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  • Writer's pictureMandy

Studio Update: Explore The North Shore Collection

Whenever I'm stressed out, I travel to escape the daily grind. I find that traveling helps me slow down and take time to breathe in stillness. I also find that traveling energizes me. I love the energy of new places and people. I'm not sure how travel can both slow me down and rev me up, but since it does, I roll with it.

As with most of the world, I had to put an end to my traveling when COVID-19 hit. It struck my psyche hard because I crave adventure and exploration. My artistic expression was also muted due to the loss of travel.

After researching and having a better understanding of the virus, I felt safe enough to travel in the spring of this year. A quick trip with a close friend took me to the North Shore near Duluth, Minnesota.

The North Shore is the shoreline of Lake Superior that runs from Duluth, MN up to Ontario, Canada. It is full of cobblestone beaches, rocky cliffs and ridges, scenic rivers, waterfalls, and hillside forests. The 145-mile trail from Duluth to the border is a pure outdoor paradise.

The area is one of the most beautiful places to see in Minnesota. After all, it is one of the most scenic places to visit. For my creative mind, every place we went was sensory overload. Everywhere I looked, the colors sang, and I couldn't wait to get the imagery and feelings down on paper.

The terrain in Minnesota is very interesting to those unfamiliar with it. There are lakes, flat farmland, rolling hills, cliffs, and waterfalls in the state. The waterfalls tucked away in the woods are some of the most surprising features and what I enjoy the most about the North Shore. Watching and listening to the water flow is the most relaxing experience. Imagine myself flowing through the rocks and terrain, imagining the path I would take.

When traveling through the state parks to view the various waterfalls along the north shore, you'll feel the energy of the falls before you hear the sounds of rushing water. There is a whispering energy coming from the falls that calls to the spirit within you. It is intoxicating to be around it. It feeds my soul and encourages me to slow down and breathe it all in; some people like to drink liquor; I like to drink in the energy from the falls.

Our main goal during this adventure was to relax and get a good look at everything before we departed. We spent a lot of time along the shoreline looking for Lake Superior agates and enjoying the scenery.

The lake's beaches are covered in agates, Minnesota's official state gemstone; these gemstones were created more than a billion years ago when minerals flowed layer by layer into gas bubbles formed in cooling lava. They're incredible. Some of my favorite colors from this trip were the reds, browns, and oranges found in the agate.

*If you plan to hunt for agates, you should look for them on a sunny day, early in the morning or late in the day, when the rays of the sun are slanting across the rocks.

While collecting agate, I would stumble on some sea glass; since it is a lake, would that be lake glass instead? I'm not really sure, but the sea glass is the color inspiration for a great deal of this collection. The soft pastels against the glistening blue crystal water - pure magic.

During the trip, the quiet, still moments along the shore were the most enjoyable. The steady flow of the water crashing onto the beach shore was a constant presence on this trip. Observing the waves rolling over the rocks in the evening sun is a peaceful experience. Lake Superior has some of the most amazing views both during the day and the evening. I could sit by the shore all day and watch the tides roll in. It was a calming place to be. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life and its blessings.

One thing for certain that came from this trip; I like many people during the pandemic, have found that life is too short to sit and do the things that make us miserable. Well-being is so important, and we should spend more time listening to ourselves and our bodies.

With this collection, I really wanted to emphasize well-being. Every painting in the collection connects us to many aspects that contribute to our overall health and well-being. Please read the descriptions because they all tell a story. Shop the Collection August 3 at 6 PM CST (Subscribers will have early access starting at 1 PM CST)

That's it from me, let's meet up again.



Spark joy, live well.

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