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Articulation - July 28 2005 - Come Play with SARK and Artella Mae!
July 28, 2005
Hi ~

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What Makes A Child Wise?

By now, you may have heard the news that we've announced the Artella retreat for 2005, The WildChild Wisdom Weekend, to take place at Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT, October 6-9, 2005.

Wisdom House is a beautiful restored convent on 54 acres which housed last year's Creative ManiFestival last year, and we are very excited to return. The three-day weekend is filled with an abundance of creative workshops and imaginative activities that will bring out the wisdom and uninhibited joy in lively child-like energy to catalyze major shifts in your life! Included in the passionately packed schedule are presentations by SARK (aka Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, best-selling author of Succulent Wild Woman, and 13 other books), Jill Badonsky (author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)), and many other creative igniters.

In planning the retreat, it's been great fun to think about what "WildChild Wisdom" means. Sure, child-like energy is fun and playful, but there's more. There's wisdom there, too. We can invigorate our own lives by observing child-like wisdom and finding easy ways to integrate it into our lifely structures.

So, start by asking, "What makes a child wise?"

Have you ever noticed that children naturally create, just for the sake of having fun? At early ages, if you give a child some crayons and paper, she just has fun making pictures. When allowed to do so, children create withouttrying to do something perfectly, or prove anything to themselves or anyone else. They create something because it's fun. And the moment it's not, they move on to create something else. If they get tired of a certain drawing, it's no problem to just "call it finished" and then get a new blank sheet of paper, because they don't have a pre-conceived notion of an end result. It's all about creation itself; truly, art for art's sake.

I think our best tool for igniting that child-like spark is observation. Observe little kids writing and making art. And just as importantly, observe grown-ups who have a child-like approach to their creativity and artistic process. One of my favorite books is Holy Moly Mackeroly:Reflections on the Business of Art and the Art of Life by Gloria Page. It's the most kid-like "how to" book I'veever seen! This book delightfully combines tips and advice for starting and running a creative business (her businessstarted with three rubber stamps and brought her to selling at The Smithsonian) with a memoir of Gloria's fascinating creative journey.

What's "kid-like" about this book is that Gloria made lots of mistakes when starting her business, and as readers, weget to see them all. Gloria's process is so uninhibited and real, it's simply impossible not to get inspired by hercontageous moxie; we cheer her on from the sidelines, and end up cheering for our OWN dreams! If you've never read Holy Moly Mackeroly, the timing has never been better: for only a few more days, you can get Holy Moly Mackerolyin The Shoppes of Artella for the below-wholesale price of only $10! See "Shoppes News", below, for details!

Another example: wise children naturally move their bodies! They want to run, play, jump, dance, catchfireflies. There is usually an early age before body image questions come into their spheres, and before sedentaryactivities become more engaging than the natural world. This wisdom is so, so beautiful.

What to do? Bring FUN movement back into your life! Take a break from the gym and instead work out at a local playground. Hopscotch, pumping legs in the swing, and jungle gyms aren't just for kids! Or try other outdoor activities like gardening or hiking. A friend recently commented to mehow strange it is that we pay money for health clubs and then pay more money for someone to do our yard work, when wecould save both time and money by exercising literally in our own backyards!

At Artella, we're also developing a series that combines exercise with creativity, with the intention of making thepractice of BOTH be more joyful and regular. I'm presenting a beta-test class called Paintercise: ~art & aerobics as one~ to Artella Members on August 9. If you're not a Member, it's just $3.00 to join, with no commitment to continue, so give it a whirl!

Another thing that is SO wise about children is that have the natural instinct to help! Think of a child who won't eat supper until the baby bird has been rescued, or who walks by a person who lives on the street saying, "But she needs us…"

Most of us have learned to quiet this voice, that ever-thirsting desire to help, because our grown-up understanding of the world makes us believe that helping the world is hard, if not impossible. Thanks to a wonderful resource called I've learned that there are so many ways to make a difference, which satisfies the little compassionate kid in me. I just can't recommend highly enough, and the book written by its Founder, Karen Jones, The Difference a Day Makes: 365 Ways to Change the World in Just 24 Hours.

I'm also very excited to announce that a joint online community, hosted by both Benevolent Planet and Artella, and moderated by Karen Jones herself, is officially launching August 1. It's called "Passion Fruit", and its purpose is to provide a forum for us to share, discuss, and inspire ideas about creative compassion and artful altruism. You can go ahead and sign up for Compassion Fruit at, and look for Karen's official welcome around August 1.

These are just three examples of the way that we can find wisdom in the open-hearted, spiritually profound, truly human nature of children. See our Art Tip of the Week and Writing Tip of the Week, below, for ideas on how you can explore this topic further.

And if there's a WildChild in you that's just waiting to come out and play, get all of the information about the WildChild Wisdom Weekend at


For this week's ArtSplash, I couldn't resist calling up one of my favorite ArtSplashes, originally shared in an Articulation in January, 2003. It's called "The Masters" and you can view it at

Did you know that we have all 98 Art-Splashes archived on the Web site at this link? And stay tuned for a big celebration when we hit #100…it won't be long, now!

Artella News!

  • 1. We help you pay for the Artella retreat! As stated above, we've officially announced the WildChild Wisdom Weekend! Author and Creativity Coach Jill Badonsky, who is returning for a second year, said:
    Of all the retreats I've ever been to, the Artella retreat in 2004 was the best. The kindred spirit connections are life-lasting, the abundance that flowed from the workshops exceeded my expectations,the setting was magical and the laughter unleashed my forgotten joy. I have happy feet that won't be still because I get to go back in 2005 and Marney and SARK will be there!
    - Jill Badonsky, author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)

    You can find the program, schedule, workshop choices, and everything else about the WildChild Wisdom Weekend at! As you are embraced by new friends and New England Fall foliage, it's an October weekend to change your life!

    If you're feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about funds, we'd like to make it as easy for you to attend as possible:
    • If you've EVER taken an Artella e-course, or are enrolled in one at the time of your reservation, you can take $50 off the price, instantly! Just email Zura to get the special link and password to order with this discount!
    • If you sign up to attend the retreat, and you inspire a friend to join you, both you and your friend each get an ADDITIONAL $25 off! Your friend just needs to let us know, and we'll take $25 off BOTH of your second payments! We'll even help you get the word out – see the "Playdate Promotion" information, below.
    • You'll have no shortage of fundraising ideas when you brainstorm with our FREE "Where There's a Will, There's a WildChild" Brainstorming Spinner Game, which you can download at!
      About the Game, Austen Waters said, "Before I tried the spinner game, I had no idea how I would pay for the retreat. I spent about 45 minutes doing the game, and suddenly I had no fewer than 2 dozen ideas! Since then, I've put two ideas into motion, and already raised over $300, and I am implementing other ideas, as well. I'm totally confident I'll have every penny before very long! Marney, SARK, Artella…here I come!"
    • Lots of fundraising ideas and support are being shared on the yahoo group for people interested in the retreat. Join by sending a blank email to and take a look at all the encouragement going around!

    ~Announcing our PLAYDATE PROMOTION~

    We'd like YOUR help in spreading the word! It's now super-easy to tell people about the retreat, and for simply allowing us to tell a few friends about this extraordinary weekend, you will receive a free copy of Artella's soon-to-be-released Book, BookLarks: 200 Themes and Dreams for Art Journals. Simply give us just three names of people to whom we may either send an eCard or a good, old-fashioned snail mail postcard announcing the WildChild Wisdom Weekend, and you'll receive the full eBook for free when it is released on August 15. Just three names for this splashy new eBook! What a deal!

    Go to to give us your three names!

  • 2. Free teleclass with Marney and Jill Badonsky! As an introduction to the material that Jill Badonsky and I will be presenting in a writing class that we are co-leading at the retreat, we're offering a teleclass called "The WildChild Writing Warm-Up" on THIS Sunday, July 31, at 8:00pm EDT. Get all of the information and sign up at

  • 3. Dreamworld Reverie continues! The Dreamworld issue of Artella is still capturing the hearts of readers and reviewers all over the world. Have YOU been dreaming with us? Subscribe to Artella with the Dreamworld Reverie sale, and save $10 off the regular subscription price (50% off the cover price). So be sure to join our subscription family during this splendid sale.

  • 4. Are You BlogJogging? Several times a week, the Artella News Blog, posts all the latest news and updates about all things Artella. With each post, a BlogJog "sneaky" special is also included, with links to freebies and amazing discounts that aren't posted anywhere else! It couldn't be easier to enjoy these specials: just bookmark, and check every day for new BlogJog specials!

  • 5. The Magic Mansion has opened! Artella Members have outgrown the Members' Parlor, and have now moved in to the Members' Magic Mansion, an exciting playground with seemingly endless hallways filled with resources and free offers for Members. Wanna play? Sign up at for just $3.00. You'll have access to the Mansion immediately, and you'll get to experience what Scott Ashley found: "The new Members' Mansion is just heaven on earth for a creative person. Between all the recordings, artwork, clip art, articles, games, and fun stuff, there's more here for a creative person than in an entire bookstore!"

  • 6. Attention Writers! We have several quick announcements for our writers in ArtellaLand!
    • The deadline for the "Unfinished Story" contest, introduced in Artella 8, is August 1. Whether you've read Artella 8 or not, you can enter by finishing the provocative story that begins to tell the story of what's happening on the issue's cover. Get the details, here!
    • We're starting up our PassionPoetry newsletter once again! Be sure you're on the list to get the first new issue, which will go out next week, by signing up at
      IMPORTANT: Due to technical problems with this newsletter's sign-up, even if you have signed up for this newsletter in the past, you MUST sign up again to confirm your subscription to the PassionPoetry list. We apologize for any inconvenience.
    • Lastly, it's Poetic Idol time, again – meaning that the poets out there can win wonderful award packages, including up to $150! Get all the details of the Quarterly Poetic Idol Competition, here!

  • 7. This week's Winners! Here are the newest winners in our Bi-Weekly Poetry Contest:
    • First Place: Claire Sauer for "My Place in the World"
    • Second Place: Andrea Welsh for "Imagination Gone Awry"
    • Third Place: Tara Douglas-Smith for "Pins"
    • Fourth Place: Robin O'Neal for "Goddess on the Shore"
    Congratulations to our winners! Check the Poetry Gardens, where their poems will soon be posted!

  • 8. ATC Sign-Up deadlines! The sign-up deadlines for the two current Artella ATC (Artist Trading Card) swaps are August 1, so take a moment to sign up for "The Roaring Twenties - Flappers, Jazz, and Bath-Tub Gin" and "I Dream of Architecture" at Also, be sure to visit Artella's ATC Swap Land, a new blog that Deb created to showcase the awesome art from ATC swaps past.


Our new featured artist is John Vandebrooke, who presents a wide range of products featuring encaustic wax painting at its very best! From framed fine art paintings to digital photographs enhanced in wax, from prints to greeting card sets, you don't want to miss John's interpretation of this interesting and beautiful medium.

As stated above, Holy Moly Mackeroly is available at the below-wholsale amount for just a few more days. This is a really special opportunity, so please do take a look!

I'm really enjoying buying and sending greeting cards and note cards from The Shoppes of Artella. As much as I love our Artella ecards, it seems that greetings sent via snail mail are more now more charming – and more important – than ever. I'm especially enamored with Patricia O'Rourke's cards – the collage designs are so unique and the print quality of these cards is superb!

In the mood for Summer Shopping? The Shoppes of Artella is the greatest place for original, hand-made, soul-created gifts that you can't find anywhere else! Try out interactive SmartShopper to find the PERFECT gift for absolutely anyone in your life!


Create a "More is More Mural". We love ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) because it's great fun to work in a small space. On the other side of the spectrum is working on a great big space, and BIG spaces are where the WildChild can play! Get a roll of butcher paper and either tape it to your wall, or roll it across a longhallway. Grab markers, paint brushes, pens, rubber stamps, glue sticks, and collage papers and just start ART-ING.

Paint wildly with your non-dominant hand. Hold markers in a fist, with the point straight down, and make great big strokes as you draw pictures. Use that glue stick to glue things down quickly, wildly. Don't worry about having to DO anything with the end result. This is just all about play. Add some crazy music to the mix, and just keep adding more and more to the long paper until there are no white spaces left. If necessary, work on it for several days at a time, taking "art play time" whenever you can.

When there is no more white space on your mural, then it's finished. What's next, then? Live with it for a while. Try draping the paper over furniture, hang it on a wall, wrap it around you like you're playing dress-up with a beautiful shawl. Just BE with this crazy art and see how it affects you. Do this for at least week…and let your Mural tell you where or what it wants to be, next!


Just like the Art Tip above, writing like a WildChild is an invitation to WORK BIG! Get several posterboards or a long roll of butcher paper, and really fat markers. Write with the marker in your fist, with the point straight down, or use your non-dominant hand. Write a story that begins "Once upon a time, I was a child who..." and see where it goes. You are starting in first-person, but feel free to allow that to change, allowing your personal childhood memories to become mixed with imaginative storytelling, without censoring anything. When it comes to a natural close, put the posterboard or butcher paper away for a few days. Later, you can re-visit it and perhaps use what you've written as the basis for a short story, poem, or memoir.

For more ideas and to engage in real-time WildChild writing, sign up for the WildChild Writing Warmup teleclass on THIS SUNDAY, July 31, hosted by Marney Makridakis and Jill Badonsky!


If you've been around Artella for a while, you've most likely caught glimpses of Deb Silva (Creative Projects Manager) and Zura Ledbetter (Administrative Manager), so you know how great they are at making Artella run smoothly. But you may NOT know what else they do, above and beyond being Artella's right- and left- women! For this issue's Artful Links, I'm honored to put the spotlight on these two phenomenal women. I hope you'll visit the links below to admire and support their amazing work!

Deb Silva
Deb Silva (aka "Bae") is a fiber and mixed media artist, who is also training to be a creativity coach in Jill Badonsky's training program. One of Deb's "moonlighting" gigs is to design for Deb has two new gorgeous collage sheets for sale, both which are perfect for your ATC (Artist Trading Cards). Check them out at - look for "Art ATCs" and "Artist Trading Card Backs". Deb sells quilts, scarves, shrines and more in The Shoppes of Artella, and showcases more of her work in her blogs, Creatively Amused and Creating in the Dark. At the upcoming WildChild Wisdom Weekend retreat, Deb is teaching a class called Recovering Lost Childhood, Uncovering Your Wild Child: Visual Journaling with the Shadow Muse.

Zura Ledbetter
Zura Ledbetter is a mixed media and digital artist, eBook author, and the founder of a new Web site,, a place for women to receive encouragement and inspiration for self-growth. The Web site is in progress, but you can immediately sign up for her newsletter, daily "Spirit Sprinkles" inspirational messages, and community forum. Zura's eBook, Photoshop for Artists has sold hundreds of copies, helping collage and paper artists feel comfortably with beginning digital art techniques. You can read about her three e-courses, "Fun Creative Journal" and "Creative Ways to Pray for Those You Love", and "Waking Up...To the Person You Were Meant to Be", and, and see her collages for sale in The Shoppes of Artella. Zura will be playing an active role in an upcoming Artella "spin-off" for digital art, and at the upcoming WildChild Wisdom Weekend retreat, Zura is teaching a class called Create Your Own Playhouse: "Coming Home" on anvas!

Thanks for being a part of Artella. You make it all real.

~way outside the lines,
Artella Founder/Editor
p.s. What do you get when you combine SARK, Jill Badonsky, constellations of Artella energy, and YOU? Close your eyes and think about it. Whatever you imagined – it's even bigger than THAT. Isn't it time for your artistic miracle? Isn't it time to be a WildChild?

Keep It Coming!
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