Courageous Art Continues

Last Friday night I hosted another Courageous Art event at the Barn art Corban. This was the second one at Corban and I really enjoy end space!!

We explored characters in our stories, meaning the story of our life and who the various characters have been in the unfolding of those stories. 

Protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, love interests, jesters, compatriots, etc. All serve to shape our story and move us forward in our journey. 
Courageous Art events happen monthly, let me know if you are interested in being informed datesof the  and times. 

Big, small, paint it all….

In the last two weeks I have been working on paintings that are big and paintings that are small…..

I have returned to my “day” job and now have more limited time for creating, but still trying to make the most of it.

Here are some samplings of my “set up” for creating a layered piece that is highly texturized.

the beginnings of creating on a larger canvas
the beginnings of creating on a larger canvas

And here is some work I did on old playing cards – so fun! Also texturized.

tiny work on mini-canvases of playing cards that create one image.
tiny work on mini-canvases of playing cards that create one image.

And here is my new office wall – floor to ceiling inspiration and happiness!

office wall of happiness
office wall of happiness

What is reflective art?!

I think I will end up doing a series on this topic as I am still continuing to process the type of art I do and facilitate. As I’ve been trying to define what it is that I do and how I engage others in this process – the only word that kept coming to mind was “reflective.”

WIP – labyrinth signifying my journey of the last year

In my “day job” – I am a big fan of reflective practice and Donald Schön’s work around becoming a “Reflective Practitioner.” The book is great and there are many resources online to explore this topic further. I will share my understanding and application.

Being a reflective practitioner means that I am constantly assessing and learning, Schön defines reflection as “knowing-in-action.” This knowing-in-action requires one to deliberately reflect, not just have experiences but reflect on them both in the moment and in retrospect.

“Reflect” – multi-layered, textured poppies with silhouettes

As I have embarked on this creative journey, I have taken this concept into painting – what am I experiencing? How am I feeling (being out of control, not knowing what is going to happen, with those colors not doing what I expected)? How am I responding to those feelings (walking away, staying engaged, starting over)? 

Day trip to the coast for reflection, acknowledgement, and nourishment

As I engage with participants in my classes, I carry some of those same questions into their process as well – I ask them to sit in discomfort and look at it – analyzing where it is coming from and what it might mimic in their everyday lives. I encourage them to try, to take risks, and to continue working with a canvas/piece until they are satisfied.

a sampling of my paintings that are going with me to my office, so I can be surrounded by my soul work

I am not an art therapist, I am not a counselor, but I am a facilitator of self reflection. This role is an honor and leads me to engage with my own feelings around various prompts as well. It has been a wonderful addition to my life and my soul!

What I am learning teaching art in a series

I just taught my 3rd class in a series of 4 – Fearless Creating: from safe to bold. I ha10903922_1715061418722675_748345448629545535_ove learned a couple of lessons for myself and others, based on my observations.

  • art and creativity unfold over time – there is no quick fix, only patient endurance that allows the environment for unfolding
  • staying engaged, reaps unexpected rewards
  • not knowing the end result, and not controlling the end result is freedom and leads to smiles and confidence
  • “I wonder what would happen if….” becomes the precursor to action rather than self-doubt
  • a trust-filled environment that is both “bounded and free,” as Parker Palmer would say, is hard to maintain and yet worth the effort to hold that paradox – the pay off of discomfort is creativity that could not have been predicted, planned, or forced.

I have had a few people inquire about materials and supplies to use at home in replicating this experience in their own time so i have included a list below with links to Amazon for purchase if you would like. Most of these materials are also available at your local art/craft store.

Supplies List

I am part of the Amazon Affliliate Program and have linked to the items I used above. All you have to do is click on the item/pictureof item to be taken to the page.  You do not have to purchase from Amazon. If you do, I received a small percentage of the sale.


As your tears fall over that wounded place,

May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.

May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound

elders_beforeSo that for the first time you can walk away from that place,

Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed,

And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.

― John O’Donohue

This piece is an exploration of wounds I have been pondering, healing, and forgiving.


Only what I LOVE…

FullSizeRenderMy mom bought me this great present – it is a canvas holder – that has a different name on amazon…..but it is now holding all my canvases and gave me the opportunity to really look at my stuff again….there are many things that show my journey but several things that I do not LOVE in there – I’ve chosen a few pieces in the last month or so to “redeem.”

So, I made a decision – I’m going to redeem more canvases and only keep things that I LOVE!

I think this will be meaningful for me in different ways – I can choose what I keep in my life and only keep things I LOVE, I don’t need clutter of things that are “meh” – I can shape what is around me and what inspires me.

That is powerful (for me)!