Tag Archives: artist

Begin NOW!

Begin now, it’s never too late. Think of Grandma Moses who had a successful art career late in life, starting in her seventies. She died at 101 years of age, and painted 1,500 paintings or so.

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Grandma Moses

I think it’s all about a positive attitude. She decided to try something new. Maybe she had always wanted to make art, but never had a chance until she “retired.” However, she made up for it in her productivity.  She was open to see where the path would lead her, and I admire that pioneering spirit.  She was called a naive painter but if you look at the intricacies, there was nothing simple about her art other than the very direct expression of what she saw or had seen.

She did not worry too much about style or perspective. That is the pioneering spirit. She just began where she was and continued from there, never stopping.

To accomplish any dream, be it painting every day, or some other dream, start where you are NOW. There are no shortcuts or magic bullets, only exploration via doing.

Think of all the various styles art has gone through. Don’t you think the world thought Picasso was crazy when he started his “deconstructed people” Cubist style?  He was a trail blazer.  I don’t know if he ever doubted himself, but if he did, he didn’t let it stop him.

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Pablo Picasso

So, mindset is so important.  If we don’t dare to make changes, or take some risks, we remain in place, stagnant.  In the long run, nothing is more boring than the status quo.

What is your dream? What can you do today to start something new? Not just New Year’s resolutions, but something that resonates in your heart. You know, THAT thing.

Take one small step, and then another, and another. Before you know it, you’re deep into the bliss of doing what you always wanted to do.

Don’t know what you want? Start with your most vivid idea. Once you start somewhere, clarity will stroll in. Change directions, nothing and no one is holding you back, except yourself.

Convention holds us back, but that is the trap of other people’s opinions that shaped your own. You are free to explore!

Begin NOW!

Have a great weekend.

art journaling
art journaling

If you didn’t join my FREE year long art journaling exploration you can join HERE NOW. There is a great artist / teacher line up and a very active FB group.

xo

Maria

 

 

 

 

Doing what you love is not a brand to follow

Do what you love is a concept that is tossed around all the time on social media these days.

I agree with the concept but it becomes a thought form for the busy mind, not something that actually sinks in.  I make these inspirational wall plaques that say “follow your heart.” I do mean it, but what does it actually mean?

follow your heart

I was at an event at a bookstore recently where I have some art hanging on display. I watched the people wandering around the walls, looking. There were those who threw a cursory glance at my art, and there were those who stopped at every painting and took in every detail. I’d say they liked my art, or they tried to figure out the technique.

I have followed my urge to paint for a long time, and what appears on the canvas today is something I have developed over the years, and maybe there is more “heart” in my art than there was. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m on a journey that never stops as long as I can paint.

My art will never stop developing, so if one of those people at the event would have approached me with questions, like “what inspires you”? I would have answered “many things.” There is no one thing in particular.

What they actually see is my DOING over the years, with no particular goal in mind.

I think the painter Paul Cezanne might be the father of abstract art when he discovered he could paint the loose rendition (or energy) of the landscape he was looking at.  Discovering that took many years of DOING.

Paul Cezanne

The issue was not to create a strong brand of Paul Cezanne, but the journey that led to his discovery of abstract ideas. Like most painters he probably took classes and experimented endlessly with color and form. His art became his brand, but I’m sure he would have resisted the word.

Why lock oneself into a box of “this-is-who-I-am” and I will be this for the rest of my life.  Life is an evolving journey of many “follow my hearts.”

The problem is: most people like to dream but not DO. It’s in the doing that all is revealed!!

You can’t put heart in a box or on a wall plaque and hope it will transform someone, but my intention is to inspire. Still, the journey is mine.

Every day is a day of DOING or not… your choice. By trusting, by taking action and not sitting on the sidelines you will in fact be led by the heart.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of art for sale in my etsy shop Greene Earth Originals: HERE.

Treacherous comfort zone

Treacherous comfort zone is something I try to avoid at all cost. I’m not always successful and it’s easy to sink down into my new recliner and read a book when I need to be more productive.  (Picture is a stock photo. 🙂

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treacherous comfort

I actually fight that urge every day, but I know what needs to be done, so I have a choice of following my lazy side or the side that really wants to accomplish something useful for me and others.

Useful as in art inspiration. Sometimes it’s hard to be inspired and produce art, but to break that lazy habit you have to show up at the easel or art journal. Once that resistance is broken, I can then face the resistance of the art itself. Nothing but hurdles, haha.

The art resistance is harder to break than the habit of what to do with my time.  I usually force myself over that hurdle and things open up.

There is a third resistance and that is to try some different art modality. If painting faces was my thing I might try landscapes. That resistance might be stronger than anything. That’s why you see artists painting the same thing over and over because it’s safe, tried and true.  Not that the art lacks merit, but you get in a groove and staying there is more comfortable than taking a risk.

That’s maybe why people paint photographic perfection instead of doing risky forays into the loose and undefined.  Technique is safe.

I watched a documentary yesterday, Sky Ladder, on Netflix about this famous Chinese artist Cai Guo-Quing.  He uses fireworks to create his huge pieces of art, and he also designs massive  firework displays (opening of Olympic Games.)

It was wonderful to follow his creative process which is on a huge scale. His art is subtle but right in your face, and I was mesmerized and also mortified at my own small thinking. I highly recommend the documentary to all artists as an inspiration to stretch boundaries.

Life really is about stretching boundaries and trying new things. So what if it fails? It’s just another step in the exploration called life.

It’s important to have a balanced inner life, but also so important to do the “right thing,” it being the work that fires you up.

Right now I feel that I’m at a crossroads. Either I break through to the next creative level or I make deeper grooves in the rut that I have dug in the past. Life is constant evolution. (Or painful boredom.)

Standing still equals staleness.

To live a creative life is to be dynamic and open to the possibilities as they happen. I saw those in the eyes of that Chinese artist. He’s is fluid, open, present, and seeing the biggest opportunities for risky expansion.

He spoke to my heart.

I also saw lots of bravery and a conviction that it’s only possible to move forward.  No choice really.

So I come back to the choices we make every day, whatever work we do.

Yes to being proactive.

Yes to expansion and greater things.

Yes to creative risks.

Yes to LIFE, not habits or ruts.

What is the risk you need to take today?

I cheer you on from my studio, not my recliner….

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of art for sale in my etsy shop. Christmas is coming…  There is a price range for everyone. CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

Doormat syndrome.

Doormat syndrome, have you suffered from that as a woman (or man?)

I have at times. I had two relationships that were “their way or no way.” I’d say it’s common to submit to others to keep the peace.

doormat
doormat

For a time, anyone was welcome to step on me and make me do their bidding, cause it was “nice” to help others, no matter what.

No more.

Yesterday, I had two conversations with women having trouble standing up for themselves, as if saying “no” is not nice or not supportive. We as women are raised to be supportive and submissive. I say, to heck with that!!!

There is a limit to what is expected of us. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! If you don’t WANT to do something, don’t do it. If someone is clingy, hogs your time, drains your energy, just excuse yourself and remove yourself from that person. Know your limits! That is SELF RESPECT. You have the right to stand in your power, always.

Someone might snigger at those words, but the longer we stay in a submissive stance to others, the less we can pursue our dreams because someone will always step on them. That is part of the scenario of being a doormat. Make better choices.

  • It’s okay to be your own person.
  • It’s okay to have dreams.
  • It’s okay to be an artist if you want to.
  • It’s okay to make others mad if you are protecting what you know is right for you.
  • It’s okay to have time for yourself.
  • It’s okay to be a role model for strength.

I have lost friends over that last statement, and I don’t have to be RIGHT, but I can choose what works in my life and ditch the rest.

So many women I know put everyone else’s dreams and desires before their own. When are you going to realize your own strengths if you deny your power as a person? Say you fall down dead and realize you did nothing to pursue what fired up your soul.  That would totally suck in my opinion.

To be an artist matters. Your voice matters, your art matters. Your expression in the world is very important so if you have something to say or paint, do it.  As they say, life is short.

The greatest excuse I hear is: I have to be there for my children.  Yes, of course you do, but you also have a responsibility to yourself.

Make your children badass and confident as you grow yourself stronger.

strong children
Children who are not doormats

Allow yourself to choose YOU.  Your children will learn from you. Do you want them to become doormats? I didn’t think so.

Maybe you wonder why I post many motivational posts instead of artist stuff?  Being an artist requires becoming the whole you. I’m working on that, and my art expression is a journey that changes all the time.  Art has helped me to be strong.  So maybe it’s better to inspire people to be strong than add a bunch of art how-tos. I decided I can do both. 🙂

So can you! Dive in and be the GREAT You now. If people stand in your way, you deserve better. Work around them or get rid of them.

You are enough!

With lots of love,

Maria

P.S. Sidebar note. I have a sale going on for my art journal how-to e-course. ONLY $15 until October 26. CLICK THIS LINK. Create something today! Get involved.

New art in my etsy shop.

Buddha abstract
New art in my etsy shop

Too little time

Yes, there is too little time to attend to all the art e-courses I signed up for this spring. Some of them run weekly for a long time, and others are short-term courses.  How do you manage those classes?

I love them all, but I don’t feel good when I fall behind and let some of the classes slip because other things, like “life” get in the way of my fun.

What makes it so fun is that I can explore other artists’ visions of what they practice and how they see life. It’s a great ongoing exploration.

Some of courses are waaay too long and then I have to figure out which classes to pursue of the offering. As with anything else, we have preferences.

Art is never a BAD practice even if the subject does not thrill you. It is always a learning experience and a new way of looking at things.

If time is short, make a decision to paint X amount of minutes every day and stick with it. That is the answer to “too little time.” It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in as little as 15 minutes a day.

I enjoy that there are e-courses available about all styles of art, and artists.  I don’t even have to leave my house.

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Abstract exploration.

This was inspired by some abstract tutorial I found online.

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Flower mandala.

I had seen flower mandalas online, and also classes on painting mandalas, so I wanted to try my own.  My backyard does not have an abundance of flowers but these came from there. It was fun to make.

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Awful still lives I painted in one course.

I definitely don’t like painting still lives…

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Silly portrait of myself

I had never tried a self-portrait. I don’t care much for the exercise, but it was challenging.  The things in the background are paint tubes.  I think I mostly used colored pencils for this portrait. My hair is short now.

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Upside down cat.

We were supposed to paint something upside down so I used a picture of my cat with his head upside down, and then collaged a couple of hands below with a fish.

My mom used to say that when cats sleep with their heads upside down it’s going to rain… I haven’t seen any evidence of that, but she lived closer to nature.

What new things are you trying? Are you involved in any art e-courses this spring? I think it’s worth the effort.

Have a great, creative weekend!!

xo

Maria

P.S. You can always try my art journaling tutorial for free if you sign up for my newsletter. 🙂  Click image in the top right hand corner of this page.

Ugly Is Okay!

toadimage

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder, right?  To me, ugly is okay.  I googled free pictures of “ugly” and there were a whole bunch of them, all wildly diverse. Who decides what is ugly anyway? I saw the toad picture and thought of the saying “ugly as a toad,” but truly, he’s kind of cute, warts and all! After all, he is Kermit’s half(?) brother…

Do we judge something as ugly because of the colors or the shape?  Opinions are as diverse as there are people. Then there are clueless people who don’t like anything, but they are not important in this post.

As an artist, I deal with “ugly” every day. Many times I judge my art as ugly, or that the result of a day of painting turned out ugly. However, a friend might come by and totally love the piece.  Who am I to judge??

I think it’s about making art in the face of fear and failure.  We make art because we love it, not so much hoping we are going to outshine Vermeer or Michelangelo.  Still, it can be painful to have your art judged as ugly, or that you hate the result.  What counts is that you showed up at the blank page.

We all start somewhere. The technical skill might be lacking but the essence of the person who made the art shines through.  Especially if it’s not a copy job.  It can be hard to fly in the face of trends. The cuteness factor is hard to compete with if you’re painting mostly in black and gray.

No one paints like you or me or Vermeer.  We are unique and we came here to share our unique gift with the world.  Share the good vibe as they say. 🙂

Artists who keep coming back to making art “has to” share  their unique vibe and it’s a beautiful thing.

The point of this post: don’t compare yourself to others. You will never paint as cute as they do, haha, but your art is important.  If you consider your art “ugly” own it and be proud of your accomplishment.  Someone might come by and fall in love with the piece, and then what are you going to say?

We share at the level we are at.  We might no be a genius like Mozart or Leonardo, but our art is just as important if in a smaller scale. If you touched only one other person, that would be enough.  Then again, as you practice your art, you may dig deep into your inner genius, and then your name will be on a plaque in a museum too. You never know unless you keep on going!

Let’s go paint some ugly pictures! I’m excited. 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a bunch of short free tutorials and a couple of paid ecourses on my other site.  If interested you can check them out HERE.