The Artist Within – A Guide


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!



Looking Back to Move Forward…

 I am such a go-go-goer that sometimes the most valuable thing I can do is to stop and take a look back.  As I anticipated the new year, the new goals, the new experiences heading my way, I took some time to look back to my beginning.  I found an amazing CLUE there!

The catalyst for my creative journey (currently manifesting itself as author, art teacher, entrepreneur, restaurauteur and creativity coach) began with the book Zen & the Art of Making a Living by Laurence G. Boldt.  The page that started it all went like this:

             First, there was a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche.  “Art is the proper task of life.”

            Then, Mr. Boldt writes this.  My life was never to be the same.

            “Some may find it hard to accept that Nietzsche’s statement applies to them, yet we will insist throughout this book that every man and woman is, in potential, an artist and, when living authentically, one indeed.”

For me, this tremendous journey all started with this breakthrough concept of ourselves, as people trying to find our niche, our passion, our true purpose in life, needing to embrace our “artist mentality”, not so that we would all paint on canvas and hang our work in a gallery, but so that we would take responsibility for the role we play in creating our lives, independent from society’s prescribed course.   

In other words, if we stopped listening to the way everyone else tells us we should do things and really follow our heart and what it wants to express in this lifetime, THEN we will be able to create the life we were intended to live.

 By the time the book The Secret  came out, I told friends who were recommending the book, “I understand manifesting the life you want!  I need to catch up on all of the manifesting I’ve already done!” (Image below is my biz partner and I in 2007 standing in front of the wine racks at our second wine bar we opened.  We have since sold this one and are back to our original.)

NEXT, after embracing our role as artist and creator of our lives, we THEN need to look deeper within the paradigm of the artist.  We have accepted that it is indeed US who are creating the art on the canvas of our life, but what else can we learn from how an artist creates a successful image that will help us to create a successful life?

 As IT TURNS OUT, the same exact tools that artists use as they are creating powerful and effective visual images, narratives and compositions, are the SAME tools that we can use to guide us and provide a framework within which to make decisions.  The PRINCIPLES of DESIGN are revealed as a universal blueprint for creating an effective, powerful, & fulfilled life.  Watch this video of one of my Creatively Fit Students “Before and After” her 2 hour painting class!  Amazing!

Contrast, unity, balance, proportion, harmony, repetition, rhythm, and emphasis are the threads woven through every element of our lives that hold it all together and create a whole, complete expression of our human existence.  Spiritual leaders speak of the power of contrast to transform a mediocre or “safe” life into one that is dynamic, passionate, and centered.  Business coaches use the word rhythm to explain the significant impact a daily business ritual can make in one’s work life.  Unity is the mantra of world leaders and activists seeking peace and justice.  But even all of these people seem to have overlooked the perspective that if you look at your life and everything you do to make up that life as ART, as your form of personal expression, as your imprint on the book of life, there is a formula, a key, a secret that can be applied to ALL OF IT!

What if everyone from government officials to school teachers, to CEO’s to teenagers operated under a common acknowledgement of life as art?  The art spirit has never been about personal gain, artists seldom experienced material wealth when they were living, the accumulation of power or suppression of others.  It HAS BEEN about communicating that which comes from the heart and the spirit.  It has been collaborative.  It has been a unifier.  It has inspired millions of people from a single image.  This is the spirit we need cultivated on our planet right now.

So now, we have taken responsibility for our role as chief creator of our lives, no more excuses or playing the victim, AND we have harnessed the principles of design to guide us along in the process.

 LASTLY, we discover that the physical & mental act of MAKING ART helps us to further develop the first two elements of this paradigm, accepting the artist role and applying the principles of design, by physiologically strengthening our right brain mental ability.  The right brain is the hemisphere that is able to process and put into action this philosophy.  If an individual truly wants to embrace the role of the artist and learn how to manifest her dreams on the canvas that is her life, the simple exercise she can do to get better and better at doing just that involves making her mark &, thereby, tapping into the right hemisphere.  It is this side of the mind that speaks the language of the artist, that will elevate your life to a new level, and that understands how to maneuver in this new paradigm.  Right brain thinking can handle the ambiguity of having created the vision of where you want to go, but not knowing exactly what steps to take to get there.   It balances the left brain inner critic and ego-centered voice, with deep conviction in the ability for the world to provide solutions and in the power of love, not fear.  Dr. Jill articulates this so beautifully in her TED Talk!  Don’t miss that one!

So, we find that the more we “exercise” our right brain muscle, the better able we are to suspend fear, doubt and skepticism, and to move forward based on optimism, inspiration, and a deep faith in humanity and our world.  Dan Pink, in his book A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, boldly states to american business that their survival depends on developing right brain skills to compliment the current left-brain dominated biz world.  If you want to create the life of your dreams, you have to suspend that voice whispering, “you could never do that” and tap into the voice that says, “who are you NOT to be living that life.”  When we accept our role as artist, we open ourselves up to entirely new ways of living and to an entirely new language and mental dialog that is infinite in its access to intuition, inspiration and wisdom.

So from the image of a simple artist standing in front of the blank canvas, we discover an entirely new way of thinking, living, and creating.  Meet your Artist Within!

SO, this flashback to the beginning of my journey has reinforced to me the direction I need to take moving forward!  So, find a comfy chair, kick back and harken back to an earlier time for clues that will lead you to your future!

Wishing you all a most happy, fulfilling & inspiring 2010!  ~Whitney



Watch this Amazing Video!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trz5fcdVACw

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!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trz5fcdVACw

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 www.creativelyfit.com.  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.  www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU 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 creativelyfit.com 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 (www.creativelyfit.com) 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 www.lisasartjournal.wordpress.com 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 www.creativelyfit.com 

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 www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU 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



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"