We were sent into the world alive with beauty. As soon as we choose Beauty, unseen forces conspire to guide and encourage us towards unexpected forms of compassion, healing and creativity.
— John O’Donohue

Hello, Artist and welcome. 

My name is Mandy Steward. I am an artist and teacher. I teach locally and here online. My family includes my husband, Tony and our fondest creations: our four children - two girls and two boys. 

You have made it to my artist's journal, where I share my field notes on creating my own world. Making a beautiful world is something I do by merging my love of imagination AND my love of reality. Fiction meets reality, I call it. (Or poetry meets reality. Or tarot meets reality. Or dreams meet reality. Or art meets reality. Or pretending meets reality.) It is a way of tying the spiritual to the physical. The people who can do this are exponentially more likely to enjoy their living. I am most passionate and curious about two kinds of such people: artists and magicians, or as Anais Nin once said, Artists AS Magicians. 

Besides my blog where I share regularly, I have two main offerings here for you at Messy Canvas.

To the Artist I offer a membership in The Secret Message Society. With it you receive a little booklet in your letterbox once a month with inspiration to keep on creating!

Or if you are just beginning to flirt with that name "Artist," I would love to gift you my free eBook called Messy Canvas - You Are an Artist. What Will You Create?

To the Magician I offer a place to develop, learn and accredit your own magic at The Magic School. (It is in its "laying the foundation stages," so please excuse the pixie dust. I am on the twenty year plan to develop and nurture these grounds.) 

Or if you are just beginning to flirt with that name "Magician," I would love to gift you my free one-page download, How to Read a Book The Magic School Way. Fiction is a great starting place to get a feel for your own magic. 

Artist and Magician - You will find the two naturally go hand-in-hand, weaving in and out of each other. They do in my living and in my creative offerings at Messy Canvas. While you're here in my spaces as my guest, feel free to follow your curiosity wherever it takes you. I call this "Following the White Rabbit," and HIGHLY recommend it as a life practice. 

Aside from my two main offerings, I have an eCourse on living your dreams and a shop where you can purchase my art and the books I have written (or co-written). In 2013 I released a spiritual memoir called Thrashing About With God: Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything. What happened was, in the midst of exploring my own creative potential my wand got snagged on a spiritual crisis and I plummeted out of my Quidditch game and into a deep, dark night of the soul. I now attribute my creative freedom to the process of writing this book and other spiritual writings. Let me serve as your case study that you can create your way out of a hard, dark place and into the reality and the meaning you wish to be living. I keep all of these resources available as the breadcrumbs of my travels. 

Messy Canvas is a space for daring to create YOUR own world (on that intimidating blank canvas called life) by utilizing YOUR very own magic and artistry. It requires a whole lot of vulnerable YOU and the parts of YOU that distinguish YOU as unique. In other words, you're going to need to stick out, with your chin held high of course, and you're going to need to keep moving forward, no matter what. This is the path I am on, and as my guest, I am asking you to join me, however that looks for YOU. There isn't any other way.