Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another ARTful Journey (Part II)

It rained most of the time I was in even snowed. But one morning, the sun was shining and I took a walk to fill my lungs with the cool morning air. It had been such a long time since my feet hit the ground free of snow, ice and slush.

I closed my eyes and let the sun shine on my skin as I walked the beautiful grounds in Las Gatos.

This was my second time at this retreat and the second retreat I have ever experienced. It is more than just learning new art techniques. This is a place where connections are made on a whole other level.

It's fitting actually that the setting for this retreat is at the top of a hill where the Sisters reside. Nuns who open their doors to us so we can experience sisterhood, a deep connection of the heart and soul. This is the building where they reside.

While I could never trade in my family for the nunnery, I envy their lives in a way. They are able to live with their tribe everyday and share their passion with each other. I am not nun material by any means, but I am so grateful to them for opening their doors to us so we can get a taste of sisterhood even for a short time.

I mentioned in my last post that I struggled through Jesse Reno's process. He is a very generous and passionate teacher. He is a natural storyteller as well. I was mesmerized by his stories of synchronicity and life lessons, how they all intertwined. I have never met anyone so passionate about his art before. It was awe inspiring but also difficult at times. Being an intensive three day workshop, there is not much time for processing, you just DO. Having time to look at it now, I guess I can say that I was rattled by the process and affected by the intensity in the room. This workshop is not for those who wish to take it slow, feel it out and sing Kumbaya. This is physical and raw and could open up a box inside you that you thought was sealed and stored far far away.

This is where my TRIBE comes in. The women I met last year. (Some who were not there physically, but I carried them in my heart). The new friendships I made this year. The faces of those I heart so, they helped me move along, work through it, and ultimately grow. I respect these women so damn much. Each and every single one of them inspire me through their journeys and their desire to be better and strive towards their dreams.

I never had a tribe before. I always wanted one. I would pray to God to send me just one friend who got it, who got me... Well, in the last few years, she has sent me an army. I am beyond grateful for these gifts and I sincerely hope they know how much they enrich my life and help me move forward. I hope I do the same for them.

I think when we have this kind of tribe, we can't help but get better. We are inspired by each other's success and we cheer and cry by one another's side. These women make me want to keep reaching. They still believe in me when I forget. It's nice to know I am not going at it alone.

For me, this tree represents what is possible this year as long as I continue to listen to my heart and work hard towards my goals. I look forward to seeing my heART sisters again this year. I plan on seeing them as much I can.

Here are some paintings I have finished since coming home. I wanted so badly to paint pretty again. I love the Spring palette I went with. There are canvas paintings and mini art book journals inspired by my Bestie Mindy Lacefield. I'm seeing her in just a couple of months in Hampton Virginia!!!!

These paintings will be going in the shop Monday.

I also have a NEW newsletter going out tomorrow so be sure to sign up on the top right corner if you are interested in receiving my monthly letters. I hope you are enjoying the day today. It's a sunny one here and I have a movie and lunch date planned with the most handsome 8 year old I know. xox


  1. Ah yes, we all need the sisterhood. Thank you for sharing your bright light with us. Hope you and the tribe will be there next year! xoxoxo

  2. I hear you on the tribe stuff. It's such an important piece of my creative journey, to have sisters to travel with. So when are you coming to visit me my friend???

    Love these gorgeous new paintings. I'm totally smitten with the girl in the bottom right hand corner of the first photo.

  3. My goal is to get to go there next year. For sure. So beautiful, thank you for sharing your journey!

  4. I love your telling of your time at AAJ. Your pictures are lovely. And your new paintings are just gorgeous. They show your heart which I adore my friend!


  5. What a beautiful and peaceful place:O) Just gorgeous pictures:O) And love the new ladies:O)

  6. I love, love love your new paintings and journals!!! wow omg....they are killing me.... :-) (in an absolute awesome way)

    you are so right about jesse's class. you explained it very well. i was exhausted when i came up but also filled up to the brim with love and inspiration. i love you dear girl.

    I love our friendship. you have given me so so much. never forget that.


  7. Dearest sweet danielle, i am loving this very inspiring post! That place is soo beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing. Oh and i LOVE LOVE your new paintings. So pretty all of them! So glad i took some time out from packing madness to visit yo here! Have a lovely merry happy week and love to yoU!

  8. I'm so inspired. Thank you for this post.

    P.S. Loving the spring palette, too. :)

  9. i love seeing all of these photos! and i am just so happy we finally had the chance to meet in person. seeing your new paintings so makes me sigh...they are so BEAUTIFUL, danielle!

    xoxo, juliette


Thank-you for your words. I tuck them inside my heart pocket. xo