My visit with Valerianna Claff, artist, educator and steward of RavenWood Forest Studio of Mythic & Environmental Arts is one I'm eager to share with you. I first learned of Valerianna when Donna Johnson, a wonderfully talented coach I worked with some years ago, gifted me her evocative CD, Breath & Bone. Though our paths had crossed on Facebook, it was only at our mutual friend, Jen Parrish-Hill 's wedding, that I had the good fortune to meet in person and visit with Valerianna, and also had the added pleasure of hearing her sing live at the reception.
Valerianna's talents are diverse; she describes herself first as an artist, with a B. A. from Colby College, and M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and with exhibitions all over New England and beyond to her credit. Brimming with her creations, both residence and studio reflect their forest home with natural object vignettes adorning nooks and crannies, window sills, shelves, tables. She has spent twenty + years as an educator at Clark University in Worcester and has in private practice held numerous workshops, retreats, circles with healing, mythic and storytelling themes for women and her various communities.
The allure of visiting her wilds to see firsthand what she, as caretaker of RavenWood Forest/ resident studio artist (and her spunky housemate, Rhune Bear) were up to these days, was enough to set me on my way to the foothills of the Berkshires, known locally as "The Happy Valley". The drive was scenic and serene and my overnight visit was a feast for eyes and spirit.
Tune in below to our podcast. Valerianna tells of how her manifesting rituals delivered her her home and The Forest Viability Enhancement Grant that funded her studio build. We weigh in our womens' journeys, the power of place, sacred healing and connection to land. A Rhune Bear cameo appearance + more.
On the road to Chesterfield...
A welcoming entry.
Chief Guardian of RavenWood Forest, Valerianna's Maine Coon Cat, Rhune Bear.
Vignettes of beauty and nature fill Valerianna's home and studio.
Nothing compares to the cheer & warmth of a wood fire.
He knows I am there but...
Rhu & Valerianna play hide and seek.
Off we go across the snowy drive for a tour of RavenWood Forest Studio of Mythic & Environmental Arts.
Valerianna. (artist selfie).
Mixed media Grandmother sculpture Valerianna crafted.
A Spiritcloth by Jude Hill.
Coming attractions- Summer at RavenWood.
Keeper of the Woodland.
Gourd Valerianna made as a ritual/manifesting/dreaming vessel as described on the podcast.
Rhu indulged me, finally!
With thanks to my hosts, caretakers of this snug woodland treasure, Valerianna & Rhu, and with good wishes that your work and mission will carry on for many generations to come.
To add one of Valerianna's fine art watercolors or Whisper Stones to your collection, follow this link to her Etsy Shoppe, RavenWoodStudios
Blessings of the Green & Wild