The Artist Within – A Guide

Asheville to Charlotteslville Adventure!

Chilly, but HAPPY, at LEAF Festival!

Last week I had the amazing opportunity!  My family and I went on a good ol’ ROAD TRIP and created three weeks out of one!  We did so many different things that time seemed to slow down.  Lovely!  The image above is from the LEAF Festival just outside of Asheville, NC.   Check out the extent of camping in the chilly NC mountains!

Thousands and thousands of campers!

IT was an incredible celebration of art, music and world culture!  There was non-stop music at up to 5 different venues from 10a to 2a Friday, Sat. and until 5p Sunday.  It wrapped up with ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!  They were amazing!

Arrested Development at LEAF

What I so respect about AD is that their lyrics are so positive and the presence of Baba is precious.  He struck me as the village elder.  His presence grounded their performance and gave it a spiritual side simply by his presence. Check him out here…you can just feel the wisdom.

Arrested Deve. elder

I had an INCREDIBLE book signing at Malaprops Book Store in downtown Asheville that Saturday.  It was also a welcome break from the cold!  This book store is one of my favorites.  The people are so open and generous with their attention.  I sold books non-stop and met some incredible people!


I had filmed a segment on the News 13 Noon Day Show in Asheville the day before.  It was quick, but fun!  Watch it here:

After we packed up our camping gear and spent the night in a nice, warm hotel in downtown Asheville we popped into the Biltmore to take a look around!  AMAZING!  George Vanderbilt was pretty Creatively Fit–of course with that much time and money….But he did choose to create an amazing legacy that is STILL owned by his heirs!  It is an experience!  Hope you can all get there at some point!


We left there around 2p for the 6.5 hour drive to Williamsburg!  That was a bit tough, but so it goes.  InColonial Williamsburg it is hard to overlook how CREATIVELY FIT our forefathers/mothers were!  Wow!  They have preserved so much of the village of colonial Williamsburg that you really get a feel for their way of life back in the revolutionary period.  We saw carpenters creating exquisite furniture JUST as they did back in the day.  All hand tools, no mechanics.  Incredible!  I write in my book, The Artist Within, about how our right brain deficiency is a new phenomenon, relatively speaking.  Our right brains used to be much stronger because we relied on its faculties so much more when we were CREATORS rather than CONSUMERS.  Williamsburg is living proof. 

A "Backyard" in Colonial Days

Here are my three kids looking into a typical “backyard” in Williamsburg.  You had to have some sheep handy to get the wool to spin the yarn to weave the cloth to make the clothing!!!! 

Next we were off to University of Virginia to visit “big brother Dane”.  I met with the professor who created the Arts Administration Program at UVA, George Sampson.  We had such a dynamic conversation about the importance of taking the arts and creativity out of the box (ironically enough).  He has worked with students from the med school, Darden Business School, the engineering school,etc. to get them thinking about how art and creativity affect their industries.  I felt such a pang of envy as I led myself on a personal tour of the studio arts building, leaving CREATE CHANGE stickers as I went.

On our way home from Charlottesville to Nashville, we stopped at Joel Salatin’s Ployface Farm.  This man has created extraordinary awareness about the significance of small farmers in our country!  I just had to share some of my funnest animal pics ever!

Cute Polyface pigs

Sorry if you are currently eating your bacon for breakfast!  Eggs?

Polyface chicken coop

Joel Salatin knows chickens!

SO I guess that brings you all up to speed.  I am busy, busy creating EMPHASIS in my Creatively Fit mission and am excited to be a guest on two Nashville news shows this week.  Today I film the “Plus Side of Nashville” on Nesw Channel 5 with Tuwanda Coleman and tomorrow is “More at Midday” on Ch. 4 in Nashville!

So, hope you all flex your right brain muscle a bit today.  Be sure to join the Facebook Artist Within page:

I am offering a FREE webinar to all fans (new and not as new) that will be this Friday at 10a CST.  Comment on this blog if you want to chat on Friday with me!  Looking forward to it!  Whitney



Right Brain Spa!
October 22, 2009, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Things I love! | Tags: , , , , , ,

Brain Sync Unfold-Your-Potential

I am currently on the back end of a massive week-long book tour/family vacation that began in Asheville, NC and is ending in Charlottesville, VA at UVA!  I can’t wait to share all the details and pics from this adventure! 

In the mean time, I wanted to share with you one of the most amazing tools I have found to CREATING a right brain “spa” experience–the 3 CD set “Unfold Your Potential, Create the Life you Want to Live”. 

If you are not aware of the importance of meditation, just stay tuned.  You will certainly find articles and other info. about meditation catching your eye.  It is vital to BALANCE our busy, hectic daily lives and to CONTRAST the constant chitter chatter in our brain.

These CD’s by Kelly Howell are yummy!  After my first experience with the prayer CD, that got me on my hallway floor for a full hour (!!!!), I immediately got on the phone and ordered a case so I could share them with you all!  They are now available on my website.  Simply click on the image above to get to the shop.

I had been looking for a guided meditation because, hey, I like images and I like stories.  The music that accompanies Kelly Howell’s voice is scientifically composed to balance your brain!  It recreates THETA brainwaves….If you want more go to

I can’t encourage you all enough to buy yourself a set and give them as gifts.  You will NOT regret it!  As a result of using these CD’s just 2-3 times a week I found myself “hovering above the chaos”.  Nothing could really bother me.  I was so much more patient with my children, and I had none of that frantic energy.

I don’t man to be such a commercial, but I can’t wait to hear from you all about how much you love your new meditation time.  I think Lisa ( got a set…what do you think, Lisa?  look for her comments.

I enjoy bringing you whatever resources possible to support your creative fitness journey!  Enjoy!

A New Source of Creative Inspiration

MAt. Fox Creativity

Read this quote and then imagine how excited I am about Matthew Fox:

“Whether our species is sustainable or not depends on our wrestling creativity back from the brink of its demonic potential (the word demonic is pretty strong, but it refers to the ability of our creativity to produce destructive results as in the case of our environment).  To move our Divine powers of creativity from serving the demonic to serving the Divine is to move from art for art’s sake and art for advertising’s sake.  Art for the sake of planetary health and well being.  Art for celebration’s sake.  Art for building bridges sake.”

What this means is that all of us who would say, “I can’t even draw a straight line” need to replace it with: “I AM CREATIVE.”  It is realizing that our creative abilites are what we are dependent on to solve the problems around us, not just what produces pretty pictures and objects of art.   If we shrug off our creative ability we are, in effect, saying “I can’t make a difference.”  If that was the pervasive attitude we would be a global community that is “giving up.”  THAT is NOT what we are doing.  We are GOING TO create SOLUTIONS, rather than more problems.  We are NOT going to shy away from challenges, but rather CREATE opportunity.


Fox says that since we have surrendered so much of our creative powers (to a capitalistic society, to the TV, to virtual “realities”), that we are suffering.  I also speak of this in my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.   Fox and I BOTH write about the fact that not that long ago, as a species, we personally CREATED everything we ate and wore, the home we lived in and everything around us.  Not only has it not been that long since we were responsible for all of these tasks, but that we had been doing so, as a human species, for AT LEAST 77,000 years before that!  This is a very new thing, our feeling of creative inadequacy.  We have become a consumer society.  As a result, we have weakened our individual creative ability.  It is time to build it back up!

To take it back, we HAVE TO become CREATIVELY FIT.  Just like a muscle, your right brain, where your creative abilities lie, can be developed.  Just as you can strengthen your right bicep with bicep curls and then use those new, stronger muscles to life other things beside a 5 lb weight, you can strengthen your creative muscles by doing creative activities (my Creativity Workouts in my book) and then use that same creative ability to create more sustainable business, better education systems, or solutions to any type of problem you face! 

Here is an example of a “Creativity Workout”:

4th journal page mandala

Here is another one:

5th journal

You can peruse more “Creativity Workouts” in the GALLERY on my website: or keep up with my own Creative Fitness regimen on my facebook fanpage:

Start thinking about your mind as muscles.  If you feel you “are not creative” it is truly that your corresponding mental muscle is simply out of shape.  What Matthew Fox is proclaiming is that the future of our species depends on us harnessing our creative powers to create positive change.  Fox cites psychologist Otto Rank who proclaimed that our greatest sense of pride comes from that which we create. 

So, not feeling optimistic, excited or INSPIRED today?  Create something, anything.  Create a fabulous meal that you will take pride in, create a letter to an old friend, create order in a cluttered closet, create marks on a piece of paper, create a collage filled with images of things you love.  GUARANTEED you will feel optimistic, excited and inspired when youa re done.  It is the way our minds work.  It is the answer to the challenges we all face.

Go to to learn more about his work.  This is important, my friends.  Really, really important.  Happy Sunday!  ~Whitney

Follow up to “What I learned while painting”
October 3, 2009, 4:19 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , , ,

My sunflower finalLove the BLUE!

Now check out this quote by Abraham Maslow!  I love the last sentence.  Would you be “amazed” if you witnessed yourself doing something “creative”?  You CREATE all the time.  Whenever you solve a problem, you are creating something that did not exist before.  Creativity is tied to PROBLEM SOLVING which is tied to HOPE!  We all need a good dose of HOPE right now.  When you become creatively fit ( you will feel HOPE!  Read this quote….

The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.

“Happy Saturday!” ~Whitney


What I learned today while painting…

I am consistently amazed at the life lessons that I learn while I am painting.  It is meditation for me.  Thought I would share my insight from my painting time today…

my sunflower step one

This is a painting of a sunflower in the beginning stages.  This is part of the Creatively Fit Marathon I do.  More about that below….  I had outlined the black edges of the flower yesterday (it has been hard to find painting time lately, so I just have to do what I can when I can–good tip) and today I was excited to put in some color.  Now I AM envisioning a traditional golden yellow flower, but since that is so expected (but beautiful) Idecided to lay in some contrasting colors first.  This creates interest in the painting when it is done.  SO, as I was painting in those blue brushstrokes I thought to myself, “This is a good demonstration about how anyone can paint on colors that they KNOW are not what they want in the end.  Even though the blue may seem pointless–why paint blue when you know you are going to paint golden yellow?–it will add so much to the painting when it is peeking through the golden yellow.  Hmmmm, this is just like life.  Sometimes you either spend time going one direction, only to find it is a dead end and you have to do an about face, back track all the way to where you started and turn down a DIFFERENT road.  That is so frustrating.  But, if we can choose (choose being an important word) to see it as part of the process.  That by going down the incorrect road first you actually DID gain some kind of knowledge or insight that will help you in the future.  Just like the blue will add to the overall painting when it is peeking out from behind the golden yellow.”  That is what I thought.

This happens to me all the time.  We go with “Plan A” but almost always, always end up with “Plan B”.  I remember commenting once, “Plan A never works.  It is always Plan B that is the winner.”  But, you have to go through Plan A to get to Plan B, that is just the way.  One could argue that I am setting myself up for that by using a word like “never” but I think more of us need help getting over the hump of dicouragement when Plan A does not work than getting used to Plan A working all the time.  If that is where you are–stay there!  An let us know your secret.  For the rest of us, KEEP IN MIND the blue paint today.  What is the blue paint in your life? 

Now, more about this Creatively Fit Marathon.  This has been the vehicle to getting me and a couple dozen other “runners” painting on a daily basis and providing insight into the art that is our life! 

We are getting CREATIVELY FIT by painting a marathon!  We are painting 26 paintings over and over the same canvas!  Here is the painting that I had done before the sunflower.  If you look back, you can see this painting peeking out from under the sunflower.

my right.left

This painting was “Mile #15 or 16”.  The challenge was to paint an abstract painting that symbolized right brain thinking on one side and left brain on the other.  I have not flipped this one, so in the image above left brain is on top and right brain on the bottom.  Here are a couple of examples of other “miles”.  This was mile #3  that is completely buried under all the other layers of paintings/miles.  The paintings start out easier for my “runners” as they get in shape, limbering up their right brains.  I email them the outline for them to copy onto their canvas and then my example.  This image was inspired by birds my oldest drew when she was 4 years old.

bird by Whitney

This next painting is further along in the marathon when folks are getting bolder and more confident in their painting ability.  This was mile #13.  I really, really liked her.  I did not want to paint over her, although we did decide we would prefer a slightly more chipper “blue lady”.  But it made us wonder what had her kind of down. 

#13 my painting of woman


The element of painting over each painting is really fascinating.  We tend to be so product oriented that when you take that completely out of the picture you get into some uncharted mental territory.  That is the goal.  This Creatively Fit Marathon is meant to be challenging. It is designed for people who really want to kick start some change in their life by aggressively working out their right brain muscle.  It works!  Look for comments from some of my Marathon “Runners”.  They will tell you.  Also, go to to see her blog about my book, The Artist Within and her experience as she paints the marathon!

If you want more info. about the Creatively Fit Marathon, contact us from our website 

Remember, YOUR life is the blank canvas.  YOU are the artist.  YOU choose the colors, what you paint, and how it looks.  CREATE something beautiful today on your canvas. 

Join my fanpage at to hear about the famous opera singers I had the pleasure of dining with last night at my wine bar and how they CREATED Change there!  Creatively yours, Whitney