Monday, August 16, 2010

Farewell, Quiet Girl

Quiet Girl Gallery began as the blog for my written and artistic musings. Today I say goodbye to Quiet Girl, as I have merged my two blogs (Quiet Girl and The Healing Nest) and moved them to WordPress Land.  You can find my new blog here:

I'm still working out some of the kinks in WordPress, but this is my new home for bloggerhood. I will be posting art pieces, writing and art prompts, personal essays, wellness and healing articles, and more!

Quiet Girl is still part of me, though she is much more empowered than she used to be. She is speaking her mind and expressing herself more than ever -- more than the quiet child she used to be.  I feel it's time that she reveal her strength. Strength can come in the form of silence or quietude, and it has taken me years and years to realize this.  Words are important, silence is important.  It's nice to have a balance.

The art piece above is a panel from a large mixed media piece I created in college called This is the Apartment Where the Quiet Girl Lives.  Quiet Girl, the part of me who was timidly quiet growing up, will always be a part of me, and there will always be a part of me who champions those Quiet Girls out there, telling them, "It's okay to wait before you speak!  It's okay to be quiet!  It's okay to be more contemplative than outgoing!" And I also say to that Quiet Girl inside of me, "Your voice matters!  Speak if you want to!  You are strong!"  Both messages can exist at the same time and I embrace them both. A little yin, a little yang.

Thank you all for your visits and comments to this blog and I would love it if you moved along with me to The Healing Nest on WordPress.

Much love,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

To Stay or Not to Stay

I need your advice. I'm thinking of retiring this blog and just keeping one blog for all my musings. Here are my considerations:

Currently, I have two blogs (this one and my Healing Nest blog), plus a website and a presence on Facebook. All of my blogs feed into Facebook.

My Quiet Girl Gallery blog and Healing Nest blog are starting to feel more and more the same to me. Bodywork + art + writing + healing + self-expression + personal growth.

It's a bit of a job to keep up two blogs, although I love my initial intentions for each. The Healing Nest was to be an extension of my Rising Bird Healing Arts business. Quiet Girl Gallery was to be my own expression in art and writing. More and more these are meshing together. My journey is your journey is our journey.

So what advice do you have for me? What if Quiet Girl became part of Healing Nest?

Thank you for your feedback!


Thursday, June 10, 2010


I spent an afternoon with my friend Karen playing with plaster at her wonderful studio in Ballard the other day and created one piece, with several layers underneath. This last piece is the "final" version (or the latest one, anyway). Where once there was a typewriter, there is now a bird and egg! My art pieces are often like this, but I usually don't take pictures of my works-in-progress along the way so you can see what's underneath. And truth to tell, I rather like knowing a little secret about my art. Sometimes I sell an art piece and only I know that someone is not only leaving with an encaustic of a bird in a tree, but that there is a heart underneath and perhaps some scattering of letters or words. I like knowing that my process, my invisible mark, still lives.

This dynamic is similar to the layers of human beings. What parts do we wish to show to people? What layers do we only share with a partner, a companion animal, or a best friend? What aspects of ourselves do we keep absolutely private, hidden under all the other layers? What layers do we find ugly or displeasing and which layers do we take such pride in and want to share?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Journey Turtle

The Journey, 8" x 10" encaustic

I have been commissioned to create just a few art pieces in my life and this piece above is the most recent one. I said goodbye to The Journey today and hope that this piece is a sign of more commissioned pieces in my future -- as well as more art-making in general in my life. (Oh, and more blogging about art-making and creativity, too!)

I finish teaching this Tuesday, and then after the tornado of grading, I'll be a bit more freed up to spend more time with the art materials that seem to call to me on a daily basis. (I swear, my encaustic wax is humming and my paints are shaking!)

May summer bring creative abundance to all of us -- and may we take the journeys that allow us to find our way to the things we love.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Acceptance of Feathers

Accepting Life's Feathers, mixed media collage, 8" x 10"

On May 10 and 17, my friend and colleague Natalie Serianni and I co-facilitated a continuing education workshop at Cascadia Community College called "The Healing Process: How Art and Writing Can Help Us Heal." We had five creatively engaged participants for our inaugural workshop, and the whole experience proved to be healing for all involved, including me.

On the second day of the workshop, we played with art materials as we engaged with the theme "living in the present moment."
The art piece I created is above and deals with all of the feathers I am holding in my life right now. I've been trying to transform the feeling of overwhelm in my body into a feeling of abundance. This art piece has helped me acknowledge all that I am doing and allowed me to "drop a few feathers" in the process of holding too much. It's okay to drop a few feathers, for we can't carry them all. A wind blows and poof, those feathers take off in the wind.

How might you depict all of the responsibilities, tasks, and doings in your life right now? In your art piece, would there be a lot of space and room to move? Or is it cluttered and filled to the brim? How might depicting these responsibilities in visual form transform how you relate to the stress or overwhelm you may feel?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Art Sale Saturday, May 15th!

I'm hosting my art sale this very Saturday, May 15th (that's tomorrow as of this writing). I'm taking a break from all the prep to post a little ditty about the event, which is becoming quite spectacle in art spring cleaning.

I'm taking over the now vacant Pop Tots/Bump Maternity store in my neighborhood and I'm filling the place with my art.

Here are the details:
When: Saturday, May 15, 2010; 10am-4pm
Where: Pop Tots store: 6405 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle
What: Super-Duper Art Sale! (cash, check, or credit/debit card payments are accepted)

On Saturday, May 15, 2010, I invite you to attend my Art Sale at the Pop Tots/Bump Maternity store (now empty, for they're moved to Bellevue) just up the block from me on Roosevelt Way. The store is nestled between The Sunlight Cafe and Hoa nail spa on the west side of Roosevelt Way and just north of 64th street.

I will be selling mixed media and encaustic art framed, un-framed, matted, un-matted -- all at affordable prices. Not only will you view finished and framed art on the walls, but you may search through bins of un-framed art for sale. I will also be selling prints and cards of my work, too.

Here's a little video my partner Walter took of the space tonight after I hung most of the art. Enjoy the preview!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Time Enough for Questions

Time Enough for Questions, encaustic, 12" x 12"

This piece lives with some good friends of mine and they were gracious enough to allow me to photograph it when I visited them today. Occasionally I will forget to photograph or scan my art before an art show (do any of you artists out there become rather frazzled and brain fried before a show like I do?) and this was one of those pieces. Thankfully, I now have electronic copies and will now share the piece with you!

Here are some close-up shots from the piece:

I purchased these watch pieces at Zenith Supplies in my neighborhood of Seattle. My friend Karen said that you can also purchase great objects like these at the Sunday Fremont Market.

A bird, of course!

Roots: my symbol for strength, resilience, and personal growth.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creative Process Vlog!

Hello, Creative Carnations!

I'm entering the world of video a bit more and adding to my collection of "one-take wonders." Right now I don't have the patience to re-do or edit my videos, so you get the uncut, uncensored versions! I hope you don't find this painful!

In this video, I explore getting creatively unstuck using three strategies: 1) creating for yourself, 2) creating quickly, and 3) following your intuition. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Turbo Art after Turbo Tax

Here are six visual journal pieces I created in a relatively short period of time after I completed my taxes. After number crunching madness, I had to work with words and images! As I have mentioned before, sometimes art-making feels like a physical urge -- one which is certainly connected to an emotional and spiritual need.

Life hasn't been easy lately. Art keeps me afloat. So does writing, but sometimes I don't seem to have the words.

Does art or writing keep you afloat during difficult times? I know I am not alone here, but it is always good to know that there are others sitting at their art desks in moments of sadness or stress or grief or frustration (or even joy and inspiration) using their creativity as a salve for the soul.

(Click on an image to see it in a larger view.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Art Sale at Rising Bird Healing Arts in May!

Save the date: Saturday, May 15, 2010: 1-4pm!

I admit to having a bit of spring cleaning fever. I feel I must make way for new art in my life. To do so, I have decided to relinquish much of the art I currently own in order to make room for new creations, new ideas, and bigger artistic dreams. In all, I am ready to let go of many art pieces and I am willing to do so at very reduced prices. That's where the "sale" concept comes in. Many of my pieces will be offered at 1/2 price! Of course, there are pieces I just cannot part with, so those won't be for sale, but much of the art I've created in the last five years will come out of the depths of my closet for this special event.

On Saturday, May 15, 2010, I invite you to attend my Art Sale at my home business in the Roosevelt District. I will be selling mixed media and encaustic art framed, un-framed, matted, un-matted -- all at affordable prices. Not only will you view finished and framed art on the walls, but you may search through bins of un-framed art for sale. I will also be selling prints and cards of my work, too.

Here are the details:
When: Saturday, May 15, 2010; 1-4pm
Where: Rising Bird Healing Arts: 6316 9th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115
What: Art Sale! (cash, check, or credit/debit card payments are accepted)

Feel free bring family members and friends!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Latest Three

I've been reading a lovely little book called The Couple's Tao Te Ching by William Martin, and the relationship Tao poems are lovely and full of heart-centered wisdom. These art pieces are inspired by or reflections of my explorations of love Tao philosophies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

For the Cats in my Life

Mountie: The Heart of a Luminous Moon Emanating with Your Eyes

Selkie: Zen Cat Meditates in the Stillness

(click on images for an up-close-and-personal viewing)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Be Yourself and Regrow

Be Yourself, mixed media visual journal

Regrowth, mixed media visual journal

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Visual Journals: February Four

"I want to sing like birds sing / Not worrying who hears or what they think." (Rumi)

"Listen. Make a way for yourself inside yourself. Stop looking in the other way of looking." (Rumi)

"The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

"It does not matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." (Anne Sexton)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Beginning Again and Illuminating the Darkness

Begin Again, mixed media

Prettify Each Gray Day, mixed media

Friday, February 26, 2010

Visual Journals: Sacred and Sacrament

Sacred Bond

Writerly Sacrament

(click on images for a larger view)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Art Journaling in a Day Planner

I love opportunities to create art in unusual, creative, or surprising places. My latest art journey has taken me to the pages of a beautiful bird-themed day planner I received from my friend Nedra. With it's large size (very long pages) and bird imagery quotations sprinkled throughout, I couldn't help myself: I had to start collaging and painting and drawing on the pages. (Click on each image for a larger view.)

Above I'm showing the last week of 2009. I've been trying to keep up on the weeks, but I'm not quite into February yet. But I plan to post my visual journal entries here for a while since my art life is a little bit on hold due to my teaching gig. What's so lovely about working on these entries is that I can do them quickly when I have a burst of inspiration; I can be messy; and I can express myself in potent ways by tapping into my right brain's artistic lair.

How is your right brain's artist lair these days? How can you find quick ways to integrate image-making into your life?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Returning Home

I love how art can become reincarnated. I created this piece above with Ms. Artist B at her home studio many months ago and now it reappears with some new elements for a new purpose.

Creating art has been a back-burner activity for me lately because I am teaching a community college reading and writing class this winter quarter. It has been a blast teaching this class -- challenging yet invigorating. I bring aromatherapy to every class, have my students move their bodies so they can learn and write better, and pretty much put on a one-woman show. Who knew I could do this?! Not me for sure.

With little time or room for art making these days, I still try to carve out time for a gesture of artiness here or there or a spontaneous collage right before bed. The piece above, though, reflects an assignment I recently gave my students: to create a visual depiction of/response to an essay from This I Believe II (our text for the class).* I told them I'd create an art piece, too. As soon as I agreed to participate, my body felt a little lighter and my heart said "Courtney, you get to create art!"

So I resurrected a piece I made in Ms. Artist B's workshop and added elements that reflected themes from the essay. To even play with an old art piece gave me such pleasure!

Try this:
Resurrect an old art piece that doesn't feel "done" yet, or doesn't seem to have a purpose. Give it a new intention for a new life, letting go of what it once was (this part can be challenging if you feel emotionally attached), and play with its colors and textures, images and gestures, until you have given it a new way to be in this world. And maybe you'll feel somewhat renewed, too.

*If you're curious, the assignment was to respond to this essay.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Art as Salve for the Soul

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, mixed media, 6" x 8"

Sometimes art cannot be helped. It relieves a deep ache. The salve for this ache is color and image; the analgesic is paint-stained fingers and sharp-edged paper scraps. Messes create an opening for breath in the chest, make room for self-forgiveness.

Tonight, I sit beneath the dining room's water-cracked ceiling as I create. I watch for water to drip from the tiny cavern of slit drywall and apply the antiseptic of art over my heart. I hear a thrum-hum inside me calming the tendrils of loss just a bit, just a very little bit.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Catching Your Own Eggs (Or Listening to Your Own Hunches)

Egg Catcher, 6" x 8" encaustic

"While others may be able to offer and interesting and even insightful perspective on the possible meaning behind your imagery, it is still only their perspective. If what someone says about your imagery or artwork doesn't feel right to you, then trust that it isn't. Your own instincts will be your best guide when it comes to understanding the messages your imagery carries. Remember, your body-mind wants you to know what it has to say, and it will give you the answers, if you ask for them, in the form of intuitive hunches and flashes of insight. Just trust the notions that come to you as you ask your body-mind for the answers."

--Barbara Ganim, Art and Healing: Using Expressive Art to Heal Your Body, Mind, and Spirit