Fran Meneley https://www.franmeneley.com My Work and Blog Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:10:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Hello Spring! https://www.franmeneley.com/2017/04/05/hello-spring/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2017/04/05/hello-spring/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 15:26:59 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4732 “Spring has come again. The earth is like a child who knows poems by heart.” Rainer Maria Rilke Well hello there! Spring, you’re here early this year but, I will happily take you as you are. So relieved to give the old heave-ho to winter. Can’t pack up the sweaters just yet…one day it’s 75 ... Continue Reading

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“Spring has come again. The earth is like a child who knows poems by heart.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Well hello there! Spring, you’re here early this year but, I will happily take you as you are. So relieved to give the old heave-ho to winter. Can’t pack up the sweaters just yet…one day it’s 75 and the next we get some snow (like today), but the easing of the grip of grey and brown, dark days and bitter cold is welcome. It’s a joy to watch the earth come back to life.

Over the long hibernating season I crocheted and stitched on tea stained wool felt with yarn, recovered from a little surgery, read, worked and dreamed up a new adventure. In September I’ll be hosting and facilitating an artist’s retreat at the lovely Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, NM. Open to 12 artist’s who can work independently (there will be no formal instruction), we will gather for a week in a spacious adobe studio with ample room to spread out. Each participant will have a 3′ X 8′ table with adjoining wall space. We’ll sleep under the New Mexico stars, each tucked into a cozy bed in one of Mabel’s many bedrooms. We’ll be nourished with breakfast and dinner from Mabel’s kitchen and dine together in her lovely dining room. While days are spent in solo work, field trips and meals are in community. The wifi only works in the Mabel’s living and dining rooms, so it can also be a kind of media vacation as well. This week will an amazing time to work in your chosen medium, alone, but together in community and to nourish your creative voice as well as your spirit. And thankfully, and with great gratitude, let Mabel’s kitchen nourish your body. For more information, click over on the right hand side of this blog on the Taos Studio Retreat button…all the details there. And don’t let the word “artist” intimidate you. If you are a creative person who can work independently, you’ll fit right in. Join us!

The lovely portal along the front of Mabel’s house.

In the department of inspiration, I had the pleasure of seeing some films at the Boulder International Film Festival in February and I thought I’d tell you about 3 of them, all wonderful and out soon.

Ella Brennan: Commanding The Table – So inspiring. But beware, you will feel you have done nothing all day. This woman is a powerhouse.

California Typewriter – Quirky in the best way. For the typewriter lover in all of us. If you don’t have one now, you’ll want one at the end of this film.

Obit – I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated by the obits, but I love reading them. Something about the arc of a life. I life cemeteries too – all those stories. This film is about the wonderful obit writers at the New York Times and their celebration of lives well lived.

Enjoy your spring!

 

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Summer Solstice! https://www.franmeneley.com/2015/06/21/summer-solstice-2/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2015/06/21/summer-solstice-2/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 17:31:54 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4688 Hello Summer!!! I don’t know about you all but I am lovin’ summer! June is my favorite month, in part because we are groovin’ right towards the longest, lightest, brightest day of the year…today! Oh summer how I love your green grass and true blue skies and the whir of sprinklers and robin song at ... Continue Reading

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Hello Summer!!! I don’t know about you all but I am lovin’ summer! June is my favorite month, in part because we are groovin’ right towards the longest, lightest, brightest day of the year…today! Oh summer how I love your green grass and true blue skies and the whir of sprinklers and robin song at dawn and the scent of iris and the taste of carbon on my tongue from grilled goodness and the feel of sun on my skin and the crack of an afternoon rainstorm…summer abundance! This little watercolor of the side view of a sunflower calls to mind the spirit of today’s amazing light. As does this lovely poem from Mary Oliver. Hope your day is filled with lots of paying attention to the beautiful details of this glorious season.

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Super Natural British Columbia https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/10/15/super-natural-british-columbia/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/10/15/super-natural-british-columbia/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:23:20 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4657 What a whirlwind September was! Part of it was celebrating our 25th anniversary with a trip to British Columbia. It’s tagline is Super Natural and it really and truly is.   Super Natural…as in nature on steroids. Of course it’s always amazing for me to be at a beach as Colorado has just about zero ... Continue Reading

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What a whirlwind September was! Part of it was celebrating our 25th anniversary with a trip to British Columbia. It’s tagline is Super Natural and it really and truly is.

 

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Super Natural…as in nature on steroids. Of course it’s always amazing for me to be at a beach as Colorado has just about zero opportunities to explore anything related to water. Streams, check. Ponds, check. But nothing compares to the grand Pacific Ocean lapping at your feet. And the creatures she washes up…

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…and leaves behind as the tide goes out…

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…are so beautiful and mysterious and intriguing.

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A little creature that I did not see left this amazing Cy Twombly-esque drawing in the sand…

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…and the boardwalks through the Pacific Rim forest were awe inspiring and humbling.

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The ancient forests have an energy and feel like nothing else I’ve ever experienced in nature.

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Primordial and sacred…I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a dinosaur.

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We did see this fine black bear turning over boulders hunting for crabs at low tide. Beautiful, ambling creatures who kindly let us get close to observe them. They don’t perceive danger from the water, so our little boat could nose up very close.

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The beaches spread out for miles and I loved the cool weather beach, no need for sunscreen or a dreaded swimsuit…just walking shoes.

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We did an afternoon paddle with a First Nations guide in a hand carved canoe, enjoying the blue sky and water and mountains as a backdrop…

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…tying up our little boat for a hike through another ancient forest. Beauty and stillness.

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And tea by the sea? One of my favorite things in life.

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I happily gave over a piece of my heart to this super natural place…I can’t wait to return to explore it’s beautiful forests and endless beauty.

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The Turning Of The Season https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/09/03/the-turning-of-the-season/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/09/03/the-turning-of-the-season/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:39:04 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4643 I’m having a hard time letting go of summer. As the light shortens and the air crisps up in the morning, I just want to clutch the edges of the summer light with a pleading, “no, don’t go”! It was a very, very fun summer. And the weather here much like I remember it as ... Continue Reading

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I’m having a hard time letting go of summer. As the light shortens and the air crisps up in the morning, I just want to clutch the edges of the summer light with a pleading, “no, don’t go”! It was a very, very fun summer. And the weather here much like I remember it as a child, warm but not in the 90’s for weeks on end like the summers of the last 10 years. Really, just perfect.

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We had lovely rain off and on all summer and so the land still has the lush look of spring…it just makes me so happy! And bonus: no forest fires or floods! Our community really needed a break from the natural disasters of the past two years. My hip continues to heal and I just keep getting stronger, which made the long plains walk and hike with friends this week a total dream. Counting my health blessings everyday!

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But I can’t resist the call of Autumn forever. These gorgeous onions from a friend’s garden are the fruit of the short summer months and I’m so appreciative. I can hear the nearby middle school marching band striking up a tune and I’m feeling and hearing the coming of Autumn…each season with it’s own blessings. Soups and grey days against the turning of the leaves will cozy up to my heart and I’ll enjoy them too. But seriously summer, can’t you just stay a little longer? Autumn won’t mind if you borrow a few weeks from her.

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Classes!!! https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/08/10/classes/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/08/10/classes/#respond Sun, 10 Aug 2014 18:17:10 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4623 Great news! The fall class schedule is up on the Two Hands Paperie website! Wow, Mia and her staff have done a wonderful job of collecting some amazing and talented people to teach! Check. It. Out. Go here…now! On September 6th I’ll be teaching a watercolor and transfer class, that I’m calling Transference. It’s a ... Continue Reading

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Great news! The fall class schedule is up on the Two Hands Paperie website! Wow, Mia and her staff have done a wonderful job of collecting some amazing and talented people to teach! Check. It. Out. Go here…now!

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On September 6th I’ll be teaching a watercolor and transfer class, that I’m calling Transference. It’s a really simple technique to transfer the bones of a drawing to a page and then color it in with watercolor.

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Before computers (what?) illustrators were fond of this technique and it’s really a great technique to add to your bag of journaling skills. That’s Ruby up above, the wonderful mama goat from the Lyons Farmette. I shot the photo two summers ago at the summer Makerie and wanted to add her to my journal – a simple watercolor and some writing and she’ll be a part of me forever! Come join me! All materials are supplied for use in the class…bring a favorite photo to work with or use some (including Ruby) that I’ll have available.

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Fast forward to October 18th and I’ll be teaching a detailed collage class. When I teach visual journaling I’ve noticed one of the mysteries for people is collage. I’ve broken down my process into five fun exercises…

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…that allow people to really experiment…

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…and find their own visual voice. All materials are supplied except for three favorite magazines for images. I always have some extras and a big bin of other collage material to paw through. Come join me for some Collage Play!

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So right now, skip over to Two Hands Paperie and take a look at the fall class and demo line up. We are so very lucky to have such a wonderful shop that not only carries the very best art supplies in town, but one that is so community minded and passionate about including everyone in art making! I’ve already signed up for a couple myself, in addition to teaching two classes. I’ll always be an enthusiastic student and passionate about exploring new media and techniques. Join in the fun!

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The Land of Being Enchanted – Part Two https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/08/05/the-land-of-being-enchanted-part-two/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/08/05/the-land-of-being-enchanted-part-two/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:36:31 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4587 The supplies got packed… …and that long ribbon of highway beckoned to the Land of Enchantment. I was inspired and humbled by the more than 150 folk artists from 60 countries at the International Folk Art Market (photo from their website). Most traveled very long distances by bus and boats and camels and cars and ... Continue Reading

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The supplies got packed…

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…and that long ribbon of highway beckoned to the Land of Enchantment.

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I was inspired and humbled by the more than 150 folk artists from 60 countries at the International Folk Art Market (photo from their website).

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Most traveled very long distances by bus and boats and camels and cars and planes and trains to reach Santa Fe. Many displayed their traditional dress as they demonstrated their considerable skill and artistry.

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This is Hilda Valerina Cachi Yupanqui one of seven sisters trained by their father, Gregario, in traditional Peruvian silver work…

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…the fine detail spectacular in these two little gems that came home with me.

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Mabel’s, as always, welcomed us with quiet grace…

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…the Studio In The Sky patiently waiting our arrival – The two wonderful photos above were taken by my talented friend Ellen, all cred goes to her.

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An early morning walk in the desert revealing it’s history and treasures…

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…while the real drama waited until cover of darkness – Ellen braved to the storm to capture this amazing moment.

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The desert was alive this summer, after plentiful rain and these Hollyhocks were a handful of happy!

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Big moments led to small paintings…

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…and big paintings ( 34″ x 44″ ) on paper were pushed and pulled and emerged…

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…along with other drawing and painting experiments.

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My intention this year was to be open in the moment, practice seeing and step out and be brave – trying a new way of working.

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It was a wonderful, wonder-filled week.

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New Mexico always inspires me and as I waited for lunch at Orlando’s in Taos, I annoyingly leapt up to snap pics of these fabulous table tiles just as the busboy swept away the tortilla chip crumbs and the new party was on their way to being seated. Crazy gringa!

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And this my friends, would be my “last meal”. The holy trinity: blue corn chicken enchiladas, stacked, smothered in red and green chile, posole and beans. Large glass of plain iced tea. Heaven on plate. I am blessed to have found a place that enchants me so.

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The Land Of Being Enchanted – Part One https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/07/18/the-land-of-being-enchanted/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/07/18/the-land-of-being-enchanted/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 03:11:31 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4558 Yes, indeed, I’ve been enchanted…  …by the sky and the International Folk Art Market gathering of world makers… …cups of early morning tea with Taos Mountain as my companion… …platters of high summer berries at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House… …color studies in the studio… …and big drawings on their way to being paintings… …and ... Continue Reading

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Yes, indeed, I’ve been enchanted… photo 4

…by the sky and the International Folk Art Market gathering of world makers…

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…cups of early morning tea with Taos Mountain as my companion…

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…platters of high summer berries at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House…

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…color studies in the studio…

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…and big drawings on their way to being paintings…

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…and little paintings capturing the moments…

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…and quiet time just to take it all in. It’s been an amazing week…sad to say it’s winding down. Much more next week on this New Mexico summer sojourn.

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That Long Ribbon Of Highway https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/07/09/that-long-ribbon-of-highway/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/07/09/that-long-ribbon-of-highway/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:13:05 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4526 Vacation planning…taking all the important stuff. Paint brushes, paint, scissors, found bottle caps…important stuff. I’ll be heading down that long ribbon of highway known as Interstate 25 towards New Mexico and Sas and Mabel’s. I’ll be sending out dispatches from The Land of Enchantment here and on Instagram… …soaking up trumpets of summer a.k.a. Hollyhocks… ... Continue Reading

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Vacation planning…taking all the important stuff. Paint brushes, paint, scissors, found bottle caps…important stuff. I’ll be heading down that long ribbon of highway known as Interstate 25 towards New Mexico and Sas and Mabel’s.

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I’ll be sending out dispatches from The Land of Enchantment here and on Instagram…

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…soaking up trumpets of summer a.k.a. Hollyhocks…

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…enjoying the shady portals of the high desert…

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…capturing the moments…

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…and taking in spacious reveries of the sage and Sangre De Christos vistas.

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This summer for me has been all about saying YES! to as many fun things as I can. And it works! Just that one simple thing has enriched summer. So simple. And obvious. Try it!

I’ve been very much enjoying Mary Ann Moss’s excellent online class, Sketchbookery and Danny Gregory’s Sketchbook Skool, although I won’t really be giving them my undivided attention until the ferris wheel of summer begins to wind down. I highly recommend them.

And I will leave you with this…it has nothing to do with art or road trips or really anything except that little thing called The World Cup…this cracked me up…Minions Forever!

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Long May She Wave https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/07/04/long-may-she-wave/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/07/04/long-may-she-wave/#respond Fri, 04 Jul 2014 14:34:29 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4514 Happy Fourth of July Everyone! I will be spending my day hiking in a place I love, with the man I love. Watching a parade. Eating all the summery foods I can get my hands on. Counting my blessings and loving my country (but not always it’s government). This week especially has me thinking about ... Continue Reading

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Happy Fourth of July Everyone! I will be spending my day hiking in a place I love, with the man I love. Watching a parade. Eating all the summery foods I can get my hands on. Counting my blessings and loving my country (but not always it’s government). This week especially has me thinking about women’s rights, which are human rights. And I’ve been very touched by this video. And feel inspired and empowered by my girl’s blog post. And yes, I throw like a woman, I wake up like a woman, I wield a pencil and paintbrush like a woman, I hike and workout like woman. And you know what else I do? I vote like a woman. And this Independence Day has me understanding, ever more deeply, how important that right and freedom is. Enjoy your Fourth of July and all the beauty it reveals! Long May She Wave!!

 

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Summer Solstice https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/06/28/summer-solstice/ https://www.franmeneley.com/2014/06/28/summer-solstice/#respond Sat, 28 Jun 2014 14:05:09 +0000 https://www.franmeneley.com/?p=4443 Last Saturday a group of us gathered together at my studio for a Summer Solstice workshop that my friend Gaela and I cooked up. I call Gaela the land whisperer, a lovely (and knowledgable) soul who studies and intuits nature and it’s energies. Before you think I’ve gone all woo-woo, what Gaela does is recognized ... Continue Reading

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Last Saturday a group of us gathered together at my studio for a Summer Solstice workshop that my friend Gaela and I cooked up. I call Gaela the land whisperer, a lovely (and knowledgable) soul who studies and intuits nature and it’s energies. Before you think I’ve gone all woo-woo, what Gaela does is recognized worldwide, in modern cultures and in ancient cultures, as Geomancy. She has a business helping people with the energetics of their homes and their land. It was in this spirit that we teamed up to offer a workshop giving our students the chance to visit a sacred site in Boulder and learn about how to tune in and honor a special place. The Red Rocks site has been sacred to the Arapahoe tribe for hundreds of years and we were lucky enough to have Gaela introduce us to it’s special energies. For my part, I made little journals for everyone that created a container for some writing and nature journaling exercises as well as mandala making on paper back in the studio.

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As we hiked up we began to listen to the pulse of the place…

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…and had the chance to sit and meditate (really just close our eyes, settle in and sit quietly for 15 minutes)…

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…and feel the specialness of this amazing place.

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Nearby we gathered to create flower mandalas (with flowers that we brought with us)…

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…as an offering to both the place and the Summer Solstice.

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Beauty abounded.

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By noon we were happy to retreat back to the cool studio to gather for lunch and work in our journals and create our own mandalas and remembrances of the day.

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The beauty of the day and it’s creation linger with us with months of summer still ahead! Stay tuned for more Equinox and Winter Solstice workshops to come.

 

 

 

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