Artistic Truth

Artistic Truth

In the light of yesterday’s post about artistic integrity, fear, courage and change, I found inspiration in the same vein over at The Painter’s Keys.

While Robert’s timeless article was excellent, the inspiration I wanted to share with you today came from the comments. J. Bruce Wilcox wrote,

“Artistic Truth? Educate yourself. At some point- leave all your teachers behind. Make work that comes directly from your inner connection to the universe- your soul- god. Nothing else matters if you want your work to tell YOUR truth. Only you know your truth. There is no other truth. A few people will get your truth- but most won’t. Don’t care about either. If you care what other people think you will always try to make work that pleases someone else. You want that acceptance to matter. It doesn’t. Especially if you’re making art that doesn’t fit into convenient boxes. Trash all boxes. Be subversive to the truth. Create new truths. Own that. Scare the hell out of everybody. Be disruptive. A higher truth will always settle after you disrupt the truth. Always. And there are always higher truths. Why? Because 3-D is an illusion.
Where does the truth come from? “Know thyself.” Again- why? Because there isn’t anything else. If you find your artistic truth- and you create work that comes out of your core being- your work will stand the ultimate test- the test of time. Creativity is truth. Creativity is a primary reason for existence- maybe THE primary reason. Which is exactly why it is NOT supported very well in our culture- because TRUTH sets itself apart from all things that are false. And everybody hates to look in the truth mirror- because it shows them just how false they are- and they hate that. Ego? False. Religion? False. Personality? False. ART? CREATIVITY? “Now that’s the truth.”’

I was going to write something about this, but you know what? This delicious food for thought is better without the condiments!

By J. Bruce Wilcox

By J. Bruce Wilcox


To your truth,


PS: You can find more of J. Bruce Wilcox on Facebook

Listening to the Whispers of my Wild Soul

Listening to the Whispers of my Wild Soul


Did you ever have such an astounding experience that it potentially changed the course of your life?

Backpacking in the stunning wilderness of Mount Robson Park this past summer brought me a number of realizations.

One, I am used to being bombarded by demands and distractions. I had so much time to just “be” that it was a total revelation! And a really odd feeling. Disconcerting at first, and later, luxurious and healing.

Because I was backpacking, I didn’t want to carry any extra weight so I brought nothing to “entertain” myself except a very small blank Moleskine to double as a sketchbook and journal, which I hardly used. Mostly I soaked up the sun, and the mountains, the scents of glacier water and conifers, and the sounds of forest birds and buzzing insects. I looked for mountain goats, counted my blessings, meditated and contemplated.

Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC - (c) C. "KEENA" Friedrichsmeier

Robson Valley © C. “KEENA” Friedrichsmeier

Photograph by KEENA or Steve Payne

It was both rejuvenating and clarifying. The clarity I got when not surrounded by the distractions of daily life was astounding. And a bit scary.

The second realization was that I hadn’t REALLY been listening to my wild soul. Partly because it’s so easy to drown out that “still, small voice within,” and partly because it was so scary.

“…I hadn’t REALLY been listening to my wild soul.”

What was so scary?


As I get older, capturing a likeness just doesn’t do it anymore. With each painting I long to capture the essence and the feelings of the experience. The more I try to capture essence and feeling, the more abstraction appears in my work.

And it scares me!

Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC - (c) C. "KEENA" Friedrichsmeier
Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC - (c) C. "KEENA" Friedrichsmeier
Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC - (c) C. "KEENA" Friedrichsmeier
Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC - (c) C. "KEENA" Friedrichsmeier

Mist Glacier, Mount Robson.

KEENA – Robson 2. Acrylic on paper. 12x9 in.

(c) C. “KEENA” Friedrichsmeier


Because it’s so compelling. And I have absolutely no idea where it will lead.

When painting a representation of a landscape, flower, person, etc., you have an idea of what it *should* look like when you are done. But when you work abstractly – at least so far for me! – I have no idea what it will look like when I am done. It’s an intuitive discovery PROCESS. And I am really enjoying that part of it – it’s so different to my normal way of working.

The other thing that’s scary is the whole “what will people think?!” thing. Those who know my art so far have an image of what it *should* look like… And abstract art is not it. And it seems like not many are so fond of it. So I feel like I am out on a ledge with nothing to keep me safe.

Have you experienced this?

How did you deal with it?

I would love to hear your stories of courage, fear and possibly regret in the comments below.

Please share! I want to do a series of interviews or have guest blogs on the subject, so if you’re interested, please connect with me after you leave your comment below!




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New Blog

New Blog

I have blogged for a number of years in the realm of getting to the heart of your purpose and creating a business from it, but have been absolutely terrible at maintaining my art blog! I never knew what to say…

It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf though!

And so I begin… again.

~ Keena

Speaking Your Truth (and an Admission)

Speaking Your Truth (and an Admission)

I love learning, and am curious about a number of different subjects, that on the surface may seem unrelated (among others, zoology, art/painting, kayaking, intuitive readings and business coaching – anyone else like this?!). The only thing that seemed to connect it all was me

But in a spark of inspiration (that was prompted by Steven Kotler’s book, The Rise of Superman), I realized that there WAS a thread weaving it all together – what I call Musehacking.  And (astonished gasp!) that I had actually spent my life exploring it. Along the way, there have been many insights, lots that worked and huge boatloads of things that didn’t work. I thought of how useful it would be to share this knowledge (especially the ever-useful “how-to’s” and was surprised that no one else really has!

So then I had all these plans for writing cool and useful blog posts on Musehacking.

And then I choked.

And I didn’t write anything. For weeks on end.

What happened?

Guru-ism happened.

I felt like I suddenly had to be an expert on it. And maybe even write a whole separate blog/newsletter about it, and yadda, yadda, yadda. While I have spent my life exploring this, I am still synthesizing what I’ve learned, trying to find words for things that are experiential, and am developing it as I go.

I am still experimenting, albeit now in a more focused manner, with what works and doesn’t.

I am not a guru.

I guess I am a wee bit more of an expert than someone who is completely new to Musehacking (i.e., flow-on-demand, self-leadership and a host of other stuff), but I worried that if I wasn’t coming across as some sort of guru, I wouldn’t be seen as providing something useful, or worse yet, a fraud. Isn’t this what marketing gurus all tell us?

All of this is nothing more than fear, right? My own worries projected outward.

I’ve admitted to you that I am not a guru with some official degree in Musehacking! No! In fact, I am an ongoing experimenter sharing my observations and results based on over 40 years of being a musehacker. I cannot then speak THE Truth, only MY truth. (So no more fear excuses for me! Ha!). If you apply what I share and it doesn’t work for you, it could be a number of factors, the primary one being self-knowledge (or lack thereof), including conative preferences, strengths, and of course, experience (all of which we could then work together on, if you like).

One last thing you should know: at this point, I will share Musehacker insights along with my adventures in art and nature. Since it relates to who I am and what I do, you get the package deal :). In case you are wondering why, I know my conative preferences, and I have multi-tasked multiple businesses before (leading to fragmentation and burnout), and, for now, I am done with it.

And, with that in mind, should you want to join me on my adventures in art, inner and outer nature, and musehacker insights for boosting creativity and productivity in art, life and business, please sign up! Please note that the Musehacker- specific content will be posted on my blog, but after a limited time will be password protected and only available to newsletter subscribers. So, if you are interested in Musehacking and would like all of the articles indefinitely, please sign up! 🙂

In gratitude,



Painting by Keena

What is Musehacking?

Artists and other creatives, including creative entrepreneurs know of the Muses.

“In Greek mythology are the goddesses of the inspiration of literaturescience, and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics, and myths that were related orally for centuries in these ancient cultures. They were later adopted by the Romans as a part of their pantheon.

In current English usage, “muse” can refer in general to a person who inspires an artist, writer, or musician.” [Source: Wikipedia]

Hacking in this case refers to shortcuts, skill, tips or methods that increase productivity, efficiency and enjoyment, and makes it (whatever you’re hacking) smoother and easier, along the same lines as the term “life hacking.”

So, then…

Musehacking = tips, shortcuts, skills and methods for greater creativity and productivity in art, life and business.


Why hack the Muse?

Once upon a time, it was thought that the Muses were fickle. You had to wait for them to show up, mystically invoke them to try to get them to show up, and serve them to your utmost ability lest they leave you for another artist (creative, maker, entrepreneur, etc.).

While it is true that Muses must be served, fickle they are not.

Musehacking explores ways to have the Muse show up whenever you need her.

And that results in more creativity, more flow, more productivity, more focus, less fear, less doubt, better decision-making and less resistance.

If that’s not enough, the result of all that will be better work and greater success (including more money if that’s what you’re after).

Oh yeah, and no such thing as “artists’ block.”

Now don’t you think it’s worthwhile to learn to hack the muse?!

To your great success!


Blessing for Those Who are Exhausted

Blessing for Those Who are Exhausted

Blessing for Those Who are Exhausted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.
Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

– John O’Donohue, from “Blessings”

Chronic Stress is a Purpose Problem

Chronic Stress is a Purpose Problem

Dearest Wild Soul,

Chronic stress kills. We know this. We’ve read the headlines about how chronic stress causes heart attacks, ulcers and gastrointestinal disease; it causes anxiety and depression – even suicide; it leads to addictions and cancer. These are the things that have killed my loved ones, and nearly me, too.

But what causes chronic stress?

Overwhelm – too much to do and too much information, too fast. This is our chronic state of being, unless you have a calming practice such as meditation or yoga, and even then, outside of that practice we may feel we are on a never-ending hamster-wheel and we can’t get off.

We tend to accept that chronic stress is a disease in and of itself. We try to treat the causes of chronic stress by telling people they need to be more efficient with their time, or their inbox clutter. Or, one of my faves, “get up an hour earlier so you don’t have to be rushed in the morning” but then fail to remind you that you will also have to curb that hour of TV at night so that you can still get a good sleep.

What if chronic stress is not a disease, but a symptom of a deeper issue?

Dusan Djukich is one of the wisest of coaches. In his book Straightline Leadership, he talks about a time management problem as really being a purpose problem. When you know what your purpose is, then you have no problem knowing what to say yes to, and what to say no to.

People with chronic stress don’t know how to say no to the wrong things, and yes to the right things.

Djukich writes: “When you are not sure what to say yes to and what to say no to, you will always appear to have a time-management problem. Having no committed stance throughout the day looks like a time management problem but it’s not.
It’s actually more of a bold communication problem.
Remember your purpose, and you solve time management forever:
• Who am I?
• Why am I here?
• What do I choose to create?”

Chronic stress is going to be a problem for those who don’t know who they are, or why they are here, or what they choose to create.

Your wild soul knows…

I would love to read your comments below on what your wild soul knows!

To your Awakening,


Is The Stress of New Year’s Resolutions Taking Its Toll?

Is The Stress of New Year’s Resolutions Taking Its Toll?

When it comes to re-wilding your life – restoring it to properly functioning condition – you have the best intentions for 2016.

But are those New Year’s resolutions ADDING to your stress?

Often when we make resolutions we ADD them to our lives. You want to DO MORE! And in the name of greater health. You want to lose weight, perhaps, by spending more time at the gym, working out harder and longer.

But have you dropped anything from your schedule to compensate for that?

Sleep?! That’s the most common one. You read in many de-stressing articles about how you should give yourself extra time in the mornings so you won’t have to rush, aggravating your stress. So you get up earlier. Nowhere is the mention of going to bed earlier!

Instead of losing sleep, how about losing something that sucks your time, but that doesn’t add to your holistic wellness, your wild soul?!

  • Watching the news?
  • Watching stupid shows that you hate but you can’t think of anything better to do because you just want to tune out and veg?
  • How about limiting facebook time to one hour instead of two?
  • Have a housekeeper clean for you
  • Can you work from home at least one day a week and save the commute?
  • What else can you think of?

The solution to New Year’s resolutions is not to add to your stress, but to decrease it.

  • Meditation or Yoga or Tai Chi
  • Reading
  • Scheduled time “off” – with nothing actually scheduled! What are you inspired to use this time for?

How are you coping with your New Year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!

To your Wild Soul!




The Purpose of Art

"Incoming" 3x6 inches, acrylic on linen on wood.

The purpose of art is to take the senses on a journey back to the source of perception, which is pure Awareness.

– Rupert Spira

Nature, too, is a source of awakening our senses and hearkening us back to our Wild Souls.

Think back to the last time you were outside in the presence of an incoming storm. How were your sense awakened? What did you sense?

Now, how is art the same?

Interested in purchasing this piece?

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Awaken Your Wild Soul


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