Wild Heart Painting
as a
Spiritual Practice

Are you looking for a way to learn to trust your self on the deepest levels, to make some long needed changes, to nurture yourself and your own creative vision for your life?

Did you know that you can learn to create without judgment, goal or expectation ?

Did you know that unleashing your natural creative energy, which is really the life force itself, and simply allowing yourself to be more creative is one of the most powerful tools available for making necessary and profound changes in your life?

And that you don’t have to be talented, follow the rules or even know what you are doing in order to tap into this potent, transformative energy?

Are you looking for a place to combine the freedom of creative self expression with the sense of safety,community and support that comes from being with like minded souls who are also on the path of psychological healing and spiritual exploration?

Then this workshop might be just what you are looking for!

As we travel more deeply into the lands of great change and uncertainty that seem to be the fundamental quality of this early 21st century, many of us are experiencing a growing hunger to be living from a place of greater authenticity and deeper relationship with soul and spirit.

We are longing for a sense of connection with something larger than ourselves and are searching for ways to strengthen that sense of divine presence in our lives.

And one of the ways to develop that relationship is through a more profound relationship to our creative process. Since creativity and spirituality come from the same source you can use your creative practice as a way to open to spirit and vice versa.

Painting as a spiritual practice is another tool for those of us on the path of spiritual and emotional healing and transformation that allows us to tap directly into that source.


In this intensive workshop we will explore the profound connection between our creativity and our spirituality, using the power of the intuitive painting process to get more in touch with that Point of Greatest Aliveness which is a hallmark of being connected to our essential nature and spiritual core.

Wild Heart Painting As A Spiritual Practice allows you to recognize that you are not just your personality. You are also consciousness itself. It allows you to find your way back to that exquisite sense of yourself as more than your name, rank and serial number. To remember that your spirit is so much greater than your worrying, fretful, judging mind.

You will experience the power of your creativity as a tool for developing greater self compassion and self awareness. The magic of the painting process will also encourage you to be much more fully present and fully alive.

And even though what we will be doing in this workshop is painting, what we are really learning is how to be creatively and spiritually engaged in every area of our lives.

All the habitual mechanisms that hold back your full creative energy…. all the times that you play small on the page in front of you… or let fear override your authentic creative expression… these are the same places that are blocking your creative energy in your daily life.

The endless ways that you control yourself, judge yourself, don’t trust yourself, refuse to surrender, let fear win out, and are not gentle, loving and accepting of your self on the canvas show up in the world outside of the studio.

Through the process of intuitive painting you will discover how to creatively to tap into that mystical and magical place of spaciousness, stillness, expansiveness, healing and sacred compassion that is the root of Radical Self Acceptance.

Like all spiritual practices, this approach to painting takes you on a journey into the inner worlds of numinous inspiration and holy imagination.

It develops and strengthens your intuition, frees up stagnant energy so that you can live your life from a place of being intensely, passionately and joyfully alive, and sends deep taproots into your connection with the source of all that is that can lead to wholehearted experiences of trusting yourself and your own internal guidance.

Painting from our intuition is the core of this practice and we will spend the bulk of our time with a paintbrush in our hands.

But we will jump start our connection to our intuitive self before each painting session. We will be playing with all kinds of wild and wonderful practices to deepen our relationship to our spiritual energy such as ritual, different types of meditation, drumming, shamanic journeying, sacred sound, music, moving and stretching our bodies and guided visualizations.

This five day intensive will also include lively, inspirational, informative and brief teachings on different aspects of Wild Heart Painting As A Spiritual Practice such as painting and presence, reclaiming our shadow, embracing the unknown, painting from the dream time, the wisdom of no mistakes and the development of radical self acceptance.


Painting as a Spiritual Practice

Dates: To Be Announced…

  • Friday: 6pm – 9pm
  • Saturday – Tuesday: 10am – 5pm

Location: The Creative Juices Arts Studio in Oakland, CA

Cost: $650 which includes all art supplies and four delicious home cooked meals. A $200 deposit is required to hold your space in this workshop.

Experience: You absolutely don’t need to have ANY art experience at all to participate in and to benefit GREATLY from this retreat.

Note: The workshop is limited to 14 participants and they do tend to fill pretty quickly, so if you are interested I suggest that you let me know soon.


Policies, Disclaimers, and Agreements

Cancellation Policy

All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you have chosen to register with a deposit, an electronic invoice will be sent to you to be paid 60 days prior to the event. If you cancel before 60 days of the start of the event we will refund any amount you have paid in excess of the deposit minus a $25 processing fee. If you cancel within 60 days of an event, full payment of any and all remaining costs for the workshop, lodging, meals, taxes, and other fees will be due immediately. All payments are non-transferrable to other services, events, or workshops. Note that some of the retreat centers we work with may have additional cancellation policies that you will need to abide by.


Lodging is offered for some but not all of our events depending on the type of event and venue so please check the event details for lodging options and specifics. For those events where lodging is offered there are limited lodging options so we strongly encourage you to choose something that you feel meets your needs for comfort as well as expense for the entire event as you will not be able to change your lodging during the event.

We try to make sure that all amounts for lodging, taxes, and fees are accurate when you register. However, a venue may change their prices without notice and you will be required to pay the full amount to the venue for lodging, taxes, or fees that may change after you register.


Vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free meal options are generally available at our events upon request with at least 30 day advanced notice. Other dietary concerns or issues may be accommodated for an extra fee and at least 30 day advanced notice. We cannot not guarantee that every food issue can be accommodated so please contact us regarding your specific concerns. 

We try to make sure that all amounts for meals, taxes, and fees are accurate when you register. However, meal prices are subject to change without notice and you will be required to pay the full amount for meals, taxes, or fees that may change after you register.

Art Supplies

Unless otherwise noted, all necessary art supplies will be provided at our live in-person events. We provide non-toxic water soluble paints and paper. The materials that we supply are chosen to enhance the intuitive process and your direct experience of creativity instead of emphasizing the outcome or product. You may bring your own additional water soluble non-toxic personal supplies such as brushes, colored pencils, or chalk pastels if you choose. However, please note that we do not allow oil paints, acrylic paints, spray paint, solvents or any toxic or permanent materials at any of our events. In addition, we do not allow loose glitter at any of our events due to the work and expense involved in clean up. If you plan on bringing additional art supplies not listed above please contact us before registering.

Alcohol & Drug Policy

All of our events, trainings, and workshops are intended to be healing experiences. Your successful participation in any of our events requires that you show up fully to yourself, your feelings, your creative process, your inner life and other members of the circle in a respectful and meaningful way. As a result we do not tolerate the use of alcohol or recreational drugs during the event. Our expectation is that you will not drink alcohol or use any other kind of recreational drug during the time that we are together so that we can all be focused on healing, learning and growing. If it comes to our attention that you are abusing alcohol or drugs during one of our events you will be asked to leave immediately without a refund or credit. 

Non-participants and Pets

We do not allow pets, friends, relatives, or other people to stay with you during our time together as they can be a distraction for you and other attendees that will keep you from focusing and participating fully in the event.

Health and Wellness Issues

We support and will accommodate those with special needs to the degree that we are able. However, you must fully disclose any health or mental health related issues that might interfere with your attendance or participation at any of our events. We expect that you will be able to take full responsibility for yourself and will follow any and all doctor's recommendations regarding medications, treatment plans, or other health guidance. Failure to do so in a way that puts yourself or others at risk will result in you being asked to leave the event immediately without a refund or credit. We do not provide nursing or psychiatric care services at our events. Please communicate all of your relevant health needs with us before registering.

Fragrances and Scents

Our events are not strictly fragrance free. However, for the comfort and health of ourselves and of all of our attendees, we request that you don’t wear perfumes or use other heavily scented products. If you have any concerns about scents or fragrances please contact us before registering.


By registering and attending one of our events you agree to abide by all of these policies.


 Rave Reviews From Happy Painters


I came to Wild Heart Painting as a Spiritual Practice because the combination of meditation, bodywork and intuitive painting sounded like it would be soothing and relaxing. I was drawn to the workshop through Connie at Dirty Footprints Studio and after watching the video’s on the website I HAD to come.

I was expecting to have a blast and explore and it became so much more for me.  I felt nurtured and surrounded by some of the most beautiful spirits I have ever known and it felt like I had come home to a place I belonged.

I felt like the reason this particular retreat was so powerful was the combination of all thepieces and for someone who never really has been able to meditate before, I went deeply and happily to an amazing space inside me and I was able to let that flow out into the paintings I did while at the retreat.  I was surprised that anger bubbled up for me and I learned about things I had hidden from my own self since childhood that were blocking me from becoming a more integrated whole person.

Chris Zydel is  loving, supportive and amazing at making us all feel like we deserve to be as big as we can be.  This is a retreat NOT TO BE MISSED if you want to get to know your true heart.

Corrine Gilman



I loved doing all the rituals before painting, and I’ve been doing rituals for a very, very, very long time, so when we started I thought , I’ve done this a million times, so it will just be fun and play. But I was surprised that it had such a profound effect. I found myself going to places internally that I haven’t gone to — ever. I was going to say a in a very long time, but really, it’s ever. The teachings and meditations made the experience of painting more of a grounded, connected and meaningful psychological experience for me. Each week of the class built on the previous week and took me deeper and deeper into my creative process.

And you know how bad my critic used to be when I first started painting. I felt that if I got three seconds of light in between all the negative messages from the critic I was lucky. And now, I don’t notice the critic hardly at all. Tonight there was at most a half a minute of critic in all of that painting time. Because I feel so much freer, my paintings have become more alive and more spontaneous. I just love it! This is how I want to do all my painting from now on.

Ravenna S.

Occupational Therapist

This weekend I journeyed into the unknown. The only thing I knew was that i was drawn to a process that seemed familiar to me, with a teacher who seemed to be doing incredible work. In a simple place, perhaps because it was so safe and loving, I confronted something unexpected, a tremendous fear of the unknown, a fear of not having control and a fear of simply letting go. Writing this now does not even do justice to what I faced coming to a practice with tremendous energy and expectation. In large part because I know that it is something big I want to share with the world.

I did not expect this. I did expect to be moved so deeply in my soul. I did not expect that such a simple, inviting process could help me to overcome so much in a few days and to become in touch with something so divine within me. I know that art is a magical and healing process and yet somehow I still did not expect what I found.

Chris was an amazing facilitator and holder of energy and of the sacred, by simply listening, reflecting and understanding she made the journey into the center, into the heart and the sometimes painful work of healing feel safe. She brought joy, comfort and acceptance to the process and I learned so much from participating and being an observer of her wisdom.

I am forever changed and propelled forward in my journey. I feel I have accessed deeper places within me and now am emboldened with the courage to continue to go deeper. I strongly suggest you listen to your inner urge calling you to this practice and calling you to study with Chris!!

Eliza Combs

I so appreciate having this class to come to. The ritual gives me the feeling that I am going on retreat and It helps me to get into the intuitive painting space faster. These past eight weeks have been incredibly busy, intense and stressful in my ‘other life’, so coming here has been my little weekly oasis and really helped me to keep my sanity!




I originally started coming to this class because I wanted to open up and get more freedom in my writing, but I found the things that we did and talked about in class touched on and helped me to open up in many other areas of my life. I thought it was incredibly powerful to do the meditation and dance in the beginning and that it accelerated the creative process. I enjoyed this a lot and I will definitely sign up for part two!


Writer and Schoolteacher

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