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Featured Artist Deedee Cheriel

A painting by Deedee Cheriel

S&H editor Ben Nussbaum chatted with Deedee about her spiritual journey and how it intersects with her art, simplicity, and why images of mothers are so important to her.

How do you see the connection between spirituality and art? Deedee: I struggled for a long time to reveal my authentic self. I feel like that’s so much of what blocks people in their creativity—to be totally vulnerable—and to make imagery that you have a strong connection to, and that tells a story and allows you to show a lot of yourself and put yourself out there. That’s a lot of what blocks people from ever making art. So my spiritual path really intensified when I decided I wanted to become seriously invested in my art process. I remember being completely overwhelmed. I had been a smoker, and I was trying to quit smoking, and I was in my studio and I wasn’t sure what to make and riddled with fear about revealing anything about myself and that my ideas would be stupid. I had watched a movie, Grizzly Man, about a guy who goes into the woods and bonds with bears. I got this idea about the bear being this insatiable creature that always has all these needs. And the Buddhist concept that to desire is to suffer, and we’re constantly in a state of desire and wanting something outside of ourse …

About the Author

Ben Nussbaum is the Editor-in-Chief of Spirituality & Health.

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