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close-up of center

 

close-up of painting center
close-up of center

 

 

I will never forget this one painting experience: early on, perhaps my 4th or 5th painting ever, painting with a small women’s group in my studio; I reached a point in my painting where I felt ALMOST done.

But there was something still to do. I could feel it. I was drawn towards the middle of my painting. Somehow I knew (intuitively) that I wanted to paint some white in the middle of my painting.

I could feel I wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t– but “Oh” how I didn’t want to “ruin” it. I had put hours into this painting, playing with texture and marks and I was “liking” how it was coming together. Gulp.

Somehow, with my hand physically shaking, (I will never forget seeing my hand shake as I moved my paintbrush), without knowing exactly what I was even going to paint, I went into the middle of the painting with white on my small brush.

And I did it. My hand physically shaking but I did it.

I’m sure I was holding my breath.

But somehow, just a few strokes of white and I knew it was “enough”. I stood back and looked at my painting and realized I had not “ruined” anything. I could feel the courage in my body pulsing through, the “yes” living in me. I had made it through!

And to this day, that experience lives in me, in my body, a place of courage that I can draw on at other times. I have this painting up in my studio and this is one of the reasons. I know I can leave my comfort zone, and I know I will live through it. I immediately experienced the gift of it, and I still do.

For me, that one brush stroke of freedom makes it all worth it.

Intuitively playing with paint brings you face to face with your own courageous edges—a powerful experience of your capacity to live beyond your comfort zone and create a life with more and more moments living outside the box.

Interested? Come paint with me. 

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Masking tape can be outrageous when you’re painting.

by Julie Claire on March 31, 2015

There are these creative openings that happen for you while you paint intuitively. You can’t plan them or predict them but they happen.

 

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Sometimes it’s because you change paint colors, or you find your playful self momentarily, sometimes it’s because of a new tool—like a different size paintbrush or sponge.

 

Recently I have noticed people in my workshops playing with masking tape and having an outrageous time of it.

 

You can play with masking tape as a way of creating a surprise for yourself later:  “What will it look like later in my painting process if I then take the tape off?  Let’s try it and see.”

 

michal with tape use this one

 

 

You can put it on the original canvas, which in my studio is usually black, or you can put the tape onto your painting later in your process as a way of creating different paint layers as you work.

 

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One thing is for sure, when one person in a workshop begins playing with the tape, often many others follow. It is contagious.

 

What I see are some of the gifts of playing with the tape while you paint: 

  • It feels like play and opens you up to materials in a new way.  You might then find yourself finger painting or playing with palette knives.
  • It creates a surprise element later when you pull it off.
  • It if you’re feeling a bit serious or controlling, it can often unblock your process by trying something new.
  • It creates layers in paint.
  • It can create a repeating pattern that you might enjoy.
  • You can write words in tape and reveal them later if you like, bringing a poem or partial poem in.

 

There are many ways to open up your painting process to play and discovery: masking tape is one of them.

 

My approach is not to teach a method but instead to seed the studio space with this courageous spirit of possibility all the while giving focused individual attention to those feeling stuck or ready to breakthrough in some way.

 

What might you do with paint, brush or tape I wonder? What would it be like for you paint in a space of freedom and permission, with your own creative coach nearby?

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The Art of Asking Questions

March 10, 2015

I grew up being the one who was always asking questions. I live in questions. I love questions. One of my favorite parts of being a professional coach is asking questions.  It’s really in my job description and I find there is an art to it—finding the questions that are useful, timely and opening. I know […]

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Getting Physical with Paint

February 20, 2015

Tired of thinking? Need a break from working on “yourself”? Feel like “moving your energy”?   Picking up a paintbrush with the intention of moving and being physical can be a wonderful way to enter into your creative process and leave thinking behind altogether.   One of the gifts of intuitive painting is that there […]

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Find your energy.  Follow the flow.

February 2, 2015

photo credit David Coleman As January 1st came and went I noticed that I had a lot of “shoulds” in the air around my business plans for 2015 and not a lot of genuine energy there.  Way too responsible.  Way too reasonable.   At the same time I discovered that when I spoke about my […]

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The Gift of Creative Time

December 18, 2014

Dedicated space and time for creative wandering keeps me sane. Whether it’s time in my painting studio or time in my sunroom with my journal open and the door closed, creative engagement brings me “home”, center and makes life “right” again. It has always been this way. It isn’t always easy to find the time […]

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Living Beyond Apology

December 2, 2014

I have a strong voice.  When I was singing professionally, it was a gift—to be able to be creative and express myself in music–with strength, connection and volume. I was never dinner music/background music.  That’s just the way it was.  My voice was a little more of a wake up call then a lullaby. Many […]

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Creative Play Opens Doors

October 29, 2014

When signing up for a workshop, people often tell me they want to “play”. Helping people rediscover “play” is one of my favorite things to do as the facilitator. It is something I care deeply about and influences my intuitive painting workshop format, the materials I use and the kind of feedback I give.  What […]

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Acceptance doesn’t mean you like it.

October 16, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation to a group of Georgetown leadership coaches on ways to bring creativity into their coaching practices. I had two hours. It was the first time I was bringing pastels into a professional environment. I was nervous. Very nervous. And two minutes before my time to start […]

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From the Inner Critic to the Muse

September 25, 2014

This past weekend, I led a two day intuitive painting workshop entitled: Finding Your Creative Flow. I had a blast. It was a beautiful gathering of six painters and me, everyone asking for greater connection to their innate creative energies. Most everyone wanted to let loose and some participants particularly wanted to jumpstart their creativity […]

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