#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Everything I Know (About Art), I Learned on YouTube :)

I’ve missed all of you, and I know some of you have been worried about me.  So here’s the truth–I’ve been grieving for my cousin and dearest friend, Mary Ann, who left us last November 5.  Add this sorrow to years of constant work, the process of downsizing and very little ‘me’ time, and you have a case of burnout worthy of the record books.  Sometimes, we have to cross these long, dark valleys of the soul, all of us, though I was fortunate, I think, to enter my sixth decade before encountering a trail as dark as this one has been.  There were times when I could not see my figurative hand in front of my face, times when even My Very Best Friend seemed far away, or just plain disinterested.

In short, this time has been painful to the inth degree.

And yet….

I have been blessed.  Friends and family have been there for me in so many ways.  It’s true what they say about hard times; you DO find out who your real friends are.  In my experience, it turned out to be every last person I know.

I’ve learned some tremendous lessons, and while I wouldn’t want to repeat the course, I am better and stronger for it, and thankful, too.

My pups, Tule and Mowgli, along with my sweet kitty, Wiki, have been loving companions throughout.  They taught me that the simplest things are the most important.

I’ve found some wonderful books and new (to me) philosophies, such as Access Consciousness, a life-changing way of thinking that has already worked miracles for me,  and promises many more.  More on that in later blogs.

And, oh, the discoveries I’ve made.

YouTube, for example.  Yes, YouTube.

Of course I’d seen the cute-kitty videos, like everyone else, but until the roof fell in, YT was pretty much a non-factor, as far as I was concerned.

One day, I tuned in, looking for a way to clean my Keurig machine, which had clogged for the umpteenth time, (and has since been jettisoned, replaced by a much less troublesome Mr. Coffee), and I did some browsing.  I’ve always been interested in art, so I hopped around a little, impressed by staggering creativity of ordinary people in all parts of the world, and I came across a thumbnail for Acrylic Pouring.

Huh?  Acrylic what?  It sounded messy (trust me, it its), and more time passed before I decided to explore the topic fully.

At some point, for whatever reason, my curiousity was peaked by the work of a guy named Rick Cheadle.  Here he was, a regular fellow, working out of his garage in Detroit, layering different colors of paint in paper cups, then tipping it onto canvas.  

The effect, for me, was beyond magical.  It was like that moment in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”, when color suddenly floods the screen, washing away the blacks and the grays.  It took my breath away, watching that, and I couldn’t (still can’t) get enough of the spectacle.  I still watch Rick, along with a number of other favorites: Rio Saress, AnnMarie Ridderhoff, Ann Osborne, Myriam of Myriam’s Nature, and many, many more.

Each of these artists have been, and continues to be, my teacher, and not just in the use of color, etc.  One casually asked a question that spilled light into my mind–“What else is possible?”  Eventually, she mentioned Access Consiousness–I had never heard of it, but I was intrigued, since I loved the simple question she’d presented.  I explored the topic and was astounded by what I found.

But this blog is about re-discovering the joy of art, this time, in a whole new way.  Fortunately, I already had tons of art supplies, and I began–very tentatively–to experiment.

I was fascinated, though I certainly had my share, if not more than that, of–shall we say?–non-masterpieces.  :)  Today, I’m darned good, if I do say so myself, and I’ve even sold a couple of pieces, but in art, as in writing or any other creative endeavor, one must be willing to be very, very bad, usually for a very, very long time, in order to become proficient.  Yes, the videos of my favorite YT artists are springboards, contantly inspiring me with new methods and products, but it’s the sloppy, day-to-day effort of practice that develops an interest into an actual skill.  I still have so much to learn, especially where color and composition are concerned, and that’s okay.  In fact, that’s life in general.  Slogging along.  Showing up.  Taking risks.  Delighting in simple joys, like happy dogs playing in the backyard.  A friend’s hug.

Like color, spilling onto a canvas.  My friends, there’s a reason for the term ‘art therapy’.  Art fills the gray places with dazzling magentas, dizzying turquoises, glimmering golds.

Art heals.

I’m still a little fragile, still feeling my way forward a lot of the time, but I’m here, with all of you, and more grateful for your concern and support than you will ever know.

Thank you.



72 comments to “Everything I Know (About Art), I Learned on YouTube :)”

  1. Patty Jenkins
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:04 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I had missed seeing your blog.

  2. Patti Saunders
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:10 pm · Link

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am so glad to hear you are mending.

  3. Clarita Goodspeed
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:10 pm · Link

    God Bless You Linda and may He keep you on the right track that you are on now. My thoughts and good wishes are with you.

  4. Sharon Rackham
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:23 pm · Link

    Dear Linda,

    Welcome back by friend! I am so happy to know that you are slowly returning to us but at the same time am so sorry you have suffered so much missing your beloved cousin.She was a very lucky lady to have had you in her corner all her life.

    I have also discovered art recently as well, as I have started to draw what I see out my living room window which is mountains and forest and just nature at her most beautiful. As I am in a wheelchair and can’t freely get around I am loving this new venture to feel nature again. I am using acrylic paints as my choice of mediums as I experimented with all of the mediums available and found it the most comfortable to work with.

    Anyway, welcome back and love hearing about your adventures again especially by your loving furry friends.

    Your neighbour from the North,


  5. Prairie
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:25 pm · Link

    I have to share with you my discovery this past year. John Muir Laws is a naturalist and artist. He encourages nature journaling. I found his YT lessons amazing. I now look at nature in a different way. I am also in my sixties and have always wanted to paint. For years I worried about what others thought about my art and didn’t want to risk criticism so I didn’t even try but now I don’t care. I draw and paint for me. There are great YT videos on just about any type of art that you want to explore. Enjoy!


  6. Hilda
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:34 pm · Link

    So good to hear from you, Linda! I’ve included you in my prayers to the Lord, that He can provide the comfort and peace that you need so much. Your joy of art has always been evident in your messages in your blogs, and now it seems it is still working for you! Good or bad, doing your creative artistic activities seems to help. You say you are down-sizing. Are you moving off of the “Triple LLL” into a smaller home?
    Best wishes always, Hilda

  7. Karen Grybko
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:34 pm · Link

    Glad that you’re well enough to to let us know that you’re going to be ok. I was worried about you, as you were usually reaching out to us (your fans) quite regularly. Wishing you peace in your soul.

  8. Pamela Devereux
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:47 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I was worried about you. I was so surprised when I saw the posting the other day. It is hard to get back in the saddle when life throws you. You’ve lost some special people in your life lately. Let your fur babies continue to show you the way. Love so simple and unconditional. Sending prayers and hugs.

  9. Margaret
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:47 pm · Link

    So glad you are on the mend. I have missed your blogs.

  10. Shirley Meyle
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:54 pm · Link

    Dear Linda,
    So glad you’re feeling better! I too have been fascinated by those videos. Enjoy your new talent!

  11. Marilyn
      · September 21st, 2018 at 1:55 pm · Link

    Welcome back. I’ve missed your blog and your stories. Hopefully you will continue to see the light on the horizon.

  12. Amy Henderson
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:04 pm · Link

    So so glad to finally hear something from you Linda, sorry for your loss and all you’ve been going thru this year. Enjoy your art therapy! Again, so good to finally hear something from you!

  13. Lois Rotella
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:06 pm · Link

    Glad to hear you are on the mend. Emotions in any form can bog us down physically. Art does guide us in ways that we never knew. I took up crocheting Afghanis when was distressed a couple of years ago and I am doing many for friends and family. I also turned to adult coloring if release me from stress and I love colors. You take care and take one day at a time.

  14. Pat Dennis
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:27 pm · Link

    So glad you have found something to bring you out of the “grays”. After my grandson died (was killed really) in 2012 – he was a Marine, i thought I would never again feel anything again. At least I had my quilting. Of cpurse, I am not great at it, but it is color.
    Blessings on you

  15. Theresa Hagman
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:30 pm · Link

    So good to hear from you. Sorry for your loss. Happy you found art therapy. May the good Lord give you peace.

  16. Linda Wilson
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:31 pm · Link

    Thank God you are ok. I have been worried over you

  17. Teresa Fordice
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:31 pm · Link

    LOVE that you are finally getting “back in the saddle” for whatever it takes to recover and rejuvenate!!

  18. Alison
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:33 pm · Link

    Often times, the best way to heal is to take a step back and just be. I’m glad you have come back to us. Blessings!

  19. Melaine Langi
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:36 pm · Link

    When I hadn’t seen a blog from you in months, I first thought my email had been accidentally dropped from your system. Then I went back and found and reread the last blog you had sent out. You talked about losing your cousin and how very close the two of you were in life. I worried about you, but felt that you needed time to grieve. It’s sooo good to hear from you again and to have you back, Linda! I do believe that all your fans love you, I sure do.

  20. Gwenda Underwood
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:36 pm · Link

    Thank you for sharing, will remember you in my prayers. I also have gone through those dark valleys from losing a much beloved long time friend!! But weeping may endure for the night & joy cometh in the morning!! Ps 31:5B Be blessed!!

  21. Regina Merchant
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:37 pm · Link

    So sorry for loss. Prayers

  22. Patty Castillo
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:53 pm · Link

    Linda, sorry about your loss. I was glad to see your blog. Happy to hear you’re mending. Hugs and player.

  23. Vickey D McGee
      · September 21st, 2018 at 2:56 pm · Link

    Missed you so much and tickled pink that you’re back. I burned out once so I know what you go through. Bless you!

  24. Teresa Spruill
      · September 21st, 2018 at 3:07 pm · Link

    Glad to hear that you are healing. Life is a journey with many hills and valleys. It sounds like you are climbing a hill right now and that is great.

  25. Audrey W.
      · September 21st, 2018 at 3:10 pm · Link

    So glad that your doing better. Sure missed your blogs. My thoughts and prayers are with you

  26. Eileen Kolick
      · September 21st, 2018 at 3:34 pm · Link

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. There are times we all suffer through but when we come out the other side we a just a little better version of ourselves. Art is an excellent therapy and you have learned a new technique. As you continue your grieving process I hope you find joy in little things that will put your beautiful smile back on your face. I am reaching across the miles to give you hugs and best wishes.

  27. Andrea Lammly
      · September 21st, 2018 at 3:51 pm · Link

    So very sorry to hear you were still dealing with the loss of your beloved cousin. I pray for peace in your heart and soul and that art, friends and your furry animals help you to continue to heal. May our Lord continue to watch over you. Would love to see some of your paintings. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers.

  28. Diana Eagen
      · September 21st, 2018 at 4:04 pm · Link

    So glad to see your postings up again Linda. I’ve missed you.

  29. Susan Lee
      · September 21st, 2018 at 4:51 pm · Link

    wow it’s so good to read these positive thoughts. Art will never be an interest or activity for me. I have six thumbs and nothing feels good about trying. I can so relate to a world stripped of colour by grief though. When my first husband was taken from me under mysterious circumstances and without any advance warning I just lost all joy in living . It took a miracle encounter with God speaking to me and declaring his unconditional love in a way I could not ignore to light up my life with colour again. it was a long journey back to functioning and really I have never been the same but life is good again. Today I celebrate 16 years of a second marriage and thank God for his incomparably great power for us who believe.

  30. Gale S.
      · September 21st, 2018 at 4:55 pm · Link

    Happy to hear you are doing well. And we won’t hold the YouTube thing against you. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  31. Elma M LAMOUREUX
      · September 21st, 2018 at 4:59 pm · Link

    Just happy you are back!

  32. Virginia
      · September 21st, 2018 at 5:19 pm · Link

    I have been so worried about you because we haven’t heard anything from you. I am glad things are starting to look up for you so hang in there we are here for you.

  33. Jackie Cosgrove
      · September 21st, 2018 at 6:54 pm · Link

    Have missed your posts so much ! Glad you are doing some better . You are in my thoughts . Best wishes .

  34. Juanita Rice
      · September 21st, 2018 at 7:07 pm · Link

    Happy to see you posting again. :)

  35. Sue
      · September 21st, 2018 at 7:15 pm · Link

    God bless you through the dark times.

  36. Charlotte Litton
      · September 21st, 2018 at 7:17 pm · Link

    Linda, I’m so glad you’re doing better. Acrylic Pouring sounds fun, I’ll have to watch on YT.
    Sending thoughts and prayers.

  37. dixie hadley
      · September 21st, 2018 at 8:43 pm · Link

    Dear Linda
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are not alone, so many love and care about you. One day at a time and your joy will return and life will be illuminated with beautiful colors.
    Bless you

  38. Diane Sallans
      · September 21st, 2018 at 9:07 pm · Link

    remember what they say to do if a plane goes into a dive – put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to help another. Take care of yourself, look for those things that make you smile & laugh.

  39. Linda Blenkiron
      · September 21st, 2018 at 9:26 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I too, know what it’s like to meet the ‘black dog’ and can empathise. And I discovered acrylic pouring and did an underwater scene for my nephew, who loves turtles, for Christmas last year. It is heaps of fun to do and, as you say, MESSY! You tube is great for learning art techniques and I love the creativeness of people and their willingness to share. Blessings and love

  40. Evelyn Baldwin
      · September 21st, 2018 at 10:13 pm · Link

    So glad to hear from you. Missed your emails and book’s! I began to wonder if you read these comments! Been looking out for a wonderful new book by you! So glad you are ok and found a new groove! So sorry to hear about the thing’s you have been through! Love and Prayers! Evelyn

  41. Evelyn Baldwin
      · September 21st, 2018 at 10:14 pm · Link

    So glad to hear from you. Missed your emails and book’s! I began to wonder if you read these comments! Been looking out for a wonderful new book by you! So glad you are ok and found a new groove! So sorry to hear about the thing’s you have been through! Sincerely Evelyn

  42. Debbie Koziel
      · September 21st, 2018 at 11:30 pm · Link

    So glad you are back. Take one day at a time ❤️❤️❤️


  43. PL Rollins
      · September 21st, 2018 at 11:42 pm · Link

    Enjoy your days. Each and every one of them…Take care of yourself and take deep breaths. KNOW you are loved and cherished by family, friends and devoted fans. God Bless

  44. Rita A Crofoot
      · September 22nd, 2018 at 12:42 am · Link

    Welcome back, Linda, take the time you need and know that we are there when you need us.
    Your Friend

  45. Cheri Wood
      · September 22nd, 2018 at 3:29 pm · Link

    ❤ You take care of you! We will be here when you’re ready! We love you unconditionally! ❤❤

  46. Jane
      · September 22nd, 2018 at 7:16 pm · Link

    So glad you are back!

  47. Linda Beaudoin
      · September 23rd, 2018 at 9:58 am · Link

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin/best friend, but glad to hear that you have found something to help you see your way through your grief.

  48. Ann Bartholomew
      · September 24th, 2018 at 9:11 am · Link

    I am SOOO happy you are back and doing better. I look forward to the Civil War novel coming out soon! I have missed you and your books!

  49. Jeanne Corrigan
      · September 24th, 2018 at 11:30 am · Link

    So good to hear you are on your way back to us! I’ve missed hearing from you. Please know we are out here and we love you. Take care!

  50. Holly Linn
      · September 24th, 2018 at 5:13 pm · Link

    Welcome back Linda,
    I am so glad you are seeing light and color again through your darkest hours. My help in years past during my painful hours have been Anne McCaffrey (Dragon Riders of Pern series), The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien and your books. You have been my therapy. I am happy that you have found solace through other’s ART. We all need each other, life journey isn’t meant to go through alone. Thank you for all the years you have been the one to cheer me up. I hope you continue to heal in the future days and months.

  51. Deborah Nelson
      · September 24th, 2018 at 11:10 pm · Link

    I’m so happy to hear about your progress. Art, animals, friends… medicine for the soul and the heart. I look forward to hearing more about your journey. Be Well…

  52. Michele Jackson
      · September 25th, 2018 at 9:11 am · Link

    Oh Linda!!!! I am so happy you blogged!!! I have missed you so much! I’m glad you are healing. I was so excited to tell you that I saw your hand and foot prints in Dodge City!! I cannot wait for your creative mind to get working again and if you don’t write anymore, that’s okay too. I have all of your books and that’s okay with me. I’m just glad you’re back on the train track! Happy Tuesday!!!!

  53. Judy Manning
      · September 25th, 2018 at 9:45 am · Link

    I’ve been checking your blog and today decided to Google you! I was surprised to see that you had blogged. I just purchased Big Sky River which I had never read. I hope you get back to your writing soon! You and Debbie Macomber are the only two authors I read. My daughter died January 2018 very suddenly and it is a LONG journey I can tell you.

  54. Ruby Norwood
      · September 25th, 2018 at 8:25 pm · Link

    You begin to sound like our Linda, So glad you are back, so now perk up and write us a Cowboy book..I have a friend that said Art therapy worked for her. You hang in there and take care of yourself !! I feel sure all your other fans feels the same as I do, and I sure do miss your blogs and books.

  55. Mary
      · September 27th, 2018 at 8:42 am · Link

    So glad I found your post (I googled because I hadn’t heard anything for a while). Sending a warm hug.

  56. midge watkins
      · September 27th, 2018 at 5:12 pm · Link

    If my are could reach through the computer screen, it would be around your shoulders. I feel very sorry for what you have
    been through and actually can relate to this. When you
    surface afterwards, I agree that everything around you seems
    brighter with more deep color. It’s just us starting a new
    chapter in life. May this chapter be an especially good one!

  57. Elaine Key
      · September 30th, 2018 at 12:28 pm · Link

    I am so happy to have finally heard from you. I didn’t know what had happened to you. I am sorry for the dark days you went through. I wish you had shared with us what you were going through. We were all so worried. I am glad to hear you are better. Looking forward to more blogs from you. God Bless you.

  58. Norma Frink
      · October 1st, 2018 at 9:07 am · Link

    It is wonderful to have you back. Hope you keep getting better.

  59. Brenda Ireland
      · October 2nd, 2018 at 3:30 pm · Link

    Linda …I am hoping for you,that God gives you the tools to see you through this. It is tough to lose a loved one but in time you will remember all the good times and they will help you heal.
    All the best,

  60. Roberta Giordano
      · October 7th, 2018 at 9:37 pm · Link

    I am so sorry for your loss. And so happy you found your way back to us. We missed you !

  61. Jeannette Garand
      · October 11th, 2018 at 6:21 am · Link

    I’m truely sorry for your loss. I know it’s hard to work through these cross roads in life. I’ve leaned heavily on The Lord to help me carry my burdens of loss.
    I’ve missed you! And I’ve wondered if you had just quit writing. Recently I picked up A Snow Country Christmas even though I had already read the story. However I’m glad I did pick it up as there is 2 chapters of The Blue and The Gray. Is this a new story or one I missed along the way? I believe I have every book you’ve written but don’t recall that one. Went on Amazon to find it but to no avail! Hope to hear more good news, a do aged fan

    • Patricia
        · December 20th, 2018 at 1:07 pm · Link

      I believe the Blue and the Gray is a new book she is/was working on last. She was working on one about the Civil War. Not sure if she finished it as of yet.

      • Michele
          · March 19th, 2019 at 8:53 am · Link

        After reading the message again, I wonder if Linda has decided to change to art instead of writing. I wish she could do both but whatever is best for her is what I wish. :cry:
        What are your thoughts?

  62. Janice H Dearborn
      · October 19th, 2018 at 9:59 pm · Link

    Hope you will continue to heal. I do unerstand as I lost one of my two beloved daughters this past Feb. from canceI I have read all several times. Love the Carson boys, Mick & Raine as well as Slade, Hutch and Casey Elder etc. you came to do a book signing in my little store in Oak Harbor, WA. Along with Debbie Macomber and Stella Cameron when you were living in port Orchard. It was a day I will never forget. We all went to lunch together.
    Hope your pups and Kitty are all doing well as they are such greaat companions. I have three Mini Doxies and they are my joy. Take care and God Bless and Keep you, Jan

  63. Sharon McPherson
      · October 20th, 2018 at 4:48 pm · Link

    I want to say that I’m sorry for your loss. Everyone grieves in different ways.There is no timetable to grieving. We learn to live without them and depend on the memories of them to carry us through the rest of our time.
    Being an avid reader of your books I have decided to try my hand at writing. It was also a healing process for me. Yes, another form of art to add to my list. I have published my first book and I’m working on my second book.
    You and I are the same age and you have inspired me so much. I hope that some day I get to meet you in person.
    Your loved one would want you to keep smiling so smile for them.

  64. Tinna Doub
      · October 25th, 2018 at 9:32 pm · Link

    There is no set time frame for grieving, & it can be all consuming. Praying for you! Sincerely Tinna

  65. Linda A Cece
      · December 5th, 2018 at 7:45 am · Link

    Thankfully God is there for us during the darkness as it covers us. He is able to bring us through to the other side to the Light.

    Sorry for your loss and Blessings to you. Linda

  66. Vicki Klinetop
      · January 4th, 2019 at 6:24 pm · Link

    One day at a time; God will see you through.

  67. Donamae
      · March 17th, 2019 at 12:39 pm · Link

    So good to hear from you.

  68. Sandra Fincel
      · April 4th, 2019 at 5:04 pm · Link

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I have certainly missed your writing. You are one of my favorite authors. I hope you can get back to writing soon. Sandy

  69. Ellwn Gibson
      · April 13th, 2019 at 11:40 pm · Link

    Grief effects each person differently & understand your pain, Linda. Our 26 year old grandson, who had cystic fibrosis, passed away 3 weeks ago. I feel like I’m caught in an ocean wave that keeps slamming into me. I know as time goes on, those waves will hit less frequently but right now I’m hurting & missing him terribly. He was our first grandchild & with his health problems, was at our house quite often. I don’t wish for him back because I know his struggle to breathe has been healed in Heaven.I try to work in garden each day a bit to ease the darkness & just enjoy the peace of sitting on back porch listening to waterfall & the birds at the feeders.. I will lift you up in prayer as we both recover & grow stronger in the days ahead, Ellen

  70. annie
      · April 14th, 2019 at 5:52 pm · Link

    sorry for your lost. i lost my daughter last year. so i can relate.
    will there be another mckettrick book? they are my very favorite.

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