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Walk Gently Upon this Earth

In the spirit of this month’s theme, “The Path Ahead” I wanted to share about the path I’m walking as an artist and ways you can walk with me.

I am inspired by documentaries, music and stories that tell of a more natural and soulful future for generations to come. Growing up in the Northern Cascades and Puget Sound of the West coast, I was flat out astonished by this natural beauty!! I felt such a strong admiration for all the mountains, forests, long roads, rocky trails, and waterfalls!

As I grew up I would try to find a mindset that would inform my actions in the pursuit of natural conservation. After a few years of dabbling in the works of naturalists and biologists, I was drawn to studying Zen and native American traditions, learning from these traditions the wonder of the cosmos and the strength of our connection to the living ecosystem. I was spellbound by their recognition of the power that nature holds to guide us to our most reflective states. Through absorbing these works, I have come to respect that my creative power lies in my hands and what I chose to make with them for the future. I decided that the more awareness for nature and inner peace I could raise, the more positive the world could be. Art influences our mind and our perceptions about what is important, and this certainly guides our actions!

To prepare for this type of work I'm earning a degree in Psychology, with a special interest in Ecopsychology. I research the importance of human connection with nature, how rich non-human environments can improve our emotional well-being (as well as our physical well being.) I have goals for the future to integrate approaches for mental health wellness, mindfulness and outdoor recreation. I do also know the future can hold many unforeseen plans for us, but with that being said, I am planning on using my passion as an artist create artwork that moves people to the outdoors and closer to their core Selves. I aspire to host workshops for the community that take place during the warmer seasons, making time and space for people to gather together outdoors.

I have also dreamed about being a wilderness or kayak tour guide, connecting with the community through the environment.

Aiming to add more energy to this endeavor in my personal life, I spend my free time hiking in the Washington, bringing along canvases and paint brushes, sharing local sights on my social media. I am also connecting to the existing community, finding writers, podcasters, artists and poets whose authentic and nature inspired work stirs others. I hope to learn and gain experiences from their own stories and weave these into my life as an artist.

Sharing your love for the wilderness on social media, talking about your beliefs about the outdoors and how it can help people, buying from local co-ops, donating to organizations such as Washington Trail Association or HIKE for Mental Health, supporting Therapeutic Outdoor programs, planting trees, safely planning hikes, educating yourself on local animals and plants and how to care for their habitats are all great ways to start adding your energy to this vision of supporting human connection to the natural world we walk on.

And of course, make art about it and show me what you’re up to! I always tell myself when I doubt my work is worth anything; that it’s more important THAT I’m making work at all, not so much WHAT comes of it. Making art frees us and gives others permission to walk their own paths.

May you walk gently through the world & know it's beauty all the days of your life." - Apache Blessing

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Thought I might share a little bit of where Abby's at in the artist's adventure as I've been devoting much of my free time to career planning and next move dreaming once I complete my college degree.

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