Category Archives: Artistic Musings

Fill your vessel with Love

You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

Eleanor Brownn

This painting has had a profound impact on me.  I’ve been in tears all morning since creating it. (I still can’t look at it without getting teary eyed!) Yesterday was a play day for me, after receiving Robert Burridge’s course in the mail on how to paint abstracts and how to loosen up.  One of the things he is pretty emphatic about is taking time to write down your intentions before you start painting.  And, to at least do three paintings in a series…this is the second one.

My intention was fairly general – I wanted to paint about LOVE.  I’ve had a history of “filling my vessel” with men, who have all been great teachers of lessons (translation – looking for myself in others!).  Frequently during my time of seeking – ie going from relationship to relationship – I have been told I need to focus on me, and not on being in a relationship.  Which, of course, pissed me off, and, well, in true “Paula” fashion – made me date and seek more.

I have been out of any sort or type of relationship now for over a year – slowly dissecting why and what makes me tick – and why I have chosen the relationships that I have in the past.  It’s been both excruciatingly painful, and immensely rewarding.

Anyway, back to the painting and intention of yesterday.  After writing my intention down, I turned on my Pandora station to The Monkees (tell me – Was Davy Jones was YOUR crush too!?), and I’m a Believer came on..  It starts – “I thought love was only true in fairy tales.  Planned for someone else, but not for me.”  GUS at work.  Was this true for me?  Did I feel unworthy of love?

The second “sign” of the day from GUS was a heart shaped rock RIGHT OUTSIDE MY STUDIO!  I walk that path a billion times a day. (OK – not a billion, but you know what I mean.)

Growing Love

And then, the painting….DAMMIT JANET….A vessel (they had been showing up in my paintings for a couple of weeks) and a heart growing out of it.

And not a heart in the traditional sort of kitchy style – My style – my colors – my composition.

Was it time to really look deep?

Was it time to finally accept that I am worthy?

Was it time to just let go and surrender to what is?

Was it time to stop listening to what others say I “should” do?

Is it time to finally accept all of me?  The good, the bad, and the beautiful?

I know that these paintings are very different…and actually…..after painting this one yesterday….I honestly thought I might not share it, and I most definitely figured I would paint over it, and my galleries tell me that they cannot sell heart paintings….and….really….it was just play for me.  (Was that a run-on sentence, or what?  And, did it make ANY SENSE?)


I think it’s time.

Time to stop comparing.

Time to stop trying to be everything to everyone.

Time to stop beating myself up.

Time to fill my vessel with LOVE.

May We Walk Together As One


I have a HUGE confession

                    Another World

Posting some of my latest work scares the S**T out of me.

There.  I said it.

But, let me tell you why.  First of all, even though I have ventured into non-objective art in the past, and quit because of “my three yo could do this”, and “give me a couple of shots of tequila and I can do something JUST LIKE THIS!”, comments, it keeps pulling me back in.  It’s like some unseen force keeps imploring me to continue.  So, there is this fear of negative criticism.

Second of all, I’m very aware of the “rule” that artists are ALWAYS supposed to paint the same sort of subject matter in the same style. But, I’ve never been much of a rule follower.  I had a very famous artist tell me one time at the very beginning of my career to never let galleries pigeon-hole me, as it would stifle my creative nature.  I always want to paint with passion and what my soul journey is asking me to paint, as I feel that this is my calling.   I suppose that it may be a big drawback as far as gallery representation, however, I’ve been there and done that, and I find when I paint what my galleries in the past have asked me to paint – they don’t sell.  I’m very fortunate to be represented by two galleries right now that understand artists and their need and desire to have total creative freedom.  Do they want all of my work?  Of course not!!!  They know their collectors and what resonates with them.

As people, we change, and we grow, so why can’t we, as artists, do the same???

Since I have started creating visionary art with messages, I have gained collectors, and lost some.  I know that this is a part of my journey.  Not always comfortable, but essential for my growth.

I am finding that with this non-objective art – it is making me let go of my desire to control.  In both the way I live, and the way I paint.  After all, I find that artists are what they paint.

This quote by Degas sums a lot up for me:


“If you are an artist, you must never underestimate the role you play in society. Although you may struggle to make ends meet, and although your work may seem unappreciated or undervalued, you MUST continue bringing beauty into the world, for without the eyes of the artist, what do we see, but dust? Your role in life is to make others see what only you can see, and in doing so, point others in the right direction. Never get discouraged. In your humility, you are powerful beyond measure.

There is something so beautiful to me when I see an artist go outside of their comfort zone and truly “create” from their soul rather than creating for others.  To create for the sake of creating….to bring in those messages that are dying to come through the artist meant for someone to receive.

I know that this is not a path for all artists….but it is mine.  Unapologetically mine.  I’m somewhat of a freer spirit than others…and not as much as some.

I am an artist.

I am a writer,

I am a visionary.

I am ME.

May We Walk Together As One.



Why am I having a sale?

I realize how unconventional having a sale is.   I also know that many will have their opinions about this.  And, quite frankly, I have weighed all of the options. I am a self supporting professional artist….which means, my only income is from the sales of my art.  I absolutely feel very blessed to have been… Continue Reading

Is “reality” real?

Big question that friends and I have been throwing around lately. What exactly IS “reality”? According to Wiki this is what “reality” is:  Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.[1] Reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it… Continue Reading

About Paula
Raven Shaman