Three months after my daughter was born a friend called me to make sure I was alive since she had not heard or seen anything from me in quite some time. I knew I was disconnecting, grieving over my life that once was and in a state of complete overwhelm and isolation with pressure to keep it all together. After my first year into motherhood a piece of me felt like it vanished. My creativity, that piece of me that made me feel so alive and free was gone, buried beneath all the “stuff” and I couldn’t find the words for any of it. In search of support that resonated with my hunger for free expression, I attended a Process Painting Workshop in 2012, led by my Mentor, Stewart Cubley and I was hooked ever since. I felt awake and alive by the sheer sense of freedom and possibility that I experienced in Process Painting and I knew I needed to share it with others.

Years later and countless heart to heart conversations with all the women in my life, I found they too experienced similar feelings around their childhood memories, pregnancies, life challenges and transitions, losses or big events. Their creativity, their curiosity, their spontaneity was gone, hidden beneath all the responsibilities and they often felt trapped within their own self doubt and inner critic or numb to the life happening around them. But what if we can change this? What if we could quiet the doubt, the criticism, the fear and instead show up in a bigger and bolder way? Engaging in this Process helps us find a deeper way to connect to ourselves and as a result, build stronger connections with ourselves and those around us.

Elissa earned a BFA in Graphic Design from The University of Michigan, holds a Masters degree in Art Therapy from New York University (MA) and is a Registered, Board-Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) by the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Since 2003 she has developed and implemented Art Therapy programs throughout New Jersey. In 2007 she opened Higher Art where she specialized in helping children, teenage girls, women and parents develop coping strategies for better social, emotional, and behavioral development. In 2018 she opened Wild and Free Painting and now facilitates self-care, personal growth and exploration workshops through Process Painting.

For more information on Process Painting check out
The Painting Experience and be sure to purchase Stewart’s night stand staple Life, Paint and Passion: Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression.

When I'm not painting or seeing clients...

I LOVE to hike, camp and travel and I LOVE being outdoors, adventuring and exploring new places with my friends and family. I’m a health nut and you can easily find me working out before the sun rises. I love reading personal development books and listening to uplifting podcasts. I’m passionate about making really big paintings that hold ALOT of emotion and hope to one day bring process painting workshops to beautiful destinations!