My photo
Virginia, United States
MOONbow ARTworks was established in 2002 by Jen Otey in Girdwood Alaska following shamanic training she recieved while living there. Since that time the studio has moved and traveled where Spirit guides her to go...Cripple Creek, Alaska, The Big Island of Hawaii, and a few points in between. She currently splits time between interior Alaska and Southwest Virginia. Jen's art focuses on the empowerment of womyn and men through the Sacred Feminine and the spiritual and intuitive aspects of birth. She is particularly interested in helping womyn and men look deep within for their own truth, beauty, faith, strength, compassion for themselves and others, a deeper connection to the feminine aspect of The Creator and the balance of masculine and feminine energies. Over the years she has developed her intuition as a tool for creating works of art that speak to people on a deeply personal and intuitive level.

My Site

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An interview with Aja from Moon Woman Rising

I was asked to do an interview by a lovely woman named Aja. She has a wonderfully empowering website called Moon Woman's the link...go check out all that she has to offer!
Here's the interview...
In Joy,

Q. How do you show up as an artist each day - what are you challenges, joys and processes for creativity?

A. I like to think that I show up each day...although some days more than others. On the days that I really show up, things just flow and the paintings and things that I am making and creating just materialize before my eyes as if they created themselves. This is when I know that I am in tune with what God/Goddess is whispering in my ears...telling me and showing me what I...the microcosm of the universe...and the universe as a whole need, in order to heal. On the days that I am unable to put in a lot of time I try to do at least one thing to keep my creative juices flowing....even if it means picking up my knitting and just sitting for a moment in the quiet after my four year is in bed, fast asleep. I also like to take time each day to stop, slow down, pray, quiet my mind and then ask what it is I need to see, hear, and feel...and then it just comes...sometimes slowly and gently like a whisper and sometimes in an intensely roaring blur of color and imagery. When I'm feeling uninspired I talk to the women I know and listen to what they are doing, going through, and feeling or needing empowerment in and then I check in with myself the same way with what resonates with these other women. I also spend time looking for nature and through books, magazines, calendars, and websites that feature art that is spiritually empowering. I also read a lot of stories, fiction and nonfiction that share the spirit filled paths of people, particularly women. I especially like stories of rites of passage or I view life as a pilgrimage of sorts. These are the ways I "show up" or as I like to say...stay in the flow.

Q. I am always struck at how important it is to quiet down and I love the idea of listening, whether it’s to other women or to the god/goddess, as a path towards expression. How did you first come to tune into a relationship with the divine and how did this relationship finds its way into your artwork?

A. My whole life for as far as I can remember, I have been talking to God....mind you, I was "talking" not so much listening. I went through some things as a kid, as we all do in our own way and on our individual paths....some of it was really challenging and hurtful and scary....the kinds of things that cause a young girl to learn the patterns and cycles of giving away your power....particularly to men. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a man fact I love men. But, I went through some stuff and watched my Mom go through some things that further reinforced the idea that I was powerless as a woman.

Anyway, to swing this around to a positive place....I started college in 1994 to receive my degree in Architecture. Something inside of me really wanted to prove to myself that I could do this...that I could get a degree in a "Man's" field and be successful...that I could be as powerful as a man....At the time I had no idea that I was missing the point. But, I did it. I got into a top rated school and I worked hard and I got the degree. During my last year of school I began to meet people that were really exploring their spirituality. I started talking more and more "to" God/Dess....not so much "with" God/Dess. My second to last year of school all hell broke loose at home and my parents decided to pursue a separation/divorce. I was ok with the fact in full support....but, while I was working a lot at my job, pulling crazy hours in studio, and doing the rest of my school related stuff, my parents started calling and utilizing me as a counselor. I didn't know I could say NO. I nearly had what I felt like, was a nervous breakdown....this is when I started "listening" to God/Dess. I asked for help...I prayed for help and I listened with all of my being for the answer...and I got it..."Go to New Mexico at the end of the semester and stay there for the Summer"....So I did. I packed up my car and my dog and my faith and I headed out to save myself from myself, my past, and others cyclical B.S.

While I was there I learned about alternative healing, reiki and energy work...I spent time every day in the woods...I learned about crystals...and I built sweat lodges with some native kids. I learned about sacred ceremony and meditation....I learned more about what it means to listen. I also met a lot of artists that were expressing themselves and their relationship with the earth and with God/DESS in ways I had never seen before...beyond just a one to one painting....deeper. Now, let me digress for a second and say...I am still learning lots and lots about all of these things and more...and I am learning more and more about what it means to listen...not just with my ears...but, my heart, my soul, and everything. When I paint I am wide open to receive.

I have grown since those months in New Mexico to realize that there is power in being a woman...there is power in femininity...I no longer pursue things in a way that a man I am not a man and will not find joy in this way. Balance between the masculine and the feminine is what I seek...daily and have been for about 15 years now. I have traveled many miles and lived in many places seeking that balance....and that has been good for me, as it has afforded me the opportunity to meet people that have taught me things and places in nature that have fed my soul. Now I realize that it was all there within me the whole was with me everywhere I've ever been and it will continue to be....
That's a powerful journey, thank you so much for sharing it. You work under the studio name "Moonbow" - I find that women often have a special relationship with the moon. When I was young and struggling, I used to pray to the moon. I had no idea what I was doing, I would just look out my window and pray to the moon because it felt right. Moonbows are often hard for the human eye to see, which makes me think of the process of listening, feeling and seeing with our whole beings, with our souls.

Q. As you journey, as both a woman and an artist continues, what are you listening, looking and feeling for?

A. Healing, Healing, Healing, Healing....this is what I am listening, looking, and feeling for. As I find myself more and more healed and more and more in my power I want more and more to continue getting stronger, shining brighter, and being more ME....the ME I that I am to the core. I truly believe that the more I step into my true being and the person that God/Dess wants me to be from the inside out...the more capable I am to make a difference in the world in a positive, loving, compassionate, meaningful, healing and powerful way. I want to challenge others through my art and my own path of healing in a way that positively encourages the healing of old wounds, the breaking cycles of abuse and patterns that no longer serve the soul, and the growth of joyful people.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inner Children

I've been working with someone with the thought of healing my inner child for several months that is badly broken and needing attention. It was shocking to turn inward to see her...really see her. Her eyes sewn shut and a metal plate nailed over her mouth...pigtails and a calico dress the only indicators of youth...and a pair of bright red, shiny high heel pumps, about 10 sizes too big. It seems I have spent the majority of my life trying to fill shoes that were entirely too big. I spent the day with another healer named Joy Gardner recently. She helped me to snip the threads that have kept me from seeing who I really am, all these years. She also helped me to pull the nails that held the contraption that has silenced me all these years....kept me from telling what's true to me. It was painful...has been for a long time...since I started to really work on getting through to this part of myself...hold her, heal her, be there for her, comfort her....telling her that it's ok...she's safe to be who she is...she doesn't have to lash out anymore...but, the pain is easing and I feel more grounded than I ever have in my life. I feel so much gratitude as the fear falls illusion. I painted that broken part of me recently. I do not yet have a photo of her yet...but, I will post one. I do however have a photo of my most recent painting....a painting depicting a vision I had at the end of my session with Joy. I saw myself holding that child...really holding her, and all was at peace for a moment. I am trusting myself and loving myself. Here is that image...