Sunday, November 19, 2017

Art on a VW Bus #3

Art on a VW Bus #3

February 2013:

Flashback to 2000: We left organized church and stepped away from Christian culture, in order to pursue our understanding of Jesus without all the trappings. We gave up large Sunday morning services for small gatherings of very intentional minded seekers of Jesus. Such light, clarity, and pure moments of love.

In 2012, we returned to "full time professional camp ministry." For various reasons, it was a good move for our family. But one of the hardest parts of moving was leaving our tight knit tribe & spiritual community. Due to the nature of my job, I was thrust back into a Christian culture that I was no longer in step with. I found myself overwhelmed with the noise of extra verses, bridges, instruments, and, "Jesus, just...."  Where was the simple joy of gathering in the stillness? Where was the peacefulness of gathering in the presence of the Light?

This piece was done in the midst of one such extremely loud, and somewhat emotionally manipulative large worship/Christian concert gathering I found myself in. I sat as far back as possible in a crowd of over 400 people, wondering if God could hear my heart thoughts over the noise. In Quaker practice, I sat silently until I found Center, focusing on bearing witness to God's still, small voice. I aloud God's light to speak peace to my heart in the middle of the loudness.

My muddled swirling purple soul began to move into the stillness of Christ light.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Art on a VW Bus #2

Art on a VW Bus #2

Circa May-June 2012

Again, still enthralled with the mandala form. I remember wondering if a mandala would be more uniform if I used just the space of a square, rather than the rectangle of my paper. Similar to how origami works better with a perfect square. I was also experimenting with the different shades of color in the watercolor kit. For some reason, in many of my pieces, I depict a soul, my soul, as a purple color. And just as a soul, my soul, is complex, purple can be a complex color to mix to the exact shade that is swirling in my mind. 

In this piece, my soul was muddied, not the brilliant purple I want to be. There is a remnant of fun and free-flowingness in the purple swirls, yet it became rhythmic and repetitive. Maybe for some souls this would be a safe place to reside, but my heart yearns for more. The black line between the purple and the mandala felt like an uncrossable line. The mandala side is bursting with colors, bright and clear, with nuances of highlights. This is how I want to live. Yet too often, I am unable to cross that line. I get stuck in the expectations and the should have could haves. Yet, as I worked on this piece, I was encouraged. Even though I felt stuck, I had a vision of what I could be, of the soul work that was happening. 

And so, my tribe and I camp named me "Wildflower." To reflect who I am and will be when I live in the God given freedom of me.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Art on a VW Bus #1

Art on a VW Bus

There are two main ways I connect with God. Creating and Nature. In the past, connecting with God through Nature meant days long backpacking trips or hours spent in the canyons of Smith Rock climbing. Since moving to the Valley and working full time, I've had to find ways to connect with God that can be done in shorter stints of time. And so began my Traveling Art Pouch (I'll describe this in another post later.)

Circa May-June 2012: This one began as an exploratory of a new traveling watercolor kit I received from a dear friend. Green has always been my go to color: hence, the color of our 1979 VW Bus (yep, more later) I had been contemplating what my "camp name" for my new job would be. (Every one at camp has a camp name: defines parts of who they are that aren't necessarily covered in your traditional name. It becomes your alter ego.) I was trying to incorporate ideas of freedom, color, nature, green, flowers, etc. Much like the elements of my new tattoo. 

I was also enthralled with the idea of mandalas as a spiritual discipline. In many ways, this very asymmetrical free form mandala reflects my spiritual life. A major theme in my life with God is unlearning the "have to's." Letting go of the should do's. Finding freedom in Christ. I still struggle with this.

Obviously, this piece is unfinished....also very reflective of me. I'm continually trying to figure out who I am & how I relate to the world.

Oh...what's my camp name?  Stay tuned....

Saturday, October 21, 2017

6 years later

You know how, in the movies, when you are all caught up in a scene and something big happens, and then BOOM.

Black screen. 

Then, the music starts again. You get a wide angle landscape shot, and then words appear? 

6 years later

 Yep, that's what just happened in Creating Good Soil Blogtown. Sometimes, I'm not even sure if I'm still creating good soil.

Kiddos 3 October 2011

But here are the highlights of the past 6 years:
Got a tattoo
Moved from Sunny Central Oregon to Rainy Willamette Valley.
Began working & living full time/year round at a summer camp
The beautiful space we live and work in

I love hiring, training and mentoring amazing college students 
Kids being silly at our camp

 Sold our Central Oregon home
 Sold Green Plow Coffee Roasters
circa 2013
Traveled to Washington DC, Mexico (2x), Nepal, California, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, Vancouver/Victoria BC.
Helped kids discover amazing, crazy and sometimes expensive hobbies
All 3 kids eventually decided to go back to school
Husband works full time too

 Lowlights include:
 Being away from my tribe
 Ovarian cyst surgery
 Still surviving a fairly drastic faith community split
 Not having time to create regularly

All that said, I find myself in a place where I don't know what the next scene looks like. But for some reason, I find myself needing to write again.
Kiddos 3 + Furbaby 2017

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So far, so good....

So far, I love homeschooling.

Having our family on only 2 schedules rather than 4 or five is so freeing! So often as a small business owner, we have “minor” emergencies…. out of milk, bathroom is not working, etc. We have to be available sometimes at a moments notice. Having the kiddos with me has been more freeing then I thought it would be. No longer do I have to worry about missing the bus, or not being able to be at someone’s special presentation. We have more family time together during the week when Pat gets off after his shift. Since we’ve been home together during the week, we have more energy and space for hanging out with friends or having an adventure during the weekend. This newfound freedom is glorious.

Most days we head up to our newly redecorated classroom/office/creative space around 8:30-9 and get started with school. We’re doing a crazy combo of Sonlight/Waldorf/Co-op homeschool. Obviously, we’re not a textbook (literally and figuratively) homeschool family! I hope that once we are a bit more disciplined in our routine, we will have a better idea of what works for us. Jbug has taken to homeschooling like a fish to water. (Note to anyone who has struggled with attachment issues: consider homeschooling.) I have been amazed at the way this little one has blossomed by having close contact with mom and dad most of the day, without having to figure out how to interact with 30 other classmates. She is surrounded with those she knows and loves, who know, love and for the most part understand her. After years of headaches, stomachaches, tantrums, and counseling sessions, it feels as if we have made extreme progress in just weeks with the chosen-for-us little one! Micah is still trying to figure out how homeschool works (aren’t we all?) It has defiantly been more challenging. No longer are the answers being spoon fed. It feels good to challenge his amazing brain! Kj has already discovered the freedom of homeschooling last year, although I am asking for more from her this year. She is very independent and already thinking of testing a grade level ahead. I better start brushing up on my math skills. We love being able to attend Karate classes during the day, or hit a geocache on the way home. Afternoons are spent at the coffeehouse, reading, tending the bar, running errands, etc.

So far, so good.