Category Archives: inspiration

Inspiration, where is it?

Inspiration, where to find it. It can be found everywhere. I often hear that question: what inspires you?  

I get inspired mostly by doing. When I get bored with one type of creativity I make something else. How people can continue to paint in one style or one subject is incomprehensible to me, but it’s common. Maybe they don’t make art that often? 

I love to try new things. Lately, I have been tired of making my mosaics, so I got this songbird pattern from Ann Wood and hand sewed a little bird. I used scrap fabrics I had painted and dyed in the past.

inspiration
inspiration
inspiration
songbird

I had a problem with the legs, but it worked itself out. So much fun to stretch oneself. Inspiration is in trying, to immerse oneself in something totally new. I have sewn before, but never a soft sculpture like this. I think I must make more! 🙂

What fires you up? What could you try today? 

I joined a local ceramics class this fall, and clay is harder to work with than you think.  I find polymer clay much easier since it’s more elastic. 

I made a series of critters and the glazing came out completely different when fired than I had envisioned.  

Inspiration is trying and finding out that the outcome might not be what you expected, but that’s half the fun. 

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critter inspiration

One thing I’ve learned: Surprise keeps the freshness of creativity alive. 

Today, think of something you’d love to try, but haven’t. Gather the materials, take a class or watch some YouTube videos for inspiration. Then try your own. 

The more you’re used to making things, the easier it is to get started and follow through. 

To stay inspired it’s important to show up in the studio every day.

Even if you can only devote 15 minutes a day, that is enough to keep that creative muscle strong and ready for action.

I know I can go back to my painting and my mosaics whenever I want, but trying new things spark ideas.  I get tickled by possibilities. 

We’re heading toward another weekend. If you had 15 minutes to spare for creativity, what would you do? 

Do it, and you might find yourself inspired enough to keep going… 

To find Ann Wood’s sewing patterns, go HERE.

I have found that people really like my goddess / spirit doll faces. You can check them out in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery.

Have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

For more inspiration, check out my previous post on how to make a spirit box with an old Altoids tin HERE. 

Spirit box tutorial

Spirit box tutorial with pictures is here!  If you have followed my blog or posts on Facebook, you know that I don’t like to stay with one art medium for long.  I guess I’m half a crafts’ person / art journaler, and half painter.

Mood decides which side wins any given day.

Inspired by mixed media artist Lyn Belisle, I made these Spirit boxes. She wrote a how-to article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors a few years back and I saved said article to experiment with later. Here are my experiments. I made two boxes.

You might have seen my angel shrines described in some earlier posts. I had a couple of left over molded faces from that project and decided to use them for the Spirit box dolls.

First I cut out two pieces of heavy cardboard, 4×3.5″ and glued them together like a “cross.” I covered them with scrap-book paper.

The face is really too small for this. I should have used a smaller cardboard base.  But, I decided I would make it look narrower with some vertical stripes.  I didn’t get a picture of that exact process, but you can see the result in the finished picture.

spirit box
spirit box

I like to use twigs as a natural element to add dimension. I have some very tough branches in my backyard, and I don’t know the name of the tree, but you need to find tough dry twigs to use or they might break. I suppose you could use green twigs, but I haven’t tried that.

Hook and Eye, but only the eye…

I used a random metal eye to wrap with copper around the twig. I added a bead for some sparkle on the main focus point.

I made a cardboard halo and painted it gold. The second halo is a scrap-book cut-out of a clock face.

spirit box
spirit box

Spirit box
Spirit box

I chose random scrap-book papers and wrapping paper. I used hand-dyed strips of fabric and hemp string to make the parts dangling off the metal eye.

Hair and head are attached here with a large glob of glue. I used eyelash yarn in two colors, green and purple.

spirit box
spirit box

spirit box
spirit box

Where is the box part?

I gessoed an empty Altoids(tm) tin and inserted a metal wire, using an awl to punch two holes on the bottom end of the tin. See picture. The doll will be glued to the lid for unhindered access to the box.

You can glue a piece of paper to the bottom of the tin (that will face the wall when hanging.) Optional.

spirit box

spirit boxspirit box

I added more dangly stuff to the metal eye, buttons on hemp string in two colors, a prayer box charm.

spirit doll

Everything is glued on securely.  I believe in heavy application of glue… 🙂 Speaking of glue, below is a picture of the attached tin to the back of the doll.  As you can see, the lid is glued to the back. I added scrap-book paper to cover up any paper gaps on the back of the doll itself.

spirit doll

Doll number two.

I used various papers and strips I cut to fashion the “clothing” for this doll.

spirit doll
spirit doll

All my materials covered every inch of my work table.

spirit doll
spirit doll

spirit doll
spirit doll

Now make your own. It’s easier than you think. Use whatever materials you have on hand. You could use a thrift store doll face. Great gift idea, and you can put some special treasure in the box for the recipient to find.

I have some doll faces (more elaborate than these) for sale in my etsy shop. They are meant to be used in doll assembly, but would work as talismans or ornaments too. Check them out in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY.

Free shipping, yay!

You can find Lyn Belisle’s website HERE.  She has so much inspiration to share! I love her spirit dolls.

You can also join my NEW Facebook group for more sharing: HeART Inspiration.

Fabric collage on boho bag

Fabric collage is one of my “things.” I have painted and dyed fabric over time and now have a nice stash of unique colors and styles to use for my fabric collages. These collages are usually attached to everyday usable items, which is a bonus.

Fabric collage makes a unique product that gets many ohhs and ahhs from (mostly) my fellow artists. No everyone likes a whimsical bag on their arm.

I got inspired with the last canvas mini bag and made a video of the process. To see how the other bags turned out, please check my two previous posts.

Exploring art on fabric.

Slow stitching and painting on a pouch.

For this last bag check out my YouTube video HERE.

fabric collage

I filmed and filmed and just as I was done, the camera batteries died. What perfect timing, huh?

You might ask how I dye fabric. There is always the conventional fabric dyes in the stores, but I like to make patterns and mix the colors.

I use mostly alcohol inks and diluted acrylic paints in spray bottles. I rinse out as much as I can, but the alcohol inks leave a pretty mighty color infusion. I use mostly cotton fabric because it absorbs the paints the best.

The acrylic paints usually embed themselves in the fabric, and when they dry, they are pretty stiff, but still flexible enough to use. I usually just spread the fabric on a drop cloth to dry.  Try different paints, and make sure they are color fast after drying, otherwise they will wash out.

I have added the four fabric collage bags / pouches to my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. 

There are many items in my shop at the moment since the holidays are coming.  I have felt a creative high for some weeks and I’m grateful for the flow. Sometimes I have long periods of no great inspiration, but I keep showing up in my studio. That’s what you do!

If you want some art journaling inspiration, I have a bunch of easy videos on YouTube under my name.  Keep creating. The process will  make you grow.

I wish you a creative and fun weekend!

Love,

Maria

Receiving is a good thing

Receiving is a good thing though they say giving is more important.  Receiving is not what we think it is as in birthday presents and people doing you a favor. Those are all part of it, but to me, receiving is a state.

A state is a condition that we experience, FEEL. Most of us don’t have a clue about how to receive. Guilt plays a big role. We have to live by the convention of “I scratch your back so you scratch mine.”

It is an exchange of energy between people and I don’t disregard that, but receiving is so much more. It’s a state of “grace”, of being fulfilled, of gratitude for life as a whole, not just the perks we get.

When you’re in a state of receiving you are not chasing anything, no gains, no positions, no desires, no wants. You are open to receive whatever comes, but if you are filled with gratitude for life, mostly good things come to you.

It’s not easy to gain that state of receiving in a consistent manner, but by examining life and all those beliefs and habits that hold us back, we can learn to accept it ALL, and from there gain appreciation about the mystery of life.

We basically don’t know any more than newborn babies. They know more that we do in a greater sense. They are still pure and innocent, as we once were. They are in a state of receiving.

As are pets if you think about it. They lie around all day and don’t worry where their next meal is coming from. It never enters their mind, and they are always provided for.

In a sense they take for granted that life will support them. And it does.

Meanwhile, humans run around, or rush down the closest highway to get to nowhere.  We worry and curse and plan.  We are always chasing money. The whole day is revolving around making money.

We lost that innocent trust a long time ago, traded it for a man-made world that offers a lot of pain and suffering.

When we claim life and stop struggling, something shifts. Life becomes more beautiful and filled with situations we can be grateful for. The more accepting and grateful, the more abundant the gifts from the universe.

It’s not easy to change, but by becoming aware of what we do, and why, and what we say, and our prejudices, we can slowly shift the energy to be more supporting and loving of ourselves. The more you love yourself, the more the universe will support you!

What does this have to do with art, you ask? Really everything.

We tend to criticize and judge our art efforts harshly.

We compare ourselves to others.

We have an idea of what the art should look like, and it never does, so back condemning the effort. It can be a vicious cycle. Many stop making art because of it.

What if the art you make turns out ugly (in your opinion.) What then?  Do you continue or just drop the whole adventure?

If we don’t stick with it, we miss out of the mystery.  The adventure becomes a hurried rush down the highway, like with so many things we do.

We are addicted to doing and seeing results.

When you can shift and be in a receiving mode as you begin your art session, you are in a non-judgmental state and can receive the art as it manifests through you. That is such a gift!

It might not look like much, but your energy is in it. The receiving as a state of grace shows up in your art. Even if you only painted a blue line across the canvas, people will feel something.

We might admire technique but it’s the energy that draws us.

Stop chasing, become a receiver of life. Make open stillness be part of your daily process.

I did some art journaling lately.  I can’t say I reached that magical state of wonder, but I had fun.

receiving

Be who you want to be.

receiving

A cat person…

receiving

Doodles


receiving

Strange lady… Summer solstice

receiving

More doodles…

I guess I was into yellow and blue this week.

To be open to receive is to allow, to accept, and live in gratitude for what is, and what appears on the page.

Follow me in Instagram. I post most photos there, @greeneearth

I have some ideas if you’re looking for a gift. My etsy shop has lots of cool gifts. Earth and Faery.

You can read some of my older blog posts for more inspiration: Why do you do what you do?

My inner critic on a rampage

Have a great and safe July 4!

xo

Maria

 

Practice never makes perfect

Practice never makes perfect is true in some sense, though I believe that practice makes perfect if, say, you’re learning a new language. The art practice never ends. Some say that if you can paint something hyper-realistic you might call it perfect, but I bet the artist still strives for even more perfection.

Truth is, why strive for perfection in the first place? Artists want to get better at their techniques, of course. They want to execute their craft better for more personal satisfaction.

But what if you just want to express yourself, not perfecting the craft of painting perfect landscapes or faces?

Everyone can express themselves.  It only takes a willingness to try.

Trying involves getting some materials, like an art journal or old book that you can alter (use as an art journal.) Buy a few acrylic (fast-drying) paints in colors you love, get some glue or medium, a few brushes, some markers, and a bunch of old magazines.

You can paint a background with a couple of your paints, anything goes. Draw stick figures, paint them, cut out images from magazines, words that speak to you. Add more paint and writing if necessary. Add stuff until you feel it’s right, if not perfect.

Then you practice to let go. It’s good enough!

It’s a great way to see in color what is important to you in life, and art!

What it actually takes is to do it, no excuses.

Carve out some time for creativity. Explore who you are, your wishes and dreams. Expressing in art is an age-old practice.

practice does not make perfect
practice

Art journaling can be challenging, but no one has to see your pages unless you want to share them.

Even if you hate the pages, at some point you’ll hit on a symbol or mixture of symbols you love and that will inspire you to continue making more pages. You’ll collect more stuff to add to your spreads, a bit at a time.

practice does not make perfect
practice

practice does not make perfect
practice

I keep making art because I feel a need for it.  Maybe you won’t feel a need unless you really keep doing it, as with  exercise.  I can’t speak for you, but making art gives me a special kind of satisfaction, a feeling that it’s important.

I made a YouTube video of the first spread I made (above). You can watch it here to get inspired (hopefully.)

Without my art, my life seems to lack something. I go into my studio with anticipation and leave it feeling, oh well, many feelings, among them happiness, frustration, annoyance, challenged, inspired, accomplished. Every day is different.

I have more how-to videos on YouTube. They will help you explore your own creativity.

I have also made some more art journals for sale in my etsy shop. They will help if you fear the “blank white page.”  ETSY SHOP.

Have a creative weekend, folks!

Here are a couple of blog posts about facing your fear and lack of motivation.

The Dog Ate My Motivation

Fear Holding You Back?

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