Follow by Email

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's great to be on the outside, and other discoveries
“It's possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems.”
― Nicholas Sparks, Dear John  

Oh Schroeder....I enjoyed being a little artsy myself this weekend - I had a great time showing my art at the Discovery Museum!
Sign up for my newsletter at for exclusive updates!!!
My solo show Tree Dreams will be up through September, so check it out if you're around!
I gave a bit of an artist talk about what trees mean to me in my art, and how art can be a transformative tool - through painting, my feelings can shift, and when others view what I've created , my art has the power to move them as well.  Art moves us all!
I am a self taught artist, so I am spoiled by oblivion and also a creature of habit. I first learned to make “art” when stuck in the hospital for months after a disastrous surgery. My mother simply piled some scraps of fabrics and a kid’s paint set on my bed. You might call that “Mixed Media”!
  I love experimenting with acrylics, painting my world of trees, birds, flight, girls dancing, and tear drops. These are symbols that have appeared over time to me – my “markers” to let me know how “Amy’s” really doing. The minute I start seeing a tear emerge on the canvas, I can tell I’m harboring up some feeling about an old memory. That red knot I’m scribbling away at? Oh, I must be anxious. And when my flowers start to sing…I’m happy.
 I sold quite a few inchie pins, which means I've got to go back down to the studio tonight!
Outsider Art
Image from Huffington Post

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Gustav Jung

Someone who bought a few pieces mentioned that my art reminded them of "Outsider Art" - I had never heard of the term, so I looked it up and found a wonderful article in the Huffington Post about it.

"Primarily, what we term outsider art is self-taught or non-academic work. So, that could be somebody who is a mathematician who has taught himself how to paint. That could be somebody who [has severe autism] and expresses himself through drawing. That could be a member of an aboriginal tribe in Western Australia, a herdsman for her entire life, who painted prolifically for her final 14 years of life. That could be someone who was drawing to escape violence in New Orleans. It could be someone who took to marble carving to express all of the diverse experiences he's undergone."
An image from the Huffington Post Article

Reading the rest of this wonderful article, "outsider art" truly resonated with me.  As a self-taught artist, and someone who expresses myself through, art, this is exactly what my work feels like.  I don't create art to be a working artist, I create it to heal and to actually understand or access what I'm feeling.

Creating in the hospital
There's a fascinating history about Outsider Art at Outsider Art Fair...
My Mixed Media Work

"The genesis of Outsider Art could well be traced to an imagined prehistoric cave wall, to the work of your favorite eccentric visionary (think William Blake), or to the mythic artist-genius dreamed up by Romantic philosophers and poets. Outsider Artists began to emerge as a force to be reckoned with during the early 1920's, with the publication of two pioneering studies of art made on asylum inmates, conducted by European psychiatrists in search of universal truths about human creativity. "
My mixed media work

 This brought to mind an amazing YouTube video I saw years ago about an autistic gentlemen who was able to draw the entire city of Rome exactly to scale in five minutes, while just taking a brief helicopter ride over the city - watch it, it's really fascinating:
WATCH IT HERE: Stephen Wiltshire draws Rome from memory

I like to describe my art as what I feel, abstract, childlike, expressive, whimsical, mixed media - but I feel Outsider Art is an appropriate term.  Wikipedia calls it "self-taught or naïve art makers who were never institutionalized."
One of my intuitive collages

So there you go - now we're ALL artists, and we have a name for it!  It's lovely being on the outside, don't you think?
With Broken Wings
It's amazing that my art is now in real artist galleries, but that doesn't make me feel any more "professional" - I just view it as an amazing opportunity to show others my heart.  I like being an open book - or canvas, so to speak.
Discovery Museum

 No matter where my art ends up, I will always firmlu stand behind my belief that anyone can make art.  And SHOULD make art.  Art is therapy - and this kind of creative therapy saved my life, at a time when doctors really didn''t know how to.
My inchies - they're on etsy too!!!
Before I Go...
Don't let this happen to you!

Go ahead and make some art.  Draw, scribble, splotch.  You're an artist, remember, an outsider artist. 

I've got seven simple tips to get you started...

 Sometimes things require a second look, a second try, just one more attempt.  Keep trying, keep going, keep creating.  If at first you don't succeed- change the way you see things!

Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.

p.s. If you sign up for my newsletter Inspire, Discover Create, you'll be able to take part in my August art challenge - so go ahead and sign up!  Now that's something you don't want to be on the outside for :)


  1. Thanks for sharing your expressive art, your positive attitude and sense of humor :)
    Fridays Blog Booster Party #17

  2. Wow, what a story. I'm so sorry that you had to spend so long in hospital but it must have been meant to be as now you have found this talent, outsider or not. Thank you for linking up with #featurefridays

  3. Really enjoy your work...thanks for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

  4. I enjoyed your blog. There are some gorgeous pieces here.

  5. Really interesting post glad you are enjoying your art thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

  6. Love the art. Wish I was more arty. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  7. Congrats! Beautiful arts. Really, I can only appreciate but I'm not that creative. Bravo to you.

    I love that Nicholas Sparks' quote.

  8. Love that first photo! Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday!

  9. thanks for sharing your inspiring artwork with us at #anythinggoes. See you next week!

  10. Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. I absolutely love this art. It so expressive! Join us again for the party this week.

  11. Really beautiful art. Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp