The Artist Within – A Guide

My Ganesha Painting


I painted Ganesha this weekend at my Open Spaces Painting Journey in Joseph, OR–the magical place where I live. I knew Ganesha as a Hindu God of abundance. What I just read on this site was that he is “is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles.” How does it get any better than that?! I thought I would share the journey that is my Ganesha Painting…hope you can join me for a future workshop (upcoming in Austin, TX, Portland, OR, San Francisco, and Nashville, TN–comment below of you want info)…


This was the inspiration from one of my favorite stores in Joseph, To Zion. Here is Ganesha as just an outline.


Now with some color…


More love added to the God of Success…


Now finished! By painting this energy of success and abundance, I have just amplified this energy all around me. What energy do you want more of? Paint it! I would love to help. Email me here if you want to learn how I can do just that–it is waaaaaayyyyy too much fun!


This blog has moved….

We are NOW on the new & improved

Please visit us there to learn how to become Creatively Fit so that you can create the change you desire in YOUR world!


Please Watch This….

I just had a lovely evening after the kids went to bed. I watched two women speak at about creativity and passion while I created a “dream collage” in my Artist Within Journal (ok, there was a glass of wine involved as well…). I really recommend watching the talk by Isabel Allende (link above).

Creatively Fit is partnering with the Women for Women foundation to help CREATE change in the lives of abused and neglected women in war torn countries. Where else could our creative, feminine spirit be more desperaely needed? This Isabel Allende talk is from a TED in 2007. She speaks passionately about the plight of so many women on this planet and urges us to make it end, to put our energies in that direction.

This is the intention of Creatively Fit and this is not the intention I had just a year ago. But now I see that it has all been leading to helping to mobilize the Western woman to CREATE the change we need in this world. If you think you could not make a dent, could not help anyone, or have no way to help, please watch Isabel speak.  Please explore your creative potential that I know is within you because it is what makes us human. Accepting our power to CREATE change in the world is what is going to create the tipping point–a point within which women will not be beaten, abused, neglected, raped, enslaved, ignored or supressed. Let’s CREATE that change, shall we? Go to to learn how you can be part of an amazing group of women working to CREATE a better life for so many women around the world. Creatively yours, Whitney

Go Inside Today…

The man who has no inner life is a slave to his surroundings.
~Henri-Frederic Amiel

(Amiel was a Swiss philosopher, poet, and critic, who in 1849 was appointed professor of aesthetics at the academy of Geneva, among other positions.)

Wow!  Meditate on this quote for a moment….

This entry is an excerpt from the Creatively Fit Marathon.  It is a “race” that people “paint” to become Creatively Fit!

If you are not inward, you are outward.  Outside of ourselves is our surroundings–the physical world.  If we are controlled by the outer world we are like the reed that bends in the wind, constantly reacting to the things (often out of our control) around us.

PAINTING & creative activity develop your life within.  Your ARTIST WITHIN

As you become more and more creatively fit these types of abstract concepts should (by exercising your right brain muscle–go to Creativity Workout section of this blog) beome easier to comprehend.  Just as you have become better at seeing the outlines and painting them on your canvas, you are able to imagine other things that do not currently exist right in front of you.  Your right brain muscles have been stretched and flexed so that they are able to adjust to the more subtle nuances of your daily life.  You have begun to notice the art in your surroundings, your outer life, and will now begin to notice the artistry in your inner life, the part of you closer to spirit.

I won’t go any deeper in this round.  Just start opening up to the awareness of your inner world.  I love this quote:

First, there were two worlds.  The world of everything “out there,” and the “you” that saw that world through the window of your eyes.  Now there are three worlds.  The world out there, the world “in here,” and the world of things you make.  Peter London, No More Secondhand Art

Whitney Ferre "Little Black Purse in the Woods"

Create a portal…

 ancient bird

I read an interesting notation under the image of an ancient sculpture of a water bird.  The shamans from whatever primitve civilization considered the water bird to provide access to a portal to the “other side” from which they could solve problems.

My biggest motivation in promoting your Artist Within, is in expanding people’s awareness about the power of our minds.  I believe the analogy of the “right/left brain” is “logical” enough for people to apply to their daily routine and can provide a PORTAL to an entirely different way of thinking.

One of my favorite comments that Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor made in her 2008 speech is that we are a completely different person in our right brain than we are in our left.  They have such distinct personalities, voices, perspectives and ideas that they could almost be considered two different people.

I know you know how it feels when you “lose it”.  Any of you moms out there know what I am talking about.  It is never a proud moment.  Usually I am overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and I experience a temporary emotional collapse.  This is when I need to access  that other side.  For me, my Artist Within has provided a portal through which I can access a peace of mind that is not always available to me in my left brain.

I have thought lately about that movie “Duplicity” with Michael Keaton.  I think, “how great would that be!?!?” Then, there would be one of me to take care of the kids and another to do my work!  As you recall, it did not work out so well in the movie.  Truth is, we have that other person waiting to help us and provide a well of patience, inspiration and vision.  Amazingly enough you can get to it by just scribbling color on paper.  Give your right brain something to do and your Artist Within comes to life and fills you up with new energy.

Go to the Creativity Workout section of this blog to see examples of these exercises.  What do you have to lose.

My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, is available from this website, and online at or and in Barnes & Nobles all over the country.  Let me know your stories!

The Change you Desire… within your reach!

Somaly Mam Inspiration

So, I happen to be a woman on a mission!  This is not always easy!  I careen between thoughts of “Who do I think I am?” & “Watch out world!”  It is scary to commit to creating the ideas and dreams into your head into reality.  What if it does not work?  What if people don’t buy?  What if I go into debt?  What if…what if….  I am talking on the phone this morning with a woman in Chicago who is part of the Catalyst Ranch team and who is a business consultant.  I checked out her site last night and her resume intimidated me.  She has worked for major corporations (I have only ever worked for myself); she has multiple degrees (I only have a “Bachelor of General Studies” from Univ. of Michigan).  “Who am I to think that I have anything that she needs?”  You get the picture.  But then, I look back down at my most current project.  It is a portrait inspired by Somaly Mam.  It is my next CREATE Change Paint Kit:  Create Unity.  Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery at age 12 in Cambodia and escaped years later.  You all have probably heard of her.  She was featured in a recent Time Magazine 100 Most Influential or something like that.  Angelina Jolie wrote the excerpt about Somaly Mam.  She is one of those.   Not only did she survive and escape, but she founded a non-profit organization that rescues women from brothels–4000 so far!  She has made such a difference that brothel owners even kidnapped and raped Somaly’s then 14 year old daughter in 2006!!!  Did Somaly abandon her mission. No!  I almost cry every time I tell people that part of the story.  What did she say to her daughter?  There is no doubt that she loves her daughter so, so much, but she is on a mission.  She is shining the light on a BIGGER issue.  My thought is that as long as there are women being abused and enslaved none of us are truly free…think about that.  There are women who see the same sun we see every morning and the same moon, breathe the same air, and share our global consciousness who are being raped at the whim of the men around them!

So this is my life… I started out to write about the Abstract Painting Workshop I taught this weekend and now I am all fired up about saving women!  My point?

My point is that we are all connected and we can access the part of our mind that can grasp this AND empower us to make a difference, to shut down the fear and take the steps forward, by PAINTING!  Seriously!  Creative activity WORKS OUT your right brain muscle. It gets stronger just like our physical muscles do when we go to the gym.  Does it happen instantly?  No.  Just like at the gym.

I want the world to realize that if they fear the change they envision in their head, but can’t get it out, that they can DO something about it.  This is the concept that pushes away my inner left-brain voice that tells me I am not good enough, qualified enough, etc.  This is bigger than me.  When you attach yourself to a cause that is bigger than you, like Somaly Mam, amazing things can happen.

Go listen to MC Yogi’s song, “Be the Change”.  There are too many problems around ALL of us to be mentally lazy and to not pursue our further mental development.

My webstore is up!  So excited!  It has been years and years coming, but i always knew it would exist–right brain.  Please go there and order a paint kit!  Work out your right brain muscle and then e-mail me to tell me the change you want to create.  We will hold eachother accountable.  Below are images from the Painting Workshop I held this weekend in Nashville.  E-mail us if you would like to schedule Whitney for a workshop in your community.  It is all about small steps, one bicep/mental curl at a time and we will claim our true power!

Whitney's Abstract Painting Class! IMG_2352

Think about the women in Cambodia.  Send Somaly Mam supportive, peaceful, strengthening thoughts.  Go to Stay tuned for the Create UNITY paint kit — at least $4 per kit is going to go to her organization!  I am so excited to be able to help any little way possible.  Please subscribe to this post so you get notifications when I create a new entry!  Create ANYTHING today and let me know how good it feels! For starters, create a MANDALA like the one below.  It is an ancient centering, meditative practice.  It will strengthen your right brain so your Artist Within can speak!  ~Whitney

Somaly Mam

01-26-2009 02;55;16PM

Meet Whitney
April 8, 2009, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Spiritual Life & Artist Within
Hello, everyone!

Hello, everyone!

Here is an amzing quote I wanted to share with you all!  I picked up a brochure when I was in Encinitas, CA at the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens.  I JUST read the brochure yesterday.  This was my favorite quote (get in your right brain for this one):

It is not your passint thoughts or brilliant ideas so much as yout plain everyday habits that control your life….Live simply.  Don’t get caught in the machine of the world (left brain thinking–my note)–it is too exacting.  By the time you get what you are seeking your nerves are gone, your heart is damaged, and the bones are aching.  Resolve to develop your spiritual (right brain–me again) powers more earnestly from now on.  Learn the art of right living (they said it, not me).  If you have joy you have everything, so learn to be glad and contented….Have happiness now.

Enjoy that nugget of wisdom….WOW!