Hello, Friend! I’m Theresa and I am passionate about the creative process. Thanks for visiting my website. Below you will find some information about my background and current work in the creative arts.
I believe in the transformative power of the creative process. Connecting with my Inner Artist has helped me heal personal wounds, learn self-compassion, and practice self-trust. As Brene Brown once said, “Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.” This website is me sharing my soul with you.
I was a creative kid, but I spent my young adulthood as a “shadow artist,” hiding my artistic side from most people and pursuing endeavors that I believed were more practical and socially acceptable. But one day I realized I could no longer suppress my vivid imagination–my Inner Artist cried out for full, juicy expression. I am happy to report that I answered her call. Several years ago, I decided to leave behind my “first life” as a psychology professor and dive in to my creativity, and I have not looked back (if you would like to talk with me about neurons, however, I’m open to it; they’re pretty cool). I feel grateful to have found the courage to give myself the precious gift of authenticity by becoming the artist of my own life. That’s what I mean about the transformative power of the arts. There’s an expression, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” For me, the process works like this: If I can imagine something, express it on paper through image and/or writing, and then practice embodying it, I really can manifest it in my life. My life is a canvas, a ball of clay, a container for experiences.
As you will see on this website, I find deep inspiration in Mother Earth’s many wonders. Nature is my sanctuary and I love connecting with the abundant flora and fauna we have here in Florida. I will share more about my sources of inspiration in my blog posts; for now, please enjoy this homage to one of my favorite, most extraordinary muses.
As an artist and a writer, I engage in a practice I call Mindful Creativity. I use a variety of arts modalities intuitively (and often sequentially) to connect with my inner wisdom and express my creative vision. One day, you might find me doing a sequence of guided meditation practice followed by visual art-making, with pastels, paint, or collage. I love making mandalas this way! Another day, you might find me doing a movement practice like Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms, or sounding with a drum or shaker, and then creating sculpture. As you can see below, I like to incorporate dramatic costuming and makeup into the mix. I have discovered that these kinds of image-making experiences can lead to intentional artwork, and also inspire creative writing and storytelling. In this way, one art process feeds another: Intermodal play with the expressive arts is so much fun! I have included some examples of my artwork below. To see more examples, please visit my artwork page: http://www.theresafostercreates.com/artwork
I ascribe to this definition of mindfulness offered by Jon Kabat-Zinn: “The awareness that arises from paying attention in this particular way: In the present moment, on purpose, and nonjudgmentally.” At least a few times a week, I take time to meditate in silence and connect with the flow of my breath. Magic can happen in stillness; our brains need quiet time for integration. Adding elements of ritual to my practice (a candle or other sacred object) can help signal, “after your practice, it’s time to create.”
In addition to being an artist and a writer (and an avid meditator), I am an Expressive Arts Group Workshop Facilitator. I offer Mindful Creativity workshops which incorporate elements of the expressive arts: visual arts, mindfulness meditation, sounding with instruments, gentle movement processes, and dramatic/storytelling exercises. My workshops provide relaxing, intuitive, and inspiring arts enrichment experiences during which participants can connect with the present moment, hear the voice of their inner artist, and express themselves authentically through the artwork. I establish a critique-free zone and include opportunities for group witnessing of creative products and optional sharing about them. No previous art experience is necessary, but artists of all kinds are welcome. I believe we are all creative and I enjoy building community through the arts. Please see my Workshop page for details about my current offerings: http://www.theresafostercreates.com/workshops
My competency for doing this work was evaluated during a two-year certificate program in Intermodal Expressive Arts at Expressive Arts Florida Institute (EAFI), located in Sarasota, FL. Concurrently, I also trained with PeaceLove Studios in Providence, RI, and facilitated their “Creators Program” expressive arts curriculum for local community organizations. After I completed my six-week immersive Final Project for EAFI, I was interviewed about my experience in the program and its impact on me. Needless to say, I highly recommend EAFI and the faculty. You can see part of that interview in this five-minute video, beginning at minute 2:37: http://www.expressiveartsflorida.com/what-our-graduates-say/ I currently contract with EAFI as a Teaching Assistant and Advisor of incoming Certificate Program students, a process I very much enjoy: http://www.expressiveartsflorida.com/about-us/
I feel incredibly grateful for my friends, family, and colleagues who generously support my endeavors.
To find out more about me, my artwork, my writing, or my workshops, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*I am launching this website in January, 2019, while it is still under construction. Please check back for updated content!