Oh, my darlings, I have so much to share with you! My computer is full of photos, from my last bookbinding class, to the amazing results of the mixed-media portrait class I taught at my first retreat....but for today, for the magic of 12-12-12, I thought I'd share the magic of Aravaipa Canyon, where the retreat was held. It's a magical land where no cell phones, iPads, or internet work, and you're forced to take pause and really connect with the others around you, as well as yourself.
The ranch is reached by driving along a dirt road, mostly one-lane, up and around the mountains of the range. I was so glad to own a 4-wheel drive vehicle!
There is a forest out there, up and down the mountains, where I swear, faeries dance with the spirits of native americans still dwelling in the forests and mountains of their people.
Can you imagine them, here, on these mushrooms growing from the side of a tree?
Spinning webs around these dormant branches?
There's a stone labyrinth out there, that takes longer than you think to get around, with a little alter in the center. I was reminded that these circular labyrinths used to represent the womb of a woman, back in ancient times, and all her creative potential. How we have to navigate through the twists and turns of life in order to create.
In a place like this, how could I not take pause and go Still? I'd found autumn at last!
We hiked through the woods and suddenly, came out upon this beautiful vista, this part of the creek where the banks were covered in long grass, where the breeze was gentle and the trees swayed and rained down leaves on us as we lay down for a little nap... (This is my favorite shot; who would have thought I'd be taking photos like this when I started playing a couple years ago?)
Our view. I suddenly was in love with Arizona.
I felt full of magic.
I then went back, back to the world, and gathered up that magic to spread to my students, encouraging them to draw and paint and find the same joy I do in moving around paint and pencils and marks. I'll share all that tomorrow. For today, reflect on Stillness, on Wishes and Dream and Imagination. On Magic in your life, in Deep Play, in Calm.
I'm curating this week on Crescendoh, sharing a new Art Saves story about how art got me through panic attacks and changes after my concussion, and sharing my favorite links on the web.
Check me out on this week's podcast of Adventures in Arting with Julie Balzer! I'm interviewed with my dear friend Roben-Marie.