Category Archives: art journaling

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

Gold dust makes everything better!

Gold dust comes in many forms, but in this case, I’m referring to the stuff that comes in a plastic tube purchased at Michael’s. I don’t use it often, but I wanted something special for this latest “book” box I made this weekend.

I spread some gloss medium over the surface and sprinkled the dust while chanting “abracadabra.” (Kidding)

Too bad you can barely see the twinkles in the pictures. I tried from many angles.

gold dust sprinkles
Gold dust aside, I went for a mature setting.

There are many layers as you can see, and lots of texture.

Lately, I have been stretching my imagination to make different things, using some of my mosaic tiles, but trying other types of layers. I have a pretty extensive collection of ephemera that I gathered over the years.

It has not been easy

I struggle with new ideas all the time, and often I feel stymied, either for lack of tools, but more often fighting myself and doubting that the piece will turn out well. It’s a constant challenge to try to picture what the finished product will look like, and I have to trust the process and just do it.

I’m used to the struggle, and in that, there is a blessing. By showing up in the studio regularly, I have learned to ignore my doubts. In other words, the trust muscle keeps growing the more I show up to create.

I don’t always like what I make, but I’m kinder to myself than I used to be.

A tip for you: When you see pictures you like, cut them out and save them for later.

I’m always on the lookout for new fodder, and I keep them in storage bins from the craft store. I sometimes (always) forget what I have, so I have to rummage through every time.

Last month I made a bunch of shrines out of old Altoids tins. I have made more mosaics this month. Here are some examples:

gold dust shines on this shrine
Gold in this one too, but the style is new to me.
shrine in a wooden box
Virgin Mary shrine — small wooden box.
Shrine plaque
Virgin Mary wall plaque
Virgin Mary shrine
Virgin Mary and child shrine
Seascape dolphin wall plaque
Seascape dolphin wall plaque

Talk about being out of my comfort zone

The seascape plaque above was wholly out of my comfort zone, but I decided to do something with waves and stay with the blue/green range of color when I made it. All I had was a wooden plaque and a cutout of a dolphin.

It was a bear to cut out the polymer clay and make sure the pieces fit the heart and butted up correctly to the other waves. It came out okay, maybe a bit lame. I like to make some kind of statement with my art, but this will remain pretty and nothing else. 🙂

What are you working on now? I hope you got some creativity buzz this weekend, but if you didn’t, there is always TODAY.

The struggle is real, but so is commitment. Art making is a happy addiction. It sure beats most other things, including chocolate.

All the above pieces are available in my Etsy shop, Earth and Faery.

Have a great week!

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. If you need some more inspiration, check out the Instagram artist feeds. There are some fantastic makers out there. My username is @greeneearth if you want to connect.

If you missed my previous post on how to make one of these mixed-media “book” boxes, check this out: Magic Journal Box Tutorial.

Busy time in my studio

Busy time in my studio. This time of year it’s always good to stay busy so that I have lots of inventory for the Christmas season.

It’s not all about selling and producing though.

I’m still doing my art journaling almost every day because I can’t stop! Part of me is critical of the process–always, but another part is really addicted to the evolution of my art.

Whereas my crafts give me great satisfaction, they don’t always delve deeply into the process of creation like art journaling does. I try to keep a balance. They all move me forward on my creative journey.

All of it makes for a happy day. 🙂 No matter how challenging art can be, it makes me happy to create. What more can I ask for?

Busy is good too. The juices are flowing; inspiration is like an overflowing river, and ideas pop up constantly. It’s been a long while since I felt this inspired.

I finished the spirit doll that I started a couple of months ago. (Check out my previous post.) Here are some pictures of recent creations.

busy in my studio

busy time in my studio

I painted the wooden box in various colors, attached paper to the interior back of the box, and then added my doll. She inspires Courage, something we need every day.

Here are some other samples of new things. They are all available in my etsy shop.

busy time in my studio

I had fun with this watch casing. The portrait is a miniature painting, and I tell you, it was fiddly and tricky to paint.

busy time in my studio

I started making these four-inch plaques with stamped affirmations at the bottom. So much fun! I like the idea of reminding folks that we are all perfect just the way we are.

busy time in my studio

You are worthy!

busy time in my studio

I also made some more clay faces for doll making or to use as an ornament.  I wasn’t sure if there would be any interest but I sold some. Now I’m working on creating a cat face mold.

Sculpting in clay is not easy…

New ideas keep me fresh and eager to move forward.  I may have to sculpt many cat faces before I’m satisfied, but the main point is to plunge into action.  The rest takes care of itself.

If you’re feeling blocked or full of resistance, plunge in anyway.  It’s the only way forward. 🙂

What are you working on now?

Please check out my  etsy shop, Earth and Faery.  It’s full of new items.

Lots of love,

Maria

Receiving is a good thing

Receiving is a good thing though they say giving is more important.  Receiving is not what we think it is as in birthday presents and people doing you a favor. Those are all part of it, but to me, receiving is a state.

A state is a condition that we experience, FEEL. Most of us don’t have a clue about how to receive. Guilt plays a big role. We have to live by the convention of “I scratch your back so you scratch mine.”

It is an exchange of energy between people and I don’t disregard that, but receiving is so much more. It’s a state of “grace”, of being fulfilled, of gratitude for life as a whole, not just the perks we get.

When you’re in a state of receiving you are not chasing anything, no gains, no positions, no desires, no wants. You are open to receive whatever comes, but if you are filled with gratitude for life, mostly good things come to you.

It’s not easy to gain that state of receiving in a consistent manner, but by examining life and all those beliefs and habits that hold us back, we can learn to accept it ALL, and from there gain appreciation about the mystery of life.

We basically don’t know any more than newborn babies. They know more that we do in a greater sense. They are still pure and innocent, as we once were. They are in a state of receiving.

As are pets if you think about it. They lie around all day and don’t worry where their next meal is coming from. It never enters their mind, and they are always provided for.

In a sense they take for granted that life will support them. And it does.

Meanwhile, humans run around, or rush down the closest highway to get to nowhere.  We worry and curse and plan.  We are always chasing money. The whole day is revolving around making money.

We lost that innocent trust a long time ago, traded it for a man-made world that offers a lot of pain and suffering.

When we claim life and stop struggling, something shifts. Life becomes more beautiful and filled with situations we can be grateful for. The more accepting and grateful, the more abundant the gifts from the universe.

It’s not easy to change, but by becoming aware of what we do, and why, and what we say, and our prejudices, we can slowly shift the energy to be more supporting and loving of ourselves. The more you love yourself, the more the universe will support you!

What does this have to do with art, you ask? Really everything.

We tend to criticize and judge our art efforts harshly.

We compare ourselves to others.

We have an idea of what the art should look like, and it never does, so back condemning the effort. It can be a vicious cycle. Many stop making art because of it.

What if the art you make turns out ugly (in your opinion.) What then?  Do you continue or just drop the whole adventure?

If we don’t stick with it, we miss out of the mystery.  The adventure becomes a hurried rush down the highway, like with so many things we do.

We are addicted to doing and seeing results.

When you can shift and be in a receiving mode as you begin your art session, you are in a non-judgmental state and can receive the art as it manifests through you. That is such a gift!

It might not look like much, but your energy is in it. The receiving as a state of grace shows up in your art. Even if you only painted a blue line across the canvas, people will feel something.

We might admire technique but it’s the energy that draws us.

Stop chasing, become a receiver of life. Make open stillness be part of your daily process.

I did some art journaling lately.  I can’t say I reached that magical state of wonder, but I had fun.

receiving

Be who you want to be.

receiving

A cat person…

receiving

Doodles


receiving

Strange lady… Summer solstice

receiving

More doodles…

I guess I was into yellow and blue this week.

To be open to receive is to allow, to accept, and live in gratitude for what is, and what appears on the page.

Follow me in Instagram. I post most photos there, @greeneearth

I have some ideas if you’re looking for a gift. My etsy shop has lots of cool gifts. Earth and Faery.

You can read some of my older blog posts for more inspiration: Why do you do what you do?

My inner critic on a rampage

Have a great and safe July 4!

xo

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.