Art By Shalley

Using Art to Heal

Art by Shalley

My paintings are a projective experience much like clinical psychology's Rorscharh test. I paint a backgroud of an undefined and ambiguous scene. I then paint the images that I see emerging from this undefined space. As I interact with the images, painting them, amplifying them, dialoging with them, listening to their personal and archetypal meanings, I reveal unconscious forces at work in my own mind. Since the mind has a tendency "to structure ambiguous scenes into personally meaningful images that symbolize underling motives and emotions" (Walsh, Shamanism, p. 202), my paintings are a kind of witness that speak to my life condition, a kind of shamanic journey for healing and insight.
Over time my paintings have evolved to include images met in dreams, during meditation and in shamanic journeys.I hold my paintings to be both projections of my own inner world as well as expressions of my contact with spirit beings in the greater areas of non-ordinary reality. They appear in my paintings as a way for me to honor, interact with and integrate these unconscious parts of me into consciousness as well as an opportunity to build relationships with them in a greater sense as spirit beings in non-ordinary reality.

As you view my paintings I invite you to let them speak to you out of your own unconscious. Below are my most recent paintings. To browse older paintings, click on Gallery.

Goldenrod and the Red-Winged Blackbird

This is another painting in my series of paintings to honor the symbolic, spiritual and healing aspects of plants and flowers. This painting honors the Goldenrod.

For many, the bright blooms of the Goldenrod symbolize encouragement and growth. Another popular meaning is that this flower can bring good luck and is often used in bouquets wishing good luck or fortune to others. Goldenrod also has a long-held reputation for generating abundance, luck and love.

The Red-Winged Blackbird is associated to the primal feminine energies and to the creative forces of Mother Nature. When I combine the healing properties of the Goldenrod and the symbolic meaning of the Red-Winged Blackbird, I come to the conclusion that "nature heals." So the next time you see a field of goldenrod or a red-winged blackbird, take a deep breath and breath in the energy of the healing power of Nature.

Medusa Re-imagined

In a recent shamanic journey I met Medusa, she told me that we now have to uncover what has been rejected and repressed in our paradigms and stories. We must discover what is hidden in our stories. We must recover what has been lost. She told me that before her myth was interpreted through a patriarchal lens she was a goddess of wisdom and healing. She said “we must now re-imagine our myths and our stories and find out what is underneath them. When we are afraid or when things are heavy or dark, it is important to find what is hidden there, to find out what is hidden behind the stories that we hold” By facing the fear that I felt with Medusa, I discovered that hidden in her story was another story, one of wisdom and healing. 

You can read the rest of the story behind this painting at But here is the conclusion:

This painting then becomes my way of re-imagining Medusa. The snakes of Medusa can be understood as the divine wisdom and healing powers of the goddess so much needed at this time. When I find that a particular state of consciousness or a certain way of being no longer works for me, perhaps Medusa is at work freezing it, rendering it dead and lifeless so that something new may emerge. The white magnolia symbolizes our connection to the ancient wisdom of the goddess that already lives, hidden within us. The candles suggest that now is the time to bring to light that which has been hidden in our stories.

Mother Earth and the Web of Life

In a recent meditation. I rise up above the earth. As I look back at where I have come from, I see what looks like lines everywhere, like all connected. As I continue to focus, I see that they are like fibers of light, or cords of light. I am told,"those are the trees. Their root system forms a unending connection that holds that earth together. They also support each other. When a tree in one area is in need, the trees in another area send energy to that tree to assist it. They are an interconnected family. Every species is that way--humans included. At the next layer, all species are connected. There are layers upon layers upon layers. These layers form an energetic web which makes the earth." I am told "look quickly." It is like a film is removed and I see and experience some kind of awareness of the earth's formation as he describes. I am unable to describe it in words. I notice that the trees burning in the Amazon and in Australia are felt by all the trees as is their response to send energy to restore the regions. I become aware that it works the same for us. With that, it all disappears and I am back in the room. I hear the words "some things cannot be understood with the mind, only by the heart."  This is my painting to honor that experience. I call it Mother Earth and the Web of Life

"Tree of Life"

Forty-one (41) years after the bull energy that chased me up that tree in 1978 and that I corralled in the dream in 1987 appears in this painting as the guardian of the tree that is now the Tree of Life that holds the orb that I met during meditation as my soul’s next manifestation

I dream that four blind boys are riding horses. Other adults and I are with them as guides. One of the horses becomes upset and knocks a boy to the ground. He seems dead, but one of the adults gives him CPR and revives him. We put him back on the horses and the same thing happens. I think “why are we out horseback riding with blind boys? This is plain ridiculous. I’m going back home (a small Indiana town where I live). As I start back home, a bull comes out of nowhere and starts chasing me. I run from it and jump a fence and to into a small barn. The bull leaves for a moment to re-attack. I say “I’m ready for you this time.” The bull comes back and chases me. I climb a tree, thinking I’ll be safe. But to my surprise, the bull climbs right up the tree after me. I am amazed that the bull can climb a tree. I shout at it to “go away.” If falls back down the tree. (Journal 1978)

The year was 1978. That dream began a 40-year journey into my dreams. During those years I met the bull in various dreams. Slowly the bull began to take different forms, introducing me to the bull gods of ancient Egypt as symbols of the sacred earth masculine and forerunners of the Green Man as consort to the ancient goddess and divine feminine.

In 2008 I dream that I am meditating and see an orb. I know it is my orb. As I look closer I see a small image of myself inside this orb. As I look even closer I notice that I disappear and it is all pure energy. I become aware that this orb is my soul’s next manifestation. Here are paintings of that dream as it has evolved in my life.

Forty-one (41) years later the bull energy that chased me up that tree in 1978 and that I corralled in the dream in 1987 appears in this painting as the guardian of the tree that is now the Tree of Life that holds the orb that I met during meditation as my soul’s next manifestation.

I call it "Tree of Life."

"Green Man"

I first met the Green Man in a dream in 2001. When I began painting in 2002 images of green men began to spontaneously show up in my paintings. At that time I had not heard of the Green Man nor knew anything about him. Then one day as I began a painting I noticed another image of a green man was emerging on my canvas. I looked around my studio and saw several paintings of green men. There was the painting I call “The Gift”, one called “The Call”, one called “Emerging”, one called “The Birth of the Green Man” to mention a few. On this particular day I was curious—is there such a thing as a green man? So I googled “green man” and discovered, “yes. There is such a thing as a Green Man and he has appeared throughout history in almost all traditions.”

A review of the literature on the Green Man reveals that he represents (1) our oneness with Nature, (2) the guardian and protector of nature, (3) a spiritual or divine intelligence or essence in nature, (4) a messenger revealing the relationship between man and nature, (5) the androgynous, regenerator spirit in nature, (6) a Divine Spark in matter, and (7) the archetypal masculine in nature as a vital resource in renewing our lost unity with the world of nature. For me the Green Man becomes a divine intelligence, a divine light, and the wisdom and consciousness in matter that both protects and reveals its spirit—a divine reality in matter whether that matter be a stone, a tree, an animal, an organ in the body, an object of desire or the earth herself.

Psychiatrist Carl Jung has suggested that “an archetype will reappear in a new form to redress imbalances in society at a particular time when it is needed.” The Green Man reminds me of the union that ought to be maintained between humanity and nature, between mind and body, between spirit and matter and between us and our own souls.

This Green Man painting is my most recent reflection of my evolving relationship with the archetype and spirit of the Green Man. 

Polar Bear Magic

I participated in the Fishers' Arts Council Winter Wonderland Exhibit. In this exhibit we were asked to have visitors join in our painting or creative process. Part of my process is to paint a background of an ambiguous and undefined space and then paint what I see in the background. I painted a background and then I invited visitors to tell me what they saw in the background. People saw a goose, a horse, a mountain lion, a bear, a person, a lynx, a sunset and a hawk to mention some. Here is the finished product with four of the images seen. One man suggested I name the painting "Freedom." Perhaps "Freedom" captures the image of animals running free. Here is the finished painting.

If you participated in this process and want to purchase the painting, you can buy it for $200. It is a 20x20 acrylic on canvas. You can also purchase a 10x10 museum quality print for $35 plus $5 shipping. Contact me at or 

I dream of two Bison running through a stream. I am aware of their power. According to Ted Andrews (Animal-Speak) the Bison is a symbol of sacred life and the power to manifest abundance through right action and right prayer.

"Spirit Horses"

"Sunflowers: Beauty, Delight, Hope and Joy

 "Gray Fox and Thistles"

The Gray Fox appears suddenly out of nowhere, crossing our path. Having remained hidden, watching from its window in the underbrush. The Gray fox darts into our vision only for an instant before disappearing once again into the thicket of tall gasses and thistles, reminding us that at a moment's notice the veil between the visible and the invisible worlds opens and we get a glimpse of the magic of life.

"Queen Anne's Sanctuary"

I place my intention on journeying to Queen Anne's Lace and painted a background of greens and whites to see what might emerge. As the Queen Anne's Lace flowers began to emerge, I met butterflies and a hawk among the flowers.

In a recent shamanic training, we journeyed to the 5th world to retrieve 3 spirit guides or soul friends that could be of help to us at this time in our lives.

Mine showed up as crystalline-like figures--one in the form of a walking stick with a snake wrapped around it, another was a crystalline wand and the third the orb from a dream I had a long time ago as my soul's next manifestation. As I worked with these images, asking what gifts of help they had for me, a woman appears with the orb in her hands and places it in my heart. She says "the time is now." The crystalline wand revealed itself as a man standing behind the woman as a support and guide for the soul's next manifestation. The owls and the black panther showed up in a journey over 16 years ago and have remained with me as power animals and guides in the shamanic sense. This is my painting of that journey. I call it "The Time is Now."

"the Tree of Life"

This is my most recent painting on the Orb dream. Forty-one years after a bull chased me up a tree in 1978 and that I corralled in a dream in 1987, it appears in this painting as the guardian of that tree which is now the "tree of Life" that holds the orb that I met in a dream as my soul's next manifestation.

"The Luminous Warrior"

Here are a couple of paintings honoring the horse, the spirit of the horse and horse medicine.

"Running with the Wind: Spirit of the White Horse"

"Painted Ponies"

"Feminine Wisdom and Feminine Power: Healing the World"
A painting to honor the power of the feminine to heal the world.

The courage, wisdom and clear sight of the hawk
 and the strength, confidence and loyalty of the wolf.

Remembering the Grandmothers: Their Wisdom and their Power.


What follows are a series of painting I did to honor the chakras. Chakras are spinning energy centers in the Luminous Energy Body that receive and transmit subtle energies believed necessary for physical and emotional health.

Ancient Wisdom and the Call of the Wild

According to some traditions, the 11th chakra contains the programming of the soul and governs our ability to transcend time and space and to re-remember the goals we came into this life to achieve.  In some traditions the color bronze is associated with the 11th chakra. I then used the colors associated to the other upper chakras 9 and 10 to paint the “undefined background.”

As I stared into the background of this painting I saw a pair of lions. As I studied and researched lions I came across the “white lion” and felt an immediate resonance. According to the African shamans, White lions are agents of light, Lions of God and are here on earth as a beacon to guide us to reclaim that light within us. (Mystery of the White Lion by Linda Tucker.)

Putting these ideas (1) “the ability to transcend time and space and to re-remember the goals we came into this life to achieve” with (2) lions as an agent of light to guide us to reclaim that light within us with (3) the Q’ero belief that we are Luminous Beings and “homo luminous” is emerging as we reclaim and re-remember the Light that we, i.e., ancient wisdom captures the meaning of this painting for me. The goal of my life in this lifetime. I call it Ancient Wisdom and the Spirit of the Wild.

                                             New Beginnings from an Ancient Path

This is my painting to honor the 10th chakra. I chose the color gold as the background because in some traditions, the color of the 10th chakra is gold. I then made my background of undefined space from the colors of the other upper chakras. In some traditions the 10th chakra is called the Solar chakra and governs our ability to live our dreams and helps us focus our will to remove blockages and give our existence purpose. In other traditions the 10th chakra is called the Universal Chakra and gives us access to the universal flow of creation.

I  journeyed to the 10th chakra and was quite surprised to find a stork there. In my second journey I saw a collage of the Green Man, owl, jaguar and of Pan.The images in this painting seem to connect to both ideas on the 10th chakra. One on hand the owl and the stork connect with the air and flight and suggest connection with the upper realms allowing me “access to travel within the higher realms of spirit” while the black panther, the Green Man and Pan connect with the earth, meadows and woodlands, “ensuring my connection to the Earth”. However, Pan’s flute also sends out energies across the airways via sound waves. So both the 10th charka as the “solar Chakra” and as the Universal Chakra as well as an Earth chakra all seem to be represented in this painting. According to the traditions this connects me to the ability to live the dreams of my soul’s path.

"Dancing with Pan"

"Dancing with Pan" is my painting honoring the 9th chakra. The 9th chakra is said to be the "seat of the soul." It allows you to access your soul's code and is seen as the door to archetypal energies or patterns that play an important role in shaping our lives. Its color is blue-green. I chose the colors of chakras 10, 11 and 12, pearl white, pink-orange and gold as colors for the overlay background of undefined space for images to appear.

"Angel of Healing"

"Angel of Healing" is my painting to honor the 8th chakra. The 8th chakra is located above the crown of the head and functions as the energy epicenter of the entire chakra system. The purpose of this chakra is to protect the physical, emotional and spiritual body and serves as the root of all the divine energy and compassion that course through the system.

Moon Rising: The Return of the Goddess and the Bull Archetype"

"Moon Rising: The Return of the Goddess and the Bull Archetype" is my painting honoring the first chakra. The color of the first chakra is red. This chakra is associated with the Earth element and our sense of being grounded. Its mental and emotional issues are group safety and security, our ability to stand up for ourselves and to provide for life's necessities and get our basic needs met.

Goddess Rising

This painting, "Goddess Rising," is from my personal work with the Goddess energies and represents the healing energies of the Divine Feminine that is available to us. It is my tribute to the second chakra. The color of the second chakra is orange. It is associated with power, money, sex, fear, fighting, passion and creativity.

"The Hare and the Owl"

This painting is my tribute to the third chakra. Its color is yellow. Its element is fire. It is associated with self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect, courage, personal power and fulfillment of dreams.

"Secrets of the Unseen"

This painting is my tribute to the 4th chakra. Its color is green. Its element is air. Its mental and emotional issues are related to love and hatred, hope and trust, forgiveness and compassion, intimacy, grief and anger, loneliness and commitment.

"Return of the Jaguar"

The "Return of the Jaguar" is my tribute to the 5th chakra. The 5th chakra is associated with the throat and our capacity for personal expression, following one's dreams, choice and strength of will, finding one's voice, faith and will. Its color is blue.

"The Visionary"

"The Visionary" is my tribute to the 6th chakra. The color of this chakra is indigo. It is associated to the "third eye" and has to do with reason and logic, intellectual abilities, truth, self-evaluation, openness to ideas, empathy, depression and stress-related disorders, enlightenment and self-realization.

"The Opening"
This painting, "The Opening" honors the 7th chakra. Its color is violet. The 7th chakra is connected to our ability to trust life, to selflessness, the ability to see the larger picture. Its element is pure energy and connects us to the transcendent and spiritual illumination.

This painting, "The Guardian" was painted in response to a shamanic journey I took in which I meet a Cougar.

This painting, "Medicine Man," was inspired by a dream where I met a man who told me he was a "healer." On a shamanic journey I met a little boy who needed healing. I combined the two dreams into this painting.

This painting, "Hawk Medicine" was painted in response to a meditation in which I meet Hawk

This painting, "Quetzalcoatl," was inspired by a shamanic journey.
Website Builder