Category Archives: artist

Boundaries

Boundaries, are you good at keeping yours? I feel lately as if my world has rocked from “attacks” on my boundaries and I find myself evaluating what is real TO ME and what the world expects of me.

As an artist, it’s good to have no boundaries in a creative sense, like children, but as soon as you step out of that zone, a whole other world comes at ya.

boundary
Boundaries

What was ok yesterday might not work today.  I find myself living in a somewhat fluid perception juggling the two worlds, the one of my sacred pursuit of art making, and the world of contraries where people constantly want something from me.

It would be easy to be totally ungrounded and live in la-la land, but that’s avoidance. I have learned that my time is precious and so am I.

Space cadets need not approach….

I can choose what is ok for me, but there is always the guilt factor lurking in the background (along with the inner critic. They are having a party.)

If you speak your truth (without cringing) the world might turn ugly around you. I’ve had some experiences lately so I’m reviewing what is ok and what isn’t.

People don’t like it when you stand in your power.

It’s the world according to them, or no world. I’m just a convenience at that point.

The more I speak up, the easier it gets. I highly recommend it since it makes YOUR world right, and you know how much you can give without guilt. We are trained as children to come second to everyone and everything else, especially women are raised that way,

I might turn out like the comic character Maxine, haha.

Maxine

Some would say she has no filters. Neither do kids, so why not be more like them while including some kindness in the forthright speech? Kindness is free, and it might soften the blow of your truth, BUT some only understand the punch of a two-by-four to the head.

I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, but I certainly don’t want my own feelings hurt either even if the world thinks it’s ok to step on them.

Anyhow, I will now retreat to my studio and behave like a child again. A child with both feet on the ground and head in the clouds.

I’m learning about boundaries and I’m getting better at shoring them up every day, yay!

Have a great creative weekend.

xo

Maria

P.S. Check out my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. Lots of new artsy things in there.

My inner critic on rampage

My inner critic was on a rampage all week, and it was a wild ride I tell you! I recognize and own my inner critic as the freeloader that overstays his welcome and is proud about it..

art journal
art journaling in an old museum catalog from the Louvre

Sneaky and charming, with an opinion about everything, he lounges in my new recliner or stands over my shoulder when I paint or art journal.

I’m used to the bastard and usually kick him to the curb, but this week he stirred up such confusion in my mind I just about had it with art.

First of all, he criticized my every art process with an infusion of “you have no clue what you’re doing” to “what do you know about art, and where’s YOUR focus?” Insidious indeed.  He’s emaciated, extremely pale. He wears tight black pants and black turtleneck sweater, and a beret. Kind of a 1960s French hipster, and he smokes evil-smelling cigarettes, blowing smoke up my ass and into my mind.

Why do I ever listen? He’s too clever by far, and sometimes I fall for the bullsh*t because art is an ever-expanding journey that is unsure at best. For the most part I fly by the seat of my pants, which is always frowned upon by all critics, mine and others.  Then again, if I did hyper realistic art where every dot counts, the critic would call that unimaginative. So, you can never win, right?

art journal
art journaling without aim

I’m partially to blame for the confusion, but the inner critic stirs the pot relentlessly.

My favorite social media is Instagram and I upload pictures constantly and also scroll the huge variety of art there. It’s such a wonderful place of inspiration.

I have been more and more interested in abstract art, and it’s fun to explore on the canvas, but I can never make up my mind if what I paint feels good / right / complete or not.

art journal
art journaling aimlessly

I came across some really questionable art (in my opinion, the critic probably liked it because he was silent.)

To me, art needs to either be a colorful feast to the eye or something that tugs at me, something that gives a meaning or emotional connection. Some artists were posting just scratches with colored pencils like the art of a three-year old.

Three-year olds express themselves shamelessly, and I’m all for it.  Actually, children’s art always touches my heart because it’s direct and without excuses.

When grown-ups post that kind of stuff and call it fine art, I can’t feel the connection. The question is: is the art conceit or something that touches people’s heart in some way?

art journal
art journaling aimlessly

Then the inner critic steps in and says “Your art is no better.” I agree that I’m scribbling at times but I would never call it art per se. I might call it “uncertain expression in color” if it needs to be labeled.

art journal
art journaling

When I kick the inner critic out, I don’t need to wonder what is art and what isn’t. All in the eye of the beholder, but my personal preference is art that takes my breath away or inspires me in some way.

Scribbles or rubbings with colored pencils might get an inner eye roll, but hey, to each their own!

Anyway, my inner critic hated all the art above except the last one, but if I have to live with the input from him, I still forge onward since there is no other way but forward on the art exploration journey of my life.

Below are my latest paintings. The critic didn’t chime in much, so I guess they are okay. <eye roll>

painting
“Falling” acrylic painting on canvas

 

painting
Prayer, acrylic painting

Have a great creative weekend, friends!

xo

Maria

P.S. The free art journaling 2017 adventure is going strong. You can still catch all the prompts from the previous months. Laura Probert will be our guest artist / writer in April. SIGN UP HERE.

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Wisdom of your body to create

Wisdom of your body… did you know your body has wisdom, that it knows how to create? It’s obvious it knows how to run a healthy body, and it is wise in how to use a hand automatically, but how does it create?

We could go into discussing nerve endings and muscle memory and other obscure stuff I know nothing about, but think about the energy that actually lifts the hand and moves the eyes to the palette on your table or easel.

hands
wisdom hands

Do you trust your body to do its stuff? Sure you do. You know it’s going to beat your heart automatically, and when you need to yawn, you yawn. We only question the action if we get sick.

To get back to the topic of energy. What is looking out of your eyes? What makes you choose a certain color on the palette? Who holds the brush in your hand?

It’s consciousness. If you have ever looked at the pictures from the cosmos that NASA puts out now and again, you realize there is a great consciousness in the cosmos that holds the order among every single star and planet. If there wasn’t order, the earth might bounce into the moon and so on.

In the mini cosmos of our body, there is a consciousness that moves YOU.  You have personal preferences. What makes you take a particular action might be a conscious choice, but without the energy behind it, you could not lift your hand to the brush.

hand
Wisdom hand

Can you trust that consciousness to paint a painting FOR you? To trust that the hand knows what it’s doing?

Most people have a problem with the trust since we’re totally conditioned to see art as a specific expression, and we also like to label the art as pretty or awesome or ugly.

How do you learn to trust? By doing. By allowing your body to guide you into spontaneous creativity. To see it in action. That is courageous creating.

It is stepping off the creative cliff without expectations. The fall might end up in a puddle of mud or on a soft gilded cloud. It is uncertain, just as life is uncertain.

The only way to grow the trust muscle is to actually use it, yes, just like at the gym! Sounds boring?  At the gym you usually know what the result will be if you pump iron, but with the creative process you have to engage the unknown. You might even meet a trickster or two…

However, if you can learn to trust the innate wisdom of your hands / body and let go of the inner critic even just for a minute or two, you will experience the magic of being the center of the cosmos.

You are a divine creator, so let’s not pretend to be less…

I’m going to be putting together an e-course on how to become more YOU and create art from a place of trust.

We think we know what is going to happen tomorrow, but truly we don’t, so everything we do is based on faith that the tomorrow that comes will bring the experience we planned. It usually does, but what if we are faced with the unplanned, the unknown, what happens then?

That is where body meets magic. Keep in touch. I will be posting more about this shortly.  Meanwhile, you can join my free 2017 art journaling journey. The March prompts are going strong right now. You can SIGN UP HERE.

Create something today…! 🙂

xo

Maria

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Julia Ostara and the March 2017 art prompts

Julia Ostara is our guest artist for March in the free year-long art journaling journey 2017.  It’s going strong and March has sneaked up faster than I could imagine. It’s not too late to join in the fun. You can sign up HERE for the email prompts. All the months’ prompts will be available all year.

Julia Ostara
Julia Ostara

I’ve followed Julia’s progress as an artist over the years and it has been interesting to see her art expression deepening over time. I think she has lived many lifetimes in this one life. 🙂

This from her website:  Artist, Author, Brave Heart, Explorer, Farm Girl, Grateful Guide, Mystic, Mountain Momma, Playful Painter, Reverent, Sweet Sunshine, Thrivivalist, Wild Wonder-full Weaver…  Exploring and falling in love with life through art and wonder in memory of my mom to carry on her legacy of love for self, others, nature, and life. Opening my hands, head, and heart… my being, to the wonder of creation, the art of living and loving. Offering creative courses, unique gifts, and art from my heart to yours.

Julia Ostara
Julia Ostara’s art

I love her colorful art and also her view on life and how everything hangs together.

She hopes to inspire and encourage others to beat to their own drums, live their dreams, choose joy, respect others and nature, love more than fear, put our brave boots on, celebrate the variety and sweet in life, dance with the wild mystery, and thrive in harmony.

I share her views on life and being an artist.  As an artist I’m visible, and with that I can hope to inspire others to step into their creativity whatever it is and become “more” of who they are. It can feel scary and uncertain for sure, but when you keep exploring the depths of who you are, it gets easier to face the unknown and to embrace the mystery.  Revelations can be so inspiring and exhilarating!

Julia Ostara
Julia Ostara

More from her website: Art has been such a graceful and wonderful, healing, playful, spiritual joy for me. I consider myself a ‘born again artist’ because I lost touch with the artist within for too long. Now, I’m delighted to be guiding others to experience the magic possible when playfully creating by hosting online creative gatherings, courses, art playdates, and retreats to explore the wonder and nurture a playful creative community. Many of them are available as Pay What You Can/Pay What It’s Worth options! So, YES, you can afford to participate!

Approaching creativity from a place of play has really helped me open up, enjoy the process and get in the flow.

Julia has all sorts of offerings on her website, so check them out.

Julia’s courses and offerings.

She is also offering a quarterly e-zine titled Thrive True.  If you sign up for her email list on her WEBSITE, you will receive her e-zines.

Julia OstaraI interviewed her in a video yesterday and we laughed so much it was hard to get through the questions.  If you want to get more of a feel for her and her art, please watch the VIDEO on YouTube. 🙂

I wish you a wonderful creative month.

xo

Maria

 

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The artist is in the ether

The artist is in the ether–waiting, just like we were a twinkle in our mother’s eye once. It takes inspiration and action to be born. If you want to be an artist, you feel it in the ether.

I looked up the word “ether,” and the literary meaning is: the clear sky; the upper regions of air beyond the clouds.

I really liked that description.  As souls we dwell there and then feelings, thoughts, actions take place and we appear in this 3D world wondering what the hell we’re doing here.
How many people go through life wondering that? I bet it’s around 100%.
At one point, I’m not sure exactly when, something tugged at me. It wasn’t a hard tug, or a determined push, or a revelation. It was more of a longing to explore SOMETHING, maybe myself.
I started reading fiction as soon as I could read and became immersed in the world of books, the great imagination of the authors’ made up scenarios.  My mom used to say I had a wild imagination, and she would look at me strangely as if I was not like “others.” But that was not true. I always made sure I fit in with the crowd, for the most part.
I always liked to draw and color and that has grown into an immense “calling” if you will. It’s how I record the energy of my life. I say energy because it’s more than depiction of 3D events and things.
I write about my life, but not with great trepidation.  Writing flows easily without fanfare. When I paint, I’m always (every single time) faced with the immensity of starting.
It’s hard to explain, but after years of facing that feelings, I always boldly step forward with some paint and slap it on the canvas, and go from there. To start becomes easier with experience.
After that, it’s anyone’s guess if the painting is going to be something that speaks to me, or not… It happens more often than not that I paint over old paintings.
That is how an artist comes into being. Each day is new. I reach into the ether to create myself every day on canvas or other art methods.  When it flows it flows, and when it doesn’t I curse the universe for being such a stingy muse.
An artist is not born per se, an artist is born and born again through manipulating the ether. That is how I feel when I stand in front of a canvas.  Each day something will be born, either a glorious rendition of energy, or something that is beyond ugly.
But it’s all glorious!
portrait
Looking beyond
mixed media
What Jane wanted

This above painting had so many layers and started out with a super ugly face underneath it all, and when all was said and done it turned out to an imagined Jane Austen.  Go figure!

That is art.  Pulling the rabbit out of a hat, or a piece of art from the ether is magic.  A grand adventure indeed. What is the ether calling you to do?
P.S. I have a free 2017 art journaling journey going with monthly prompts from various artists. If you want to be involved you can sign up for the prompts HERE.

The many faces in my art journal

The many faces in my art journal are testimony that I go against the “rule” that one should stick to one style and develop that.  Maybe I will have a particular style at some point, but I’m having too much fun doing crazy faces in my art journal.

Next time someone asks me what kind of style I’m aligned with I will reply, “my own.”  I doubt that I’ll ever reach cohesion in my artsy outpourings. Here are a few crazy faces I’m had fun with. I used  Neocolors II, watercolor pencils, mixed media, paper collage, acrylic paints, and charcoal.