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A Direction Worth Seeking

 

As my solo show comes to an end, I have found a new sense of creativity from within.   I know I find myself saying this all the time.   But something is different here.   Since I began my creative journey, painting the human figure and worse the face, was off-limits.  It was uncomfortable; it was hard and too stressful.  I remember trying it once and an old “established” artist and instructor shot my skills down hard.  After that, I vowed I would never painting a human figure again.    But I decided to break free of my fears and make a change.   The result was fascinating and a true growth experience.   I created The Emerging Goddess body of work and although I knew I had a long way to go to grow, it was an inner success for my creative self.   Now I haven’t put away my landscape paint brushes, but this is a direction worth seeking – just to see where it goes.

The Emerging Goddess Book

The journey has expanded and I am finding a new sense of growth in my work.   I have created a book of The Emerging Goddess series.   Available as Ebook and soft cover book.   This is a retrospective view of the Goddess journey.  Please check it out and join me as I move forward!

Click on the link below for purchase information and to view a preview:

THE EMERGING GODDESS
THE EMERGING G…
Empowering Female …
By CHRISTA FORREST
Photo book

 

 

Adapting to Change and Changing to Adapt

 

As we continue to explore our creative side, we find it tends to expand outward to the point where it becomes more and more of us.  I experienced this when I decided to return to painting about seven years ago.   At first, it was just a small “I am going to start painting again as a hobby” to ” this is my passion and all I want to do every day.”   It has consumed me (in a good way).   I wake up creating and end the day thinking about what I am going to create tomorrow. As I shift in my many directions my creative self evolves and guides me forward.  I need to remind myself to be open to change, when it presents itself and how to accept it.

Change is a big word and how we choose to adapt to it can determine so many things:

  • How we explore our passion
  • How we embrace our community and friends
  • How we see the world
  • How we accept others
  • How we make decisions

Change is good but can be extremely difficult to adapt to and allow ourselves to embrace.   We yearn for the good ole days, or back in the day but that only tells us we are living in the past.  We hope for tomorrow and say “I will do this when I get here” but that has us looking too forward.

Accepting where we are Right Now

We must see who and where we are right now – in the present.   We can’t change the past and yes we can orchestrate the future.  But it is where we are right now that we need to accept and manage.  Even if it forces us to notice and take heed to change.

We are where we need to be

It may not be what we hoped for and we may have a long journey ahead of us but it is where we are right now that we should embrace and hold on to.   Being in the present gives us the time and space to accept change, see it and adapt to its constant evolution.

How can creativity help me see change?

My creative self is always changing.  I can’t decide what to create and pick one genre to focus on.   It is evolving as I evolve as a person.  But my creativity helps me adapt to my own personal change as well.

  • I move on from the past – while I do look back on older creations, I do not dwell on mistakes or past failures in my art.   I let it go, put it away and start a new canvas.   Yes, many never make it to the finish line, but they are all lessons in learning.   Sometimes I return to an old painting that wasn’t working and look at it with fresh eyes and start over – using that once failure as a stepping stone – many times the painting becomes a finished product and through the failure emerges an amazing masterpiece.
  • My many failures or disappointments can learn from this behavior.  I used to dwell on mistakes.  I would harbor them inside so much that I could never move on from it.  I would think of the failure and be too scared to try again – worrying about failing again.   But if I incorporate my creative mentality into my personal life, I can let it go, put it away and start a new canvas.   I might fail again and have to start several new canvases but an amazing masterpiece is yet to emerge – this only happens after I continue to try again.
  • I adapt to change
  • how many times are you on Pinterest or Instagram and see another artist and say I want to do that?  I do it all the time and my style and approach to art changes as I continue to embrace all mediums and styles into my work.  I practice and try new things – sometimes they work and many times they are a big bust.  But the act of trying was fun.   My art will begin to evolve as a result.  My style has become looser and freer with more confidence.  This has only happened because of practice.   sometimes I feel a little weird when I have been approaching a style or technique one way and start doing it differently.  Has my style changed too much, is my work too all over the place.
  • In my life, adapting to change is honestly really hard.   If you have been doing it that way for so long, it feels kind of weird to start doing it a different way.   I start feeling awkward, self-conscious and down right scared.   Because, why can’t we just continue to do it the way I have always done?

But changing, evolving, accepting and adapting are important parts of your journey forward.   Your personal development and your creative growth depend on it.

How can we learn to adapt?

  • Read a book that is different from your usual genre – if you like a good mystery – read a biography
  • Try a brand new medium, find an artist that specializes in it and try to be inspired and try new things
  • Try painting to music that you would never listen to – see how your process changes.
  • Take a creative field trip to a new spot every week.   Document what you learned and found on your journey

So embrace it and envision a life that circles around your passion.

The Emerging Goddess


So excited to be exhibited this new body of work.  This is a new direction for me in my Goddess series.   While a very uncomfortable journey, painting the female face, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to create these beauties.   The show us up and looks amazing!   Opening is this Friday the 23rd from 6-9pm at THE LOFT ARTISTS ASSOCIATION in Stamford, CT.

Where Do I Go From Here?

I am really feeling the Goddess direction.  Creating pieces using acrylic and decorative paper and found objects is exciting.  Still following my intuitive nature, I never have a definite path but just allow the female form to create itself.

FUN, Explorative, Fierce, Imaginative, Meaningful and Important are just a few words to describe the development of this work.  Collaging old books that have spoken to me throughout the years underneath as a sort of underpainting or foundation.   Allowing layers of color, paint, and paper to build upon itself to create depth and a visual journey throughout the story of her emergence.

This body of work is a new direction that I had no idea would happen.  I am excited to continue to explore the subject of the female portrait and can’t wait to allow my process to grow and develop.   The landscapes are still there and I return to them from time to time – but this allows me o really explore and that’s is how I define myself as an artist.

Check out my right up in my local newspaper!

https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/The-Feminine-Mystique-other-books-on-12756243.php

You can view the new body of work here:  The Emerging Goddess 2018

Contact me for information on purchasing a piece in this collection.

It’s Been Awhile

It has definitely been a while since I posted last.  Many things have emerged in my life that has taken some things towards a back seat.  This website has been one of them.  So many things happening this year – I can’t even count but I am blessed to know that my passion and journey continues to move forward.  The hustle is real and difficult at times but the end result will always be happiness.

First Show of the Year

I have a solo show coming up in March and am so excited to introduce some new empowering Goddesses (so fitting in this time).  Really pushing my creative limits here with female mixed media portraits.  This is out of my usual comfort zone but so far I am feeling a creative flow of energy as I create these amazing women.

So follow along as this journey continues and emerges in March.   These women are hot, fierce, strong, sensual, vulnerable……  I can keep going.   Stay tuned for an online show as well for all of you that can’t make it.

Thanks for following my blog and I hope to continue to share my journey in 2018!!

The First Four Days

I usually hesitate joining a challenge because it never fails – I will usually lose steam mid way and pretty much give up.   I have all the right intentions but life gets the best of me, I find myself stressed to keep up with the daily task and it becomes too much to handle.   Can I say this time is different?  Maybe but I am trying to approach this 30-day challenge differently.   I have prepared ahead of time and I am not going to stress myself to get it done if I get backed up.

Whats the challenge?

The challenge is to create 30 paintings in 30 days for the month of September.   I have been using acrylics and mixed media paper.  I will only give myself about 30 minutes to an hour to complete a painting.   I move quickly and if I feel a painting is not going where I need it to be, I put it down and start a new day – I can return with a new eye later.

How am I doing?

So I got through the first four days with a breeze.  I worked ahead of myself and created a bunch of “start.”   Each day has its challenges, but I have managed to stay motivated in inspired so far.   I am enjoying the free flowing movement of my abstract paintings.  And, I have learned so much with experimentation of different color combinations and mark making.  It has been fun so far and watching my transformation and journey has motivated me in my other creative projects.

How to keep motivated through a challenge when life hits you hard?

So it has only been four days but I am staying positive and will keep moving forward towards my 30 painting goal.   So how can you stay in the motivated spirit to take on a challenge:

  • keep a journal and document your daily challenges, ups and downs.
  • reward yourself – what is at the end of the rainbow if you complete your challenge?  maybe a trip to the art store for some goodies.
  • don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep up.  You can always start over or try your best to catch up.   Remember it’s your challenge.  You make your own rules.
  • Have fun and explore new things.   Get your creative flow moving by trying a new medium or substrate.
  • Share your journey with everyone else – post it on Instagram or Facebook.

So I got four down and twenty-six more to go – I can do this – watch me.

Follow my journey on my Instagram @creativesoulsart_journey

All of my pieces are available for sale – click here to purchase

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A 30 Day Challenge

30in30

So my creative soul has been in a kind of a rut lately.  I guess it’s the obvious coming of Fall and the year coming to an end.  Even though we still have time left, I feel like the year has rushed past me and I have accomplished nothing.  Well, I actually did a lot, but there are still several things on my to do list that I never got to.

So I decided to put the pressure on and participate in a 30 day creating challenge.  To be honest, I usually always fail at these.  I start out with a big “gung ho” and eventually fizzle out towards mid way.   I know I am not alone – we all do this.

But this time is different?

Yes, I think. No, I know.  I have prepared and will spend no more than 30 minutes to an hour on each daily piece.  They will be on my favorite mixed media paper so not feelings of waste if I screw up a pricey canvas.   I will post daily on my Instagram page and share here on my blog as well.  I really need a boost here and writing about it somewhat holds me accountable.   And sharing keeps me in a positive and no fear, no perfection zone.

So follow this 30 Day journey, maybe do one yourself and see how you feel on October 1st.

Follow my Instagram to see my progress.

@creativesoulsart_journey

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Playing with my Paint

How do you get your creative soul motivated to create?

I like to use new mediums or tools to play – yeah many times the result is a mess, but it allows me to loosen up, get to know the tools that I do have and also play around with how color reacts to each other. These can be amazing practice runs for the real thing – you know the big white canvas.

I have been a crazy woman trying to get commission completed, get through all of my shows and also trying so hard to get this business off the ground.   I find my creative self gets stalled in the process of busyness.   I end up breaking down and getting nothing accomplished.  So these little prompts help me stay inspired and motivated.  Occasionally, I learn something new, and it gets incorporated into a bigger painting.  Whatever happens though, I try my best to have fun, let loose and just allow myself to create without judgment or criticism.  Ha, easier said than done.

Here is a quick creative project that can help you get a creative boost.

Supplies I like to play with:

A cheap watercolor set

Acrylic Inks

Inexpensive foam brushes or paintbrushes

Big white piece of paper or sketchbook

Spray bottle of water

You can gather up whatever supplies you like as well.

Turn some music on and focus your attention on creating.  Let go of what happened yesterday, today or what is supposed to get done tomorrow.   Don’t worry about making anything perfect – this is your time to explore and create freely – don’t judge yourself or compare.

Allow the paint to do the work

I love using acrylic inks and watercolor in my intuitive painting process because it takes away my control.  I have to allow the flow of the ink or water based medium to take shape.  Sometimes it creates a happy surprise and sometimes it all flows together into a big puddle.  Whatever happens – this is a great exercise to let go of control.   This can translate into everyday issues as well.  Sometimes we just can control the situation at hand.  This is how this process works.

  • You can’t control the end result
  • the end result may not be what you intended
  • You will need to let go and allow the process to unfold
  • If the process fails – you can start over brand new or use that as your underpainting.

I included a quick intuitive painting session I recently did.  I used watercolor, acrylic ink, and pastels.  I really didn’t think about where this was going and just made an effort to have fun.   To me, this is a great start to more.  I can continue to build upon this layer until I say it’s done (that’s another post though).

 

Watch Video Here

 

A Creative Mind is a Messy One

Can anyone relate here?   My studio or anywhere I create is a mess – a beautiful mess though.   But my creative mind is always moving, always thinking and seeing subjects to paint everywhere.   When I listen to music, see a cloud formation or simply just relaxing on a park bench – I can see something to create.  I take my weekly field trip to my local art store – yes it’s an obsession – and I have to buy a new tool – even one little marker can inspire.

Since my shows are starting to wind down, I have returned to the studio to get even messier.   Playing and experimenting again with my tools.   Some things are working and a lot are not.  But I am learning, I am opening up to change and making bold moves.   I don’t have to settle with where I am right now even though I accept and allow myself to be in the moment.  I can find transformation from within and see what new things I can create.

That mess though…

So I can’t help it – I create in chaos.  Outside and inside.   I look at other #studioscenes on Instagram of other artists that look so carefully scripted and neat and I just can’t relate.   Stuff is all over the place and my inner soul is right there with it.   I am finding this method works though.   Chaos breeds amazing surprises in my art.  Things happen or become visible only by just letting my intuitive nature take control.  My work becomes more fluid and less structured.  I stop nitpicking on the small details and I start to think and feel bigger.  After three years of doing this artist thing full time, I finally feel like my art is going somewhere and coming alive.

Do you create or work in chaos or complete order?

What about you? How do you create?

  • Do you need strict order – everything in its place?
  • Do you start orderly and end up with everything all over the place?
  • Do you just work in complete chaos and let it all go?

Does it matter?

I am a strong proponent of letting yourself go and letting your inner soul take over.  If whats happening is happening – let it happen.   When I am in the creative spirit I stop focusing on everything else and pour my soul into my creation.   So if you work in mess both inner and outer – stop thinking about making things orderly – it will only inhibit your growth.

So go out and make a mess!

So I challenge you to go make a mess.  Write in your journal, make a mess on a brand new canvas.  It may all come out as gibberish but you are releasing creativity.   This is where unexpected surprises begin to surface.  Free writing, brainstorming, intuitive painting, dancing – I can keep going.  These are all practices to help free that messy creative mind outward.   How many masterpieces were created this way?

Share your creative mess with me on Instagram at #creativesoulsart and follow me at @creativesoulsart_journey.

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Here I am sharing this explorative journey – not sure where it will end up, but I am saddling myself up for an amazing ride.

 

Pushing Myself to Try Harder

My creative mind is all over the place.  Every day I wake up I have a different vision of what I want to create that day.  There are days in which I am ready to focus on my landscape paintings and sometimes I just want to play and explore to see where it takes me.   I just can’t focus on one style or subject.  My mind moves and changes with the wind.   This becomes an issue as I try to build my brand, my business.   Everyone tells me I need to have one vision but I can’t help it.   I try new things, they work and then they stop working.   I see another artists technique and I try it – why not it looks like fun.  I see how far I can take a medium or subject and if it works I keep going.  If not – I start over.   No biggie – right?

So I have been busting out of the seams as I have been preparing for all of my shows this season.  This is usually where I display my oil landscapes and pastels.   They have done quite nicely and my audience has been receptive to it.  But my other side – the funky wild side wants to play too.   My Goddesses have finally come home and are selling like hotcakes – as so are my Buddha paintings.   And I took a long hiatus on my floral abstracts.  But now – I am pulling out everything and pushing myself to reach further.

  • Can my oil landscapes improve – why yes?
  • Can I introduce new Goddesses, maybe using a new medium or collage technique
  • Can I paint some more Buddhas – why I just did
  • Can I explore my abstract phase a bit more?  I am already there

I have been itching to try to use oil paint in my abstract exploration.  Wow, how much I love the way the paint moves, how the colors blend and get all yummy all over.   This is an exploration and me learning how I can push my oil medium further.   Not only am I opening myself up to seeing a new way of creating but I am learning more about how oil paint moves and talks to my creative soul.  I have always said my abstract, my fun explorations are always helpful to me as I grow in my landscapes.

So I Push Harder

We should never feel content.  We should always feel like everything we do is a work in progress that can always find areas to improve and get better.   This is evident in my creative process and I live by it.  But this is what is always arguing with me every day:

  • I feel like failing and giving up every day – But how can I – I have invested so much at this point.
  • I see so many other artists better than me – wow now my art looks so amateur –  I am not here to be like some else – I can let them inspire me but I need to create what comes from me
  • Why doesn’t anyone buy my art?  Because I haven’t connected with those people that connect with my art and my story yet.
  • Why is creating so hard sometimes?  Because it just is.   It comes from within, and it takes a lot to tap into that inner soul.

And Harder…

So to hush down that pesky inner critical thinking, I just do it.  I take out that canvas and let something happen.   It may work and creativity may flow out like a flood or it may be a disaster but who cares?  I am creating right?

So I sit here a day after a rather OK show and I am on a path of where to begin again.  What canvas is waiting for me to give it some love?  What paint brush needs my attention? And if it doesn’t work today, hey, there is another day coming tomorrow.

 

 

Everyday I’m Hustlin’

The life of an artist is not always fun and passion seeking.  There are times of intense stress and days I just want to give up.  Now don’t get me wrong – I love the path I have chosen but those feelings just seem to creep up into my soul.   In the end, life seems to work itself out.  Maybe because I am just doing what is meant for me and I have chosen what my divine path should be.  But, again, those negative downers like to burst out from time to time to say hello and burst those bubbles.   Although I get into my funks every now and then – they become fuel – the food to bust out and make a move.   I taught myself how to hustle my way out of a funk.   I have developed a hunger (not for food) that feeds my soul to push forward towards success.

So I in a sense – I am Hustlin’ everyday

Am I not going to make the mortgage this month or pay for those extravagant college tuition costs for my son?   Well, what’s a girl to do?   I am going to push myself to create more, be persistent and get someone to buy some art and support my hustle.   Does it always work?  I will say about 9 out of 10 times.  I find a side hustle – a teaching job or a quick commission to hold me over.  It’s like when I am in need of help, the creative soul reinforcements come calling to save the day.   Someone magically reaches out and decides to buy that painting they have been looking at for a few months.   I get a random email for a local pop up show.  Something always seems to come through – just at the right time.

Do you believe in magic?

I am not going to call this all luck.   Maybe karma.  There is some strategy going on here.  But I truly believe because I have chosen my path and am passionate about what I do everyday – the happiness finds a way to return its favor just in the nick of time for me.   It’s like the positive Gods refuse to let me give up.  Because this is my destiny – this is my chosen path.

What happens when you feel like throwing in the towel?

All I can say is don’t!

  • Stay positive.
  • Don’t give up and stay strong.
  • Find your hustle.
  • What can you do to support your dream?
  • Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get there?
  • What are you willing to give up?
  • Can you sacrifice to make your dream come alive?
  • If it doesn’t work this time – are you willing to pick yourself up, even if it hurts and start over?
  • Can you listen to your inner soul and not the outside critics who will try to keep you down?
  • Can you silence the inner critic that tells you – this can’t be done?

Interested in supporting the hustle?   Buy some art created handmade by a true creative soul.

Check out my Gallery and follow the journey