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Articulation 11/20/04 - "Creative Spaces & Spaces that Create"
November 20, 2004
Hi ~

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"Creative Spaces and Spaces that Create"

It seems that things have been unfolding for me at such vivacious velocities lately that I can hardly keep up with the energy! There is so much to share to with you, but I am reminding myself that it doesn't ALL have to be shared today, and that, in the spirit of abundance, there are many more Articulations in the future to hold my trickles of sharings and spirit. So, for today, I'm zoning in on the particular topic of space...specifically, space that creates.

The first in-person Artella retreat was last weekend, and it was absolutely magical. It far exceeded any hopes or dreams I could have had for it, and that seems to be the running consensus among the fabulous 20 women who were present. There will be more retreat sharings to come that will represent all of our voices, but I've started with a page that holds some pictures from the event and an audio recording of a poem about the retreat. You can see the photos and listen to the poem at

The word that keeps coming up in our post-retreat discussion group is "magical". The entire four days really DID seem like a magical time, and the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that there were several ingredients that created the magic. Yes, we had 20 fabulous women, who spanned across decades and demographics to come together for "Creative ManiFestivaling". But there was something more happening than simply a collection of fantastic people. Something outside of the group itself influenced us in such a way that 20 individual presences became one single soul that moved fluidly throughout our time together.

I think that the "something more" - or at least part of it - was the SPACE that we inhabited. The retreat took place at a place called Wisdom House, which is an old convent for an order of nuns called "Daughters of Wisdom", still run by nuns with the intent of fostering special, spiritual experiences that inspire individauls and groups.

The outdoor grounds were beautiful, made even more so by the inches of snow that graced sacred statues and still-autumnal tress, delighting us all, especially ArtellaFolk from the south and west. Even the outdoor labyrinth was covered in snow, forcing our group to create our own labyrinth as we partook in this century-old tradition.

Indoors, the building was full of simple furnishings and tiny decorative touches that called the Divine in subtle, comforting ways. The food was healthful, delicious, and truly nurturing.

We also made our own group efforts to create meaningful spaces. From candles during yoga, to a wall line with with so many raffle prizes that it was impossible to not feel prosperous, to an art room filled with the joyous chaos of art supplies, each space was a cozy, catalystic atmosphere for creating and becoming.

My point in painting this picture is to indicate the important role that space played in our weekend, and that space plays in our creativity. I'm sure that all the participants would agree that our time together would have been very different were we in a less sacred, nurturing, inspiring physicalenvironment. The energy would have been different, even with the very same group of people attending. I imagine that not nearly as many creative ideas would have sprung forth in a different kind of atmosphere. No wonder many writing instructors say that we should write about places as if the location was an actual character in the story...that's how important space is.

I came home to see my space in a new light, and I encourage you to do the same. I find that I'm drawn to do more of the "little things" to create an atmosphere that will be most nurturing to me, whatever tasks are at hand. Whether it's my bedroom, my office, or my art studio, I'm learning more and more how much clearing away clutter and adding items of meaning can activate the flow of creativity. Remember, small steps can mean big changes!

If you are an artist and are interested in improving your art space (be it a TV tray or a studio), I invite you to join me in a free teleclass that I will be co-presenting with Diane Armstrong on December 13. It's called "De-Cluttering for Creatives: Metaphor and Meaning in Clearing Your Art Space" and you can find information for signing up for this free class at

On a personal note, my "space" for the next couple of months will be changing. My wonderful Mom is having surgery after Thanksgiving, and I'll be going to Dallas through December to help out. I feel so fortunate that my work is such that I can take it with me and simply set up shop in what my Dad used to call the "Southern Artella Annex". On a practical note, if you need to snail mail anything to Artella in the next couple of months, be sure to get the new address from myself or an Artella staff member.

I think the timing is good for me to bring Artella, and myself, into a fresh new space for a while. Thanks to the experience of the retreat, I feel a new passion awakening in me, an internal space that is ripe and ready to inhabit what comes next.

"Space, and space again, is the infinite deity which surrounds us and in which we are ourselves contained."
- Max Beckman

"Space is to place as eternity is to time."
- Joseph Joubert


This week's ArtSplash is a first, as it is the first time that I haven't created the words and art myself. The art is a portion of a larger-than-life mural that we all created at the Artella retreat, photographed with words added by Denise Mihalik.

It's called each other and you can find it at

I hope you enjoy it and perhaps can glean a bit of our splatters of joy from last weekend.

You can send this new image, and many more, as a free eCard...we even have seasonal "harvest poste" stamps to select!


1. New ThanksGiving e-Course!! Last year at this time, we introduced the Accounting Your Blessings e-course on gratitude, which has been our most popular offering to date. We're following tradition with a NEW gratitude-themed e-course called The Gratitude Garland Workshop, a 30-day course that combines gratitude and daily art-making in a format that is fun, easy, and saturatingly inspiring.

If you are ready for a brand new, delightfully creative, and entirely DOABLE holiday tradition for yourself or your family that will bring out new layers of gratitude and thanksgiving, I invite you to join this class.

2. Remember to finish your YOU * U focus groups! Thanks to over 150 people who participated in YOU * U focus groups! Remember to follow the faciliators' instructions for completing the groups so you can recieve your thank-you bonuses. We are all so appreciative of your time, energy, and helpful feedback. And to the third YOU * U class, I offer my enthusiastic applause and recognition. Their focus group offers have been just sensational and I couldn't be more excited for what comes next for these fabulous eBusinesses!

3. Enroll in YOU * U Speaking of YOU * U, our next session begins January 10, and registrations are already filling up quickly. This course, which guides you through every step of creating eBooks, ecourses, and teleclasses, is once again limited to 14 participants, so be sure to reserve your space quickly if you are interested in taking this giant leap for your career! All the information is at And note that the eBook, Those Who CAN, Teach!" Uncovering the Workshops Inside You, is an excellent introduction to YOU * U and is currently 30% off in The Shoppes of Artella!

4. Birthday Thank You and Prizes! Thank you to everyone who came to our virtual Third Birthday Party. The eCards that poured in were absolutely wonderful. I'd like to congratulate the winners of the Shoppes of Artella Scavenger Hunt, all of whom are receiving gift certificates to The Shoppes of Artella:
  • Grand prize winner of $30 shopping spree: Vanessa Histon
  • Winners of $10 gift certificates: Jan Barlett, Margaret McCall, Linda Morgan, and Julie Seegler
I'd also like to announce the imaginative winners of the Members-Only "Sunday in the Park Challenge": Bill Charlebois, Tara Douglas-Smith, Zura Ledbetter, Eva Macie, Don and Sandi Newman, Chris Nodingham, and Johna Parks. Take a moment to see their fun interpretations!

5. e-Artella #e-7 is coming! e-Artella #e-7 is in the works and will be delivered soon! If you are not a current subscriber, you can reserve your copy for just $4.95. And where else can you get over 70 pages of inspiration for less than $5.00, hmmm?

6. Newest Poetry Contest Winners! And while on the subject of winners, here are the AWESOME winners of our latest free bi-weekly poetry contest:
  • First place: Denise Mihalik for "Chair"
  • Second place: Bonnie West for "Star Eyes"
  • Third place: Kim Gelanis for "Sky"
  • Fourth place: Linsly Donnelly for "Chasing Answers"
You can see the winning poems at this link in the Poetry Gardens.

IMPORTANT! The Quarterly Poetic Idol Competition, which awards fantastic prizes including up to $150 in cash, closes on November 30. If you have an "inner nudge" to enter this contest, follow it! You can't win if you don't enter, and we can't wait to see your work!

Submission instructions are at
Please don't forget, the firm deadline is midnight EST, Nov 30!

7. See DAILY updates to the Artella site! Keep up to date with all of our new additions to the Web site! Whenever we add something to the Web site, I post it on the Artella-News blog, just so you don't miss a single opportunity or free resource. Visit the blog at And Bookmark it to visit it often!


Our current featured artist is Jerry Dreesen, whose breathtaking watercolor greeting cards include haiku meditations, reflections of nature, baby announcements, and a set of delightful Christmas cards...all with a unique spirit unlike anything we've seen.

We recently opened the Artella Holiday Shoppes, which is already bustling with...
  • Holiday cards
  • Holiday-themed jewelry
  • Holiday journals
  • Holiday quilts
  • and other Holiday-themed gifts.
Ho, ho, ho, it's great fun!

Our holiday items include typewriter bracelets by Linda Lynch, which she offers in both holiday and non-holiday themes (including a build-your-own option). Linda donated a bracelet to the raffle for the retreat, and I just gasped when I saw it in person. It is soooo beautiful. And I'm very happy to announce that Creative Projects Manager Deb Silva won the bracelet, which says "Diva". (Side note: Feel free to address Deb as "Diva" from now on!)


During the holidays, we all tend to have a lot of plain white tissue paper around, right? Well, a very inexpensive way to create beautiful papers for art projects or wrapping gifts is to paint them with Crayola Pearl Brites paints. The Pearl Brites are cheap and they dry so elegantly on the tissue paper. For greater texture, crumple and flatten the tissues after they are dry.

The result looks like fantastic, high-end department store giftwrap!


This tip came from Jill Badonsky, our keynote presenter at the retreat: as a poetry-writing exercise, listen to audio recordings of poetry, paying special attention to the rhythm and form of the work. Once you feel the rhythm and style in your body, write your own poem, mirroring the style of the recording. "Copying" the forms of other poems is a wonderful way to fine-tune our own writing voice and get unstuck by playing around with styles, rhythms, and tones that are new to us.

Special note: Did you know that you can buy Jill's book, The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) in The Shoppes of Artella?


1. I have fallen in love with Artist Mindy Carpenter's site, found at Just looking at her portfolio made me want to get up and make art! I imagine you'll feel the same way!

2. is a fabulous site! Melissa Chapin recommended the site to me for its incredible section on watercolor instruction, but I found other riches in the site, too, in sections that range from the enneagram to Wittginstein to gene expression.

Have a great week!

~part of all art,

Artella Founder/Editor

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