You are valuable and worthy

I will just set this here for you: whether you know it or it or not, you are valuable, you are worthy. Even when you fail. Even when I fail.


“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is something valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.” — e.e cummings (via psych-quotes)



The brain is amazing

The kids were delivered to a new home on Monday. Thank you B & C for the love and support.

I wonder who became the mover, perceiver, stimulator and adapter?

Not everyone understands the choices I make everyday as a painter and entrepreneur.

In school we would take tests based on the Briggs-Myers tests and find out if we are introverts or extroverts, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling and judging or perceiving. Often time it would be as simple as saying, “Well you’re creative so you must be left brained and he is good at math so he is right brained,” or some equally useless classification system.

What I’ve discovered at 40ish is the label doesn’t matter.

Sidebar: Is my age a label?

The bottom line is I do what I do because it is who I am. Which is why I like this article in the WSJ. It isn’t left or right brained but top or bottom brained. Depending on our brain activity we are movers, perceivers, stimulators or adapters?  

Based on the book “Top Brain, Bottom Brain: Surprising Insights Into How You Think,” by Dr. Stephen Kosslyn and writer G. Wayne Miller, it talks about their exciting research into how we really see the world. It highlights the new view of the brain and offers insight into our role within our families, teams, organizations and in relation to the world. 

We only have one life so why do we spend it in a manner dictated by parents, teachers, ministers, spouses and coaches? All too often we find ourselves in situations with people who would have us be something we are not. Happiness in life is found by conforming to our nature instead of conforming to what other people would have us be. I get along best with the people who understand who I am and compliment who I am intrinsically. I get along best with people who know who they are.

Isn’t our obligation to ourselves and our Vision? Why is choosing our lives selfishness if it is honest about who we are and our proper place in the world?

Maybe it is time to make a move based on who we are and not on who other people would have us be.

Click here to take the test.

What would you take? An essay on perspective and values.

shipAs an entrepreneur and artist I am always trading off one thing against another to make way for my Vision.

As such, I enjoyed this excellent article on The Art of Manliness website about the Ernest Shackleton expedition to cross Antarctica in 1914.

It was a disaster.

The Endeavor was eventually caught in an ice flow and chewed open by the grinding of the ice against her hull. They were forced to abandon ship and make their way nearly 650 miles across the frozen landscape.

Remember, they did this before Gore-Tex, GPS, cell phones, radios and a host of other modern “conveniences”.

To aid survival Shackleton allowed his crew to take only two pounds of personal belongings on their treacherous journey.


The essay highlights what they kept and what they left behind and then draws some parallels to the modern issues of American life.

I thought it was interesting essay and wanted to share it with you.

To read The Art of Manliness article click here.

A special thank you to Charles van Heck

Writer, poet, photographer and teacher Charles van Heck.

Writer, poet, photographer and teacher Charles van Heck.

I want to take a quick moment and thank Charles van Heck at Woodhull Arts Journal for taking the time to get to know me and my art.

Yesterday he publishing a wonderful interview on his site entitled American Experiences; Visions of History and the Business of Art: An Interview with Chrissy Mount (Kapp).

Charles’ interview process is based on a thoughtful and thought-provoking interview where he made time to consider my art and my business before he even spoke with me. He read all of my blog posts, perused my website, examined my art and researched my painting styles and influences before he decided to profile me in his online art journal.

He is a true professional in a world where narcissistic self-promotion all too often hides behind a mask of journalism.

His introduction utilized a wonderful analogy that not only accurately portrayed some of the issues I face every day as an artist but also made me a bit hungry for a really good salad.

I hope you will make the time to read his journal – and the other interviews with other artists – and get to know him for his writing, photography and poetry.

I am Nivens McTwisp

Nivens McTwisp. Bet you didn’t know he had a name.

I’m late / I’m late / For a very important date. / No time to say “Hello, Goodbye”. / I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.

Nivens McTwisp
White Rabbit
Alice in Wonderland

I have a whole lot of social and a whole lot of media. What I don’t always have is a whole lot of time.

For example, my partner and I have been juggling my website, WordPress blogs, Facebook, Google Plus, FineArtAmerica, Zatista, Twitter, art show schedules, gallery correspondence and events, inventory management, travel management, marketing, promotion, sales and two well-loved eight year old twins.

A whole other kind of White Rabbit in Indianapolis, IN. Hasenpfeffer anyone?

Plus we are working on the Art Elves project.

Oh, and life. Did I mention life?


To make things easier we have decided to use Constant Contact to streamline out social media outreach. An electronic newsletter, with information about events, specials, new work and the life and times of a mother, painter and art show carnie emailed on a regular schedule.

Hopefully, this will make it easier to keep in touch.

To sign up for the newsletter click here or follow the link below.

I Cried Today

Wausau Art Festival, 2012

I cried today. Twice.

Let me explain.

When I woke up this morning I saw my partner had posted a long forgotten interview he found stuffed in a virtual folder somewhere is cyberspace. He posted the article and picture of me on my business’ Facebook and Google Plus pages – straight hair and all.

I found myself reflecting on how overwhelmingly significant the moment was for me as a woman, as a mother and as a painter. The tears startled me as they burst out.

That was the first set of tears.

It had nothing to do with the straight hair.

I cried as I though of how significant this moment was for me as a creative child making my way through an often indifferent Universe. That moment in time, captured on such a temporary medium, was a reminder of what the Universe expected – demanded – of me: Be a woman. Be a mother. Be a painter.

They were tears of gratitude at the moment.

In truth, the Universe doesn’t care about much. It only cares about the path it wants for itself and for us. We either conform or it beats us about like a tiny pea pod in a summer storm. All the while it is pelting us with regrets, lost moments and overlooked opportunities.

“Learn the lesson! Learn the lesson! Learn the lesson! Oh, and don’t make that mistake again,” being the Universal mantra. The ability for life’s bountiful harvest to come to fruition depends on our own ability to learn and live forward and not backwards.

The photo was taken in 2007 at the ArtStreet event by Green Bay Press-Gazette writer and photographer Warren Gerds and was attached to a wonderful article. The picture shows Tina Quigley, the Executive Director of Arts Events Inc, presenting the “Best of Show” award to me.

My wonderfully supportive, and beautiful niece, Betsy Bemmer enthusiastically jumps alongside and shares in my surprise and joy.

That summer had been difficult.

I had two very young twin boys at home, it was my second year on the show circuit and the weather had been wet all season. Two weeks prior to ArtStreet I was working the Festival of Arts in Oconomowoc, WI and they allowed the artists to evacuate early due to heavy rains and flooding.

As any art carnie will tell you – that never happens. Needless to say I didn’t make any sales at that show.

Me at the Bike Art Gallery.

At home there was no sincere support for me as an artist and except for a few diehard cheerleaders I was very much emotionally and spiritually alone.I was feeling knocked down and defeated. Really, I had gone to this show just wanting to get it over with and just go home.

I was finished.

When it happened, I was as surprised as anyone.

Tina showed up in my booth with an award. A Best of Show award!

Yes, the look on my face in that picture is surprise, joy and relief.  It was the validation that I so desperately needed at that time.  That award meant more to me than the $500 prize that came with it.  It was encouragement and validation for what I had put all my passion into. Someone else recognized that my work stood out and had value. I wasn’t a hobbyist or a failure or living a pipe dream.

Germany, 1990.

The Universe knew what I needed and gave it to me. I’m grateful. Thinking of it makes me tear up again.

It was a reminder of where I have been and where I am going to.  A reminder of how blessed my life has been because I am willing to make sacrifices to do what I love and to follow my Vision.

It was a reminder of how important it is to have a partner in your life that believes in you and supports you. As I was telling my partner all this, I cried again. He patiently, quietly waited for me to explain through haltingly happy breaths.

Now that hair made me cry.

So the day ended the same way it started – with tears.

Tears of joy, happiness and strength that the Universe has allowed – encouraged, forced – me to embrace my Vision and gave me a partner to remind me that what I need and wants matters.

Like the article, my partner helped me find the truth again. Be a woman. Be a mother. Be a painter.

I had forgotten that too.

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WOW. Simply WOW.

Gwen presenting my First Place Prize for painting!

What a GREAT weekend.

At the Spring Green Art and Crafts Fair I took FIRST place in the Painting Category. The prize included a Blue Ribbon (…and good prize money)! That makes two prize ribbons in 5 shows!

I sold my favorite original signature painting to private collectors. My painting is hanging 50 feet from an ORIGINAL Renoir and dozens of other beautiful works.

The kids were delivered to a new home on Monday. Thank you B & C for the love and support.

…AND I sold two original paintings and two giclees to a corporate buyer and my art is hanging in their new 11,000 seat auditorium or one of their new farm scene themed corporate buildings. Hundreds of their 5,500 employees and thousands of their clients will see my work every year.

One of my paintings is going to be featured on the cover of an INTERNATIONALLY known literary magazine and there will be a two page spread about me inside (I can’t tell you the details yet – hush-hush).

I was contacted by a very nice gallery in Benton Harbor, MI that wants to carry my originals and prints.

St. Luke’s Cemetery in Plains, WI.

And I spent two days visiting cemeteries, churches and talking to people to do some genealogy research on my German Catholic roots.

WOW. Simply WOW.

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