2021 Faith in Action

Artists Statements

based on The Voice Of Knowledge

by don Miguel Ruiz


Faith in Action Week 1

Artist Statement


Paul Sanchez

"La Manzana" 


A Famous writer once embedded an acrostic using the first letters of each word in his final paragraph, forming a message in his short story, (“The Vane Sisters”).  Like that story, this painting, “La Manzana” has an assortment of embedded words, symbols, archetypes, and other subconscious surprises supporting the theme of choice.   


Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us of a profound and simple truth: the only way to end our emotional suffering and restore our joy in living is to stop believing in lies, mainly about ourselves.  Adam and Eve, representing humanity, chose to take in the lie, eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge rather than reside with the tree of life.  At that point separation began and we lost our divine selves.   


I assert in this painting that this is a choice, right here, right now, in the present moment. We can choose: Joy or suffering, divine mind or ego mind, life or knowledge.  The choice is yours. 

I offer this choice:  Create Happiness Or Own Suffering?  Every Wise Individual Selects Eternal Life.  Yoli! (Notes:  Manzana is Nahuatl for apple, but a loanword from Spanish. “yoli” is a word in Nahuatl that means living, revive, recover, be alive, to be alive. Get up, stand up.  And yes, the final thought has an acrostic message.) 

Faith in Action Week 2 

Artist Statement 


Rev. Penelope Clement 

"Captain Marvelous" 


The New Day is arising.   When we finally see through the stories that limit us, we discover that we are the amazing creations of Source.  Then we can express ourselves as Captain Marvelous.  He holds the Wand of Fire, the paintbrush of the artist.  This wand gives him the courage, strength, and determination to create the story of his life. 

Creative Bird challenges us to step forward as the true artist we are, and create our greatest work of art – our Selves.  Are you willing to use your talents and abilities to create the life you love?


Faith In Action Week 3 

Artist Statement


Wanda Mcguire 

"Two Paths" 


Within her spirit garden, our child finds love, happiness and freedom as God intended. Her relationship with life is exhilarating yet filled with peace. She looks for the beauty in everything. She is filled with joy as her parents cherish her presence. The path she is on at this time of her life is filled with promise. She believes herself to be whole, perfect and complete.  

Then a new baby comes, and the parents are elated.   


They hope that their little girl will be happy as well, but those hopes are dashed when their daughter starts acting out because she is jealous of the new arrival. They do not know that she feels she is being replaced.  

No one says anything to her that would lead to this thinking. No one treats her any differently than before. But within her own mind she is convinced that she must prove herself worthy of their love. 


As Don Miguel says, and our principles teach, “our thoughts create our Experiences” so our child enters a new path of jealousy, grief, rebellion, and an obsession with proving her worth.  


Later in life, she starts to learn that what she told herself was all lies. And when she stops believing those lies, she comes full circle, she is on her swing feeling the exhilaration and peace of her garden. Our child finds love, happiness and freedom as God intended. 

Faith In Action Week 3

Artist Statement 


Louise McGowan Bezark 

"Fallen Golden Ginkgo"


In nature, all plant and animal life are what they are in any given moment. The ginkgo tree, being one of nature’s living fossils due to its age and ability to be just what it is for so long is an example of timeless nonresistance.  


“You can never be what you are not….. you are you right now, and it’s effortless” 


So, we too, as little children are as close to being in the now as the ginkgo tree. This illustration of “Falling Golden Ginkgo” represents the now moment of the tree’s annual cycle. Imagine how perfectly we can be in the moment as a seemingly individuated branch of humanity, effortlessly living authentically. 


With no stories about what we are not, we are free to live our human cycles as is the magnificent ginkgo biloba. 



As I was completing a simple interior painting application, after turning in this statement, the moisture in the paint and the porosity of the interior of the gourd caused it to expand significantly. The gourd started to creak and pop and in one loud pop, it exploded open on many cracks. 


Instead of throwing it away, or ding the project, as we might normally consider it now imperfect, I chose to keep working with it to see what could emerge. Imperfection is not a reason to stop or give up on something or someone. While it is not what I preferred it to be, in some ways it is better than expected. It may speak to someone in a special way or I may choose to use the parts to create something unexpected.  


It can never be what it is not, it is what it is right now, perfectly imperfect. 


Faith In Action Week 4

Artist Statement


Pat Orner

"Grand Canyon Interlude" 

I find the best way for me to find inner peace and tame the voice within, is to be in nature. Whether it’s a quiet moment sitting in my garden, a walk through the old growth redwoods, or, what I’ve experienced recently, sitting quietly and taking in the beauty and the majesty of the Grand Canyon.

There are no words to express the beauty and wonder of the Grand Canyon, and there is really no way to capture it in photography or in art.


In my painting, I have attempted two depict the wonder that I felt that day. At that time, I knew that all is right in my world.

Faith In Action Week 4

Artist Statement 


Louise Vidaurri

"Kuan Yin Awakening"


Kuan Yin is representative of the awakening of the Divine Feminine in all. She guides us into our awakening which is being able to live in harmony and unity with the Love that is. By choosing love, kindness, compassion and wisdom over fear, judgement, anger or separation, the Source, the Divine Feminine seeks to nourish us so that we blossom into the fullness of our being.


I chose to super impose Kuan Yin into a blossoming tree which represents the new Tree of Knowledge we embrace as we co-create a new way of being with ourselves and others by choosing love over fear.


Faith In Action Week 5

Artist Statement


Ellen Springwind

"Reclaiming the Power of the Serpent" 

Several weeks ago, I found this piece of bark on a walk by the American River. When I brought it home, it called to me to paint an aboriginal snake on it. Soon after, I began to read The Voice of Knowledge in which don Miguel writes about the snake as the first storyteller in the Garden of Eden--Prince of Lies. He says we believed him and agreed to take his word as truth by putting our faith in him. 


don Miguel says we use symbols to help make sense of everything we experience. As I contemplated the symbol of snake, I began to ask myself what I was believing about it and found it's meaning in various ancient cultures. Snake in ancient Egypt is a symbol of power and divine protection. 

In aboriginal mythology, rainbow serpent was a deity responsible for giving life as well as destroying it. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Naga snake deity represents rebirth, death and mortality because it casts off its skin and is reborn. In Inca mythology, serpent represents the beginning of a new life 

as well as wisdom. 


don Miguel writes that with blind faith, we could believe any one of these symbolic meanings and lose our power to it. When we release our faith from the lies, we recover free will and make our own choice. We recover the power to believe whatever we want to believe. And when we have the power to believe whatever we want, all we want is to love. Common sense tells me that Snake is one of God's creations with its own beauty and powerful qualities. 


I choose the Animal Medicine meaning: Snake says it's time to slough off the old pattern so that the new design can pulse with the most current energy.

Faith In Action Week 5

Artist Statement 


Kiki Crawford



Emotions are the thing we all have in common. They can break us or make us, but we can gain control over our emotions by learning to show them. 


My piece represents the peak of stress, when you just can't take it anymore. It symbolizes an explosion of feelings.  


The burst of color shows how many emotions you can feel at once, the black the darkest, the white the calmest. See how chaotic the colors are when they blend together? That's the point. 


Emotions work like that too. If you feel too many at once, you get confused and lose grip of reality. When that happens, the colors react like a hot ember, pulsing with heat. They get so hot that at one point, they just . . .explode.  


Show your feelings. They are valid, just like you. They matter, and so do you. Feeling happy? Great.  Feeling sad? Perfectly fine.  


If you start showing your emotions to people around you, they'll love you. Then, maybe, just maybe...you'll love yourself, and life will be a burst of beautiful colors. 


Faith In Action Week 6

Artist Statement


Marianne Mancina

"Follow The Stars" 

In Chapter 9, Don Miguel encourages us to use The Four Agreements as tools to change the story of our lives. He says that The First Agreement, “be impeccable with your word”, and represented here by the star in the middle of the triangle, is the supreme agreement because it directs the power of our words towards truth and love. The other three agreements, symbolized by a star near each of the triangle’s three corners, are “don’t take anything personally”,  “don’t make assumptions” and “always do your best." Don Miguel says that these three agreements are supported by the First Agreement, which is the ultimate goal. 

Internalizing and using The Four Agreements helps us uproot and blow away that old lying Tree of Knowledge. This, in turn, allows The Tree of Life to germinate and grow inside us, spreading its branches to encompass us and connect our heart and mind with others and with all that is.

Faith In Action Week 7

Artist Statement


Diana Mandella

"The Tree of Life Has Blossomed!" 

Don Miguel Luis has written the story of his life path to now.  He speaks of the changes in his understanding of who we all are and what we came to do.  Each of us has a path to follow to learn that we all are beings of God and the Light of Love.  We came to earth to be the voice of knowledge that we are the blossoms of Light and Love on the Tree of Life….and….. We are Beautiful!  The future is depending on us to use our talents and energy to lead us to a world that is Love for All….so Shine on all you Blossoms.  Shine On!!

Faith In Action Week 7

Artist Statement


Katelynn Rowe

"Clearly Muddy" 

Don Miguel states, “Your life becomes a masterpiece of art when the storyteller only tells you truth”. Chapter 12 tells us that when we filter out the lies we tell ourselves, we are left with only truth, which brings us back to a paradise of sorts. This chapter was annoyingly relatable, but I figured it would only add more meaning to what I created.

My piece sums up my understanding of the chapter and shows my progress in filtering out those lies. The white side represents my lies which are dark, but also what I seem to shine more light on. The black side represents my truths with are light but also what I don't see or am unclear on. The golden triangle is the filter that represents the work I'm doing to filter out my lies and clarify my truth. The rainbow represents my story without the lies and shows the small amount I’ve filtered out so far.

I did a small piece to practice for the final version and found that my process was its own summary of the chapter. First, I created the side with my lies which was quick, easy, and effortless. My truths on the other hand kept showing up muddy and not very defined. I scraped off that whole side 3 times before I told myself I had to be okay with whatever it looked like. It was funny and interesting to see how clearly the process mirrored myself and the chapter. Although I know in my head how solid my lies are and how uncertain my truths are, this allowed me to see it more visually.

don Miguel’s statement: "Recovering control of our story gives us the freedom to create our life as beautifully as we can as artists of the spirit" came to life in my painting, Cleary Muddy.