Natalie Bernstein, Elementary Librarian at Paideia has a wonderful blog called The Pithy Python. Read more about the unveiling of the mural there.
I told the children that I put the colors of the chakras in the painting so that when you walk by it, you feel grounded and yet ready to fly, like reaching out to the world to make your choices with confidence and a sense of wonder.
Inspired by “The Night Fairy” by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Angela Barrett and by my own love of fairy tales, I made sure to add many nature spirits into the mural for Natalie Bernstein (Librarian at Paideia School in Atlanta, Ga.). I told the children at Paideia that everything in the painting is very real to me and that if each person or leaf or fairy or bird were not real to me, then I don’t believe the feeling of true life would be in them. To me they are alive and real and whispering to me, they hold the energy of life in them for everyone who sees them.
The mural I created for Paideia School Elementary Librarian Natalie Bernstein is filled with characters from children’s literature. This one represents Newbury Medalist Virginia Hamilton’s THE PEOPLE COULD FLY, a book of 24 American black folktales.
In the next few days, I’ll be showing more photos of the Paideia Tree of Knowledge mural. For now I thank Elementary Librarian Natalie Bernstein for commissioning me to create this mural because it was a dream come true for me, literally. My years at Paideia were so enriching as to shape my entire life and not a day goes by that I do not either think of what I learned there, or contact the teachers there for advice and guidance in matters of teaching and raising children. This mural represents for me a visual sort of summation of what learning is about.
Years ago, after teaching at Paideia, I moved to Boston. After moving, I dreamed that one of the new buildings at the school had the most majestic and enchanting tree growing inside it. I understood what it meant–that for me Paideia School represented archetypal truths and ideals about life and knowledge. When I was asked to create a tree mural for the new library space, I was stunned and utterly filled with wonder. I felt that way the entire time I painted it, and still do feel that way.
This mural for me is more than a spiritual blessing and gift. I want to acknowledge Elayne Polly Bernstein Schwartz for making something so magical to me come true (she was a major patron of the arts and the benefactor of this mural). I also want to thank the teachers at Paideia School for all they taught me while I worked there, they are true heroes in education. They continue to teach and guide me to this day.
When I start a Spirit Painting, I ask for guidance so that whatever arrives on the canvas will truly inspire and serve the person it is created for. A feeling of deep care and enchanted wonder pours over me. I begin not knowing where it will end or how it will evolve. It is one of the highest honors for me to be able to have the chance to create a Spirit Painting for another person, I feel so much love in the process, I can’t quite describe the inner joy it gives me. And feeling of depth. I thank my friend Kris for commissioning this one for a friend she loves.
This is one of the four recent tree plates I glazed (which I keep on the table all day w/ some baby pumpkins just because they make me feel happy). I have told my sons to identify each of the trees represented on the plates, while I display with pride my Rock Elm samples, beside that plate (which I will post soon). I had gone on a walk and saw leaves and nuts that looked like Rock Elm, and it turned out to be true! This morning I think we located a Black Oak leaf on the wet road. We have to complete our discovery later by picking up the leaf and then searching for the tree it came from.
Yesterday I l very much enjoyed being on Hay House Radio as a guest on Eldon Taylor’s PROVOCATIVE ENLIGHTENMENT show. You can hear a replay of the show by going here. Thank you, Eldon and Ravinder Taylor for having me as a guest!
Today is rainy and I am going to go out in it. The weather today made me think of this drawing from last year, part of the “Westport Sketchbook” series of drawings I did each week, which appeared in www.westportnow.com. I have loved exploring this town and drawing people being themselves in their environment.
Tomorrow, October 18th 2011 at 2-3pm EST, I’ll be Eldon Taylor’s guest on his Hay House Radio show (live, world-wide), Provocative Enlightenment. For quite some time, I’ve listened to Provocative Enlightenment while working in the studio (in fact, while I developed Illuminara Intuitive Journal!) so it feels like a real gift from Spirit to be invited as his guest. Eldon has true integrity and he and his partner, Ravinder and the team at PE have a terrific show which is the most widely listened to show on Hay House Radio.
I picked this card and will start writing everything that comes to mind as I look at it. And everything that comes to heart. What I might see and feel while looking at it will differ from what you might see and feel when you see this (as it will bring up your own memories and associations). The more I know what this image represents for me, the deeper I go with my own intuitive signifiers and subtle intuitive language, all stored in my “inner library”.