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Interview with Artist John Proulx

Posted on February 23, 2021 by laureen barker

Ontario born, long term B.C. resident John Proulx, talks to us about his art, inspiration and spiritual pursuits! His super psychedelic art is available in art cards at Gaia Rising!

                             Follow him on Instagram @gascanjohnny

                            

Gaia Rising: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Background, where you grew up, just a brief history of YOU.

John Proulx: When I was about 2 yrs old my parents inherited my great uncle Rosere's trap line in Caramat, Ontario. There we lived off grid until I was about 9 yrs old. I attended an on-room school house, attended by maybe 10 students in total. At 20yrs old, I began my career as a Laboratory Technician and successfully managed Laboratory Services for about 18 yrs.

Gaia: What prompted your interest in art? Were there any art pieces, or was there a moment of inspiration that compelled you to pursue becoming an artist?

John: My biological father was a traditional carver and allowed me to help out in the shop as a small child. I was managing an Aggregate testing Laboratory in Surrey, BC and on a slow day I noticed that some of the stone in one of my samples was quite soft. I spent the afternoon carving the bust of a woman using a flat head screwdriver. After work I presented it to my wife and she insisted that I pursue stone sculpture as a hobby

Gaia: I noticed in your bio that you said you were a self taught sculptor, what kinds of materials did you work with to create your pieces? What did you sculpt? Why switch over to the other mediums that you work with now? Do you still create sculptures?

John: I sculpted stone and did a little wood work. I preferred working with stone though. For some reason I  found the weight of the stone very satisfying and really enjoyed working with hand tools. Almost all abstract pieces that are surprisingly similar to the shapes in my current work. I just started sculpting a piece a couple months ago but I'm at a stand still until I acquire a couple of specialized tools.

                                

Gaia: How does the experience between drawing and sculpting differ for you? Do you feel like you express different parts of yourself through creating different types of art?

John: I don't feel as though they differ much except that one is more labour intensive than the other and you can't hold a drawing the way you can hold a sculpture. Ok, now that I'm thinking about it; that represents a huge difference in that I have a more physical relationship with the stone.

Gaia: Can you tell us what influences your art now? Your designs are rather psychedelic… are you tapping into other realities through any practices like meditation?

John: Absolutely, for the most part I scry my sigils and Transcendental magick in the tradition of Louis Constant, Austin Osman Spare and George Cecil Jones. This practice is big part of my day to day life.

Gaia: Do you have any other creative or artistic pursuits that you like to express yourself besides sculpting, painting and visual art?

John: I do a little writing mostly on the subjects of Magick and Mysticism with a strong emphasis on left hand path traditions.

Gaia: Any projects you are planning that you want to share about?

John: In the short term, I'm working diligently on amassing enough work to show at Frog Peak Cafe in March and Mamma Sita's in May. In the long term I'm working on a Tarot deck.

Gaia: What is your favourite spiritual tool or what spiritual tools are you interested in?

John: Scrying mirrors, hands down.

Gaia: What is something positive you wish to see happen in this world?

John: I'd like to see our society (as a whole) move toward taking responsibility for encouraging and helping to secure the ultimate freedom of the individual. Rather than the current policy of stick and carrot control mechanisms designed to promote a false sense of order through uniformity and mindless conformity.

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising 😊 ?

John: A new scrying mirror (currently scrying in black coffee) and a copy of the Book of Thoth.

                      

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Meet Steph Kellett, beautiful artist 🎨

Posted on February 09, 2021 by laureen barker

"I'm pretty sure I entered this world holding a crayon. I've always been the daydreaming artsy kid. It was coming to the Kootenays that inspired me to become a full-time artist."

Steph supplies our store with cards made from her beautiful artwork. Specializing in nature, but not short on imagination, Steph's artworks captivate the heart.

                           

Gaia: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Background, where you grew up, just a brief history of YOU...

Steph: I grew up in Penticton, BC, with my mother and sister, our dog, many cats, and my hamsters. My youth was spent swimming, building forts and lego castles, and exploring the sagebrush covered hills with my two cousins. I loved being outside and I loved making things.

 I decided to go to art school in Kelowna almost directly out of high school, where I studied video and photography, and then finished my degree in art history at Uvic. Each decision was made from an urge to follow my curiosity, and as such I decided to follow my curiosity and a dream of a romantic winter in the Kootenays to teach myself how to paint. That was the winter of 2009, and I'm still here. The Kootenays have allowed me to live my dream in a way that no other location really could.

Gaia: What prompted your interest in art? Were there any art pieces, or was there a moment of inspiration that compelled you to pursue becoming an artist?

StephI'm pretty sure I entered this world holding a crayon. I've always been the daydreaming artsy kid. It was coming to the Kootenays that inspired me to become a full-time artist though. I was in a car accident on my way to the Kootenays, and I sustained some injuries that kept me from returning to my more physical work back in Victoria after the winter ended. Art was something I could do, and also be able to take time to recover. I love what I do, and perhaps I would have become a full-time artist more organically further down the road, but life gave me a kick in the pants to just jump right in, and I'm grateful to it.

Gaia: I noticed in your bio on your website that you take immersive trips into the wilderness to inspire and assist in your artistic process and projects. Do you find yourself re-visiting some of the same places or do you like to explore many different landscapes? What type of environment do you find most conducive to sparking your creativity and why?

Steph: Yes and yes. I LOVE drier landscapes. I'm born of the desert, and I feel a constant pull towards grasslands, deserts, and tundra. I've visited areas of wilderness in the Chilcotin Plateau, the grassy foothills of the Rockies, and the south-western tundra of the Yukon, all more than once. I love these places because of the colours of the grasses, the space between the trees, the hues of water, and the expansive vistas. These areas are also rich in wildlife, and the chances of having encounters with them are high.

I'd love to explore places like Iceland and the south-west of the States, but there are so many thousands of unexplored kilometres in the areas I've already been to that I could happily return to them for years to come.

Gaia: We love the different animals in your pieces. What animal would you consider your “spirit animal” or what is an animal that you connect to deeply and why?

Steph: Hands down it's the fox. They are so curious and playful. They're also able to adapt to different environments, much like coyotes, and can live in pristine landscapes, crumbling urban ones, and all the spaces in between. I feel like I have that kind of adaptive quality. I've also had multiple encounters with red foxes and they delight me to no end.

Gaia: Besides your spirit animal, what is one of the animals you enjoy painting and why?

Steph: I love painting grizzlies. I've had a lot of beautiful experiences with grizzlies, some at arms length. They have such a calm power to them; they are gods in their own right. I think certain animals speak more to certain people than others. I don't feel I have the same connection to black bears even though I've also had many lovely encounters with them. It's definitely influenced by the fact that my partner is a former grizzly biologist, so I have access to his knowledge and first hand experience with them. But it's also something else... it's this thing that I also feel with foxes and lynx, but not with cougars. Some I'm meant to work with, and others I'm not

                               

Gaia: On your site it says you mainly work with acrylic but what other mediums do you like to work with?

Steph: Pen and ink, oil pastel, and collage. I'm also attempting to learn gouache.

Gaia: Do you have any other creative or artistic pursuits that you like to express yourself with (ex, music, dance, textiles) and how does it feel different to you from painting? Does it enable you to express yourself in ways that painting does or does not?

Steph: Every medium allows a different nuance of expression to come through. Different mediums vary your amount of control and often involve different processes. I also work in video, both alone and in collaboration with my partner, Robert Livingood. I find that video allows my storyteller to come through with much more ease. Where my paintings are frozen moments of emotion and time, video is a moving, living entity.

Gaia: Any projects you are planning that you want to share about?

Steph: My partner and I are currently creating an audio/video piece for a local theatre piece scheduled to be performed at the Capitol this March. Of course with all things Covid, we'll see how the timing actually plays out. If people are interested in knowing more, they can sign up for my newsletter on my website, and I will send out more information as the spring approaches.www.stephkellett.com

Gaia: Last but not least!....What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Steph: I love Gaia Rising. What a fabulous community business we have here in Nelson. Let's see, I'd have the staples – white sage, beeswax candles, essential oils, and I also have my eye on one of their beautiful crystal bears.

                                

Valentines Day is coming! Don't hesitate to wear your heart on your sleeve with one of Steph's beautiful cards. Drop by Gaia to pick one out! ;) 

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Origins of Valentine's Day

Posted on February 09, 2021 by laureen barker

 

 

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Meet Kelly-Rae, our Kitchen Witch 🧙‍♀️

Posted on January 27, 2021 by laureen barker

"I believe that, in most cases, nature provides us with everything we need."

Kelly-Rae is our resident Kitchen Witch & supplies us with beautiful luxurious hand-made body care products like bath bombs, body oils, salves & body butters. 

                                 

Gaia Rising: Tell us a little bit about yourself...Background, where you grew up, just a brief history of YOU....

Kelly-Rae: I grew up in rural Alberta and went to school in a place called New Norway.  There were 500 people in the entire school from K - 12. Very small.. and looking back on it, so fun!  I made my way to BC when I was 26 and after bouncing around the province for a few years and six months in India, I landed in Nelson. I've been in the area now for almost 14 years. I have a 12 year old son who is my absolute favourite human in the world and we have a black cat named Nell and a betta fish named Reddona.

Gaia Rising: How and why did you get into making natural body care products? Why is it important to you that you use all natural ingredients?

Kelly-Rae: I've been interested in natural/herbal remedies and using natural products for quite a few years.  I believe that, in most cases, nature provides us with everything we need.  When I began making products there was just no other option, in my mind, than to use natural ingredients.  I wanted to create something for people to enjoy and nourish themselves with, without having to worry about what's in them.  I LOVE my baths and I just can't imagine sitting and soaking in a tub full of chemicals.  I don't want anyone to do that!  So I strive to make products that are just as luxurious and decadent without any worrisome ingredients OR wasteful packaging.

Gaia Rising: Is the name “Kitchen Witch” significant to you and your identity? Do you identify as a witch? Would you say that you put “magic” into your products or how you make them?

Kelly-Rae: The name is significant in a couple of ways!  Yes I definitely identify as a Kitchen Witch, Hearth Witch.. Eclectic Witch.  I also make everything in my kitchen under the watchful eye of my Grandma's old kitchen witch.  It hung in her kitchen for as long as I can remember and I was always enamored with it.  Now it hangs in mine and makes me feel connected to her.  I love that.

I would say that I do put magic and intention into my products!  Certain products have specific intentions stirred into them; like the "Love" bath bombs, for example...  always clockwise as any kitchen witch would do. ;)  And always loving and positive.  I also use ingredients intentionally for both their magical and medicinal properties.

                                 

                               "Love" Bath Bomb by Kitchen Witch

Gaia Rising: I noticed some of your products have archetypal goddess names, are you into mythology? Do these goddesses have significance to you and why?

Kelly-Rae: I seek out archetypes and Goddesses that embody the energy of the product I am creating.  Persephone's Return is a scent that I created in the Spring around the idea of new beginnings and fresh starts.  Lilith.. well she's just such a badass.  She was the inspiration for a Summer scent that was sexy and intoxicating and full of that "I do what I want" vibe.

Gaia Rising: Do you have a particular faith that you follow or do you have some sort of spiritual practice? How did you get into it?

Kelly-Rae: I have spent a lot of time in the last 20 years learning about many different faiths and philosophies and I love so much about so many of them.  It would be difficult to pin down a particular faith that I follow.  I consider myself a witch but am not wiccan.  I believe there is magic in nature and all around us.  I practice certain aspects of Buddhism and Taoism.  I call on Ganesha when I come up against obstacles and sometimes leave crumbs out for the fae.  I think Jesus was a really rad guy who had beautiful things to teach the world.  There are so many paths to understanding the Universe and I find a lot of beauty in all of them.

Gaia Rising: What is your favourite body care product in your line and why?

Kelly-Rae: Right now it is the Weekend at the Cabin Bath Bomb.  It literally smells like you walked into a cedar cabin or sauna and when I use them it just takes me to another world of relaxation.

Gaia Rising: What is your favourite product to make in your line and why?

Making bath bombs is absolutely divine because I'm enveloped in the most beautiful scents for hours at a time! I also love the entire process of making herbal balms.. starting plants from seed or wildcrafting, infusing oil, and finally making the balms.  It makes me feel very connected to nature and the old, wise ways.

Gaia Rising: Are there any new body care products you are planning to try and make in the future?

Kelly-Rae: I'm always dreaming up new ideas and love coming up with seasonal offerings.  People really really love the bath bombs the most, and I want to focus more on creating the most luxurious natural bath bombs with unique scents and ingredients.  Scent is such a powerful tool to get out of your head and into your body.  To create moments of relaxation and reset.  I want to explore this more because I think we all need more of that in our lives.

Gaia Rising: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising :) ?

Kelly-Rae: Oooooh!  Tarot and oracle cards, books, incense, and a really deep toned wind chime for my mom.

Pop by Gaia Rising to see the selection of Kitchen Witch products we have in store!

                        

 

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Shungite Water for Energetic & Physical Cleansing

Posted on August 25, 2020 by laureen barker

                                     
🖤Cleansing & Purifying, Shungite is mostly made up of carbon. It is a powerful energetic cleanser but also a great detox support for our bodies!
Discovered in Russia and still mostly found there, Peter the Great was a proponent in the use of Shungite. He recognized the qualities of the mineral as having many health benefits. As a result, he made all of his soldiers carry a piece with them to purify their water & help clean their wounds. Nowadays people like to use Shungite to protect themselves against EMF (Electro Magnetic Forces) radiation to help balance the energies in their body & help guard against EMF stress.
🖤FUN FACT: There is Shungite but there is also Noble Shungite. Regular Shungite is quite black where as Noble Shungite is more silver & shiny. Noble Shungite also has a higher carbon content ranging from 90 % - 98% where as regular Shungite has a range of 30 % - 90 % (inconsistently).
We recommend using Noble Shungite for as you have a more consistent concentration of carbon to work with when using it to help with physical ailments.
                                   
🖤Shungite Water
1 Mason Jar
1/2 - 1 Lemon (juice only)
1 Tsp of Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt
1-3 Pieces of Noble Shungite (Depending on how concentrated you want it to be for cleansing)
*Optional: Pray to preferred expression of divinity for spiritual cleansing & energetic protection
*Charge under a full moon; Depending on the placement of the full moon you can tap into different energies for different uses. Ex: Full Moon in Cancer can intensify cutting negative cords of attachment with toxic family members, Full Moon in Aquarius can create a deeper cleanser of the effects of technology in our bodies & EMF raditation.
🖤Keep on the counter & drink 1/2 a cup daily diluted with tap or filtered water. You may feel the detox of the concentrated cleansers, so go slowly, don't upset your system unnecessarily but listen to your body!

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Orgonite Energy Generators - Stay Balanced !

Posted on July 14, 2020 by laureen barker

Karen Nelson is a local Artist who specializes in creating unique, hand-made Orgonite Genertaor Pyramids.

We are very excited to be carrying her product in our store!

What are Orgonite (Orgone) Generators?

"Orgonite is a combination of crystal and metal in resin, and it is based on Wilhelm Reich’s scientific research culminating in the existence of what he termed orgone energy."

Orgones are said to help balance energies in our all our bodies.... emotional, spiritual, mental & physical. Every Orgone has a different Matrix of crystals & materials to help promote energetic balance in different energies centres. Orgones have also said to be helpful to protect against electromagnetic radiation, so they are great to have by the computer or any electronics.

The series of Orgones we carry are all inspired by the different Astrological signs of the Western Zodiac. We only have a few left, check out our website to see what we DO have left in stock!

https://gaiarising.com/search?type=product&q=orgone+

 

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National Indigenous History Month - Not Forgotten

Posted on June 11, 2020 by laureen barker

June is National Indigenous History Month! 

So we would like to introduce a favourite First Nation's artist of ours...

Maxine Noel is an internationally renowned Native visual artist and mentor with a career spanning more than 35 years.

Born on the Birdtail Reserve in Manitoba, Maxine Noel has lived in Stratford with her daughter for more than 20 years. She believes that there is a common bond that links all cultures of the world, and she continues to work tirelessly to bridge the gap between Native and non-Native communities. Her dedication, commitment, strength and self-determination make her a valuable role model.

In September 2016, First Nations leaders and federal cabinet ministers came together to honour Maxine’s artistry and contributions to raising public awareness of the Canadian crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. "Not Forgotten" expresses the terrible history of the lives of Indigenous women and girls, as well as resilience and hope for reconciliation and redress. Maxine gifted the original painting to the Native Women’s Association of Canada in order to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the important work needed to accomplish this reconciliation.

We proudly carry her beautiful art in functional forms such as wallets, purses & notebooks. You can also buy all of her art in prints & cards.

Maxine is not the only First Nation's artists' products we carry!

We carry a variety of artists in different products from stickers, patches, accessories and more! We are very committed to supporting First Nation's artists in selling their products because we know this way that they are being properly & directly compensated and it enables us to circulate their message and beautiful artworks to our community.

We are open with a capacity of 10 people at a time! So come down and check what we offer in the way of her products!

Click HERE to learn more about Indigenous History Month:

https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1559222623218/1559222644174

Bio Reference: 

https://www.gg.ca/en/honours/canadian-honours/order-canada/maxine-noelcm#:~:text=Maxine%20Noel%20is%20an%20internationally,for%20more%20than%2020%20years.

 

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