Category Archives: life

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.

 

What happened to January?

What happened to January? It went by in the blink of an eye.  So much upheaval came with the Presidential inauguration and so much unrest. So much polarity among people. So much ugliness. Is that who we are, ugly people?

I have to say, though, that art unites. Some might scoff at that, but art reminds us that there is something deeper, something more profound than our human petty concerns. There is beauty.

Art holds things together and I have seen so many artists in the groups coming together more tightly than ever, thinking of ways to make this a brighter world.

Art is a reminder of beauty, that we come from beauty, and can focus on becoming more beautiful inside as our heritage inspires. I talking about a deeper heritage than our ancestors.

To see any real change in the world, each person has to change inside, find the peace and love that truly lives in the heart. Access the heart wisdom! It is a choice. The heart brings UNITY within a person, and that mirrors into the world around us.

Art at its best brings out the best in us! We are all touched differently by what we see, but ultimately, we experience the same. Art can awaken the soul, awaken a person to look for the deeper meaning, the bigger picture than we see on TV.

To solve the issues in the world, we have to go within.  The solution is a spiritual one, and each person has the responsibility to connect to their higher wisdom. Be one less problem in the world. It definitely is a choice.  Are you in? I’m in.

meditation
Meditation

Destruction of innocence.

Destruction of innocence is rampant this day and age. In my work as an artist I come across sooo many people who don’t know or don’t dare to express themselves. So indoctrinated we have become, and it’s a sad sight to see!

herd of sheep
herd of sheep

We never planned to be a herd of sheep. When we were children our imagination was wild and alive. We could play with anything and make it into something it wasn’t. That didn’t matter; we enjoyed the process all the same.

I come across people all the time who say “I can’t draw,” “I can’t make art,” I’ve never been good at painting.”

Whoever imprinted that on children has done the world a disfavor, but then of course, they had themselves been imprinted with “Sheep sameness syndrome.” (Sorry sheep. They are probably more in tune with life than we’ll ever be.)

Getting back to art, all I can say, pick up that brush and push a bold stroke of paint across the canvas. It’s not going to kill you. Rinse and repeat with as many colors you like.

It takes courage to be four years old again.  “What if I ruin the canvas?” What if it turns out all muddy?” “What if it turns out UGLY?”

It WILL most likely be ugly, but so what? I’m sure Rembrandt started out with ugly, and his master probably said ‘You won’t amount to anything; you can’t even draw straight lines.”

With ugly you learn that maybe you shouldn’t mix all those colors together and get muddy brown.  A step in the right direction, right?

We are so afraid of failure, of what people will think, and that we can’t possibly accomplish anything worthwhile.  We live in a black and white movie. Technicolor is definitely available, but it’s up to you to step into that theater.

Just the act of picking up a brush and putting it on the surface is a novel idea that strikes fear in the heart of ‘gods.” Yes, we are gods and goddesses.

silliness
silliness

Remember when you learned how to bicycle? What a totally blissful experience and sense of accomplishment. I was four years old, on my brother’s cast-off bike, and my dad pushing at the back. I never feared I would lose my biking ability after and I never did.  I KNEW. Experience brings trust.

That feeling is always inside of us, and when we try something new, whether we succeed or fail, doesn’t matter. Something inside drives us to push on until we succeed  (success in your own definition.) Success equals daring to me. When I try something new, not necessarily sky diving, but something I haven’t done before, I call on my inner child. Maybe it will be scary and I make a fool of myself in front of others, but I DARED, and by that I learned something, and I also grew my soul.

I will never forget when I fell off that ski lift (first try) and my pants split open and filled my ass with snow.

Today, try something you haven’t tried before, something a bit outside your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself on the road less traveled, and you might come across some sheep who has left the herd and has wonderful tales of inspiration to tell.

It is the time for the explorer, the curious, and the brave. Be THAT one. No one is going to bite you, unless you go into a den of cobras…. 😉

P.S. The FREE year-long 2017 art exploration is going strong. Join my brave art explorers today! CLICK HERE.

Love,

Maria

Count yourself lucky.

If you have a dream you can count yourself lucky because most people don’t have dreams. They do, but they don’t know they do unless something happens to open up their eyes.

dreaming
Count yourself lucky if you have a dream.

As children we dream all the time, at least I used to. I was the queen of daydreaming…

As I grew up there was only one career I wanted to embrace, become an artist. I kind of did, on the side, but to bring home the bacon I had lots of different jobs that I hated to various degrees.  But I also became a writer, which I loved, but that’s another story. I have done many things I hated, and that is my loss, BUT, no experience is wasted.

Today, I have gone back to my roots and art is my passion. For the last two years I’ve been working on building an online art career, mostly having fun and making videos to share.  I love to experiment with art and with crafts and see what I can make. It will go on for the rest of my life I’m sure, whether the money pours in or not.

We are totally ruled by money.

I have decided that I’m now ruled by what makes me happy to get up in the morning. I have overcome a large portion of fear around money, and that has brought me a sense of freedom. I would be lying if I said I never worry, but the waves of worry come but they go away just as fast.  I’m breaking out of the straight-jacket of money slavery.

Every day I look forward to my art and follow my intuition even though I have goals that I want to accomplish. I used to be really driven and accomplishment oriented, but something has shifted, and I don’t worry about how much I accomplish AS LONG AS I SHOW UP EVERY DAY.  That is the important part. The turtle wins the race because it keeps plugging away whereas the hare has a heart attack in his race to get to the finish line first. There is no finish line.

Life IS a dream, and we have the power to create from what we love to do. Even if we don’t know exactly what, we can try things that intrigue us and see what catches. Once we take a step forward, the thing that has been calling us is waiting and steps forward with great enthusiasm.

Listen to your own inner voice, not that clamoring, lying voice of the outside world (especially the media.)  Don’t let distractions and excuses stop you. Start today; don’t wait.

Get those art supplies if you want to be an artist and BEGIN, even if it’s at a corner of your dinner table.  You don’t know how? You didn’t know how to walk when you were a baby, but there was an inner urge that made you try and try again.  Your dream is the same way. It will prompt you to move forward if you’re willing to listen. You are hard-wired to your dream, so let it out! Give it some life.

Might feel a bit awkward at first, but at some point, along comes the groove! 🙂  You have come home to your dream.  Count yourself lucky.

xo

Maria

P.S  I’m working on a mini e-course on how to make some cool art journals, so keep your eyes peeled for more information. Meanwhile, you can always sign up for my newsletter via the link in the side bar.

Today it’s almost Independence Day.

Today I went to a block party in my neighborhood, and I admire the people who put it together in 95 degree heat. People around here are great, and I’m so grateful to have nice neighbors.  They are awesome, in fact!

I’m sure there will be fireworks later, but I had to leave early since the heat was getting to me.

People are celebrating a long weekend, and tomorrow there will be more parties and fireworks.

Happy 4th!
Independence Day

Independence Day is all fine and good, but what is independence? Is it a long weekend off from a job one hates, or a celebration that we were liberated from the British rule way back when?

To me, independence is to own my life, to create the life that supports me on all levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Art does that for me, but there is always more.

Independence is not about over eating and drinking, though good food is always welcome since I don’t cook much.

Why not celebrate independence every day?

That is what we are meant to do. We were not created to live with nose to the grindstone (I have done plenty of that and it’s soul-destroying.) Life is not supposed to be an albatross around your neck.

Creating an independent life is not easy, but it’s fun and challenging. It takes a lot of soul-searching and often trial and error to get it right. I don’t think I have gotten it right yet, but I have lived an independent life on and off in my life, and that has taught me some things.  There really is no going back to the grindstone.

I’d rather have fireworks coming out of me because I’m so excited about my life.

inner fireworks
I am the fire

That is when life becomes interesting.

Today can be the day to decide to go deeper, to quit something that doesn’t serve, to let go of self-defeating behavior, to let toxic people go.

Today can be the day to choose LIFE, not the same ole rut and the addictive behaviors that we all have.

Well, every day we have the choice, life or life numbing.  Every day I choose life, but I don’t always succeed since habits are strong, and the familiar rut is strong.

But there is always another day and another choice.  What a blessing that is!

When we truly fall in love with life, the choice is easy.

Love to you, and lots of creativity!

xo

Maria

P.S. If you want more musings, please sign up for my newsletter. Link in top right hand corner of this page.

De-cluttering is good for the soul.

I’m getting to be more and more minimalist as I de-clutter stuff around the house. There is so much STUFF and it weighs me down. I have de-cluttered a few times already since 2013 when I moved into this house, but there is always more.

I have put many crafts aside that bored me, but then I end up holding on to the materials. No More.  🙂  I gave my neighbor a bunch of mosaic paraphernalia.

I came across some cool things my mom did.  She passed away in 2013, and I will never get rid of these things.  [Long post warning.]

I get a lot of my creative ability from her.  She always had a great eye for color and form.  She’s of that generation (and growing up on a farm) that knew how to shear sheep, make roving, spin yarn, and then either knit or crochet something useful.  She even made linen from flax, and knew how to weave.  They wove their towels (which lasted forever), their tablecloths, their rugs from old clothes that we used to sit and cut into long strips and ball up when I was a kid.  The destruction was fun.  She even taught me how to weave, but I had no patience weaving that thin linen thread into towels.

My grandmother even wove sheets, and they had a seam down the middle (the loom wasn’t wide enough.)  They had a loom always set up in a big part of the upstairs bedroom at my grandmother’s.  Mom never had a loom in the places where we lived, but she always wove rugs when we spent the summers with my grandparents.  She always had some of those brightly colored rag rugs on her floors, and I thought if I peer closely, I  might recognize the rag from one of my childhood dresses.  She was the ultimate recycler.

I have a lot of the things she embroidered in the “old days,” things that are truly vintage now.
In her youth, she was pretty much self-sufficient making her clothing, and later those of my dad, but with modernization, she stopped those habits, though her hands were always busy.  During the 2nd World War the women used to knit hundreds of mittens and socks for the soldiers.  That was before my time.

I asked her if she remembered some of my fave sweaters she made for me, but she didn’t.  I had a really comfy gray and blue patterned sweater that I wore ALL the time; I still remember it clearly.

She loved to sew clothes, make fabric collages, embroider, needlepoint, cross stitch, knit; she even dabbled in porcelain painting, but my dad complained about the fumes.  She could knit and crochet anything.  We used to get excited about some new pattern; I would start it and she would finish it because I always got bored somewhere in the middle.

I have the patience now, however.  I don’t know how that happened–with age maybe.  I have been more of a dabbler than making something “useful,” though.   In one of the pictures below I made a fabric collage from a picture in a book about Medieval life.  I now marvel at how large the horse is compared to the women, but I didn’t think of that at the time.  I could never finish it since I couldn’t decide whether to frame it or make it into a pillow.  It now lives with my mom’s things in a plastic bin.

Towel rack “curtain.” To hide the towels.

This is a really old piece, possibly embroidered by Mom in her youth, or Grandmother might have made it.  I don’t remember.  But look at the needle work!  These cloths were hung on decorative rods to hide the everyday towels used in the kitchen.

detail

 

Crocheted tablecloth. Very fine thread.
I have two tablecloths like this.  Mom crocheted those from a very fine cotton yarn, then patiently crocheted the flowers/snowflakes together.  It’s fine like a glorious spiderweb!
tablecloth

This is a newer tablecloth; possibly one of the last ones she embroidered before her hands gave out.  She sent it to me.  My brother who is an artist always wanted the same pieces, so she often made two of the same pattern.  You would think a man wouldn’t care, but he does.

This is a tray tablecloth that is meant for a birthday cake placed in the middle of the wreath.  The word “Gratulerar” is Swedish for Happy Birthday (sort of, more like “Congratulation” if you want to be picky.)  A gift for one of my birthdays.  I use some of these things, but I worry about getting them dirty.

My foray into Medieval art.  I loved combining daring fabric patterns into a cohesive look. A knight going off to war.  Even the birds wore armor in my picture.  The fabric was mostly machine stitched even though I’m not very good on the sewing machine.

I don’t have any plans to take up embroidery or other sewing again, but I admire great craftsmanship.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some paintings available in my etsy shop, HERE.