Today, as part of The Messy Room Moondancing Muse Series, we are dancing to the moon and back with the refreshingly divine and spirited artist, Jamie Raley, of The Art of Awen. (Who is also the goddess of hand poured, magically crafted artisan soy candles available in her Etsy Shop under the same name.) She is August’s co-host muse in A Mused Community’s 2016 Creativity Challenges (they are using my book, Moondancing, as a guide) as well as the long-time contributing muse, Urania, for Muses of Art & Soul on Facebook.
So, I know what you’re wondering. What’s an “Awen”? Awen is a Welsh and Cornish word for (poetic) inspiration. But to Jamie it is so much more than that. The minute she lay her eyes on that word, something deep within her soul lit up and that fire has been burning ever since. Without further ado or drum roll, lets jump in and find out what else keeps her embers warm.
Okay, Jamie, lets get started with a quick warm-up …
Do you make your bed in the morning?
I make my bed when it’s bedding/laundry day, but I do straighten it out a bit before I climb in every night.
Cookie, cake, pie or doughnut?
All of the above… with a brownie on the side.
What are you wearing right now?
I just finished up some painting in the studio so I am in my grubbies. A pair of yoga pants & a paint covered t-shirt. I am always wearing some sort of Crystal or rock as well and today it is lemon serpentine, lava stones, and black coral.
If a sandwich were named after you what would be in it?
I’m a pretty simple gal when it comes to a sandwich. No frills for me. Wheat bread, turkey breast, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, pickles and banana peppers. It would be called “Hold the Sauce,” because I am not a fan of the traditional sandwich sauces/condiments. My family likes to make fun of me for it!
If you could dance under the moon anywhere in the world where would that be and what would you wear?
It is ever changing but today it would be around a bonfire, atop a craggy cliff on the Isle of Skye. I would be dressed in a long white flowy gown, with a deep purple cloak for warmth. I’d be barefoot, with flowers in my hair.
Now, describe your creative work style using one of these patterns: Paisley. Polka dot. Stripes. Checks.
I’ll have to go with paisley. My creative work style is very fluid with no real rhyme or reason. I tend to float from one thing to another and then circle back around until they are all finished. It’s pretty typical to find a bunch of half finished projects when you walk into my work space.
Is your work style the same with day-to-day stuff? If not, what pattern are you then?
I’d have to say yes, with a splash of stripes. I have 4 young kids, all involved in school and sports, and a husband who travels often for work. So having some sort of linear plan in my day-to-day is an absolute necessity. However it is so against my nature to plan and schedule that I struggle with it sometimes. I tend to move through my house chores and errands a lot like I do my creative work. Bouncing around from one task to the next until they are all finished.
How about a favorite quote?
This is like asking me which of my children is my favorite. So I will go with what calls me right now in this moment. “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” – Alan Alda
So we can all put some good moon-mojo on it; what’s your Moondancing dream this year?
My Moondance dream this year is to step outside of my comfort zone, push the bar on what I feel comfortable and capable of creating and share more of this part of myself with others.
How do you approach a new project or idea?
I believe that when inspiration strikes you have to act, and quickly! Often I will get an idea at the most inopportune time. But I always entertain it. If I can’t go up and actually create, I will pull out paper or my phone and start to plan. I do find that 9 out of 10 times that plan will change once I am able to put my hands to work but that’s what I love about being creative. There are no rules.
Where or how do you get your inspiration?
I 150% believe that my inspiration and ideas come from spirit. Whether that be my muse, an animal spirit, or the great mystery itself.
What do you do when in a creative dry spell?
I’ll take it back to something simple, and every day. Like cooking or baking. I’ll whip up something different or new, and dance while doing it. That is one of my favorite ways to loosen up! Dancing in the kitchen.
Have you always been creative or are you a late bloomer?
I have never been a stranger to creativity. I have always had my feet in that pool since a child. Over the years though, it has morphed into a lot of different things. I am not afraid to try on different hats! As for Painting and Candle making, which is where I am now, I would say I bloomed exactly when I was supposed to.
What informs your subject matter?
The way I paint is completely intuitive. I do not often know what the finished product will be when I start but my favorite way to get rolling is with sacred symbols, words, and throwing paint around with my hands. When it comes to candles, I create what I need or am looking for. Whether it’s healing work I am doing or a special sabbat or ritual.
Being that this IS the Musings from the Messy Room, you have to tell us about your creative work space.
Considering I have a family of 6, I count myself really lucky to have an entire space above my garage that is all mine. The hard floors make it extra ideal for a creative gal like myself. (Easy cleanup!) While I know that it is only a temporary hang out for me, I am taking full advantage of it while I can. The short walls are adorned with artwork by my favorite artists, my children! They are great reminders for me to keep going when the going is tough, and to let go of perfection. The messier their art the more I love it. The East side of the space is dedicated to painting, the South holds most of my packing and supplies, the West is where I melt and pour candles, and the North holds an ever changing altar. A very special gift from a friend, a sun catching fairy, hangs right in the center of the space. This is where all the magic happens.
Now, for the Grand MoonDancing Finale, Jamie…
How does your muse speak to you? Your creative ideas come about for you? What inspires you the most about your vision for them? Where do you see yourself going with this in your own creative process?
Art in any way, shape, or form is a deeply spiritual and healing process for me. The color and images on my canvas are an outward reflection of my own inward journey. The words and intention in the wax, a gift from spirit. They are what dwells in my soul.
With the help of my Muse, Urania, I find it easy not to limit or label my creativity. I work with whatever medium is calling me at that specific moment. It may be paint, words, wax, nature, or something else entirely. I feel this allows for more growth, inspiration and excitement!
Urania guides my hand and brings forward what is most needing to be birthed in the moment. Through a process of TRUST in something bigger than myself, SURRENDER to the divine, and ALLOWING the flow and unfolding of what images, energy or symbols are wanting to emerge, I am able to create from the heart without fear.
As the years continue to fly by, my hope is that you will continue to find me creating away alongside Urania. Bringing awareness to her magic and keeping her mystery alive through stories on the canvas and words in the wax.
Hi! I am Jamie, a self taught, Intuitive Creatress, residing in the Pacific NW, along with my husband, 4 children, and our old mama dog. When I am not soul deep in creation, you can find me with my nose in a book, or my eyes focused on the heavens. I am inspired by the raw beauty in nature, the deep wisdom in animals, the mystery of the moon, the sacredness in symbols, and the capacity of love that the human heart can hold. My number one goal is to create in a way that is authentically me. Infusing my creations with beauty, inspiration, spirit and deep meaning. This is my “Awen.”
Some links for Jamie if you want to follow her dance:
Jamie, your exquisite candles have graced my home during many a morning pages quiet time … and now it has been a special pleasure to have your “inspiritus” energy grace my messy room.
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