Creativity Coaching – Session 3: Follow your Muse











When I went into my studio today, I decided to work with cold wax & oil on the paintings I started in Session 1.  I’m really trying to challenge myself right now – working with different media and exploring unknown territory.  Growth comes when you step outside of your comfort zone.

Perhaps this is inspired by a recent blog post from one of my favourite bloggers, Seth Godin. Failure (and the fear of failure) gives you a chance to have a voice….
Because failure frightens people who care less than you do.

So let’s be passionate and genuine, regardless of the outcome!

Setting up for cold wax and oil Session 3

I squeezed out a few colours of oil paint, and put about the same amount of Gamblin Cold Wax medium next to each colour.

Here you see the oil paint and wax mixed on the palette. I decided to add some Ice Blue to my palette.

I starting to apply oil and wax to Piece #1

I applied more oil and wax to Piece #1

I then started to apply oil and wax to Piece #2

Results: Cold wax and oil Piece #2

Results: Cold wax and oil Piece #1

Leftover product….starting another piece (this is a 12×12 that I had previously textured with light molding paste).

I decided to work on a piece I started a while ago. Leftover product can be very motivating!

And here it is a while later after playing with cold wax & oil. So much more depth, even if it isn’t finished.

Creativity Coaching – Session 2: Overcoming Fear











There is one sure way to find your artistic voice, and that is to face fear head-on!

Fear of failure never goes away entirely, but after a few successful fear-fights under your belt – especially the ones that leave you giddy with joy because you discovered something profoundly brilliant – you begin to develop your fear-fighting muscles. These muscles will help you in many aspects of life – not just in your art.

If you missed Session 1, be sure check it out before you continue…

If you took part in Creativity Coaching Session 1, you should have one or more paintings that you have started.

It’s now time to take your Session 1 piece (or pieces) a step further, and if you’re at all like me, you’re a bit afraid to do anything to them.

Perhaps there are parts you like – and you don’t want to wreck.  Or perhaps they are so horrible you can hardly look at them.

The latter is an easier place to start, but I’m guessing that there is at least one section, no matter how small, that you are afraid to mess up.

A few tips on how to take the next step(s)

Where do you start?

  • As your coach, I would suggest that you start with the first idea that comes to you.
  • Don’t over-analyze.  When you look at the piece(s) in front of you, try to listen to your inner voice.
  • All you need to decide on is the next step:  eg. I think I should put some more white in that area, or cover up that area because it’s so ugly, or enhance the (blue or green or red) a bit.

Once you have that ONE idea, act on it and don’t worry about knowing what to do next.

Materials:     Your Session 1 painting(s)


  • What colour or colours do you feel like adding to your piece? Don’t be afraid of wasting a bit of paint. This journey is important and worthwhile – I promise!  Put a bit of any colour you feel inspired to use on your palette.


  • Brush or palette knife (or any other mark-making tool that you feel like using).  A stick? Your fingers? (if so, please wear gloves) 🙂

Now you’re ready to dive in and conquer your fear!

  • Take a deep breath…….let it out slowly.   Do this 3 more times.
  • Then MAKE YOUR MARK (or marks).
  • Step back once you have applied some paint, and wait for the next idea to come.
  • Act on it (if it involves a different colour, put whatever you need on your palette and get to work).
  • Repeat the above steps until you have no more ideas about what to do.

Once you run out of ideas of what to do next, STOP.

Put the painting aside, and if you have more time to paint, start another painting in the same fashion that you started your Step 1 piece(s).

Or if you started more than one piece in Step 1, you can move to Step 2 on one or more of those pieces.

How are you feeling?

It’s time to check in and see how you’re feeling about this process so far.  Don’t be surprised or dismayed if you don’t like your paintings.  Trust me when I say that you will learn more as an artist from the paintings that fail than from the ones that succeed.

This process is not easy, and the results are not always going to be beautiful right away, but if you trust the process and allow yourself to take risks, you will find that your inner voice will develop and emerge.  These exercises are the same ones I have used in my own studio and art practice.  I continue to practice them because they work.

The exercises are not for the faint of heart, but rather they are for those of us that have an unquenchable thirst to be genuine, unique and original in expressing our artistic voice.

Pictures of my Session 2 paintings:

After Session 2 on Painting 1 & 2 (both started in Session 1)

After Session 2 on Painting 3 & 4 (both started in Session 1)

Step 2 all 4 paintings started in Step 1.

Creativity Coaching – Session 1: Showing Up










I am excited to say that I’ve found something I’m passionate to blog about!

Last week I had an epiphany….  I’m a Creativity Coach.  What exactly does this mean?  I want to equip & inspire others to embrace creativity, as it has brought me so much joy, healing & passion!

I’m going to lay it all out on the line – real & raw – the good, the bad & the ugly.

Step 1 – Showing Up
(aka Laying the Foundation for Brilliance)

A creative life is a joyful life

The first step is to show up

To show up means to be willing to fail, which is scary, unless you believe you learn more from your failures than your successes.  I firmly believe this, so let me coach you through your fear of failure.

Failure can give us strength

In any area of life, it’s the challenges, obstacles, dead-ends, breakage, hurdles (anything that we label as ‘failure’), that makes us strong.

Strength gives depth to your life, and to your creative expression.

Nothing great is ever achieved (or created) without adversity.  Therefore, we as creatives need to embrace and make peace with adversity (ie, failure).

Today’s exercise is going to help you be stronger tomorrow.

Laying a foundation

Today we are going to lay the foundation for a masterpiece, and all you need to do is show up!

Do yourself a favour and expect that today you are going to create something brilliantly ugly.


Painting surface – of any size


  • White (lots) & Black (a little bit)
  • 2 other colours you love (I chose Quin. Nickel Azo Gold & Turquoise)

Brush – At least one paint brush (in case you decide to use it)

Gloves – You will be using your hands

A mark-making tool

  • palette knife – kitchen utensil – a stick, etc…

Starting out:

Here are photos of what I started with ….. feel free to use the same as me, or improvise by using what suits you.

10″ x 10″ wood cradle panel (selected because I had several kicking around the studio).


White (Gesso), Black, Quin Nickel Azo Gold, Turquoise (Phthlo)


Mark making tools


Let’s Begin!

Start putting some paint on the canvas (or board). I used my fingers to start this one…..


Add a bit more colour….


and keep going….. Don’t worry if it’s ugly 🙂


Then if you’re feeling really brave, start another one!


and a 3rd….

My Four Foundations

I was having so much fun – and I still had paint on my palette, so I started 4 🙂


One hour later, and I’ve started 4 paintings that will create a series.

I don’t love them yet, but I’m excited to see where they go from here!

See how easy it can be if you just show up and let go of expectations?

Session 2 will be coming soon! xo


My Marks ….. Workshop in January, etc…

I am a different person since returning from my week-long artist retreat in New Mexico.  I have had some amazing breakthroughs in my ability to let go in the studio (and even in other areas of my life).  So far the results have been embraced by collectors (new & old), and I’m very inspired 🙂

A Table For Two 48×48

Are We On The Same Page 24×18

I’m planning my next workshop in January, 2018 (Sat. Jan. 27 & Sat. Feb. 3rd, 2018 in Cloverdale).  It’s going to be the best workshop yet, and even if you have attended one before, there will be lots of new things I’ll be sharing!).

Email or phone me to reserve a spot (I only have a few spots left).

Landmark I 24×48

Happy Halloween 🙂

xo Jenn



I love grilled onions!

Happy September friends!

I’ve been very negligent (again) about blogging.  I have a million reasons that I won’t bore you with.  I am working very hard at building a new website, painting for 3 Galleries, preparing for a solo show in Feb. 2018, and amid all of this, I have dropped a few balls.  My blog is one of them.

I’m super excited about a workshop I am taking in New Mexico in a few weeks.  I can’t wait to spend 5 days in a magical place painting with other passionate artists and a great instructor!  I am committed to doing something every 2 years that takes me out of my comfort zone and stretches me.  I know I will return with lots of inspiration and a few new tools in my belt.  I can’t wait to share them with you!

I’ve been trying to plan some workshops for late Fall or Winter, but I’m having a hard time securing a venue for the dates that work.  I’ll keep looking though, as I know some of you are anxious to sign up.  Thanks for your patience!

And the onion thing……well, this Summer I discovered that I absolutely love grilled onions – on almost anything!  That and I couldn’t come up with a captivating title for this blog post so I thought what the heck! 🙂

What’s an art blog without some art?  Here are a few thumbnails of paintings I have available.  There are lots more to see in my studio, if you’d like to come for a visit.  I do love commissions, and now is the time to start thinking about Christmas……….

Hugs,    Jenn

Reflections II 40×40


Out of the Blue 20×24


Seascape 36×48

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