Art Journaling at the Vernal Equinox

acrylic inks, Sumi ink, gesso, collage, pen on w/c paper

There are necessary human acts we do in order for the seeds of spring to sprout and light to shine in our lives.  Acts of worship and the renovation of ancient ruins (Stonehenge pictured) that still have relevance and form a bridge across troubled waters, a stairway to climb and tip the pot of bounty to a grateful earth.

This was the demo piece I did for the Art Journaling Workshop at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts yesterday. If my camera had been working I would be able to share the amazing pieces done by the workshop participants, who ranged from professional artists to psychotherapists, nurses, poets, expressive artists who combine movement with writing and art, etc!  I was so grateful to be able to share this bountiful practice with such people and to witness their creative dawnings.

A poem by Mary Oliver inspired us as well. . .It was given to me on my 60th birthday last week by my dear friend Laura, and I have been sharing it ever since.

Work by Mary Oliver

I am a woman sixty years old and of no special courage.

Everyday – a little conversation with god, or his envoy

the tall pine, or the grass-swimming cricket.

Everyday – I study the difference between water and stone.

Everyday – I stare at the world;  I push the grass aside

and stare at the world.

The spring pickerel in the burn and shine of the tight-packed water;

the sweetness of the child on the shore;  also, its radiant temper;

the snail climbing the morning glories, carrying his heavy wheel;

the green throats of the lilies turning from the wind.

This is the world. . .

Everyday – I have work to do.

I feel my body rising through the water

not much more than a leaf;

and I feel like the child, crazed by beauty

or filled to bursting with woe;

and I am the snail in the universe of the leaves trudging upward;

and I am the pale lily who believes in God,

though she has no word for it,

and I am the hunter, and I am the hounds,

and I am the fox, and I am the weeds of the field,

and I am the tunnel and the coolness under the earth,

and I am the pawprint in the dust,

I am the dusty toad who looks up unblinking

And sees (do you also see them?) the white clouds

In their blind, round-shouldered haste.

I am a woman sixty years old, and glory is my work.

And yes, I can finally believe in my 60th year that glory is my work!

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  1. (This comment is from Muriel, received as email)
    Hi Susan …
    from the oxford dictionary:  “glory”
    (1) honor, dignity, prestige, renown, eminence, distinction, exaltation
    (2) worship, adoration, glorification, exaltation, praise, homage,thanksgiving, gratitude, formal laudation
    (3) majesty, magnificence, excellence, splendor, pomp,pagentry, grandeur, greatness, beauty, radiance, brilliance, effulgence, refulgence
    (7) aureole, nimbus, aura, halo, gloriole, crown, circlet, corona, radiance,
    (v) revel, relish, delight, exult, pride oneself, rejoice
    my mother used to say a women’s hair is her glory …
    glory be! and happy birthday to you!


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