Art for Art's Sake


Part of my fall "bucket list" is to make even more "art for the sake of art".

So yesterday, after many days of tending to quite literally crisis after crisis...

(see this link to donate to hurricane disaster relief for the nation of Haiti.  The Preacher, also known as my pastor-husband, is the president of Bethanie Missions of Haiti, and we can personally guarantee that every dollar goes directly to water filters, food, and the rebuilding homes for the people there.  He will be heading down in a few weeks, as a matter of fact.  If you know other ministries personally, please donate there.  But if you do not personally know a "boots on the ground" ministry in Haiti, we are, at Harvest Church, boots on the ground.)

...The Preacher and I escaped to our favorite spot.  We needed to talk, laugh, sketch, dream, and I needed to shoot around with my new toy...

The Women of Advent - My New Book! {...join my launch team?}

I've written my first book.

 It will launch just before Thanksgiving.   I've been hard at work here...






Common Ground



You and I have something in common. Something important.

Whether you are religious, secular, agnostic, sanguine or choleric.  Whether you are an INFJ like me, or an EPBandJ like my daughter Sarah (inside joke).  Whether you drink Jack Daniel's or Diet Coke, you and me have a long history of the same thing.

An Art Exercise Video For You {...Words Are Their Own Art Form}

This is a simple but enlightening grown-up art activity I put together last week, based on an old coaching exercise of mine.  I adapted it to artists, and like all my coaching material, I did it myself first.  It was powerful for me.

This is an exercise to help you in identifying and affirming your own artistic style.



For about the past two years, my art techniques and approaches have been undergoing a slow but very perceptible change.

 I am finding the courage to be radically simple in my subject matter and palette. And make no mistake, in this mixed media world I know and love so well, it takes courage to, in the words of country singer Luke Bryan, "Strip It Down".

Thank You, Jeanne Oliver {...my trip to Colorado...}

Mostly, you don't know how someplace has changed you until you leave that place.


 You can't understand the way an experience has transformed the way you are in the world until you've had time to synthesize and transmute that exposure to something new...to translate what you saw, into an awareness of just how it has changed you.  It takes time for the adventure to catalyze itself into the venture.

Three weeks ago, I flew to Colorado and stayed in the home of my sweet friend Jeanne Oliver.  She had invited me months before to be her special guest for the very first art workshop in her brand new studio, on the grounds of her brand new home in Castle Rock.


It has taken me this long to write about it, because I've been processing all of it deeply.  More deeply than I ever expected, to be honest.

I knew how that being in the physical presence of an artist whose work you admire, even taking one lesson from that artist, live and in person, can change your own art forever - but it takes time to see the incremental changes.

What I didn't realize - or to be more accurate, what I had forgotten - is how being in the presence of a friend who simply bears witness to who you really are, can change who you are forever.

That weekend, I got both.  I was in the presence of both friend and artist.

That entire weekend, my friend Jeanne was crazy-busy.  I can't imagine putting the finishing touches on an entire 1,100+ square foot teaching studio a mere day before a major workshop, then hosting an entire workshop while hosting a visiting friend.  But that's what she did...

...and so, what I'm saying is that she didn't have much time to consciously "bear witness" of me, or be profound with me or try to change me.  What I'm saying is that who she is, is so authentic, that it simply is.  And you impart who  you are, not what you think you want to teach others.

I caught such an impartation to dream and to believe yet more in a good, good God.  I was reminded that who I have been, in secret, for many years, is of infinite value - because to live life beautifully and soulfully is never - ever - a wasted effort.  In fact, it is the only way any of us can give away inspiration.  You can never just up and decide you are going to inspire someone.  No.  You have to live in an inspired way, alongside your spouse or your whole family, on a thousand Monday mornings, when the dailyness of the daily can become monotony - when no one is around to see the peaches you put in your oatmeal, when there is no one there but you and your loves to smell your scented candles.

After years of this, you can then impart powerfully.  (So start today!)

While I was there, in that beautiful studio, I enjoyed the company of other women, and participated in the art exercises.  But I didn't, at that moment, see one single change in my art.  (I didn't expect to - and neither should you.  These things take time.)

I've had three weeks to process, and suddenly, this week, art has come pouring out of me:



Art that isn't Jeanne.  It is art that is me, with elements of things I saw in her workshop - things that I consciously remember, and some that I'm sure are unconscious.

It's those unconscious influences that are the juju...


...they are the weighty, compelling imprint that changes you.



I don't want this post to seem, in any way, like a "you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours" advertisement for my friend, telling you to take a Jeanne Oliver workshop.

Not even Jeanne would want that.


What she would say, and what I would say, is that you must hold who you are - or if you are an artist, you must hold your art and yourself in high esteem - such high esteem that you trust the process of investment.  

Invest in you.


Remembering that the results take time.


But the rewards are permanent.
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