Louisiana Dreamer ~ Embodiment of Courageous Wild Creative Freedom

Musings and meanderings of writer/artist Linda Hubbard Lalande on art, culture, social media, spirituality, yoga, life

Bursting into Spring — Snowy Owl avalanche inspires me to look, listen, create

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Lalande_linda-Arctic Dance 01

Snowy Owl Series: Arctic Salvation Dance. Dancer and painting tell story of why arctic environment should be saved, based on Carolyn McDade song “Among the Many” (Lyric this earth one home, the home of many). Snowy Owl messenger came with friends beseeching me to tell their story. Acrylic painting 30x40x2″

Spring here in the Southern California village of Woodland Hills has been a time of variable temperatures — both high and low; signs of rebirth abound. Budding and blossoming plants beckon. It has also been a time of personal rebirth with my art. My deep and curious love affair with the Snowy Owl has produced six new paintings and two new multi-media pieces. It seems the owls have gifted me a new set of wings and our limitless sky beckons. Snowy Owls are in the midst of baby boom – being called an avalanche or an irruption – it’s the second banner year for this magnificent and symbolic creature.

According to author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul in an interview on NPR’s here&Now radio program:

“For a second year in a row, a mass migration of snowy owls from Canada is occurring, and that’s highly unusual. It’s called an irruption and it’s thought to be related to boom and bust cycles of arctic lemmings, the small rodents that snowy owls love to eat.”   Listen to the full interview on here&Now.

My work with the Snowy Owl was submitted as part of my portfolio for a recent California artist fellowship application packet. [Who will be the lucky recipients is yet to be decided in July; please keep your fingers and hearts crossed for me.] Obviously, the beauty of applying for such opportunities is that it shakes things up, necessitating a rethinking of my own ideas about Art, art making, and my goals for connecting to a broader, more diverse audience.

Lalande_Linda-Mother 05

Snowy Owl Series: Fierce Snowy Owl Mother. Mindfully watching, the mother owl conveys the fierce need to preserve her fragile habitat for her owlets and all sentient creatures. Acrylic painting: 36x36x2″

Art as storytelling

Lalande_Linda-Ookpik 04

Ookpik Emerges to Tell Her Story: This whimsical image welcomes the freshness of new life in the harsh Arctic, urging the viewer to empathize with the need to preserve that fragile environment. Painting of baby owl in Ookpik style. Inuits named snowy owls Ookpik and made souvenir dolls in their image. Mixed media – acrylic, pastels. 36x36x2″

For me, art at its core is Storytelling. It is an expression of timeless Spirit translated into contemporary symbols; this Spirit connects us to our ancient roots. Influenced by nature, Spirit and whimsy, I am drawn to natural materials, animals, dreams/visions, and use them to build sacred spaces and images. Perception and environment are inseparable collaborators in my art; I listen to discern which stories want to come forth – a place, a time, an inspired yearning, a message. My art practice involves integrating the audience/community into the creative process by inviting them into a meditative interior space. Whether it is a still image or sculptural environment, spoken word or movement piece, I strive to capture the viewers’ attention and connect them to a deeper intuitive place. This way, my art can serve as an antidote to the travails of contemporary urban life, providing healing, expressing a higher energy field and reinforcing life’s greater meaning beyond physical appearance. When I succeed, my storytelling bridges the unlimited world of mystery with human beings – asking each of us to be witness, participant and maker of the moment.

My goal is to take my sacred, experiential pieces to a broader Los Angeles audience. Part of my plan is to establish the Center for Fearless Creative Freedom at my home studio. One proposed class is “Drawing On All You Know” for both children and adults; it is designed to reconnect participants to intuitive and sacred creative impulses. Using guided meditation, improvisational and guided movement, Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi and Tarot, we will ‘draw out’ the muse, moving us out of our over-exercised intellects into our under-accessed intuitive bodies. From this invigorated space, we will build 3-dimensional environments and create 2-dimensional works using our bodies and materials to tell our stories of possibility, energy and life force. This shamanic reclaiming of our innate wisdom is meant to serve as an antidote to the stresses of daily life and its focus on technology, information overload and materialistic values. I will seek to share these stories we build, however temporary, in public spaces in the hopes of slowing us down enough to appreciate the very making of the moment.

Lalande_linda-Ookpik's Tower 03

Snowy Owl Series: Ookpik’s Tower. Ookpik is an Inuit word for snowy owl. Inuits make baby owl toys called Ookpiks, now a term used for all Canadian handicrafts. Environmental sculpture built in gallery made of recycled newspapers, with willow fence. Owl image superimposed for final documentation of work.

My center intends to provide additional space for all sorts of storytelling, in cooperation with several other artists and spaces. LA’s urban landscape is one of 24-7 communications; high-tech-high-stakes deals; Hollywood allure; multicultural/multiethnic arts, spiritual traditions, foods and languages. Yet beyond all these apparent differences, there is a deeper, safer space I inhabit along with fellow storytellers. It is out of this space that we have learned to create.

Lalande_Linda-Three Muses from Ethers 06

Snowy Owl Series: Three Muses Emerge From Arctic Aurora. Three is the symbol of creativity and the muses. Owls signify certainty AND mystery, wisdom and messages from the subconscious. Contemplate this as you view this image and let them speak to you. Acrylic painting 36x36x2″

Global to local – building villages of creativity

Another reason I want to create more space for local art-making is to support village community life. With the overload of our contemporary lives, I find that community members often do not want to climb into a car and go over the canyon to Santa Monica or over the hill to West LA, Hollywood or downtown. They want to be here in our neighborhoods, rubbing elbows with local talent and celebrating our collective creative lives. I fully embrace my place here with other artists, owning my own spirituality and creativity, intending to inspire others to express their stories – fearlessly and passionately.

Along with Snowy Owl, my plumage too changes in spring. I am seeking opportunities that appreciate my colorful, creative ways of looking at a situation and then improving it. Owls indicate certainty, wisdom, perceptiveness and deep knowing – this messenger keeps appearing, nourishing my yearning to be wild, creative and free. I invite all to share this with me.

Village owl 02

Snowy Owl Series: Village Owl Spreads the News. Owl messenger stresses our need to be mindful of our human impact. Village tower is an environmental sculpture built in gallery space made of recycled newspapers, with fence of willow branches & rags. Owl image superimposed for final documentation of environment.


Author: Linda Hubbard Lalande

Storyteller, myth maker, visual artist, intuitive dancer, meditator, chanter, yogini, spiritual devotee, incurable romantic, music lover. Communications professional, writer, photographer, nature lover, environmentalist, social media professional.

One thought on “Bursting into Spring — Snowy Owl avalanche inspires me to look, listen, create

  1. really nice work. thanks for sharing

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