Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE!
ArtistsBillofRights.org reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.

ASCEND 2022 Creatives Conference in Jacksonville

Oil Painting, film making and production, and musical inspiration. Join other creatives from across the West Coast at ASCEND 2022 creatives conference and workshops July 14th (early bird classes), 15, and 16th in Jacksonville, Oregon! And sign up early as some class sizes are limited. Inspiring professional instructors and captivating speakers, with 4 major FOCUS PATHS to choose from. Oil Painting with Frank Ordaz, plus see his original works with Lucas Film and so much more.   Filmmaking with Jeff Bates from The Chosen. Thrive in your craft, impact culture, and confidently forge ahead while being energized by fellow creatives!  Use SOAR coupon for $25 discount. Register at AscendWestCoast.com by July 10th.

Quinceañeras & Everyday Unicorns

Fifteen summer solstices ago—give or take a matter of hours—I wrote my first blog post here on Wordbody. There have been many books and paintings since then. Many things lost and a few things won. I’ve shared most all of them here. Some posts are long, considered essays. Others are the equivalent of a photo and caption. Some I think about for weeks. Others pop into my head the day I decide to post, inspired by a word or image. Like this one. 

 

You can easily guess at my inspiration. I came across this stuffed unicorn on my walk. It was much larger than it looks: almost five feet long, lying right there on the shoulder of our country road. I couldn’t help but wonder who had lost it, dumped it, or left it. 

 

These days, a unicorn is often a metaphor for a uniquely successful start-up or entrepreneur. But once upon a time—back when the equivalent of television was stained glass and tapestries—it represented qualities like purity, freedom, gentleness. 

 

I don’t have a grand plan for this post—it’s one of the quick ones. But to honor my blog’s quinceañera, I wanted to give her a gift. Not the dirty stuffed unicorn but what that mythical being once represented. Actually, I’d love for the world to give itself those gifts. Purity doesn’t have to be unique. Freedom doesn’t have to mean a financial boon. Gentleness doesn’t require a horn growing from the middle of our heads. Really, it’s a gift to know we can cultivate these things right where we are. 

 

Happy birthday, Wordbody. May the next fifteen years be full of everyday magic, too. 

 

Speck-Sized Faith

O sweet seed—

you small not yet,

smaller already.

The final flower waits

in speck-sized faith.

Come forth—unfurl 

the gentle petals

of patience.

Oh, the Places We Go!

Ten springs ago, I walked the hills of Wales. I was in the middle of making a choice, and this little pedestrian path sign seemed like the perfect metaphor for choices. 


It also reminds me of these lines from the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose. 


That day on the path, didn’t know that I’d make a really bad decision later that year. Nor that I’d make a really good one not long after.


Interestingly, all those Welsh paths eventually led back to the same trailhead. 

 

Interestingly, all of our choices—bad and good—lead us right where we need to be. Even if we feel lost in some landscapes and seasons.

 

I guess this post is a kind of blessing on our choices—a reminder of the great gift choice is.   

 

Happy trails, happy choosing,

 

Anna

 

 

The Heart That Took Flight

Happy Book Birthday!

I was rummaging around in my old blogs looking for something this morning when I made a happy discovery: my first little book, The Heart Takes Flight, just turned 10, almost to the day!

This illustrated vignette was a labor of love. In fact, it was born out of what I thought was lost love. I had met my now-husband the summer before, but it hadn’t worked out at the time. Heartbroken, I decided to finally write a book. About hearts, of course.

I had no idea how prophetic this little book would become. It was the first of six published books (and counting!). It traveled the world with me in subsequent workshops. And it’s a continual reminder that when we feel like we can’t go any further as we are, we are being invited to grow a whole new way to move through this world. 

Here’s to heart-flight. 

Love,

Anna

Blessing of Endurance

Deep in the umpteenth revision of my book, I feel like toddler-me knew exactly how I feel.

I’m saving my writing juice for the Big Project, so this month’s post is a little encouragement to press on & press through. And maybe remember the determination we had once upon our little selves!

Plus something lovely from John O’Donohue’s poem “For the Interim Time:”

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become….

Blessings of endurance,

Anna, now & then

 

S is for…

One of the things I learned from my husband:
Shoe Goo fixes most everything!

Part of my book-writing process is creating a list of terms: alphabetized proper names and odd or specific spellings. This is helpful both in style sheets for future copy editors but also when I can’t seem to remember if “corn dog” is one word or two. 

The list of terms for my current book on the first year of marriage is now ten pages long, and when I skimmed through looking for something the other day, I thought that some of the letters read like little found poems. And so, I share the letter S here. 

(Random things I did not know: what was once the capitalized acronym SCUBA is now lowercase scuba, and Snoop Dogg spells his name with two Gs. Always learning!)

Saint Lucia

Saint Teresa of Ávila

Sarah & Byron 

Sarah & Christer

schnapps

Scott Valley

Scripture

scuba

Seinfeld

Serenity Prayer

Sharpie

shawarma

shish kebabs

Shoe Goo

Shriners

Six Mile

Skycrest Trail

Smith (River)

s’mores

Smucker’s

Snoop Dogg

Sour Patch Kids

Southern Oregon

South Kelsey Trail 

South Fork Salmon (River) 

The Space Between

Spafford, Horatio

Spectrum

Sperry

Sporos

Springdale

Sriracha

Starsky & Hutch

Steens Mountains

Subaru

summa cum laude

Sunrise Point

Symphonic Chronic

A Compass of Love

A few Decembers ago, I painted this little heart compass. I had words for each of the four points that I wanted to cultivate in the coming year, but I remember deciding not to write them onto the paintingto leave it open for future words. 

I was also leaving it open to share it with othersfor your words. 

This is my Happy New Year’s hope: may you point your heart in the direction of all that is good & peaceful & beautiful in the coming year.

Blessings & joy,

Anna 

 

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - logo image

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - Growing Createive Community

Thanks for reading SO Guild of Artists & Artisans announcements for Thanksgiving, December 2021, and January 2022! We have a lot to tell you about! Our Black Friday alternative sale. A December filmmaking and editing workshop with Alex Gaylon. A January storytelling workshop with Georgia Churchill. Our YouTube channel. And more…

Thanksgiving Plus One

Fine Art & Craft Sale

(The Antidote to Big Box Store Black Friday Crazy-making)

Begins Friday, November 26

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - Thanksgiving Plus One Fine ARt & Craft Sale

For many years, the day after Thanksgiving has been advertised by giant retailers as the day to shop for bargains at big box stores. For some of us, THAT is no fun at all (not to mention that the purchases are less than inspired.) We are offering you a local and lovely antidote for that “ailment.” 

Our special Friday-after-Thanksgiving event is for all those who have supported the Guild through the past months and years by making a cash donation, purchasing anything from our gallery, attending one of our workshops, sharing Guild information with friends, or wanting to do any of the aforementioned. 

The Guild’s talented and generous artists have donated a few select pieces to offer as a fundraiser for the Guild and for your gift-giving pleasure. Of course, all the items in our most recent show will also be for sale. Come help us support the Guild and celebrate our wonderful community of artists and art lovers. You can also enjoy light refreshments, music, laughter, and a relaxed atmosphere to begin the holidays in an artful frame of mind. Please note that COVID safety procedures will be in place.

You are invited to our “tech-forward” Filmmaking and Editing Workshop With Alex Gaylon

Click here to find out more about the Film Making and Editing Workshop or to register

The Art of Storytelling Workshop

Presented by Master Storyteller, Georgia Churchill

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - image of Georgia Churchill

A Three Part Zoom Workshop January 15, 22, & 29
Time travel through stories!
Discover your voice!
Connect to the rich and ancient tradition of oral storytelling!

This class for all those from age 7 to 107 will be empowering, warm, and full of laughter. We enthusiastically welcome anyone interested in learning to tell stories or simply wishing to improve their oral communication skills.

The first session will focus on basic storytelling techniques such as loosening throat muscles, vocal tone, diaphragmatic breath, and expressing believable emotions. Then, in the second session, participants will apply these techniques to a 5 minute story of their own choosing, and the third session will be a sharing and celebration of everyone’s stories.

Throughout all three sessions, Georgia will pepper in examples from stories of her own repertoire. With them, she explains the power of storytelling and the way that stories are windows into the time and place from which they emerge.

Click here to find out more about the Art of Storytelling or to register

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - Happy Holidays!

Wondering what to give to the person who has everything or to give to an entire family?

Consider giving them the gift of either of the workshops above or give them a Guild gift certificate.

We are excited to announce that our Guild YouTube Channel now features ALL 13 of our videos freely available for viewing! With over 6 hours of content featuring Guild members and guest instructors, our Creative Community playlists include artist spotlights, tutorials, and ZOOM class recordings to inspire you! Moreover, you can learn how to create 3D paintings with Sheila Mason, 3-D collages with Kathi Culver, embossed copper ornaments with Ruth Wendover, applique banners with Jean Robertson, naturally dyed fabric and paper with Angela Franklin, and DIY Puppetry.

Tune in and try something new today!

Click here to go to the Guild’s YouTube channel

If you have ideas for programming, please share and let’s see what we can do. Call or email 541-659-3858 [email protected]. Stay tuned for more SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements here on SOARs blog, Art matters!

24353 Redwood Highway Kerby, OR 97531 USA(541) 592-5019
Click to go to the Guild website  

In the Middling

I could call this photo “Miles per Life,” quoting myself from the last time I turned the age of a speed limit. But 10 years on, I don’t think that phrase quite works with such little numbers. There have been so many more miles than 45.  

For my 45th birthday, I wrote myself a quick little poem, as I did for my 35th (you can find that one here). I’m sharing it below for all of us in the vague realm of middle age.  

As an adjective, “middling” means average, moderate. As an adverb, it means fairly, moderately. And though I’m not necessarily a fan of average—or adverbs!—I like the idea of navigating this life moderately. Grace to us all as we try.

 

Middling 

 

Ever lover of edges

and brinks,

I don’t know what to do

with middles—

the center 

the belly

of life.

 

The softness scares me—

far from either hard

start and end.

 

One friend just gave birth.

One friend just died.

Give and take.

Maybe life is in 

the “and” of grace.