Wednesday, January 27, 2016
In October of 2014, I received a request and the subsequent honor of having my original painting "Seek" chosen to be the artwork for the historical recording of "Cloud Eagle" by the Seasonal Singers and Dance Group from the Pueblos of Jemez and Zuni.
The Seasonal Dance Group dances their traditional Buffalo, Corn, Rainbow, and Eagle dances and "Cloud Eagle" is the very first album capturing these songs after 24 years of this group. "Cloud Eagle" is also the very first recording in their tribal history.
From group member Glendon Toya: "Our project is mainly to promote our culture through song and dance. Being that my family comes from the Tribes of Jemez and Zuni and us speaking the only languages of our kind in the whole world, we cannot sit back and let our culture and language fade away. Many people in our tribes will benefit through this CD, it will bring happiness and knowledge into homes. It will make people suffering from illness’s sit up and enjoy these songs. We strongly believe that the drum beat wakes up the spirit within us and we can be healed of depression, stress, etc. Imagine being in a place and you hear a drum at distance, your heart is going to hear and lead you to it. We see it all too much. The Grandfather Drum as we call it is a healer."
About the choice of this particular painting, Glendon said, "This to us represents the 4 directions of life also the 4 seasons. We can seek out to these 4 directions, but we will always be who we are and we will always be protected within."
Of note, one of the songs from this recording, "Living in the Moment" was recently awarded a 2015 New Mexico Music Award. The Zuni Pueblo Seasonal Singers are: Lawrence Toya, Glendon Toya, Delvin Toya and Riley Gachupin.
Please scroll down this post to see videos of the Seasonal Singers and Dance Group from the Pueblos of Jemez and Zuni.
"Seek" by Stephanie Smith.
"She is (I AM) Light" is about the acknowledgment and acceptance of our full radiant selves. It is about healing, self-love, and having faith that we can become whole again. During this process, our armor begins to crack and will eventually fall away as we begin to embrace that which we have resisted most: Our Greatness.
(06/18/14 Note: Several months after completing this painting, I read a The Bhagavad Gita and learned about the concept of the Atman which may be defined as, "the spiritual life principle of the universe, especially when regarded as inherent in the real self of the individual." Hmmm...)
The Six Guardian Mandalas are representative of our never having to do the work alone - angels, ancestors, and spirit guides are always around us, gently nudging and guiding us along our path to becoming our whole, true selves.
This original painting "She is (I AM) Light" is currently available for purchase. Please contact me for details.
Part of my artistic evolution during this project has been to document and share my creation process:
"She is Light: Who I Am But Only That Others Can See" New Major Work In Progress
"She is Light" Work In Progress Part 2: Drawing Her In
"She is Light" Work in Progress Part 3: Mantras, Affirmations & Blessings
"She is Light" Work in Progress Part 4: "I am That"
"She is Light" Work in Progress Part 5: Perfection at Our Core
"She is Light" A Work in Progress Part 6: A Layer of Protection
"She is Light" Work in Progress Part 7: Awaiting the Next Vision
"She is Light" A Work in Progress Part 8: I Get Busy
"She is Light" Work in Progress Part 9: I Stop Caring What Other People Think
"She is (I AM) Light" A work in progress Part 10: The Double Helix Eludes Me
"She is (I AM) Light" A work in progress Part 11: The Helix Prevails!
"She is (I AM) Light" A work in progress Part 12: The End is in Sight
She is (I AM) Light: A Work In Progress Part 13: Putting it Into Words
She is (I AM) Light: Part 14 The Origin of My Mantras
She is (I AM) Light: Part 15 The Guardian Six Completed
She is (I AM) Light: Part 16 Ok, now that's done... now what?
She is (I AM) Light: Part 17 It's all over but the shouting, I've come to take what's mine
She is (I AM) Light Part 18: First Friday Comes, and Goes...
You can also view all my photos from this project on Flickr.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"