If my work as an artist were Nature, the source of my inspiration resides in the crisp altitude of the Mountaintop, where the mind is quieted by the mystical expansiveness of the vibrant panorama, the body dissolves into aromatic alpine winds, and the heart swells from the sheer awe of witnessing that which Life is revealing.
The work itself is the River that sings: cleansing, purifying, sustaining, and nourishing life into existence.
I am that which holds the River: steady yet yielding to her free-flowing vivacity.
As I give shape to her form, so, too, she gives shape to mine.
She arises through diverse streams of curiosities, merging into a harmonic confluence of inspiration that flows through my being with colors more vibrant than the eye can see.
It has taken many twists and turns through desolate lands to discover this wellspring; steadily building a momentum of yearning to live into the gifts she so generously bestows upon those who seek to know Her.
My intention in creating this diptych was for each painting to achieve a sense of balance and unity, yet when joined together, expanding into greater horizons and possibilities: a mirror to inner growth❤
Crow's symbolism is as richly complex as the depth of its luminous black feathers. Archetypally, it is regarded as a gatekeeper between the known and the unknown, the conscious and the unconscious. Its home exists beyond time, within the very void of Creation. An omen of change, it speaks to the mystery of life's miracles, personal transformation, destiny, higher intelligence, and expanded perspectives.
Featuring a vibrant vista of Sedona Arizona, fragrant Datura (moonflowers) surround the viewer from vantage point of the South face of Cathedral Rock, looking out to Courthouse Butte shown in the center, which I learned from the locals is also known by indigenous peoples as the Council of the Elders 🌌
Shop prints here.
12"zx12" originals available for sale as of 2/21/21; email me for availability and pricing.
While choosing a favorite piece of art feels a lot like choosing a favorite child, of all the creations that have poured through me over the last year, this piece is perhaps the most treasured, not only in its materials, but in how its story speaks to the inward journey I've deliberately been sculpting and weaving over the last 10 months through journaling, meditation, and shadow work.
I was inspired to bring Maha to completion today after a powerful weekend of connection and reflection with loving, soulful women from the Matrixworks community who, through embodying their Wise Woman archetype, helped me connect more deeply with mine.
The Wise Woman or Crone archetype is one of deep intuition, discernment, balance, creativity, and mystery. Jung describes the Wise Woman archetype as representing an individual’s ‘mana’ personality. The ‘mana’ represents a primordial energy that, if properly embraced, can assist the individual to grow and/or transform.
Maha is a Himalayan crone who came to me as a guide in a vision I explored with my soul coach this fall. She speaks not through words, but through her bright, sparkling eyes, her infectious laughter, and her sprite-like twirling and whirling.
Her facial expressions are as animated and fleeting as the ripples of a river’s surface streaming through a mountain with dappled sunlight, and the infinite depth of her gaze is reflected back in the sparkling night sky.
She can't help but point out the levity where others cannot see it. Her laughter is heard echoing in rivers, on mountaintops, and in wide open fields of wildflowers.
She is the Earth Keeper, the Dream Weaver, the Wise One, and the shapeshifting, mischievous Wild Woman.
She lives within the hearts of those who seek to know her essence.
Handmade paper from stream of consciousness journaling, charcoal from woodstove fire in Nepal, fish bone from Tiverton RI, driftwood from Beavertail State Park, turkey feathers from Swan Point Cemetery, dried lavender from my pollinator garden, thread from an offering of Love that was returned back to where it had always belonged 💜
To sit in the center of this mandala is to connect with the constellation of beings that comprise the seven generations of ancestors who have shaped your very DNA; whose life paths echo in the very bones, tissue, and subtle body of your being, whose songs reverberate deep within the subconscious.
This fractal pattern appeared before me this past spring as I was meditating in my garden on the honeybee, specifically around it being one of the most ancient symbols associated with the divine feminine. That contemplation later turned into a mandala illustration of 108 Honeybees, which interestingly, became woven into the mandala you see here, as a visual representation of the feminine aspect of the bloodline. Mandalas within mandalas 🐝
Mandalas have been utilized throughout cultural traditions all over the world as pathways for honoring interconnectivity, dissolving the illusion of separation, and integrating one’s sense of self within the Universe. Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung also utilized the mandala in his personal work as well as with his patients in offering a “safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.”
I’ve shared an initial glimpse of what this project means to me in my story section titled “7 Generations” and will be revealing more as the messages continue to ripen. This is the most richly-woven tapestry of healing and inquiry that has ever come forth from within me to date, and what’s most exciting is it feels as though I’ve barely scratched the surface.
A year ago today I was in tears of joy at the post office with this Red Tailed Hawk Turning Phoenix painting, which was packaged with so much care and attention that it just barely made it into circulation 😂😭
This was created by commission for a customer who had found my work online and was looking to take bold action in honoring themselves on their path of recovery. Little did they know that at the very time they commissioned this work, I was deepening my own recovery path, as well.
I held the searing ache of leaving behind the patterns of familiarity; the courage to feel as deeply into the grief as into the new possibilities being created; the patience, grit, grace, and determination to persevere through the discomfort of separating from the known; and the faith to trust in the spectacular new vision that was being rebirthed. I painted for all of us with honor and love.
Little did I know just how much more universal meaning the offering from this rainbow messenger would take on in the weeks ahead. I feel so incredibly grateful to be connecting and co-creating through medicine that heals, honors, and inspires the soul 💜💕 🦅🌈
Shop Phoenix prints and Yoga mats in my Etsy shop.
In early 2021, I created my own week-long creative immersion to synthesize the inner work I'd been exploring over the last six months with my soul coach, Joe Drogo, where we had been diving deep over the last 6 months into integrating the shadow aspects of self and healing past trauma through the koshas, or energetic layers, as known in yoga.
During my retreat week week, I set the intention of quietude: powering down electronics, music, podcasts, and cell phones so that I could really give myself the full experience of the inner listening available through a vipassana retreat, but in a softer, more feminine spirit that also allowed my creativity and sensuality to emanate as the Bindu.
Combining my interests in art, meditation, expressive movement, the chakra system, sound healing, essential oils, and bilateral drawing, I began each day with breath work, aromatherapy, and journal prompts specific to the particular chakra I was exploring, followed by a walking meditation in nature to listen and connect with my inner guidance, along with preparing fresh, nourishing foods specific to each energy center.
In the afternoons, I'd sit it in stillness in the center of the blank canvas, explore gentle asana warmup, and connect with the energy of color as I prepared my paints. After my mandala meditation, I'd take myself on a second integrative walk, come home, and meditate again before bed.
Unplanned, this seven-day exploration culminated on my 36th birthday with the Crown chakra. While this experience wasn't without the challenge of self-discipline and stamina, it also felt incredibly creative and expansive.
My dreams began arising to the forefront of my consciousness in a way I had never experienced. I began receiving messages from my dreams that came as vital pieces of the puzzle in my waking life, and I received new insights and inspirations for my creativity.
I cannot recommend taking the time to create a home retreat more highly, even if for half a day.
Sign up for my email list to be the first to learn about my upcoming at-home retreat offerings :)
Expressed in this first video, the Muladhara, or Root chakra, orients us in the sacred temple of our bodies. It is where we claim our sense of safety and security, our right to exist, and our right to have what we need to not only survive, but ultimately to thrive.
Learn more about the psychological benefits of bilateral drawing
Chakra Sound Healings from Sonic Yogi
My shadow work coach, Joe Drogo, on the Root Chakra
Suggested reading on the psychology of the chakras: Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith
Every 8 years, Venus, the planet of Love and Beauty, traces this beautiful five-petalled rose in her dance with Earth and Sun.
I sat with this imagery at the beginning of Spring 2020, tracing and retracing the pattern from sunrise to sunset, anchoring into a sense of wholeness and calm within the cosmic mandala.
As I drew, I reflected on my own patterns in love; how as though even the most challenging years were already set on an invisible trajectory that would eventually bring me back to the center of my being.
Working with this visual meditation helped me find more compassion for the parts of myself I had ignored and suppressed, and while I didn't realize it at the time, it began laying the framework for a new template of Love that I explored over a six month span with the support of my incredible Soul Coach 💜💕🌌
These holographic Venus Rose stickers have been so well-received that I've decided to add more to my shop! They retail for $3.5 each or 3 for $10, joannaelizabethread on Venmo.
Please be sure and include your mailing address with your purchase, and let me know if you'd like a complimentary coloring page!
Big thanks to Sticker Mule for the high quality print production on these holographic stickers!
It has been a ten year dream to paint dahlias that I grew from my own pollinator garden :) thanks to 2020 that dream came true! The camera vantage point is the view I greeted nearly every day since the pandemic hit and I got serious about my meditation practice. Meditating to the gentle pace of tending and witnessing a garden grow from seed and bulbs was incredibly healing.
I began this painting the day my heart got broken open over the summer. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, but I later came to see that it was becoming a meditation on personal resiliency, strengthening of self worth, and giving thanks for abundant healing Nature offers us, right down to the symbolism of the dahlia flower and succulent plants.
Most of the flora was grown in my garden, and the turkey feathers were gifts I found on my walks in Swan Point Cemetery.
Bison came to me during my first visit to Sedona this summer and it has felt so good to open my heart to receiving its healing medicine of abundance, gratitude, and honoring the sacred.
The turquoise beads came to me in a vision during one of my coaching sessions with AMAZING shadow-work coach Joe Drogo 🌌
By far the most technically challenging painting I’ve attempted, it feels so good to have stuck with it through all the uncertainty and barfy moments, lol! The magic of the finishing touches with those pops of sky blue and amethyst made it all worth it.
I feel so grateful to be sharing this art and these words 💜💜💜 it feels like I just completed a marathon!
Prints available here.
One of my favorite Covid commissions of the year: a custom Fender Stratocaster painted with Winsor & Newton oils in intuitively painted Alligator-Meets-Blue-Dragon-Patterning for a fabulously talented musician client! Check out the full progression here. 🐊 🐉💙✨