Category Archives: painting

From drab to colorful

From drab to colorful is a transformation of an old painting into something new that better fits me as the artist I am today. Painting over an old painting does not give me a sense of doom, lol. I’m not attached to my paintings much. When they are done, they are mostly out of my consciousness.

The paintings I can’t sell, I paint over. The forgiveness of acrylic paints is great. No matter how many layers, the paint only looks richer each time.

This particular painting went through several huge changes, each stage very different. Here is the end result of the transformation, and the pictures of the old finished paintings.

from drab to colorful
from drab to colorful
from drab to colorful
The painting started here.

I painted this face back in the day, but it never left my studio. I then painted some layers on top and the white as a last layer. I saw two drinking glasses in the shapes, but I never liked that painting. It was too colorless for my liking,

Here are pictures of the progress that brought the art to its current state (as in the first picture above.)

I added lots of marks and details, and some “loud” drips that took over pretty much everything. Then I painted over most of them.

from drab to colorful

I was not happy with the blue ground and the flowers. They dominated everything else, so I diminished the blue, as you can see in the next picture.

from drab to colorful
from drab to colorful

In the above picture, I toned down the white outlines on the flowers. They are better, but I’m not totally happy with them–may be too big. I outlined the houses with charcoal to make them more pronounced. It ended up becoming a happy painting despite the giant flowers.

What if the painting doesn’t work out?

You never know how things will evolve, but you have to put yourself into the center of the action. Don’t agonize and wait, just try something. You can always fix what doesn’t work. The most important thing in creating is to take action, no matter how hard the fear pushes back.

Action = courage = more action = results.

Sometimes you have to work on a painting with courage you didn’t know you had. Results, whether they are good or bad, will happen. You never know until you try.

If you struggle with fear, here is a helpful post: Fear Holding You Back?

Here is another post: Procrastination is an Ugly Beast.

Have a great creative weekend!

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Check out my items for sale in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. There are some fantastic gift ideas.

Spirit guardians and other surprises

Spirit guardians showed up on my canvas yesterday, and part of me knows them well.  One is a fantasy lion, and I have always loved birds of all kinds.

I painted this painting in the past, maybe three years ago:

abstract art

I liked the movement and the colors but I could not reconcile myself with the finished art.  The lines were too harsh among other things. So, I painted over it with a mess of marks and colors. I don’t have a picture of that, but something in me saw figures emerging from the mess. My previous post has a picture of such color mess.

I think we all have “x-ray” eyes and the subconscious leads us into the unknown, if we can trust. That painting ended up being the “Spirit guardians” below, though I must say that all layers underneath are never lost. The energy remains.

spirit guardians

The cat doesn’t look exactly like a cat, but it doesn’t matter. I often dream of lions and they protect me, and I love the strength and the “sun-like” quality of that particular cat.

Three birds showed up as well. It takes a lot of trust to knit it all together, but when you do it many times, it becomes an urge to keep going until it’s done.

I also finished an old painting that I now call Anxiety/Overwhelm. I have experienced that a lot lately and it feels good to express it. The result is peace inside.

anxiety overwhelm

This painting has many layers as well.  It is telling me to slow down and forget the craziness of the world around me.

Sometimes I wonder how paintings can go from one image to something totally different, but it’s part of the fun discovery of the unknown, the unexpected.

That’s why I love intuitive art so much and why I want my spirit guardians to step through and take on color and form. It’s a very empowering feeling. Art that touches the soul is empowering for the artist and the viewer.

Always shoot for bringing out the best of your inner artist. It may be a long journey, but it will make you very happy! It makes such a difference to make things in life that are worthwhile. When you feel happy and fulfilled you know you’ve hit the right groove!

The paintings are for sale in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.

Enjoy your creativity. Don’t waste any more time on “killing time.”

xo

Maria

Trusting the unknown

Trusting the unknown is sometimes the hardest thing to do. All artists travel into the unknown in search of personal style.

It’s always safe to copy others or paint by numbers, but what are YOU about?  The art reveals many things. I have used art as an oracle to find answers and when you consider the colors, the composition, the details, you can find out what is going on inside.

Our inner life is not easy to understand since we rely mostly on thoughts and programmed beliefs, but when a painting comes together you can see the soul of the artist, if he/she dared to explore the unknown, a.k.a. revealing their soul.

I wanted to document a painting here that I have been working on for ages. It’s still not done. My camera lens has been collecting a lot of dust since I started taking pictures of the progress, but it is what it is. Maybe I will post the finished painting at some point.

It became another chaos painting (like the one I wrote about in a previous post.)

There was an old painting underneath and I confess I’ve used this canvas to dab excess paint from other projects. The only part I liked was the little sun.

I added some white paint and squiggles when I decided to make something of this painting, if possible.

In the squiggles in picture number two I saw a face and I decided to enhance what I saw. I liked the outcome of the face but I have no idea what to do with the rest of the painting.

That’s where trust comes in. The painting does not have to be finished NOW. It could be finished two years from now. You have to trust in the long game. What is supposed to be on the canvas will reveal itself.

I have trusted enough in the past to know that it ALWAYS  resolves itself, but in the long game, who knows when? The unknown is vast and human patience has strict limitations.

We can stretch our limitations to face the mystery within. One way is through meditation. Art is a like a living meditation, but also a memoir of where we have been through the years. Trusting the unknown is essential to an artist as we have the “power” to make people stop and feel, and think. By trusting our own unknown, we become a road sign for someone who is looking for ways to touch their unknown.

I have debated with myself whether to offer another class on intuitive development through art. It would not just be painting, but lots of exercises on how to build a relationship with your intuition.

I will get back with more info soon. I think I will call it Art and Spirit Alchemy. What do you think?

If you missed the post about my previous chaos painting, here is the link: Tree Painting’s Journey from Chaos to Peace. 

There is no guarantee the tree painting is completely done, but it’s almost there. 🙂 Maybe.

A lady bought four of my paintings on etsy these last couple of days, so I’m happy about that. You can check out my offerings there if you like. Earth and Faery. 

Until the next time, paint away! Don’t be shy.

xo

Maria

Tree painting’s journey from chaos to peace

Tree paintings are some of my favorites. Every living artist and every dead one had their own vision of trees.

I’m going to share how I painted this tree. It was a journey of lots of ups and downs.

I was ready to quit many times and just paint white all over it, but I let it sit and stew in its own colors.

I don’t have pictures of what brought it to chaos, but I started out just smearing colors across the canvas with my hands. I smeared countless layers and colors, and lost track of any possible solution for this painting.

It finally ended up like this:

tree painting

Some people might like the mess, but it didn’t feel finished to me at all. It sat like this for a long time. When I had left over paint, I would slap some on this painting.

tree painting

tree painting

Then I arrived at this, which was something beyond my scope. How could I bring out a focus in this painting?

tree painting

I finally saw a tree trunk in the mess, and drew two black lines and some roots. Then I had major problems with the background. It went through several stages before it felt right. tree painting

Here I had the tree painting, but I thought the background looked imbalanced. It didn’t feel complete at all.

tree painting

I added a tree to the side in the background, but … I wasn’t happy. Backgrounds can sometimes be tricky. You have to brave and forge on!

tree painting

Then I made the background almost white. I wanted to leave the space between the roots white. Still, didn’t work.

tree painting

This felt a lot more peaceful, a balance of dark and light encasing the tree “spirit.” I can see the spirit as a vibrant energy.

To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s finished. I thought it was, but when I look at these pictures, I’m hesitant. Sometimes it’s easier to see what works and what doesn’t in a picture. It is a distance from the painting itself.

Time will tell.

I started this painting in April of 2015… You would think I could have finished it, but the Muse does not like a harness. I did plenty of other art meanwhile.

There is a time for everything…

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a sale in my etsy shop Dec. 9-15. Great selection of unique gifts! Everything is 15% off. EARTH AND FAERY.

Stay with me said the painting

Stay with me, said the painting to the artist.

painting
stay with me

The artist replied, “No, I want you to reveal your magic NOW. I don’t have time to hang around waiting for you to get your sh*t together.”

“All in good time,” replied the painting with a smile. “Life is infinite.”

“Grrrr. I have other things to do. I can’t sit around and wait for the next step on this stupid painting.”

“With an attitude like that, nothing good will ever come to you because you’re too busy running away from the magic moments in your haste to go nowhere.”

“You’re withholding,” the artist said and rolled her eyes.

“What are your priorities? To run around being busy with trivialities or to contemplate what is really important in life? It’s not about a painting but about your approach to life. Even though you act like one, you’re not a hamster on a wheel.”

“Sometimes I feel like I am. It’s the hardest thing to wait for the true prompts, the ones that come from within,” said the artist.

“You’re hard-wired to make, to accomplish, to perform and get results as quickly as possible, but life doesn’t work like that. If you can see your painting as life, you are on the right track. Humble down a notch or two and open up to possibilities. Stop being a robot.”

“Patience is the hardest part. I get so frustrated, and especially if the painting turns into an ugly mess. Stops me right in the tracks.”

“The painting has its own journey and destinations. Not every painting is destined to be a masterpiece, just as you’re not destined to become a violinist.”

“I get so bored, waiting.”

“Stay with me,” begged the painting.

“It’s like the lottery. You have to wait to find out if you won or not.”

“I have a winning number if you can stick with the process and not leave just as the magic is about to happen,” the painting said.

“I want guarantees,” said the artist. “How do I know this ugly mess can turn into something beautiful.”

“Butterflies start out as hairy caterpillars that no one likes, but then… transformation!”

“Yeah, right.” The artist sighed and stared at the painting.  She bristled with frustration. “I feel antsy.”

“Do something else for a while. Go for a walk and then come back to me,” said the painting. “You are not a prisoner even if you think you are. You are a prisoner of expectations.”

“I like to accomplish things. It makes me feel good to not waste time.”

“What is important to you, dear?”

The artist thought about it for a while. “To experience the mystery. Everything else is old hat, endless repetition.”

“Stay with me then. I will transform you as I transform into real beauty,” said the painting.

The artist sighed and tried a few brush strokes, and right in front of her eyes, magic was revealed. All she had to do was to bring it out.

What a feeling!

(The painting at the top of the post is not finished, but it will be some day.) 🙂

P.S. Here’s a post about resistance you might like: Who is in Charge?

 

You want to sell art?

You want to sell art? Well, why not. We need more art in the world and yours makes a difference. Everyone’s art perspective counts.

People usually advise against becoming an artist since they always equate such a creature with a “starving artist.” Side note: I feed a feral cat and many people do, so why would we not feed starving artists??

There are many ways around the starvation syndrome, one is to become a creative thinker and produce many streams of income. (You can always get a sugar daddy or mama… joking.)

rainbow rose
rainbow rose

I painted the rose above in ’06 and I sold 7 versions of the same painting. I still own this one but I might put it in my etsy shop.

I paint, make mixed media art, art journaling, and several crafts. I enjoy them all. I started selling paintings on eBay back in 2003 (how time flies!) What did I learn from that?

  • Always add hanging mechanisms on the back of the art. All I did was varnish the paintings and send them off. 🙂 Small paintings work well with sawtooth hangers. Large paintings require picture wire and eye hooks. Apply the eye hook to the INSIDE edge of the stretcher bars so that the picture will hang flat against the walls once you attach the wire.
  • Paint on gallery wrapped canvas or some other professional surface. If you paint on cheap stretched canvas and the staples show on the sides, you give the impression of “starving artist.” (Gallery wrapped canvas is the kind that is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame.)
  • If you can afford it, always buy stretched canvases with the deep 1″ edge.  They look so much better, and definitely don’t need a frame, which is a selling point. If you’re handy, stretch your own canvas. You can get rolled canvas for great deals on eBay. Other surfaces that are usable are Masonite and luon-covered plywood. Places like the Home Depot can cut them to size right there. You need to gesso the surfaces and they need to be framed (by the buyer.)
  • Write eye-catching descriptions if you sell online. That is a make or break point besides awesome art.  Use TAGS, as many as you can think of, so that peeps can find your art during a search.

sisterhood painting
Sisterhood

Sisterhood was a painting I ended up making eight versions of and they all sold. This was back in 2008. People have wanted to use the art for their business cards. I think women loved these paintings because of the sisterhood idea.

  • When something works, make several versions that show the same theme, different shapes and colors. I get tired of repeating myself, but I make as many as I can stand.
  • If you use mixed media, make sure the papers and ephemera are glued down securely. Nothing is more annoying than flimsy edges and corners that stick up.
  • Use a quality acrylic varnish to finish off the artwork.
  • Try lots of different styles until something clicks and you come home to yourself.
  • Master some kind of fun craft and sell the things you make.

polymer clay mosaic art
polymer clay mosaic

Crafts are like a meditation for me.

If you can only focus on one kind of artistic expression, do what you love the most and hold a part time job to pay the bills until your art takes off.

In this day and age, you can find our art spread all over the internet. I sell art and crafts all over the world through my two etsy shops. I find that my crafts sell better, but painting is my first love.

Arts and crafts shows were never something I wanted to do, but I know artists who do well with those. Whatever floats your boat.

Today I focus online and I have been creating art e-courses for the last couple years. Talk about a giant learning curve… lots of fun!

The bottom line: MAKE ART EVERY DAY, and you will sell some, guaranteed!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of lovely and affordable gifts in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. Support a successful living artist today! 🙂