A Playful Journey to Honorable Celebrations
Through her art guest artist Denise Griffin takes you on a magical journey, one that brings joy, eases thoughts of stress and worry, and evokes emotions of happiness, tranquility, and playfulness. Each one of her whimsical watercolors tells a unique story — one where you can visualize yourself on a journey through a brightly colored story-scape humming along with birds, admiring birch trees, and communing with nature.
It’s a place where you want to do more than visit. It’s a place you want to live.
Denise is a Fine Arts graduate who has been teaching art to children and adults for over thirty years. When she’s not painting, she also teaches piano lessons.
Denise is also a yogi who practices daily and credits her flow of creativity to her yoga practice which serves as a source of calming inspiration. In her words this is how Denise describes her life, her art, and her passion:
I have loved painting with watercolors for as long as I can remember. With a fine arts education and years of illustration experience, art is woven in one form or another into and through my daily life. I am passionate about yoga and credit my daily practice for keeping my body and mind in a peaceful place, allowing for my creativity to flow. It is from this source of calm that I find inspiration to paint. A few years ago, I began a series I call the Yoginis which depict women in classic yoga poses where the “dress” of the yoginis are painted with soothing colors and nature-based elements. These images have been widely reproduced as giclee prints and greeting cards. When I am not painting or practicing yoga, I teach piano lessons from my home. Music and art have always been a huge part of my life and I feel lucky to be able to earn an income with the two things I am so passionate about. I am also the proud mom to two adult children who, while in college and home visiting, often attended yoga classes with me. My husband is my number one fan and is my constant support of my art career and practices his version of yoga daily at home. I feel fortunate and truly blessed to be living such a happy and peaceful life!
The American Warriors mat from the Compassion Collection began as a series of watercolor paintings I created in early 2019. As the daughter of a career officer, this project was a direct response to the growing movement to support health and healing through yoga and meditation for our veterans and first responders. I was given permission to use photo references from Robert Sturman’s images in designing a yogi from each branch of the armed forces in classic yoga poses. As I became aware of the many programs offered to our veterans and first responders and the evidence of the healing of PTSD and trauma, I was further inspired to reach out to three organizations that offer free classes and teacher training to active and retired military. These images were formatted as greeting cards which were added to my website and I contributed a portion of my sales to these organizations. I then was approached by the Connected Warriors foundation who asked if I might consider illustrating their 2020 calendar. The project was a lot of fun and I was humbled and grateful to participate in their Veteran’s Day Gala event in Florida. Most recently, Joleen noticed one of these paintings from my Instagram page and a connection was made which has allowed me to find a friend for life.
The Kripalu yoginis were painted for the She Recovers program held at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. The dresses I “clothed” my yoginis in were inspired by the beautiful landscape that surrounds Kripalu. The color teal was emphasized (the key color for She Recovers) as well as the three words associated with this program: connect, empowered and support which inspired me to choose the poses I did.
I hope my designs will inspire and empower each of us to be our best and unique selves as our yoga and meditation practice carry us through life and keep us always humble, grateful and in awe of being human.
25 More Fun Facts About Denise
- She’s a dog person
- She finds comfort in homemade muffins
- Her celebrity crush is Matthew McConaughy (no reason why is necessary)
- She enjoys reading Nicolas Sparks novels
- Her favorite TV show is This is Us (goodness…pass the tissues)
- Her favorite way to spend the day is to be outside and moving
- The best advice she ever received was to be humble and kind
- The first thing she does in the morning is make tea and meditate
- You will see her most often wearing yoga leggings with an attached skirt
- If she were able to have dinner with anyone living or dead it would be Mother Teresa
- She dreams of taking a European tour
- Her first job was at a prep school teaching art and coaching cross country
- She blushes when someone fusses over her with compliments
- She is irritated by rudeness
- She’s afraid of not making a difference in the world
- Her favorite podcast is anything with Ram Das
- Her favorite yoga playlist includes sounds of nature, Native American flutes, and the music of Trevor Hall
- She practices yoga almost every day
- Her favorite kind of yoga is vinyasa
- She’s been exploring yoga for almost 20 years
- Sometimes her connection to breath, movement, intention, and music makes her cry during yoga
- She finds she is always happier and has a deeper sense of gratitude after she practices yoga
- She learned the basics of yoga on a VHS tape
- Tree pose is her favorite as it reminds her to stay strong but be willing to sway
- She is the first guest artist at Big Raven Yoga to have six designs in our collections!
The Watercolor Artistry of Denise Griffin
Any of these remarkable watercolors will bring joy to your practice, love and light into your heart, and playfulness to your soul.
Art makes the world better, Denise Griffin’s expression of art does just that.