Sunday, April 1, 2012

Foggy Mornings & a Studio Full of Blessings


Its seems that summer tried to steal March as one of its months, but winter bit back 
with wind and fog and freezing temperatures and the poor blossoms that had 
begun to peek out were reminded that they really should stay bundled up unitl 
sometime in April. With the strange see-saw in temperatures came many mornings 
draped in gray fog and a mysterious, filtered light. I haven't minded much, as the 
fog invited me to see the landscape with new eyes. It looked as if the branching tree 
patterns were drawn with ink on paper washed with gray. 


Such beautiful blue-gray fields of color and delicate, reaching lines. 






The melt brought with it the challenge of navigating a dirt road in spring. Some
days the quarter of a mile from pavement to my house was quite a ride!


Cozy in the studio one day, I loved the contrast of inside and out. 


Not all days have been gray, and the moisture invited the mosses to sing 
their glowing songs. This stump keeps calling me back to photograph it. 
I'm enjoying seeing the mosses grow here and there across the rings -
like a small, mossy labyrinth for the insects.  


There hasn't been much time for painting the last two weeks, but my creativity was 
put to use in other ways. I am working on the new web site for the studio - it is still 
under construction, but you can have a peek at www.ravenwoodforestarts.com to read 
a bit about what will go on here in the future, and to get a taste of some of my other 
endeavors. Just a few pages are complete, and I think there will be some changes in 
the color somewhere to bring in more mossy greens. 



The first retreat happened in the studio last weekend, a Young Women's Retreat. 
I had the opportunity to work in a deeper way with women I teach at the university. 
It was a day of shedding, dreaming, sitting with the land and speaking intentions for 
the growng season. I was so grateful to be able to begin the work in this studio with 
this particular group of young women. They were open, willing, vulnerable, authentic 
and craving connection to each other and the more-than-human world. I was moved. 



A small group of close friends came yesterday for a blessing ritual in the new studio. 
These friends have witnessed and supported me over the past few years in countless 
ways. I called the circle to speak my gratitude for the many ways they have shown 
up for me. Both of these gatherings have filled the studio with drums and many 
singing voices, with the sharing of dreams and the speaking of gratitude. The studio
is now like a bulging cauldron filled with blessings and many seed-dreams for the 
growing season - and so is my heart. 


58 comments:

Tammie Lee said...

your lovely gray photos are dreamy and some how feel in sync to me with your spiral art... not sure why.

how wonderful that you have had groups in your studio already, that is wonderful.

i understand your dirt road, i have 3 miles of that...
lovely week to you ~

Nancy said...

Thank you for sharing the beauty that is your home and the magical feelings & experiences that grow there.
Congrats on your 'thus far' website...it looks great.

Penny said...

I wish I was closer, I would love to be part of something like this, but perhaps I am too old and set in my ways!

Lady Demelza said...

Stunning pictures. Your world is a beautiful place.

Barry said...

VA- what wonderful energy those women have brought and embed your studio with - so goo to have that positive flow there surrounding you. And what beauty in the mystery of the fog and leafless trees. Go well. B

illustration poetry said...

enchanting, i love looking at your sky!

A mermaid in the attic said...

Wonderful, Valerianna! All my best for wonderful gatherings and magic made in your new studio space. And if I ever make it to the US, I'll come visit!

Kimberly Wachtel said...

Many Blessings! So happy to have been in your magical space with you last Sat.!

Mo Crow said...

thank you for sharing your beautiful space

susan christensen said...

Your generosity in sharing your studio space is such an inspiration to me, V. April blessings to you. -sus

Mara said...

Beautiful photographs, I love the fog, the mist. Here in Seattle the moss is in abundance, the colors and textures are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

henrietta (aka ani aka zani) said...

oh, to have been a door mouse that could and sneaked in and joined the circle. how blissful she would have been. cheers to the glow that grows within.

Valerianna said...

Wow, 3 miles of dirt must make spring thaw an travel event!

Valerianna said...

Thanks for the feedback on the web site so far... gotta get back and finish the rest AFTER I get taxes done. (I;d rather be websiting...)

Valerianna said...

OH no, you'd be most welcome, since there is a desire in you, I can't imagine you'd be too set you your ways. I bet there are similar things happening around closer to you.... I'm sure of it.

Valerianna said...

Thank you!

Valerianna said...

It was a really great way to initiate the space with the young women, really a blessing.

Valerianna said...

Me too, that incredible gray shroud.

Valerianna said...

Someday in autumn, I know there's a cup of tea and a walk in the forest we will share... and who knows, but I might make it to Oz.

Valerianna said...

Thanks again for being there, Kim.

Valerianna said...

you are quite welcome... and I now always imagine you in that really cool dyed and re-configured shirt and sweater outfit you posted about the other day. Loved that!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Sus, it was what it was built for!

Valerianna said...

Hi Mara - I'm a bit obsessed with fog and mists. If I'm not photographing it, I'm trying to paint it.. yup, obsessed.

Valerianna said...

Thank, Henrietta- I'll keep a lookout for the doormouse, and grab your from Pasha should he catch you sneaking into the circle. You'd be welcome to join without all that energy that goes into shapeshifting!

Sandra Dunn said...

oh, i look forward to your posts - always a treat! the grey outside didn't enter your warm glowing studio,,, :) but shades of gray are lovely too - love the vertical tree lines.

blessings to your studio - bless the work of your hands and heart, Valerianna.

happy april!

Donna~Q~ said...

Mists and moss ~ how glorious! Always a pleasure to see your photos!

Many kudos for creating that sacred space! It is clearly a place of dreams. The website is shaping up nicely ~ I think it very much embodies the feeling I get about RavenWood.

Joanne said...

You always capture a special light in your photos. Misty magical forests are wonderful.
The workshop looks a great success and what a beautiful space for a retreat.
All the very best, Valerianna with you new projects.

Spring Blessings and love to Pasha cat,
Jo and Ziggy, xx

acornmoon said...

Congratulations on your new website. It looks like you have a very special place.

gz said...

Good to see the studio coming to life!
The weather is playing "yo-yo" here too.

Valerianna said...

Thanks for the blessing, Sandra, one more to add to the blessing pot in the studio!

Valerianna said...

Thanks for the feedback on the web site, Donna, helpful to know that it "feels" rigth to you.

Valerianna said...

Thanks Jo, and I have to agree about the misty forests.... !

Hope Ziggy is getting lots of good walks in with you this spring.

Valerianna said...

Valerie - thanks, if I could only find the time to FINISH the web site, that would be good!!

Valerianna said...

Whacky wealther in Wales, too... seems like everyone is complaining that things are just not right.

Lynn said...

Absolutely wonderful, Valerianna.
You are creating magic in your studio.

Cottage Garden said...

I am so pleased for you Valeriana, with the studio and your plans coming to fruition. The blessing must have been so emotional for you.

We have had the maddest weather here in the UK too. Last week it was 24 degrees up in Aberdeen - today - snow and ice.

I fear that we may possibly have had a little bit of our summer in March!

Off to look at your new website now ...

Jeanne
x

Swan Artworks said...

Spectral and very beautiful, I love the quietness of trees ghosting through fog, watchful presences in the hush.
Your studio is looking so inviting, I'm glad its become such a fulfilling space for both you and your students, I hope it continues to grow and nurture you all!
Carrie... :)

Stille Linde said...

My heart is Happy to see so many beautiful souls with you and Pasha :-)
And on these foggy gray delicate days, your wonderful world is woven with your hair. You can feel it :-) Blessings

Creative Living + Wabi Sabi Style said...

What a wonderful place you have. And the studio seems to work well for teaching and talking. When you describe the weather, it's like you described ours! One day summer temperatures, the next winter is back... Popped over to your website and it looks just great. Good luck with everything. Cheers, Lisbeth

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Lynn!

Valerianna said...

Yikes, that sounds like even whackier weather than here!

Valerianna said...

"the quietness of trees ghosting through fog, watchful presences in the hush." LOVE THAT!

Valerianna said...

HA! Yes, I have hair the color of fog....

Valerianna said...

Goodness, it seems that climate change is really hitting us hard.
Thanks for the feedback on the new web site, I need to keep plugging away at it.

jude said...

lucky you, lucky them.

Valerianna said...

Yes, win-win!

mairedodd said...

how wonderful that the studio has been filled with these things, with these people... to work with young women is profound - the impact it can make upon their lives is boundless... they are so lucky to have you...
we have had loads of fog too - i suspect here it has to do with the cold ocean temps (still seasonable) meeting the warm air temps (which were unseasonable)... it is beautiful though...

Roselie said...

Beautiful photographs!The contrast with the house is gorgeous.I wish I was in a retreat too, I 'd have a lot to learn...

joe said...

perhaps it is the celtic blood coursing through my veins...but i absolutely love the misty photos and your workshop gathering! i could almost hear the uilleann pipes droning in the background...

Valerianna said...

Maire - yes, it has been so wonderful to have the blessing of the young women's retreat, then the blessing circle, and yesterday my Myth & Symbol class. I'm a bit tired today, though.. so a slow day and today no fog!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Roselie. Maybe its not so much that you'd had a lot to learn, but a lot to UNlearn or unwind in order to retreat and renew!

Valerianna said...

Well Joe, truth be told, I sometimes hear the pipes droning somewhere off at the edge of my hearing... especially on those misty, fog filled days.

Brooke said...

a blessing ritual in the new studio. what a lovely idea. I'm just about to move and the new place will have a studio out back for me ~ I think a blessing ritual will be a fitting way to start using that space! :)

Valerianna said...

Absolutely, and I;ll send the first one - May your new studio bring you much joy and inspiraiont and may your work flourish. May you polinate the world with beauty and may your gift of beauty come back to you with abundance.

Ruthie Redden said...

I love the fog images, and the tracery of branches in winter silhouetted there. oh wow that ride through the thaw looks so dangerous! Your first retreat sounds wonderful, how very rewarding it must be, yay you have your new studio all up and running, congratulations I am sure much loveliness will take place there. I love the website too, it makes me wish I had wings to fly on over, – the Women’s mysteries page especially appeals.
Oh and yep Poppy is quite often "wired" , she has her mad half hours & goes flying about with ears flopping in the wind. x x

Valerianna said...

I'm chasing you around my blog! What a funny thing... Anyway, love the description of Poppy in her "wired" state! And feeling very blessed with the new studio, hope it continues to grow and bring in people. Thanks for the feedback on the web site... still have work to do, but almost there!

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

Hello Valerianna. I followed you here from Jodi le Bigre's site. What a beautiful studio space you've created in your woodland glade. Magnificent. If ever you find yourself working on that maquette project you don't have time to pursue right now, then please tell me about it. Who knows but there may be another maquette project at the Artlog one day, and it would be lovely if you felt able to join in. Come be a Maquetteer!

Very Best
C

Valerianna said...

Hi Clive - oh how nice to find you here, visiting my studio on a foggy morning! Yes, I will surely give the maquette a go - when the old free time shows up - and I'll let you know! But I don't think I could come anywhere close to Jodi's, that was extraordinary!!