Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver~

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Creative Process .

I am always amazed when the Creative Process takes hold.
There are days, sometimes weeks, nothing seems to come,
and there are days when in the studio,
it just overflows and time passes quickly.
The process of play and intuition go hand in hand for me.
The hardest thing for me is blocking out time in the studio,
it is rare these days.

I have been so blessed to take workshops
with some amazing Artists,
attend soul inspiring retreats,
work on some wonderful e-courses
and with each workshop and each book read,
I learn something new ... I take a creative nugget
and apply it to my own artwork.

We are all in this Creative Process together!
I am grateful for the knowledge and experience
I have gained over the past few years.
Now I am creating my own works,
with my own style and techniques,
choosing a color palette 
and designs that speak 

 I have been creating my own canvas work 
to fill my home,
I felt it was time to hang my own work,
not just the work of artists I have admired over the years.
I have created large canvas works as gifts for others,
each one carrying their own unique style,
feeling proud of my own accomplishments
as an Artist.
It has taken quite sometime for me to
call myself An Artist,
and mean it with confidence!

Creativity is a gift,
time alone to create is a gift,
having my own room to create in is definitely a gift.
How I feel a sense of wonder
whenever I enter the studio,
filled with white lights, art supplies,
and inspiration from others!

I am at home with my brushes,
I have learned to just let them move on the canvas,
letting them dance all by themselves.
I love just letting Creativity flow,
there were so many years I tried to follow
others style perfectly, being afraid
to step out on my own,
Believe me, I don't think that way anymore!

The Process is about letting go,
no judgement and certainly no rules,
that is where my best work happens!

Now I am teaching others through An Artful Spirit,
I am thrilled beyond any measure
to share what I know,
every quarter my Artful Spirit partner Suzan Thompson and I
lead others in day long mini art retreats,
the days are filled with magic and creativity!
You can check out our latest offering here
Our next will be held on February 28, 2015
at the beautiful
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel
I would love to see you there
and you too can learn this
beautiful and meditative painting process!

Sending you blessings, love
and all the creative moments you can find in your life.

Donna Lee

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My SoulCollage® Facilitator Training

How do you put into words what you don't even know what to say yet?
I have just returned home from training with
the amazing Catherine Anderson
for SoulCollage® Facilitator Training
January 16 -18, 2015
in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I had signed up in October
and was counting the days to get there!

I went this weekend with my dear friend
and Artful Spirit partner
Dr. Suzan Thompson,
which was a gift in itself 
to spend such beautiful and quality time
with my soul sister.
We wanted to learn this process together,
and share it in our own art workshops.

Six hours of conversation in a car (each way!)...
we got a whole lot of brainstorming done too!
I love it when we put our creative minds together.

From the moment we entered Catherine's studio,
I felt a sense of belonging, I knew it was going to be
a magical three days of learning.
My heart was wide open and spilling over!

The studio was a feast for the eyes,
inspiration everywhere and such beauty,
Catherine is an incredible artist.
She freely let us photograph whatever we wanted to
so I am sharing with you!

Catherine opened with the reading of a poem
which was one of my favorites by Hafiz.
I was overjoyed to hear so much poetry read
this weekend,
the Poet in me was delighted to hear
Catherine's beautiful soft voice
reading the words of so many poets.

Each moment, each exercise, each lecture
was thoughtfully carried out,
so much love and attention went into
the care and feeding of our souls!

First Day was wonderful,
and we still had two more to go!
We loved where we stayed,
I had looked into a Bed and Breakfast
803 Elizabeth Lane
that was recommended
and we were not disappointed at all!
Martha and Will, the innkeepers were charming,
the room was delightful
and our breakfasts were created with
love and care each morning ...
a great start to the day ahead!

Days Two and Three we continued to gather,
share, learn, open our hearts, learn from Catherine,
dig even deeper ... and all the while not wanting the day to end,
and I am sure I speak for all of us.
I have attended many retreats in my lifetime,
each one teaching me something wonderful.
I am so grateful and beyond thrilled with
this Facilitator training,
it has changed me, re-directed me
and for that I am over the moon.

 SoulCollage® is a beautiful and self-directed process.
It is a gift you can give to yourself.
It is an intuitive card making process
using images that inspire me.
There are no words or adornments, only images.
My cards are created by me and carry along
the wisdom I need when seeking
life questions for myself
(my written definition created during an exercise)

We browsed through image after image,
Catherine supplied unending images,
We created our cards with beautiful and inspiring music,
each one of us in our own zone,
not much talking going on . . .
we then shared our cards in a small group,
answering with a question . . .
"I am One Who ..."
we were guided through meditation,
we were touched with poetry read to us,
danced to music,
ate delicious meals,
had tea and snacks
cried many tears,
hugged lots and lots,
we opened up our hearts to each other,
twelve women became twelve sisters
in the course of three days,
how hard it was to leave Sunday.
I always capture my world through my camera,
I think the best thing is to share my pictures with you,
they truly say it all ...

I look forward to sharing this process with others
in my hometown, or even further away.
If you have a chance to have a session,
I encourage you ... I strongly urge you to do so!

It seems that each art form I pursue,
grows me deeper and deeper
to finding my own self . . .
My Zentangle® practice,
My SoulCollage® process,
Art Journaling and Poetry writing.
I am on a path to self discovery,
growing a little bit more each and every day.
I am so grateful to have experienced
so much this past weekend;
bringing me closer to my heart,
my dreams and my soul longings.

My 2015 is definitely off to a terrific start!

I was totally overtaken with emotion, joy and heartfelt feelings.
How blessed I will always be to have taken my
Facilitator Training with Catherine.
She is light, she is love and she is a total inspiration to others.
Thank you Catherine for making every minute
of these three days so beautiful!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This I know . . .

Photo taken at Historic Adam Thoroughood House

Life truly is a precious gift
Creativity is time well spent
Grandchildren are an incredible gift
One should always live by their principles
Follow your heart ... it knows where to guide you
Seek stillness ... it is good for the Soul
Connect with like minded people
Nature is a gift from God
Quiet and stillness should be an everyday occurrence
Learning something new it's good for you
Candlelight is beautiful
Reach high and far
Writing your thoughts down is healing
Music is soothing
Listen to your inner voice ... there is always truth to be found
Yoga gives life . . .  it connects mind and body
Be grateful for the friendships in your life
I love writing on my blog
I am grateful you read these words

Blessings to you today!
Donna Lee

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Positivity ... My new word for 2015


So many of us have chosen a word of inspiration for our 2015!
I think long and hard before choosing just the right word.
In fact, this year my list had over thirty choices ...
I kept scratching them out and narrowing down
over the month of December.
I was down to two words
Contentment and Positive
after taking my walk through nature
at New Years
I finally decided on my word!

It had to be POSITIVITY
It was perfect, it felt just right!
I felt a bit negative in 2014,
so I was really glad to leave that all behind!

I am participating in Documented Life Project 2015,
I enjoyed it so much last year
and I was thrilled with my
journal at the end of the year.
So many wonderful pages filled with memories
of my life
through artwork, quotes, pictures and more.

I thought I would give you a peek of my new journal
starting for 2015
and of course documenting my new word for the year!

My First Week complete!

My decorated journal cover!

A Soul Collage page starting my new year!

I am excited about my new year
and I hope you are too!
It is wide open with possibilities

I am leaving next weekend
to attend a Soul Collage Facilitator Training
in Charlotte, North Carolina
and I am so excited about this new phase in my artistic life!
I am looking forward to teaching and guiding
others in this soulful and artistic process.

Wishing you all good things in your new year,
Let me know what your new plans are, 
what your word of the year is,
or anything you would like to share!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 ... What a year it has been!

 I participated in A Documented Life Project,
held several amazing Artful Spirit workshops,
Taught Zentangle privately, at the Muse,
 at Harbors Edge
and at the Hermitage Museum,
I lost 43 pounds!!!
I sadly left my church home,
I semi-retired! Working just 3 days a week now!
Had another grandchild born, Grayson Blake,
Went to New York City,
Providence, RI,
Myrtle Beach, SC
The Outer Banks,
West Friendship, MD,
Wrote more Poetry,
taught creative writing to senior adults,
took several art e-courses,
Went from size 14 to 8! WOW!
Created many mandalas and deepened my practice,
Participated in A Desire Map Book Club
with an amazing group of women,
Celebrated 37 years of marriage,
Deepened my writing practice,
saw Tony Bennett in Concert
saw My Mother Has Four Noses in NYC
attended Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival
participated in several Poetry Readings
Vacation for a week in the OBX
saw the big rubber duckie when he came to Norfolk,
participated in the Conscious Booksmith E-course
with Christine Mason Miller
and began my future book!
I took 3 Sketchbook Skool courses,
fell in love with Urban Sketching,
got new windows for my house,
learned the Soul Collage process,
my boys turned 34 and 31!
Annabelle had her first birthday,
Participated in The Love Notes Project,
Attended Squam in the City
got my new Macbook!

I would say it was a most beautiful year
full of hope and promise,
growth and experiences.
I lived my life with Intention,
which was my word for 2014 ...
it was the perfect word for me.
I look forward to 2015
and all that it has to offer!
My new word is Positivity ...
another word I plan to live up to its potential.

As our 2014 draws to a close today ...
I hope you will take the time to recall
all this life brought you ... it's fun to just remember.
I wish you blessings in your new year,
love, health, well being and creativity.
Be good to yourself and those around you!
May it be a year of self growth!
May it be peaceful and full of contentment.
Let's walk this life together ... shall we?

photo compliments of Xanthe Berkeley
Providence, RI

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Season Beauty

Williamsburg Beauty

It is such a wondrous time of year!
Every one of us can say we are way to busy,
we have so much to do,
our lists keep getting longer not shorter,
there are so many gatherings to attend,
we are a bit more stressed than normal,
and that we we will truly 
"never get it all done"
and forget getting anything creative done right now!!!

Yet there is so much magic and beauty
all around us
if only we will take a look and see!

I wanted so much to let this be 
the holiday that I didn't stress to get it all done,
that I slowed down to bake the cookies,
that I stepped lightly through it all,
that I enjoy my grandchildren,
wrap the presents
and watch every holiday
Hallmark movie
I could!
So far ... so good!

I think I've done that
and with a strangely sense of calm.
I am just writing to remind you
that YOU CAN control how you act,
how you feel and how rushed you choose to be.
Each holiday is truly made of
the effort you put into it!
Return to self, return to calm,
return to simplicity.
Let your holiday season be
one that is filled with accomplishments,
love for one another,
and a sense of wonder.

Enjoy the little things ...
hot chocolate ... hot apple cider,
24 hour holiday music channels,
smiles you receive from others,
decorations you pull out of the attic every year,
gaudy holiday lights in your neighborhood,
cards in the mail from friends and family,
ornaments on your tree that bring back fond memories,
Christmas Eve traditions,
making homemade gifts
and oh so much more ....

Christmas time in Edenton, NC

For me it will be celebrating my life
with two precious grandchildren!
Loving my family to overflowing,
having time off to enjoy and soak it all in.
Truly recognizing how blessed it all is!

My little Annabelle and Grayson

I wish you peace and joy
I wish you health
I wish you a happy heart
I wish you creativity in whatever form that is for you
I wish you a happy point of view
I wish you joy ... for it is truly a gift

Happy Holiday Season
from me to you!

With love and gratitude,
Donna Lee

Monday, December 8, 2014

Living and Teaching with An Artful Spirit

I love how the words "An Artful Spirit" sounds!
It took quite awhile for my creative partner
Suzan Thompson and I
to come up with a name for our
creative workshops ...
then finally Artful and Spirit came together so beautifully
(as we brainstormed for quite awhile).
We each had a word we wanted to incorporate into our title,
each expressing how we felt about creating art ...
I think we magically put it all together!

We wanted to create day long workshops
where someone would be able to escape for a day
to experience fellowship, to create a deep sense of self
and learn for just a short time.
We wanted to offer a safe environment
 of encouragement and learning,
choosing a new technique to explore 
with each and every workshop.
I believe we have truly done so!

I have learned so much from co-leading and teaching
our workshops.
The participants have each brought their own
beautiful energies
and have returned over and over again!
It warms my heart to see that.
When we began this workshop concept,
over three years ago,
I truly wouldn't have believed
just how much I personally have grown,
in confidence as a teacher,
in wisdom of art techniques,
of brainstorming and planning
future workshops.
The friendships that have grown out of our gatherings
and the beauty of each and every self expression,
surprises me over and over again!

I truly believe that I strive to live
with an Artful Spirit each and every day.
Looking for moments to express myself.
When I am not able to create my art ...
I find myself out of sync,
restless and yearning to create just one small thing!
I love Art ... it truly saves
it nourishes the spirit
it is a gift we can give to ourselves.
I find that my purpose is to 
lead others to find their own artful spirit as well!

Just enjoying sharing today ...
and wishing you a truly artful spirit filled kinda day!
Donna lee