Sunday, May 6, 2012

Teaching My Spirit to Fly

"Teaching My Spirit to Fly" ©Mararete Bagshaw
I fell in love with this painting by Margarete Bagshaw while visiting the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe. Something about it resonated with my soul. Not only that, it was a visual manifestation of what I consider  the highest calling of psychotherapy and what I strive to impart to each of my patients: Teaching My Spirit to Fly.
Stepping outside after seeing all the exhibits, I circled around in the courtyard in disarray, unable to leave.  I reentered and steeped myself once again in Teaching My Spirit to Fly and read the flyer about her exhibit entitled, Margarete Bagshaw: Breaking the Rules:

“Bursting with color and activity Bagshaw’s canvases are vibrant combinations of precise shape, texture, translucent layering, and light. Her paintings range from small to quite large and have an abstract, Cubist quality steeped in spirituality – a connection to her Native heritage and to her artistic forbears.
One wonders if Bagshaw’s grandmother, Pablita Velarde, were alive today would she be painting like this? It’s through her mother, acclaimed artist Helen Hardin, that Bagshaw traces her creative lineage back to Velarde – a dynasty of independent women artists as renown for their art as they were for breaking the rules.⁠1

Wanting to see more, I found out that the work of all three women, said to be the only three-generational female painting dynasties known, were on display together and permanently at Golden Dawn Gallery⁠2 in downtown Sante Fe. We made it a point to visit there later in the day.

Imagine my surprise to find Margarete – live and in person – at the gallery and gracious enough to spend some time talking with me. As I suspected, she told me that at the most fundamental level, creating art for her is an expression of spirituality. 

Here is what she wrote in an excerpt from an book she is writing, entitled appropriately enough, Teaching My Spirit to Fly:⁠3

“I have a multitude of relationships with a multitude of beliefs…I believe in Karma and Nirvana. Colors, numbers and patterns are some of the languages I use to communicate with the Spirit world. I think that the natural world and the Spirit world work in balance with one another. Sometimes I just talk to my Spirits while I am painting, or bathing, or watching a sunrise of sunset…”

To make a long story short, I was able to let my spirit soar by being granted the opportunity to buy a limited edition print of Teaching My Spirit to Fly, allowing me to continue to savor this special communion of spirit even after I get home to New Hampshire.

Here is what she wrote on the back on the print:

1 http://www.miaclab.org/whatsnew&releaseID=197
3 http://goldendawngallery.com/the-books/?utm_source=Almost%2C+and+she%27s+doing+it+upside+down+again%21&utm_campaign=Birth+of+a+mystic&utm_medium=email

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