The many faces in my art journal

The many faces in my art journal are testimony that I go against the “rule” that one should stick to one style and develop that.  Maybe I will have a particular style at some point, but I’m having too much fun doing crazy faces in my art journal.

Next time someone asks me what kind of style I’m aligned with I will reply, “my own.”  I doubt that I’ll ever reach cohesion in my artsy outpourings. Here are a few crazy faces I’m had fun with. I used  Neocolors II, watercolor pencils, mixed media, paper collage, acrylic paints, and charcoal.

Who is in charge?

Who is in charge? You or your ego / resistance?  I know I have written about that before, but through my experience over time, I have realized that inspiration is not some kind of random thing that only comes to a lucky few.

Inspiration is a good habit to grow in your art practice. Inspiration is not a fickle muse or a random occurrence. It is yours to command if you show up consistently.

In charge
Who is in charge?

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today, but I had promised myself to write one this week. Kinda late in the game since it’s Saturday. My excuses were:

I’m not inspired

I have nothing to say

I’m too tired to write now

I’d rather be painting (when would that ever be an excuse??)

When I show up to paint, I get the same bullsh*t excuses. Life would just go by without me accomplishing anything I have set out to do.

I have “make art” written on every day of my calendar. I do miss some days, but for the most part I show up even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at the current painting or art journal page.

I count my crafts as art too since I’m using my creativity. Here is what I made today.

mermaid polymer clay mosaic
Believe in magic

I woke up and really wanted to get going on this mermaid.  Part of me said, go for it, the other said, sleep in.

There will always be some bullsh*t excuse for not doing what we know will make us happy.

Same crap as with exercising regularly…

Saying “no” to the resistance is a muscle that can be toned and strong. At one point the resistance gets the message and moves over a bit so that you can get to the action you want quickly.

The point is to stick with the action you have set for yourself. If that is “do more art” it’s something that is “holy.” There is no argument allowed and as “do more art”  becomes a habit, you have won.

Remember though, resistance will always be there lurking in the background, but if you have set a “no compromise” status for yourself things have to move forward or YOU will feel like crap while resistance smirks in the background. Been there too many times.

If you expect inspiration to be there, IT WILL BE.

Excuses are not allowed.

mermaid polymer clay
Believe in magic

NOW, go do it! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. My free 2017 art journaling challenge is going strong. If you’d like to have the prompt emails. sign up HERE. Guest teacher for March will be Julia Ostara.  The mermaids are available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.

Perfection kills creativity

Perfection kills creativity and how do you change in the direction of deeper creativity?

Do you compare yourself to the perfection of nature?  What do you compare yourself to?

perfection
perfection

As an artist, perfectionism stifles all expression.  Maybe it’s ok in the very last layer of a realistic painting, but I don’t know since I don’t paint realism. I have suffered from perfectionism from time to time. It shows up as:

That didn’t turn out very good

Is this any good?

I can never get it right

Those statements might not seem like an angle of perfectionism, but when we doubt what we made we have a picture of what it SHOULD look like, and it’s never good enough.  It comes down to comparison to some kind of ideal or living up to someone else’s expectations.

Maybe someone’s voice is running a commentary in your head?

Maybe our parents expected us to be perfect in every way. What does that have to do with art? It has everything to do with whatever task you attempt, be it art, writing, speaking, teaching, accounting. Basically, in every area of life. The way we look, the way we work.

How do you escape this tyranny of perfectionism?

First, you have to realize it’s present, and a pain in the ass. Not everyone notices or perfectionism is so embedded in the “norm” that it’s inconceivable to change.

As an artist, it’s important to let loose and try something completely different from your current mode of expression.

Become three years old again. Slap some paint on a poster board.

Make ugly abstract art. Muddy the colors. Paint big.

Use tools you don’t normally use.

As you explore this, something inside has to give. The perfectionist will raise a big stink, but allow it to and paint anyway. Just go nuts!

Do this with everything. Don’t mop the floor every day even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Don’t pick up the clothes. Don’t obsessively clean the kitchen counter. Let some dishes sit around in the sink.

Allow the inner wisdom to show you that life won’t fall apart if you get a bit “sloppy.”

wisdom
wisdom versus perfectionism

It is a challenge, but to truly change, you have to face the discomfort and get to the other side.

To become a life artist we have to face the difficult things that hold us back.

Paint anyway.  Show up, be daring.

Allow the emotions to flow. There might be rage under the perfectionism, but rage is good fuel for art! 🙂

Then, underneath the rage there might be other stuffed emotions. And then there is peace. And it’s ok if there are dishes in the sink for the time being. Expressing your creativity is more important.

Maybe you pick up a new style… YOUR style.

xo

Maria

P.S. If you’d like to get my art newsletter, please sign up HERE.

What happened to January?

What happened to January? It went by in the blink of an eye.  So much upheaval came with the Presidential inauguration and so much unrest. So much polarity among people. So much ugliness. Is that who we are, ugly people?

I have to say, though, that art unites. Some might scoff at that, but art reminds us that there is something deeper, something more profound than our human petty concerns. There is beauty.

Art holds things together and I have seen so many artists in the groups coming together more tightly than ever, thinking of ways to make this a brighter world.

Art is a reminder of beauty, that we come from beauty, and can focus on becoming more beautiful inside as our heritage inspires. I talking about a deeper heritage than our ancestors.

To see any real change in the world, each person has to change inside, find the peace and love that truly lives in the heart. Access the heart wisdom! It is a choice. The heart brings UNITY within a person, and that mirrors into the world around us.

Art at its best brings out the best in us! We are all touched differently by what we see, but ultimately, we experience the same. Art can awaken the soul, awaken a person to look for the deeper meaning, the bigger picture than we see on TV.

To solve the issues in the world, we have to go within.  The solution is a spiritual one, and each person has the responsibility to connect to their higher wisdom. Be one less problem in the world. It definitely is a choice.  Are you in? I’m in.

meditation
Meditation

Paint by numbers or…?

Painting by numbers used to be really popular back in the day, and some of them didn’t look too shabby, but I never took to the practice.

I was googling pictures and discovered that you can still buy the kits. I don’t know why I never tried, but it was like coloring books. Coloring books are safe and easy.  Nothing wrong with the meditative process, but where is the excitement of creative adventure?  Too safe for me.

paint by numbers
paint by numbers

I used to knit and had to follow a pattern to get the desired look, but what if I had gone crazy with yarn and colors and created sweaters that looked like dirty paint palettes?

It would have been more interesting for sure.  I might have started a trend!

paint palette
dirty palette

Everything I’ve ever learned about evolving my painting practice is by experimentation. I took some classes in realistic painting and learned some techniques that are helpful, but they never challenge me as much as the act of facing a blank canvas and not knowing what to paint. The act of painting itself is not something I fear, but to put that first dot of paint on the canvas can be daunting. This is intuitive painting.

I face that resistance with every painting  The only way to get around it is to allow the resistance to be there and paint anyway. It’s useless to fight it. Nowadays it sits in a corner and grumbles until something exciting emerges on the canvas and then it’s on board with the rush of creativity.  Contrary bugger …

What I do now is to quickly pick some colors I like and start applying them and see what strikes me.  Sometimes nothing, and sometimes I see possibilities immediately.

It’s like being on a ship. There is ocean and more ocean, and no hope of ever seeing land again until suddenly, a gray shape emerges on the horizon.

So, if you have experienced that, you know there is hope. 🙂 The only way to move forward and through the resistance of creation, is to do it. Start right there and don’t stop, because if you do, the sniggers of resistance will haunt you for the rest of the day.

A seasoned sea man knows to face forward across the ocean and knows it’s only a matter of time until land appears.

I invite you to the adventure. Put the paint by numbers kit aside and give your creative genius a chance to shine. It does exist.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a FREE art journaling year-long adventure happening in 2017. If you want to sign up for the monthly prompts, go HERE.

You can also join my Facebook group which is filled with happy creative people, HERE.

Artist and writer