At this point over 80 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.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative journey?
My creative journey began when my son had just started school. We had moved to a new area and I began meeting new people. One of the mom’s asked if I would like to attend a rubber stamping party and after that I was hooked. I began making cards for all occasions along with other paper items. My friend and I began working together and selling our wares at local craft fairs. I loved being able to create something from nothing and bring joy to peoples lives through creativity. As the years passed I began teaching and it was at one workshop where I had my first “a ha”. One of the participants had cut a piece of paper from her kit. I supplied everything and it was all prepared and ready for stamping and assembly. She cut her piece and thought it was ruined as it would not turn out like everyone else. That was it! I knew that I could not continue to guide people in creating the exact same thing and so I began exploring creativity through intuition. I began art journaling after being introduced to Sabrina Ward Harrison and Linda Woods. Both of these artists were examples of authentic expression and lead the path for me to guide people in a whole new way. I played around with new materials and mixed all I had learned on the page. I was using my own images and lettering and uncovering more and more about myself and how art was helping me in all areas of my life.
What initially drew you to the intuitive painting process?
I had painted on paper and canvas and often began with a prompt or image in mind. There was some meaning there. The response from people I shared my art with fuelled me to keep creating. Somehow though it began to be more about the product than the process. Will they like it? Will it sell? I found Chris Zydel on line and was intrigued by her method. At the time I was unable to travel to one of her retreats and kept it on file for the future. Meanwhile I came across Whitney Freya and signed up for her Creatively Fit Coaching program. It took me two rounds to complete the training as my mom was diagnosed with a rare brain disease at the time. I took care of my mom for four years as she struggled through all the stages of her disease. In between taking care of her I turned to art. Whether is was for a few minutes or longer. Art was becoming my meditation. I was not thinking about the end result. I was merely trying to survive. I completed the program with Whitney, mom passed away and I was left trying to reclaim myself after years of taking care of her.
How has intuitive painting been a transformative influence in your art and your life?
Intuitive painting gives a freedom to my expression. I can paint it all out on the canvas and although it may not look like anything in particular, it is splattered with emotion. Getting my feelings out and processing through them with paint is a form of medication for me. My husband knows when I haven’t painted and encourages me to get into the studio for awhile to release.
What inspired you to take the Wild Heart Expressive Arts teacher training program?
For Christmas my husband gifted me a “Painting from the Wild Heart” retreat with Chris Zydel in Calistoga. I could not believe after all this time that I was finally going to paint with Chris Zydel! Little did I know that it was not actually about the painting at all! A couple of days into the retreat with Chris I was hooked. I knew I had to sign up for her Teacher Training program right away. It was a whole new way of painting. I was accepted for who I was and nurtured along the way. Through movement, meditation and painting and nightly circle gatherings I began to open. That small opening lead the way back to a better version of me. I was learning more and more how the process was helping me to heal old wounds. Feeling those uncomfortable feelings and processing through them without fear or judgement in a safe space. I knew I needed the Teacher Training program for myself to continue to learn and grow. When I signed up I had no intention of teaching intuitive painting in this way! My intention was to take time for myself over the course of a year and truly immerse myself in this process and surround myself with women who were willing to go deep alongside me.
Now that you’re out there doing this work tell us about your experience as an intuitive painting teacher and facilitator?
I have combined all of my experience and learning into my work. As one of my close friends said “you ooze paint”. I could talk all day about how healing art is and how my passion is that everyone in the world can experience it for themselves. If I can help one person to see that there is hope and to not give up, that they are loved for who they are and that they matter – then I’m on the right path.
What do you absolutely love about teaching?
I love guiding people through this process and seeing their “a ha moments”. I recognize it right away. I can feel their energy shifting. I see them or hear them processing through it and it just lights me up! It still amazes me but ultimately – “this shit works!”
What are some of your biggest challenges?
One of the biggest challenges has been introducing this process to new people. It is definitely a unique process and not at all what we have been taught. Art was created for product. Either to display or sell. Feedback or grades are a part of it. Not so in this method. There are NO mistakes and however it appears is celebrated.
Tell us what happens at one of your classes, workshops or retreats?
I provide a safe space for creative expression through meditation, movement and creativity. I share what I have learned and through creative exercises I guide people to be free and authentic in their expression. We begin by dropping in to our intuition and feeling it in our bodies. I give very little direction and rather introduce materials and perhaps a theme and encourage everyone to let it flow. What always surprises people and myself is how unique everyone’s process is. We look at the canvas as our life and I support them to believe that they are the artist of their lives. They can create the life that they want! What shows up on the canvas can relate to what shows up in our lives. If something uncomfortable shows up we work through it knowing that it is safe to explore those feelings and sharing it in a group provides that safety and support to do so. I also work one on one with people in a variety of ways either in person or online. My three month “Soul Journey” program provides both the one on one coaching and one group workshop per month. I have an upcoming retreat called “in(HER) journey where I am collaborating with one of my friends from Teacher Training – Beth Breedlove. It is a weekend filled with creative exercises all around the theme of the labyrinth. We led a day of creativity together this past November where we had three offerings – Soul Collage with Beth, The Healing Energy Painting Experience with myself and together we led the Dreamtime Painting Session. We gathered amazing souls who had a chance to experience different ways of expressing themselves through art.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating this express arts/intuitive painting path?
I would advise them to stop contemplating and jump in. Honestly this experience is unlike any other and is something that they need to incorporate into schools! I believe “art heals” and this type of process is open to everyone and anyone regardless of art experience. It is like “life school”. The world needs us to show up unapologetically and authentically ourselves. This work leads the way to changing the world. I do not say that lightly. We get back what we put out there. When people witness us living in this way, they want to know more. I am SO grateful I get to share this powerful process!
Nadia Munarolo Kurjata was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and now calls Dawson Creek, B.C. home. She is a Certified Creatively Fit Coach and Master Facilitator of Intuitive Painting and the Expressive Arts.
Nadia has been published in several publications such as Somerset Studio and Uppercase and in The Canvas Project: a visual encyclopedia. She has participated in several exhibits including the Stanley Milner Library, Edmonton, Grey Nuns Hospital, Edmonton, Naess Gallery, Edmonton , Glenrose Hospital, Edmonton, Kae Pea Studio, Louisina MO, Dawson Creek Art Walk 2015 & 2016 and is currently exhibiting at Here to Health and Hug a Mug in Dawson Creek, B.C.
In addition to creating art for the love of it she is also an instructor who can facilitate workshops geared to your group or guide you one on one in person or online. You can contact her at (780) 964 -3494 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a more in depth look at her life and her process check out her blog at www.beyourselfcreateart.blogspot.ca and coming soon her website www.opendoorstudio.ca where you can sign up for her newsletter to keep in touch and gather inspiration.
Upcoming Event Information
in(HER) journey – An Expressive Arts Experience For Women
Join us in this expressive arts experience and be empowered to discover, recover, and uncover your intuitive, creative, warrior self.
Join us and enter the inHER journey Labyrinth of Creativity. Walk on the edge of mystery. Fan the flames of your inner creative fire and spend the weekend with us! Leave restored, expanded, and transformed. Come as you are. ALL of you is welcome here.
Labryinths are a sacred tool, a sacred symbol, and a sacred path for journeying to and transforming spirit. Their use dates back 3,500 years. During our time together we will explore the power of this mystical tradition as we journey as warrior sisters on the labyrinth path.
We will spend time exploring a variety of expressive arts practices and creative rituals, including Labyrinth Walking, Sacred Witnessing Warrior Circle, Dreamtime Painting, Healing Energy Painting Experience, Write your Fairy Tale-Create Your Life, HERart Journaling, SoulCollage, Naming your Inner Warrior Soul Powers, and Magical Mandala Making.
You will leave the weekend not only with an abundance of creative practices and HERituals to support you as you journey forth, but also with your own Healing Energy Painting. No previous art experience is needed. We are all artists. We are all creative. Art heals.
Expand your self-awareness, intuition, and access your inner wisdom. All the answers truly are within you and can be discovered and accessed through the healing power of sacred space, walking the labyrinth, expressive arts, and creative connection with like-minded women.
Registration Details: We will be gathering at the Creative Juices Arts Studio in Oakland, CA near Lake Merritt. Space is limited to 15 participants.
The early bird price is only $333 and includes all art supplies. Times are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to Noon on Sunday.
Sign up today to secure your spot with a $100 deposit with the balance due before January 14. The price goes up to $444 on January 14. The registration fee is not refundable, but if you do need to cancel, your will have a credit towards a future workshop offering from Beth and Nadia.
To register, contact Beth Breedlove at (408) 771-5351 or via email at email@example.com.
Your Guides: Beth Breedlove of Chrysalis Creative Arts in Menlo Park, California and Nadia Munarolo-Kurjata of Open Door Studio in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. We both have experienced the healing and transformational power of expressive arts in our own lives and are passionate about sharing this power and providing a safe space for women in awakening and exploring their own creative fire. We are both certified Master Facilitators of Intuitive Painting and Expressive Arts having studied with our fabulous mentor, Chris Zydel of Creative Juices Arts. Beth is also a certified SoulCollage Facilitator and Nadia is a certified Creatively Fit Coach.