My childhood was spent living on a beautiful farm in the Uwharrie Mountain region of North Carolina which produced my unique imagination providing magical opportunities to create art using nature. I remember collecting rocks in mountain streams, saving magical feathers, flowers and leaves found on adventures and, using sticks to draw in dirt. My dream of studying visual ARTS was not possible until later in life when my youngest son entered school. At that time, I became a nontraditional student enrolling in a private fine arts college through a unique weekend program earning a BFA (visual and graphic design).
Sharing my passion for art with middle school students in a traditional school setting provided time for me during summer breaks to focus on my own art making. My photography, paintings and welded metal sculpture creations were shared with students and community in yearly studio tours associated with a local artists guild. Found objects (old relics from the past on our farm) were utilized to create and weld numerous metal sculptures placing in my spiritual garden. I LOVED the way their whimsical forms competed with nature’s organic lines. Due to an injury occurring at middle school and after several surgeries, its been impossible for me to continue welding sculptures which really makes me sad!
My passion for traveling encouraged me to broaden the horizons of my students planning numerous ALL day field trip opportunities… touring Art Museums, History Museums, Science Museums, Nature Museums, walking nature studies and, meeting local artists in their own working studios. My principal would often comment that my unique teaching style was always “outside of the box”. I was the teacher who brought animals to school (baby puppies, or goats) arranging a circle area in middle of classroom for animals. All students would sit outside this area able to view the animals while working on gesture drawings. During the day, it seemed like the entire school (students and teachers) would stop by to see what was happening in my classroom! I’ll never forget that morning we had a practice fire drill when (baby goats were visiting our class) the first student leaving class holding one goat… last student holding the other. The entire school quietly lined up outside with their teachers and our baby goats caused such a scene (baa…baa) AWESOME funny memory!
I consider myself a spiritual landscape artist using plants, trees, rocks and water elements in my garden. My spiritual garden is ALWAYS evolving because…
I’m constantly planting new flowers, shrubs, trees, or adding more rocks and water elements each year. I believe (SHARING IS CARING) … sharing my garden and our farm with the community… weddings, organized garden tours, tea parties, painting workshops, school field trips, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for camping trips, cross over ceremonies and Eagle Scout ceremonies. My garden and view of our beautiful small lake continues to soothe my soul during every seasonal change with its magical scents, sights, textures and sounds!
Since retiring from public school system I’ve committed to working as a full-time artist/teacher/facilitator using expressive arts and the intuitive painting process offering women the opportunity to experience being in a wonderful, compassionate, creative circle. I believe a creative life is a HAPPY life and that creativity is therapeutic to women in whatever form it takes… whether “it’s colors we choose when process painting
with no worries about the end product, the feel of clay in our hands, colors we use when we knit or sew, planting flowers, vegetables or trees in gardens, ingredients we use when cooking, meaning of our written words, or the dance movements of our body as music moves through our soul.”
My passion about Expressive Arts inspired me to open Soulful heART Studio in Rolesville, North Carolina. I invite ALL women who are interested in creating a sacred sisterhood to participant in one of my Expressive Arts classes, workshops or retreats using nature, meditation, movement, music, storytelling, journal reflections and the intuitive painting process. My studio provides women the opportunity to slow down… disconnect from stress and tap into their portal of creativity and imagination.
My summer lake retreats are located at Lake Gaston, Virginia… is limited to three participants and provides opportunities for everyone to rest, relax, and create in a beautiful, tranquil lake atmosphere.
My journey through life has not always been smooth sailing. In fact life has thrown obstacles in my path such as the death of beloved individuals, including two of my precious children and younger brother by suicide. I was devastated, and my outlook on life FOREVER changed! I’ve read that… “authentic life starts at the time of death – not our own death, but someone else’s”! So, I began an intense search for answers about (what happens to us after death). I read books and joined online support
groups for parents whose children died… we ALL belonged to a club none of us wanted to be members of! I was extremely fortunate to find compassionate people from all over the world who understood what I was feeling; who offered love, support and encouragement throughout my grief journey. But, most importantly, during this time… I found that EXPRESSIVE ARTS especially the INTUITIVE PAINTING process played a HUGE role in healing my heart. I believe the practice of intuitive process painting can over time help people discover the path to JOY, LOVE, RELAXATION; can HEAL hearts and ultimately TRANSFORM lives!
I’ve proven over time that I’m a strong survivor who believes that tragedy in life doesn’t define me… IT has however, EMPOWERED me to find my authentic voice encouraging me to speak my truth!
I’m really busy right now shining my light in the world as a compassionate teacher/facilitator who believes that ONE PERSON can indeed make a difference in the world. I’m extremely passionate about teaching women how to let go of their inner critic; to “BE HERE NOW” and, to ALWAYS be looking for magical adventures in this journey called LIFE!
- BFA – Barton College (magna cum laude)
- Certified K-12 Visual Arts
- Retired: Art Teacher
- Post Graduate – Museum Field Studies
- Paris, France – Portugal
- Venice, Florence, Rome – Italy
- England, Wales, Scotland, Belgium and Germany
- Mentoring with artists: Chris Zydel, Ardith Goodwin
- Certified – Master Facilitator of Expressive Arts & Intuitive Painting from Chris Zydel Teacher Training Program
More About Me…
UPCOMING 2019 TRAINING:
- June 10-16 (Mulranny Studio Ireland)
Travel, Gather, Create Retreat with Ardith Goodwin
- YEARLONG CLASS (on-line study)
Push Past Ordinary Painting Class with Ardith Goodwin
- October 4 – 7 (Donna Downey Studio)
Abstract Painting Workshop with Ardith Goodwin (Charlotte, NC)
- September 8 – 12 (Donna Downey Studio)
Portrait Study Workshop with Ardith Goodwin (Charlotte/Rolesville)
- June 8 – July 10 (Pink Buddha Studio)
Painting and Adventures (Portugal)
- June 1 – June 7
Independent Art History Study (Paris, France)
- February 9-20 (Mountain Home Ranch)
Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program Graduation (California)
- November 6-13 (Mountain Home Ranch)
Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program (California)
- November 1-6
Paint Your Inner Dolphin Expressive Arts Retreat (Hawaii)
- October 19-23
REME Art Retreat with Jodi Ohl (North Carolina)
- September 24th
Soulful heART Expressive Arts Retreat (North Carolina)
- May 6-15, August 5-14 (Mountain Home Ranch)
Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program (California)
- February 9-14
Impact Painting Workshop with Ardith Goodwin (Alabama)
- January – December (second Friday of each month)
Art After Hours @ The Artists’ Loft & Gallery (North Carolina)
- December 5th
Demo… Intuitive Painting Process at Artists’ Loft & Gallery (North Carolina)
- October 15-17
Pamlico Fine Arts Show Turnage Art Gallery (Washington, NC)
- September 19-20
Demo… Intuitive Painting Process
20th Annual Wake Forest Artist Guild Studio Tour (North Carolina)
- August 12-23
Abstract Art Retreat with Jeanne Bessette (British Columbia, Canada)
- March 15 – April 22
Intuitive online Painting class with Chris Zydel (www.creativejuicesarts.com)
- Wake Forest Artist Guild
- North Carolina Art Museum sponsor
- Creative Arts Society
- National Art Educators
- Soulful heART Studio & Gallery on the Young Farm, Rolesville, NC
- Little House Museum & Gallery Main Street, Rolesville, NC
- SuzAnna’s Antiques Soulful heART Gallery at East Young Street, Rolesville, NC