Revolution. Even that word feels yummy when I say it and y’all know how much Glitter W.A.S.P. loves YUM. Revolution. It must be in the air. On the very same day that our beloved Chief Laughing Cloud flew to NYC on her way to present at the United Nations, my Alma Mater, Vassar College responded to being the target of hate based Westboro Baptist Church by staging their own LOVE revolution rally! Vassar College community’s values of inclusion and non-discrimination were challenged and in response, the community joined hands, literally and formed a HUGE circle around the entire campus, many wearing pink t-shirts that said “LOVE CONQUERS ALL” and chanting those very words. Vassar refused to give any attention or media coverage to the Westboro Baptist Group that gathered on the outside of the campus. I watched the livestream for a few minutes as Shiloh was on the plane heading to NYC, tears streaming from my eyes, my heart sparkling with love and pride to be part of both of these REVOLUTIONARY communities. Yep that was a “Jesus” moment for me. Christ consciousness….hate answered with a call to love. That’s what we are doing here too at Cosmic Cowgirls. And this is what I want to say to you about revolution and what truly came home to me. We are able to do this because we look within and speak and be from the authenticity of who we are AND because we are doing it together. I agree with Laura that the revolution starts in our hearts and souls when we CHOOSE to be who we are AND I believe that when we show up in the world from this place that we can move mountains. Yes joining our hands and our hearts connected by the red thread we support, inspire, spark, love and question together. Everyone of us is a gorgeous multi-colored thread in this tapestry of light that we are weaving across the globe. Every candle you light and every prayer you say and every stroke of your paintbrush MATTERS!
Yes and I also know that there are those days when it’s hard to get out of bed, when the despair over what is going on in our world and the violence against women blocks the light. Mama said there would be days like those and there are. Still on those days I invite you to take the revolutionary road and to get your self to the canvas anyway, to dip that paintbrush in red paint, to bless your canvas with the Holy Water of your tears and to remember that your voice MATTERS. To show up. Wherever you are at and whatever part you take in our tribe YOU DO make a difference. I am so blessed and honored to be in community with this tribe of women who are willing to SHOW up no matter what. Yep we are on the revolutionary road together and when I close my eyes and see us all dancing to the music of our soul there is a cloud of glitter sparkling above us and a field of miracles below our boot-clad stomping feet.
Last week I lost a dear friend, my first artist soul sister. I posted a comment on the Cosmic Cowgirls Facebook page about how devastated I was. Within 15 MINUTES there were at least 5 comments sending me love, prayers and messages of hope, compassion and comfort. By the end of the day there were at least 17! This is REVOLUTIONARY! Many of these women I have not even met in person yet I KNOW that I am being held in a sacred container of love, support and compassion. That no matter what life sends my way that I can turn to my tribe and they will have my back. Yes we are creating a QUANTUM LOVE FEST and a REVOLUTION of the most daring, bold, fierce and tender,loving kind. I envision a map of the globe with red threads crisscrossing it and with each of us represented as a light that illuminates everywhere that we go. We are each “illuminating possibilities” for our communities and we are lighting up the world!! WOW how glorious is that!!!! Speaking of lighting up our communities I want to introduce you to a Legendary Cowgirl who is on fire with creativity!!
It is my great honor to celebrate and feature Leslie Nolan, extraordinary artist and Creative Illuminator, sister Color of Woman teacher and founder of the Venus Transits. I first met Leslie in person as I was arriving at the CC studio in Healdsburg for the first COW in person gathering. She stopped me on the street and said “Are you the Bejeweled Baroness?!!” Instant connection, instant sisterhood and love. We threw our arms around each other and hugged. More love revolution!! Now I have had the pleasure to read about her journey and to “fall in love” with her as I fall in love with each and everyone of you when I am privileged to interview you and to know you. More and more in love very day. I invite you to join me and I invite you if you are not already part of our tribe and if you feel called to come be part of this REVOLUTION! Your life and your soul will shine in ways that are beyond your wildest dreams. One more thing I want to say to you…..I LOVE YOU just as you are.
Can you share with our readers when you first became aware that you were an artist?
My mom says that I started to take interest in art when I was around five. I was interested in all the arts. I sang, danced, acted, played the piano and violin, and wrote poetry. In High School some were surprised thinking I would go into acting, but art was easier for me. It was a much deeper place that I could always go to, to sort things out or express my inner visions. I was not at that point able to access the same places in piano or acting or singing. Except for poetry, it seemed that in those other expressions, I was merely playing someone else’s music, another’s coregraphed dance or acting another’s written play.
In Art, I could access a place and create my own imagery and internal visions. Tapping into a place deep within myself effortlessly. Now, I know that this only take more time with other modalities. To be able to swimming in those domains, you just have to feel freedom in that arena. Like in dance, your body expresses it like a prayer. Sometimes, very rarely, I hear music. Though I need assistance on how to actually write it, or capture it. Those skill sets falling off at eighteen, when my art skills took off. I did manage to write a canon, something that I heard long ago. It was accompanied by a movie of morphing jewelry designs. I wrote it for my husband, on my walk down the aisle.
My parent’s incredible work ethic also was a good role model for me. Both were English teachers. They could just speak, and I could see it all before my eyes. There is so much to learn, I certainly could be a student all my life. Ballet gave me my incredible discipline and focus, which really has helped me in so many other modalities. All these modalities intertwine. I could sense this as a child. The interrelationship of things: art, science, mathematics, etc.
I had a hard time calling myself an ‘artist’, even while attending Pratt. I felt you had to be ‘really good’ to be an artist. It took years and years for me to wear this mantle identity of ‘artist’. If someone says, “So you are an artist?” I can now easily say with a booming voice, “Yes, I AM’ .
Just recently, in the last year, in my CCU classes, I am able to say, ‘I Am a Visionary Artist.” It has taken so much time to get to that place. I can finally make the images that so readily stream through my consciousness. It has taken 50 years. Really. I know it is true, but it feels like such a statement.
Can you give me and the readers a snapshot/thumbnail sketch of your journey to the place where you are now as an artist? Please share the different mediums that have been part of your artistic journey, i.e. performing, visual, creative writing, poetry, etc.
Early in High School, I was very lucky to be in a program with my teacher Mr. Munno. He received a grant to teach creativity: Visual Flexibility. I started this work as early at 13, and continued to work with him in the advanced art courses through HS.
I was the HS editor of Scribe for two years, illustrating and collecting poetry from students. Somehow I could wrangle it out of people. Many would have not given me their work, if they had not trusted me in some way. I typed, designed and illustrated and laid out the book. You can see my future calling as a graphic designer in the magazine and publishing worlds .
I took Ballet and since I was five, and also piano through High School. My piano teacher, just recently came to one of my classes and wrote a testimonial for my COW training.
I loved acting, singing and performing in grade school. I was in plays, made marionettes,
was in special chorus. One of my best high school jobs was a traveling troupe through the county. We put on a play, traveling to parks and recreation centers during the summer to teach art to children. There was a musician, and ventriloquist, and I was the artist. I couldn’t believe that I got to do this job AND get paid for it. It was a blast. I laughed every single day. Being with creative people is like no other groups in the world.
At Pratt I focused on Graphic Design and Art Direction. I graduated with honors and a Communications Design Degree. I have
dabbled in jewelry design, printmaking, handbag design. During dry years of doing paste-up and mechanicals, I came back to painting with Aviva Gold. Working with the unconscious mind creating large mural paintings in ‘Painting from the Source.’ Cliff Waldman in ‘The Artist Search for himself in a witnessing Community”. I took classes at The School of The Sacred Arts, and classes on Spirituality in Art and Comparative Religion.
This month our theme is revolution. What do you find is most revolutionary about the images that you are creating and about your offerings and teachings?
This type of work, though not new to me, is rather Revolutionary in my area at The Jersey Shore. I am working on plans to build a pole barn on our property to teach others in my community. I seem to attract artists, those in the healing arts and writers. Mostly woman who are going through transition take my classes. That is why I picked the name ‘The Venus Transits’ for my business name. I am hoping to utilize my training from CCU- COW and offer it here and then globally.
There are some challenges locally that I would like to address. There has also been a series of teenage suicides. I have taught my own workshop, The Painted Poem (TM) for Big Brother’s, Big Sisters of Monmouth County and just recently at Brookdale Community College. These programs as well as some processes from The Color of Woman Method, would be an excellent class for these audiences.
Many of the neighboring towns do not have art/music in the budget and art is not taught in the elementary schools. I would like to create a summer Art & Farm program once the pole barn is built. And recently, many have lost their homes, and have been traumatized by the Hurricane Sandy. Others still are trying to recoup from the flooding of their properties and reconstruction. I am hoping to create an outreach program for those people who need to express themselves to heal from this tragedy, whether it is ‘Her Evolution’ or a 13 Step Method.
I am developing workshops that engage healing through art, Painting The Light Body (TM). It is a twelve week journey of the
energetic life system, creating a full-size diagnostic, emoto-physical spiritual painting engaging the chakras and the light body. My inaugural student has witnessed great healing and clearing through the process. She is shocked by the power of her artwork. When making our initial ‘intent’, to learn about our light bodies so that we could heal and help others heal, a ball of lightning exploded in my living room! How is THAT for a start!?!
I would love it if you would share some of your student’s experiences and responses to your offerings. How is it revolutionizing their lives and your community?
It is astounding to hear how others are effected by this work. It feels great to be able to interact this way and work in these methods. I literally buzz after teaching my Red Thread Circles. It is amazing the impact you can have on a person’s life.
Please tell us about any upcoming workshops that you may be offering or what’s new and exciting that you are working on.
I am looking this year to have my first art show to reveal over 30 juicy images of The Feminine Divine. I am reaching out to Community Colleges, Wall Township and Holistic Centers to let others know of my offerings. I am teaching through the NJ Holistic Magazine, Women’s Conference, co- designing
with other friends. Classes include: ‘ Your Creative Purpose’, ‘My Sacred Madonna’, monthly ‘Red Thread Circles’, private ‘Painting the Light Body’, ‘The Feminine Business Paradigm”, advertising ‘Her Evolution,’ ‘Las Promesas’, and private classes with children.
I am absolutely thrilled that Shiloh is coming east to speak at the UN on Arts for Women’s Activism, For Rights Against Violence and that I will be there to assist with her teaching at The Open Center in New York City.
I also have been invited to Russia to paint, ‘Our Lady of Kazan’– should we make in a Cosmic Cowgirl expedition? Let me know what you think!
How can people find you? Tell me your blog/website, any other info you want to pass along to our readers?
facebook: Leslie Nolan
meetup: The Venus Transits, My Sacred Madonna
GLITTER W.A.S.P. is a visionary artist and teacher, and an “Art Critic” who champions women artists. She considers it her own personal mission to spread sparkle around the world by celebrating the delightful, shimmering beauty women offer to the world through their gorgeous, artistic creations.
Elizabeth, a.k.a. Glitter W.A.S.P. resides in San Francisco at the Palace of the Soul with her fabulously talented children and her revolving “extended family”. Here she runs “The Divine School of Glitteracy” where she guides women and girls on magical adventures and ceremonies that allow them to reinvent their lives to align with more creativity, joy, enchantment, expansion, beauty and love. She teaches transformational art & embellishment classes at “The Palace of the Soul Divine School of Glitteracy.” She is currently adding “Intuitive & Playful Life Guidance & Clearing Abundance Blocks to her menu. To view a complete menu of classes offered go to www.enchantedeye.net/one-on-one-classes. Join Elizabeth and special guest teacher Annette Wagner for The Doorway to Awakening: Encountering Your Muse , creating a mixed media painting with embellishment at the Palace of the Soul on April 20! Go to www.enchantedeye.net/events to get the dates and the details!!! Can’t wait to play and sparkle with you!!!!
If you would like Glitter W.A.S.P. to feature you and your art in her column, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to learn more about her inspiring art, workshops offered to enchant your life and awaken your divine inner sparkle or glitteracy, visit her web-sites at www.enchantedeye.net or www.glitteracy.com or www.cosmiccowgirlsuniversity.com.