Growth+

LOVE WARRIOR // 2016

LOVE WARRIOR // 2016

I’ve missed connecting and sharing this space with you.

I’ve been quiet for the past year as change has swept through my life, very much invited and welcome.

I’m currently on a year-long creative sabbatical (or more, we’ll see). Carving out this space has been an intentional choice to follow my creative impulses, carry out a long-time professional plan, and give myself space to heal.

Heal from what? Lyme disease, burnout, loss, grief, a lifetime of learning how to love and share my purpose in a meaningful way. The experience of being human.

I closed my graphic design business and launched my dream in 2015. It has been quietly, slowly, and beautifully percolating as I give it form.

You will see something different emerge in the near future, and for now my website and instagram photo album capture where I’m at. My energy is focused on two things—wild women portraits who express the deepest intimacy of the raw human spirit, and surface pattern designs that embody nature and beauty. I’m fully leaning into my gifts as a sensitive soul eternally curious about identity and spirit, as a gentle woman who knows the power of beauty to nurture and transform, as a guide sharing what I’m learning, and by sharing myself with the world, supporting others in healing and being true to themselves too.

I continue to feel challenged and engaged by my mama role. Homeschooling our son and still getting what I need for myself hasn’t been easy and it continues to be a learning process. Societal definitions of what motherhood is and what being a wife means have continued to bring up questions for me—which has brought changes into my life as I navigate what these roles mean personally to me and find my courage to claim what I feel is right. Similarly we are choosing our own paths for schooling and parenting philosophies. This has led to deep reflection on belonging and feeling a part of a like-minded community; finding my people. The idea of home has been challenged and I am on a journey of exploring what home means to me and how to find it. My son and I have been living in Victoria, BC this year - with him participating in a Nature-based unschooling collective, and with me claiming independence and reflecting on where I feel at home. This city is weaving itself into our souls! It is so beautiful and connected to raw Nature.

So much growth. So much, so much. All good things for deep thinkers and feelers like us, right?

xo

Mila + Paige

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This summer I had the opportunity to create a custom painting for the beautiful Mila + Paige fashion boutique in New West. It's 48" x 48" and was a lot of fun to bring to life. I started with sketches based on our talks of what the owner loves, and lots of browsing Pinterest for faces and flower inspiration. I used prints of my own surface pattern designs to collage the face, and built on many layers from there using paint, ink, ribbon and jewelry embellishments. I thought you might be interested to see inside my process so I'm sharing a few pictures. Thank you Anita at Mila + Paige for loving my style and commissioning me to do this special piece for your shop. It was a real pleasure. Visit Mila + Paige at 45 Sixth Street in New Westminster, BC.

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Identity

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It’s been quiet over here on the blog this spring. A lot has been brewing and I’ll be sharing on that soon. For now I’m talking about identity. I have always been fascinated with humans and identity. As a young pre-teen I had my nose in a book always, living and relating to the characters, and in the process building my own identity by reflection. In university I focused on identity in my communication studies, in my modern dance choreography pieces, in my fine art class projects, in my literature and poetry classes, even in my resource and environmental management classes. This wasn’t a conscious intent—I was drawn and led by something intangible. I nearly did a Master’s degree exploring identity but instead went on to build a design career helping clients find their authentic visual voice and identity. And my fascination continues today. I read and watch shows and films to fall deeply in love with the characters and I feel sorrow when the end of the book or season comes. I read books about identity, truth and knowing ourselves. I explore human identity themes in my work. I’ve been drawing and painting women’s faces steadfast since I was less than ten years old. And every illustration, painting and surface design comes from a learning about the nature of humans and the individual characteristics that make us, well, us. 

To use a common metaphor, discovering identity is truly akin to peeling back the layers of an onion, never knowing how many more layers there are to come. First we reject what we know in order to identify ourselves by what we aren’t. Then we seek, we find, and we begin to collect pieces of what we are. Then we grow to the edges and need more room. And this repeats, and we continue to evolve and shape our identity. One neat thing for me recently has been watching the big shifts in myself. A few years ago I embraced my feminine side, inviting and delighting in everything girly. Now that is morphing into a curiosity about the wild woman in me – the yearning and draw to let her out. It’s neat to see my art shift in conjunction with this - to see the movement from pretty and feminine to powerful wild woman starting to emerge. That’s what I love, the uncertainty and magic in letting our identities unfold. I wonder what’s next? 

Simple

I’m choosing a word to guide me for the beginning of this year—simple. Simplify; do less; choose carefully. I want this year to be about keeping things real; saying no more often than I say yes; and if I can't remember it without keeping detailed lists I'm probably doing too much. I want to observe and ask rather than making assumptions; and try drawing the simple conclusion rather the complicated one. It's touching on the personal, the family, and it's coming into the studio with me too as I find ways to practice my craft in small simple ways with minimal supplies. Simple.