ART FOR INTROVERTS from Hillary Johnson Photographer
EARTH ELEMENT - Holiday Special! Become a better witness to your own evolution

Art for Introverts - The Blog

Tarot Inspired Earth Element painting for sale

Watercolor on cold press

11.5" x 8"

Earth Element Detail

Getting more in touch with the elements is getting more in touch with the seasons, both externally and internally. Earth is so grounding which can feel incredibly reassuring in times of uncertainty. When we connect to earth, we feel more solid and able to withstand whatever comes our way. Earth gives us a hill to climb up on and gain some much needed perspective.

Earth Element Detail

As the last leaves fall from the trees and the sky turns to the grey of winter, everything slows. Its time for turning inward for introspection. Attuning to the rhythms of nature, the ebb and flow. I love the idea of the blend or balance of delicate with the strength and resilience of a tree heading into winter, preparing for spring. The tree knows it's time to release and let go and wait for the sun and new growth.

In my process, I draw tarot cards and contemplate their message. Then the painting flows from there.

If youd like your own bespoke tarot card reading and painting of the element thats being called forth, use the contact me page to arrange for your commission!

Theres even still time before holiday gift giving to get yours done or one for a friend. They make thoughtful and helpful gifts for the new year. Helping cultivate a supportive vibe for 2021.

$75 (unframed) $125 (framed)* (PayPal: @HillJPics) (Zelle:QuickPay please use: calm chicago  {at} gmail dot com) or Venmo: @HIllary-Johnson-1) or CC via Square 
Free shipping in the continental US, Intl shipping addition based on location

For each reading and watercolor 10% will go the @charitywater providing clean water wheres its desperately needed all over the globe. Did you know that in places where water is scarce, it makes containing COVID-19 even more difficult? A little water can make the difference literally between life and death in so many ways. Check out their mission!

*processing fees pay apply


This is bound to be so good. It's free! Who wants to join me in learning more about how to best support our frontline workers and offer the right kinds of support to help them get through all this?

I hope you might be able to join me!

December 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Around the world, millions of caregivers and frontline workers are risking their personal health to support the mental and physical well-being of others. Given the challenging and sometimes overwhelming demands of their work, we must ask, who looks out for their mental and physical health? Join us for a discussion with Karen Stewart, humanitarian aid mental health specialist at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness teacher and creator of the Contemplative Based Resilience Project at the Garrison Institute. Together, Karen and Sharon will share different mental health strategies and practices that can help you find your inner resilience and support the essential workers in your life.

Four little fires.
Sometimes it can feel like our heart or mind is on fire. #amiright ?

Maybe its envy, or bitterness, anger or something.

Or there could be other fires, of inspiration, passion, ideas.

With practice we can all learn how to work with the element of fire more skillfully so that we can benefit from the energy but not be consumed by it.

What kind of mental, emotional or physical fires have you been experiencing lately and how do you try to modulate the flames?

Good self care helps us avoid burnout.and then we can do more, serve more, enjoy more.

If this idea resonates for you, you might be interested in my next emotional resilience class starting this Saturday Dec. 5th. Link in bio to learn more and register. @urbanitydancechicago

#emotionalresilience #mindfulness #selfcare #healing

Winter chill is coming back in force in Chicago. Many people are living on the streets without access to clean warm clothing. One of the biggest challenges is keeping the extremities warm throughout the long cold winter. Access to new clothes especially socks is extremely difficult to come by. Two of the most requested items amongst the homeless people I've spoken to around Chicago are warm socks and chemical warmers for hands, body and feet. The danger of frostbite and the complications which can arise, including amputation, is serious.
A few years ago I started asking for donations for these items which are then handed out to those who need them and it's time to do it again. I ask that you please help us out by purchasing any of these items and depositing them through the mail slot at our studio/kung fu school at: 
1839 S Halsted St Chicago, Il 60608. 
Alternatively, you could mail them to us as well at the same address if that is easier. If you want to arrange to leave a larger package off let me know, and I will arrange to leave the front vestibule door unlocked or meet you to pick them up.
The first year we collected over 100 pairs of socks, I'd love to see if we can double it this year. The addition of the chemical warmers was something I did the second year. They are small things which make a huge difference.
Please help us again this year won't you? 

Thank you so much, Hillary

Here are some local resources as well for food and more:

Food resources and organizations that would appreciate your support:Greater Chicago Food Depository###emLove Fridge Chicago###/a######em/em###Pilsen Food Pantry1850 S. Throop 
Open M-F, 10:00 to 1:30 and Thursdays 2-5pm
Community Canteen Free (or pay what you can) takeout hot meals Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5pm at 960 W. 31st St.

Monthly food distributions: 
First Thursday of each month
2:30-3:30 at 1954 W. 48th St.
Sponsored by our office in conjunction with Commissioner Alma Anaya and The Greater Chicago Food Depository
Second Monday of each month (with any remaining food distributed the next day as well)
2520 S. Western Ave. 9-11am 
Sponsored by Instituto del Progreso Latino 
First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and God's Closet:
Clothing pantry 2-6pm; Community meal to go 5-7pm at 643 W. 31st. St.

Here is a guided meditation meant to serve as an introduction to the foundations of vipassana meditation. It's about 17 minutes long.

I sometimes feel that mindfulness practice has been done a great disservice by some of the ways it's been "marketed" to the west. 

One common misconception about mindfulness, is that it's like a spa experience and that it's all about relaxation and feeling wonderful all the time. This is not accurate. It is true that in the long run, mindfulness will help you feel more relaxed and less stressed, those are extra benefits, rather than being the supreme goal of practice.

Mindfulness practice is about waking up to what is really going on, developing an awakened mind, not clouded by delusion. As Joseph Goldstein puts it:

The true nature of mind is bodhicitta — empty, radiant, and responsive to the world around us. This is not a pie-in-the-sky, inaccessible state. This state is here right now, yet often obscured by the egos habit of craving and aversion. Mindfulness is a process of lifting the veil as we relax the mind and begin to experience the freedom that is our natural state.

When we can know, "what leads to what," cause and effect, we can find our freedom.


Because then we can really see, extremely clearly, what kind of results we get from our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

The ultimate WYSIWIG.

New Class! Weekend Water Ways Midday Meditations

Are you a highly sensitive person and feeling like you are on total overwhelm a lot lately?

Feeling like you can't find your inner peace lately?

Wondering where you emotional resilience got up and ran off to?

Want some support for navigating these crazy times so you can still do your job, find joy and reconnect with your inner self?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this three-week class is for you.

A three session meditation and contemplative course to help you develop emotional resilience, spiritual independence, and personal sovereignty. These practices have successfully supported people all over the globe for centuries and are available to you here in Chicago!

This course will be offered virtually pending in-person availability based on the length of Chicago's current Stay At Home Advisory & Phase 3 Status.
Please have something comfortable like a yoga mat, meditation cushions, chair, or couch ready for class.

For in-person reservations, please no perfumes, colognes or scented lotions to minimize distractions and protect sensitive individuals.

Direct Purchase Links: 1 Drop In  |  3 Week Pass

Happy Friday everyone.

Here is today's guided meditation practicein which we investigate how we may be called to serve ourselves and others in this time of seemingly endless Groundhog Day.

Here are a few of the lines from Geri Larkin's rendering of the Dhammapada, from her book, "The Stillpoint Dhammapada."

Hatred has never stopped hatred.

Only love stops hate.

This is the eternal law.

May all know peace.


Tomorrow's free LIVE meditation will be at 1pm instead of noon. I hope you can join. May this practice be of benefit to all who need it. It will be live here at Art for Introverts.
The theme will be pain/suffering and resilience.

Our practice will delve in being with our grief and suffering, saying hello to it and not pushing it away, avoiding or labeling as unnecessary. We will look at how to be with our dark nights of the soul.

So many of us are struggling to keep the workflow going while being inundated with grief and suffering in this very difficult time. We can lean on ancient wisdom to help us through and make space for all that is without bypassing.

Please share with anyone who may benefit from this/resonate with it.
#meditation #selfcare #griefsupport #covid19 #mentalhealth #stress

Feeling stressed?

Overwhelmed by the grief upon grief?

All the feelings you may be having are 100% okay.

You don't need to feel bad about whatever all those feelings are.

I invite you to be gentle on yourself.

We are all going through these times with all our gifts and our wounds and sometimes it can all feel like too much, beyond what words can say.

We can apply ancient practices to support us as they have supported human beings around the globe for thousands of years.

These are not religious practices but rather for your spirit, your heart and mind.

Today's practice will be at 4pm CST.

The theme will be the breath and practice of letting go. I hope you will be able to join us. Please feel free to share the event with friends and colleagues. This practice is freely offered as support for all of us in these very challenging times.

See you at 4! If you can not attend there will be a recording available afterwards.

Blessings, Hillary

Feel free to share with friends, colleagues, anyone.

May this practice be of benefit to all who need it. It will be live at Art for Introverts on Facebook

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Before new things can truly begin, come into our lives, other things need to die, be released, pass away, to make space for new ways of being. Yet it is often our nature to cling and crave and experience so much suffering. 

We can practice to be like the leaf falling from the tree, the water flowing around stones, releasing with much ease as we can.

Blessings, Hillary

Hello lovelies, wherever you are in the world. I had so wanted to use today's time together to look at some of the paintings from the Monet exhibit currently on display at The Art Institute of Chicago but technology was not my friend today. 

I believe however that things worked out just as was needed. Instead we focused on a lovely simple awareness of the breath and sharing loving kindness with all the living people and other living ones we share this planet and time with.

Here is the video in full for you to enjoy.

Wishing you and all happiness, strength, safety and ease.


I don't know about you, but with world-wide quarantine because of COVID-19 virus and winter coming on in Chicago, I'm drawn to works of art that remind me of the world's great beauty, joy and sense of delight in seeing. One of my favorites is David Hockney.

I also love that David Hockney has been painting for such a long time and still is and loves it as much or perhaps more than ever. 

In 2019 there was a show of Hockney's work at the Van Gogh museum in the Netherlands which I so wish I could have seen. Here is a short video of Hockney talking about his love of Van Gogh's work.

Enjoy the wonderful color and laughter! What art are you looking at lately?

#2020 has had more than its share of stress, am I right?

It can all feel so overwhelming. It's good to know then that there's a simple way to reduce stress every day. 

If you have been struggling as so many of us have, then you will love this simple accessible practice.

Get yourself comfy whether you want to stand, sit or lay down. Pick whatever feels best for you. 

When you're ready press play and enjoy the break.

When you're done, let me know how the practice landed for you.

What questions do you have?

Use the contact form to send me your questions.