Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Anita Parker, Raw Foods Chef & Nature Photographer, Tells Her Story

I became certified as a personal vegan raw food chef, as a way to be of service to the people in my community. Having lived a mostly vegetarian, holistic lifestyle for the past ten years, base, I committed to making choices for myself that would be in the highest consciousness, in all areas of my life. I studied at the Graff Academy of Raw Food Education in Roswell, Georgia and became a raw food chef in order to empower others to make choices to thrive on. I actually teach people how to make Kombucha that tastes good!

My decision was inspired by many people inquiring about my lifestyle, energy level, what I do, and how I do it so, Food To Thrive On, was born with a mission to educate people on how to have a dynamic, strong immune system.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to teach our community members how to prepare antioxidant, anti-inflammatory food as well as other delicious medicinal foods.  I have dreams of traveling and offering workshops and retreats throughout the country so If you are interested in getting a group together and hosting me, please contact me through my website.

In addition to raw food workshops, I am a total nature lover. I spend every free moment capturing sunsets at Sarasota’s beach, photographing stunning birds and soaking up all that Florida’s sultry climate has to offer. Like most artists, I do other creative things to make ends meet such as hanging wallpaper for some cool companies.

Here's to your vibrant health and happiness!

This is week 38 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Anita’s post today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Nancy Sausser, Ceramic Sculpture Artist, Tells Her Story

Glimpsing, ceramic, 16 x 12 x 3 inches

Like most artists, I fell into the process of making things early on.  I liked to make presents for people, and after my grandmother taught me to crochet, I started stitching things for family and friends.  I never liked rules or patterns, so I made those up too.  I felt the elation that comes from realizing an idea, from knowing the whole process.

Couplet, ceramic, 14 x 9 x 2 inches

I had a few art teachers along the way who saw my interest and singled me out.  Making things became second nature. A ceramics teacher in 10th grade was special. She taught me how to think about what I made, to make my thoughts.  Now it was more than just making things for the joy of it, it was somehow wound up in who I was, who I wanted to be, what I had to say. 

Geometric Variations, ceramic,  50 x 50 x 5 inches

I was stuck on clay early on but somehow managed to go to a college that had no ceramics classes.  This turned out to be a good thing – it made me expand. There were fantastic art professors, as well as a renowned English department. I learned to write and I learned to work with wood, to weld steel, to make prints, to draw.  I leaned that the medium was in service of the idea and to articulate my ideas in words as well as in materials. 

A Small View In, ceramic, 13 x 18 x 3 inches

All this came in handy later on. Our experiences come together eventually, wind around each other and converse.  After earning an MFA in sculpture during a period where I was mostly excited about making drawings, I found myself in need of a job.  I started working for arts organizations.  This led to a long career as a curator.  I came to it through the back door, without planning it, but have found writing about art and organizing exhibitions of contemporary art to be tremendously creative.  It’s a collaboration between me, the artists, their work and the space.  Like making art, making an exhibit happen is creating something that wasn’t’ there before. And it reflects back on to my art in unexpected ways.

 Each One to the Other, ceramic 60 x 60 x 4 inches

In the meantime, in my studio, I have come back around to working with clay.  It’s my home base.  I make things that hang on the wall, mostly.  They’re usually about place, and space, about taking you somewhere else, somewhere imagined.  They usually involve repetition and the spark between the line and the curve, between freedom and control.  This work emerges slowly, but it is always there, waiting to happen, waiting to be made.

Moving Forward/Staying Put, ceramic, 21 x 21 x 5 inches


This is Week 37 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Nancy's story today!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Michele Grace Lessirard, Astrologist, Healer & Teacher, Tells Her Story

Those little pots of color are magical to me when my first paint by numbers kit arrives; except I break the rules by blending the colors and painting outside the lines. Back then Mrs. Gentry was the traveling art teacher, going from school to school teaching art. It was pure magic when she came into the room. She inspired me! When I grow up I’m going to be like Mrs. Gentry. 

At eight years old I knew what I wanted. I was the artist in the family. I loved creating.  At ten, cutting images out from my mom’s Lady’s Home Journal and Sears Catalog, I collaged my first book in a simple spiral notebook titled Who I want to be when I grow up. Teacher. Wife. Mother.

In high school this new product came out called acrylic modeling paste. It was 1973.  The teacher said “see what you can make.”  I paint a three dimensional image of the bamboo sticks I see leaning against the wall. Art is play. That bamboo painting won my first competition. Then I made my art fit into a job. I became very corporate, did interior design for restaurant and hotels, starting my own business at age 24. I lost the connection to my artist within by trying to fit in.

Remember Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters? Twenty plus years later after I’m so corporate and spiritually bankrupt I experience a series of spiritual openings that knock for me a loop. Dreams lead me to the path of direct revelation aka shamanism; one of those life changing moments where you can never go back. It was art as a spiritual experience, with a higher order.  I found the book Soul Retrieval by Sandra Ingerman and decided that’s what I wanted to do: healing trauma through spiritual means. “Where have I lost power and how is it effecting me today?”

After my own soul retrieval, my creativity came roaring back. I went home from the five-day training reborn. A woman on fire, I found two sawhorses and an old door in the garage that I set up as my art table. The makeshift studio took over our living room; at the same time gathering up 15 years of unfinished art projects scattered all over our house, in many closets. Maybe you can relate? I called back my artist within and never looked back.

Art is play. When it doesn’t and feels like a challenge, I get bored. I don’t spend time growing it into something commercial. If it’s play and fun I do it. If feels gets heavy I let it go. I dabble. Come back and play some more. I used to feel a lot of guilt over the inconsistency. Then I read the book Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher; I’m a scanner. A plate spinner scanner meaning I like to do a lot of things; then I get bored and move on. I may come back. I may not. No shame, I’d rather live my life from a place of granting myself permission to explore.

What I do come back to again and again is collage. SoulCollage®.
I love the process developed by Seena Frost and trained as a facilitator in 2007.

If something is bothering me, I cut and paste. Collage.  If I want to manifest something…I cut and paste. If a client has a problem I ask them to cut and paste. Just ‘throw an image at it!” Then we talk.
Images speak to me and through me as a shamanic healer, astrologer and artist.

Today, I teach you how to find the mystery of you, using paper and glue, through the New Moon and SoulCollage® process.

Bright blessings,
Rev. Michele Grace Lessirard
Artist. Astrologist. Teacher. Healer.

This is Week 36 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Michele's post today. You can connect with her using the following links: