Iona who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia loves to paint in the middle of the night. She adores nature. Yoga and gardening. She is now also enjoying Kayaking.In Iona’s words: “My community goal is to assist you in diving deeply into physical, emotional and spiritual zones where true creative joy resides. Lunar phases inspire me. I apply this inspiration to my mentoring program, Lifecycle. My monthly ‘Luna See’ newsletter helps keep us attuned to creating with the moon cycles. I design studios for The Contemporary Art Center of VA and as a Statewide Artist Educator for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 140 illustrated journals testify my gratitude for being here now. A few ‘Drozda Art Life’ adventures: ~ first gallery sale: 108 paintings to private collector ~ owned a gallery in a bustling arts district ~Chanted with monks in Tibet ~Witnessed the Ketchek trance dance, at midnight, in a forest in Bali ~hospice volunteer and author of book for care givers. Volunteer and on Board of Advisors for Tidewater Arts Outreach ~With its many phases life is simply wonder-full.
Iona and I met online while working on our mutual blogs.
I was fascinated with Iona’s blog posts, her art work and right away signed up for her newsletter ‘Luna See’.
Iona, could you tell me about your relationship with the moon and your ‘Luna See’ newsletter?
- First of All, thank you, Dora, so much for inviting me to sit with you for a Dora Ficher Blog interview.
- Watching the moon dance across the sky has always lifted my spirit. Since 1989 I’ve been following the cycles of the moon as a way to look at time, and my creative work patterns, in a calmer gentler way.
- For 6 years I met monthly with a small dedicated study group and our teacher, Robert Kent Myers. He would record our sessions and send them out to subscribers across the country. Each October several hundred highly creative students of the moon phase work gathered here in Virginia Beach for a seven day intensive at the ocean front. Each year I was one of the lead teachers. We were all interested in living with more creative focus and balance and spent the week learning, sharing, exploring , creating, dancing, drumming and playing.
- ‘Luna See’, my monthly e-newsletter, helps us to look-up as we consider slowing down. Over time, as one follows these eternal patterns, they discover a natural harmony that aligns with the eight phases of each lunar cycle. Each moon cycle carries a keyword which is then woven through each of the eight phases. This process, cycle by cycle throughout the year, builds a rhythm and offers ways to engage your self expression . It’s a terrific tool for focus. For example; each August is the “Trust’ moon cycle. We can begin to look forward to this time period each year to focus on how that quality is functioning in our lives and particularly in the studio. A few other keywords that we visit during their specific month are: Introspection, Strength, Clarity and Renewal…with each month bringing our total to twelve.
- Each phase of the moon extends for approximately three days and within that space there is a specific way to creatively express what the phase represents. For example; at each new moon we can take three days to hold a vision…at the first quarter phase we take an action on that vision… at the full moon we reflect on how the vision is unfolding and what it’s revealing, this is an appropriate place to look for any fear, trepidation or as I call it, ‘Luna See’ regarding what we’re striving for…and at the third quarter we devote time to watching with gratitude as our creative idea matures for the current cycle. That’s just a glimpse at four of the eight monthly phases. Each Monday I do a blog post for that weeks moon phase energy.
I read that on your first gallery sale you sold 108 paintings to a private collector. Wow, how did that happen? Could you tell us about it?
- It was so magnificent. Here’s the short story: I worked in relative seclusion for 5 years before the time of home computers. I had no phone, TV, radio or outside distractions. I didn’t have a car. I was recovering from violent crime and invested all of my time in gardening, healing and the study and making of my art. At the close of those years I moved back to the city and made an appointment to have the top art gallery look at a portfolio containing 12 of my paintings. The gallery asked to keep the work to show the pieces to the curator of modern art at the major museum in town and also to a private collector. The museum curator was out of town. The collector came to see me in my studio, went through all of the paintings I had done during that 5 years and contracted with the gallery for the purchase of 108 completed works. I light up each time I think of what dreams may come to meet us.
You say that you love to paint in the middle of the night, what is it about it that you love? I’m particularly asking this question because I also love to paint in the wee hours of the night.
- Then you know, don’t you Dora, that there is a quiet and a certain alchemy that happens in the wee hours that simply isn’t available at any other time. That’s what I love. My pattern is to go to sleep at about 10:30 instructing myself to wake when I’m rested and ready to create. This happens spontaneously (no jarring alarm clock) between 2-3 am. I move into my studio and let the muses show me what they will. I generally work until dawn. Then a short nap and the whole day ahead with another nap, of 20 minutes, in the late afternoon.
Could you tell us about your mentoring program, Lifecycle?
- Since 1990 I’ve also incorporated living in harmony with the phases of the moon into this studio outreach service. Lifecycle is a personal energy reading and the format is an 80 minute audio CD that’s based on two pieces of your birth information plus a sample of your handwriting (I’m a certified analyst in love with the way we make marks on paper). The information focuses on you and the creative energy that is available to you focusing on the twelve months ahead. Many of my clients get an update each year at their birthday to stay tuned into their own creative rhythms.
- I have clients from all across the country and beyond. Lifecycle clearly and gently reminds you of your innate gifts and talents. It’s like a portrait in words or a refreshing energy drink that you listen to! Any reader who may want more information can email me. I also follow up with many clients who sign on for 6 phone sessions which allow time for deeper exploration and cultivation of creative strengths.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
- I don’t think I could do any better than to quote Georgia O’Keeffe. “Go to work.”
How do you get your inspirations?
- I’m passionate about symbolism and metaphor combined with observation of the natural world. I’m inspired by the opportunity to be alive! How fleeting and what a treasure. I feel that ‘affecting the quality of the day’, as Thoreau said, ‘is the highest of arts’.
What is your favorite medium to paint with?
- I mix materials with abandon but Acrylic is my paint choice. I love its versatility and color quality. It stands up fabulously over time. A new media favorite are the beautiful Pan Pastels.
Iona, thank you so much for being part of my “Interview Wednesday” I have learned so much from you in these last few months.
You can find Iona at: