At this point over 95 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. What initially drew you to the intuitive painting process?
My first daughter, Jacquee, died when she was only two months old. In the years following my little girl’s death I would stumble and drag myself around trying to find hope again, sure that happiness was a thing for other people. I had no clue where I was ever going to find healing but one thing I knew was that my angel baby was never far from me. I could feel her presence. I began to explore a deeper realm of spirituality and stayed connected to her spirit through meditation. Within this empowered place I knew that I could trust myself and that I could find my own footing. This path led me to the transformative healing power of intuitive painting, which has allowed me to reclaim my independence, reclaim my authenticity, reclaim my empowerment. I had opened a door to healing. Moving the energy like that stayed with me, and I began to realize that I was an artist.
2. How has intuitive painting been a transformative influence in your art and your life?
It has become a form of meditation and journaling, of thinking and ideating… I’ve used painting to process just about every manner of sorting through my mind. A few years ago I found myself lying face down on a yoga mat, in child’s pose, sobbing . . . the business that I had birthed was thriving but I didn’t want to work at it anymore, the marriage that I had fought to save for so many years was shattered, my daughter was anxious at the thought of being around me, I was living in a one bedroom apartment by myself. I needed the loving support of sisterhood and I found that in my yoga class. Once held in a space where I could grieve I could hear my authentic voice again. I found my new calling. I found transformation.
3. What inspired you to take the Wild Heart Expressive Arts teacher training program?
I had been following Chris since before the days of Facebook and knew her work, but never realized that what she did and what I’d been doing were similar. I didn’t have a framework for my process and I never even took one of Chris’s workshops when one of my girlfriends who had been watching me heal and knew my work tagged me in a post and said “This is your next thing.” I called Chris that day and we talked about what I was up to and how her workshops worked and I signed up immediately. Every time I think about the serendipity of all of this my heart feels so full. I just want to share this work with the world.
4. Now that you’re out there doing this work tell us about your experience as an intuitive painting teacher and facilitator? What do you absolutely love about teaching? What are some of your biggest challenges?
I’ve noticed that so many of us have chronic stress, overwhelm and burn out and that all we want is more time with our family, to eat healthy food and feel good in our bodies. We want a home that feels safe and nurturing. We want reliable income and transportation. It’s so simple and far from easy. I love holding space for people to transform their lives. I teach them to hear their own voice… that little “yes, please more of that” and to be willing to recognize when our spirit is crying out “NO… that’s not FOR me” and just listen, trust and move from this space of personal alignment. Being responsible to ourselves. Feeding our own souls with what we truly desire.
My biggest challenge right now is filling my classes. I’m trying to build an online program to grow my audience, but the tech side of that holds me back.
6. Tell us what happens at one of your classes, workshops or retreats?
I weave together the magic of women’s circles with intuitive painting. We gather in circle, drop into meditation, use journal prompts to get really connected to our inner world, a bit of discussion to bring in sisterhood and then we get quiet and we move to the easels. We paint and from then it’s all process, no product. It’s all expression and no judgement. We’re not here to perform or gain validation, we’re here to heal our own hearts and souls by reclaiming the voice of our inner goddess.
7. What advice would you give to someone who is contemplating this expressive arts/intuitive painting path?
I have found that this path is so much more than painting, more than art, even. This is my go to when I need to get out of my head, stop over thinking. When I need to get into my body, to tap into my intuition to get to where my truth lives, I paint. When I need to hear myself and bring my authentic, aligned message to the world, I paint.
I know that we crave connection and belonging as human beings, this is the best way I know to connect with yourself, to belong to yourself so that you and bring your unique gift to the world.
Click on the link to find out more about Julee and her RECLAIM HER expressive arts work.