TENDING WHAT IS PRECIOUS

A bright, soulful woman from my online community, my mom’s sister’s husband (aka my uncle), and two of my friend’s beloved doggie companions all left this earthly realm in a flash.

With each loss, my heart ached, tears flowed, and I was left with a potent mixture of sadness, reverence, and gratitude.

I believe sharing my first public speech about losing my own beloved mama at the Brave Girl Symposium just two weeks ago cracked me open and allowed me to access my emotions around these losses in a more immediate and authentic way. And for that, I am truly thankful.

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CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF INTUITIVE PAINTING ON CREATIVEBUG!

It’s been so fun to share my approach to painting with the Creativebug community over the past year and to see so many people from around the world discovering their ability to paint intuitively.

If you’re not already familiar with Creativebug, this amazing website offers access to hundreds of wonderful art classes, including my three-part course. And here’s some good news, you can check it all out using their free two-week trial period!

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PAINTING SESSIONS EPISONE NINE: SNEAK PEEK

If you’ve ever struggled with finishing a painting or have a stack of unfinished paintings lying around, you’re not alone.

I often hear that completing a painting is the hardest part of the process, so instead of letting these painting pile up in a neglected corner of my studio, I decided to take two of them out to breathe some fresh air into them. As you’ll see, this Session is about inviting change, embracing reinvention, and staying present to the ever-unfolding story of your canvas.

If you’re interested in letting go of the old and welcoming the new, check this one out!

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NEED UPLIFTING? CHECK THIS ONE OUT!

Let’s be honest. We live in a wild time.

With the constant onslaught of heartbreaking news, it’s easy to feel fearful and overwhelmed by the state of the world these days.

I get that. I feel it too.

This is exactly why it’s more important than ever to feed our souls a daily dose of uplifting stories, meaningful experiences, and creative inspiration. Really anything that fills our hearts and inspires positive action is more than welcome!

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PAINTING SESSIONS EPISODE EIGHT: SNEAK PEEK

I’m happy to share a sneak peek of Episode Eight of the Painting Sessions with you today.

We filmed this Session right after I taught a brand new workshop in New Mexico, so I was feeling all kinds of inspired to try out some new ideas.

I gave myself specific parameters going in with the hope that they might lead to some new discoveries along the way. I worked with a very limited palette, the human figure, and the written word, and these limitations or “banks of the river,” as I like to call them, resulted in an interesting new palette and a whole posse of female figures.

If you’re interested in moving in new directions in your work, check this one out!

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FREEING UP WITH PAINT!

If you’re seeking more freedom in your creative expression, you’re not alone.

This is the number one reason folks show up for my workshops and courses, and it makes perfect sense. We all want to feel more free and alive, and painting provides a playful and dynamic way to access this kind of wild abandon.

However, the romantic notion of freely slinging paint around a canvas is not always easy to access. In fact, sometimes it can feel like quite a conundrum, especially if you’re used to a more logical, planned out way of life.

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INSPIRING NEW VIDEO + LAST CHANCE FOR WORKSHOP GIVEAWAY!

Do you ever feel like you’re in a creative rut?

As a person who’s been painting for twenty-five years, I know I’ve been in many a rut over the years, but I always seem to dig myself out, and here’s how.

I mix it up constantly.

Just like life off the canvas, if we do the same things over and over, we’re bound to form habits and eventually get a little (or a lot) bored.

That’s why it’s crucial to find new ways to approach our creative practices… and our lives. And this, my friends, is what the Creative Revolution E-Course is allllllllll about.

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CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE THE WORLD + WIN A PORTLAND WORKSHOP!

There are many days I don’t make it into the studio to paint. Perhaps you can relate? But instead of beating myself up about my “lack of creative productivity,” I’ve been seeking more and more ways to integrate simple acts of creative living into my everyday life, and I gotta say, it’s a game-changer.

These subtle shifts in perspective have the power to bring the magic of creativity into even the most mundane moments, while opening up a world of inspiration along the way. They also make walking out the front door much more exciting!

I call this approach to life, The Art of Aliveness, and I’m happy to share one of my favorites with you today. It’s called, Visual Feast, and it’s all about seeing your world through a fresh lens. Enjoy!

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WHY DO WE MAKE ART & HOW DO WE STAY INSPIRED?

Why do we make art? How do we stay inspired?

Throughout The Creative Revolution E-Course, I offer a number of Live Calls to answer questions, and these two gems recently came up. So good, right? I’m a big believer in asking these poignant questions in order to stay connected to the “why” behind our work and inspiration.

The truth is we all make art for different reasons, and we all find inspiration in unique ways, so it’s important to do some soul searching to find your truth. I’ve included a list of questions to get you started, and I’m happy to share my personal reflections on these two questions in the video below.

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MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN SALE: 25% OFF ALL E-COURSES!

For the past seven years, I’ve been pouring my heart into the creation of four innovative online courses, and I’m truly so proud of each and every one of them. There I said it 😉

One really cool thing about these distinct courses is how beautifully they pair together to offer an even richer creative experience. So the first time ever, I’ve bundled all the courses into pairs, because doesn’t it seem like you should get a sweet deal if you purchase more than one? I think so!

Typically these bundles will give you 10% off both courses, but to celebrate this new dealio, I’m offering a whopping 25% off any bundle from now until May 30th with the Match Made in Heaven Sale. This means you’ll receive 25% off both classes!

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TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO DISCOVER YOUR ONE-OF-A-KIND STYLE

As a creative guide, I often we hear people express a deep desire to find their unique style of artistic expression, and I understand. Making art that is unmistakably your own is both satisfying and integral, but finding your own style also takes attention, patience, resourcefulness, courage and time.

To support you on this journey, I’ve put together a list of ten simple things you can do right now to unearth and nourish your one-of-a-kind creative expression. I hope you find it helpful!

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PAINTING SESSIONS EPISODE SEVEN: SNEAK PEEK

I’m happy to share a sneak peek of Episode Seven of the Painting Sessions with you today.

This episode of The Painting Sessions offers a fun departure from the past six episodes.

Instead of painting one large painting on canvas, I used a variety of supplies such as watercolor, ink, graphite, collage, acrylic, and markers on watercolor paper to create three new mixed media paintings.

I had no specific expectations going in beyond trying new materials and seeing where they took me — and making something interesting for you to watch 😉 That said, the whole experience was one big playful experiment. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!

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WHY I HITCHED A RIDE INTO A DISASTER ZONE: MY FIRST PUBLIC SPEECH IS ONLINE!

Last year, I was asked to give my first public speech.

Since LOVE was the theme, I decided to share (for the first time publicly) my story of hitching a ride to New Orleans and doing six-months of disaster relief work on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina — all while living in a makeshift tent.

Writing and sharing this story allowed me to dig into the memories of that potent time in my life, and looking back, I see what a _huge_ turning point it was for me.

Listen to the whole story here.

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FREE SAMPLE PAINTING SESSION! INSPIRATION AWAITS!

It’s The Painting Session’s sixth-month anniversary!

I gotta say, I’ve been having so much fun creating these fresh, action-packed Sessions for you each month.

And from what I’ve been hearing, they’re a big hit!

To celebrate this milestone, I’m excited to give you a front row seat to this awesome by offering you a collection of videos from our past six episodes. Please enjoy this complimentary Sample Painting Session as my gift to you!

I hope this Sample Session gives you loads of creative inspiration, and if you’re left craving more, I’m happy to share a super amazing Six Month Anniversary Special with you during the month of April.

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A SERIOUS BURST OF INSPIRATION + SOUL SOOTHING

There comes a time when you need to share the goods.

That’s what today’s note is all about — my own little curated list of goodies that are invigorating, inspiring, and generally soothing my soul lately.

I’ve been carefully compiling this treasure trove for awhile, and I’m so happy to share it with you today. Take what works, and bless the rest!

(And, nope, I’m not getting paid to do this. Just happy to spread the love.)

ENJOY!

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EPISODE FIVE OF THE PAINTING SESSION: SNEAK PEEK!

I’m happy to share a sneak peek of Episode Five of the Painting Sessions with you today.

I created this painting using the layering process from my Bloom True E-Course — starting with warm colors, then adding cool colors, popping in light and dark values, and seeing where it all wanted to go. As always, there were many unexpected twists and turns along the way, and I’m happy to share it all with you in this month’s Painting Session.

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IT’S SHOW AND TELL TIME!

It’s time for a little show and tell.

The first week of the Creative Revolution E-Course has been so fantastic!

Watching folks from all over the world getting fired up about making art in new ways and inviting more creativity into all aspects of their lives makes my heart super happy.

And today I’m excited to give you a little peek inside the revolution by sharing some of the words and creations of my students.

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THE ART OF ALIVENESS + A FREE PAINTING SESSIONS

It’s one thing to paint, sing, or dance (an AMAZING thing, of course!), but it’s a whole different ball of wax to weave your creative spirit into every aspect of your life.

From the way you make breakfast, to how you use your voice, walk down the street, and listen to your loved ones, there are boundless new ways to invite creativity into your everyday life.

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PERSONAL SANCTUARIES + A FREE STUDIO DIARY!

With the constant tsunami of information coming at us these days, creating personal “sanctuaries” to refuel is essential.

Personally, I’ve been more committed than ever before to claiming those precious moments in the morning to stretch, breathe, take a walk, savor a warm beverage, and generally wake up with myself, before diving into my phone and email box. I’ve also been loving more art making, writing, and reading in my evenings.

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LIVE Q & A + MOVEMENT SEQUENCES + FINAL HOURS FOR EARLY BIRD PRICING!

I’ve never been able to sit still for very long, and if you’ve ever watched me paint, you’ve probably noticed I like to dance my way across the canvas.

Moving my body to awesome music is hands down my favorite way to open up channels of freedom and flow in my creative process, and this is why I’ve included unique Movement Sequences in every week of the Creative Revolution E-Course.

I made a little video to tell you more about it and to offer you a Mini Movement Exercise to play with right now!

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I’M SHARING A FULL LENGTH CREATIVE EXERCISE FROM THE CREATIVE REVOLUTION E-COURSE!

I believe shifting creative gears is an essential part of staying inspired and developing your own unique style.

This could mean using a new medium, changing the scale of your work, or simply having an entirely new intention like, “I don’t care what this looks like, I just want to play!”

I’m a big fan of all these shifts, especially the one about playing, and one great way to do this is through Visual Riffing.

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MY CREATIVE LULL + CURRENT BREAKTHROUGH!

I gotta be honest with you, I haven’t felt super inspired to paint for the past few years. Yikes, I said it.

While I’ve been creating lots of demo paintings in my workshops and the occasional painting here and there, there’s this whole other level of inspiration — the deep, insatiable, gotta-paint-everyday-kind-of inspiration — that’s been MIA for awhile now.

I understand that inspiration is something that ebbs and flows over time, so I’ve been trying not to beat myself up over this mulit-year lull. However, I have been examining what kinds of shifts might get me back in the flow.

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EPISODE THREE OF THE PAINTING SESSIONS: SNEAK PEEK!

I’m happy to let you all know that Episode Three of The Painting Sessions is ready to roll, and it’s a goooood one!

If you’re not yet familiar with this offering, I highly recommend checking it out. Every monthly Painting Session gives you an intimate look at the creation of one large painting from start to finish, accompanied by a voice-over where I offer all kinds of tricks, insights, and encouragement along the way. Enjoy this sneak peek of Episode Three!

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Free Painting Videos to Fill Your Inspiration Cup

Who’s ready for a brand new year? I am. I am!

And who’s ready to invite more creativity into their lives this year?

I believe that strengthening our brave, intuitive muscles (both on and off the canvas) is more important than ever before, so to give you a little jumpstart of creative inspiration I’m happy to share some of my favorite videos with you.

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Cozy Up With 20 Inspiring Podcasts

It’s snowing in Portland today!

This is not only a rare and beautiful sight (I swear my entire neighborhood is sledding at the dog park right now), but it also creates the perfect backdrop for three of my favorite activities: making art, drinking warm beverages, and listening to new podcasts.

If you’re looking for some fresh podcast action, I’ve got ya covered with some of my favorites, as well as some of your favorites compiled from a recent Facebook post on this very topic.

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My Favorite Soulful Gifts From the Heart

If you’re looking for gifts that are incredible to receive, while directly supporting the makers, doers, and creators behind them, I’ve got some ideas for you!

Supporting artists and changemakers who spark inspiration, catalyze change, and create products that soothe the soul feels like an act of love and justice in itself, and I’m happy to share some of my personal favorites with you here.

Cheers to giving soulful gifts from the heart this holiday season.

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#ARTISTSFOR LOVE

In the wake of last week’s election results, a couple of my artist friends gathered together.

Collectively, we were reeling from all the emotions, and asking each other, “What can we do? How can we make a difference? How can we, as artists, stand for inclusivity and love when such intense hate and fear is sweeping the nation?”

In that moment of questioning, we came up with an idea, and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

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GETTING HONEST WITH ORLY AVINERI

I’m happy to share one of the special conversations that emerged from this month’s Studio Diary with mixed-media artist Orly Avineri.

Join Orly and I in the studio as we consider the topics of honesty, vulnerability, and bridging the gap between how we live and how we create.

“In art, the less involved you are , the more honest the art is, and the more honest the art is the more beautiful.”

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EXCITING MESSAGE ABOUT STUDIO DIARIES

After much consideration and reflection on your feedback, I’ve decided to make a few really exciting shifts in my monthly offering. Starting on November 1st, Studio Diaries will be called The Painting Sessions, and the focus of each month will be on…you guessed it…painting!

Every month, I’ll share a series of fresh videos to demonstrate the creation of a new painting from start to finish. The videos will include insightful guidance and reflections via a voice-over to emulate the experience of being in an in-person workshop.

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DAY FOUR CELEBRATION! 25% OFF PRINTS, BOOKS + LIFESTYLE GOODIES + AN EPIC GIFT BAG OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm during this week of giveaways and sales. We’re having so much fun celebrating with you!

Today, I’m happy to extend a rare 25% off all of our Lifestyle Goodies, Books, and Giclee Prints on Canvas. If you haven’t taken a wander around my online shop, this is an excellent time to grab your favorite treats and treasures.

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DAY TWO CELEBRATION! BLOOM TRUE E-Course SUPER SALE + LIFETIME ACCESS + COMMUNITY GIVEBACK PROGRAM

Our week-long thank-a-thon continues with some really exciting news about the Bloom True E-Course. This week, we are offering the course for $186 (that’s $111 off the original price – our biggest sale to date!). We’re also happy to extend the year-long access to include a LIFETIME of access. This blog also features our awesome Community Giveback program and recent beneficiaries.

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THE MEANING BEHIND OUR PAINTINGS

For years, when folks asked me the meaning behind my paintings (which they LOVE to do), I struggled to respond – feeling like I needed an intellectual answer to explain the meaning behind my work.

Can you relate?

Over the years, I’ve become more connected to all the reasons I step up to the canvas, and all these motivations boil down to some simple core beliefs.

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CREATIVE BUSINESS WITH HEART

September’s Diary is all about Creative Business with Heart. In this Diary, we’ll dive into my favorite practical and intuitive tools to support a soulful, sustainable and successful creative business.

Every Diary also includes a special Diving Deeper Podcast where I share my thoughts on questions from the Studio Diaries community. The podcast this month is SO full of great questions about creative business, I’m happy to share the entire recording with you right here. Enjoy!

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HOW TO NAVIGATE UNSOLICITED FEEDBACK

In this week’s Hey Flora, I answer a question from Grace, who writes in about the delicate dynamic of receiving unsolicited feedback.

Has this ever happened to you?

Someone sees your painting and spontaneously begins to offer tips, critiques, and ideas. Sometimes this advice is absolutely welcome, and sometimes — not so much.

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HOW TO FINISH A PAINTING + FLASH STUDIO DIARIES GIVEAWAY

I often hear people say that FINISHING their intuitive paintings is the hardest part of the process.

And I totally get it.

You might start out joyfully dancing your color across the canvas with wild free abandon, but at some point your painting turns into a confusing mess. Sound familiar?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you’re not alone. In fact, this is the number one struggle I hear from my students.

I would LOVE to help you all with this, so in this week’s Hey Flora episode, I’m offering up a few helpful tips about finishing intuitive paintings.

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INTUTIVE PAINTING ON CREATIVEBUG!

Friends. I’ve been keeping this excitement under wraps for awhile, but today is the day I finally get to share it with you!

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of filming a three-part Intuitive Painting class in my Portland studio with the fine folks from Creativebug, and my first class is launching today!

If you’re not already in the know, allow me to fill you in on the sweetest deal ever. This awesome site offers you access to hundreds of art classes for just $4.95/month…

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HOW TO SELL PAINTINGS AND KEEP THE IMAGES FOREVER!

The one regret I have in my career as an artist is that I didn’t professionally document my earlier paintings.

Back in those early days, I didn’t understand how important it would be to have a quality image of the paintings I sold. Admittedly, I was also really broke. As a result, I have at least a hundred paintings floating around in the world without any record of them — a lesson in letting go for sure!

Now I never sell a painting without capturing a high quality image of the piece, and I use these images in so many ways. Sometimes they turn into giclee prints on canvas or fun lifestyle products — did you know you can buy shower curtains, clocks, pillows and rugs with your favorite Flora painting? I also use my images on my website, social media outlets, and for my own records. They’re kinda like gold, really.

In this week’s Hey Flora episode, I’m answering these questions, “When you’re documenting your work, how do you pay the photographer? Per photo, per session, per month? How does it all work?”

I’m also happy to share my very favorite photographer here in Portland.

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QUICK TIPS FOR SETTING UP YOUR PAINTING SPACE

If you’ve ever thought, “I can’t paint, because I don’t have the space to paint,” it’s time to get creative with your creative space!

Consider where you might be able to carve out a little space for yourself?

Do you have an extra room, garage, patio, basement or attic? Perhaps you have a friend who could easily lend you a little extra space or happily go in on renting a shared space?

Even if you’re painting on a kitchen table, in the corner of your bedroom, or in your backyard, cultivating physical space in order to create is one of the most powerful things you can do to support your creative habit.

In this week’s Hey Flora episode, I’m sharing a few basic tips to help you get your painting space up and running. One of these tips took me YEARS to figure out, so I’m thrilled to pass it along and save you some time!

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HOW CREATIVITY HEALS: A CONVERSATION WITH SHILOH SOPHIA

I recently had the honor of meeting teacher, artist, poet and founder of Intentional Creativity, Shiloh Sophia. I’m guessing many of you already know Shiloh, but if not, I’m honored to make the introduction.

About a month ago, Shiloh was in Portland teaching a workshop in my studio, so of course I had to steal her away to record a couple of couch chats in my living room. As suspected, we hit it off like dear old friends.

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LETTING GO WHAT YOU LIKE TO MAKE ROOM FOR WHAT YOU LOVE + OTHER TIPS ON LAYERING

I love how this week’s Hey Flora question is disguised as a painting question, but can actually be applied to life in so many ways.

Our question comes from a Studio Diaries participant, and she writes:

“I have a hard time simplifying. The first layers are pretty chaotic, and then I feel like I just paint over them. How do I simplify without just painting over everything.”

This is a great question for anyone who paints in layers or anyone who struggles with simplification in life off the canvas! In this video I offer a few super simple tips about the magic of translucent paint, letting go of what you like, focusing on what you love, and working with what’s working.

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FINDING INSPIRATION

Besides, “What kind of dog is Pearl?” there are two questions I hear on a regular basis:

“Where do you find inspiration, and how do you stay inspired?”

I could happily riff on these gems for days, but I’ll keep it clear and to the point in this week’s Hey Flora Episode.

And by the way, Peal is a Maremma Sheepdog! 🙂

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HOW THE HECK DO YOU TITLE A PAINTING?

Hi everyone! In this week’s Hey Flora: Weekly Tidbits for Your Creative Adventure, I’m answering the question, “How do you title your paintings?” from Elias.

While there is certainly no formula for how to choose a title for a painting (in fact, titling your paintings is totally optional!), I’m happy to share a few of my own tricks for what can sometimes feel like tricky territory.

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