Amy Livingstone’s Inspirational Art Connects Our Spirits to the Earth
Amy Livingstone of Sacred Art Studio in Portland creates bright and colorful paintings that illustrate the connection between the spirit and the earth. From the powerful blue lines of her Buddha’s face, to the symbolic Lovers of Creation triptych, her work instills in the viewer a sense of peace — a sense that we’re not alone, that we’re all connected on this planet. In that way, Livingstone is more than just an artist and environmentalist – she’s a spiritual teacher.
Like any kind of spiritual teacher — priest, swami, rabbi — Livingstone was awakened to her calling. The first awakening came when she lost her brother to AIDS in 1989 and her mother shortly after from other causes. Through the process of suffering and grief, Livingstone gained a new insight into her life.
“I realized there was more to life than working and saving for retirement and playing golf,” says Livingstone. “My whole perspective on life changed, so my desire was to somehow serve in some way and follow my journey wherever it was going to lead me — a life of meaning and purpose.”
Livingstone began listening to her heart. She found herself volunteering with grieving children at the Dougy Center in Portland, and leading workshops for grieving adult women. Livingstone found the work to be incredibly powerful and healing, but grief work wasn’t destined to be her only path.
In 2002 Livingstone attended a one-day workshop led by Joanna Macy, an influential eco-philosopher who interweaves her knowledge of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology with decades of environmental activism. Livingstone was blown away by the workshop and decided to apply for a 10-day training with Macy. It was during this training that Livingstone received her second awakening.
“I really felt this profound coming home to my place in the web of life and it was very, very moving and life changing for me. When I came back from that experience, I began to deepen my work in a new way and my spiritual practices and that connected to my relationship to the Earth. Even to this day I don’t need to be out in nature to feel that sense of oneness, I feel that sense of connection just by virtue of my existence.”
Since the 10-day training, Livingstone opened her studio and began creating her inspirational art. She received a Master’s Degree in interdisciplinary spiritual traditions, traveled to Peru to learn more about shamanic traditions, and has presented her installations and her story at events throughout Portland. She finds inspiration for her art in the works of Joanna Macy and Matthew Fox, a great teacher of Creation Spirituality. Her current work is also inspired by the late, beloved Oregon poet, William Stafford.
However, Livingstone’s inspiration will always primarily derive from her love of the Earth.
“My studies and my love of the Earth and just this divine calling that I have inspire me every day to get up and go to the studio and seek guidance.”
To see more of Livingstone’s work click here.
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