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!



Let’s Talk!!!!

Click here to listen to my \”Happy New Year\” audio blog entry! Is painting THAT powerful? Find out….

Once you click on the link another window will open.  Simply click the PLAY arrow on the icon on the left side to listen!  Thanks!

Scroll down for step-by-step images of some of my paintings!  You can do it! Creative wishes, Whitney

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, 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

Watch this Amazing Video!!!

I can’t tell you how supremely happy this video made me!  THIS is why I teach people how to paint.  THIS is why I introduce them to their Artist Within.  It is SO MUCH BIGGER than the canvas or the journal page.  It transforms!  Watch this video!

Here are some of the paintings in my studio right now. 

This painting is in its beginning stages, but I am really into owls right now.  I would LOVE to paint an entire owl series.  I just think of the “wise old owl”.  What insight does he have for me today?  When you paint, you access your right brain voice–your Artist Within.  It is directly connected to your subconscious & your intuition.  With each brushstroke, it is like you are dialing its number.  What does your right brain voice have to say to you?  Paint to find out!

This is a detail of a commission I am creating for a family right now.  I call these my “Family Portraits”.  I just keep layering and layering the colors.  There are no such things as mistakes.  Anything can be fixed.  Hmmmm, just like life!  I am reading in Esther & Jerry Hicks book, The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent” right now about CONTRAST in our lives. 

“You know that variety and contrast (when things are going GREAT or badly) will cause you to determine the specifics of your personal preferences, and you know that each of those preferences, big or small, will be answered the moment they are born.”  -Esther & Abraham

In his book, CREATIVITY, Where the Divine and the Human Meet, Matthew Fox writes: 

“We are creators at our very core.  Only creating can make us happy, for in creating we tap into the deepest powers of self  and universe and the Divine Self.”

You may be thinking, “I am not creative.  I can’t paint.”  I am here to tell you that painting and creating is a portal, a key, to an entirely new perspective, a new way of looking at your world, your life, and your role in the creation of your life–your reality!  What do you want to CREATE?  You paint to get Creatively Fit so that you are mentally, emotionally, spiritually strong enough, tapped into this creative source, to create the CHANGE you want to see in your world.

This is one of the Create Change Paint Kits you can purchase online at  Gift creativity and inspiration to someone this season–or yourself!

This is another Create Change Paint Kit design.  There is a Creatively Fit Gift Package on sale now for just $65 that includes the paint kit design above, my book, The Artist Within, the Painting Made Easy DVD, a Create Change sticker and a Moleskine artist journal.  It comes already gift wrapped in a hand painted box. 

Yesterday during yoga class, my teacher read from Deepak Chopra.  He wrote about the “Infinite Field of Possibility”.  Yum!  This infinite field is only accessible via right brain thinking.  It is not logical, you can’t put a box around it, you can’t PROVE it exists. 

If you want to be able to truly grasp and CREATE all of the potential you our have within you, nurture your right brain voice. is a resource for you.  The CREATIVELY FIT Program for women kicks off in January 2010 and nationally in NYC in March 2010–Nat’l Women’s month!  Want to get creatively fit!?!?  Go to and click on the link “CLICK HERE” so we can let you know more about the program!

THANK you for allowing me to create along with you!

Creative wishes, Whitney

p.s. I am going to be in Washington D.C. this Jan., San Fran and Napa this Feb., NYC & Philly this March, Portland, OR this April, & back to NYC in May!  Let me know if you have a group or company that would like to experience being Creatively Fit!

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


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