Posts Tagged With: Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland Through its People, our Authentic Way of Travel

While the beauty, mystery and power of the Irish landscape is compelling, learning about a country through its people comCloon Lough (12)pletes the perfect trip. On our tours we try to make sure that you will have time to absorb the places we visit- the mountains, glens, seascapes, winding trails and green vistas.
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One of our teachers, Margaret Cunningham, who will be teaching in Glencolmcille

It is also our goal for you to meet, work with and enjoy conversation with Irish people. Om so many of our tours, this has been the one resounding thing that people have said was a highlight! Beautiful places remain in our memory, as well as the human connection between cultures. On our June trip, you will also have the opportunity, if you choose, to engage with artists in Ireland and work together in creative space. No experience is necessary, and you will be guaranteed an authentic and life changing experience! See all of the tour details on this site ( under Ireland tours: Our Wooly Adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way. Please feel free to call with any questions!

Feltmaking and Bridget's Crosses, a traditional fiber art

Feltmaking and Bridget’s Crosses, a traditional fiber art

Categories: Fiber art tours, Ireland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Southwestern Art and Universal Symbolism

There is no better way to delve into the minds of people who lived long ago than through their art, symbols and stories represSanta fe 2013 172ented visually. We can learn so much about a group of people by absorbing and studying what they created. Rock carvings and paintings, ancient pottery, and design motifs still seen in weaving all speak to techniques handed down from parent to child. What is so interesting to me is that so many of these motifs are seen in cultures around the world, as if there are symbols and designs that all people are drawn to making. We are so fortunate that some cultures have honored artistic traditions, so in a way, we are looking baSanta fe 2013 258ck in time when we see contemporary art. Notice the same wave pattern in these examples of pottery from the Andrea Fisher Gallery in Santa Fe. While on our Fiber Art tour and workshop in April, we will be spending some quality time at the gallery, seeing older and newer pottery from many pueblos and discussing the intricate patterns, decoration and symbolism. At the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture we’ll hear a guided talk about the even older art and explore the symbolism and motifs used in the past–fascinating! I am looking forward to seeing how being immersed in this beautiful art can be applied to our own creative pursuits in the workshop. I have always been interested in universal symbols- the spiral, square, circle, equidistant cross and triangle, and came across a book by Angeles Arrien called Signs of Life. The book explains the use of these symbols cross culturally and shows artwork that uses them. We’ll be discussing this in the workshop and hopefully, be inspired to explore the meaning of the symbols in our own work. I have done a series of felted pieces exploring this, as in this example: DSCF4633You’ll see several of the universal symbols represented- I wanted to see how they might affect my mind and composition as I worked, and found it very enlightening. I look forward to the Santa Fe workshop and tour, and sharing the richness of the art there with you!

Categories: All posts, Fiber art tours, Ireland, Santa Fe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Exploring art with travel

As a traveler, tour leader, teacher and visual artist, I have always found my art to be inspired by my travels, and my travels inspired by art. 10 years ago when I was completing my Master’s Degree, I spent numerousDSCF2872 semesters in Ireland and Scotland, visiting hidden places and fairy glens with local guides, and absorbing the rich artwork, symbolism and beauty of Irish art through the ages. I would often come back to Wisconsin, and in my studio find ways to explore the imagery and experiences through sculpture, drawing, fiber art and mixed media. JM Slack- 02-2008  -  -7.tifFor example, the raven is a symbol of many things in Celtic tales, and a powerful one at that. Shape shifter, messenger, Morrigan- all of the stories and connections of the bird played with my imagination, and led to many series of artwork like the example here in clay and fiber.

DSCF4626I love combining realism with fantasy or magical landscape, and often incorporate birds, as I see them as messengers and symbols of freedom through flight. the magical qualities of ravens have been noted in stories in cultures around the world. I have created many ceramic sculptures using this symbol to explore the ideas I have read about.JM Slack- 02-2008  -  -1

As I began to lead tours, especially those with an emphasis on hands-on art making, I realized that this is the perfect combination of activities, and I am passionate about sharing all that I have learned and experienced (including those hidden places!) with people. Translating the travel experience into art while on the tours is an experience that truly changes us and I hope to share this with you in the upcoming tours.  DSCF7253

Categories: Fiber art tours, Ireland, Scotland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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