about making books.
Motivational artwork Kitty created as a chant & yoga movement for balance.

Motivational artwork Kitty created as a chant & movement for balance.

She is open to expansiveness. I’ve changed the focus of my publishing company recently to open up to a book about yoga, and she has been encouraging & supportive in that endeavor. Being in her sacred space of found art & natural patterns, I am accepted & I accept her artwork.

Kitty's photo of me in her sacred art garden.

Kitty’s photo of me in her sacred art garden.

I write often about her, as her creative inspiration propels me forward every time I’m with her. She is more than an editor, she is an artist and a true friend to me for all the encouragement she gives. Being behind the scenes as an editor isn’t always easy, so I’m always happy to shine a light upon Kitty.
This path is not glamorous or even glorious. Metaphorically, often it’s not marked adequately, and trails have to be blazed or re-cut. Sometimes, it is dark & mysterious, but we are following our truth to put new stories out into the world, stories that need to be heard. Kitty continues down this publishing path with me, pausing only to ask, “so what’s next?” I look forward to our future journeys together. I’m grateful for her inspiration and friendship.

Writing on the Wall–Mom’s Creative Freedom

Today is the last day that Zoe will be six years old.
Three years ago, we started a drawing on her wall. My first inclination was to control the drawing. She wanted a fairy, and I would oblige with a “good” drawing. She could sit back and watch me draw the fairy and I would let her color the wings….that was the plan. As I started to draw, I noticed her restraint and control–she tried to suppress her desire to draw something on her own, separate from me. I knew she was struggling with whether or not it was okay for her to draw on the walls. I had a choice—be controlling or offer creative freedom.
After all, I reasoned, these are my walls in a home that we own. No, I corrected myself, these are Zoe’s walls in a home that we own. I walked out of the room and into my office, which is also in our house, and retrieved a permanent marker for her. I explained that she couldn’t write on any other walls of the house, but she could do whatever she wanted in her own room. Some parents will cringe at the freedom I have given to Zoe. Freedom to paint, color, draw, or stick whatever she wants on her walls. Yes, whatever she wants!
And, this is what she (along with me, her Dad, her baby sister, and her more courageous friends) have created in the past 3 years. Surprisingly, most of Zoe’s friends would NOT write on the walls, even when I assured them that they could. Almost as if Santa or some invisible, parental force watched them, the girls look around nervously, like this creative freedom is a trick.
Creative freedom and simplicity mean so much more to me than anything formal, organized, and coordinated. It has been therapeutic for all of us. The baby scribbles. I retreat and draw roses, daffodils, and a flower garden when I feel anxiety or sadness. At bedtime, we sit on the bed and draw, draw, draw.
My heart wilted when Zoe recently said that she wants to paint her room in the next few months. She’s growing up, and wants “plain colors.” I was terrified that she’d want taupe or sand or some other faded, muted, dulled color like I, and most people, have shrouding the living room. But, she said, “I want to paint the top half red and the bottom half, purple.” I’ll still miss drawing on her walls when the time comes for me to grow up with my daughter.