My vision for this global community of sacred artists is that my students and I are all part of a thriving and growing community, a global network of people making art with a spiritual or shamanic focus (meaning uplifting art that connects the viewer to spirit). That we encourage and support one another. That I use my own experience and exposure to give others exposure, opportunities and a 'head start'. That I invite students to assist me as guest teachers so that they learn not only about making sacred art but also about 'the sacred art of teaching sacred art'. This work incorporates work with the land, with cosmic creative forces, with gods and goddesses, with (at times) unlikely materials. My dream is that in making soulful art from a place of 'wholeness and holiness' we will make a contribution to creating a healthier world that once again re-members that All That Is, has spirit and is SACRED...
In March 2012 I received strong guidance from Spirit to vision and create a professional training in making sacred art. As is usually the case when Spirit tells me to do something, I had grave doubts that I was ready for a project of this magnitude (is anyone ever?!) Next complete strangers started writing in and inquiring about a training that did not (at that point) exist where I share my own personal way of making art.
I 'took the leap of faith' and wrote the syllabus for of a Two Year Sacred Art Practitioner Training: a course where art meets shamanism and where the greatest teachers are the spirits not me!!) the gods and goddesses themselves. The information came from Spirit but, as always, the whole Universe conspired to deliver the right information to my doorstep. The right books and other sources, the right participants, encouragement from colleagues, all materialized over a period of only months. Just one year later I had done all the paperwork, opened registration and I had a small but committed group of students who couldn't wait to start the work. I was truly blessed to see a vision and passion become reality so quickly!
This first group of students has graduated (and they are now out there "setting the world on fire"!) Another London-based group has started and is halfway through their training at the time of writing. A third group will start in January 2017 (and has already started working together through on-line seminars) in the USA (Philadelphia). An even larger group of people have done the two day introduction workshop.
At the time of "birthing" the year program I was enrolled in the two year shamanic teacher training with Sandra Ingerman in Santa Fe in the USA. The way she works closely with her own community of students inspires me greatly. The world needs a new paradigm, of supportive community not competition, of high ethical and spiritual standards.
Sacred Art is not the easiest profession to enter. The so called "mainstream" art world does not pay a lot of attention to spiritual art or indeed understand the guiding principles that inform it. I attended Art School in Amsterdam in the 1980's and I now know that I was lucky to be of the 'last generation of students" to be put through an old fashioned and very rigorous training (meaning lots of life drawing, anatomy, perspective, portrait painting and so forth). I have always made art inspired by dreams and visions and my teachers let me - as long as my work was technically accomplished. The hardest part is, of course, leaving Art School! After the luxury of caring teachers and a community of fellow artists, suddenly you are "out there" on your own. One day I hope to return to Amsterdam and teach some guest seminars there!
For me personally painting is a spiritual practice (it is how I keep myself sane!) and I have thrived on the solitude because it allowed me to follow my instincts and not be influenced too much by other people or trends. I was fortunate in that my work has made it into art collections all over the world and that my paintings have always sold and appeared on book covers etc. However, I also know that most artists appreciate greater support and a sense of community. Therefore my vision for my own students is: that the SAP program is a growing global community of spirit-led artists. That we stay in touch and support each other. That we share resources and opportunities. That all this is done from the heart and from a place of abundance consciousness. By this I mean: we operate from the belief that there is enough for all of us to go around!
If this vision resonates with you, is something you might like to be part of, feel free to contact me!