Finding Your Voice is an Exciting Journey

Most of the advice to artists seems to involve “finding your voice.” Very few people, though, ever define what that is, tell you how to find, or how to know if you’ve successfully found it. Like most things in an artist’s life, one’s voice is something the artist has to find on his or her own

To me, finding your voice means connecting intimately with that what is trying to come through you. It means that people can look at your work and tell that it’s yours. Some artists come by this intentionally, some accidentally. For some, it’s an anxiety-producing struggle. For others, it’s easy. For me, it’s a fun adventure.

I can’t say that I have a “voice” yet. I still love experimenting too much. I definitely don’t feel ready to be locked down into any specific medium, mode, or type. Right now, it’s play – and I just do what I’m inspired to do.

I’ve noticed that I’m attracted to abstract painting, but I still like it to be based on something, not completely random. For example, I like looking at a picture and, instead of copying it, I love transforming it into something else. And I like fairly simple depictions with large graphics and shapes. But I’m still playing around. I expect what I make to evolve as I do.

Below are some pictures I took the other day. I use photos like this to inspire my next abstract piece. I don’t plan on copying any of them, per se. But I expect to be inspired by one or more of them in the upcoming weeks and months.

Have a great week of peace, joy, and creativity.


New Painting & Poem

I intend to link my two loves – fine art and poetry by creating a new poem to accompany each new painting.

This latest one is called “I Smile Back”


I Smile Back


Sunshine, loved

One sleeping,

Unexpected smooch,

Child’s bubble bursting

On heavy-lidded nose,

Spring day grass mowed,



Old woman’s smile,

Horoscope matching


Being noticed,

Hugged and hugging.

Tidal ocean love,

Like smelling salts

Scary thanksgiving,

I pay attention,

Mind blinks clear,

So grateful. Grateful.

Life smiles at me,

I smile back,


I smile back.

16″x12″. Acrylic on canvas. “I Smile Back”

Back in the Game

I can’t believe it’s been over 3 1/2 years since I’ve added to this blog!

In a nutshell, looking back, I allowed others to discourage me from my true passion, which is, and always will be, fine art. I never completely stopped, but I gave up on the inside. When so much of our time is devoted to making money, and if what we do to earn money is not our passion, then, oftentimes something gets lost.

Either we feel we are not doing enough to make money, or we’re making money but are unfulfilled inside. Some are lucky or savvy enough to earn all the money they need while doing their passion. The rest of us have to play a balancing game.

We have to devote some time to each. We have to have a career that brings in a stable income and we have to do what our souls yearn to do.

I’m going back through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which was a lifesaver when I first read it, and is proving to be a lifesaver for me again.

In the intervening years, I got married, got a master’s in writing, drove for Lyft, watched my son’s become legal adults, and am now studying for a real estate license.

How is all of this going to come together for me? How will I do the career vs. art balancing act? I don’t know for sure. But what I can say is that I will never let anyone’s opinion about my art keep me from making it ever again. That, I can say for sure.

All the love,


Untitled Abstract. watercolor on paper

12″ x 16″ Acrylic on canvas. “The Forest Has Secrets”

Changes in the New Year


Happy New Year! Like all years, 2015 saw lots of growth and change. I received my Master’s in English and Creative Writing, I moved, I became and atheist and a vegan, and lots more. 

2016, baby!

2016, baby!

As I plan to focus even more on my writing this year, I have decided to consolidate my blogs into one. I will still be writing about the same things, but all on one site.

If you would, please visit for all my latest musings. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know who you are as well.

Here’s to love and growth and passion in 2016!

Peace and love,

Raven Burnes

Staying Creative

Greetings, Light Beings! While my creative efforts have been focused more on writing lately, I have really really missed my art.  I took advantage of the week-long break in my grad school schedule to finish a couple of paintings. I see the mood in both of them as more fantasy-like, less strictly realistic. I’d like to continue that trend and see where it takes me.

The next semester starts tomorrow. I hope I don’t have to wait another 10 weeks to do a painting, but we’ll see!

Thanks for reading and following. You are part of my blessings!

Love and joy,


Artistic scribblings and spell work

This week I plan to work on my final painting in the series on the Wiccan wheel of the year.  I want to make it an abstract in acrylics and I want it to capture the spirit of Litha, summer solstice.

My scribblings last week were primarily practice drawings designed to keep me in the flow.

I’m studying spell work this week as well.  I primarily use mental energy in creating the life that I want, but I believe in the power of spell work, and wish to incorporate more of this into my regular practice.  I have to keep it simple due to limited space and privacy, but I look forward to sharing my results!

Until next time, peace and blessings on the path towards your most authentic self.

Love and Light,


My Masters Project on Wicca

This week has been all about research.  My next major project is for my Masters in Metaphysics.  I attended the University of Metaphysical Sciences about 4 years ago and the only thing missing was my thesis, which I am finally completing.  Because the University offers a spiritual program outside of mainstream religion, its practices are more flexible and appropriate for a metaphysician.  I was allowed to co-create my thesis project in a way that satisfies the requirements of the degree but also reflects my unique patterns and gifts.

I am creating a book on the Wiccan wheel of the year.  The book will be based on a series of paintings I am creating that will illustrate the essence of each holiday (Sabbat) and contain an explanation of each one.  It will also have a section on my personal experience with this spiritual practice, tips for rituals, and my bio.  I will be turning the paintings into prints which will illustrate the written portion.  If I feel it is worthy, I may even make it available on Amazon.  The project is slightly overwhelming for me since I have never attempted something like this before but I am also really excited about it.  I am nervous about the outcome, but I trust that the process itself will expand my consciousness in many unforeseen ways.

So, although I have no sketches to show yet, I will share below some of the images I have found that have inspired me.  As my usual practice, I rarely base my paintings on any one photograph.  Rather, I like to look at a bunch of references then come up with an image that captures the essence of everything I have looked at.  The images all have something to do with the Wiccan calendar, either directly or indirectly.

Wicca is a nature-based spiritual practice centered around the rhythms of nature.  It celebrates the complementary gifts of the Male and the Female as reflections of the God and Goddess.  Nevertheless, it is essentially a female-empowering spiritual discipline that elevates the Goddess, the Earth, and Intuition.  It has gotten a bad name due to the biases of the book-based religions, but witchcraft is not evil or even superstitious.  The rituals are not believed to have power in and of themselves, they are merely visual anchors and reminders which facilitate the internal energy shifts required to make changes in one’s life experience.

I hope to explain more about this as I progress in the project.  For now, please enjoy these beautiful images derived from various sources on the internet.

May you have a beautiful, heart-centered week dedicated to service in whatever sphere you currently find yourself in.  And don’t forget to follow your bliss!  Peace and blessings.