April 2023

Seeds of Inspiration

Planting Artistic Renewal and Rebirth

"New Life" by George Herrick

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

Are you aware that April is the official month of hope? With all of the fear chaos, and overwhelm in our outer world there has never been a better time to lean on hope. Wikipedia describes hope as an optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes for ourselves and/or the world at large. Now is the perfect time to plant a garden for your wishes, dreams, intentions, and plans to grow.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. Just as flowers grow in fertile soil, so will you. Just as trees grow flowers and fruits, humanity expresses hope through works of art. An artist brings something into existence that wasn’t there before. To live as an artist is a way of being in the world. A way of perceiving. A practice of paying attention - opening yourself up as a conduit for new creation.

"Stella Solaris" by Tino Rodriques

Is a new and exciting vision calling you? Can you become still enough to feel it in your heart? Have you noticed your old self feeling constricted and uncomfortable? Could there be a genuine sense of hope rising within you?  

Please join me in preparing a garden for artistic growth. 


The first step in preparing any garden is clearing away the old growth that no longer serves. At some point the very things that excited and expanded us in the past start to feel stale and constrictingWhen a style or subject becomes popular and provides a comfortable lifestyle an artist can become trapped inside their own success. The known is safe and familiar, and it pleases others but it leaves us dull and lifeless. 

When you stay in the known rather than stepping into the unknown there is a different sort of pain. The problem with refusing growth is the pain of living a life of unlived dreams. There is an almost itchy feeling that you were meant for more than "this".

One way you can recognize overgrowth in your creative garden is you repeat yourself. Fight the urge to repeat what works and sells and instead take risks, experiment, and evolve as an artist.

There is magic in not knowing, the mystery. If you follow your strategic mind, replicating what you already know, you will miss out on this wonderful feeling of being fully alive.

Artists lead an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life. Continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine and challenging art, in and of itself. Aliveness waits for us precariously balanced out on our green growing edge asking us to bring forth new ideas and share them with the world. 

You will know it is time to clear the field when your own inner artist begins calling out for you to change. Your next move is already sitting beside you, waiting. It awaits your next step, your attention, and your curiosity. Do you see it? Do you hear it? Do you notice it? It may be a small, quiet voice whispering in your ear, it may be an image that suddenly appears in your painting, or the character who emerges unbidden in your writing.

"Cat in a Summer Meadow" by Bruno Liljefors

Inspiration - Preparing the Soil

The most exciting moments for an artist are those when a new idea arrives fully formed and ready for our action.  

Elizabeth Gilbert describes inspiration this way, “Both the Greeks and the Romans believed in the idea of an external spirit of creativity—a sort of house elf, who lives within the walls of your home and sometimes aids you in your labors. The Romans had a specific term for that helpful house entity. They called it your genius—your guardian deity, the conduit of your inspiration. This is to say, the Romans didn’t believe that an exceptionally gifted person was a genius; they believed that an exceptionally gifted person had a genius. It’s a subtle but important distinction (being vs. having)” Gilbert also says, “I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.”

Imagine what’s possible for you if that is true! An incredible idea is seeking you as a partner to manifest itself. To pick up this energy we do not look for, predict or analyze our way in. Instead, create an open space that allows it in - a space so free of the overpacked condition of our minds that it functions like a vacuum. This is what I mean by preparing the soil to plant seeds. We prepare ourselves to receive this ceaseless generative energy by getting still enough to tune in to it.  

My best ideas come when I am doing something relaxing and enjoyable. Ideas for art arrive like visitors while my hands are immersed in warm water washing dishes and gazing out my kitchen window, some drop in during meditation, or come and sit with me when I am drinking my morning coffee in a patch of sunshine. Pinterest, museum visits, travel, and reading are other ways I fill my creativity tank. What works best for you? Does inspiration come to you when you are out in nature, in the shower, falling asleep, or driving your car?

Inspiration is always trying to work through us. The feeling is the affirmation we are on the right path. The ecstatic is our compass - pointing to our true north. As artists, it is our job to collect this inspiration, transmute it, and share it. We are translators for messages the universe is broadcasting. We co-create with universal energy as we filter these downloads through our individual personalities and taste.

How to Start a Movement; Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Notice how new ideas seem to arrive in waves sprinkled around the globe when their time has come. If you tune into this evolution of thought, a crazy idea that's bothering you might serendipitously connect you to an expanding and inspiring art movement.

This video planted a new seed for me. (https://youtu.be/lbaemWIljeQ)

Yes, it is important to lead, but what if we only need to tune into and amplify someone else's evolutionary idea?

Gathering Seeds

A seed can be a phrase, a color, a feeling, a need, an idea, a momentary perception, an unexpected thought, or the echo of a memory. Hints of inspiration can be the tiniest whispers, Two seeds of inspiration might seem indistinguishable but one may yield volumes and the other little to nothing. Seeds are potential starting points that, with love and care, can grow into something beautiful.  

Elizabeth Gilbert describes how inspiration keeps, “trying to send me messages in every form it can—through dreams, through portents, through clues, through coincidences, through déjà vu, through kismet, through surprising waves of attraction and reaction, through the chills that run up my arms, through the hair that stands up on the back of my neck, through the pleasure of something new and surprising, through stubborn ideas that keep me awake all night long . . . whatever works. Inspiration is always trying to work with me.” 


The more seeds you have the easier it is to choose one of them to focus on. If you’ve collected 100 seeds you might find that seed number thirty-five speaks to you in a way that none of the others do. If thirty-five is your only choice without the other seeds for context it’s more difficult to tell. Placing too much emphasis on a single seed or dismissing it prematurely can interfere with its natural growth. Collect many seeds and then, over time, look back to see which ones resonate. Each one should be approached with active awareness and boundless curiosity. 

Where do you store your seeds? I have collected seeds from the past thirty years in a three-ring binder. In it, I have sketches, photos, notes, and detailed instructions for myself. I have more seeds on my Pinterest boards, in folders on my phone and computer, and pinned to my bulletin board in my studio. These seeds hold enough energy to get me going whenever I am searching for a new direction. I like to post images of art styles I would like to learn in a place I see them daily for further inspiration.

I find that if I leave my seeds for too long they lose energy and vigor. Something that lit me up a few months ago, is easily eclipsed by the next shiny object. And by delaying it’s not uncommon for my idea to find its voice through another maker. Someone told me that even Michael Jackson was terrified his muse would take his inspiration to Prince if he did not act on it immediately.

Talent is the ability to let ideas manifest through you. Technique and skill allow us a greater range of responses but on their own, they will not allow the seed to reach its full expression. Our work as artists is to collect seeds, plant them, water them with attention, and see if they take root. 

Sometimes a small and seemingly insignificant seed will grow into a magnificent tree. Having a specific vision of what a seed will become is helpful in later phases, but it may cut off more interesting possibilities in this initial phase.

Earth Spiral by Sam Brown

Nurturing Growth

Each action you take in a dynamic and evolving environment like a garden changes not only your perspective but also the environment itself. Both are deeply interdependent. Your actions create alternative possibilities for your seed that did not exist before.

Every brushstroke, every decision in your art, creates a set of possible paths that were not only invisible before but didn’t exist before you made that creative move. Each branch that sprouts generates possible new branches. Demanding full control of a work of art is just as foolish as demanding that an oak tree grows according to your will.

The only way to truly know if an idea works is to test it. Ask yourself as many “what if” questions as you can. Should the whole painting be purple? What if you used only two colors? What if you combined your idea with another seed? Each unsuccessful solution gets you closer to one that works. Give yourself permission to play with your seeds. Do not make them too precious.

When a plant is flourishing, we can see the life spring forth from every stalk, leaf, and flower. Our emotions tell us when an idea is flourishing. When something interesting starts to come together, it arouses delight and a feeling of wanting more.

As your vision grows the work reveals itself to you. Allow it all the time it needs to bear fruit. Elizabeth Gilbert advises, “Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the capacity to transform you.  Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.”

All that matters is that you are making something you love, to the best of your abilities, here and now.

"The Gardner's Assistant" Lizzie Riches

Pruning, editing, trimming

Once you have a seed flourishing and bearing fruit you may find a direction that will support your growth for a week, a year, or a lifetime. A single seed can provide all you need to produce a series of deep and interesting artworks. Or, one of your seeds will grow and flourish to the point where it begins to take over the entire garden and block the sun from your other projects. 

That’s when pruning, editing, and trimming can redirect you back to what’s essential and what feels joyful and fulfilling. Just as quickly your seed can lose vigor and wilt. If you lack a certain skill or expertise to bring your idea to fruition, set it aside until you attain the skills you need or invite collaboration and guidance from someone with the missing expertise. The beautiful thing about seeds is their patience.

Anyone can take the simple and make it complicated but it takes mastery to reduce a complicated idea to its essence - elegantly right and simple. The point of trimming and pruning is to encourage more vigorous healthy growth. Follow the feeling of joy when deciding between what needs to stay and what needs to go.

Watch for the urge to over-prune or kill a growing idea that scares you. A weed is just a plant growing where you didn't invite it to grow.

Newness always feels awkward and uncomfortable to you the artist and the people around you. Pursuing something new and different will invite criticism and comparison from others. You are not here to create the final statement in art after which no more comments are possible.

Each work you create is a milestone along your lifelong journey, a chapter about where, when, and what you were thinking when you created it.

If you can get your art to the point where when you see it you know it could not have been any other way - when it is balanced and elegant and simply stated - then you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Harvest/Gather Fruit:

Just as in gardening artistic growth is a seasonal process with periods of rest, hidden growth when everything happens underground, struggle, flourishing, hard work, harvest, and then clearing and starting over. At the end of a productive season rest and restoration are required before starting the process of clearing space for new seeds all over again.

Like gardening, creativity is more about the process than the product.

Our goal as artists is to live a fulfilling and productive life of making art. To be like my mango tree that effortlessly produces abundant beauty year after year.  If you follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions they will bring you to life. Be the blooming garden, the fruiting tree, and create whatever it is that fills your heart with joy.

Creative living is always possible whatever form your expression takes.

Comparing yourself and relying on approval from others takes you further away from yourself. Who you are isn’t contingent upon anyone else’s opinion. You decide who you are. You are the author, artist, and composer of your life. It's an inside job. You give your power away when you look outside yourself for validation

"The Garden" by Jacek Yerka

“Recognizing that people's reactions don't belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you've created, terrific. If people ignore what you've created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you've created, don't sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you've created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest - as politely as you possibly can - that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert

Making and sharing art is our legacy as artists. Each work we create says to the world "I was here". It connects us with others in a language beyond words. Each work is an affirmation of our time and our experience, it is a calling to the rest of the world to join in the play and light their own creative spark. It doesn't need to be any more than that for us to have pride in our artistic expression.

Here are the books I used as resources for this essay. I found them fascinating and you might too. I especially enjoyed Rick Rubin's book "The Creative Act". I highly recommend it.

Rick Rubin - The Creative Act

Suzanne Hanna - The Wilderness Walk Oracle Guidebook

Nancy Hillis M.D. - The Adjacent Possible

Elizabeth Gilbert - Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear

Create whatever you want to create—and let it be stupendously imperfect, abundant, and joyful because it's exceedingly likely that you will be the only one to even notice. If you would like my guidance and advice in preparing your artistic garden for more expansive growth I am happy to share my insights and my knowledge with you.

Please reach out to me if you would like my collaboration in nurturing your artistic seeds. I welcome the opportunity for conversation, collaboration, and commissions. 

With Light and Delight

Reach Out to Me
Susan Convery
Visit my website
P.S. If you didn't get the chance to download your free gift from me: Here is my "Inner Artist Inspiration Package" - a series of illustrated quotes in watercolor based on flower photos taken by family and friends.
Inner Artist Inspiration Package


Coming up in April

Yayoi Kusama


Perez Art Museum Miami

1103 Biscayne Blvd

Miami, FL

Thursday, April 6 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm

An icon of contemporary art, Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan) has interwoven ideas of Pop art, Minimalism, and psychedelia throughout her paintings, performances, room-size presentations, outdoor sculptural installations, literary works, films, designs, and architectural interventions.

LOVE IS CALLING is the largest and the most immersive and kaleidoscopic of the artist’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. Representing the culmination of her artistic achievements, it exemplifies the breadth of her visual vocabulary—from the signature polka dots and soft sculptures to brilliant colors, the spoken word, and, most importantly, endless reflections and the illusion of space. The darkened, mirrored room is illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms—covered in the artist’s characteristic polka dots—that extend from the floor and ceiling, gradually changing colors. As visitors walk through the installation, a sound recording of Kusama reciting a love poem in Japanese plays continuously. Written by the artist, the poem’s title translates to Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears. Exploring enduring themes including life and death, the poem poignantly expresses Kusama’s hope to spread a universal message of love through her art.

Admission to the galleries is $16 for adults and free for PAMM members. Tickets to Yayoi Kusama: LOVE IS CALLING are subject to availability and are not available online. Once general admission tickets are purchased, access to the show comes at no additional cost. Tickets to enter are available at our Visitor Services desk during regular operating hours. Due to limited capacity, guests are allowed one ticket per person, per visit.

Sign up Here

Broward Art Guild

3280 NE 32nd St. Ft. Lauderdale 33308

Spring Fling Salon

On Saturday, March 25th I judged the Spring Fling Salon for the Broward Art Guild. I t was hard selecting from all of the beautiful work created for this show. 

I hope you will take the time to stop by and see the work or attend the opening for this show on Saturday, April 1, 2023, 5:30-8:30 pm. Join us to cast a ballot for the People’s Choice award. 

The gallery is open Wed., Fri., Sat., noon–9 pm. Thurs. noon–6 pm

Miami Watercolor Society

Pinecrest Community Center

5855 Killian Drive, Pinecrest, FL 33156, United States

Susan Convery

Demonstrating Artist

Sunday, April, 2, 2023 1:00 - 3:30 pm

Presentation Topic: Wave Your Magic Wand

In your hand, you hold a magic wand.  You may know it as a pencil, a pen, a  paintbrush, or a stylus, but it is an instrument of magic.  You can conjure anything your imagination can hold and bring it into reality on a piece of paper or canvas where others can appreciate it too.  The world contained within the 4 sides of the canvas or paper is waiting for you to create it, for you to build it out of your unique experiences, tastes, and perceptions.  Allow me to spend an hour demonstrating my personal process for incorporating magic into my art. I will cover the shapes, colors, and textures associated with magic and some ideas to stimulate your own imagination.  

Paint Party At Savor Cinema

Savor Cinema

503 SE 6th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3416

+1 954 932 3700

Tuesday, April 11 at 6:00 pm

The comedy "Paint" is opening this month at Savor Cinema. To celebrate this hilarious film, All local artists to join us for a party on Tuesday, April 11 at 6 pm.  The party is FREE with tickets to the 7:15 pm showing of PAINT. 

Purchase Your Ticket Here
Let me know you are coming

This Happened in March

Boca Raton Museum of Art

The Boca Museum has two featured artists in their current exhibition. Oswaldo Vigas was born in Valencia, Venezuela, in 1923, of mixed Indigenous and Spanish heritage. He is considered one of Latin America's most prominent artists, Vigas is known for his unique and personal vision that takes inspiration from his mestizo identity and the history, mythology, and ancient art of his birthplace mixed with influences from European modernism.

Whitfield Lovell: Passages is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the contemporary artist’s masterful conté crayon drawings, assemblages, and multi-sensory installations that focus on aspects of African-American history while raising universal questions about identity, memory, and America’s collective heritage. by portraying the locale in a non-specific way and depicting people from different time periods and socio-economic milieus, Lovell also invites viewers to contemplate the larger human quest for equality and the pursuit of a better life that crosses time and geography

Stan Kurth Painting Workshop

Stan Kurth Watercolor Workshop

Gold Coast Watercolor Society  

March 21-23, 2023

Gold Coast Watercolor Society hosted Stan Kurth for a three-day workshop on March 21, 22 & 23. The 19 other participants and I followed Stan’s process of working intuitively using watercolor and gouache. Stan lives with the conviction of “fear not” and that same attitude permeates not just his life but his art. His focus and dedication to his work have earned him signature member status in several watercolor societies including the National Watercolor Society, San Diego Watercolor Society, and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies - Master. He currently lives in Arizona.

two of my paintings from this workshop

National League of American Pen Women

Batik Workshop

Tuesday March 28, 2023

“Watercolor batik” is an amazing technique that combines melted wax and watercolors on rice paper to create an exciting-looking painting. This was my first time using watercolor batik and the effects were really beautiful. Tammy Seymour led the workshop and I was one of 14 people dribbling wax and watercolor while talking and laughing the day away.

Susan's Interview on MVTV

The Vineyard View features short interviews with local personalities digging deeper into the rich cultural heritage of Martha’s Vineyard. My interview with Ann Bassett was filmed last September while my art was on display at the Old Sculpin Gallery on Dock Street in Edgartown and the video was just released in January of 2023.

Here is the link: https://mvtv.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=621af0e2-de78-46c8-a999-a5f0fbee77e1&nav=search%2Fconvery

Watch the Vineyard View Interview with Susan 

2023 Portugal Retreat


Burgau Beach Hotel

Western Algarve

June 17 - 25, 2023

My Portugal Women’s Art Retreat is Here! 

Save the dates of June 17 - 25, 2023 when I will be bringing you to the town of Burgau in the Portuguese Algarve. 

Burgau is a small fishing village on a pristine beach near the Costa Vicentina National Park. 

The Western Coast is considered to be the least spoiled, least touristy and most scenic part of the Algarve. It’s made up of rugged cliffs, a national park, and numerous small, often empty, and incredibly beautiful beaches. 

From our comfortable base in Burgau we will explore nearby villages, the caves and cliffs as well as a famous pottery studio.

There will be daily painting time, optional early morning yoga and meditation as well as delicious food, great company and conversation.

Please let me know if you would like to attend as spots are limited.

All the details!
Hold a Spot for Me!

Prices have been confirmed and I am thrilled to be able to offer you a new reduced price of just $4,500!

Hotel, transportation, most meals, events, and adventures are included.

Painting Joy

Created especially for artistic women in the third stage of life who are dissatisfied with their artwork and want to have more fun connecting with themselves and others. In this three-day watercolor workshop, we experiment with visual cues that inspire joy, discover personal symbols that resonate, and provide ways to bring more effervescence into our life and art.

Please recommend any venues you know that might be interested in hosting this workshop in 2023 or 2024.

I would very much appreciate your help in getting the next booking.

Reach Out to Me

Private Art Retreats

Private Art Retreats

A personalized experience, full of art and discovery, for those who….

  • are traveling alone, or with a couple of friends
  • would like a much more flexible, and free experience, and lots of fun, too, tailored exactly to your needs, interests, and experience level
  • may want to combine painting with organized discovery trips and tours and really get to know the ‘real’ South Florida
  • would like to book in for a shorter or longer time than most workshops
  • don’t want to have to bring a mountain of supplies in their luggage

Private Art Retreats

Private Lessons and Events

Master Classes for High School Students
Private, highly personalized classes in mastery for artistically-minded US & international students virtually on Zoom or in person at my home.

If you have a student who is a visual thinker, willing to push the boundaries of their own work, and serious about improving their options for college, I want to hear from you! Schedule a time to discuss how I can collaborate with you to build a portfolio that will give your student the greatest chance for success.

Art Workshops, Critiques & Presentations
Invite me to present or lead a workshop for your school, club, or guild.

I can customize a program for your event or present my skills programs on composition, color theory, drawing faces, coordinating light/shadow or understanding the cues for depth. I am available for judging, confidence-building critiques and recorded tutorials.
Improve Your Artist Statement
If you would like to delve more deeply into your own inner questions and clarify your thoughts as you create an artist statement for your website, a gallery show, a sponsor, or another project, please reach out, and let’s talk. I have helped many students write compelling statements for AP Art, college applications, and competitions.

Sketchbook Prompt:

Stan Kurth shared his daily sketchbook practice where he fills an 8"x 8" box using his intuitive process - Step 1: create some random shapes and lines using two or three drawing media (charcoal, water-soluble graphite, Watercolor pencils, Pilot Precision V5 pen) Step 2: Wet the paper, then add watercolor directly from the tube in one color and create a variety of shapes and marks. Wet the paper some more. Step 3: Respond to your first color using a bit of the complement directly from the tube and see what shapes you can "find" in the composition. Step 4: create neutral opaque colors by mixing different proportions of your two complements and adding titanium white gouache. Use these neutrals to draw attention to your saturated areas and interesting shapes. Step 5: Employ the principles of art to refine your composition until it pleases you. (Unity, Conflict/Contrast, Dominance, Repetition/Alternation, Balance, Harmony, Gradation)

A daily sketchbook practice will provide many wonderful seeds for larger paintings. You can use any of the many creative sketchbook practices to create a large catalog of seeds.

Available Paintings

Please contact me if you are interested in adding any of the paintings below to your collection.

I will deliver if you live within a 2-hour drive and if you live further away, I will give you a reasonable price for shipping.

Venmo, CashApp, PayPal and Zelle are welcomed.

Title: Peony Plenty

Media: Watercolor on Arches

Size: 11" x 15" Unframed, 16" x 20" framed

Price: $350.00

Frame: Gold Frame with a 2" mat

This painting is an example of the joyful aesthetics of "abundance" and "renewal". Peonies are a favorite flower of mine and they are in a gorgeous brass vase which I painted with iridescent watercolor..

Title: Harbinger of Spring (study)

Media: Watercolor on Arches

Size: 11" x 15" unframed, 16"x 20" framed


Frame: Gold frame with 2" Mat

This painting is a study for a larger painting that isn't finished yet depicting a magical deer bringing spring flowers and a flock of scarlet tanagers out of the winter forest into spring on his amazing antlers.

Title: Bluebird

Media: Mixed Media Monoprint

Size: 11" x 14" unframed, 16" x 20" framed


Frame: Gold frame with 2" mat

A beautiful bluebird flies through an imaginary garden of printed blue begonia leaves

Title: Enigma

Media: Mixed Media

Size: 22" x 22" 

Price: $550

Frame: Gallery Wrapped Canvas Gold Edge

This painting revealed an inner presence to me when I was trying to create an abstract painting featuring veiling and texture.

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