Below are some women, with whom I have had the joy and honor of connecting to personally, who carry the spirit of Hildegard in their hearts. Energetic, caring and brilliant, “making art” is but one aspect of their extraordinary lives, which they live with grace, courage, and humor.

The earth is a better place for having them tread (ever so lightly) upon it.
And I’m a richer person for knowing them. -pb


I‘m beginning this section with some women I’ve had a personal/spiritual connection to for a very long time. 
(Even though a very long time might elapse between actual communications…)
I’ve provided links to their websites/facebook etc. 

“She who works with her hands is a laborer.
She who works with her hands and her head is a craftswoman.
She who works with her hands and her head and her heart is an artist.”
-adapted from Francis of Assisi

art2Here’s a wonderful site by Barbara Wells Sarudy, featuring Medieval women artists and much more:

Animation1It’s About Time Searching centuries of Art, Nature, & Everyday Life for Unique Perspectives, Uncommon Grace, & Unexpected Insights.

pam1Pam Kirkham
n addition to being a visual artist, Pam is a vocalist and thespian. My right-hand woman for years, Pam has flown off to be the true artist she is, in heart and soul.  Her work is available from her Etsy shop, FlyingCreatureTiles @…/2654107… and her website @….

Susan Sutherland BarnesSusan Sutherland Barnes
I first met Susan when she returned to Michigan after living in WV, NE, IA and joined the Buchanan Art Center.  I was blown away by both her gorgeous pottery and her persona. Wise and witty, she maintains a full-time clay and fibers studio in Paw Paw, MI.


cindyCindy LaFerle
ll the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The Big Art is our life.” Cindy has that quote on her website and truly embodies it. I have known her since my days as editor of Metro Woman magazine – over 20 years. We both lived in 1920s Tudor Revival houses in  Royal Oak MI, just a few miles apart, but seldom meet in person. We are “soul sisters” who seem to connect spontaneously when we need to.Above is one of Cindy’s assemblages. cindy1Also an award-winning multi-published writer and author, she does so much that I can’t even begin to cover it here. You’ll just have to visit her website: Cindy and her architect husband are restoring a FLW house in St. Joseph MI.

Geri Olson

Geri is a professor at Sonoma State University where she teaches classes on personality, creativity and the expressive arts. She has integrated the expressive arts into her work for more than 30 years and teaches doll process workshops to art therapists, educators, parents, doll artists and children.

She has also produced “Diaries, Letters, Scrapbooks and Journals: Crafting a Visual Autobiographical Self.”

sunplateI have known Geri since our sons were our grandsons’ ages (how can that be??) In the 80s, we worked on various projects together in the area of “parenting” and connected in so many ways, including our love of sunflowers – when we first met we discovered we both coincidentally had the same plates from the MMA (shown here).

Geri with Anais Nin in the 70sGeri with Anais Nin in the 70s



Eve Banker 
eveMy mother, Eva Hutzelman Banker, was a painter, potter, art-therapist, teacher…very much a woman who was ahead of her time…this image is of her in 1978…she definitely did not have the classic Germanic looks…after a life as a corporate executive’s wife, she retired to a small cabin in the mountains of Appalachia where she explored extensively the areas of natural foods and herbal remedies.  She also worked as an experimental art therapist with autistic children in the 60s-70s.
apples2The image at right is of a painting which won “Best of Show” in 1963. It’s called “Lohr’s Apples” and inspired by the farm in Virginia where her sister Alice lived (with her husband Lohr) and among many other occupations, kept bees – The inspiration for my St. Gobnait, patron of bees.

See our Artistry Pinboard for more connections:

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