I was born a dreamer, an intuitive, healing artist, and a lover of animals and nature. I also love everything spiritual, mystical, mythical, paradoxical, and mysterious. An introvert at heart, I need to spend a great deal of time alone, but I have discovered that my time spent alone is filled mostly with listening, creating, and learning in order to go back into the world and to guide, inspire, inform, or help others in one way or another. I thrive on deep, authentic, raw, emotional depths and am delighted to bear witness to the full spectrum of human experience and potential.
Probably, like you, I had traumas and struggles in life, both as a child and young adult. The challenges continue as I enter my crone years. Life is hard and messy, especially when we are not taught good ways of processing our fear, grief, anger, and sorrow. But it also is glorious and fascinating and awesome. We must pay homage to all of it. It all is a gift.
Just learning how to relax our body or quieting the mind for five minutes can be transforming. Realizing we carry everything we need inside of us for wisdom called for in each moment empowers us ~ no matter what we face. Tapping into our creative gifts makes life more joyful. It doesn't make our life perfect, but it helps us to navigate the challenges with greater ease.
I mostly am a self-taught artist. I have loved making art since the day I was born. Early on, I was inspired by animals and nature, then my art began to reflect my inner world, and later it was a vehicle to express my response to the greater world, as well.
As a teenager, I intuitively used art to process the world around me and within me – especially around the greatest traumas, the greatest joys, and the unexplainable. Art was a pathway for learning, healing, and recovery in my life. My desire to make art was like my need to breathe. In many ways, I created art because I had to - and still do.
As an adult, I have used art as a tool for healing and teaching people of all ages. In this capacity, I see the creative force (nothing to do with what our culture determines as artistic talent) as something inherent in everyone and a pathway to the heart that can guide each person in an authentic journey. The most basic forms of mark-making, available to all living things, can offer great insight. Today art is part of my story, my joy, my spiritual practice, and how I can best serve in the world.
As a visual artist myself, I have created with pen and ink, pastel, fibers/fabric, and clay, painted rocks and furniture, and made prayer beads, batiks, and masks. I currently work primarily with acrylic paints, sculpting, watercolors, mixed media, and collage.
My subject matter varies but often contains images of the divine/sacred feminine (in her many forms around the world), aspects of ancient myths and stories, mystical symbols, and dream elements., and/or aspects of nature/earth and animals. To me, nature is very alive and I easily experience the sacred in the natural world. Animals, plants, and the earth show up frequently in my artwork.
Some Bio Info
Lori was born in Western PA and grew up intuitively using art as a method of self-expression and healing to deal with challenges in her young life. In high school she won her first public art contest with a pastel drawing of a tiger and was voted the most artistic girl in her senior year. Originally, attending college for art therapy, Lori obtained a degree in social work (and minor in psychology) at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. She worked in social work as a case manager in Family and Child Services, Truancy, Hospital and Senior Care settings, and Women's Services for over 25 years.
Secondarily, Lori has worked developing art-related programs at hospitals, schools, and churches using art for relaxation, team-building, and personal and spiritual formation. Programs included summer camps at Audubon for children, Adult Art Education classes at Chautauqua Institution, and Healing Arts Programs for the NYS Office of Mental Health and Hygiene, Job Corp, and Hospice.
Lori then completed a two year program in Therapeutic Touch through Trocaire Nursing College and received her Reiki I and II certifications and attended California Institute of Integral Studies for some graduate work in Women's Spirituality and Ecopsychology.
After obtaining a Certificate in Non-profit Management from the University of Chicago, Lori spent four years as office manager and art teacher for The ArtsCenter at Dave Poulin’s Studio in Jamestown, New York and then another four years as Executive Director for The Mandala Center, a spiritual retreat facility, in Northeastern New Mexico.
In 2016, Lori obtained her National Certification in Foot Reflexology through the American Reflexology Certification Board and is a Professional Reflexologist of the Reflexology Association of America. She currently is owner of Lori Sweet Studios and continues to offer Complementary, Holistic, Body-based Wellness Services for stress reduction, well-being, and personal growth.
More recently, Lori obtained a facilitator's certificate for Health Rhythms, using drumming for healing and self-expression and has been learning more about Sound Healing as a modality. She also has been working with Deborah Koff-Chapin, creator of Touch Drawing and is creating her own Touch Drawing Workshop Series. She will begin a Artist in Health training through Penn State Health this fall and is in the process of writing her book, The Self-Blessing Ceremony.
She devotes her free-time to her art, Qi Gong, drumming, and sound healing studies. She lives with her husband, writer, poet, retired pastor ~Tom, and lots of plants! They share three children, Molly, Emily, and Jaymes.