The Artist Within – A Guide


#2 Creativity Workout
October 28, 2008, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts

This is a fun one to do at the kitchen table while you are weeding out the junk mail, going through the kids papers, cleaning out your purse/briefcase, etc.

PAPER WEAVING…take whatever papers you have lying around and cut them into strips. They don’t have to all be the same width, anywhere between 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide is fine. Just cut them up. Just that feels good!

Make a pile of your strips.

Now select 8-10 strips and lay them side by side in front of you.

Choose 8-10 more. You are going to weave these, over-under style, through the strips you have laid out in front of you. You may remember weaving placemats in elementary school. Same thing. Scrunch them together in the middle so that they stay together.

Do you see the mini-abstracts in each little square? What happens when you weave some newsprint together with 4-color glossy paper? Which do you like better.

I like to save these weavings and I paint them into my paintings just for the texture. Or just toss them in the recycle bin. You’ve just had a “creativity workout”! Wasn’t that easy? (You haven’t done it yet–it’s OK. Do it this afternoon or this evening. Get your team at work to bring old memos and out-dated papers fro their desk and weave those together at the start of the meeting! It will totally take them off gurad–it will change the way they are thinking. You will all get different ideas! Perfect! Let me know! Whitney

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Whitney on Radio Show–tune in!
October 27, 2008, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries

Good Monday morning!  I am going to be interviewed on a radio show this coming Sunday, Nov. 2nd.  You can listen by clicking on this link:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Southwest-Blend/2008/11/02/Champagne-Sundays-Variety-Radio  I love that the name of the show is Champagne Sundays!  I should really do the interview from Rumours East!  We have 2 for 1 mimosas for our Sunday Brunch. 

Just got back from a weekend in New York!  My thoughts kept going back to what a mental game life is!  I walked past several Barnes & Nobles, that will all have my books in them by Nov. 15th, and looked at the advertisements for upcoming book signings.  Let’s see, people like Madeline Albright will be there to sign their books.  All of the authors were some sort of celebrity.  I wasn’t intimidated or anything.  It made me think, “They are never going to schedule my book signing!”  WHOA!  We can’t go there.  This book is going to make an impact only if I decide it is!  It is mental gymnastics every day.  That voice that doubted my ability to make it into the window on the book signing announcements is my left-brain voice.  My right brain is the one that countered with, “Just one step at a time, honey.  You have a great message; let the pureness of that message open the doors for you–just get it out there!”

We all struggle every day between hope and despair.  the global stress level right now is enormous.  You can’t go anywhere, read or watch anything without being told about the upcoming doomsday!  We simply can’t go there.  When you are feeling overwhelmed, tap into your right brain.  Your right brain does not know “overwhelmed” or “stressed”.  It is completely present and satisfied in the current moment.

I am going to add another great “creativity workout” to the blog now.  Click on the link to read Creativity Workout #2.  Whitney



Great book! Matisse & Picasso
October 23, 2008, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Amazing books!

Matisse & Picasso by Francoise Gilot

Francoise is the mother of Paloma and Pablo Picasso.  She is the “Surviving Picasso” movie, etc.  She is the only one of Picasso’s women who kept it together after their relationship ended–she was also the only artist, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  This book describes the interesting relationship between Picasso and Matisse.  Matisse is the only person/artist that Picasso truly respected.  Picasso was a bit of an egotistical ass, frankly–but I LOVE his art!  Read this book!  It is educational and entertaining!



It’s a NEW day!
October 23, 2008, 2:28 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries

I am up in my little studio painting this morning.  I am attending to the e-mail while the layers dry.  I am painting for my upcoming trip to L.A. and Las Vegas!  So exciting.  Today I am struck with the fact that today is a blank canvas.  I can visualize the blank canvas and I don’t have to worry at all about the “canvas” from yesterday (yesterday mostly had a lot of good things in it, but a couple discouraging things too).  I can choose to hold on to the disappointments from yesterday and bring those elements into my day today, or I can wipe the slate clean and start afresh.  You know, Matisse would have his “lovely assistant” wipe his canvas totally clean at the end of the day if he was not pleased with the direction it was taking.  His goal was to paint just one layer–to re-create life as if it were in fact a painting.  I need lots of layers to get my paintings to where I want them to be.  That is why Matisse is Matisse.  Check my book section for a great book about Matisse.

To start fresh each day, that is really the goal, isn’t it: to stay present, to appreciate where we are and the opportunities we have right now!?!?  Once we become conscious of our creative ability to create each day anew (just like the artist in front of the blank canvas) then we have hope and optimism and our dreams are free to reach towards reality.   OK.  Gotta go make my mark today!  Whitney



Books you need to buy and read!
October 17, 2008, 3:09 am
Filed under: Amazing books!

Each of these books has fueled my fire!  They have such valuable information, insight and inspiration.  Contact the authors and let them know how you heard about their book…they love that (or I love that!)!

Stay Tuned by Jennifer Weigel…I read this book in two sittings!  I did not want to get up.  Even when I am so busy, it is amazing the reading time I find when it is a can’t-put-downer!  This book by my friend I grew up with will inspire you to pursue your life’s path from a spiritual (hello, right brain) perspective.

The Road to Eden’s Ridge by M.L. Rose…This is a “Bridges of Madison County” type of story.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry….Part of the story is set in Nashville, so you will recognize Bongo Java and Belmont, Bluebird Cafe’, etc.

A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future by Dan Pink…I’ve blogged about this book in the first two entries.  Dan is a HUGE inspiration for me and for SO many others!  He is talking to the white-shirts and the rest of us!  Read it!

My Stroke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor…SUCH a great read.  Informative, she’s a brain researcher, and interesting!  She’s on a mission too!  She wants you to understand how your brain works and that you want to get into your right brain!  I love it!

That’s all for now.  Let me know what you think of them!  Whitney



#1 Creativity Workout
October 16, 2008, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts

Creativity workouts are simple, simple, easy, easy ways you can get in touch with your right brain voice, your artist within.  Can you take five minutes to discover a way to take a mental vacation and take a break from the mental chatter?  Good.  I thought so.

Grab any old piece of paper and any kind of pen, pencil, crayon, marker, whatever.

Look at the clock.  5 minutes.  That is all. 

Make a little circle somewhere, or a square of you prefer.  Draw some lines coming out of that shape.  Add a little blob at the end of each of those lines….Get it?  Just make marks.  It is not about drawing anything that looks like anything.  It is one squiggle or shape adding onto another. 

I’ll warn you, it will take until about 2.5 minutes in for you to settle in.  Your left brain is telling you, “You’ve got other things to do, man!”  Ask it to take a well-deserved siesta and give your right brain a chance to connect.  You will be able to tell because all of a sudden it will be 5 minutes or 8 minutes and you have become completely focused on your marks.  Welcome to your present moment.  This is the biggest gift we can give to ourselves each day, being completely present.  There’s more, but you’ll have to check back.  Enjoy, Whitney



#2 Artist Within BLOG
October 16, 2008, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries

Good morning!  OK.  There must be a reason why I just sat here for 10 minutes entering my second blog entry and when I clicked PUBLISH instead it was deleted!  This is the kind of thing that makes both my left brain and my right brain cuckoo!  My left brain is saying, “You just wasted all of that time and creating blog entries is the least of your worries today!”  My right brain is saying, “It was such a thoughtful and well-written entry.  It should not have disappeared into cyber-space.  Too bad we’re not a techie brain.” 

This blog is to introduce you to my Artist Within, my right brain voice (and, of course, by the mere fact that they are lodged together in cramped quarters inside my skull, my left brain voice.)  This reminds me of something I typed in the first version of this blog….

Meet Dr. Jill Taylor.  She is a brain researcher and 12 years ago she was working as such at Harvard University–you may have heard of this place.  She awoke one morning to a screaming headache and proceeded to have a stroke!  The hemmorage was in her left brain and she quickly witnessed (being a brain researcher she knew) the complete deterioration of her left brain capabilities.  She could not recognize numbers or letters.  She could not speak.  She could not recall simple facts.  Sound horrible?  It wasn’t totally.  As her left brain checked out, her right brain kicked in.  In her right brain she felt “one with the universe”.  She felt overwhelming peace and realized that 37 years of emotional baggage were gone.  She was in “nirvana”.  By the time she lost consciousness she was sure that it was the end.  When she woke up to the reality of life continuing on this planet she took it as a sign that she needed to share with people her experience and help to point them to their right brains.  Go to www.ted.com to view her speech.  She will also be on Oprah next Tuesday, Oct. 21st.  Tune in! 

Dr. Jill tells you why you want to get into your right brain.  My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, tells you how.  I am going to publish this quote quickly so I don’t lose it again.

Whitney