I frequently envision an inner space that was the roof garden of a loft in which I once lived. It had a beautiful corner trellis of climbing red roses. When the sun came there, I used to stand with my beloved white German Shepherd and feel pleasure at being alive. In my visions I often put my workspace there.

Another place that I imagine is The Spirit House of the Mother, a large sculpture that I made in 1994. It is a sanctuary — ten feet by seven feet by six feet, carved from Douglas fir logs — that can be entered by an open entrance. Its outer surface has thirty-two carved wood panels with gold leaf, but its interior is magenta and pearlescent pink with deep maroon spirals. It is a place to honor the Divine Feminine, the nurturing mother in myself and in all of us.

Using broad or narrow marks, or both together, draw the outline of an imaginary space on a 11" x 14" piece of paper. This will be your inner studio. This studio can be whatever shape comes to mind, such as a circle or triangle. It doesn't have to be at all realistic, since it is a room for your spirit.

Within your outline, find a special place where you will be able to work. Put your worktable there. It can be your kitchen table, an easel, a workbench, or whatever you envision. Select the spot where you will be sitting, and mark it with a shape and a color.

Now take colored paper and choose the colors that feel right and make shapes out of them, shapes to represent the spirit part of your studio. Rip or cut three or four shapes carefully. Glue them into your inner studio. This collage will represent the spirit forms in your studio.

Something to remember: If you can't find images in your mind's eye, make them up. You are trying to have your spirit take form, and sometimes making it up — tapping into your unconscious — is the best way to uncover her.

Nancy Azara in Spirit Taking Form