21 SECRETS Spotlight :: Sheri Gaynor


Today kicks off a brand new series here at Dirty Footprints Studio called 21 SECRETS Spotlight.  Each Wednesday the fabulous 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager: Tonia Jenny will be interviewing one of our talented teachers.  Please join me in celebrating this new series by spreading the word and be sure to stop back each Wednesday to meet a new and inspiring artist.

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Hello, Eager Learner!

Tonia Jenny, 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager

Is excitement building within you for 21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors? I know you’re itching to try out your new scissors, play with that wonderful assortment of pretty papers you’ve amassed over the years and get your fingers nice and sticky in that tactile adhesive! While you’re doing your best to patiently wait for this wonderful collection of lessons to land in your inbox, I have a treat I think you’ll love in the meanwhile—Paper, Glue, Scissors Spotlight on the Artists!

I wanted to get to know each artist in this edition of 21 SECRETS a bit better; to see a glimpse into their processes, understand where their inspiration comes from and maybe even uncover some surprises because each of these artists is so much more than the image you received of them from their workshop lesson. And . . . I had a sneaky suspicion that you would love to learn more about each of them, as well! Am I right? So let’s get to it!

Our first featured artist is Sheri Gaynor. As you’ll soon discover, Sheri’s workshop in Paper, Glue, Scissors is titled Wild Soul Medicine Journaling. In addition to being an artist, author, life coach and expressive-arts therapist, Sheri is passionate about bring horses into her practice and you’ll learn more about that in her wild workshop! For now, here are a few questions I posed to Sheri and her (sometimes humorous) soulful answers!

Art by Sheri Gaynor.

How have your creative pursuits morphed or changed over the years?

I started as a photojournalist after graduating from the Art Institute in Ft. Lauderdale in 1980. This led to a career in Social Work after realizing that I wanted to help people uses creative process. I graduated with my MSW in 1988 and began weaving creative process into my work with people. This led to a 30-year career using the creative process as a vehicle for personal growth and transformation. I have now added horses into my practice as an expressive arts coach and it has deepened the work in incredible ways.

Name three words that sum up the three stages your current work goes through.

Simmer. Bubble. Boil.

In what do you find inspiration that it seems few others find inspiring?

Shoveling horse poop. It’s my meditation. LOL.

Art by Sheri Gaynor.

What is the one thing you hope we remember from your workshop?

That nature is a place and source of inspiration. Take one day a week and turn off all your devices. Commit to being with and spending time in silence and the natural world. We have become SO plugged in, at first it may be wildly uncomfortable, but with practice it will allow you to access your inner world and “hear” what’s calling you…

Share something very few people know about you.

My herd-name is Shanti and I adopted it during my equine training. I chose it so that when someone said my name, it reminds me of inner peace, calm and tranquility. Few people call me this, yet when they do, it always makes me smile.

I hope you enjoyed this first Spotlight interview and that you’ll now have an even greater sense of this loving artist full of so much heART when you get to enjoy her workshop.

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About Sheri Gaynor

Sheri-Gaynor_headshotArtist, author, life coach, therapist and wild-woman at heART, Sheri Gaynor is the founder of Creative Awakenings International. For over twenty five years, she’s been facilitating people to step into their dreams to live passionate, creative and big, bold, lives through her coaching, workshops, experiential retreats, and training. Sheri is best known for her book Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art, published by North Light Books in 2009. When she’s not in the studio making a colorful mess, you’ll likely find her in a pasture, with her dog Blue and her horse DreamWeaver Sunday.


Sheri is teaching Wild Soul Medicine Journaling

Visual journaling, art journaling, shadow journaling, mixed-media journaling. Some feel there is a distinction between these approaches, yet the truth is, using books, journals, paper, glue, scissors and color is BIG, WILD, medicine for the Soul and Spirit. Using ritual, guided meditation and some time in nature with my horse, DreamWeaver Sunday, you will explore moving thoughts, feelings and emotions by spilling to the page without concern for the outcome. Wild Soul Medicine Journaling offers you a way to explore feelings and emotions, as you dive into the world of your unconscious wisdom. By letting go of the reins and allowing the writing, color, and imagery to guide you, you will bypass your linear mind, uncovering aspects of self that are often hidden in intellect. Wild Soul Medicine Journaling will deepen your relationship to yourSELF and the beautiful mystery that is your inner world.

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