Church of the Woods Artist Residency



After receiving a specific spiritual calling, I asked for a way to merge this new path with my artistic one and to be of service.  One result has been the exploration of artwork to benefit Church of the Woods in Canterbury, NH.  In the winter of 2017, I walked the woods with Rev. Stephen Blackmer (as others have done before and since, and will!).  One year later, a keener observation of the four seasons here, the flora and fauna, and the ways in which these woods and woods-visitors experience healing is unfolding.  What does the Divine have in store?  Here are some windows into life in the woods as other projects are completed and this work moves forward in discernment and kairos.  Any available works produced in the woods can be found in the Atelier Sisk Shop and a percentage of each sale benefits the church.

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Many artists and writers will tell you of the terror sometimes encountered when faced with the blank canvas or page. How do you begin a sculpture large enough to walk through, a thing unknown and yet known? The front is a relief of The Canticle of the Creatures, and the back is comprised of reliefs of flora and fauna found in the woods. There are niches for woods-writ notes and sacred findings, plans to capture the rain, wonderings on inviting birds to nest in it…and in a few brief moments brainstorming with Hare, a great teacher about creativity and fear and who keeps showing up at my door to model, the Divine asserts, “I AM the One who holds your fear.” Why do we worry?


26 June 2018


27 March 2018

26 March 2018

26 March 2018


25 March 2018


24 March 2018 – They come seeking warmth, crawl into uncomfortable places (one’s clothing or work, for examples), and when delicately relocated, return to one’s feet, where they seem to wait. But for what? If you – on your hands and knees with me, sending love to what you may find fearsome – saw how they shrink from the giant, your heart might gradually or suddenly melt in love for them. Do we not approach the hearts of our fellow wo/men so?


23 March 2018


22 March 2018


21 March 2018


20 March 2018 – In every branch I have a tongue, I have a voice in every breeze; And when I speak to old or young; My aim is to instruct and please. ~ THE HEMLOCK TREE AND ITS LEGENDS. The Divine in the Eastern Hemlock has something to say, and yet to say it. Meanwhile, one’s pockets fill with specimens sent to snow. I will make tea of the needles, and wait.

19 March 2018

19 March 2018


18 March 2018


17 March 2018

16 March 2018

16 March 2018

15 March 2018 - For the three beautiful sculptors with whom the day was spent.

15 March 2018 – For the three beautiful sculptors with whom the day was spent.

14 March 2018 - Paraclete (casein and graphite on paper). Commissioned study. The light is in the broken places.

14 March 2018 – Paraclete (casein and graphite on paper). Commissioned study.


13 March 2018

12 March 2018

12 March 2018


11 March 2018 – Sometimes we go backwards before we can truly go forward…but we’re getting there…


10 March 2018


9 March 2018 – The original scribble for a potential future interactive sculpture; the front an interpretation of the Canticle of the Creatures and the back comprised of relief pieces celebrating native flora and fauna.


8 March 2018 – Studio Songs – Today an illness begins and there is no drawing, but a song comes. The first showed up a couple of years ago and would be sung to the chipmunks (and is now extended to all wild things). The ‘love’ in this recent one is each of us and benevolence has suggested edits and additions since. There is no great poetry or profound beauty in the words or tunes, but much loving-kindness runs through what seem to be lullabies more than anything else.


7 March 2018


6 March 2018


5 March 2018


4 March 2018


3 March 2018

Screenshot-2018-3-5 Instagram post by Amanda J Sisk • Mar 2, 2018 at 7 38pm UTC

2 March 2018

1 March 2018


How golden the return Home! – and how great the lies of ‘black’ or ‘final’.


Singing, gleaning, we know that we are not two alone but a multitude, the seen and unseen wings greater than any hunger.