Photo by Gina Fong Seidler

Photo by Gina Fong Seidler

Painting up Hanapau Canyon Road, Death Valley NP

Painting up Hanapau Canyon Road, Death Valley NP

I love to travel to wild places on this planet, from Monet’s Gardens in France to Death Valley National Park and all the places in between.

Some mornings I get up early and head out before sunrise so I can watch the sun rise and hear the birds waking up. Other days I head for the coast and tide pools or up a trail in the hills. Wherever I go, I have my sketchbook, sumi-e pen and watercolors. 

As I walk, I ground down into the earth and open my heart to what wants to be painted. When something calls to me, I stop and listen. Before I begin to paint, I connect to the essence of what I see, what is called the “chi”, the life or breath contained in the tree, a rock, leaf, or sea shell before me.

This life force flows through my heart, the end of the brush and onto the paper. In this way, I activate the right and left sides of my brain which moves me into a place of inspiration and intention. I “write” what I see, ask what words want to be painted, and sign and date the piece. Then I whisper a word of thanks and continue on my way. 

My intention when I create is to honor the earth upon whom I walk as well as provide opportunities for others to step into a deeper connection with their heart and our planet.

I studied painting with American Master painter Sue Hoya Sellars who first taught me sumi-e, the ancient practice of Chinese ink painting; she was taught by her teacher, Lenore Thomas Straus. I’ve also studied with renowned Asian watercolor painter, May Shei. My background includes a M.A. in Women’s Spirituality along with 21 patents from hi-tech land.

I work with Shiloh Sophia, the founder of the Intentional Creativity movement and the person I learned IC from, and am an Intentional Creativity Teacher and faculty at the Color of Woman School where we train new IC teachers.

~ Annette Wagner