make art. transform life.

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

Announcing: Uplifting Cloudscapes Right Here In Oyster Bay!

let the clouds in  953 Solarplate etching, 22’ x 30” beth vendryes williams

let the clouds in 953 Solarplate etching, 22’ x 30” beth vendryes williams

From now through December 15th, when you get your coffee/tea at Southdown, you can also gaze into the clouds!

It is there that Oyster Bay Gallery (at Southdown Coffee), just installed a delightful collection of seven Solarplate etchings that I created last year and printed with at the studio with Master Printer, Dan Welden and his assistant, Andrea Baatz.

Once there you have a unique opportunity to rediscover your imagination as the coffee rejuvenates you. If you prefer tea, try their delicious selection.

The clouds are etching prints made using water, sunshine and water-based ink, to be more environmentally sustainable.

Clouds never fail to fascinate! Seriously, they genuinely are magnificent ever-changing sculptures that appear as gifts for our imaginations and our water.

Speaking of gifts, being able to look at a cloud every day is an excellent gift to yourself or a loved one! A glance at it is as calming as a vacation, every day!

What can you see in the clouds? Tell me on Facebook and Instagram or in a comment below!

Four blank canvases evoke the heart to respond.

seeking refuge/ process sketches         watercolor & ink/ rag paper          beth vendryes williams

seeking refuge/ process sketches         watercolor & ink/ rag paper          beth vendryes williams

Where do I begin?


The sun gently awakens me this morning as I begin my work in earnest on compiling my solo exhibit! There will be an opening reception on September 23, 2018. The show will be a collection of work done in recent years. In my newest work I have chosen to deepen my exploration of the refuge theme and am using multiple mediums in the development of this series.


I began by looking at four blank canvases I have in my studio. My head, heart, and hands were in agreement.

I realized I needed to work larger than before and change the medium. I decided to use oil paint for its gestural possibilities, rich depth of color and sensuous qualities.


Seeking Refuge is what I am calling the exhibit, and it operates on a couple of levels.

The current work underway references the 65 million people worldwide fleeing their homes in the world today, trying to find a place where they can live safely.

All of my art references the personal refuge that the process of creating brings to me.


I just want to begin to share my process with you, as I struggle through the daily work of pulling the ideas and images together. It is soul searching and sometimes difficult to see the next step.


I find your support invaluable. Walk with me if you dare, and follow my progress as the series takes form.

Notebook - 20150819_170041 - 60.jpg

 How to accelerate creative growth - design self residency?

by the brook        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!


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. 


Where do you find your refuge?

Robert H. Truman State Park 116.jpg

I am SO looking so forward to my open studio this weekend!
The studio is scrubbed clean and with a fresh coat of primer, courtesy of Ross and Allen. 

I am asking for your help in expanding my perspective for “seeking refuge” project. My research, defining refuge and where and why we seek it, has allowed me to explore my own need for safety and freedom. You could help me by sharing your succinct thoughts and related images/photos:

What, who or where you go to to feel safe? A place, person object or some combination? 
Is there a cup of tea that you always sit down with or a place in your garden? Or is it a person who always seems to know how to listen? 

I will collect all of your responses and choose some to explore further in my work. I plan on having an exhibit on the topic. 
Please respond tagged with #findingmyrefuge in the  comment section, instagram, twitter, facebook or my email using the #findingmyrefuge tag so I can collect them all to reflect on and share. You can certainly  post comments on the wall at my open house!
Thank you for your help! I hope to see you this weekend!

Awesome! Procrastination nurtures creative thinking?

swaddling               # 0918                     interior              refuge          beth vendryes williams

swaddling               # 0918                     interior              refuge          beth vendryes williams

I got so excited when I read this headline and even mOre so while watching this TED video!  Oh my gosh, this is a natural for me!  My husband is a precrastinator, and yes, that is a word that means “the tendency to complete, or at least begin, tasks as soon as possible” from [science of us magazine]!

There is one caveat, though, that you ned to be careful of. Too much of it and the creative advantage disappears. Watch this to find out how and why being “late to the party” can allow you to be more creative. Why allowing yourself to doubt and feel fear can fuel your creative juices. How to increase your creative ideas even more! 

So stop apologizing and start allowing yourself the privilege of putting decisions “on the back burner”. 

Oh, and let me know if and how this works for you in comments or on social media!
One thing to do to learn more about being more creative is to sign up for my monthly newsletter which also includes links to my blog posts written weekly. Don’t miss another one!