Category Archives: artist

Do you like your art or not?

Do you like your art? It’s a tricky question since it’s easy to doubt yourself. How do you judge whether it’s good art or not? It’s in the eye of the beholder unless you’re a person who judges art on how close it comes to “reality.”

Everyone’s reality is different, and that’s why we use the saying “eye of the beholder.”

I judge the success of an art piece I make on how it feels. When it’s done, do I feel great about it? I sometimes feel good, but I know others won’t like it, and I’m usually proven right. However, that doesn’t matter; it’s all about unfolding and experiencing each piece of art.

It already exists on one level, maybe as an idea., and you work to make it look as close as possible to that idea, but it often doesn’t work out. The painting takes on an approach of its own. That’s when you have to trust the process.

You go to a museum to admire some art, but most of the displays leave you untouched. Art made from the artist’s passion will not fail to touch the deepest part of you. You have your favorites, and maybe a lot of people share your likes and dislikes, but art is something you can’t really judge.

Do you like your art or don’t you?

If you don’t, can you accept it without tearing yourself down? It is the sign of a mature artist to allow both likes and dislikes into their life as an artist. Most of what you paint does not transcend into the realm of “wow,” and more often than not, you leave the studio after a day of hard work, not wow.

Can you accept that the muse is absent?

It’s so easy to throw in the towel and say I’m not going to make art today. Maybe I’ll watch some Netflix series instead. It happens to me, but I take my commitment seriously. I’m too far in to give up my art making even if it’s not leading to a status of fame.

What if it unfurls your very soul with every bold step you take in the studio? If feels that way sometimes even if nothing makes sense. It doesn’t have to make sense to be enjoyable and productive.

Love your “uglys” as much as you love your inspired pieces. They all have a role to play in your life.

Accept it all! In the end, it doesn’t matter what you like and dislike. It’s just an opinion. Art lives a life of its own, and we are but its humble servants.

I just finished a mixed media piece, part of series of funky canvases that I have been making. I loved the previous ones, but this one is a definite “meh.”

funky houses, whimsical art
Do you like?

I also started a new painting that is 20×20″ in the intuitive style. I loved the background, and the face appeared on the side, but I’m stumped what to do next. Again, I’m sitting at the junction of ugly and possibilities. It could turn ugly or become an unexpected masterpiece.

a painting in progress
Do you like it or not>

It takes a level of bravery to continue. Each step is a step into the unknown. As artists, we create a new “life.” It’s often a frustrating way to go about one’s day, but it holds the promises of many treasures if we stick with it.

Acceptance is the key, but you can still have your opinions! 🙂

For more reading on the subject, this blog post is available: Why do you do what you do?

And this one: Pondering Authenticity.

Lots of love,

Maria

I have some of the new paintings in my Etsy shop now. You can check them out HERE.

From drab to colorful

From drab to colorful is a transformation of an old painting into something new that better fits me as the artist I am today. Painting over an old painting does not give me a sense of doom, lol. I’m not attached to my paintings much. When they are done, they are mostly out of my consciousness.

The paintings I can’t sell, I paint over. The forgiveness of acrylic paints is great. No matter how many layers, the paint only looks richer each time.

This particular painting went through several huge changes, each stage very different. Here is the end result of the transformation, and the pictures of the old finished paintings.

from drab to colorful
from drab to colorful
from drab to colorful
The painting started here.

I painted this face back in the day, but it never left my studio. I then painted some layers on top and the white as a last layer. I saw two drinking glasses in the shapes, but I never liked that painting. It was too colorless for my liking,

Here are pictures of the progress that brought the art to its current state (as in the first picture above.)

I added lots of marks and details, and some “loud” drips that took over pretty much everything. Then I painted over most of them.

from drab to colorful

I was not happy with the blue ground and the flowers. They dominated everything else, so I diminished the blue, as you can see in the next picture.

from drab to colorful
from drab to colorful

In the above picture, I toned down the white outlines on the flowers. They are better, but I’m not totally happy with them–may be too big. I outlined the houses with charcoal to make them more pronounced. It ended up becoming a happy painting despite the giant flowers.

What if the painting doesn’t work out?

You never know how things will evolve, but you have to put yourself into the center of the action. Don’t agonize and wait, just try something. You can always fix what doesn’t work. The most important thing in creating is to take action, no matter how hard the fear pushes back.

Action = courage = more action = results.

Sometimes you have to work on a painting with courage you didn’t know you had. Results, whether they are good or bad, will happen. You never know until you try.

If you struggle with fear, here is a helpful post: Fear Holding You Back?

Here is another post: Procrastination is an Ugly Beast.

Have a great creative weekend!

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Check out my items for sale in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. There are some fantastic gift ideas.

The exotic life of an artist

The exotic life is not for everyone. Artists are supposed to be larger than life, but more often you will find us slugging away in our studios, alone, and fighting resistance, haha.

I think of exotic artists and come up with Georgia O’Keefe, but in her mind, she probably saw herself as a dedicated working woman. She was; I can’t remember reading about any debauched parties or deep discussions with other “tortured” artists at cafes. It’s funny the labels we put on people (throughout history.)

Art is often that, mundane, yet again exhilarating because you don’t know which turn will head you into a new phase of your art.

The only exotic thing I have around here is a flowering Claradendron. I should dress like an artist in flowery, hippie styles with lots of scarves, but I’m a conservative dresser. All my color goes into my paintings. What I wear on a given day are sweatpants, paint-stained tops / T-shirts, and sandals. It’s time for an upgrade! At least get rid of the gray ones.

I have been productive lately, feeling the “vibe.” Here are some of my latest wild shenanigans. They are going to hang in a local shop later today, and I’m glad more people get to see them.

boat of dreams
No title
Love at first sight

Are you adding some exotic flavor to your life?

It doesn’t have to be risky, just something new. Yesterday, I took a different road to a street I always travel, and it opened my eyes to possibilities. An exotic flavor could be to MAKE art, not just think about it. There is nothing to hold you back except your excuses (resistance.) You might as well make friends with it.

I’m moving more into abstract mixed media art lately. My whimsical critters show up on a regular basis, and that’s fun. I love whimsy as much as the next person.

How do you proceed with the art process?

You start. The above art was not planned. I pretty much always start with a layer of paint, and then I add paper scraps that please my eye. If I end up not liking the way they look, I paint over them. I usually do three layers of paints, including marks, and if I see some figure in the mess, I outline it. The outline surrounds the figure, and the unifying color in the background ties it all together. It is a fun and harmless process — no need to feel pressured or daunted by your perceived lack of ability.

Time is now!

You don’t need a charming studio, a painter’s smock or the most popular paints. All you need is a willingness to try, to apply yourself.

Lots of love,

Maria

For more inspiration, go to this post: Every Painting is a Leap of Faith.

I have some new things in my Etsy shop for those looking for a great exotic gift, haha. Earth and Faery

Resistance–we all feel it

Resistance is more than the brave people who worked during WWII to defeat the Nazis.  I’m talking about resistance, the Nazi within.  We all have it, and I think creative people have many close encounters with the beast, probably once a day or so.

As an artist, I walk into the studio every day with the hope of being productive and inspired.  Many times I walk in there with the need of coffee or some other stimulant to keep myself alert.

Truth is, energy is available in vast abundance.

Resistance shows up in many ways:

Don’t try these new paints, they won’t work well.

Don’t repaint that old picture.

Cleaning your fridge would be a more effective use of time…

The studio is too dirty to work in, clean it!

Painting is an iffy proposition–at all times.

Don’t waste the paint on that old painting.

You;re too tired to paint…

It goes on and on. Why is it that so many excuses pop up when we’re about to do something that we actually enjoy.  It’s like starting over every day.

Maybe creativity is that way.  What will show up on the canvas is uncertain, so why even try?  Every new day is a challenge.

Should I use my time better, do something that needs to be done (chore) or do I stick with the plan?

Since I made the agreement to stick with my art years ago, it has become simple to stay in the studio, but Resistance will show up in sneaky ways, holding hand with its cousin Excuses.

It’s never easy.

But what worthy endeavor is?

It’s also hard to be self motivated. We learn early on to follow orders, never questioning their importance.

Taking charge of your life and actually DOING something you love on a greater scale can be scary.

Flying without a safety net.

For many, that is a nightmare.

It is the trickster within that builds things out of proportion and say you can’t have a life that is outside the norm.

Let’s say the trickster is the ultimate expert, the father of resistance and excuses.

When you recognize these guys, just laugh.

You have enough confidence in yourself to know you’re being tricked.

A solid commitment to the art, or craft, is a must. If we haven’t made the DECISION to make art no matter what, we don’t have a strong foundation.

A strong commitment and habits to produce will strong-arm those negative voices aside.  It’s really important to nurture the commitment. With time it becomes very strong.

Every painting is a risk of failure, but what isn’t?

It’s worth a try.  When inspiration seems to be absent, spread some paint on a canvas anyway. It could become a good foundation for a masterpiece.

Practice allows the door to open up and magic step in.

It’s a special joy to see the process through, and the rewards can be great. You never know on any given day.

Another post that might inspire you when the negative voices are loud: My inner critic on rampage.

Another post: Who is in charge?

I’m working on this goddess painting. It will need some tweaking, but it was a great process of seeing her emerge from the chaotic background.

resistance

I don’t know what will appear today on the next canvas. Time to find out!

Have a great creative weekend!

xo

Maria

P.S.  I have lots of goodies in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. Check it out. 🙂

 

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you do what you do?  That is kind of playing with words, but seriously, what keeps you going in your current direction?

why do you?
why do you?

I journaled about that this week, asking myself, why do I make art? Why do I WANT to make art? There are several reasons of course:

I like it.

Something inside pushes me to create in whatever media of the day.

I love working with my hands.

I like to experience the process, the revelation.

I like to be surprised.

I love to feel that I’m a tool for something greater, but more often than not, it’s a regular day in the studio, where nothing really extraordinary happens any given day.

BUT, basically, the true answer is: I want to create to reach beyond my 3D existence and learn more about my unseen and hidden life. I want to be connected more deeply to the Divine, and I feel art does that for me, besides meditation, which I experience every day.

Why do you?
Why do you….

The unplanned result of a painting sometimes takes my breath away. It’s no way I created that. I availed myself to the process, but what came through was MORE than me.

I believe we’re supposed to live that way, to offer ourselves as a tool to the Divine who then speaks beauty and inspiration through us. You don’t have to be an artist to live that way.

The role of an artist is to be a catalyst for beauty, but also trigger a longing to know MORE about life.

It’s hard to explain when you stand in awe in front of a painting. What is that awe? Certainly not triggered by the brushstrokes, though you might admire those too.

It’s that undefined something, the diamond in the coal, that makes me want to show up for my art every day. I fail to show up a lot, and I fail to be inspired, but there is something pushing me along.

The more I can express that Something, the closer I get to my true, magnificent self.  That is the adventure; find out more about the radiant magnificent being that I am living in a multi-dimensional universe.

It is the greatest adventure!! What is pushing you from inside? It’s time to blaze new trails, discover the diamond within.  It’s ultimately the only way to live if you want to be ALIVE.

Writing in your journal and digging deep around your “why” is a grea exercise!

Lots of love to you! Have a great weekend.

Maria

P.S. I just posted the above ready-to-use art journal in my etsy shop this morning. If you have a fear of the blank page, check it out. EARTH AND FAERY.

Trusting the unknown

Trusting the unknown is sometimes the hardest thing to do. All artists travel into the unknown in search of personal style.

It’s always safe to copy others or paint by numbers, but what are YOU about?  The art reveals many things. I have used art as an oracle to find answers and when you consider the colors, the composition, the details, you can find out what is going on inside.

Our inner life is not easy to understand since we rely mostly on thoughts and programmed beliefs, but when a painting comes together you can see the soul of the artist, if he/she dared to explore the unknown, a.k.a. revealing their soul.

I wanted to document a painting here that I have been working on for ages. It’s still not done. My camera lens has been collecting a lot of dust since I started taking pictures of the progress, but it is what it is. Maybe I will post the finished painting at some point.

It became another chaos painting (like the one I wrote about in a previous post.)

There was an old painting underneath and I confess I’ve used this canvas to dab excess paint from other projects. The only part I liked was the little sun.

I added some white paint and squiggles when I decided to make something of this painting, if possible.

In the squiggles in picture number two I saw a face and I decided to enhance what I saw. I liked the outcome of the face but I have no idea what to do with the rest of the painting.

That’s where trust comes in. The painting does not have to be finished NOW. It could be finished two years from now. You have to trust in the long game. What is supposed to be on the canvas will reveal itself.

I have trusted enough in the past to know that it ALWAYS  resolves itself, but in the long game, who knows when? The unknown is vast and human patience has strict limitations.

We can stretch our limitations to face the mystery within. One way is through meditation. Art is a like a living meditation, but also a memoir of where we have been through the years. Trusting the unknown is essential to an artist as we have the “power” to make people stop and feel, and think. By trusting our own unknown, we become a road sign for someone who is looking for ways to touch their unknown.

I have debated with myself whether to offer another class on intuitive development through art. It would not just be painting, but lots of exercises on how to build a relationship with your intuition.

I will get back with more info soon. I think I will call it Art and Spirit Alchemy. What do you think?

If you missed the post about my previous chaos painting, here is the link: Tree Painting’s Journey from Chaos to Peace. 

There is no guarantee the tree painting is completely done, but it’s almost there. 🙂 Maybe.

A lady bought four of my paintings on etsy these last couple of days, so I’m happy about that. You can check out my offerings there if you like. Earth and Faery. 

Until the next time, paint away! Don’t be shy.

xo

Maria