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.
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.
2018 is brand-spanking new, so I figured it was time to tune in and get my special word for the year. I sat quietly breathing and asked my wiser self what my word would be for 2018.
I got SERVICE.
At first I was a bit taken aback thinking I would get a more “attractive” word (whatever word that would be,) but I sat with Service for a while and it felt good.
It can mean SO MANY things.
We are already doing service. Everything we do is for movement forward, either directly to a person(s) or prepping for other action that ultimately helps people in some way.
So I was thinking, how can I serve with my art? I can show people new ways to do something or inspire someone to take that first step to explore their creativity. I can be connected to my spirituality and use that as inspiration in my art. People can feel that connection and I really enjoy inspiring others to deepen their spirituality. They in turn inspire others. And so it goes.
It is a misconception that it’s difficult to create art. There is usually some resistance, but you don’t need an art degree to express yourself. Children do it all the time. They don’t make excuses for lack of experience. They just ARE and they DO. They create with abandon, until someone tells them their art has to be in a certain way and they start doubting their abilities.
Art can be very freeing!
Art is important in life. We access our deeper hidden parts through expression. Color cheers you up! Movement across the page or canvas can be revealing as you follow along on the journey. Wherever it takes you…
If I can assist you in any artistic capability, please let me know in the comments. I have many great ideas for 2018. Let’s get artistic together!
IF you’d like to win a handmade art journal I made, please take this short survey about how I can serve you better in 2018! Thank you.
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…?
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.
Magic making in the park requires a sense of openness.
I went to a nearby park by a big lake with a friend yesterday. We had decided to paint by the water. I brought my art journal and a box of Neocolors2 and some water.
My friend Sheri brought a large canvas and loads of paint. We spread out our materials on the tables in the shelter. The weather was perfect; the humid heat had broken for once. A gentle breeze flowed over the water. I wish I had taken some pictures.
The area around the shelter holds many old live oaks. There is an energy of magic all around and many birthday parties and wedding receptions have been held at that shelter.
Every time I go to the park I slow down, breathe, and feel the energy. I connect with the trees and feel into their energy to see if there is a message or an inspiration there. I ask if it’s okay to connect. Approaching nature in a humble way opens the door to communication.
Without the magic, there would be only Sheri and I making art, maybe copying a tree or drawing something realistic.
What I’m getting at is that magic happens in the moment. Either you allow it to sweep you along or you look at the surroundings with “tired” eyes.
I have lived “tired” for a long time and now all I want is the sense of magic, of connection with nature.
I doodled in my art journal feeling into the energy of my favorite tree. There were some colors, kind of like an aura. Mostly I got a clear blue. I don’t think the rendition was wholly true, but I have free will. 🙂
I have no idea where the giraffe came from…
Being aware of the subtle energies doesn’t mean I can depict them on paper, but I do my best.
Sheri started pouring paint all over her canvas and I watched in fascination. She only works on big canvases. I like a variety of sizes.
She spreads the paint with her hands in an intuitive process, which comes naturally to her. When done with that process, she looks to see what might appear in the paint.
We saw a turtle and a face, and I love how all the colors blended perfectly without particular care. When the paint dries, she enhances the images that pop up.
I own one of her large paintings and I never grow tired of it because the energy is timeless. Still, to this day I see new creatures in the painting. I love the riot of colors.
The most magic part of her art is that people find her art mysteriously–locally. People just show up and want to buy a painting. She doesn’t even actively sell them locally although she has in the past.
Her intuitive painting process is lovely and I admire her fearless approach to art.
You can find some more pictures on her page at Saatchi art. CLICK HERE.
It takes guts and openness to create in the moment as it takes openness to connect with the essence of nature. It is in that space that magic truly happens.
You can choose every day to feel the magic. I meditate to slow down and then I look at the living being that is our earth. Every blade of grass, every tiny bug is alive with magic.
Either we choose magic or choose fear. Fear is the conditioning we carry with us from our upbringing and the pressures of society.
All you need is to find a way to SLOW DOWN and truly look and feel into the natural surroundings or the paint if you’re creating something.
Feel into it and trust what comes out of the moment. To approach nature it’s good ask for permission to communicate. Nature wants to communicate with humans to make the world a better place.
Magic is real, folks. It swirls within us and everywhere outside. Open up to it and you won’t look at your surroundings with “tired” eyes ever again!
Finding clarity is not always easy. I have wanted to be more clear about what I offer people to help them advance with their creativity.
One of the most valuable tools in seeking the next step on the journey is imagination. My mom said I always had a wild imagination, and I’m grateful for the gift! 🙂
How do you use your imagination to gain clarity?
I like to meditate and sometimes I go on a journey with my imagination. Night dreams are possible guide posts to what is going on in your life, and through the gateway of imagination, you can re-enter the dream and get some answers.
On a journey into the unknown (or known however you see it) it is always great to bring a protector in the form of an animal. You would think bear or tiger or wolf would be the ones showing up, but I got a hummingbird leading the way.
For some reason I had complete confidence that this little bird could protect me if necessary. I don’t know if you’ve seen hummingbirds in action, but they are tough little warriors.
I read somewhere that hummingbirds evolved from a raptor in the time of the dinosaurs, but I’m not sure I believe that. Anyway…
Traveling with hummingbird, I went back into my night dream. I had missed an appointment with a man in a brown hat. I was in a room with my Mom and there was a sink that leaked. A full bucket of water sat under the sink and I wondered why no one had emptied it.
There was more to the dream, and the feeling was that I had screwed up somehow. The man in the hat had awakened me from a deep sleep.
I realized through my dream that I need to wake up and honor my “appointments.” Don’t miss important meetings due to sleep (unconscious behavior.) The water bucket was full and stagnant, and it was up to me to empty it.
Why wasn’t the leak fixed? No one cared enough to fix it.
Those were the major insights from the dream.
I have been at a crossroads for a while and it’s time to “empty the bucket.” Something new has to open up or I’ll be stuck (asleep) forever.
Dreams can tell you a lot of things, and so can art.
Intuitive art is often far from pretty, but it often holds many insights, just like dreams. In a way, they are both the same.
Art = dream = imagination = creation.
To honor the hummingbird I painted this page, and a brown cow showed up as the gatekeeper to the unknown.
We have the power to create something new, something that is closer to the soul’s path.
I would have to say that spiritual experience is the closest to my heart, IS my heart. Art is something I DO, but it can have a deeper meaning, drawing me ever closer to Source.
There are so many variations of spiritual art, women’s empowerment, shamanistic art, religious art, but I don’t feel spirituality has to be labeled, and we don’t have to seek it through some path. We are already THERE.
The key is to recognize that fact and create that which makes us feel connected and feel GOOD in the moment.
Sometimes there are too many paths to follow. The mind says “do that, that artist is successful” or “try that style; it might be saleable.” “Follow the path of that shaman, they seem successful.”
The hardest part is to follow your own path. So much doubt and so many choices. They are all tricks by the mind.
Your heart is always true. Finding clarity in the heart is the purest form of clarity. However, when experiencing the heart there is no NEED to DO or make anything.
However, since we live in a 3D existence we have to move our bodies, so there might be a prompt, a glimpse of something intriguing to do that feels ignited with joy. There is also a chance that everything will feel blah, but I call that a time of transition.
I made another art journal spread where a sheep (or goat) showed up standing on my neck and obscuring my head.
Sheep are stubborn. Reading the message of this intuitive page, I saw that my image of clarity was obscuring real clarity. I had built the dang sheep as an excuse to not move forward.
But look at the heart that showed up under the belly of the sheep! It was moving into a lighter sense. I had the words Follow Your Heart cut out from a template I had made for another project. I never threw out the words, and they fit perfectly.
I say that all the time “follow your heart.” Well, it takes a lot of courage to follow your heart. Sheep and other stubborn folk may show up to stir up confusion.
They are only images of fear of change. You can’t blame the messenger…
I am more committed to exploring my inner landscape and making art from that. That might be the end of “pretty” art but the goal is to be more open to the mystery and see what happens.
How does that sound to you? Are you ready to delve more deeply into the mystery of you?
I’m going to blog more about it and you can subscribe to my blog or my newsletter (see upper right hand corner of this page to access both.) I wrote a recent blog post about Intuitive art versus Structured art.