wholehearted-artist with Stephanie Lee

The Wholehearted Artist Course

A few years ago I was in a hotel room with 3 other artist friends and I was crippled by comparison and “not enoughness”. I knew these friends as whole people – mothers and wives and artists with shortcomings and feelings of inadequacy of their own and yet, they seemed so much more together than I was. So much more at peace with their creative process. So much more on top of all the demands of being a working artist that are not actually making the art (so much computer stuff!) I had always been the eternal optimist, the spontaneous adventurer, the maker of things just because it was fun and that version of me was little more than a whisper that I leaned in so hard to hear. I wanted to be in love with my life again. “Just paint every day and everything will be fine” one said. “You’re art isn’t cute enough to be licensed” another said. It was intended as a compliment. “Stop comparing yourself to others. You ARE enough.” As if it were so easy. I knew it was only part of what was creating this constricted feeling in my heart. I started paying closer …

Wholeheartedness

“Being wholehearted isn’t just an inside job. (It is and it isn’t). It would seem like it if I lived alone on a mountain, but even then there is wind to be felt and trees to climb and canyons to shout into. And if I only turned my eyes inward, who would pick the wild blueberries and think to share them with a friend? Being wholehearted is as much about our interaction with the world as it is our conversations with ourselves.   Wholeheartedness has been on my mind so much lately. It floated across my consciousness one day when, weary and worn down, I asked “What do I really need right now?” (because I knew it wasn’t that candy bar on top of the fridge.) I thought I was wholehearted until I saw all the ways I had been dismissive and delaying when it came to the little things that tend to my heart. I confused wholeheartedness with focus, desire, and doing my best to be satisfied with all the ways things were just meh.    Meh. Flavorless chamomile tea when I really wanted a vanilla chai with almond milk.  Checking in on Instagram when I really wanted to have a heart to …

Painting among the Redwoods

The past couple of months I have spent the majority of my time at a computer helping a friend creating some amazing stuff. A lot of focus and planning and building and more focus. I’ve loved darn near every minute of it. Now my attention is shifting towards continuing my preparations for An Artful Journey at the end of next month. This is the LAST retreat that Cindy will be hosting at the magical Presentation Center among the redwoods and I’m so happy I get to be a part of it again! Three days with the same group of creative participants is my favorite. This venue – and the soulful artists it attracts – is divine. Lots of friendship, painting, and fresh air – sweetened with the fragrance of redwood trees. Creative energy is so strong among such ancient guardians. There are just a few seats available in my workshop if you’d like a little restorative winter getaway. We’re going to do some deeper diving than I’ve ever done in a class before to clarify and translate our intentions on the canvas. Of course, each participant is free to go exactly as deep or not-deep as he or she needs to …