as individual as you are

Members: LOG IN

Annie Steiner Art Blog

How I Got My (Creative) Groove Back

by AnnieSteiner , March 15, 2012—12:00 AM

Topics: Cottage Street Studios, friends, painting

I never really believed that she was going to leave us, even when I saw her body giving up to the cancer. The sparkle in her eyes was gone, her cheeks were getting hollow. She used to have a smile that illuminated her whole face! Her laugh was so communicative that you could not help but laugh hysterically with her! I could not accept the idea that she was going, and was almost surprised when I got the call telling me that she was gone.

I had not been able to paint anything satisfying for months while my friend was sick and I felt quite desperate after she passed away. Another friend of hers told me she had been going through the same thing. She would not have been happy with us: she was always bursting with new ideas and creativity. I had to shake myself and find the energy to get back into painting! Grief affects your brain in strange ways. I took a class learning another medium, hoping to breach the dam and allow the creative juices to flow again. It felt good, but I was still "blocked". I finally dragged myself to the old mill where my studio is located. At first I worked on some jewelry that I had planned before all this happened. I was pleased with the result, even though I kept looking sideways at the canvas that was waiting for me on the easel. It kept taunting me, but I was not ready yet.

We decided to go away for the weekend. We took our dog and went to see an old friend in Maine. A few walks on the beach - still a bit cold at this time of the year, but so sunny and peaceful! - lots of seafood, a few glasses of wine, and long nightly talks with our friend who we found a bit lonely and longing for more company. We had done the right thing to go and see her! She loved the little painting of her garden I did last Summer, loved my new jewelry! She gave me faith in myself again!

When we got back I went to my studio and completed the painting I had started months ago. I was ready to go on. Now I can't wait to start the next piece. It will be sunny and smiling, just like my friend in heaven. I named the painting: "Gone to Heaven"

Our friend and colleague Mary Lawler lost her fight with cancer and passed away on March 5th, 2012. She was 56 years old. We will all miss her smile, energy, and creativity.




  Mary Exline ( homepage )

08/15/2012 * 13:59:32

I had no idea about Mary. I wondered why I didn't hear from her when I wrote her with questions. I am surprised that no one from the artid site let me/us know of her passing. Your blog is how I found out today five months later.

It does make me sad, too, as she was always ready with answers and so helpful.

I didn't realize your blog was about Mary Lawler until the end.

I always enjoy looking at your site. I love grasses and green things, and the little flowers among the grasses.



  Shermaine ( homepage )

05/30/2012 * 22:22:38

Thank you from me too! I really love all your paintings. I have my third calendar with your art hanging on my wall. I get really inspired from your paintings and can feel the spirit through them. Sincerely,


  Elyza ( homepage )

05/13/2012 * 23:46:46

I absolutely love your paintings. You are by far my favorite painter of Jesus Christ. I feel like the paintings “speak” to me. I thank Heavenly Father for giving you the gift you have and also for the fact you are so willing to share it with the rest of the world.Thank you,Alison


  Bell ( homepage )

04/30/2012 * 23:39:58

- I love your site, your pictures, your words many tghhouts I too feel. I love how you started with your Project for 2011. That is exactly how my head is with all my projects are and what is in my head and what I want to do with all I have stirring around inside of me. Amazing and I am so happy I ran across your siteSincerely and withWarmest regardsMelissa


  Sandy DeCristofaro ( homepage )

03/25/2012 * 12:42:38

What a beautful piece about our dear Mary. I've purposely avoided signing onto my account here, figuring it would be too painful to realize Mary is no longer ready at the other end to help me if I needed her. I'm still stuck in art limbo, but after reading your entry, I do realize Mary would want me to get moving! So today, I'll take a deep breath, clear the debris off my drawing table, and take her advice. We've learned the hard way that life really is too short.
Happy painting, Annie


  Dee Callahan ( homepage )

03/25/2012 * 08:42:17

Dear Annie,
Thank you for such a beautifully written story about Mary, and also about your experience with grief and being blocked. I can't help but feel that Mary's spirit was with you, when you went off to visit that friend~ Love works in mysterious ways~ Blessings to you and all who loved her there at Artid


  sophi ( homepage )

03/17/2012 * 08:34:43

I'm and shocked and so sorry to hear about Mary passing away, Annie. Thank you for this beautiful piece that you have written about her and my condolences to all of you at Artid who work so hard for all the artists on your site.


  Mary Ann

03/15/2012 * 16:09:03

So sorry to hear about Mary. She was always very helpful whenever I had questions.

Had the same feelings when my husband passed away 2 yrs ago. Was in "art limbo" for awhile, but also found art can be wonderful therapy.

Mary will live in our memories. God bless.

What Do You Think? Leave a comment!

Code Check

Verification — Please type in the code you see in the image above. This helps us defeat automated programs that try to post "comment spam" (unwanted advertisements).