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Create Your Deepest Art In The …

Imagine creating amazing art, step-by-step, in this 5 Module online course delivered weekly over 5 weeks where you’ll learn to believe and trust in yourself, so you can create art with confidence, deeply explore and experiment, and embrace the unknown.

This is for artists of all levels, whether you’re at the beginning of your artist’s journey, coming back to your art after years of not painting or you’re a seasoned professional.



Create amazing art in this 5 Module abstract painting course that is delivered weekly over 5 weeks. In The Artist’s Journey course, you’ll learn to believe and trust in yourself, so you can create art with confidence, deeply explore and experiment, and embrace the unknown. This is how you create astonishing art.


Join our fabulous private Facebook Community where the excitement happens: the exchange of ideas, inspiration, encouragement and friendships flourish in this wondrous, dynamic community of artists.


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“In the middle of the road of my life
I awoke in a dark wood
Where the true way
Was wholly lost.”

Do you ever feel that way?

Dante Alighieri wrote those words over 600 years ago, yet they could
have been written today by painters like you and me.

I remember as a child, I would sit in front of two Rembrandt reproductions that hung in the living room of my childhood home in Arkansas. For hours, I’d get lost looking at them: Young Woman with a Broom and The Man with the Golden Helmet.

As I looked into the sitters’ eyes, I imagined their personalities. What would they say if they stepped out of the paintings and sat down on the floor next to me? What were they like? I imagined playing with them and listening to them tell me stories about their lives.

I dreamt of being an artist for as long as I can remember.

But the swirl of life’s currents swept me away from that dream. I explored drama, debate, writing, biology, and chemistry. I became a psychiatrist. But then one day, that long-ago fascination with art resurfaced out of the depths.

At 36, I was brought to tears when I finally saw original Rembrandt drawings while on a painting trip in southern France. They were so alive, the people in those renderings reaching out to me across the gulf of the past.

That aliveness is what I’ve always loved about painting — yet it can get lost along the way.

So many painters are filled with self-doubt. They question their talent. Creation becomes an arduous, painful task. They retreat into technique, hoping to find that one last, secret method that will finally make them “great.”

They get their work critiqued…until they can no longer paint without a voice in their heads picking apart everything they do.

They compare themselves to other painters, and always seem to find themselves coming up short.

Along the way, their work becomes “dry.” Dead. Like a butterfly pinned to a board. Beautiful — but lifeless.

Do you ever feel that way about your work?

It’s a terrible place to be. To love something — painting — but to find it so painful. To feel lost, wanting to express yourself but not knowing how. To feel like nothing you create is really you.

You yearn for something more. To create. To feel alive.

Does any of this sound like you?


You want to find yourself and your style, but you don’t believe in yourself enough to do that. When you paint, your inner voice never stops self-critiquing, making it impossible for creativity to flow.


When you do paint something that feels right, you end up repeating it until you feel stagnant. How do you find your style without being repetitive?


You secretly fear that you’re not a “real” artist. You feel like a fraud, because you didn’t go to art school, you gave up your art a long time ago, or nobody believed in you when you were growing up. You scroll past artists on Instagram and Pinterest and feel like you’re not a “real” artist like them — and you don’t know how to be.


You enjoy starting paintings but feel anxious about finishing them.


You feel like your paintings lack a certain rawness and aliveness, and you’ve lost interest in your art. And when you lose that, you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself. You’re afraid you’ll never reach the full expression and potential of who you are with your art.


You replicate other artists’ work and never feel like you’re expressing your own vision.


Something’s just missing from your art. You wonder if it’s technique, but no matter how much you learn…you’re still never happy with your paintings.

I've had the privilege to work with Nancy as an artist. She paints with great passion, boldness, and spontaneity. Her enthusiasm and childlike playful freedom in the painting process is infectious. This is one infection I'd like to catch!

Annette Norris Crosby

Abstract Painter, Valdosta, GA, The Artist’s Journey® Alumnus

If any of this resonates with you, then you may be experiencing one of these three common problems:


You’re laboring under what I call the “tyranny of technique.”

Maybe if you get the technique “perfect,” you’ll finally be happy with your paintings, but that day never comes.

You look to others to validate your work

Friends, family, other artists, teachers, participants in critiques. When someone reacts with anything less than total praise, you feel destroyed. But when you’re praised, you don’t believe it.

You haven’t done the inner work

Artists’ statements, getting in the right galleries, attending the right MFA programs, getting the right residencies…none of that is what art is really about. Art is about self-expression. If you haven’t connected your work with yourself — your inner landscape — your painting will never be alive.

What’s missing in all of these problems is YOU. Your soul and aliveness coming through in your art.

I would know, because I used to be the same way.

For years, I painted figures and landscapes that were beautiful, technically excellent, and got into solo shows and galleries…but they were predictable. I became bored and uninspired. I never surprised myself.

I wanted wonder and joy. I wanted magic! I wanted to fall in love with painting again.

So I did.

I started experimenting, exploring, and risking. I learned to trust myself. I painted like I was on fire!

The work poured out of me — I moved from force into flow.

I learned that I had to be willing to answer the call to step into the unknown, no matter how scary that might be. I left the dark wood and stepped into the sunlit clearing of my true self, my creativity.

You can do that, too.

After taking Nancy’s classes I had a realization that the reason why I had the pattern of quitting painting like I did was that I’d run into the ugly paintings and fear of failure! Once I accepted them as part of the process, I’ve been able to paint indefinitely, sometimes all day! I’m so grateful to have found Nancy with her background in Psychology which puts her in a unique position to help artists confront and work through the dark night of the soul.

~ Lesta Frank

Imagine Being Excited to Paint Again!

Imagine waking up every day and feeling excited to show up to the studio and explore and experiment.

Every time you pick up the brush, you hear an internal voice that says: “I can do this, I will do this”. Hours go by as the work pours out of you. You feel like a child again — before the doubting voices and criticism got to you.

You create paintings that surprise and delight you. You’re free of self-judgement and the constant questioning of “am I good enough?” You say “yes” to taking the plunge into facing your fears and creating fully.

And as you experiment, you develop your own voice, signature, and lexicon — your own unique, personal, gestural expression. You believe in and trust yourself as an artist.

Every day, when you step back from the easel and look at the day’s work, you feel thrilled. This. Is. It. You. The deepest, most meaningful, and full expression of you.

You even revel in the “ugly” paintings, because it’s all part of stepping into the not knowing: the terra incognita of your creativity and flow.

That’s where the magic is: the unknown.

Even though I have painted continually for over 50 years, and have been successful, I never before truly felt that my art was from my heart. Now, it is flowing , and I have a show on now, with one large painting sold before it went up.  You turned me on to my own deep thoughts and with the art journey I took with you, I became the painter that I want to be. Take a look at what you have Inspired.

~ Diane Voyentzie

How Do You Get Unstuck, So You Can Create Art with Confidence?

The problem is it’s so hard to get to the magic and flow.

And the reason is that so many artists are consumed by the belief that if they just learn more and more technique, they’ll be a great artist. But you know what? Technique is important…but it won’t make you a great artist.

In fact, if you get too wrapped up in technique, you can find yourself getting further and further away from your fullest, deepest, most authentic expression.

The issue is that when you decide you want to invest in yourself as a painter, many of the books and courses out there focus on technique and giving you critiques. And that’s fine, to a point. But once you have the essentials mastered, getting critiqued can actually dampen your creativity. You end up with an inner voice providing running commentary with your every brushstroke.

You make yourself small, so you can fit into the narrow confines of how you’re “supposed” to paint.

Artists grip onto technique because of the deep-seated fear that they don’t really know what they’re doing. That they’re not enough.

But the truth is this: if you’re not happy with your painting, no one can “fix” it for you with a single solution or recipe they give you.

They can only guide you by asking questions and leading you to yourself: to that inner landscape that you want to express. Because deep down, you already know the “answer.” It only has to be revealed.

That’s what I help painters do: reveal the true self inside, so you can express that self on canvas.

Once you do that, you begin to trust yourself, which allows you to experiment and create freely, to get that “magic” you’ve been searching for, for so long.

Before signing up for the Artist’s Journey course, my creative landscape was resembling a desert! Nancy provided insights in a clear, concise and intuitive manner that provided me the freedom to explore and experiment in ways that are still unfolding. With each step beginning with the “Why”, I started letting go and like peeling away an onion skin, the acts of shedding the inner critic, self imposed restrictions, worn out patterns and tired techniques are continuously falling by the wayside.

Barbara Johnson

Hey there, I'm Nancy

I'm an abstract artist, bestselling & award winning author of The Artist's Journey® and The Adjacent Possible® books as well as a Stanford educated psychiatrist.

I’ve been an artist and existential psychiatrist for over 20 years and I'm passionate about creativity, aliveness, and living your most meaningful life.

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 livesthe 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!



Create amazing art in this 5 Module online abstract painting course. You’ll learn to believe and trust in yourself, so you can create art with confidence, deeply explore and experiment, and embrace the unknown

Trust yourself. Experiment. Create your Deepest Work.

Learn Everything to Start Creating Abstract Paintings You Love

In this 5 Module online abstract painting course 

In the course, I’ll guide you to believing and trusting in yourself, so you can create art with confidence, deeply explore and experiment, and embrace the unknown. Because the unknown is where the discoveries are made and where the magic is.

If you feel lost in that dark wood, you need a guide to show you the way out. Others have been that guide for me in the past, and now I’d like to be that guide for you.

On our journey together, I’ll teach you the three secrets of the masters. The first is the “Holy Grail” of painting: the self-transformation of trusting yourself and painting every day. Once you trust yourself, you’ll be free to experiment, explore, and truly express yourself. You won’t feel bound by what you’ve created in the past or by what other people are doing.

The second two secrets are two game-changing technical concepts: composition and value. I’ve simplified these concepts down to the 90% of what is most effective in your painting, so you can stop worrying about technique and start focusing on expression.

I’ve taken years of study in both psychiatry and painting and honed that all down into the few essential things that will take your artwork forward and let you experience joy in creation again.

By the end of this course, you will know that you are an artist, and you’ll have the life of your dreams. A life of joy, self-expression, and finally reaching your full potential as an artist.

The class is based on five modules, it  consists of video demonstrations, written course material, workbooks to keep up, and interaction with other participating artists in a private Facebook group. Each week we are given a painting challenge to put the lessons into practice. I am finding this a liberating and exciting experience.

Valerie Armstrong

What You’ll Learn


The one inner transformation that makes all the difference on your artist’s journey. Master this, and your procrastination and fear around painting will disappear.


The secret “Holy Grail” of prolific, successful artists who appear in galleries (it’s a triple threat).


Many ways of starting your abstract paintings, so you never spend hours staring at a blank canvas in frustration again.


​One simple compositional constraint that works every time. Use this when you’re stuck, and you’ll quickly set the “frame” that frees you to express yourself within it.


​A simple way to make your painting feel monumental so you can explore the power of scale in your art.


The value of simplifying values in a painting (believe it or not, this can be more important than color and is something all the masters are experts at).


How to use contrast in your paintings, so you create visual excitement, interest, and drama.


How to quickly fix common compositional problems, so each painting just “works” as a unified whole.


​Considerations on finishing your paintings, so you don’t get stuck in “what now?” mode and can quickly decide when a painting is done.


​And much, much more!

This course has inspired and provided me with all the concepts that forms the foundation of abstract painting. Moreover, through the Facebook group of this course I have received multiple feedbacks from other talented artists who have contributed towards my authentic painting in this course.

~ Ashwini Prasad

How The Artist’s Journey® Works

The Artist’s Journey® explores abstract painting in 5 modules which you’ll receive over the course of 5 weeks.  

Each week you’ll receive an email guiding you to the new module. You’ll receive a Focus Message at the beginning describing what you’ll explore, what you’ll do, and what you’ll
complete in that module.

Each module includes a Reflection Exercise, a Slideshow Masterclass, and How-To Videos demonstrating the
concepts explored, and 2-7 painting exercises in the first 4 Modules.  Module 5 is a wrap-up.

Focus Messages

Reflection Exercises

Slideshow Masterclass

How-to Videos


Painting Exercises


Follow the simple, step-by-step instructions in each module, and you’ll be able to create abstract paintings that you LOVE in no time at all.

I kept going back to different parts of the course to push it further and remind myself to keep coming back to being free to experiment. It’s extremely relevant to experienced artists as well as people wanting to start creating art. Having painted for quite a few years I was concerned that it might not suit me…. so wrong… I have such a new energy to my work and a very different process, especially when painting plein air. I get a real sense and energy to the landscape which I can bring home to the studio to work up into bigger paintings.

~ Ann Armstrong

What You’ll Learn In The Modules

Module 1: Answering The Call Of Your Yearning To Create: Map Your Way On Your Artist’s Journey

In Module 1, you’ll explore and reflect on your Big “Why” for creating, and you’ll complete The Artist’s Journey® Workbook, which will help you delve into your internal landscape. My decades in practice as an existential psychiatrist inform this work, which will help you truly express yourself in your art.

Module 2: First Secret Of The Masters: Trust Yourself & Bring Out Your Inner Greatness

In Module 2, you’ll learn the first secret of the masters: trusting yourself. This will thread through all your work as an artist and inform your ability to explore and experiment deeply in your art.

Module 3: Second Secret Of The Masters: The First Technical Game Changer: Composition

In Module 3, you’ll discover the second secret of the masters and the first technical game changer: Composition. You’ll learn to simplify composition like the masters and find that composition is ultimately intuitive. This will help you create paintings you love.

Module 4: Third Secret Of The Masters: The second technical game changer: Value

In Module 4, you’ll discover the third secret of the masters: The Value of Values. You’ll learn how value is a game-changer and how to simplify value and create value contrast that will make your paintings “pop” across the room. Value and composition are technical game-changers that make 90% of the difference in your paintings.

Module 5: Further Explorations On Your Artist’s Journey: Creativity & The Unknown

In Module 5, we come full circle back to the foundations of all that we’ve learned and back to your Big “Why” for creating. We further discuss how being an artist is about cultivating your studio practice and continually evolving your work. We explore the importance of tending to your inner landscape of trusting yourself so you can deeply explore and experiment- which is the sine qua non of being an artist.

I've started from the beginning of the course and am reviewing like crazy, so much great information you have shared. Your insights, particularly about composition and value, have already helped me progress as an artist, and I will continue to apply this knowledge as I delve further. Many thanks again, Nancy! You are an inspiration.

Merrimon Kennedy

The Artist’s Journey® Alumnus

By the End of the Course

You Will Have Completed

  • A personal vision board to explore your ongoing intentions, goals, understandings, and insights. This will help you stay true to yourself as you continue on your journey.
  • A personal art journal to experiment and take risks in, so you never feel stuck, repetitive, or bored with your art again.
  • Many painting “starts”, so you have many options to finish after the four weeks are over.
  • Hundreds of painting “maquettes” (studies/exploratory works) to draw inspiration from in the future.

The Skills You Will Master

  • Setting painting goals and intentions and refining them, so you have guideposts to guide your daily practice.​
  • Trusting yourself to find your way as you go, so you can stop worrying and free yourself up to paint intuitively.
  • Developing a personal vocabulary of mark making and imagery, so you can channel your subconscious onto the canvas with confidence.
  • Develop your 15 minute daily studio practice, so painting effortlessly becomes part of your everyday life.
  • Creating many painting “starts,” giving you a cornucopia of options to finish!
  • Creating visually exciting paintings of high contrast, so your work stands out and grabs people’s attention.
  • And much, much more …

Join Now & Receive these Exclusive Bonuses

The Artist’s Journey®: Workbook ($97 VALUE)

I want you to believe in and trust yourself. Only by trusting yourself will you be freed up to play, experiment, explore, show us what you love, and create with expressive aliveness.

Paintings that excite people show us YOU. We want to see you: your truth, your vision, your voice.

Your art is a reflection of you. It mirrors your life and what is meaningful to you. Your marks are your personal signature threading through everything you do. Value them. Trust them.

In this workbook you’ll explore your artist’s journey…where you are now, how you got here, what your dreams are, and where you want to go with your art.

The Artist’s Journey®: Vision Board ($47 VALUE)

Document your artist’s journey with the vision board. This will guide you to write down observations about your dreams/wishes/aha’s/’why’s’ as well as making note of your inner and outer resources and provisions. 

Make notes of your evolving ‘why’ for creating as well as noting difficulties, perils, intentions, aha’s and dreams. You can work with images, photos, and sketches as well as writing. 

Documenting your journey is a powerful tool for developing your studio practice with awareness and consistency. It sends a message to your unconscious that your creative life has value and visibility.

Color Secrets of the Pros Workbook
($97 VALUE)

Learn color secrets in abstract painting the pros know. Create visual impact using color contrast. Work with simplicity, constraint and experimentation.

The Artist’s Journey® Community
($997 VALUE)

Our fabulous private Facebook Community is where the excitement happens: the exchange of ideas, inspiration, encouragement and friendships flourish in this wondrous, dynamic community of artists.  


You’ve got paintings inside you waiting to be expressed. It’s time to finally create the art of your dreams and say yes to your artist’s journey. This is a “why-to, not a how-to” book. It’s not about technique, it’s about the inner psychological work of moving closer and closer to your deepest, most authentic self expression.



The Artist's Journey®: 3 Secrets of the Masters Course PLUS ALL THE BONUSES

Bonus #1: The Artist’s Journey®: Workbook

$97 FREE

Bonus #2: The Artist’s Journey®: Vision Board

$47 FREE

Bonus #3: Color Secrets of the Pros Workbook
$97 FREE
Bonus #4: The Artist’s Journey® Community
$997 FREE

(Course + Bonuses = $1,935 TOTAL VALUE)


Choose the payment option that’s right for you.


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$ 697

SAVE $44 by paying in full!


3 Monthly Payments of

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7 Day Money-Back Guarantee

I’m confident you’re going to love the material, just like the artists in our community. But if you’re not happy for any reason at all, please email my team within 7 days of joining, and we’ll issue you a prompt and courteous refund. No questions asked!

Psych Ward

Our new serialized fiction

A Personal Note To You

How much time does this take? I’m not sure I have enough time.

If you’re like me and the thousands of artists I’ve worked with, painting is a central part of your identity.

It’s you.

Which makes it all the more painful when you feel so removed from the process.

Maybe you feel tired of copying others or repeating yourself. Maybe your art feels dead or formulaic or uninspiring to you.

You KNOW you have more inside you, and if you don’t express it, you’ll feel like you cheated yourself out of something important, meaningful, and vital to you.

You’ll be missing a part of yourself.

If you avoid the call of your art, if you procrastinate, if you feel like you have more inside you but don’t know how to access and express that inner landscape…isn’t it time to fix that now?You’ll be missing a part of yourself.

How much longer are you willing to be cut off from this essential part of who you are?

In just five weeks, you can learn to create abstract paintings you LOVE.

Paintings that express your truest, deepest self. You can experience spontaneous, joyous creation free of fear, anxiety, and perfectionism.

You can create art you LOVE again.

All it takes is deciding that you — and the art inside you — are worth it.

Nancy Hillis, M.D., Artist, Best Selling Author, Speaker & Stanford Trained Existential Psychiatrist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course good for?

This is for artists who want to go deeper into abstract painting by exploring your own lexicon of mark making and creating your own unique art.

How is this course different from other painting courses?
It’s different, because I don’t offer a recipe or formula for you to follow. I don’t give you critiques or “painting by committee” type answers because I feel that this approach leads to predictable art that ends up being ultimately unsatisfying and unsustainable. Instead, I join you on the journey you’re already on and guide you to believing in yourself, so you can so you can deeply experiment, evolve your art and experience true self-expression. It’s like the difference between giving you a fish versus teaching you how to fish.

Because of my training as a psychiatrist, I’m deeply familiar with the psychology of what holds people back from being their true selves. My focus is on the inner landscape, the inner journey, and the mindset of trusting yourself so you can deeply experiment.

Most workshops and classes don’t address your mindset and if they do, it’s mentioned briefly. There’s no ongoing support and encouragement to work through inner doubts, fears, and blocks.

This course is for you if you’re creative, willing to take risks in your art, and love self-improvement. This is not for you if you’re looking for a formula or recipe. Each of us is different, and in this course, you’ll learn how to express yourself and find your style — not copy others!

How much time does this take? I’m not sure I have enough time.

The course has a lecture (slide talk video) and 3-6 video lessons each week for you to work through and exercises to complete — you can move through them at their own pace. You’ll have plenty of time to go through the material — multiple times! There’s an introductory video explaining how to navigate the course, and all the videos after that go through the material in easy-to-manage chunks, so you never get overwhelmed.

How long do I have access to the content?

You have ongoing access to the content as long as it’s available online.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?
I’m confident you’re going to love the material, just like the thousands of artists like you in our community. But if you’re not happy for any reason at all, please email my team within 7 days of joining, and we’ll issue you a prompt and courteous refund. No questions asked!
What if I’m still on the fence?
Ask yourself this single question: Do you want to stay where you are right now?
What if I have support issues?
You can contact us at We have office hours Monday-Friday 9 am- 5 pm PST. We’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Thousands of Artists Have Experienced The Artist’s Journey®

Here’s what just a few of my students say about working with me in my courses:

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Create Your Deepest Art In The …

Creativity is central to feeling alive.

Will you finally say YES to your dreams?

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The Artist's Journey ®: Trust. Play. Love. Paint.                    Copyright © 2024 Nancy Hillis Studio, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Artist's Journey ® and The Adjacent Possible® are registered trademarks of Nancy Hillis Studio, LLC