Three artistically driven individuals share the creative passion which fuels their soul
When I say artist I mean the one who is building things — some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.
~ Jackson Pollock
When we connect to our passion – our god-given talents and gifts — there’s no denying its energy – it is palpable. You know when you are in it and you know when you are in the presence of it. It emerges in endless forms – via a paintbrush or through prose, a rock sculpture or a collage. Creativity is an energy flow, a mindful connection to an inner voice that desires to be heard. When we tap into the very things that make our souls sing, the world becomes a more beautiful place.
It’s everywhere – my friend Renaud has made an art form out of gardening. He simply cannot help it, it is a form of active meditation, a beautiful thing to witness. By transforming an unwieldy, untended property into an enchanted forest, he demonstrates how creativity is magical stardust. I didn’t have to look far to gather the three creative alchemists featured in this piece; each has captivated me in their own way (and I’m certain I am not the only one).
When I asked Damien Delisio, Lori Anne McMahon, and Lucia Reale-Vogt to describe their “creative zone” in one word, it wasn’t surprising how synchronistic their responses were: Lori – Blissful, Damien – Peaceful, Lucia – Joy. Clearly they each connect to something transformative via their creations, a conduit to their higher selves.
Skilled builder by trade, rock sculptor by calling. Damien DeLisio grew up in the mountains surrounded by streams and rocks, always curiously attracted to them. With a dog that needed regular walking and a bit of an unsettled broken heart, he found the nearby stream soothed his anxiety and awoke a dormant playfulness. It became a ritual. Each day he found himself creating, challenging himself to balance the most unexpected shaped and sized stones. “Balancing these stones was helping me to find a balance within myself.” He began photographing them and writing poems to accompany them — he also grew possessive of them. When a sculpture was knocked down, he felt angry. It wasn’t until he came upon friends one afternoon streamside, who asked him to demonstrate how he did it – how he found the balancing sweet spot — that he realized two profound things. First, there was no ownership in nature, and second, in the moment of grace when he struck the magical balance, he literally experienced a physical sensation throughout his being. His friend, bearing witness to this experience, agreed, stating, “I call that a spiritual orgasm.” There amidst a pile of rocks, Damien, a modern-day Renaissance man, aligns himself, feels a deep spiritual connection, and partners with nature to create art.
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Lori Anne McMahon
Impulsive and whimsical, Lore Anne McMahon is a visual storyteller and a wanderer. Most recently captivated by the epic landscapes of Ireland, she moved with her family to the Irish countryside – it is there her prolific creativity rolls like the green hillsides. Life is a doodle in motion for her, captured in her ever-present notebook – she combines mediums and dreamlike images, bringing them to life with childlike enthusiasm. “Stories are woven in my work to visually speak ideas.” After years of successful work building brands and businesses for others, she was driven to open her own art and design studio. Daydreaming out of the window of her first art studio at the cherry trees, she was inspired to name her business Cherry Pie Studio. Her fanciful designs appear on funky items in various gift shops. Art is what she does. It is what she has always done. The venue may change, the modality may shift, but the spirit of creativity pulses throughout her very being. She makes magic from a snapshot – because this is jut how she sees life. “My mind, body, and soul feel connected and dreamlike when I am working visually.” And luckily, we are along for the ride, to indulge our visual senses.
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Textile design by day, crafting by life. Lucia Reale-Vogt is commonly referred to as the “Martha Stewart of Woodstock,” and while that comparison bears gravitas, Lucia and her creative gifts, quite frankly, stand in a league of their own. Immensely talented, she creates visual beauty from literally everything she touches (I’m talking bricks, rocks, and old discarded chairs) and somehow turns each project into an art form. Married to photographer Franco Vogt, theirs is a life of creative collaboration in action. I would venture to even say her crafting table is her church – a place where she connects to her deepest, most creative, and beautiful self. It is where she finds HAPPY. “Creativity for me is a way of life.” It is no surprise that she has recently (after much nudging from supporters) rolled out a new website and business – I create. Just check it out and you will instantly see what I mean. She simply exudes creative inspiration. Oh – and if I didn’t mention this before, her heart is the size of Texas, an unstoppable combination.
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Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
~ Thomas Merton
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