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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

True Center eCourse: We Have Our Winners!

Before I say another word, I want to thank you.
As I always do, I read each and every comment with great relish, with growing excitement, and was yet again swept over with how amazing this community is.  Your support, your belief, your kindred hearts always bolster my love for humanity and encourage the work of my soul.
So thank you.
Thank you.
Know that I mean it from the whole of my heart and the depth of my soul.
* * *

Here's the truth: when I first woke this morning, I immediately felt the giddy thrill of wondering who the True Center scholarship winners would be.  And as I know you'll want to know too, I'll jump right to it.  With a prayer and the randomness of the draw, I pulled two names:
Jaccalyn (of the fingers crossed)
Bev (who's been peeling away layers for decades)
LADIES, I'm so thrilled to have you join me!  Please send me your email addresses and I'll get you set!!

Again, I'm so grateful to each and every one who took the time to enter, who shared, who will join me in this course, and who is just here believing.  YOU are the bees knees.
You can now officially sign up for the True Center eCourse right HERE!
It's going to be beautiful.  
I can't wait to begin with you and all the brilliance I know you'll bring!
In all love and belief in the work of your hands, heart and soul,
~ U ~

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Huge Horizons, a Give-a-Way, and the all new True Center eCourse

It's such a big day.  
As in heart-pounding, breathless, giddy, just-peeded-a-little excited.
For a handful of years I've felt the tug to teach, to share my experiences, processes, and successes (and not so).  I adore creating, I love story telling.  I believe that the making of my personal art is the first half of its life (albiet the only half I need to find fulfillment in the making): the second half is completed when another person sees that art and it speaks to them, reveals meaning to them, reminds them of their importance, their beliefs, their own life experience.  THAT is my favorite facet of art; the connection, the sharing, the inspiring that in turns inspires others.
All of this in mind, about a year ago I decided to answer the [growing louder and louder] call to craft a course that could be offered across the globe to all kindred spirits.  I've spent months building content, documenting the things that I do to garner and gather inspiration, the ways I translate those ideas into tangible forms, and preparing it in this offering to you.  
And so I present, with the sticky thrill of exhilaration,
True Center.
- The Offering -
True Center is an eCourse focused on the concentrated cultivation of your artistic life.  Over these six weeks we'll join to establish, develop, and grow the creative practices that open the flood gates of inspiration.  We'll talk about where ideas spark and how to open our hearts and minds to receiving more of them.  We'll talk about what it takes to move from vague concept to raw form to polished piece in your medium of choice.  We'll break boxes, expand boundaries, and fearlessly step into the fullness of your unique potential as a creative being.  This course is a safe place for experimentation. for taking leaps into the uncharted waters of your personal well of inspiration.
This is not a course to teach you how to make a pretty painting, to snap the perfect photograph, or to create the loveliest piece of jewelry - although we'll talk about all those concepts and more.  This is a class crafted around unlocking your True Center, working with the deep beauty you already hold inside, taking what lights you up and sets your soul ablaze, and then learning to create from that authentic and inspired place.  This is a course for those willing to delve into soulwork, to use their utterly individual experience as a glorious human being to inform their art.  This is a course for those who want to add depth, intention, meaning and story to the work of their hands.  This is a course for finding your True Center.

- The Details -
Through the True Center eCourse you will receive:
- Six weeks of concentrated instruction in a private virtual classroom.  Each week will hold new themes, vibrant lesson posts, videos, assignments, journaling and projects.
- Two LIVE group Question and Answer sessions to address the your questions on art, making, technical skill, broad concepts, and what ever else comes up!
- Entrance into our "secret" FaceBook group, a place to share inspirations, artistic breakthroughs (and the plateaus that always come before), build like-minded community and find support in this path of life and artistry as one.

- The Other Details -
- The True Center Summer Session will open on Monday June 24th and run for six full weeks, with instruction ending on Friday August 2nd.  All content will remain available for an additional six weeks to ensure plenty of time for completion.  
- Registration  for the True Center Summer Session course is $99; sign-ups officially going live on Wednesday May 29. 
- This is an OPEN MEDIUM course.  What does that mean you ask?  The True Center eCourse is designed to meet you where you are, in the medium in which you love.  Much of the assignments and projects we'll do will take place in our sketchbooks and journals in order to develop the resource tools to inform your personal artwork.  We will discuss moving ideas, from the thought phase, through various mediums and how to interpret inspiration across the mediums you prefer to work with.
- The FaceBook group is optional, and in no way a requirement for taking the course.  I strongly believe that we must be true to that which feeds us, supports us, lifts us up in order to boldly create art; for some a high integrity community is a vital part of this process.  Either way, know that I believe in the decisions you make.
* * *
Now here's the best part:
In the joy and excitement of this offering, it is my glee to gift two people with a scholarship to the True Center eCourse.  All you need to do is leave me a comment here, on this blog post, with the words "TRUE CENTER" somewhere in the comment!  It's that easy! 
 If you'd like to enter more than once, then I'd like that too! Every time you:
- "like" the UmberDove FaceBook page
- share this post via FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc. (your social media of choice),
- reblog this post
Simply leave me an additional, separate comment to let me know and consider yourself double, triple, quadrupled entered into the give-a-way!
The Give-a-way opens NOW and closes at midnight Tuesday May 28th.  I'll be back on Wednesday May 29th to announce the winners and open registration for the summer session!
* * *

My friends, my sisters, my kindreds, I just want to thank you for being the bright shinning stars you are!  I can not wait to begin this next part of the journey with you!
~ Umber ~

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ancestral Mythology, Vol 1.

This is a story of the People.
Long, long ago when the earth was still bright eyed and the People did not yet know Her fullness, the sun shone harsh and baked the soil.  For weeks the People stood with parched tongues at the valley edge, watching the storm clouds high above the mountain range.  High, higher than anyone had dared climb, so high their eyes watered and wept, so high the trees sighed and released their leaves.  In the valley the grasses withered and the children cried out for the hunger in their bellies.  The women huddled and in hushed tones wondered where to lead their tribe. 
The eldest woman cried out "Deer Mother, Deer Mother, how do we save our babies?  Where will we lead our men?"  And so Deer ran down from the trees and walked among the People, noting their empty baskets and innocent hearts.  She looked to the high mountains, flowering and lush.
"You must travel North," Deer said, "You must follow the rain for in its path the land springs green eternal.
"But we can not climb so high" lamented the People.  "Our feet are too broad for the narrow trails, our toes too tender for the shale.  Our legs are not strong enough for those steep sides and we shall surely fall to our death."
Deer looked at the People with their wide open eyes full of hope and fear.
"Climb," she said, dropping to her knees.  "Climb and I will carry you."  And so the People clambered upon her back, the young, the old, the men, the women.  She carried them high, higher than any had ever traveled before, so high that when the People turned they saw the whole of the Earth stretched out before them and their eyes were opened to Her fullness.  Deer carried them until the air was scented with the tang of damp loam and the grasses grew thick and dark.  The People slid off her back, kissed her neck, and ate their fill.
And that child, is how we became a People of the Deer.
Ancestral Mythology: People of the Deer
(sterling silver, prehnite, amazonite, and gaspeite)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sketchbook Writings

~ From my sketchbook writings, May 17th 2013 ~
Here is what I love about the sea, the Sound, the great swirl of salt and heaving life.  Here is the outpouring, unlocking, loosening of the throat, the bone striping wind, the olfactory discord of decay and bloom, the bewitching mortality of it all.

I stand at the edge.

I can love her tender, I can rage tempestuous, I can gather her bits of stone and shell, I can throw them back with unnecessary force.  She is not gentle, she is not kind.  Do not be fooled by fairy tales and sweet song.  But she is whole.  Birth and life and death incarnat.
* * *
Whenever I visit these so-called grey beaches of the northern pacific, all I see is color.  The subtle layering of mountain ranges shrouded in a watery reflection of sky and sea, the luminosity of big leaf maples in juvenile foliage - a glow that only comes with the mist.  The warm hues of slick driftwood, the iridescent flash of crows and the hot punch of red-winged blackbirds.  And then of course, the stones.
If you but call out a color, say, Mustard! then suddenly they appear as speckled pockets of glowing chroma.  Coral! and the beach comes alive with vermillion hues.  Teal! and my hand becomes greedy, my thighs gritty with sand as I wipe down stone after stone.
I am the magpie.
I am the wandering gypsy with pockets full of treasure.
Whisper me a salty tale and I'll share with you my trove.
* * *
Good Morning Stardusts, the sea waves to greet you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Today:  I am filled with the kindess of strangers and the warmth of feeling known by the closest of confidants.  My hair is still in knots from last night's sunset driving with all the windows down and Neko Case is stuck on repeat in my head.  I feel a tenderness towards humanity that is too often reserved for the trees.  I feel fiercely determined, I feel the stirring to create, I feel the apprehension of upcoming appointments that place a time stamp on the future.  My feet already hold a sharp flip-flop tan and I'm giddy to see the snap peas are blooming.  I'm dusting off words that have been left idle by the roadside.  I am a daughter of the earth, I am on time for my life.
* * *

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pile it on.
Good God of 85 Degree Temps.
And welcome.

How was your weekend?  I managed to flash my thighs in the sunshine whilst day drinking and veggie planting... oh the holy trifecta of Summer living.  When you hold such a watery heart and a coastal soul, it's easy to forget how utterly delicious this weather can be.  On today's menu?  Lilac plucking and toe painting.  After the work day of course.  Or maybe smack in the middle.  It's a physical hardship for me to stay inside.  I know, I know, this LIFE!  Whee!
I've been thinking much lately on trying to pull all of my body, all of my mind into the physical place I stand on the earth.  Blame it on a wanderer's spirit, a gypsy heritage or past lives, but I find myself all too often residing in one place while my heart wanders the hillsides of another.  I thirst for salt air, for snow caps, for warm oak leaves, for hawk cries, for sisters who laugh, for lonely roads, and for languid meals.  It's something like wanderlust, but deeper, a searching for the fertile soil of roots that run deep, and slivers of earth that cradle my form.  Days like this make it easy to dig fully into the place I stand, so I take them, gulp them down greedily, and fill myself up with their contentment.  I walk barefoot and run my hands along the trees.  On others my feet twitch and I crave the sight of every new thing, the experience of every fresh locale, but deeper still I crave the foundation of home.
As ever, I am a dichotomy.
But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
* * *
The wind whistles too sweetly through this old house, and I need to check in on the cucumbers.  Or something like that.
Here's me, wishing you lollypops and unicorns!
~ U ~

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Salt Air

Hello Mamma Pacific, thanks for always leaving me the best treasures.
I don't know if this is true of other oceans,
Of warmer shores or bluer waters,
But when I breath in the mist of Mamma Pacific,
Time no longer matters.
* * *