You Can Let the Art in Your Heart Lead the Way. Meet My Friend, Shannon.

You Can Let the Art in Your Heart Lead the Way. Meet My Friend, Shannon.
Shannon in front of one of her new paintings in progress posing with the She Shed book she won from me!

I want to tell you about a dear lady, my friend, Shannon who has grown by leaps and bounds right before my eyes the past few years. She is living from that place in her heart, that so many want to find the courage to do so also. She is letting art be the balm for her soul that fills her with joy and purpose.

She is also the lucky lady who won the book giveaway of She Sheds – A Treasure Trove of Women’s Creative Spaces.  I always use when I pick a winner and while I wish everyone could win, I was very tickled that Shannon did. Not only does she live five minutes from me and I could get a picture of her with the book I signed for her (and it’s why it took me a bit to announce the winner), but I really think she was meant to win this copy! Like those that left a comment, Shannon would love a She Shed of her own to keep pursuing her art.

You see, I’ve known Shannon for a little over 25 years now. I first knew her mom when I worked at Kohl’s Department Store which was like, um, eons ago and this is how I met Shannon. Then John and I wanted to buy our first home a couple years after we’d been married. We ended up buying a spec home that Shannon’s husband, Bradd, and her father-in-law built. And over the years our friendship has grown, and ebbed and flowed.

She went on to have two children and as with most friends, being we didn’t have any, or lives drifted apart for awhile as she raised her kids. Shannon’s daughter will be in her third year of art school come this fall and her son will head to college in the fall also.

When her daughter was getting ready to graduate high school Shannon had the upheaval of emotions so many mom’s go through. She wondered, Now what? Who am I as my children to go out into the world on their own? And she was asking herself, what’s my purpose?

And with a little searching and being open to possibility, along with giving herself permission to follow her heart, Shannon began to paint and realized how much she loves it. And might I add here, she is really good at it!!

Shannon’s art table of supplies. One happy corner of her world.

It’s truly been a joy watching Shannon spread her art wings! And how lovely its been to support her by encouraging her and seeing so many others who stop by her personal page to “like” and comment on her work. Check out these two squirrels she recently painted.


And she keeps putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes her knees knocking and her nerves jumping, but she continues to paint. And this week, she will be taking a few pieces of her work to a shop to sell, which as many of you know, is a big, big step. I’m SO proud of her!!

Shannon would love a “She Shed” of her own someday, but the cool thing is, she hasn’t let that stop her from doing her art as often as she can. She has set up a little corner for herself in the lower level of her home. She has a beautiful view of trees outside the window, and where her sweet, dear, dog Molly is resting in peace with a marked grave.

And I think this quote on the back of this chair she painted below says it best. Because I believe too that when we answer that inner calling that is there nudging us along, can we then begin to walk peacefully on this earth.

Keep painting Shannon — you are creating your own special miracles just by letting that inner light in you shine and move out into the world.

shannon 3

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Goddess Paintings Now Grace My Studio. They Have Much Wisdom to Share.

Goddess Paintings Now Grace My Studio. They Have Much Wisdom to Share.
artwork by: Barbara Techel

I did it. I painted three large paintings (24 x 48). I kind of can’t believe it.

I always said I couldn’t paint. But then one said wonderful artist, who I also happen to call Mom, inspired and encouraged me to give it a try.

The day spent with my mom a few months ago learning how to do what she calls “paper towel” painting is a memory that fills my soul with love and joy.

“Paper towel” painting is mixing acrylic paints together and then dabbing a scrunched up paper towel into the mixed colors and dabbing it onto the canvas. The ground, middle, and sky portion of each of these paintings is this technique.

I was inspired to do these tree Goddess paintings after seeing another painting that incorporated this idea.

My Joyful Pause Studio where I teach SoulCollage(r) workshops and where I happened to have a very long wall I needed something for was where I knew I wanted my Goddesses to reside.

It’s a space where I want to continue to welcome women to take time for themselves, tune into their own inner wisdom, create, and discover new things about themselves that I hope will help them to live a more meaningful and joyful life.

I felt a wave of emotion surge through me when I hung the last Goddess painting on the wall yesterday afternoon.

It took me some time to complete these paintings and at times I was frustrated. But it also made me think about this new place I’m at in my life which has been something I’ve envisioned for a long time.

Just like times I was frustrated thinking I didn’t know where I was headed, but could sense a new path wanting to emerge, I knew I had to have patience and trust in the process.

Just like doing the paintings. And just like SoulCollage(r) teaches – trusting in our own process-moving to the rhythms of our own inner soul whispers is what I believe we are all being called to do.

I also find myself fighting the urge to say my paintings are not perfect, they could be better — that I am not an artist in this sense.

But I know these are conditions I’ve been taught to believe about myself. And I know they are not true even though I must fight the urge to think so.

I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. I want to continue to grow and learn. I am an artist. I am a Goddess.

A Goddess who wants to continue to stand in her feminine, artistic, womanly wisdom and open her arms to other women seeking to embrace the power of their inner Goddess.

And together we will form a circle of love, joy and peace that will radiate out into the universe and set the planet aglow.

Now didn’t I tell you? These Goddess have much wisdom to share. I, for one, plan to keep paying attention.

If you’d like to learn more about my workshops, I have a special page set up on my website for information. You can learn more here.

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Sneak Preview Just for You!

Dachshund framed print by BriannaThis Sunday, Sept. 21st I will be having an online auction for this sweet and beautiful artwork donated by artist, Brianna Brunsell. You may be familiar with her work through Silly Dog Magnets.

Brianna did this drawing in honor of all dogs in wheelchairs and was inspired by Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog who she shared with me continues to inspire her. And yes, I wiped a tear from my eye when she told me this.

I love how the dog is seeing her reflection in the water as if to say, “yes, I am beautiful and strong, even though I may be in a wheelchair. But I am still me.” What a great lesson for all of us!

Money raised will benefit The Frankie Wheelchair Fund (helping paralyzed dogs in need of a wheelchair) in honor of the 3rd annual celebration and day of observance of National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day this Monday, September 22.

Medium used is copic markers. Limited edition print signed by Brianna. 10″x 8.25″ frame with etched glass giving the piece a shadow box effect.

Where: Online auction on our Facebook page National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day.

When:  Begins Sunday, Sept. 21st and runs through 4:00pm Monday, Sept. 22nd at 4:00pm cst.

How:  Visit our Facebook page between Sunday and Monday and leave a bid in the comment section. Highest bid at 4:00pm cst will take home the beautiful artwork!  It will be shipped directly from artist, Brianna Brunsell.

A very special and heartfelt thank you to Brianna for offering this as a donation to help us raise funds for wheelchairs for disabled dogs.