Category Archives: creativity

Finding clarity with hummingbird

Finding clarity is not always easy. I have wanted to be more clear about what I offer people to help them advance with their creativity.

One of the most valuable tools in seeking the next step on the journey is imagination. My mom said I always had a wild imagination, and I’m grateful for the gift! 🙂

How do you use your imagination to gain clarity?

I like to meditate and sometimes I go on a journey with my imagination.  Night dreams are possible guide posts to what is going on in your life, and through the gateway of imagination, you can re-enter the dream and get some answers.

On a journey into the unknown (or known however you see it) it is always great to bring a protector in the form of an animal. You would think bear or tiger or wolf would be the ones showing up, but I got a hummingbird leading the way.

For some reason I had complete confidence that this little bird could protect me if necessary. I don’t know if you’ve seen hummingbirds in action, but they are tough little warriors.

I read somewhere that hummingbirds evolved from a raptor in the time of the dinosaurs, but I’m not sure I believe that. Anyway…

Traveling with hummingbird, I went back into my night dream. I had missed an appointment with a man in a brown hat. I was in a room with my Mom and there was a sink that leaked. A full bucket of water sat under the sink and I wondered why no one had emptied it.

There was more to the dream, and the feeling was that I had screwed up somehow. The man in the hat had awakened me from a deep sleep.

I realized through my dream that I need to wake up and honor my “appointments.” Don’t miss important meetings due to sleep (unconscious behavior.) The water bucket was full and stagnant, and it was up to me to empty it.

Why wasn’t the leak fixed? No one cared enough to fix it.

Those were the major insights from the dream.

I have been at a crossroads for a while and it’s time to “empty the bucket.” Something new has to open up or I’ll be stuck (asleep) forever.

Dreams can tell you a lot of things, and so can art.

Intuitive art is often far from pretty, but it often holds many insights, just like dreams. In a way, they are both the same.

finding clarity with hummingbird
Honoring the hummingbird

Art = dream = imagination = creation.

To honor the hummingbird I painted this page, and a brown cow showed up as the gatekeeper to the unknown.

We have the power to create something new, something that is closer to the soul’s path.

I would have to say that spiritual experience is the closest to my heart, IS my heart. Art is something I DO, but it can have a deeper meaning, drawing me ever closer to Source.

There are so many variations of spiritual art, women’s empowerment, shamanistic art, religious art, but I don’t feel spirituality has to be labeled, and we don’t have to seek it through some path. We are already THERE.

The key is to recognize that fact and create that which makes us feel connected and feel GOOD in the moment.

Sometimes there are too many paths to follow. The mind says “do that, that artist is successful” or “try that style; it might be saleable.” “Follow the path of that shaman, they seem successful.”

The hardest part is to follow your own path. So much doubt and so many choices. They are all tricks by the mind.

Your heart is always true. Finding clarity in the heart is the purest form of clarity. However, when experiencing the heart there is no NEED to DO or make anything.

However, since we live in a 3D existence we have to move our bodies, so there might be a prompt, a glimpse of something intriguing to do that feels ignited with joy.  There is also a chance that everything will feel blah, but I call that a time of transition.

finding clarity with hummingbird
sheep standing on my head

I made another art journal spread where a sheep (or goat) showed up standing on my neck and obscuring my head.

Sheep are stubborn. Reading the message of this intuitive page, I saw that my image of clarity was obscuring real clarity. I had built the dang sheep as an excuse to not move forward.

But look at the heart that showed up under the belly of the sheep! It was moving into a lighter sense. I had the words Follow Your Heart cut out from a template I had made for another project. I never threw out the words, and they fit perfectly.

I say that all the time “follow your heart.” Well, it takes a lot of courage to follow your heart. Sheep and other stubborn folk may show up to stir up confusion.

They are only images of fear of change. You can’t blame the messenger…

I am more committed to exploring my inner landscape and making art from that. That might be the end of “pretty” art but the goal is to be more open to the mystery and see what happens.

How does that sound to you? Are you ready to delve more deeply into the mystery of you?

I’m going to blog more about it and you can subscribe to my blog or my newsletter (see upper right hand corner of this page to access both.) I wrote a recent blog post about Intuitive art versus Structured art.  

Maybe it will inspire you.

Lots of love, have a great weekend!

Maria

Hurricane Irma and art

Hurricane Irma could have done a number on my studio, but everything was spared. Not to bore you with too many details, but when I had to pack up some valuables in plastic bins (just in case) I stood in my studio and looked around the walls at my paintings.

What is important as far as possessions go?

My art is an income stream for me, but as I stood there staring at the walls crammed with art I realized none of them mattered. There were ugly paintings and paintings I love, and I thought “so what?”

What if I lost everything?

With that kind of thought, the paintings did not seem that important. I can always paint more, right?

At one point I felt detachment about everything in the house except my cat. I packed him up in a carrier (to loud protests) and went to a shelter.

The night was nasty but we were snug inside the building. The morning after we came home to a mighty yard mess and a fallen tree, but that was it. Nothing was harmed.  I can’t tell you how grateful I felt.

Then started the Big Clean-up. Still going on in places. We now have huge walls of debris lining the street on both sides. I developed toned arms… The hardest part was being without power for four days. In the 90s outside during the day and sticky heat at night.

I truly appreciate electricity! 🙂

What did I learn from this experience?

  • Letting go. don’t sweat the small stuff….
  • Breathing through the stress, before and after
  • Patience
  • Nothing is worth fighting over
  • Being FLEXIBLE
  • Be nice to neighbors, they are the best!

All creatures in nature learn to be flexible and stay that way. We could learn from them and experience more freedom.

I wondered where the birds went. They were gone for a couple of days, and then they came back. I gauged that by the attendance at the bird feeder. All the squirrels survived.

I think staying flexible was my biggest take away from this experience.

I got completely out of my creative groove. It didn’t seem that important to create–until now.

We got lucky in the Tampa Bay area. I don’t know how the people in the Caribbean Islands stand going through hurricane season every year. Many heartfelt blessings to them!

I’m slowly finding my groove again. I have many creative ideas swirling through my mind.

I made some of my polymer clay boxes, which are available in my shop now: EARTH AND FAERY.

follow your heart

winged heartwinged heart

Follow your dream, come hell or high water! Life is short and it is a gift, so spend your time wisely.

xo

Maria

 

Handmade gifts are awesome

Handmade gifts are awesome because they contain a bit of YOU. It could be as simple as a batch of cookies, or as complicated as a large bronze statue (though I don’t see anyone giving me a metal statue for my birthday…)

Gifts can be a quagmire though. Take the example of cookies: there are vegan cookies, sugar-free cookies, and cookies the person is allergic to, and regular sugar-laden cookies.

So, the safe thing is to make something pretty. I love hand-knitted and hand-painted things, like boxes and usable items like cardholders and coin purses.

The sky is the limit! Since my etsy shop is called Earth and Faery I like to make things that are magical but also down to earth.

Since school just started here, I thought of a gift a child might like and came up with a pencil box that I painted and embellished.

pencil box

This is the end result, a mystical night view with a fairy and a dragonfly.

I bought a box of raw wood, which I sanded within an inch of its life. Then I painted some primer, using craft paints. The last layers of paint are done with artist acrylics for better results. Pictures are in the sequence of production.

pencil box
primer
pencil box
primer
pencil box
lid artist paints

In the above picture I used three shades of purple to get the night sky, using artist acrylics.

pencil box
inside finished
pencil box
lid embellished with gold paint
pencil box
fairy and dragonfly

There you can see the details of the lid embellishment. Simple but fun and I think some child would treasure it, don’t you?  As a child I would have been enchanted to receive this gift.

We don’t receive enough homemade gifts in my opinion. All the cold store-bought things just inspire you to buy more (in search of that thing that gives a sense of satisfaction within.)

I prefer to give gifts people can use, like candles, edibles, boxes for keepsakes, knitted wash cloths or hot pads, a painting (IF the person professed a liking prior (unless they were lying…)) That’s their problem then. 🙂

Etsy is full of cool handmade gifts. Maybe this Christmas is a good time for a shift in gift giving, what do you think?

If you liked this simple tutorial on how to paint a wooden box, you can check out this blog post about making a handmade art journal. GREAT gift!!

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making.

An art journal for an artsy friend is surely the best gift.

I also have a short e-course on how to make a polymer clay mosaic embellished box. Check it out.

Polymer Clay Mosaic Box from start to finish.

I know we’re a long way from Christmas still, but now is the time to look into making handmade gifts. What calls to you? Yarn? Check out some local sales. It’s a good start.

Have a creative week, lovelies!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of goodies in my etsy shop right now just in case people don’t want to make their own…Earth and Faery.

 

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making

Crafty girl’s guide is a way to save on your art journals. Most of us mixed media artists drool over Moleskine and Strathmore brands, and many more, but they make a big dent in our wallets too.

Not that it’s bad to spend on good art materials. I do spend, but sometimes I like to make my own journal because it has “me” branded on it, not spiral binding or ugly covers.

I like to embellish the store-bought covers, but it’s something special about making your own.

I have even made some to sell in my etsy shop because beginning art journalers sometimes have a hard time with the blank page, so I make some simple backgrounds on the pages.

I buy watercolor paper on sale and take the pads apart for easy art making.

Then I fold the painted pages and use a bone folder to flatten the crease as much as possible. I sew the pages together with embroidery thread or hemp string.

The reason I like embroidery thread is that it’s colorful and strong, and flexible.

Crafty girls know how to be creative with the backgrounds in the journal. The more you create, the more your creativity blossoms.

Make your own!

crafty girl's art journal making
crafty girl’s journal

This is the latest journal I made. I covered the front and back with some vintage paper. The cover can be painted or more ephemera added on top. The label can be affixed anywhere or left out.

So much fun!

crafty girl's guide to art journal making

Above is a sample page of a background, and below are a few more. As you can see, crafty girl’s can make this EASILY!

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

So easy… A while back I made a video on how to put the pages together into a journal.  HOW TO VIDEO.

I have written some posts about art journaling basics for you. CLICK HERE TO READ.

ART JOURNALING STUFF (mostly cool backgrounds.)

If you need a push, here’s another post about the importance of allowing yourself to make art. BEGIN NOW! 

Now you can make your own journal and get started with art. There are no excuses and there is no time to lose. If you love art, make some today!

xo

Maria

P.S. I made a simple e-course on how to make a variety of art journals. It’s for the crafty girl in you! 🙂 CLICK HERE. 

You can also visit my etsy shop for more journals if you don’t want to make your own. EARTH AND FAERY

 

Multi passionate women

Multi passionate women are rising all over the planet. The feminine qualities are becoming more and more prominent as the old patriarchal system crumbles to dust. It’s exciting though somewhat scary.

I dabble in many things that I like, but I haven’t dived very deeply into them except three things (so far,) writing, intuitive development, and art. It’s never too late to learn something new.

I have long admired this Medicine woman, Rosemari Roast who seems to have the energy of ten people. 🙂 She is currently the July guest artist in my free 2017 art journaling journey (link at the end.)

I grabbed some info off her website and you can find all her links there, Walk In The Woods, LLC. 

Rosemari Roast
multi passionate woman

Greetings! My name is Rosemari Roast. I am owner of and caretaker to Walk in the Woods, LLC, a holistic wellness practice and creative studio at Whiting Mills in sunny Winsted, Connecticut. I am called herbalist, Medicine womyn, artist and backyard farmer (among other things).

I’m passionate about many things. Some say, too many. I say, they’re all connected! For me, the realm of Herbs, Nature, Art and Spirit are one realm. My realm.

As a herbalist and Medicine womyn, I am dedicated to *returning home* the Medicine of the People. I do this by offering you opportunities to reconnect with your own power through exploring the wellness choices that you have – and have always had. I strive to help you to see, acknowledge, honor and act on the choices and behaviors that nourish and sustain you, and that may best serve you in your life.

Everything I do, I teach. I feel that my name, originally spelled Rosemary, like the herb, is a key to my life purpose, for it is often described as the herb of remembrance. That my maternal grandmother clung to and adapted the ways of the “old country” to a “new” country is a holistic taproot for me, for it both saddens and motivates me to remember and revive the empowering practices that she employed. Practices that were discounted and forgotten in a single generation. She wild harvested, made Medicines and engaged some mystical healing practices as well. I feel a a duty to keep these practices alive, for they are surely overflowing with Medicine of meaning and value!When I was a little girl just starting school, the teachers and administrators were worried about me because I wouldn’t talk to the teachers. I was responsive with my peers, but not the authorities. I can say that, in many ways, this behavior is still with me. But I digress… I was sent to the school psychologist. I wouldn’t talk to him either. So he gave me paper and crayons. I drew. And from those drawings he made the judgement that I was fine, and the recommendation to return me to my class, and allow me to evolve in my own way. In this experience is another taproot to an important Medicine in my life: Creative expression, also known as art.These taproots are, from my perspective, rooted in Mystery. So it is that herbs, art and spirit guide my Life with the Medicine that they all offer.

I do my best to share my Medicine-experiences through workshops, lectures, private consultations and classes.Private consultations take on many flavors, from conventional holistic approaches to instructional sessions, which may include customized herbals, eclectic healing sessions, plant spirit healing, meditation, creative expression or some other intuitively guided wellness option that is fitting for you.

If herbalism is of interest to you, My School of Herbal Wellness offers one way for you to explore your botanical choices and your holistic power. It’s a pay-as-you-go course of facilitated self-study currently offered to folks in my region, so you learn and grow at your own pace. You can learn more about these offerings here.

Other self-care workshops offered regionally include Reiki training, guided and free-form meditation, herbal, holistic and creative workshops, lectures, weedwalks and more! An herbal apothecary is also available to you for all those supplies for the home and village herbalist. Spiritual counseling and rites of passage are offered as well.

I’m a champion for personal healing and growth through the arts and creative expression – journaling, drumming, chant, movement, art, craft, tarot and Crone Stone readings. Creative expression is a vital tool that supports holistic healing, growth and awareness on all levels as we explore our personal relationships with symbols, metaphors, archetypes and stories. I can support you in this journey, and – more importantly – offer you ways to support yourself.

With every service that I offer, I strive to help you re-discover the natural healer within, so that you may nurture peace with yourSelf, love yourSelf, and offer these qualities to those you love … and to help bring the Medicine of the People back home – to all of us.

I invite you to join me in working together to return wisdom, wellness, healing back to the hands of their rightful and most grateful owners – To us. To all of us. Together let’s reclaim our power and return the Medicine of the people back to the people.
Let’s bring it home together!
Are you a multi passionate woman? That is a GOOD thing! 🙂
Check out Rose’s website and all the things she offers.
If you’d like to join the email list for the free 2017 art journaling journey, you can do so HERE.
You can also access the monthly prompts in the Facebook group Art Exploration with Maria Greene.
A video chat we had recently: Alchemy of Life and Art

You want to sell art?

You want to sell art? Well, why not. We need more art in the world and yours makes a difference. Everyone’s art perspective counts.

People usually advise against becoming an artist since they always equate such a creature with a “starving artist.” Side note: I feed a feral cat and many people do, so why would we not feed starving artists??

There are many ways around the starvation syndrome, one is to become a creative thinker and produce many streams of income. (You can always get a sugar daddy or mama… joking.)

rainbow rose
rainbow rose

I painted the rose above in ’06 and I sold 7 versions of the same painting. I still own this one but I might put it in my etsy shop.

I paint, make mixed media art, art journaling, and several crafts. I enjoy them all. I started selling paintings on eBay back in 2003 (how time flies!) What did I learn from that?

  • Always add hanging mechanisms on the back of the art. All I did was varnish the paintings and send them off. 🙂 Small paintings work well with sawtooth hangers. Large paintings require picture wire and eye hooks. Apply the eye hook to the INSIDE edge of the stretcher bars so that the picture will hang flat against the walls once you attach the wire.
  • Paint on gallery wrapped canvas or some other professional surface. If you paint on cheap stretched canvas and the staples show on the sides, you give the impression of “starving artist.” (Gallery wrapped canvas is the kind that is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame.)
  • If you can afford it, always buy stretched canvases with the deep 1″ edge.  They look so much better, and definitely don’t need a frame, which is a selling point. If you’re handy, stretch your own canvas. You can get rolled canvas for great deals on eBay. Other surfaces that are usable are Masonite and luon-covered plywood. Places like the Home Depot can cut them to size right there. You need to gesso the surfaces and they need to be framed (by the buyer.)
  • Write eye-catching descriptions if you sell online. That is a make or break point besides awesome art.  Use TAGS, as many as you can think of, so that peeps can find your art during a search.
sisterhood painting
Sisterhood

Sisterhood was a painting I ended up making eight versions of and they all sold. This was back in 2008. People have wanted to use the art for their business cards. I think women loved these paintings because of the sisterhood idea.

  • When something works, make several versions that show the same theme, different shapes and colors. I get tired of repeating myself, but I make as many as I can stand.
  • If you use mixed media, make sure the papers and ephemera are glued down securely. Nothing is more annoying than flimsy edges and corners that stick up.
  • Use a quality acrylic varnish to finish off the artwork.
  • Try lots of different styles until something clicks and you come home to yourself.
  • Master some kind of fun craft and sell the things you make.
polymer clay mosaic art
polymer clay mosaic

Crafts are like a meditation for me.

If you can only focus on one kind of artistic expression, do what you love the most and hold a part time job to pay the bills until your art takes off.

In this day and age, you can find our art spread all over the internet. I sell art and crafts all over the world through my two etsy shops. I find that my crafts sell better, but painting is my first love.

Arts and crafts shows were never something I wanted to do, but I know artists who do well with those. Whatever floats your boat.

Today I focus online and I have been creating art e-courses for the last couple years. Talk about a giant learning curve… lots of fun!

The bottom line: MAKE ART EVERY DAY, and you will sell some, guaranteed!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of lovely and affordable gifts in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. Support a successful living artist today! 🙂