Category Archives: art journal

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.

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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.

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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.

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art journal
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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

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.

Empty well?

Empty well today?  Maybe it’s a chronic condition and you say I’m suffering from artist’s block. Writers get away with that quite easily, but artists? We see life in color so the well is easily filled again. Here are some things I do to fill my artistic well:

MAKE CRAFTS

I’m grateful that I enjoy making stuff with my hands. As a kid I learned to sew, knit, and crochet, but these days I mostly create polymer clay embellished boxes and inspirational frames.

polymer clay mosaicI love the meditative quality of crafts. I don’t have to think too much, just make the tiles and paint them. They usually come together easily once I design the box lid or frame.

polymer clay mosaicI also make handmade art journals, which are SO MUCH FUN! I can get real sloppy with inks and paints.

art journalI sell the crafts on etsy in my EARTH AND FAERY shop and they are quite popular. That is a side bonus that also inspires me to make more.

To get back to art making as in painting and art journaling, I come back with a fresh eye after a few days of craft making. My other major inspiration is:

NATURE

If you live in the boonies you are surrounded by nature, but if you live in an urban area like I do, it’s hard to get outside and be surrounded by trees. I live by a park, and that was a choice I made. Pretty much every day I go to the park, and the energy fills me up.

There is something so healing about nature, and it also balances you. Just as you make a commitment to join a gym, you can make a commitment to spend time in nature every week. Look at it as self-care.

YouTube

There are so many tutorials on YouTube you could spend a lifetime getting inspired by other people’s art. Half an hour here and there works wonders. I also love to look at art by the old masters. A trip to an art museum or gallery can be inspiring.

EXERCISE!

Many dread that word, but exercise is essential for well-being on all levels. I find it to be the fastest way to clear out the cobwebs and get the ball rolling. Once it’s rolling, it keeps going.  Exercising and park visits go hand in hand…

ART PARTY

Every month I get together with a couple of artsy friends and we have an art party. We take turns to host it. We make art, talk, and eat a great lunch. It’s truly refreshing and inspiring. I usually end up working in my art journal. Doodling is one way of expressing art while deep into a discussion.

TAKE A NAP

When all fails, take a short nap! You wake up with fresh eyes. 🙂

If none of these things appeal to you, well, come up with your own regimen for creative self-care. Then the well will always be filled.

Creating art is not always easy, but don’t blame it on “artist’s block.”

Have a creative weekend. (Those are the best kind.)

xo

Maria

Who is looking?

Who is looking through my eyes? Kind of a deep question, and something that could be discussed at length, but to make it simple:

Life itself, filtered through many of my beliefs and preferences, (perhaps unfortunately,) 🙂

Life itself does not judge. When I’m aligned with that and in flow, working, I don’t think much about the art and where it’s going. I just DO.

who is looking?

I add one color or one item that pleases me. It’s an automatic act, pretty much. I lay down one color and then I choose the next and so on. I choose what pleases my eye in the moment.

The process intrigues me and the result usually amazes me because what appears is beyond what I would have painted had I decided to paint a still life motif or some other fixed view.

The process is so intriguing that it becomes the most desired way to express for me.  I’d go as far as saying it’s addictive.

It takes trust to work this way.  Trust grows by DOING.

What the art process reveals is always interesting even if I don’t like the finished art work. That happens quite often, but I respect the process.

Then I move on to the next page or canvas… and the next. After all, art is constant change.  Life is constant change. What we liked yesterday does not work today.

who is looking?

Art reveals life and life reveals art.

We learned to live in 3D by experimentation. Toddlers live in trial and error mode all day long. 🙂 Once we get past that stage, what then? Maybe boredom sets in.

I think it’s incredibly important to keep experimenting with life. No need to go to extremes, but what is your creative power?

It doesn’t have to be art, but for artists there are endless possibilities for experimentation. We are so lucky! We can be catalysts for life itself, our hands and tools extensions of something greater.

All we need to do is get in the flow every day, by DOING. Do art, make stuff, trust your instincts, have faith that all is well, embody the greatness.

Allow life to see through you and use your unique gifts. That’s when life becomes magical.

Have a creative weekend!

Maria

P.S.  The art journaling pages above are part of a new e-course I have set up, titled Life’s Song Art Journaling e-course. You will learn how to make your own papers and ephemera and incorporate them into your art journal pages. It’s a four segment course, and the first segment is available NOW.  The rest will be published once a month for the next three months. Each segment is ONLY $12!!!  Enroll now and get creative. CLICK HERE.

 

Fire for no reason

Fire is a fickle thing. It shows up for no reason. It can be a struggling flame in damp wood, a red smoldering under ashes, a good warming fire or a blaze out of control. I find that inspiration works the same way.

Some days there is nothing but a damp flicker and some days I don’t have enough hours in a day to fulfill the creative urge raging within.

You would think it would be a more controllable scenario, but to control fire you have to kill it or at least bank it to a level that is manageable, but that’s equal to holding yourself back from creativity.

If you don’t allow the fire to burn, you kill the creativity that is longing to be expressed.

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smolder

It’s better to ride the wild blaze of inspiration when it comes and be grateful for it!

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sun

The Universe is a filled with chaotic blazing infernos. That is the enormous power of creation, constantly in flux, constantly evolving.

As with fires that happen by accident, we get struck by random ideas that can grow into great fires of inspired action. All they need is one small flame and something that catches it.

When that flame appears, it’s your task to respond to it and grow it into a blazing inspired roar.

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fire

If we don’t ride the wild blaze it will die and smolder under the dampness of our fear and indecision.

When you get a great idea go with it immediately. Don’t question the quality of it; don’t hesitate to take action. Follow the flame and  it will lead you to something greater than your everyday mind.

Creativity, when allowed its full expression (even if it happens randomly) makes YOU larger than who you think you are. It reveals a glimpse of genius, of the greatest part of you, life itself.

How to manifest the idea is not for you to worry about. You take the first action, and then the next, and the next.  By instinct the idea knows its end result and all you have to do is follow the cues, one at a time. Trust is something we have to learn along the way.

Most people ignore those inner flames when they come and they sit for years smoldering under the damp of everyday life, showing up like longing. Pay attention the next time you experience a deep sigh. What were you thinking about?

The other day I was struck by inspiration and I took immediate action. I created this video called Life’s Song Unfurling, a mixed media art journal spread.

Then I was inspired to work out an online course with the title Life’s Song. It is about incorporating memories into your art, and also create all the ephemera from scratch. The e-course will be available shortly and I will keep you posted.

You can sign up to my newsletter HERE to stay informed.

Love,

Maria