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Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister

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Soul Painting: Beyond Artistic Talent

I did not paint this. I just wish I did.:)

“The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture… The object, which is back of every true work of art,
is the attainment of a state of being, a high state of functioning,
a more than ordinary moment of existence.”
Robert Henri

I find comfort in creating. As a child, my grandma gave me charcoal pencils and a drawing pad.  We drew fruit, horses and Donald Duck together.  I remember the frustration of the charcoal smearing easily, giving the images an eerie rubbed- out look.  I also remember the feeling of a sharpened charcoal point dragging pleasingly across granular paper.

Over the years, I learned that talent in a creative pursuit was more important than the process. Perfection replaced play. I stopped drawing and took on serious academic goals, where I was successful.

Artistic pursuits rested and waited for me like tulip bulbs beneath the earth.

Here We Go

At age 37, creativity could wait no longer.  The whispers became assertive. Daydreams led to tentative ideas which led to attainable ideas which led to small actions. As a mom, it was easiest to put my children’s creativity forefront.  Maybe we SHOULD get Bryce into guitar lessons, then,  Hmmm, this music school feels right, maybe I could take a few lessons …

And I did.  And the flood gates opened.  The tulips burst through the soil, hell bent on being colorful.

I credit my guitar teacher for making lessons more than perfect scales and pristine fingerings.  Each lesson was about learning and exploring the world AND music. I still got nervous each time I played and Mike (teacher) observed but I also experienced a content warmth when we played together and I made it through a whole section (mistakes included). I was in a creative setting where it was OK to just be. I didn’t have to blow anyone’s mind with my ability.  I could play just for the pleasure of the sound, the experience and the beauty.

You Don’t Have to Write Right

Another artistic endeavor curled it’s finger, beckoning me to come and take a look.  A friend mentioned the Loft Literary Center.  She said it’s a hangout and teaching center for writers of all levels.  I checked out the website and found the course list to be like flannel sheets in February; inviting, informal and crazy comfortable.

I chose Intuitive Writing as my first  foray into the world of writing. Again, the format was loose and unintimidating.  The teacher, Roxanne, had prominently written the mantra, Follow your energy! on the syllabus.  Roxanne (a psychoanalyst) made up the intuitive writing label with the idea that we should write without censorship, without lifting the pen from the paper, without judgment. Our thoughts should flow from our hearts, down our arms and onto the paper.  This, plus the sharing of our writing would be healing and inspiring. Rox would give us a prompt such as, What I really want to say is…and then we would write off-the-cuff for twenty minutes or so. We always had a choice regarding how much, if any, of our piece we read out loud. We could be vulnerable with our words. Our class experienced joy and connection with no fear of failure.

Painting My Soul

I had never painted formally until I gave process painting a try. There were seven of us in a studio off the garage of the instructor’s home in a Prius and Volvo neighborhood. We each had our own nook to create in. A gleaming blank piece of paper awaited.  Amy, our small but mighty teacher, gave us almost no instructions except, Listen to your soul and happily make mistakes.  She didn’t even play music (but normally does) because she wanted us to hear our own creative voice. I was grateful for my intuitive writing background. I didn’t need much guidance to get moving.  Another student, a slightly older woman and 2nd grade teacher, needed more structure. I think she would have been more comfortable in a technique class. She had a difficult time embracing the freedom to be imperfectly perfect. I wondered how much fun the 2nd graders have in her classroom.

At one point, I felt uncomfortable because Amy encouraged me (assertively) to stick with one painting (a brown and gold abstraction), even though I was finished and wanted to move on to a different vision. I added a few more details and then asked again for a new piece of paper. Again Amy tried to talk me into merging my new ideas with the current painting.  I saw this is as a potential mess. I said I wouldn’t like that and she said, No you don’t think you would because you are attached to this one. I actually didn’t feel all that attached, just done.  She said it isn’t about the end product it’s about the process. I know, I know. I also knew in my heart I wanted a new start. I had to stand up to Amy and strongly tell her I was finished with the story in my first piece.

I did (hard for me).

I found my voice in the process.

She gave me a fresh piece of paper and I happily applied vibrant lavendars, teals and silver in the forms of flower petals and stones.  As I glided the tip of the natural bristle brush over the smooth paper I was reminded of charcoal pencil tips catching on high grade drawing paper.

What is your artistic dream?  Could you pursue it solely for the process?  What if the end product was never seen or heard by anyone but you?  How would that change the way you create?


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If you liked Soul Painting… you might also like:

Peak Experiences in Self Actualization: Gifts That Transcend Your Head (space2live)

What’s Wonderful? Dilly Dallying and Meandering (space2live)

15 Ways Art Saves Children from the Stupor of Standardized Tests (space2live)

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  1. […] There an excellent example of someone who decides to move closer towards her Element in this blog by Brenna Gee: […]

  2. […] Soul Painting: Beyond Artistic Talent – space2live […]

  3. […] 4. Soul Painting: Beyond Artistic Talent […]

  4. Diane June 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I loved this! I love the affirmation to listen to your soul and happily make mistakes ! So good to connect with you ! I really appreciate the soul in your writing : ) glad I finally made time to catch up with you !!!

    • brennagee June 6, 2011 at 10:42 am - Reply

      Thanks Diane! I honestly believe we have to give our soul every opportunity to speak, even if we make mistakes and are uncomfortably vulnerable. To me that’s living.:)

  5. Rox May 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Brenda! Wow. Shucks. I feel like such a ninja being mentioned in your blog! It’s like hearing your name on the radio, or seeing yourself on TV at a festival in your happy sunny summer clothes, or winning at Bingo, or being paged… or, anyway, I feel so lucky. And honored to appear here in your words. Your creation of me. Wow. Also, I again must say how psyched I am about claiming your truth while painting… can we see it? xo

    • brennagee May 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Aww you found yourself in my post before I could send you the link. You are a beautiful guide to me.:) I’ll have to figure out a way to show you my painting. Thanks for reading Rox (intuitive goddess;).

  6. Connie Kurth May 29, 2011 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    I love reading your writings!

    • brennagee May 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time my hip hop goddess hero.:)

  7. lindaknowles May 29, 2011 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Congrats, you’ve stepped through the looking glass; soak it in. Mr.Bill

    • brennagee May 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Who knew this side of the looking glass could be so beautiful? 🙂 I AM soaking up every nuance.:)

  8. shannon murton May 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    You truly inspire me!

    • brennagee May 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting. You inspire me too! You’re a kindred spirit that truly hears what I am saying. Awesomeness.:)

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