A Change of Heart and Existential Angst

Yesterday I taught an Art Journaling workshop to Teens at a local Library. There were over 20 teens in attendance.  !5 of them had English as a second language (ESL) so I’m not sure if they understood my directions.  Because I had not been told ahead of time the ethnicity of the group I had sent ahead some digital pictures of very WHITE teens for the program director to colour copy. Good Grief – i was mortified!  I certainly would have been more sensitive had I been informed ahead of time.  Luckily I had some magazines on hand that the teens (some younger than teens) could pick through for images.  langley_libraryartjournaling

Here is a photo of some pages i painted ahead of time.  Since i was facilitating the workshop in a library it needed to be a fairly clean craft.  It would seem that some of the kids enjoyed themselves – a few of the older ESL boys seemed incredibly bored and told me so when i asked them if they were bored – ACK!!!!!! 

In any case i think this last workshop pretty much was the last nail in the coffin for delivering live workshops on technique based art journaling – I’m  DONE – BAKED – FRIED – FINISHED! 

At the end of it (only 2 hours long) i was so fried I could barely put the key in the car’s ignition.  A good indication of whether or not an activity is feeding your soul is if you are energized at the end of it.  At 59 years old I definitely was NOT energized. My shoulder which has been a problem for many years cannot take the schlepping of supplies….here I have two heavy rolling carts, a box and toolbox……


Usually I have another two or more boxes of paints.  This time I didn’t receive any help with carrying supplies into the venue so was pretty frazzled.

If I’m not a workshop instructor then what am I?

One of the things i have been struggling with is “if I’m not a workshop instructor then what am I?” My identity had been wrapped up in giving live workshops but I no longer have the passion for it. I have been an early adopter of Art Journaling having pursued it for over 12 years (probably more but i didn’t know what to call it). I see many younger folks teaching art journaling classes all over the world and online but then they have only been doing it for a few years and are probably feeling pretty fresh and excited about it.

Sorry for the rant – just thinking out loud and thought that it was high time that I was honest about how I have been feeling lately. Any of your thoughts or comments (if you’ve read thus far) would be appreciated! To be honest I’m feeling rather weary and old. I’m pretty much re-evaluating everything!

And now for something completely different……….a bit of fun and frivolity Smile………..

Birthday Party fun!


Remember the birdhouse post i painted?  Well it wasn’t finished yet……..until……


Mr. G ever so patiently hammered over 60 bottle caps into the bottom post. Here you can see a close-up shot of the festooned spindle and the birthday party in the background.  Note the 3 grandkids in the background – one of them is upside down!


My son-in-law Nis is showing his son Cillian the bottlecaps – it was a tactile experience Smile.


Must touch!


Mr. G aka Grampa Gra taking time out from the party to make a craft with grandson Sam!  It’s a whirligig made from two pop tins very carefully cut and weaved together.  Sam got to squish the tin strips together as well as feed some large beads onto the copper wire. Here is a fun video depicting the assorted Whirligis and here is a how to video on making whirligigs.

birthday_tantrum face

The birthday couple – Nis and my daughter Jessica opening gifts.  Jessica is showing Cillian the scrapbook my Mom created for him and he had a tantrum. He’s an early adopter for the terrible twos – not yet two years old – has a few months left Smile.


The Swing Mr. G and I put together was a big hit – the grandkids loved it. Here is Sam enjoying a bit of food on the swing. The strap made a handy resting spot for his food.

Mr.G and babytoby

Mr. G and baby Toby having a bit of fun!

Enter to win a free Spot on 21 Secrets LIVE!

If you missed my Monday blogpost I announced a giveaway – I am one of the 21 Secrets LIVE! Workshop art journaling workshops and I’m giving away one spot to a lucky winner.  Go to that blogpost and leave a comment to be entered to win! I’ll be drawing a name on Friday morning!

See you all on Friday!

Love, Violette xo

11 Comments on A Change of Heart and Existential Angst

  1. gail
    August 14, 2013 at 11:51 am (7 years ago)

    re angst…..over coffee this afternoon we can blab it out. Good for you for acknowledging it. Sometimes our spirit self has to bang us on the head to get our attention. Guess you got it! hahaha.

    That was alot like my experience at the market too. And I am now well, let’s just say I’ve been around the sun way more than 60 times!….I love doing the shows….but should have had someone with me to help me set up. The doing it alone doesn’t work for me now. I felt grumpy about that part.

    We have to figure out how to work the Abraham-Hicks magnetism and direct ourselves in the direction we want to go…..like well, where? giggle.

    hugs, and happies to smooth out today!

  2. Liz-Anna
    August 14, 2013 at 11:55 am (7 years ago)

    Violette, I relate so much to this post. I’ve taught workshops for years but stopped schlepping things around several years ago and now limit teaching to my home studio. I, too, at 59, spend much time in introspection wondering what direction to go with my art. As I get older and realize the limitations of my patience, my endurance and my desire to please others in the time I have left, I want to do more of what gives me the most pleasure. I’m just not always sure what that is. Anyway, I’m always glad to hear about others’ journeys so I really appreciate you sharing yours.

  3. susi
    August 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm (7 years ago)

    Sorry to hear about that Violette. Glad you are finally listening to your heart and soul. Now you can move on to bigger and better. Take care of your own castle.

  4. julie :)
    August 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm (7 years ago)

    Good decision! There are other rewarding ways to share your expertise. Perhaps wisdom is knowing when to change directions.

  5. Nathalie
    August 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm (7 years ago)

    Dear Violette,

    I appreciated reading your post as this lack of inspiration has happened to me a few times in my “career” as a teacher. About a year ago, I was really unsure if I wanted to pursue in that direction and did the following exercise which gave me lots of answers and helped deepen my reflexion and gave me lots of insights.

    I asked 4-5 friends (not family members) who know me pretty well to tell me what they thought my strengths are, my talents (as they see them), how they perceive me in my work, how I could serve better, etc. They would first share the strengths and then tell me about the things I need to improve (through suggestions), talk about my weaknesses.

    To my surprise I received great feedback, some wrote to me, with others I skyped or met them when I went to Montreal. It was a longish process.

    Anyway, if you’d like to know more about it, contact me and I’ll give you more details and the source of this exercise.

    Thank you for the family pics and your generosity.


  6. Suzana
    August 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Violette,

    As you know, I can certainly relate to feeling ‘the shift’ from teacher to something else, without quite knowing what that something else is… It’s great to read all the other comments and suggestions here too.

    What I’m trying to do – with varying degrees of success on any given day – is to allow myself to enjoy doing what I feel drawn to for it’s own sake (whether it’s art or just ‘has to be done’ stuff) and letting whatever I’m ‘supposed to do next’ or my ‘next big thing’ reveal itself.

    It’s sounds easy but it can be quite a challenge, and we want to keep grasping onto familiar ground… it’s ok… it takes time to shed an old skin and let our new wings unfurl…

    Here’s to seeing where our new wings take us! 🙂

  7. Wendy @ the Late Start Studio
    August 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm (7 years ago)

    Fabulous party in a funtastic back yard Violette! 🙂

    As for the angst . . . time for another Skype? I’d love to share how things have been going in my classes . . . the good, the bad and the ugly. Hugs friend.

  8. Emie
    August 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm (7 years ago)

    Life has ebbs and flows…. I’d suggest not teaching for awhile and see if you miss it… you can always go back to it. Taking a break for a time may rejuvenate your interest…. or not. Not to sound trite.. but “Follow Your Bliss” seems to fit.
    Love your blog…. and your book!!!! I’m drawing faces now (at least trying) because of you!!!

  9. Susan King
    August 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm (7 years ago)

    So sorry to hear about your angst. When I read your book in 2009 you gave a huge kick start to my Art Journalling process. You have a lot of talents so try not to get disheartened if it is time to move on to something else. It sounds like you just didn’t screen them very well, though. Quinn Creative wrote a great piece on her blog recently about deciding which offers to accept. It is hard not to jump to conclusions about your worth because you have one bad day, but each day is a new beginning to get it right 🙂

  10. Colleen
    August 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm (7 years ago)

    hi Violette!

    I totally feel your pain – I used to teach first aid and some days were exactly like you described. It took me a while, but I finally figured out the problem. During the week I would go to companies and teach groups of people who had to be there. They felt like they’d been forced into the class and they were bored and uncooperative. In contrast – classes I taught on Saturdays were people who had volunteered, signed up and paid themselves. They were highly motivated and I had a great time teaching them.

    Why were these teens in your class? Had they volunteered or was it something adults had arranged for them? Teens are a pretty tough audience to begin with and you deserve kudos for getting out there with them! I did your classes on 21 Secrets and you are a fantastic instructor – I loved your classes and I loved how my journal pages turned out. Thank you for sharing your talent and all your amazing art work!

    PS: I love your birdhouse!

  11. Sahayatee
    August 23, 2013 at 9:20 am (7 years ago)

    Beloved Violette,

    these are times of changes… it is not you alone, there are many people who feel a need of change in their doing, in there being as well… adjusting to different needs and different energies… I am only 41, but had a similar experience during the last 12 months. What I used to do just doesn’t fit me any more.
    So there we are, growing out of old habits, forever changing…I love you so, Dear, your colours and whimsy… keep on glittering, just the way you feel right TODAY. I guess all this is about being in the moment and adjusting/changing continously.
    In other words: I so get you! 😉
    Blessed be, You and everyone else in a similar situation!
    Johanna Sahayatee


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