Reaching for Freedom

This was a fun collage I created in my art journal several years ago.  I was working full time in the corporate world.  It was a difficult time of making a decent income but at the same time knowing that I was spending all my energy on “pushing paper” and “feeding the machine.” I was constantly asking myself and searching for the answer to these questions, “Am I contributing something useful and beneficial to the world?” and “Am I making a difference in this world?”

I know as a mother I was definitely making a difference, but could that be the only difference I was meant to make? It didn’t seem to be my only purpose in life. 

I am and have always been a creative being. There isn’t a time in my personal life that I wasn’t creating something useful, something beautiful, something that made my heart, mind and soul happy.

This collage was created as a symbol of who I was at the time and who I felt I was meant to be.  I was a stressed out exhausted corporate paper pusher.  I knew that I was a Creative being that needed the freedom to create and share my gifts with the world.

Your Assignment: Think about who you are, what your dreams are, and if what you are doing is in alignment with what you desire to do with your life.  Now using symbolism by cutting out images from a magazine, create a collage that you feel represents how you are feeling. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself for getting this right.  Make several different collages in order to find which represents your current situation. You can paint the background before adding the collage elements, and you can alter the images with acrylic paint pens.

I would love to see what you create.  Feel free to share your image on Instagram and tag me @karenpruzansky so I can see it.  

Enjoy this exercise!

Imprintably yours,



Create a Painting Using Energy

This painting was created at the peak of Hurricane Irma at the closest point to our home. It was dark and 90 degrees fahrenheit in my studio, a candle burning on the studio table.

Hurricane Irma was predicted to pass directly over us. The shutters were all closed, the cars gassed up, food filled the pantry, ice was in the cooler. We were prepared. Our house had held up during the last major hurricane, Hurricane Wilma, whose center passed directly over our house approximately 10 years earlier. It was a Category 3 storm….pretty powerful. Hurricane Irma was predicted to hit Miami as a Category 5 and roar up the coast. We were nervouse, but prepared as well as we could.

Knowing the powerful winds and energy of the storm would cause nerves to be frazzled, I made a plan that we should paint at the height of the storm. Painting was usually a great way to calm the nerves.

I set up the paints, brushes, water to wash the brushes, canvases, a candle, and 2 chairs. My daughter and I prepared the studio for an afternoon of painting.

One of the first changes are the winds, and bursts of showers (the outer bands), and just as predictable is the power outages. We watched the news of the storm as long as we could on the tv until the power went out. Then we kept an eye on it from our phones.

We were lucky, but others were not. The winds shifted just slightly and the storm went up the west coast of Florida rather than the east. But it was still a very large storm and we got a lot of rain, winds, and worst of all the power outage.

As the storm was directly west of us, my daughter and I headed up to my studio, lit the candle, and painted the storm on our canvases. We could barely see the colors we were using, but used the nervous energy we felt and the powerful sounds of the wind and rain as our inspiration.

By morning, the storms had passed. Although we still did not have power, we were able to open the shutters and let the brilliant light into the house. The contrast from one day to the next was very emotional and we worried about what happened on the west coast of Florida. It can take a few days before we know the full extent of damage.

My daughter and I went upstairs to see the paintings we had created at the peak of the storm. Wow….powerful….and full of energy. Paintings can do that, especially if you are the one creating the painting. All the emotion and energy you felt while creating it comes right back to you when you look at it.

Your assignment: A weather event is a great time to capture the energy of the atmosphere and how it makes you feel. A loss, an argument, a stressful day at the office…..all of these carry powerful energy. Pay attention to the powerful energy around an event and make a little time (15 min to 1/2 hour is enought) to capture that energy into a painting. The painting can be very abstract (which is better). When you are “done” walk away from your painting and do not look at it until the next day. In the comments below, tell me about your experience painting the energy of the event. How did you feel looking at the painting the next day when the energy had changed?

Imprintably yours,