Old art feels new again if enough time goes by. Some art doesn’t, and those canvases can be painted over with newer impressions, but sometimes I pull out an old painting and pause. If it touches my heart, it’s still good. It was created in 2007.
That’s how universal art is created. It has a timeless quality.
Mind you, everything is in the eye of the beholder and I’m of course partial to my own art.
I’m amazed how many styles I have tested over the years, from Americana folk art, to abstracts, to all sorts of mixed media, and now mostly intuitive art, which is really abstract if you want to be picky. Though sometimes weird figures abound.
Here are some pictures of my 2007 painting, Magic Happens:
I used all kinds of texture, from polymer compound to collage to crumpled tissue paper. The paint enhance the texture in major ways. The hand was cut out of a magazine page, my own hand pattern. Then I applied layers on paint on top.
This painting is available for sale in my etsy shop. You can head there if you want to see more pictures. I uploaded ten pictures there.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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?
Creating texture is easier than you think. Here is a picture tutorial I made using only paint to make some texture for the background on this art journal page.
I used these tools:
Paint, an old credit card, hair pick, wall texture dodad, nib of a pencil, baby wipes or tissues.
This is the end result.
This is how I made it:
I had no plan for this page other than creating texture. First, I took some unbleached white and spread it liberally on the page. I used the edge of a credit card to make some grooves in the paint.Then I used a pencil to dig more marks into the paint.
After that I used a hair pick to get some thinner grooves.
On top of that I used a dodad from the paint store and made some wider grooves. You need to wet the paint to make it pliable.
After that I used the corner of the credit card to slice some smaller grooves sideways over the others.
Now I let it dry, and then I chose a green paint to rub over part of the surface with a tissue.
As you can see, it’s kind of messy and the green covers more the top than the bottoms of the grooves. I took some dark umber on a stiff brush to dig the paint down into the grooves.
Now you can see the grooves well, so the rule is, use dark colors to enhance the grooves if they are important to the project.
Then I decided to add some red paint, which I smeared around with a tissue.
The grooves at the top of the page are not as deep, but it makes for a good contrast. (The white spots is sunlight through the blinds in the window.)
Close up of all the grooves when the paint was laid down. I did add some red paint to the depth of the grooves.
To soften the effect I added more of the original unbleached white over the other colors. Applied carefully so it wouldn’t get into the grooves.
Then I saw a face and decided to enhance that with markers and more paint.
The black marker was pretty harsh so I softened that a bit. I also used a Crayola brown to draw the contours. I softened the effect with my fingertip.
I then gave her a blue top and you can see the markings I made on that and on the pink background that I added.
The girl with the flaming hair was born!
How do you like to apply texture to paper?
Here is another blog post of a painting with mixed media and lots of texture, What Jane Wanted.
Try some texture in your art today! Easy peasy.
P.S. Looking for a unique Valentine’s gift? I have some mosaic heart plaques in my etsy shop, ready to go. Earth and Faery.
Color basics came to me as I mixed colors and saw the results. I never took any classes in color combinations, but I can see how the need is there for someone just starting out.
I went to YouTube to investigate and found several tutorials on how to mix paints. I didn’t feel like making my own, so here is one video by Kelly Eddington Watercolors. It’s a good one! Check it out if you’re unsure how to mix paints.
I recommend using scrap paper and experimenting with your primary colors. Mix them up and see what happens on paper! Practice until you understand the basic combinations and variations.
You can’t mess it up!
I was busy this week doing some art journaling, using paper I created for my online course Life’s Song. It is all about making your own papers from scratch, well, not the paper itself, but the altering and embellishment. I had lots of fun with the papers that resulted, and I will make some more. They become more authentic than the paper you buy in the stores. Take a peek.
The burnt paper became a face. I teach how to make that kind of paper in Life’s Song. Added embellishment from magazines and other papers, like the star tissue paper on the right. A gift from a friend on Christmas.
It’s all about balance and fearlessly charging into the unknown. It can be scary!
Gratitude has been a big focus in my life lately. Every day, every breath is a reason to be grateful. I feel I live in a magical universe despite the craziness going on in the world right now.
Humans need to wake up and smell the roses!
As artists we can inspire.
It has been a good week and I look forward to my next foray into art journaling…
Now I have to go and clean the bathroom…
Have a great, creative weekend, all!
Lots of love,
P.S. Life’s Song is a great way to create unique art. Check it out! Very affordable too Here is another blog post I wrote about paper, Paper Madness.
Practice never makes perfect is true in some sense, though I believe that practice makes perfect if, say, you’re learning a new language. The art practice never ends. Some say that if you can paint something hyper-realistic you might call it perfect, but I bet the artist still strives for even more perfection.
Truth is, why strive for perfection in the first place? Artists want to get better at their techniques, of course. They want to execute their craft better for more personal satisfaction.
But what if you just want to express yourself, not perfecting the craft of painting perfect landscapes or faces?
Everyone can express themselves. It only takes a willingness to try.
Trying involves getting some materials, like an art journal or old book that you can alter (use as an art journal.) Buy a few acrylic (fast-drying) paints in colors you love, get some glue or medium, a few brushes, some markers, and a bunch of old magazines.
You can paint a background with a couple of your paints, anything goes. Draw stick figures, paint them, cut out images from magazines, words that speak to you. Add more paint and writing if necessary. Add stuff until you feel it’s right, if not perfect.
Then you practice to let go. It’s good enough!
It’s a great way to see in color what is important to you in life, and art!
What it actually takes is to do it, no excuses.
Carve out some time for creativity. Explore who you are, your wishes and dreams. Expressing in art is an age-old practice.
Art journaling can be challenging, but no one has to see your pages unless you want to share them.
Even if you hate the pages, at some point you’ll hit on a symbol or mixture of symbols you love and that will inspire you to continue making more pages. You’ll collect more stuff to add to your spreads, a bit at a time.
I keep making art because I feel a need for it. Maybe you won’t feel a need unless you really keep doing it, as with exercise. I can’t speak for you, but making art gives me a special kind of satisfaction, a feeling that it’s important.
I made a YouTube video of the first spread I made (above). You can watch it here to get inspired (hopefully.)
Without my art, my life seems to lack something. I go into my studio with anticipation and leave it feeling, oh well, many feelings, among them happiness, frustration, annoyance, challenged, inspired, accomplished. Every day is different.
I have more how-to videos on YouTube. They will help you explore your own creativity.
I have also made some more art journals for sale in my etsy shop. They will help if you fear the “blank white page.” ETSY SHOP.
Have a creative weekend, folks!
Here are a couple of blog posts about facing your fear and lack of motivation.