I’m almost ready to wrap up this month long celebration of Arts & Health month. The month has flown by with so much more that I want to share here – which has led me to realize more fully that this little Art Heals theme wasn’t just for November – it’s just been re-born here at the blog this November. Expect to see much more along the way. Yet, for today I just have to share TWO amazing guests with you – both artists full of spunk, devotion and creative fire: Laurie Ritchie and Deborah Milton!
photo by Laurie Ritchie
by Laurie Ritchie
I bought a gaudy ring the other day at an art fair. Way larger than I’d normally choose, adorned with two large greyish crystals, a pewter butterfly perched on the edge. I took a picture with my iPhone in a giggle, it was so unlike me. Upon looking at that picture later, I was surprised by the deep wrinkles that have set in around my knuckles, my skin dry like parchment paper. And though surprising, thinking surely this happened overnight!, I wasn’t entirely displeased and found this curious. I can admit to fretting in the mirror over the smiles lines gathering around my shining eyes, the lids tending to droop now as I near 50. But my hands, this doesn’t bother me as much. In my hands, I see my experiential nature, my love of reaching out to you, my love of creating. I have diapered my babies bottoms, held their hand through the years and also shoved them out the door. I’ve tenderly held my husband with these hands, massaged the long days of work from his shoulders, and pushed him away in times of struggle. I’ve written, painted, cut and pasted with these hands, pulling meaning and understanding from my creations and crafted the joyous life I now live. I love that they show the topography of time. How fitting that this ring makes them stand out as a shining metaphor to my life. ~ 11/20/13
And Deborah Milton…
photo by Deborah Milton
“Since all of our world is related, one thing to another, then nourishing relationships is the most godly act, the most blessed act, the most reverent thing I can do….”
Deborah paints and connects regularly with nature as part of her personal practice of creativity and prayer. The excerpt and photo above is from a post where she shares some discoveries made when she only had enough time to pick up her camera and take a short walk on a beach in Washington.
Laurie’s background in Occupational Therapy, Stephen Ministry, Expressive Art facilitation, and Motherhood have combined to create her dream of Whole Art Connections. Her groupwork in Whole Arts is an experiential layering of movement, visual arts and writing to facilitate women into reconnecting to a whole heart.
Deborah Milton:: “Born” at the age of 40 when I moved from Pennsylvania to Montana, the western wild ripped me open to the juicy, risk-taking adventurer buried beneath my intellect and conformity. In Missoula, I served as a psychotherapist for a decade before taking my own advice to “follow my belly’s wisdom.” Spending two months in solitude, I reclaimed my childhood dream of being an artist, and soon thereafter established my own creativity center contiguous with wild lands. Ecstatic Wisdom Postures found me in 1993. I find that spiritual practice endlessly awe-inspiring and the compass for my journey. Just recently, Jane Cunningham and I began Praying True, an online global community devoted to living reverently and creating compassion.
* This post is part of a daily celebration of Arts & Health month right here at Hali Karla Arts. Be sure to stop back for inspiration, giveaways, guest posts, more fun info about art & healing, and special announcements and offers. Or you can sign up for my mailing list, for occasional updates and exclusive offers.