Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Safe Companions

In The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron says, “Creativity flourishes when we have a sense of safety and self-acceptance. Your artist, like a small child, is happiest when feeling a sense of security. As our artist’s protective parent, we must learn to place our artist with safe companions.”
Caught in the act of creating

I know of no safer companion on my artistic journey than my husband, Sean Richardson. He believed in me, and my art, long before I did. I began taking painting classes again early in our relationship. I had only been living in his apartment a few months when I came home one day to find he had pulled an old kitchen table out of storage. While I was at work, he rearranged the spare bedroom we shared as a home office so the table would fit in a corner, creating my first dedicated art space.

Years later, when I began showing and selling my paintings, Sean continued to be my safe companion. He helped me hang my first solo art show, hammering nails and leveling picture frames. When I painted a piano for the city of Denver he was not only my driver, he helped me schlep my supplies – including heavy cans of paint – and fetched me lunch. And throughout this journey, it is my husband Sean who has documented my progress and my successes. He is the official photographer of Marcella Nordbeck, Inc.

On our honeymoon in Breckenridge
His support doesn’t stop there. Sean, who I affectionately call my DJ, makes me mix CDs and downloads music onto my iPod. He knows better than anyone that music is an integral part of my creative process. When I’m on deadline to finish new work for an upcoming show, it is Sean who reminds me to eat and to sleep when I’m, “living in my right hemisphere,” as I call it, and I’ve lost all sense of time. 

Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, says, “Who you marry is the most important decision you’ll ever make. Relationships are hard enough, but it takes a real champion of a person to be married to someone who’s obsessed with a creative pursuit.”

My husband is certainly my champion. There is no doubt in my mind that I am the woman, and the artist, I am today because of his unconditional love and belief in me. Whether I sell a painting, or I don’t get accepted into a juried art show, his advice is always the same, “You’re doin’ it Baby! Just keep doin’ it!”

With my safe companion by my side, I will keep “doin’ it” as I live The Artist’s Way.


  1. I was there the day Sean was born to my dearest friend of 41 years, Rita Richardson. Life hasn't always been kind to Sean: we lost his dear Mother in 1999.Since the first day I held him as an infant, and became his "Aunt" Kathy, I have a special place in my heart for this boy now Man. You are blessed to have eachother.
    Peace, Love and Hugs, Aunt Kathy

  2. Way to go Miss M! You - your relationship, your creative passion, and dedication to both, inspire me.
    Much love,