A few things I found marvelous this winter break

Vase of Peonies, 20" x 20", mixed media on canvas, $500
Vase of Peonies, 20" x 20", mixed media on canvas, $500

Vase of Peonies, 20″ x 20″, mixed media on canvas, $500

This winter break, I took a hiatus from writing and basked in the light of other stimulating artists, music, books and more. Here are just a few …

Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work This book is so inspiring and bite-size. If you are an artist or trying to get up the courage to be one, this book will give you a million reasons why you have every right to be doing it right now. Beyond that, he gives you another million reasons why you should be putting your amateur art out there and not wait until you feel accomplished to show the world your stuff. “You can’t find your voice if you don’t use it.”

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic – I fell in love with this practical, drama-free look at being a creative person. Gilbert discusses how to set your expectations for living a creative life, tame your fear and let your art out. So beautiful and true, I love her perspective and her down to Earth philosophies. You can watch her interview on the book and hear some pearls of wisdom at Marie TV here.

Elizabeth Gilbert, from her latest book, Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert, from her latest book, Big Magic

Mountainfilm – How lucky I am to live near Telluride, Colorado where this spectacular film fest started. Each year they bring a collection of award winning independent and short films to my valley. This year my favorites were “The Special Places” about a father son relationship and the Grand Canyon, and “The Fitz Traverse” – the first climbing film I’ve seen with humor, endearing characters, and no ego. You can see if Mountainfilm is coming to your town here.

Spending time with family – My immediate family is spread from Colorado to New Orleans to Chicago and South Carolina. So the opportunity to hang with my brother and sister, get our kids together to play, and have coffee with mom and dad every morning was priceless. As time goes on, these reunions and learning about my family history becomes more and more important. Plus we have a really good time!

Giant squid attack! With brother Mark, mom and some of the cousins!

Giant squid attack! With brother Mark, mom and some of the cousins!

Other Artists (of course!) – Living in a very small town in the mountains, I greatly appreciate the ability to see so much ART on the internet. This year I discovered so many new artists I love including Lisa Congdon, Sally Anne Fitter, Jane Davies, Heather Day (no relation that I know of), and many more! You can see a collection of artists who inspire me here.

Learning – Speaking of the internet, I’ve been spending my lunch breaks watching videos and learning. It is magic how easily we can get our hands on fabulous information and just keep learning. Of course it’s easy to get inundated with too much, so I’m careful to weed out my inbox and hone in on the people I really feel have something to offer. After all, we’re a sum of our influences. This break I enjoyed wellness activist Kris Carr, marketing personality Marie Forleo’s TV channel, and doing a daily pilates routine to keep my back strong so I can continue to be an athlete.

Art Journaling – It’s rare to have the whole day ahead and no schedule. This winter break, one of the sweetest times was to sit with my dad every morning, who is also an artist, drink coffee, shoot the breeze, and just draw. Every morning I art journaled and enjoyed sketching, watercolor and playing with ideas for larger paintings. Even my brother colored in one of those Zen Doodle books. It was divine! Learn more about putting together an art journal kit in my online course starting February 6.

Art journaling over New Years Kellie Day

Art journaling over New Years

Poetry – I love poetry. Period. Actually, I am completely blown away by poetry. This break I was particularly moved by a collection of Haikus by Issa and other masters in my friend Jerry Robert’s chapbook; the lovely and emerging poet Erika Gordon, who’s second book is coming out soon with my artwork on the cover; and always, my most favorite poet ever, the Sufi poet Hafiz.


Music – Lately I’ve been listening to The Be Good Tanyas while I paint. I love the lead singer’s unique voice and their relaxing yet gritty style.

Ok I should stop, but I’d love to hear what you’ve been digging on this month. So scroll down and leave a comment, I’d love to know …

And don’t forget if you’ve been itching to get your creativity on for the new year, my 12-day mixed media e-course Pedal to Petal begins February 6 – Head on over here to sign up and get your supplies! 

Thanks for tuning in, and may you find loads of inspiration and juicy influences in the New Year!



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