Today’s Creative Spark for those “who aren’t creative”

Seeing through different lenses just takes a little practice so put your creative glasses on and let’s look around. My last post suggested you pretend you’re creative and to look at your everyday as if you’d like to photograph it. I had an assignment in my photography class to take a self portrait. Today I challenge you to think about what would be your self portrait.

Art Journal Page

Does thinking about that kinda freak you out? It did me. So many questions ran through my mind – what do I wear, how much makeup to put on, and will I look good? If I chose to focus on those questions, my self portrait would show my shell or mask I showed to the world. The assignment was a self portrait – I had to think about who I was and what was my authentic self.

What is your authentic self? What makes you shine? Who is in your life that brightens your day? What is your style? What are your hobbies or passions? If you scratch your head with any of these questions you can do an “I am” journal page. Just write I AM at the top of the page, put a timer on for 5 mins, and write down EVERYTHING that pops into your head. Look for themes and words that fit together.

Now rethink your self portrait. What would you include? My photo included my art supplies & a self portrait I painted in another class. At my core I create. To create I need to get quite with myself to hear my muse or my inner authentic artist.

At some point today you’ll daydream, spend a few minutes daydreaming about yourself and your I AM list.



But I’m Not Creative #2

So you think you aren’t creative. . . Well I’m going to give you something to look for today. What went through your mind when you picked out your clothes this morning? When you went outside, did you see something interesting? Did you see different colors today that caught your eye? Did you think someone else looked really cool? Did you see a photo on Facebook that made you look at it for a moment?

window (1 of 1)-2

This is your creative side checking out the things you’re looking at. Next time you see a color or something that excites you when you look at it, pay attention. Look at it a little longer and think about what you think is interesting about what you’re looking at. I love looking at rocks and seeing the shadows and textures. Rusty stuff really sparks my creative side.

You do have a part of you that is creative but it’s been pushed down or told that it’s bad at some point. School is a real creativity stifle – “stay in the lines”, “give me the correct answer”, “color in the lines”, “what is that you’re painting”, or “this poem doesn’t have the correct grammar” . We have been taught to follow and not think outside the box. Outside the box is creativity.

Start pretending you’re creative and look at things like you are looking for something to paint or photograph. Bringing your creative side out starts with pausing and looking through new eyes.

What if you did have a creative muse (you do, you just have to get to know them again)? You can start asking your muse what would they write, draw, play, dance to, or what colors are exciting. Ask and listen – even that is being creative because you’re starting to open up to new possibilities of how to see the world.

Go out today and play a little, have fun, think about what’s creative!

Following My Spirit and Not the “Shoulds”


I have neglected my blogs and Facebook for a couple of weeks. Now I feel like my business my suffer because we’re suppose to post once a day and get out emails. What if I don’t feel like it? What if I just want to paint and listen to inspirational podcasts? Am I lazy or bad? I have started a creative coaching business and am developing an art journal workbook for cancer patients to process their emotions. My advice to people is find your own truth and go with your spirit’s direction. Does that apply to me as well? Do I have the luxury of just creating to create and taking time away from being socially connected? I’m still new to being connected as a business but I am going to take a stand to live exactly how I feel is right. What does my body and spirit say? The last couple of weeks it’s said to go inside and strengthen my truth. I listened to Hay House’s World Conference and soaked up wonderful teachings. I’m now letting that all settle and combine with my truth. Still in somewhat of a transition so I will be patient for my new truth.

Follow your truth where ever it takes you and don’t feel the “I should’s” too strongly. Do what is authentically fulfilling to you so you can shine the light for others to step into their truth more fully. Do art for the sake of playing with colors. Have fun.

May you be blessed!

My New Obsession

The Search  balloon stained glass 1 (1 of 1)  A river runs through it 2 (1 of 1)  water doodle 4

My new obsession with watercolors and Sharpie marker. I’m using regular watercolors, Twinkling H2O watercolors, and Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels. I love watching the colors run into each other and the patterns the drips make. After spending hours playing with colors, I spend hours outlining the details. They take on a life of their own as the patterns emerge. Making art is such a joy for me.

See my gallery page for more photos

The Masks We Wear and the Ones We Make

Sculpture (1 of 1)masks 001masks 002

Cancer will stop you dead in your tracks and causes chaos that is different from anything you may have experienced before. I tried to keep the brave face on as I went through treatment and my classes at school. That was until I had the assignment to sculpt a self-portrait that had a descriptive symbol on it somewhere. I grew up with my mother sculpting dolls from apples, cloth, and clay so I had a lot I thought I needed to live up to with this assignment. I have always been scared to draw faces much less sculpt them and what the heck is my symbol? I decided I wanted to create my head without hair because I was having difficulty processing losing my hair with my stem cell transplant. I chose the lotus flower on my shoulder to be a good symbol of health and rebirth as I prepared for my hospital stay. I carved faerie ruins into the petals to help with my spiritual, emotional, and physical journey. I will say it was a very pretty sculpture (which had the essence of what I look like). After it was graded, I put it in the laundry room until I needed to photograph it for my senior presentation. I got her out and was uncomfortable with it so I sat with her and contemplated why I wasn’t satisfied with the project. At this point I had a successful stem cell transplant and my hair had grown back. Then I started to get mad because I realized that this wasn’t what I was feeling during my treatment. I wasn’t this “pretty” sculpture with only a scarf being the way others could tell I was sick. I became angrier until I admitted to myself that I felt betrayed by my body and I was really pissed off. How and why did I have to have another crazy difficult situation in my life? I didn’t look like that self-portrait – I had felt burnt, cracked, and torn apart. On that day I let myself reveal my true face and I reworked the paint on the sculpture. I used crackle paste and brown paint on one side of the face to show what was going on inside me. I left the side with the lotus flower on it alone because that was one side of my reality – health and rebirth. The other side was scared. As I was clicking through the slides of my senior presentation, there was a gasp from the audience as this, now finished, piece popped up. It was really satisfying to show the ugly side of my path and what my true experience was. Here is your chance to step gingerly into your private side and the public face you show. As you do all these exercises, if your emotions are too much for you, reach out for help from those around you.
You can use the MASK template to identify the different sides you have. You can do a collage or use colors to symbolize the person you show to the public on one side. On the other side, use the other technique to show who you are when you’re alone. Feel comfortable with having a dialog with your mask while you are choosing the images from magazines that represent either your public side or private side. You may not understand why you are interested in an image or color, put it in anyway, you can always spend time later getting to know your piece. Ask it why and you may be surprised that a voice inside you will answer. If there isn’t an answer, that’s ok, it may come later.
This is a time in your life to practice being gentle with yourself so when you’re doing any of these projects, leave your expectations behind. One of the big obstacles for us to let our creative side shine is comparing what we do with what others do or what we “think” we should be doing. Think of art as your safe place or playground. There are no rules and it’s all a big experiment that we may never get “right”. You will be surprised how much you like what you do. As you practice, it will be more infused with your style so let it flow and be easy. I have been practicing creating with my own style for many years and I love what I do because I know that I like certain colors, a lot of texture, and a black outline.

Is Seeking Balance a Joke?

water doodle 4I’m exhausted and it’s only 2 pm. I’ve spent the day updating my website, posting on FaceBook, and now writing a blog. I’m sure there are more organized ways of keeping up with social media, I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet. It seems it takes organizing to get organized. Which is why I asked myself if finding balance is a joke.

What actually does balance mean? Not what we read on the cover of a magazine, but what does balance mean in our lives? I think we need to understand how we operate first. I really don’t like multi-tasking, except with my art paintings that need to be done in stages. I’m better at giving 110% to a project for a whole day and getting that done before starting something else. Balance for me is prioritizing what I need to do for the week and devote days to projects. If I get done early with something I can move on to my next task or do my art.

I have been really looking inside to see how the best way for me to operate is and what are different triggers for me (both good & bad). This brings me back to also being content with my style of art. I am not going to balance my day like someone else does and my art is going to be exactly my style. There are so many little ways we are moved to measure up to others that we don’t realize it.

How do you operate the best for you? Are there areas in your life where you don’t feel that you measure up? Start focusing on the triggers that make you feel that you need to (fill in the blank) like someone else does it. I do love hearing how others operate and I do grab tips that  help me in all sorts of ways in my life. I need to live a life that really works for me and with me and not one where I’m just trying to do what others tell me. There are so many ways that we can


Art as a tool


Meditation Time
Meditation Time

Oh, I can’t. . I’m not creative” is what I hear about 70% of the time when I start talking about art.
The fact of the matter is—we’ve been TAUGHT that we aren’t creative by the 3rd or 4th grade. Stay in the lines, get it perfect, and any “innocent” comment about the picture we draw can plant the seed that we aren’t creative.
I’m preaching to the crowd if you’re reading this newsletter, but let me plant another seed for you to think about. Art is a tool for you to use. It’s not something that demands perfection. In fact art doesn’t ask anything of you except your willingness to step past your fear of making a mistake.
Art is a practice and a wonderful experiment. We can use it for so many things:
Relaxation & stress reduction
Work through emotions
Just for fun
Make gifts
Find our voice and empower us
Workout for your brain
Seeing the creative in the world around us
You are not conforming to art, you are deciding what art is for you. What you create is a part of your inner finger print. It’s unique, just like you!

Meditation Time

How Can Anyone Have A Perfect Day When It’s So Crapy Outside?

I’m looking out my window today in Madison Wisconsin and it’s gray again. How can I get anything done today with it being so blah? Then I started thinking about what My Perfect Day would be. I’ve been itching to clean & organize my closet so that is what I want to do in this perfect day. I’m sitting down after I have taken out a garbage bag of old clothes and other stuff is in the basement. Now what ever else I do is icing on the cake! I’ll turn on my loud rock music and work on the art journal workbook I’m creating with my partner Jen Falkowski.

Here’s the moral of the story – do the little things that you really want to do so you can make your own perfect day. It’s all about the little steps we take and simplifying your life so you can do those things you want. I write this so I can remember that.

My Perfect Day
My Perfect Day

But I’m Not Creative. . .

We are creating all the time—it goes hand in hand with living our story. We humans are creative beings!
Living a creative life takes a shift of perspective. We create when we cook, arrange knick knacks, pick out the sweater that’s our favorite color, or write an email while choosing the right words. We make something new out of existing parts. When we look out the window of the car driving down the road and notice the colors or see the beauty in the tree next door.
I have used my art practice to guide me through my life, and I know that it can be a wonderful practice for you too. Using art to tell our story and express ourselves is uplifting, satisfying, and healing.
This is another facet of the diamond that is “us”! We can see our style come to life in a project. Our creative voice sings out with the song as it manifests in colors, pictures, and textures. We can see how beautiful our creative style is or we can create ugly pages that represent a struggle in our life.
Creativity is not a painting that is technically correct and will hang on a gallery wall. It is our feelings and emotions expressed without words. Being creative is playing with art supplies that take a snapshot of you in that moment. It is a visual diary without rules and without judgment.
Art is you without your mask jumping in the deep end to explore your story.
It is being willing to take the time for yourself and explore all the stuff you love. Choose the colors you love and play.
This is the same basic way “real” artists create. Artists are exploring something inside them that can’t be quiet. Then they practice A LOT. It takes years for artists to really find their real voices and style.
Art isn’t valid just because it’s paid for. Art is valid because it speaks. What are you going to say?