Every Line is Beautiful: The Art of Tabitha Lahr

“I am always drawn to the lines in everything I see," she says, "the beauty of the planes and intersections, the movement that happens when a person, or something in nature, is perfectly still. The intense honesty of what makes up a living form, rather than an easier to please softness. My passion for cultural subjects—such as a song, a musician, a writer, or a performer—often evolves into a need to release my adulation in the form of painting with gouache.” Tabitha Lahr was born in Brooklyn, and raised in Queens, New York. She received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts, with a major in illustration. In 2004 she moved to San Francisco, where she still resides, and she contributes to various group shows throughout the Bay Area. I first met Tabitha in 2005 while we were both working at the same publishing house in the Bay Area; her work in illustration the perfect foundation for book design. She's smart...
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The Art of Letting Go: Laura Jane Walker’s Mixed Media Sculpture

Laura Jane Walker has a visionary approach to art. First, there is an event, something that negates control, like a spilled glass of milk. Freedom comes from the element of surprise, the lack of resistance to the event, the willingness to see what is present. Then, there are the nails, the structure imposed upon the creation, a symbol for that which cannot be changed or transmuted. Static elements, the nails are the guideposts of navigation. Between the event and the structure, thread creates a compositional element, a delicate weaving between fluidity and rigidity, understanding and the understood, what comes easily and what appears as "challenge." How do we navigate through life? What do we deem "good" or "bad"? How solidly do we rely upon structure?  What is required to be flexible with change? And what does it take to remain open in the face of challenge? Is it courage? Perseverance? Love? And what makes these experiences beautiful? Here's what Laura had to say: Many works...
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Navigating the Recalibration of the Divine Feminine

There are a lot of articles lately about the astrological transits and events taking place. I, too, write a lot about these individual events in my monthly newsletter, Fields of Dreams. But what we’re experiencing now is not just a consequence of individual planets moving across the night sky, but rather a larger shift that is permeating all aspects of vibration on the planet and within each of us. I see all of these incremental changes (noted by specific astrological events) as part of a larger recalibration that has been occurring for some years. We’ve seen political upheaval all over the world, we’ve seen hidden information exposed to the public, we’ve seen the failure of economic structures and the decline of governmental systems. On the individual level, we have been experiencing shifts and changes in small and large ways that are proving to be life-changing. It’s easy with all of these happenings to lose sight of what is really going on in...
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Writing Gives You Wings

You’ve seen the memes all over the Internet, I know. They tell you we’re a weird bunch. Weird, unstable, emotional, eccentric, crazy even. It’s a cultural cliché that in order to be a writer, you must be a bohemian, jobless, penniless, loner who, at times, indulges in a good-sized dose of narcissism balanced by self-deprecation. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? The thing is, that's not exactly what it's about. And those aren't necessarily the characteristics that make a writer a writer. The thing is: being a writer is hard. It’s really hard. Actually, it’s really, really, really hard. Not just because the craft of writing is challenging, but because of what is required for the craft to come to fruition. Not to mention the thick skin required to withstand frequent rejection. At the Tucson Festival of Books this year, I had the opportunity to hear Alice Hoffman speak during a Young Adult Fiction panel. Near the end of the session, a mother from the crowd stood...
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A Conversation with Sarah McLean: Musings on Meditation, Love, & the Power of Attention

On Saturday, October 25, I had the opportunity to chat with Sarah McLean about meditation, its importance, and its transformational abilities.  I first met Sarah at a monthly meeting of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers, a local professional writing group in Phoenix, at which Sarah was invited to speak. At the meeting, I learned about Sarah's personal journey and her expertise in meditation. Later, on a weekend trip to Sedona, I stopped for a Sunday afternoon meditation at the McLean Meditation Institute, where Sarah is the founder, and she was facilitating that day.  The thing I like the most about Sarah's approach is her down-to-earth savvy, easily digestible explanations, and the warmth with which she exudes her wisdom. During our conversation, we chatted about meditation techniques, the paradox of shrinking time, the ego and the monkey mind, and more.   You can also learn more about Sarah's work, the McLean Meditation Institute, and the programs and retreats offered by clicking here. Image used in...
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Tammy Schuetz: Photographer, Pianist, Visual Artist

Tammy Schuetz is a vocational coordinator for student with disabilities, in the Chicagoland area. She's also an artist, photographer, pianist, and composer.  With a body of work that ranges from photorealism to abstract, surrealism to post-modern, her work utilizes a vast expanse of mediums including: oil paints, water-soluble oils, gouache, oil pastels and sticks, graphite pencils, and other materials. She received her M.A. in Arts at Northern Illinois University, which culminated in a solo show of 15 similar pastel paintings that depicted both Midwestern and Southwestern landscapes framed in light-oak shadow boxes. Recently, Tammy has worked on Southwestern landscapes, and stadium paintings. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with her and chat about her body of work. When did you first begin working with visual art? What impetus in your life spurred this interest? "Three things influenced me between the ages of five and ten years: First, getting 100’s on my school work, I would make comic characters (today’s anime characters.) out...
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A Row of Tombs: Sabine Lucas on Past Lives (Part 2 of 2)

In the previous post, we learned about the fascinating life of author Dr. Sabine Lucas. Part 2 of the interview explores the idea that everything is connected through the quantum field, why past life healing work is important, and how we can move forward as a collective. The film A Row of Tombs also talks about the quantum field. How do past lives relate to the quantum field? “As far as I know—and I am far from being a physicist—the quantum theory has many different aspects to it. The only aspect that has any bearings on past lives is the hypothesis that time is not an absolute. According to quantum physics, what we call time is really quantified eternity. It is pretty clear that past lives and past life memories exist in a timeless zone outside of 3-D reality. In this timeless zone, past, present, and future are one. This means that what we did in the past, affects us in the present. And...
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A Row of Tombs: Sabine Lucas on Past Lives (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Sabine Lucas was born in Germany and raised there during the Second World War. She studied German and English language and literature at Heidelberg University. For eleven years,  she instructed undergraduates at Reading University in England in German language and literature while acting part of the time as a German language consultant in the educational programs of BBC London. In the throws of a midlife crisis, she entered a Jungian analysis in London which lasted five years. During this time, she got deeply involved with the many inspiring Jungian events organized for the public by Jungian analysts and theologians in London. This led to a career change and, initially, to a psychotherapy training with the Guild of Psychotherapists in London. After two years of eclectic studies with this experimental group she transferred for a more specialized training to the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Here she supported herself financially with dream workshops and the German translation of Jane Roberts' Seth Speaks,...
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Haunted Hotel?

It’s the height of monsoon season, and Phoenix has been begging for rain. I exit the I-10 interstate headed toward the Hotel San Carlos, and as I make my way from the exit ramp onto 7th Street, I see her: a young woman in the middle of the road dressed in a trench coat and high heels. It’s raining. She’s blond and glamorous looking, but nameless. I park in a metered spot on Monroe Street, and catch a glimpse of the place where I had seen the woman, but she’s no longer there. I make my way toward the hotel entrance, and I already know: this hotel is haunted. In the late 1870s, the site was home of Old Central School, a one-room adobe schoolhouse. After the schoolhouse was retired, investor Dwight B. Heard, purchased the site and began construction on the San Carlos in 1927. It was designed by architect George Witecross Ritchie and completed in 1928. The San Carlos regularly hosted...
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The Studio of Frank Gonzales

In the heart of Tempe, Arizona, amongst the hurried activity of the nearby university, artist Frank Gonzales makes his home on a quiet street, where his studio provides a sanctuary for creative work. Knowing that environment is important and can impact creative work, he peppers his studio with important items that bring inspiration. Alongside the tubes of paint and jars of paint mixtures, his primary easel sits, facing the window overlooking his sleepy front yard. A terrarium of carnivorous plants sits on the table across from his easel, next to a wide bookcase filled with art and plant books, magazines, and supplies. One of his cats lazily sleeps under another table covered with newly finished works nearly ready to be sent to one of his galleries. Botany and ornithology inform his works; bright, playful paintings that reveal the type of personality that each creature exudes. Most of his pairings are unusual—not necessarily the elements of natural habitat or examples of symbiotic relationships in...
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