The Artist and Writer as Shaman

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Shamaness 11"x14" pastel on velour paper by Patricia Robin Woodruff

Shamaness 11″x14″ pastel on velour paper
by Patricia Robin Woodruff

“Artists are the shamans of our time.” – Will Bason

One definition of a shaman by Brendan McGuigan is, “… a person who interacts with both the normal world and the world of spirits, usually acting as a sort of intermediary between the two.”  The more I learn, the more I feel that this is my role in creating art, poetry and prose.  I often feel that when I am writing “in the zone”, the story flows through me.  It’s like I am watching it unfold before me and my job is simply to write it down. The same goes for my art.  Often when drawing a live model different animals, insects or plants may suggest themselves and I weave it into the composition.  When I get done, I am no longer surprised when the model tells me that they have always identified with that imagery. I had a very vivid and powerful dream some years ago, where I was perched on a high mountainside with an ancient Native American man.  He told me solemnly that my name was “Listens To The Wind.”  When I awoke, that made sense to me, since my ideas seem to come from an invisible force.  I can’t see it, but I can sense Spirit by its movement in my mind and its creation through my hands.  So here’s a good affirmation for the week: “I am open to Spirit and the infinite inspiration it provides.” – Patricia Robin Woodruff

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