First I journeyed to Sitka for the last of my summer classes: Wild Yoga, Wild Art, Wild Autumn. An amazing class led by Andie Thrams, whose nature-based art is amazing.
The morning began with a meditative walk to a clear spot under the sweeping Sitka spruce trees guarded by an ebony figure.
Cushioned with needles, fragrant with the musty odor of forest floor, we spread our mats and began. As we relaxed, the sea breeze caressed our faces and the trees sang and swayed with the wind. And the song of chickadees filled the branches above us, while in the distance, a flicker called.
Once we completed our yoga session, we retired to tables under the pines to begin our art.
We worked on 140 lb. paper and used sticks found on the ground to draw loose sketches of the trees around us with permanent black ink. We then colored the paper with additional ink and tempura like paint and added details with fine black markers. Details and colors were added with pastel pencils. We worked primarily on a long strip of paper, too big to scan into my computer, but my finished project was a tall sitka spruce, from top to roots and for texture I journaled words that captured the moments I worked on my piece and connected with that ancient tree. I sway with the music of the earth, cloaked in grey velvet fog and crowned by the deep blue sky. My toes dig deep into the soil and listen to the tales of this land in which I have long been anchored. My branches are caressed by the ocean's breath and tickled by feathered ornaments that call me home. I stand strong against the winter storms, and yet...sometimes I yearn to fly.
The day ended too soon and it was time to head home and ready myself for Art and Soul. (Stay tuned for the next post on Art and Soul!)