seeds: Beings, books, and beyond
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their families, their histories too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems.
This includes all living creatures who have shaped my life. When I think of these beings, the kindness deep in my heart lights up and I remember to trust and follow my heart.
The Animals: Pepper, Sammy Cat, Coot, Doc, Super, Reggae, The Lathan’s animal menagerie, Whispering Pines barn, Hollins College barn, the small barn in Indiana, Up & Over Stables, Castle Rock Stables, Sola, Franks, Jingle, the chickens: Peedy, Speedy, Birdie, and Sola.
Carol Augthun: Junior high school art teacher. Taught me radial symmetry and graphite pencil techniques. Accompanied me to my first awards ceremony. Encourages me to this day with loving comments on FB.
Robert Barnes: Graduate school professor. Accompanied me through a dark night of the soul after the death of fellow artist, Eric Sidney. Had a cat skeleton and live birds in his Bloomington studio. Continues to water my heart with his kind words on FB.
Bob and Lynn Bassler: My brief experience with these artists has blown my mind. They are role models for how to live an authentic creative lifestyle. Everything they touch explodes with an unlimited creatrix energy—-their home, garden, and interactions with others….I’m still processing what I am learning from them.
Jack Beal: Taught me alongside his wife, Sondra Freckelton, during their residency at Hollins. Humanism, practicing Random Acts of Kindness, the importance of honoring the animals in your life, treating students like me as their own children. Invited me into their lovely home in upstate NY. So much love. RIP, Maestro.
Heidi Buckland: Clinical Psychologist. Holds me energetically as my human Earth Mother.
Nancy Dahlstrom: Undergraduate Drawing and Printmaking Professor. Modeled how an artist can craft her own reality. Role model for creative lifestyle and truly thinking outside the box.
Sarah Dashew and Denise LaVey Dashew: Sarah and Denise are an inspiration. They craft their own reality and model an authentic creative lifestyle. They continually expand, bursting through the barriers of limited belief systems.
Sondra Freckelton: taught me watercolor techniques and modeled authentic creative lifestyle. Loving Kindness.
Elisha Clark Halpin: loving mentor who is teaching me how to break through limiting belief systems with self-love. She is a powerhouse in humanity’s collective Spiritual Awakening.
Jan Knipe: Undergraduate Drawing Professor and Advisor. This woman taught me how to draw and how to engage with subject matter on multiple levels. I completed many work study hours under her at Hollins. I have the utmost respect and gratitude for her taking me under her wing.
Nancy Kochenower: This artist was my very first watercolor teacher. I remember her coming to paint with me during the summer months—we painted geraniums together. The individual attention and care I received from her is what sealed my fate as an artist. True model of what it means to be a teaching artist.
Danny T. Levin: This man is such a model of creative excellence that I married him.
Marigny Michel: This woman is a priestess, a poet, and has shaped my life in so many ways with her presence. She goes by voxpoet on Instagram. You should follow her.
Ann Predmore: My first role model for a teaching artist. I remember vividly her art room at Pine Street Elementary School. She quotes, “My class is a studio and that environment builds respect and inspires. The neat thing is that we grow along with our students.”
Robin Shapiro: This artist is a master mentor. She and I have taught alongside each other at Brentwood School for close to 2 decades now. I learn more from her about social-emotional relationships than anyone else on the planet.
Eric Sidney: The article referenced in this link is one in which Eric’s wonderful mother, Shirlie, is interviewed about her son, who was a fellow artist in graduate school at IU. He died unexpectedly in 1998 at age 24. His body was found by myself, Darren Young, and some other students the evening of January 15th of that year. Knowing Eric was and is a gift. Experiencing his powerful energy has certainly shaped me. His mother, Shirlie, is my role model for Grief as Praise.
Bonnie Sklarski: Professor at IU. Her most influential teaching moment for me was when she accompanied me to Urgent Care for PTSD. I will never forget her kindness during a time when I could not stop shaking. Her paintings are extraordinary, but not nearly as brilliant as her kind soul.
Bill White: Painting Professor at Hollins. Most influential in teaching me about color. Kindness deep in his heart.
Tom Willis: Mr. Willis was my high school art teacher at Spartanburg High School in SC. He encouraged me and guided me to become a teaching artist. I will never forget the January I interned with him in 1995. RIP, Mr. Willis.
Edythe S. Wise: My beloved grandmother who always encouraged me to paint. We are forever linked by a long line of creatives…see https://www.goupstate.com/article/NC/20140403/news/605132845/SJ/
Darren Young: This artist is not only a great painter, he is the epitome of brotherly love.
Books that have had a significant impact and reaffirmed my belief that I am on the right path. They make my heart space glow.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Educated by Tara Westover
The Smell of Rain on Dust by Martín Prechtel
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Reveal by Megan Waterson
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
I am Spiritually Fierce by Ricci-Jane Adams
The Heroine’s Journey by Maurine Murdock
Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza
Becoming Supernatural by Joe Dispenza