Several years ago I began making small dolls for friends out of homemade clay, fabric and other materials. I called the dolls "I Love Me" dolls, and each one was a small version of the person for whom it was created, with colors and objects that held meaning for that particular person. My intention was to make dolls for my friends that would help them get in touch with their little self, their child self, to help them feel nurtured and feel self-love.
It's strange being an artist who has all my life, known myself to create art as, well... art. For most of my life, even though I knew my art had a spiritual component to it, I didn't do it with any spiritual intention, but merely to create art as an artist does. Recent years of progressing on my spiritual path have allowed me to see my art differently. A teacher called my paintings power objects and I thought, hmmm... that's interesting. The papier mache masks I made were created for pure fun, although since I made them years ago, I learned about the use of masks in sacred ceremonies, particularly in shamanism. Some of the art objects I've made (as art), are still art to me but yet call to a deeper place within me, as if they were made for a purpose greater than what I had intended. One example is my "buddies", as I call them, or skulls on sticks. They were made for a performance, but feel like they have a deeper meaning the more I have them around, although I only use them in performances and creative projects. I'll write about them in a separate blog entry of their own at some point. More and more I am seeing that so much of my art is linked to my spirituality, and that my artistic talents can be used to create power objects for others and for myself.
Recently a friend for whom I had made an "I Love Me" doll a few years ago contacted me to request that I make her a new doll. She is a dear friend who is going through treatments for cancer, and she wrote asking for a doll that would help her find strength and love. This is something special, not just an "I Love Me" doll. I needed to journey on this one, so I did. In a journey I met with this friend's great-grandmother who told me exactly what the doll should look like and what it should be made of. It was to look much like a Native American corn husk doll, but made instead with cotton cloth and other soft materials. According to her great-grandmother, it was very important that the doll wear the color red, for strength. I worked in sacred space, smudged the materials before using them, and then began to work with love in my heart and my hands. The doll ended up being a little bigger than the one shown to me in a journey, so I checked again in another journey to ask if it was right, and the great-grandmother said yes, it was. I didn't take any photos of it. The dolls in the photo above are just examples of what I based this doll on. It was different, but similar.
It was difficult scheduling a time to deliver this doll to my friend, as her schedule is filled with doctor's appointments, self care and time with her family. One day I knew it was time for the doll to go to her. I think her great-grandmother was prodding me a bit to get it to her somehow. I happened to have a wooden basket with a lid, so I set the doll inside of it on some soft fabric with a card explaining its creation, wrapped it with ribbons, and then left the basket on my friend's doorstep.
She let me know it was received, which is all I wanted to know. It's so important in this work to not have expectations or be attached to an outcome, just to do the work and let it go. With my paintings and other art that is "just art" (is it ever really JUST art, I wonder?), I sign them. But, when a special object is made for someone else, it wouldn't be right for me to put my name on it. It's not mine. I'm just the conduit making it for someone else, guided by spirit.
Peace, Healing and Blessings to all.