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"Sticks" oil painting (20"x 24") by Heather C. Williams

DrawingTogether is an arts-education organization dedicated to awakening the Artist Within through drawing and painting. Founded in 2000, my philosphy is based upon the idea that each person is born creative and carries the potential for developing this creativity (a sacred seed) throughout their life. I believe the original purpose of art (drawing, painting, singing, dancing, playing music, acting, writing, sculpting, etc.) was a way for individuals to become more conscious of this sacred seed within them, to water it with time, attention, practice, and make sure it gets the right amount of sunshine (love and appreciation). Art gives us a safe way to open up our inner life and integrate it with the world around us. Somehow, this is a natural healing process.

"You each must gather your own sticks and make your own fire so that your creativity will burn brightly." This statement (paraphrased a bit) is engraved above the back entrance to the School of the Chicago Art Institute. I studied there one summer long ago. Thirty years later the phrase popped into my mind when I saw a pile of sticks outside my studio bound up in cord and set out for the trash. My neighbor had cut back a healthy Angel's Trumpet vine that was growing over her porch. At that moment I was looking for a subject to paint and here was my opportunity. I picked it up, carried it into my studio and set it upon an old bench before a hanging sheet. I call this painting "Sticks",yet, it is so much more than it's name.

"Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist." Edward Hopper

Our children's future depends upon our becoming more conscious of our inner life. The Arts can help us do this. The Power is within YOU. Draw it out!

Heather C. Williams