The Whole Artist: Alive in the Process

Longing to be more creative and expressive?

The desire to creatively express ourselves is a universal human longing. But so often when we act on that longing, we’re told that creative expression is only for a few special people who are “good” at art; that there’s only value in it if we can make money from it, or we devote our entire lives to it, or we get really, really good at it really, really fast. Many of us have been so damaged by our forays into the creative realm that we just give up.

 

The problem, simply put, is that all of the focus is on the product.

 

The solution is to shift the focus back where it belongs.

 

Whether creativity is your passion, your living, or the thing you’ve denied yourself and now yearn for—in EVERY case the best way to feel more creative and alive is to minimize judgment and place the emphasis on the process, and on the ARTIST, over the product.

 

Whether you are an artist seeking new inspiration or struggling with creative block, or someone who yearns to be more expressive but doesn’t know how, if you don’t have a solid inner foundation, the pressure to “deliver” will empty the creative well. The thirst to create remains; but you’ll find it harder and harder to access the spirit that makes creation possible. 

 

You might find your thoughts dominated by self-recrimination and fear that keep you from knowing and expressing your true self in your art—and in your life. Not trusting yourself, you begin to devalue yourself. From feelings of desperation and helplessness you might start to copy the people you see as being “actually creative” in the hope that you can feel alive and creative again. 

Alive in the process = Alive in the product

Would you be surprised if I told you that when you learn to stop worrying about the end product and trust your intuition and inner wisdom, you will make better art? And that unblocking your creativity even leads to a better life?

 

It’s true! When you shift your focus away from the end product, and prioritize your intuition and inner wisdom over your judging mind, you begin to access a wider range of impulses and inspiration.

 

When artists take my courses, it’s because they want to create for fun, without the pressure of expectations, to loosen up a bit. But as we work together, it becomes something more profound. They start to breathe fully again. They begin to realize how cut off they’ve become from the wellspring of creativity that gives their life and work meaning and authenticity.

 

Want-to-be artists come to me saying they would love be able to paint beautiful pictures, but they just don't have the skills. As we talk more, what emerges is that it’s not a just a matter of skill at all. They’re actually yearning for the same things as the artist: they feel stuck or blocked, and what they truly long for is to feel more creative and alive. 

I feel your pain.  No, literally!

I’ve taken a LOT of art classes in my life – years and years of them (it's kind of a requirement when you're working toward your MFA at an art school). But until I began to study intuitive process painting, none of them provided any real support for the artist herself!

 

Why is that important? Because making art can be tough. It takes years of practice to master the skills you need to realize your vision on canvas, clay, or other medium. It takes deep soul work to make meaning and to express yourself authentically. And all the while, you’re dealing with the near constant state of judgment from your own inner critic as well as from external sources. It’s a rare artist who doesn’t succumb to doubt and creative block (as I did) at some point.

 

As someone who for years was blocked, stuck, and in literal, physical pain from tendonitis and a repetitive strain injury in my painting shoulder, I know your struggle! But I also know that you can bring back your creative spark—change your story, and re-create your life to include more creativity, delight, inspiration, and meaning.

This is where THE WHOLE ARTIST comes in 

“Art is neither a profession nor a hobby. Art is a way of BEING.” ~Frederick Franck

 

I created The Whole Artist course to support the whole artist, the whole person, not just her output. I did it because making art— authentic, satisfying, and expressive art—takes more than just skill and technique. Being an artist is a whole life endeavor, and approaching art as a way of being allows us to approach life itself as a work of art.

 

Creativity is a journey, and art a lifelong pursuit. The Whole Artist gives you sustenance for the road.

 

The Whole Artist consists of:

·      Nine 3-hour class sessions

·      Exercises to keep your momentum going between classes

·      Access to me via email if you need a little extra support

 

Some materials are provided, and you will receive a supply list upon registration for the rest. We’ll also plan a field trip to an art supply store early on in the course.

 

During the 9 weeks of classes, we will reclaim the power of process in painting for product. You will discover inspiration and support through playful explorations in:

Journaling

Drawing

Materials and techniques

Basic composition & color theory

Intuitive & expressive painting

 

And more…

 

Sound exciting? Click here to register!

 

The Whole Artist is a foundation to build on

One of the biggest challenges in creating this course was figuring out how to teach an in-depth art course that busy people could actually commit to. Art is a never-ending journey, and so much of it is about the experience and practice of it. Distilling an entire art education into just nine weeks would be impossible.

 

That’s why, once you have completed The Whole Artist, you’ll have the opportunity to take your creative practice further via independent study. Working one-on-one with me, at your pace and accommodating your schedule, we will go more in depth into an area of visual art you wish to explore further. 


The Whole Artist: Spring 2016

Registration for the Spring Session of The Whole Artist is now closed. Next session TBA. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be among the first to know when the next session begins.