CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
CS: My art has been called floral expressionism. I call it an act of pure wild ecstatic blissful love, but I’m not sure that is considered a genre yet—ha! I paint mostly loose flowers with an abundance of saturated color and feminine faces.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
CS: My inspiration comes from my love for the creative process. My paintings allow me to express my joy and gratitude for the beauty and love that I am blessed with in my life.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
CS: When I paint, I do not think—I feel. I work from a place of love and gratitude for the creative force that surrounds us and is within us at all times. I paint intuitively which for me means that I focus on what feels good in my body rather than what looks good. I let joy and curiosity and playfulness guide my brush.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
CS: I want them to have their own experience with my art—whatever they take away is beyond my control. However, if someone asked me about my art I would say that the paintings are made in devotion and celebration of creativity, which is an expression of soulfulness and oneness that we all share.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
CS: My days are spent painting, writing, meditating, practicing yoga, and giving attention to the loving relationships in my life. I have chosen the bhakti path, or path of devotion, to my art. To me, this means I only partake in activities that serve my art in some way and have designed my life in service to my art.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
CS: For me, I just work from the desire to connect with the creative force by surrendering to the unknown.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
CS: I’ve learned that there is an invisible world that we are invited to co-create with at all times. When we do, we are able to tap into an incredible source of oneness which leads to feelings of fulfillment, purpose, wonder, and bliss.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
CS: Yes, as far as how my personal style makes me feel. The way I choose to adorn myself empowers me and makes me feel connected to my soul. I dress in a way that sends this message to myself—you are sacred and worthy. To me, style is a way to honor and celebrate oneself. It is also an opportunity to share with others our unique expression.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
CS: Running all aspects of the business is difficult because it takes time away from practicing my art. The majority of my time is spent doing administrative tasks rather than creating. However, I take a creative approach to my business and see it as my attempt to spread love and joy to others.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
CS: I love that I get to pursue the truest expression of my soul. Painting is like breathing to me. So, I love that painting gives me life.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
CS: Nature is the most masterful artist and best teacher. It reflects all the qualities of creativity daily, such as non-attachment and non-judgment. It is in a constant cycle of creativity—birth, growth, death, and re-birth. It reflects that even destruction is a necessary and natural part of creativity. It teaches us that we are part of this constant state of creativity. It tells us everything we need to know and understand about creativity.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
CS: Being able to share my art with a worldwide audience has given me wonderful opportunities and connections with people who inspire and support me. I believe it is easier than ever for an artist to directly communicate with others, which is a privilege and gift.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
CS: I think any time someone acts with awareness and reverence and follows the call of her inner wisdom, she sees the world differently than anyone else. When we are dulled and numbed and going through motions that are meaningless to us, perhaps we are not awake to the wonder in our presence. The creative process is a process of awakening the light within us, so in that sense yes I see the world differently. Art is one of many ways to do this. As Rumi said, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
CS: I enjoy traveling in small doses. I am allergic to heat which makes traveling difficult for many reasons. I’ve had severe allergic reactions just trying to get to the car rental office at an airport. I also cannot visit any warm climates. When I do travel my favorite cities are Portland, Oregon and New Orleans, Louisiana. However, there is no place on earth I’d rather be than home, snuggled up with loved ones, painting, writing, and reading.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
CS: Oh so many! I’m a huge fan of Marianne Williamson and John O’Donohue. Maya Angelou is my queen. My favorite book is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
CS: My goal is to continue to do the work I was meant to do, which includes painting and writing more books. I’m working on several books right now that I cannot wait to release.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
CS: It means everything to me. It means I get to be who I am. Would a rose ever think of being anything other than itself? One of the greatest acts of violence is not letting someone be who she is, including oneself.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
CS: As I Wake in the Morning by Alexia Chellun.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
CS: My art is a celebration of the moment when we, as we truly are, come into our fullness and burst into bloom.