Lisa M Kirk
Artist and Facilitator

Love Letters to Creative Souls

"Between Two Worlds", (the painting to your left) aptly titled by the dear soul who is purchasing this. Interestingly enough, I began this piece at my art retreat and was the first piece I finished when I returned home. it is exactly how I am feeling as I sit writing this to you...

This past August, I had a transformative experience. I took a week long art retreat with Jeanne Bessette at Pearson College, 45 min outside of Victoria on Vancouver Island. The retreat began the day after my 57th birthday, and it was the best birthday present to myself, ever.

Because I am often asking those in my classes to challenge themselves beyond their comfort zones, (and this can sometimes look like just signing up to come to a new art class), I chose to walk my talk…and do just that.

Suffice to say, because I felt so terrified to do this, I knew I was on the right track. Or as the Wise Fabeku Fatunmise has so recently taught me, that was just my smallness speaking by telling me I was afraid. There were days, weeks actually, before I finally committed, that it took everything to not listen to the smallness trying to talk me out of it. But I am tired of fear and smallness running the show.

The retreat did not disappoint. And neither did my Bigness. Once there, I jumped in with everything I had, and it was lovely for me to experience what I hope I offer to my own participants…holding space for the unfolding of the creative process.

For a week, I felt held in a creative space from morning to night, where I could expand myself with other souls on the same path, and feel safe. I remembered what I discovered when I was 29yrs old and first unfolded the creative seed that had been buried in my soul for so long. That seed was waiting patiently to remind me I had come home to myself.

The week spent at the retreat, I wept many tears as I painted. Tears of joy rediscovering my true love and tears of sadness that I had still been holding back and not fully giving myself over to this love.

It has taken me a month to begin to integrate what happened and I am sure there is more yet to process. Many at the art retreat asked me about my tears, seeing me painting, dancing and weeping all at the same time, and then being held in Jeanne’s arms as I let it all wash over me.

Yes, I have been creating and painting all these years, but at this retreat there was a real affirmation, perhaps on a deeper level, another layer of trusting that said to me, “Yes, yes, this is what you are meant to do with your life… what have you been waiting for?”

The paintings that I created there were a series of heads that felt like my tribe, my advisors, that were showing themselves, whispering to me, sometimes shouting at me with their intensity and their presence. They certainly got my attention, and that of some other lovely souls who chose to take them home.

Jeanne and I chuckling (or was it snorting?!) with "WTF My Hut", my first head I created at the retreat!!!

I am very grateful to Jeanne for holding space for me to do this work. I am also thankful to the other beautiful artists that attended and opened their hearts and to Cheryl Bakke Martin, who organized bringing Jeanne to Vancouver Island from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Here are the "Painted Heart Sisters" all donning our moustaches (minus P.D. who was having a massage when this was taken!). Yes, we had a lot of laughs!!!

May you find the joy of coming home to yourself!

Big Hugs,