Art is a blessing

Art is a blessing in these broken times, and always! I practice making art almost every day, and when I’m in the flow, all troubled thoughts go away. So I highly recommend art as a form of meditation.

I can’t always settle down, but knowing from experience, I at least try. Sometimes it’s great to get out of the house and see other vistas than the mess in my studio, but I always end up there.

The creativity /art is a red thread that travels through my life, and it’s tied to the timelessness that is LIFE itself. In that I find solace and inspiration.

Do you lack inspiration when the world is dark?

Sometimes I do, but some scrolling through Pinterest gives me new ideas. I can translate ideas into my own style, and it’s both rewarding and frustrating. A new design always has its share of frustration. That is the challenge!

We need a good challenge, often! At least I do.

I have some empty Altoids tins, and I’ve been making shrines with them in the past. This time I wanted to make a sculpture that could be hung on the wall. I wrapped some epoxy clay around it and made an armature for head and shoulders. It didn’t look like much after the first round of clay, but I had to let it dry 24 hours before I could add another layer.

The second day I added facial features, a “shrine” to nature on her stomach with a nest and a heart, and then hair, which was wrapped around a cardboard form to get the “flip.” Facial features are always a challenge, but I was somewhat pleased with the result. I knew she would look better with paint.

Art doll in clay

That is one thing you can make with an Altoids tin.

I haven’t made that many items this month. I painted some and made a couple of clay “women”, but that was pretty much it.
I got some art journaling done as well, and here’s a short video of the spreads. Sometimes weeks go by without art journaling, but I always go back to it. Some kind of addiction, I guess. 🙂

I’m always looking for new techniques and materials.

I also made a video tutorial of a spring-like spread from the other day. We already have some spring signs here in Florida. The light is much brighter as well. The migratory birds are starting to return to their northern homes already, for another round of raising families.

There are some new things in my etsy shop that you can check out. Earth and Faery.

I wish you an awesome February! Till then, may you have lots of art inspiration. 🙂

Love,

Maria

My word for 2021

My word is “breakthrough” and I think it will fit 2021 nicely, though who really knows what’s coming? There are so many unanswered questions. I choose to look at the new year positively, and intend to make it great, as great as I can!

I made a short art journal video to bring in the new year. Making art is good intention setting.

You can watch the process here:

my word for 2021

Reflecting back on 2020 it was a chaotic year for sure. I’m sure we can all agree. I got a lot accomplished in my art studio, and I was grateful to have that space to retreat to whenever I wanted. Not everyone is that lucky. My heart reaches out to those who were hard hit with the economic downturn, and most of all, those who had friends and relatives who passed away.

I wish a lot better year for everyone, and that we can find ways to get along better.

Here are some items I made in December:

The angel shrines are well loved by my customers. 🙂

If you need an angel for someone or yourself, please check out my shop Earth and Faery.

I wrote a blog post earlier this month with several other items I made, you can check out this post if you didn’t already, New Energy Coming…

On that note…

I wish you…

New Energy coming!

New is good right? It’s been a turbulent year, and I’ll be happy to see the end of 2020, though 2021 might have some difficulties as well. Last year I made an art journaling spread around my chosen word for 2020: FAITH.

Boy, did that come in handy… I have relied on faith a lot, in the world, and in my art practice that has taken some different fun turns this year.

I’m so glad when I look back that I chose that word. I go by my intuition when I choose. You can as well. Ask for the word to be revealed to you. Just take some deep breaths and empty your mind. Silently ask for the word. Then sit quietly and focus within. The word will bubble to the surface. (If you don’t get anything, try again, or just choose one that feels right.)

My creativity took a turn with my whimsical figures. I worked to learn the feel of epoxy clay, which has a mind of its own! Haha. Polymer clay is easier to work with. My latest whimsy girls here.

As you can see, I made some polymer clay brooches as well. I used Super Sculpey for them to make them extra strong.

Clay is so much fun!

New energy?

We are moving into the Age of Aquarius according to the astrologers. There is a promise of better times to come once we get through the remnants of this year’s sludge. Aquarius stands for innovation, far vision, humanitarian efforts, and less focus on the “bottom line.” Sounds a bit farfetched, but I believe. I can feel it coming. The world we have lived in so far does not work any more, and innovation will be necessary for the survival of the species.

I think we’ll see more focus on cleaning up the environment and the use of healthy technology (yes, there is such a thing!) It will all take time, but I have great HOPE for the future.

To help with the energy shift, take up meditation if you haven’t already. There are millions of guided meditations on YouTube if you don’t know how to do it. Self care is going to be important. I took up a practice of non-complaining, and it has worked incredibly well.

It’s well worth the investment. You don’t need to buy the bracelet. I used a rubber band. BTW, I don’t get any profit from touting this book.

Eat well and get lots of sleep. The body needs a lot of rest to shift into the new energy paradigm. I think meditation is the most important part.

It has saved me from feeling anxious about the current world situation.

An short explanation of what the Age of Aquarius is. Here is a YT video to check out.

So, it’s a huge event, and we’re part of it. I think that’s really cool! 🙂

The holidays are upon us. I have been busy shipping orders, but I plan to make some kind of video this month to share. Stay tuned for my next blog post towards the end of the month.

If you’re looking for a unique gift (that probably won’t get there for Christmas) I have lots of ideas in my shop Earth and Faery.

All that is left to do is to WISH YOU a Merry Christmas. Celebrate any which way you can! You are alive, that is something to celebrate.

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. You can buy a composition book and dedicate it to 2021 where you can write dreams, hopes, and plans. You can make your 2021 word spread on the first pages. A few months back I made a mixed media cover for that type of book. If you missed it, check it out.

Mixed media with sea-loving flair

Mixed media is one of my go-to modalities when I want to experiment and have some fun in my art journal.

There are so many ways to add mixed media elements to your art, as many as you can imagine! 🙂

Mixed media is the essence of flexibility.

I made this art journal spread with some sea-loving flair. Mice are on an adventure and a mermaid is sending them some good vibes.

I haven’t been as busy as usual in my studio this month. Times have been kind of crazy, and my thoughts have been scattered a lot.

But I’m ready for Christmas, and there will be mixed media galore in my Etsy shop, but no art journaling there. 🙂

As you can see, I painted some pictures. I also tried my hand at some polymer clay brooches, which were a lot of fun, and a mermaid pendant. What do you think of these?

I made some more angels since they sell well in my shop.

If you are interested in any of these items, they can be purchased at Earth and Faery. There are about 150 items to choose from. I’m amazed at myself as I keep making stuff. When you’re inspired, everything flows!

If you missed my last post, Altered Pages Just for Fun, here it is. You can watch a three-part video tutorial on how to make altered pages with texture and paint. Then I show how to use them as ornaments and as a journal cover. CHECK IT OUT.

It’s always good to make some art in these crazy times. 🙂

My aim is to inspire.

Lots of love,

Maria

Altered Pages’ tutorials for fun!

Altered pages are a staple in art journaling, and I decided to experiment using a tub of modeling paste I just purchased. The paste has the consistency of creamy peanut butter and is easy to use. It’s important to clean up your tools quickly before it dries. It dries a lot harder than you’d think.

First, a thought: The best way to discover what kind of art expression you like to pursue is through experimentation. You learn quickly what you don’t like, and it takes you beyond copying others’ styles. I think it’s the best way to discover what makes you tick. That changes over time, so it’s good to be flexible.

Anyway, here are the three videos I made with altered papers.

Part 1: how I actually altered the papers.

Altering pages

Part 2: How I made some ornaments using the above papers.

Making ornaments

Part 3: Altered papers make a great journal cover!

Altered papers journal cover

As you can see, these papers are very flexible and forgiving too. You can’t mess up the project. Try it. If you buy some modeling paste you’ll enjoy using it in other projects. I made this mermaid picture with a sea background of paste.

Mermaid with modeling paste background

I pretty much used the same stencils in all the projects. You can use this technique for some many things!

Have a great creative rest of the week. 🙂

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. I stocked some Halloween items in my shop recently, Earth and Faery.

Art-Making begets more art-making

Art-making is a great way to grow a backbone of art! People say to me, “I don’t know how to begin” or “I don’t have any ideas, but I WANT to make art.” It’s contradictory in a way since what they want to do is immediately negated by an excuse.

I have written a lot about it in the past, but a reminder is always welcome.

I make art because I decided to

Art-making is not like a 9-5 job where you show up and put in your contribution and then go home. Art-making is something you have to grow so that it can support you when things look bleak.

It’s like anything: to lose weight, you decide to go on a diet. To learn a new language, you decide to take a course. That decision is the only thing keeping you away from what you want.

That is, if you REALLY want to make art. Somehow it’s a pastime that is relegated to not-very-important hobby. That is belief that stops many in their tracks.

Not everyone has to start an art biz, but the pleasure of creation is robbed from you if you don’t heed the urge to create. As you walk down the path littered by many failed paintings and other art efforts, you gain a rich momentum and a rich inner experience.

That’s where the vein of gold lies, you getting deeper into your own mystery. Your art becomes more fulfilling and sends out a deeper message. There is confidence and surety.

Art-making is a worthy endeavor!

When life in heavy, when things don’t go well, you can find solace in your own art. I know that deeply.

I made a video on how to make a cover out of a brown bag for a cheap composition book. That was wonderful fun! I will use the book as my current idea, planner, inspiration source.

I love to use old scrap paper, pieces of sentences, advertising flyers, etcetera. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I have collected lots of paper ephemera over the years. Enjoy!

We’re almost into September, my birthday month, yay. Celebrate every day as if it’s your birthday, because it is. We are reborn every day, and each offers new opportunities for creativity, in life and art.

Some old inspirational blog posts:

Inspiration, where is it?

No inspiration, no problem…

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Check out my etsy shop for gift ideas. I’ve been selling a lot, and every item is a one-of-a-kind so it will never be exactly replicated. 🙂 Earth and Faery.

Artist and writer