Photos by: Yanina Goldstein
We were lucky enough to have Keith Ciaramello, of Tattoos by Keith, head a workshop at Nova, last week. Keith is extraordinary in his abundance of energy, and boundless honesty.
A veteran in the game, Keith has over twenty years experience developing his vision- "faith, courage, integrity, and a commitment to the motivation and professional development of young artists." Funny how it rings like a mantra.
Utilizing his ability to both create art and teach it, Keith is set up in the center of the room, a group of ten artists sitting around him in a half moon. Ryan is painting Gaia, and Yanina and I soak in all the talent that surrounds us.
Keith leads the lesson with a laissez faire approach, reminding his students that their Frankenstein paintings are supposed to resemble the beginning of clay sculptures at this point, and to not take out their "darks". Keith's own style embodies a use of color so dynamic it punches you in the face, and isn't apologizing anytime soon. Roaming the space, I notice his students' works are equally striking, in all of their variants. Pops of color and gestural brush strokes mark thumbprints of originality.
After achieving many personal goals, Keith now focuses on "freeing creatives from any resistance that is stopping them from doing what they have been called to do," an unquestionably essential job.
Monday, The Nova Sanctuary- 10:00am:
Tiny orbs of light dance around us as we revel in the joy of Nova and Yanina working on photos.
She captures me as quill, Ryan as a lion, while Shannon looks on, smiling, illuminated by the light cascading in.
The space is looking beautiful, and Ryan is telling me that the wood used for the cafe is from a 200 year old Brownstone, and I can feel its history. It takes me back to Brooklyn.
Every detail of Nova has been meditated upon, everything you see is has been positioned with intention. I can't help but feel cradled by the energy here, it is nostalgic as the Soul music caresses the air waves around us, and yet I have never felt so present. This is one of the extraordinary things about it here, you are safe, you are welcome, you are home.
The day started hot and humid like the South in June. Shannon picked me up and we ventured to Sands Point Preserve to meet Yanina. She walked up to us in the field by the water with camera equipment taller than she is, smiles on all of our faces.
Directly behind us stood a castle of stone, we were no longer on Long Island, but living presently in the past. We walked slowly into the adjacent wood, listening to elusive creatures whispering to each other about us.
Shannon led us to a bridge she had known once. It was overgrown with branches stretching out over it, preserving it in time. Yanina captured me writing, deftly working her camera and lights with mastery, clearly in her happy place.
Next we camped out near the water, castle just out of reach, trees bordering the forest. This was Shannon's spot. She methodically lay out her easel, and slowly, carefully set up her paints and a finished oil work of hands holding flowers. She is concentrated and unafraid, like Yanina, who was always observing- point, wait, shoot.
The last shot of the day was one of the three of us. In it we are happy, and hopeful. Glad that we have found new friends, unified in our beliefs in Nova, and each other.
Photos by Michelle Ardanza
Hi guys! Being that I'm currently traveling, I decided it might be a cool idea to share my reflections and how Being within and without. I believe this collection of word and image display my stream of consciousness-like style. Thank you for reading! Check out my first thoughts in "Jour Un", below.
Photos by Michelle Ardanza
The French Alps carried me like a child today. For eight hours they bore the site my eyes have been thirsty for. I drank from the essence of mountain, and obtained humility.
The moment of this experience bounds me forward.
The fluidity that is our depth, and the connection with cyclicality directly impacts our experience. The beauty that is allowance.
We're currently in the city of Lyon, and gearing up for Paris in the afternoon. We out!
Photos by Michelle Ardanza
A day amongst lions.
Lyon, France introduced itself to me in the form of white wild flowers on trails and Anarchy symbols spray painted on alley way walls. The street art here has a definitive impact with its color choice, and messages portraying peace. As we spent the day here, I came across a group of artists at a small skatepark and watched them tag up the walls of the place. Layers of previous tagging (done by them) were in the process of being overlapped with the new. We began getting to know one another and I found similarities between them and the Nova tribe; the common language of artists, the significance of societal context, and its effects on the art produced. This encounter felt synchronistic on several levels and I am humbled by the global artist community, and in awe of our hearts and talents.
This day has been spent mostly driving through the mountains of France back towards Italy for our flight to Amsterdam in the evening. A lot of time for reflection, and I realize the importance of letting go. I find myself wanting to know exactly where I'll be at exactly what time, but really what difference does it make? I'll get there regardless. This sense of "control" that helps me feel better is actually non existent. All I can do now is align with my intentions, and allow. Be present as I can and let life happen to me. Thank you France, for kicking my ass a little.