Artist~Healer Circle :: Carolyn Winkler

Behind that



is this week's Artist~Healer,

Carolyn Winkler!

Here's some of her amazing story and insights into being an intuitive artist and healer...

What does being an Artist~Healer mean to you? 

It means that I use art to help people heal. I do this with my Intuitive Painting

Workshops. It is amazing how this process takes you right inside and if you just play and

paint a story or an image comes through the paint to help you in your life.

It will be a profound message for you. It is like having a clarifying dream. In

a weekend I watch my students get stronger each day. Stronger in their

sense of self and this is what helps them have a better life. They learn to

trust their feelings and how creative they really are. It is beautiful to

watch. This is where the healing part comes in.

(are they separate facets of your self & life? do they inform one another?

are they intimately connected on a regular basis?)

I think they are the same. It was my own 30 year struggle

to discover who I really was and what

really wanted in my life that lead me to this process and doing these

workshops for others. It is healing for me because I love to teach and I love

that art can teach us so much. I am all about self discovery and there are

not that many processes in the world that let us do that. Most of what we

learn comes from outside, from others. The way I teach this process it can

only come from inside, it can’t come from anywhere else. Pretty cool.

Have you always identified yourself as BOTH an Artist and a Healer? 

If not, when did you first recognize yourself as both? 

I would say first I was an artist and then a healer.

I was trained in art, taught art, was an

professional artist and even owned an Art Gallery. All very successfully by

the way. Then I got divorced from my second husband and was devastated.

We owned the art gallery together. I like to say my giant rose colored

glasses were smashed to smithereens. You get the picture. The good part

is from this I realized that I could work really hard for everyone else and

what they wanted but I had no idea who I was and what I really wanted. I

was living my life taking really good care of others and not myself.

After discovering this I began a 30 year journey to find who I was and what

was important to me for my life. My Intuitive Painting Workshops are the

result of these 30 years. I started with Hypnotherapy, Process Work, Voice

Dialogue, Shadow Work, Clean Language and read a couple thousand books.

I took workshops and training’s in all kinds of processes I thought would

help. I traveled the world and widened my view. I bring all this to my

workshops and give my students a chance to see that they can be

themselves, follow their own dreams and create an amazing life. Pretty

powerful experience that comes from the paint.

How I came to teach is an interesting story. I had made some good

investments and no longer had to worry about money if I lived simply. I no

longer had to work for someone else to support myself and I could do what

ever I wanted with my life. I spent a year trying to answer that question

with no results. Then I took a Shamanic Counseling workshop with Sandra

Harner in San Francisco. The announcement for the workshop said “For

questions you have had for over a year and haven’t been able to answer.”

I thought perfect so i packed my bags and went to San Francisco for the

week. It was in that workshop that I did a journey, met my spirit guide and

she told me that I was supposed to teach people how to get in touch with

their authentic self. I remember crying, tears streaming down my cheeks,

yes this is what I really want to do. Then I remember thinking “How do you

do that?” Intuitive Painting is the result of that. Through Intuitive Painting

anyone can connect with their inner authentic self. No previous art

experience required and they can discover self-empowerment.

I graduated from Art School and saw what can happen there to tender

psyches. I was lucky they thought I was talented so they were easier on me

than some. I was a successful artist/printmaker for several years and know

what it is to be an artist struggling with the “first you make it then you sell

it” part of the art world. I saw artists get stuck in their success and no

longer interested in what they were doing but just kept doing it because

that's what was selling.

I am a natural teacher and really love teaching. It is what I was put on this

earth for. I have a non-judgmental belief that everyone is creative and

that when given the safety and freedom to explore their inner authentic

self amazing things will happen. This has been true for my students and

why i love doing this so much.

Have you always been comfortable with calling yourself an “Artist” and


I came out of the Feminist Art Reveloution of the 60’s

-80’s. I remember going to consciousness raising groups and talking about

being artists. This was the first time we all called ourselves artists. We

owned it. At that time women were not accepted in the art world, you

went to art school and then you married and supported your husband

artist. It was very different than it is today. So that is how started to call

myself an artist. During that time I was going to art school and getting my

degree in art education.

The healer part came with my psychology training and discovering my inner

world. How important it is to know you have an unconscious, to tame

your inner critics and be courageous enough to show who you really are.

These are some of the main struggles people have and when they can gain

the insight of their authentic self they can be stronger in the world on

many levels. Healing is becoming stronger and Intuitive Painting helps you

do that.

Why do you think it is often difficult for Artists and Healers to claim this

title for themselves?

It is a struggle to be an artist and you need a wound

you have healed to be a healer. I think it is a long process of discovery and

not until you have had experience in both can you claim either title.

Is there something specific that has to be present or open in a person in

order to accept one's self as either or both? 

You have to have lived it and come out the other side.

Do you think all Artists are Healers or all Healers are Artists? 

No. I think some people are just artists and others just healers but some use

art in someway to heal.

What are some difficulties or challenges for Artist~Healers?

For me it is getting the people to see how valuable art is. To see the

empowerment that comes from it. How important art and self expression is

for stronger human beings. Our culture destroys the self expression part of

development at early ages and the commercial world of art makes people

think that only certain “talented/they are born with it” people should be

making art. Making art and self expression is for everyone and is probably one

of the most personal deep ways you can become yourself.

How does your creative expression inform you, or offer you unique

perspective, as a Healer?

It puts me in touch with images and metaphors

that explain what is going on in expanded ways and gives me a more open

perspective on what ever issue I am having. It is this wider perspective

that allows for more options. Lots of options is a good thing when you are

having difficulties. Especially when those options are coming from your

authentic core. That core is deeper than just cultural training. You often

know when an perspective or answer comes from there because it will be

gentle and compassionate even in a strong way sometimes. Here is an

intuitive drawing I did once when i asked myself “What it is I really do?” It

is fierce but also compassionate. I think it is a good example.

The answer was “I am a fierce defender of the tender inner self.” This is

very true for me.

How does your healing work inform you, or offer you unique perspective,

as an Artist?

I am always amazed at the images that want to come. How

powerful and magical they are and that there was no plan, no rules, just

the unknown and the freedom to travel there and discover what wants to

emerge. Here are some of my paintings I did during the workshops when I

painted along side my students. All these paintings are done with just

tempera paint and paper and come from another realm.

What unique offerings and services do you feel Artist~Healers have to offer

people of the world in our times?

Art brings back the magic of being alive.

That living is more than just earning a living and taking care of others but a

deep personal expressive experience and that you can contribute your own

unique gifts. It is what the world and others really need from us.

At this time, what do you see as your true work in the world related to Art

and Healing?

Growing my workshops and reaching more people. This is

powerful stuff and the world needs more offerings like this to make it a

better place. Also individuals need more offerings like this to have the

best life they can.

Has anyone had major influence or impact on your journey of discovery as

an Artist~Healer?

I am so grateful to all the people that share their gifts

through books, workshops, training’s. I love

NLP, Hypnotherapy, Process Work, Shadow Work, Clean Language and Voice

Dialogue. I love the Intuitive Painting process and Shamanic Journey work

for getting into the unknown and discovering worlds within us. I love being

in nature and how it heals me. It is my inner nature expressed through art

and that heals me too. I am thankful for the good and the bad of my life

because both taught me so much. I am blessed to have this life, do what I

do and have the opportunity to share it with the world. I could not have

done it with out all the others before me and those that supported me

along the way. It is a group effort and I am sure it will continue to be so.

Do you have any services or projects upcoming that you'd like to share


I have an Intuitive Painting Workshop Memorial Day weekend May 26-27.

I usually do 4 a year.

Where can readers find out more about you or connect with you?

My website and blog below.


Carolyn -

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, heart and inspiring artwork with us. It is an honor to have you join the circle.

Please be sure to leave Carolyn a comment if you have a thought, question, or curiosity! Your voice and input is important in this discussion, too, as we explore where art and healing meet and collaborate in our lives.