Offering HeART and SoulCollage® workshops to inspire your creative spirit
Five Things I've Learned Along the Way

Happy Imbolc!
Imbolc (pronounced em-bolk) is a pagan holiday associated with the goddess Brigit and marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Yay, we are half way there! Buds have formed on the clematis bush outside my kitchen window and it looks to be a bumper crop year for its fragrant white blossoms. Meanwhile, it's a wintery 27 degrees out there, which is super cold for us west coasters. The good thing about this weather is that I spend more time inside working on my essays or down in the studio creating art.

It was on a wilderness vision quest in 2005 when I found the courage to claim the title of "artist" for myself. Since then I've made hundreds of magnificent failures and hundreds of things that I've loved. The journey goes on. Here are five essential things I've learned along the way that I think apply to any creative endeavor.

  • Trust yourself. Trusting yourself means trusting that your mark, your words, and your creative voice all have value exactly as they first appear. Trust that whatever comes out at the beginning is your starting point. In writing we sometimes call these beginnings "shitty first drafts." But it's only a place to start; which brings me to my second point...
  • It's not over until you decide it's over. In other words, keep going until you are happy with what you have. Reconstruct, revise, reword, paint over, take away. You're super lucky if things come out right the first time but don't be disheartened if your creative effort takes some work.
  • Be willing to ride the current. Creative work has its ups and downs, so put on your life jacket and keep going. I loved a sign I once read in a colleague's art studio:
This is fun
This looks pretty good
This is shit
I am shit
Wow, I love this!
  • Stay in experimentation mode. Part of creating something is using your problem-solving, curiosity, and experimentation skills. What if I try... How about if... I wonder about... Like Bob Ross said, "There are no mistakes, just happy accidents."
  • Don't be afraid to "kill your darlings." That's a phrase that writers use that means don't be afraid to get rid of something that doesn't belong in your story, artwork or composition, even though you might love it.

So that's it -- 5 things I've learned along the way that keep me going with my creative practice. I hope you find these helpful. And may you find your own ways to keep creating more beauty in the world.
This little book is bringing me joy and inspiration these days. Today's passage reads:

"Imbolc means 'fire in the belly.' The earth is pregnant with spring, which we can just begin to feel around the next corner...We pause, poised between listening inwardly, as we have done through the darkness of the year, and springing forth into the verdant world."
Art and SoulCollage® Gatherings at the Down to Earth Studio
SoulCollage® Gatherings

3rd Fridays - Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Morning sessions: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Afternoon sessions: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
GG's Down to Earth Studio

If a sessions is full, you can email GG to get on the wait list.

February 17 - Paradigm Shift to Community
Morning session: Space available
Afternoon session: Full

March 17 - All Things Green!
Morning session: Space available
Afternoon session: Full

April 21 - Sunlight and Shadow
Space is available in both the morning and afternoon sessions.
Sliding scale fee: $25 - $40. Fee includes all supplies and the 3-hour session.

Those new to SoulCollage® can come one hour early for an overview. Newcomer Fee for the one-hour introductory overview + all supplies + three-hour gathering is $65. 
Email GG to register.
Possible May SoulCollage® Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs

This retreat is on hold while Brietenbush works through some financial and technological issues.
There is a tentative date set for May 18-21, 2023

I'll keep you posted as I learn more.
Gratitude Jar for Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 14th, 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Art Department Supply Store, Salem
Workshop fee $15. Ages 10+

Give yourself or your sweetie the gift of gratitude for Valentine's Day. Come and decoupage paper and images onto a glass jar and create a "Gratitude Jar." Gratitude jars provide a simple way to cultivate the habit of being mindful of the good things in your life.

Each day or week, you write down one thing for which you're grateful and put it into the jar where they collect as a reminder of the good things in your world. At the end of the year you can take them all out and read all the good things that came into your life in 2023.
Supply list provided upon registration. All regular-priced supplies are available at 20% off from Art Department for this class. Register with the Art Department here.
Earth Shrines & Banners Workshops and Local Art Show

2 Workshop Options at GG's Down to Earth Studio:
Saturday, March 11, 2023 10:00 am to 4:00 pm,
or Sunday, March 19, 2023 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Workshop fee: $65.00 Workshop fee includes all supplies and instruction. Half of the fee will go to 1,000 Friends of Oregon for habitat restoration.

I'm so excited to announce that The Down to Earth Studio is teaming up with The Art Department Supply Store for an art show, "Earth Shrines and Banners for Hope and Healing," just in time for Earth Day!

Come to the studio and make a shrine or a banner in honor of our Earth, sweet Earth. And, with your permission, your shrine/banner will be part of an art show in the Concrete Gallery (back of the Art Department Supply Store in downtown Salem) from April 7th to 28th. (Your piece can be for sale or marked not for sale.)

Harvest images, fabric, ribbons, doo-dads, beads, bones, and bouquets from the Down to Earth Studio stash. Adorn your creation with metallic bling, dried flora from the garden, beads and bamboo branches. Show your love for the Earth through creativity.

Why not give this workshop as a gift to someone and the two of you come and create together? Even if you or they are not "crafty," GG will assist you every step of the way.

Your finished piece will grace planet Earth with love and healing power. A perfect way to celebrate Earth Day and the beginning of Spring! Register with GG here.
Fun With Frisket!

2 Day Workshop: Saturday, May 6th, 10:30 am to 3:30 pm and
Sunday, May 7th, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
Art Department Supply Store, Salem
Workshop fee: $145.00

This relaxed playful workshop combines the techniques of collage, painting, frisket resist, and vibrant spray inks to create fascinating layered artwork. Come and learn another super fun tool for your art toolkit. Cut, tear, brush, mark, apply, spray....and voila!..a finished work of art. Beginners are welcome.

GG will guide you through it step-by-step. On day one we will make a series of collaged and/or painted backgrounds. On day two we will apply frisket resist (a water-based latex fluid) and spray inks. Then...the big reveal when we peel off the frisket!

Supply list provided upon registration. 
All regular-priced supplies are available at 20% off from Art Department for this class.  
Other Announcements from The Down to Earth Studio
Salem Reads Art Show at the Salem Library
February 1-28, 2023
This is the sixth year I've participanted in the Salem Reads art project where artists create a piece inspired by a book chosen by the library and offered for free to the public. This year the book is, Born A Crime, by Trevor Noah.

My piece is titled "Embrace and Endure." My process for creating this piece started with a focus on black and white as an illustration of apartheid, and red to represent blood as in the adages: blood is thicker than water; bad blood; and blood, sweat and tears. The creation of this artwork was mostly an intuitive effort. I felt my way along adding movement and complexity with representations of entanglement, chaos, and “hoops to jump through.” The small shadowy figure at the bottom is constricted in one sense, but also potentially a strong, formidable shape. The piece represents things coming at Noah and him standing, enduring, and waiting for the right time to embrace and move forward.

Check out the Salem Reads website for writing contests, comedy open mic night, lectures and community discussions relating to Trevor Noah's book.
SCHOLARSHIPS rainbow letters banner
SCHOLARSHIPS rainbow letters banner
Announcing The Down to Earth Studio Scholarship Fund

Yes, that's right. The Studio now has a scholarship fund with dollars donated by kind and thoughtful individuals who support the arts! If you are under financial hardship and not able to afford a workshop fee, please contact GG to apply.
Art Prints For Sale
"Being Held in Deep Grief and Unbearable Beauty" art print for sale.
12" h x 16" w $85 plus postage. Contact GG
Beyond the Veil" art print for sale.
16" h x 12" w $85 plus postage. Contact GG
"Dreaming of Iris" art print for sale.
16" h x 20" w $85 plus postage.
"Bird Whisperer" art print for sale.
16" h x 16" w $85 plus postage.

Gift Certificates for GG's Down to Earth Studio for SoulCollage(r) baby showers, birthday parties, products, classes, or art doula services. Email GG for more info.
from my creative heart to yours,
The Art Doula is here for you!

I am thrilled to be working with several art mentoring clients and we are having a fabulous time in the studio! I love being an Art Doula : )

Come and explore, discover, and birth your unique creativity.

Are you a tentative artist, or maybe a wanna-be? Do you feel the call to create something but don't know where to start? Have you heard yourself say the words “I’m not a creative person?” Or, maybe you think of yourself as only a painter, or only a crafter.
Let’s debunk those myths! I am an Art Doula, here to help you explore, discover, and birth more of your unique creativity. I'd so love to work with you to help your creative life blossom. Zoom or in-person doula services available. Contact me for a free 30-minute preliminary consult. More information on my website here.