When I first scheduled my call with Annette, I was thinking of something for my office wall, with metallic gray and deep reds. By the time we talked on the phone, I had changed my mind.

"Wait a minute, “I thought, “this is for me! I spend all my time caring for my kids and husband and business partner. Now it’s my turn. I wanted the colors of spring – the dogwood pinks and redbud purple, the blue of hydrangeas. And green. And more blue … the blue of the ocean at Tulum, Mexico. And swirls, the trauma vortex and counter vortex, which I knew Annette would understand. Maybe up in the clouds. I wanted the painting to reflect a feeling of still being relevant in my world, of being needed.

I also told Annette that I loved the idea of roots and wings, you know, the poem that says parents give their children two gifts. One is roots, the other is wings. As the call unfolded, I was pleasantly surprised at how I experienced an opening up more to my authentic self.

When she presented the finished painting to me, she spoke of what she had taken from our call, pointing out colors, symbols and other imagery, including how she incorporated roots and wings. She shared her process of being prayerful, mindful and intentional about painting something that would be meaningful to me. That she saw herself only as the vessel for my creation.

Then she asked what I thought.

I was excited and I loved it! I looked at the images in the painting and began to recognize how they related to our initial discussion. I felt connected as a co-designer and co-creator. The painting now hangs in the hallway outside my bedroom where I see it many times throughout the day. When I look at it, I feel hope for the future, with me playing an important part. I am relevant. I am needed.

What pleases me most about the painting is that when I look at it, I'm reminded of the process I experienced with Annette. She really listened, helping me uncover feelings and discover areas of personal growth.

Laura Schaughnessy, Therapist, Shawnee Mission KS


Roots and Wings, 18x24 acrylic on canvas commissioned painting

"I liked how Annette was able to listen and reiterate back in such a way that it showed she was really listening and assimilating the most important things." - Nola Bienhoff, Lenexa KS

"I was surprised at how powerful it felt when Annette told me that I was a co-creator. I hadn't really thought about that." - Mary Miller, Eugene OR

"Your website and scheduling the call was very user friendly, and the whole questionnaire and phone call process was very organized and easy to follow. On our call, the questions you asked gave me new ideas then and there. Also, I loved the co-creator, co-designer, you're the vessel part of the conversation. Especially for someone who may not think they are creative, and they end up seeing something they helped create." - Dr Joanne Mariano, Kansas City MO