& Breathe Life Into Your Paintings
A Five-Module online course where you’ll take your art into new, astonishing directions by cultivating your ability to experiment. Accelerate your progress!
Activating the Canvas Featured As One of the Top Online Art Courses by CreativeBloq.com –>>
Get Started On Your Abstract Painting Journey!
Activate The Canvas With Intuitive Mark Making
I’m so excited to invite you to Activating The Canvas!
This is a self directed, independent study abstract painting course where you’ll explore and experiment deeply with your own personal lexicon and gestural expression and mark making.
You’ll learn to trust and grant yourself radical permission to paint with experimentation, exploration, and aliveness.
Throughout the course you’ll also explore your inner landscape that affects your art as well as your life. Loosen up, play and fuel your creative fire. Take your art into new, astonishing directions by cultivating your ability to experiment. Accelerate your progress as an abstract artist.
Start Activating The Canvas and begin your artist’s journey TODAY!
When you Enroll in the Course:
• You’ll receive The Artist’s Journey workbook to begin exploring your inner landscape. Threaded throughout the course, you’ll continue exploring your big ‘Why’ for creating as well as your interior narrative and mindset so that you become aware of these deeper influences that affect your art.
• You’ll receive access to all 5 modules containing all lessons, reflections, lectures, video demonstrations, actionable steps and guided painting challenges to further develop your art
• You’ll receive ‘The Artist’s Journey Vision Board so you can track your progress as well as your inner landscape.
• You’ll explore and experience the one inner transformation that is essential for creating your deepest, most meaningful work.
• You’ll learn the secret ‘Holy Grail’ that successful, prolific artists develop.
• You’ll have access to the modules for a full year.
Are you painting with aliveness and wonder?
Are you listening to the yearnings of your heart?
Do you long to create your deepest work?
I like the Artist's Journey book very much. I especially like the connections and references to work by Carl Jung! Your book is inspirational!
I loved Activating The Canvas. It directly addressed some techniques I wanted to learn... layering, veils. I love the encouragement to keep working and producing works of art and the push to use any and all tools that help express what you feel and the suggestion to stop overthinking and judging.
Nancy Hillis' work has re-ignited my passion for art. I especially like the references to Carl Jung and the important role the unconscious mind plays in self-discovery and acts of self-expression. She inspires artists to keep working...to move beyond criticism and judgement!
Hey there, I'm Nancy
An Abstract Artist, Bestselling Author and Stanford Trained Existential Psychiatrist
I’ve been an artist and existential psychiatrist for over 20 years and I'm passionate about creativity, aliveness, and meaning.
I've been an abstract painter for decades. Several years ago I created a television program "Creativity & Consciousness" where I interviewed artists on their creative process. I learned that artists in every genre grapple with fear and self-doubt and that the interior landscape affects everything!
I believe that abstract painting is a powerful way of getting at meaning and that art is a mirror that reflects our lives…the canvas reflects back our feelings, moods, interior states, and life.
I've guided thousands of artists in creating their deepest, most alive and meaningful work, and I would love to be your guide, too!
What You’ll Achieve
What will you complete by the end of the course?
- A personal Artist’s Journey Vision Board to explore your ongoing intentions, goals, understandings, insights
- A personal art journal to experiment and take risks in
- Many painting ‘starts’
- Hundreds of painting ‘maquettes’ (studies/exploratory studies)
What skills will you master?
- Setting painting goals and intentions and refining them
- Trusting yourself to find your way as you paint
- Express what you love…express YOU
- Develop your own personal, confident vocabulary of mark making and imagery
- Develop your 15 minute daily studio practice
- Creating many painting ‘starts’
- Creating visually exciting paintings of high contrast
- And much, much more!
What results will you have if you take this course?
- Paint with expressive wonder and aliveness by learning to trust yourself.
- Free up and awaken your playfulness, experimentation, and risk taking in your work.
What will you learn?
- The one inner transformation that makes all the difference on your artist’s journey
- The secret ‘Holy Grail’ of prolific, successful artists: (it’s a triple threat)
- Many Ways of Starting An Abstract Painting
- Common Composition Problems and How To Fix Them
- How To Create Visual Excitement With Contrast
- And much more!
Nancy's courses have been a fabulous investment in learning new skills and valuing my own ideas and impulses.
In November, I took leave from my teaching job for health reasons and knew that I'd better have something to keep my brain busy. Activating the Canvas served that purpose-- and then some!
In January, I resigned my teaching job and, again, decided to "double down" with Studio Journey and Nancy as painting guide during the transitional time.
Now we have COVID? Good grief... I keep returning to the videos and then painting daily and the discovery process (finding something from a blank nothing) is a positive lift. Symbolic of what we're going to need to do in the future? Absolutely.
In daily painting and painting over, I'm practicing more than the studio concepts which means the skills can be applied in more than the studio.
I didn't know what my life could be with daily art in it. Thank you Thank You THANK YOU to Nancy!
What You’ll Learn In The Modules
In the very first Module you’ll delve deeply into your inner landscape, your mindset, your big Why of creating…..you’ll explore the inner transformation that makes all the difference in your painting as well as how to develop a robust studio practice of experimentation.
It gets even better…
Not only will you get guidance on potent and transformative inner work and committed studio practice, you’ll also get a deep understanding of the importance of risk taking, exploration, play and experimentation in evolving your work as an artist.
As artists we’re not interested in sitting still. We don’t want to keep repeating what’s worked before. We want to discover new things, we want to be astonished by what emerges.
I’ll teach you how to get started and keep going in your studio practice. You’ll learn how to loosen up, activate the canvas and experiment. In this course you’ll receive 5 Modules all immediately available.
Module 1: Welcome To Activating The Canvas
Welcome to Activating The Canvas. You’ll explore and reflect on your big ‘Why’ for creating as well as complete The Artist’s Journey Workbook where you’ll delve into your internal landscape that affects everything in your art and life. Lessons on Why Your Why Matters will lead you into video demonstrations revealing that you have your own personal lexicon, you own gestural signature and expression that is immediate, intuitive and unique. Video demonstrations of the power of exploratory studies in developing and strengthening your work will be explored in this first module. You’ll further work with the concepts of Simplicity & Constraint and learn that within constraints are an infinity of possibilities for your art. You’ll experiment with The Expressive Vocabulary Of Mark Making and explore the unlimited possibilities of your own expression.
Module 2: The Expressive Vocabulary Of Mark Making
In this module you’ll reflect upon mark making and you’ll learn about the power of gestural mark making for expressing feeling. You’ll learn ways to expand your expressive vocabulary of mark making and how to incorporate the concepts of simplicity, constraint & predominance into your work.
Module 3: Cultivate An Attitude Of Experimentation
In this module you’ll reflect upon your experience of experimentation and you’ll learn the value and potency of employing an experimental mindset in your art making and studio practice. You’ll experiment with automatic drawing and be challenged to continue creating exploratory studies and experimental works.
Module 4: Activate The Canvas
In this module you’ll reflect upon activating the canvas and allowing yourself to step into the unknown as you create. You’ll learn how to work with flux, veiling and covering. You’ll explore flux and building up the surface of your painting. You’ll learn how to create visual contrast and how to intuitively compose as you paint.
Module 5: What’s Next For You On Your Artist’s Journey
In this closing module, you’ll reflect upon your ongoing Artist’s Journey. You’ll explore what’s next for you and where you want to go in your art. There are bonus videos on creating rhythmic starts and how to incorporate rhythmic starts into a painting.
Watch a Sample Lesson Below
Studio Journey is my third course led by Nancy. I started with Activating The Canvas, then with Experiment with color and the latest course Studio Journey I am currently doing for the second year, the trip I never want to end.
At the end of last year, I was accepted into a jury-judged exhibition with over 100 artists, which was an incredible encouragement. The first day of the vernissage I sold a painting "Zornpalette" which came during my trip in the Studio Journey course.
To my great delight, it was also a gallerist who bought the tablet for 10000 SEK. That exhibition meant a lot to my self-confidence. Now that Covid-19 has taken the whole world into its grip, two exhibitions have been canceled. But I am fine and I am so privileged to have the opportunity to paint in my little studio and even more to explore what is inside me.
If I back a few years when I got anxious when I would start painting on a white canvas, I have also been a "perfectionist" which has not facilitated my creation. But since I found Nancy among all the thousands of other art teachers, my life has changed not only on the artistic level but on so many levels.
I feel more whole as a human being, life has become more exciting and I have become more responsive to the invisible in life.
The feeling when I first loved what I painted was incredibly strong and because it was genuine and rooted within myself. Sure, there is still often a struggle during each painting, but then I hear Nancy's voice that it is precisely in the "ugly paintings" something new is emerging. HOW EXCITING IS THIS?
I don't know how to express in words the gratitude I feel. A more humble, responsive and generous educator than Nancy cannot be found.
Saying Yes to your artist’s journey is akin to embarking on a dangerous expedition into the unknown.
You yearn for aliveness and meaning and find yourself answering the call of your desire to create your deepest work. The moment you decide to start…you’re immediately plunged into the unknown and you face the perils of creating…and yet you persist anyway because your desire to create is greater than your fear.
One of the most important things for any artist to learn is to trust yourself so that you can allow yourself to take risks, explore and experiment.
Experimentation is at the heart of what being an artist is about. We’re not here to replicate others work…we’re here to express ourselves…our own voice, vision and truth.
We must trust ourselves
Trusting yourself to find your way as you create and to show yourself and the world what you love.
You can free yourself up to move past fears and self doubt in your painting process and awaken experimentation, playfulness, and risk taking in your work.
Begin your own journey of exploration and experimentation.
I am very excited about Nancy's book, The Artist’s Journey. Having started on her course I have been reading the book and I can verify that she knows the artist’s mind through and through.
What happens when you’re in your studio facing the blank canvas? How do you create raw, immediate and astonishing paintings? What’s the secret to powerful, alive paintings that experienced professional artists know but that eludes you?
The secret is that your inner landscape transforms your work
As an existential psychiatrist, abstract artist, and creator of ‘Creativity and Consciousness’ television program, I learned that there’s one thing that matters more than anything else in your art and that is trusting yourself. To paint freely with expressive aliveness, authenticity, and experimentation…you need one thing above all else.
I’m on a mission to guide artists to believe in and trust themselves. I want you to be freed up to experiment, explore, play, take big risks, search and find your way in your painting practice.
In essence, I want you to be able to express YOU
What if on your artist’s journey you found out how to loosen up and actually love going into your studio and painting? What if you uncovered one of the secrets of successful, prolific painters? What if you discovered one thing that will transform your painting practice? How will you learn this?
the most important transformation of all is an inner one.
Imagine feeling freed up to explore and experiment!
Invest in Activating the Canvas and find out how!
Praise For Activating The Canvas:
Straight up? I like it a lot. Without getting too deep into the weeds: a while ago I bought a Kindle and with that read “The Artists Journey: Bold Strokes to Spark Creativity.” That lead me to the website and some other things including a conversation with Bruce. While I have never before thought about painting abstracts, I decided to give it a try. Turns out Activating the Canvas is just right for me and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I strongly recommend it to anyone wanting to get started in creating abstract works.
Praise for The Book:
I'm liking' the book so much. More importantly it is going to serve as a practical Manuel for me as will the videos.
Praise for Color Secrets of the Pros Workbook:
What I found was a concise and simple treatment of color concepts that I have found to be overwhelming in other books and manuals. I like the straightforward explanations and examples.
I’m so glad I found you on-line and registered for one of your courses. I’m having a lot of fun now painting with your approach.
You’re not alone!
I can help! I’ve been there too! For years, I painted figures and landscapes that were beautiful, technically excellent and got into solo shows and galleries, but eventually this experience felt predictable and uninspiring to me.
Frankly, I felt bored.
I wanted magic!
I wanted aliveness and wonder. I wanted surprise. I wanted to not know what was going to happen. I was done with playing it safe. I wanted to take radical risks!
I wanted to fall in love with painting again
And I did. I started experimenting, exploring and risking. I painted like I was on fire! I was a unstoppable
I learned that only through continued exploration will you make your own discoveries…that you must be willing to answer the call and step into the unknown…that there a few secrets to creating art that’s alive and full of wonder and mystery…and that…
the most important transformation of all is an inner one.
I’ve learned many things on my artist’s journey over the years and I’ve refined it down to a few core concepts that make the difference in creating art that’s personal, meaningful, and pulsating with life versus art that is predictable, generic, and boring.
I want to teach you what it takes to create wondrous paintings that are personal, meaningful, and alive.
I want to show you how to make paintings that you love.
This is an independent, self directed course that you’ll have a year of access to online and after that you can download any materials you like and want to keep forever.
If you’re thinking…
I don’t know if I can invest in my art. I know. I’ve been there. Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made were investing in courses that accelerated my painting skills and moved me further along my painting journey.
There’s no way I’d be in the place I am today if I hadn’t. And, when I invested in my art, it increased my motivation to work hard and develop my studio practice.
In this course, I’ve concentrated the material down to one big idea, one concept that will transform your experience of painting…and that is trusting yourself so you can experiment in your art.
The good news is that all the modules will be available for a year. You can go over and over the material as much as you like. You can download the materials to keep forever and you’ll receive any updates, new videos or refinements I add to the course.
Who’s this course not a good fit for?
It’s not a good fit, if
- You want a formula for how to paint like someone else
- You don’t want to experiment with your art
- You don’t want to explore new territory in your work
- You want to play it safe and paint beautiful, predictable, formulaic paintings
- You’re satisfied with the status quo in regards to your art
Begin Activating The Canvas NOW!
A year of access to the course that will get you started creating abstract paintings. Learn how to loosen up, activate the canvas, and breathe life into your creations. Get inspired to go into your studio and paint!
My dream is that you answer ‘Yes’ to the call of your longing to free yourself up. I want you to create the life you are meant to live. I want you to learn to trust yourself so that you can explore and experiment freely in your art and paint with the aliveness that’s in YOU.
Activating The Canvas is about experimenting, exploring, and astonishing yourself.
It’s about living the creative life of your dreams, the one you are meant to live.
It’s about finally trusting yourself.
Claim your spot in Activating The Canvas. It all begins NOW!
Will you answer YES to your desire to paint with freedom and playfulness? If so, simply click the button below to check out with a secure shopping cart. Once you’ve made your payment, you’ll be redirected to register for the course. You’ll choose a username and password and you’ll receive log in information via email. You’ll have immediate access to the course.
Here’s what just a few of my students say about the course
I have finished the course Activating the Canvas. It was a gift from two of my daughters for my 70th birthday. I have been involved in art my entire life. I majored in Interior Design in college and had my own business for 25 years. I also have taught various art mediums over the years.
Since retirement, I have taken up stained glass and renewed my love of watercolors. I found the course very interesting. It definitely forced me to examine my motives and reasons for my artistic endeavors.
What I discovered is that I can’t not create. It is part of who I am. Also, I found some new artistic freedom while doing the exercises. They opened my eyes to new ways of expressing myself.
I am sure I will revisit the exercises again. Thanks for sharing your approaches and ideas. It was enlightening, interesting, and helpful.
Nancy's workshop was phenomenol! I have always had a hard time getting started with a painting project as I would stare at the blank canvas. What will I paint? Will it look like what it should look like? These insecurities often led to passing up on the opportunity to paint for another day. What I've learned from Nancy's workshop is that I don't need to necessarily know what I want to paint. Simply activating the canvas makes starting much less intimidating. The abstract pieces I created in the workshop will serve as a reminder and inspiration to me that I can paint with confidence.
Chrissy now understands the path to her best work
Nancy gives the gift of soul work with intuitive abstract art, moving through fear and into the present moment with joyful experimentation. I now understand the path to my best work, to be able to paint with an expressive aliveness, and am deeply grateful for Nancy’s genuine care and individual attention. The content is presented sincerely and simply, and is deeply motivating.
~ Christine Scurr, Australia, Artist’s Journey® Course Alumna
Tammy got magical insights as she began to believe she could paint
Dr. Nancy Hillis combines a deep professional experience in psychiatry with an intuitive, creative approach to painting. Magical insights come out of this wonderful mix. Through her own personal art journey, she has thought and lived deeply the process of painting through fear and self doubt.
~ Tammy Pittenger, Santa Cruz, CA
Vera took her painting to a new level
Nancy, you are full of life and have a deep understanding of the “other.” You are a fantastic teacher. Your lessons are so intelligently put together! You not only provided invaluable information, you opened doors to a new level in painting and led us through with your encouragement & belief that we can do it. You made it possible for us to venture in new territory & helped us through it!
~ Vera V. Tchikovani, San Francisco, CA, Artist’s Journey® Course Alumna
Betty found her own style
Nancy's course allowed me to experience for the first time an acceptance and love for my art through my mark making and my own style. Not only did I learn about the fundamentals of creating abstract art, but I learned them in a way that was deeper and easy to understand. The weekly lesons, videos, and assignments helped me hone in on techniques through practice. The FB form was an amazing group of supportive artists and Nancy's feedback, guidance, and support were invaluable. It's been the best online course I have taken and completed!
~ Betty Franks Krause, San Jose, California, Artist’s Journey® Course Alumna
Artist, bestselling author, and Stanford trained psychiatrist Dr. Nancy Hillis will guide and inspire you as you step into the terra incognita of your soul and face your vulnerability as an artist. She believes that your most astonishing work comes from deep exploration and experimentation. Nancy encourages you to find the nascent, unexpressed parts of yourself, give voice to your subconscious experiences, and finally express YOU in your art and life.
Founder of The Artist’s Journey® workshops and courses, Nancy has led over 21,000 students on their creative journeys. Not only does Nancy encourage you to express yourself in your art, she has created courses and workshops to guide you on a tangible and accessible path to your deepest artistic fulfillment.
Nancy is the best selling author of The Artist's Journey®: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity. Available on Amazon. Named by BookAuthority as a "Top 100 Creativity Books Of All Time". Nab your copy and leave us a review.
Nancy's just released her new book The Artist's Journey®: Creativity Reflection Journey. It was the #1 New Release in Creativity on Amazon on it's first day of publication. Buy the book and receive the exclusive Big Creativity 30 Day Immersion Program.
Nancy Hillis, M.D., Artist, Best Selling Author, Speaker & Stanford Trained Existential Psychiatrist.