At this point over 98 amazing women have gone through my Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program. I love them ALL so dearly and, like the proud creative mama that I am, want to show off their incredible wisdom, power and creative genius to the world. So I’ve created this series where once a month I will be showcasing them so that you can see what they’re up to and be inspired by their unique creative journeys.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative journey?
I’m a bit of a mountain magpie, collecting shiny sparkly art materials throughout my life. I have lived and traveled all around the world and have acquired trinkets of jewelry, ribbon, pastels, crayons, watercolors, and beautiful blank sheets of weighted paper. This collection of possibilities were evidence of my deep longing to create. I had dreamt of using these materials but found that I did not trust myself, and kept searching and feeling inadequate.
With my nose pressed to the window, outside of this sacred realm of creation, I envied others experiencing the joy of painting and drawing and other artistic expressions. I dabbled in drawing, feeling I needed to go through a logical progression before I would allow myself to explore color. I felt trapped, at the lowest rung of the ladder, feeling inexperienced and incompetent. That was until I fell into the abyss of grief, and was desperate to express the incomprehensible pain, and agony of loss.
I lost my mom, my dad and then unexpectedly my best friend, who was also my brother. These wounds unearthed the formerly buried pain and confusion I faced when, at age 17, I had lost another brother. I was numb, powerless, and did not have any hope of feeling anything but devastation. I was terrified of color, and I later realized, I was also afraid of my own emotions.
2.What initially drew you to the intuitive painting process?
I had been working with an art therapist and found I could process deep emotion, including grief, and find clarity to deeper patterns using pastel crayons, and paper. Over the course of 20 one hour sessions, I had found a cathartic release of pent up energy and emotion.
I craved more healing and connection to a higher wisdom, and knew that art, in its raw form was a very powerful tool to releasing trauma, and grief. After considerable research, I found Chris Zydel’s teacher training program.
3.How has intuitive painting been a transformative influence in your art and your life?
With this practice, I have burst out of my imaginary restraints and am finally experiencing fresh air, vivid lush landscapes, and a broad, limitless sky of possibilities, nourishing my body and soul. I have discovered the necessity of artistic expression, the importance of the sacred circle of family and tribe, and the power of universal connection. With new courage, I have jumped into the depths of the ocean, to feel the bitter cold current, the rush and power of movement, and the freedom to experience wonders all around and within me.
4. What inspired you to take the Wild Heart Expressive Arts teacher training program?
Funny enough, I was living near Oakland, CA, and had traveled across the country to Chicago for an Expressive Arts workshop . An instructor mentioned the Wild Heart Expressive Arts teacher training program, and I looked it up. Chris Zydel’s playful colorful website, intrigued me as it embodied the power of community as well as the connection to your inner wisdom, in a creative, playful, safe environment. With the guidance of Chris Zydel, and Tim Lajoie, I was able to find my inner strength, to see my wounds and to know that there is a path to healing.
5. Now that you’re out there doing this work tell us about your experience as an intuitive painting teacher and facilitator?
I am excited to facilitate this incredible process, and am amazed that the “predictable miracle” as Chris has said, does occur. When we connect to art, we connect our hearts, our bodies and our should and that is magic! This magpie not only can fly, but she can swim in the deep subconscious, thriving in the wilderness of uncertainty, returning home with treasures of understanding, joy and wisdom.
6. What do you absolutely love about teaching? What are some of your biggest challenges?
I have been teaching children, all of my life, and I have found that adults crave and need play and creative expression just as much as children. I love creating a safe environment that encourages people to honor their truth, and follow their energy in artistic endeavors, and find that pleasure and play are vital to the health of your inner child, your soul. My biggest challenge, has to do with patience. I trust the process, yet I need to carve out more time for my own creativity. I know the power of retreats, and longer workshops, and would love to facilitate the deep dive into one’s truth and power, but realize that will take time.
7.Tell us what happens at one of your classes, workshops or retreats?
Preparing for this adventure-We start with movement, and meditation,- invite the part of us that feels like, or actually still IS, a four year old,-to emerge, ignite and blaze through the shoulds and should nots,-to paint whatever we desire, and along the way,-we learn to face the self imposed limitations of doubt, and fear.
Won’t you join me for an adventure of the unknown, in a workshop that just might find you experiencing new perspectives, wondrous vistas, and chills and thrills that will take your breath away?
8.What advice would you give to someone who is contemplating this expressive arts/intuitive painting path?
There is a reason, your heart keeps bringing up this possibility, it is a journey for yourself, and into yourself, and finding your way home is paramount to finding peace, joy, and all of the emotions that make us whole.
A Bit More about Me.
I have very excited to return to my birthplace of New Mexico. I have traveled to Ireland, Istanbul, the edge of the Sahara desert, Italy, Singapore, Bali, and Europe, Hawaii and Alaska, and have lived in Texas, Colorado, California, Japan, and Switzerland. I have ridden my bike the length of Switzerland, and have accumulated as many as 8000 cycling miles in one year. I have been on the Today Show, and have been featured in a documentary on Amazon Prime.
I have a masters in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and a BSE in Education, and have taught in primary classrooms, over 20 years.
As a kid, I memorized musicals, and enjoy singing, and dancing, and played trumpet in a jazz band in college. I have had the pleasure of directing several children’s musicals, and have enjoyed singing on stage.
I am a certified Master Facilitator of Intuitive Painting and the Expressive Arts from Creative Juices Arts, mentored by the force and magicality that is Chris Zydel.
I moved to Corrales, to develop my studio and could not be happier with the results. Raw Heart Art Healing Studio is spacious and during warmer weather I can open the doors to allow for a gorgeous view of the Sandia Mountains.
In February, I will facilitate “Art as a Way to Process Grief”, a 4 week class that dives into working with the emotions that our society finds uncomfortable and unacceptable.
Which brings us full circle, Art as a way to process Grief, is how I acknowledged the shadow self, the scary ugliness, of feeling alone, devastated, broken, trapped, etc, and it is through this acknowledgement, and honoring of the “darker’ emotions, that I am able to find hope, and eventually, passion and joy.
Website is www.expressive-art.com
Upcoming classes- Art as a Way to Process Grief
Painting beneath the Surface