I had the privilege of being with a group of young moms for Southpointe Community Church’s chapter of MOPS. I spoke a little, but mostly, we made art journals! Seriously, we need to play, especially in the thick of constant care giving that is the reality of life with preschoolers. I was so proud for these dear ones who could release their little ones into the care of others for a couple hours to find some space to eat, talk (grown-up talk) and even play a little. We made journals and thought about what it might mean to look for hope in a world where beauty is protested often.
Artist's Pilgrimage Through Europe
October 2-19, 2018
I recently had the opportunity to have my own European expedition with Journey Arts Collective and World To The Wise, and came back with a vision and a calling to extend this experience out to those in my reach that have already experienced so much creative and spiritual renewal. Perhaps this could be your next story of unfolding, since we know that our creative journeys continue to unfold layer by layer. I am even now working with David and Becky Durham to create the adventure, but it will include France and Italy. We will spend concentrated time with great works of art, the city of Paris and Florence, and have reflective time in the hill towns and countrysides of Italy. We will spend time together and alone as we listen to what God has to say to each of us. Be on the look out for further details coming soon. Please contact me at [email protected] to let me know of your interest. We can begin to plan and prepare now. Can't wait to see what will unfold as we follow an invitation to come and listen, rest and receive renewal.
Have you ever wondered what a Waking Up Grey retreat is like? I don't share a lot of what takes place on a retreat because I want to preserve the surprises. Perhaps a snapshot, a little peek inside can give a bit more clarity. I can tell you that every retreat is different. Even in the process of creating one, and the way the hours play out. For myself and my team, the creative process is extremely important as well as listening and praying. It becomes a collaboration with the Spirit of God as we listen for each woman and tend to what we're hearing. There is always a creative project, such as these beautiful mosaics. Being young moms with small children, most of this group could not find a time where all participants could come away for a weekend, so we did an abbreviated retreat to meet the needs of this group. Even so, we were able to work on these mosaics and have moments of quiet and reflection. Though community plays a part on these days, the space in the silence and the focus of upward connection are really what a retreat is designed for.
Book Release Celebration
As I began to think about LOVE and how that has shaped my identity, it became clear that this would be a layered piece. I wanted to include my broken parts in this piece somehow, since LOVE accepts all truth about me, even the darker parts. Jesus was inviting me to include everything.... that has become such a huge part of love in my experience.Read More
Recently, I was invited to bring an Encaustic workshop to a group called Journey Arts Collective Encaustic means "to burn in" in Greek. It is an old tradition dating back to ancient Egyptian sarcophagi, since the wax component stands the test of water and time. It has recently seen a rebirth among visual artists. Every element applied must be heated. The wax stays molten as it is worked with. It is an outstanding material for collage and mixed media.Read More
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wonderful local think tank that The Know You Group in Brentwood has put together. This space has been created "where leaders in our community gather to explore creative materials and analytical resources." They asked me if I would come and lead a group through making a book and send them away with materials to begin to think about how to create a visual artist journal. In an hour and a half, each participant constructed a book that would be the structure to support the artistic and visual exploration of their lives, thoughts, ideas and stories. We had a great time in the process. There is something so beautiful and even sacred about creating in a communal space, tossing around ideas and applications for others to speak into. Jenny Black, one of the founders of The Know You Group, and I were involved in a discussion in which we coined a new phrase together: "When beauty emerges, there will be a protest," this being born out of our creative experience together. It is in spaces like these that we know we're not alone in our desire to make and desire to find camaraderie in the process of making. It doesn't have to be a lonely, dismal experience.Read More
"...this experience rates right up there for one of my 'most significant moments.' " ~ Colleen, speaking of the retreat
Thanks to the help of two innovative and resourceful leaders, we tried something new with Waking Up Grey this year. Instead of meeting for 11 weeks in someone's home, we met as part of the Women's bible study offerings at a church for 9 months, alternating weeks of Waking Up Grey with Journal days and Color Corridor days. At the end, we launched this brave and beautiful group of around 25 women into their next chapter of creativity with a weekend retreat. It was a day of quiet, beauty and the receiving of Jesus into the deepest parts of who we are.
The retreat took place near downtown Franklin at the home of Robbie and Sharilyn Grayson and their six children. They live in an antebellum home right in the middle of beautiful farmland. Robbie and Sharilyn are so generous and gracious with all that they have and we felt at home in a place where hospitality permeates walls and corners and hearts!
The retreat couldn't have happened without many hands! Pictured here is Ginny Miller, one of the servers of the day. She was present the whole day, in the kitchen, out and about, just doing things that needed to be done. So many people had a hand in the day. Not pictured, but present that day were Marilee Tice, Star Moberg, Sharilyn, Katie and Edith Grayson (also hosting).
Saturday, March 14, 2015
I teamed up with Kristin Vincent for this one day retreat to continue a conversation of what it means to hear from God from a place of rest and inner receptivity. Kristin showed us how to pray with Anglican prayer beads. I led each group in the practice of silence and the creative process. I had each person reflect on receiving and giving. Each person applied what they learned in the silence to two stones. One stone represented what they were to keep and not give away. The other stone represented what they were to offer out. The first stone they kept. The second stone was incorporated into a mandala mosaic. (Mandala is another word for circle, which symbolized wholeness and eternity). Each person constructed a 6" mandala which will be incorporated into a piece of permanent community art. Stay tuned for the remaining processes of putting the mosaic together and hanging it in the church!