About Tenaya

Tenaya Amelia is a life-long dreamer who has studied with Robert Moss, the creator of Active Dreaming, and completed his three-year Dream Teacher Training Program. Intuitive, sensitive and creative, she holds a safe and vibrant space to explore the inner realms. Tenaya weaves together intuitive painting, collage, expressive movement and evocative music into her unique offerings. 

She is based in Northern California and offers workshops, Dream Exploration Sessions and Monthly Dream Salons in Marin and Sonoma county. Tenaya loves to paint from her dreams, and also designs Visionary websites. She has taught Active Dreaming at Spirit Weavers Gathering in Oregon.

In 2018, Tenaya’s painting, The Amber Road, was published on the cover of Mysterious Realities: A Dream Traveler’s Tales from the Imaginal Realm, by Robert Moss, and she had a solo painting exhibition, Energy Made Visible, at Heart Tribe in Fairfax, CA.     

  My Story

Early on

As a  little girl sharing dreams with my mom around the breakfast table, I loved telling her about my  adventures flying high above the ocean, exploring a house made of sky, and discovering a fantastical underwater world after being swallowed by a tidal wave! My mother nurtured my early interest in dreams, and wrote them down for me in a journal. My parents named me Tenaya, which means "one who dreams" or "dreamer of wisdom" in the Ahwahnechee language of the people who lived in the valley of Yosemite. My name has always felt like my calling.

As a child, my mom had lots of art supplies around, and I loved painting at my easel, or on the side of the house (with water!) She encouraged me to find beauty in the everyday, and taught me to create by example~ She was a weaver, painter & cut paper artist.

Early mural (Painting the house with water)

Finger painting on a casserole dish to make a monoprint

Discovering my creative voice

In high school I immersed myself in the study of shamanism, inspired by Michael Harner's seminal book, The Way of the Shaman, as well as other world wisdom, magic and folk healing traditions. I also began painting large scale works in acrylic, as well as murals. Inspired by surrealism, tribal and visionary art, I explored bold colors, graphic, stylized line work and lots of dots! 


...The purple phase... Please note the holographic lunchbox purse!

1st Mural commission, 1997


Art school exploration

At the California College of the Arts I dove into various studio art disciplines~ glassblowing, weaving and dyeing, metal work, Raku pottery...And a class called Dreams and Daydreams Papermaking Techniques.  In this class I collaborated with a photographer friend to create a visionary, dream-journey-inspired slide show with music. We shot it in a cemetery in Oakland using long and multiple exposures to evoke a ghost-like feel. 

During my time at CCA I discovered the underground trance music scene in San Francisco and had the opportunity to create altars at various all-night parties. 

DJing in front of a blacklight-active backdrop I painted

Dreams and Daydreams

Altar at a warehouse party in San Francisco circa 1999 with painting and glass-etched heads

Halloween 1999 in hand-painted, blacklight active regalia

 Hawaii beckons

In 2000 I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and lived deep in the middle of the jungle at a yoga retreat center, where I danced all night on the beach at full moon parties, painted a large mural on a storefront in Pahoa, and soaked in the spiritual and vital energy of life on the island. Living close to the land, off the grid, swimming daily on a majestic black sand beach, floating in mysterious Green Lake, and eating avocados, starfruit, and bananas right off the tree all influenced my creative path~ A time of trust, exploration, manifestation and discovery.

Mural in Pahoa, Hawaii

Magic full moon party at Kua Bay, Hawaii

Mural at Huna Ohana in Pahoa, HI 2001


Art and dreaming as therapy

In 2006 I completed my degree at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) where I focused my independent study on contemporary dreamwork and expressive arts. During this time, with the support of a therapist, I used my dreams to explore and process trauma and move through depression. Art and dreamwork was a safe place that held me as I grappled with my father's diagnosis with early-onset Dementia. 

Therapeutic art exploration

Dreaming Self collage with dream journal entries~ 3x5 ft.

Creating with dream imagery and symbolism

Starting Dream Speak Design

From 2010-2015 I ran a successful greeting card company, Dream Speak Design, featuring my original images created using cut paper, metallic gold ink and gouache.

Creating Blue Morpho Butterfly cards by hand

Blue Morpho Butterly~ Greeting card

Owl greeting cards at Spirit Matters in Inverness, CA

Cards at Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax, CA

Called to the path of dreaming

When I attended my first workshop with Robert Moss, I knew I had found my true calling~ A way to bring together my interests in dreamwork, shamanism, expressive arts, and world wisdom traditions. I attended the School of Active Dreaming, a three-year Dream Teacher training program, and in 2016 I began teaching classes and workshops, as well as offering Dream Exploration Sessions in Fairfax, CA, and over the phone/Skype with distance clients.

The first Dream Salon~ March 2016

Crafting a Book of Secrets~ Dream Journal art workshop

Teaching dreamwork in San Francisco

With Robert Moss in the Cedar circle at Magical Mosswood Hollow at Dream Teacher Training

Painting with Flora Bowley

In 2016 I travelled to Flora Bowley's magical painting studio in Portland, Oregon to attend her Bloom True workshop. She introduced me to a unique process she developed of layered painting with fluid acrylics. After working on a small scale for years of making greeting cards (8"x8"), it was exhilarating to dive into large scale work again (36”x36”)!

Flora is a generous and inspiring teacher and I'm so grateful she encouraged me to paint big and bold and free. On a personal level, her warm, grounded, and open style of teaching is a shining example of what I strive to offer my students.

I'm delighted to weave together these life-long interests and passions into all of my offerings, and help people connect creatively to the unique wisdom and messages of their dreams~ 

Paintings in progress at Flora's enchanting studio~

Flora and I at her Bloom True painting workshop in Portland, OR

Wider Circles

In June of 2018 I taught two Active Dreaming classes at Spirit Weavers Gathering in Cave Junction, Oregon: The Art of Kairomancy: Guiding Life by Synchronicity and Dreams & Dreaming with the Ancestors.


In October 2018 my painting, The Amber Road, was published on the cover of Mysterious Realities: A Dream Traveler's Tales from the Imaginal Realm, by Robert Moss, which is available on Amazon.


In September of 2018 I had a solo show of my art at Heart Tribe in Fairfax, CA, Energy Made Visible: Intuitive Dream Painting.


Blue Heron Holds the Dreaming depicts the realm of dreams, intuition, and the invisible dimension that interpenetrates the physical, everyday world of form. This painting is a window into another realm of magic and dreaming, where Ancestors, Spirits & Guides dance, beckoning us to explore the world behind the world. Blue Heron spirit holds the raw potential power that dreams birth through us.

Energy Made Visible.jpg

More to come….