“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” -André Gide
Coming Home to Yourself
As we move towards the autumn equinox, when the light and darkness come to rest together momentarily in equal measure, I have returned home. After many months of travel, I sit in my studio and watch the leaves slowly begin to turn—scarlet, ochre and a quiet forest green.
I walk quietly into myself
it is peaceful here
small round apples call to the birds
in their impossible red
new paintings rest on my easel, poised and ready
a lone sunflower
sits on the window sill
in the brilliant blue vase
it has come home to itself
celebrating its moment of bloom
its precious place in the great order of things.
– Excerpt from the poem “And Now…” by Lisa Kagan
I know it has been quite a while since I have been in touch. After finishing up a few big client projects this winter and navigating some transitions in my personal life, I decided to take a “sabbatical” of sorts over the last few months and pursue my own creative writing and visual art projects. Our family also went traveling together before our son entered kindergarten this fall.
My journey led me to many incredible spots both near and far. This past spring, I had the opportunity to participate in a week long painting retreat, “The Painting Experience,” at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. I also took a spring painting and drawing course at the Oregon College of Art and Craft here in Portland focused on Myth and Personal Symbolism. Over the summer I traveled to Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast where I took a painting workshop entitled “Water Stories.” We explored new mixed media approaches to visual art-making inspired by the beauty of the Cascade Head Nature Preserve. Over the last year I also participated in a weekly writing group with Portland Women Writers, as I delved deeper into writing my own personal stories and poems. It has been very rewarding being “a student” again, having the chance to hone my craft and some space to develop a new body of art and writing in the company of other artists.
I have returned with new creative tools, insights and experience to enrich and expand my offerings to my Family Heirloom Arts clients and students.
Over the last few weeks, Family Heirloom Arts has begun taking on new client projects and we are very excited about these collaborations. We will begin offering public workshops and retreats again starting in January of 2019. I will keep you posted once enrollment opens for these upcoming programs. In addition, though our public workshops won’t start up until the winter, I am available this fall to do one-on-one coaching sessions as well as to arrange private small group classes upon request.
Fall is a wonderful time for creative self-reflection and to delve into new projects. I invite you to take a few moments and explore the writing prompts below.
SEPTEMBER WRITING PROMPT:
• Begin a poem, a journal entry or a short story with the prompt; “And now…”
• Explore what it means to “come home” to yourself as we enter into the fall season.
Ready to begin your own life story project…
Contact Family Heirloom Arts to set-up a free initial consultation so you can learn more about how we can help you write and illustrate your own heirloom book for your family.
“I realize I can do a project, big or small. Thank you for the wonderful ideas to get my story started, our consultation inspired me to jump in and begin the process!”
– Jill, Family Heirloom Arts Client