Artistic Freedom


Day 6: Finding Your Tribe

The Assignment

Choose two people I admire who are alive and living the kind of life I want to live. Write about something that inspires me about each person. If I met them in person, what burning question would I ask each one.

Today I am selecting two visual artists who seem to have it totally together, are visible in the global community and offer a seamless spectrum of creative treats across the online universe and in real life . Each has made a name for herself in the visual art and creativity fields. And they are women artists I relate to on a multitude of levels.

Equally I am a writer, however I chose only two artists. The reason I did this is twofold. First, I strongly feel that by building a welcoming environment that is visually enticing and a placemaker invites and nourishes the creative soul in all its expressions as a home base beyond a typical office space. Second, this haven serves as a launching point of departure of freedom for the writing mind to loosen up, unravel, daydream, explore, investigate, blueprint and evolve ideas, poems and stories into books for readers alongside the visual process of the artist with potential to integrate these two forms and feed off one another for endless inspiration. I could easily select two writers I admire. Let’s make it a wondrous dream team! And yes, all women. These celebrated fiction authors captivate readers with magical realism, sci fi, intense imagination and the fantastical. The memoir writers are exquisite storytellers who bring their relatable interior worlds to life. Though I will only list names and complete this exercise in private for now, I might share this later on. They are:

Geraldine Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, J.K. Rowling, Audrey Niffenegger, Erin Morgenstern, Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jeannette Walls, Cheryl Strayed, Julie Powell, Gretchen Rubin, Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, Emma Donoghue, Lois Lowry, Diablo Cody, Lena Dunham.

Poets: Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab Nye, Yoko Ono.

Flora Bowley

Flora’s painting is so free, expressive, unique, colorful, bold, and BIG! Her imagery feels like a wilderness of deep spirit. She has reinvented herself as I discovered in checking her website. She offers self-paced online courses, retreat-style workshops in-person, a studio diary, books, and videos of her painting based on her brave, intuitive painting. Also, she sells her original, vibrant paintings and giclee prints across several sites.  Flora has her own tribe with community of support. A main motivation for her is to create with soulful, wild abandon. A lot of her work feels and reflects the natural world. Her offerings have evolved into her “bloom true” brand with lifestyle products I wish to evolve to as well. Wandering her website feels refreshing as if delving into a hidden world of whimsical beauty. Her essential foundation of values match mine on the creativity and the artful journey as a means for self-care.


Flora, what would you say resonated for you in the actions you took at various pivotal junctures that lifted your artistic and creative path to new heights professionally and personally, evolving into who and where you are today and your future opportunities, and please describe them in detail?

Carla Sonheim

Carla’s illustrative world is humorous, inventive, quirky, relatable, confident, and joyous. One can see her zest for life! Her playful nature is definitely contagious. She offers a bunch of free stuff I just discovered in tutorials and drawing assignments on her website I am excited to explore. Also, she has produced a ton of YouTube classes and videos. More amazing goodies to enjoy!  I relate to her walking the line between drawing and painting  with a whimsical style inclusive of the illustrated cartoon. She, too, offers e-courses, books (and audiobooks), newsletter, blog, yet some things set her apart. I identify with her broader range as an artist in mixed media, photography, storytelling and instructional media in fun, eclectic and informative ways along with her advantageous use of technology. Her values match mine by infusing art into everyday life, continuing to challenge herself to grow as an artist with her explorations through travel related studies, and giving back through philanthropy. She has her own shingle on Etsy and sells her art wares and books across several sites and platforms. I think it is her penchant for the silly side of life and her heart for experimental adventure that are so identifiable to me in that pretend space.


Carla, what would you say are your earliest, specific childhood memories and beginnings as an artist into adulthood that spurred your sense of wonder and imagination then, and how do you infuse and merge them into who you are now as an artist and creative soul as you expand your repertoire?

My, this was more fun than I originally thought! Also, great to focus on the challenge and leave my troubles behind and stop that recent broken record. Thanks for enduring!

Enjoy these two wildly creative artists!


P.S. There are more artists who inspire me that I will continue to share about through with writing here in this format from time to time from the popular to local/regional to former professors and others I know and know of.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

#10DBC, #freedomplan


Yawning & Yearning



#10DBC, #freedomplan

Day 5: Daily Success Plan

You’ve GOT to be kidding! It’s late as usual. Middle of night past midnight and STILL haven’t done this blog post. Arghhhhh! Again I am griping here that I am exhausted. Well, I am. It’s not just that. To consider a success plan when I feel super tapped out and hitting bottom. Here I am seeking total time freedom for my life when I feel the exact opposite. I feel I am in prison regarding the situation with care for my dad. I know that sounds plain awful. I am resentful, angry and overwhelmed. He needs assisted living and wants me to organize, manage and help him any time round the clock. I moved in for three months even with an arrangement already with my mom in another location. She has not been receiving enough of my support. I do not have the energy to do basic tasks for my own well being, daily habits, hygiene. Forget my creative goals. I did last minute today create a rushed art piece to submit for an upcoming Day of the Dead show. A bit ridiculous because as much as I do honor my parents I sense the best thing now is to take a huge backseat to my dad’s needs and wishes to see if he can truly get some of his needs met with steady outside help from private paid caregivers. Of course I will pitch in, share quality time and continue support in various ways for most medical appointments, errands and shopping. I cannot continue in the capacity as things are. It is a vicious cycle and unrelenting. There has been plenty of time to plan this out. I don’t know if his mind is intact enough because as bright as he is there are a whole lot of lost moments and inability to take care of simple tasks himself. He cries all the time and I just want to breakdown. I had it tonight and left upset. I’m sure he’s upset, too. I have felt disappointed my life through by my father’s life choices and with this let down I am still willing to be present with him and someone he can lean on. I am a human being and not a robot, maid, servant, or wonder woman and I do have limits. My physical health has suffered and here I am again driving tonight tired on the road. I am always tired and getting headaches. I am all alone in this. It is an isolating and insular situation I need to escape from and find a rapid solution.

So, that said, I will lightly touch upon this exercise now. I see the day 6 in my email and I feel more behind and swallowed whole than ever. I want to add more to my perfect day, however it feels more like a fantasy than reality. A dream that is ideal and maybe I will get more real with it where I feel I am at and who and how I am now and where I want to be in the world. I am confusing myself aren’t I? I will hold that dream sacred and add on at a later time.

This daily success plan couldn’t come at a worse time. I have a headache and feel fuzzy minded. Touching upon briefly. My time and days aren’t my own right now. I sort of feel like a fraud even doing this. I need a moment. A bit emotional. I am not …maybe I won’t ever be able to find my way again. I am a resilient soul. Rarely have I felt defeated like I do now. I am drowning. Tears are running down my face. They taste salty. I don’t know if I ever will be happy again. It comes in bits when I feel like I can breathe and feel free among other artists where ever. I feel free when I am doing something totally for myself without having to take care of another. I feel free when I can relax and watch my library DVD’s. These days these moments are far apart and getting there can be extremely stressful and often I am too tired to fully enjoy what I worked so hard to get to and often hold back or fall asleep. I know I can’t go on like this, living a restrictive life, a life that is not my own. If anything, one’s life has got to be lived. A person should be the star of her own life and not just a supporting character in others’ lives. It can’t be right that another can live life on their terms all while draining your energy dry until nothing is left over but a shriveled, disheveled mess who didn’t brush her hair all day, hardly ate anything decent and wakes up wanting to go back to bed all day but cannot.

So no, I don’t know if I can write this exercise today to the extent I probably need. Just a few quick thoughts because this idea in this moment hurts my head. Usually I am totally game for this sort of thing and I know I signed up for it. I hoped and planned by September 1st I would be free. Alas, I am not. Yet….

What I Will Do

All I can think to start is with journaling by hand to sort my thoughts and feelings first before blogging to gain clarity and plan my days better and easier. This has helped me tremendously to not edit myself and spew out all the gunk to get through all the raw stuff into the juicy bits. This is all I can promise now. 3 pages does the trick and casts its magic so I can get to the heart of my day’s plan and write out what I am up to and the productivity I seek. This cleans house in my mind of cobwebs, dust and darkness that transforms into brighter ideas that are reachable and broken down into morsels.

I’m not sure if this is to include daily habits and ritual/routine?

I do have two projects to work toward completion. 1) Continue with drawing my whimsical paintings until I have enough for a solo show. As I go I can create works to submit to group shows. Locate an exhibition space and mark my calendar for an opening reception. 2) Go beyond first two finished short stories and write eleven more for a collection to self publish in print and on various online platforms. See about getting a few individual stories published in a print or online magazine. Create a book tour for public readings.

When I Will Do It

I will journal whatever time I wake up to start my day. And if that can’t happen, I will grab the first time available or write during  in between moments to get all I can out. Or journal before blog to set mind on task of time freedom.

I can’t commit to how my time will shape up. I need to think on this. If haven’t eaten do so or make a quick high protein breakfast smoothie.

Ideally I would continue writing and researching my background info for these short stories immediately after journaling for 2-3 hours or 5-6 twenty-five minute sessions as mentioned in day 5 video for higher concentrated focus and productivity. I am excited to try this out since I am surrounded by disruptions that drive me crazy no matter how much I ask for uninterrupted time to focus. My sense of focus feels shot theses days.

Break for snack or solid lunch.

Gather art materials and tools for image work. Continue with current drawing style on paper to warm up, then transfer to canvas. Do this for 3-5 hours or 6-8 twenty-five minute sessions. If I feel like doing art one day for 8 hours then switch it up. Same goes if I feel more into writing all day to stay focused on getting through a short story chapter and stick with it.

Break for supper. Choose to continue on with project into night or stop until next day. Weekends can skip for break or work on if choose.

Upon reflection this time allotment does not match my current schedule. Realistically I could journal thirty minutes to an hour then two to three maybe four hours a day on a creative project using the pomodoro method. Until things change, afternoons are filled with a multitude of medical appointments. Maybe I won’t have to be there as much for others and someone else can attend, however I have a lot to deal with for myself and I must use my health insurance in case things are different with the political climate. I have postponed a bunch of stuff I need to care of for me and now it’s crunch time. Another reason I must now back off from dad situation that is all-consuming and so stressful in that I need to destress for medical procedures. I believe a state of calm is necessary for ultimate success under sedation for both invasive and painful procedures. I am on the cusp of cutting this pattern out with my dad since he wants independent living I want him to do more for himself or else it’s a reality check for him to accept a new life chapter and move into assisted living somehow. I know he doesn’t want that and I don’t blame him. He doesn’t like any of my solutions like moving into an apartment in my complex to make it easier for me all around. I don’t know what else to do. So it may be slower going though if I am steady and consistent I can still meet my goals set without pushing so hard.

How this will get me closer to my dreams

Writing through my roadblocks to clear my path and keep my dreams alive will create inner peace and a refreshed outlook so that I can breathe and move forward one gentle step at a time toward milestones I set for myself. Journaling feeds my creative fire and is self motivating. Often writing in journal evolves from lucid dream recall and other imaginal things I whip up that I can continue writing or turn to drawing or both. Also, there are concepts to archive in project books as my idea library. I need to select what to focus on, what I am up to working onto completion. This process assists in finding my focus.

Completing an art series for a solo show and pieces entered into group shows might sell and generate income. Exposure might lead to new patrons and additional art opportunities. These images will launch my brand of imagery to  be licensed and published. This will prompt me to archive and display on my own website.Online print-on-demand and merchandise sites will also be potential moneymakers and introduce me to a global market. Digital fabric might be a good match for some of my artwork. I can evolve this drawing style into a how-to book, online course and retreat offering to give me opportunity to see the world and travel.

Completing an inventive short story collection can generate passive income with online platforms, such as Kindle, Ingramspark, Nook, Apple, Amazon/CreateSpace, and others. I can self publish on LuLu and/or other sites. I can submit for magazine publication of a few short stories. I might be sought out by a publishing house or magazine for future gigs and projects. I can gain a following/fan base. I can launch a podcast and book tour for public readings and special events to see the nation and world. Practicing the art of the short story will lay the foundation to conquer chapters for a full work of fiction in a genre of my choosing.

That’s it for now. Guess I need to get through writing about my frustration and feeling additionally overwhelmed by these exercises to get to the nitty gritty of real plan making and a raw constructive mindset to move forward.

Happy Creating,


This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

Future Vision


Day 3: My Perfect Day

#10DBC, #freedomplan

September 12, 2016


I began my day listening to the today’s  motivational video for this exercise. It has been percolating somewhat through a busy day. I am too tired to be detailed and post imagery I wish to. I have seen and done this perfect day before. My perfect day is not today. I give it two parts. Perfect Day from Home is expanded on her. Perfect Day Traveling has yet to be truly tapped into that feeling. I vision a blending of both homestead and travel in my life.

Perfect Day from Home

I awaken naturally after a restorative sleep to quietude. Watch the sunrise over the hills and caress them in golden light. I share my life and days with a man who is my equal and a generous, fun loving creative adventurous soul who is playful, joyous and makes me laugh. We take turns pampering and surprising one another in simple small ways as supportive, loving gestures. A pitcher of cool refreshing lemon water awaits on my bedside table. We share quiet moments on our outdoor lanai, laying back on a thick organic cotton futon. I dash into the reading nook and sketch a few ideas and journal in solitude awash with sacred music playing. There are 3 children we have adopted who storm in to greet us as we go downstairs to our large country family style kitchen for breakfast. The youngest girl and I go into our large greenhouse off the kitchen to pick ripe tomatoes with sprigs of dill, lemongrass, green onion, flat leaf parsley and thyme for frittatas. He and I eat light. Protein fruit smoothies definitely. It’s a weekday and off they go to our shared homeschool network down the road. We go outside or to the yoga room as our yoga teacher and friends arrive to share a practice. Off he goes to his music studio in the house or out for other music business, creative projects and collaborations. I go down to my art barn studio to paint, write and create. I have a production team and office to deal with licensing, custom work, and various projects though that is in a separate wing so I can have my serenity to focus. Mid-day we have a private chef for he and I to share a relaxing intimate lunch back at the house or somewhere on our retreat community land, maybe a prepacked picnic to escape to a yurt or cabin. After school it’s down to the community classroom art space where homeschool kids come for creative play, exploration and art that I run with support from parents and other artists. Also, we have a learning farm with small patches of crops and community garden space with animals that the kids learn how to care for them for school. Our whole family with help from a ranch hand and family dog do our part with the goats, cows and chickens. In the evening it’s either a family supper inside or on the outdoor deck, maybe sing around a fire and roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Talk over family travel itinerary and other couple and individual travel plans. Jump onto our golf carts up to our private planetarium and stargaze. Or go up to our community kitchen gathering for meals with friends or a charitable function we stage likening it to our own pop up restaurant for kicks. At the end of the day tucking our kids into bed reading and improvising stories, sharing in talks if something is on their minds. Walking into our candlelit bedroom to find a couples massage awaits with classical guitar music playing. The scent of Amber in the air. Off to bed in the cozy strong arms of my man sleeping to rhythmic drums basking in our off-the-grid Tuscan-style villa oasis under the stars out on our private lanai with a soft warm breeze brushing our skin.

Also various traveling versions single and with partner and with kids. Not sure about this piece. Maybe home is just me or with partner and no kids. Maybe the kids are his with whatever the situation. More to embellish. This is my previous vision. Some additional details, a guest house for my mom next to ours. Stella my kitty cat companion with me everywhere. Playing family games. Intimate time with my partner. We produce annual creative camps and invite our friends to camp on our land and stay in our retreat center. It builds into our own private festival of imagination and creativity. We begin by renewing our vows as our community grows and invite others to wed and renew their vows to launch the occasion on our anniversary. There’s a lot of music, art making, theatre games, poetry readings, writing groups, drama, dance, inventions, installations, performances, circus, cooking, and more! Everyone contributes to our festival.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

Updating computer to hyperlink. iPad not cooperating yet.