Katrina Dreamer Interviews Pixie Campbell

Pixie is one of those souls who you instantly know moves in deep, soul-centered ways. She has taught me a lot about honoring the Earth, ancestors, and animal guides. Her art stirs something deep within, the animal nature that doesn't always get a voice. I am grateful to share her with you in this third installment of Katrina Dreamer Interviews.

1. What is the importance of nature?
For my spirit, going out in to nature is like making a huge deposit in my bank account. It refuels and recharges me. Connecting with the trees, the earth and sky, the creatures brings me closer to my own soul. Communing with the wild away from electricity, gadgets, and life noise allows me to hear the voices of Spirit. Sometimes it gives me direction, and sometimes I go to restore peace to my hyperactive mind. Most of the secret strengths I've discovered about myself, including my courage, have been found in the wild, sitting next to a tree or sleeping under the stars.

2. How do you connect with nature?
I love to sleep outside--feeling vulnerable and yet at one with the night creatures opens me in a way I can't duplicate another way. But I also love to work in my garden, hike my dogs in the mountains, sit in a hot spring, dance by a fire, walk into the ocean, climb rocks, collect stones, hang feathers from tree branches, observe birds. I could go on forever. I also connect with nature in my artwork. I work with the symbolism of the wild creatures in my paintings. They whisper their messages to me and I translate them in my work. 

Another way my children and I connect with Nature and her gifts is to carry a small pouch full of tobacco or lavender buds. When we find a feather on the ground, or a pretty rock we want to bring home to put on our little nature altar, we leave behind a pinch of herbs as a thank you. This is the native way and it connects us through gratitude. If we forget our pouches or find something unexpectedly, we might say a little blessing, sing a short song or leave a hair or dribble of water behind on the earth. I have enjoyed seeing my children become conscious little people in their gratitude for what the earth offers us. It imprints many more of their experiences, too, such as awareness and gratitude for where their food comes from.

3. How does your work invite others to reconnect with or interact with nature?
My hope is that my paintings invite the viewer to connect with themselves through the animals and the messages. What seems to happen is that when someone who already has a connection with a totem that appears in my work,  is moved by one of the animals in my work, or resonates with the reading that comes with the painting, they feel a tug into the wild. My hope is that the work touches the viewer right where they want to grow, and that the animals become a friend and an ally for them in their personal work and joy that lies ahead.

4. What wisdom can you share that can help people establish a relationship with nature? 
If you want to establish a stronger tie to nature and feel its soul-refreshing benefits, just go out into it. It doesn't require any special gear or tools, just a willingness to be quiet and listen to the sounds of your environment. As I said, I love sleeping outside, but for someone who is just getting comfortable with the idea, just opening your window at night or sitting outside in a garden at dawn or dusk can inspire in unexpected ways. I prefer to spend some time in nature alone, or with people who honor that. I've noticed when I'm thinking, chatting or otherwise in my left brain I cannot hear what nature has to share with me.

Pixie Campbell creates to share her feelings about how archetypes play out in her own life, and to inspire the viewer to try on the idea of duality--that there is a conscious "us" who feeds the children, organizes life, and thinks things through, as well as a wild "us" who dances under the full moon, digs a quiet den, trusts the keen ears and whispering intuition, and adventures beyond the fences of convention. She will teach at the Squam Art Workshops this year. Find Pixie at: blog: www.pixiecampbell.typepad.com; shop: www.pixiecampbell.etsy.com; teaching: www.squamartworkshops.com


Courtney said...

What an inspiring interview. I'm going to try your idea of leaving lavender buds in return for found objects in nature. That is such a lovely practice! Thank you!

megg said...

Lovely interview and portrait! I am a real admirer of Pixie's.

Thank you for sharing it. Like Courtney I think I'll be off for some loose lavender buds before my next adventure!

Katrina said...

Courtney & Megg: Thanks for your kindness!

I'm a third voice for leaving lavender behind when picking up objects...it's a beautiful gesture.