Category Archives: inspirational

The exotic life of an artist

The exotic life is not for everyone. Artists are supposed to be larger than life, but more often you will find us slugging away in our studios, alone, and fighting resistance, haha.

I think of exotic artists and come up with Georgia O’Keefe, but in her mind, she probably saw herself as a dedicated working woman. She was; I can’t remember reading about any debauched parties or deep discussions with other “tortured” artists at cafes. It’s funny the labels we put on people (throughout history.)

Art is often that, mundane, yet again exhilarating because you don’t know which turn will head you into a new phase of your art.

The only exotic thing I have around here is a flowering Claradendron. I should dress like an artist in flowery, hippie styles with lots of scarves, but I’m a conservative dresser. All my color goes into my paintings. What I wear on a given day are sweatpants, paint-stained tops / T-shirts, and sandals. It’s time for an upgrade! At least get rid of the gray ones.

I have been productive lately, feeling the “vibe.” Here are some of my latest wild shenanigans. They are going to hang in a local shop later today, and I’m glad more people get to see them.

boat of dreams
No title
Love at first sight

Are you adding some exotic flavor to your life?

It doesn’t have to be risky, just something new. Yesterday, I took a different road to a street I always travel, and it opened my eyes to possibilities. An exotic flavor could be to MAKE art, not just think about it. There is nothing to hold you back except your excuses (resistance.) You might as well make friends with it.

I’m moving more into abstract mixed media art lately. My whimsical critters show up on a regular basis, and that’s fun. I love whimsy as much as the next person.

How do you proceed with the art process?

You start. The above art was not planned. I pretty much always start with a layer of paint, and then I add paper scraps that please my eye. If I end up not liking the way they look, I paint over them. I usually do three layers of paints, including marks, and if I see some figure in the mess, I outline it. The outline surrounds the figure, and the unifying color in the background ties it all together. It is a fun and harmless process — no need to feel pressured or daunted by your perceived lack of ability.

Time is now!

You don’t need a charming studio, a painter’s smock or the most popular paints. All you need is a willingness to try, to apply yourself.

Lots of love,

Maria

For more inspiration, go to this post: Every Painting is a Leap of Faith.

I have some new things in my Etsy shop for those looking for a great exotic gift, haha. Earth and Faery

Every painting is a leap of faith.

Every painting is a new challenge. It can be scary to engage.

If you want to go deeper into your art, you have to attend to your feelings. What do you feel? All that energy can be fodder for your creativity. Say it in colors!

How deep do you want to go? When we allow our deepest emotions to stir to the surface and acknowledge them, we’re making a big leap forward (unless we push them back down.) You can make a pretty picture or a raw one.

When you see raw art, you pause. You might not like the rendition, but something speaks to you beyond the slashes of paint. It’s a remembrance. It reminds you of your own most profound hidden stuff, the wounded side we don’t want to look at. It doesn’t have to be dark and dreary, just direct and arresting.

Art is an excellent therapy if you’re willing to dive into the depths.
What comes out is raw and innocent.
Maybe you will paint a child-like picture of sunshine and smiley faces or perhaps slashes of dark colors.

If you don’t want to feel, paint safe projects. Make pretty pictures. That is okay as well. We all need brightness.

If you’re going to touch someone’s soul, you have to bare your own.
It’s all in the process, moving forward. It might take years to be vulnerable, but you grow your confidence to use your paints as a conduit. That is always a growth in itself.
What comes up in daily life is fodder for growth as an artist.

When you dive deep is when the wild side takes over and brings you into the “cauldron” of transformation. The answers to your questions then appear in your paintings. Honesty is the most important aspect of showing up to create.

When you feel short of honesty, you choose “pretty and safe.” I do it; we all do it, but there is always a longing to discover more depth.
I don’t know, is it only me?

Do you ask the paint what it wants to do? Do you ask it where it wants to go?
Do you invite the canvas to accept the paint?
I always feel into those things, but sometimes I cop out in the middle and choose the easy way through the project.

It’s the “instant gratification syndrome” rearing its head. I want to see the art finished, but I know that’s not what the canvas wanted. It’s hard to be patient and put the painting away for another day. The risk is that you’ll never go back to it. That happened with this painting recently. I don’t know what she wants, but I’m waiting to hear.

unfinished painting

I have several unfinished paintings and some that I paint over. At the time of their creation, they bloomed, deformed maybe, but expressed their gift. So, they offered their gift and then turned into a memory, possibly harshly judged as poor art.

Can we allow art to be what it wants to be?
Yes, for me anyway. I don’t always like it, but the breakthroughs are worth all the pain of waiting, the frustration of walking down blind alleys, and poor concentration.

How do you allow this process?

You have to sit with the discomfort and allow the frustration.
Be in partnership with your art making. Treat it with respect as you would a good friend.
There is no need to conquer or perform.
It’s okay to take baby steps.
It’s okay to slash paint all over the canvas without thought.
It’s okay to be angry, but what is that all about? Ask your anger. It has a strong message for you that can propel you forward.


Stick with the practice, set a time when you will enter the studio, and show your respect by showing up.
Art is a living being, a force of magic and brilliance. You want to dance with it, don’t you?
Art will grow you as a person; it promotes change. It can be subtle, but it’s there.

It can be a wild beast or tame as a kitten. In the long run, it never lets you down! Make art your best friend.

If you missed the art self-care boost during the first week of February, you can check out the first video on YouTube HERE. There are five in a row, marked with numbers.
It will give you a boost toward continual art marking. You can also join my creative group on Facebook.
Looking for some affordable art journaling e-courses, I have a few evergreen ones HERE.

Lots of love,

Maria

What do you value?

What do you value? I’ve asked that question to many aspiring artists and invariably get answers that have nothing to do with value itself.

Women more than men se their kids as their greatest value. I get that. Family comes first, but when I ask what THEIR most important value is, I get blank stares.

What would you do for yourself?

People live through other people and their values. We have forgotten to put ourselves first. Only when you put yourself first will you have a chance to value yourSELF and find out what really matters.

So many times I hear people wanting to make art, but there is always a “but” in the sentence. “When things slow down,” by such and such date. “When the kids are in college.” The most popular: “When I have some extra time.”

You know they won’t pick up a paintbrush or marker any time soon. It is sad, but that’s their choice.

What is important for your own evolution?

Mine is definitely creativity and also spirituality. Without spirituality there is no real depth.

Along those lines, I create every day. There is no tomorrow or compromises. Part of me always try to find excuses, like “I’m too tired,” “I’m not inspired,” “I’m not really any good at my art.”

Those are all bs excuses.

Whatever your dream or inclination, go for it. TODAY!! Start now.

On my work table, an unfinished soft bird sculpture, and a somewhat finished abstract painting.

The Dancer

Starting on February 4, I’m offering a free 5-day virtual art retreat with meditation and art creating (whatever your medium.)

If you want to join, please add your email to the list. I will send out the particulars at the end of January. A 5-day creative self-love boost! You can read all about it HERE.

You can sign up for the email HERE.

Happy New Year, and happy creation.

Love, Maria

P,S. I have fresh ready-to-use art journals in my etsy shop today. EarthandFaery.

Needing validation

Needing validation is like breathing; it’s something we all do.  As artists it’s important to have someone say, “what a great painting,” or “I love your art” or “your art gives me a good feeling.”

We love comments like that whether they are honest or not. Validation makes your work worthwhile.

However, if you sense the compliments are not sincere, you start doubting your talent (again.) I assume we come from a place of doubting the art all the time. I know I do, except for a few times when I truly KNEW the paintings were great.

needing validation
validation

How does it all start?

As kids we had to find out if what we made was any good. I remember showing drawings to my dad, and thank goodness, he always said they were nice. I still remember that.

But I also remember the bullies in school who always tried to tear you down, especially if you’d done something good, like gotten an A on a test, created a beautiful painting or broken a school record of some sort.

To seek validation is like making sure we are alive.

If we didn’t get any validation who’s to say we even exist, right?

That’s a pretty deep question, but one place were we can find true validation is within. You can validate your worthiness through whatever physical aspect you use to express. Worthiness is a feeling inside.

When you feel good about something you did, that’s validation enough.

We are social creatures but do we need the false compliments that people hand out to be “nice?” I say thank you for every compliment, false or true. I’m not going to confront someone about their honesty.

So how do you get to a point where inner validation is enough?

You have to learn to trust yourself.

Trust is a sense that was beaten out of us since childhood. “Trust no one.” I remember I learned to keep secrets so as not to be punished I was four years old. It didn’t get any better through life until I realized I have give myself the gift of trust.

If I trust in me, I can trust the world. The secret is to grow the trust within so that the games of the world do not affect you.

Trust, like worthiness, is a soul feeling.

I have learned to trust more through forgiving others and most of all, myself, for having a low opinion of myself.

Make a list of people you need to forgive today. Truly forgive them for all they have done to you, and ask for forgiveness for your stuff. This can be done in silence, but you need to be sincere.

Life is so much easier, brighter, and filled with possibilities when the burden of guilt and shame is gone.

Through inner trust you can find true validation.

Forgive yourself for art that didn’t work out and try again, and again. Life is a journey, art a process.

Life itself is validation enough.

Fear and mistrust go hand in hand. I have another blog post that takes this further, What do you fear?

Make something fun today!

xo

Maria

P.S My etsy shop is stocked to the brim. 🙂 Sale coming up SOON! EarthandFaery

Why people don’t follow their dream

Why people don’t follow their dream is not a single why, but many. As many as a person can make up.

If the desire is sincere, the artist has to START practicing!

why people don't follow their dream

Main reasons people don’t pursue something they long to do:

  • fear
  • lack of time
  • not feeling worthy
  • feeling inadequate
  • thinking it’s not important
  • thinking others will object

These are just a few examples. Since I’m a visual artist, I have only experience in that type of art, but I know for sure that if you want to be a good musician you have to practice A LOT.

Some artists might slap on some paint and create a huge painting in an hour. For the art to be effective, they would have had to practice and explore countless styles and tools in the past.

I’ve seen people create “sofa art” on home improvement shows. I can’t say it’s not art, but the subject won’t hit me in the gut or make me pause to really look, to absorb.

Art in any form is a life long exploration.

So what to do about the objections I posted above?

Fear: The only way to get past fear is to face it head on and start creating anyway. It will rear its ugly head time and time again, but you gotta get your brave on! Take some classes if you can’t get started.

Lack of time:  If you insist on that excuse, there won’t be any time, but if you’re sincere in your desire, you will find the time. Start with 10 minutes a day. Set up your art / craft / music / dance / supplies where you can see them as a reminder.

Not feeling worthy: That is old programming of shame and guilt. Engage with your dream anyway and know that the false programming is a scam to keep you “in line” and work for the Man. Tapping is a great help. Check it out on YouTube.

Feeling inadequate: Have you ever gone ice skating or rollerblading? You know it’s next to impossible to keep on your feet the first few times. But you laugh off the embarrassment of looking like a fool and keep going.

We all look like fools when we start something new. Get over it and practice.

Thinking it’s not important: Maybe you’re thinking of the wrong dream.  Maybe you’re not important.

Thinking others will object:  They probably will. They want you to be the same, not grow as a person. That might make them look bad and make them remember the dream they shoved into the closet among the spiders.

The mothers of the Lewis and Clark expedition members probably said “Don’t go,” when the guys stated they were going to explore vast uncharted wilderness. The mothers’ fear didn’t stop those intrepid souls.

We have got to explore what is calling us from inside!

It is your Lewis and Clark expedition. You  don’t have to face grizzlies and raging rivers, but you have to face your fears and give your passion some space.

I did write a blog post about Fear Holding You Back and what to do about it.

Have a creative weekend, folks!

Lots of love and inspiration to you.

Maria

P.S. I have some new things for sale in my etsy shop today. EARTH AND FAERY.

 

 

 

Laura Probert and the April 2017 art prompts

Laura Probert kindly accepted to help me out with a month of art inspiration for my online art journaling group.

Laura Probert
Laura Probert

She is a great writer and has written for many online publications like Huffington Post and Elephant Journal. She is passionate about healing and uses writing and art, among other things, as tools to dive deeply inside and heal the wounds we carry.

This from her website:

“WAKE UP
“Without awareness there is no choice.”

John F. Barnes

Awareness is the key to healing.

I’ve spent my 21 year career as a student, healer and an athlete learning the tools, tips and tricks that will help you wake up and develop a practice of awareness. 

Healing is about peeling off the layers of mental, emotional and physical injury and trauma that cover up your soul and keep you from living the best, healthiest, most joyful life you can live.

 Awareness can help you heal physical pain and injury, relationships, business ventures, exercise goals…basically anything you want to change in your life.

I’ll teach you what I know about this powerful door to healing and the many paths to it. Everything that happens to us happens through our awareness…it’s a matter of being awake to the stuff of life. I’ll show you how body awareness connects you with your inner healer and gives you choices about your health and life.”

I like the idea that Laura offers tools for self healing and not trying to heal “you.” Ultimately, we are the only ones who can heal ourselves.

More from her website:

“BE BRAVE
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
Brene Brown

My journey has been about stepping into my power, claiming my self-worth and finding and expressing my unique voice. Being brave has been necessary and facing and moving through my fears has been a powerful process.

Dealing with the things that are keeping you stuck or holding you back from your desires helps you heal. I’ll show you how to integrate mind, body and soul in a way that gives you new techniques to deal with fear. 

Being brave is about feeling. You have to be awake to feel. Feeling is healing. It takes guts to feel. I’ll help you feel what you need to feel to heal. I’ll hold a space for you to do the work of feeling and healing you need to do to make a change.”

“DO WHAT YOU LOVE


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman”

When you connect with what you love, you move toward healing. When you heal, you are able to connect more with what you love.

More of my favorite quotes:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Mary Oliver

“When you are serious, determined, positive and on-purpose, magical shit happens.”
Torrie Pattillo”

Some info about Laura:

Laura’s healing programs, classes, workshops and books will help you redefine healing and take your journey to the next level. She’s able to combine the tools she’s learned for healing with the tools she’s learned for creative flow to create programs that are powerful, unique and integrated. She’s helping to move the knowledge of mind body connection from idea to action and teaches it in an immediately applicable way.

When she’s not igniting transformation in her clients you’ll find her writing, hanging with her kids, dogs or a horse, hiking in the woods, practicing her axe kick, or taste testing dark chocolate. Find her on Facebook at Warrior Love or via her WEBSITE.

I would have to say that Laura Probert is a cool person to know and she GETS RESULTS  because she’s not afraid to dive deep. That is very inspiring to me.

If you didn’t sign up for the free 2017 art journal prompts you can do so HERE.

Lots of love,

Maria