The Artist Within – A Guide

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


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