Category Archives: creativity

Empty well?

Empty well today?  Maybe it’s a chronic condition and you say I’m suffering from artist’s block. Writers get away with that quite easily, but artists? We see life in color so the well is easily filled again. Here are some things I do to fill my artistic well:

MAKE CRAFTS

I’m grateful that I enjoy making stuff with my hands. As a kid I learned to sew, knit, and crochet, but these days I mostly create polymer clay embellished boxes and inspirational frames.

polymer clay mosaicI love the meditative quality of crafts. I don’t have to think too much, just make the tiles and paint them. They usually come together easily once I design the box lid or frame.

polymer clay mosaicI also make handmade art journals, which are SO MUCH FUN! I can get real sloppy with inks and paints.

art journalI sell the crafts on etsy in my EARTH AND FAERY shop and they are quite popular. That is a side bonus that also inspires me to make more.

To get back to art making as in painting and art journaling, I come back with a fresh eye after a few days of craft making. My other major inspiration is:

NATURE

If you live in the boonies you are surrounded by nature, but if you live in an urban area like I do, it’s hard to get outside and be surrounded by trees. I live by a park, and that was a choice I made. Pretty much every day I go to the park, and the energy fills me up.

There is something so healing about nature, and it also balances you. Just as you make a commitment to join a gym, you can make a commitment to spend time in nature every week. Look at it as self-care.

YouTube

There are so many tutorials on YouTube you could spend a lifetime getting inspired by other people’s art. Half an hour here and there works wonders. I also love to look at art by the old masters. A trip to an art museum or gallery can be inspiring.

EXERCISE!

Many dread that word, but exercise is essential for well-being on all levels. I find it to be the fastest way to clear out the cobwebs and get the ball rolling. Once it’s rolling, it keeps going.  Exercising and park visits go hand in hand…

ART PARTY

Every month I get together with a couple of artsy friends and we have an art party. We take turns to host it. We make art, talk, and eat a great lunch. It’s truly refreshing and inspiring. I usually end up working in my art journal. Doodling is one way of expressing art while deep into a discussion.

TAKE A NAP

When all fails, take a short nap! You wake up with fresh eyes. 🙂

If none of these things appeal to you, well, come up with your own regimen for creative self-care. Then the well will always be filled.

Creating art is not always easy, but don’t blame it on “artist’s block.”

Have a creative weekend. (Those are the best kind.)

xo

Maria

Who is looking?

Who is looking through my eyes? Kind of a deep question, and something that could be discussed at length, but to make it simple:

Life itself, filtered through many of my beliefs and preferences, (perhaps unfortunately,) 🙂

Life itself does not judge. When I’m aligned with that and in flow, working, I don’t think much about the art and where it’s going. I just DO.

who is looking?

I add one color or one item that pleases me. It’s an automatic act, pretty much. I lay down one color and then I choose the next and so on. I choose what pleases my eye in the moment.

The process intrigues me and the result usually amazes me because what appears is beyond what I would have painted had I decided to paint a still life motif or some other fixed view.

The process is so intriguing that it becomes the most desired way to express for me.  I’d go as far as saying it’s addictive.

It takes trust to work this way.  Trust grows by DOING.

What the art process reveals is always interesting even if I don’t like the finished art work. That happens quite often, but I respect the process.

Then I move on to the next page or canvas… and the next. After all, art is constant change.  Life is constant change. What we liked yesterday does not work today.

who is looking?

Art reveals life and life reveals art.

We learned to live in 3D by experimentation. Toddlers live in trial and error mode all day long. 🙂 Once we get past that stage, what then? Maybe boredom sets in.

I think it’s incredibly important to keep experimenting with life. No need to go to extremes, but what is your creative power?

It doesn’t have to be art, but for artists there are endless possibilities for experimentation. We are so lucky! We can be catalysts for life itself, our hands and tools extensions of something greater.

All we need to do is get in the flow every day, by DOING. Do art, make stuff, trust your instincts, have faith that all is well, embody the greatness.

Allow life to see through you and use your unique gifts. That’s when life becomes magical.

Have a creative weekend!

Maria

P.S.  The art journaling pages above are part of a new e-course I have set up, titled Life’s Song Art Journaling e-course. You will learn how to make your own papers and ephemera and incorporate them into your art journal pages. It’s a four segment course, and the first segment is available NOW.  The rest will be published once a month for the next three months. Each segment is ONLY $12!!!  Enroll now and get creative. CLICK HERE.

 

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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Make your own art journal

Make your own art journal is easy. I actually put up an e-course on how I made a similar one to the one below.  (Link at the bottom of the post.)

make your own art journal
make your own art journal

I love making stuff, and experimenting with materials, mostly paper and fabric.

I hand “painted” the muslin cover with acrylic paints and alcohol inks, let it dry, and then I ironed it flat. I used a manila folder that I cut to size to fit the pages I made. I also made sure the muslin covered the inside of the cover. I got lucky because it did!

Then I proceeded to deckle the edges of 34 sheets of card stock in various colors.

deckle edges
deckle edges

I then wet all the pages and dribbled or poured paints and inks on them, and the effect is always fun when paint runs in the water.

ink and acrylic paint
ink and acrylic paint
alcohol inks
alcohol inks and acrylic paint

 

acrylic paints
acrylic paints

It is very rewarding to make your own journal, to be part of the entire process of making it your own and then filling it with art and writing.  Modern day journaling… I think we long for expression, something to keep us in touch with what we REALLY feel.

So much time is lived behind the mask that society expects from us. Art is a great way to express your innermost thoughts and feelings, and some stuff you didn’t even know was in there. 🙂

Art is healer and a challenger. Why not go for a wild ride and claim your innate creativity? Everyone is an artist and that’s the truth.

Everyone knows how to express themselves, therefore there is an ability to express in art.

The above journal is available in my Earth and Faery etsy shop. The link is EARTH AND FAERY. SOLD right away, but you can still make your own. 🙂

If you want to check out the e-course how to make three different kinds of art journals, go to THIS PAGE.

I wish you a great, creative weekend!

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.

Who is in charge?

Who is in charge? You or your ego / resistance?  I know I have written about that before, but through my experience over time, I have realized that inspiration is not some kind of random thing that only comes to a lucky few.

Inspiration is a good habit to grow in your art practice. Inspiration is not a fickle muse or a random occurrence. It is yours to command if you show up consistently.

In charge
Who is in charge?

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today, but I had promised myself to write one this week. Kinda late in the game since it’s Saturday. My excuses were:

I’m not inspired

I have nothing to say

I’m too tired to write now

I’d rather be painting (when would that ever be an excuse??)

When I show up to paint, I get the same bullsh*t excuses. Life would just go by without me accomplishing anything I have set out to do.

I have “make art” written on every day of my calendar. I do miss some days, but for the most part I show up even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at the current painting or art journal page.

I count my crafts as art too since I’m using my creativity. Here is what I made today.

mermaid polymer clay mosaic
Believe in magic

I woke up and really wanted to get going on this mermaid.  Part of me said, go for it, the other said, sleep in.

There will always be some bullsh*t excuse for not doing what we know will make us happy.

Same crap as with exercising regularly…

Saying “no” to the resistance is a muscle that can be toned and strong. At one point the resistance gets the message and moves over a bit so that you can get to the action you want quickly.

The point is to stick with the action you have set for yourself. If that is “do more art” it’s something that is “holy.” There is no argument allowed and as “do more art”  becomes a habit, you have won.

Remember though, resistance will always be there lurking in the background, but if you have set a “no compromise” status for yourself things have to move forward or YOU will feel like crap while resistance smirks in the background. Been there too many times.

If you expect inspiration to be there, IT WILL BE.

Excuses are not allowed.

mermaid polymer clay
Believe in magic

NOW, go do it! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. My free 2017 art journaling challenge is going strong. If you’d like to have the prompt emails. sign up HERE. Guest teacher for March will be Julia Ostara.  The mermaids are available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.