Dastardly Owl was so much fun to make. I did not come up with that name; Ann Wood did. I used her pattern to make him and it was so much fun! She also has a lot of free patterns on her website if you like sewing small creatures. I’ll post a link at the end of this post. So this was a detour for me, and I learned that I can still sew even if I don’t sew much these days. Now I’m hooked on fabric birds, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that fascination will last.
There are so many patterns and creative people out there! I can easily spend hours on Pinterest if I start cruising. The dangers of social media, right?
Things were busy around Thanksgiving, but I still had a productive November, and it makes me feel good. I made mostly mosaics but also got some painting in, though painting is at the hub of my frustration with art-making.
Every day is a challenge when it comes to painting. Here are a couple of items from November’s collection.
As you can see, I tried a lot of different things to challenge myself. Most of the items are on sale in my Etsy shop, free shipping across the board.
My goal is to make all the Christmas gifts this year. No shopping on Amazon or elsewhere. Are you making any gifts?
There is a sweet needle case on Ann Wood’s site that would make a great gift. Needle book pattern. Even if your friends don’t sew or make crafts, everyone can use needle and thread.
Your woo-woo friends might like a Spirit Doll tin, made from random papers and an empty tin. The post is HERE.
You could make a set of homemade mixed media cards. They don’t have to be Christmas related. Here is a tutorial for a Mixed Media Card. You can buy sets of blank cards and envelopes at places like Joann Fabrics.
I usually love homemade gifts even if they are not perfect. Don’t let your feelings of inadequacy stand in the way of creating something personal. The gift will be one-of-a-kind. 🙂
Passion is, of course, important in anything that you do on a regular basis. I find it can be cultivated. In my art practice, my passion has grown over time. At first, I felt an urge to create, a feeling deep inside that insisted on being acknowledged. I’ve had that urge all my life.
Things happen and you get away from the urge calling you, but it never quite goes away. That is your soul calling; do something you enjoy in life, it says, don’t be a drone and waste your life.
As I listened to the calling within, I knew I had to take action, consistently. The more action I take, the more my passion grows. It’s that simple. That is the perseverance part.
The trick is to take action. If you don’t, your creativity won’t have a chance to mature, like an apple on the tree. It’s so important to heed that calling within. Some people create ten minutes a day and find their creativity blossoming.
Whatever form your creative urge takes, give it a wholehearted try, and your life will transform, if you’re persistent enough. The universe loves action takers! 🙂
I was busy in October. I made many polymer clay mosaics, all the time trying to stretch my imagination to keep them fresh. I painted some original art, but the resistance in that area was massive this month. Where there is resistance there is an opportunity for growth!
I created a mixture of paintings and mosaics, and my bestseller the spirit doll faces.
Passion always wants an outlet, what is yours?
I enjoy what I can make with the spirit doll faces, and I also like to share them with others since a handmade doll can be very healing. Any craft is healing in my opinion. You make it and you can enjoy the results.
I have three paintings I need to finish. I decided to upload my “Aliens among us” painting even though I wasn’t sure if it was complete. When nothing more comes, I judge it finished, BUT new ideas might come along later, things to add, things to paint over.
Passion is daring to trust the process…
Last but not least, my mini shrine with a sweet angel.
You are loved!
Have a great Halloween! I wish you lots of time to create also. 🙂
“I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me.”
Do you like your art? It’s a tricky question since it’s easy to doubt yourself. How do you judge whether it’s good art or not? It’s in the eye of the beholder unless you’re a person who judges art on how close it comes to “reality.”
Everyone’s reality is different, and that’s why we use the saying “eye of the beholder.”
I judge the success of an art piece I make on how it feels. When it’s done, do I feel great about it? I sometimes feel good, but I know others won’t like it, and I’m usually proven right. However, that doesn’t matter; it’s all about unfolding and experiencing each piece of art.
It already exists on one level, maybe as an idea., and you work to make it look as close as possible to that idea, but it often doesn’t work out. The painting takes on an approach of its own. That’s when you have to trust the process.
You go to a museum to admire some art, but most of the displays leave you untouched. Art made from the artist’s passion will not fail to touch the deepest part of you. You have your favorites, and maybe a lot of people share your likes and dislikes, but art is something you can’t really judge.
Do you like your art or don’t you?
If you don’t, can you accept it without tearing yourself down? It is the sign of a mature artist to allow both likes and dislikes into their life as an artist. Most of what you paint does not transcend into the realm of “wow,” and more often than not, you leave the studio after a day of hard work, not wow.
Can you accept that the muse is absent?
It’s so easy to throw in the towel and say I’m not going to make art today. Maybe I’ll watch some Netflix series instead. It happens to me, but I take my commitment seriously. I’m too far in to give up my art making even if it’s not leading to a status of fame.
What if it unfurls your very soul with every bold step you take in the studio? If feels that way sometimes even if nothing makes sense. It doesn’t have to make sense to be enjoyable and productive.
Love your “uglys” as much as you love your inspired pieces. They all have a role to play in your life.
Accept it all! In the end, it doesn’t matter what you like and dislike. It’s just an opinion. Art lives a life of its own, and we are but its humble servants.
I just finished a mixed media piece, part of series of funky canvases that I have been making. I loved the previous ones, but this one is a definite “meh.”
I also started a new painting that is 20×20″ in the intuitive style. I loved the background, and the face appeared on the side, but I’m stumped what to do next. Again, I’m sitting at the junction of ugly and possibilities. It could turn ugly or become an unexpected masterpiece.
It takes a level of bravery to continue. Each step is a step into the unknown. As artists, we create a new “life.” It’s often a frustrating way to go about one’s day, but it holds the promises of many treasures if we stick with it.
Acceptance is the key, but you can still have your opinions! 🙂
Creativity has many faces, but when you boil it down, everything comes from the same source. Creating something can be a spiritual experience, and when you feel passion, you’re eager to launch yourself into the project.
When you’re stuck in your creativity, where do you feel it? I usually feel it like a wall in front of me. It’s a major effort to pick up the paints and get started. I push consciously through this gloom and make something, anything! So, if you feel into the stuckness or resistance, where do you feel it? Try to pinpoint what the exact feeling is like. Usually, it comes down to a vague fear or the fear of change. Every time you put paint to paper, there is change. What if you don’t like what you create?
The best strategy I know is to keep pn going. Put another layer of paint on, add some ephemera, write a poem even if it’s for yourself only. You can look at someone’s work that you admire. What element do you see that might look good in your art? Then make your own version of that feature.
When you’re in the creative flow, you feel the fire in your heart, and it’s a spiritual experience. That’s why all these above elements go together. You could exchange creativity for TRUST, spirituality for FAITH, and passion for PURPOSE.
By showing up and making stuff you grow your trust. As your trust grows you know faith. If it has worked before it will work again and again. When everything flows you feel as if you’re on purpose with your life. Ah, you say, this is what I’m supposed to do with my life.
The next morning:
I don’t feel anything; I don’t see why I should go back into the studio, I had a good day yesterday, that’s enough. Sometimes you have to go through the whole procedure to grow more trust. It is the simple act of sitting down or stand by the easel and push brush to paper.
Purpose is action
We think our purpose is something nailed down and sealed in the eternal times of our soul. In my experience it changes. It’s not something that can be controlled, only followed. Via action, you create your purpose. We fight this because we think we should be better, or have a greater goal in life. Creativity is change. It’s a constant flow so we need to learn to follow it. We crave that passionate flow. We try to recreate it, but you can’t, because no day is like the previous. All we can do is to make ourselves available to the flow and see what happens. It’s both mundane and mystical.
Starting on February 4, I’m offering a free 5-day creative self-care boost in my Facebook group. I will talk about this subject and also kick start some creativity via video or live stream. I haven’t decided yet. However, it will help you to get going and kick off February on the right foot. Sign up HERE unless you’re already on my mailing list.
I have made some art lately, but been lazy about taking pictures.
Here is a whimsical dog that doesn’t care for gossip! 😀
My etsy shop is chockful of beautiful unique things. There are some heart items just in time for Valentine’s Day. You can check them out HERE.
I hope you join me for the 5-day boost. You won’t regret taking another step toward deepening your creativity.
Inspiration, where to find it. It can be found everywhere. I often hear that question: what inspires you?
I get inspired mostly by doing. When I get bored with one type of creativity I make something else. How people can continue to paint in one style or one subject is incomprehensible to me, but it’s common. Maybe they don’t make art that often?
I love to try new things. Lately, I have been tired of making my mosaics, so I got this songbird pattern from Ann Wood and hand sewed a little bird. I used scrap fabrics I had painted and dyed in the past.
I had a problem with the legs, but it worked itself out. So much fun to stretch oneself. Inspiration is in trying, to immerse oneself in something totally new. I have sewn before, but never a soft sculpture like this. I think I must make more! 🙂
What fires you up? What could you try today?
I joined a local ceramics class this fall, and clay is harder to work with than you think. I find polymer clay much easier since it’s more elastic.
I made a series of critters and the glazing came out completely different when fired than I had envisioned.
Inspiration is trying and finding out that the outcome might not be what you expected, but that’s half the fun.
One thing I’ve learned: Surprise keeps the freshness of creativity alive.
Today, think of something you’d love to try, but haven’t. Gather the materials, take a class or watch some YouTube videos for inspiration. Then try your own.
The more you’re used to making things, the easier it is to get started and follow through.
To stay inspired it’s important to show up in the studio every day.
Even if you can only devote 15 minutes a day, that is enough to keep that creative muscle strong and ready for action.
I know I can go back to my painting and my mosaics whenever I want, but trying new things spark ideas. I get tickled by possibilities.
We’re heading toward another weekend. If you had 15 minutes to spare for creativity, what would you do?
Do it, and you might find yourself inspired enough to keep going…
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.
Maybe it will inspire you.
Lots of love, have a great weekend!
Artist and writer
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