Art as Life: Tear a Page. Turn a Corner.

Inspiritus at Lourdes Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith

Ever find yourself heading in a particular direction only to hit so many speed bumps, detours, or cul-de-sacs along the way that you start to question whether you should proceed? Maybe you can recall more than one “where is that road again” trip. Perhaps you are in the middle of one right now. Or, maybe there is one right around the corner waiting for you. (You do know you are not reading this by chance, right?)

Well, get comfy. While you ponder that, I will tell you a short story about Inspiritus. Why? Because, whatever your journey, it is a story that points to a moment we share – that moment when we hear the whispers and feel the breath of the Divine moving through us.

Inspiritus Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith

Inspiritus Breath Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith

I was not in the neighborhood for inspiritus. I was aiming for a project that I hoped would address a livelihood concern. Inspiritus – the altered book pictured throughout this post – was a spirited calling on the carpet. It started with a phrase that kept Read more

Pin It

Writing Under Fire The Artist’s Way

Shameful Stories

Writing Under Fire

Writing under fire saves lives
when desperation overflows pretty journals
and sends pen in hand drawer-diving for a comp book
or some lone sheet of loose-leaf paper.

Even toilet paper writes well at midnight with its multi-tasking talent for
anger venting, tear catching, nose blowing, remorse flushing purges.

Dear God letters. Fill-in-the-blank-you-asshole letters.
Therapy work. Gasping for breath and rhythm work.
Dream logs. Synchronicity logs. Gratitude logs.
Spirit dialogs. Ego dialogs.
Alternate routes through heart and mind traffic jams.

When angst hits the wall grab a pen.
Hit the page. Save a life.
Make it yours.

Bernadette Rose Smith


Wish to amp up your life with creativity and delight in Divine Coincidence? Here’s 3 things to try. (Hey, they work for me!)


Thing 1: Morning Pages.

In the fall of ’93, my then-husband-now-friend gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Struggling with a loss of career direction, artist’s block and mild depression I couldn’t shake, I committed to reading the book and writing the morning pages that Julia prescribed.

Some might call it irony. I call it synchronicity – amplified by a Divine Purpose. Then-husband-now-friend gifted me with a book that introduced me to a process of writing my way through pretty much anything. Then he left and gifted me with an opportunity to practice that process in a way that I never could have imagined!

What are morning pages? In Julia’s words, Read more

Pin It

Angels Wings and Wrestling Mats

Two Wings to Fly. • Visual journal page by Bernadette Rose Smith

Whenever I find myself in a tug-of-war with a challenge, this bible story about Jacob on his way to Canaan comes to mind.

“And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.”

I am not a biblical scholar and am not going to venture into all the rich layers of metaphor I can relate to in this simple story, but I do know a lot about challenges and turning to Divine Guidance for help.

One of the places I wrestle with angels is in my journal. A lot of dialoging goes on in those pages. Blessing and blasting interchangeably linked. I was putting away some older journals recently, when Read more

Pin It

Choices: What we see in loving and leaving.

Messy Room Moving Box Puzzle

“I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that is has for me.” – A Course In Miracles: Lesson 2


Journal, April 17, 2012 A fitting lesson to dowse in the Course, as I look around me. From room to room, I see boxes stacked wherever there is a spare space. Some holding 36 years of marriage. Some holding the last 18 years of reconciliation.

I give them the meaning that they have. The objects inside are clueless to the purpose assigned to them. On a good day, they speak to relief and gratitude for the honesty expressed that made it necessary to pack them up. On a bad day, they speak to surprises and sideswipes. If I am the meaning-maker, which meaning shall I embrace today?

Yesterday, I made my first serious “pass” through the divorce papers while my husband packed up his “pieces” of the kitchen that was our kitchen – soon to be my kitchen. I am somewhat in awe as this process of acceptance and forgiveness unfolds. And I am grateful that I am journaling through this – writing under fire as it were – and know that I am benefiting exponentially.

Exponentially? Really? How do I know?

We are always choosing stories, are we not? Well then …
Read more

Pin It

Mermaid Nets and Viking Runes

I toss and turn all night, awash in a sea of aquamarine and green, streaked with silver phosphorescence, drifting through the velvet night from a necklace of meteors. I raft down a river of paint, but unlike Huck Finn, my oar is a paintbrush that struggles to free me from whirlpools of cerulean blue. Then day breaks, and I trudge through a black-and-white world in sensible shoes. – Loretta Benedetto Marvel, from Mermaid Nets and Other Twice-Told Tales


Loretta and I– along with some Vikings, a mermaid, a couple of muses and a curious kitty – shared coffee after I finished writing in my journal this morning.

As some of you know, 2011 is pushing me to return to a more active participation with my art – to get out of my head and off the pages with it. The past number of months I have been gathering myself and my ephemera and creating a place for it to happen.

I am going to attempt something a bit on the raw side with this post. (Hope I don’t lose you.) I don’t often share my morning writings “as is” in this blog but I feel a collaboration coming on with this Loretta who I have never met but whose story sliced into my artist’s heart with the precision of a surgeon. (I found Loretta in the back pages of a mixed-media magazine for artistic discovery. Cloth Paper Scissors, page 92 of the March/April issue to be exact.)

So, here’s the collaboration:
Pieces of my morning pages and Loretta’s story woven together to paint the experience of a Sunday musing. “J” is my journal. “LS” is Loretta’s story. (I hope Loretta and Cloth Paper Scissors will forgive my presumption to post my morning experience with them in this way before asking permission. And that they will be appeased with links and credits.) Read more

Pin It