Shirley Cunningham, a long-time student of art, literature, psychology, creativity, dreams and spirituality, has made art and kept journals since childhood. This artist and author considers painting and writing to be her spiritual practices, partly in response to a dream some time ago. In it, a voice asked, 'Who are you besides who you are?' The answer was, 'A writer.' She'd felt disappointed. What she'd wanted to hear was, 'An artist.' Since then, while going through recovery from breast cancer, she had what she calls 'a creative burst,' that led her to understand art's power to heal, which has become the underlying energy of her visionary creative work.
She says, 'Dreams are mysterious and sometimes portentous. Little did I know at the time of that first dream that the art you see on these pages would emerge as easily and mysteriously as dreams themselves.'
Shirley Cunningham, MA, MSW, LCSW is a certified counselor in private practice and spiritual director trained by the Shalem Institute, Washington DC. She has taught on the college and university level and offered retreats and workshops for over twenty years in various settings. Her first book, Chasing God, invites the reader on an adventure with her personal yet universal tories of wisdom and faith. From Catholic girlhood, to entry and exit from the convent, marriage, motherhood, divorced 'singledom' at age fifty, annulment, remarriage, breast cancer, widowhood and the blossoming of her art work, the journey is an amazing trip. Shirley believes that the mysterious Sacred hovers at every turn for all of us who are willing to slow down and simply attend.
You are invited to read more on her webpage blog and to see her full gallery: www.artfromheartnsoul.net. Much of her work will soon be available on fineartamerica.