Carol Jane Shelton (or “CJ” as she is known to friends and family) honours the legacy of the many earth based traditions and belief systems central to humankind’s cultural, psychological and spiritual development as she explores Celtic, Native American, Mayan and other spiritual traditions, viewed through the lens of her unique experience and vision as a woman living in the twenty-first century. Her fascination with the “mandala” or circle in its many involutions, evolutions and revolutions is the primary focus for her ethereal luminous art designs.
While her art expresses a wealth of wisdom and understanding of the physical world around us, it also acknowledges the deep importance of the inner world – our imagination and our psyche as seen with through the “strong eye” of shamanism. Working with the patterns, sacred images and myths of ancient cultures, CJ Shelton helps renew and maintain our connection with the past by honouring both inner and outer realties as well as the realms of the seen and the unseen. Using a variety of mixed media her art is stylistically contemporary and iconographic, embodying spiritually and philosophically universal and archetypal themes.
CJ Shelton is a graduate of the Illustration Program at Sheridan College and has over 30 years’ professional experience as a portrait artist, technical illustrator and graphic designer. In 2004 when severe nerve damage to both hands threatened to permanently restrict her ability to create art, it sparked a very personal journey of self-discovery into the world of alternative health. Over the next four years CJ became fascinated with the inherent therapeutic benefits of art-making while slowly regaining all of her former abilities.
From this powerful first-hand experience CJ Shelton decided to return to school to learn how she could use what she had gone through to benefit others. Her new studies included Social Service Work (Seneca College), therapeutic art facilitation (Arscura School for Living Art), spiritual psychotherapy (Transformational Arts College) and shamanic practices (8th Fire School of Algonquin Medicine Work). She now uses these multiple skills and abilities to gently facilitate others through a variety of creative processes and explorations that blend ancient wisdom, art, nature and psychology into one seamless and integrative approach to our spiritual journey.
With her extensive training and ability to skillfully work within a variety of art forms and mediums such as pen & ink, watercolour, pencil crayon, pastels and acrylics, CJ’s art continues to evolve into the realm of the intuitive and visionary by focusing on mandala art as a vehicle for self-expression. This ancient art form is based on the use of the circle as a container for evoking powerful archetypal symbolism, dream imagery and shamanic vision. Her studio at the Alton Mill Arts Centre and this website, Dancing Moon Designs, showcases CJ Shelton’s newest creations and offerings.
CJ works one-to-one with clients and students in small groups facilitating explorations of the Self, ‘artfully’ demonstrating how we can all live more harmonious and balanced lives. Combining a love of art with her love of the natural world and teachings from Celtic, First Nations and other earth-based cultural traditions, CJ’s artwork and workshops are a magical mix of creativity, fun, meditational relaxation and inspiration.
CJ Shelton’s gallery and studio is located at the beautiful and historic Alton Mill Arts Centre in the Caledon Hills of Ontario.
CJ SHELTON – FORMAL EDUCATION
Visual Arts/Illustration (3 Year Diploma with Honours) 1980-1983
Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology
Social Service Worker (2 Year Diploma with High Honours) 2006 – 2008
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
Spiritual Psychotherapy (2 Year Program) 2004 – 2006
Transformational Arts College
Certified MARI Practitioner (Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) 2013-2015
MARI Creative Resources
Art Therapy Facilitation (Art for Life Program and Core Studies) 2004-2008
Arscura School for Living Art
Traditional Healing Methods (Energy Work & Medicine Wheel Teachings) 2007-2009
8th Fire School of Algonquin Shamanism
Reiki Practitioner (Levels 1, 2 and Master) 2003