Tag Archives: art journaling

My word for 2020

My word for 2020 is faith. It takes a lot of faith to blaze new trails in the wilderness of creativity. I feel inspired to move on, create things I’ve never done before.
First, I have a little inspiration for you, the process of my latest art journal spread:

Art journal pages tutorial with floral napkin and writing.
My word for 2020

I started by applying a paper napkin to the bottom half of the pages, using Mod Podge. I separated the two layers of the napkin first, and the top layer was very thin, making awesome crinkles in the paper when I attached it to the page. I then painted the top part an unbleached white and used an old gift card to scrape some green over the dried paper napkin.

Adding a paper napkin to my art journal
adding paper napkin

You can see the ridges in the napkin well, and where there is a paler area in the white paint where the Mod Podge acted as a resist, adding more interest to the page. I like how the flowers on the napkin shone through, making me think of spring.

I added stems from my stash of paper. Friendship sayings were printed on the paper, and I thought they would add more interest to the art. I cut out flowers from other stashed junk and glued them all down.

paper flowers added to my art journal spread
cut out paper flowers

I enhanced the stems and flowers with black lines from a ballpoint pen and wrote down my word for the year. Simple but fun!

my word for 2020 is faith
my word for 2020

I have dipped my toes into other media as in sewing. I’m obsessed with textile birds at the moment. Using two Ann Wood patterns that you can find at Annwoodhandmade.com, I made a songbird and an owl. Lots of fun, but also some frustration when things didn’t go so well.

Pink songbird made from scrap textiles.
Pink songbird

This debonair gentleman is called Sir Percival. He has lots of wisdom and goes his own way, but is always willing to offer a word of encouragement. He has lived a long life, and he likes to read books.

He’s fashioned from soft materials, but he’s not a toy. He’s an art doll enjoying lording it over other dolls, but he’s kind.

These two birds are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the owl HERE. The songbird is available HERE.

Apoxie Sculpt is of the most difficult materials I’ve worked with. I like the incredible hardness when dry, but it tends to be too soft, and if you wait, it gets too hard to work with. You only have a couple of hours of work time with the clay. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet.

I finished the bird I made a couple of weeks ago, painted two layers of paint and fixed the wobbly leg. It came out ok, but the turtle I made with the amethyst crystal did not end up as planned, but I’m learning. The clay is so different from polymer clay or paper clay. Since the end product is so much stronger, it’s worth learning how to handle it correctly.

The main thing is to have fun!

I hope you’re having fun this week. Make sure to add some creative practice to your day. Every day is a gift. Make it juicy!

If you missed my last post, here it is: Person or bird? I made some molded faces with Apoxie Sculpt and sewed them to fabric bodies. What do you think?

Happy creating,

Maria

Pondering authenticity

Pondering authenticity is what I did this morning, and yesterday too, as I worked in my art journal.  There is the eternal question of “who are you?”  Besides a spark of the Divine that we all share, what is truly important in my life?

The answer is easy: to grow my soul. It has nothing to do with art, but I’m using that as a medium.  It’s about becoming more, to expand, to learn, to deepen.

Lately, I’ve been feeling empty, Inspiration has been far away.  Not even a promise of cookies and ice cream has brought back the muse.

To some extent, I have felt uncomfortable with the art I have been making. There is a very fine line between copying and authenticity.

What with so many e-courses and workshops offered about intuitive art, which is my main art interest, I find that you’re prone follow the “ways” of the teacher, and you learn to let go of the restraint of conventional art beliefs. This is all great and all the courses serve a purpose.

But what if you feel stymied even with these free-flowing ways?

I have tried it all, and always come back to myself, feeling there is a piece missing.

I’m left with myself and my feelings of inadequacy. If I truly follow my art moment to moment, the pieces won’t be popular or get many likes on Instagram. This is a fact. I have delved into my art making this way, and then felt I could do better. It’s the ego that wants recognition and praise for the “beauty” of the art.

That is not authenticity.  It’s sooo easy to fall into styles, be it spiritual art or abstracts or avant-guard non styles.

If I allow my art to develop, one paint stroke at a time, I come up with these blocky paintings.

pondering authenticity

pondering authenticity

pondering authenticity

These paintings tell a story. They are not pretty, but I sense myself in them more than in any other kind of art. Here is an example of another painting that I then painted over because it wasn’t worthy. (Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.)

pondering authenticity

The painting then turned into this:

pondering authenticity

So much prettier, right?

I suggest we are slaves to styles, trends, and what is considered beautiful by the majority. i know because I’ve tried to cater to the crowds by making my art pretty and acceptable.

I do have many paintings where I have followed the brush strokes, and they haven’t sold, for the most part.  Here are a couple of old paintings that I still have on my wall.

pondering authenticity

I painted “Moon Goddess” in 2009. I find that my truly intuitive leaning has a hint of the indigenous art you see in many cultures.

My art journal spreads reminds ME of something indigenous in Mexico of old. It’s more of a feeling than a fact.

Below is the process of a painting, “Balance,” that I painted in 2008. It’s one of my favorite paintings and now it’s hanging over my bed. I had it for sale for years, but no takers.

pondering authenticity

pondering authenticity
old studio space

pondering authenticity

My friends say they can see me in all of my art, which is probably true, but to me it’s about exploration.

So authenticity is not really a noun, it’s a verb that means DOING, or taking action. Only through action can we evolve. Authenticity is something strange and wondrous that you explore, not in your mind, but with your hands and heart.

Authenticity only deepens as we dare to go down the road of “not pretty” or sales-worthy.  The good thing about art journaling you don’t aim to sell any of it. That takes the pressure off.

Authenticity can’t be explained, only experienced. You can’t really ponder it, but it’s there to be felt.

Whatever the online gurus fling around the internet as in “be your authentic self” is not practical to the individual.  You can follow their lead, but it’s ultimately your inner exploration / prompt that is valid to  you. Other artists’ ways will put a restraint on your soul.

However, any art making is good as it moves you forward. 🙂  Just do it any way you can!

Want more inspiration? Check out this post: Trusting The Unknown.

Looking for a gift? I have items for sale in my etsy shop: Earth and Faery.

Have a great weekend!

Maria

Color basics + this and that

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.

LIFE’S SONG art paper e-course.

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,

Maria

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.

No inspiration?… no problem

No inspiration? That happens to all of us creative types. There are many reasons why inspiration is absent, and I have recently been in the middle of a painful situation that has robbed me of all concentration and inspiration.

Health is maybe the most important facet of life. Without health we have nothing or we struggle. I’m a reasonably healthy person but lately I have had a shoulder pain that has bothered me for days.

I woke up at 4 am one morning and had a burning pain near my shoulder-blade. It has since spread to make life very uncomfortable.

It’s not as bad as a toothache or earache if you’ve had one of those. Wowsa!

It’s like something burning and gnawing on my shoulder. Off to the massage therapist I go tomorrow!

That is just one example that can stop you in your flow.

However, I still show up at my art table. That is my commitment. I spread on paint on my pages without enthusiasm, and let it be at that.

I can always come back to the pages. I have my artistic dream, and pain is not going to hold me back. I might not feel happy, rather the opposite, but who says you can’t paint ugly painful art…?

art journaling

When I commit to something, like my art, I aim to move forward with some kind of art expression every day. My day feels wasted otherwise.

Life throws us curve balls and it’s up to us how we deal with them. You hear of successful people who have no arms and legs and still make a success of their life.

  • They choose to see and work on the positive they have in life
  • Pain won’t kill us but can become a sad excuse if we let it.
  • To have a purpose is good whether we carry it out fully or not.
  • It’s good to take action! Take action to heal, and do something you normally like to do. Every day.
  • Things can always get better! We may not feel better but we’ll feel better about ourselves when we take positive action.
  • Feeling like a victim or woe-is-me will make things worse.

Is there any part of you life that isn’t working? Are you feeling victimized by circumstances?

What can you do today to take ONE positive step forward? Then build on that. Every major change starts with a small step.

It takes determination, dedication, and courage. But that is the way out of any situation you don’t like.

Then commit to the steps every day and see some tangible change for the better.

Life can be hard work, but before you know it, inspiration will flow again.

I want to be able to say that I made the most of my gifts and talents when the time comes to check out!

Pain is a good teacher and helps me take stock of my life. Taking stock is a good thing!

The weekend is coming up. What fires you up this weekend??

I have decided to enjoy myself. 🙂

Love, Maria xo

P.S. Looking for Christmas gifts?  My etsy shop is full of unique goodies, boho style! Earth and Faery.

 

Intuitive art or structured art?

Intuitive art or structured art is a dilemma I struggle with often. Intuitive art is direct and it happens and evolves in the moment. One step of paint leads to another and it goes on until finished.

Structured art is planned out in every detail.

More often than not I don’t like what comes out in the end of an intuitive art session, but in art journaling, it’s okay to let it all hang out and not worry about “pretty.”

Lion's gate
intuitive art

As you can see above, I didn’t have much of a plan. I knew I wanted to make something around the eclipse today so I started with a large yellow circle and wove the rest from there. Is it pretty? I’d say not, but it feels good to me.

Intuitive art is led by feeling rather than a thought-out plan. It can be scary, but many worthwhile things are.

abstract art journaling
intuitive art

Above is another example of intuitive art. It’s raw and direct.

art journaling
intuitive art

The above page is more structured since I put some thought into the combination of the background papers. As you will see in the following picture, the two have similar backgrounds and that was to tie the pages together.

art journaling
structured art

This page I planned out. I knew I wanted to make an angel, but I wasn’t sure how she would evolve. I chose papers that added interest to the background.

I’d say that page is inspired by all the other pages people are making and posting online and offering in how-to videos. It was fun to make, but not very original.

doodle mania
structured art

The face was planned and the doodles happened along the way. It was fun and it felt original, not like a copy.

One artist I admire is Tamara LaPorte of Willowing Art. Her art journaling is beautiful and very structured. I have to say it bores me to copy in the long run. I just don’t have the patience. Do you? I still admire her art, but it’s not my cup of tea as they say.

portrait
structured

face
structured art

portraitThe pages may be pretty but they don’t speak to me in the long run. They are satisfying to paint, but…  After leafing through a bunch of my art journals I have to say 90% of them are filled with intutive art.

Intuitive art can be very frustrating, but also offer a window into my life.

art journaling

So when all is said and done, follow your own star!

I have a lot of how-to videos on my YouTube channel if you’re interested in the intuitive art process. You can browse HERE.

I have a blog post about living in the Now and creating art. The Moment Of Now.

Check them out and have a great creative week!

xo

Maria

P.S. My etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY is filled to the brim with magical and colorful things. Gift ideas anyone?

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