Category Archives: art journal

Manila folder art journal tutorial

Manila folders come in stacks of ten or more, but what to do when you have some old folders that can’t be used any longer? Make an art journal! I had an old folder that had been used many times. I tried to remove the written labels, but the folder had served its purpose by then.

I made a short video on how to turn the folder into an art journal. You can use whatever papers you have. I have a huge stack so it seems I used every conceivable style I could dig up. It turned out very busy but who is judging?

Manila folder art journal

As you can see, I made some mistakes, but what I learned will benefit my next journal! The first one is always trial and error, right?

Seeing as the CV virus still has a hold, I spend a lot of time in my studio. There’s nothing else I’d rather do during this time. Here’s a gallery of items I’ve made in July.

How I feel about 2020, titled The Rollercoaster

I made more items, but these are enough for now. 🙂 I also got back to doing more art journaling. If you missed my last blog post with the tutorial on how to make a manila envelope journal cover, HERE it is.

One of my favorite mixed media artist is Lyn Belisle. She is currently offering a FREE book tutorial, how to make a Lotus book. It is really cool. Check it out HERE. You can’t go wrong with free, and she’s an excellent instructor.

This is it for this blog post. I hope you try the manila folder journal. Send me pictures if you do: maria@mariagreene.org

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Most of my art ends up in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. Before we know it, Christmas will be here.

My word for 2020

My word for 2020 is faith. It takes a lot of faith to blaze new trails in the wilderness of creativity. I feel inspired to move on, create things I’ve never done before.
First, I have a little inspiration for you, the process of my latest art journal spread:

Art journal pages tutorial with floral napkin and writing.
My word for 2020

I started by applying a paper napkin to the bottom half of the pages, using Mod Podge. I separated the two layers of the napkin first, and the top layer was very thin, making awesome crinkles in the paper when I attached it to the page. I then painted the top part an unbleached white and used an old gift card to scrape some green over the dried paper napkin.

Adding a paper napkin to my art journal
adding paper napkin

You can see the ridges in the napkin well, and where there is a paler area in the white paint where the Mod Podge acted as a resist, adding more interest to the page. I like how the flowers on the napkin shone through, making me think of spring.

I added stems from my stash of paper. Friendship sayings were printed on the paper, and I thought they would add more interest to the art. I cut out flowers from other stashed junk and glued them all down.

paper flowers added to my art journal spread
cut out paper flowers

I enhanced the stems and flowers with black lines from a ballpoint pen and wrote down my word for the year. Simple but fun!

my word for 2020 is faith
my word for 2020

I have dipped my toes into other media as in sewing. I’m obsessed with textile birds at the moment. Using two Ann Wood patterns that you can find at Annwoodhandmade.com, I made a songbird and an owl. Lots of fun, but also some frustration when things didn’t go so well.

Pink songbird made from scrap textiles.
Pink songbird

This debonair gentleman is called Sir Percival. He has lots of wisdom and goes his own way, but is always willing to offer a word of encouragement. He has lived a long life, and he likes to read books.

He’s fashioned from soft materials, but he’s not a toy. He’s an art doll enjoying lording it over other dolls, but he’s kind.

These two birds are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the owl HERE. The songbird is available HERE.

Apoxie Sculpt is of the most difficult materials I’ve worked with. I like the incredible hardness when dry, but it tends to be too soft, and if you wait, it gets too hard to work with. You only have a couple of hours of work time with the clay. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet.

I finished the bird I made a couple of weeks ago, painted two layers of paint and fixed the wobbly leg. It came out ok, but the turtle I made with the amethyst crystal did not end up as planned, but I’m learning. The clay is so different from polymer clay or paper clay. Since the end product is so much stronger, it’s worth learning how to handle it correctly.

The main thing is to have fun!

I hope you’re having fun this week. Make sure to add some creative practice to your day. Every day is a gift. Make it juicy!

If you missed my last post, here it is: Person or bird? I made some molded faces with Apoxie Sculpt and sewed them to fabric bodies. What do you think?

Happy creating,

Maria

Creating texture using only paint

Creating texture is easier than you think. Here is a picture tutorial I made using only paint to make some texture for the background on this art journal page.

I used these tools:

Paint, an old credit card, hair pick, wall texture dodad, nib of a pencil, baby wipes or tissues.

This is the end result.

This is how I made it:

I had no plan for this page other than creating texture.  First, I took some unbleached white and spread it liberally on the page.  I used the edge of a credit card to make some grooves in the paint.Then I used a pencil to dig more marks into the paint.

After that I used a hair pick to get some thinner grooves.

On top of that I used a dodad from the paint store and made some wider grooves. You need to wet the paint to make it pliable.

After that I used the corner of the credit card to slice some smaller grooves sideways over the others.

Now I let it dry, and then I chose a green paint to rub over part of the surface with a tissue.

As you can see, it’s kind of messy and the green covers more the top than the bottoms of the grooves. I took some dark umber on a stiff brush to dig the paint down into the grooves.

Now you can see the grooves well, so the rule is, use dark colors to enhance the grooves if they are important to the project.

Then I decided to add some red paint, which I smeared around with a tissue.

The grooves at the top of the page are not as deep, but it makes for a good contrast. (The white spots is sunlight through the blinds in the window.)

Close up of all the grooves when the paint was laid down. I did add some red paint to the depth of the grooves.

To soften the effect I added more of the original unbleached white over the other colors. Applied carefully so it wouldn’t get into the grooves.

Then I saw a face and decided to enhance that with markers and more paint.

The black marker was pretty harsh so I softened that a bit. I also used a Crayola brown to draw the contours. I softened the effect with my fingertip.

I then gave her a blue top and you can see the markings I made on that and on the pink background that I added.

The girl with the flaming hair was born!

How do you like to apply texture to paper?

Here is another blog post of a painting with mixed media and lots of texture, What Jane Wanted.

Try some texture in your art today! Easy peasy.

xo

Maria

P.S. Looking for a unique Valentine’s gift? I have some mosaic heart plaques in my etsy shop, ready to go. Earth and Faery.

 

Color basics + this and that

Color basics came to me as I mixed colors and saw the results. I never took any classes in color combinations, but I can see how the need is there for someone just starting out.

I went to YouTube to investigate and found several tutorials on how to mix paints. I didn’t feel like making my own, so here is one video by Kelly Eddington Watercolors. It’s a good one! Check it out if you’re unsure how to mix paints.

I recommend using scrap paper and experimenting with your primary colors. Mix them up and see what happens on paper! Practice until you understand the basic combinations and variations.

You can’t mess it up!

I was busy this week doing some art journaling, using paper I created for my online course Life’s Song. It is all about making your own papers from scratch, well, not the paper itself, but the altering and embellishment.  I had lots of fun with the papers that resulted, and I will make some more. They become more authentic than the paper you buy in the stores. Take a peek.

LIFE’S SONG art paper e-course.

The burnt paper became a face. I teach how to make that kind of paper in Life’s Song.  Added embellishment from magazines and other papers, like the star tissue paper on the right. A gift from a friend on Christmas.

It’s all about balance and fearlessly charging into the unknown. It can be scary!

Gratitude has been a big focus in my life lately. Every day, every breath is a reason to be grateful. I feel I live in a magical universe despite the craziness going on in the world right now.

Humans need to wake up and smell the roses!

As artists we can inspire.

It has been a good week and I look forward to my next foray into art journaling…

Now I have to go and clean the bathroom…

Have a great, creative weekend, all!

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Life’s Song is a great way to create unique art. Check it out! Very affordable too  Here is another blog post I wrote about paper, Paper Madness.

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.