I was listening to a poetry podcast recently and the hosts ended with an “outro,” an ending version of an intro. Borrowing from the poets’ inspiration, I will end here with an “outroduction.”
I live in Alexandria, Virginia with my husband, Chad, our sons, Ryan and Kevin and our two dogs, Java and Kona. During the writing of this newsletter, my oldest and I took two overnight trips, visiting 4 cities so he could set foot on some college campuses. The photo above is from our visit to Cleveland and is in front of a sculpture by Robert Motherwell. One of my favorite things about Cleveland was the public art.
Academically, I studied studio art, education and art therapy. In the past ten years, my vision of my role has shifted from art teacher or art therapist to teaching artist and facilitator of therapeutic art. In naming my role, it is important to have art and artist be the nouns rather than descriptive terms. I find my own creative practice is central to my being in the world, my relationships and the work I do. For me, the opportunity for connection and transformation comes through engagement with materials, ideas, and other creators.
When I first began learning about practices like mindfulness, I felt they were describing the spaciousness I experience internally when making things with my hands. Reading about spiritual practices such as meditation and centering prayer strongly influences my creativity. When I shift from worry over what I will create to a focus on process and showing up, I find I create more and enjoy my work more. I feel more connected to other people when I think in terms of practice; there is more room for connection and less for comparison.
Nature is central to my practice and self-care; it is my favorite place to find sanctuary. I visit a favorite tree behind my house daily and enjoy observing it as the seasons and weather change. Huntley Meadows Park is also a favorite spot for visits and creative inspiration.
Thank you again for your time, attention, and space in your inbox. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences of creative practice. Sharing enriches my writing and my work.
With a grateful heart,