Tag Archives: art journal

Art is self-care

Art is self-care, no bones about it. I have heard an excuse for not making art that baffles me.

“I don’t start painting because it might consume my entire life.”

I realize we’re prone to binge watch shows we like or read a book cover to cover in one night, but at some point you have to abandon those things in the course of a day (or night.)

We have to eat, mind children, do chores. They might get set aside temporarily and dealt with later, but I can safely say no one will be consumed by art.

It’s nice sometimes to lose oneself in a creative effort, but when the stomach growls it’s time to re-fuel and take a break.

Are we afraid of losing ourselves into FLOW of anything that pulls us? Are we afraid of letting go and experience a deeper sense of connection with that which wants to be expressed? I’d say so.

It’s hard to let go, and fear tends to creep in, not to mention the ego stomping its foot at the idea of letting go.

Self-care involves letting things unfold and enjoying the journey. SELF wants to speak, and CARE is similar to trust, to allow something that might be bigger than our everyday personas.

Art never hurt anyone. If you care about self, it’s time to heed the longing that pushes from inside. Make some art! It’s not going to be the end of the world.

Care also means to care about your art work. When you set out to create, don’t minimize the effort or belittle the expression. It might come out ugly in your OPINION, but it’s about creativity, not about striving to paint like Van Gogh.

It’s time to put some care into the art work. Make it your best and feel the sense of accomplishment.

I was into art journaling this week and asked myself how I could put more care into my art instead of slapping down some paint. There is nothing wrong with process, but what if I took it a step further?

art as self-care

I really wanted to come up with some angle I hadn’t tried before. What would it be like? I have painted many faces, but never used paperback page hair, so I went into my stash of paper. I really like the effect.

I might leave as is or write something on the left. It’s okay to leave and come back at some later date if necessary.

art as self-care

For the above spread I had planned a video, but only captured the background and how I tied it together. I work intuitively, and the recognizable parts appear in the paper background (if any.)

I put a lot of care and thought into every aspect, yet I kept myself open to surprise. To me, that is the best way to inspire and delight myself. The bird above was never planned, and the buddha became the iris of an eye.

So much fun!

Care about yourself and your desires.

Allow them to express in your life.

Care about your art.

When ego stomps all over your art, keep going and ignore it as much as you can.

Allow yourself the care of immersing yourself in your art. If you can’t, well, give it ten minutes a day!

For more inspiration check out this blog post: Because Journaling is Fun.

Lots of inspiration to you.

Maria

P.S. I have some new items in my etsy shop if you’re looking for something colorful and fun. 🙂 Earth and Faery

 

 

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making

Crafty girl’s guide is a way to save on your art journals. Most of us mixed media artists drool over Moleskine and Strathmore brands, and many more, but they make a big dent in our wallets too.

Not that it’s bad to spend on good art materials. I do spend, but sometimes I like to make my own journal because it has “me” branded on it, not spiral binding or ugly covers.

I like to embellish the store-bought covers, but it’s something special about making your own.

I have even made some to sell in my etsy shop because beginning art journalers sometimes have a hard time with the blank page, so I make some simple backgrounds on the pages.

I buy watercolor paper on sale and take the pads apart for easy art making.

Then I fold the painted pages and use a bone folder to flatten the crease as much as possible. I sew the pages together with embroidery thread or hemp string.

The reason I like embroidery thread is that it’s colorful and strong, and flexible.

Crafty girls know how to be creative with the backgrounds in the journal. The more you create, the more your creativity blossoms.

Make your own!

crafty girl's art journal making
crafty girl’s journal

This is the latest journal I made. I covered the front and back with some vintage paper. The cover can be painted or more ephemera added on top. The label can be affixed anywhere or left out.

So much fun!

crafty girl's guide to art journal making

Above is a sample page of a background, and below are a few more. As you can see, crafty girl’s can make this EASILY!

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

So easy… A while back I made a video on how to put the pages together into a journal.  HOW TO VIDEO.

I have written some posts about art journaling basics for you. CLICK HERE TO READ.

ART JOURNALING STUFF (mostly cool backgrounds.)

If you need a push, here’s another post about the importance of allowing yourself to make art. BEGIN NOW! 

Now you can make your own journal and get started with art. There are no excuses and there is no time to lose. If you love art, make some today!

xo

Maria

P.S. I made a simple e-course on how to make a variety of art journals. It’s for the crafty girl in you! 🙂 CLICK HERE. 

You can also visit my etsy shop for more journals if you don’t want to make your own. EARTH AND FAERY

 

Honoring the oneness of everything

Honoring the oneness of everything is what artists do when we create out of nothing.

More often than not the mind tries to figure out “what to paint.” A wave of images from books and other artists flow through the mind, and there is EXPECTATION.

Gotta paint a face as good as the other artist’s face rendering. But that is not creating from nothing.

What if you sit or stand in your art area and don’t have a clue what to do next. That is creating from nothing. It can be scary and boring.

Actually, I sat down at my computer to write this post and I didn’t have a clue what to write, but I trusted that something would come. I centered myself in meditation, noticing all the images flying through my mind and settled on a journal I made. Writing always flows easily to me and I trust it.

The idea of creating from nothing intrigues me and I have a lot of curiosity about diving deeply into the art.

What if it didn’t matter

  • that the art turned out like crap (every day)?
  • that all you could manage was two pink dots?
  • that you felt like actually destroying the page?
  • that you struggled and had nothing inside?
  • that people would not take you seriously?
  • that you doubted yourself 100% but still showed up?
  • that you felt like you wouldn’t get anywhere with your art–ever?

It all comes down to trusting the process. If you feel like putting down one pink dot on the paper, do it. Feel within what paint you might like next and go for it. Slap it on, splatter it, wipe it into a brown mess, stab it with pencils, yell at it, add some collage, hate everything that comes out, but then…

Something happens. A spark, a clarity of sorts, a direct connection within that sets you on the track to something unexpected and beautiful.

It is effortless at this point and you will always love what comes out even if it seems weird (and wonderful.)

Convention is hard to crack. We don’t want to ruin the pristine look of our expensive art journal pages, etcetera.

I watched a video by an artist who took cheap composition books and made them into art journals. One interesting part was to crunch up every sheet of paper inside. She pointed out we’re connected to everything in life and the paper had once been a tree. By crunching it up she released the energy of the tree and set it free. I loved that idea. It set the paper on a whole new course.

Also, everything we touch is imprinted with our energy. When we make a journal, it’s truly imprinted with our own DNA, and it makes us own our art on a deeper level.

smash book
smash book

It was a lot of fun to make the journal and there is no preciousness about it. I can paint ugly all the way. It’s about diving deep and getting some answers through art. No one needs to see the art and judge it.

It is a very freeing way to be more YOU.

The artist who inspired this process is Catt Geller.

If we can see the wholeness, the oneness, of which we are part and know that the art we’re called to make has purpose, all we have to do is put one pink dot in front of the other and go from there.

Ugly is okay and an honored process.

art journal
honoring ugly art

 

art journal
scrunched pages

xo

Maria

P.S. Speaking of making an art journal from scratch, why not make collage papers from scratch as well? I have a great mini e-course on that. You can check it out  HERE. 

 

Paper madness!

Paper madness can strike at any time. I love paper in all forms. What would the world be without paper? Plastic books? I don’t think so.

I don’t want to talk about books but more about art journals and writing journals. I think there is a journaling craze going on. Michael’s has a whole isle with journals and insets and stickers to add.

Maybe we never grow too old for stickers??

I went to Hobby Lobby for some acrylic inks and came away with a great deal on a snooty Fabriano art journal.

Fabriano
paper madness

The paper is exceptional. I touch the pages reverently and imagine what I can create inside. No junk journal here…  It says drawing paper, but at a sturdy 90lbs it can hold just about any wet media.

You know how they describe wine. Dragging my hand across the paper, I would have to say it has a rich depth, is robust, yet smooth and silky against my tongue skin. 🙂

I use a lot of different kinds of journals for my art journaling, but I write my thoughts in a cheap notebook every morning. I have a great pen made for smooth writing (ek Tools journaling ink pen.)

I finish a notebook quickly so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive journals that sit around gathering dust because my handwriting would ruin them. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t write in them.

But, I did buy one for Christmas last year, and I’m about halfway through. It has pictures and sayings. Some of the pages are lined and some are blank. It’s SACRED SPACE, Writing and Creativity Journal by BlueAngel publishing. Journal art by Toni Carmine Solerno.

journal
Sacred Space

journaljournaljournalIsn’t the artwork lovely?

That is a journal I would keep, but I usually throw out my written notebook journals once they are full. No written masterpieces there…

To journal feels good. It clears the mind clutter and gives new vision. It makes you connect inside, with the inner small voice, and also with problem loops of thoughts that keep us away from what is important.

I’m also mad for any kind of funky paper, and I like to make my own too of course.  I alter the plain paper with inks, paints, dyes, markers, and collages that I print. It’s a way to put your stamp on plain paper or alter bought scrapbooking paper.

In art anything goes,  Mixed media art is a heaven for paper enthusiasts. I love it when there is a sale on scrapbooking papers. I buy a bunch and then I can’t wait to add some to my artwork.

If you’d like to read a basic article on how to get started with art journaling you can check out this post, Art Journaling Tools.

What do you like to write in? Notebooks or expensive journals? Do you use your computer as a journal?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Maria

P.S. Speaking of papers, I have a short art journaling paper making e-course that is lots of fun. You can check it out via THIS LINK.

 

Because journaling is fun!

Because journaling is fun I do it every day, but it’s not only the fun aspect that inspires me. Writing down my thoughts gives me clarity when I find myself overwhelmed. What is my priority today?  When I write it down I can see a path.

Most of my friends journal one way or other. Some journal on napkins, and some in elaborate expensive journals with leather covers.

It doesn’t matter what kind of journal you use; it can be a composition book from the box store. What matters is you having a conversation with YOU.

It’s like coming home to your most honest part.

journal
journal

Journaling brings not only clarity but vision that might stretch into the future. What do you want with your life? What do you want to experience?

I mostly write a journal entry every day and a vision for the week, and sometimes I can try to plan out the future, but you know what happens to “best laid plans…” I always write a page of gratitude every day. There are sooo many things to be grateful for.

Journaling is good for:

  • solving problems
  • kick around ideas
  • write down what you’re grateful for
  • write off “steam.”
  • get clarity of what you want to experience the most
  • write about relationships with others (or lack thereof)
  • a journal is a solution finder!

It’s good for pretty much anything we encounter. It can be your best friend. I talk to my cat a lot but he doesn’t give me a lot of ideas. 🙂

Many of my friends, including myself journal with art / writing in combination. That is probably my favorite way to journal, but I like to write too, and it’s a lot quicker.

journal
journal
journal
art journal
journal
journal
journal
art journal

As you can see I have been busy making lots of art journals for my etsy shop. You can make your own easily. All you need is some heavy watercolor paper, acrylic paints and inks, some string. A while back I made a video on how to make a simple journal /art journal.

When you make your own, it truly becomes YOURS. There are so many ways you can make a journal. The library has books on book binding where you can get more ideas.

I find it to be lots of fun and inspiring too. I’ve gotten so inspired by making them that I keep making more and more, trying out different styles and combinations.

You can find some to buy in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. 

I encourage everyone to spend an evening making one. Even if you don’t make it from scratch you can buy a journal or notebook and jazz it up.

If you want to write a journal online you can join 750 Words.com. You can also use a Word file and keep it on your computer. There are no rules.

When I was a kid I had a red journal with a gold chain and a lock. I don’t know how many times my brother tried to open that…  I don’t remember writing much in it but I loved it.

If you want to make a cloth-covered journal and more, I have a short e-course on making them. You can read about it HERE. 

I think I will go and do some art journaling now.

I hope you will do some type of journaling too. It’s really helpful!

xo

Maria

Who is looking?

Who is looking through my eyes? Kind of a deep question, and something that could be discussed at length, but to make it simple:

Life itself, filtered through many of my beliefs and preferences, (perhaps unfortunately,) 🙂

Life itself does not judge. When I’m aligned with that and in flow, working, I don’t think much about the art and where it’s going. I just DO.

who is looking?

I add one color or one item that pleases me. It’s an automatic act, pretty much. I lay down one color and then I choose the next and so on. I choose what pleases my eye in the moment.

The process intrigues me and the result usually amazes me because what appears is beyond what I would have painted had I decided to paint a still life motif or some other fixed view.

The process is so intriguing that it becomes the most desired way to express for me.  I’d go as far as saying it’s addictive.

It takes trust to work this way.  Trust grows by DOING.

What the art process reveals is always interesting even if I don’t like the finished art work. That happens quite often, but I respect the process.

Then I move on to the next page or canvas… and the next. After all, art is constant change.  Life is constant change. What we liked yesterday does not work today.

who is looking?

Art reveals life and life reveals art.

We learned to live in 3D by experimentation. Toddlers live in trial and error mode all day long. 🙂 Once we get past that stage, what then? Maybe boredom sets in.

I think it’s incredibly important to keep experimenting with life. No need to go to extremes, but what is your creative power?

It doesn’t have to be art, but for artists there are endless possibilities for experimentation. We are so lucky! We can be catalysts for life itself, our hands and tools extensions of something greater.

All we need to do is get in the flow every day, by DOING. Do art, make stuff, trust your instincts, have faith that all is well, embody the greatness.

Allow life to see through you and use your unique gifts. That’s when life becomes magical.

Have a creative weekend!

Maria

P.S.  The art journaling pages above are part of a new e-course I have set up, titled Life’s Song Art Journaling e-course. You will learn how to make your own papers and ephemera and incorporate them into your art journal pages. It’s a four segment course, and the first segment is available NOW.  The rest will be published once a month for the next three months. Each segment is ONLY $12!!!  Enroll now and get creative. CLICK HERE.