Discover the freedom and healing medicine of creating intuitively with words, images and visual art.

Whether you think of yourself as ‘creative’ or not, my aim is to clear the way for deep self-inquiry. help quiet the critical voice and offer you the freedom to grow into an intuitive creative practice that truly nourishes you.

Expect plenty of prompts, experimentation, freedom, self-discovery and sharing.

Well, hello. 

If you don’t know me already, I’m Cyn. I’m a fifty-something woman living in Saint Paul with my tabby cat. Not married, not a mother. But still passionate, still loving, still nurturing. I deal with my difficulties by writing and making things, so naturally, my reaction to the pandemic was to stock up on toilet paper, coffee and art supplies. I spent my entire stimulus check on art supplies. And then I just started making art and writing about it. 

I like to make fast art – not one to work on a single piece for days or weeks. I don’t have an MFA, but I have a wicked intuition that leads me down some very interesting paths. I tend to abandon the notion of what ‘good writing’ or ‘good art’ is. It’s all good to me, even the weird, messy, profane or downright ugly. It’s all good medicine. 

I’m not sure where I’m going with it all. I’m actually enjoying the mystery for now. Thanks for hanging out with me here while I figure it out. xoxo
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Continuous-line self-portrait from photo in charcoal by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #selfportrait #fyj2021

Well, hello.

If you don’t know me already, I’m Cyn. I’m a fifty-something woman living in Saint Paul with my tabby cat. Not married, not a mother. But still passionate, still loving, still nurturing. I deal with my difficulties by writing and making things, so naturally, my reaction to the pandemic was to stock up on toilet paper, coffee and art supplies. I spent my entire stimulus check on art supplies. And then I just started making art and writing about it.

I like to make fast art – not one to work on a single piece for days or weeks. I don’t have an MFA, but I have a wicked intuition that leads me down some very interesting paths. I tend to abandon the notion of what ‘good writing’ or ‘good art’ is. It’s all good to me, even the weird, messy, profane or downright ugly. It’s all good medicine.

I’m not sure where I’m going with it all. I’m actually enjoying the mystery for now. Thanks for hanging out with me here while I figure it out. xoxo
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Continuous-line self-portrait from photo in charcoal by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #selfportrait #fyj2021
...

17 9
Another negative painting beauty 💜

xoxo
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Mixed media in journal by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #negativepainting #fyj2021

Another negative painting beauty 💜

xoxo
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Mixed media in journal by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #negativepainting #fyj2021
...

23 1
I love the artwork of Georgia O’Keeffe.

I have three O’Keeffe prints in my home and a book. I enjoy her botanical paintings a little more than the landscapes because I really love how she plays with scale. Her paintings are curvy and sexy, a fusion of realism and abstraction. She zooms right in and isn’t afraid to use bold, intense colors. 

So this week, I thought I would try a little macro perspective in paint, just like I love to do in photography. I stuck with a limited color palette and didn’t bother trying to get that smooth, graphic look that Georgia’s art has. I kept it quick, loose and fun.

I might keep experimenting with scale. I feel like I’m onto something . xoxo
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Ink + charcoal tulip by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #steallikeanartist #fyj2021

I love the artwork of Georgia O’Keeffe.

I have three O’Keeffe prints in my home and a book. I enjoy her botanical paintings a little more than the landscapes because I really love how she plays with scale. Her paintings are curvy and sexy, a fusion of realism and abstraction. She zooms right in and isn’t afraid to use bold, intense colors.

So this week, I thought I would try a little macro perspective in paint, just like I love to do in photography. I stuck with a limited color palette and didn’t bother trying to get that smooth, graphic look that Georgia’s art has. I kept it quick, loose and fun.

I might keep experimenting with scale. I feel like I’m onto something . xoxo
.
Ink + charcoal tulip by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #steallikeanartist #fyj2021
...

26 1
Summer Sunday spell. Loving a new dip pen for inky drawing.

Summer Sunday spell. Loving a new dip pen for inky drawing. ...

30 1
It’s been an up and down day.

I haven’t had much time to write or paint lately. My job has dominated my energy and for seven days I’ve been carrying around low-grade separation anxiety because I miss my creative toys and time.

I had been looking forward to a painting class this morning. I had my expectations set high, but it turned out to be one of those times when I couldn’t seem to get anything to work. After a 2.5 hour class, I was feeling really angry and lost. My mojo was in the toilet.

So after having a little lunch, I decided I wasn’t going to end this day without giving myself another opportunity to find some joy in my art practice. I saddled up and dropped into a few exercises I knew I could trust – a negative painting and floral studies. Works every time.

I can go to bed with a smile now.
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Acrylic quickies by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #findingmymojo #fyj2021

It’s been an up and down day.

I haven’t had much time to write or paint lately. My job has dominated my energy and for seven days I’ve been carrying around low-grade separation anxiety because I miss my creative toys and time.

I had been looking forward to a painting class this morning. I had my expectations set high, but it turned out to be one of those times when I couldn’t seem to get anything to work. After a 2.5 hour class, I was feeling really angry and lost. My mojo was in the toilet.

So after having a little lunch, I decided I wasn’t going to end this day without giving myself another opportunity to find some joy in my art practice. I saddled up and dropped into a few exercises I knew I could trust – a negative painting and floral studies. Works every time.

I can go to bed with a smile now.
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Acrylic quickies by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #findingmymojo #fyj2021
...

23 0
I’ve gone looking for adventure.

And I certainly found it in this abstract landscape. Adventurous tools, adventurous colors, adventurous marks. 

In the end, and among the tangle of messy marks and layers, I was reminded of my adventure to the island of Peleliu in the South Pacific thirty years ago. Tropical, steamy, mossy and peppered with the remnants and ghosts of battle.

I love that an art practice can be more about what the experience of making it conjures up inside than it is about a ‘good’ work of art. 
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Abstract mixed media landscape by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #adventurousstorytellers #fyj2021

I’ve gone looking for adventure.

And I certainly found it in this abstract landscape. Adventurous tools, adventurous colors, adventurous marks.

In the end, and among the tangle of messy marks and layers, I was reminded of my adventure to the island of Peleliu in the South Pacific thirty years ago. Tropical, steamy, mossy and peppered with the remnants and ghosts of battle.

I love that an art practice can be more about what the experience of making it conjures up inside than it is about a ‘good’ work of art.
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Abstract mixed media landscape by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #adventurousstorytellers #fyj2021
...

38 5
I want to feel tranquility, magic and belonging.

So here’s my tranquil, magical and belonging painting in black and white. It actually looks like a scene from the north woods where I’ve gone to get away many times. The sky at night is thick with stars and if there’s a full moon, everything glows. It really is magical.

Still experimenting with mark making here: ink dropper, toothbrush, sea sponge, bottle cap and something from the toolbox that looks like a big pizza cutter but I have no idea what it’s for or where it came from. 

The way the white paint bloomed into the black ink at the horizon line just slays me. Love that so much!
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Acrylic and ink landscape by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #northwoods #fyj2021

I want to feel tranquility, magic and belonging.

So here’s my tranquil, magical and belonging painting in black and white. It actually looks like a scene from the north woods where I’ve gone to get away many times. The sky at night is thick with stars and if there’s a full moon, everything glows. It really is magical.

Still experimenting with mark making here: ink dropper, toothbrush, sea sponge, bottle cap and something from the toolbox that looks like a big pizza cutter but I have no idea what it’s for or where it came from.

The way the white paint bloomed into the black ink at the horizon line just slays me. Love that so much!
.
Acrylic and ink landscape by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #northwoods #fyj2021
...

24 7
Collage hasn’t been my thing so far. I’ve dabbled, but not been overwhelmed with desire to collect collage fodder and find a place for it in my sketchbook pages or artwork. I think it will grow on me, but at the moment, it’s not high on my list of things to dive into.

BUT….I absolutely love it when writing appears in artwork, either real writing or asemic. Makes sense because I love to write. So writing + art = sweet spot. 

I was wondering how I might be able to get some of my journal writing into my art without being too revealing about what I’m actually writing about – to leave a little of the mystery. So I tried printing out some of my writing on tracing paper, using my regular ink jet printer, and then pasting on a page with some matte medium. It worked really well as the tracing paper is translucent. The ink is not 100% stable, so there’s a little smearing – but I kind of like it. 

Task 1: find amazing fonts
Task 2: maybe learn how to actually do asemic writing – a fun challenge!
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Collage by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #markmaking #fyj2021

Collage hasn’t been my thing so far. I’ve dabbled, but not been overwhelmed with desire to collect collage fodder and find a place for it in my sketchbook pages or artwork. I think it will grow on me, but at the moment, it’s not high on my list of things to dive into.

BUT….I absolutely love it when writing appears in artwork, either real writing or asemic. Makes sense because I love to write. So writing + art = sweet spot.

I was wondering how I might be able to get some of my journal writing into my art without being too revealing about what I’m actually writing about – to leave a little of the mystery. So I tried printing out some of my writing on tracing paper, using my regular ink jet printer, and then pasting on a page with some matte medium. It worked really well as the tracing paper is translucent. The ink is not 100% stable, so there’s a little smearing – but I kind of like it.

Task 1: find amazing fonts
Task 2: maybe learn how to actually do asemic writing – a fun challenge!
.
Collage by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #markmaking #fyj2021
...

22 2
Always circle back to inks and florals. It’s home-sweet-home for me right now. 

A creative practice seems to be a dance of taking risks and venturing out, and then finding your way back to where things are familiar and cozy. Maybe you bring back a few mementos from your ‘trip’ to help you remember the best bits. Your ordinary routine can now contain a tiny, new glint of the wild places you have been.

May your cozy Sunday give you a little sparkle. xoxo
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Floral in ink by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #floralabstract #fyj2021

Always circle back to inks and florals. It’s home-sweet-home for me right now.

A creative practice seems to be a dance of taking risks and venturing out, and then finding your way back to where things are familiar and cozy. Maybe you bring back a few mementos from your ‘trip’ to help you remember the best bits. Your ordinary routine can now contain a tiny, new glint of the wild places you have been.

May your cozy Sunday give you a little sparkle. xoxo
.
Floral in ink by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #floralabstract #fyj2021
...

28 2
Mixed media abstract by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #floralabstract #fyj2021

Mixed media abstract by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #floralabstract #fyj2021
...

19 1
How do you know when a painting is done?

Well, if you’re me, it’s when you get too tired to keep going. lol

So this is probably my first attempt at a larger abstract painting. I don’t think it’s done, but I think it’s one of those I will dabble on here and there for a while. 

I like what’s going on in this piece though – the vertical movement in the top, the blockiness on the bottom, the color palette, the soft, dreamy texture. I’ll put this away for a while and see what I think when I get a fresh gander at it down the road. 
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Mixed media abstract in progress by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #abstractwip

How do you know when a painting is done?

Well, if you’re me, it’s when you get too tired to keep going. lol

So this is probably my first attempt at a larger abstract painting. I don’t think it’s done, but I think it’s one of those I will dabble on here and there for a while.

I like what’s going on in this piece though – the vertical movement in the top, the blockiness on the bottom, the color palette, the soft, dreamy texture. I’ll put this away for a while and see what I think when I get a fresh gander at it down the road.
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Mixed media abstract in progress by Cynthia Berg, 2021
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#arthappens #trustyourpath #abeautifulmess #bigmagic #freedompractice #visualpoem #todaysart #paintingforfun #dailyartpractice #messyfun #makingart #makeyourart #smallart #mycreativelife #happycreativelife #thiscreativelife #courageouscreative #calltobecreative #creativeintuition #intuitiveart #artinspiration #artinspo #listentoyoursoul #gowithin #makestuff #useyourhands #madeinminnesota #abstractwip
...

24 7

Insight Writing®

When we let go of perfection and allow the voice of our true stories to be heard and expressed, we begin to understand who we really are – underneath the costumes we wear in everyday life. We begin to reconnect to the parts of ourselves that hold gentle wisdom and insight, and we’re able to relax into our authentic selves.

Experience Insight Writing in a group or on your own. I’ve created a number of ways to guide and encourage you.

Gatherings

Guidance

Prompts

There is no way to participate in one of your workshops without being struck by the love that unfolds. Inspired by the raw emotion, the vulnerability, the sheer awesomeness that emerges from the power of showing up fully.

-Kate

Insight Writer

THE MESSY TRUTH BLOG

close-up

close-up

From far away, I'm your typical middle-aged lady in socks and sandals, squinting to read the label on the bottle of antacid in aisle twelve in the supermarket. I might be someone's mom, someone's wife, even though I'm neither. You might think I'm unhappy because my...

read more
forgiveness

forgiveness

Let me read it to you... For mixing blue and orangenot calling on her birthdayeating that second bowl For last autumn's leaves still ungathered in Mayexpired insurance policyletting the avocado spoil For waiting twelve years to get another eye examcat toys rolled too...

read more
all i ever wanted

all i ever wanted

Let me read it to you... ​ All I ever wanted was this cup of coffee and the sound of those robins waking up the neighborhood, a sort of random day off with nothing better to do than finish that book, practice painting peonies for pages and pages, to gaze at this tabby...

read more