From the category archives:

Expressive Arts Coaching

Intuitive Painting Playshop with Jennifer Lee

Now that I’ve completed my 10-month Expressive Arts Teacher Training certification, I’m thrilled to share the magic of intuitive painting with you!

If you’re in the Bay Area and are yearning for some creative freedom and authentic self-expression, please come join me for some intuitive painting playshops in Oakland this summer. (For those of you not in the area, I’m also working on an self-paced e-Course based on the Playtime with Your Inner Muse session I led at the wish*full virtual art retreat, so stay tuned for that).

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Intuitive Painting Playshops

I’m offering two classes this summer in Oakland (near Lake Merritt):

  • Saturday, July 17th from 10am-1pm
  • Saturday, August 21st from 10am-1pm

In this playshop you will:

  • Unleash your inner artist
  • Give yourself full-permission to make “ugly” art and get messy (it’s actually quite fun and cathartic!)
  • Come face-to-face with your internal world of imagination, creativity, and personal growth
  • Allow yourself to take up space! There’s plenty of room to paint BIG
  • Enter a safe, sacred space to work through blocks, emotion, and the unknown
  • Receive support and guidance from a certified expressive arts facilitator and experienced coach
  • Surprise yourself with how much fun it is to become a kid again!

“Jenn sparkles with creative force! She led me into a magical place where all my dreams were possible. Her attention to detail and solid presence created an exquisitely safe container to try on new and expansive aspects of myself.” — Danielle

Visit ArtizenCoaching.com to read more testimonials and playshop details and to register.

Register

Featured Article on Expressive Arts and Coaching

Also, I was recently featured in an article about using expressive arts and creativity in coaching on The Coaching Commons. You can read more about how I incorporate creative approaches into my coaching and you can watch a short video.

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Last week’s Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training program was a blast.  I can’t believe how quickly the retreat flew by.  I discovered and re-learned so many colorful lessons.  I mean, how could I not when my huge paintings were staring me right in the face giving me loads of perspective?!  It’s like a visual journal on steroids.

Here are some of the gems from the week:

  • I stay in my creative flow when I keep the paintbrush moving.  The critical mind turns on when I stop to “think” about what’s next.
  • Allowing myself to venture into taboo subjects and uncomfortable territory paved the way for an abundance of freedom.  It takes way more energy to stuff down doubt or ignore an unwanted thought or feeling than it does to just let it move through me.
  • The intuitive painting process has incredible capacity and range.  The paper can hold all the parts of myself including ones that don’t seem to fit or I want to deny.  Painting all of it provides permission for wholeness.
  • Intuition has tremendous wisdom that may not be apparent until after an entire painting is done (or perhaps years later!).
  • Painting daily gave me visceral insight into the nuances of my experience.  Each time I sat down to paint, I was acutely aware of the shifts in my relationship with myself and with the painting.  This underscored for me the impact of having a committed daily spiritual/creative practice.
  • Things I am proud of: On the first night I realized I needed more private, quiet space so I asked to have my own room (last time I was at Mountain Home Ranch, I played the martyr and stayed in a very rustic communal cabin), I spoke up and made specific requests to shape our group “container,” and I honored my need for self-care/alone time which helped me stay very present throughout the entire retreat.
  • One of the biggest gifts of all has been truly acknowledging the value of this creative and feminine approach and how it resonates so deeply with me.  Chris had mentioned one night how the intuitive painting process is by nature very “INFP“-like.  As a fellow INFP, I appreciate the beauty of this process and I want to bring more of it out into the world.  It’s an emergent, emotional, creative, internal, intuitive, reflective, mysterious and soulful journey.  And that’s what makes it so rich and powerful!

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Here I am next to the three intuitive paintings I worked on throughout the week.  For our closing ceremony, we hung all of our paintings around the room and shared about our experiences.  I was so inspired and touched being surrounded by all this powerful art and the amazing women who put their hearts and souls out on paper for us to see.

I am so glad I said “Yes!” to this year-long program.  Not only was it valuable to be fully immersed in my own intuitive painting experience last week, it was also extremely helpful to observe Chris in action as she guided each of us through our process with gentle encouragement.  I’m really looking forward to the next retreat where we’ll get to shadow her and get more hands-on experience leading sessions.  Until then, I’m enjoying staying connected with my fellow wild heart trainees online.

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We’re more than half-way through our first week-long Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training retreat in Calistoga.  As I go deeper into the process, I’m bumping up against my own edges in new ways.  From the start, I showed up here with confidence in myself.  I’ve asked for what I needed.  I’ve been really practicing being big and staying with that, even when it’s uncomfortable.  This is quite a shift from my normal pro-longed “warm-up” period that usually lasts from a few days to sometimes mid-way through a program.  I used to need more time to find my footing and to find my voice in a new group setting.  So, it’s been interesting to be in this new place.

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My painting process has mirrored this experience for me as well.  I even showed up at the retreat with a huge painting, literally taking up a lot of space from day one.  My large painting had unfolded over the course of a few months.  I gradually added panels as I allowed myself to move toward the discomfort of growing bigger.  By the time I completed the painting the other day, I had grown quite fond of how the painting transformed and how it transformed me.  The painting’s progression reminded me of my build-up toward being comfortable showing up fully.

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My next painting, on the other hand, exploded out of the gates with fierceness and size.  The pages multiplied quickly.  I painted fast and furiously across the entire surface area, almost not able to keep up with myself.  I even woke up early one morning to paint out a feeling I was having rather than write in my journal.  This painting demanded to engage with me from the get go.  While it’s been exhausting for me, I’m aware of how this painting’s version of bigness is challenging me in new ways and is providing me with more opportunities to grow and learn.

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I’m really appreciating the sacred circle that’s forming closer and closer each day.  My fellow creative goddesses are a constant source of inspiration, growth, support and laughter.  I learn so much from them through hearing them share about their own process.

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The other night I drew an angel card for Purification.  It was so befitting given that I’m in the process of clearing out my old ways of feeling small.  The last time I was at this retreat center four years ago, I struggled with feeling good enough, trusting my instincts, asking for what I needed and clearly articulating what I stood for as a leader.  By the end of that retreat, I had somewhat reclaimed my footing, but it took me almost a year to fully recover from that experience and I never, ever wanted to come back to this location again!  Returning to this same place now with such a grounded confidence has definitely been a purifying process for me as it has symbolized shedding the old me to create room for the new me to blossom more fully.  It’s also been quite powerful to reflect back on and honor how far I’ve come since the last time I was here.

I look forward to two more days of being immersed in the intuitive painting process.  This work continues to amaze and inspire me as it works its magic in mysterious ways!

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Another colorful day of Expressive Arts Teacher Training filled with tears of anger, sadness, laughter and joy.  I’m learning tons being in my own experience of creative flow and personal edges.  This group is amazing, too!

Here are a few photos from today.  I used the cover of my class journal as a blotter ala my Wreck This Journal days.  I’m so grateful for the wrecking experience because had it not been for that I never would’ve thought to “mess up” my pristine journal cover like this!

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These mixed paints look almost good enough to eat.  Mmm, sherbert, yogurt, frosting, tomato soup!  Painting all day has truly been delicious.

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And these colorful mixing spoons look like yummy lollipops.  Great for bringing out the kid in all of us in the studio.

I’ve been having trouble getting a good night sleep since I got here, so I’m hoping my hour-plus yoga practice tonight will help me get some deeper rest.  And then another day of being in the painting process!

P.S. – Speaking of yoga, my Unfolding Your Life Vision podcast with Kimberly Wilson is now up.

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Today was the first full day of the Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program with Chris Zydel and seven other wonderful women. There’s so much to share and process (just on Day 1).  More to come on that later.  For now I’ll just include a few pictures to set the scene.

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Here’s a peek into part of the portable studio that another student and I helped Chris set up yesterday afternoon.  There are large cardboard easels throughout the entire room.

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Plenty of colorful paint to choose from.  I loved opening up several brand new bottles – so satisfying!

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We’re staying at the Mountain Home Ranch in Calistoga.  I was actually here before about 4 years ago for another retreat which was quite challenging for me, so it’s been interesting to be back here with a new perspective.  I know there’s lots of learning in looking at how far I’ve come since then and how differently I’m showing up now.  There’s definitely more to write on that later!

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It’s funny to hear the cows mooing while we’re in the painting studio.  A great reminder about how expressive sound can be!

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And I just love this huge dog.  I can’t believe her name is Jessica.

Gotta get ready for another intense day tomorrow and I’m hoping that I can finally get a good night’s sleep!

BTW – Yes, my painting did get even larger today!

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Bold Brushstrokes and Being BIG

August 18, 2009

In high school, my speech coach encouraged me to “Be BIG!”  To trust in myself, project my voice and boldy embody the characters I portrayed.  He even had me practice standing more powerfully with my feet wider apart to take up space.  The “be big” and “take up space” lessons continue to show up for […]

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Creative Play is the Way

July 22, 2009

I’m excited to announce that my dear friend Leah Piken Kolidas and I will be co-leading a workshop in the Boston area this fall! Join us for a lighthearted, fun-filled workshop called Creative Play: An Afternoon of Intuitive Art and Creating from the Heart. Creativity and play are two of my top values and Leah […]

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When 70% is Good Enough

May 20, 2009

During the past few of weeks at Chris Zydel’s intuitive painting classes, I’ve discovered two more important lessons in my creative process: A lot can be produced in just 10 minutes All you need to get started is 70% A couple of weeks ago, as class was winding down, I found myself checking out and […]

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Expressive Arts Teacher Training

April 24, 2009

One of my intuitive painting rituals is to take a snapshot of my paint palette.  Each session, my color choices differ depending on my mood or what simply strikes my fancy while perusing the rainbow of tempera bottles.  The intuitive process begins even before paint ever touches paper.  It starts by selecting colors and brushes.  […]

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Intuitive Painting: Permission to Make “Ugly” Art

April 5, 2009

Since February, I’ve been attending Chris Zydel’s Intuitive Painting class at her cozy Oakland studio.  What a gift to have stumbled upon Chris via twitter and to have this opportunity to explore my creative self in new ways.  I’ve always loved painting.  What’s great about playing with this approach, though, is that I’m accessing different […]

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