Lily of the Valley Copyright 2015 by Janet Hovde

Lily of the Valley
Copyright 2015 by Janet Hovde

This photo of rain-soaked lily of the valley feels so fresh and alive and light of heart. This is an energy I welcome into my full life.

I found out yesterday that I have been accepted into the Women’s Art Institute, a 4-week summer studio intensive offered by St. Catherine University, co-sponsored by Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I am thrilled, and a little overwhelmed about fitting this amazing opportunity into the fullness of my life. The Women’s Art Institute includes work as individuals and as a group to choose our 7 most compelling questions as women artists. We will address the questions as we are also attending lectures, individual tutorials, field trips, and a generous amount of studio time. That’s the best I can describe it without yet having experienced it. I do know it is important for me to do this. And that it is likely to be deeply satisfying and maybe a bit (a lot?) uncomfortable at times.

How do I make money as an artist? What are the structures I need to sustain myself for many more years of creating a life that uses my best gifts? How do I articulate the way in which I combine healing energy and visual art? Oh, I have lots of questions.

Many of you who read this blog are women. Many of you are artists. Does being female affect your art life? If you could have answers about your art life, what would your questions be?

Wishing you lightness of heart as you live YOUR life!


  1. Congratulations. Sounds like a great opportunity! I don’t feel like being a woman specifically influences my art but who I am as a whole and the experiment I’ve had definitely do. Your question about questions is a great one. I’m not sure if I have any…well, I am sure I have some…I just don’t know what they are right now. I’ll have to give it some thought.

  2. Everything that comes before us is put there for a reason. As we say yes, we open a door that takes us beyond what we can possibly think could exist. It could be meeting a particular person who transforms your life, speaking your truth to someone and transforming their’s, hearing something that clarifies a Truth you questioned or needed to be reminded of, or simply to redefine beauty and adventure.

    Enjoy the Yes!

  3. How exciting Janet! It sounds like a wonderful program. Intensives can be such magical things – getting things to shift and evolve and deepen. And I bet the working with questions is going to be like finding a bottomless treasure chest. I”m so looking forward to what you’ll have to share.

    I’m definitely going to be thinking about the questions you left for us, and I suspect they’ll spark a post from me.
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  4. Congratulations, Janet! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences! I love your question about healing energy and art. Just the question is such a great reminder to me to stay connected to the energy of who I really am, and the light inside, as I’m creating art. If I’m connected to it, the final piece will be, too. Thank you❤️
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  5. Wow, Janet! Congrats! What a wonderful challenge for you. I am excited to hear more about it as it develops if you are willing to share.

    You asked about how being a woman affects my art. I like to think in terms of yin and yang vs female and male. We all have creative energy inside of us and to me this is a yin energy before it becomes manifest. The act of creating the piece is yang, but there is a lot of yin that must go on to produce the yang.

    Another aspect you brought up was financially supporting yourself through art. Women TEND to struggle more with the yang aspects of getting paid what you are worth, but this is personal. I think the reason that women tend to be more challenged with charging properly for their work is because we are encoded to help others. We often tend to put ourselves last because there is always a lot to be done and traditionally, throughout centuries, it has been the woman’s job to do a lot of the menial difficult labor. It takes a long time for a culture to work out of that sort of pattern. Some of the cultures in the world right now still operate in that. MANY of them do.

    On a more metaphysical basis, I think of this issue of artists not asking enough for their work as an underlying devaluing of art in general in our society. Art, by itself, is yin and we do not respect our own yin. Yin is “taking a break”, yin is getting enough rest, it is meditating. Yin is taking the time to do art. Playing in yin. Our society has conditioned us to work,work, work! On television shows, you wonder if the people on those shows just LIVE at their office because they seem to spend both their days and evenings with their work people and at their office buildings. This is not my world, but I am sure that there are many out there that are like that in real life. I have often wondered if these shows were designed this way in order to get people to accept working so much? I think this is wrong. People should go home when their work day is done. People should enjoy their free time.

    I am talking a lot about this. I am going to add this to my list as something to write about on my blog. It’s an important topic and I clearly have a lot to say about it! Have a great week, Janet!
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  6. Congratulations Janet. What an awesome opportunity for you. I really look forward to hearing about your experience.
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