Inspired Journeys

“Inspired Journeys’ a travelling art show.  I am thrilled to be exhibiting not only some of my favourite paintings from foreign lands but also the landscape of dreams. Dreams often the source for inspired action, curious happenings and sometimes insightful messages. This Fall we will be traveling to Kelowna, Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Edmonton, Vancouver, Parksville  and Victoria. We look forward to seeing you!

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Jill at Stonehendge

Inspired Journey’s at Stonehenge, one of my sweetest experiences was having a picnic on the mammoth stones of Stonehenge in the early 70’s

Inspired means in spirit. In Latin “spiritus” means “breath”, it is the energy that permeates everything. Imagine aligning with our spirit our true self daily. My Journey’s recorded in my paintings are not only from foreign lands, but also the landscape of dreams.

 Being in spirit a place of surrender is made easy with music. From indigenous drum or flute, chanting, classical piano or violin and voice, Loreena McKinnett with her haunting Celtic sound brings me to an ancestral ancient alignment. I have also begun a practice of ritual that helps hold me in spirit. An altar is a place where daily I linger to say a prayer, It is a simple place where I have laid out a few treasures that have a positive meaning. Flowers, a bell to ring to bring me to awareness and stones that have a healing energy something to touch, a photo of an inspirational person. While I linger at my altar I feel and say my gratitude to spirit for bringing me to this place. In my life searching for who I am (that seems to have taken all my life so far) I create this oasis of calm to help open to my truth my spirit. The paintings that have been created by my brush, paints and hand, are me, yet something beyond me. I stand back often in awe that these delicious colours in combinations of line, smudge and texture can have a feeling that often makes me want to sing! It is beyond me and I am so grateful!
As our troubled world is unfolding I am called daily to the power of being in spirit.

Dreaming a world that is kinder and more loved. Abundance of food, education, and safe dwellings for everyone. I see our beautiful home, mother earth, honoured and acknowledged by everyone as a living breathing being. I see animals that we share our earth home with be respected. I vision the connection and life that our earth provides each of us with nourishment from birth to death.

Spirit in action, a magical true story
This past Spring we had a massive caterpillar invasion on Salt Spring Island. I could almost hear the sucking as these hungry insects devoured the tiny leaves that were coming into bud after the spectacular display of Spring fruit blooms. I watched fascinated yet sad as all the new leaf buds disappeared from our majestic 75 years old apple! Cherry trees also were wrapped in a web of caterpillar cocoon, as the munching carried on for weeks. Slowly the infestation satiated leaving many barren fruit trees, roses, and cane fruit. The unaffected trees leafed and proclaimed Spring. Then, into the Summer I began to notice a very curious event. All, of the affected trees and plants without exception, began to sprout leaves, as much as 6 weeks after the normal leaf bud would show. Jubilant I sang praises to the nature fairies who magically encouraged life back into the deadened branches. The power of nature is awesome! What faith, what surrender, what spirit!
Journaling
I have been reflective over the last while. Indulging in an afternoon of reading some of my past journals. In September 2007 I wrote ” So much of what I have done in the past 17 years since moving to Salt Spring Island has been wrapped in exploring my inner being. My exploring and sustained interest has been delving into mind and thoughts and being contemplative. Really all of this is what really matters. When I look back over the years and realize all that I have accomplished in the business of art, family and living, it is the unfolding of my spirit, soul thoughts that have deepened and sustained me. These things are my roots that grow so deep. This is what I have been born with. It has truly been a journey of awakening. Not of leaning, but of just waking up! What I know for sure… this unfolding of spirit has been a coming home. I know this from my depths.” Written five years ago and these words still resonate my truth.
….Hillel the Elder said  “If I am not for myself who will be for me? And If I am only for myself what am I? And if not now, when?”
With “Inspired Journey’s” art tour in full production around our home I have been taking this time to mull over the past 20 years of painting my impressions.

Wind Horse Prayers to Potala

My dairies have been a wellspring of nostalgic memories. Travel to Tibet, a land I had dreamed of since earliest

jill at the Jokhang Monastery

Jill at the Jokhang Monastery

recollection, culminated in a collection of works cradled in Buddhist philosophy. Many years earlier I had the good fortune of “Taking Refuge” with a Tulku, the reincarnation of Kalu Rinpoche, the Master holder of the Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. To this day I view my Tibet Collection as sacred, as each paint stroke touched my canvas I said my chants, like mantras on a mala.

My India travel gifted me a collection that called to paint people. Unsure of where to begin to express my huge soul felt experiences I rested in a very quiet place and the first painting that came was “Graceful Service”. This timeless figure glides with deep grace and acceptance, a love for her culture, and family.

The France Pilgrimage Collection came as a result of walking a 1000 year old trail in a remote part France. The bitter sweetness was my accomplishment of only 150 km of the nearly

1200 km that I had set out to walk, in itself this became the journey. Self confined to a tiny room in a family owned hotel in the seaside town of Old Biarriatz.

Nursing my injured knee

I nursed, raged and cried my frustration of pain and regret for not recovering from a torn meniscus to my left knee. This exile from the “walk” became my “Camino” I share some of my drawings. Some day I will reveal the story I wrote of the hilarious goings on, the exceptional characters of these proud Basque people.  Languedoc Village, Conques and Grandee Randonnee some of the paintings from that collection reveal a fairytale countryside. The physical pain I experienced served to heightened my gratitude for this sweet lost in time land I had the privilege of walking.

As I reminisce over the paintings birthed it is with such thankfulness for the experiences I had. My love for this flowing goodness, that, when I just get out of my own way….. takes over. The power of surrender, that often happens with great pain, or fear… I have found can also just happen with meditation, and, with the beat of a drum. Truly I have been blessed with inspired journey’s.
“Anything can be achieved in deliberate small steps. But there are times you need courage to take the big leap. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” David Lloyd George
In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love
How fully did you live
How deeply did you let go
love and inspired journeys to you
Jill
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