Tag Archives: art journal

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.

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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.

 

Fire for no reason

Fire is a fickle thing. It shows up for no reason. It can be a struggling flame in damp wood, a red smoldering under ashes, a good warming fire or a blaze out of control. I find that inspiration works the same way.

Some days there is nothing but a damp flicker and some days I don’t have enough hours in a day to fulfill the creative urge raging within.

You would think it would be a more controllable scenario, but to control fire you have to kill it or at least bank it to a level that is manageable, but that’s equal to holding yourself back from creativity.

If you don’t allow the fire to burn, you kill the creativity that is longing to be expressed.

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smolder

It’s better to ride the wild blaze of inspiration when it comes and be grateful for it!

fire
sun

The Universe is a filled with chaotic blazing infernos. That is the enormous power of creation, constantly in flux, constantly evolving.

As with fires that happen by accident, we get struck by random ideas that can grow into great fires of inspired action. All they need is one small flame and something that catches it.

When that flame appears, it’s your task to respond to it and grow it into a blazing inspired roar.

fire
fire

If we don’t ride the wild blaze it will die and smolder under the dampness of our fear and indecision.

When you get a great idea go with it immediately. Don’t question the quality of it; don’t hesitate to take action. Follow the flame and  it will lead you to something greater than your everyday mind.

Creativity, when allowed its full expression (even if it happens randomly) makes YOU larger than who you think you are. It reveals a glimpse of genius, of the greatest part of you, life itself.

How to manifest the idea is not for you to worry about. You take the first action, and then the next, and the next.  By instinct the idea knows its end result and all you have to do is follow the cues, one at a time. Trust is something we have to learn along the way.

Most people ignore those inner flames when they come and they sit for years smoldering under the damp of everyday life, showing up like longing. Pay attention the next time you experience a deep sigh. What were you thinking about?

The other day I was struck by inspiration and I took immediate action. I created this video called Life’s Song Unfurling, a mixed media art journal spread.

Then I was inspired to work out an online course with the title Life’s Song. It is about incorporating memories into your art, and also create all the ephemera from scratch. The e-course will be available shortly and I will keep you posted.

You can sign up to my newsletter HERE to stay informed.

Love,

Maria

Art Journaling basics

Art journaling can be a bit confusing for people who have never tried it. It’s a combo of writing / journaling combined with art. The art can include painting, collage, drawing, mixed media assemblage.

art journals
art journaling

Mostly, the media is collected into a book format of various sizes. To use wet media like watercolors and acrylic paints, you need a sturdy substrate a minimum of 90lbs paper to hold up the layers. These days you can easily find mixed media journals at the arts and crafts stores. .

Some of the brands I use are XL mixed media journal by Canson, Cachet by Daler Rowney,  Canson Mixed Media (which is better quality than XL,) and Moleskine. There are many varieties to try.  Here is a short video I made about art journals and other tools I use:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6fr9p3ceqvmbli0/introartjournaltools.mp4?dl=0

I mention lots of different markers. I prefer permanent markers that can be used between layers and won’t smear when covered with wet media. The best way to find your preferred tools is by trying a variety of them. If you don’t want to buy the most expensive markers like Copic or Tombow, you can find some that are very good, like Faber Castell, Posca, and Sakura markers.  It’s better to invest in some medium quality markers to get better results in your journal. There is nothing more frustrating than poor quality paper and tools.

Brushes: You don’t need the finest brushes for this type of art. A variety of sizes and types are okay. You can even use foam brushes or brayers to spread the paint. I often use an old gift card to cover a page with paint. I mostly use brushes for details, but everyone works differently.

Don’t be afraid to try art journaling. It is so much fun, and there really are no rules! Once you find your favorite tools, you will return to those all the time. Go wild!! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. I have an e-course that pretty much covers the basics plus some fun art journaling spreads. You can check out Art Journaling Journey here.

I had a discussion yesterday

I had a discussion yesterday about art. Some days I paint perfectly recognizable art projects, like birds and things in nature (for example.)

I had a discussion
random bird

Sometimes I make random art, which is so easy, but the pages don’t necessarily mean anything to me. The person I was talking to swore by random art.

It’s interesting because the art journal pages I don’t care much about get the most “likes” on Instagram and Facebook. Not that the likes matter much, but they are an indication of what speaks to the viewers.

People like random “loose” renderings. I feel very ambivalent about that kind of art. It doesn’t SAY anything to me. I like a good story or something recognizable.

Not that random stuff is ugly. Many times I’m drawn to the energy, and that’s enough.

I had a discussion
The other woman

To stretch myself I’m going to make art that doesn’t always sit well with me and see where it leads. If it’s easy, it flows, but there are no rules. Easy doesn’t mean fulfilling.

I had a sdiscussion
Flying into the sunset

I do like abstracts as long as they draw me in. I’m very ambivalent about my own art at this point. These art journal spreads have been painted, mostly, with a paint on a credit card edge. I like the texture, but I also like texture on house walls. 🙂

When is it decorative, and when is it art? Well, it doesn’t have to be labeled, but it’s an interesting question .

One time I painted walls that had a leather faux finish. It was a lot of fun experimentation to get it just right.  In the end, it was a satisfying project. I wouldn’t call that art, but it needed skills.

I had a discussion
Totally random

The above spread was totally random painted with a credit card, except for the art picture that I glued on top.  I can’t say that I like it, but it is what it is.

I had a discussion
Random art

What is your opinion? What kind of art makes your breath catch in your throat and your eyes widen?

For me, I would say it’s some kind of mastery that shines through the art.  I’ll never forget when I first saw some real Renoirs at the Met in New York. The light he had mastered! I’d say it was an awesome immersion experience.

As it is, we live one day at a time, and any creative endeavor brings us closer to the heart of who we are. Each piece of art brings us closer to more deeply express the essence.

I aspire to inspire, one step at a time. 🙂 What about your art?

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. I have an e-course, FLY YOUR SOUL, coming up shortly.  No link as yet, but I will add one once the offer is available.  Meanwhile, you can always join my newsletter: LINK HERE.