During our last Soul Sessions class, one of my students who has worked with me for awhile said, "I finally get it, I get what you do, it's CREATIVE RECOVERY." I stood there dumbfounded, as I had never thought of it that way, yet when she said it to the class, and I saw all the nodding heads, I felt like I was finally able to "name," what previously had been intangible. 

As a result, I have been thinking about these last couple of weeks about what it takes to find our own creative voice. Learning styles and techniques from mentors and teachers is a very important step in our creative recovery. It's a safe and playful way to open the door to rediscovery and remembering that art and the creative process belongs to everyone. 

This is Emalie, my friend creative Goddess Linda's grandaughter. The voice narrating is Stephanie, Emalie's mom. This video, will make you weep, if you've forgotten..

At some point it's time to begin to trust the source within. Your source, your innate creative wisdom, the golden gem you were born with. At first this can be VERY scary! No magazines? No photo transfers? A blank sheet? Yep! That's exactly what I'm inviting you to do and I want you to know I experienced those same cold sweats when beginning my own creative recovery so many years ago. Oh the voices…they were VERY VERY LOUD! Remember…I became a photographer, because I was told I could not "draw," and had a deep need to express what was inside me. 

So what's the first step to beginning this journey? All it takes is the willingness to take a risk, to make a mess and the willingness to accept what comes WITHOUT JUDGEMENT! The intention is NOT to make a pretty picture. If you begin there, it's a set up, because you are beginning AT THE END…not at the beginning with the Zen concept of "Beginners Mind."

Soul Session-#1, 1999

This is my very first Soul Session, created in 1999 on newsprint with acrylic paint on a tarp on the floor of my bedroom. What's your first impression? Go on, be honest, you won't hurt my feelings, I promise! I show this painting to all my introductory students in Soul Sessions. It's the first painting I did when I decided to find my own voice. I made an agreement with myself that I would not show the paintings to anyone. I would date and title each piece and when I was done, I would thank whatever showed up, talk to the Venomous Toads and then put them away. It wasn't easy to tame the Toads at first, but eventually I was able to learn to accept what showed up, knowing that the image had something to share with me. 

Art is accessible to EVERYONE, not a select and elite few. Would you like to take a risk today to learn to see? Take some time today and finger paint. Be willing to PLAY…that's all that's required. 

Continue reading as our series continues and leave a comment and let me know how it's going.