Category Archives: painting

What if you were an expert painter today?

What if? Do you believe that you, as of right now, could be an expert painter, no experience needed? I didn’t think so, but I know for sure there is an artist inside of every human being, as there is perfect life in every tree and plant.

Life itself is an artist, but the question is how to access that perfection. It’s hard with our harsh self critic ruling the roost and because of society’s harsh judgment of art in general.

The famous painters are famous because they broke rules (not counting the artists of the Renaissance since they wrote the rules, haha.) Hard to compare yourself to Rembrandt and Michelangelo…

However, what if you just let yourself play?? Just to see what would happen when you put brush to paper or canvas.

Without expectations.

Without goal in mind.

Without agenda and work in the moment.

Without a sketch or plan? You know it’s possible because there are lots of abstract artists out there. Some you like and some you don’t but it’s irrelevant.

I have been painting like that for some time, and I’m not alone. A whole revolution of painters working on instinct alone and following their desires in the moment are taking the art world by storm.

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What if…

Some of the art is beautiful, some not, but again, judgment is not needed. How does the energy speak to you? That is what touches us when we look at art. What do you receive?

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What if….?

If it touches that place of recognition inside of us, we feel that the art is perfect, no matter what the subject matter, if any.

I find it very liberating to paint this way. It’s not exactly pretty or awesome, but it makes me happy. Maybe someone feels happy when they look at my art? That is not something I worry about, however.

The process is to pick a color you want to use and start painting. It could be swaths of colors, lines, doodles, symbols like birds and sun or dots. What would you paint if you weren’t afraid to start? Or if it didn’t matter what colors you picked? Maybe they look horrible together, but you wanted to use them.

Every time you get stuck painting ask yourself what you would do if you weren’t afraid of messing it up. Mess it up!

Be bold.

intuitive art
What if…?

The above painting is weird and I have no clue where it’s going. I know it’s not finished even though I covered the entire canvas with paint. What I’ll do is ask myself, what would feel good to add.

Without pressure or aim.

This is freedom in painting! If you haven’t tried it, I guarantee that you have something inside that wants to come out and paint. It is basically a life changing experience as we move past the “what ifs, ” and the “shoulds.”

Open up your life and paint!

Have a great, creative weekend.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some new things in etsy shop this week. Unique gifts for the artsy kind. EARTH AND FAERY.

Paint by numbers or…?

Painting by numbers used to be really popular back in the day, and some of them didn’t look too shabby, but I never took to the practice.

I was googling pictures and discovered that you can still buy the kits. I don’t know why I never tried, but it was like coloring books. Coloring books are safe and easy.  Nothing wrong with the meditative process, but where is the excitement of creative adventure?  Too safe for me.

paint by numbers
paint by numbers

I used to knit and had to follow a pattern to get the desired look, but what if I had gone crazy with yarn and colors and created sweaters that looked like dirty paint palettes?

It would have been more interesting for sure.  I might have started a trend!

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dirty palette

Everything I’ve ever learned about evolving my painting practice is by experimentation. I took some classes in realistic painting and learned some techniques that are helpful, but they never challenge me as much as the act of facing a blank canvas and not knowing what to paint. The act of painting itself is not something I fear, but to put that first dot of paint on the canvas can be daunting. This is intuitive painting.

I face that resistance with every painting  The only way to get around it is to allow the resistance to be there and paint anyway. It’s useless to fight it. Nowadays it sits in a corner and grumbles until something exciting emerges on the canvas and then it’s on board with the rush of creativity.  Contrary bugger …

What I do now is to quickly pick some colors I like and start applying them and see what strikes me.  Sometimes nothing, and sometimes I see possibilities immediately.

It’s like being on a ship. There is ocean and more ocean, and no hope of ever seeing land again until suddenly, a gray shape emerges on the horizon.

So, if you have experienced that, you know there is hope. 🙂 The only way to move forward and through the resistance of creation, is to do it. Start right there and don’t stop, because if you do, the sniggers of resistance will haunt you for the rest of the day.

A seasoned sea man knows to face forward across the ocean and knows it’s only a matter of time until land appears.

I invite you to the adventure. Put the paint by numbers kit aside and give your creative genius a chance to shine. It does exist.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a FREE art journaling year-long adventure happening in 2017. If you want to sign up for the monthly prompts, go HERE.

You can also join my Facebook group which is filled with happy creative people, HERE.

Doing what you love is not a brand to follow

Do what you love is a concept that is tossed around all the time on social media these days.

I agree with the concept but it becomes a thought form for the busy mind, not something that actually sinks in.  I make these inspirational wall plaques that say “follow your heart.” I do mean it, but what does it actually mean?

follow your heart

I was at an event at a bookstore recently where I have some art hanging on display. I watched the people wandering around the walls, looking. There were those who threw a cursory glance at my art, and there were those who stopped at every painting and took in every detail. I’d say they liked my art, or they tried to figure out the technique.

I have followed my urge to paint for a long time, and what appears on the canvas today is something I have developed over the years, and maybe there is more “heart” in my art than there was. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m on a journey that never stops as long as I can paint.

My art will never stop developing, so if one of those people at the event would have approached me with questions, like “what inspires you”? I would have answered “many things.” There is no one thing in particular.

What they actually see is my DOING over the years, with no particular goal in mind.

I think the painter Paul Cezanne might be the father of abstract art when he discovered he could paint the loose rendition (or energy) of the landscape he was looking at.  Discovering that took many years of DOING.

Paul Cezanne

The issue was not to create a strong brand of Paul Cezanne, but the journey that led to his discovery of abstract ideas. Like most painters he probably took classes and experimented endlessly with color and form. His art became his brand, but I’m sure he would have resisted the word.

Why lock oneself into a box of “this-is-who-I-am” and I will be this for the rest of my life.  Life is an evolving journey of many “follow my hearts.”

The problem is: most people like to dream but not DO. It’s in the doing that all is revealed!!

You can’t put heart in a box or on a wall plaque and hope it will transform someone, but my intention is to inspire. Still, the journey is mine.

Every day is a day of DOING or not… your choice. By trusting, by taking action and not sitting on the sidelines you will in fact be led by the heart.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of art for sale in my etsy shop Greene Earth Originals: HERE.

Fabric painting with a twist.

You know all about fabric paints and how to use them, and the dyes in powders, but have you tried fabric painting with acrylic paints and inks that you normally use for art?

I have been painting scraps of fabrics that I use for my bracelet cuffs (video at the end.) I use craft paints, acrylic artist paints, Dylusion inks, and Adirondack inks. All the material is water fast but you have to wash everything by hand in cold water and dry the fabric flat.

I always use cotton fabric since it’s the most absorbent.

Here are some pictures.

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scraps of cotton fabric and paints + inks.

Some examples of craft paints and inks.

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craft paint dripping

I dripped some of the craft paints straight from the bottle onto the fabric.

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after spreading the paint

I scrunched up the fabric into a tiny ball. If you don’t like paint on your hands, wear plastic gloves.  As you can see, the paint spread all over.

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added ink

I added some Adirondack inks. I used the colors copper and currant.  I held the bottles about 20 inches above the fabric and gently dripped the ink to get some splashes, not just globs of ink.  As you can see I mix and match the materials.

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Dylusion ink sprays

I used Dylusion ink sprays on this fabric. As you can see it diffuses gently. Be careful not to spray the ink where you don’t want it (including your hands.) It’s very hard to get off, and you can never remove it from the painted surface.  The spray comes in yummy colors though.

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Adirondack inks

I used a couple of colors of Adirondack inks on top of the Dylusion spray.  Pretty dramatic effect in my opinion.

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Craft paints

Here I squeezed some craft paint straight from the bottle on top of some light green corduroy fabric.

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paint spread on fabric

I rolled up the fabric into a tight log and this is how it came out when I unrolled it.

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the other side of the fabric

The paint bled through and saturated the other side of the fabric so I can now choose which side I like the best when I use it.

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writing

You can write on the dry fabric with permanent markers to make it even more interesting. 🙂

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Better quality artist paints diluted into spray bottles.

You can make very diluted acrylic artist paints in spray bottles and use that too.

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acrylic paints

From the spray bottles on some muslin.

DSCN2180I finished that with some drips of Adirondack inks.

The fabrics dry pretty stiff. You can iron them flat between newspaper or other protective paper.

You can add other fabric and fusible web to make them even more solid.

It is a FUN way to create your own fabric.  I love to make things out of it, like fabric bracelet cuffs.

Check out this YouTube video if you want to see how I made a cuff.

Too little time

Yes, there is too little time to attend to all the art e-courses I signed up for this spring. Some of them run weekly for a long time, and others are short-term courses.  How do you manage those classes?

I love them all, but I don’t feel good when I fall behind and let some of the classes slip because other things, like “life” get in the way of my fun.

What makes it so fun is that I can explore other artists’ visions of what they practice and how they see life. It’s a great ongoing exploration.

Some of courses are waaay too long and then I have to figure out which classes to pursue of the offering. As with anything else, we have preferences.

Art is never a BAD practice even if the subject does not thrill you. It is always a learning experience and a new way of looking at things.

If time is short, make a decision to paint X amount of minutes every day and stick with it. That is the answer to “too little time.” It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in as little as 15 minutes a day.

I enjoy that there are e-courses available about all styles of art, and artists.  I don’t even have to leave my house.

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Abstract exploration.

This was inspired by some abstract tutorial I found online.

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Flower mandala.

I had seen flower mandalas online, and also classes on painting mandalas, so I wanted to try my own.  My backyard does not have an abundance of flowers but these came from there. It was fun to make.

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Awful still lives I painted in one course.

I definitely don’t like painting still lives…

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Silly portrait of myself

I had never tried a self-portrait. I don’t care much for the exercise, but it was challenging.  The things in the background are paint tubes.  I think I mostly used colored pencils for this portrait. My hair is short now.

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Upside down cat.

We were supposed to paint something upside down so I used a picture of my cat with his head upside down, and then collaged a couple of hands below with a fish.

My mom used to say that when cats sleep with their heads upside down it’s going to rain… I haven’t seen any evidence of that, but she lived closer to nature.

What new things are you trying? Are you involved in any art e-courses this spring? I think it’s worth the effort.

Have a great, creative weekend!!

xo

Maria

P.S. You can always try my art journaling tutorial for free if you sign up for my newsletter. 🙂  Click image in the top right hand corner of this page.

Art as energy work.

Have you noticed how art can be energy work?  It brings healing, contemplation, and speaks to our inner self. Sometimes it comes across as something repulsive, but maybe that is because it triggers something repulsive within.  Art is a mirror of our own state and that shifts all the time.

Great art is timeless. It speaks to the universal truth of self and has a much larger scope than, say, a whimsical picture of a cat. Not that I have anything against cute cats, but to feel the greatness of my own life, I can go to any art museum and immerse myself in the great art of the world.

I remember when I went to the Met in New You and saw the Impressionists. I have never seen a “real” painting by Renoir before and the light that he had captured with paint took my breath away.

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The two sisters on the terrace. Renoir.

How do you paint light?  It’s not all in the technique obviously. Somehow he pulled it out of himself and the vision of light and shadow he had was superior.

I admire different aspects of different painters, but they all have one thing in common; they never strayed far from their original style (except Picasso maybe, haha.)

My favorites are the painters of the Impressionistic style. There is an innocence and joy about the art. They captured an era when people took pleasure in the simpler things.  Much of the modern art has such hard edges that speak of our harsher more stressful times.

I like to go up to art at a museum and feel entranced, not disturbed. Yet, honest art speaks the truth about the times we live in and it’s not all milk and roses.  Far from it.

One time when I was an art student a friend and I got a wild hair and spread open an umbrella at a museum of modern art. We stuck it on the floor with a tag that said “Umbrella.”  People stopped and looked at it, walked all around it, pondering.  We thought we were very clever.

Then a guard discovered the abnormality and the game ended abruptly.  It was fun though. That brings up the question: what is art? That is a discussion that can go on forever.

Personally, I like to be blown away when I go to view art.

I can only aspire to have people like my own art, and some really do. I guess my mission is accomplished if one person likes my art. All is good!

This concludes Day 8 of the 30 day blog challenge.

What are you working on today? What beauty are you bringing out to the world?

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some beautiful art for sale in my etsy shop. 😉  HERE.