Paper madness!

Paper madness can strike at any time. I love paper in all forms. What would the world be without paper? Plastic books? I don’t think so.

I don’t want to talk about books but more about art journals and writing journals. I think there is a journaling craze going on. Michael’s has a whole isle with journals and insets and stickers to add.

Maybe we never grow too old for stickers??

I went to Hobby Lobby for some acrylic inks and came away with a great deal on a snooty Fabriano art journal.

Fabriano
paper madness

The paper is exceptional. I touch the pages reverently and imagine what I can create inside. No junk journal here…  It says drawing paper, but at a sturdy 90lbs it can hold just about any wet media.

You know how they describe wine. Dragging my hand across the paper, I would have to say it has a rich depth, is robust, yet smooth and silky against my tongue skin. 🙂

I use a lot of different kinds of journals for my art journaling, but I write my thoughts in a cheap notebook every morning. I have a great pen made for smooth writing (ek Tools journaling ink pen.)

I finish a notebook quickly so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive journals that sit around gathering dust because my handwriting would ruin them. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t write in them.

But, I did buy one for Christmas last year, and I’m about halfway through. It has pictures and sayings. Some of the pages are lined and some are blank. It’s SACRED SPACE, Writing and Creativity Journal by BlueAngel publishing. Journal art by Toni Carmine Solerno.

journal
Sacred Space

journaljournaljournalIsn’t the artwork lovely?

That is a journal I would keep, but I usually throw out my written notebook journals once they are full. No written masterpieces there…

To journal feels good. It clears the mind clutter and gives new vision. It makes you connect inside, with the inner small voice, and also with problem loops of thoughts that keep us away from what is important.

I’m also mad for any kind of funky paper, and I like to make my own too of course.  I alter the plain paper with inks, paints, dyes, markers, and collages that I print. It’s a way to put your stamp on plain paper or alter bought scrapbooking paper.

In art anything goes,  Mixed media art is a heaven for paper enthusiasts. I love it when there is a sale on scrapbooking papers. I buy a bunch and then I can’t wait to add some to my artwork.

If you’d like to read a basic article on how to get started with art journaling you can check out this post, Art Journaling Tools.

What do you like to write in? Notebooks or expensive journals? Do you use your computer as a journal?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Maria

P.S. Speaking of papers, I have a short art journaling paper making e-course that is lots of fun. You can check it out via THIS LINK.

 

Your gremlins

Your gremlins will always be around to sneak through the crack in your door. I’m talking about the “I am not good enough,” “I don’t have time,” “I can’t afford,” “I don’t know enough,” “I don’t know how…”  “I’m too old.”

You get the picture. Some of them are stronger and some are cunning. They are all opportunists and freeloaders, and persistent like sales people on commission.  They lie in wait…

crocodiles

You know they are there, so what to do?

They all stem from fear of course.  I wrote a blog post about that: What do you fear?

Every time you set a goal or set an intention to change your lifestyle in any way, the gremlins will show up like clockwork. Let’s look at the “I’m not good enough.”

Unless you have massive experience or a PhD, it’s likely you don’t know enough about something like astrophysics, but maybe you could get excited about a telescope and the stars?

Most people don’t know a huge amount of stuff, but they might know an angle that is unique.

Maybe you came across an artist making these great teapots and you are filled with a burning desire to learn how to make them and perhaps start a ceramic biz.

To start something like that you do need some classes, a lot of them maybe, but if you love it, go for it! At some point YOU WILL BE good enough and have fun in the process.

What if you have life experience? What can you teach people from your own experiences? Lots, I’m sure. People in similar circumstances want to know. People are always looking for solutions to problems.

If you have a passion and you have done nothing about it, why? We will always doubt ourselves, but once we roll up our sleeves and go for it, we find that the gremlin trying to stop us is only hot air.

courage

Once you make the decision to start the journey, the momentum of you applying yourself daily will take you to the heart of your passion. That is the law of nature.

I meet so many wannabe artists, but the first excuse coming out of their mouth is a clear indication the gremlins have a strong hold.  The “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have the right tools” or “I don’t know how,” are the most common. I know that they will never even try!

The status quo has a massive hold on us.

Don’t let the gremlins rule! Whatever your dream, don’t end up old and full of regrets. It’s never too late to start something new. If you’re breathing you can do something today.

Listen to that yearning, the little longing voice that makes you think of THAT thing you never did anything about.

Today is a good day to start! Do it even if the gremlins are screaming bloody murder…

xo

Maria

P.S. I went crazy this week and loaded up my etsy shop with new juicy art journals and a fairy pouch or two. EARTHANDFAERY.

 

Because journaling is fun!

Because journaling is fun I do it every day, but it’s not only the fun aspect that inspires me. Writing down my thoughts gives me clarity when I find myself overwhelmed. What is my priority today?  When I write it down I can see a path.

Most of my friends journal one way or other. Some journal on napkins, and some in elaborate expensive journals with leather covers.

It doesn’t matter what kind of journal you use; it can be a composition book from the box store. What matters is you having a conversation with YOU.

It’s like coming home to your most honest part.

journal
journal

Journaling brings not only clarity but vision that might stretch into the future. What do you want with your life? What do you want to experience?

I mostly write a journal entry every day and a vision for the week, and sometimes I can try to plan out the future, but you know what happens to “best laid plans…” I always write a page of gratitude every day. There are sooo many things to be grateful for.

Journaling is good for:

  • solving problems
  • kick around ideas
  • write down what you’re grateful for
  • write off “steam.”
  • get clarity of what you want to experience the most
  • write about relationships with others (or lack thereof)
  • a journal is a solution finder!

It’s good for pretty much anything we encounter. It can be your best friend. I talk to my cat a lot but he doesn’t give me a lot of ideas. 🙂

Many of my friends, including myself journal with art / writing in combination. That is probably my favorite way to journal, but I like to write too, and it’s a lot quicker.

journal
journal
journal
art journal
journal
journal
journal
art journal

As you can see I have been busy making lots of art journals for my etsy shop. You can make your own easily. All you need is some heavy watercolor paper, acrylic paints and inks, some string. A while back I made a video on how to make a simple journal /art journal.

When you make your own, it truly becomes YOURS. There are so many ways you can make a journal. The library has books on book binding where you can get more ideas.

I find it to be lots of fun and inspiring too. I’ve gotten so inspired by making them that I keep making more and more, trying out different styles and combinations.

You can find some to buy in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. 

I encourage everyone to spend an evening making one. Even if you don’t make it from scratch you can buy a journal or notebook and jazz it up.

If you want to write a journal online you can join 750 Words.com. You can also use a Word file and keep it on your computer. There are no rules.

When I was a kid I had a red journal with a gold chain and a lock. I don’t know how many times my brother tried to open that…  I don’t remember writing much in it but I loved it.

If you want to make a cloth-covered journal and more, I have a short e-course on making them. You can read about it HERE. 

I think I will go and do some art journaling now.

I hope you will do some type of journaling too. It’s really helpful!

xo

Maria

Trusting yourself?

Trusting yourself can be an iffy business. I can say that I do for the most part, but then something happens to make me doubt my choices as in “am I insane?” 🙂

It happens to all of us since we live in a society that does not promote trust. It actually promotes the opposite.

However, we have a choice.  If you have the insight that you’re your ultimate judge of what is best for you, you can cultivate trust and see it grow from within.

We seek validation from others. That’s something ingrained in every cell from childhood. It’s a revolutionary concept to know you can trust your own inner wisdom and act on it.

How do you do that? You decide to begin trusting yourself. The trust can show up as a gut feeling, a sense of right or wrong, a strong desire to NOT do something that others want you to do. Ask your body before you make a choice. It will tell you the truth.  You can tell the difference between avoidance and truth. It might take some practice.

It take guts to go against the grain.  It’s likely you will encounter resistance from others and yourself. The more you trust and see that you chose the right thing, the stronger the trust grows.

Then there is the spiritual insight: life is everlasting so there is nothing to fear. Trust is the very essence of life. A small child has nothing but trust until it’s taken away.

What does this have to do with art you ask.

In art making, do you look for validation from others? Is what you painted okay or do you trust your own process however difficult or stumbling it appears? 
mixed media

I made this mixed media art in 2015 and put it in my etsy shop for sale. It never sold, and upon critical review I decided that the big bird was not right. At the time I liked the art.

We change and so does the art. I decided to reuse the canvas so I covered the art work with lots of papers that I proceeded to paint.  I have come this far now but I’m filled with uncertainty.

mixed media art

Should I paint something popular like a mermaid or some cute primitive animals or….? An abstract maybe?

The mind jumps in with suggestions all the time. Play it safe. Paint what sells, be smart. MONETIZE!

That takes away a lot of individual choice, doesn’t it? I wrote about the wisdom of the body to create a while back. It all comes back to trust. Do you trust yourself to make the right paint choices or mixed media combinations?

Who cares? Is it a matter of life or death?

Screw it all up and start again. There are no right answers. The art will tell you via your “good feeling” if it hit the mark of something awesome.

I’d say 90% of my art never hits the “awesome” status. Awesome is when something unexpected appears that could only come from the deepest inner inspiration.  It is inexplicable yet unmistakable.

Every time I paint I wish for that genius to step forward. It takes a lot of patience and ruined canvases. It takes commitment. Hard traits to cultivate. It takes a lifetime (or more.)

However, I have traveled the path of creating art on canvas for a long while now so the trust is there. I cultivated it by showing up at the project.

Maybe this one will be AWESOME!

What are you creating today?

Have a great weekend.

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Check out my awesome  🙂 self-paced paper creating e-course. Lots of varied papers and ephemera and some art journaling spreads how-tos as well, about 9 videos. ONLY $24. LIFE’S SONG.

 

 

Fear holding you back?

Fear holding you back from pursuing your dreams? It happens to all of us, at least to those who accept they have a dream.

fear
fear

It was not random that we came into this world, and as we grew we showed certain talents and skills. Some were good at math, some at the gym, some showed artistic talent.

When I was a kid I knew I had a talent for words.  I loved expressive art, but it developed later. Words have always flowed easily for me so I ended up becoming a writer until that interest kind of petered out. But as they say, a writer is always a writer.

I have to say visual art is a tougher dream, but I love it passionately. There are so many ways to express oneself. Where to start?

art palette
art palette

There are two things I want to mention:

You often look at other people’s art and then try to copy it because you like it.

Or you encounter massive resistance.

That is the fear / ego kicking in saying lots of nasty stuff about your lack of talent and sense of color or whatever. Your fear will find something wrong with you no matter what. I wrote a blog post about resistance a while back: Who is in charge…

If you have no clue where to start, copy other people’s art that you love. As you get more sure about your art supplies and what they can do, you start to experiment with what you have learned.

As you grow bolder with each experiment, you start to feel more secure, but the fear is always lurking in the background.

Do the art processes that feel good to you. If it doesn’t feel right, try something else. There are so many techniques and tools it can be bewildering.  The only way through is to keep trying and doing.

If you hit a block, know that things are about to change. It usually shows up before a major breakthrough, but you can get stuck in procrastination. That is a sneaky way for the inner critic to attack you when you’re down. I wrote a post about that, available here: Procrastination is an ugly beast…

There are no shortcuts of easy fixes. Each artistic journey is so individual it’s hard to give advice that fits everyone.

One thing is for sure: A dream is worth pursuing, and the way to do it is to give it some time every day. Create a discipline for your dream. If it is important enough you will do it.

Is it?

Well then, what are you waiting for?

When all is said and done we have to do things that light us up, otherwise, what is the point?

Have a great creative week!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some handmade art journals in my etsy shop that might help to get you started. CLICK HERE to check out my offerings.

Inspired by emotion

Inspired by emotion is the title for the art journal video interview I had with artist Mel Bunny Sparkles. It was so much fun and she is full of inspiration and suggestions for new artists and veterans alike.

You will want to check out this video!

Bunny is the guest artist for June in my free 2017 Art Journaling Journey. If you haven’t signed up for the free prompts, you can do so HERE. You will receive all the prompts for this year via email. You can also join my Facebook group that is brimming with inspiration. CLICK HERE.

If you sign up for my regular art newsletter (top right corner of this page,) you will receive an art journal primer and a project to make. Great for beginners!  You have to start somewhere.

I also have many helpful art journal videos on YouTube under my own name. YOUTUBE CHANNEL. There are videos for beginners and for those who are looking for tips and tricks to jazz up their art journals.

art journaling
life at the beach

Have some fun, summer is here!

Lots of love and inspiration!

Maria

P.S I’m selling art journals ready-to-use in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY.

Artist and writer