els337

I’m originally from Minnesota, but moved permanently to Australia in 2010. I call Queenstown Tasmania home, a small town located on the west coast of Tassie.

I studied fine art from 1997 to 2000 and graphic design from 2005 to 2007, but mostly abandoned creating any art after leaving college in 2000. It wasn’t until 2015 that I began seriously painting again.

I see myself first and foremost as an astrologer and second as an artist. I have been seriously studying and practising astrology since 1998 and have been a lifelong stargazer.

In essence I view myself as an observer, explorer, student, teacher, truth seeker, visual storyteller, and soul on a mission.

My paintings are strongly influenced by my deep love of all things celestial and are inspired by the natural world—physical and spiritual. I find words to be limiting in an attempt to explain the connections I see, the thoughts I have, and the information and ideas I receive. I prefer the use of geometry, colours, patterns, and symbolism—the visual—as a much more accurate and layered approach.

It is inspiration that compels me to create. This is the motive in my mission. I have come to believe that inspiration, along with curiosity, are two of the most important factors that draw and drive us, as humans, to expand, explore, learn, evolve, and create.

Through my work I am attempting to ignite curiosity in the wonders, mysteries, and beauty of ourselves, our Earth, the solar system, this universe, and all that is. Ultimately it is inspiration I hope to pass on to others.

els337

My art beginnings…

 

I was born into, and grew-up, in an artistic environment. I can’t say I fell naturally into being an artist and it never really was my first career choice. As a child, I was always much more fascinated by science, especially astronomy, animals, and insects.

I was encouraged to create art, but it wasn’t something I was that interested in. I did practise drawing horses a great deal and enjoyed drawing other animals and insects, but as a child I preferred to draw in private, only occasionally showing drawings I did.

I struggled immensely in school and didn’t really excel in any subject. Science and music were my favourites, but I never felt capable of much. I managed to graduate from high school and be accepted into Gustavus Adolphus College. My original intent was to major in music, but in my first semester I failed music theory and realised music was not right for me. I still played in the college orchestra, but my heart just wasn’t in it any more.

I needed to find a new major, but I was at a complete loss as to what I could do. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom with a list of all the majors offered and one by one drawing a line through each I either wasn’t interested in, or thought I was completely incapable of studying.

After all, but one, had been scratched out, I looked down and circled it. Studio art, my heart sank a bit, an artist was the last thing I wanted to be.

The only art classes I had taken through school had been the basic requirements and a couple of jewellery and ceramic classes. So when I decided to change my major to art, it seemed slightly absurd. Sure, I had been surrounded by art growing up and had enjoyed doing some drawings and such, but that didn’t necessarily mean I was any good at it or could make a career from it.

In my second year I formally changed my major and enrolled in my first art class, drawing.

My astrology beginnings…

 

My mom always had a few astrology books on her bookshelf, and I remember looking through them when I was quite young. I especially loved reading the Scorpio section in Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. After I graduated high school and left for college in 1996, I ‘stole’ a couple of my mom’s books and started to look at other sections besides Scorpio. But it wasn’t until 1998, when the planet Uranus made a grand entry into my life, that I was officially hooked.

In late March of 1998 I was on tour with my college orchestra. It was spring break and we were travelling by bus from Minnesota to Washington D.C. and back to Minnesota, playing concerts along the way. We were in the state of Iowa when we heard news that a massive tornado had just ripped through southern Minnesota. Our college had taken a direct hit and parts of a neighbouring town had pretty much been levelled. It was a shock, but the best we could do was carry on with the tour. I also unfortunately came down with an extremely bad case of conjunctivitis in both eyes.

( Astrology bit: I didn’t know it at the time, but transiting Uranus was approaching my Ascendant and was 27′ away from a conjunction, and an exact Square to my natal Sun/Uranus for the first time. It’s also interesting that many of the other students would’ve also been having Uranus square their natal Uranus )

When we returned from the tour, we were not allowed back on the college campus. Nearly all the windows had been shattered, many of the trees were gone, the chapel spire had snapped off, some of the buildings had been destroyed and many more were structurally unsound.

When we finally returned to classes later in April, the campus felt unfamiliar and desolate and it was strange to attend class in a temporary FEMA building. But it was only for a couple of months until our three-month long summer break.

I can’t remember exactly if I spent my time with astrology that April waiting to return to class, I feel like I did, but what I do know for certain is that over the summer break, from June to September I immersed myself in all things astrology. I started using a well-known astrological website (Astrodienst) and I bought my very first astrology book—Parkers’ Astrology.

I’m not a reader, never have been, and having to read a book from front to back feels like a small form of torture. I like books I can open up and go straight to a source of information to help resolve some new-found curiosity that’s nagging me. (thank goodness for the internet)

Parkers’ Astrology ticked all my boxes for usability. It was well laid-out with diagrams, beautiful photographs and art, and the sections were well labelled and easy to locate. There was so much great information and so much new information to learn—it was the perfect book for someone like me.

That book, along with a ‘stolen’ book from my mom, The Astrologer’s Handbook, became my first guides on my journey into the complexities of astrology. I was obsessed and couldn’t get enough. I loved learning new ways of seeing myself. There was something very rewarding in learning to do the calculations to draw up a natal and progressed chart by hand, and there was something so satisfying about the tables of numbers in the ephemeris.

When I returned to college in September my outlook had changed, and my art had a new inspiration. I began collecting birth data from everyone I knew, and the astrological exploration continued.