Expressive Exchange Blog

March 15, 2013

My first time…many years ago.


Painting for healing was an amazing first time and followed by many other times.

Art for healing unleashed feelings in a whole new way for me. I have had many years of talk therapy. But painting my feelings opened me up in a whole new way.


There were many new experiences. Warming up by connecting a word to a color. The warm-up painting: Having 15 minutes to abstract/free-form paint based on the prompt our facilitator gave us. And then the big signature painting where the big feelings come out. It was never hard. You’d listen to a prompt, pick two colors and paint. You had about a series of seven questions. It was really fun to get into the painting and watch the painting transform through the process.


The paintings were always so surpring what came out of me and of all the other artists. The group sharing was also very beneficial. Great to listen to people be open about what came out of their paintings and it was very helpful to put some words to my paintings.

These paintings still mean alot to me. My therapist has analyzed them, I’ve hung many on my walls and even given some as gifts.

Art touches the world in so many ways. And this is one the best ways I have experienced art.



Thanks for being a part of my expressive exchange.


February 04, 2013


A gratitude painting is something I always end with in my Expressive Exchange workshops. During the signature painting of the workshop unexpected emotions can come up. The gratitude painting is a calming and brings positive energy back in the room.

The gratitude painting is a 5×7 canvas that you can express one or many gratitudes you have in your life with any colors for 15 minutes. I always have the artists cover the entire canvas with paint, use white paint if you want a white area.

Doing a gratitude painting is a nice way to end a workshop. These painitngs end up being some of their favorites. I always encourage the artists to frame their work. You can get inexpensive frames that make your work pop. And it’s so nice to have the paintings hanging in your home as a reminder of what you are grateful for and your experience of painting.

I myself love doing gratitude paintings. They have a lot of meaning in a small space. I also have many of my gratitude paintings framed.

When life can be overwhelming sit down and do a gratitude list if you don’t have time to paint one. It can really help you get out of your head of all the stressors that are going on and see all the good things in your life.

Lately, I make a list everyday of 20 things that I’m grateful for. The list changes a little every day. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my health, ability to work and the willingness to write a gratitude list. Sometimes I just list every friend individually that I’m grateful for, you get through the 20 gratitudes pretty quick. I mix it up. Whatever I’m feeling in the moment. First thought, best thought.

If you don’t have time for a gratitude painting definitely write a gratitude list to start and end your day.

What are you grateful for today?

I’m grateful I can write this blog for Expressive Exchange.



December 24, 2012

Getting Mentally Fit for the Holidays!

Expressive Exchange’s  second annual gift to the community workshop was a success.

Get Mentally Fit for the Holidays – Releasing Stress through Art Expression allows participants time to let out any stress through paint on canvas using the language of color.

We had a full room of seven lovely artist. Two had experienced Expressive Exchange workshops before and five were open to a brand new experience.

I love when people come back to paint again and love to see and hear the new artists experience this great method of expression through art.

It was a rainy day in Santa Monica. A perfect day to let go, paint and relax. The warm up was “A Painted Sky”. After listening to my prompt of how to describe your own personal sky. Everyone had 15 minutes to paint on canvas using acrylic paints, magic sponges and q-tips. This exercise allowed everyone to get comfortable and be free with the materials and colors. I love that everyone has their own interpretation of their individual sky and all the paintings were so unique and beautiful.

The signature painting in this workshop is “Spinning Plates”. This is a painting that has seven individual prompts that take about two- five minutes for each. The artist’s listen to the prompts, picking two colors and paint. It’s always first thought, best thought. You don’t have a lot of time to think about the question being asked or the colors you choose. This process gives you a chance to really get to what is stressful in your life at that very moment. The entire painting takes about 45 minutes. After the paintings are done we put them at the front of the workshop. The artist have a chance to share on the expreience if they choose.


I love seeing all the paintings and hearing the artists’s experience. It’s truly an amazing experience for all.

Remember we are all artist’s. We have a our own paint stroke, just like a signature. Give yourself a chance to express yourself in a new way. See ya at the next workshop.


Keep in touch to hear about our 2013 workshops! 

 Thanks for being a part of an expressive exchange.