Joshua Tree National Park Art Festival

March 8th, 2015 – 3:54 pm

Join us in a unique location - the 29 Palms Art Gallery

It’s very likely to be an outstanding weekend for flowers!!

Art & Flowers that’s pretty good stuff.





December 7th, 2014 – 11:25 am

Classes & Workshops

The studio will be once again throwing it’s doors open to shared space, classes resume February 2015.
Sacred Stone


This a beginner class, but even those who have been painting for a while will pick up something new. People often share how frustrating they find watercolour. This class presents techniques using a very limited palette of highly compatible pigments to almost guarantee no “mud” results. Some unique methods are presented, including stretching paper, that come from my 40 some year passion with the medium.

Monotype on Gelli

Wow, I discovered gelli pads last year and can only say it’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time!

Monotype is a one-off print. The gelli pad process uses acrylic paint and inexpensive paper to make rich prints. There is nothing like something new to get the creative juices flowing.

Mixed Media

A process which combines a little of this and a little of that. My signature work is technically mixed media; watercolour, lacquers, konaunmo (ground shell) and other things are combined, I cut apart traditionally painted watercolours then play, reassemble… Basically  we do much the same in class and have a lot of fun, it’s a fabulous way to stretch skills.

No experience required for any of the above classes, just come with a desire to have fun. It’s my philosophy that doing is the best way to learn.

Image: Sacred Stone, monotype © Ellen Hill, 2014

A calendar of classes and workshops will be coming soon, along with details for each class including suggested materials list.  In the mean time you can contact me with dates you would like to participate and I’ll do my best to make that happen.


I keep my classes limited to 4-6 people so that everyone gets a lot of one on one. If you have a minimum of 2 people besides yourself you can schedule a class just for yourselves! This works very well for people who drive from a distance.

In general the classes run from 9am-noon or 10am-2pm with a break for lunch. The cost is $45 per person. If there is a material fee it will be quite minimal. It’s all about art!

contact Ellen Hill:

Early Winter

December 6th, 2014 – 3:28 pm
Early winter, the last colours of Autumn fill the eyes and lift the heart, perhaps this is my favorite season.Early Winter

First let me say thanks, with a heart over-flowing with gratitude, to all who have sent prayers and kind thoughts out to my mother and me, while she has been going through treatment for advanced cancer. The news is all good. Everything seems to be going a wee bit slower than anticipated, and we go with the rhythm required, therefore, classes will be resuming in February instead of Mid-January.

Over the next few days, I will be posting descriptors on what will be happening in the studio when the days of lengthening light return.

Open Studio 2014

October 23rd, 2014 – 11:44 pm

Come and be welcomed!


There are new things; monotypes and collage, paintings and Saami jewelry.



Two weekends : October 24 & 25 and November1&2

9am- 5pm

Maps and catalogs are available locally covering all the artists participating.

Sewing Saami Bracelets

October 23rd, 2014 – 9:50 pm

Duodji - the way of Saami. Our tradition. Keeping alive my culture….

Remembering our connections.

A long walk home

October 23rd, 2014 – 9:00 pm
Looking westSometimes there is nothing to do except live in the moment and knit. So it has been the past many months. Knitting in waiting rooms while the woman who helped me pick up slipped stitches as a child received radiation and chemo. Hats and more hats were knit on circular needles, no pattern, just casting on and knitting, letting it all happen as it would.

We are on the other side now. Remarkably it looks like a cure and already strength is finding its way back into my mother’s life.

And for me…I’m in the river again, floating on the wonderful currents of creativity!!

Polestar of Consciousness

January 28th, 2011 – 8:16 pm


The moon aligns with Antares tonight. You will see them in the early morning if you are up while it is still dark and the skies are clear. Antares is a warm coloured star just south of the ecliptic, it rises here around 4am, Venus follows just a little later. All three will be very close together.

Antares is a “birthingstar,” she gives birth to many seed stars as does a star in the belt of Orion. In our old Alfr mythology, Antares is the “polestar of consciousness.” It defines an axis that is galactic, it follows the the ecliptic through earth to Aldebaran. Both stars are guardians or watchers, Aldebaran is watcher of the east, Antares is watcher of the west.

We usually think of a polestar as meaning aligned the a star at the north polar axis of this planet (Polaris currently), but in fact there is another meaning to “polestar.” In old times, on Staffensdag, the second day after winter solstice,  a pole or staff was set into earth in the center of the stone circle and aligned with the north star, notches were cut, runes were carved. The staffen of wisdom was then carried around the countryside. The north pole staffen offered a calendar for daily living, marking seasons, planting, harvesting etc. The staffen aligned to Antares,  described something else, sacred wisdom.

My ancestors left stories asking us to be aware that our thoughts have power,  being in balance they said is what keeps the earth spinning aligned to the axis of consciousness.  Greed can cause a catastrophic shift, and they said, this has happened before.

The axis of Antares/Aldebaran is located ~10 Sagittarius/Gemini (tropical). Here and for the last many centuries is where Venus occults the Sun. This is the axis of the long count. Another way or calendar of keeping time. This is about evolution of Spirit and our souls.

solar eclipse

January 4th, 2011 – 6:00 am
3 January namnsdag: Alfrid, Alfrida, elf advice
4 January namnsdag: Rut, Ritva, slender branch


Ghost Sun

Deep darkness outside

Growing light inside


Many points along the old circle bear names which refer to the Alfr or Elves. The Alfr were an actual tribe of people who are remembered in the sagas. They lived in Alfheim, just east of the Oslo Fjord, in southwest Sweden. By the time of the Vanir,  before the Vikings came, the Elves were diminishing. Still, small enclaves remained and fragments of their culture still exist.

The 3 January namnsdag Alfrid, means elf advice and is associated with the circumpolar star Vega.

On the path of souls, a path of old Norse constellations, there walks a reindeer named Dain. Vega forms its face, some say Vega is Dain’s eye. Dain is an elf name, it means dormant.

Here is the deeper story…

About 12,000 BC Vega was the Pole star aligned with the north axis of Earth. The alignment of the north pole to a particular circumpolar star changes as the earth slowly drifts, the result of a phenomenon known as precession. Currently Polaris is the North star or Pole star. A complete transit of the circle takes about 26,000 years. Vega will again become the Pole star in 14,000 AD. We are half way.

What we see in the sky is a circumpolar map of the precession of the ages.  Two aeons represented by the north pole stars have reached their “opposition” along this small circle traced by the north axis of Earth. Polaris, the current polestar, is in the norse constellation of a reindeer named Dvalin. Dvalin was the mightiest of the dwarves who slept with Freya and initiated our current era.

The age brought by the dwarves is the age of Logos, a time of developing the “masculine” mental component of the whole. It is the complement to the age of Elves (and faeries) which was an age developing the “feminine” senses and light consciousness.

Namnsdag Alfrid points to a star portal, where we can ask for the advice of the Alfr, entities who aligned with light consciousness.

Early this morning there was a new moon, solar eclipse. A new moon, especially the first new moon of the year, is a time to plant the seeds of our intentions for going forward. An eclipse magnifies. With the bright star Vega in attendance, we are offered a moment to receive the advice of the elves. What follows is a “slender branch.” (A shoot of life in mid-winter)

If you are born under this star portal these energies are inherent in your birth-print, as would having other planets and angles at the center degrees of Capricorn (tropical).

During the deepest dark, increasing the light within achieves balance.


December 25th, 2010 – 11:31 pm

Our “grandmothers” might be a way to define the meaning of Áhkká. They are our soulkyn whom we remain connected to throughout time. The Spirit Áhkkás are frequently depicted on the noaidi drum, a shaman drum, a map of mystery.

The Mother Áhkká stands outside of time. Before a child is born Mattaráhkká receives from Spirit a seed of consciousness.  She prepares consciousness for its journey into the manifest world. When it is ready, this new soul, the seed of spirit, is passed to her daughters.three-sisters.jpg

These are known as the Sisters of Hope. The image in the center represents Sárraáhkká. She receives the seed of spirit and molds around it the material world. Then, she waits, sitting by the hearth until it is time, she is the spirit helper who midwifes the new soul into life.

As the child grows Uksáhkká guards the door, she keeps illness and evil out of reach so the child will be healthy and strong.

Juoksáhkká is the bow woman.


It was believed that all of consciousness was feminine and some intervention was required to change half of all the souls to males to keep things in balance. If you know anything about biology you realize the truth in this. Bow woman performs this task, she is the protector and guide of males.

This is how we come in, other Áhkkás guide us as we leave.

These are parts of the Story

December 23rd, 2010 – 11:52 pm
winter-sun.jpgreindeer-polestar.jpgahkkas.jpgFrom the stone, from the drums, from stories, memories, images of a life, living. A golden thread ties us all together.
 bow-woman.jpgthree-sisters.jpgsprings-daughter.jpgMy father turned 88 this summer. He is the rememberer and story-teller of his generation. When I went home to celebrate his birthday, I asked him if he would tell me in a most simple way who we are.”Our family came from Sweden.”   A truth, and a statement my father would normally leave just as that.  But, to me, he continues, “We were not like other Swedes. I always knew this as a child”"How so?”
“We are pagan.”"Yes.” Then, because I could not resist a tease, since of course I was raised without ever having been in a church, I asked, “Like wicca?”

“NO.” And he opened his arms to the forest, “This is us, who we are. We are this,” and he swept his arms over the landscape, “and it is us. No difference. Our way is being in balance. Simple.” Then, as an afterthought, “A big responsibility.”

There have been so many secrets that have unraveled in the last few years. It is the right time. Secrets served their purpose. They allowed my people who like many other indigenous, found themselves hunted, hung, burnt at the stake, to slip into anonymity. Secrets were necessary, even in more recent times, my parent’s time,  children were taken away from families to boarding school. Cultures were destroyed or held secretly with only small bits in the open.

I was in many ways luckier than most. My beautiful, exceptional parents chose to live with Native Americans.  For us a relationship had developed between two cultures in Alaska with my great-grandfather and continued with my parents at the Dxwlilap reservation. I am the lucky child, raised “inside the way.”

I am not of one culture nor another, but a blend that has at it’s root the one thing my ancestors were protecting; life lived as a sovereign self in harmony with the sacred land.

I do not know the language of my ancestors. My father remembers Sámi words, and they feel familiar to me.  But, the most important language, my parents did pass to me.  I hear it in a yoik, the song that spills out from the heart; earth, wind, trees speak, this I know, it’s the same language. It belongs to all of us who listen.