Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flora Bowley's Bloom True E-Course Review

Flora Bowley's Class on Fluid Beauty - Bloom True

Her new book on Blooming.
Today's shout out is about Flora Bowley and her wonderful online class Bloom True.

I recently took her 5 week class focusing on colors, imagery, intuition, in my
opinon, a fluid beauty.

Bloom True focuses on the individual allowing rather than forcing the beauty of their imagination and soul to permeate the canvass. Flora gives tips and exercises to help you get out of your own way and ease into a interactive song with your paints, hands, tools and heart.  Fluid motion.

There are two days a week of painting instruction, 4 other days of valued teaching on attitudes, fear, how to open up, where to find imagery, getting out of fear and into fearless, and how to stay inspired. Flora's unique style is captured in a host of videos, written instructions
and homework.  The homework is fun!!!

Now having given this review, I won't claim to be the best bloomer.  There are so many others in the class tho that NAILED the concept and have so much to share in this unique blend of color, shape and beauty. My personal style seems to be more "vivid" and without as much imagery, but I did try to give her a go. :-) (See some students work who are just like YOU below - absolute beauty!)

"summertime flora" - artist Harmony Thiessen
Although I cannot "Florize" as well as others, Flora's class made a great impression on my present state of mind while painting. Remembering to connect with my heart, staying open all day - not only in front of a canvass, the use of music, the marks, the layers...ah, I am blooming just thinking about it!

Maybe a bit more expensive than many online classes, Flora's class took some time for me to decide to purchase.  Having said that, after the class I would not alter my decision in any way and encourage you - if you want a daily discipline for 5 weeks that will transform your work - this is a great investment.

Lastly, and this cannot be promised to the next group, but my Bloom True Class of Early Summer 2012 has proven to be a host of new and wonderful friends. We formed a bond in Flora's private Facebook Group for Bloomers, that is ongoing every day- and we finished about 6 weeks ago I believe.  With Flora's energy behind it, we have become an encouraging, supportive and loving group of artists helping each other in any way we can.

I give Flora's class a 4 out of 5 Stars.  Truly a great experience.

You can learn more about Bloom True here.
NOTE: This is a non-biased review with no monetary compensation.

If you are a graduate of Flora's Class and would like to have one of your paintings shown here, please email the jpeg to  I will compile them over the next week and add to the post.  Here is a chance to show your stuff! (include credits - your name, name of painting if you have one, and your website link if you have one.)

Blooming True Summer 2012 Show What Can Happen With Some Flora In Your Life - all images are copyright with the artists. Please enjoy and share, but always giving credit to these amazing artists.  Thank you.

Lesley Fountain
"Shine Your Light"

Evie Zaccardelli

WINDFALLS - 28x20"

Shelly Penko
She Dreams In Color

Sandra Belegi
Garden of Hope

Rebecca Brooks

Monday, August 13, 2012

Falling Behind - Booming Forward

My revamped website - including Galleries, Harmony Art Blog and more!
I know - I have fallen behind big time in posting on Gutsy.  But I have some great reasons!

I have been painting like a wild woman, revamping my website completely, building another one, writing a new book, and even more.

It's just too much to try to catch up everything here...but I would like to start again from now. :-)

I have taken a few courses that have been really outstanding.  I will tell you more about that tomorrow.
For today, may I ask you to check out my new digs at ?

I'd appreciate your feedback - feel free to comment.

Till tomorrow
Be Gutsy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tips for June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tips - Creative Resources for Creative People

Loved this... thought you might like it too
Wow.  I was writing today's post and got an email from a great friend with a link on creativity in it.
What a great article outlining 4 of the biggest creativity killers! 

If you think creativity needs to keep you in the poor house - You might want to check out The Abundant Artist - usually a really good source of insightful and educational info to keep you prospering while you create.

Creative inspiration - LOVE.  What a great article by another writer I find very dependable for publishing thought provoking posts - Soul Meets World

Community, education and resource site for creative people - Creativity Portal

Enjoy!  Use what's useful, pass it along, leave comments and see you soon.
If you found the info useful you can use the social media icons below to help move it forward - and don't forget to subscribe to stay updated!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Turn Today into a Fabulous Friday

How to Turn a Friday into Fabulous

As we get older we can forget how to turn our days from "whatev" to "wow."

We have seen it, been there, found it, lost it, bought it, sold it.  So what's new to make a day so fabulous?

This is where creative genius comes to play. You have the power to turn your day into whatever you want.

Don't go there!
Don't give me the same song and dance I heard last weekend at a dinner party.  The whole thing turned nasty when we got into a discussion about just how long can we hold on to injustice. How long do we (or those who wronged us) have to pay till we can be happy again?

The choice about FABULOUS is all between our ears. 
One person sees the clouds and thinks "crap! more rain."  A creative Fab Friday chap thinks "looks like I will find something to do with rain today."

It's just how we see things.  

If you see yourself as a person who can create what you want - you will.   If you see yourself as a person who is at the mercy of things as sketchy as the weather, or the mood of your co-workers, or the economy that is being effected by global factors you have no control over - you will miss the FAB in the FRIDAY.

When my lovely golden retriever leaves a room, or setting, or prepares for a new thing to happen, she shakes her body from one end to the other.  It's like (besides a hair party!), she decides that what just was is OVER, and what's new is waiting to be embraced.  I have learned so much from that action. 

I don't know about you, but I love to cook.  I don't enjoy having to run to the market to pick up the two ingredients that are missing.  So, I have made a habit over many years of cooking, to take what I have a make up stuff.  WOW.  Sometimes it is soooooooooo tasty.  Other times, maybe not so much. I am usually surprised by what can be done, if I am forced through circumstance to mix it up and play with new ideas.

That's what makes FRIDAYS FABULOUS.  
Take what you have - and mix it up - and find your pleasures within it.
Catch yourself when you start telling yourself in your head: "so much to do,"  or "so boring," or "so broke."
If you have so much to do - what can you throw in that will add some fab? Oftentimes for me, I will find a way to include a trip to Starbucks or Dairy Queen.  I can grab my sketchbook and start drawing for 10 minutes. And if I am really pressed for time - dancing with a tune, and I mean really dancing, can shake off even the most stressful moment and leave me feeling - Fabulous.

If you are bored - mix it up - shake yourself and and do something completely different -with what you have. If you are sitting in an office doing the same old mundane crap, connect with someone at the office and have some fun, or go for a walk at lunch (instead of doing your same routine) and visit your favorite spots or better yet a new one.  If you are broke - WOW, I can attest from many experiences that some of my best creativity comes when I think I don't have what I need to be happy. 

Lastly, I gotta say, my best way to turn a Friday into Fabulous is to think of something I could do to give to someone else - to make a Friday Fabulous for them.  Thus, this blog post.

FABULOUS FRIDAYS are yours to enjoy.  What can you do with yours?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Awesome Sauce - Carole MacFadden

Shout Out to Carole MacFadden and Her Mighty Legs for Conquer Cancer Ride

I want to share with my GUTSY world about my great friend Carole - who rode 250 K this past weekend in the Conquer Cancer fundraiser.

I had the privilege of watching her cross the finish line, and not only her, but her riding buddy Gail, and a few minutes later, Donna and Shelly.  Now I know I am a sap, so when I say I cried while watching the hundreds (thousands actually) of cyclists make their way across the line, those who know me will most likely do the eye roll thing.  BUT SERIOUSLY, seeing the human commitment to endurance, perseverance and their love for others, was moving and inspiring.

Carole is not the athletic type (meaning there are more fun things to do in her world)  and with her 60-70 work weeks the extra hours of training required to train were almost more taxing on her life - than the actual ride.  But Carole has legs that won't stop.  Funny, these very legs that she has bemoaned for so many years, are the two pillars that not only helped her cross the line, but frankly she crossed the line in style!  I will never see her legs as anything but beauty. :-)

The trip from Vancouver to Seattle, as I noticed while driving comfortably in my car, was hilly.  But the hills were only a small challenge compared to the DELUGE of rain we had over both days in the Pacific Northwest.  Despite it all, Carole and her fanatic friends, 3000 strong, raised over 11 million dollars for Cancer research.  IMAGINE the difference those actions this past weekend will butterfly effect in the next decade or two.  How many people will be helped, saved, and encouraged by the generosity of the riders - and the donors?  I shout out AWESOME to Carole MacFadden (and her sexy goddess legs!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Tips - June 19 - Resources for Creativity

Here are some great Tuesday Tips from June 19, 2012 for Creative People and Ideas

Doodling while watching TV
1. Sometimes we just need to have fun.  For me I usually draw or paint, but there are so many fun things you can create:
You can find many other great ideas at 21 Tools to Unlock Your Creativity   

Please pass this along using social buttons below...or leave us your tip in comments.  Keep Laughing!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fabulous Friday June 15 Includes Personal Miracle

Fabulous Friday This Week Has A Real Personal Twist for Me

I finally went out and got the new computer I have needed for sometime.

Although it is a hunk of metal that sets and receives bits of info, still it is shiny, new and finally has some speed and new capacities to help me. YAY.


Today I went in to pick up my computer from a  great guy who has his own computer and home theater business close to where I live.  From there I was going to meet a girlfriend for coffee.

I thought about it as I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot - do I take this new baby indoors with me or hide it in the trunk?  I chose to take it in with me, wanting to keep it safe, and repeating the mantra to myself...

I had a business meeting following our girl fest and of course, I left too late so I hustled out the cafe' with purse in one hand, car keys in the other.  Not even the slightest inclination was on my brain about the new laptop that was sitting on the floor by the window.

Almost at the next appointment, I went through the mental checklist of what I needed to think and prepare before heading into the meeting. It dawned on me like a ton of bricks...and although I was on the phone at the time, I groaned out "OMG - OH NO OH NO OH NO!"  My business partner on the other side NO DOUBT had numb ear for hours following the conversation.

I was in such a panic, I couldn't speak and hung up the phone.   Immediately I called the Starbucks.
Of course, at first they don't know what I am saying, and then she left the phone to go check.
No, I am sorry there is nothing inside the store or outside on the tables.  No sorry.
I was literally horrified that I had done something so absolutely stupid.  I asked the woman I was meeting if she could please excuse me and we could reschedule, and said I needed to head back to the original spot (now 45 away as it's rush hour traffic).  She was gracious, hugged me, and while in her embrace I hear that she is saying a quick prayer for me and my new and vanished laptop, to be reunited.

While driving, I cried, groaned, moaned, agonized and tried to think of who I could call, what I could do.


I remembered the morning meditation.  It was from Eckhart Tolle and I had shared it with my girlfriend over coffee only 2 or 3 hours before (and on Facebook earlier that morning) with a "sure, I believe and practice this" attitude.  Get ready...this is a bender:

This doesn't say GO WITH FLOW, or TAKE A CHILL PILL, or EMBRACE SUFFERING.   You know, all the typical meditation mumbo jumbo that is supposed to help me be a better survivor. :-)
It says - accept it as if you had CHOSEN IT.

When I shared it with Carole over coffee I remember she said, "Oh No, that would be hard to do," and I thought at the time, "well not really - you train yourself that way."

Now only 2 hours later, I am remembering the meditation, the words, and my comfy arrogance with the concept.

Why was I even driving back there anyway?  The girl who checked said she looked everywhere and it wasn't there.  But as I drove I kept thinking about these words of Tolle's and how would I go about DOING that "Chosen Thing".

SO, pondering the depths of the idea - I asked for guidance, and this is what I did:

I said to Life - "I take full responsibility for this incident."  I not only foolishly forgot the laptop but I also accept that I have chosen this moment - it is my creation, and it is as it should be.  I decided that when I walked back out of the Starbucks door, after going in to check on things myself, if I did not find the laptop, I would be happy, just like if I did.  And I would accept that there is more to the picture than I realize and that all is well.

You can only imagine my surprise when I went right back to my seat, looked on the floor by the stool to see my laptop, in the case, setting by the stool, next to the two men who took our table when we left.  They had been there the whole time- standing guard as it were.

I know, you will tell me that no matter what I had chosen, the laptop would have been there - but I am not so sure.  All I do know, is that before I went into that cafe, I had once again become the master of my destiny - valuing joy and well-being over possessions, accepting the uncertainty of my mistake as an opportunity for wonder.

And tonight, as I type symbolically and literally on my new laptop, I am exactly that: full of wonder!
Have a fabulous Friday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Here I AM

Do you ever feel like you are watching your own life?
Here I am - Watching my own life - unfolding, becoming, allowing, resisting, releasing.

Here I am present to what is, maybe hoping for what isn`t, and finding edgy peace with the whole lot.

Here I am, a little lost- but mostly found, observing the vastness, richness and texture of my existence

Dreaming again of the next moment and then standing by with curiosity, watching it unfold.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Back in the Saddle and a Little Sore From the Ride

I have felt so sick for the past two weeks - that even tho I work from home and make money when I make clients happy - I was not able to work, or do much of anything. 
Every day I went to bed thinking - tomorrow I will wake up right as rain...but alas, it dragged and so did I.

Today I feel as tho I am finally coming to life.  I thought I might share a couple of people who showed up on my canvass lately.

This gal to your left - she is the orphan matron that I met 20 years ago when working in The Soviet Union.  She was harsh, dedicated, cold, heartless ( I felt so anyway) and consistent.  I thought I had forgotten her, but I guess in my feverish state, she came for a visit.

I actually like her A LOT.  But I think its probably due to the memories.

Then there is the woman who came to visit recently when I was working on painting "cotton candy girls".
Although none of my CCGirls seem to look to cotton candy like, she takes the
Cake!  She is middle aged, tired, but look at her body!  In my chills and delirium
I think I fancied a bust line and less belly.  What a look!
She is drawn with india ink on acrylic ink and glaze substrate.

Really grateful to be feeling better.  ( So is my paintbrush I am sure!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Creative Types Allow for Messy Minds

Creative Types Allow For Messy Minds by Refusing to Judge to Quickly

Abstract Painting Harmony Thiessen
Abstract on Watercolor by Harmony Thiessen
Unlike our counterparts, those incredibly focused left brain people who help keep our business worlds profitable, and write and administrate the laws of the land, creative types often experience a messy mind - something along the lines of temporary chaos.

It's not that creativity flows when things are disorganized - many creative people need order to find their creative juice - it's more of a choice to allow for things to become disorganized if they choose to.  Those of us who work an or play in creative pursuits are often reminded that what we considered accidents, or mishaps become the tools or process or fodder for our best works.

Creative types need to understand that the subconscious mind or the influence of the cosmos  - may have a message to get through to our hands or minds or music - and they don't always use conventional thought for the delivery.

If we always relied on the facts to equal the outcome, we would not have cars or airplanes, light bulbs or computer hardware - somewhere along the line it gets messy...and sometimes that's where the magic lives.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of popular and thought provoking books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers describes this consideration in the short video below.

If you found this post helpful - would you pass it along on your social media platforms?  Thank you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Tip for Creatives for May 22, 2012

Tuesday Tips for Creatives - Resources to Keep You Creating - for the Week of May 22, 2012

This week's tips for creative people cover some essentials and focus on the fundamentals.

Creative Theory To Help You Identify Your Creative Strengths, Weaknesses and Tools to Improve
A slideshare presentation from Jason Theodore entitled Create More Better Different

How to Enter Your Work in Art Shows Would you like to share your claim to fame with recognized art awards?  To win em', you got to join em'! But if you have ever tried to apply for a juried competition, you have probably hit the wall more than a few times.  Here is a good cover list of how to prepare, what you need to do and when. 

Helpful Tips for Entering Art Shows, Juried Exhibitions & Competitions for Artists

Do You Have Trouble Writing Your Own Artist Statements, Twitter Notes, an Other Various Communications?  ArtyBullocks is perfect for you, and great for your outlook!
and be sure to say you don't like one and request another.  There is something for everyone.

Have you got a resource to share?  Feel Free!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Long Weekend Bliss

Enjoy the PURE BLISS of a Canadian Long Weekend

Living in Canada, I have become accustomed to a national rhythm of long weekends...or l...o...n...g...weekends!

Today is Victoria Day - which always falls on the MONDAY before May 25th - and the whole country enjoys a 3-day long weekend. Not so unlike neighbors in the US which celebrate a long weekend next weekend.  But believe me the similarities end Canada has found a way to celebrate a long weekend many times a year!  And in BC (British Columbia) we celebrate them all - and usually jump in on some American holidays, claiming it's tough to do business when the Americans are not at their desk. 

I have learned to appreciate the clever assortment of holidays and the strategic planning - insuring that holidays fall on Fridays or Mondays (normally) so that a long weekend - is a given!

  • There is Today for May - a long weekend.
  • and July 01 for Canada Day
  • And the first Monday in August - a long weekend
  • Sept is for Labor Day long weekend
  • Oct - Second Monday is Thanksgiving
  • November is Remembrance Day -
  • December is lots of Days around Christmas (except for Retail folk) and then Boxing Day - the day after Christmas
  • January - New Years Day
  • April - Easter Long Weekend...
  • Some provinces are now celebrating Family Day in February - I am sure BC will follow.

Here is the Magic

We don't just have holidays.  We celebrate them.  Not much with national pride (except for Remembrance Day which we take quite seriously) but with BLISS.

People close shops, go camping, visit family, sleep in, walk the dog, hit the beach, hang out at cafes, party on, - breathe.
I am so grateful they taught me to love long weekend Bliss.  It has created a rhythm for rest, and a environment for creative incubation and expression.

The notion that to be productive means to be in action every moment is NON PRODUCTIVE
Part of reproduction is incubation and I urge every reader to find or make time to incorporate the bliss of stepping back, sleeping in, slowing down and enjoying recuperation from the hectic mess of modern life.  Once done, jump in with both feet and paddle madly, but allow yourself to stop again and breathe often.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Gutsy`s Fabulous Friday May 18, 2012 - Jonas Gerard

What Makes Friday`s SO Fabulous?

Eye In Time
Fridays ROCK my world because they are memorable to me.

GREAT things happen on Fridays.

My whole adult life has allowed Fridays to be a check in for me.  How was the week, how are the people I know and love, how has the magic happened, how id I screw up, how did it work out, and where is the pizza?  (Pizza and a couple glasses of wine have been added to the Friday regime` over the last 10 years - a WELCOME addition!)

This week`s sample Fabulous Friday Shouts is:

1. I came back this week from being in Colorado with my kids....being there was just wonderful.  My life is SO enriched by all the time I spend with people I adore.
2. Coming home was good - Ginger was waiting for me BIG TIME. And honestly, I so look forward to her snuggled up next to me when we sleep.  I KNOW I KNOW...lame! But true none the same.
3. ART - can someone pinch me please? Since I decided to bring my artsy side to the light, and allow the art work to become my own, my life is enriched in miraculous ways EVERY DAY.  My lifelong obsession with different perspectives in how we see and feel things has found yet another way to express.
4. Friendships - I had another friend from years ago find me this week.  OMGoodness...Connections are so good, so delicious, so enriching to life.
5. I am vibrant, healthy, strong, - love the feeling!
6. I want to paint desperately today - but alas I have clients waiting for SEO work, and I must behave.  It`s the long weekend tho in Canada this week, and there will be a day set aside totally for creative indulgences!

I am so inspired by art - as I believe often the voice of LIFE can be heard better without the preoccupation of human preconditioned responses - and with that in mind I must show you one of my latest artist mentors...(he is not aware of the relationship! :-))))

Love to all my readerss, but especially YOU

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Creative Types and EVOLUTION

Creative Types in EVOLUTION, EVOLVING, Change

"Happy Street" SOLD   Prints for Sale
Can you stand the heat of change?  Just how flexible can you afford to be?  Are you Evolving?

I am so surprised, being kind of a lefty in politics, opinions, shopping choices, and lifestyle at just how RIGHT I can think I can be!

There is a  notion that things can ONLY be RIGHT or LEFT, BLACK or WHITE, but who is to say there is not a HOLY GREY option? :-)

More and more I see the value of stepping back, seeing things from different perspectives, looking for my blind spots, considering other people's genius.

For a liberal minded person, I can be quite conservative in:

1. How many no's I will take before quitting
2. How much I measure my worth COMPARED to another
3. How I adhere to my "just go with the flow" mantra and insist that TYPE A GOTTA DO MY WAY people are WRONG..

Creative Types are evolving - always in process, morphing, emerging, ....

As soon as you or I begin to settle in and say to ourselves we have it figured out..."there, done with that", life will surprise us with a new twist, a fresh angle, unexpected circumstances that challenge our stance.
Sometimes we need to stay put, and other times, like a snake, it's time to shed our skin and go for another round.

Watching young children go `round and  round until they are so dizzy they fall down reminded me I need to find the same smirk they have on their face when they let their heads be disoriented, and just go with it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Tips for May 15, 2012

Gutsy Arts Tuesday Tips - Resources For Creative Prompts

Tuesday Tips for this week start with a resource to test your creative thinking and focusing on your problem solving skills.  I find that the very same openness to unusual connections in a painting or drawing is very similar to the openness required to solve complex problems. 
Creativity Quiz

Do you feel like a bit of inspiration for a indulgence into an hour in your studio - creating something.  Christy Tomilinson recently posted a short video of creating one of her mixed media beauties.  I share it with you here because I got such a kick out of the changes she made.  Several times I liked what she had and - "don't touch that!", but she did anyway, and of course it turned out looking great.  Christy offers great online courses, lots of free videos, and operates an online store for supplies.  There's lots more to learn about her, but I leave the exploration to you.  (Christy's art was just fefeatured in the latest Somerset mag for paper and mixed media)

Do you love photography?  Poetry? Maybe you are a whiz in the kitchen and known for unique recipes?
Do you dream of sharing your creative arts in a book but have no idea of how to get published?  You might want to check out Lulu for self publishing. You would be amazed at the possibilities in this field compared to a simple 10 years ago. 

Want more tips and resources?  Check out other editions of TUESDAY TIPS and subscribe to this blog for weekly resources to stir up your creative juices.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creative Voice is Means Speaking Your Truth

Speaking the Truth From Your Creative Voice

I have been traveling the last couple days and getting settled in Colorado for a week.  It's always intersting to watch the world when you travel and look for your creative prompts.

I am probably overflowing with them at the moment, but with the days away I have lots of business stuff to catch up with.

SO, I wanted to share something with you that I read at kellyraeroberts.blogspotcom.  Kelly Rae is a creative inspiration and I always enjoy her journey.  This pic on a recent post of hers really inspired me.

I have so often tried to speak my truth to myself, and then chickened out.  I think before I can shout it to the world, I have to speak it to myself, which in my opinion is the hardest part.

Here are a few examples:
  • I am a middle aged woman.
  • I am most happy when I am a bridge.
  • I don't pay my bills on time sometimes - just because I want to feel I have the money in my pocket.
What about you?  Even when we tremble, the truth will set our souls free to be.
PS (Truth doesn't mean stuck.  It is true for us at the moment.)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fabulous Friday May 04, 2012

Gutsy Girl Fabulous Friday May 04, 2012

Weeks seem to fly by when you have Fabulous Friday's.  Seems the very act of accountability, helps your awareness in the process. Between Fabulous Friday's and Tuesday Tips - my awareness should rival the Buddha shortly....KIDDING!

Fabulous Friday is about what creativity we saw in our lives this past week - where we either allowed creativity, recognized we didn't allow it, shared it, stuffed it, sold it, bought it -doesn't really matter...
As long as we were in touch with our creative voice or motivations.

My Roundup

1. I finished (I think) my Gutsy Goddess of Compassion.  I know I could do other things with her, but right now I am just loving her simplicity and Grace.  She is not so much about Compassion to others, as she is about having the GUTS to be compassionate with yourself.
2.  I have worked like crazy on some creative brain storms for my SEO Small Business clients.
3.  Been studying my little brain away - taking a few courses in visual arts right now.
4.  I have tried to LISTEN to comments from people who care about me who have suggestions for how my life might be easier if I listened to them. :-)  (Thus the POLL - have you taken it?  Look to the right -maybe scroll up just a wee bit, of your screen)

\I could tell you a few things I haven't done - like kept my home clean this week, paid my bills on time, or run on my training schedule.  OH WELL- My Goddess Of Compassion says " Harmony - give yourself needed rest and love - us Goddesses don't need a perfect home to be happy!"  AND I SAY YAY to the Goddess in me!

How about you - where did you allow your creative juices to work with you this week?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Do You Talk About Yourself?

Do You Talk About Yourself - Do you Blather On and On or Must Loved Ones and Friends PRY Your Story Out of You?

You can read the short story and why this has come up over at Goldenzen - (copy and paste into your browser

But if you want the short story look to the right of your screen and see the Poll.  I want to know how you view communicating stuff that is important to you.

In my life, I tend to hold back - and friends (even family) have confronted me on it.  SO, I decided to hear from you - what do you do?

Take the poll and after the 15th of the month when the poll is over (I am running it on both sites - here and Goldenzen), I will write about the answers in a post for all to read. (Funny and they said I don't share! :-) )

THANKS - and if you feel so inclined I would love for you to share the poll to your right or the poll at Goldenzen with your twitter and facebook family.  The more people we have answer the question, the better our results will be.  To make it simple for you here are the two URL's to use as a link for social media: Choose One - for GoldenZen - For This Post on GUTSY

GUTSY loves Juliet Simms

I Can't Help It - I LOVE Miss Juliet Simms from the Voice

I have little time for TV and even LESS time for "reality" shows that are so far from reality it is a joke!
But I can't help myself - GUTSY, The Gutsy Goddess to the right, GUTSY's puppy dog Ginger, and anyone GUTSY can influence - just has fallen in love with Juliet Simms.

Probably cause this girl has true artistic GUTS.  I feel so proud of her and although I banish the thought that I am caught up in "reality frenzy" - I want this girl to win the VOICE - I want her to put out a new album, and I WANT TO LISTEN TO HER AND ROCK OUT IN MY CAR.

Is it cause she reminds me of Janice J, or my youth, or courage - I don't know - but this girl ROCKS the house down - at least for me.

Here is a video of her last performance.  Vote for Juliet Simms! :-)  PS. Just to say, I pray for her too - that all this new found public love only helps to heal and move her forward, and not torment her and eat her up like so many others gone before her.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Tips

 Tuesday Tips -Creative Resources for May 01, 2012

Every creative person loves resources - a playground for the imagination. This edition of Tuesdays Tips include help in communicating online, help for business minded people in integrating creative skill into work, and free tutorials for those who really want to express themselves with visual arts. Enjoy!

  1. Creativity for Communication-If you have a blog or communicate online and want more readers, you might find this article helpful over at Problogger. It is a guest post on how to get people to listen to you. Although that is the title, I would actually suggest it's more about on how to be heard.  Getting people to listen is another study.  Great info tho.
  2. Creativity for Art Play - Art is Fun - if you are really new to art, or want to learn to play around with art - which is HIGHLY encouraged by the Gutsy Goddess (:-) then you might love this site.  The resources are free and there are some great tutorials.
  3. Creativity in Business - Take an assessment to find out how effective you are at using creativity in your day to day professional life - to solve problems, implement programs or make decisions.
Love to hear what you think.  Feel free to leave a tip of your own.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Creative Type Series - Who Do You Hang With?

Creative Types Hang Out With Creative Types!

If you want to be more of something, immerse yourself in it .Creative types need other creative people to stir them on - some more than others, but EVERYONE needs the community of others to foster individual growth.  It's a human condition!

For over a year I have looked at this photo to remind me you don't need to be complicated to be creative! Its just simple fun, but works for me
We all know if you want to keep our kids on a path for success - keep them from kids on a path to nowhere.

If you want to be a football star, hang out with other big burly guys or quick sprinter dudes who like leather balls that go from side to side. :->

If you want to sing in the opera, your spare time won't work for you in the casino.

Where and with whom you associate has a lot to do with how creative you think.

You Are What You Eat! 


Creative people foster creativity through association.  The more you read, listen to, talk with and observe other creative people, the more you encourage your own imagination and challenge your comfort zone.

No one is an island and we sharpen our skills through the community of others.  If you are having any blocks or creative listlessness, it often helps to:
  • visit an art museum
  • take an online workshop
  • take a community workshop on a creative topic
  • watch shows on TV that teach creative skills or demonstrate others creativity
  • loan out some books from the library on art forms in your genre - or those completely outside it.
  • call a friend who shares a love for creativity and have coffee, share idea, look at projects, plan to work on something together even!
  • grab your camera, go to the park or any public space and let the activities of others awaken your creativity - especially children.
  • Really listen to a great series of music - pay attention to the creative use of space, time, and interplay.
Creative types will feel ill at ease, unhappy, depressed even, if something creative isn't happening in their world. If you sense yourself lagging, rev yourself up a notch by allowing the ideas of others stimulate your thirsty soul.

Got some creative inspiration tips?   We only scratched the surface here - what do you do to get your mojo going?

Here are a couple other articles you might find helpful.
Are You A Creative Type?
Creative Types - 30 Seconds to Bliss

Check back tomorrow for TUESDAY TIPS - for resources to help you on your creative journey.
You can Subscribe to this blog for creative inspiration from the subscribe icon on the right hand column.(Either by email close to the top of the page, or by Reader in the middle of the page)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fabulous Fridays April 28, 2012- Connections

Fabulous Fridays - April 28, 2012 - What make my life so Fabulous?

I can't believe it's FABULOUS FRIDAY already.  I had so many things to post about and then I remembered - It's our day to shout out to the Universe how grateful we are.

In honor of that I think I could summarize my week with a gratitude for connections.

Connections keep me sane.  My name is is Harmony after all, and that implies a connection, a balance, a bridge.

1. So grateful for my connection to my mother.  For many years although I longed for it, we didn't always connect well.  I wanted her to be someone different.  I wanted her to be what I I I  envisioned a mother should be. She was being Helen.  One day, I got it. I received Helen into my world.  NOT MOM. She wasn't born a mom, she was born HELEN. I fell in love with that girl, women, friend, human, person.  I adore her today more than I ever have. My love for Helen is not about what she can give me as my mom.  I love her for being who she is.  Makes me tear up just writing about it.

Petra Hoffman - More than Survived!

2. So grateful for new connections.  New people who appear in my world.  They dance in like ballerinas or elephants.  They appear when I least anticipate them.  And they flavor my world.  This week that includes a MAGICAL woman with an amazing story to tell. Her name is Petra Hoffman and she is a survivor of Hep C and is turning the world upside down!

3. Connections to myself.  I am so grateful to have and hear my own voice.  To be connected to a constant stream of creative bliss.  If I don't sense it immediately, all I need to do is 60 seconds of silence and inner direction, and bam!  There is the flow.  I am so grateful.  I hear directions, ideas, corrections, encouragement, and LOVE.  Love flows in my heart.

Your turn, tell me something making your Friday Fabulous!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creative People Change Habits

Don't Like Your Habits - Chuck em! Creative People Can Change Habits

Kicking Coffee ...Kinda
There are a series of commercials on right now from some bank here in Canada that says something very simple.  The couple is walking down the street and the she says I wish we didn't have to pay bank fees and someone overhears them and says to them - "If you don't want to pay bank fees, don't pay bank fees."

I thought of how many times we say that in life.

"I don't like this or don't want to do that"

The cool part is that as CREATIVE PEOPLE, we don't have to stay stuck.
Habits are ours.  YAY.  We own them.

And like a simplicity maven, if we don't want to keep them, we can chuck them.

If you were adept enough to accrue said habit - who is keeping you from ditching the sad slop and moving on....LITERALLY NO ONE.

Certainly not you.  You and I want to change up.  And so we can.


Well I could go through the ...
it takes 21 days to change a habit
 bla bla

OR, I could assume you know that the human brain muscle requires repetition (21 days in a row worth of reps) to retrain your thinking patterns.

SO IMAGINE THAT.  One day, followed by the next, and then another, for only 21 ridiculously short (and possibly painful) days, and BAM - you are rockin new habits.

In the light of blogging transparency - here are a few habits I have changed over the years

14 Cups of coffee a day to 2 (most 3)
3 Cups of Coffee a Day to Decaf Coffee
Decaf Coffee back to 2 dark strong hits of caffeine
2 Cups of Dark strong HITS of delicious brew to 3!!!!

And that's only ONE example. Wink Wink

Seriously tho, habits are ours.  We can adopt them, love them, nurture them,  cultivate them, reject them or outright ditch their sorry bums - whenever WE the CREATIVE PEOPLE decide we want to.

A STRONG DECISION, a bit o' elbow grease, and BAM, we have a new habit.

I love Breakfast!
Right now I am developing, with great care, a habit of chocolate for breakfast. :-)

Breakfast of Champions - 1

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Tips

#Tuesday Tips - Weekly Tips on Resources for Creative People

I spend a lot of time researching for the work I do. I am constantly coming across resources I think would benefit others.  In fact, I am launching a website shortly for the artistic community that showcases resources and provides a "find what you need" type atmosphere among friends. (Still a few months away.)

Since I have so much access to information, I have decided that Tuesdays at Gutsy Arts will be #Tuesday Tips - just a few links to information I have found that I think readers within the creativity genre may be interested in.  Well, to be really honest, it's links I was interested in. :-)

So here goes for today: #Tuesday Tips 

(No I don't have any affiliation and I don't make any money from the links provided in Tuesday Tips)

1. Heaven is Here - I don't have a clue how I landed here.  It was on my computer this am when I went to it in a window I didn't know I had opened....wooowoooowoooowooo....(twilight zone!)
It is a book just released by Stephanie Nielson about her incredible story of a plane crash, 4 months in a coma, 80% burned body, and her new incredible life.  Lots of vid's on this site to inspire you without even buying the book.  Please don't let her religious persuasion deter you from the story - I think some people miss the amazing gifts we can receive by allowing preconceived judgements to get in the way.
2. Make a Book - I think the possibilities here are endless for a creative soul - or even someone who wants to be creative. :-)
3 Great Info on Creative Life Taken from The Musical World - At author Scott Mc Dowell indirectly references Brian Eno (Music Producer for U2 and Talking Heads) t and his tips for creative inspiration. Some really excellent thoughts on the power of consistency and release.

Enjoy!  Let's start sharing.  If you have a tip - resource for the creative juice in all of us, be sure to leave it in the comments.  Please avoid sharing your material for sale - and let's make it all about promoting others - just for Tuesday. :-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Creative Type Series - 30 Seconds to Bliss

Creative Type #2 - 30 Seconds to Bliss

a work in progress - i am loving the texture tho
Creative types tend to find ways to create, no matter how little time they have.  They must or they shrink. The creative type is always looking for ways to open, to expand, to give birth to something; an idea, a solution, a picture, a design - whatever.

Unfortunately, we don't always have hours to create.  In fact, finding AN HOUR can be challenging.  To keep yourself fit and creatively active - use the 30 Seconds to Bliss technique.

30 Seconds to Bliss Techniques

  1. Look at the time on your cell phone - and time yourself.  How many words can you think of that have "able" it it?
  2. Take a notepad and pen (or napkin - even toilet paper will do :-), time yourself and write as many names of people as you can think of that you have not spoken to in a year.
  3. Take 30 seconds and record on your cell phone as fast as you can the topics you would like to write about on your blog.
  4. Turn on the microwave timer to 30 seconds and bend - from the waist down - let your arms drop to the floor - no pressure, just as far as they can go, and let you head hang up-dside down. Don't worry about the outcome.  Just do it. Maybe try doing it several times on one day and notice the result.
  5. Look at the time on your computer (30 second segments please) and open notepad. Type out words as fast as you second guessing, any words.  Now take 3 of them and write a sentence using those words. tell me, what happened?
Okay, try one or more, and tell me how it goes. :-)

I will go first and do the 30 second type word exercise - right in front of you, no holds barred. (its a bit unfair since I have already been writing, but here goes)

giggles, spelling, sincere, happy, job, why not, go there, been there, sad, happy, joyful, distant, girlfriend, lover, single
"I got the giggles when I thought about my girlfriend, her lover and why I am single!"

What's your story? :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fabulous Friday - April 20, 2012

Fridays are Fabulous - Collection of Bliss and Gratitude for April 20th, 2012

I have decided to make my Friday posts about Fabulous Fridays.  A quick capture (or maybe not so quick) of some of the reasons I am thankful AND a few of things I have noticed in others this week. (meaning you will find resources for your ever hungry creative spirit!)

1. I got married on this date in 1974 at the ripe age of 16. That was 38 years ago.  OH MY!  I was married for 25 years- I honor those years, my children, (now grandchildren) and who I became in the loving nurture of that environment.

2. I have lots of work with my businesses right now and I am grateful for the financial provisions.

3. Ginger cannot help but be on the list - she is a blessing to me everyday. (my golden retriever) I think actually I am her human.

4. I got turned on to the idea of Artist Trading Cards this week...I think I might just play.

5. I am bursting at the seams with dreams of my artistic life.  I did not allow myself that pleasure for many years.

6. I have met many new friends on line.  One gal I am very excited to get to know is Natasha May.  She is doing her first online class called "Cotton Candy Girls."  I have watched lots of her vids and am really impressed at her various skill levels - and want to support the class. I am not getting paid to promote (although there is a contest).  Here is the link - check it out: Natasha May Cotton Candy Girls Workshop.

7. I met up with a girlfriend who had been like a sister to me for many years.  We drifted somehow for 5 years and met for dinner and wine for 6 hours this week.  I came home to love.  It was amazing.

8. I have started a Tuesday's Tips series of posts where I am offering great resources for creative folks. I wrote the first version for next week's Tuesday...I am excited to see this blog (I have a few :-), like a painting, beginning to take some shape.  Who knows the journey it will take...what a great adventure.

Okay, that's it for me today, but I would love to hear yours - what's making your Friday Fab???

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inspired by Blessings

Organic Fruit, Strong Dark Coffee and my Healthy Body

Legend in my own mind!
I am inspired almost every day by the simplicity of blessings.  Each morning I enjoy a bowl of fresh cut up organic fruit and a robust cup of Java.  You would think after 30+ years of eating the same thing every am I would be bored or not notice.

But honestly, I think about it most mornings.  How lucky I am, how blessed to have access, how healthy it is for me, how it makes me feel, how grateful I am for the ritual of making it and then sharing it with Ginger.:-)  Every morning it says to me my life is abundant, blessed, simple.

Love doesn`t get better
I think one of the reasons for the incredible sense of despair in our society and the continued editorials about the state of economic woes, is that we forget what it is we do have.

My guess, if each one of us would look into our lives afresh in the first 30 minutes of our day - we could find many things that reflect back to us just how blessed, how fortunate, how loved by SOMEONE we are.

Note the people in your life, gifts in your home, the opportunities for change that present themselves to you, the relative safety you feel in a huge world, and what you have for breakfast.

Give a shout out to the blessings!!!!  FOCUS on what is, forget about what isn`t. Feel the freedom of making a choice to be blessed.  It`s yours for the taking.

Why suffer today with angst?  INDULGE yourself in JOY just for the hang of it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Today I Will Wow My Clients

My painting was not too happy with me today. She felt I hurried to get to work I think :-)
Okay so today, I am going to do my art - but ONLY A LITTLE.  It is so consuming for me (I ADMIT IT - ADDICTED TO ART), that I neglect my other work - waaaaaay too much and my clients don't deserve that.

I sit down in my office/studio, and look at the computer screen, and then at my easel.
Ah...the choice, obvious.  My ...............................easel of course!!!

It would be okay if I made money from my easel.  But until recently I was too chicken to ever tell someone I had an easel - none the less make money using it.

I know I need to WOW my precious clients today - and I will do it!

(let me just work on one more bit on this painting....:-)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Are You the Creative Type?

Are You the Creative Type?  Check Points to Discover Your Creative Quotient

Like many people you may wonder if you are the creative type - if you could ever create a painting, build a dune buggy without a guide,  start an vineyard out of a field of dry dead looking earth, whip up a meal out of a few veggies, or write a book out of some off-beat inspirations you received while dreaming dreams you don't dare mention in public.

Today we begin a series of posts on Creative Types - helping you identify indicators more common in "creative types".  Just because a person is potentially creative however, does not mean they are in fact, allowing creativity to flourish in their life.

Read it and let it simmer on the back burner of your mind - ask yourself some questions, but don't try to force the answer.  Just listen to yourself when your "self" is talking. Typically this happens when you least expect it - like driving, cleaning, walking, showering, sleeping, napping, etc

Checkpoint #1-Creative Type People May Get Bored with Routine

Creative types usually do something a bit differently just for the fun of it.  They are not always concerned that things be done the way they are always done, that they take the same route they always take, that they use the same ingredients the recipe calls for, or wear the same outfit with the same shoes.
They may change careers more often than most, get bored with sex the same way every time, even mix it up and enjoy a debate - especially if they can represent the point of view they don't personally embrace.

Important Note - Seemingly contradictory are the habits of highly creative people - who by nature often create rituals or routines with which to build the discipline around their creative lives. That is a practice to enhance creative ability and flow and not the topic of this series. Our point today is to recognize the restlessness of people who want to create, and perhaps do not have the outlets to do so, which may result in boredom and an apparent thirst for adventure.

So What About You?

That's it.  Let this simmer on your minds back burner and don't worry about it.  Well talk more next time.

Got comments or thoughts - you know what to do!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Imperfect Perfection

Do You Ever Like Something SO Much That Flaws Don't Matter?  Imperfect Perfection!

That is how I feel about my bowl.

It is far from perfect  The dimension is off on the right.  BUT I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color and texture within it..

So I look past the flaw and see the beauty.

I do that with:

  • people who are terrific but have annoying habits
  • gorgeous yards with dog poop on the lawn
  • furniture that fits just right with scratches
  • body size after loosing 3 dress sizes but still have one more to go
  • house bound days with homemade soup on the stove
  • This is waiting for your comment below.  What do you love in spite of the flaws?
Creativity embraces the act of creation.  Sure - I know a lot of my art needs to stand up to scrutiny.

BUT GUTSY ARTS?  It's about the GUTS and the pleasure, and the passion and joy of beauty...
and flaws.

Pick up whatever you use to be creative, and do something today.  FLAW IT UP BIG TIME...and enjoy.
Enjoy the color, or the texture, or the quick speed you displayed, or the originality, or a new note you couldn't play before, or sound you didn't know existed.  Write a line filled with emotion, even if it's the wrong one for the play...

EMBRACE IT BABY! Love what you got...(love what you GUT!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Do You Do On Your Down Days to be Creative?

Creative Juice on Down Days

Down days - low energy in the tank.
Life seems grey
and not much fun.
Loads of expectations
but nothing done

Sometimes I am just painted out
no more "ta daah" in the tank
and that's okay

It's okay to simply work like a bee
Doing what isn't possible, until it is.
Not worried about results or emotions
just riding the wave
along for a ride to grey
Till the blues and greens and pinks and purples appear
And I am feeling the Creative life again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Get Creative Ideas

Creative Ideas -What Are You Looking At?

Birds and Cherries
So many of my students and clients ask me how they can find inspiration for creativity on a daily basis.
My suggestion is always the following: Pay Attention.

Anything that quickens you, attracts you, interests you, fascinates you has the power to be INSPIRATION.

Yesterday, besides losing my keys, I snapped things that caught my eye when out walking with my girl.
You can be sure, they will influence my art and creative writing over time.

They represent nature having a conversation with me.

Try taking mental photos of odd things that catch your eye.  Or snap a shot with your camera and look back over a week.  Notice how your eye is being caught by things - be playful, curious, adventurous.
Abundant Trunks

Light on Water

Years of History

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Looking For Some Good Advice?

Looking For Some Good Advice - Go For Wisdom Within

There is a quiet place for your soul to listen - Harmony Thiessen

Mini Lesson in listening.

It's easy with so many blogs to read, 24 hour radio talk shows with experts, editorial pages, chatty friends, colleagues at work and handy dandy family members to be caught up in "getting advice."

Your creative genius can in fact flourish with the guidance of a good friend or magazine article.  But don't underestimate the WISDOM FROM WITHIN.

Simple Wisdom From Within Exercise

Write down on a piece of paper:

John (Pick a name different than your own) has a problem with his wife's attitude about money (insert your own problem there, but attribute it to your imaginary friend :-) )  He's asked you to help. What questions would you ask John?

Now, Write down the questions that pop in your head.

Follow up with writing down the answers that pop in your head. 

This simple technique will help you move aside and answer questions with less inhibitions than if you were to to talk directly to yourself.  You are "coaching" someone else.

Biggest Challenge in this Technique

Getting stuck.  Forcing an answer.  If after you sit quietly for 3 or 5 minutes you are not "hearing an answer" - go get coffee, make the bed, take the dog out, brush your teeth.  Now come back, ask again.  Often we just need to move (literally and figuratively) to make room for clarity.

If you have questions or you get stuck, or simply want to tell me if it worked for you...leave me a comment below.  Want more tips - subscribe to this blog!  Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Did You Play Today?

The Buddha at my house reminds me to PLAY

Did You Play with Life, Your Kids, Your Mate, Your Troubles or Just for Fun Today?

(Note: I removed with yourself as I just couldn't get past it for the post! :-)

I love to play.  Always have. But darn it.  I am really serious too.
Serious about bills.
About money or no.
About dirt, dog hair, scroungy feet that need a pedi - work.
HOLY COW, I am so serious about work, I forget to enjoy it.

I can forget that honestly, who cares?
Life is so fleeting what I think is C.R.I.T.I.C.A.L is really, just another day, another issue.

I have too many friends dying these days to keep going on valuing the serious so much.

I SAY PLAY.  Play today with anything we can get our hands on (I know, I know - there I go again!)
Play with soap, the pup, dog hair you sweep up, your hair, makeup, paint, words, people.
Play while you think
Play while you clean
Play while you sing
Play while you type.

Play with guts.

Oh, and have fun while you play!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Picasso's Memo

Picasso's Memo - Legendary Art

Picasso Portrait of Ambroise Vollard
Public Domain as offered by WP Clip Art
"I do not evolve.  I am"
I can hear a raging philosophical debate.
I don't really care about my opinion or yours - as we tend to focus on the words and argue from spiritual "truths" to semantics. The words of Legendary Art are carved in history.

Let's be creative and listen.

What is being said beyond the blocks of our thinking?
How does the message impact your decisions today?
Who are you with the intention of these words?

How do you feel?
What do they convey to your breath?  Did it speed up?  Did you choke?

Dear ones, this is the road to your creative self.  The road as some might say, less traveled. (with all due respect to M.Scott Peck)

I am alive with possibility.

Your comments are welcome.