To write about myself as an artist and writer who works primarily with mythic and shamanic themes is to write about fire. Repeated experiences with fire have repeatedly thrust me into realities inhabited by the mythic and shamanic energies that have shaped my life and work into the forms they now take—forms that are far cries from my teenage dreams of becoming a wild Bohemian artist/actress living in New York or Paris!
In my present day, strikingly un-Bohemian lifestyle I live quietly in a secluded setting in Downeast Maine’s coastal forest, not far from where I was born. My lifestyle consists largely of wandering through the forest or along the coast, observing and interacting with their inhabitants and the weather that flows through them in ever-changing displays of mysterious beauty. When not wandering the forest or the coast, I quietly paint, write, drum, sing, teach feminist shamanic ways, and do feminist shamanic counseling for women.
Following a 1988 fire in which I was severely burned and in which all but a few of my paintings were destroyed, I founded The Standing Bear Center for Shamanic Studies, which houses my new painting studio and my gallery, Turtle Mountain Mythic Art. Prior to creating the new gallery, I had shown my work in Maine, New York, and Texas. Since I founded the gallery, I have chosen to show only there and at my daughter’s gallery, The Gallery at Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick, Maine. Because of the personal, mythic nature of much of my work, I do not offer all of the original pieces for sale. I am now offering some of these works as prints.
My paintings are inspired by many things. I am often stunned by the complex beauty created by the play of light and weather on the surface of the sea. I dream of the seeds of life that exist beneath the sea, within the earth and in the atmosphere, all longing to be brought from Potential for Becoming into Being. I am undone by the sight of wildflowers growing with wanton exuberance in roadside ditches. I dream of mossy springs and the small streams they create gurgling beneath the exposed roots of the great cedars that shelter them. I see complex tapestries created by fields of autumn wildflowers or by layers of mosses, lichens and leaves carpeting the forest floor. Falling asleep at night, I see brush strokes, movements of light and dark, patterns of color and line, and they become part of my work.
For much of my early career, I dreamed of creating paintings of strange images that floated through my mind and through my dreams, but was not able to tease them from my mind onto canvas in ways that held and expressed their energies. Following the 1988 fire those images began to come through full blown, ready to be painted. My work is about pushing limits and relaxing preconceived ideas to express the inscrutable and ineffable energies that speak to me through the mythic and shamanic imagery that comes to me in dreams and visions. It is also very much about the process of painting itself; about creating the thicknesses, textures, interplays of color, light, shadow and line; or creating bold, rich strokes of paint on the canvas as I try to find my way towards expressing the mythic energies informing much of my work.
All of these influences are present in my current work, informing each decision I make from start to finish for each and every painting.
R E S U M E
Prior to a 1988 studio fire that destroyed all but a few of the hundreds of paintings and drawings I had created by that time, and in which I was severely burned, I was focused, like so many artists on creating a career for myself in the art world. After the fire, however, my focus changed. I wanted time to explore the new imagery that had begun flowing once I was able to be back in the studio, and I wanted to personally see and interact with those who felt attracted to the new kind of art I had begun producing. Since then, I have primarily shown my work at my own galleries or my daughter’s gallery, and occasionally by invitation at other venues. Now, after all these years, I feel ready to offer the work to a wider audience, and am actively seeking other gallery representation.
1994-2016 Turtle Mountain Mythic Art, Surry, ME
Other Representation Since 1988 Fire
2006 – 2014 The Gallery at Caterpillar Hill, Sedgwick, ME
2009 – 2010 By Design, Bangor, ME
1990 – 1993 S. L. Kinney Gallery, Blue Hill, ME
1989 Gold/Smith Gallery, Boothbay Harbor, ME (Retrospective)
R E P R E S E N T A T I O N P R I O R T O 1 9 8 8 F I R E
One Person Shows
1986 Rossi Consultants, Marblehead, MA
1979 College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME
1975 Potpourri Gallery, Bangor, ME
Sol del Rio Gallery, San Antonio, TX
Ariel Gallery, Soho, NYC
Conway Art Consultants, Albuquerque NM
The Art Collector, San Diego, CA
Island Artisans, Northeast Harbor, ME and Bar Harbor, ME
The Plains Gallery, Portland, ME
Juried Shows & Competitions
1985 “Made in the Southwest” – Vantage Gallery, Trumansburg, NY
1984 “American Annual Works on Paper” – Zaner Gallery, Rochester, NY
1981 “Third Annual Juried Exhibition” – Open Space Gallery, Bangor, ME
1976? “Maine Coast Artists Juried Exhibition” – Maine Coast Artists Gallery, Rockport, ME
2015 “Shamanic First Aid for Today’s Woman”: Authored, illustrated and published 80-page self-help booklet.
2003 Inner Tapestry, November Issue: Authored and illustrated article: “The Tree of Life in Women’s Shamanic Practice.”
1995 Odyssey Magazine, March Issue: Authored article: “Women’s Wisdom Cultures and Native American Traditions.”
Preview Magazine, August 1 Issue: Featured Artist in article: “Women of Spirit.”
The Boston Globe, August 3 Issue: Mentioned in article: “Where the Muses Live.”
1987 American Artist Magazine: November Issue: Authored and illustrated article: “Achieving Painterly Effects with Pastels.”
1980 Maine Life Magazine, November Issue: Feature article about my work: “The Persistent Artistic Drive.”
2004 Mythic Journeys Conference, Atlanta, GA: Performed “The Stone Heart Turtle People,” a shamanic storytelling event with large-scale slide projection of original art, and shamanic drumming and singing.
Education and Training
2003 MA: Mythological Studies with an Emphasis on Depth Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA
1982 Master’s Level Studio Art Tutorials, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
1978 BA: Studio Art Major; Creative Writing Minor, Goddard College, Plainfield, VT
1972-75 Completed undergraduate requirements and studio art courses, University of Maine, Orono, ME