What happens if you do what you've always done?

a fraction of quick demo piece from my final class

That's right... you'll get what you've always got!
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another!" —Gail Sheehy
On Friday, I taught my last drawing and watercolor class. I enjoyed every minute, we all did, and I fully engaged with the final exercises. After 17 years, it was a good feeling to leave something I've so much loved doing on a sweet note.

I have to thank each and every one of the students I've worked with over the years from the boardwalks on Kiawah Island, to the museums and art centers from Florida to Connecticut to California, from the back yards and nature centers around Boston to my Nashville studio, and all points in between.

A special shout out to Katie Vanoncini and Ingrid at General Pencil who supported my national initiative to promote drawing in neighborhood communities, Drawing America, to my teaching on Edisto Island last year. General Pencil makes the best graphite and watercolor pencils in the world. Period. Buy them.

Basic Drawing Lessons and Enter Here to Draw and Watercolor are available for download (click on the titles) and my foundation method for drawing and watercolor will be available for home study later this year. But now it's time for me to focus on my current work. It's the transformational coaching without the drawing and watercolor.

Seventeen years ago, I was psyched just to watch people drawing. Several years into it, I couldn't help but notice the personal transformation students experienced after just a day or two with me, and especially in those who kept at it month after month over the development of a longer form course. I love that I was able to create a method with provable results.

In the grand scheme of things, in the US especially, only a handful of people are interested in drawing and watercolor, and only a handful of those are interested in the practice of same as a tool for self-realization, and of that group only a fraction are brave enough to meet the page, willing to make their mark and do the work (through the learning curve and the practice, practice, practice.) My students have been brave souls who have worked diligently. I love them all.

Now I'm focusing on the coaching work itself for individuals and groups, oils related to that coaching, on my business, writing and own practice of drawing and watercolor. That's a lot! It's plenty. It feels right and if feels good!

Life is the first art. That's where I'm at right now.

Stay tuned... 

Exciting changes are afoot and will unfold over the coming months. But right off the bat,

Join my free teleseminar on essential oils!

A brief introduction to essential oils:
What are they, how are they made and why would you care?

It'll be fun and informative AND you have a pretty good chance to win a FREE bottle of the most awesome Wild Orange essential oil! It's the first doTERRA oil I received, I immediately fell madly in love with it, and now I use it every day.

Wild Orange is the oil of abundance, good mood, natural creativity, and playful fun.

Well... join us on the teleseminar and find out more!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!

If you sign up for the teleseminar and can't make it, I'll send out a recording of the call so you can listen in.

If you really love essential oils or want to love them or just learn more, I'll be teaching a short series of introductory classes focusing on particular oils starting early this summer. But join in the call to learn more about that, too!
____________________________________________

Join my Tribe and receive ongoing inspiration
  • Creative Wake Up eBook
  • with bonus song download
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow
   


What Smells So Good?


Suzanne McDermott, Two Oranges, Watercolor 5.75 x 7.75, 2014

My maternal grandmother wore Guerlain's perfume, L'Heure Bleue. So did my mother and her sister, Nancy. The bottle and the box that held it were exquisite and the scent was among the early 20th century perfume classics.

"'L'Heure Bleue' An innovative classic floral-oriental perfume by Guerlain dating from 1912 which was created by Jacques Guerlain. The effect is sweet and spicy. Bergamot, with hints of lemon, neroli, tarragon, coriander and sage, sets a fresh top note, giving way to a heart of carnation supported by jasmine, rose, orris, ylang-ylang and other fragrances on a base note principally comprising sandalwood and musk, but supported by, amongst others, St. John's wort. It is sold in a flacon by Baccarat. Its users are said to include the Queen Mother and Sophia Loren." —New Perfume Handbook, edited by N. Groom

Doesn't that description make you want to inhale while rolling around in clean, white cotton sheets by a wide open window?

Me? I'm more of a 19th century aficionado. I've used Florida Water (an American citrus based version of Eau de Cologne appearing in 1856) for decades as daily deodorant and, after a friend passed off a bottle that her husband never used, loved wearing 4711 (made in Cologne by the Mulhen's Family perfumery shop in 1796.)

As a teenager, when I read that Brigit Bardot wore Jicky exclusively, I walked right up to Bonwit Teller and bought a bottle of Jicky eau de cologne. The cologne version may be a thing of the past but it was my most favorite, ever. I miss it.

When Guerlain introduced Jicky in 1889, it marked an entirely new development in perfumery as a highly concentrated blend with citrus top notes, floral and woody middle notes and base notes led by vanilla with balsamic undertones. A little went a long way and large quantities of scent were no longer needed.

In 1920, Chanel No. 5 changed everything. Until that date, all scents were created with natural substances. No. 5 was made of synthetic materials. I have a bottle in the closet that I found at a ridiculously low price but I can barely stand to wear it (although once in a while, I try in vain.)

In fact, I can barely stand to stray near any perfume counters. The last time I had to walk through a perfume department, I nearly exploded with a full-blown allergy attack, sneezing, eyes running. It's a pity that what was once a private hobby and great pleasure is no longer viable.

Except that... I've found my way back in through an incredible brand of truly exceptional essential oils— dōTERRA!

Discover DōTERRA

I'm hosting a FREE teleseminar!

A brief introduction to essential oils: 
 What are they, how are they made and why would you care

It'll be fun and informative AND you have a pretty good chance to win a FREE bottle of the most awesome Wild Orange essential oil! It's the first doTERRA oil I received, I immediately fell madly in love with it, and now I use it every day.

Wild Orange is the oil of abundance, good mood, natural creativity, and playful fun.

Well... join us on the teleseminar and find out more!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!

If you sign up for the teleseminar and can't make it, I'll send out a recording of the call so you can listen in.

If you really love essential oils or want to love them or just learn more, I'll be teaching a short series of introductory classes focusing on particular oils starting in mid-June. But join in the call to learn more about that, too!

  ____________________________________________

Join my Tribe and receive ongoing inspiration
  • Creative Wake Up eBook
  • with bonus song download
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow
   


How to find unconditional love

Rosemary Fogarty McDermott et moi, Petite Suzanne

Where I'm coming from

We're more than half-way through the maiden voyage of my Life is the First Art course and I have to tell you, it has been life changing for me. We're covering more ground than I anticipated and I must applaud each and every one of this first group for their full participation, willingness to do the work and for allowing their true radiant selves to shine through. Each week, I am stunned by their unfurling growth. It's truly an honor to witness, and I'm prompted to give credit where credit is due.

If you've worked with me, you know that I am all about foundation. Without a solid foundation, anything we build, including that most fundamental creation of all—our lives, may not withstand the pressure of adversity. In so many, many ways, I had the great fortune of an awesome foundation.

I hear my mother's voice in my mind, "Remember, Suzanne, Life is the First Art!" That phrase, like many things my mother said, has run through my mind ever since. I always thought she was quoting someone but when I looked high and low for the source of that quote, I came up with nothing. It's hers.

The bookshelves in my family's house were lined with Shakespeare, biographies of composers, volumes of poetry and histories along with Gayelord Hauser (Look Younger, Live Longer), Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People), Dr. Herman Taller (Calories Don't Count), Thomas Merton (The Seven Story Mountain), James Allen (As A Man Thinketh), William James (The Will To Believe), Carl Rogers (On Becoming A Person), The Wisdom of Confucius, and other gems on health, spirituality, Art and human potential.

My mother was a poet, artist and musician who did not fully realized her talents. I am not sure today if that really matters but it mattered to me once so much so that I have spent most of my life working to realize my own and I have, to the best of my ability.

My father was, amongst other things, an avid health nut. He jogged before it became a craze and swam a mile a day. Our kitchen was stocked with black strap molasses, honey comb, protein bread and grapefruit. He went to six o'clock mass every weekday morning and never said a word about it.

Both of my parents would often break into cheery song. it was a rich experience and laid a solid foundation for me in spirit, health, culture, and human potential. I'm grateful that I've been able to share what I built upon this foundation.

For the sake of Facebook (!) I found what may be the only remaining photo of my mother and me.

The most important lesson

The books on my parents' shelves were not just titles and authors' words on bindings and paper, they were ideas, prescriptions for living, expansions of consciousness.

Perhaps the most important thing to learn in life is to love and accept yourself. Because we're human, it's a challenge, and a practice. It's the precursor to "Do unto others..."

Here's a quote from one of the books on my parents' shelves.
"One way of put­ting this is that I feel I have become more adequate in letting myself be what I am. It becomes easier for me to accept myself as a decidedly imperfect person, who by no means functions at all times in the way in which I would like to function.

"This must seem to some like a very strange direction in which to move. It seems to me to have value because the curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I change. I believe that I have learned this from my clients as well as within my own experi­ence - that we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed."

—Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person
How to get unconditional love? Love and accept yourself truly, madly, deeply.

Would you like to explore personal coaching sessions?

I'm quietly opening up my practice beyond the exclusive private clients I've been working with over the past few years. We begin with a gratis consultation call to discover what's going on, see if we're a good match, and how I can best help.

Click here to connect for an appointment.
____________________________________________

Join my Tribe and receive ongoing inspiration
  • Creative Wake Up eBook
  • with bonus song download
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow