“Holy Watercolors, Batman!” + an Artist’s Way Inner Critic Dialog.

The Artist’s Way was my first real introduction to the concept of inner critics and synchronicity, and both of these things came up for me while developing my idea for my Holy Watercolor Paintings.

First my inner critics piped up, saying, “Who do you think you are, using Holy Water to paint with? You know other people will criticize you for doing this, right? This is a terrible idea. People will hate you for doing this.”

I remembered from the Artist’s Way that I could try having a dialogue with my inner critics, so I gave that a try.

It took all my inner strength to quell those inner critics enough to listen to the part of my soul which told me this was a really cool idea, and reminded  me why I felt inspired to do it in the first place. I told my inner critics, “It would be so wonderful to have a piece of sacred art that actually USED Holy Water as an INGREDIENT. It would make the piece of art itself a sacred, blessed piece of art. What’s wrong with that?”

Of course my inner critics had an instant reply all ready: “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that! Holy water is sacred. And you’re going to mix it with your sloppy paint and brushes? How dare you? That’s not what you’re supposed to do with Holy Water!”

I answered back: “People sprinkle Holy Water on ANYTHING. It is meant to be used as a blessing. As long as I use it respectfully, and knowingly, acknowledging it’s sacredness as I paint, it will add a special meaning to what I’m doing.”

My inner critic at this point starts to soften up, but doesn’t give up yet. It says, “Okay, then – but what do you plan to paint using this special Holy Water? You’d better not paint anything stupid.”

I discuss back and forth with my inner critics about what the best choice of subject matter would be, at least to start with, to get myself confident with it. Through consultation with my inner critics, I realized illustrating Bible verses would be a great idea. That made my inner critic satisfied, and even brought my inner critic to a silencing point. WHEW!!! Sometimes those inner critic dialogues can be brutal, but if you hang on and negotiate with them, they really can end up being a good way to gain confidence in what you’re doing. If you can beat your inner critic dialog, you’re prepared for outer critics that might come up to attack you.

I appeased my strict inner critic even more by purchasing a Holy Water font to use as my vial to hold the water as I painted, dipping my brush into the font to make the whole act of painting a sacred experience. I even said a prayer before every painting session, to bring myself to a spiritual place of sanctity.

Regarding synchronicity, I have actually always hated painting with watercolors in the past, and as I grew older, I realized WHY I hated painting with watercolors… It’s because I didn’t feel in complete control when I painted with watercolors. When you paint with watercolors, you really have to let go. Watercolor paint can be manipulated to a certain extent, but in the end, the water will stain the paper at it’s own speed. I’ve learned to appreciate to accept and admire the synchronistic aspect of watercolor painting. It’s like life – you can only control so much, and at some point you have to let go and allow “The Great Creator” to work it’s magic. So with my Holy Watercolor paintings, I decided to have the background painting be 100% synchronistic by using mostly Holy Water, mixed with a little paint, and letting it drip all over the place, allowing the background to be one big abstract, drippy, beautiful mess. The control happens when it is time to paint the lettering overtop, and even then I allow Spirit to guide me as far as adding any swooping embellishments or adding the stamp of the cross somewhere.

I’m looking forward to doing more with my Holy Watercolors now, thinking of stemming on to painting some of my favorite Saints and angelic images. The journey has just begun!

I’ve been collaborating with Wenona Morning Star Gardner lately, and my painting story was highlighted in her wonderful Google + Hangout this week. Check out her recording to view other Artist’s Way testimonies this week.

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5-Year Blogiversary Week – Day 5 – GIFTaway to My Blog Followers!

flat,550x550,075,fI’m in a GIVING mood this week, so I thought it would be fun to send THANK YOU gifts to a couple randomly chosen followers! I won’t post their identities here, I’ll simply be contacting them today by email with a link to their gift: a $10 Amazon.com e-gift card!

Without people following my blog, there would be nobody to write to. It means the world to see the stats rise and to get those “LIKE” notifications, just to know people are enjoying my posts!

I am enjoying these giveaways immensely  🙂

5-Year Blogiversary Week – Day 4 – GIFTaway for my top 6 Commenters!

il_fullxfull.404271872_jm7pI thought it would be a good idea to post a THANK YOU to those who are wonderful enough to leave comments on my blog. Comments are appreciated SO much by those who blog. When you leave a comment, you create a connection and you show the blog writer that their words have meant something to you.

I’ll be GIFTing prizes to the TOP 6 commenters on my blog!

The prizes?

You’ll each get a “Wonder Woman” logo necklace! I bought these off of Etsy. Wonder Woman is my personal icon lately, and you top commenters are Wonder Women to me!! I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I CELEBRATE YOU today!!

My 6 TOP COMMENTERS are:url-38

Thank you to you all!! I just wanted to express my deepest gratitude for following my blog, and comments are the ultimate gift you can give me to help communicate that my musings mean something to people  🙂 – I’ll be contacting those of you I don’t have addresses for, so I can get these out to you soon  🙂

YOU ARE MY WONDER WOMEN!!!!

5-Year Blogiversary Week – Day 3 – My TOP 5 Favorite Posts!

red-heartI thought it would be fun to reflect upon my favorite 5 posts from the entire 5-year span.

#5 = “Farewell to Opus and Bill – My Personal Heroes

Sentimental, and proud that it became the top post ever for me!

#4 = “Engine of Invention Meets in Lyndhurst, Ohio

Just sentimental about “my first” blog entry!

#3 = “Finding Faith in Pixar’s Finding Nemo

My favorite article written for my blog. I just love it.

#2 = “My Arizona Adventure Story – Faith and Hope Rewarded

Recording a story about the most amazing journey I’ve ever taken!

AND…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE:

# 1 = “The Pen is Mighty!

One of my first blog entries ever, about an amazing self-discovery at a fragile time in my life. And amazing that one of the two times I have ever heard an “Angel Murmur” happened WHILE I was writing this blog post. I immediately wrote about the Angel Voice in the blog entry while tears streamed from my eyes.

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5-Year Blogiversary Week – Day 2 – My Top Ten Posts (and my musings about them)

Trophy Image 3It’s fun to look over the dashboard and watch my stats improve over time. And I have noticed posts that I wrote years ago that are STILL getting a lot of attention. Here is a list and evaluation about my TOP TEN BLOG POSTS over the entire five years I’ve been blogging. It’s a testimony to show that tagging and headlining your posts with popular interests can get some good traffic on your blog!

Some of these are mysteries, though, as to how they made top ten!

# 1 TOP POST – Farewell to Opus and Bill – My Personal Heroes!

When I was an Ornament Designer, my biggest thrill was getting to communicate with Berkeley Breathed (in writing, anyway) as the unofficial Opus ornament designer. Most awesome was when he created a special sketch just for me! In this post I show some of my fan art of Opus and Bill  🙂

# 2 TOP POST – Creative Dreams!

I’m surprised that this rose to the top of the charts. It was just a casual musing, and somehow got a lot of hits!

#3 TOP POST – Finding Faith in Finding Nemo

One of my very favorite blog posts I’ve ever written!

#4 TOP POST – Blogtoberfest, The Hobbit, and an Airplane Napkin

Evidence that including a popular subject in your title will cause some accidental traffic on your blog!

#5 TOP POST – Doggie Caricatures at the Cleveland Crown Classic

I guess a lot of people Google “doggie caricatures!”  🙂

#6 TOP POST – Brian Froud’s Dark Crystal

This one was also interesting to see on the top 10 list. It’s a very brief musing, again, very casual. Just felt like posting it one day.

#7 TOP POST – Signs – No Such Thing as Coincidence

Was thrilled to see this rise to the top 10 list! I had fun writing this article. A concept I had to share.

#8 TOP POST – Holy Water Painting – Luke 23:34

Holy Water Painting, Batman!!! (sorry, I just had to)

#8 TOP POST – Authentic Holy Water Paintings

Was thrilled to see my Holy Watercolor Painting posts rise to the top ten list. This nudged me to get these on Etsy!! Here’s hoping the subject gets good traffic there as well! We’ll see!

#9 TOP POST – Never, Never, Never, Never Give Up!

I’m pleased as punch that this has had so many visits! It’s a mystery to me why, unless people Google Churchill and this quote a lot.

#10 TOP POST – Authentic Holy Water Paintings

Yep – a big kick in the pants for me to get my Holy Water Paintings up on Etsy!

5-Year Blogiversary Week! – Day 1 – My First Blog Post Ever and Honoring My Blog Mentor!

I actually began my first version of my Create-A-Way blog with Blogger, so you won’t find the very first posts on this blog’s archive, but here is my first official blog entry (I originally used my blog as a communication tool for my Artist’s Way Retreat).

HERE is my first official blog entry on my old Create-A-Way blog (I like how even the color of the blog looks nostalgic):

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 11.30.19 AM

300702_10150847087885076_1774949737_nI think it’s very fitting that my first blog entry was promoting a fellow artist – something I still enjoy doing! Jenny Rohrs actually taught me the ropes about blogging – she was my mentor!

I’ll never forget her sitting with me at Panera with her laptop, introducing me to the tricks of the blogging world, and what to do to gain more traffic on your blog simply using links, tagging, and clever titles. She was so generous to take me under her wing like that – a good example to learn from.

At the time she had (and still runs) her own blog, CraftTestDummies.com. I couldn’t have asked for a better blog mentor! She went on to become a professional blogger as head of Crafts Unleashed for Consumer Crafts, and now she’s a big to-do in the craft world, appearing on television, and recently appeared on HSN! In 2011 I was thrilled to also see her rub elbows with Martha Stewart invited to Martha’s Blogger’s Night Out Party in NYC at Martha Stewart Omnimedia offices!

Jenny was also my very first commenter, too (THANK YOU, JENNY!).

Here’s hoping that another five years brings me to a “I knew her when” level, just like Jenny! Congratulations on your success, you craftilicious babe, you!!