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Articulation 8/4/04 - "Peeling Back Layers"
August 04, 2004
Hi ~

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"Peeling Back Layers": A Mini-Article

Since my Dad passed away, I've been seeing a lot of parallels between the creative process and the grieving process. I'm not sure if it's because they really are connected, or if it's just because I presently have a foot in both worlds. Or maybe it's just because I inherited my dear father's gene for metaphorical thinking. At any rate, I'm seeing them everywhere.

The concept of peeling back layers is one of them. I am finding that I am going through so many different emotional shifts these days, it's almost as if every day I become a bit more exposed to myself. As soon as I think I've "been there, done that" with a particular type of emotion, it comes up again, but in a different way. Who would have thought that a single day could have so many layers?

Good art and writing are full of layers, too. Like life, the multi-layered creations are interesting, dynamic, and continue to cast different shadows as different surfaces peak through.

I remember being a little girl in the hot Dallas summers, and thinking that I liked winter rather than summer because "you can layer up, but you can't layer off."

And I guess that's what I'm getting both art and life, we CAN layer off. We just have to be willing to put ourselves out there. Willing to take the heat...bare souls and all.

"it is not enough to find your must dive straight into the fire of your fear ~ where you can grab it and hold it until it transforms you." -- terri st. cloud

  • In what ways are you staying safe or covering up?
  • What is the most surprising layer you've uncovered lately?
  • How can you help someone in your life feel safe that they can expose themselves more fully to you?


This week's art-splash, Exposed to Light, is a reflection on the "layering off" process mentioned in the above article. I hope you enjoy it.

You can find it at


1.NEW! Artella Retreat This Fall! What can I say except that the Universe is looking kindly upon ArtellaFolk everywhere. Many things are lining up for an amazing in-person Artella retreat/workshop in the New York area this Fall, when the autumn leaves are in pure splendor. We're in the information-gathering stages, and you'll hear full details as soon as they are available. If you think you might be interested in attending, I would be so happy if you would answer a few questions at , which will provide me with some very helpful information.

2. NEW! YOU * U Focus Groups are back!Participants in the current session of Create Your Own YOUniversity (aka YOU * U) are presenting focus groups to test out samples of the e-courses, eBooks, and teleworkshops that they are creating in this course. I am very excited to invite you to the opportunity to participate in these groups! Not only will you get to enjoy their offerings FIRST, but in addition, every participant will receive a bundle of thank-you gifts from me and the facilitators. These are truly wonderful individuals, and I'm really excited about the work they are bringing forth. Please support them in their fine work! See which Focus Groups you'd like to join at

3. Want a Web site like Artella's? I'm sharing everything I know about building a Web site in a free teleclass called "Launch, Lift and Love Your Web Site". It will be held next Tuesday, and there are just a few spaces left. For more info, go to this link.

4. Artella Members Awe-struck! Last week, Artella Members attended a virtual "Christmas in July" party, and gifts were lavished upon them! Make sure that you don't miss the next giveaway party...and also enjoy exclusive articles, teleclasses, monthly clip art, artist interviews, and weekly audio lectures, all for $3.00/month. Visit for more information.

5. Cozier than Barnes & Noble! The new Artella eBookstore is open and full of fun and funky eBooks, with more added each week. Two new sets were added today! Take a moment and come browse our books!

6.Get published! We've announced a new upcoming theme for the lineup of print issues that are coming up....take a look at! And speaking of submissions...we'll be announcing the winners of our Quarterly Poetic Idol Competition in Articulation next week! Be sure to check out the Poetry Gardens with all of Artella's past winners!

7. The Hottest Issue Ever! Artella 7, Theatre & Cinema: Beyond Make Believe is going to press soon, and it is such a cooooool issue. It includes the theatrical work of 40 contributors, over half of which are BRAND NEW Artella contributors, never before seen in our pages. I'm psyched, psyched, psyched. You can take advantage of our current Special on this issue by ordering here!


Our featured seller this week is Zura Ledbetter! Zura is a phenomenally talented artist whose gorgeous collages run the spectrum, from elegant to edgy, and everything in between. Be sure to take a look at her great deals at this link.

And Zura's a true Renaissance Woman! In addition to being Artella's new Administrative Assistant, she also recently announced her new Web site for her exclusive line of Groovy Graphics affordable, downloadable collage sheets. She's even giving away a fabulous sampler pack to introduce you to this novel concept. Be sure to pick up your freebie and buy a few sheets!

Check out all of this week's specials at our Specials page, or go browsing in our little Shoppes village to see what's new and what's on sale.

MY FAVORITE DISCOUNT? All of Lorraine's Pettit's unique jewelry and polymer clay purses are running specials. Also, Susan Lavery is offering a Double Dipping Discount for Feng Shui Coaching, through August 11 only. And Artella's own Deb Silva placed a remarkable special on her "Fishy Fantasy Quilt"!

If YOU would like to sell in our Shoppes, find out how to partner with The Shoppes of Artella to expose your work to thousands of customers every month.


To create a multi-layered look in a mixed media collage, follow the directions for Claudine Hellmuth's "peeling paint" project in her book, Collage Discovery Workshop. Create a collage on your surface, and then use your fingers to coat part of the surface with petroleum jelly. (Note: if papers are ahdered to the surface, water-proof it with a layer of gel medium before applying the petroleum jelly.) After you jellied the art surface, coat the entire piece with acrylic paints. When dry, use a paper towel to rub the surface, and the paint easily lifts away, wherever the jelly was applied. To get rid of the greasiness from the jelly, gently wash the artwork with soap and water, or use a baby wipe,


To add layers to characters, push yourself to dig deeper to find the true motivations behind your characters' actions? An example:

Why does she eat breakfast at the coffee shop?
Because she doesn't want to eat alone. Why?
Because the morning makes her sad. Why?
Because the city feels so stark in the morning. Why?
Because she feels out of place here. Why?
Because her soul misses nature. Why?

You get the idea. "Why" is a great way to peel back the layers!

Want more character-building guidance? Attend my Members-Only teleclass on August 23 called "Painting Lives: Character Development Made Simple" by becoming an Artella Member. Details at


1. is a really fun site with trivia, quizzes and other "brain foods".

2. The Scribbler, at, is a fun little escape that turns your simple line drawings into works of art. Thanks to Eliza Badurina for this link!

3. is a darling site for spunky book lovers!

Have a great week!

~holding the sun,

Artella Founder/Editor

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