The Artist Within – A Guide


What Can You Do to Turn the Tide?
February 10, 2010, 8:36 pm
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You are probably going to have to do SOMETHING different….

I love the term “go with the flow”.  I am really good at it.

Then, there is the element that to truly CREATE the change you desire in your life you have to “turn the tide”.  This may mean going against the flow, initially.  It is certainly going to require that you do something different. It may not even be comfortable or familiar.  You may have to stretch your mind in new directions, learn something new, or reach out a different direction for help.

In our professional and personal lives there is consistently opportunity to keep going the same direction or to take a turn, a verve, a side-step.

What is it for you today?

My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, provides you with the opportunity to stretch your mind in a different direction, to “change your color” so that you can create change. I am so passionate about giving my readers and clients HOPE that they can CREATE the change that they desire. I just had a glass of wine with a student last night and had the privelege of listening to her as she gleefully told me of her new online natural medicine course whe was taking and how she was “all about change”–even choosing to explore more seafood in her daily meals (you never know….). What I heard?  She was happy.  She was excited.  She had become “Creatively Fit” and had taken her rightful place as the artist in front of the canvas that is her life.

I hope this gives you a sense of excitement about what is around the corner for you.  Comment and share the change you want to create so you can check back in a month or so and let us know about it. You can do it! Explore your “Artist Within”.  ~Whitney



Sick Day with My 8 Year Old
January 20, 2010, 7:20 pm
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My daughter is home sick from school today.  After lunch she suggested we do a drawing together.  It was fun and relaxing for both of us!  We started with a quick scribble of my own…

Then she added her own scribble.  Of course, the adult in me asked, “Are we doing abstract or a real picture?” My first instinct was to draw something “real”.  But I went with it, and we added to eachother’s scribbles.  Then, we took another picture….

As we looked at the picture on the screen, we saw an indian chief praying!  Wow!  We liked him, so we added to his costume and headdress.  Do you see him? Why did we see an indian chief praying?  It must be a message from our “Artist Within”/right brain. 

Look at him now!  He is strong, proud, yet humble.  Hmmmmmm.  We had fun with his headdress and his animal skin cloak (?).  Riley added the fun, little adornment at the front of his headdress and I elaborated on the feathers towards the back.  Here he is all finished-in all of his glory!

I added light blue fingernails, Riley added war paint under his eyes, veins in the feathers and adornment to the back of his cloak brought him to life.  Now, I ask Riley (sitting next to me right now), “What does he make you think of?”  She says, “The indian times.”  Me, “What else? What do they make you think of? Like, what words come to mind when you think of an indian chief?” She answers, “A tee-pee and animals.”  Me, “What is it about the tee-pee and the animals that we need to think about today? If the indian chief was to say something to us, teach us something from the paper, what would he say?”  What I think is that he is reminding us to stay strong, pray, and connect to the earth and the animals around us.  “Riley, what do you think about that?”  Riley, “I think about when people had to get their own food and there was not a store that provided it.”

Well, there you go.  Deep thoughts provided by our scribbles.  Have fun scribbling with your kids!  ~Whitney & Riley



Off to D.C.!~A Personal Update

Good morning!

I thought I would give you insight into the ART that is my life. It is pretty exciting right now. (I am happier than this image above, but I LOVE her!  She was one of my “miles” in the Creatively Fit Marathon.  Click on her to get more info.)

I am off to D.C. today to speak at the Capitol Creativity Network monthly meeting. I met the founder of this group and Creative Emergence, Michelle James on twitter!  She is incredible and I am looking forward to meeting her and doing some “Creativity Workouts” with her group.  I will post photos when I get back!

I do want you to visit the blog tomorrow afternoon as I will be tweeting and blogging live from the Smithsonian American Museum of Art.  I am just going on my own personal field trip (join me at 1p if youa re in the area), but I want to share with you some of my favorite pieces as I see them and illustrate how you can use images that attract you to gather valuable insight.

Yesterday  I found a very fun thing to do on their website.  Click on this link http://americanart.si.edu/mycollection/ to start your OWN online art collection!  It is so fun!  You can browse through hundreds of paintings, pick your favorites to add to your “scrapbook” and even add your own comments.  Check mine out. When you go to the above link, simply click on “Visitor Scrapbooks” in the upper right hand corner.  Or if you get to the homepage somehow, get back to the My Collection by clicking on the tab under COLLECTIONS.  My comments illustrate how I use the art to spur insight into my day.  Try it!  And tune in here tomorrow afternoon.

I also wanted to share something that is really exciting!  I have met an amazing woman who is, among other things, author of the new book Ignite the Genius Within.  Her name is Christine Ranck and you all NEED to get her book!  It is incredible.  She and I spoke on the phone last week and discovered that we had SO much in common.  She heard about me through her co-author Michael Gelb (ahem, author of How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci!!!!).  He has now endorsed my new book coming out in March, 33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids. Christine’s book is an immensely powerful tool that anyone can use to elevate their lives.  Read everything on her website or at amazon! You really need to check it out! After we spoke, she and I feel like we are going to create fabulous things/events/projects together in the future. I got her introductory email the first day “back” after the holidays and I took it as a GREAT sign of the magic that is going to happen in 2010!

Speaking of that, I need to get back to my D.C. trip.  My first meeting when I fly in today is with the CEO of Plaza Art Supply. Plaza is my favorite art store in Nashville. As we take Creatively Fit to the national platform, I would LOVE a corporate sponsor that sells art supplies, since a huge part of my mission is to get YOU ALL buying and using art supplies in order to get into your right brain and access all the amazingness! (or Genius) Stay tuned for an update on that meeting!  If you are not following me on twitter, find me @creativelyfit.

After Plaza, I am meeting with the founder/creator of The Little Black Dress Club!  Another Christine!  She started this group to meet new friends and it has grown and grown across the country!   Here is a quote from their website right now:  “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”  — Coco Chanel

On Wednesday, before the American Museum of Art visit and my presentation at CCN, I am honored to be meeting the marketing director of the  Women for Women Foundation!  They do AMAZING international work to help women.  Their motto: Helping Women survivors of War REBUILD their lives.  INCREDIBLE what some women are going through.  The 2010 goal for Creatively Fit is to create sponsorship for 100 women!  Go here to learn about how you can CREATE change in the life of a woman.

I will be on a bridge with W4W in NYC on National Women’s Day, March 8th 2010.  There we will paint a canvas to symbolize the CHANGE we want to CREATE in our world.  I am so grateful to W4W for all they do.  I am excited to explore with them tomorrow how Creatively Fit can help! 

So, check back in to see how everything unfolds.  In my “right brain world” everything happens JUST as it is supposed to and everything I need will be miraculously provided.  It is an exciting journey looking through these rosey glasses, but why would I want it to be anything different!?!?

OH!  I almost forgot (I do that).  The next Creatively Fit Marathon starts this Friday!!!  We paint rather than run to get CREATIVELY fit!  We paint 26 paintings over and over the SAME canvas.  You receive emails for each “mile” with step-by-step instructions, images, inspiration and insight into how you can claim your role as the ARTIST of your life!  Want to know more?  You can!  Click here.  Here is an image of one of my little lady pictured above  going from one “mile” to the next.  We also call it “speed painting”.  Fun! Up for a challenge?  Want to get that right brain muscle in shape?  Done!



The Painting Progresses…

So here are images of my efforts this morning that I cranked out in between a shower, making kids’ beds and breakfast.  Again, the self talk going on even in my mind as I paint is so reflective of what so many of us face on a daily basis as we tackle any task or attempt to problem solve.  First, I am looking at the paintings thinking, “I have got to make this good!”  How often does the fear of not being able to produce stall us mid-action?  Then, I think to myself, “Just do something.  The layers are what make it great anyway.  Don’t worry.”  Once you realize that WHATEVER you are doing in life is a process and that each step along the way has lessons and information for you, then you can proceed forward, trusting that the outcome will materialize as you go.  SO, in the image above you can see I added some blue.  Step one.

Next, I mixed up some dirty orange (which you get by adding some blue–which I happened to have handy–into the orange) and painted some stripes and circles.  These markd provided CONTRAST to the wide spaces of blue and red and created UNITY (these are 2 of the 8 principles of design–they help you to design successful images AS WELL AS a successful life–more about that in my book) by echoing the marks I made with black in the very first layer.

When in doubt, squirt some white paint onto your palette, dip a finger or two into the paint, and rub it onto your painting.  I love to finger paint!  This technique enables you to leave the layers below peeking through and creating more interest.

So, we are getting there!  Stay tuned this weekend for more step-by-step in the abstract painting process.  It is fun!  You should try it!  Join our fanpage on Facebook, www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU and then you can post links to your paintings!  Inspire others to CREATE change!  ~Whitney



Paint to Create Change in Your Life

This amazing art installation popped up in the building where I take yoga.  I LOVE it!  There was not any info. on the artist and the security guard knew nothing.  So I had to share.  Each of these pieces is approx. 12 x 14 or something along those lines.  I thought, “I could do something like this–at least on a couple pieces of paper.”  Look at some of them close up…

I love the layers of color, smeared pastel or charcoal, the bold colors peeking out from the neutrals.

how fun to look at these and see what you see…What do you see?  Why does that come to mind?  How can you apply THAT to whatever is going on with you today?  There is a message from your right brain voice, your Artist Within here.

So, I took these pics a couple of days ago and I have been wanting to try my own version so I could share with you the step-by-step.

I go started this morning.  I thought I would take you through my inner dialogue as I rushed to squeexe this in between the kdis getting on the bus and a 9a meeting at the coffee shop about a community art project with the library…

First thought, “I don’t have time for this.”  (As you read the thoughts in my head, ask yourself…”does this sound familiar?”)  “I am running late, but I will just do a couple things–just to get started.”

First, I watered down some black paint, held the brush loosely and scribbled across the paper.

Next, I added some black charcoal…

I smeared it and scribbled it.  I had to keep reminding myself, “Just keep going.  With enough work, it will look fabulous!”

But I could not stop before I got some color in.  It is too grey here today.  But I found myself “staying in the lines”.  I thought–“can’t do that”.  I have to be brave!

Yes, that is red paint I squirted onto the paper.  Then, I proceeded to look around my studio for a scraper. I know I have those somewhere, but since I was in a hurry I used what was handy–one of my biz cards!

That is the image from the cover of my book, The Artist Within… (great gift!)!!! 🙂

Just scrape the paint across.  Let it do what it wants.  Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.  Amazing how often that fear bubbles up.  It can be holding you back.  Is it?  Make a “mistake” today, but practice just making it on paper.  It will get you warmed up.

Here is where I left it. I really have to go now!  Stay tuned for the finishing steps tomorrow and the next day! 

Tune in to your right brain voice today, your intuition, your ARtist Within, by creating something!  I am off to CREATE community through art and the library!  Creative Wishes, Whitney



Mr. Fox Right Brain Movie Review

I saw this movie this past weekend with my kids. 

Some things struck me about the Fantastic Mr. Fox that I thought were worth emphasizing.

Although, I would side with Mrs. Fox as to the carelessness and recklessness of Mr. Fox’s actions, one can’t deny the creative problem solving nature of his actions once the proverbial @#$@# had hit the fan.

So, when Mr. Fox had to motivate his “team” in the face of dire circumstances and insurmountable odds, he chose the right brain/creative path of painting a picture of what that team meant to him and what they could accomplish if they worked together.  By reclaiming their own “story”–a Dan Pink emphasis for the new economy www.danpink.com— (their inherent traits and talents), the animals were able to band together to accomplish their goals.  Mr. Fox’s leadership skills are very 21st Century.

The other element of this story that struck me is how it mirrors our current situation.  Fox progresses from the pursuit of comfort and status to being grateful for diminishing resources and shelter.  At each point that his situation worsens, he finds the silver lining and emphasizes THAT to his community.  In the end, they are still have to scrap and scrape and are living in the sewer, but they are happy because of their positive perspective.

In your left brain you are all about YOU. In your RIGHT you are tapped into the global mind, the “one big happy family” and everything is working out perfectly.

Fox’s path may hold a key to our own survival in 2010 and beyond.  Might some of us have to learn how to thrive and live fulfilled lives with less?  Getting to know your right brain voice, or Artist Within, gives you so much more opportunity to maximize the potential of your mind and synergize both the left and right hemispheres.  Feeling overwhelmed or do you want to just give up?  You are surely in left brain mode.  Click on the Creativity Workouts category in this blog to learn how you can make the shift from left to right brain thinking.  Turn feelings of hopelessness into HOPE!

Check out Tina Seelig’s blog, Creativity Rulz, on the Psychology Today wewbsite: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creativityrulz/200911/its-all-in-your-head

She writes about the power we have to interpret the same situation so many different ways, just by how we choose to look at it.  “It’s All in Your Head” is the title of the blog entry.  Mr. Fox “got it”.  Cheers to a Happy New Year–one filled with exciting opportunities, change and new beginnings!

 



The Other 97%…

Scientists say that we only use 3% of our total mental capacity.  What if you could learn how to access even another 1-2%?  What might happen?

Picture a 33 lane highway….

It is immense.

Now, picture millions of cars on this highway, all right up on top of eachother, & ALL in just one lane!!!

It’s like they don’t even SEE the other 33 lanes.  The drivers even deny the existence of the other 33 lanes.  They are resolved to continue to inch along down the road, starting & stopping, starting & stopping.

What would happen if the cars just inched over to use 3 off the 33 lanes instead of just one lane?!?!?  How would that ease the burden and increase the flow of traffic?  It would be a RADICAL SHIFT!

This is what it is like inside of our minds.  We are typically conscious of only “one lane”.  This lane if very left-brain dominant because of the task oriented, linear, logistical, and busy nature of our world.  When we choose to engage in right brain activities, we are, in a sense, accessing new, empty lanes, full of potential and new promise, within our minds.

I met Dan Pink yesterday at a Belmont Univ. Leadership event and he had 400 people captivated and excited to develop their right brain thinking.  Dan Pink is helping everyone to see how important right brain skills are to our evolution in this changing economy.

Whether you are motivated by personal or business success, there is NO DOUBT that you would benefit from right brain activity.  All you have to do is buy Dan’s book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, and my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to becoming Creatively Fit (which Dan Pink endorsed!!!) www.amazon.com and work out your right brain muscle so that you can be CREATIVELY FIT!  www.creativelyfit.com  Tap another 1-2% in your mind, then, who knows all that could happen….