Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Goddess Abstraction: Gaia

Gaia, Acrylic on stretched canvas, 12" x 24", 2015

Gaia detail
Gaia detail

As these paintings are more musings on various Goddesses that detailed representations I don't feel drawn to write up an explanation of her story, but you can go here to read a bit about her.

I wanted to share some kind of text so I thought I would share a prayer I wrote in 2014, as I make reference to Gaia in it, which was printed as part of the New Orleans Radical Healers zine:

A Radical Healing Prayer

Holy Mother,

I pray for the gifts of a radical healer.

Bless me with compassionate wisdom so that I may serve with healing magic.

Help me live wildly with nuturant joy and ecstatic bliss.

Keep my heart full so I can offer its sweet nectar to others who have run dry.

Help me remember that we are all part of a living cosmos.

Keep me aware that my body is intimately linked to Gaia, our mother Earth.

Help me unwind, rest and celebrate the beauty that daily comes my way.

Keep my vision open to the guidance that comes in dreams and is whispered on the wind.

Help me through my mundane activities to live my life as a prayer.

May my daily dance be in communion with your fiercely gentle heart.

May my speech be a song sung in harmony.

May my passions be my guides and my fears and angers my guardians.

May love, pleasure, joy and sex be my tools of worship as you awaken me to my own divinity.

May my life’s work support the transformation of our planet into a palace of peace.

May I be cleansed of resistance to shining my light and following my internal star.

May I gratefully receive support from my fellow angels on Earth and the subtle realms.

May I be at home in my bones so I can hear the wisdom of my body.

May I be strong enough to give my being what it needs to be healthy.

May I trust you are bigger than my worries and that your love can carry me through any struggle.

May I radiate with eternal gratitude for the blessing of my life.

Thank you. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Goddess Abstractions: Feminine Divine

This painting is called Feminine Divine and is the first in a series I'm beginning called Goddess Abstractions.

Im inspired by myths, stories, rituals to and art about Goddess archetypes.  Through out the world divine feminine energy is embodied in the mythology of sacred women.  I find their stories teach me new ways to flex my emotional muscles and help me to better know my path and myself.  Part of my spiritual practice involves investigating goddess myths and finding ways to integrate the wisdom they share into my daily activities.

An abstract goddess I painted in 2006
Ive been wanting to do a series of goddess paintings for a while but it's taken me time to figure out how I want to approach them.  I did a painting a few years ago of an abstracted woman form that I had always loved and wanted to work in a similar geometric style for this series.   I'm hoping creating them will be a grounding part of my evolving process of learning to trust the gentle Goddess energy as it blossoms into my heart and offers me blessings and support.

Sometime this summer when I was hibernating the idea came to me to use a curvy form with her arms raised and her skirt flaring to the sides.  In June I finished the book Goddess Initiation by my wonderfully magical teacher, Francesca de Grandis, and I spent the few days following my initiation ritual painting this goddess image which I call The Regeneratrix.

Regeneratrix, 2015
Then a few days later I stumbled upon the Goddess Telesummit organized by Kim Wilborn which was an online series of pagan priestesses each being interviewed about a particular Goddess, leading a meditation and offering inspiration for daily practices.  I signed right up and downloaded the 25 recordings as they happened over two weeks time.

My plan is to listen to one session every two weeks and do painting and blog post about each one.  I'm using raw canvas for these pieces as I like the idea of being able to hang the image like a banner or tapestry.  I may even add a hanging bar to the finished product....I have to see how they come out first before I can make that decision.

Watch this blog for posts about this series once or twice a month depending on how much time my painting process takes.  For a look into my real-time practice stay connected to my social media and/or join my newsletter for monthly updates on my progress.

@JenelleLeighC - Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat
Jenelle Campion - Facebook

Monday, October 12, 2015

Holistic Health Spotlight: Yamuna Body Rolling

In 2009 I moved to California to go to graduate school and I started developing intense sciatic pain.  I couldn't sit too long in any position without discomfort.  I stretched and moved and did all kinds of things to keep my body limber which helped but didn't stop the pain from returning.

I'd heard about Rolfing, a series of deep tissue massages designed to reset your posture, while I was in massage school and had a sense that this might be just the fix for my problem.
I went through the 10 session series and afterwards my life was renewed.  No sciatic pain and I felt as flexible as a 5 year old.

My therapist gave me the advice to get these Yamuna Foot Wakers as a way to open the flexibility of my feet.  The Foot Wakers are hard plastic half domes covered in spiky bumps and come with a 20 min stretching routine on Dvd.  They are amazing and I began using them regularly before my yoga practice.

That was my only contact with the company until I looked Yamuna up on the Internet in the spring of 2015 and realized the depth of philosophy behind these therapeutic tools.  The company was founded by a woman named Yamuna Zake and is based in NYC.  She personally developed this system of self care where you roll different sized balls into your joints and over soft tissue areas.  It simulates the effect of a really deep tissue massage but gives you complete control over the depth and focus of the exercise.

Her vision of anatomy is so clear and her practice grounded.  I'm obsessed.  I got the "Save Your Hips" exercise set which comes with two smaller black balls and a DVD which has a routine for taking the balls on a journey through your hip joint.  I am able to get into areas that I haven't been able to feel for years.  As my friend Lynsey would's amaze-balls.

You can read more about Yamuna Zake and her work at her website or here, here and here.   She has a blog on Facebook and often posts instructional videos on her Youtube page.

And you can order products through her website.  If your not sure where to begin try the Total Body Workout package.

Happy rolling!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Art Inspirations: Indigenous Art

Most of my artistic choices come from listening to what resonates in my body.  I noticed during my undergrad time at Rutgers University studying Art History that the work that I most enjoyed would affect me on a bodily level.  Often as an energetic tingling, inner stillness or simply the release of a deep breath.

A photo from my visit to Rutgers in Dec 2014 of one building where I took art history classes
next to the Art Library and Zimmerli Art Museum.

My most profound experience of this came when I was studying for a semester in Melbourne, AU where I was exposed to work by Indigenous Australian artists.  The colors and textures had a visceral effect and the subtle articulation of the designs on the canvas resonated within me.  I was so inspired by how much could come across though the colors, lines and dots.

The following photos are from this amazing book: breasts, bodies, canvas: Central Desert Art as Experience
by Jennifer Loureide Riddle.

(L) Judy Napangardi Watson  Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Mina Mina Dreaming) 2006.
(R) Dorothy Napangardi Robinson Salt on Mina Mina 2001.
(L) Rosie Mapurrurla Tasman  Kurlukuku 1998.
(R) Rosie Napurrurla Tasman Yarla 2002.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye  Utopia Panesl (7 of 18) 1996.

Photo of a print I purchased of a painting called  Rainbow Serpent by Danny Eastwood.

After graduation I hung around my college town and worked on a certification in massage therapy.  During that time I was twice able visit a friend who was working as a volunteer teacher at the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  The first trip was just to visit, the second trip corresponded with seeing a Tori Amos concert in Rapid City.  Sometime during that second trip I had one of the surest moments of clarity of my life and knew that I needed to become a volunteer and spend time in South Dakota.    Someday ill write something longer about the complex wondrousness of that place and my experience there.  For the purpose of this blog post I want to focus on the Red Cloud Heritage Center.

Our Lady of Lourdes Oglala Lakota Nation flag
The school I worked for is part of a Jesuit mission.  I asked the volunteer coordinator if it would be a problem that I did not consider myself a practicing Catholic and was actively exploring alternative spiritualities.  She assured me that an open heart was the only requirement and I signed up to return as a volunteer for the following school year.  As I would learn during my three year stint as a kindergarten aid and art teacher, this school was rooted firmly in Catholic faith yet it strived to offer a space for a unique blend of indigenous and christian spiritual practices.  I found this crossover culture to be a beautiful lens into the similarities and differences between the pillars upholding the Lakota and Catholic spiritual practices.  This experience helped me to better appreciate the heart of the religion I was raised in and gave me the opportunity to begin to understand another way of being in relationship to the world through witnessing the beliefs and practices of Lakota culture.

Our Lady of Lourdes school covered in snow
I lived and worked in the town of Porcupine at the Our Lady of Lourdes school which had Kindergarten through 8th grades.  On the property was an average sized two story school building, a small church and hall, a bus garage, a playground area and a handful of living spaces.  The volunteers resided in an old convent house.  During my 3 year stay I lived with anywhere from 3-6 other people.
A spot in the Bandlands National Park where we used to camp
and would wake up surrounded by bison.
The main campus of the Red Cloud school system was about 30 miles away and contained another grade school, a high school and the Jesuit mission buildings.  In one of those buildings was a space called the Heritage Center which functioned as an indigenous art and crafts store, museum and art gallery.   Their display room was a mix of traditional Lakota art and historical objects and a broad selection of contemporary Native American fine art.

Below are photos of some small pieces I have bought from the Heritage Center.

Various pieces by Sam Two Bulls
Print by King Kuka

The stunning collection there was humbling to me as an artist.  The line between life, art, spirituality and culture was dynamic and powerful.  Those paintings challenged me to understand how I am present to my own identity and relationships.

Me in the sun.  In front of a bus. 

If you would like to donate to or learn more about the Red Cloud Heritage Center check out their website.

More information about the AU community can be found here, here and here.  Also check out this awesome book about women's painting traditions