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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


A Manifesto of Sorts

Kelly Clark

I drink my coffee either black or the color of malted cream, thick with rice milk, a dollop of coconut oil and a scrape of vanilla bean pod.  And I believe no coffee ever tastes as good as the one brewed outdoors.


I'm a sucker for lemonade stands, never able to drive past but forever skidding to a halt, digging in seat cushions for change, and buying whatever flavor of sketchy, corn syrup based tartness is begin sold.  I rarely drink it, but I love me a young entrepreneur.

I have a mouth like a sailor and zero inclination to change.  

There is no place I feel safer - physically, emotionally, energetically - than deep in the woods, with no one but my dogs by my side.  There is no place I feel able to let down the carefully constructed guards than with the trees as my witness and sentinels. 

I find science to be utterly magical, and can think of no more magical construct than evolution.  No more sacred event than the coming together of molecules, the sparking of life, the shifting and tearing of cells into life and death and the triumph of transformation.  

I can't stand any clothing item labeled as "high waisted."

The juiciest part of the creative process, for me, is the spark and pursuit of idea.  Of curiosity.  Of learning, obsessively, voraciously.  Of closing my eyes and stilling my mind, asking the muse out to play.  Of seeing fully realized images and objects come together in my mind's eyes - long before their birth into the tangible world - reaching out and turning them around, examining how they are made, what marks, what layers.  Sometimes I see things and know I don't have the technical skill, or time, or energy, and the hardest choice is to release them back to the collective consciousness of creativity, where without fail, they will find their right maker.


I have a deep love for tarot and oracle decks of all kinds. For the ways they open opportunities to dialogue with self, for the ways they remind me of how much intuitive magic we hold, and that like everything else, intuition is a practice.

I am a redneck at heart.  While I love the finer things in life and heated seats is top of my vehicular wish list, I'd take a beefed up truck, cowboy boots, and a lonely dirt road any day.  In a pinch, I've even parked my Jeep on the lawn.

I lived most of my life with an underlying feeing that I would die young, that I would never see my 35th birthday.  I have never been closer to death than I was during my 34th year; there was a moment when I was so deeply ill with cancer that I fully understood I was balancing on the knife edge between life and death.  It would have been easy to let go.  But I chose life.  I fought for life.  And when the tide turned, vitality returned, and I saw my 35th birthday, I realized the old soul contract, the one where I died at 34, had been revised.  And while I fully acknowledge that none of us know how much time we really have, I believe I received a new opportunity, a new contract, to live and live for years more.

I believe our food choices are one of the most radicals acts we can make as individuals.  To know where our food comes from, to vote with dollars by supporting those who grow right by the earth, right by the animals, to learn how to provide for ourselves what we're able and trade as locally as possible for the rest.  I was vegan for a great number of years, but gave it up in favor of my health and what I see as a more globally sensitive path and can not imagine going back.  I hold enormous respect for ethical hunters and those who raise their own meat animals with love and tenderness. 

Mitochondria is one of my favorite words.

I'm awful with remembering birthdays.  No matter how close we are, how truly and deeply I love your soul, there's a high likelihood I will forget the actual day of your birth.

I adore collecting mythology; creation stories in particular.  I love the cadence of indigenous storytelling best, from cultures across the globe, the lack of linear time and the unquestioning understanding that all nature holds spirit and being.  The Greeks and Romans interest me less, perhaps because patriarchal lines are so tedious.  After all, there can be no creation, no birth, without women in full agency of their bodies and minds.

When I write, when I share the thoughts behind my work, it is always and unfailing notes and reminders to myself.  When I write about being enough, about finding your wild woman, about trusting your knowing, it is because these are the things I am forever working on in my own soul.  It is because I know of no better way to find my path, my truest self, than through the making of art.  Amen and Aho.

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