In March, I headed over to the Cosmic Cowgirls studio in Sonoma, California, to kick off a nine-month training program – the Color of Woman – which teaches a framework around Intentional Creativity.  It’s really a way of life more than it is a way of painting, learning or teaching.  I’ve shared some about it in past posts and I’ll share more about the program in upcoming posts as I progress, process, learn and feel ready to put the experience in words and images.  For today, I’m sharing the progression of creating my Muse and giving you some tidbits to ponder upon.

A commonly held definition of a “muse” is a personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.  According to mythology, a muse is each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences. 

An expansion of these definitions is the philosophy that the muse allows us to access our consciousness.

Think about that. 

If you could access your consciousness and tap into it to co-create your life, how much more powerful would you live your life? 

Let’s take that a step farther – what if you could convert the inner critic (you know, that negative voice in your head that beats you down) that plays over and over in your mind into your muse and change the messages to support you instead of tearing you down?  If you honestly look at what runs in your mind, how often are the thoughts supporting you versus telling you all the reasons why you can’t do something, or why you shouldn’t, or how to play it safe, or….

Now we can give those thoughts the benefit of the doubt that they are designed to protect you from getting hurt, but that protection keeps you small. And afraid. And timid.  And inclined to play it safe rather than stretch and grow.

What if you convert that negativity into powerful supportive thoughts because your muse can accesses your higher consciousness and together they want to propel you into the highest vision of yourself? To dare to leap into your purpose? To give you the keys to step outside of fear to believe you can accomplish great things? That you don’t have to play it safe because playing “all in” means you live out loud boldly sharing your gifts and talents with the world.  How would you show up if you knew the forces out there were conspiring to support you and your highest good?

The below painting process shares how I created my muse and set the intention for my muse to work with me to co-create my inspired impact so we could make an impact in the world.  Now, I have a visual representation to remind me that my muse, my mind, my thoughts, my being, my essence, my consciousness, is here to support my highest good and set me up for success. I have nothing to fear.  And I can tap into a supportive energy to guide me. 

Will it work, you wonder? Stay tuned and see for yourself.

This is an image of a blank canvas with a red rose being held in front of it

The painting process began with a blank canvas and a rose to give the canvas a blessing. I plucked a rose petal and dipped it yellow painting to give the canvas the first inspired strokes.  I also kept the rose petal and it’s in my studio.

The blank canvas now has swirling strokes of paint in turquoiseThe first few strokes of declaration.  If you look closely, you’ll see the yellow paint from the rose.

The canvas now has many swirling colors in jewel tones with a bit of white canvas showing in the backgroundSeveral strokes later, I have a very colorful background.  While it looks like the merging of strokes and paint, there was much more to the process, especially discovery and exploration.

On top of swirling jewel toned paint on the canvas,the following message is painted in white paint: How do we co-create my inspired life making an impact?It was time to place my question to my muse on my canvas and begin a collaborative process.

A photo of Joan Jakel standing next to her easel on which the Muse is in progress. The background is greens and oranges and the face is just starting to appear - it is very tribal looking

The face of my Muse was starting to appear.  Did I mention it was March when I was taking this course? It was March Madness and I was supporting my Gonzaga Bulldogs.  Sadly, we fell from the tournament that evening.

this is a close up image of a basket with a ball of red yarn, a chocolate candybar, a stone with "Dream" on it, inspiring cards from Gabrielle Bernstin and a coaster with Martin Luther King Jr. with one of his quotes.Every creative warrior worth her grain of salt has a medicine basket! Mine is filled with inspiring items that keep my creative juices flowing: a gourmet chocolate candy bar, inspiring cards, dream rock,  red thread for conducting red thread sessions (more on that in future posts) an inspiring quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

The painting has progressed and a face is emerging and surrounded by painted blue balls and green curly hairLook at this mystical beauty take form!

An image of Joan's muse on the easel, underneath it is her medicine basket filled with items that inspire her, like chocolate and inspirational cards, and to the right is a 3 tiered stand with painting suppliesMy work space and the evolution of my Muse.

a close up image of the Muse joan painted, a tribal quality with a red heart under the left eye and a swirl with dots under the right eye and hair of swirling greenI appreciated the tribal qualities that were emerging.  Two of my favorite features are eyes and lips.

A photo of joan jakel standing next to her painting of her muse which is hanging on a wall. She has a big smile on her face!At the end of three days of painting, this was my Muse.  I asked her for her message to me and this is what she shared:

I am always here for you.

While I may seem contrary, I am never against you.

You can access me in an instant.

            Slow down




Don’t miss the magic in the moment by trying to get it right.

Balance your intensity with love and compassion for yourself and others.

I am your personal angel and will provide you access to the answers, all of which are inside you.  I am the way to the wisdom.

Simply ask.  Shut your Eyes.  And receive.

Once I returned to my studio, I added a few finishing touches. I painted the edge of the canvas and added some jewelry.  My paintings feel naked if they don’t have jewelry on them.  Here’s the finished Muse.  She’s at my studio hanging next to my Legend.  My talisman is on the easel, so stay tuned for the next installment and watch how my Muse will powerfully guide me to be a creative force making an impact.

A close up of the completed muse face. It's dark brown with very full red lips, a heart under one eye and a swirling line with dots under the other eye. There is a piece of jewelry with beaded threads hangin in the center of her forward to between her eyes, her hair is green with swirls of white and there are green painted circles with white dots outlineing them and at the top of the head there is a tiered hanging piece of jewelry

Joan Jakel

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