To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Kanuga, Journey to Creative HeART 2015 & 2016

Lark’s sweet southern voice called me in late 2014, asking if I would teach a five day workshop in August 2015 at the F.A.C.E (faith, art & creative expression) conference at Kanuga, a spiritual retreat center outside of Asheville, North Carolina.

kanuga-lake-deck-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKanuga lakeside gathering place for outdoor services


kanuga-lake-boat-house-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKanuga Lake boathouse

I was flattered and excited. Little did I know it would be a life-changing journey to my own and other’s deep creative heARTs by combining creativity with connection to others, the land and Creator.


kanuga-ab-book-spiral-labyrinth-EMAILOrigami book with labyrinth design – by Anna Brawley –
created at Kanuga


Lark described Kanuga as not only a beautiful 1,400 acre retreat center set in the Blue Ridge mountains, but also a “thin” place. A place where the distance between heaven and earth is felt as little or no distance at all. This particular thin place is also a home that nourishes a deep longing for personal artistic creative expression infused with the power of faith, while being held in the embrace of a loving community.


kanuga-findley-classroom-garden-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogClassroom building (on left) where “Entering the Sacred…” workshop was held.
Peace Pole in the garden.


kanuga-fairy-house-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogFairy House built by children next to St. Francis Chapel in the Woods


kanuga-saint-francis-chapel-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogSt. Francis Chapel


 kanuga-lh-book-hearts-3-EMAILOrigami book inside pages by Lark Howell – “Only a Thin Veil Separates Us”

My dear friend Kelly Larson came with me to help with the workshop. We fell in love with the people and place, but even more felt the power and transformation of deep creativity while in communion with creation and Creator.


kanuga-cottage-porch-swing-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKanuga Cottage Porch Swing

kanuga-cottage-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogArts & Crafts Cottage Kelly and I stayed in

kanuga-cabin-living-room-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKanuga Cottage Living Room, with Craftsman Furniture & Curtains

Kelly and I are both very happy to be returning this coming August 21st through 26th, to lead another workshop titled: “Creating Sacred Space in the Garden, Planting Prayers”. Below is info about the upcoming workshop, the 2015 workshop and the creativity of participants in the “Entering the Sacred through Images, Words, Nature and Gardens” workshop.

kanuga-labyrinth-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogChartres Cathedral type Labyrinth
A few short steps from classroom where workshop was held.
We walked it as part of the workshop and will walk again this year.


– The upcoming workshop is titled, “Creating Sacred Space in the Garden, Planting Prayers”.  It is about finding and experiencing the Holy in all of nature, and creating sacred space within it. The garden can be a few pots on the patio to urban, suburban, country or wilderness spaces.  It can be a garden we tend or visit.

Here is what we will be doing: Mandalas, labyrinths, sacred geometry and other art forms that have been used to create sacred spaces throughout history will be explored and used. The class will be held inside for most of the art making and writing components. Some time will be spent outdoors near the classroom where a sacred space will be created and revealed by nature herself. There will be a tiny amount of digging in the dirt with a trowel. Prayer is part of the creation of sacred space. Prayers will be created with simple easy to do art and words. Different forms of art making and expressive writing formats will create prayers of each participant’s own art and words. The prayers will be “planted” in each participant’s heart and out of doors.


kanuga-findlay-classroom-inside-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKanuga Classroom -Day 1 – “Entering the Sacred…” Workshop


– Titled “Entering the Sacred through Images and Words, Nature and Gardens”. The first two days centered around “Mandalas, Meditation and Journaling” and the last two days centered around, “Knowing the Divine in Nature & Gardens”.

SHARING Creative HeART  -Below are some pieces of the art & words created by 2015 workshop participants. (More will be shared in future blogs.)



kanuga-jc-mandala-mountains-tree-water-EMAILJennifer Coplin’s mandala is centered on Love.

kanuga-jc-mandala-farm-EMAILThis mandala by Jennifer shows what she loves about her farm

kanuga-jt-mandala-kanuga-tree-water-EMAILJoAnn Taylor’s “Tree of Life” mandala


Simple folding and tearing of a single sheet of paper created books for images made of simple marks on paper along with words in various forms. Writing exercises helped create some of the words, others are quotes from others.
(I’m only showing a few pages of each book here. I will share the books in their entirety in a future blog.)

kanuga-lh-book-5-EMAILLark Howell origami book
“Do not worry about tomorrow”

kanuga-ab-book-aroma-holy-work-EMAILAnna Brawley Origami Book Inside Pages
“The Aroma of Holy Work”

kanuga-ab-book-spiral-serve-EMAILAnna Brawley Origami book inside pages
“To Serve Others”

kanuga-jc-galaxie-book-pages-1-2-EMAILJennifer Coplin origami book inside pages

kanuga-jc-galaxie-book-georgia-okeefe-pages-5-6-EMAILJennifer Coplin origami book inside pages
Georgia O’Keefe quote

kanuga-rg-book-eternity-4-EMAILRick Greenwood origami book inside pages
“Infusing Divinity”

kanuga-rg-eternity-poem-EMAILRick Greenwood Acrostic Poem

kanuga-bl-book-betty-4-EMAILBetty Landes origami book inside pages
“Love Never Ends”

kanuga-bl-book-betty-2-EMAILBetty Landes origami book inside pages – “Believe in Blessings from God”
(note: Icon painting of Jesus done by Betty, this is a small print of original)


kanuga-ag-ocean-pearls-starfish-EMAILApril Greenwood – Painting and mixed-media collage
“The world is full of the Glory of God”


Nature Meditation on a SplitJoAnn Taylor
“Nature Meditation on a  Split-Rail Fence…”




THANKS FOR SHARING – I want to thank all the participants of the 2015 “Entering the Sacred through Images, Words, Nature and Gardens” Workshop at Kanuga’s, F.A.C.E. conference for sharing their creativity and hearts.

TESTIMONIALS -To see what some of the participants had to say about the workshop, check out my workshop schedule page (at end of Kanuga info).

MORE INFO about F.A.C.E – Faith, Arts & Creative Expression – Liturgical Arts.  There are many other wonderful workshops as part of this conference. My workshop “Creating Sacred Space in the Garden, Planting Prayers” is one of seven available. More information and registration is one the Kanuga website.



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