by CherylBM

An All-Nighter

I haven’t “Pulled an all-nighter” since college days.  But it certainly shows you what you are capable of if you just decide you are going to do your part and “show up” and let the Universe handle the rest.  At 7:30 last night I had a blank piece of water color paper, some preliminary loose sketches to play with the idea, and I was working on the final sketches.

GTS Sketch 1

GTS Sketch 2

GTS Sketch 3

Close up of the page above on the right side.


From these I worked the ideas into a final sketch, including some further character development, and used these to transfer to watercolor paper.

GTS Final Transfered Sketch -Characters

Many sniffly hours later (I happened to be fighting a cold my dear son shared with me), I completed the painting stage.


From here, I popped in to Photoshop and did some minor touch ups to arrive at the final image I would use for my submission to Lilla Rodgers Global Talent Search.


While I certainly don’t recommend this way of working, I was happy with the end result and I am content knowing that I am still capable of doing what it takes to make a commitment to myself and my work.  Not my preference, but it can be done if absolutely necessary.  This time there was no way around it as I am just off 3 consecutive weekend shows in Comox, Victoria and two locations in Cowichan Valley.  Needless to say my time and attention was on producing and preparing for these shows. which left me with a start time for this project of Sunday evening and a deadline of Monday morning at 9am.  I performed aloud one of my favorite Elizabeth Gilbert moments when she addresses her Muse,  “I would please like the record to reflect that I showed up to do my part of the deal!”  I think my muse was right in there with me on this one!

And…at 6 am I headed for bed, satisfied that I did…show up.  Today I rest.  (sort of) ;)

By the way…if you are reading this and you haven’t seen Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on Creative Genius, please take a moment and see it.  It truly is one of my all time favorite TED talks, and one that I completely resonate with…this is the story of a creative life as I know it.

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by CherylBM

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

I’ve been reading many posts on blogs and facebook about 2012.  The usual yearly reviews that people do, and there seems to be a common theme amongst the things I’ve read…2012 was a challenging year for many.  I could write at length a philosophical perspective on why it has been such a year, but I’ll fore-go that to simply say that I too have been experiencing what I’ll refer to as “growing pains.”  As I look back and ponder my own journey I consider the words of writer, Haruki Murakami:

Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional.

And so I realize in this truth that I have had many moments of suffering over the past year…well, several years actually…all creations of my own mind.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been many moments of wonderful experiences too. But, I would have to say that as the year waned into winter, my worries carried me into the cold, hollow feelings of fear and anxiety.  And with it, came the manifestations of that fear.  Well, duh, of course.  The vibe we put out in the world comes back to find us, and here we are creating the very thing we don’t want to happen, simply by ruminating on it obsessively.  Of course I know these things… intellectually.  For god’s sake, I’ve been preaching stuff like this for years.  It’s one thing to have an understanding of such a concept, but the application of that knowledge in service of one’s own healing comes far too slowly.  At least is seems so for me in retrospect.  So as the end of the Mayan calendar approached, and I considered the run-away freight train of my mind that I was on, I concluded that I had better get off this inevitable wreck…and quick.  The shift of Dec. 21st was upon us and I wanted to be in a much better vibe moving forward.  So, I slowed down.  Meditated.  Often.  And even before the 21st dawned I felt a shift beginning in me and insights beginning to surface.  Ideas and images floating up from the depths of my neglected soul.  The beginnings of relief percolating up with them.

So, what does this all mean for 2013?  For me I have decided it is imperative that I do the things that shift me from fear to love…consistently.  That is our true nature.  At our core we ARE love.  And in my mind, to be separated from love by letting fear dominate our daily experience is to deny our Authentic Self.  And it also means we choose to suffer.  I am SO done with suffering.

I am continually amazed at how the Universe works when we get into alignment…vibrationally speaking.  The walls of our resistance come crumbling down and synchronicities begin to happen.  Already I have seen new opportunities come to my door in the early days of January, confirming to me that having faith and hope in a new, exciting and abundant year is not only wise, but it is a practical perspective.  Even the things and people I need to support me in this shift I am making back to love have shown up.  Walks and deep conversations with friends who share wise words.  Books and audios that deepen my understanding and that encourage an active spiritual practice.  Just today Marianne Williamson’s audiobook, “A Return To Love,” surfaced for me.  While I have read much of Marianne’s work in the past, this particular one I have not read, and her words could not be more perfect for where I am at in the moment.  I am in gratitude.

As I move through this year, what I suspect is that my art will be a reflection of this journey through a conscious vibrational shift.  This constitutes much of the ideas that are bubbling to the surface of my awareness…and I’m looking forward to that.  It feels like relief…and peace…and joy.  And I think it is a shift that we are all being called to make – to leave fear in the ditch once and for all and to embrace the fullness of the Love that we are.  My word for this year?…LOVE!…of course!

I leave you with what I most wish for you and for me in the coming year…one of the most often quoted passages from Marianne’s book.  I’m sure you’ve heard it many times, and it’s a nice reminder as we move into a brand new year full of hopes and dreams.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


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by CherylBM

Create What You Are Guided To Create

I have been awash in the busy-ness of Christmas shows, and for most of them I have been displaying my glass and metal jewelry work with the odd painting included for color and space.  But by some Divine fluke (my perspective), the last show I entered I found out only after I registered that I wouldn’t be able to show jewelry due to the number of other jewelry exhibitors.  Hmmmm….mild panic.  This is what the majority of my stock has consisted of.  So, to ensure that I had sufficient items to show, I knew I had to get painting and to have prints made of some of my work.  This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but just had not got around to it.  I figure this is the Universe’s way of nudging me in a particular direction.  So, off to the drafting board I went.  With not much time, I decided to create this small series of tiny paintings.

"Shine Bright"

You Are LovedHome of LoveNamasteFairiespeace heart

Of course as I worked I got more ideas and decided to turn them into ornaments, along with the prints and cards I had done up.  And yes, I did end up pulling an “all-nighter” to get them done for the show.  Some things are hard to change I guess.

Cards Prints Ornaments   OrnamentsHome Full of Love

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by CherylBM

Just the Inspiration Needed

I thought I would simply share a great article by Lesley Riley that crossed my path and gave me just the support I needed in the moment.  Love when that happens…

How to Get What You Want
I used to, no, I still get excited when I read a quote or a phrase that directly or indirectly alludes to the magical workings of the Universe or the many other names it goes by: God, fate, Allah, Law of Attraction, Buddha, the divine.

It does not matter what name we give it, but I know for certain that there is some force that is bigger than us that is running this whole operation we call life on Planet Earth (and beyond.) I’m not sure if it is the wisdom that comes with age or the fact that I am living the life I was meant to live (my purpose, as some would call it.) But each and every day, without fail, I see, feel, know, or intuit this force operating in my life. And I’m thrilled beyond words. I’m also in amazement, wonder and gratitude.

In my role as the host of Art & Soul Radio I get to interview a lot of artists. One thing that has been coming up lately in a lot of the interviews is that they too are noticing the very same thing.

So, as is my usual modus operandi, I want to know why. Why do some experience this and not others? It appears that as much as it seems out of our control, in reality, it is something we ourselves create.

It is a result of three very simple actions:

1) Stay true to your heart
2) Take action on your dreams
3) Believe that you will get what you want
I am the first to admit that while the actions themselves are simple, simple does not mean easy.

It’s hard to follow your heart when you keep running into roadblocks or there are money issues.

It’s hard to take action when you don’t see any results or you are worn out from the day-to-day.

It’s hard to believe that you will get what you want when all you ever get is problems.

But here’s the thing. Here is what I have learned and know to be true.

You have to do all three actions in order for the Universe to step in.

Not for a week, or even a month, but every day. As a way of living. The Universe does not operate on our timetable. You have to prove yourself time and time again. Easy quick fixes have no place in this game called life. You have to know what you want. Take forward action and believe that it will turn out just right.

And guess what. Just right isn’t always what you think it is. The Divine has a better plan for you than you could ever conceive. Knowing that I can ride the down days. Knowing that there is something good in the works for me is incentive enough to keep me plugging along even when I feel like giving up.

Just like in a “real” job, you have to show up every day in order to get the rewards. Creating the life you want is a real job, too. And it’s not always easy. To be honest, occasionally I will take a day off to wallow in self-pity when the going gets rough and I’m really down. We all need a day of rest from pushing that boulder up the mountain. But wallow is akin to doubt so as Mary Engelbreit put it so beautifully, I “SNAP OUT OF IT.”

But I promise you, if you keep pushing, not only will there be rewards along the way, but you will see that the view from the mountain top is well worth it.

And then you will go looking for another mountain to climb.


Want to use this article on your website or in your own n ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:e:
Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit

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by CherylBM

Sketching Practice

I’ve been busy mucking about in my altered book sketchbook drawing faces.  In all the figures and faces I’ve done, I realize that much of it, I am just making up.  Sometimes I get it right and sometimes, not so much.  Which is why when I get to the face I often get nervous…worried that I will mess things up.  So, what to do?  Draw LOTS of faces and very quickly you come to get over the hang up.  This particular process is Jane Davenport’s method of drawing faces, and I do like certain things about it.  The process for building up the eye…and the lips…and the attention to highlights in particular.

Sometimes the eyes get a bit wonky, particularly when the head is turned, but I can see where the adjustment needs to be made now.  It continually amazes me how slight a change is required to make a significant difference in the look of a face.  Makes me really appreciate portrait artists who can capture a true likeness of someone.  The subtleties are so fine.  Back to practice, practice, practice.

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by CherylBM

A Story That MUST Be Told

I just can’t put into words just how much I want to see this film. Why? Well, for starters, I’m living that story. I’ve left my last home and moved to a new place to pursue a new dream career that fills my soul instead of sucking it dry. I’m right in the thick of it….trying to figure out how to make a go of it all, finding my voice, attempting to reach out so people can find me.   Some days when it feels too hard to do and feelings of doubt creep in, I think maybe I should just forget about all this naive nonsense and go get a “real job.”  And my deepest self chokes up at the very thought of it. I’d sooner crawl in a hole and die.

A dream MUST be shared. A longing MUST be honored. A voice MUST be heard by those that just might resonate with what you have to say. It’s the only way we really thrive. Yet, we all need encouragement. We all need to hear repeatedly that it’s possible and we MUST continue to listen to the whispers of our hearts and follow the direction of our inner voice. We must stand up and BE who we really are. The whole world will be better for it. I know it.
So, I have pledged through Kickstarter to help get this gem of a movie off the ground. Please watch the trailer and consider joining me. A tiny $5.00 pledge will get you a digital copy of the movie to inspire you to live your dream. Just 5 bucks for inspiration right at your digital fingertips any time you need it….seriously cheap! Kickstart the dream here.  There’s just 9 days to go to reach their goal….(or it won’t be funded at all!)  I thank you for helping launch all our dreams together!

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by CherylBM

How to Journey

My dear mom is living through the ordeal that is cancer and the cancer-machine that goes with it.  While the whole thing is incredibly difficult for her and all around her, I am far away and can do nothing.  I feel helpless.  And, if I let myself, I can get on my soapbox and rail against the travesty of our medical care in oncology.  However, I have come to realize that fighting AGAINST something, even this, does no one any good.  It doesn’t help my mom, and it certainly doesn’t do me any good.  My husband, Dan shared with me the wisest words…just LOVE her.  Really, that’s all I can do.  So I sit here, and love my mom from afar, hoping that through this journey she will come to find her deepest self and learn to heed that voice above all others.  And I try to keep my opinions about health, well-being, and the medical paradigm we live in to myself…albeit not too successfully.  I am very opinionated after all, so it’s a stretch for me to bite my tongue.
The most comforting and profoundly insightful resource I have found, I am listening to right now as I walk my dogs each morning.  And I am coming to realize that this story is not just about overcoming disease, but it a guide for life, for embracing our unique selves, for being love itself.

That is the story of Anita Moorjani who many are beginning to hear about.  I can’t say enough nor find the words to describe it that would do it justice.  I can only say that I wish everyone on the planet could read or listen to it.  It’s just that important and just that good….for all of us….and it is helping me to a place of peace and love above all else.  It is a how-to on this journey we call life.

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by CherylBM

Spiraling Back Out

I love that Flora uses the terms “spiraling in” and spiraling out”, referring to moving in to the canvas and getting lost in the details of the process and then moving back away to get a bigger and much different perspective.  This process parallels what is occurring for me in my work.  And what I recognize is that most of what I do is spent spiraled WAY in.  I often have Magni-Focusers on my head so that I can see minute details just inches from my nose.  So it is no wonder that a process that has me stepping way back and loosening up is a good challenge for me…and it has many uncomfortable moments.  The first few steps in this process were relatively easy as I did not have to make any sense of anything, but rather just get some layers of paint on the canvas.  It was fun.  Now I am getting to the place where I need to start making some decisions about where I go with this.  And I feel a bit perplexed.  I want to accomplish two things – to bring some of my own style and imagery (which is very precise and tight) into the process AND retain some of what I am learning in this new and very loose style.  I think I have quite the paradox on my hands.  These shots show week 3 and 4 in the Bloom True class:

Some details from this last painting that I am liking:



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by CherylBM

A Momentary Relapse…or Spiraling WAY In

In the midst of painting all these big canvases and learning to loosen up I had the opportunity to attend a calligraphy class put on by our Warmland Calligraphers group.  The wonderful Barbara Close came to visit from California and shared with us her Textured Letters process.  So, I found myself with my nose just inches from the page yet again.  And, it is very apparent this is my comfort zone.  Feels like something I can do with my eyes closed….just SO familiar.  Now…if I could only figure out a way to combine the two!  Must work on that.

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by CherylBM

Never Stop Learning

Gifted with a perpetually curious mind, I am always enamored with learning something new.  And given that I have bemoaned my inability to loosen up when it comes to painting, I was thrilled to find that one of my favorite artists was offering an online version of her painting class.  Flora Bowley is a creative sage hidden in a young woman’s body; an old soul.  I know this now, having had the opportunity to participate in her Bloom True e-course.  The wisdom that she shares goes far beyond a painting process to uncovering the depths of our intuitive voice.  I marvel at this from such a relatively young person.  I share here the progress made so far on two large canvases.  While the process has been very enjoyable – intuitive play at it’s finest…it also has pushed my critical, analytical mind to take a back seat.  A good thing.  There really is no value in judging these canvases in the state they are in all along the way.  It only drives you nuts to try and make sense of them, to evaluate and make plans for where they are headed.  So, just as Flora encourages….we must “trust the process.”  Any attempts to critically examine, are a frustration…and an intrusion, quite frankly, on what is pure creative joy and abandon.

The first canvas began with fluid acrylics dripped on and then sprayed with water and allowed to run.  Then we alternated with cool and warm layers.  The last layer shown is the addition of value contrast by way of white and black.

Canvas 1 – Layer 1
Canvas 1 – Layer 3
Canvas 1 – Layer 4 – Adding Value contrast – Black and White

The second canvas began with a blind-folded painting session to music, painted with our hands.  Subsequent layers followed the same process as above.

Canvas 2 – Layer 1
Canvas 2 – Layer 3
Canvas 2 – Layer 4 – Adding Value contrast – Black and White

And now the adventure continues.  Another layer to follow involves the addition of transparent paint.  And the next exercise has us digging out our sketchbooks.  Great creative fuel.  Many thanks goes to Flora and Beth of Do What You Love for bringing this creative journey to us all.  It’s not too late to join the fun – the next one starts June 11/12.  You can find more information here.

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