Annie Olson

"Artist Musings"

Come into my shell with me! My "Artist Musings" will give you an insight into my inner workings and why I create these faux shells and other works of art.

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In a few days the quarterly magazine of the COA will come out.   There will be an article I wrote a few months ago for this March issue.    My coming out party.   So to speak. The COA stands for Conchologists of America.   A very small group of people.  I joined back in 2005.    I think.   I have every issue. My favorite magazine.   About my favorite natural object and the animal that makes it.

I'm the odd man out.   All of the other members write wonderful articles about the scientific study of shells and the animals that form them.  So I feel a bit like Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer.   Hoping they'll like them and see my study of Gastropods as also valid.   Just in a different way.   Thanks for reading my thoughts. Annie



Myself when I received my pilot's license in 1962

Last evening I kept peeking to see if my website was up and running. With my iPad. Bad choice on my part. It's 10 years old and not doing well. In computer terms, an old lady like myself. So she wasn't able to show me what my site really looked like.    I should have gone in our office and pulled up my site with the big computer. Then I would have gone to bed at ease. But I didn't.   I woke up early today and finally saw our site. On the main frame. So thankful to Robin for taking the time to listen not only to my words but to my inner person as well. To grasp the essence of my art and writing. In fact, it is she who christened the website Essence of the Spiral.    I've waited 19 years for this! To have a website that's able to frame my art and writing. Properly. An ecosystem for me to populate.

My well-worn shell book from the mid-60s

If you've read my bio, you know that I learned to fly when I was 16. Although I was unable to continue flying physically, my love of flight never left. When they speak of launching websites, most people are unaware first hand what that really means. What its like to take a small plane aloft and see the world in miniature. A different kind of spiritual experience. That is what today is like for me. My art and I, along with Robin are aloft! Seeing in miniature. The past, the present and the future. At the same time. I will be writing many blogs in the future. But this is special. This one. There have been 100's of people who have listened to me as I shared my life journey. Hearing theirs also. I didn't get to this place alone.


Most of all, the words of Black Elk woke me up in October of 1987 and helped me to see Our World in a brand new way. The Power behind these shells that seem impossible is his Great Vision of the Tree of Life blooming, with all of us like hoops, joined together to make One Holy Circle.

T-Craft - the type of plane I flew

Updated: Feb 20

My mom would have turned 101 today. If she were alive. So I celebrate her birthday with this, my first musing.


The seven muses of Greek mythology. For the arts. The Hidden Force that has generated The Arts for humankind. I suspect the Cave Painters were well aware of the muses way before the Greeks. So blogging or musing can be a kind of free association of sorts. So with that said, here's my first musing.

Today I did the Sunday crossword. Essence is the first clue across and the answer turns out to be pith-a little used word. And then the downward clue is spirals. Helixes fits the seven spaces I'm given.

I didn't get it right away. It was too obvious. The obvious being the hardest to see.

My new website will open up in a few days. Essenceofthespiral.com And here's this crossword puzzle with Essence and Spiral right there. And a few days ago a tiny garden snail appeared as if by magic on the side of the container of my miniature ficus tree. All dried out. I gave it a drop of water and life reappeared.


Odd! Strange! A life full of synchronicity. Cheering me on. Saying, “you’re on the right path.”

So I knew she/he needed a name. And an hour later it hit me. The obvious. Helix, the Snail. Like Felix, the Cat of my childhood.

I'll turn 76 two days from now. And writing as if I'm only 7 years old. With a pet snail called Helix.

I suspect this musing will cause smiles.

Behind every smile is a tear, and behind every tear is a smile.


#snails #artistmusings #helix #snailshell

 © 2020 by Essence of the Spiral - Annie Olson.

Created by Robin Canfield www.rcanfield.com