The other day I spent a magical morning with Jill Harding at her Good Thoughts Studio. Teacher, author and artist, Jill is Mother Earth keeping watch over the land, literally, the 100 acres that she and her family live on in Ellison Bay. It was easy to see how her love of the land, wide open space surrounded by forest and fireflies, has inspired her work as an artist and as a human being.
When Jill suddenly retired from teaching several years ago, she wasn't sure what her next step would be but the land inspired her to put up a Good Thoughts sign at the end of the dirt road that leads to her cabin and add a hand painted good thought to the sign every day. Be: Mindful. Be: Kind. Be: Present. She has painted over 60 signs and continues to paint new ones every season. The Good Thoughts sign inspired people driving by to stop and leave notes or comments of appreciation at the base of the sign which in turn inspired Jill to write, illustrate and publish her first book, The Sign Fairy, a Door County best seller.
Soon...followed and this year, her newest book, Earth, a story for young and old in which Mother Earth
talks to her baby (us) in loving, simple words to remind us of the miracle that is this home called Earth.
Jill says, "We need to get grounded, feel the ground beneath our feet, learn from things around us", which is how Jill lives her life and now shares her stories in her beautifully illustrated books.
Good Thoughts Studio is covered from floor to ceiling with, well, Good Thoughts. It's a cheery, happy feel good place where , inspired by colorful works of art, you want to sink into the old leather chair and just BE. Jill's tells me her paintings are purely intuitive. It's an honor to sit among them while listening to her passionate explanations of what she is trying to communicate through her large, bold works of art.
Jill's studio was built by the Amish. Big windows overlook the acres of land while sculptures of Door County rocks, left over from the ice age, stand guard, like grounded angels. Other rock sculptures are scattered throughout the meadow where chairs are positioned to hide with a good book or for friends who stop by for a glass of wine. Every moment in this beautiful space is healing, nourishing and joyful.
These are the books that Jill has published. Each story teaches us something, most of all, to be AWARE.
Jill's books, The Fairly Lady, Dragonfly Magic and Earth are available at select stores in Door County, including, Pipka's in Sister Bay. Jill has autographed her books for us. Please come us visit as we would love to share more stories about Jill and the other artists that we represent. Peace.