Charcoal and Rhythm

by Julie Claire on October 29, 2015

I began my art making life as a singer songwriter.
Now I’m a painter.
Charcoal IMG_7843 adjusted copy 2


Singing. Painting. Experiencing wonder and creative flow.  Engaging with a force larger than myself.  Not in control. One word or brush stroke and then the next.

As October comes to a completion, (and I’m one year older) I’d like to share something I wrote recently and then recorded. I call it Charcoal and Rhythm. ( 1 minute recording)

Enjoy!  And may your creativity shine,


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Big Magic

by Julie Claire on October 13, 2015

big magic cover copy

I admit rarely do I read nonfiction. I am an avid fantasy and young reader junkie. But I do like to stay in tune with current writers on the creative process and books with a transformational perspective.

Two years ago  I had the pleasure of hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak some of the stories she shares in Big Magic at a conference I was attending in celebration of my fiftieth birthday called Emerging Women Live.

at emerging women, smaller copy 2

Her contagious enthusiasm for the creative process made a big impression on me. So I bought her book.


Loving it. If you’re interested in reading about one awfully-good-storytelling author’s experience with the muse, inspiration in general, creative dedication, the meaning and meaninglessness of making art, buy the book….immediately…it won’t let you down.

It’s already a best seller; It’s not a secret. But it is such a rare read that I can’t help but talk about it here. I can open it up to almost any page and feel the relevance to my life as an art maker. Okay, here goes…opening the book…. Page 78:

“..this is how I want to spend my life—collaborating to the best of my ability with forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand”.

Yep, I resonate….

While so many people are trying to legitimize what we know through brain studies/ brain research, I find myself starving to let that all go and talk directly about the Mystery of inspiration, creative process, the unknowable– without any proving going on.

I feel she has hit on some of the primary topics that we all deal with when we venture into making art and I am excited by her uniquely personal narrative on how inspiration works.

“I told the Universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis….but simply because I liked it.”

If it was my book, I would perhaps include a chapter on the emotional catharsis of painting; I might talk a little bit more about how creativity tenderly works with our darker, deeper dimensions; I might have my own slightly different perspective on what brings me to the blank page…but overall her writing strikes true and essential for me .

I feel like any conversation you and I might have that is sparked by reading this book would be an engaging one. So, let me know what you think of the book. And perhaps what chapter speaks to you most. Or how your experience is similar or different than hers.

These are the conversations I long for.

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The Magic Of An Intuitive Painting Workshop

July 6, 2015

Regular art classes never worked for me. I don’t bloom in instructional settings.   It was when I first experienced painting in a sacred context, in a place of personal intimacy and depth that I opened up and found my inner painter alive and well.   Actually, I was completely shocked by how much energy […]

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Ground Isn’t Sexy

June 1, 2015

For much of my life, I didn’t have a primary relationship to the ground.  I was much more interested in new ideas, being inspired, and feeling free.  I habitually focused on the next new project and moving forward. Ground isn’t sexy. Focusing on being grounded used to feel too heavy, too fixed, static and serious. But […]

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How One Brush Stroke of Freedom Can Make a Painting You Love

April 20, 2015

close-up of 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 […]

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Masking tape can be outrageous when you’re painting.

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.       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 […]

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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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