Offering HeART and SoulCollage® workshops to inspire your creative spirit
Caligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh by e
Bringing in Higher Love xo
It's coming up: Valentine's Day! GALentine's Day! PALentine's Day! February 14th, the day we celebrate love here in America.

I'm adding another one of our beloveds to the list, EARTHentine's Day! (Not the most romantic title, I know. Let me know if you come up with something better.) But think about not Mother Earth the greatest lover of them all? She gives of Herself fully and consistently to provide the food and water that sustains us, the air we breath, and the ground on which we stand. She entertains and delights us with a plethora of diverse and fascinating wildlife, and brings us to tears with Her unfathomable beauty. At 4.543 billion years old, She can teach us a thing or two about how to survive and thrive if we watch and listen.

In honor of EARTHentine's Day, I just ordered a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Love Letter to the Earth. Thay, as his friends called him, was a beloved Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, author, poet and teacher. He died on January 22nd at the age of 95. This modest Buddhist monk left a legacy of writings, teachings,and community, all dedicated to mindfulness, gratitude, and love.

You can read more about Thay's extraordinary life here, on his Plum Village Community website.

Thich Naht Hahn said it so well in these words...

"The best way to protect the Earth and ourselves is with understanding and love.
Real change will happen only when we fall in love with our planet. Only love can show us how to live in harmony with nature and with each other and save us from the devastating effects of environmental destruction and climate change. When we recognize the virtues and talents of the Earth, we feel connected to her and love is born in our hearts. We want to be connected.

That is the meaning of love: to be at one. When you love someone, you want to take care of that person as you would take care of yourself. When we love like this, it’s reciprocal. We will do anything for the benefit of the Earth and we can trust that she, in turn, will do everything in her power for our well-being."

Imagine how different the world would be if we all fell more deeply in love with Mother Earth!

I've decided to devote the month of February to creating a series of artworks titled "Love Letters to Mother Earth." Stay tuned...
Come join me for an upcoming Art and SoulCollage® gathering
Third Friday SoulCollage® Gatherings are back at the Down to Earth Studio

February 19, March 18, April 15, 2022, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Sliding scale $20 - $35. 
Come join us for the rekindling of the SoulCollage community fires. (In person with OHA Covid protocols)
I've missed having your creative hearts in the studio and can't wait to be in soulful community with you again -- creating, sharing, surprising yourselves with your brilliance!

 Those new to SoulCollage® can come early for an overview. Newcomer Fee of $65 includes 1 hour overview and 3 hour session.

Join me for these upcoming Friday SoulCollage® themes: 
February 19 - In My Heart of Hearts
March 18 - The East Shield and the Season of Spring
April 15 - Spring! Waking up to Re-Creation

Email me to register.
Vernal Equinox SoulCollage® Gathering on Zoom

Sunday, March 20, 2022 from 3:00 to 5:30 PM Pacific Time
Zoom Gathering at GG’s Virtual Down to Earth Studio
Free! No workshop fee; this is a love offering (If you feel moved to donate, the money will be added to the Down to Earth Studio Scholarship fund).

Come join in community and ritual to celebrate the Vernal Equinox and let the seeds of possibility that have been lying dormant within your rich, dark, fertile Soul soil burst forth. You don't need to know what these seeds hold; you only need to make intentional space for possibility.

We will create this intentional space through an Equinox ritual and creating art together. You can make a SoulCollage(r) card, a collage, painting, drawing, doodle or any other creative gesture. Work with whatever medium calls to you -- magazine and calendar images, watercolors, acrylic paints, pastels, colored pencils, markers, ink pens, or crayons. Or, you can write a poem or something. Free-flowing, without judgment, without expectation, and with the pure intention to love and acknowledge what wants to sprout from within. Let your Spirit Sprout shine!

Not an artist? Good. This is not an art class, nor is it an art show. This is an opportunity to let the promise of spring conjure up creative energy from your mind and heart, let it pass through your hands and out into the world. The beauty is in the effort, not necessarily in the outcome.

Email me to participate in this joyous celebration of movement from winter to spring.
Temples of Kindness

Saturday, February 19, 2022
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Art Department Supply Store, Salem, Oregon
(In-person workshop with OHA Covid protocols)
Workshop fee: $85.00

Do you look at the exquisite papers on the shelf at your local art store and wonder how you might use them?

Come and fold beautiful decorative papers into little temples of kindness complete with secret compartments that hold messages of love, joy and happiness. Create this delightful 3-dimensional work of art to give as a gift -- that is, if you can bear to part with it. Better yet, make one for yourself and one to give away.

You can make full size (8" high) or half size (5" high). Follow step-by-step instructions to fold Origami boxes, cover matt board lids, adding beads and charms and secret messages to create a sweet temple of delight!

Register with the Art Department Supply store here. Supply list shown at registration.  
Mosaic Collage and Image Transfer

Sunday, April 24, 2022
9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival, Newport, Oregon
(In-person workshop with OHA Covid protocols)

Come participate in this joyful exploration of mosaic collage design and image transfer. Students will use colored art tissue, acrylic paint and stenciling to create a gallery wrapped canvas pieces in the shape and color-combinations of their choice. A variety of nature silhouette images will be provided to choose as a focal point.  

Learn more about the Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival and my Mosaic Collage and Silhouette Image workshop here.
Window Collage and Painting Workshop

Saturday, May 14, 2022
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR
(In-person workshop with OHA Covid protocols)
Workshop fee: $85.00

In this fun and light workshop we will explore true mixed media. Combining paint, papers, stenciling, and Posca pens, we will create pieces ranging from whimsical to serene, from birds to bouquets. Come engage in this critic-free environment that encourages relaxed playful expression. All levels welcome. No drawing or collage experience needed. Contact me to register.
Kintsugi Breaking and Mending Retreat
at Breitenbush Hot Springs

Friday evening May 20 through Sunday afternoon May 22, 2022

Breitenbush is back! Come join us as we engage in the ceremonial art of Kintsugi to explore the brokenness that lives in ourselves and in our Mother Earth, and find the beauty and gratitude that resides there.

Many of us are living with broken hearts. We accumulate grief and carry it with us, often unseen and unexpressed. But grief can be a storehouse of power, a way to reconnect with what and how we love, and honor what came before. Grief can help us find the beauty in our brokenness, while opening us to loving more and being of greater service to the world.

Breitenbush has been rebuilt, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. New growth abounds and the land awaits our homecoming. It's a beautiful metaphor for the breaking and mending of Mother Earth, and the perfect place for a Kintsugi gathering.
Our time together at the Kintsugi retreat will include ceremonial art and ritual, journaling, nature altar building, connecting with one another in community, and deep listening as we honor the place in us where grief, gratitude and beauty coexist. Of course there will also be free time to soak in the hot springs. : )

Details and fees are still being worked out with Breitenbush, but Contact me here if you are interested in learning more about this retreat and being the first to know when registration opens up.

Learn more about Breitenbush Hot Springs here.

Other Offerings from GG's Down to Earth Studio
Contact me for questions or orders.
Prints of my artwork: "Being Held in Deep Grief and Unbearable Beauty" are available for $65.00 (12"h x 16"w). Plus postage. I'm really pleased with the quality of these prints -- almost better than the original : )
Gift Certificates for GG's Down to Earth Studio for products, classes, or art doula services.
The Art Doula is Here for You!

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 in 2022 to help your creative life blossom. Zoom or in-person doula services available. More information on my website here.
Free Copies of Just Say Yes to Life

I have a couple of copies of this book to give away. If you know of someone who has had a stroke and would benefit from reading some uplifting stories, contact me and I'll get one of the books to you.

The book is a collection of 26 inspiring stories about surviving and thriving after stroke. Authentic, vulnerable, and brave, the tales give stroke survivors, and those who love them, hope for the best possible recovery and encourage them to never give up. I was honored to have my writing of Deborah McMahon's story included in this project, and doubly honored to be invited by Ellen Santasiero (writing coach extraordinaire!) to write Deborah's story. Just Say "Yes" to Life! is available on AmazonSmile. (If you don't know about Amazon Smile, check it out; part of your purchase goes to the nonprofit of your choice.)
Salem Reads Art Exhibit

Salem Public Library, February 1 - 28, 2022
Salem Reads is a community-wide reading project sponsored by the Salem Public Library Foundation that invites the people of Salem to come together in person or virtually through reading, discussion, and creating artwork based on the themes of a common book. This year's book is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Free copies are available at the library.

I had so much creating Jiko's Final Message," based on Ozeki's book. My artwork features Jiko, the Buddhist nun in the story, the mysterious jungle crow, and the Japanese character for "live," as in "stay alive." (You'll have to read the book to find out why.)

The art will exhibit will be on display at the Salem Public Library through the month of February. I hope you'll stop by and see the show.
My Book: Quest - My Story of Transformation in the Solitude of Wild Nature...
will be published by She Writes Press in the fall of 2023. This book is about the healing and restorative power of nature as illustrated by the 13 wilderness (vision) quests I experienced over a 20 year period.

I sifted through my wilderness quest adventures and refined them into a collection of rich chronicles of how my time in the wild -- hungry, isolated, and exposed -- helped me circle back, again and again, to the events of my life -- to sort through them, find deeper meaning, and make peace with my past. Each story is a unique layer of color, texture, and shape that creates an overall collage of transformation.

This book is a love letter to my grandchildren, great grandchildren, and all those yet to join us in this beautiful place.

Stay tuned for the release date!
from my creative heart to yours ~