Nurture your Creativity ~ Dear Antonella the Rose of Sorrento

Sorrento? I’ll be there!

Dear Antonella

Yes, I AM a bit timid about traveling alone. But honestly, I would hate to miss this chance to be with you in such a magical place!

If next year comes ~ and I missed out

Life is SO precious! My dear friend Gary passed away this month. One day we were having lunch, then a sudden stroke took him. Painting in the studio early that morning, I thanked Gary for all the wonderful conversations we had over lunch. And then I heard a voice tell me to lighten up the clouds along my horizon.

Startled, I looked again at the big painting on my easel. “Really?” I answered him back. Gary was a big man with a big presence. His radio voice could fill the room. He traveled Europe on a USO Tour singing! Quick witted, he was known as the ‘Czar of PR’ at the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Clinton.

Gary Krull
Gary Krull

Without hesitation, I picked up the brush and took his advice. Tweaked Light into the clouds along the horizon, searched Google Flights, and bought a ticket for Sorrento!

Colorful Sunset Painting Canvas Art PRint


I didn’t hesitate to tweak the painting. I HAD been hesitating to buy the tickets. I am still hesitating to admit to myself that the title of the big painting, Suncatcher, is a clue to who I am.

Just the question pops another “painting” to mind.


A collage I did when I was 14 won me recognition at a 5 county regional art show in my home state of New Jersey. I can still remember my mother taking me to the awards presentation in Morristown. My feet barely touched the floor as I walked to the front, my collage projected on the screen for all to see, as I received my blue ribbon.

Nurturing creativity is important. It was something I received from both my parents. And also from many others, as well.

This is why I am so compelled to throw Light and inspiration. So I guess I AM the Suncatcher.

Dear Antonella

I met Antonella  three years ago when she translated our Italian cooking lesson. She captivated us with her quick wit, warm personality, and mastery of both English and Italian. Immediately, we were friends.

When I arrived in Italy sick last fall, Antonella was knocking on my door with pharmacy, hot tea, and warm clothing. Blooming with cheer, she lifted my spirits.

watercolor roses

She got me well in a hurry ~ in time to smell the roses, get my watercolors out, AND welcome my friends from the States.

plein air painting watercolor roses

Dear Antonella loves EVERY opportunity to speak English! She lived eight years in DC as a young woman. So delighted to meet my friends, immediately we ALL were friends.

Dear Antonella
Dear Antonella


I developed my CreativSOUP process over thirty years. Extraordinary circumstances caused me to use my art degree and creativity ~ in ways I NEVER imagined.

Unraveling clues in the paintings, dreams, and day to day stuff will show you how The Creator Within connects heart, soul, mind, body, spirit. You will find book 1, Joy’s Garden Embrace the Mountain on Amazon. 

In addition, Joy’s Garden CreativSOUP Journal, a companion to Embrace the Mountain, gives you space to unravel your own creative clues.

Access to my CreativSOUP Live Feed and CreativSOUP Facebook Group are free. Your book purchase helps to support these, as well as my upcoming book 2,  Joy’s Garden Dear Antonella.

Dear Antonella Joy's Garden

Joy’s Garden Dear Antonella will be published in May!

Purchase an advance signed copy of the book, and receive The Rose postcard mailed to you from me and Antonella postmarked Sorrento!


Hurry, I leave for Sorrento April 7!


A 40-year old Puzzle Solved when Two Sisters Reunite

How a Dream Becomes Real ~ Goddess Rising

This pastel painting called “Two Sisters,” painted in 1979 remained in my thoughts. 40 years later the image found its way into my studio on a piece of silk. “Why am I still working on this?”

I didn’t have an answer. I only had the same question I’ve had for forty years.

“Who are the two sisters anyway?”

Clues showed their faces . . .

Two Sisters hand painted silk scarf
Two Sisters silk scarf is hand painted with iridescent fabric paint, Purchase>

Clue #1

On the face side, discovering silk stashed in the closet I wondered, “Why is this still here?” I moved it from place to place, undecided what to do with it. Finally after painting the Winter Solstice silk jacket, I thought I’d try the same with this.

Inspired by the “Two Sisters” pastel painting I’d done in 1979, the silk was more saturated.

I guess you could say the same about me, saturated.

Two Sisters hand painted silk scarf,
Two Sisters hand painted silk scarf, Purchase>

I used to wear bold artsy clothing like this. OMG! Trying to think of when that was ~ I remember wearing stunning colors like this just before Mom died. It’s been 27 years!

Clue #2

Not wishing to open the door and look, I felt to hesitant to pick up the paint brush and work with this silk. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that feeling resistance is a sure sign there’s magic just on the other side.

“Feeling resistance is a sure sign there’s magic just on the other side.”

I picked up the paint brush ~ following the thread of inspiration is the path of lease resistance, a lot easier than talking back to the Creator.

Rising c2017 Dorothy Fagan
Rising I, Purchase>

Clue #3

Around the same time, these two oil paintings were sitting around the studio. Seems everywhere I turned ~ there they were staring at me.

Inspired by another painting I just couldn’t let go of, “The Pond Within,”  I blew up sections of it onto canvases of their own ~ so I could explore.

Pond Within II c2017 Dorothy Fagan
Pond Within II, Purchase>

Exploring in a Foreign Land

Painting them felt so foreign, I actually used pics of the section to help block in each of the new paintings. While I was doing that, the images kept inverting themselves.

This may not seem weird to you. But after painting for 45 years, I have never done such a thing! If I want to draw something, I just do it. Following a pattern of my own making as if I’ve never seen it before ~ new territory.

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The Pond Within c2017 Dorothy Fagan
The Pond Within, Purchase>

Clue #4

OMG, that’s her! I see her peeking over the mountain. Like a stop-action flip book, she jumped to life on the pages of my journal.


Thumbnail sketch #1 from Dorothy's journal
Thumbnail sketch #1 from Dorothy’s journal
Thumbnail sketch #2 from Dorothy's journal
Thumbnail sketch #2 from Dorothy’s journal

She’s rising up!

Thumbnail sketch #3 from Dorothy's journal
Thumbnail sketch #3 from Dorothy’s journal

Her heart is coming together in the center and filling her with energy!

Thumbnail sketch #4 from Dorothy's journal
Thumbnail sketch #4 from Dorothy’s journal

She’s stretching her wings …

I couldn’t wait to see what she would look like in color! I transferred the small oil study to a large canvas and picked up the brush.

Goddess Rising c2017 Dorothy Fagan
Goddess Rising, Purchase>

So how is “Goddess Rising” related to “Two Sisters?”

I didn’t get it right away.

Interpretation #1

I finished sewing the scarf, and thought perhaps the two sisters were myself as a painter and fiber artist?

Interpretation #2

Certainly I could see the symbolism of the goddess and the pond within as my Creative ~ divine and human selves. But there was more.

Interpretation #3

Writing articles I recognized a soul sister I’d overlooked. My mother, who taught me to sew, to garden, and encouraged me to paint ~ was the soul sister I was missing! She’d faded from my life, just as faint as photos in the album.

Sure I thought of her. But I didn’t recognize our divine relationship as soul sisters. To me she was still the mother who died before her time.

Now she is my divine partner in living. Her memory is vivid and so are the colors on my paintings. Together we tap into the goddess energy ~ divine inspiration that uplifts all of us together.

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