"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint', then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced."
-Vincent Van Gogh
Coming up on Saturday & Sunday, June 29th & 30th I will be hosting a Color Study Painting Workshop in my studio here in Asheville, NC.
If you have been seriously wanting to get your paint on but did not know how to Mix It Up... this is the two days for you!
Not only will the two days be ridiculously fun and encouraging, but you will leave knowing with confidence how to mix any color you like! Click here for more details!
Registration ends May 31st and there are currently three spots available, so come on down to the studio and get your paint on! I hope you decide to join! Check out what some others have said
about coming to the studio and working with me!
Last month I wrote a post that really seemed to resonate with you. The post was entitled "The Top 17 Reasons Why the World Needs You to be an Artist"
I wanted to dive a little more deeply into those reasons... so let's start with #1.... Reason #1 Why the World Needs You to be an ArtistThe world needs people who live with passion, intention, and purpose.Yes, it is true. We all need more people living with passion. The world needs people who care. People who care will go to great lengths to get things accomplished. People who are not ok with just the status quo are the world changers. The world needs people who live life with a purpose. People with a purpose are those who are totally and completely jazzed about waking up in the morning. They know they have something to give and they know that their unique voice and their remarkable selves meet up in places where the world has great needs. The world needs people who live with intention. People who are intentional don't just dream, they do. They don't just think, they act. They don't just wonder and wish, they make it happen. Intentional people accomplish specific things. They accomplish that which they set out to accomplish (not without the bumps along the way, but they have passion and purpose to keep them going through that!).When you live life with the soul of an artist, you see that unique knitting together of all of your skills, desires, loves and you meet the world with passion, intention, and purpose. The world needs you to do that. We need more people jazzed about waking up in the morning, passionate about what they will spend their time on....Yep, this is Reason #1 Why the World Needs You to be an Artist.How can you live with more passion, intention and purpose?Let me know in the comments below. Keep nurturing your creativity,Courtp.s. If you like this post, please share it with someone who may feel the same!If you want to receive more on nurturing your creativity, please join the Art Nurture Newsletter by clicking here.
"I must be myself. That will provoke anxiety, and I will deal with it."
-Eric Maisel, Author of Mastering Creative Anxiety
Last week I shared about that feeling of vulnerability when we begin to step out in our creativity.
I shared that instead of feeling naked and vulnerable, what if we took some cues from classical art and instead viewed that 'naked' feeling as moment of strength, beauty, and freedom!
In my Friday Newsletter I wrote about My 8 Step Process for how I move through my creative anxiety so that I can experience the freedom of sharing my art with the world.
I received a great deal of positive responses and thus wanted to share it here!
Here is my 8 Step process for how I move through my Creative Anxiety
When met with an opportunity to share your creativity...1.Stop. Pay attention & be aware.
2.Do not simply react in the same old ways. Take note of your previous reactions and realize you do not need to make the same choices again.
3.Pay attention to what is happening in the present moment.
4.If you are anxious, give attention to those feelings.
5.Take a breath.
6.Ask yourself, 'What is the worst that could happen?'Usually, when we think about this, it is not all that bad.
Like the worst that could happen is that someone doesn't like your stuff and you just keep doing exactly what you are doing. 7.Ask yourself, 'What is the best possible outcome?'Sometimes this can reveal why we are so dang scared. When we realize our attachment to our secret hopes and dreams that something good could happen, therein lies the root of the fear. We fear those hopeful doors being closed in our faces and so to stay safe, we don't step out.
Entertain the possibility that good stuff CAN happen to you & that it definitely wont happen if you don't put yourself out there!8.Make an informed decision.Not a decision from fear or vulnerability or old knee-jerk reactions, but a decision where you recognize you are making a choice.
You are responsible and you can choose.
You can choose to step out or you can choose to hold off.
Even if this is you alone with your creative work.
You have the opportunity to show up to it in the fullness that you truly desire.
It is much more empowering when we realize we have a choice.
So, when you get a chance to show up to your unique art or to step out with it in some way, go through these 8 Steps first and let me know if you noticed a difference!
As always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!
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If you have special methods of moving through Creative Anxiety, please leave a comment below!
Talk with you soon and keep nurturing your creativity,Court
Painting by Eugène Delacroix , "La liberté guidant le peuple" Oil on Canvas 1830
This is not a blog for work out advice on how to get your summer bikini body.
I have often encountered the question (as I am a total Art History nerd) from many friends, "What is the deal with nudity in Classical Art?"
As a society we have some interesting thoughts surrounding nudity and I wont delve too deeply into that, but Classical Art has a lot to teach us. Nudity in Classical Art can mean a lot of things. It can be about studying the 'ideal form', painting that which is 'divine', fertility or youth, and so many other meanings dependent on the piece, time frame, artist and place.
I have to say this is one of my favorite pieces, especially when discussing this topic. This painting by Delacroix depicts Liberty or Freedom guiding the people through the French Revolution.
It is a powerful image, especially if you love art, history, and Les Miserables.
When studying this piece for Art History class many years ago, a friend of mine asked, 'Geez, she is heading into battle with all these dudes and whoops, her dress comes off?!'
The exposed breast is not a sexual symbol in this piece. It is a symbol of freedom.
Freedom, strength, beauty. The woman was not actually
in battle, but she was an embodiment of the symbol for Liberty. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Lady Liberty was a gift from the French, so we can see that the strong, feminine is used regularly as a symbol of Freedom. Why do I bring this up, then, about how to look good naked? When we are sharing our art, our creativity, our selves, we can feel very vulnerable. Vulnerability is often described as feeling naked.
Feeling exposed. Feeling as though the hidden parts of ourselves are being revealed to the world. That fear of vulnerability is often what keeps us quiet. That fear is often what keeps our art from being fully realized in ourselves and shared with others. We feel naked and vulnerable and we view that as a scary and bad thing.
What if we instead viewed our vulnerability and our sharing of it as FREEDOM?!
What if we viewed that moment of sharing our art and ourselves as STRENGTH?!
What if in our moment of stepping up, flag flying, heart exposed, we saw what we were doing as BEAUTIFUL?!
When we learn a little bit about Art History, suddenly we are not viewing all this nudity in a naughty way.
When we learn about the FREEDOM, STRENGTH, and BEAUTY in our vulnerability, our baring of our true selves through our creativity and our UNIQUE ART in the world, suddenly vulnerability doesn't seem so naked. It doesn't seem so bad.It becomes a moment of FREEDOM. This week you will be met with an opportunity to share yourself or your art in some real way.
You may feel vulnerable. You may feel scared. You may feel naked and fearful of rejection, as we all do at from time to time. Instead of fear, try on a new view. Try viewing that moment as an opportunity for FREEDOM.
The more times I do this, it becomes just a tiny bit easier and I build up for myself more of a track record, more of a history, more of a strength in my vulnerability.
You may be surprised at the results.
Let me know what happens for you in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Keep nurturing your Creativity,
p.s. If you like this post, please share it! If you would like to receive more Art Nurture goodness, join the Art Nurture Newsletter!
Generally on this blog, you will find writing on how to live a creative life, inspiration for fighting through the blocks that keep you from your dreams, and practical words of wisdom to guide you on your art nurture journey. Today I want to ask, in light of this tragedy, what can you and I do?
Some of you know that I ran my first Marathon
two years ago and documented my journey here on this blog. My heart is full aware of the spirit of the marathon, the hope and perseverance it teaches, the inspiration it brings to others, and the people it helps along the way. Many run for charities, for inspiration, for their families, for something they believe in, for the love of the sport, or simply because they want to know if they can do it.
Yesterday my dear friend, Juli Windsor, was about to make history as the first Little Person to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. She stands 3ft 9in. and takes twice as many steps as the average runner throughout the same distance. She was off of her time by a few minutes yesterday and was a half mile from finishing the race when she and other runners were blocked from the course and told that the race was canceled. Eventually, news got to them that there had been explosions. It was a panicking moment as Juli was thinking of her husband, Blake, and their mother's waiting at the finish line for her. She eventually, found out they were all ok. Here is an interview with Juli, recounting the events yesterday.
We are all still confused, wanting answers about what happened yesterday. Though, answers do not console those who lost loved ones and who will have injuries the rest of their lives because of such senseless acts of violence.
It has been an emotional time for many across our nation and the world, as the Boston Marathon is an iconic race, attracting people from all over our globe. We all feel unsettled.
What can we do?
This past Saturday, I ran a 5k. It is only 3.1 miles compared to the marathon's 26.2, but a run nonetheless. We were running to raise money for children's music education. A very important cause. I picked up my bib number in the morning and lo and behold, my number was 29, the age I am now.
I save each and every racing bib I have ever worn. My first from four years ago when I ran my first 5k, my half marathons, my first marathon, and my "29" from the 5k this past Saturday. I was looking over each of them last night, trying to process what happened yesterday. I looked at my #29 and saw the company's slogan, "It's Who I Am" printed above the race number, the same number as my age.
Luckily, none of us is really a number. None of us are defined by the numbers assigned to us. I may be 29 years old, but age is just a number. My friend, Juli, may be 3ft. 9inches. tall, but her height is only a number. But who we are....that is who we decide to be.
Last week I wrote about The Top 17 Reasons Why the World Needs You to be an Artist
. I said that artists are people who live with passion, intention and purpose. This world is not a perfect place and we have to decide who we want to be and how we want to live, in light of all that we see and experience. At the end of Juli's interview she said she would most definitely participate in the Boston Marathon again. I cried.
How can we participate in life? What can we do? Can we be an artist of our days, living with passion, intention and purpose? Can we unabashedly give to others?
Juli, like many yesterday, were running not only for themselves, but were running for charities. They were running to inspire and contribute to the world in positive ways. If you feel like you would like to donate,here is a link to Juli's charity
. You can also find all of the official race charities that so many were running for by clicking here
Whatever your age, your height, your name, your other numbers or titles or labels assigned to you, please consider what you can do to be an artist of our days. What good and beauty can you create and give. We need you and we need your unique voice.
Thank you for considering these thoughts today.
The Top 17 Reasons Why The World Needs You to be an Artist
The world needs people who live with passion, intention, and purpose.Reason #2The world needs to be greeted by people who have a spark in their eye and a bounce in their step.Reason #3The world needs problem identifiers, problem solvers, & people crazy enough to believe they can solve the problems to sustain them through the hard work it will take. Reason#4The world needs daily doses of beauty, everywhere & in every thing.Reason #5The world needs you to be fully alive.
Reason #6The world needs your unique talents and skills to be enriched to their fullness and shared freely.
Reason#7The world needs people who spend their time doing things they believe in.Reason #8The world needs products and services that are filled with integrity.Reason #9The world is full of people who need to be noticed and need to be seen with the care and attentiveness of an artist. Reason #10The world doesn't need anymore crud.
Reason #11The world needs dreamers and doers.
Reason #12The world needs you to dance because the world wants to dance with you.
Reason #13The world needs you to be the most remarkable you there ever was. Reason #14The world needs you to live with clarity and truth.Reason #15The world needs people who play in the rain and slow down to enjoy the beauty of the everyday.Reason#16The world needs you to live life with the soul of an artist.Reason#17What the world needs now is art, sweet art.
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Keep nurturing your creativity,Court
Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, speaking at the Innovate conference last week.
This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Innovate: Unleash Your Creativity conference
in Franklin, Tennessee (just outside of Nashville) at the home place of Dan Miller and his 48 Days to the Work You Love team
The days of the event were filled with inspirational speakers; musicians, writers, artists and even a few magicians, all of whom shared about their passions, their art, and how they were able to make it in their field.
The theme that continued to come up was, 'What makes you remarkable?'
This struck me each time the question was asked.
Often times, we put ourselves down and compare ourselves to others. I am certainly guilty of this. Instead of focusing on where I am and enjoying being present in the phase of the process I am currently in, I look at other people who are 'ahead' of me or more 'talented' than me. This is a sure fire way to keep yourself down. In this place of comparison you and I cannot progress.
In this place of comparison we also start to lower our self-esteem and confidence in ourselves. This lessens our joy in the process and can be a contributing factor to us giving up on our art.
Instead of comparing to others, let us ask the question instead:What makes you remarkable?
The diversity of the group in attendance at Innovate
certainly did bring up a lot of unique art forms to consider remarkable. There were App developers and engineers and children's book authors and painters and marketing and business gurus. What if the App developer was feeling down on himself for not having the same remarkable qualities as the painter sitting next to him? Instead of focusing on his own unique remarkable things, what if he were too busy feeling bad he wasn't a painter? We would be missing out on the remarkable things that he has to offer!
In fact, when you and I do not embrace our unique arts that make us remarkable, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to the world! The world needs that special thing that only you can bring.
Not only that, but you and I need to live authentically for the sake of our own joy! When we live authentically, we have self-esteem that is healthy because everything adds up. It makes sense that when we are operating out of our own authentic remarkable-ness we have a healthy view of ourselves and the world. We stop comparing ourselves to others and we start really living life as an artist.
My favorite moments of the conference were when people would describe their self-given job titles and at the end say, 'I'm also focused on being the best [fill-in-your-name] I can be!'So, today, I want you to consider what it is that makes you remarkable.
Evening bonfire after a good day at the Innovate conference.
If you want to share what makes you remarkable or your thoughts on being remarkable, please do so in the comments below!
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Also, if you would like to attend the Innovate: Unleash Your Creativity
conference, there is another one coming up in September!
Remember, you are remarkable and the world needs the unique art form that only you are capable of bringing! Not only that, but you need it as well, for all of the joy it will bring to you! Totally worth the investment of cultivating your creativity.
Get that fire inside of you going,
p.s. Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity is coming soon!
Pre-order your e-book
or signed paperback
to be a part of the first release!
Some of you may remember my friend James Navé
from the video discussions
we had on Creativity.
Coming up in April, he will be here in Asheville, NC to lead The Artist’s Way Six Week Workshop on Tuesday Evenings, 7-9 pm from April 16-May 21, 2013. Click here to read more or to register!
As you know, The Artist's Way has been an incredibly influential course for many, myself included. It was the beginning of many a breakthrough for me and greatly influenced and inspired my work here at Art Nurture! If you are able, I would strongly encourage you to make the commitment, life changing work to be done for sure!
While in town, Navé
will also be co-hosting The Asheville Creativity Symposium:An Idea Collaboration on April 20th
. I will be in attendance and I hope to see you there!
What sorts of Art Nurture happenings are going on in your neck of the woods?
I would love to hear about the ways in which you and your community are nurturing your creativity so, please, leave a comment below.
If you would like to receive updates from me, don't forget to subscribe to the Art Nurture Newsletter
Keep Nurturing Your Creativity,
p.s. Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity
will be heading to the press in May! Pre-order your paperback
"There is no question that a playfully light attitude is characteristic of creative individuals."
Yes, I thought it would be funny to sit in a teeny tiny chair.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Not only is it good for the body, but it is good for the mind as well. And our minds are pretty important.
It's what we think with, work with, respond with, dream with, solve problems with and enjoy life with. People who are funny and use humor tactfully are often shown to be successful in their business and work life. Laughter, humor and light heartedness are qualities of those who tend to solve problems more easily and have a more positive outlook on life. According to the great creativity researcher, Csikszentmihalyi, author of Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention,
this playfully light attitude is characteristic
of creative individuals.
I definitely have found that evidenced in my work. Laughter, lightness and playfulness are key elements to success as an artist, writer, teacher, whatever! Sometimes, a tense moment in the classroom just needs to be met with a smile, a caring response and a quick moment of silliness gets the whole thing back on track. If this is what my young creative classes need, why not give that same care and concern and lighthearted approach to myself and my own creative work? After all, it would just straight up be more fun!
So, maybe this is a character quality we should really enhance and enjoy if we already possess it (instead of trying to squelch it) and cultivate it if we could stand to amp it up some more.
If we are interested in cultivating our creativity, we may just be a couple of good laughs away from a great idea. Not only might we be a few laughs away from a good idea, but also the positive outlook needed to carry it through to finish.
When you are struggling with creative stress, loosen up and have a good laugh, it may be just the thing you need!
If you like this post on nurturing your creativity, then please share it with others!
It's the little things that get you through. Find something that makes you feel more lighthearted and live it up.
Well, every day except today! Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity
will be coming to fruition sooner rather than later!
Here is a photo of my awesome editor, Laura, and I working on the book. I just dropped off with her last night my most recent revision. It appears we are just down to the nitty gritty of teeny tiny details from here on out!
It is very exciting and I feel like my own journey with this book has paralleled the chapters in the book. I have had to utilize everything I know about cultivating creativity and staying motivated to keep moving past all the Roadblocks and Resistance that crop up during any extensive process, especially one that is totally new.
Spring is coming and I can't wait to get this book out there to you! All of you Kickstarter backers have been so patient and supportive during this process and I sincerely thank you!
If you didn't get a chance to back the project via Kickstarter, you can pre-order your copy on the homepage
. This book is a Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity and will provide practical and simple steps to take the seed of creativity that we each uniquely possess and grow it in our lives, leading to a life filled with passion, intention and purpose!
Try something new this weekend! Engage in a hobby you have left by the wayside, get outside and go for a walk, try a new recipe and have fun!