Category Archives: painting

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! 🙂

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.

intuitive art
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?

intuitive art
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!

paint palette
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.

DSCN2169
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.