Artist~Healer Circle :: Carolyn Winkler

Behind that amazing mask 
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.



You can access previous Artist~Healer posts
- including the first post by Chris Zydel! 
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