Sunday, June 12, 2011

God's Living Church Tops an Extraordinary Week with Surf, Waterbirds, and Garden Flowers

What a artful week this has been, filled with new stores, art sales, and gallery possibilities, most of which stem from having Heartful Art at the Venice Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings from 8am to noon. The downtown market in Centennial Park in Venice has been exploding with energy and enthusiasm since Linda Wilson took over as our Market Manager at the end of last year.

Twice this week my customers at the market took the initiative to bring their Heartful Art purchases into their favorite stores, resulting in two new locations in Florida that now carry our motivational, life-affirming Heartful Art in their shops: Mrs. Candlewicke's Shoppe at 307 West Venice Avenue, downtown Venice (across from Bank of America), and Angel's Garden, at 1208 North 12th Avenue in Pensacola.

Another customer who visited my booth at the Venice Farmer's Market fell in love with my art. She came to my home studio this week to purchase two originals: Angelica Garden of Light, which she bought for a friend, and Tulips in the Sun, which will enjoy a spot on the wall of her young daughter's nursery. There was talk of more art and commissions in the future as she and her husband begin decorating their new home here in Venice. I am at work on a 30" x 40" watercolor masterpiece with a garden theme to include tulips, anemones, lilies of the valley, and peonys.

This morning I woke early at 5am (that's when I have to get up on market days and my inner clock now thinks it's wake-up time every other day of the week as well), made a cup of coffee and settled in to ready my current favorite light mystery novel by dog-lover author, David Rosenfelt. "Asbury Park has long been a key city on the shore," he writes, "which is how those of us from New Jersey refer to the beach." This got me thinking about the beach. And walking on the sand. And feeling the spray of the gulf on my skin, and hearing the sound of the surf.

As the sun came up and birds began chirping outside, I put down my book and I thought about going to church this morning. I've been meditating daily all week (with Abraham-Hicks "Getting Into The Vortex" cds) and I decided today it would be fun to be quiet, focus on my breathing, and go to Nature's Church.

I gathered up my binoculars, sunhat, and keys and I hopped in my beautiful van (that I love so much) and headed to Casperson Beach. Arriving at 7:30am I was surprised to see only two other humans on this whole stretch of magnificent beach. I'd never been there when the shore wasn't covered with shark-tooth-seeking people with their little wire scoops, bent over, heads down, searching for the little teeth amongst the shells at the waters edge. Having people there doesn't bother me. I enjoy witnessing families enjoying nature together in this beautiful place. However, the silence and emptiness of the beach this morning, sans humans, was lovely.

I walked alone for almost an hour, enjoying the sound of the surf and the feel of the cool wet sand sinking beneath my feet as I walked. I spotted a fairly large crab scurrying around watching me. It took refuge within the roped off area of a sea turtle's nest, knowing I couldn't go near. By the time my walk had ended, a dozen more humans had arrived. And yes, they had their wire scoops and were busy looking for sharks teeth.

On the way home from Casperson Beach, I stopped at the Venice Rookery, the reason for bringing my binoculars with me to "church." It's a small island in a pond behind the DMV where nesting water birds are protected by the Audubon Society. I don't have a good enough camera to capture the beauty of the nesting birds, but other bird lovers do. Here's a link to Steven Scott's photonaturalist blog and his pictures of birds at the Venice Rookery. My favorite image this morning, through my binoculars, was an adult great blue heron watching over a new hatchling. Adorable.

Filled with the beauty of spirit, nature, birds, sun, sand, and life in general, I returned home to continue my morning meditation by watering the gardens surrounding my home. I enjoyed the Anole lizards watching me and running from the water spray as I moved from plant to plant. I cleaned out the bird baths, and I and drank in the color of the blossoms on the garden flowers with my eyes. I enjoyed knowing the water I was showering on the plants, trees, and bushes would sink down into the ground where their roots would be nourished. All the while being mindful of my breathing in and breathing out. Just me surrounded by the beauty of our natural world.

Choosing to go to God's Green Church was a wonderful way to start the day, and a perfect way to end a magical week of art success, meditation, and opening possibilities.

May your blessings abound.
-Raphaella Vaisseau,

NOTE: If you're so inclined, you can vote for the Venice Farmers Market in the American Farmland Trust's "America's Favorite Farmers Market" contest. Here's a link to vote. If you're voting for our market, simply enter 34293 in the Market Map at the bottom of the page, click GO, and then click on the icon that pops up on the map of Venice, Florida. (There's a place to make a comment about why you're voting but you can vote without writing anything if you prefer.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Paint a Picket to Help Create the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc)

Here's another opportunity for amazing creative fun in Safety Harbor on Sunday, June 26th from 9am to noon. Todd Ramquist, Kiaralinda, and friends are creating a Safety Harbor Art and Music Center. Their latest fundraising event is to paint pickets for a fence. Read more on the flyer and at THE WEBSITE.

You can pick up your SHAMc T-shirt that day, and a hand-made wire heart as well.

Follow the progress on Facebook and/or the BLOG

Mail donations to 706 2nd St. N., Safety Harbor, FL 34695. Please make checks payable to Safety Harbor Art and Music Center or SHAMc.

Join the fun. Go do this. Bring your friends.

Laughter awaits.

Much love,