Thank you to everyone who made it out to the "Reclaiming Your Creative Self" workshop that Melinda DiOrio and I hosted at The Yoga Collective NYC in Manhattan on March 10, 2019. We loved meeting you and are grateful for the openness and creativity you brought to the day!
Melinda kicked off the workshop with meditation and gentle yoga practice. Then, I guided everyone through a series of art journaling prompts and techniques to access and record their thoughts, feelings, and memories in a personal and artistic way in their own journals. It was moving to see what surfaced for people and to see how everyone's work was so personal and connected to their unique truth.
We created this in-person workshop to shake off all of the subconscious things we hold in our bodies and minds that make us feel a little stuck during the winter season when the weather is colder and grayer in NYC. The Yoga Collective NYC provided a beautiful and quiet space where people sorted through distractions with Melinda's guided meditations and then my art journaling. We witnessed them reconnect with their inner wisdom and creativity in a way that I didn't predict. We couldn't have asked for a more inspiring group of people to do it.
This time of year can be kind of a doozy for me. Is it for you?
Smack in the middle of colder, shorter days and also that unexplained feeling of... ugh.
Even in Colorado, where we have an abundance of sunshine, I find myself craving more sun and lightness in my days.
Beyond that, just on a daily basis, we are surrounded by distractions that encourage us to strive for external validation. All of the noise can so easily take us away from our center and our own knowing, as well as our creativity.
When I do a little extra introspective work and move my body more in general, and especially this time of year, it's easier to access lightness and creativity.
My inspiring Brooklyn-based, creative soul of a friend and 500-hour-certified yoga teacher, @MelindaDiOrio and I decided to do something about this.
We created an in-person workshop to help get *you* out of your head, sort through the distractions, and to reconnect with your inner wisdom and creativity through meditation, movement and, well, creativity.
On Sunday, March 10th from 3-5:30 pm, Melinda and I will be hosting "Reclaiming Your Creative Self: A Meditation, Yoga & Art Journaling Workshop" in NYC @yogacollectivenyc
We'd love for you to join us!
During the workshop, Melinda will be leading you through a chakra meditation and a gentle and restorative yoga practice. And I'll be guiding you through a series of art journaling prompts and techniques to access and record your thoughts, feelings, and memories in an artistic way in your own journal. No experience with art or yoga is necessary!
This event has a limited amount of tickets. Check out the full workshop description and get your tickets here.
And, if you're not based in NYC but know someone who might like to join us, please share this with them. Photos of Melinda by @melodee_solomon, and mine by @rebeccatillett
I'm honored to have been selected to show a piece in "Women in Art at Women in Kind," a juried exhibit hosted by Denver-based coworking community, Women in Kind.
This is the first of an annual exhibition series celebrating art by, for and about women.
About this Event:
Spend International Women's Day NIGHT at Women in Kind, enjoying an amazing, juried art exhibit benefitting Mi Casa Resource Center! The exhibit will showcase women artists and their creative exploration of issues around gender equality, empowerment and innovation in keeping with the 2019 IWD theme of Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.
Get your float on thanks to ice cream and root beer sponsors Sweet Action Ice Cream and Bruz Beers. Also enjoy a cash bar with organic, handcrafted spirits from Rising Sun Distillery.
WHEN: Fri, March 8, 2019 - 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM MST
WHERE: Women In Kind - 3899 Jackson Street Denver, CO 80205
Thank you to the inspiring folks who came together for "The Art of Intention" workshop that Chapter BEand I led earlier this week in my studio.
We're grateful for the wonderful people who made it out that night and brought so much vulnerability and courage to the workshop. It was a powerful evening.
Kïrsten's and my goal was to combine our perspectives and experience, hers as a Certified Brain-Based Success Coach and educator and mine as an abstract expressionist painter and UX researcher, to help participants uncover their aspirations and intentions for 2019 then create their own abstract painting to celebrate their story and come away with a visual reminder of their vision for 2019.
It was that and so much more. We watched everyone get to know each other, openly share details of their lives and aspirations, and empathize with each others' stories and experiences. Many hadn't painted before, or in a long time, but embraced their innate creativity and made eight unique expressions of their intentions.
We only wished we had more time together and can't wait to do it again. We're already planning on the next one and will be extending the time we have together. If you'd like to join us, please sign up for my newsletter and you'll be the first to get details about it.
A big thank you to Christy and Erica for helping us prep for the workshop too! And to @chapter_be for most of these photos (the good ones 😉) and being an amazing co-facilitator!
I’m excited to be teaming up with certified coach, educator, and dear friend, Kïrsten Blake of Chapter Be to host a guided intention-setting and painting workshop out of my studio on January 15, 2019 from 6-8:30.
We’ll be leading you through exercises that will help you uncover your aspirations and intentions for 2019 and then to create your own abstract painting that celebrates your unique story and acts as a reminder of how you want to BE in 2019.
We would love for you to join us! No painting or intention-setting experience needed. 😉
Created by the artist collective, Bloc Presents, AXIS, is a celebration of collapsing boundaries and exposing Globeville to a cross-section of Colorado’s vibrant artistic community, Join us for open studios, artist speed dating, large-scale installations, curated 2-D work, food trucks and live music!
On September 29th, I'll be setting up a booth again in the Resource Pavilion at the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Remembrance Walk in Lakewood, CO. This walk is for parents, family members, and friends to come together to remember a baby who has died due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, neonatal or any type of pregnancy or infant loss.
If you or someone you love has experienced a loss like this in either the recent or distant past, I strongly encourage you to attend. You can sign up here.
It’s both moving and healing, honoring our babies and experiences while feeling a profound sense of support and love in the air. If you’ve ever had the feeling that you’re alone in your loss, it will show you the opposite. It will show you that you have a large and loving community to lean on.
And if you live far from Denver, or aren't able to make it, please consider attending one of their other walks or online events.
This non-profit organization does amazing work for grieving families. Their staff and volunteer photographers provide the gift of remembrance photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby. Learn more about them here.
I'm excited to be part of a unique conference coming up this fall, October 25-28, 2018, called RAD Summit. It's a camp-style conference for Product Designers, Product Managers, Artists, Producers, Leaders, Developers, Entrepreneurs, and people who love the mountains. It'll be happening at Camp Shady Brook, which is about an hour and a half outside of Denver in Deckers, Colorado.
In the Summit's Founder's words:
"To us, ‘RAD’ stands for ‘Research And Design.’ The camp founders and our speakers are all creative professionals each with over 10 years of industry experience building amazing products who want to share what they know with you. RAD isn’t just learning from other experts though: it is also about learning about you. At RAD Summit, we will help you learn about yourself by channeling that kid inside who craves ‘rad’ experiences.
I'll have a few works on paper for the GIFC Denver show coming up on July 14th. GIFC (got it for Cheap) is a traveling pop-up show curated by Brooklyn's Chris Rexroad. GIFC features artwork by more than 500+ national, international, and local artists. All artwork is affordably priced at $30, a rare and fun opportunity to start or grow an art collection and all at easily frameable sizes.
I'm excited to be setting up a booth of some of my smaller pieces at Zonta Club of Fort Collins' "Meet the Author Luncheon" fundraiser on Saturday, May 5th, 2018.
At this annual event, which helps fund their scholarships for single Moms, young women in high school and in college, Zonta also always highlights a female author. This year, they've invited Dr. Temple Grandin who will join the luncheon to give a talk and have signed copies of her book for everyone who purchases a ticket. If you're not already familiar with her work, Dr. Grandin is a Colorado State University Professor of Animal Science, inventor, best-selling author, and rock star in the seemingly divergent fields of animal science and autism education.
Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 64 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta's mission and objectives.
RiNo Art District's First Friday for May is almost here!
And it's happening this Friday, May 4th, 2018 starting at 6 pm. Come say hello, see some new art, talk about art... or life... or the art life, ask me a question about any of the above and May the 4th be with you!
I'm in the South building, studio S2, which is the beige building with the painted eyes over the ramp.
Come on by to say hello, check out the gallery and other spaces between two buildings that I share with 75 other artists and creative businesses.
On Friday, April 6th from 6-9pm, I'll have my studio open at GRACe and a few new pieces out that I won't have displayed or listed anywhere else. I'm in the South building, studio S2, which is the beige building with the painted eyes over the ramp.
Come on by to say hello, check out the gallery and other spaces between two buildings that I share with 75 other artists and creative businesses.
I'm excited and proud to have some small works on display at Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada, Colorado for the whole month of March, 2018.
If you've visited their taproom in Arvada before, you know that their award-winning beer is outstanding and that the owners and staff are fiercely dedicated to their community and customers. You can feel it the minute you step inside.
Join me on Friday, March 23rd, 2018 from 6-9pm for a "Meet the Artist" night and the release of one of their most popular seasonal beers, Hibiscus Eye of Ra Golden Strong Ale. See you there!
Join me on Saturday, March 9, 2018 from 6-9pm for the opening of this Month of Printmaking (Mo' Print) group show curated by Angel Estrada at GRACe Studios' Gallery.
This exhibition includes many different styles and methods of printmaking made by artists from GRACe and around Colorado. I'll have a small handful of monotypes on display.
The show runs from March 9-31, 2018.
Mo’Print is a celebration of the art of making original prints to inspire, educate and promote awareness through a variety of public events and exhibitions in the Denver metropolitan area, the Front Range region, and throughout Colorado.
A few days ago, I sent out a survey to those of you on my Studio Insiders list to learn more about you.
I will always love and be drawn to making art but a huge part of it for me (and the themes in my work) is the connection it aims to create and foster. To live that and know how to best serve you through my art and business, I want to learn more about you and connect with you more. Your responses that have come in from the survey so far are already teaching me more about you and how I can foster more connection this year.
One of the biggest things I'm learning from the responses so far is that you'd like to know more about my process and what happens behind the scenes in the studio. Today, I'm sharing some of that on my Instagram Stories. If you're not already following me there, please do. I share pics of my studio, work and process there often and plan to do much more of that in the near future.
Some of you I actually know pretty well, we've had long conversations, you've been to some of my shows or events, you're part of the 100 Days of Healing and Remembrance project, you've purchased art from me, I've created a custom painting for you, we've exchanged notes on social media, or you're a close friend or family member. I'm grateful to know you and I'm still hoping to get to know more about you and how I can better serve you in my art and business. And, of course, I want to learn more about those of you I haven't had a chance to meet yet!
If you have already taken it, thank you for sharing your responses with me! If you haven't had a chance to take the survey yet, sign up for my list here or send me an email here and I'll email it to you this afternoon. If you fill it out by midnight MT tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 7th, 2018, you'll be entered to win $50.
Thank you for stopping by to visit this blog, thank you for being a part of this community and I hope to connect with more of you soon!
I’m excited to be speaking on a panel tonight, “Finding Inspiration Through Creative Confidence,” from 6-8pm at General Assembly in Denver's RiNo Art District. Check out what we’ll be discussing and sign up below. It's free! Hope to see you there.
About the talk:
Join Mass Musings and General Assembly for an evening of inspiration, community, and exploration.
We don’t need to divide the world into the ‘creatives’ and the ‘non-creatives.’ We are all naturally creative and we should let our ideas fly. Unfortunately, what often holds us back is our fears of judgment and failure as we get older.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up."
Embedded in creativity is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure - the ingredients of vulnerability. Getting comfortable with the discomfort of vulnerability is the key to living a creative life. In this session, our creative panelists will break down why we fear creativity, and how in doing so it impedes our path to bringing forth the treasures that are hidden inside of us.”
Panelists: Kayte Demont, Founder, Mass Musings; Justin Gitlin, Creative Coder, CacheFlowe; Angela Craven, Artist/UX consultant; Kate Peabody, Founder and Coach, Kaptivate; Kraig Weaver, Owner/Founder, AND collaborative; Perry Finley, Corporate Brand Strategist, Digital Marketing Consultant, Yoga Teacher, Music Producer & That Guy With The Pineapple
About General Assembly:General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company on a mission to empower a community to pursue work they love. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, GA is confronting a skills gap through best-in-class instruction and providing access to opportunities. Voted Fast Company’s 2015 #1 Most Innovative Company in Education.
Join us on Friday, December 15th for a fundraiser, silent auction and educational event for the Colorado Village Collaborative, who are taking on homelessness in Denver and have built a tiny home village for the homeless.
Join us for food, music, art and tiny homes!
There will also be a silent auction as part of the event where you can find and bid on all types of local art, including one of my paintings, to benefit this organization. Hope to see you there!
Come on out for First Friday on Friday, November 3rd! Denver Arts Week kicks off that day and I'll be celebrating at GRACe
Stop by my studio in the South Building (with the painted eyes over the ramp), Studio S2, anytime between 6 and 9pm. I’ll be doing a giveaway and will have some new works up for sale and ready for the holiday season. I will also be painting throughout the evening.
GRACe is on the RiNo, River North Art District VIP Studio and Gallery bus tour too so if you’re on one of those buses, stop by with your ticket for a special gift.
You'll also get to see lots of amazing artists and our entrance newly decorated with paintings by our residents.
Today I’m marking Day 50 of the 100 Days of Healing and Remembrance Project with some new additions to the painting, awe, gratitude, and a bit of reflection.
The first 49 stories have been emotional, difficult, heartbreaking, beautiful and encouraging. But more than anything they have been brave. Brave because it’s easy to talk about the great things happening in our lives, there’s even an expectation in many cultures to do just that, but it's not so easy to share the difficulties.
I’ve been in awe of the people who’ve been willing to share their difficulties and speak their truth in the name of honoring a baby and/or the experiences that have changed them, and in the name of helping other people feel less alone. Each story in 100 Days of Healing and Remembrance is powerful.
Whether you’ve shared your own story here or have read some and are not quite ready to talk about yours, my wish is that you find some comfort and hope and a supportive community through these 49 stories; a community that quite literally stretches across the world.
The people who share these experiences are not from one place, religion, set of beliefs, race, heritage, or age group. They’re from people who have had a loss recently or many years ago. They’re from people who are in the midst of their experiences with infertility or have long since been through it. They’ve come from 3 continents (and counting). Some of their stories include children or pregnancies before or after a loss. And, although the stories posted in this project come from women, many men have shared their story with me via email, private message or in conversation as well. I see so much beauty in all of these aspects. It’s further confirmation that we are all connected and that our age, gender identity, race, orientation, heritage, religion, and beliefs don’t exclude or advance your experiences with infertility or grief. Sharing these tragic experiences has the power to connect us to each other and to our own humanity. Above all, there’s no question that, particularly right now, we all have a deep need to be seen and heard in our emotional pain and grief as much as in our most celebrated and joyful moments.
Another element of this project that has struck me is the number of people who have decided not to contribute but have told me that it has helped them to hear from other people and that many of the stories have resonated with them. One friend told me she has been following the project and found some peace with her own losses through it but she hasn't contributed because she felt her experience wasn’t “as bad as many others have had it.” If you can relate to that, I respect that you may not be ready to share your experience or may not want to at all. But, if the only thing holding you back is a feeling that your story might not be as intense or feels more intense, I want to encourage you to share your own truth. There are likely others who feel similarly and could find healing in your voice and point of view. I get that and it’s completely human and normal to compare. But, when you’re in the acute and most painful moments of grief or infertility, it’s also perfectly understandable and normal to be consumed with the pain and need some support regardless of what someone else has been through. Your experience is yours and it matters.
With that, I’d love to share your story and send you a piece of the painting at the end of the project. Please share this project with anyone you think might like to contribute or could find comfort in it. Please also consider sharing the link to it if you’ve never been through pregnancy or infant loss or infertility, there’s, unfortunately, a high likelihood that someone close to you has.
And thank you to everyone who has been a part of this, through reading it, contributing or sharing. Your bravery, kindness, compassion and time spent to understand another person’s experience are not small, I think those things truly help make the world a better place.
This #100DayProject captures the experiences of those of you who have been touched by infertility, miscarriage or the loss of a baby.
With the stories you share, I’m creating one large abstract painting by adding to a canvas. At the end of the project, I’ll be cutting it into 100 smaller pieces. These tiny abstract paintings will be sent to those who contributed or could use some encouragement, or both.
Why do this? Because those affected [we] are all part of an unintentional and unfortunately large community of people who don’t talk about these experiences enough and art is healing. We can find beauty and strength from sharing our stories and supporting each other. For more information or to contribute, please go to http://angelacravenart.com/100-day-project
"Ghost Currency" by Angela Craven, 30 x 80 inches, mixed media on wood panel
On Friday, October 20th, between 6 and 8 pm, I'll be giving a tour of my solo show, "Ghost Currency and Transformation" at GRACe. During the tour, and while you sip your wine or hot cider, I'll be talking a bit about some of my inspiration for the work and the ghost money that you'll see layered in it. What is ghost money, you ask? I'll tell you all about it on the 20th. I'll also be talking about my process in general and answering any questions about that or the work. See you there!
For the past couple of months, I've explored and experimented with new materials and media within my common themes of reflection, strength, and connection. One of the materials I've been working with has inspired this whole new series.
I'm excited to reveal this new work for my upcoming solo show, called "Ghost Currency and Transformation," which opens at GRACe Gallery (888 E. 50th Avenue) in Denver on Thursday, October 12th at 6 p.m. I'd like to personally invite you to the exhibition. RSVP, here.
About the show:
"As we move beyond challenges in life, we often focus on quieting the lingering ghosts as quickly as possible. What if we stopped struggling and paused to honor our suffering, using reflection as a currency for transformation? In Angela Craven’s exhibition at GRACe Gallery, she uses joss paper, or ghost money, in her newest work as a metaphor for revering our so-called ghosts."
I'll be sharing details of the material I'm using and some sneak previews of the work going into the show. You can follow along here, by subscribing to my newsletter and on Instagram. I hope to see you at the Opening Reception on Thursday, October 12th!
I'll be hosting a Healing and Remembrance Through Art booth again this year, on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, in the Resource Pavillion at the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep annual Remembrance Walk in Littleton, Colorado.
I'll be there to hear and record the stories of people who have been affected by the loss of a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, neonatal or any type of pregnancy or infant loss as an extension of my recent work and my 100 Days of Healing and Remembrance project. The project incorporates 100 stories of those who've experienced these types of losses. With the stories shared, I'm creating one large abstract painting by adding to a canvas every day. At the end of the project, I’ll be cutting that canvas into smaller pieces. These tiny abstract paintings will be sent to those who contributed or could use some encouragement, or both. You can read more about that project and participate here.
I set up a booth in the same Resource Pavillion last year and, as someone who has personally been affected by these experiences was grateful to also have the opportunity to participate in the walk last year. It was an incredible event. I met a lot of amazing people, people from all over Colorado, individuals and families (including kids), some of whom had experienced a loss recently while others had lost a baby many years ago. It was emotional and difficult but also incredibly healing and powerful to see so many people come together. There were close to 1,000 people at the Walk, just in Colorado. The large numbers of balloons released in honor of babies, and the families and friends standing and walking together were all a bittersweet, beautiful representation of the fact that you're never alone through this process of grief, love, and hope.
NILMDTS's co-founder, Cheryl Haggard, spoke at the beginning of the ceremony about what the event and organization mean to her. One thing she said particularly struck me:
“The best advice I can give a bereaved parent is: embrace your grief, make friends with your grief. Know that your love and your grief will walk hand in hand with you throughout the rest of your life."
Cheryl’s words resonated with me because I think we often tell ourselves and sometimes hear from others, that “it’s time to move on” or that “you should be over this by now.” The irony is that, the harder we try to forget or bury these emotions, the more they can negatively affect us. These experiences are part of us now and can be a beautiful path to our purpose, and part of the light we hold for others going through the same.
If you're not already familiar with them, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) was founded in Colorado and is now an international non-profit. They provide remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture. They believe these images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring the child’s legacy. I've seen how helpful these photos can be for families in their grieving and healing processes.
The Remembrance Walk itself is an annual event that takes place on different weekends in Minnesota, Georgia, and Colorado. They also have a virtual walk that takes place online and is coming up on October 21st, 2017. Each walk is for parents, family members, and friends to come together to remember a baby who has died due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, neonatal or any type of pregnancy or infant loss.
If you have a chance to attend the walk, or you know someone who might like to go, there's still time to sign up for the Littleton, Georgia and virtual walks (U.S. and International). If you're attending the Walk in Littleton this weekend, please stop by the booth to say hello.
If you can’t attend the walk this weekend but would like to be a part of the 100 Days of Healing and Remembrance Project, you can read more about it and participate at angelacravenart.com/100-day-project
I am excited to announce that I was one of 62 artists selected to participate in Manhattan Arts International's “The Healing Power of ART” online exhibition curated by Renée Phillips.
This year's theme:
“At its best art has the power to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and offer hope. It can transform our physiological state and perception. It also has the power to awaken us to become more conscious about important issues affecting individuals,society, and the planet. This year’s theme for “The Healing Power of Art is “Inspiring The Positive”: Art that either has a positive healing impact on viewers and/or art that raises awareness about our need for positive change.”
"Nel Blue", mixed media on wood panel, 40″ x 30"
I'm proud to have work in this show among a group of accomplished artists and powerful work. The painting selected (shown above) was an "Art Through Fertility" commission I painted for an incredible family who lost their little girl to stillbirth. The painting captures the layers of our conversations - literally through mixed media and text as well as metaphorically. It also represents the memories of carrying and bonding with their little girl before her birth, the hopes and dreams they had for her, the guidance their little girl continues to give them, the strength they've found in the process of grieving for her and the dreams they have for her little brother who was born a week before they received the painting. It was an honor to work on this painting and I couldn't be happier that it spoke to the curator and jurors of the show.
Renée Phillips, the show’s curator, is also founder and director of Manhattan Arts International. She has curated more than 65 exhibitions in NYC and online, including several “The Healing Power of ART” exhibitions since 2000. She is the author of several art business/resource books. She is also the founder and editor ofThe Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, an online resource of art and articles to raise awareness about how art can heal individuals, society, and the environment.
The Guest Jurors were:
Lisa Cooper, owner of Elisa Contemporary Art and corporate art consultant
Barbara Markoff, owner of Artrageous! Gallery and corporate and healthcare art consultant
John R. Math, photographer, and founder of Light Space Time online gallery
Once again, I will have my studio open at GRACe in Denver's RiNo Art District for this upcoming First Friday, September 4th, starting at 6 pm. My studio is located in the south building at GRACe (look for the painted eyes over the ramp), I'm in studio 2.
I’ll be painting throughout the evening and will have other works in progress on display. Stop by the studio early and enter to win a small painting. I'll have some pieces on display in the main gallery at GRACe as well, in the north building. See you Friday!
I'm honored and excited to be part of OSO Wellbeing's amazing wellness retreat team. This three-day, women's retreat is coming up on October 6-8, 2017 and will focus on nutrition, fitness, yoga, and art.
Sara Kosick, owner of OSO Wellbeing, Certified Personal Trainer and Master of Nutrition Therapy will be hosting the weekend and leading all of our workouts and nutrition education through the weekend. Lisa Theis, owner of Third Eye Yoga will be leading the group through restorative yoga classes and I will be leading us through two art classes.
In Sara's words:
"Join us in beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado this fall for a weekend of intuitive eating practices, light healthful whole foods, community shared cooking, art, meditation/yoga, group exercise, nature, and hot springs!! Relax into an all-female weekend of mindful practice that is designed to support all levels of individual potential to improve self and body awareness.
TRAIN THE MIND, CHANGE THE BODY!"
We'll be doing another retreat in Costa Rica next spring. Hope you can join us for one or both!
I will have my studio open at GRACe in Denver's RiNo Art District this upcoming First Friday from 6-9pm. I’ll be painting throughout the evening and will have other works in progress on display. I will also have small to large works for sale.