Monday, July 17, 2017

A Sacred Place

The Desk And Easel Area In My I Believe In Art Studio

If you follow I Believe In Art on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen some evidence that I was struggling with keeping my art studio tidy lately. The truth is that clutter in my art studio (and other places in my home) has always been a struggle for me.

Honestly, for the past few months I've mostly just accepted it and lived with it because I was busy tending my gardens but now that the dog days of summer are here I've been spending more time indoors and finally I decided I just couldn't take it anymore.

So there I was in my studio last week, going through a big stack of “what the hell is all this?” crap and feeling totally overwhelmed when I came across a scrap of paper where I had once written the following quote by Joseph Campbell:

If you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.
If you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.

I remembered I also wrote that quote on my chalkboard wall above my sink when I first finished remodeling my art studio back in 2014. I'd wanted it there to remind me how fortunate I am to have my “sacred place” and of all the magical things that happen when I truly take advantage of it.

Now, three years later, I realized that I had forgotten that, not completely but enough that I wasn't honoring my sacred place like I should. So I got up and wrote that quote on my chalkboard wall again and then got back to work with a new clarity and renewed energy.

Chalkboard Wall And Sink Area In My Art Studio

It was kind of amazing how easy it was to make decisions about the clutter in my studio after that. When “sacred” is your standard, there is a lot that isn't going to make the cut! And yet at the same time I found myself letting go of the need to make things perfect because I don't think sacred has very much to do with how “pinterest worthy” your creative space is. I think sacred is more about feeling purposeful and peaceful when you are in that space. For me that means having the tools I use the most in reach and being surrounded by what inspires me.

A Sacred Place To Sit and Think, Dream and Plan In My Studio

So I'm happy to say that my sacred place is back in resplendent working order and that I have indeed been using it and yes, magical things are happening.

I'd love to hear about your sacred place or any thoughts you have about this post in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading.

Peace, Love and Art,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Giselle Denis

Artist Giselle Denis live painting a $100,000 Lexus at Vignettes Design Show

I shared a post on the I Believe In Art Facebook page recently where I conveyed how much the art and life of Claude Monet inspires me and asked the question, "Who inspires you?".  I got some really great responses, including one from Artist Rozanna Moore McConnell of Indigo Child Studios where she mentioned another artist in her community, Giselle Denis.

As soon as I clicked over to Giselle's Facebook page, I saw why Rozanna was so impressed by her.  Not only is Giselle's art amazing but her passion and commitment to her craft is awe inspiring.  I knew I had to ask her if she would do an interview for this blog.  I'm sure once you are done reading it, you will see why I was so excited when she agreed. Enjoy!

Artist Giselle Denis In Her Studio With Her Painting, "Believing In The Bliss".

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Giselle: My art represents hope and truth. 

"The Feeling Of A Place" Painting By Giselle Denis

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Giselle: Claude Monet. The lightness in which he held his brush and the way he saw and looked at the world, and translated that perspective onto canvas. His brushstrokes were light, loose and playful. My approach is similar. I try to keep things loose and playful. Not overworked. More of a suggestion of a scene, rather than an actual scene. I feel like Monet painted the feeling of a place, rather than the literal place. 

Question: What inspires you to create?


-Long walks. 
-Long hours in the studio, which leads me down pathways of new direction and creative ideas. 
-Art shows to paint & prepare for. 
-Thankfulness & gratitude to have the privilege of being an artist. 
-My supportive family. 
-Ideas that keep me awake at night. 
-Summer time. 
-The sound of birds and the shining warmth of the sun. 
-I love to paint outdoors when I can. I take every opportunity possible to paint “en-plein air” since our outdoor season is so short. 
-Time spent with friends. 
-Time away from painting.

Giselle Denis Live Painting At Raffles Hotel Dubai 

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?


-Finishing the painting and naming it and then starting another one. Naming my art is just as fun as creating the painting. I am a trained musician, singer/songwriter. It’s what I was trained to do. But art has become the forefront of what I do. I use my songwriting abilities when naming my art. The sound words make when they roll off your tongue is important to me in the naming process. It should sound poetic in form. 

-I love being able to share art so quickly through social media these days. When I began my career, all I had was a website. Now your audience can be thousands of people with a photo and a click of a button. I love sharing why I gave the painting a certain name. Now I share a short story of the process of naming the painting. People really seem to connect with me and engage with me when I share my thoughts on the paintings. 

-I love sharing my art by painting in public. I paint weekly at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for their guests. I've been there for 3 years. It’s very rewarding to share my painting process in public. I paint quickly, so live painting is a good fit for me. During a 3-4 hour period, I make 2-3 paintings.

-I love the thick juicy paint. Not worrying about how much I go through is very liberating. I buy it by the gallon and have the freedom to use as much as I want.

-I love having a working studio space set up at all times, ready to have me come and create in it.

Giselle With Her Gallons Of Paint

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?


-Staying fresh. 

-Staying true to who I am, how I see the world and how I paint that world. 

-When I take on commissions, remaining true to my painting style and learning how to deal with people who want to tell me how to make a great painting. Effectively communicating to my customers why they hired me to make a painting, and then asking them to entrust me as the artist professional to do a great job. 

-Knowing when to stop painting. People ask me frequently, “How do you know when a painting is done?” My answer is, “It is never ‘done’. You just have to know when to stop.”

"Tranquility" Painting By Giselle Denis

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Giselle: Believing in art, to me, means to trust the process. Trust yourself. Don’t second guess yourself, but if you do, trust you will figure it out. It also means hours spent painting. If you expect huge results but only paint a few times a year, you are not going to see huge results. But if you paint a little bit every day, you will see results a little bit every day. And then one day, you will wake up, and a few years will have gone by and you will see how far you've come. Believe you were created to create. Believe you have it in you. Believe you have unique and special ideas and that no one has your mind and can apply the paint onto canvas the way you do. Only you can see the world through your own eyes. Only you can interpret what you see and feel onto canvas the way you do.

My thanks to Giselle, for sharing her art, her insight and her inexhaustible creative spirit with us.  And thanks to Rozanna for bringing her to my attention!

To learn more about Giselle and her art, connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

For more "I Believe In Artists" Interviews and to learn how you can apply to be featured, click here.

Until next time, Happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Jennifer Eddie

Artist Jennifer Eddie

I'm so pleased to have the opportunity to share the art and thoughts of another talented artist with you today as part of my "I Believe In Artists" series.  

I'm happy that these interviews have managed to include a diverse sample of artists so far and yet at the same time, I believe they have demonstrated that most artists have many of the same joys and struggles in common.

I'm certain more than a few of you will recognize some of your joys and struggles in the words of artist Jennifer Eddie, just as you will recognize your own humanity in the faces of her portraits.  

May art continue to unite us all while still celebrating the beauty of our differences.

'Laura Mvula' Oil on Canvas Block by Jennifer Eddie

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Jennifer: Capturing emotions in the human face.

'Andy Murray' Pencil on 130gsm Cartridge Paper By Jennifer Eddie

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Jennifer: So difficult to choose one.  I first came across the work of Lucian Freud when I did a portraiture summer school at Edinburgh College of Art.  When I saw the different colours he used in 'A Sleeping Head' it was a revelation and completely changed my approach to the subject of portraiture.  

'Big Smile' Pencil on 130gsm Cartridge Paper By Jennifer Eddie

Question: What inspires you to create?

Jennifer: The human face.  It is fascinating.  It is where your emotions are on display.  Faces full of character and a life well lived are particularly inspiring. The ones that have a story to tell. I want to capture that.

'Cuba Gooding Jr' Pencil on 130gsm Cartridge Paper by Jennifer Eddie

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Jennifer: I do love it when I'm working on a portrait and it all just comes together. You see the person emerge. So satisfying!  But the whole creative process is a joy for me. Once I get into my studio I am very happy. When I am 'in the flow' I forget about everything.

'Sandi Toksvig' Coloured Pencil on 130gsm Cartridge Paper By Jennifer Eddie

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Jennifer: Getting myself into my studio!  I do procrastinate quite a bit and social media can be very distracting!  But probably the biggest challenge for me is believing in myself and being true to the art I want to create.  I recently joined an art club, partly as a way of getting more involved in the local art community but mainly to challenge myself. It has been a positive experience for me. Working alongside other artists is pushing me to go in new directions and try different techniques.  And I seem to be a little more motivated about getting into the studio!  I am still working on the self-belief but my club is so supportive and encouraging that I feel much more confident about my art and the direction I want to take.

'Mother' Coloured Pastel Pencil on Paper
Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Jennifer: Believing in art defines who I am.  It is an essential part of my life - like breathing.

Thank you, Jennifer for sharing your art and your passion for art with us.

You can learn more about Jennifer and her art on her web site at  Some of her art is available at and be sure to connect with her on her facebook page:

Click here to find more artist interviews and learn how you can apply to be featured.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Victoria Lynn Hall

Hello, my name is Victoria Lynn Hall and I believe in art.

For my first "I Believe In Artists" feature of 2017, I decided to interview an artist I've known for a very long time, me!  And now that I have, I would just like to take a moment to apologize to all my past and future interview subjects.  I really had no idea how difficult these questions were until I had to answer them myself!

At the same time, I have to say I enjoyed the challenge and learned a lot from it.  So without further ado, here's a little more about me and my art:

"Treasured" Acrylic on 11x14 Canvas.  Click here to read a blog post inspired by this painting.

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Me: Attempts to tell a better story.

"It's A Wonder Full Life" Acrylic on 11x14 Canvas
hung on a wall with my hand painted mural.

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Me: My favorite artist is Claude Monet, because of how hopeful his paintings make me feel and also because they inspire me to look at the world differently.  Learning about Monet and his art taught me to really notice and appreciate the magic and movement of light and color, especially in nature and in my garden specifically (you can read more about that by clicking here).

I would also like to say that since starting the I Believe In Art Facebook Page, I have encountered so many talented artists who inspire me with their work and their creative spirits on a daily basis.

"Hopes and Dreams" Acrylic on 11x14 Canvas.  Click here to read more about this painting.

Question: What inspires you to create?

Me: I am always creating in many different mediums for many different reasons.  However, when it comes to painting it is often frustration that leads me to my easel.  There is a certain kind of angst I'm prone to that only pushing paint around a canvas can relieve for me.  For me, creating art is an act of self care. I count on it to restore my faith and renew my optimism.

"Light Dawning" Acrylic on 11x14 Canvas.
Click here to learn the story behind this painting.

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Me: I love it when I am in that creative zone where my intuition kicks in and I just know what to do without questioning myself.  Experiencing that through my artistic process has taught me to trust my intuition more in other areas of my life.

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Me: The most challenging part of the creative process for me is just getting started.  There is always that perfectionist, procrastinating side of me (that I call my anti-muse) that I have to battle before I begin anything.  She never thinks I'm ready enough or good enough, so the challenge is to get to work in spite of that and keep going until my intuition (aka my muse) kicks in and shuts her up.

"What Never Was" Acrylic on 24X30 Canvas

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Me:  On a personal level, believing in art means believing I will know something after I create art that I didn't know before I created it - that it can unlock doors in my perception and help me see myself and the world in a better light. 

You can read what believing in art means to me in general on The I Believe In Art Manifesto:

The I Believe In Art Manifesto.  Click here to read the story of how this was born.

Thanks so much for reading. Some of my paintings are available as canvas prints at the I Believe In Art Shop (Click Here).  And as always, you can connect with me through my I Believe In Art Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter accounts.

Oh and if you are an artist who would like to be interviewed for this feature, please click here for more information.

Thanks again and happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,

Thursday, December 22, 2016

An Artist's Christmas Wish List

Holiday Greetings from The I Believe In Art Studio

Dear Santa,

I've been a little busy decorating my home for the holidays but, now that things have calmed down, I've had time to think about what I want for Christmas.  So if it's not too late, here's just a few things I'm wishing for:

1. A Vacation For My Anti-Muse

That perfectionist anti-muse that tries to keep me from making art has been working overtime around here lately. I think she really just needs to relax, have an umbrella drink on a beach somewhere and be told that everything is going to be okay. So please give her a vacation so I can have a vacation from her, thank you.

2. A Watch For My Muse

My muse never seems to know what time it is. She is always sleeping on the job when it would be convenient for us to be working together and then late at night she keeps me up working on crazy ideas. Give the woman a watch or a clock so I can sleep, please!

3. GPS For The Cleaning Fairies

I keep requesting that the cleaning fairies come tidy up when things get messy in my art studio but they never show. Obviously they are getting lost for some reason.  Please equip them with GPS so they can find their way to my house.

4. A Unicorn Pony For My Inner Child

Sometimes I forget to not be serious and that imagination is my super power. Fortunately, I have my inner child to remind me of these things and make art and life fun again. I don't think there's anyone in the world who deserves a unicorn pony more than her, so could you make that happen? 

Wait, nevermind, she just told me that she already has one (wow, talk about hard to shop for!). 

Update: Click here to see what my me and my inner child did get for Christmas.

5. Peace, Love and Art for Everyone

More than anything I just want people to be nice to each other, for us all to encourage each other and for everyone to be happy creating or enjoying the creations of others. Maybe that's not in your power but if you could work some magic to remind the rest of us that it is in ours, I'd appreciate it.

Oh and a stocking full of art supplies would be awesome too.

Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

I Believe In Artists: Linda Todd

Artist Linda Todd

You know I love all things magical and whimsical and the art of Linda Todd definitely fits that description.  So of course I was excited about sharing her work when she agreed to do this feature.  However, I am equally excited to share her words.  I found them to be encouraging and inspiring and I think you will too.  Enjoy!

"Happiness" Art by Linda Todd

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Linda: My work in 6 words... quirky, colourful, magical, happy, bright, dreamy.

"Spring Equinox" Art by Linda Todd

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Linda: My favourite artist is Marc Chagall and he inspires me by his dreamlike scenes that look so incredibly simple and childlike. He paints from his emotions and always has a story to tell. His use of colour also creates an atmosphere, an intensity which accompanies these magical compositions.  I am drawn to storytelling artists, as opposed to a composition of inanimate objects.

"Follow Your Dreams" Card by Linda Todd

Question: What inspires you to create?

Linda: What inspires me to create own life which is a series of little stories. My love of nature, flowers, butterflies and my golden hare which is a theme that pops up in my paintings every now and then. I have a love for inspirational sayings and folk art of different countries. There is a creative mix which I work between and depending on how I feel I dip into words or images. Sometimes it's both. I recently designed a series of inspirational cards to inspire and uplift people that is also very important in making my art. I teach in college and inspiring people is my daily job, so it feeds into my art in a big way.

"Butterfly Dreams" Art by Linda Todd

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Linda: The favourite part of my creative process is sitting in front of a blank canvas or paper with a beautiful range of paints and responding to the way I feel. I do not tend to roughly sketch anything out anymore. I tend to just go for it and see what evolves as it happens. My intuition plays an important part in creating.

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Linda: The only challenge I face is if my energy is low. Experience has taught me not to start anything if I am running on empty. For the results will be poor. The creative flow has to be able to move through you and in a way that it is completely free. Being creative is about knowing yourself and being in tune with what you can and can't do.

"Snowdrop Hare" Art by Linda Todd

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Linda: "Believing in art" means to me........follow your heart, be true to yourself and be grateful for the talent you possess. The reason I say this is because if we all start from the premise that it is a gift, and it is to be used in a true and honest way, it will never let you down. Your belief in your abilities will be with you for life and the satisfaction of being able to access your creativity will feed your soul.

Thank you Linda for sharing your magic with us!

To learn more about Linda and her art, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you missed any previous "I Believe In Artists" interviews or are interested in being featured yourself, click here for more information.