Entries from: January 2009

Works in Progress

January 18th, 2009, Comments (10)

WipcanvascollageCreatively, I've had my hands in lots of different pots this week. I've been writing an article to be published later this year (yay!), doodling, sketching, painting, playing, and generally having loads of creative fun.

I don't have anything finished to show, but I'm happy to be sharing some works in progress with you. This painting is developing slowly. First as a collaged canvas (above) and then painting the scene that I originally doodled in a sketchbook. Of course the image continues to change and develop as I paint it. It leads me and grows as I go.


I imagine this woman is listening to the earth, listening to the quiet growings that happen beneath the surface. I suppose it's a metaphor for listening to that still small voice within you. I hope to do some more work on it today.

I've also been playing a bit in an art journal I have. I don't do a lot of art journaling, but every so often, I'm inspired to work in this way. Here's a work in progress (below.) Recently, I surprised myself with being drawn to images of Africa (elephants have been on my joy list for quite a while, but now I'm being drawn to giraffes and African landscapes.) I clipped the giraffe image from a travel brochure that came in the mail. I was especially tickled by it because of the two other regular symbols of mine that show up in it:


A tree and loads of lanterns (check out my business name, Blue Tree Studios, for the trees and the banner of this blog for the lantern!) The rest of the journal spread was created with some paint and playfulness and a hand-carved stamp. The only words so far are, "It's possible," but I plan to do some writing on these pages as well.

SketchbookwomanwindowAnd while I'm on a work-in-progress-roll, here's a peek into my regular sketchbook (as opposed to my bed-side sketchbook or purse sketchbook or impromptu sketchbook made from scraps within reach.)

We got whopped with another snowstorm today. It's been a very snowy winter in my estimation. Today, I am definitely staying indoors. In fact, it may be an all-day-pajama-fest here. The cats have all snored their agreement. Excellent.

I hope your day (pajamas or no) is a wonderfully creative one!

Honoring Your Inspiration

January 16th, 2009, Comments (38)

The second chapter of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, which I'm reading with a book group here, is all about honoring your inspiration. This is so important and part of the reason why I keep sketchbooks within arm's reach at all times. It may drive the hubster a little nuts because of the excess of paper I have around me, but if I'm having lots of ideas, it's so helpful for me to get them down. For one, I feel better after releasing the ideas from my head and I also capture lots of bits and pieces that I might have forgotten had I not taken the time to sketch, write, or scribble some stuff out.

There's a lot packed into this particular chapter, it ranges from carving out a sacred space, to creative ritual, to play! Yes, according to author, Gail McMeekin, play is an important factor for us creative people! So for you Creative Every Day Challenge participants who have been resisting getting playful, now's the time to give it a go! I'm planning some posts for next week about how to get playful if you're feeling really stuck around it.

At the end of the chapter, there's a challenge about taking a "Creative Style Inventory." I'll share my answers with you here:

  1. When did your creative awakening or reawakening occur? I've always felt like I was a creative person, but there was a period, right after I graduated from art school where I felt a bit dead creatively, like my fire had been put out. It can be hard, especially for us sensitive folks, to go through something like art school and come out the other side feeling good about what we create. I left with the feeling that everything had to be a certain way, a "right" way and as a result, I felt little to no desire to create. Nothing felt good enough. It took me awhile to break free of the art teacher voices I heard in my head when creating. I had to get back to being playful (part of the reason I think play is so important) and I also got back to creating from my intuition (something I'd been discouraged from doing.) I literally got away from the easel and started creating while on the floor, I took classes in intuitive art making, and began to really enjoy the process again. I had to find my way back to the joy in creating, but in a way I'm glad I went through that process as I feel much more in touch with my creative side now than I did before. 
  2. What talents do you have naturally? I think I'm a natural peacemaker, I tend to put people at ease. I'm an artist. I'm good at encouraging others. And I'm naturally silly. :-)
  3. What elements (fire, water, wood, air) draw you toward them? I'm drawn to all of the elements at different times, but I'm drawn most strongly to water. It soothes me.
  4. Where and when do you create? Where and when do you wish to create? I create mostly in my home studio space, but I can create just about anywhere. I create usually in the afternoon and evening and I'm fine with that.
  5. What activates your creative energy, and what drains it? My creative energy is activated by inspiring reading, movement (like taking a walk or yoga), playing, journaling, and taking classes. What drains it is too much time in front of the computer or television, sleeping too long, and overwhelming messes (some mess is o.k., but it can get to a point where I can't handle it anymore.)
  6. Do you use creative rituals? Sometimes. I usually begin creating by closing my eyes, taking a breath, and giving myself permission to make "bad" art. :-)
  7. Does nature influence your creativity? Absolutely! I'm constantly inspired by the forms of nature, the color combinations I see in the world, the cyclic patterns of life. It shows up in my work constantly.
  8. What has been your greatest creative hurdle so far? Probably the one I mentioned in answer to question number 1.
  9. What time of day are you most receptive to inspiration? I don't know that there's a particular time of day...A lot of my ideas seem to come in the evening when I'm feeling a little tired or in the hypnogogic state just before sleep. I think it's because my mind is tired enough to let subconscious imagery slip through which creates some fabulous images for me.

After looking over what I've written, I think what I most need to do is do a little cleaning and clearing in my studio space. I've been slowly tackling it throughout the week, but a more concentrated effort would be a good thing. Makes me want to do one of Jennifer Hofmann's office spa days!

New Art And Resources

January 15th, 2009, Comments (4)


I have some new artwork available in my online store, Blue Tree Art Gallery. These pieces were created late in 2008 and it usually takes a little time to get them ready to sell because I like to offer prints as well. Well, they're ready to go and I'm super excited to offer these new pieces! I have the original and prints available for At Sea (above), Ophelia (below), Key to Winter and you can also buy my 2009 calendar on the website!


I'm also excited to share some awesome creative resources with you!

  • I just listened in on this fabulous teleseminar with Lisa Sonora Beam, author of The Creative Entrepreneur. The call was recorded and you can listen to it here, right now! I purchased Lisa's book recently and it's really gorgeous. I seem to be reading so much lately about business aligned with your heart (which I love!) and this book fits right in with this idea.
  • Another creative dynamo who writes about business with heart is, Tara Joyce, who blogs at the Innerpreneur. Lots of great things to check out there. 
  • My friend, Jennifer Lee is starting an amazing telegroup, the Inner Muse Group Coaching Playground, which is all about creativity, fulfillment, and focus. Sounds like it might be a great tool for some of you Creative Every Day Challenge participants who are feeling a bit stuck! Also, Jenn is offering a special rate through January 16th, so check it out now if you're interested! 

I'm all abuzz with creative energy this week. Ideas are flowing and I'm working on a few different pieces. I'll be able to share those with you soon. In the meantime, I hope you are all having fun playing! I'll be announcing next month's theme around the 21st of the month.

Cat Crazy

January 13th, 2009, Comments (8)

As the owner of four lovable cats, some might say I'm a bit cat crazy. O.k., plenty of people might say that! Well, either way, I can't help but share some of the great cat stories I see form time to time.

I saw this video on Belle's blog. It features The Cat House on the Kings, a simply amazing no-kill shelter for cats (and some dogs too) in California. What a sweet life these kitties have. I would totally love to hang out there every day. They do such fabulous work, so if you can, do donate a bit to this wonderful non-profit that helps so many kitties find good homes and is home to all those who don't get adopted for whatever reason.

These other bits are just for fun. This next video was discovered through the twittering of divabat. It features a kitty who wanders on to the set of a t.v. meteorologist and gets in on the action. Too cute.

And lastly, a game for your iphone called Mew Mew Tower. I may have to check this one out. I'm not usually a video game person (because I stink at them and get frustrated!), but this one has such a great name. Heh. Yep, I'm cat crazy.

Playful Stretching

January 13th, 2009, Comments (18)

Flyingcatdream I began this piece last week, with the aim of just playing with caran d'ache pastels. And this weekend, I painted over it a bit with acrylic, creating this dream-like image of a flying girl and cat.

I dream about my own cats quite a bit, often in the context of anxiety dreams where I'm trying to travel with one in my suitcase or saving them from a burning building or something like that. Dreams are often the source of great art images for me. This piece on the left didn't come from a dream, it just felt dreamy. But other images I've created have come directly from images I saw oh, so clearly in a dream. Another great reason to keep a journal or sketchbook by your bed!

In this piece, I was simply playing, making marks, mushing color around. Kathryn mentioned in a comment today that play can be intense stuff sometimes. It's true! I think because play is so much fun, it can be a fabulous way to stretch ourselves beyond what we'd normally do. It's a neat way to "trick" ourselves into experimenting, exploring, and diving deeper.

In the service of play we may go just that much further with a bit of inspiration, an idea, a possibility. Playing with children, for example, is always a great way to stretch your imagination muscles. Kids are fabulous at play and possibility, silliness, and fun. An empty box is a bed for a doll, a hat, a house, a turtle shell, or a time travel machine. Try using play as a means of stretching yourself and see what comes up for you.

I'm reading The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin, as part of Jamie's book group. I've read it a few times already as it's chock full of inspiration! The first chapter is called, "Acknowledging Your Creative Self" and it begins with a quote that I think works so well with our theme of Play this month:

Your creativity is waiting for you like a dancing partner. -Barbara Sher

My hope is that those of you participating in the Creative Every Day Challenge this year will fully acknowledge and embrace your creative selves. You are all so wildly creative, it makes my heart sing!

Yay! More Calendars Available!

January 12th, 2009, Comments (4)


Due to interest, I've printed up another small batch of calendars! Above is a snapshot of the cover, below there is a snapshot of the January spread and one of the back cover, which shows a thumbnail of the 12 pieces of art that are featured. The calendar is about 11"x17" when open and it has a hole in the top for hanging purposes. The colors are gorgeous and vibrant!



The calendars are available for sale for $29.99 (plus shipping) and last time they sold out quick, so please order as soon as possible! You can use the button below to purchase with paypal (a secure way to make purchases online.) When you purchase, let me know your birthday (in the comments section on paypal) and I'll draw a little something on your special day if you'd like! If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Creative Every Day: January 12th – 18th, 2009

January 12th, 2009, Comments (50)

Ced2009Welcome, Creative Every Day 2009 participants! 

Feel free to leave a comment on this post or use the "Mr. Linky" widget below to link to a post (or posts) about your creative activities during the days of 1/12/08 - 1/18/09. The use of this widget is not required. It's an optional method of sharing your creativity that makes it easier for others to check out what you're up to. You can use it to link to a blog post or posts during the week listed. Or if you have a bunch of posts and don't want to link to all of them, you can link to your main blog page once. Do it in a way that makes sense and is fun for you!

To find out more about Creative Every Day 2009, check out the details here and then if you want to sign up, leave a comment on this post or email me to let me know (a link to my email is in the upper left sidebar.) When you contact me, please let me know how you'd like to be listed in the list of participants, which resides in the right sidebar (I can list you as your name or as a link to a blog if you have one. A blog is not required!) If you start posting links on the Mr. Linky widget without letting me know that you're participating, I may not see that you're new. Also, if you notice that your blog is not in the sidebar and you thought you had signed up, let me know, so I can get it up there asap.

There are some folks participating who do not have a blog and for some reason their names are linking to the CED info page. I'm not sure why that's happening, but I wanted you to know that when you click on a name that takes you to the CED page, it means that they don't have a blog at this time.

The totally optional theme for January is Play! I'll be posting about this theme throughout the month. You can find out more about how you can use the theme here.


Happy Creating!!

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age."
~ Sophie Loren

More Leaping

January 11th, 2009, Comments (4)


The incredibly talented, Jessie put together these small prints of the letter paintings she did to spell the word, "Leap," my word for the year. How cool is that? I asked her this weekend if she could put it together for me with her letters and to my delight, she had already put them together and taken a picture to surprise me with! So, very soon, I will have this beautiful artwork on my wall to remind me to keep on leaping. Be sure to check out Jessie's etsy shop for more amazing word combos that she already has put together or create your own word!

Speaking of words, one of the newest participants of the Creative Every Day Challenge, France, has created her word for the year out of photographs she took. I just love how it turned out!

Saturday Linkage

January 10th, 2009, Comments (19)

It's been a crazy couple days. I had to take the hubster into the ER yesterday because he was super dehydrated, couldn't lose his fever, and swallowing was extremely painful. He'd been sick all week, already been to the doctor. Anyways, to make a long story short, he got an IV, pain medication, and stronger antibiotics and he's feeling a little better today. This week I've been spending a lot of time taking care of the sick hubster and so I haven't had a ton of time for sharing what I've been up to creatively or visiting all you wonderful CED-ers. But I love what I have seen!!

As a reminder, I'm going to be on Ananda's radio show tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. EST talking about daily creativity. You can call in or listen online and the show will be recorded, so that you can listen to it at your own convenience too!

We're supposed to get another snow storm here tomorrow, so I hit the grocery store today (it was mad house!) While I was out, the hubster was resting on the couch and he sent me this video of our sweet kitty, Emma. Sooo cute. :-)

Isn't she adorable?

I've got a few other goodies to share with you as well:

That's about it for now. Lots more to share, so I'll be back tomorrow!

Interview with Goddess Leonie

January 8th, 2009, Comments (10)

Hello everyone! As part of the Creative Every Day Challenge in 2009, I'll be sharing interviews with fabulous creative people! This month, I'm thrilled to be interviewing the beautiful, Goddess Leonie. I immediately thought of Leonie when I thought about this month's theme of "play." Her youthful energy is contagious! Be sure to check out her site for loads of juicy, creative, and playful inspiration. I put part of this interview in the extended section, so be sure to click below to read the rest!

Leah: Leonie, please share a little bit about yourself.

Blogavatar Goddess Leonie:  I'm a 26 year old goddess, artist, writer, photographer and retreat and e-course creator. I live in the alpine mountains of Canberra, Australia with my delicious wise man & my healer dog. I create Soul Story and Goddess in You artworks for goddesses all around the world to remind them just how wise, precious, divine and beautiful they are. I run soulful and creative retreats, workshops and online courses and circles. I self-published my first book when I was 22, photograph the gorgeous souls and beauty of amazing people and call myself a “Goddess Guide.” My online comfy couch with mugs of tea, rainbow paint and joyful healing is www.GoddessLeonie.com.

Leah: What does creativity mean to you?

Goddess Leonie: Creativity means paint on the fingers, ink stained palms, gluey fingernails, pastel smudges on the cheeks. It's that place where you feel pure bliss, and unabashed joy, the moment where you remember you were born to be a creative goddess. It's about writing the stories the world needs to hear, painting your beauty and truth, showing the world what it means to see through your own eyes and feel with your own heart. Creativity is the place for your spirit to soar, like white geese flighting into the air together, honking wildly, exuberantly and vibrantly.

Creativity is finding where you are on your sacred journey, and finding the way forward. It's finding the temple of expression, sharing, divinity and wisdom inside you. All with colour and paint and papers and glue and pens and a camera.

Leah: How do you infuse your daily life with creativity?

 Goddess Leonie: For me – my creativity and spirituality is intertwined. Art + soul = my way to be a goddess in this world. Creativity is my way of expressing my vision, heart and soulful truth... reminding myself and others that we are beautiful and needed and precious. It's about being brave enough to trust the voice and wisdom and insight inside me... and letting it pour out in all kinds of ways for others to see.

But that's so not what you asked me – tee hee hee! Hello passionate ramble!

My creativity + spirituality is a part of my every day. I meditate. I dream up ideas and visions. I live tenderly. I write. I walk the mountains. I share. I paint when I'm called to it. I think up ways I can help all the GoddessesStudioleonie out there live more creative, radiant, sacred, abundant lives. 

My most treasured part of creativity is creating a life that is rich and lush and textured and FUN. Fun is way more sacred than we give it credit for! FUN is Fabulous Universal Nourishment. It's laughter and play and ridiculousness and being a kid again.

Yesterday, my crowning creative achievement was an impromptu dance party at my cubicle-job-sweetheart-teammates to George Michael's “Faith”. Hello shopping trolley dance! Hello walking man dance! Hello working out how to Y-M-C-A F-A-I-T-H. It was full of spirit and laughter and possibility and invention and inspired movement and rapture in the moment – total creativity.

Leah: Our (totally optional) theme for the month is "play," so I'd love to hear about how you incorporate play into your creative activities!

Goddess Leonie: This is such a gorgeous question! I love your theme :) I want to be a cheerleader of creative play + soulful replenishment – a cheerleader with pigtails and pom poms and synchronised moves and everything!

1307992970_8f0dffe921 I actually just did a video talking about creative play a couple of weeks ago – you can watch it here. It talks about how I created one of my paintings when I was stuck – by hugging the painting with paint, throwing it on the ground, letting Charlie puppy walk all over it.

I run Creative Goddess Circles, and one of the first things I make the goddesses do is paint... and then throw it across the backyard into the grass. And we – as adults – tend to freak out about it. We worry about “wrecking” it. Or letting go of control. But then we do it, and we begin to laugh, and let go, and have fun with it. We become that gorgeous, slowing child inside us filled with innocence and wisdom and enthusiasm. We remember that creative goddess wise woman inside us who trusts, and knows, and accepts, and enjoys.

Run the hose on it. Paint with your feet. Jump all over it. Do all the things you think you shouldn't do. Play is about remembering there are no mistakes – only exploration, discovery and joy along the way to be had.

Because I'm in the mood for making words acronyms today, I reckon PLAY would have to be Perfectly Luscious Adventures with Yes. Or Pants-free Loony Abseiling while Yodelling. Probably the first one actually. ;)