Vision into Life

Yasmeen Amina Olya was born in the prairies of Northern Canada, she is of Meti, Welsh Scottish, Norwegian and British heritage. She lives on Salt Spring Island on the West Coast of Canada, Salt Spring Island is home to many unique artisans. Yasmeen is both french speaking and english speaking. She is a singer songwriter, a Celtic harpist, a glossolalia vocalist, a performance artist and visual artist having worked for years as a commission artist, painter. Her subject matter is widely varied, but her most recent works are highly feminine and expound on studied appreciation for beauty in nature and human form. Yasmeen composes her artwork with a variety of mediums, oil, acrylic, water color, pencil and mixed media. Yasmeen has published three signature albums which sell worldwide.

East and West

Having been born in the west and having traveled and studied eastern religion, tradition and customs, I have essentially positioned myself as an artist between two worlds. Sufism of both the past and the present works the boundaries between the east and west using both music and art to speak to Oneness in hearts across cultures.

Since I was little my life has been surrounded by the arts, through the love and care of a family full of artists, in theater, in music, in visual arts, may they be blessed. My work has spanned the entirety of my life. I attended Waldorf school in my primary years and have studied art formally at the Fine Art College of Victoria British Columbia Canada. However most of my study has been informal and driven by a natural desire to grow in my vocation. I have been making music, song and dance since I was tiny and began studying the Celtic harp when I was 12.
All of my art and music speaks to the inner philosophy or traditional comprehension I have of life and the inner and outer workings of that human experience. I am continually studying this and it is by way of this study my art work is directed. I like many others, have had to face the consequences of a world of materialism and modernism which is essentially moving away from traditional structure. As we are all impacted by the course of this system, I too am impacted. Naturally the reaction to suffering is the human spirits desire to emancipate itself, one then defines through our own empathetic observation realization. The realizations I have arrived at, are very simply binding rules of this earthly plain, and are not theoretical. The reality is simply that the darkness allows the existence of light, and without which light would not exist. Without resistance, or that which is hard there is no soft, there is no release. That which is sweet is sweet because we have known what is bitter, this science of cause and effect, these basic physics of life can be translated into every aspect of our lived experience. The excellence and wisdom in life is deepened through the deepening of both spectrum’s, the light brighter, the darkness darker, and it is both through our lived experience or our empathetic study of suffering and joy, of deep darkness and bright light, we can begin to see the many uncountable shades between. You understand, I give you black, I give you white, how many shades can you see in between? Hence our ability to observe and our ability to define for ourselves a level of complete humility by way of our naturally incurred wonder, awe, respect at the limitlessness of this spectrum and the depths of human experience, both joy and sadness. These simple sciences are basic and easily understood and form the entirety of our existence. I mention this because the excellence of art is determined by the ability for the mind to observe and render the spectrum of light and dark as widely as possible and of course also to be able to empathize the feelings of any given moment, of any given expression and make that manifest and apparent in the work itself. So too with music, so too in fact with any particular discipline, be it maths, or sciences, or practical skills, it is when we have achieved such freedom within the bounds of our particular skill set we can expand into the nuance of that expression, innovate and create above and beyond anything that has come before us. Imagine a knitter who follows patterns, and finally sets the patterns aside and begins to knit using all the skills she has learned to knit a free form garment without seams, exercising her mind beyond the realms of what she had been pre conditioned to follow. So too the mystic, the Sage, the Spiritual Teacher, sets out to expand his/her pupils minds to remove all pre conceived notions, an eraser of the lower ego, identity, to let go through tests, spiritual, emotional, overwhelming, rigor of study, fasting and prayer, to find the spring of least resistance to life’s genius, and teach his/her pupils the skill of allowing the ocean of reality beyond all reality to live through them.

We do not learn purely through pretty words, or people we admire, we learn much through those who challenge us. The fool speaks in the crowd, laughing and joking at everyone’s insecurities and enjoins us to laugh with them. The most successful novelist plunges into the content we are loath to admit and makes it dance into myriad wondrous form, by empathizing with the human experience, and despite ourselves we cannot put the book down. The best art lessons I ever had were with a particular artist I approached to teach me privately due to my admiration of their works. This particular individual would set me a task and would literally crumple up my attempts and yell at me that I could do better, and I did, I strove very hard and I did get better. I do not prescribe such teaching methods, what I am trying to say is that we are given a choice to rise above in dignity and determination despite our past or present challenges in life and build our lives despite the shape or manner of the tools we have been given to work with. We are made free in mind and spirit and soul, we are given choice to arrive at our own inner peace and vision our life.

Visioning life:

Dream into life and find within it the beauty and abundance you long for. Your dream can be as big as a the whole world or as small as a cup of tea, but dream into it, the colors, the textures, the tastes the sounds, the peace of it the love of it. Do not be shy to be meticulously detailed and demanding as per your visions.
This is my method of illustration and portraiture as well, so too the manner with which I perform my music.
When I work with a client for a particular illustration, painting or portrait I must delve into the emotional reality of that event, act, person, place, expression and work to find ways to imbue the painting with the well observed spirit of the piece.


MMMMmmmmm I smile. Music and art are both profound emotionally available work, they concur boundaries of language and cultural bias, they delve into the inexpressible and express it. Music is particularly emotionally strong, and depending on the type of music you listen to, your entire being reacts with it’s stimulus. Sound is our manner of achieving balance in life, sound impacts us. When we lose our balance it is because the inner ear has become impaired. The natural world is essentially the most heavenly music. When we can listen to that natural symphony of wind, of birds, of moving natural reality we are transported and soothed innately. My music is not something that I feel comes from my individual mind, but is formed by my attempt to free unlimited spectrum of sound and emotional expression. Performance of music is not only the pre organized and repeated practice of the form of it, but the ability to feel the audience and empathize into the souls of all those listening and speak to the loving silence they have created of their own hearts to hear the music speak.

We seek through the longing to understand and grow in the depths of ourselves, the agony and the ecstasy of our lived experience. Both music and art speaks freely into that dimension and deeply impacts our lives. That is why people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, cultures and countries come in droves every year to view the Sistine Chapel, or listen to the excellence of a musical prodigy. Look to your humanity, the depths of darkness the heights of light in both music and art, we feel the nuance and wonder and we are reminded that our consciousness is limitless, infinite in the Highest.