Category Archives: artist

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

2018 special word for the year

2018 is brand-spanking new, so I figured it was time to tune in and get my special word for the year. I sat quietly breathing and asked my wiser self what my word would be for 2018.

I got SERVICE.

At first I was a bit taken aback thinking I would get a more “attractive” word (whatever word that would be,) but I sat with Service for a while and it felt good.

It can mean SO MANY things.

service

We are already doing service. Everything we do is for movement forward, either directly to a person(s) or prepping for other action that ultimately helps people in some way.

So I was thinking, how can I serve with my art?  I can show people new ways to do something or inspire someone to take that first step to explore their creativity. I can be connected to my spirituality and use that as inspiration in my art. People can feel that connection and I really enjoy inspiring others to deepen their spirituality. They in turn inspire others. And so it goes.

It is a misconception that it’s difficult to create art. There is usually some resistance, but you don’t need an art degree to express yourself. Children do it all the time. They don’t make excuses for lack of experience. They just ARE and they DO. They create with abandon, until someone tells them their art has to be in a certain way and they start doubting their abilities.

Art can be very freeing!

Art is important in life. We access our deeper hidden parts through expression. Color cheers you up! Movement across the page or canvas can be revealing as you follow along on the journey. Wherever it takes you…

If I can assist you in any artistic capability, please let me know in the comments. I have many great ideas for 2018. Let’s get artistic together!

IF you’d like to win a handmade art journal I made, please take this short survey about how I can serve you better in 2018! Thank you.

SURVEY

xo

Maria

 

 

Tree painting’s journey from chaos to peace

Tree paintings are some of my favorites. Every living artist and every dead one had their own vision of trees.

I’m going to share how I painted this tree. It was a journey of lots of ups and downs.

I was ready to quit many times and just paint white all over it, but I let it sit and stew in its own colors.

I don’t have pictures of what brought it to chaos, but I started out just smearing colors across the canvas with my hands. I smeared countless layers and colors, and lost track of any possible solution for this painting.

It finally ended up like this:

tree painting

Some people might like the mess, but it didn’t feel finished to me at all. It sat like this for a long time. When I had left over paint, I would slap some on this painting.

tree painting

tree painting

Then I arrived at this, which was something beyond my scope. How could I bring out a focus in this painting?

tree painting

I finally saw a tree trunk in the mess, and drew two black lines and some roots. Then I had major problems with the background. It went through several stages before it felt right. tree painting

Here I had the tree painting, but I thought the background looked imbalanced. It didn’t feel complete at all.

tree painting

I added a tree to the side in the background, but … I wasn’t happy. Backgrounds can sometimes be tricky. You have to brave and forge on!

tree painting

Then I made the background almost white. I wanted to leave the space between the roots white. Still, didn’t work.

tree painting

This felt a lot more peaceful, a balance of dark and light encasing the tree “spirit.” I can see the spirit as a vibrant energy.

To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s finished. I thought it was, but when I look at these pictures, I’m hesitant. Sometimes it’s easier to see what works and what doesn’t in a picture. It is a distance from the painting itself.

Time will tell.

I started this painting in April of 2015… You would think I could have finished it, but the Muse does not like a harness. I did plenty of other art meanwhile.

There is a time for everything…

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a sale in my etsy shop Dec. 9-15. Great selection of unique gifts! Everything is 15% off. EARTH AND FAERY.

Fun dialogue with artist Amanda Wolf Hara

Fun exchange with awesome artist, Amanda Wolf Hara. She is the December guest artist my free 2017 art journaling journey. The last one of the year! It is bittersweet, and I don’t know how the year moved so fast… 

fun with butterfly
Amanda Wolf Hara

When I was a little girl, my grandparents (who emigrated from Latvia) watched me all day while my mom worked. From Gramma I learned painting and fine art basics- painting every week, at least, with watercolors while Bob Ross was on PBS in the background.

Other afternoons I’d spend in Opa’s (My grandfather), woodcarving shop in their basement, listening to classical music and learning how to carve on soft pine.
Both grandparents took me outdoors a lot- to the local pond, nature center or just for walks around the neighborhood where we always stopped to watch what nature was doing.
I drew incessantly, (mostly horses!) and even painted watercolors on my bedroom walls. I drew on any scrap of paper I could find- my mom always said “you do some of your finest work on the worst paper.”
I dunno, I just Arted all the time. I took it for granted; it was just something I did- it didn’t seem like a big deal at all, even as I started getting awards in school.
In college I spent a semester in the theater’s scenic design program. I had one of the best teachers who helped me advance my skills by leaps and bounds. He was amazing.
LOL, I still struggle with seeing my art as a “big” deal. I just love doing it. It’s just what I do.
What does art do for you?
The world quiets down when I hold a paintbrush. There’s something about the sensual act of painting that quiets my brain like nothing else seems to; that particular hush seems unique to that medium for me.
The “graffiti” style journaling I do is like a really good aerobic work-out for my mind and emotions. It’s cathartic and raises a lot of energy for me- which is good, because I need that process to get to a breakthrough point.
What form of art do you prefer making? Art journaling or painting?
Lol, I really can’t pick! I truly love all art mediums, I do photography, writing, sculpture, sewing, crafting, jewelry making, re-purposing/upcycling, some collaging,  pastels, colored pencils, wood burning every once in s while, acrylic and watercolor… I just cycle through.
My apartment really looks like I own half a craft store. Also, I paint on any surface that holds still long enough for me.
Next on my list is picking up a soldering iron. (Insert slightly maniacal laughter.) I’ll be unstoppable! I can do metal work. I have a tin can project I’d LOVE to see manifest.
After that, working with glass; blowing it, fusing it, stained glass etc. I just want to know how to do it. :).
Do you use art in any particular way? As in healing, journaling about your life or just for fun?
Yes, to all of the above.
It’s definitely therapy, and as I mentioned, it’s my way of tapping into deeper problem solving techniques. I Art all the time. I look at something- even garbage- like packaging materials-and immediately start challenging myself to think about what it could be used for, what could it look like, what it could give to an art piece.
My love too, is in teaching creative processes to others- helping someone tap into their creative capacity and that intuitive “knowing” we all have within us.
What inspires you? 
Nature, for sure. And that extends to human nature, instincts, behaviors etc..
Also, stories. A lot of my art is driven by telling the stories of things that I believe get overlooked. I love the old stories of deities and characters that I think still hold just as much relevancy as they ever did.
My art maybe gives them an update and puts them into context in a way that we Modernites can still access them and recognize them.
Getting people to see their world in a new way- that rock-back-on-your-heels-a-little-and-go: “Oh… Wow! I never…” THAT. That inspires me.
Do you have any favorite artist or style?
Ummm… no. I like a lot of different things- I guess art that tells stories, and cultural pieces. That being said, there are definitely some forms of art that I just don’t understand.
As far as artists?  There are so many- even ones I’ve had the pleasure of meeting- whose names I will, sadly, never remember.
But I’ll try:
Jo Jayson. OMG. She’s INCREDIBLE. I would love to learn to paint half as well as she does. And her Divine Feminine works are utterly brilliant.
Theo Jansen and his Strandbeests- Ohmygoodness. I will never be that level of cool, and I’m okay with that. But I would LOVE to share a beach space with any of his “beests” any day.
Pat and Ken Larson of Larson Clayworks.
Ever since I first saw their work I’m absolutely captivated.
I like Picasso- not necessarily the work itself, but the fact that he could do the very realistic detailed stuff, but chose to step out, break the rules and create new ways of considering what art can be.
Da Vinci, too- the imagination and invention- oh, that’s good stuff!
O’Keeffe comes to mind too- her voice and work I deeply appreciate being in this world.
What is the advice you would give new artists?
PLAY.
OMG, play with your art, please!
Art is about expression, about exploration.
Make mistakes. Learn how to turn them into something new and exciting. Learn how to make them look like they always belonged there.
It should on some level always be fun; it stays encouraging that way.
And get messy.
In every sense.
Get pastels imbedded in your fingertips. Discover acrylic paint in your hair a week after being in studio.
Get (safely) messy emotionally too- open yourself up. Get raw, get vulnerable. Or, get quiet and super still. Defy the norms you set for yourself and see where that takes you.
Any suggestions to artists who are stuck in a rut or in a feeling of inadequacy?
 Aside from playing?
Learn to Art for yourself.
Do it because there’s a voice in you that simply cannot be expressed in any other way.
Art as a product is always subjective.
Art as a process isn’t.
It’s personal and intimate and deeply intrinsic. It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised; work it out, let go of the attachment to the end product and surrender to where the process of Arting wants to take you.
Oh, and OMG laugh at (with) yourself as often as possible.
When your inner critic gets too bossy, get them drunk on purposeful mistake after glorious purposeful mistake until s/he is so full they pass out. Then, joyfully create.
What is your all time favorite art supply?
Ooooh…. That’s a little like asking me to pick a favorite child. For the sake of all of them, I plead the fifth. 🙂
Check out Amanda’s Facebook page: Wild Priestess.