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. 🐊 🐉💙✨
I'm so excited to be supporting my friend Kate Mick this Saturday night at The Parlour for the release party for her second album, Sugar In Your Teeth.
Fellow mountain adventurer and creative collaborator Matt Gillooly will be kicking things off at 8pm along with the amazing John Farone. It's going to be a great night!
I'll be scooting over right after my Small Business Saturday art sale at Joyful Bliss Yoga from 1-4pm to join Kate with our band The Swampbirds! More info here.
It was AMAZING to be invited to be a part of Kate's creative process. The week I returned from Spain, Kate was in my living room with her banjo and I was on my bass, and together we worked over the next few weeks to come up with some bass lines that could accompany some of the banjo melodies and vocals that she had been working on over the last year.
From there, we collaborated with Derek Santos on guitar, and later with Pedro Weinburg on drums for a song titled Knees, and then with the with whole Swampbirds band for Moon Song and Rock & Roll.
It was fascinating for me to experience how with the addition of each instrument, the song would morph and transform, taking on a new energy. It felt fulfilling to be able to simultaneously contribute to, and experience, a highly creative, collaborative metamorphosis!
About a month later, I found myself at Big Nice Studio in Lincoln fumbling around on my bass with a sprained ankle, eating pizza and sketching mountains for clients in between takes 😂
With every step I took out of my comfort zone (which began with saying YES when Kate asked me if I'd contribute to her album) I could feel myself growing. As challenging as it was for me being so new to playing music, I am SO grateful to have been a part of this project!
Kate made it so much fun to collaborate and work together. I loved how open she was to inviting in the talents of so many wonderful people in RI, including Jen Long of the Whale Guitar, who designed the cover art.
I was inspired by Kate’s commitment to the process from start to finish. She has the emotional resilience of an ultra-marathoner; committed to bringing her best work forward with consistency, patience, determination, and kindness. I'm grateful for the insider's perspective I now have on the process of what goes into making an album of music with a full band: this project was a HUGE undertaking!!
I welcome you to email me directly and let me know how I can support you on your path.
When I was 15, my dream was to attend art school in Vermont.
I had this awesome vision of immersing myself in the mountains every day, getting lost in the stars each night, and making incredible art that told of the awe and wonder I felt from it all. I'd do whatever I needed to do to get in with Burton Snowboards, and eventually I'd work my way up to designing the most incredibly awesome line of women's snowboard decks that anyone had ever seen.
Last night I got to meet one of my favorite contemporary printmakers, Daniel Danger, at the Sprinkler Factory, and ask him a few questions about his creative process, surrounded by vibrant walls adorned with *fifteen years* of his work as a full time artist!
Growing up in a family of makers, Daniel never doubted his ability to make a living as an artist. He shared with me that he dove right in to full time artist right out of school; even though he wasn’t quite sure what the path looked like, he knew himself well enough to understand that full-time devotion to his craft was the path to success. He couldn’t NOT do it.
Curious to learn more about his mindset, I asked him what sort of routines he had for himself. I was surprised and inspired to learn that pre-fatherhood, he didn’t instill any specific habits or routines with his work; his motivation and enthusiasm to create was enough of a driving force to lead him towards success. Now that he’s a father, he shared that he’s instilled habits and routines out of necessity- and he’s still a full time maker!
Check out Daniel's work and order prints on his website.
“IF WE GO, WE GO TOGETHER.”
15 years of screenprints by Daniel Danger
Sprinkler Factory, Worcester MA
Opening Reception: Saturday November 2, 5-8 pm
Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm and visit the Sprinkler Factory here
I'm so excited to share the footage below from my recent creative adventures with Aurora Collaborative!
Up until this point, I had never painted to live music or in front of an audience, and yet something about exploring this unknown territory had an inexplicable pull on me. In fact, this very concept had been calling me for over a decade! You can read more about my decade-long journey with silk painting and the inspiration for the project here.
It felt awe-inspiring and humbling to be in a position where my artistry was lending its own unique contribution to the collective experience, just as our conductor, Sam Hollister, and each of our 13 musicians, served the work through their own individual expressions.
I learned quickly that this type of artistry requires a special attunement to the intuitive wisdom of the heart; to the practice of listening and responding, to serving the work in a way that extends beyond the individual self.
To know when to hold back, and to know when to burst forth in color. To understand the potency of simplicity. And to discover how, just as Time is the great Sculptor of mountains and rivers and the great Healer of broken hearts, it is also what gives form, structure, and feeling to music.
Art was my instrument. My brush and dyes were the bow and strings. The hot wax created form and structure for the mountains to contain the fluid, fleeting dye colors; flooded at first with the glowing dawn of first light, and later gaining volume and contrast as the music unfolded the love story of Copland's Appalachian Spring.
This live painting experience marked the beginning of a deeper devotion to my love for what inspires me as an adventure-driven, heart-led artist. I'm so excited for what's to come in the year ahead!
Interested in collaborating on a live painting event?
I'd love to connect with you! Please email me!