This past week has been filled with the most unexpected red thread moments! It almost defies my ability to describe in words what it was like. I participated in an amazing on-line event along with several other artists and hundreds of art lovers. It was a Holiday Art Auction run by Stephanie Gagos. The intention was to have a venue for artists and art collectors to gather and negotiate sales. All I can say is that it became SO SO much more than that. It was an experience of deep connection and was a stunning surprise for everyone who attended. I don't think anyone left that auction with their heart and soul untouched by deep emotions. All of us who were there were simply dumbfounded with awe as we witnessed or experienced first hand the incredible power of art. By some divine connection the event brought forth the sharing of dozens of powerful stories about how we experience art . I heard about the immeasurable power of art to heal and to literally change lives. I experienced myself and witnessed in others how it can elicit intense emotions of longing and grief alongside great joy and happiness.
It was so reminiscent of the painting and story below that I wondered if I were perhaps having a vision of a real future when I created The Gathering House a year ago and posted it on Instagram. You can read the story of The House below along with some of the reactions of readers. I've also included the story of one of the actual residents of The House.
The Gathering House
The Gathering House is a place that resides within my dreams. It is a communal house of art that is filled with light, music and love. It is a restorative place away from the troubles of the world. A place to create, and provide inspiration so that when we return to our lives we find a deeper well of gratitude, peace and compassion to offer the world.
"What a wonderful place that would be. It sounds like a dream but oh if it was real how amazing that would be. Wonderful art!" , "Wow. Beautiful! And The Gathering House... I want to go there", "That's my dream right there, a house filled floor to ceiling with art!"
Karen's First Day
This painting of Karen is straight out of my Gathering House world. In my version of The Gathering House everyone who comes there to live is issued one pair of genuine 100% cotton wings, a crown made of craft paper in the color of their choice and a linen dress with the letter they wrote to the admissions circle about why they needed to move to The House embroidered upon it. The idea of actual body tattoos was originally discussed however we nixed that idea when we thought about the potential for a public health scandal/nightmare and decided upon doing a monthly embroidery retreat instead. So Karen here is wearing the standard issue uniform and this painting of her was done on her first day. I'm going to try and do a portrait for each of the girls as they arrive. They are often tired and sad when they first arrive and I think an authentic portrait would provide them with an initial visual touchstone for how change happens at The House. I'll try to do an updated painting for you to see for yourselves what can happen in a place of healing and light amongst others who "get" who you are and where you are provided nourishment for the creative mind and spirit.
"My letter is in flight to the admissions circle...thro' the winter sky that is a box of wings." "I want to live there!!!", "Please forward the address so that i might send my letter of admission. Please?
You see? I can't even truly believe it myself that such a beautiful place can exist but in that one stretch of time, 12 days in a row on Facebook such a place was there for anyone who was longing to connect and feel heard and understood. Just like Karen I feel my creative spirit has been deeply nourished and inspired. Thank you Stephanie, thank you to every single person who purchased or commented on my own art. I will be forever grateful to have been one among the many beautiful souls who came together in our own little Gathering House.