Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cheryl Houston Art

I have a new website at!

I would love for you to come visit and join me on Instagram to see what inspiration is up to in my life with my new quest: Project 321.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Give 52 Final Reflection

Cheryl Houston Art
Exercise P from Y is for Yellow Class
with teacher, Carla Sonheim.
It's been two weeks since I gave out the last drawing of my Give 52 quest and I've been reflecting on what accomplishing the quest means to me.

I wish I could tell you that I'm overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment and pride and I've scored a huge deal with an art agent and I'm going to be the next Frida Kahlo, Pabla Picasso and Salvador Dali all rolled up into one while illustrating a ton of books and painting a ton of paintings but my reality is the same as it always has been.

While I am proud of the art that I created and of the courage I had to send it out into the world, for whatever reason I feel a certain disconnect. Maybe it's just that feeling you get when something ends but I feel disconnected from friends, family and community for a variety of different life reasons but at my core, when I ask myself, "Who are you?" I feel more like an artist than I ever have felt before- even when I was in art school. Even though, I've always been an artist. Maybe that was the whole purpose of the quest - recognizing my own purpose.

What happens next is a mystery to me but if I can keep nurturing my talent, following my curiosity, and sharing it with others, I believe good things will come.

Thank you so much for following along with my Give 52 Quest and I hope you will join me on my new website Cheryl Houston Art where I'll continue sharing my art stories on a new blog.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Give 52 Week 52 - Laugh Like Crazy

Give 52 Week 52
Cheryl Houston 2016
So, I'm an artist but I have a job I go to Monday through Friday. I've worked in this office for ten years. Ten years! Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful because this job has provided so much financially for me but there are days that you can hear me say, "I'm going to stab someone with my scissors!" (Just to be clear, I would never really stab anyone with my scissors. I just like the shock value of the way it sounds. Really. I wouldn't. I might be tempted. But, I wouldn't.) This is where my friend and co-worker, Nita, comes in.

If I ever have the scissors gripped in my hand ready to stab someone, or standing on the ledge threatening to jump, I know I can go down to her office first and spew the annoyance de jour to her and she will talk me down and make me laugh. And, boy do we laugh. Y'all would look at us like we were crazy if you only knew.

There were some snarky sayings I wanted to write on her drawing but they didn't have a positive spin to them and only the two of would understand the hilarity of it so I refrained and settled on what I like to do best with Nita: Laugh Like Crazy!

Her friendship and her insight have been so helpful to me over the last ten years and I don't know that I would have gotten through the last five without her. I might have really stabbed someone with my scissors! (No,no. I told you I would never really do that.)

She has been a gift to me in this office and I completely appreciate her in so many ways that words will never be able to express.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Give 52 Week 51 - You Are Enough

Give 52 Week 51
Cheryl Houston 2016
In 2014 - the Year of Purpose - I took Brene Brown's journaling class based on her book The Gifts of Imperfection and I love the journal I created from that class.

One of the first exercises she had us do was take a selfie with the phrase "I'm imperfect & I'm enough" written on our palms. The journey through that class made me realize that I have a lot to be proud of and that I was taking my accomplishments for granted and not valuing them. And I didn't achieve those things through perfection. I achieved them through vulnerability.

Brene's message about vulnerability is important because it helps you realize that through our vulnerability we find courage. And when we find and live with courage, we are able to live wholeheartedly.

Listen, I don't expect to change the whole, big world. I only hope that I have a positive influence on the people I meet throughout my lifetime in my small corner of the world.

That's what this quest has been all about. Living wholeheartedly, expressing gratitude for the people that touch my life. Brene's work has changed the way I look at and approach things. I'm able to recognize the things that send me spinning out of control and the search out the things that I know bring me peace. Her work is amazing and has been a true gift to me.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Give 52 Week 50 - This Beautiful Life

Give 52 Week 50
Cheryl Houston 2016
I don't remember the first time someone tagged me in a photo of Alisa Burke's big, beautiful flower wall but I fell in love with her work immediately. There's so much to love.

She is my art hero in many ways. Her story inspires and encourages me. 

Her and her husband were living in California and when they decided to have a baby, they also decided to chose a simpler life. They moved back to Oregon where Alisa grew up. They quit their jobs and they developed Alisa's art business. 

Dreams. Goals.

The other really cool thing I learned about Alisa is her parents are potters. Potters. They make pottery! I'm sorry mom and dad, but why couldn't you be potters? That sounds totally amazing! If my parents were potters, I would totally be a potter too! 

I love that Alisa paints on everything. She paints big flowers on her walls, a refrigerator and she recently painted their wood deck. It's amazingly cool. She takes the simple things in life and makes them into art creating a beautiful life. I could go on and on about all that she creates but I feel the need to stop and say this:

Friends, as many of the people on our televisions and in our Facebook feeds tell us that the world is falling apart and they can't believe the hell we're living in, I encourage you to look at your own life. Really look at it. Be grateful for the things and the family and friends you do have and realize that your life is beautiful. 

This is my gift. I give it to you.