Category Archives: art journal

Art journal inspiration and the precarious balance of being an artist

Art journal inspiration coming up in this post. You might have already seen the videos if you’re in my Facebook group, but if not, I have some tips and tricks for you.

I have been somewhat bummed out since the precarious balance of making a living as an artist has tipped toward the “lack of sales” side of the scales.

Something is going on with the online algorithms, and I feel that I’m ruled by the whims of whatever the “new” ways etsy and other online venues are trying to control who sees my art.

The venues are getting more and more restrictive. Facebook does not show your art to many people unless you take out ads, and then the results are iffy, and you’re out $$$.

Maybe it’s time to go local again?? Make some new friends who like my art and who don’t mind opening their wallets.

Online, you work mostly with strangers, but it is convenient.

Even if this vague something is constricting sales for various reasons, it won’t stop me from remaining (always) an artist.

Yes, it’s possible to stop making art, but if that is what I love to do, why compromise??

It is a test of faith.

I have posted some new art and mosaic crafts in my etsy shop lately, and here is my latest painting.

abstract art
Abstract art

I couldn’t come up with a name for it, but maybe you can help me? Post in comments, please.

I made two art journaling tutorials on YouTube, and you can check them out.

Adding dimension to your art journal pages.

Autumn goddess, Life’s Song art journal pages.

Maybe those will help to inspire. 🙂

I love trying different techniques and media in my art journals. More often than not, the pages don’t turn out that  great, but I was happy with these.

What are you working on?

My words of wisdom for this week: If you want to walk a path of magic, you have to do the work or live the same ole, same ole….

More inspiring blog posts: Long Journey of art. 

Fear Holding You Back?

Have a great weekend!

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Join my Facebook art group if you haven’t already. Art Exploration with Maria Greene.

 

 

Long journey of art

Long journey of art is what you do in life as an artist. So many things change, but expression is something that calls from within. Have you felt the call but also the resistance?

It’s in human nature to procrastinate even though we know better. But you’d better begin because the journey is long as I said, yet, you can make a piece of art today!

I have gone through many incarnations as an artist in this lifetime.

I copied pictures from magazines, had a stint as a primitive country artist, a longer stint as an abstract painter, mosaic artist, many years of art journaling and mixed media. I still do that, but I also feel a pull towards something new, which can only be a deeper expression of who I am. I don’t want to copy or do a particular style any more.

I had a lovely chat with local artist and friend Joanna Mazurek

She went the traditional way of attending several art schools, and then left it all behind after twenty years as an artist. But, once an artist, always an artist…

I love to hear other artists’ perspective and get inspired by their inner drive to express themselves.

You need to express yourself.  What else is there? As you go deeper into the art, you also go deeper into yourself.

If you’re expression is something else, go explore it.

The pull to express yourself is your God-given gift to share with the world and with yourself.

Take the long view. You don’t have to be a sprinter. There is no competition or anyone standing over you with a stop watch.

We live life like that, rushing from one thing to another, and I have come to understand it’s so wrong. I spent so many years living other people’s dreams.

Even tiny baby steps towards expressing yourself is worth weeks of conditioned living. You can’t measure the impact on a grander scale, but the impact can be great.

A tiny flame starts a forest fire. The more tiny steps into exploration become a great sucking pull to express wildly, freely, and happily.

It’s worth finding your life. Find the mystery!

It’s also necessary to go through the “ugly” stages to get to a place in the process where you look at your art in wonder. It takes courage.

I will probably make art for the rest of my life, but as in the past, there has been ebb and flow.

The meandering long journey of art, oh how you challenge me, but I do love you! 🙂

Heed that call; it’s never too late!

Happy Halloween.

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. My etsy shop is brimming with goodies for Christmas! Earth and Faery.

 

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making

Crafty girl’s guide is a way to save on your art journals. Most of us mixed media artists drool over Moleskine and Strathmore brands, and many more, but they make a big dent in our wallets too.

Not that it’s bad to spend on good art materials. I do spend, but sometimes I like to make my own journal because it has “me” branded on it, not spiral binding or ugly covers.

I like to embellish the store-bought covers, but it’s something special about making your own.

I have even made some to sell in my etsy shop because beginning art journalers sometimes have a hard time with the blank page, so I make some simple backgrounds on the pages.

I buy watercolor paper on sale and take the pads apart for easy art making.

Then I fold the painted pages and use a bone folder to flatten the crease as much as possible. I sew the pages together with embroidery thread or hemp string.

The reason I like embroidery thread is that it’s colorful and strong, and flexible.

Crafty girls know how to be creative with the backgrounds in the journal. The more you create, the more your creativity blossoms.

Make your own!

crafty girl's art journal making
crafty girl’s journal

This is the latest journal I made. I covered the front and back with some vintage paper. The cover can be painted or more ephemera added on top. The label can be affixed anywhere or left out.

So much fun!

crafty girl's guide to art journal making

Above is a sample page of a background, and below are a few more. As you can see, crafty girl’s can make this EASILY!

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

So easy… A while back I made a video on how to put the pages together into a journal.  HOW TO VIDEO.

I have written some posts about art journaling basics for you. CLICK HERE TO READ.

ART JOURNALING STUFF (mostly cool backgrounds.)

If you need a push, here’s another post about the importance of allowing yourself to make art. BEGIN NOW! 

Now you can make your own journal and get started with art. There are no excuses and there is no time to lose. If you love art, make some today!

xo

Maria

P.S. I made a simple e-course on how to make a variety of art journals. It’s for the crafty girl in you! 🙂 CLICK HERE. 

You can also visit my etsy shop for more journals if you don’t want to make your own. EARTH AND FAERY

 

Honoring the oneness of everything

Honoring the oneness of everything is what artists do when we create out of nothing.

More often than not the mind tries to figure out “what to paint.” A wave of images from books and other artists flow through the mind, and there is EXPECTATION.

Gotta paint a face as good as the other artist’s face rendering. But that is not creating from nothing.

What if you sit or stand in your art area and don’t have a clue what to do next. That is creating from nothing. It can be scary and boring.

Actually, I sat down at my computer to write this post and I didn’t have a clue what to write, but I trusted that something would come. I centered myself in meditation, noticing all the images flying through my mind and settled on a journal I made. Writing always flows easily to me and I trust it.

The idea of creating from nothing intrigues me and I have a lot of curiosity about diving deeply into the art.

What if it didn’t matter

  • that the art turned out like crap (every day)?
  • that all you could manage was two pink dots?
  • that you felt like actually destroying the page?
  • that you struggled and had nothing inside?
  • that people would not take you seriously?
  • that you doubted yourself 100% but still showed up?
  • that you felt like you wouldn’t get anywhere with your art–ever?

It all comes down to trusting the process. If you feel like putting down one pink dot on the paper, do it. Feel within what paint you might like next and go for it. Slap it on, splatter it, wipe it into a brown mess, stab it with pencils, yell at it, add some collage, hate everything that comes out, but then…

Something happens. A spark, a clarity of sorts, a direct connection within that sets you on the track to something unexpected and beautiful.

It is effortless at this point and you will always love what comes out even if it seems weird (and wonderful.)

Convention is hard to crack. We don’t want to ruin the pristine look of our expensive art journal pages, etcetera.

I watched a video by an artist who took cheap composition books and made them into art journals. One interesting part was to crunch up every sheet of paper inside. She pointed out we’re connected to everything in life and the paper had once been a tree. By crunching it up she released the energy of the tree and set it free. I loved that idea. It set the paper on a whole new course.

Also, everything we touch is imprinted with our energy. When we make a journal, it’s truly imprinted with our own DNA, and it makes us own our art on a deeper level.

smash book
smash book

It was a lot of fun to make the journal and there is no preciousness about it. I can paint ugly all the way. It’s about diving deep and getting some answers through art. No one needs to see the art and judge it.

It is a very freeing way to be more YOU.

The artist who inspired this process is Catt Geller.

If we can see the wholeness, the oneness, of which we are part and know that the art we’re called to make has purpose, all we have to do is put one pink dot in front of the other and go from there.

Ugly is okay and an honored process.

art journal
honoring ugly art

 

art journal
scrunched pages

xo

Maria

P.S. Speaking of making an art journal from scratch, why not make collage papers from scratch as well? I have a great mini e-course on that. You can check it out  HERE. 

 

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.

 

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