Friday, March 28, 2014

P.C. Turczyn Explains Her Healing Art

How My Healing Art Exploration Began
By P.C. Turczyn

All artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

Healing itself is a subject that fascinates me, both as a patient and as a practitioner. Being sensitive enough to feel vibrational nuance seems to come along with physical challenges that are best addressed by energy medicine, such as acupuncture or homeopathy. I have studied various healing modalities, including Reiki, both as a way to care for others and for myself.

"Re-attune With Life" demonstrates the healing of inflammation by replacing negative beliefs with positive ones.
Gouache on paper, 11.5" x 11.5".
On New Year’s Day, 2007, I had what felt like a creative breakthrough when the idea came to combine my artistic and healing endeavors into one practice. I began research by working with other artists and healers.

My client would state her intention for the healing process. After an incubation period, I would have a vision of how her energy would flow once her healing intention was actualized and I would do a painting of that vision. We would then get together for an activation ritual involving movement, sound, transformational exercises and a meditation with the painting done while practicing moving energy in the new way. The painting acted as a map or mirror of the corrected energy flow and could be used interactively for as far into the future as needed or desired.

"Infinite Life" explores the life force within and without; past, present and future.
Digital print from 24" x 24" gouache on paper original.
Working one on one was rewarding, but I asked myself, “How can my work benefit the greatest number of people?” and “How can (exactly) can visual art support the healing process?” It was clear that, in order to share the work widely, it had to be easily reproduced, both online and in print.

Building on themes I had previously explored, I began creating mandalas that both contain and convey the energy signatures of qualities essential to wellbeing: hope, health and compassion, among others. The circular, mandalic format represents integrity, interconnection and perfection. Because initial Evidence Based Design research indicates that nature motifs have the greatest benefit for hospital patients, I focus on images of flowers and other plants. Sacred Geometry overlays reveal the order and balance found in nature, a source of comfort and inspiration.

View from P.C. Turczyn's studio near Woodstock, NY. 
Then came testing of the efficacy of the artwork: The Reiki Digest sponsored a focus group of Reiki practitioners who worked with my Reiki mandala and then answered survey questions about their experience. 92% of respondents felt simply hanging the mandala in their treatment rooms would provide a supportive atmosphere. Most felt working with the mandala enhanced their practice and instilled a calm, peaceful feeling.

“Infinite Surrender” by P.C.Turczyn. Sold as museum quality prints in three sizes.
“Infinite Surrender” was presented at a sound healing retreat by Lisa Miles Jackson, RN, CHHC, CYT. A survey taken by the participants, who included physicians, healers and health counselors, revealed a unanimously positive response; all felt the mandala enhanced their meditation. In this and a subsequent survey, taken at the Omega Institute, participants reported reduced pain, increased relaxation and a sense of connection.

Visit P.C. Turczyn's website

Visit P.C. Turczyn's blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Aletta de Wal - Artist, Educator and Entrepreneur

Shared by Renée Phillips

Aletta de Wal is an author, artist advisor, and certified visual arts coach. If you are an artist you probably own her e-books and have taken her online programs and consultations. Through Artist Career Training (A.C.T.), she offers a full curriculum of programs teaching artists at all career stages how to make a better living making art with and without gallery representation, in any economy.

"Our mission is to help artists make a better living making art – and still have a life," she states. Since 1996, more than 4,000 artists have participated in the A.C.T. membership and mastermind programs. De Wal has worked with another 400 artists individually "to create career pathways suited to their available time, money and energy."

The multi-talented entrepreneur draws from a vast well of knowledge and experience that makes her an ideal person to guide artists. "I am equal parts artist, educator and entrepreneur, so I have direct experience of what you have to deal with to make it in the art world in any economy. "

Aletta de Wal Offers A Consultation Award in Manhattan Arts International "Celebrate The Healing Power of Art"

We are delighted that Aletta de Wal has offered to give an award to a deserving artist in the Manhattan Arts International "Celebrate The Healing Power of Art" 2014 juried competition. This special award  includes a 45-minute telephone consultation to an artist, "whose work is a way of supporting personal healing from a health condition or injury."

Healing through art is very important to de Wal who also contributed a chapter "Art Heals" for the book "Courageous Stories of Inspiration". It is about her own healing process after suffering from two strokes.

"Art Became Part of My Healing"

For Aletta de Wal art was not always her chosen career path. She explains, "My art crashed in 4th grade when I collided with a teacher who said I was drawing my favorite tree 'the wrong way.' It put my imagination on hold. After that, for many years, my only art was paint by numbers so I could be sure to 'get it right.'"

She tells us how she decided to do the 'sensible' thing. She focused on her education and built a successful career in banking where she was in charge of training for 30,00 employees worldwide.

"Then, just before I turned 40, I had two strokes. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, my daily job was learning to walk and talk again."

De Wal emphasizes, "Art became part of my healing. As my creative talents returned, I resolved to make art the core of my life, instead of a sideline. During the day, I coached executives to be more creative. Nights and weekends, I made art, taught art workshops and sold my own art and the work of other artists."

She states, "I make art to step out of 'clock time'. My work is all about the patterns and relationships that I see in nature and the human experience. "

How does Aletta de Wal feel about her multi-faceted career now? She affirms, "I have NO DOUBT that I am now doing what I was meant to do -- helping artists turn their talents into a business that is sustainable and earns them a long term, healthy income."

Learn more about Aletta de Wal and Artist Career Training

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Book About Art and Healing

"Healing With The Arts" by Mary Rockwood, Lane, PhD and Michael Samuels, MD

As a reader of this blog, you are likely to be interested in the subject of the healing power of art. Whether you are an artist, healing practitioner, activist or advocate, an organization leader or a community member, or an individual in the pursuit of positive change we speak the same language. (Read What We Believe About The Healing Power of Art).

There is a book you may want to consider reading. The title is Healing With The Arts and I discovered it while visiting the website with the same name: On the website I found a plethora of art and healing information via its blog, gallery, community and much more.

The book Healing With The Arts provides a 12 week comprehensive and holistic program aimed at helping readers implement "a long-lasting methodology that directly applies to life and healing".

Simply stated, the authors Mary Rockwood Lane, PhD, and Michael Samuels, MD use the various arts disciplines -- that include visual arts, dance, writing, and music -- with spiritual practices and guided imagery to heal varying ailments to improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

I am in the process of reading the book and wanted to share this information with you without any further delay. Having been published in November, 2013, it is a relatively new book.

When I opened the book it the first page of the Introduction, I knew I was connecting to like-minded individuals when I read this truth: "The basic premise of using art to heal is simple: each of us has a inner artist and an inner healer."

The authors continue to explain: "The first goal of this twelve-week program is to help you marry your inner artist with your inner healer to change your body's physiology through the creative process, thereby optimizing healing and renewal."

The book delivers by offering a myriad of many proven step-by-step practices and exercises that have been successful in the medical community.

If you are already involved in the art and healing field it you may find some of the tips and suggestions that are familiar to your teachings. However, the 216 page book provides many additional inspirational and profound stories about individuals who have experienced healing transformation. I'm sure you will be pleased to discover many stories to relate to as well as new perspectives and insight.

About The Authors

Lane and Samuels are extremely well qualified as the book's authors. They are internationally known leaders in the Arts in Medicine movement.

As a professor, painter, and nurse, Dr. Lane experienced this form of healing firsthand as she painted herself out of a severe depression. She is currently Assistant Professor of Nursing at University of Florida where she teaches creativity and spirituality in healthcare.

Dr. Samuel is the founder and director of Arts as a Healing Force center devoted to artistic healing. He is the author of 19 books including bestsellers The Well Body Book and The Well Baby Book.

Tremendous Value

The book Healing With The Arts is available for only $14.40 and it offers tremendous value beyond the cost. You will want to take your time savoring each chapter, following the suggestions and guided imagery. You will want to cherish it and share it with your loved ones, friends, clients, and patients.

For more information about the book visit the publishing company Beyond Words Publishing

Also visit the Healing With The Arts website

You may also be interesting in learning about Manhattan Arts International's Celebrate The Healing Power of Art 2014 call for artists: 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Arts & Healing Network Calls for Nominations

2014 AHN Awards for Community-Based Healing Artists 

The Arts & Healing Network was created in 1997 as an online resource for anyone interested in the healing potential of art.

In 2014, the Arts & Healing Network will offer 1-4 AHN Awards to artists who are doing community-based art and healing work.

Each recipient of an AHN Award will receive a one-time monetary gift of $5000, as well as being featured on its web site. 

According to the recent press release from the Arts & Healing Network, "With this award, we are honoring artists who have used their creativity as a catalyst for healing in a community setting. The nominated artist's work should interact or dialogue with a specific community (i.e. group of people), as a means to generate healing and/or positive change.

We are interested in all forms of art and healing including environmental art, activist art, art that builds community, art in healthcare settings, etc. All creative media qualify - visual art, dance, music, writing, installation work, etc."

This is an international award. The Arts & Healing Nework explains, "We are especially interested in artists whose work is innovative and deeply inspiring. Nominees must have a web site that clearly explains their art and healing work."

To nominate yourself or another artist, you are requested to complete an online form by April 15, 2014.

To learn more about the AHN Award Program and view examples of past awardees, visit

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rad Art: A Journey Through Radiation Treatment

A Book of Art and Healing by Sally Loughridge

Sally Loughridge ( is a visual artist, breast cancer survivor, and retired clinical psychologist. When she had breast cancer in 2010, she explains, "Painting helped me endure and heal emotionally. During the time between my diagnosis and the start of radiation, I experienced a rush of powerful emotions, which I could not always name."

The artist created a series of 33 daily oil paintings, 5" x 7" each, for every day during radiation therapy. They are all featured in her book "Rad Art: A Journey Through Radiation Treatment" which has been published by the American Cancer Society.

She states, "The paintings and corresponding words that make up the book are a visceral record of a private, lived experience."

Sally Loughridge, Rad Art, "Scat!", Day 5 of treatment, oil on panel, 5" x 7". Artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

Loughridge offers tremendous insight into her healing process. "By creating a small painting every day after my treatment, I hoped I would find solace, distraction, and release. Each five-by-seven-inch spontaneous painting was made in twenty minutes or less. I did not want to think too much. The paintings themselves were not intended to be art per se; rather, the process of creating them was the critical element in my coping strategy."

She describes her coping strategy: 1) go to the radiation session 2) once home, make a painting in 15 – 20 minutes max 3) looking at the fresh painting, write about it/my feelings 4) create a title for the painting and then 5) go on with my day – hopefully more centered and refreshed!"

The goal of her painting process was to better express, understand and steady herself during a tumultuous and unexpected journey. Now her "Rad Art" is available to help others touched by cancer – to encourage expression and exploration of their feelings, particularly those for which they cannot find words.

"Rad Art: A Journey Through Radiation Treatment" can help a patient realize the normalcy of having intense, unfamiliar emotions during a life threatening event and serve as a template for sharing. It can help those supporting or treating a survivor recognize the complexity, strength, and fluidity of emotions stirred by an encounter with cancer.

This book is available through many distributors online including, and

To see a podcast interviewing Sally Loughridge about her book visit

Sally Loughridge's One-Person Exhibition

Sally Loughridge, Sea Gold on Lobster Cove, soft pastel on panel, 24" x 36” This painting will be featured in her upcoming exhibition. Artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

“Earth Sea Sky – Comfort and Joy” is Sally Loughridge's one-person exhibition being held at Maine Medical Center, Portland Maine, from February 24 - June 12, 2014.

For more information visit Sally Loughridge's website (

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Inspirational Art and Quotations

I am pleased to feature a few more of the winners from the Manhattan Arts International online "SMALL ART - BIG IMPACT" juried exhibition. I selected the accompanying quotations that I felt conveyed the nature of the art work.

SMALL ART - BIG IMPACT runs through February 18, 2014. Please view it at

Arthur Jacob 

Sunrise digital art, 14" x 11"

There was never a night or a problem
that could defeat sunrise or hope. 
~ Bernard Williams 

Janet Glatz 

Circle of Life, acrylic on canvas 11" x 14" x 2"

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all 
living things, man will not himself find peace.
~ Albert Schweitzer 

Bernice Greenberg

Glory Morning digital print, 11" x 14"

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege 
it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
~ Marcus Aurelius 

SMALL ART - BIG IMPACT runs through February 18, 2014. Please view it at

Monday, January 13, 2014

Selected Winners from "Small Art - Big Impact" Exhibition

Be Prepared to Be Inspired!

I am pleased to feature a few of the winners from this international competition with some inspirational quotations that complement their artwork.

This Manhattan Arts International juried exhibition "SMALL ART - BIG IMPACT"  features 60 artists from around the world. It runs through February 18, 2014. Please view it at

Carl Gethmann 

Autumn Mosaic, digital painting on aluminum panel, 16" x 10.65"

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Kusum Vij 

Night Forest, acrylic on canvas, 12" x 12"

Green is the prime color of the world,
and that from which its loveliness arises.
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Tatiana Roulin 

Forest Road, soft pastel on UART paper, 12" x 9"

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead
where there is no path and leave a trail. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jami Taback 

New York Harbor, digital ink transfer, 8" x 11"

Look deep into nature, and then
you will understand everything better.
~ Albert Einstein

Please view this online exhibition at

Friday, January 10, 2014

Inspiration from "Small Art - Big Impact" Exhibition

December 18, 2013 - February 18, 2014, an online exhibition that was juried by James Bacchi, gallery owner; Edward Rubin, NY based arts writer; and Renée Phillips, Director of Manhattan Arts International. You can view this exhibition at

Statement from Renée Phillips
For me, the jurying process for SMALL ART ~ BIG IMPACT brought many rewards beyond my expectations. This competition attracted excellent artists from the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Turkey, and Japan. It was a pleasure and a challenge to narrow down the choices to only 60 artists. I estimate that I spent more than 120 hours on this wonderful project. I hope you enjoy this exhibition as much as we did curating it for you.

I was very impressed by the diversity of styles and mediums created by artists to create engaging and powerful pieces. 

Here are a few of the winners with excerpts from their Artist's Statements as found on their websites.

Artwork is copyright protected by the artists. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artists' permission.  

Kristine Mays

Some Like it Hot, wire sculpture, 15" x 7"x 3"

"My artwork is about time, memory, and the emotions that are stirred when we pause and reflect. The work points to the soul and spirit, transporting the viewer into another place." ~ Kristine Mays

Sang Hyun Chung

Sang Hyun Chung Seahorse and the Star, Asian watercolor on paper, 10" x 10".

"The animals in my artwork are represented as self-portraits of human beings and embody the existence of human beings rather than the objects of aesthetic contemplations." ~ Hyung Chung

Arleen Joseph

Beneath the Surface, oil and encaustic on wood, 12" x 12"

"In my landscapes I paint to create a place where I want to be: An escape to serenity, peace, and tranquility, a contrast from my life in New York City. All my paintings are done from memories inspired by my travels." ~ Arleen Joseph

Fernando Reyes

A Gesture I, oil on panel, 16" x 16"

"The human figure is central in much of my art. I’ve felt compelled to draw human figure for about as long as I can remember. As I came of age I came to see particular beauty in the strength and sensuality of the human form." ~ Fernando Reyes

Gail Postal  
Icon I, graphite, oil paint and Swarovski crystals, 12" x 12"

"I have two major influences on my work – old hand tinted black and white Japanese photographs and Russian Orthodox icons. I do a graphite drawing and then add gold paint and many layers of transparent oil or acrylic paint to create an icon of a contemporary saint." ~ Gail Postal

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Creating Art With Vision, Passion and Purpose

Artists Who Inspire Us

We are all born with the desire to fully express ourselves whether it be through any form of art, science, service, education or in any other way that is pure and authentic to us and only us.

As an artist advocate and promoter, writer and career coach, I am most attracted to artists who embody a unique vision, follow that vision with passion and determination, and realize their life and talents have meaning and purpose. When one brings vision, passion and purpose into fruition life is an awesome journey of a series of miracles.

I am delighted to share a few of these admirable artists with you and their inspirational quotations. I hope they help to guide you on your own path of self-discovery.

Artwork is copyright protected by the artists. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artists' permission.

Joanne Turney

Joanne Turney, Untitled, acrylic and mixed media on paper, 6" x 4".
“I approach my art with feelings of reverence and gratitude, since it is art that provides me with the gift and opportunity to explore the mysteries of life."

Teri Leigh Teed

Teri Leigh Teed, Foggy Winter Day, photograph

“Sometimes the seemingly ordinary, seen in detail or in a different light, can open us to the possibilities that surround us. We need only open our hearts and minds, and our eyes will find them.” 

John Anderson, Sweeping Wave, digital art

"Abstraction is a way of making the invisible visible, inviting viewers into an engagement with emotions that open new dimensions of mystery and consciousness."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Expressing Our Gratitude To You

Inspirational Quotes and Artwork by A Few Manhattan Arts International Members

You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. ~Kahlil Gibran

John Anderson, Dove Ascending, digital art.

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Aesop

Bren Sibilsky, Aphrodite, clay for bronze 67" x 24" x 20".

"One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." Carl Jung 

Atom, Breaking Free, oil on canvas, 60" x 88". www.artbyatomcom

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Allison Coelho Picone, On Your Shoulders, mixed media on canvas, 24” x 18".

For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Elaine Franz Witten, Extended Bow, bronze on black Vermont granite, 20" × 13" × 6".

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation." Brian Tracy 

Kimberly Forness Wilson, Poppy Orchard, watercolor and goauche, 21-1/2" x 18".

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher  

Wishing you an abundance of positive blessings at Thanksgiving and every day!
From Renée Phillips, Manhattan Arts International

Friday, November 8, 2013

Art that Lifts Our Spirits and Makes Us Smile

As Director of Manhattan Arts International I had the pleasure of selecting the finalists for our “ART that Lifts Our Spirits”, an online exhibition that features 60 artists through November 23.

All of the winning artists succeeded in meeting our criteria for their adherence to the theme, as well as for their technical skill and innovation.

Some of the entries simply put smiles on our faces immediately. And, we think that is an important part of the human healing process. Don't you?
Renée Phillips

Colleen McGowan

Madonna and Child
acrylic on unstretched canvas, 29" x 33.5"

"My work is done in a variety of mediums, my favorites being acrylic paint and colored pencil. Everything is bright and saturated in color to resonate the soul and life in each creature I create. As a whole my menagerie has a whimsical and humorous touch."

Lisa Freidus

Lisa Freidus 
Starry Skies
3 D mixed media on wooden picture frame, 17.5" x 25.5"

"I believe humor is the doorway we may enter to survive challenging times. We have all been touched by crisis either personally, through a family member, or a close friend. I choose to remind people of the inner joy and hope to achieve this through my love of color, choice of subject matter, and the light in my paintings."

Jessie Monaco

Jessie Monaco 
Watercolors Pond
pen and ink, digitally colored, 20" x 18" 

"Art is my passion. Creating stimulating and thought provoking work is what I look forward to each day."

I invite you to view the entire online exhibition at

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Manhattan Arts International: November is Arts and Health Month

Manhattan Arts International: November is Arts and Health Month: Founded by the Global Alliance for Arts & Health (formerly the Society for the Arts in Healthcare), Arts & Health Month is a time "to host awareness-raising events and heighten media attention for our field." This month is an opportunity for organizations and individuals worldwide to promote the integration of the arts in all disciplines, including literary, performing, and visual arts and design into a wide variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes. Read more.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Powerful Impact of Art

Memories of Exhibitions That Have Influenced Us
By Renée Phillips

My friend and colleague Edward Rubin travels throughout the world as an arts writer and curator. You may recall an article he wrote about the impact of art that appears on this blog at In it he states, “It wasn’t until I visited the Doge’s Palace in Venice and came face to face with ‘Paradise,’ Tintoretto’s large painting that hangs majestically in the Ducal Hall, that I discovered, that Tintoretto was still alive.”

Paradise by Tintoretto
Rubin explains, “Here he was, some 400 years later, looking down at me looking up at him. I didn’t have to read the painting’s label which no doubt listed the artist’s name, the title of the painting, and the date it was executed. I didn’t have time. I was pulled right past the words into the heart of the matter. Communication was instantaneous. I knew immediately that this seething mass of humanity, posing as saints and angels on canvas, all 23 by 72 feet of it, was transmogrified flesh. Tintoretto’s.”

Photo from Monet's Les Nympheas, a panoramic series of water lily paintings at the Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, France.

For me, it was my first encounter with Monet's water lily paintings, known as the "Les Nymphéas", at the Musée de l'Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France. These awe-inspiring paintings enveloped me and propelled me into a state of unforgettable bliss. Any concept of time ceased to exist and I fell in love with Monet. I never leave the Metropolitan Museum without visiting Monet's paintings for an infusion of exaltation. The security guards usually have to come over and warn me against pressing my nose against them.

Four Artists Share Their Favorite Influences

Can you recall a time when you were immediately transfixed upon viewing a work of art or an exhibition? Are there any artists who have influenced you the most?

In my interviews with artists I like to ask them: What artist, work of art or exhibition has had the most significant impact on you and why?

Here are four artists’ replies. As you read their statements and their art that accompanies them you may discover how the artists they refer to have influenced their art work.

Judy Araujo Volkmann, Critic,
oil on canvas, 60" x 28"
For over 20 years, Judy Araujo Volkmann ( has been creating expressionistic art that is focused mainly on the human figure. Her portraits unleash a myriad of intense, uncensored, emotional states and contain a message.

As the artist clearly explains, "In my process of painting the figures, my aim is to capture movement, and the physical characteristics and psychological aspects of being human."

To my questions Volkmann replies: “The Francis Bacon exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in the late 1980’s was amazing. It was his earlier work of the 1950’s that captivated me most. Seeing his Study after Vélázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953 and Head of a Baboon struck me. I could feel the energy, psychological tension and hear the disquieting scream of the subjects within each of the paintings."

Volkmann continues, "It was those pieces that stood out to me and had a profound impact on my work. Seeing this show motivated me to want to produce paintings with equal amount of rawness, confrontation and impact on the viewer.”

Elynne Rosenfeld ( creates paintings of succulent plants that intertwine in bold and rhythmic compositions. She uses acrylic paint, glass beads, and beach glass on canvas to create highly tactile images.
Elynne Rosenfeld, Waltz #2, acrylic,
glass beads, and beach glass on canvas 36” X 48”

As Rosenfeld responds, “That would be Richard Poussette-Dart at the Peggy Guggenheim, Venice in 2007. I had always been influenced by his work, its highly textured surfaces, its other worldly quality, the way it was distinct from all the other abstract expressionists of his time. Seeing the work in a solo retrospective profoundly altered my outlook on being an artist."

She adds, "Specifically, it reminded me to be true to myself and my own ideals no matter what. It also drove home the impact of viewing a body of work by one artist in a single location - the ambience created by great art cannot be contained within the context of the walls hosting it.”

Eleanor Gilpatrick, Snow In The City, acrylic
ACEO painting on gessoed mat board, 3.5" x 2.5"
Eleanor Gilpatrick’s ( landscape paintings are strong and romantic set in New York and places she has traveled within the United States and Europe.

She explains, “The first memorable exhibition I remember going to was when I was a child and saw Winslow Homer’s work at the Brooklyn Museum. That flow and feeling and joy started me dreaming."

The artist adds, "Seeing Botticelli’s work in Florence and Monet’s work in Paris affected me deeply too. But also seeing the work of the Minoans on Crete and in Athens; the Etruscan’s work in Tarquinia and Rome -- gave me roots and a respect for the realism of the soul.”

Meg Black, Seastripes, canvas, hemp. pigment, acrylic paint, on panel, 28" x 55" (each panel 28 x 19)
Meg Black ( is an experienced painter and art professor, having been a practicing artist painting with pulp and handmade paper for over 30 years. Her art work expresses her interests in nature and the environment.

The artist states, "My favorite school or art on a philosophical level would be the Chinese literati landscape artists… the way in which they show how nature works, and invite the viewer to travel through the landscape is just brilliant. My favorite school of western art is the Baroque school, particularly the Italians such as Bernini, Gentileschi, and Caravaggio. The way they use light, emotion and composition to tell their story is the best. And how can one not love the characters in their paintings? These are people we see on the streets in every crowded city. No wonder modern filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese love these artists.”

Artists throughout history continue to live and breathe in museums and books. They are treasure troves of inspiration that have the power to ignite intense and memorable visceral responses. How we experience their art and identify with them is what makes us each uniquely multi-faceted as creative individuals.

Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, is the author of several books and publications, which can be found on Manhattan Arts International ( She organizes exhibitions related to the healing power of art. She offers advice to artists in private consultations. Learn more at

Friday, September 27, 2013

Transcending the Boundaries of Superficial Beauty

Statements from Some Winners in the "Art that Lifts Our Spirits" Exhibition

As Director of Manhattan Arts International I had the pleasure of selecting the finalists for our recently launched “ART that Lifts Our Spirits”, an online exhibition that features 60 artists. All of the winning artists succeeded in meeting our criteria for their adherence to the theme, as well as for their technical skill and innovation.

These works are not only aesthetically beautiful upon your first encounter, they transcend the boundaries of superficiality. Although the visceral response when viewing many of these works of art may be a warm, happy feeling that makes you smile, they also lure you in. As you get closer and spend time exploring them, you will discover they also provide insight into the enormous power of human potential.

Artwork is copyright protected by the artists. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artists' permission.

Francene Levinson  "Caress", modular paper sculpture, 19" x 12" x 12". This work won a Renee Phillips Cash Award.

As much as I love viewing art work I receive enormous pleasure in reading what artists write about their artistic vision. It is never accidental or incidental that the artists who far surpass their contemporaries have a keener sense of awareness about why they create the art they do.

During the judging process we focused exclusively on the images that were submitted. After selecting the winners, we visited their websites. It was the most extraordinary experience to read their statements and discover the strong synchronicity they had with our theme.

Here, I share statements from some of the 60 winning artists. I invite you to view the entire online exhibition at and also visit the artists’ websites. I'm sure you will agree that the artists included here and in the exhibition create art work that is quite extraordinary.

Francene Levinson (, an artist from Boca Raton, Florida, has chosen modular paper folding as her medium of choice through which she expresses her artistic vision. She explains, "I have taken a Chinese folk art and elevated its potential to a fine art medium worthy of your time and enjoyment. Constructing the dynamic lines of organic forms has given me the opportunity to share my contemporary paper sculpture with the world. I find limitless wonder in the possibilities of structure and design that may be explored with multiple folded sheets of paper."

Melvin Harris, Bird's Nest. In this competition this entry won an award from Giclee of New England (GoNE).

Melvin Harris ( is an artist who lives in St. Albans, Vermont. He states, “When someone views my work, I want them to experience the dynamism of color and shapes and how these two ‘basic building blocks’ of art have an infinite variety of possible expressions. Not just the familiar ‘organic’ shapes of nature but the un-noticed ones as well.” He believes, "Artists are the ‘visual journalists' of their time. Through their work they tell the story of the world in which we find ourselves. As an artist, I feel it is important to express, through art, my story of the world's impact on me."  

Daggi Wallace,"Ode to Joy", pastel, 11" x 20"

Daggi Wallace ( lives in Moorpark, California. She says this about her art: “Painting portraits to me is all about exploring our shared humanity, the connection we have to each other and our common Source. Each face tells a story and communicating this to others is my goal. As these portraits are given new homes my hope is to bring the world outside our own little circles a little closer.”

Nicole Brauch, "Windup Girl", acrylic, encaustic, quail egg, 10" x 8" x 4.5"

Nicole Brauch ( is an artist from Bothell, Washington. Here is a quote from her statement: “I am an American artist who has lived in and has family in Germany. Since 1993 my work has involved ideas about transience, loss, identity, memory and war. My work is derived from personal history - either told or uncovered. I document the memories of people, things and moments that continue to resonate in my life. It is my attempt to integrate and reconcile autobiographical motifs.”

Deborah Brisker Burk, "Regarding Markings I with Blue", mixed media on canvas, 36" x 24"
Deborah Brisker Burk ( lives in Potamic, Maryland. The abstract artist expresses, “I feel energized from creating art, the process gets my blood flowing, my heart pumped and my mind engaged. Jumping in the river of life, in the now, is how I experience the act of painting, collaging and drawing. Paradoxically, although my art is personal, my own natural vision, simultaneously, I become connected to all creators, past and present when my hand, mind and vision are working in concert"

Robin MacDonald-Foley, "A Light Within", marble, 12" x 4" x 4"
Robin MacDonald-Foley (, an artist from Stoughton, Massachusetts explains, "I am drawn toward abstraction and the freedom it presents me to creatively interpret the world around me. This process allows me to develop a piece conceptually, sometimes long before it reaches the studio. Images evoke a physical yet internal structure, which is slowly revealed through the many layering techniques that I use in my sculptural work and painting. Experimenting with various media has enabled me to further investigate a multitude of ideas, akin to my own life’s experiences."

I invite you to view the entire online exhibition at