Offering HeART and SoulCollage® workshops to inspire your creative spirit
Being Held in Deep Grief and Unbearable Beauty

Have you felt lately like you are living a profound paradox, where two opposing ideas are true at the same time? My Libra nature always inspires me to view both sides of things - the agony and the ecstasy, as they say. That's what inspired the above artwork titled, Being Held in Deep Grief and Unbearable Beauty. The painting illustrates the heartbreak of living with an uncertain future of not knowing whether we are headed into the Great Unraveling or the Great Turning, and the exquisite experience of falling in love again and again with what the Earth brings us, especially in the autumn season.

There is a feeling of melancholy sadness that comes with autumn. Things die off and drift away as the Earth prepares Herself for winter. Along with that, there is the splendor of witnessing the beauty of transformation as leaves turn and let go, and seed pods dance through the garden on their long dry stems. For me, it's both sad and joyous.
Part of the joy I feel this time of year is that October is my favorite month. Autumn rains bring mushrooms back to Pacific Northwest forests, and there are few things I love more than foraging for chanterelles. And when the leaves on the big maple tree in my front yard turn unimaginable shades of sunshine and fire, I walk through a sea of red, orange and gold every day. I don't rake the leaves. I let them lay like a royal carpet over my walkway.

October is also my birthday month, and this year I will turn 70. Wow. I am officially a Crone, and I have to say, I really like it. Now I know what my mother meant when she said, "Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder: Who is that old lady? I still feel so young inside." True that, Mom!
Playing with Poetry
Lately, I have been playing with poetry as a way of expression. Why not, right? Poetry isn't reserved only for professional poets. We amateurs can enjoy writing poetry as a form of art, too. So, here are my poems. Maybe reading these will inspire you to play with poetry in your next journal entry.

My first poem is a Haiku poem. A Haiku poem usually focuses on nature and is written in a specific format of 5 - 7 - 5. First line, 5 syllables; Second line, 7 syllables. Third line, 5 syllables.
Haiku Poem for Autumn

Nature sighs deeply,
Exhaling her sweet slow breath.
Summer, where are you?
I recently learned about acrostic poetry. An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letters of each line are used to spell out a word or phrase. Acrostics are common in medieval literature, where they usually serve to highlight the name of the poet or his patron, or to make a prayer to a saint. So, just for fun, I wrote this little acrostic poem in honor of the autumn season. I like the idea of writing a poem as an act of prayer.
Acrostic Poem for Autumn

Aromatic perfume of pumpkin spice fills the air
Unraveling of summer’s bounty scatters in the fields  
Trees let go and release their showers of red and gold
Unique evening light graces the garden with golden rays
Mushrooms spread a delicate musty scent over the forest floor
Nature calms down, turning inward toward her quiet winter rest
Art and SoulCollage® Offerings
SoulCollage® Gathering*
Climate Crisis as Spiritual Practice with Joanna Macy's Video

Two Sundays in December 5 & 12, 2021 from 3:00 to 5:30 pm
Zoom Gathering at GG’s Virtual Down to Earth Studio
No fee for this workshop; it is my love offering.

"The greatest gift we can give our world is our full presence, and our choice moment by moment to stay present and open." -- Joanna Macy

Join me in honoring the wisdom of Joanna Macy. In this two-part series we will take in Joanna's wisdom from the 20-minute video titled, Climate Crisis as Spiritual Path. (Video link here)

We will come together in two sessions. In each session we will watch 10 minutes of the video, share our responses to Joanna's words, then use the visual imagery of SoulCollage®. to illustrate our feelings and emotions. Our cards will be our prayer offerings.

Email GG to Register for the Climate Crisis as Spiritual Practice SoulCollage® gathering.
Accordion Nature Shrines

Friday, October 29, 2021 at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
In-Person at Currents Gallery, McMinnville, Oregon
(with Covid protocols as required by OHA)

Workshop fee: $85.00, Materials fee to instructor: $25.00

Come and create an homage to nature. In this workshop we will use collage, paint and assemblage to create personal shrines of hope and healing. Shrines are a beautiful way of showing what’s in our hearts, what we love and appreciate. Students will create a 4-piece standing shine, adding paper, paint, stenciling, personal writings, ephemera, natural elements from nature, beads, etc. A small supply list will be provided at registration, but GG brings most of the required supplies.
Register for Accordion Nature Shrines with Currents Gallery here.

Rendezvous With the Muse - Journeying With SoulCollage®
Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
In-Person at The Art Department Supply Store, Salem, Oregon (with Covid protocols as required by OHA)

Workshop fee: $55.00

How is your relationship with The Muse? Are you keeping your date with Her?

The ultimate call of the Muse is to live a creative and authentic life that fires up the Soul. Come and fire up your soulful Muse with SoulCollage®. No previous art experience required. You will create a collage that has deep personal meaning.

Following the simple directions, your hands move cut-out images around, fitting them together in surprising ways on whatever size background you choose. Artwork containing the images you select—or the images that select you—come straight through the Soul, bypassing the mind. Then, you will "read" your artwork and learn what your soulful Muse wants to tell you.

GG will guide you in this creative, intuitive process that can deepen the connection to your creativity. A great way to break through creative doldrums and find your way to free expression! Register for Rendezvous with the Muse with The Art Department here.

Eco-Dyeing and Journal/Card Making
Friday and Saturday, November 19-20, 2021, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
In-Person at GG's Down to Earth Studio in Salem, Oregon (with Covid protocols as required by OHA)

Workshop fee: $195.00 ( see list below for all that this fee includes). Payments can be made in 4 installments of $49.00 each.

Come and explore the serendipitous world of eco-dyeing. Eco-dyeing is a technique for printing on fabric or paper with the natural dye color present in leaves, flowers and other plant materials. It's a totally serendipitous process because you never quite know what you'll get. The fun is in the reveal.

Day One: We will spend the day experimenting with eco-dyeing on paper and silk.*
Day Two: We will make journals and greeting cards from our prints.

*The workshop fee includes 8 sheets of approx. 9" x 12" high-quality printing paper, one silk scarf, 4 greeting cards, and 2 journal-making kits per participant. Additional materials will be available for purchase. Email GG to register for the Eco-Dyeing workshop here.
What Makes the Leaves Turn Color in Autumn?

Here is a little science lesson : )
In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process.

The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.

From my creative heart to yours,