close-up of a mixed media art piece
And then I wanted to be a cowgirl…
Posted Apr 2, 2014

About few years ago I felt small… I wondered why I didn’t have the straight path that alot of people have…

You know … the thought that…this is what I want to do.. go to school… map out your life… etc..etc. and everything falls into place.

I started out that way… I had the plan.. I had it all figured out. And then life happened.

Is there a “right” path?

Let me share with you some of my path, and… just a few things you might not know about me. I promise you will be amused.

I wanted to be a model… but I didn’t have the confidence, the huzpah and apparently I had crooked ears…. Turns out that the company that was repping me also had an Interior Design School…so I turned to interior design.. and got my degree. I loved it.

model pics

I was all about my career and  just landed my dream job with a design firm in the Design center. kids were far, far, far down the road…

I got pregnant a couple of months after starting my job, I was only 19…. I had been married for 2 short months


those 3 little boys are the best thing I’ve ever, and I mean EVER done. I can’t fathom my life without them.


I gave up my dream job to raise these guys…. taking odd jobs, mowing lawns, babysitting, whatever I could do to make some extra money.

I started my own floral business.

Our little family moved to Colorado…. for my husbands job… I was a city girl, far far from the city, in a town of 4000.  I wanted to make the best of things…but there is only so many loaves of bread and quilting parties this city girl could take….One night watching the movie Lonesome Dove… I decided to be a cowgirl… till I was thrown from the horse…


With my vision of cowgirlness crushed..  I began to write… today we call it journaling…. and painting what I was journaling. Making cards and giving them as gifts, making flowers and once again starting my own little business.

Our family moved a few more times for my husbands job, and at each stop, trying to build new relationships and friends. But often I felt lonely, so I happened into an art store and bought a canvas, and started to paint. I painted any and everything and it brought back lots of childhood memories of painting. I was hooked.

I loved papers and textures and started to hoard papers for card making.  One day I tried using them in my art…. aaahhhh or maybe is was woop woop……a lighting bolt struck and I was beginning to find my style.

Take a look at some early art…. I find it familiar, basic and it makes me smile.


In my perfect plan, I was married forever, 3 beautiful kids and the white picket fence.  but 18 years down the road, with lots of mistakes in my pocket, I found myself a single mama.  I painted to help with the pain, and really grew as an artist..during that time… I sold, donated and sold some more.


Over the next 10 yrs I built a family of friends as a single gal, and after a few years I took a risk and put my heart out there and had it broken, and I stopped painting, I stopped everything. I felt like a complete failure. Risked again and got my heart broken again, but this time it broke wide open so that the sun (son) could shine through, the very pain that made me stop painting, made me start painting, with a passion that can’t be stopped.  I healed and began to laugh again, travel, sing, dance…. I came out of the dark. I often refer to those years as the dark days. Those dark days fuel my compassion and empathy for women.




Do I know what the plan is today…. well I have things sketched out to give me direction, but I know that nothing goes according to the plans.

I have risked again, and this time I have someone who hold my heart with gentle hands.


I have risked vulnerability and financial stability to pursue this dream of painting. The risk is always worth it, even in the pain.

Most of the time, we only get to hear about people’s successes.  The highlight reels, the successes the good stuff. It’s vital that we don’t feel shame about our mistakes or blunders.  That we understand that the plan sometimes doesn’t go like we planned.

The truth is, in order to experience growth and progress in any area of life, you’ve got to take risks and put yourself out there. Consistently. You will have heart breaks, you might get thrown from a horse, your career path might change and you will experience rejections, but those things lead to a NEW PATH.

The only real questions to ask yourself is this.  Is there really a “right path” and Are you going to let a, flop, fumble or a broken heart take you down, or will you decide to heal, rest and then pick yourself up and get back on the path.

I think that the path that I have been on has been the perfect path for me. I am thankful for every twist and turn. I am thankful that I have been myself, looked a challenge in the eye and started over. I am thankful for healing time and for friends who didn’t let me stay in my pajamas, thankful for 3 little boys who grew into the most amazing Men I have ever met. Thankful for a God given talent to paint, design and encourage that was born out of pain.

Do I have it all figured out ….noooo, I do know that the God does know the plan and finally, I am ok with that.

You are so very loved!

Just as a reminder it’s pay what you can Thursday

This is the piece for this week


Here are the details as you know for Pay what you can Thursday…. As always, there is a 4.50 shipping charge and then whatever you can pay. No pressure, just wanting to give back. If this is a piece that speaks to you and you have a few bucks in the budget, perfect! If not there will be another one next Thursday.

Just email me ( your paypal email, what you want to pay, if you want a print or print on wood and I will invoice you through paypal.

Have a great day!

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Posted Apr 2, 2014
Headshot photo of artist

Hello there! I’m Shawn Petite

I’ve been teaching and creating for well over 25 years. About 15 years ago I found my art soul mate in mixed media, and it changed my life! I love the story that can be told by combining paint, texture, ink, paper and—really anything that you can imagine.

But what I’m truly passionate about is being your guide, walking with you step by step and helping you become your own hero in your creative journey.

Along my path, I’ve learned that the creating art also creates a healing space. Life can be messy and complicated and painful, but something about a paint brush can help heal your soul. I believe—no, I know—you are worthy of love, and I want to teach you to know that about yourself. Join me on this journey of art and inspiration!


  1. Carmen Whitehead

    Thank you Shawn for sharing, you truly are an inspiring person. God bless you!

    • Shawn

      Thank you Carmen, we are all on the Journey together! Hugs!


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