Category Archives: art journaling

Be brave in the face of inner struggles

Be brave, “don’t listen to the inner critic” people say. It’s trite but true. No matter where you are in your artistic career, you’ll face new and daunting challenges. “I quit,” you say, “I can’t get my mojo back”. In the big scheme of things, a few days (months) of no creative urge don’t matter much.

I started selling paintings on eBay back in 2003, and when I look back, it has been a pretty wild ride from then to now. The urge to paint never went away, but I went through long periods of not knowing what to paint next. My mind was blank.

In comes the doodles and the testing of art supplies! (Thank God for that.) Back in the day, I committed to making some art every day, and I have pretty much stuck with it. I get antsy if I don’t make something artsy every day.

So I’ve painted abstracts, geometrics, funky figures, florals, aborigine-inspired art, portraits, spiritual “beings”, and through it all, I’ve made clay mosaics since 2008. I still have pictures but my earliest attempts were lost in a computer crash, but here are some from 2009.

I look back at my old art and realize how different my art is now, but I suppose the vibe is more or less the same.

The artist’s journey

As stated above, when you’re an artist you journey along with your creativity. I never know where it’s going to take me next, but lately, I’ve been painting funky florals. Who knew?

It makes the artistic path exciting. I made a YouTube video on how to paint a similar floral. Check it out HERE.

I have no idea where I’m going next. My mind has been blank for quite some time, but I was painting over an old painting and realized I had the beginnings of flowers, and the rest is history as they say.

Trust

Trust that your muse has your back. As you change and deepen as a person, so will your muse take you on the next leg of your art journey. You don’t need to know a hundred miles ahead, just the next step.

When you trust that everything is as it should be, your next step will be revealed. Don’t ever quit! All you do is prevent yourself from new artistic exploration. In the beginning, I wanted to paint like Marc Chagall. That never manifested but I added a few funky chickens (roosters) like his in my art now and then. ๐Ÿ™‚

Marc Chagall painting

I get inspiration from all kinds of artists, but I feel better when I inspire myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep making your art! Don’t be afraid to explore. Doodle if nothing else works. I have doodled on packing paper, deli paper, napkins, printing paper, paper towels, and junk mail. You can make your own delicious paper to use in your paintings or art journal. I made a Mark Making video for you. Check it out HERE.

If you are in the market for floral art, I have some for you in my etsy shop. ๐Ÿ™‚ Earth and Faery.

Also some nature spirits in clay, and some sewn songbird sculptures that are new. Next, I’m going to make another clay chicken! I’m almost out, and Easter is coming fast.

Happy creating, and lots of love. I’d love to hear from you.

Maria

A month of Mixed media madness

A month that flew by and I felt as if I was out of breath at the speed of time! It’s so important to make some art to keep sane. ๐Ÿ™‚ Things have been changing for me. I seem to lean toward sculpting lately. In the past, I worked in my art journal pretty much every day, but I don’t as much now.

I try to go with the flow. Sculpting has been much more of a challenge since I never had any formal training. However, I like to take online courses, so I’ve learned the basics that way. And, there’s always YouTube…

I made this wood and clay mystery bird. I used polymer clay for the body, and I liked the way it came out. I’m going to make more of these kinds of strange figures. ๐Ÿ™‚

A month of mixed media madness

Then I made cats!

A month of mixed media madness
A month of mixed media madness, mermaid cat

The mermaid cat is all fabric that is gessoed and painted, except for the wand and the base. I used a Susan Barmore pattern that I found on etsy, and it came out ok.

So my inspiration has been more with 3D objects than with 2D. I bring out my canvases but the flow has not been there much. I did however make one mixed media piece on a cradled wood panel.

Mixed media madness!

She can’t help having a big nose like that…

It was fun to make.

I haven’t made a video tutorial this month, but I came across Ina Solsbery on YouTube, and her found objects sculptures are awesome. She also makes some art journal spreads. Here’s one made with pretty napkins and paint.

Napkin collage with Ina Solsbery

YouTube and Pinterest are great sources of inspiration. Go there if you want to get ideas.

I made a simple spirit doll using one of my painted clay faces as a focal point a while back. If you missed it, you can check it out: Spirit doll tutorial.

I was looking through my old videos and this totally RAW art journal spread I made in 2015 is an inspiration that you can still make art even if you have no idea where to start. Check it out.

If you missed my last blog post with the Funky Bird tutorial, you can read it HERE.

The holidays are almost here (gasp.) I have lots of cute things in my etsy shop for those looking for a unique gift: Earth and Faery

I wish you loads of inspiration!!

Maria

A month of mixed media madness

Art is a blessing

Art is a blessing in these broken times, and always! I practice making art almost every day, and when Iโ€™m in the flow, all troubled thoughts go away. So I highly recommend art as a form of meditation.

I canโ€™t always settle down, but knowing from experience, I at least try. Sometimes itโ€™s great to get out of the house and see other vistas than the mess in my studio, but I always end up there.

The creativity /art is a red thread that travels through my life, and itโ€™s tied to the timelessness that is LIFE itself. In that I find solace and inspiration.

Do you lack inspiration when the world is dark?

Sometimes I do, but some scrolling through Pinterest gives me new ideas. I can translate ideas into my own style, and itโ€™s both rewarding and frustrating. A new design always has its share of frustration. That is the challenge!

We need a good challenge, often! At least I do.

I have some empty Altoids tins, and Iโ€™ve been making shrines with them in the past. This time I wanted to make a sculpture that could be hung on the wall. I wrapped some epoxy clay around it and made an armature for head and shoulders. It didnโ€™t look like much after the first round of clay, but I had to let it dry 24 hours before I could add another layer.

The second day I added facial features, a โ€œshrineโ€ to nature on her stomach with a nest and a heart, and then hair, which was wrapped around a cardboard form to get the โ€œflip.โ€ Facial features are always a challenge, but I was somewhat pleased with the result. I knew she would look better with paint.

Art doll in clay

That is one thing you can make with an Altoids tin.

I havenโ€™t made that many items this month. I painted some and made a couple of clay โ€œwomenโ€, but that was pretty much it.
I got some art journaling done as well, and hereโ€™s a short video of the spreads. Sometimes weeks go by without art journaling, but I always go back to it. Some kind of addiction, I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚

Iโ€™m always looking for new techniques and materials.

I also made a video tutorial of a spring-like spread from the other day. We already have some spring signs here in Florida. The light is much brighter as well. The migratory birds are starting to return to their northern homes already, for another round of raising families.

There are some new things in my etsy shop that you can check out. Earth and Faery.

I wish you an awesome February! Till then, may you have lots of art inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love,

Maria

My word for 2021

My word is “breakthrough” and I think it will fit 2021 nicely, though who really knows what’s coming? There are so many unanswered questions. I choose to look at the new year positively, and intend to make it great, as great as I can!

I made a short art journal video to bring in the new year. Making art is good intention setting.

You can watch the process here:

my word for 2021

Reflecting back on 2020 it was a chaotic year for sure. I’m sure we can all agree. I got a lot accomplished in my art studio, and I was grateful to have that space to retreat to whenever I wanted. Not everyone is that lucky. My heart reaches out to those who were hard hit with the economic downturn, and most of all, those who had friends and relatives who passed away.

I wish a lot better year for everyone, and that we can find ways to get along better.

Here are some items I made in December:

The angel shrines are well loved by my customers. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you need an angel for someone or yourself, please check out my shop Earth and Faery.

I wrote a blog post earlier this month with several other items I made, you can check out this post if you didn’t already, New Energy Coming…

On that note…

I wish you…

New Energy coming!

New is good right? It’s been a turbulent year, and I’ll be happy to see the end of 2020, though 2021 might have some difficulties as well. Last year I made an art journaling spread around my chosen word for 2020: FAITH.

Boy, did that come in handy… I have relied on faith a lot, in the world, and in my art practice that has taken some different fun turns this year.

I’m so glad when I look back that I chose that word. I go by my intuition when I choose. You can as well. Ask for the word to be revealed to you. Just take some deep breaths and empty your mind. Silently ask for the word. Then sit quietly and focus within. The word will bubble to the surface. (If you don’t get anything, try again, or just choose one that feels right.)

My creativity took a turn with my whimsical figures. I worked to learn the feel of epoxy clay, which has a mind of its own! Haha. Polymer clay is easier to work with. My latest whimsy girls here.

As you can see, I made some polymer clay brooches as well. I used Super Sculpey for them to make them extra strong.

Clay is so much fun!

New energy?

We are moving into the Age of Aquarius according to the astrologers. There is a promise of better times to come once we get through the remnants of this year’s sludge. Aquarius stands for innovation, far vision, humanitarian efforts, and less focus on the “bottom line.” Sounds a bit farfetched, but I believe. I can feel it coming. The world we have lived in so far does not work any more, and innovation will be necessary for the survival of the species.

I think we’ll see more focus on cleaning up the environment and the use of healthy technology (yes, there is such a thing!) It will all take time, but I have great HOPE for the future.

To help with the energy shift, take up meditation if you haven’t already. There are millions of guided meditations on YouTube if you don’t know how to do it. Self care is going to be important. I took up a practice of non-complaining, and it has worked incredibly well.

It’s well worth the investment. You don’t need to buy the bracelet. I used a rubber band. BTW, I don’t get any profit from touting this book.

Eat well and get lots of sleep. The body needs a lot of rest to shift into the new energy paradigm. I think meditation is the most important part.

It has saved me from feeling anxious about the current world situation.

An short explanation of what the Age of Aquarius is. Here is a YT video to check out.

So, it’s a huge event, and we’re part of it. I think that’s really cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

The holidays are upon us. I have been busy shipping orders, but I plan to make some kind of video this month to share. Stay tuned for my next blog post towards the end of the month.

If you’re looking for a unique gift (that probably won’t get there for Christmas) I have lots of ideas in my shop Earth and Faery.

All that is left to do is to WISH YOU a Merry Christmas. Celebrate any which way you can! You are alive, that is something to celebrate.

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. You can buy a composition book and dedicate it to 2021 where you can write dreams, hopes, and plans. You can make your 2021 word spread on the first pages. A few months back I made a mixed media cover for that type of book. If you missed it, check it out.

Mixed media with sea-loving flair

Mixed media is one of my go-to modalities when I want to experiment and have some fun in my art journal.

There are so many ways to add mixed media elements to your art, as many as you can imagine! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mixed media is the essence of flexibility.

I made this art journal spread with some sea-loving flair. Mice are on an adventure and a mermaid is sending them some good vibes.

I haven’t been as busy as usual in my studio this month. Times have been kind of crazy, and my thoughts have been scattered a lot.

But I’m ready for Christmas, and there will be mixed media galore in my Etsy shop, but no art journaling there. ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see, I painted some pictures. I also tried my hand at some polymer clay brooches, which were a lot of fun, and a mermaid pendant. What do you think of these?

I made some more angels since they sell well in my shop.

If you are interested in any of these items, they can be purchased at Earth and Faery. There are about 150 items to choose from. I’m amazed at myself as I keep making stuff. When you’re inspired, everything flows!

If you missed my last post, Altered Pages Just for Fun, here it is. You can watch a three-part video tutorial on how to make altered pages with texture and paint. Then I show how to use them as ornaments and as a journal cover. CHECK IT OUT.

It’s always good to make some art in these crazy times. ๐Ÿ™‚

My aim is to inspire.

Lots of love,

Maria