Eric Paulson and Angelynn Brown of Stone Circle Studios live on several magical acres in Hillpoint Wisconsin, a beautiful community just north of Spring Green. Walt and I stopped by on a perfect October day, taking in the sights as part of the area's Fall Art Tour. We were entranced with the otherworldy beauty of the land and studio. Shimmering areas of deep green grass invite you to stroll and relax, while artful pockets of tall flowers nod as you pass by. And yes, there is an actual stone circle, intentionally created by Eric and Angelynn, looking like the ancients selected and placed each stone. I wanted to plop down on a rock and stare off into the trees, but I worried that I might interrupt a Jedi Knight beaming in. Is it any surprise that Eric and Angelynn use their dreams as their main inspiration for their artwork? After a tour of their studio, I wanted to hear more.
When Eric and I met up again a month or so later, I originally intended to ask great questions about his paintings, the process that he and Angelynn use to retrieve and nurture their dreams, and methods he uses to create an artwork. I would then distill this wisdom into handy, bite-sized pieces for this blog post. That lofty goal was quickly set aside as I listened to my recording of our conversation and realized it should be heard in its entirety. Trying to present a key point would be like viewing a rich and complex painting and saying 'here's why he did a good job with yellow'.
This audio file as about 25 minutes long, and was recorded in the middle of our conversation, but it's filled with insights and daily practices. Since we are all working on some kind of challenge in work and life, I think any guidance that helps us hear and apply our own inner wisdom is welcome. Eric and Angelynn have developed an awareness and real-life interaction with dreams, and I for one would like more of that for myself. Which part of the interview resonated the most with you?
To see more of Eric's paintings and Angelynn's encaustics, visit their Stone Circle Studios website.
There are two parts to this blog - the fun stuff, and the really fun stuff.
So, let's get started with the fun stuff.
You know how you have that seashell on your desk from vacation because it reminds you of how fun and relaxing it was? Or maybe it's the goofy wind-up toy your college roommate gave you years ago. These are GEMs - the Good Energy Makers we keep around so they can give us that little 'zing' of good, happy energy whenever we see them. These items are important! They have meaning to us, and I believe our creative hearts need to look at things that encourage us instead of reminding us that we are responsible adults. As an artist I have them all over the studio, and each one has a different but powerful 'good energy zing' connected to it.
One of my favorites include this little guy in a spaceship (left) from my dear friend Susan. In an odd display of our maturity and refined sense of style, each year we search for a goofy, tacky Christmas ornament to bestow upon each other. This one did not get put away with the holiday decorations - it stays out to remind me that I have kindred spirits who are with me in this earth orbit. It also reminds me to go with the flow and not take things too seriously. So, that makes it the perfect GEM! Happy, silly and filled with inspiration.
Now for the really fun stuff. Just as there are many ways to create a painting, there are many ways to change things up in life and work. Upcoming posts will feature interviews with people who have imagined something they wanted to create and the steps they took to make it real. I think stories like this are fascinating, and I always learn something! This creative crowd includes: artists of all disciplines, change makers, career re-inventors, and major life curve-ball navigators. AND they'll choose a favorite GEM and share the cool story behind it.
First up - an artist who primarily relies on dreams as subject matter for his paintings. How does he remember them? How does he hang onto the image long enough to create an amazing painting from it? How can I learn more from my own dreams? Check back soon.....