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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CREATIVE REVOLUTION PRE-ORDER GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

We’re Kinda Blown Away Over Here.

Thanks to you, my second book, Creative Revolution: Personal Transformation through Brave Intuitive Painting, has been sitting at the TOP of the “Hot New Releases in Acrylic Painting” list for the last two weeks!

Seriously you guys, what an honor. THANK YOU for trusting in this new vision and for pre-ordering the book months in advance. I cannot wait till you have it in your hot little hands.

As a tiny token of my appreciation, I’m happy to send love-packed boxes of Flora goodies to these three awesome Giveaway winners:

JACKIE WOOD + JOANNA PRICE + LOUISE WARD. CONGRATS TO YOU ALL!

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MANIFESTING YOUR CREATIVE DREAM TRIBE

Hi everyone! In this week’s Hey Flora: Weekly Tidbits for Your Creative Adventure, I’m sharing my thoughts on how to manifest the dreamiest creative community you can imagine.

If you’ve ever dreamed of attending super inspiring art gatherings or longed for more connection with like-hearted creatives, check this one out.

It’s actually easier than you think!

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BUSTING THE STARVING ARTIST MYTH

In this week’s Hey Flora: Weekly Tidbits for Your Creative Adventure, I’m sharing a few insights into how I was able to make money from my art in the early days of my career.

If starting a business as an artist feels overwhelming or straight up impossible, this one’s for you!

For more in-depth conversations about art, biz and busting the starving artist myth, head on over to my Press Page, and scroll down to the bottom of the page for interviews. I recommend starting with The Creative Entrepreneur, Luna Jaffe, and the Abundant Artist!

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Introducing Hey Flora: Weekly Tidbits for Your Creative Adventure!

I’m embarking on a fun new offering called, Hey Flora: Weekly Tidbits for Your Creative Adventure, and I’m happy to share the very first episode with you today!

In each Hey Flora episode, I’ll answer one burning (or not so burning) question about my Brave Intuitive Painting process or creative entrepreneurship. I’ll share these short videos each Monday’s through my News, Art, Love newsletter.

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Adding POP to Your Paintings!

Ever wonder how to get more dynamic POP in your paintings?

Well, you’re in luck!

In this month’s Studio Diary, I get all kinds of geeky over the many ways dynamic contrast can breathe life into a painting.

For example, playing with dynamic color, value, mark, texture, size, shape, mood, speed, materials, and scale (whew!) can all add a potent visual spark to make your paintings SING.

This month’s Diary is packed with fresh creative exercises, painting videos, an awesome interview with painter, Jeremy Szopinski, ideas for exploring contrast in everyday life, and so much more.

With an abundance of creative exercises, I’m happy to pass along one of the full-length videos for you to enjoy right now. This exercise offers some super easy and fun ways to explore Color Contrast.

I hope you enjoy it!

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New Collaborative Painting Video

We’re exploring Collaboration over in Studio Diaries this month, and there are some seriously cool creations happening between parents, kids, partners, friends and pretty much anybody who is willing to play with paint.

It totally warms my heart to know so many people are connecting to their families and communities through the creative process — the world certainly needs more of this right now.

To give you a glimpse into this month’s Studio Diary, I’ve put together a really fun little video clip of one of the collaborations I did with fellow painter, Jennifer Mercede.

I hope it inspires some collaborative paint flinging of your own!

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FINDING YOUR OWN STYLE – SAMPLE VIDEOS!

This month’s Studio Diary is all about finding your own style (aka a super hot topic), and so many unique paintings are being born as a result!

Seriously ya’ll, good stuff is happening, and I couldn’t be more proud of all the folks who are really embracing this theme and discovering their own style along the way.

To get more of a feel for the videos, I’m happy to offer you a four clips from this month’s Creative Exercises. To watch the sample videos, simply click the images below and enjoy!

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NEW VIDEOS + THE CREATIVE ACCELERATOR

GREETINGS! It was great to see how many of you enjoyed the Free Color Mixing video I posted a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d share a couple more videos with you today. These are two mini clips from the January edition of Studio Diaries. The first is from a Creative Exercise all about finding new tools and…

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January Studio Diary + Free Color Mixing Video

One of my favorite ways to explore new territory and keep things interesting is to mix up my own new colors.

In one of this month’s videos, I share a few super easy tips on how to mix your own colors. Mixing colors is such an awesome way to keep the spark of inspiration alive in your work. It’s also a powerful way to set your paintings apart with colors that are all your own.

I’m happy to give you an idea of what you will find in each Studio Diary by offering you a free peek at this month’s Color Mixing video.

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Lessons in Love + A Caregivers Giveaway (Winners Announced!)

I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS THIS QUOTE, AND IT REALLY HIT HOME.

I thought, “This is it. This is what it means to really love. It is art of the highest order.”

If you have been following along with me on Facebook and Instagram recently, you know I have been sharing a deeply personal story — a story of love. My dear friend and professional photographer, Tara Morris, also documented my journey in this beautiful and intimate blog post.

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TRIBE Tuesday: Jane Mant

Today’s TRIBE Tuesday features an inspiring story by Jane Mant.

I had the pleasure of spending a beautiful week painting with Jane last year in Bali, and I’m thrilled to share her work and her awesome story of “finding tribe” with you here today!

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TRIBE Tuesday: Romina Montoto

For today’s TRIBE Tuesday feature we are sharing a super sweet story.

I’m sure many folks out there have similar tales of being told they were not artists as children (gah…just breaks my heart!), but Romina Montoto had the courage to follow her desire to create and reclaim her artist self as an adult.

I believe wholeheartedly that we all have infinite wells of creativity just waiting to be tapped and remembered.

Here’s one story to prove just that…

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TRIBE Tuesday: Kristen Heinlein

I had the pleasure of meeting and painting with Kristen Heinlein in my Portland studio late last year during a Bloom True Level Two Workshop. I’m happy to share her honest story about following her heart, taking her own advice and embracing her own unique style of creating…

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TRIBE Tuesday: Yvette Lyons

This week’s TRIBE Tuesday features the wonderful work and story of Yvette Lyons.

I had the pleasure of meeting Yvette in my most recent Portland workshop. Yvette has also taken my Bloom True E-course two times. Her positive energy and openness to being brave and trying new things is contagious. I hope you enjoy her story!

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Video Winners!

I was so touched to see such bravery and vulnerability — and hilarity — in the videos created for my Bloom Trueapalooza giveaways that I wanted to honor the ones that enabled public sharing by sharing them here.

I also had an impossible time choosing just five winners (you all make it so hard!), so I’ve decided to applaud and reward everyone who was brave enough to make a video by gifting all eighteen people a spot in the Bloom True E-course. Bravery is kind of my jam after all :)

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TRIBE Tuesday: Mary Suzanne Garvey

This week’s TRIBE Tuesday features the gorgeous work and inspiring story of one of my amazing workshop students, Mary Suzanne Garvey. Mary took my very first workshop in Portland over four years ago, and is a wonderful example of a student who has truly found her own unique, authentic voice.

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TRIBE Tuesday: Trudy Rice

Trudy Rice was a participant in my October e-course, and along with many of the other Bloomers in that particular course, she is taking advantage of the 6 months of class access by going through the entire course again…so cool…and smart… if I do say so myself 😉

Here is Trudy’s story…

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TRIBE Tuesday: Ashley Joon

Happy almost new year everyone!

I hope your holidays have been peaceful and rejuvenating. As we gear up for another year of creative unfolding, I’m happy to share one final TRIBE Tuesday story for 2014 (there will be more to come in 2015!).

This inspiring success story comes from Ashley Joon…

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TRIBE Tuesdays: Sharon Lamonica

This week’s TRIBE Tuesday is brought to you by Sharon Lamonica, an awesome bloomer who took my e-course and then bravely decided to join me at my Bali retreat last Spring. We hope you enjoy her story below!

Let it Go to Let it Flow…

It is said that there are no accidents.

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TRIBE Tuesday: Kerry C. Mitchell

And now for something completely different on this TRIBE Tuesday. We are excited to share the story and digital work of Kerry C. Mitchell who participated in my e-course in a truly unique way. Talk about making the process your own, and finding ways to paint no matter what! Her inspiring story follows.

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Centered Expansion + Portland Studio tour!

AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, I’M MAKING SOME PRETTY MASSIVE SHIFTS IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.

After four years of fairly intense globe-trotting to spread the Bloom True love, I’m shifting gears and rooting down in my hometown of Portland, OR.

In support of this grand shift, I moved out of my little backyard studio into a large and lovely (like woah) studio nestled in a groovy creative industrial area about ten minutes from my house. I feel beyond blessed to have found such a magical space that is EXACTLY what I envisioned, hoped and prayed to find.

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TRIBE Tuesday: Lori Tapani + New E-course Content!

Hello friends! We’re happy to share another Bloom True story with you today for our TRIBE Tuesday feature.

Introducing e-course student, Lori Tapani…enjoy.

Lori’s Story…

I am so very thankful for the Bloom True class! It was by chance that I noticed Flora’s book and decided to buy it. Once I read the book, I knew that I needed to take the class. This has been my first experience using acrylic paints and I have loved it so much. The act of picking a color or colors that I love and just “going with it” has been so rewarding.

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TRIBE Tuesday: Janine Adamo Lancour

I love sharing the inspiring stories of the ever-widening Bloom True Tribe, and I hope you are enjoying them too!

This week’s TRIBE Tuesday continues with Janine Adamo Lancour, who took my September 2013 E-course. She remains an active member of the Bloom True Tribe and has graciously shared her story here…

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Bloom True Boot Camp: Final Prompts + E-course Winners!

Welcome to our final two days of Bloom True Boot Camp…woohoo, YAY, we did it!

I want to thank you so much for joining me on this month-long creative journey. What started out as tiny flash of inspiration during a swim in a lake turned into such a beautiful and inspiring creative global adventure.

Your posts, pictures and reflections have brought me so much joy and reminded me (once again) how powerful it is to join together with like-hearted people dedicated to their creative paths and waking spirits. {{THANK YOU}}.

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Stepping Out Brave

SIX DAYS AGO, I ARRIVED AT SQUAM ART WORKSHOPS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.

The woodsy scene there is all kinds of gorgeous — quaint cabins, an unbelievable lake, awesome women everywhere — but there I was with knots in my stomach.

I was there to teach a totally new class — one that involved more movement than painting and more watercolor, ink and pastels than acrylic. Most of my security blankets, comfort zones and feelings of “I got this,” had left the room.

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