The Artist Within – A Guide

Asheville, NC is Creatively Fit!!!

I am in day 2 of my FIRST EVER trip to Asheville, NC.  What a magical place!  Right Brain thinking is alive and well here with art, galleries, beautiful shops, book stores, drums, cafe’s, chocolate, mountains and friendly people all coated with a spiritual awareness that resonnates from the ground up!

I drove blindly into the center of town and parked within the central commercial district.  Look at the first card I picked out of the stack at a precious little store, “Write On”!

Asheville card

I could not believe the text on the card!  Do you ever feel like her?  Literally, getting into your right brain makes an instant, dramatic difference.  You have room to think, to be….  Next I walked down the street and was accosted by some of my favorite things ever–those star shaped lanterns!  Had to snap a pic:

Asheville Windows

Next, I popped into Terra Nostra Decor.  They had these amazing chairs called POOFS that I would highly recommend (they come in small and large).  I sat in one and confirmed the comfiness.  But, on my way out, this chair caught my eye.  This is what someone should buy for their meditation area.  Doesn’t it just look Cleopatra and Buddha all rolled up in one!?!?  Click on the image to go to–they ship anywhere (as a small biz owner I have to give them some PR!!!).

Asheville meditation chair

Next, I wandered up to Malaprops Book Store on Haywood St.  This is where I am going to have a book signing from noon-2p on October 17th!  This store is so special.  I met the owner, who was an obviously wise and wonderful spirit.  Thank you for your store.  After checking out with my 4 books–LOVE book stores and BOOKS, I proceeded on my visual feast of Asheville.  Here is Malaprops.  Come see me on Oct. 17th!


My next wonderful lstop was at Origami Ink.  This store celebrates the Artist Within from all angles.  You are swept up in new desires to write many letters, create beautiful art from found objects, paint, draw, gift….Lovely.  I met Jonathan there.  So sweet!  I was really attracted to these painted and adorned antique, wooden birds.  I tried to take a photo, but my camera died!  Click on the image below to get to their site.

Asheville, Origami Ink

After a rondevous with old friends in Black Mountain and a pint of the Valdez Coffee brew at a local micro-brewery–so sorry I can’t remember the name right now (It was so cool–in the warehouse where the brewing happens!!!), we went to dinner and I got to tour Blue Spiral Gallery all by myself!  This gallery is incredible!  Here is a view as I ascended the stairs to the extensive upper level!

Asheville Blue Spiral

The only reason I was able to enter is that they were hosting a reception for Andie McDowell (who lives in Asheville–and looks GREAT btw!  I saw her outside the gallery) after she introduced a movie next door at the Fine Arts Theater.  “The Greatest Silence, Rape in the Congo” was the film she introduced.  Andie is CREATING CHANGE in her world!  Thank you for your example!  Inside the gallery I also had the treat of seeing a friend’s artwork!  Emily Leonard is one of my favorite artists.  She is in Nashville, but her work is proudly displayed across the country.  She painted a mural on a wall in our second Rumours Wine Bar.  She is amazing.  Go to  Here is an example of her work!

Emily Leonard

NOW, you all have an assignment from me to go visit an art gallery!  It is so lovely to indulge in the beautiful visions and register your impressions and to what you are attracted.  I had many savory moments last night in that gallery!  Here are some of my favorites:

Asheville Vicki Grant

This is ceramic by artist Vicki Grant.  Look at that crystal in the center, all the texture and subtle colors. 

Below, “Where to…”

Asheville Gallery ships

Where are you going?  How are you getting there?  Which boat would you hop into?  These are all the thoughts that ran through my mind.  Go to to peruse more!  Tell them Whitney sent you.

The painting below is by artist Charles Ladson.  His colors, unique combination of images and subject, and his obvious skill are a visual journey.  The colors are, of course, so much more vibrant (yet still subtle) in person!  I want one!!!

Asheville Charles Ladson

So, now I am sitting at City Bakery after indulging in the Melted Goat sandwich. It had roasted grapes on it, along with arugala and goat cheese.  Yum!  I have never had roasted grapes!  I am anxious to get back out there.  I have to make my next stop the French Broad Chocolate Lounge!  Don’t hate me!  🙂  Stay tuned for the exciting (I am sure it will be) conclusion to my Asheville trip.  Thank you to all of these small businesses for creating such ambience in Asheville and for allwoing me to showcase the ART that is your business!  Cheers!  Whitney

A LOVELY Rainy day in Nashville…

I started out the day (after the kids got on the bus, of course) in my studio painting.  You might think this is my daily routine.  Alas, it is not so.  I purposefully did not turn on the computer to avoid the cascade of virtual communication.  I chose to create a little more space in my mind and picked up the brush. girl gifts

These are paintings I paint as baby gifts.  I have two “girl paintings” commissioned right now, so I checked into my right brain with all of these fun colors swirling around my vision.  Lovely.  As I painted, I listened to a Louise Hay CD.  I splurged a bit in the audio CD section of Borders the other day because I thought I could listen to more books than I can read right now.  It was quite lovely having Louise in my studio on this rainy, Nashville morning with my cup of coffee.

Next, I had a truly new experience for me!

Brain Sync Unfold-Your-Potential

I plugged in to my daughters’ CD player to listen to my new friend, Kelly Howell of Brain Sync.  OK, so my Artist Within is talking to me here.  Kelly started Brain Sync (right/left brain synergy) and has an entire line of products to maximize your mental potential!  It uses brain wave therapy, reproducing Theta brain waves to facilitate “Meditation, Intuition, and Memory”. 

WOW!  Was I in heaven!  I called the number on the CD and promptly ordered 24 of these CD sets to sell on my website–GREAT, AMAZING right brain workouts!  Can’t wait!

After an hour (!!!) of lying on my hallway floor, I remembered my coaching call with my “Big Fish” Coaching Group, headed by Lorin Beller Blake.  They cracked up as I appeared on the call 24 minutes late with my “la-la land voice”.  CONTRAST is one of the Principles of Design and one of the elements I believe to be MOST important in creating a successful, fulfilling, FUN life!  One of my epiphanies lying on the floor of meditation was, “I need this kind of time to contrast my over-active DOER.”  My friends in my coaching group told me the opposite of DOING was called BEING–seriously, I could not even remember!  So great!  I have accpeted that it is A-OK to just “be”! 

During the coaching call (I may get in trouble here) I had started to paint the next layer on my “Portal Series” paintings.  If you join The Artist Within fan page on Facebook, you will see all the step-by-step of this painting and all of my thoughts as I go.  I made a major leap in that painting as a result of my meditation!  Go to for that whole story.  But, here is an image of my studio table this morning: candle, coffee and paints!  Yum!

Portal series in my studio

I was so “peaced-out” by the time I left to have lunch with Christy, that the entire rest of my day had a glowing calmness to it.

Are you itching to paint yet?  Good!  Do it! 

Creatively Yours (& ready for bed), Whitney

Creativity Workout-Torn Paper Abstract
September 11, 2009, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts | Tags: , , ,

This exercise is from Chapter 11 in my book The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.  This was great this morning!  It took me about 10 minutes total.  Enjoy the pics!

This is just my Moleskine sketchbook (that I love!) and some scrap paper.  I used some plain glue and a paint brush to glue them to the page.  I tore the paper very randomly, trying to get different kinds of shapes.

This is just my Moleskine sketchbook (that I love!) and some scrap paper. I used some plain glue and a paint brush to glue them to the page. I tore the paper very randomly, trying to get different kinds of shapes.

I only used soft pastels (more like chalk) and crayons for the colors.  Watch the layers!

I only used soft pastels (more like chalk) and crayons for the colors. Watch the layers!This is when I started to use crayons.

I layered more soft pastel over the crayon.

I layered more soft pastel over the crayon.

This is where it stands now.  I could always go back and layer it on!  Layering is key!  It is hard sometimes to keep adding to it.  You are scared that you are going to "mess it up".  Face that fear and then add the layer!

This is where it stands now. I could always go back and layer it on! Layering is key! It is hard sometimes to keep adding to it. You are scared that you are going to "mess it up". Face that fear and then add the layer!


Join my facebook fanpage at: for step by step like this of my paintings! 

Try this workout at home, in the a.m. or after a long day.  Or, start your next meeting with this creativity workout!  You will be amazed at the different results and ideas you get.  It’s about equality for both sides of the brain.  Your right brain/Artist Within has a lot to offer you: energy, intuition, inspiration, new ideas, purpose-driven action, centering, peace….Try it.


Right Brain Review-The Reader
September 10, 2009, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , ,


I watched this movie last night–finally!  It was incredible!

If you have not seen it, see it!  If you have seen it, please consider the tragedy of this movie from a right brain perspective.

Regardless of your feelings about an affair between a 15 year old and a (??) 35 year old, they obviously had a special thing.  The fact that the relationship haunted “Michael” the rest of his life is tragic and illustrates an important lesson that your ARTIST WITHIN would like you to notice. 

Michael had the choice many times to create a different scenario than the one of the wounded lover.  He allowed his understandable sadness to taint every relationship in his life.  Instead of learning from his past and moving on–Hannah would not have wanted him to suffer so–he chose to keep it all inside, never sharing or opening up.   Not that it would have been easy, but he became a victim of that affair rather than the artist of his own life. 


Which path do you choose today?  The sunny, green, or grey, dead end? scary_path

I don’t want to get psycho-analytical, but what struck me last night (when I finished the movie at 1:15am!!!) was how much I wished he had created a different experience.  Of course, it would not have made as great a movie, but what can we learn?  A huge issue was that he never shared his love affair with anyone.  He held it in, believing it to be shameful (just as H. hid her illiteracy).  That was a choice he made.  He stayed on the “island of Michael” (left brain-ego), rather than open up and trust the world to support him (“one with the universe” right brain).  He spent his life disconnected when he could have created connectedness.

The painting this movie creates is very dark. Blues and greys, with small glowing dots of light–the good memories that were swallowed up by the darkness. 

Each of you are creating the art that is your life every day. With an understanding of right and left brain, ego v. connectedness, you can consciously choose to create good from bad.  Learning from an experience rather than suffering the memory over and over.  Think about it….

Do you have something in your life that you could transform from obstacle to opportunity?  It is your choice.  Realize that you have two magnificently miraculous and powerful hemispheres in your mind that process things very, very differently. 

If a thought or memory is not serving you well, then you have the ability to process that same experience from the opposite perspective and transform it into a positive.

Anyone who has achieved great things has also experienced the depths of failure.  In the depths is where they learned the lessons they needed to get out of the depth and to the top.  Or, you could stay in the depth, like our poor friend Michael in The Reader.  Really, Hannah did not waste much energy in the past or future.  She was brutally present. 

So, on a happier note…here is a recent “energy drawing” workout I did in my sketchbook!  So fun!  THIS is how you change the way you are thinking and get into the other hemisphere!  Create some fun today, everyone!  ~Whitney

5th journal

Why I Teach Art…

I have SO MUCH FUN teaching people to “fear no art”!  I usually feel more like a coach than a teacher.  Truly, the entire reason I teach people to paint, or otherwise make their mark, is because it is SO GOOD for their soul.  Physiologically, it accesses their right brain, bringing them totally present.

Teaching Painting Made Easy

They forget about ALL the things they have to do and they relax.  Lovely.  When they get into their right brain (by giving it a right brain task-like painting or scribbling) they are connected to the voice that “doesn’t sweat the small stuff”.  It is the voice inside your mind that is motivated by the big picture, your purpose, your passion.  It doesn’t care about your emotional baggage or practicalities.  It knows that it is connected to a big ol’ universe that has everything you need to see your ideas and dreams come to fruition.  It’s the “Don’t worry, be happy” side of your mind.  On your left side you are ego-driven.  On your right side you are “one with the universe”-Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor.  (Watch her speech on!!!)

Artist Within Workshop shot at Cheekwood

Besides my Painting Made Easy workshop (first image), I also teach my Artist Within Workshop.  This is a view of our work space at Cheekwood last weekend.  What a gift that day was.  The energy level in that room as we cut, pasted, scribbled, and painted, was so, so supportive, inspired, and relaxed.  Not the easiest energy to find these days.  The Creativity Workouts in my book were our muse and the results were magnificent–both in our minds and on the sketchbook page.  Here is a participant’s “Paper Weaving” exercise.

Paper Weaving Creativity Workout

Next is an example of the “Torn Paper Face Collage”.  This is so much fun!  All you have to do is tear out images from your old magazines and then put them together to make a face.  Pay attention to the images you use for the eyes, the hair, etc.  Your right brain is speaking to you through these images.

Face Collage Cheekwood

Below is one of my “torn paper face collages”.  Part of my work is balancing the inspired nature of my work with the business side.  What the colorful ties in the background said to me is, “You can embrace the business aspect of your work and keep the fun.”  What encouragement from my “Artist Within”!

Whitney's Torn Paper Face

The bottom line, “Why I teach art….”  I teach because my students’ eyes light up as I take the fear out of creativity and give them permission to create CHANGE!  When they leave they are fired up!  They have an entirely new energy coursing through their veins that inspires them to do that “thing” that they have been meaning to do for years.  They have a new paradigm to apply to the art that is their life!  They have access to a new voice; a voice that is hopeful, optimisitic, and encouraging.  They have learned how to tap a new energy within themselves that will keep them going when the left brain world overwhelms them with details and logisitics.  They are becoming CREATIVELY FIT.

So proud!

A Whole New Outlook!

If you would like to entertain the possibility of hosting me at a studio or art center near you, please let me know.  I would love to come visit and inspire your group!  We can do it!

Whitney At The sommet Center

CREATE some change today in your world!  You CAN do it!  Your right brain voice, your Artist Within, is waiting to cheer you on.  Tap into it!  Grab a piece of paper right now.  Draw a dot in the middle of the page and start doodling outward to make a mandala.  I did this one with pencil and a couple of days later added the color oil pastels.  I was so relaxed after this workout!

4th journal page mandala

Be sure to subscribe to this blog (directly under my picture at the top of the page in the left margin) and become a FAN of “The Artist Within” on Facebook.  On the Fanpage I will be sharing images of my paintings as I do them so that you can see how they evolve–it will give you hope, I promise!

So, “why I teach art” is why you should consider taking an art class.  Order one of my Create CHANGE Paint Kits from my site and the Painting Made Easy DVD and get creatively fit in the comfort of your own home.  OR, you could join us in Northern California this October 9-12th.  Look at the info. on my EVENT page of  Flex your right brain muscle.  You will LOVE how it makes you feel. 

Creatively yours, Whitney