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About Nancy

Call me an optimist, but I believe that art can heal. Man has the powerful ability to dream, to create better worlds and new realities. And images play an important role in this. I paint with the conviction that my images can heal.

Thursday
Jul222010

Keeping Your Ideas Fresh

My recent on-line seminar, entitled
Keeping Your Art Fresh: Ideas and Inspiration with Nancy Reyner
Was presented on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 1 pm EST

Click Here to play a recording of the seminar.



Thank you Jennifer. And thanks for pulling it all together for this event. This is my first on-line seminar and I am really enjoying it so far. Thank you everyone for spending this hour with me. I do hope to hear from some of you at the end with questions. I’ll start with a brief introduction of who I am, and then we’ll get to the heart of the program: How to stay inspired and get new ideas.

I am a painter, and have been painting for over 30 years – wow that sounds like a long time – but in that time I’ve also been exhibiting, teaching workshops and giving lectures. I have a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA from Columbia University. I lived in NYC for almost 10 years and am now in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s a picture of me working in my studio. As you can see in that picture I like to work standing, more like dancing around my paintings and have it set up so I can work on the wall, flat on the floor or table. You can also see that I like to work on several paintings at the same time. Anyway, that’s me and the cover of my new book Acrylic Innovation, that will be out next month.

My Background
Some artists I know like to keep long studio hours pumping out quantities of work. In one workshop that I took with artist David True he said something that made me feel good about the fact that I have a different approach. He said he believed we as artists only have 4 good painting hours in us each day. If we keep painting after that we just reverse whatever we had accomplished up to then. I think we’re all different and so we all need to find what works best for each of us. I found that by having a life, living and enjoying a diversity of life’s experiences I am a happier person, better artist, with more to say in my work, and actually more productive in less time. Pictured here are some examples of my diverse art career. I spent several years running a puppet theater company where I learned how to create in a team, we made puppets, sets, costumes and performed together. I like to dance and spend time in ballet classes (sorry no pictures of me in tights) but because I like dance my puppets were mostly large scale body puppets. Moving clockwise to the top right there’s a picture of me in my studio with a film crew filming an instructional DVD, then of me teaching a workshop. On the bottom left, is a photo of my last exhibition at a museum in Phoenix. I like spending time in my studio, but also enjoy getting out in public and being with other artists.


Diversity of Styles & Mediums
This diversity is also reflected in the variety of styles and mediums I like to work in. Here are three paintings of mine that vary in style and mediums. Some are more abstract, while some look more like a landscape.
And here are 2 more. I like to work realistically, abstractly and combining the two. I like working with drawing materials like charcoal, and painting mediums like acrylic, oil paint, oil pastel, gold leaf, collage and mixed media. Not every artist likes such a broad sweep. What’s important is that you allow yourself to keep experimenting and playing enough to keep art FUN (that’s the key word) and exciting for yourself.

What We’re Going to Talk About

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
- Albert Einstein (1930)

...and so it is with our creativity. To keep the passion in our work we must keep the ideas flowing.

I want to start with a premise that what makes a work of art great or powerful is when you as the artist can express your own magic, spirit, passion through your art. This usually happens naturally. When you make it a goal to copy or reproduce someone else’s art, even copying nature itself, that intent to replicate alone will restrict or restrain your expression coming through. When I talk about copying I am not referring to using reference material, like several photographs you might have on hand for a portrait. There’s a big difference between using a photograph as a reference and allowing yourself to exaggerage, shift and change it, verses copying it like a xerox machine. And if you restrict yourself to just copying you’re holding yourself back from being part of the work. When we have a desire to make something new it gets us motivated, out of bed in the morning, excited about what we’re doing and also implants that same excitement into the work.

I can probably venture to say, then, that producing fresh work is generally our main concern or goal as artists. Therefore, change is one of our main tools.
Let’s talk a bit about change. I read a funny anecdote the other day, that when a farmer sees his cow standing in a different spot by the fence he knows something’s wrong, maybe the cow isn’t feeling well. Animals like routine to feel secure and safe. We have some of this in our own physical makeup – this animal notion that routine, habit, sameness feels secure and safe. We all have this same tendency to play it safe. We paint something on the left we immediately want to add it on the right. If your art is always the same and you start repeating yourself most likely you’ll get bored and your work will become boring too. It will lose that spirit that special magic that comes from our excitement about something new. I feel as artists our biggest challenge is to consciously work against this innate hardwiring animal instinct that keeps us from enjoying and allowing change. By inviting change, and constantly renewing our passion for experimenting and new challenges, our work will take on this energy, the work will stand out, be noticed more. And this is especially important - to have the work stand out from the visual onslaught we all get in our everyday lives.

The notion of how artists stay original, get ideas, self motivate is the main focus of my new, 2nd book, Acrylic Innovation. Instead of a textbook or scholarly version I wanted to create it as a handy artist’s resource. Several years ago I wrote Acrylic Revolution, a compilation of techniques with acrylic. I was trying to encourage artists to move away from copying so this became a resource for inventing techniques. It’s written like a recipe book, each page is a different technique. Since acrylic works well in layers I often paint by using a different technique for each layer, then the final result is surprising, something unique. With over 100 techniques in the book you can combine a few in any order and come up with a whole new look, something never seen before. I also made a DVD which shows this process where I create a painting from start to finish, using 10 of the techniques from the book each one used in a different layer. So Acrylic Revolution, my first book, is the recipe book of techniques. While my new book, Acrylic Innovation is a resource of ideas, styles, processes and then I couldn’t help myself, I added more techniques too. Both of these books and the DVD are an extension of how I work as an artist. I like variety and to keep growing and inventing. By the way, there’s a new magazine coming out called Acrylic Artist Magazine in Sept. and my work will be featured in it.

How to Stay Inspired?
  • Paint in a variety of styles to expand your idea of space
  • Try new mediums and techniques
  • change your process
  • Get inspired by other artists
  • Take time to play and enjoy other activities
Here are 5 ways to stay inspired. Let’s look at each one separately. But before we move on I want to mention something else about change. Its not helpful to feel pressured to have to change, or to make every work of art very different from your previous one. It’s simply about paying attention to how you feel. If you are on a roll, happy about what you are painting and cranking out paintings right and left, then why change it if it works. However, after awhile, even the best work you create gets old and when you notice feeling reluctant to get into the studio, or get out your brush, that’s the time to change something, and not just the subject matter. So these 5 items here are ways to reevaluate what you’re doing and figure out what needs to change at those times when you feel uninspired. If I find one way to get unblocked it might not work the next time, so it’s nice to have several ways or concepts of change up your sleeve. My new book is one resource, and/or keep a journal or file of thoughts for yourself on this.

The first area we can look at is changing our style. We often spend years to develop a style that works for us, then often we are so entrenched in that it is hard to change. You can keep the same subject matter, say landscape, still life, portrait, abstract, whatever you like to paint, but change how it’s presented on the canvas. This is where style comes in. Here is the Table of Contents from Acrylic Innovation. The styles are grouped in terms of their perceived spatial qualities. Often styles are labeled by abstract or real, but here I am taking a different approach. The book spans a broad range from photorealism to minimal color field and everything in between. I even made up some style names. But lets talk a bit about the experience of space that a painting conveys. Just look at the first two images and picture yourself physically entering the painting. The experience of space is very different between the two. And also between say, the first and third images. I like to think about a painting as presenting to the viewer this experience of space. Some paintings, say from the Renaissance, are like viewing through a window, encouraging a feeling of deep space going back far into the picture plane. While other more contemporary works use texture, sheens and other methods to direct your attention to the front surface. The late author, teacher and painter Hans Hoffmann used a term called push-pull to refer to the combination of both types of spatial experiences, where the viewer is pushed towards the painting’s depth and pulled back out towards the front. There are 64 artists and their work represented in this book, all contemporary, working in acrylic, and working with a style that looks and feels unique.

In addition to playing with different styles another way to reinspire is to try new techniques. So let’s say you like what you’re painting, and your style, but you just want to bring a feeling of play back into your work. Sometimes you get so skilled at what you are doing it gets boring. One of my friends is a very good draftsman – she can really draw! After years of drawing with her right hand (she’s right-handed) she started to lose the “edgy” feeling – it felt too slick for her, so she spent a year drawing and painting only using her left hand. Now that’s extreme – but it really gave her work and motivation a boost. New techniques are fun to try. Sometimes you can just take a break from what you are painting, take some time to paint something different, then go back to what you were doing and something has shifted. In other words everything you play with doesn’t have to become your new direction, it can just be a playful break.

Here are 2 technique pages from the new book, Acrylic Innovation.

Here’s a closer look at one of those techniques. This technique shows how to change a mood. Here I’m adding a romantic feel to the painting. In Image 1 you can see I have a painted landscape and the sky feels light airy and expansive compared to the dark ground. I like that there’s a contrast between the two, but I wanted to make them work better together, to integrate the sky and landscape or ground a bit more. So I mixed some very transparent glazes of earth tones, (there’s my palette in Image 2) and using a rag I apply these glazes to the edges to darken them. So there’s the finished example and it really made a visible different. Sort of holds the sky or the sky feels more contained, more intimate.

Image 1 shows a painting that I was working on that felt too busy, too complex. I wanted to hone in on one form as a singular focal point. So image 2 I have masked off a shape that looks like a leaf, and Image 3 I’m using a spray of light and very transparent paint color. Then I remove the mask and the leaf really stands out. I softened the other forms pushing them back in space and pulling the leaf form forward.
As a reminder if you like to experiment with new techniques my first book Acrylic Revolution is 100% about that. Here are 2 pages from that book.
Here’s a close-up shot. This technique uses molding paste in 2 different consistencies – right out of the jar shown in step 1, and a diluted mixture with water in step 2 where in step 3 its splashed on creating an organic looking ground or surface.
After it’s dry, paint color with lots of water is applied in Step 4 to enhance the surface texture.
This is a very cool way to create an interesting background for a still life, landscape or portrait. Or you can use this technique in several repeated layers to create an underpainting or great jumpstart for an abstract work later building up color, shapes and forms. Trying new techniques can feel playful and often produce abstract looking imagery, but these are not limited to abstraction. New playful techniques can be used for visual effect in all types of styles and subject matter. I find it interesting when I go to museums that have old masters works in their collection. Some of those Renaissance paintings that appear at first glance to be super-real, when I go up close there are areas that I find in draped fabric, foreground garden areas, even hair that are very abstract.
Here’s another example of a technique from Acrylic Revolution. I call this “hatched-line texture” so it starts with a wet layer of acrylic molding paste applied in step 1. Then using combs I create a linear pattern through the wet paste in step 2. This textural ground, when dry, is enhanced using watered down paint color in step 3, this part is just like the previous technique we saw. On the bottom right is a painting by a friend of mine Pat Forbes who uses this technique for her backgrounds, but instead of the blue wash or diluted paint color I used in the technique she works with washes of metallic paints to show off the line patterns.

My Painting Process
Beginning: An Act of Freedom
Continuing: An Act of Faith
Completion: An Act of Healing


Many years ago I discovered something about my painting process that has really helped me tremendously. It started when someone asked me a question. They asked me if I go to my studio everyday or do I wait until I feel inspired to go. It got me thinking. My first response was to say that I go everyday anyway, no matter how I feel at first. Because I never know how I will feel later that day, and there are ways to jumpstart myself into working creatively. But it got me thinking about my process and how I felt at different times in my studio. I realized that for me there were 3 distinct phases Beginning, Continuing and Completing, and each phase required a different type of energy, a different approach and method, different techniques and attitudes. For me this was very empowering and I have been much more productive, and happier since I figured this out.

Beginnings require an act of freedom, continuing requires acts of faith, and completion requires an act of healing. So, I go to my studio (almost) every day, regardless of how I feel. BUT, when I get to my studio, I decide what to work on depending on how I feel. Let’s say I am feeling very free, high energy, I want to try out new things, new experiments. I would be better off getting out some new canvases. The problem comes up for me when, lets say, I have several paintings almost finished. I might feel pressured to work on these instead, especially if one of my galleries is waiting impatiently for new work. If I force myself to work on these paintings that are almost finished and just needed small touches, I’ll most likely destroy them, or make wrong decisions and take away what was working already. So, I always have lots of extra canvases and surfaces around (even a stack of cardboard will do) and I may launch several to a dozen new underpaintings or start-up paintings in one day. In other words, I go to my studio every day but what I choose to work on that day depends on the type of creative energy I feel.

Sometimes I go into my studio and get excited about the work that’s already in process there, and just want to get into a sort of meditative or hypnotic working state, and keep painting on those. That’s the second phase – continuing . In my studio I work on several at the same time, but when I’m not actually painting on them at the moment they are all turned around with the backs facing out so I can’t see the images. I’ll pick one of these to work on, and just focus my attention on that one particular painting. Then I can concentrate. This “continuing” phase has some challenges. Often the work has lost its initial surprise excitement, and hasn’t yet become something cohesive, so I just need to trust and have faith that by working on it one step at a time, one area at a time, it will start to move forward. So that’s my second phase.

Let’s say in a typical two month period of time, for me, 60% of my painting days are spent doing beginnings (most of my energy loves fresh starts and new experiments), 35% of my days are spent doing the “continuing” part, and only 5% I work on finishing. That’s the last of the three, the completion phase. This takes a very particular type of energy. On these very valuable and rare days, I can see clearly what each painting needs to make it really work. I will give that last finishing touch to several on one day – finishing them all! Then I go out and celebrate. It’s more difficult for me to work on one painting continuously through all its cycles by itself. For me, having lots of other paintings to work on simultaneously takes the “attachment” factor out of working on just one. And then I can put my energy to its best use. When I have a commission to paint, I WILL paint it all the way through, but still take breaks to play on some other ones to keep the juices flowing. I find it easiest to work on one cycle for the whole day, and not switch. For instance if I spend several hours flinging paint in a freedom engaged session of “starts” I will not be as adept on that same day to try to finish a painting or two.

So basically, understanding how much energy flows and paying attention to how I feel I can choose the most productive way to work that day.
We can gain alot from looking at other artists processes and here is a spread from the new book Acrylic Innovation. We previously looked at techniques from this book but in addition to techniques this book features contemporary acrylic painters offering their processes, ways they stay motivated, and how they developed their particular unique style. Here is Jylian Gustlin from California. You can see on the right an example of one of her paintings and she is in her studio painting on the left. It was really important to me to show the artists in their sutdios to see the variety of set-ups, spaces and ways of working. Jylian uses the figure as a main focus in her work, but distilled in such a way to produce what grabs me as compelling imagery. In the text I share her artistic process, other artists who inspire her, and other artists who work in this type of style. Then I include variations or ways to use the figure to get different results.
Here is another artist in the book, Daniel Smith from Montana, who shared his intriguing stories of how he gets his animal reference material. This photorealistic painting of an elephant and two lionesses is used from several photos that Daniel photographed on a trip to Africa. I was glued to my seat when he told me about the lionesses charging his jeep. The dust in the background was invented by Daniel to emphasize the animals. I like how he uses photographs but invents his own composition and space to move away from the tell-tale camera curve produced by camera lenses. This has a photographic look to it but it would be hard if not impossible to get a shot like this from a camera.

Here is Sherry Loehr who lives in California but just had a show of her work in my hometown Santa Fe a few weeks ago, and I got to meet her in person. Her paintings are magnificent. I love how she combines a real classic still life with abstract backgrounds. She uses many of the playful techniques I list in my books and these add a real contemporary flavor to her still lifes. Now that I think about it writing this book was my way of reinspiring myself. Talking and meeting 64 artists whose work I found daring, inspiring, and different will no doubt fuel me for years. And that’s what I’m hoping this book will do for you and your work.

Also forming a critique group or artist group will provide lots of feedback and support. Taking workshops from instructors you like and admire. Visiting galleries and reading books are all ways to get inspired by other artists.
While I’m working I pay attention to how I feel. If I start to get frustrated, angry, depressed I immediately stop and ask myself how I am restricting myself – how am I holding myself back? What do I really want to paint. This is a good time to change something about my process, style, subject matter, technique or even attitude. Or sometimes I just need a break from art and I go out and do something non-art related and fun like swim, dance, watch a movie, read a book, take a nap, listen to different music, swing on a swing, have an icecream cone. During these times I get my best ideas. Ballet class is my favorite diversion. This feeling of moving through space and the mind-body connection you need to dance gives my work an extra boost. Its during these non-art times when we often get our best ideas. I always carry a small notepad and pencil with me so I can jot them down on the spot – very important. I have one in my purse, one in my car and a few scattered around my studio and home. I may realize I want to work big instead of small, paint from outdoors instead of from my imagination only. I often transfer the ideas from the small notepads or restaurant napkins to a larger journal that I have in my studio just for ideas. Not every idea deserves attention. I found that it takes jotting down many ideas in a row before one in particular strikes me and I just have to do it. The rest I don’t bother to take action on.

And speaking of non-art activities, the topic that comes up most often with my artist friends and colleagues is how much time artists now need to spend doing the business aspects of our career: photographing, inventorying and digitalizing our paintings for the galleries that represent us or our own website. Then there’s blogs, showing up at openings, price lists, framing….the list goes on and on. This business or career part of art making is optional. There’s nothing wrong with painting for pure pleasure and our own need for experimenting and inventing. Sometimes we feel an unnecessary pressure from family and friends to make a living at it. I like to think of art making and the career part as separate activities, with the career part optional. There is a great deal of satisfaction we get as artists, though, to show our work. I believe that art is a form of communication, and that we really do want to communicate. There are so many ways of showing our work without pressure, such as having a party, tea or dinner and inviting friends for fun to show our work. For those of us that do want to make a living with our work, it’s important to balance the business aspect with art making. Find your best time to paint and keep that time unscheduled for painting. Make a commitment during that time by turning phones off and other potential distractions like hanging a do-not-disturb sign on the door. What’s helped me the most is a decision I made to make the business part of art as fun as painting. If I am bored I change my business plan or process. Sometimes galleries can add pressure to keep you from changing your work, as they like consistency which helps them market and sell your work. As I am working on new work I like to invite my agents to my studio so they can gradually get used to the change in the work. My work and my ability to keep changing, though, is priority, so if they don’t like the new change in my work I’ll change galleries. Basically I make a commitment to myself to keep life fun, interesting, and allow myself opportunities to keep growing as a person and artist. By the way, here is a picture of a puppet show I did for friends – it took several months to create – and the show makes fun of the business part of art. It really helped me get a better attitude about the business aspects. There’s a clip on my website of the whole show if you want to see it.
So I will stop now so we have time for questions.

Sunday
Jul182010

Pouring Resin-like finishes

How do you get that surfboard finish so popular on paintings? You know, that super clear, glossy, smooth top coat. The best results can be obtained using commercial resins. They come in two parts – a resin and hardener. They are, however, very toxic to work with. I prefer to use acrylic non-toxic fine artist alternatives that may not look as perfect, but will also last without yellowing or cracking.

My favorite technique is to lay the painting flat and very level, and propped up on containers to get it lifted off the table or floor. By the way, it is easier to work with rigid surfaces like panels. If you are using a stretched canvas then you need to prop up the center of the canvas to keep it from sinking downward while laying flat. I then pour Golden's GAC800 without diluting it with water onto the painting’s surface. I spread it out evenly with a plasterer’s knife, and then immediately spray lightly with isopropyl alcohol to eliminate any bubbles. This takes a day or two to dry but has a smooth glossy finish.

The GAC800 is the only pourable acrylic that I know of that can be poured in deep layers without crevising. So you can also take duct tape and tape around the outside edges of the painting creating a wall that stands out from the top surface of the painting. By applying a small amount of a thick acrylic gel where the tape and painting meet you can keep the pour from later leaking out. While the gel is still wet pour the GAC800 into the pool or well that’s created by the tape. You can get a very thick poured layer this way. The thicker the pour, the longer you need to keep the painting level and flat while drying – which may take weeks if it’s more than an inch thick. When the GAC800 is used thickly it will appear slightly yellow and cloudy, not really visible in a pour with no walls or duct tape, and is favored by artists that like the "wax" or encaustic appearance.

If you don't like the cloudy look of GAC800 you can use other pourable products but you can't pour them thickly in one pour, or they might crevice as they dry. Instead pour several thin layers. My favorites for these are Golden's Clear Tar Gel and Self Leveling Gel.

Sunday
Mar282010

Stillness in Art

A recent inquiry regarding the idea of stillness in a work of art got my thinking juices flowing. For me, stillness is when we allow ourselves those moments to be connected to our higher self, or a higher place or source. This connection allows us to leave the realm of physical, material, emotional and instead flow into the universal vastness of “God” (or our own concept of the nonphysical). When we have this connection to our true source, it feels like stillness as we are in a timeless non-physical realm.

True stillness in a work of art comes from the artist and their process – when both are also connected to this higher source. Stillness in a work of art will rarely, if at all, come from a process that is overly mental, overly emotional and too thought out or controlled/contrived. That means there are no real tools, techniques or formulas that would allow this powerful connection to come through the work. Instead, overly mental processes, pinched off from source, create a blocked type of static. A painting is 2 D which by itself encourages a stillness, a time away from the normal reality viewing of our physical world, and propels the viewer into an alternate reality. This is a 2-way street. Artists can make the best work possible, and yet unless the viewer allows a certain amount of time and focus for viewing it, could miss out on all the rich potential in a work of art. So the stillness in a painting requires the connection of the artist in process as well as the viewer.

Sunday
Mar072010

Transparent Layers - Glazing vs. Washes

There are 2 ways to apply a transparent layer of acrylic color. One way is a "wash" or "stain" which is made by using a mixture of water to colored paint in a ratio of about 8:2 (this isn't an exact science, but the idea is to add enough water that the acrylic binder is completely diluted, usually at least half water to half color). This makes a very diluted color which sinks down into the surface of the substrate. Washes and stains are usually made on absorbent surfaces. If your surface is matte (not glossy) it is absorbent. I use the word "wash" to signify alot of this diluted mixture sitting on the surface puddling up. While I use the word "stain" when the diluted mixture is applied, then quickly rubbed into the surface with a dry rag, so only a hint of the color remains - like a "stain".

The second way to apply a transparent layer of color is by glazing. A glaze generally does not involve water in any way, but instead uses a mixture of medium to paint color in a ratio of 8:2. (again, not rocket science, so feel free to play around with the ratio - but again at least half the mixture should be medium). By using medium in the glaze (instead of water as in the washes), glazes will sit on top of the painting surface and need a non-absorbent (or glossy) surface to apply evenly and easily.

At any point in a painting's process, when you feel the need to apply a transparent layer, take a moment to look at the surface absorbency. If it is matte then try a wash, if it is glossy then use the glaze. If it is matte and you would rather use a glaze, then first apply a coat of a gloss medium. Let it dry, then apply the glaze. The reverse is true too. If your surface is glossy and you want to apply a wash, then use some product that gives a transparent grit. My favorite for this is to use Golden's Acrylic Ground for Pastel, diluted at least 1:1 with water. If you don't dilute it, it will be opaque and may slightly veil or obscure the paint layers underneath.

Other tips: I like to apply glazes with a brush in very small areas at a time, then using a rag I spread the color thinly and evenly, which works better than using a brush for spreading.

One more idea would be to first apply a thin layer of the Acrylic Glazing Liquid over the surface, then while that is still wet, you can apply colored glazes, which will glide a bit easier.

Additionally, Golden's new Open Acrylics have a very long drying time, and make glazing very easy. You might want to try them instead of the traditional glazes with the more fast drying regular acrylic line of paints and mediums.

Monday
Jan252010

Writing an Artist's Statement

I paint. So why do I find myself writing so much lately? I have noticed how important writing has become to my career. In addition to painting, I take time to write artist statements, press releases, letters to galleries and clients, descriptions of my work, and of course, articles for my blog (oh yeah – and my new book due for release August 2010). I happen to enjoy writing. The more I do it the better I feel about it. Sort of like painting. Both mediums - painting and writing - are a form of communication. After a private period of experimentation, building technique and finding our own voice, we can relish the next phase where our work goes public – for better or worse. It’s the true test. Will viewers or readers get our message? What will they feel from our work? And the big existential question – will our work make a difference? I do believe that art makes a difference. Faith in this idea gets me through the rough spots, creative blocks and hard times.

I have written and rewritten my artist statement hundreds of times. As my work changes so does my statement. This may be one of the hardest tasks we have as painters, to describe in words what we create in a mostly non-verbal medium. In the past I tried to describe the images, but now I write about how I feel about the work and why I paint. Here’s the first paragraph of my current statement “Call me an optimist, but I believe that man has the powerful ability to dream, to create better worlds and new realities. And images play an important role in this. Our history begins with images, which go far back in time, even farther than language, and are cross cultural. We are united through images. I keep this in mind daily as I am barraged through news and media with sensationalist stories and events of world crisis. Part of me wants to join the peace corps but instead I paint. I paint with the conviction that my images can heal. I paint my versions of heaven; places that are beautiful and meditative not found on earth. Click here to read the full statement on my website.

Recently I found a cool new blog about art for healing. Manhattan Arts International's "Celebrate The Healing Power of Art 2010" is based on the belief that Art is a natural force that promotes heath and well-being for the creator as well as the viewer. Renee Phillips, Director of Manhattan Arts International, is organizing an online exhibition of positive art that uplifts the spirit, plus collaboration with others who share this belief. Interviews and articles reflect the contributions of Art & Healing leaders and causes. Click here to visit their web site: www.manhattanarts.com. Click here to visit the Blog: http://HealingPowerofArt.blogspot.com

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