Redirecting the Wayward Traveler

Inspiration for restorative walk, perhaps – before your next creative endeavor.

Let’s begin.

Head outside.

Allow each step to be a conscious, next step – in some direction. Forward? Still? Play around with levels. Kneel, if that is available to you, see the lower levels of life. Look up, see the infinite expanse above us all.

I encourage you to bring your attention to an intention, in this moment: intent to notice the outside world, through your senses. I see…I hear…I smell…I touch…I taste…

I will repeat each of these phrases and allow you to explore them more deliberately.

Before that, a note, my friend, about being with your senses outside.

Roam, roam in a matter of fact way – getting so curious, about what you see, get curious about the details.

But again, notice in what I call a matter of fact way.

Quiet the volume on judgments, the way you wish something might be, quiet the volume on everything but noticing and soaking with your outside would, through your senses, with a beginner’s mind.

This practice, this practice will set your tensions and point of view free, free to roam.

Ah, I know you’re human. Those personal experiences, those personal thoughts, feelings, and sensations are bound to come up. But unless they are intense enough like a full bladder and need to be tended to ASAP, please, practice letting them go. Let them go. And return to each of the prompts I will remind you of…this very act of letting go will also pave new ways for you to travel, traveling the healthiest and freshet pathways of your mind when you want to. Intending to focus on something, allows you to focus better this time and next time and the time after that.

Go ahead, show up.

Keep walking.

Keep walking, change levels, pause with the following prompts:

I see…

I hear…

I smell…

I touch…

I taste…

When you are fulfilled, head back inside. But keep this fresh imprint with you, that at any time, in any context – you may explore and marvel. All you need is an intention to pay attention, through your senses.

When you are ready, show up for whatever you choose to do next, refreshed.

Fall into creativity.

‘Tis the season to be enveloped by the elements. The weather is not too hot, not too cold. And bold colors, they swirl around us. Be reminded, that even as things devolve, there is elegance in the breakdown. Allow your eye to wander in unassuming directions. Here, I looked down, to capture the magic of wet leaves (they are more than just a nuisance:). Engage in your world, just as it is: for that is beautiful.

Find Beauty in the Hornet’s Nest

This week, I am totally inspired by an abandoned hornet’s nest that fell from a tree outside our home. My spouse encouraged me to be brave and wait out the hornets, and here is my reward. Marvel with me, at the amazing talents of these tiny animals. Join me, as we zoom in on life, beautiful – just as it situates.

Share your natural wonders with me via a tag #reframeyourartistry. And follow my pursuits in the Instragram world @reframeyourartistry and @jesshonig.

Big Picture Dreams


Get outside, get into nature, and explore….Dr. Scott Sampson


This was a slow morning in Vermont. My partner and I were visiting a dear friend, en route to a wedding a few miles north. Vermont. The heart of it: desolate (minus the bleak and dismal), small towns, and strung together by lush woods, hills, rivers,  Northern Lights, and rolling green.

It is here, I like to visit. It is anywhere that might meet the description: strung together by….nature. Because, I believe in nature as the inspiration that connects us all. For now. For now, it is what we know. The rest, detail.

I refer to this way of thinking – seeking big picture, natural and broad rather than detail of who wears what and how to coordinate with: SELECTIVE AMNESIA.

SELECTIVE AMNESIA: def. the ability to let go of what doesn’t matter, to move into the next moment with greater focus and clarity.

It’s my personal take on BIG PICTURE living.

I practice it in neighborly conversation, when politics could get in the way.

I practice it with family, when memory could ruin a perfectly fresh celebration.

I practice it with my artistry, showing up to do that thing that I love to do, letting go of labels regarding the shoulds and used-to’s.

In art, as in so many labels for what we do – challenge yourself to resist labels. What to produce? Who am I? These are secondary questions to the notion: be – as you are, as you intend – where you are at, NOW.

Join me, my fellow mindful artist. Begin again. Head into nature, and do as the fabulous Dr. Scott Sampson would suggest – explore.

Find a roaming hill, as I did, pictured above. That was a slow, clear morning for me (in Vermont). I intend to find that slow and clear place (no matter the geography).

Welcome back, you’ve got this.




(my kid is a master at the pause…and pause…and…you get the toddler point:)

excerpt from this blogger’s forthcoming book via Prodigy Gold Books: “Reframe Your Artistry,” on the topic of artistic renewal: 

Unclog this moment from aiming for something. Opens your beginner eyes. Embrace what is. From that angle, sparkles and shine emerge. If you don’t want to get that romantic, pause and see life through a child’s point of view which provides a similar state of wonder.

Otje van der Lelij summarizes the tale of a student seeking feedback from a Zen master in her piece titled, “Why Life Looks Better with Beginner’s Eyes,” included in A Book That Takes Its Time. The student arrives to the master with a head full of scholarly information and opinions for which he wishes to gather more knowledge. After a period of mindful listening, the master responds by sending the student away, stating “…Your head is so crowded with thoughts and questions that there is no room left for my answers. Please go away, empty your mind, and only then come back here. First create some space in your head” (p.100).

Go, my curious pupil. Like that Zen student, go to that open space. Sort out junk, dump teachers you no longer have use for, and erase rules that no longer apply. In your open space, be the artist that you are. Frame your creations off-center or however else you light up.


Breaking News: Open Spaces Soon Available.

Take a Pause and Apply Within!


Dedicating time and energy to pausing, we expand productive energy. I’m not saying think like this all the time or go on a permanent pause (though I hear silent or knitting or couples retreats are quite delicious). I’m encouraging carefully curated moments to pause from thoughts, feeling states, circumstances, and routines, in order show up, renewed for an artistic moment.

Grow permission and ability to pause. Trust in your artistry and the universe, let go of the rest of life for a set amount of time. It is okay, even, to let go of any thoughts and ideas that emerge. If a creative idea is worth dedicated, active time, the idea will resurface.

Please Do Not Disturb the Sand



Look what happens when museum culture intersects with an installation?

Urban legend tells that the creators of the FedEx logo had no idea they’d created an arrow in the middle. Happenstance, so the legend goes, the logo took on a life of its own, earning design awards for the subliminal message.

I like to think that this installation at the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College has that same kind of potential. The main exhibit hall is dedicated to Sci-Fi through October. And be it that this museum is free of charge and kid friendly, you have no excuse not to check things out if you live in the greater Philly area.

While I want to believe this artist – Andrew Yang – is my next besty in the efforts of artists to make bold statements to bridge gap between climate issue and global tipping points, I think this is merely another FedEx happy accident**.

Yang – a Georgia native and now residing in Chicago, Illinois – composed this piece allegedly as a tribute to Carl Sagan and his celestial regard.

“…each star is represented by one grain of sand.”

A Beach (For Carl Sagan), 2016

But what drew me to the piece, pardon my ignorance Mr. Yang and Mr. Sagan, was a funny-ish fusion in my mind between the museum prompt, “Please Do Not Disturb the Sand” and a running melody in my head – of late – that art sometimes imitates life. Art, sometimes, even in a happy accident moment like this, says exactly what I’ve been trying to formulate and spread as a message re: climate and Earth’s native inhabitants (like stone to dust or sand, land just the way it was born, or water in its infinite states and placement).

So, when I went to the free museum on a typical Sunday for family time, I left with much more. I had that transcendent experience that art and nature provide, expanding my own growing points of view and marrying that with imagination.

Congrats to the Berman Museum of Art and Andrew Yang for sharing this vital masterpiece with me, my family, and my virtual world.

Go forward, friendly readers, and create your own clever thing of natural genius!


** FYI, despite what people have told me over the years, I just looked it up – and seems like the subliminal arrow in the FedEx logo – created in 1994 – by Linden Leader and Landor – was quite deliberate in its genius. But, my story is better told with the suspension of reality. No?

New Routine: Face Art Anxiety with a Beginner’s Curiosity


depending on your outlook, art?

The primary key to unlocking your artistry requires pulling back the cozy comforter and making art. Show-up, pay attention, and make art. Make art, any art, make art. It’s not about getting rid of anxiety or curing it. For those who struggle with either more general anxiety or Art Anxiety, specifically, the primary goal for both involves learning to live with and give less credit to our anxiety, rather than anxiety dictating our lives. We also do not want to repress or reject anxiety because it will show up in other ways such as excuses or inauthentic gestures. And remember, whenever possible, turn off the mindless social media and memory chatter. It fuels unproductive anxiety.

Move toward your artistic side, right now:

  • Re-examine an abandoned project or a portfolio with beginner eyes. Add material to the old material you have neglected or forgotten about.
  • Set a timer for five minutes. Play around with scraps, clay, newspaper, or non-recyclable-whatever-you-haves (better as art than landfill), and see where your imagination takes you. Place less emphasis on defining your project, and instead – focus on showing up to art making; be playful, curious, and directionless.

Play Around with Dirt


Dirt 2002

This is a favorite go to, for me: play around with dirt. Besides the metaphor as wildly inspiring, dirt offers our inner-artist much guidance.

Step outside, place your hands in the first patch of dirt or mud that you locate. Smother as much of your skin into the mud. Paint a portion of your body. Consider jumping up and down in muddy puddles, as my daughter and Peppa Pig have invited me to do. The celebratory energy has a twofold effect: 1, you are stirring circulation needed for creative focus; and 2, it brings an inherent appreciation to something too often thought of as a problem spot in the world. “Watch out for the muddy puddle. You don’t want to get messy,” sounds different to me than, “Look for muddy puddles to jump in. Let’s have some fun!

One of my favorite creations arrived one sullen afternoon. I was depressed (triggered by a grieving coming-of-age-self-absorbed heart), and moodiness oozed over my plate of life. I walked into my parents’ backyard and smeared dirt over an old canvas. Then, I dusted the dirt with a coat of paint. It remains a piece of abstract wall art of which I am most proud. Go on. If you read this far, make your own masterpiece with dirt.

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