Guest Patricia Hayes: We All Matter

Patricia HayesThis episode of Art as Worship is an encore of the interview with Entura artist Patricia Hayes from March 7, 2012. Patricia and Art as Worship host Vanessa Lowry, along with 23 other co-authors, just published a collaborative book titled The 28-Day Thought Diet.

Patricia Hayes is an international lecturer, teacher, author and artist. She is the author of five books and has been a pioneer in intuitive and spiritual development for over 45 years. Patricia and her husband Marshall Smith are the founders of Delphi University in McCaysville, GA.

Patricia is also an artist that works in soft pastels. She has developed a technique of channeling art that she has named Entura Art. Patricia has used this method of art throughout her career to establish a relationship with Spirit. Of all her accomplishments, her favorite thing to do is channeling art and teaching aspiring artists this unique technique.

“What you worship in life and what you value in life does matter. Everyone of us is creating this world. Every single one of us mThought Diet 3D frontatters. I think that’s the biggest thing that people are awakening to. I matter. How can I, just a little me, matter? But we do. Because we are all collectively changing the world, positively all the time.” ~Patricia Hayes

Patricia’s encore interview airs on Empower Radio at 9am Eastern on January 30, 2013. You can also download the archived show after it airs.

She says, I’ve always loved the mystical. It is the mystical that keeps me moving and inspired, growing and expanding.” Art for Worship- Patricia Hayes drawing 1

Patricia teaches others how to channel energy and to create Entura Art. She says, “When I create my art, I never know what I’m going to draw before I do it. I am channeling an energy and each energy is totally unique. This kind of art is actually easier to teach someone that has never drawn anything than to teach an artist.” Full details about the next Entura Art intensive are available here. www.delphiu.com/entura.htm

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your comments below or on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Rev. Michael Radford Sullivan: Art Takes Me Deeper

Michael Sullivan pic2Rev. Michael Radford Sullivan is the rector of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, an author and a sculptor.

“My art and creativity have become the chief means of my personal spiritual journey. The pivotal moments in my life where something went wrong — when I needed something to take me deeper in my spiritual journey — are where art really served me. It has helped me deal with the difficulties life can bring.” ~Rev. Michael Radford Sullivan

Listen to Michael’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.Michael Sullivan book2

Michael is the author of Windows into the Soul and Windows into the Light. The books explore the place of art in spirituality and how creativity can contribute to the richness of the Christian journey. He has been a featured writer for Episcopal Café and Explorefaith.com.

He often leads retreats on art and spirituality. He says, “When we are able to give ourselves over to something greater, we begin to participate in a kind of spiritually-led process where our eyes are opened. We might see things that we would not have otherwise seen. I would argue that creativity is something greater than we are.”

Michael Sullivan book1Michael is a summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College (B.A. 1989). Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he accepted a James B. Duke Fellowship at Duke University, but after pursuing that program for a year, entered law school at the University of South Carolina where he earned his law degree (J.D. 1995, cum laude, Order of the Coif, Law Review). He practiced appellate law in Columbia.

During his practice, he discerned a call to priesthood and then completed studies at the University of the South, Sewanee in 2000 (M.Div. optime merens). Michael was curate at Church of the Advent, Spartanburg before being named Canon for Mission at Trinity Cathedral in Columbia. He then served as rector of St. John’s, Lynchburg, Virginia before coming to Holy Innocents’.

Michael says, “Part of my life as a priest is helping people to see that boundaries are not great for the creative process. They’re not great for our spiritual development. You’ve got to be open enough that the emptiness of your life can be filled with something greater. You have to let boundaries morph and change so that God and Spirit can transform you in the process.”Holy Innocents Church logo

In his spare time, he enjoys reading Southern fiction, cooking, exercise, and sculpting. Connect with Michael through www.holyinnocents.org or on Facebook.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Beverly Molander: Activating the Power of Yes in the New Year

Beverly MolanderBeverly Molander is an intuitive artist. Her abstract compositions form almost automatically on the canvas. Each person coming in contact with her work seems to find something different to interpret and understand.

“I start with the intention to be a conduit and trust the process. With my automatic writing, I’ll know when it is finished — the pen just stops. When my painting is finished, my paintbrush stops and I don’t want to do it anymore. It’s a creative process with an intuitive knowing. I don’t know where it’s going or when it’s ending, but I know it’s good. My confidence as an artist grew when I realized my art didn’t have to do with my ego — thinking ‘what if they don’t like it.’ It had to do with ‘this is my expression and here we are.’” ~Beverly MolanderBMolander 2

Listen to Beverly’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Her suggestion to others who might want to try this type of writing and painting are, “Relax into the process, see what happens and be grateful for the experience. Let it be a source of experimentation.”

Beverly’s radio shBMolander 1ow, Affirmative Prayer – Activating the Power of YES, can be heard on Unity Online Radio Mondays at 1 p.m. Eastern. www.unity.fm/program/affirmativeprayer 

With the new year beginning, Beverly said, “Every time we come to some kind of the next horizon, the way we look at work changes. Give yourself permission to take that next step wherever you are so you can include your personal and professional lives together.” BMolander Book

Find out more about Beverly, her intuitive art and her work on her website or her Facebook page. Purchase a copy of her book, Day by Day. It is a 4”x5”, 24-page magazine-style compilation of heartfelt thoughts and ideas evolving out of Beverly’s everyday experiences.  Joined together with Beverly’s intuitive abstract art, the writings bring a sense of clarity to the choices we can make every minute of every day.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Betty Humphrey Fowler: Your Physical Environment Can Be Supportive or Toxic

BFowler photoBetty Humphrey Fowler is a Feng Shui Consultant and Certified Interior Re-Designer.  She has been helping people transform their lives by improving the energy flow of their homes and work spaces for almost 12 years.  Betty is trained in Essential Feng Shui by internationally recognized Feng Shui expert, Terah Kathryn Collins, at the Western School of Feng Shui.

BFowler entrace Before

BEFORE

Betty’s passion began in 1999, while living in Northern California, when she read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about how people could reduce clutter and stress in their lives.  The topic was Feng Shui.

 “We live in a physical environment. If our physical environment is toxic to us, changes we are trying to make physically and mentally are not being supported. My goal is to help people see that if they create an environment they love being around, it will support whatever changes they want to make in their lives.”  ~ Betty Humphrey Fowler

BFowler entrace AFTER

AFTER

Listen to Betty’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Through her own life situations and those of her clients, Betty has repeatedly proven that, when you change your home environment, you will experience a renewed vitality and energy that creates positive change in your life.

As a tip to welcoming chi into your home, Betty says, “The front door is the mouth of chi where life energy comes into your home. A few times a week, come in through that door and see what a guest sees. Clear away debris, have a beautiful welcome mat, make sure your front door doesn’t squeak and that the doorbell is working. You want it to be welcoming to bring opportunity in.”

Check out Betty’s blog to learn more about feng shui. http://feelgoodinyourspace.com

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Asha Lightbearer: Open to Imagination

Asha Lightbearer picAsha Lightbearer has been writing and performing music since the age of six. The question she is asked most often is, “From what tribe are you?” The answer is, “None, officially,” although she does participate in activities with Thunderbird Nation, a mixed group of Native American and non-native people who believe in ceremony and the sacredness of the ancestors, the earth and the Great Spirit.

 “The creative process is about being open to possibility and imagination. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Throw the colors on the wall, throw the music on the wall, throw the words on the wall — then see how it comes out. If you’re worrying about playing it safe and worried about doing it right, you’ll never get to your most creative genius.”  ~Asha Lightbearer

Listen to Asha’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Asha considers herself Contemporary Christian, but includes mixed esoteric practices in her Spirituality — seeing all as congruent, valuable and life-giving. She graduated from Capital University with a degree in Jazz Studies.

She says regarding the evolution of her music, “I used to only write to get the pain out of my body — that was the one way that I could express. Artists have this fascination with the macabre and believe pain ignites their creative spark. One day I thought ‘Wait a minute — that’s messed up. Wouldn’t I be even that much more of an artist if I could be creative and write a happy song? I can’t believe that I can only be creative when I’m in the dark depths.’ From that point, I started writing positive music. I will touch the wounded spot, but then I show a different way of looking at it. It has served me to step out of those dark spots.”

Asha has performed in New Hampshire, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Ohio and Florida and is rapidly expanding her reach through both live and recorded performances. A single from her debut album, Move Ahead, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Uniting category at the 8th Annual Empower Posi-Music Awards. Asha album cover

In addition to performing, she is a certified Alchemical Hypnotist and believes strongly in working with others, teaching them tools to make their lives more peaceful, happy and fulfilling and helping them to remember the beauty of who they really are. Check her website for classes and workshops including a 12-week teleclass series called “Let’s Flow! Expanding Possibility: 10 Tools for Abundant Living.”

Asha says, “I can create anything I want and so I’m building the life I love. It’s going to look like whatever I want it to look like. That’s my Divine purpose as long as it serves others.”

She has one son and is committed to family life and teaching him the values of honesty, integrity and fun! Asha believes that now is the time that we are called to lay down our differences — across religious boundaries — and “Love one another.” Find out more about Asha at www.ashalightbearer.com and check out her debut album, Move Ahead.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Virginia DuPre: Keeping Open to the Unknown

Virginia DuPre is an artist, art therapist and a former ordained minister.

She graduated from Candler School of Theology in 1994. While serving as an ordained minister, Virginia was a client of art therapy as a way of tending to her own needs and issues so that she could better help others. In 2000, she completed a Master Degree in Art Therapy from Vermont College at Norwich University and began helping people to heal, grow and expand spiritually through the use of art making.

“Making art has kept me open to the unknown — being willing to continue to grow and expand. Art holds mystery and that’s a big part of the spiritual experience. As long as I’m alive, I want to keep expanding into that. There’s something about the blank page and listening to the materials, not knowing what will come out of that process, that’s a way of practicing being open to the great mystery moving inside.” ~Virginia DuPre

Listen to Virginia’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Virginia works with adult individuals, couples and groups for art therapy and spiritual formation.  She says, “What I love about art therapy is that an image comes out of the person and is the source for healing and growth. The art, in a very concrete way, points people back to their own knowing.”

She makes personal art with found objects and recycled objects. Currently Virginia is making snake bone pendant necklaces — made from bones of snakes that were killed in farm management practices on a farm in South Georgia.

Virginia encourages others to connect to their creativity. She says, “Set aside time to play and listen to what wants to come up.”

Find out more about Virginia and her art therapy practice at www.virginiadupre.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Laura Strickler: Choosing at the Buffet of Spirituality

About 10 years ago, Laura Strickler bought a few beads and a little bit of bead wire, hoping to replicate a key chain she admired at a craft fair. She quickly learned that you only need to know how to do a couple of things — crimping and wire wrapping, to be exact — to make just about anything you want with beads. The very short learning curve, the dazzling assortment of beads out there in the world and the utilitarian nature of the final product kept her going.

Finding an intersection where beading and spirituality meet has been the most gratifying part of Laura’s hobby.

“I think of spirituality as a buffet. When you’re at the buffet, you get to pick and choose. You might like something about one spiritual tradition, and something else about another one. I believe that we all have the creative prerogative to connect with our Higher Power in a way that personally works for us.” ~Laura Strickler

Listen to Laura’s Art as Worship interview on Empower.

She says, “The most exciting thing for me about this art of beading was discovering the spiritual aspect that I could bring to it. The word ‘bead’ comes from the Old English noun ‘bede,’ which means a prayer. Just a bead itself is a prayer. It’s just the perfect tangible anchor for any spiritual practice.”

There is a prayer bead configuration for almost every religion and spiritual tradition. Laura’s signature prayer beads include traditional Catholic rosaries and chaplets, Hindu and Buddhist Malas, Christian prayer beads, and a variety of non-denominational prayer and meditation beads.

Laura goes on to say, “Prayer beads are a wonderful way to pause. To be reminded to stop, take a breath and to get centered.”

Laura lives in Atlanta and indulges her creative passions as an antidote to her “real” job in corporate communications at The Coca-Cola Company. Laura has owned her own business, Design & Copy, Inc., for 16 years, providing writing, editing and marketing communications services to a broad range of clients. You can contact her by email at lstrickler (@) mac.com.

Since this interview originally aired, Laura left her job at Coca-Cola and started Pink Elephant Merchantile offering a line of elegant, versatile necklaces.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Sybil MacBeth: I Get Still By Moving

Sybil MacBeth is a dancer, a doodler, and a former community college mathematics professor. When she moved to Memphis in 2004, author Phyllis Tickle nudged Sybil to write about her prayer frustrations and the visual and active prayer practice she developed as the result of them. She now combines her experience in the mathematics classroom with her lifelong love of prayer to offer workshops that engage differing learning styles. As the author of Praying in Color Drawing a New Path to God, she has lead over 100 workshops and retreats. 

“I use this prayer involving art as a form of meditation to get still. I write the word ‘God’ or ‘Holy Spirit’ on a piece of paper. I start drawing and it invites my body into the prayer. I like to move and I’ve discovered that I get still by moving … even if it’s just moving my hand along the paper. It helps me get still on the inside because the body is no longer a distraction.” ~Sybil MacBeth

Listen to Sybil’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Sybil is also the author of Praying in Color Kids’ Edition. Her latest book is a Praying in Black and White: A Hands-On Practice for Men, a collaborative effort with her Episcopal priest husband, Andy MacBeth. Praying in Color has been translated into Korean, Spanish, and Italian.

She encourages others to embrace their creativity by saying, “Sometimes your boundaries are your freedom. Use the boundary as a starting off point. Choose to only draw circles. Or restrict your doodle to circles and lines and see what happens. That way you don’t have this whole big paper staring at you — those restrictions can allow you to be free.”

Sybil uses the arts as a pathway for building community and deepening her relationship with God. She is a life-long dancer. Sybil studied ballet and modern dance and performed with various regional dance groups. She currently dances with an improv dance group.

She commented, “Sometimes you become an expert by being a chronic novice — always willing to learn and willing to continue to grow.”

Sybil’s experience includes:

  • Artist-in-Residence Memphis Theological Seminary 2010-2011.
  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach from 1991 to 2004.
  • Graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a B.S. in Mathematics and College of William and Mary with an. M.S. in Mathematics.

She lives in Memphis, TN with her husband, Andy, an Episcopal priest.  Sybil is the mother of two adult sons.

Find out more about Sybil, her books and workshops at www.prayingincolor.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Patrick McDonnell: Art Helps Me Lose My Ego

Cartoonist and author Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the award-winning MUTTS comic strip. Syndicated in 1994, MUTTS now appears in over 700 print newspapers worldwide, and has its home on the web at muttscomics.com.

“My art and spirituality inspire each other. Being an artist made me start thinking about spirituality. When I read The Power of Now, it was the artist in me that understood it. Making art is a prayer and meditation — it helps me lose my ego. So art is definitely part of my spiritual process.” ~Patrick McDonnell

Listen to Patrick’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Patrick has received numerous awards for his art, including the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, and international recognition for his promotion of animal protection.  He has over 20 books in print including The New York Times bestsellers The Gift of Nothing, Hug Time, The Monsters’ Monster and 2012 Caldecott Honor book Me … Jane, which is a biography of the childhood of Dr. Jane Goodall.  In 2009, McDonnell collaborated with The Power of Now author Eckhart Tolle to create Guardians of Being.

Earl, a Jack Russell Terrier, was Patrick’s real life inspiration for MUTTS for 19 years. Patrick says, “I always felt if I could capture any of his joy of life in my comic, I was doing my job.”

Regarding the constant pressure of meeting deadlines, Patrick says, “When you do a daily comic strip, having faith is a big part of it. I have faith in the Creator and in the creative powers that something’s going to happen. I’ve always approached art on a faith basis — not to struggle with it, but to let it happen.”

In addition to his artistic commitments of his daily comic strip, books and the upcoming MUTTS movie, Patrick is a member of the national Boards of Directors for The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals and The Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Find out more about Patrick and MUTTS at www.muttscomics.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Matt Tommey: Crafting a Creative Life

Matt Tommey is a basketry artist, a musician, author and worship leader. His interest in fine craft and handmade baskets began as a teenager, growing up in southern Georgia. His passion for using natural materials began to center around the creeping southern vine of kudzu while attending Young Harris College in the North Georgia mountains and the University of Georgia.

“A few years ago, my wife and I made a decision to say ‘NO’ to everything that was not creative at its core. That meant turning down jobs and moving from Atlanta to Asheville. It meant crafting a life that sustains what we are called to do, as opposed to running after the frustrations of the day. I’ve crafted my life in a way that makes it easy to be creative — that meant saying ‘no’ to stuff that sucks my time.” ~Matt Tommey

Listen to Matt’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Now an Asheville, North Carolina resident, Matt’s handcrafted baskets are a whimsical collaboration of traditional Appalachian forms and wild, rustic, natural materials including natural vines (kudzu, wisteria, grapevine), branches (birch, oak, ash & poplar), long leaf pine needles and poplar bark. His interpretation of rib baskets and other traditional shapes offer a heartfelt nod to his roots in Appalachian basketry while offering a contemporary expression that is all his own.

Matt says, “Coming from a family of musicians and being a musician, I grew up with this idea of performing for God. As I’ve grown in my spirituality and relationship with God, the Lord began to draw me back into the woods. With my basketry, my relationship with God began to change from a position of performance to just being. Connecting with the solitude of the woods helped me to find a place of rest with my creativity. It’s in this place that I know that I’m loved and accepted beyond anything I would ever create. I know that I’m created in the image of God and my job is not to perform for Him, but to create with Him.”

Matt is a leader in the contemporary basketry movement, serving on the Board of Directors of the National Basketry Organization and as an instructor at schools, guilds and conventions around the country.

Through The Worship Studio and his book, Unlocking the Heart of the Artist, Matt encourages others to embrace their creativity. He says, “You are creative. The things that make you weird and unique are the very things that God put inside of you to express His glory on the earth — and for you to have a really good time in life. The abundant life comes when we connect to creativity and the greater spirit of God with our unique expression of creativity.”

Find out more about Matt at www.matttommey.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!