make art. transform life.

thoughts about creativity and  art:   live your life as your work of art.

Soar with the unexpected challenge of living creatively

 waterscape            journal sketch                         beth vendryes williams

waterscape            journal sketch                         beth vendryes williams

Being creative is defined as having the power to bring something into existence.

 Creative thinking is a skill that you learn as you grow and try to make sense of the world. It benefits both of us to understand different ways of exploring and visualizing. Specializing in one way of thinking can impede us from understanding the relationships that do exist within a diverse world.  Math, science, language, and history. For instance are all ways of understanding the same thing through different prisms or perspectives..

I remember first experiencing this when I was 14.

I loved taking art, enjoyed French, although with some difficulty and disliked the facts and figures of world history. Then one day, I learned about the same historical period in each of these three different classes. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was learning about the politics, the culture and the art of the same period! Then I began to understand the importance of each and how valuable it was to see from all three perspectives with a holistic view.

That one experience opened my mind to  see many commonalities in life. 

 I now regularly see how seemingly divergent ideas can flow together. This causes me to view of the a  holistic  way.According to research done by Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein in [Sparks of Genius: there are many mathematicians, like Blaise Pascal and scientists like, Einstein, who used intuition and imaging to find solutions to theoretical problems. 

Since then, I have approached my life creatively as if I were making a piece of art.  All people, opportunities, books, places, new studies, and experiences constitute the materials that shape my daily life.
— beth vendryes williams

I consider making a meal as a work of art in how it is prepared, served and shared. That part was undoubtedly from my mom! Sewing or buying clothes, I look for beautiful, long-lasting organic alternatives. Cleaning supplies usually involve no preservatives or scents and baking soda and vinegar, so that they are sustainably able to tread lightly on our environment.

And in my professional vocation as an artist,

I  carry a journal and packet of watercolor crayons, pencils ink pens and water brushes in my pocketbook. At any time I can access my "portable studio" to work wherever I am. Waiting becomes an opportunity to see more. I now  look at my life as a work of art-in-process. 

Now, as in creating a piece of art, there are mistakes and hard times. But I learn from working on my art that errors can change my perception to discover opportunities and incentive to make something new. And when I experience tragedies and difficulties in both art and life, they can be transformative, so I end up doing things I never imagined.

I have a few tools that I utilize to keep me on track.

Keep watching for the next few posts as I begin to share them with you!


Seize the day!


Every artist has different ways of creating, some are impulsive, and some plan in detail,  but there is no one right way.

With that understanding, I share how my ideas come to me, and how I begin to develop them. When I see or read something beautiful, I want to remember it, so I remember and sketch it in one of my journals. Because I use journals, I was attracted to the small books , hand written, painted  and bound by monks  in medieval times. The were called books of the"hours", so that Franciscan monks and the faithful could carry their prayers throughout the day.

Inspired by the "liturgy of the hours", an ancient monastic tradition, I found myself stopping to appreciate the cadence of pausing for brief times during the day. During this time, I breathe, slowly, listen to something beautiful,  leave room for inner reflection, name my blessings or ask for help. 

I like the fact that an old tradition can be adapted to recognize our contemporary spirituality. I find it more important than ever to build the scaffolding of my day on the habit of internal reflection that acknowledges the spirit of me. When I do this regularly, I find beauty in the most ordinary moments. 

Beauty, to me, is not only about land, sky, and seascapes, nor is it about the perfection of figure or face. It can include humans in dialogue with each other animals or nature, emotions, music, sound,  interiors of rooms, recognizing the soul of someone or the invisible energy inherent in a place or an object. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

For me, beauty is also in the rhythmic movement of events during 24 hours and maintaining a sense of balance while navigating through the day. 
My interest in the ancient practice of the liturgical hours of the day, practiced by monks has become a structure on which I build a holistic integration of reflection into the daily rhythm of my life. 

That is the foundation for my upcoming series of work based on I  equivalent moments that resonate in my life in 2018.

I can’t keep from singing.. Drawing and painting of the visual equivalent Enjoy the song of the same name, sung by Enya

 Work in Progress     hours series, prime     beth vendryes williams

Work in Progress     hours series, prime     beth vendryes williams

For me, beauty is also in the rhythmic movement of events during 24 hours and maintaining a sense of balance while navigating through the day. 
beth vendryes williams

 The audacity of daring to create authentic art 

Invite creativity into your life!

I used to make artwork… and then store it under my bed!

I didn’t know how to get it out of my house and had no room then to store it. I was also shy about showing it to people. 

Then when my dear sweet husband challenged me to get all that art out from “under the bed” and share it..
...I started to give it away as a gift and then sell it. I learned a lot from comments and reflections from the recipients. 

I began to realize that my work is not only a personal reflection but operates a singular communication of my worldview to the one who gazes upon it. The viewer completes the idea from his unique perspective.

I consciously create work as an investigation of what I am seeing and feeling.

Then the process of creating takes on a life of its own, revealing more than I consciously knew.   I share the art with others who complete it, each employing one's unique vision.

 What matters to me in making art is the integrity of my marks. 
  “I like to say that, " the artistic impulse travels from the head to my eyes to my heart to my hand to the paper.”

What I make, matters. What I communicate needs to be honestly consistent with my overarching beliefs and actions. 

I notice that when I do that, the work surprises me with its open-heartedness lying so close to the surface of the image. 


I consciously create work as an investigation of what I am seeing and feeling.
— beth vendryes williams
  hours/ daily lauds    This is a process view of the first of my hours 2018 pieces.      I I paint about the opportunities to meditate on the beauty that we see as we journey through each day. This is early in the morning , before rising with the sun.

hours/ daily lauds    This is a process view of the first of my hours 2018 pieces.      I I paint about the opportunities to meditate on the beauty that we see as we journey through each day. This is early in the morning , before rising with the sun.

"Am I revealing too much?", I ask myself? 

“No”, is the answer I inevitably hear. “This is why you are an artist!”

“As an artist, you make the inner search visible, opening yourself and viewers, to truth and beauty found in surprisingly ordinary places!”

And I wonder...

  • Do you suspect that you have a unique perspective of the world?
  • Where have you seen beauty or truth today?
  • Do you feel an impulse to connect with your creative spirit and share it as I did when I pulled my work out from under my bed?

        Share your thoughts in comments, Facebook,&Instagram


energize your life, as art, with open-hearted vision

  Niagara Falls , the end of summer      22' x 30" watercolor  beth vendryes williams

 Niagara Falls , the end of summer      22' x 30" watercolor  beth vendryes williams

I am often asked how I became an artist,

which is why, In my last few posts, I shared a few of my struggles and decisions to define myself as an artist.
Their next statement is usually,
“I could never be an artist because I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler…”  Hmmm....

In Merriam Webster Dictionary,  “artist” is defined  as

noun  art·ist  \ ˈär-tist          
Definition of artist
1 an obsolete: one skilled or versed in learned arts
    b archaic: physician
    c archaic : artisan 1
2    a one who professes and practices an imaginative art
    b  a person skilled in one of the fine arts
3    a skilled performer; especially
4    one who is adept at something 

As you know, I happen to paint or draw on paper or canvas.
And I have used what I learn in creating art in other areas of my life. Gradually, I observe that treating my life with the skills and attitudes of an artist has not only transformed my work,  but my life as well!

To be an artist of your life, you do not need crayons or paint. You can just make art from the "stuff" of your life.     beth vendryes williams

The medium or materials that you use to create can consist of your life and any parts of it that you choose. The “work” of art is the action that you are taking. The material can be anything you can shape, like movement, fabric, words, time, food, cards, care for another person, etc. Your life can be a “work of art”!

I have done a lot of research and continued to develop my idea that you can transform your life by treating it as a work of art. I will share that in later posts.
Bur today, I share one essential skill necessary to approach your life as a work of art.

If one skill is essential for living your life as a work of art it is the attitude of being open-hearted. You choose to reveal your warm and compassionate feelings freely.          beth vendryes williams

When you remain open to ideas and people and change, you can see more options and perspectives. And you become more impassioned by your life.

Try being open-hearted.  Let me know how it works for you, in the comments below and in facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram below. Keep your eye out for my next posts on creating your life with the attitude of an artist! 


What happened to inspire faith in the artist within me

  Winter branches     #727             8" x 8" x.75  oil on board        beth vendryes williams

Winter branches     #727           8" x 8" x.75  oil on board        beth vendryes williams

My first memory of drawing was when I was three years old.

My first memory of drawing was when I was three years old.
I didn’t know what an “artist “ was. I just liked the feeling of making marks on paper. I felt empowered knowing I could make colors and my parents loved what I made.
Invariably, through the formative years, I was asked to draw anytime it was needed. I loved the process of making, building, sewing, baking, painting things!As long as I was creating something and learning something new, I was happily involvedI loved to read, also, and remember visualizing and, stopping periodically to digest and translate words into my visual. 

At Our Lady of Mercy Academy (high school)

I remember realizing that, although I could have gone into other fields,  The process of creating made my heart sing! It was important to me to make something physical, marks that expressed ideas I had in my head. 

I did have an intuitive art teacher and a holistic education from my teachers at Mercy. I suddenly realized, when I was 14, that history, art, French, science, literature, and music were all looking at the same world, but each through a different prism. I was astounded and found that my worldview expanded and I could understand concepts from different perspectives.

At the same, I was reading a book by Teilhard de Chardin, who was a Jesuit,  philosopher, and paleontologist. He saw the world through the lenses of science and prayer. I understood that.

Two years later, I remember the moment

when I chose art as my focus because I wanted to be creating things every day for the rest of my life. It was the middle of the Senior year. I had asked my beloved art teacher why I had not gotten an art award. She said I was very talented, but  I wasn't persistent enough. That answer caused me to decide to focus on what I found freedom and joy in creating something visible from just an idea in my head. 

 I chose to make a difference in the world by observing, then listening to an idea in my head, and guiding my hand to put it on paper. 
I haven't stopped since!

What helped  you decide to focus on your life work? I would  love to hear your story in comments ,or keep in touch on  instagram or facebook, below!

For the first time, I decided to become an artist


My first memory of drawing was when I was three years old.
I didn’t know what an “artist “ was. I just liked the feeling of making marks on paper. I felt empowered knowing I could make colors and my parents loved what I made.
Invariably, through the formative years, I was asked to draw anytime it was needed. I loved the process of making, building, sewing, baking, painting things!As long as I was creating something and learning something new, I was happily involved

I loved to read, also, and remember visualizing and, stopping periodically to digest and translate words into my visual. 

At Our Lady of Mercy Academy High school, I remember realizing that, although I could have gone into other fields, I was most moved by the process of creating what was important to me by making physical, tactile expressionistic marks. I did have an intuitive art teacher and holistic education there, which is why I realized when I was 14, that history, art, French, science, literature, and music were connected, and just different ways of interpreting the world. 

 I remember the moment when I chose art as my focus, because I wanted to be creating things every day for the rest of my life. It was the middle of the Senior year while discussing with my art teacher the value of commitment to art that I realized creativity as a guiding force in my life.

And so it continues today! 

Overcome old failures, observe & draw daily

I have always drawn and painted, so when I was a teenager, a neighbor commissioned me to create a portrait of her child. Taking a risk, I jumped at the challenge and went to work!

That portrait was rejected. 

Over the years, I have painted only two commissioned portraits,  each well received. However, I was not satisfied. I always felt that I needed to be more confident in my ability to quickly sketch and capture the unique characteristics of any person. I just accepted that it didn't come naturally to me. Crazy, right?

 I finally got up the courage to take a portrait drawing course in November and December. Astonishingly, in those two months, I had the pleasure of reaching my challenge! Now I look forward to creating a unique likeness every chance I get! It is a joy and a blessing that has spurred me to expand my art into other mediums and new subjects.  

Check these portraits out here! 

I am so glad I decided to face my fears and try! Can you think of something you would like to dare to try again? 

With gratitude...

    beth vendryes williams               wrapped in clouds                  2017

   beth vendryes williams               wrapped in clouds                  2017

Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame
by an encounter with another human being.
Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those
who have rekindled this inner light.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer

And so it goes with us all. 

As I journey through each day, so many times a friend or a stranger will help me to navigate difficulties. Even online, I have met the incredibly thoughtful people. I want to thank you.

Today, I am enhancing building my skills and opening my mind. I am taking a fantastic online drawing course with Gillian Lee Smith, a dynamic live drawing course with Carlo D’Anselmi at New York Studio School, and an online workshop with artists and Paul Klein, having dialogues about truth and vulnerability & opportunities for artists and in our work. The last 3 years I had worked with Alyson B. Stanfield.

My artist mentors spanning my careerhave been incredibly helpful in being true  my  vision. I thank Sister Stephanie, Douglass Morse Howell, Dan Welden, Mauricio Lasansky, Ben Frank Moss, Bruce Gagnier, Ron Milewicz, Madeleine L'Engle.

As my work grows, I am so grateful to you who support my work in what ever way works for you; collecting, reading my posts,commenting, sharing studio space, offering support and just taking time to look. I understand that art is a universal communication complete only when received by another person. I so appreciate you taking the time to do that.

To be sure,I want to thank my sons and their lovely ladies and friends who observe, listen and make suggestions. I especially am grateful to my dear husband who has supported my dream steadfastly from our very beginnings!

My upcoming events are, in large part, because of this support!

Thank you, with all my heart,


You see, those breathtaking clouds are beautiful, weightless water

 crowd of clouds  941     solarplate print     2017       bybeth vendryes williams

crowd of clouds  941     solarplate print     2017       bybeth vendryes williams

Just as melancholy, that raincloud of the mind, expands our capacity for creativity, so does actual gloomy weather — clouds, it turns out, offer something possibly more tangible, certainly more pragmatic, than “contemplation [that] benefits the soul”; their proverbial silver lining is more than proverbial...               Maria Popova 
— - []


I have been admiring the ever-changing clouds in the sky, remarking about their overwhelmingly sculptural appearance and fluid movement. Water has been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, I have just exhibited a Solarplate print called  “rushing waters’, at New York Studio School Gallery in August. After that I was inspired to do more work about “water” , using the technique of  Solarplate printing. 
 While driving through NY state this summer, I spent lots of time just looking and taking letting clouds become my focus! It dawned on me that they are “just” water, too. They are cycling water up to the sky, shading the earth from the heat of the sun, and raining back down to water the earth.

Why I feel so inspired by clouds…
They can look so delicate and ethereal and yet, may times colossal and ponderous. Always beautiful. Endlessly changing. sometimes threatening.

Clouds give our imaginations room to wander. We can even fly through them, although they look like you can walk ON them. And they are vital to our existence because they are beautiful and they bring water to us!           
                       beth vendryes williams


What am I doing about it….
I am making art and collecting ideas about water in its different forms. I am playing with its connections with our very own earth and the people on it, celebrating and investigating our connections, in my work.  

Follow my clouds on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

How to develop creative momentum, with focus and passion_

 "swimming underwater"   by beth vendryes williams      watercolor, mylar,            private collection

"swimming underwater"   by beth vendryes williams      watercolor, mylar,            private collection

When I was in my beloved high school, I was disappointed that I didn’t receive the senior art award. So, when I saw my esteemed art teacher getting into the faculty elevator, I asked to accompany her to the next floor, so I could ask her privately, why I did not get it. She calmly responded that she didn’t think I wanted it badly enough and she felt I wasn’t persistent enough to commit to my art. 
After tearfully absorbing this honest observation from Sr.Stephanie, I reflected on her words and realized that she was not trying to be mean, just honest and wise.

I reasoned that belief in myself was something I could change.! I made the decision to pursue my dream.

I use to envision being ambitious as pushing ahead relentlessly and selfishly, pushing everyone and everything out of my way. So I was at odds with myself when I tried to pursue my work since I didn't want making art to be a selfish practice._This has changed!

_Now I interpret "ambitious" as consistently developing and sharing my dreams and gifts as I live fully in relation to my interior values, relationships and world view._

_In my art career, I have been most inspired to grow when I integrate the different areas of my life, so that work in one area is supportive of another. For instance, my habits of yoga, dance and walking and healthy eating can positively affect my energy level, and the quality and possibilities of my work.

 Nurturing relationships is intrinsic to my work. I learn a lot  from listening to creative endeavors and also explain my own, to those who ask. The dialogue, inevitably brings new perspectives to both of us. Reading what I love and learning new things supports my ability to have new ideas.

 When I align my spiritual values with my creative process my work then radiates transparency and integrity._Art initiates philosophical discussions that embrace many areas of knowledge. _
 Last year, when I had to relocate my sketchbook /journals, I estimated there were about 30. No way! I found 130 journals! I am now using them as primary source material and referencing them in my work. That is quite an affirmation of consistent habits and working with integrity. This year, in my Open Studio, I had much more work than I could show. Then, in the early morning hours of the Open Studio event, I was accepted into a juried show in NYC. and an opportunity for my work to be part of an international auction! It seems like a combination of perseverance and patience is fertile ground for my art/ Now it is giving momentum to my career.

__When I was younger I didn't realize the importance of seeing  my life experiences as a connected in one wholistic perspective. Now I do._
 I understand that the process of creating and sharing as essential to being. I look at creative process as my gift to develop, fully incorporating my deepest longings and spirit 

Just this past week, I am thrilled to find my paintings and comments featured in an article on “Ambition” this month in the 2017 October/November edition of Professional Artist Magazine. Pick up a copy on a magazine rack or here and let me know your thoughts!

Drive thru rambling days of summer with inner focus

Did you ever look forward to a relaxing summer


and all of a sudden, your days gathered speed, summer had ended and the chill air of autumn was at your door? Well, it just happened to me

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Exhibiting  at New York Studio School, was so awesome
 and the chosen piece was a solar plate print I made while at a workshop with Dan Welden ,who offered to work with me, as master printer on a series of pieces.

The Paddle 8 auction also features this print, through tomorrow
 as a result of the NYSS exhibit. In fact there are only two days left to place a bid. My exhibited print , called "rushing waters", (#3607.270440.1110044  for the auction)., is on through tomorrow, Friday, August 25th, and you may be lucky enough to start the bidding!

Working with Dan Welden was inspiring and productive! 
I now have three new solar prints in water series. Clouds have been inspiring me for years but in the past six months and I have been entranced by these weightless , constantly changing sky sculptures!  

Traveling a lot to the Niagara Falls area this summer
because of a wedding and adopting a little puppy, we have been. Thus I have naturally taken more photos and sketches of clouds and water. 

featured in Professional Artist Magazine October November Issue!
I just got a message from an artist friend, excitedly congratulating me for being one of the featured artists in an article about how ambition  can affect an artist and her work. I am so excited to share this with you! The featured watercolor  is owned by one of my collectors and the other is a drawing in my personal inventory collection!

A heartfelt thank you to all of you, my dear supporters, 
who answered my request for images of water, as I pursue my quest to work with water imagery as vapor (clouds and fog), liquid (falling, waves and still ) and solid.

What was an awesome moment of growth and or joy, in your summer? Your sharing helps to spark creative ideas for both of us!

I wonder what autumn will bring? 

The jubilant audacity of sun & water!

 Getting ready to print on the big press!&nbsp;

Getting ready to print on the big press! 

 So why am I celebrating sun and water? Why do I consider them bold?

When I first began printmaking and paper making, I worked in etching and stone lithography. The paper was environmentally sound, but the printmaking used toxic materials. The only way to make really fantastic prints was to use many hazardous materials,  I was unable to continue printmaking as it was.

 I am passionate about recycling

and using simple organic based cleaning products, I recycle overused clothing into cleaning cloths and use only cotton napkins. So I am always looking for ways to be more ecological about art supplies, without losing the quality. 

I took a workshop with artist and master printer, Dan Welden,

 who discovered the process of Solar Plate printing.  It is preposterous that such a simple humble combination of water and light could actually attempt to replace previous print mediums! Yet it does!

 I just had so much fun working freely

on the steel polymer coated plate.  When the print won a place in a juried show, I thought about creating a series using only sun and water for the print process, I am impressed by the simplicity of the water soluble, light sensitive ground that hardens by sunlight and even a controlled light box and etches with a small amount of water. I contacted Dan Welden who is also a Master printer for many artists. We are working to develop a portfolio of my prints in the solar plate process. To say I am thrilled is an understatement!                                                                                                                                                                      

  The series of hand pulled prints will be about our most precious water.


I will be spending two days drawing & painting on the plate, etching it with 'sun and water", then printing them with Dan. I will have some updates and photos, next week when I publish my next post, documenting the process to share with you! I can't wait!

To keep up with my progress, Subscribe below. I will be documenting the process to share with you.Questions,? Thoughts, ideas, Oh, I do love to hear them all and will get back to you!! Meanwhile, take a look at  the beginning of my water observations on Instagram. It is is exhilarating!Do you have any stories about the role of water in your life?

Transform hope into substance. Seize the day!

 rushing waters &nbsp; 30" x 22" solarplate print &nbsp;is featured in NYSS exhibit and in the Paddle 8 auction!

rushing waters   30" x 22" solarplate print  is featured in NYSS exhibit and in the Paddle 8 auction!

  Sometimes, all it takes is being persistent and pushing forward with your passion.

Believe in yourself and go forward, one step at a time, embracing the process! I am sharing this with you, my friend, because it happens to me.I made a decision this spring, to take definitive, concrete actions on opportunities to share my art!

 If not now, when?

So I decided to enter a juried Alumni show at New York Studio School... and got accepted. The opening reception happened on July 27th, revealing an astounding amount of outstanding and earnest work. The artists, teachers and art lovers were heard in animated conversations, discussing work with each other and with interested bystanders. The three rooms were crowded and warm, but energetic and lively!

If you can go to the NYSS to see the exhibit, you will see diversity and energy that is rare. The work is up until August 27th.

 Oh, and if you would like to participate in the auction,

many works will be featured on Paddle 8, the international auction house, beginning on August 11th. Thirty percent of the final bid price will go to support NYSS! 

Your time will be well spent, and you just might discover some work you never imagined before!

 Seize the day, bringing that energy to your life and your goals.  whatever they may be.

And while you are seizing the day, subscribe to my blog to let me know of your creative ideas. Keep up with my progress as I put one foot in front of the other and continue to strive.We can support each other in this.

 How to accelerate creative growth - design self residency?

 by the brook &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;by beth vendryes williams

by the brook        by beth vendryes williams

Are there times in your life or creative practice, when you find yourself at a loss for original ideas or problem-solving? Do you have trouble staying focused? Are you tired of your routine?

That happened to me just recently, and I knew I needed a change in environment to help me come up with both fresh ideas and renewed focus on my goals for creating. Before I had the flexibility of working for myself, painting full time, I had to finda  portable studio]that I could fit in my pocket book.I began by buying a large pocket book, portable water brush, watercolor sticks, and pencils a paper towel and my favorite, pen. As a working parent of young children, I was always in new environments, drawing everywhere I went in my portable studio.

 Now, though, It seems that I need to get out of my own studio and work n a different environment occasionally. So I began to look for residencies to apply for in the future. Hmmm, I knew I needed the opportunity to change my environment and thus my perception, but more quickly than I could get a residency. !

Just in time, an opportunity presented itself. A friend offered me the opportunity to stay in a beautiful studio, while he was gone on business, in which I could work uninterrupted, indoors and out for 5 days! Thus began the idea of creating my own residency! 

So if you check my Instagram you can see my daily work and all of it at the end! Very affirming! 

What did I learn from this?

1. Pay attention your instincts. Just like water keeps your body and spirit in great shape, so too does changing your environment satisfy your need to new ways of seeing things.
2. Use the time as a retreat, scheduling social connections on and offline when desired
3. Plan a general goal and give yourself room to follow your inspiration. I did a lot of journal work and fewer paintings inspired by the journals. Now I have new inspiration embedded my journals.
4. If you are a visual artist, choose mediums appropriate to the setting, especially in terms of ease of clean up and the available space.
5. Organize necessary supplies before you go, separated for quick availability and ease of use.
6.  Take your iPhone for camera and documentation on social media to share with your fans.
7.  Bring any inspirational reading and be present for contemplation and spiritual listening.
8.  Do not judge, just make your marks.
9. Reflect on it all when you get home.
10. Build and expand from what you created in your residency.

Well, I’d better get on to my studio and work on step 10! Email, text or contact me on this website to give your ideas, suggestions, and response to my work or my post! make sure you are subscribed so you know what I am up to! You will get a newsletter with links to my weekly posts, 1x a month!

Live life fully!


How changing methods can energize your vision & focus

 Dan Welden teaching in Far Rockaway at Rockaway Artist's Alliance.(RAA).

Dan Welden teaching in Far Rockaway at Rockaway Artist's Alliance.(RAA).

 I found out about his workshop by accident, when I mentioned his name to a new acquaintance, Valerie Zeman, at an art opening. 

“Dan Welden?”, She confirmed, Oh, I know of him! He is giving a solar print workshop in Far Rockaway!” Well, I immediately emailed them because I had worked with Dan, then a stone lithographer, years ago. 

I went to the workshop on solar printing, just taking a risk that it would be an ecological approach to making prints. That has been part of the reason I have stayed away from making prints for years. I played and came up with a very strong image, etched by the sun in its solar sensitive coating.  The print was incredible, eventually being accepted into the NYSS Alumni Invitational!  There is an opening Thursday from 6-8 pm. I will be there, excited to see it and all of the work by NYSS alumni artists! 

Now I am thinking of doing a series of solar prints, working with Dan Welden. So this new body of work is on my mind as I prepare for the show and process the work I did on my self-designed residency. 

Thank you to all who participated in my open studio and viewed work in my studio, my home or at the delicious Autentico Restaurant! I f you are interested in the process, the exhibit or any of the work contact me and certainly subscribe, below!

How to create, observe and transform art / life

eat your greens

 Why do I have an open studio each year? 

organize and work regularly

Ooh boy! I wondered if I would get the place cleaned up in time for you. Sometimes I do too much at once, or I don’t put things back where they belong! Recognizing this reminds me to save time and find tools and paints faster. A habit of maintaining a system of organizing and working allows me to share it with you!

observe and reflect

Seeing the work up and surrounding me, allows a chance for both of us to observe and reflect on what I have done. Many times, the simplest thing takes on much more status when I see it in the context of all of my recent work! I wonder if that happens to you also?

assess  & choose

The act of choosing what to leave in and what to withdraw is informative in itself. Making choices is part of creating. So pay attention to each piece; view it on its unique terms. Assess if you feel it adds to the overall strength of the whole exhibit.

ask for & accept help

Ask for and accept help from others. It takes a community to build a body of work.

invite & share

Invite people who care to see and talk about what you have done. Be inspired and informed by their insights. Share delicious bites of food, something refreshing to drink and great conversations.

feel & express gratefulness

Feel grateful for the privilege of having the ability to create work, show and sell it. Share your gratefulness with all who come or wish to come.

view from a new perspective

Take a step back to view the trajectory of where you are now and where you would like to go. 



begin work again, with new insights

Keep going in the direction of your freshly gained insights.

I’m on to something!  This list of how I transform my art by creating, then observing, could also be applied to the art of living! Thoughts?


Source: https://beth-vendryeswilliams-vexi.squares...

7 ways that journaling unlocks your heart to be creative

  rushing through, time travel &nbsp; &nbsp;

rushing through, time travel    


As I journey through life, maintaining creative flexibility,

I have found that most of the time, things don’t go the way you think they will. So when I earned my masters in drawing/printmaking from the University of Iowa, I was ready to begin creating full time and selling my work! Of course life intervenes and, shortly after graduating, my husband and I were privileged to have three sons, each 2-3 years apart.

journaling can weave creativity into daily life.

I decided to use my creative impulse to transform my rather large pocket book and uneven segments of time into a portable studio. I just kept writing, drawing and collecting the morsels of everyday life.( Link to Journal post fro October 30, 2016.)

1. Reflecting on these journals has been an unexpected gift, revealing my life from a intimate perspective, giving me an opportunity for reflection. This gives a bird’s eye view of the current map of my life. 
2. Memories come welling up in my heart, as I page through, nudging the past back into consciousness.
3. Details that I had forgotten are right there in my drawings and writing.
4.  Drawings and poems about  events and thoughts, that were forgotten in the midst of everyday activities are reclaimed.
5. There is affirmation of the joy and recognition of the sorrows of my life. 
6. I have an Opportunity to make a future based on recovering where I have been. 
7. Material is at my fingertips, for both writing and painting with historical and creative primary source materials: my own journals.

Now when I am working, and I want some inspiration, I include my personal journals among the literary and artistic inspirations available to me.

How to find the time? 

This is how I did it. I made a minimal packet in a small zip lock bag with a refillable ink pen, a pencil, eraser and sharpener, a plastic water-brush and a Moleskine journal, with sturdy paper that could take take light watercolor washes. As my bag and time allowed I added watercolor crayons, regular crayons, oil pastels and a portable box of watercolors. For a long vacation when I knew there would be a lot of relaxed time, I added larger paper and brushes, along with a lightweight coated masonite board on which to fasten  precut/ torn paper.

What do I do with journals when they are filled?

As each journal neared the end, I placed on a shelf, High up in my studio area. Last year when we were renovating our home, I Had to clear off my journal shelf of what i surmised, was 10 journals. Surprise, I had 130 journals. I had never counted them and barely had the time to review them through the years.

Like a garden, I have reaped a harvest that is constantly providing nourishment that is based on my life and the memories and images I have collected.

But it’s not the only way….

My gift to you is the story of how it happened. I would love to hear you own way of reflection on your life that has helped you to grow creatively, in whatever medium you work! Is your art, raising children, making healthy desserts, finding balance, managing money, training animals, making music, doing massage, teaching yoga, being a lawyer, keeping a beautiful home?
I am very excited to hear your story!

Impact Of The Whitney Biennial Is The Truths It Reveals

 Artist Coleen Smith

Artist Coleen Smith

Have you had trouble prying your eyes from the latest tweet or news report, lately?

Imagine rooms full of sculptures made from found objects. Colorful, boisterous paintings. Large. Each body of work was dealing with recent worldwide political issues, refugees, oppressive governments. Some work played with the idea that in some ways we are oblivious to the changes going on around us.  I read about how the curators were chosen. As it was their first-time biennial experience and I love how they sifted through 100’s of artists to get to the 63 artist’s and collectives gathered together on the 5th and 6th floors of the museum. Additional work is placed in surprising places throughout the building.  

It is not like going to a  “regular” art museum or art fair. It is, at first, more like a discovery of how, this year, artists have been affected by the socio-political climate, and injustice.  After investigating some of the work, I was reminded of how much the current state of the world has sharpened my focus.

So do go there. 
See and walk amongst this curated world in which artists have responded to, and found respite in drawing and painting their response to the world of the past year. Eventually, you will find the “forest”, when you are halfway through. This exhibit does give me hope. 

caveat:  I did not participate in the virtual reality  exhibit. Topic: violence.

When windblown curtains provide refuge

In the middle of the night, I awoke to the cool breeze sailing through a slightly open window. The breath of the wind carried a sense of excitement by sailing on the curtains. 

It was a quiet but streaming energy that entered our room. I felt the freedom in the air and allowed any weight accumulated from worries of the day, to dissipate.

The translucent white cotton curtains wafted and softly draped, creating a feeling of safe refuge in my soul. 

Then I took a photo with my iPad, in an attempt to capture that moment in time, when I felt energy give me refuge from the remnants of the day. 


Simplify a moment to capture its essence

 sketch for finding refuge &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; ©beth vendryes williams

sketch for finding refuge               ©beth vendryes williams

At the beginning of his career, while a practicing artist, Berger drew his father in his coffin, he realized that, associated with each drawn line, he was also notating time with his pencil marks.

Drawing is a way to abstract or simplify an image to reveal its essence. When you draw, it can make time visible, revealing moments in your memory. Of course, drawing is always from memory because you need to remember what you see to draw it. Your hand is responding to how the head and heart interpret what the eye sees.

John Berger, who wrote the influential book “Ways of Seeing” died on January 2nd this year. He was an English art critic, novelist, painter, and poet. 
At the beginning of his career, while a practicing artist, Berger drew his father in his coffin, he realized that, associated with each drawn line, he was also notating time with his pencil marks.

  “each successive line on the page carries with it, its moment in time. A drawing is a summary of the acts of looking, and being with your subject. For Berger, the portrait offered “a door through which moments of a life” — his father’s — “could enter.” 

                                                                               beautifully written by Elisa Wouk Almino @

Think about that. Each mark can be a visceral,, visual response to what you see, remember and feel over time!   Making marks can communicate in a language that is universal.

Try it yourself. All it takes is a pencil and paper. You also need a nonjudgemental mind. Just rmake the marks.

Leave a comment on here or instagram , facebook, twitter below! Very exciting!