Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hello World...

I am so excited to be launching this blog!  Getting here has been in large part a testament to the power of friends and community support.  How so?  Let's see if I can tell  you a long story in just a few words.

Some years ago my health began failing.  It got so bad I had to leave an administrative job that I loved and go on a medical disability leave.  The days were long and empty and I felt so totally useless.  Scary and depressing stuff!  Friends encouraged me to pursue creative interests, as did one of the health professionals I work with.  As health allowed, I became reacquainted with my camera and reignited an old passion for photography.  It was very therapeutic to wander through local parks enjoying sunshine, fresh air and 'exercise' (I use the word 'exercise' loosely as a snail could have zipped along twice as fast as I could walk back then!).  While my health continued to be poor, my mind and soul gradually brightened and lightened - the beauty of nature and the tonic of creativity soothing the feelings of uselessness and despair.  I began using the photos on handmade cards sent to friends to celebrate all manner of life events and soon I was being encouraged to make cards for sale.  

One of my photo art cards with a message I use to encourage myself - a message that has resonated with others, too

It took a year to gather the courage and energy to produce some cards and all along the way my friends were there.  Some offered their professional assistance, like one friend with a background in graphic design.  Others cheered me on when my own enthusiasm failed, or when self doubt came crashing in and threatened to immobilize me.  All were invaluable to my progress.

Taking up photography again had shone a little sunlight on my creative roots and slowly over the course of many months they sprouted a desire to get back to the drawing and painting I had done in my teens and 20s - back before life got complicated and the creative part of me withered.  My creativity was slowly starting to grow and unfurl!!  Sadly, the complicated part of my life had also planted seeds right beside the roots of my creativity - seeds of fear and self doubt.  Soon fear and self doubt shot up like fast growing weeds and paralyzed the creative me.  But my friends never stopped cheering me on.  One friend connected me with a sales rep who agreed to market my photo art greeting cards.  That was a huge boost to my creativity and self esteem and a hit to the weeds of fear and self doubt.  Another friend offered to build a website for the photo art cards.  A second hit to the weeds!! Sadly, those darn weeds are awfully strong.

Another card with words drawn from my own personal experience

Then one day very recently I was browsing some blogs by creative people and stumbled across a link to an online course entitled, "Creative Courage" by Stephanie Levy.  "Wow", I thought... "I really need some of that!"  Enrolling in Stephanie's course is one of the best things I've done lately as it has not only exposed me to practical suggestions on marketing one's creative self, but has also introduced me to an incredible community of creative people who are unbelievably supportive of each other's talents and dreams.  And they really "get" the fear thing.  I'm blown away by how quick they are to give encouragement and support.  

After enrolling in Stephanie's course I decided to demonstrate creative courage also by signing up for a watercolour painting class with a local artist (Joanne Thomson) whose work I greatly admire.  It's been so exciting to see my painting skills re-emerge after all these years - a bit rusty in places, but still there! Yet another hit to the weeds of fear and self doubt.

One of my recent watercolour class paintings

It is from the nurturing environment of Stephanie's course and Joanne's class that I have beaten back the fear and self doubt enough for me to make the leap into blogging.  I'm no expert and won't have deep and profound things to share.  But I'd love to have your company as I celebrate the beauty we can sometimes overlook in our hectic lives, explore how art and creativity contributes to health (other people's experiences as well as my own), continue beating back those darn fears and doubts, and witness the unfurling of long suppressed creativity.  And won't it be great if my journey inspires you to explore the creativity in you, too!


  1. Well done Fern! The blog looks beautiful, the image and connection to your pretty name is perfect, and your text was so personal and interesting. Congratulations, you did everything right! (And I love your painted leaves, keep going, you are gifted!!)

  2. Congratulations Fern! What a great name for your blog! What an interesting first post, there's a lot I can relate to. Art is so important for our health isn't it? I think, for me, it's a form of meditation and the process of creating is a very healing one.
    The blog looks wonderful. The photography is stunning and the painting of the leaves is beautiful, you have such a talent - I'd love to see a Fern watercolour of a fern leaf - just an idea;-)

  3. Congratulations Fern! Yes, the name you have chosen for your blog is just perfect! It's so wonderful to read your personal story and I must say that I love your watercolour painting with the leaves and your photography!

    Greetings from Munich


  4. Congratulations for starting this blog Fern! It looks wonderful. Blog on!

  5. Congratulations Fern! Welcome to the Blogosphere & your blog looks great already. Love the name :-)
    Cheers ~ Lara

  6. Beautiful blog, beautiful story, beautiful photography and watercolors - and a beautiful, gifted lady!! Thank you for being part of my Creative Courage e-course! You are a delight :) xo

  7. Welcome to bloggerworld! Found you via Stephanie Levy - glad I found you! Keep on your wonderful art work!

  8. What a lovely start. Keep it up. Hope it helps you to keep moving forward.

  9. WOW!!! Great start to your blog, Fern! I love the photos and your art! So happy to see you doing photography again as I've always been a fan! : ) I'll let you know when I get my blog started, got a lot of irons in the fire right now! (((HUGS)))