Tag Archives: inspiration

Who is in charge?

Who is in charge? You or your ego / resistance?  I know I have written about that before, but through my experience over time, I have realized that inspiration is not some kind of random thing that only comes to a lucky few.

Inspiration is a good habit to grow in your art practice. Inspiration is not a fickle muse or a random occurrence. It is yours to command if you show up consistently.

In charge
Who is in charge?

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today, but I had promised myself to write one this week. Kinda late in the game since it’s Saturday. My excuses were:

I’m not inspired

I have nothing to say

I’m too tired to write now

I’d rather be painting (when would that ever be an excuse??)

When I show up to paint, I get the same bullsh*t excuses. Life would just go by without me accomplishing anything I have set out to do.

I have “make art” written on every day of my calendar. I do miss some days, but for the most part I show up even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at the current painting or art journal page.

I count my crafts as art too since I’m using my creativity. Here is what I made today.

mermaid polymer clay mosaic
Believe in magic

I woke up and really wanted to get going on this mermaid.  Part of me said, go for it, the other said, sleep in.

There will always be some bullsh*t excuse for not doing what we know will make us happy.

Same crap as with exercising regularly…

Saying “no” to the resistance is a muscle that can be toned and strong. At one point the resistance gets the message and moves over a bit so that you can get to the action you want quickly.

The point is to stick with the action you have set for yourself. If that is “do more art” it’s something that is “holy.” There is no argument allowed and as “do more art”  becomes a habit, you have won.

Remember though, resistance will always be there lurking in the background, but if you have set a “no compromise” status for yourself things have to move forward or YOU will feel like crap while resistance smirks in the background. Been there too many times.

If you expect inspiration to be there, IT WILL BE.

Excuses are not allowed.

mermaid polymer clay
Believe in magic

NOW, go do it! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. My free 2017 art journaling challenge is going strong. If you’d like to have the prompt emails. sign up HERE. Guest teacher for March will be Julia Ostara.  The mermaids are available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.

Do you feel inspired?

Do you feel inspired today?  I can’t say it’s a day I’m raring to go in my studio this afternoon. Sometimes it feels as if I’ll never be inspired again, but that is never the case. 🙂

It usually means I got stuck in my habits and forgot to look at the world with wonder.  Habits are inspiration killers. It’s so easy to get stuck in the mundane.

Here are a few ways I get out of my own  lack of inspiration.

  • I like to go to the library and look at those big art books.  For one thing, the silence and the people reading and sitting at the computers feel like companionship, and just mingling with others can spark inspiration. Besides, I LOVE those beautiful pictures of famous art.
  • I go out in nature. The shapes and the colors are always new and if I pay attention I always see something I didn’t notice before.
  • Hang out on Facebook for a while looking at art in all the art groups I belong to.  Such wondrous variety!  There is the danger of getting stuck on FB though.
  • I do a lot of research on the Internet. I find that the Internet is a great source for how-tos. I really like it, but it’s easy to get stuck there too. There is always an upside and a downside to everything, right?  Say you want to know how an ocean wave really looks before you paint it. You search the term and gazillion pictures come up. That is genius at our fingertips.
  • Friends to cheer me on! Especially other artists.
inspiration
Inspiration
  • Visit some local art gallery.
  • Give yourself a challenge to paint something different, using a different color palette.
  • Go shopping for art supplies. Yeah!
  • And, last but not least, just ignore any feelings of lack and paint anyway. Ugly is okay.  Art journaling really helps too, or plain ole journaling to get that focus back.
  • You can talk with some naysayer in the family and get inspired to prove them wrong! Anger and disgust are good action propellers. 🙂

I would love to hear what you do when your inspiration is flagging.

Have a wondrous creative weekend!

xo

Maria

P.S. I could use an art sale about now, and I have many pieces to choose from in my etsy shop. HERE.

 

Hundred percent nature.

I am hundred percent nature, and so are you.  Day 2 of the 30 day blogging challenge.

I get a lot of inspiration for my art in nature.  Every form, color, and impression can be found there.  Basically, it’s all outside and all in my mind. Mind in this case would be imagination.

There is a difference between imagination and fantasy.  Imagination is a way to travel through time and space whereas fantasy is something, some item or scenario, we wish we had.

Imagination is accessible to everyone.  Have you ever tried to connect with metaphysical nature?

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Live oak

All you  have to do is to be willing and ask for a connection, say, to a tree you like. Then you have to be still and listen. That is often the hardest part. You can ask the tree questions and you might get a sense of an answer as an impression, or a thought, like a revelation.  Nature will use your imagination to communicate.

It can be quite an adventure to work with nature. The God of Nature is Pan. He has gotten a bad rap with the horns and the cloven feet in history, but he has a very high, pure, yet earthy vibe. This morning I asked him which part of nature to work with and he said: “there is no part of nature that is not you.  You are all nature, nothing else, so there is no separation.”

Consciousness is the spirit part we also share with nature besides our physical manifestation in the world. His simple words were profound.  I am all water, minerals, other matter, and spirit. Most of the time, I feel separate, but that is the mind, the chatterbox upstairs that doesn’t like to be silent and just BE.

When I AM I do feel the connection without beginning or end.

Modern people are often afraid of nature.  All they see is the challenge; the bugs, the “dangerous” wildlife that carries all sorts of diseases, the creepy crawlies on the ground.  How many times do you interact or touch, say, a raccoon or possum?  Pretty much never, so why the fear?  It’s the programming we receive. Living a fearful antiseptic and sterile life to shut out any connection with the “earthy” part of life equals a deep lack of something.  A bit of earthiness will not harm you as any farmer will tell you.

A connection with nature is healthy, natural, and healing. No reason to deprive oneself of that. Concrete buildings and streets are not as conducive to communing with nature even if the energy is present everywhere.

What does nature have to do with art?

Since art originates from within, it’s totally part of me, and since I’m one with nature, art IS nature.  I don’t have to go to the park and paint a tree, but by feeling into my inner self, how does a particular tree feel like? I can paint that feeling. It might not end up looking like a tree, but the energy will be there.

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energy art journaling

Communing with nature is a truly exciting journey. It is inspiring and inner growth inducing. That can be uncomfortable, but it’s even more uncomfortable to live with all the hang-ups we carry around.

Nature is free and filled with inspiration.  Art is free and nature can be like a vitamin injection to one’s inner life, which then shows up on the canvas or in the art journal.

Nature wants to work with you!  Bring a new level to your art?  The sky’s the limit as they say.  It’s up to you. 🙂

Many creative blessings flying your way today.

xo

Maria

P.S. Please buy one of my art offerings on etsy! Makes a great gift to yourself or someone special.  🙂  HERE.

Do what you enjoy first, chores later.

Hell yea, do what you enjoy first.  I have lived by that motto for good and bad during my life, but I KNOW that it is the right way to live.

Most people are not able to let go of the fear, which is dug deep into our psyche to prevent any “black sheep” activity.  Be a good robot and waste your precious life on stuff that you hate.  Does that make sense?

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good robot

No.

I realize the bills have to be paid and the dust bunnies have to be swept up and killed, but will the world end if you do that later? No.

We set up our own prisons and stay inside them even though the door is open and the key got lost a long time ago.  (Probably hanging out with the dust bunnies.)

The only way I can explore the journey of my art is to practice it daily, and do it while I still have some energy. The boring stuff I can do with one eye closed, or hire someone else to do it.

To work against the programming that has been imprinted since birth, we have to take steps, even if they are mini steps, and no matter how old you are, to change and find something more soul nourishing.  Excuses begone!  (By the way, there is an excellent audio book by that title by Wayne Dyer.)

Give yourself PERMISSION to start doing what you’re passionate about.  Take a long hard look at life and see where the hang ups stop you in your tracks.  Are you willing to part with your hang-ups and quirks and phobias?  You can, you know. It’s a choice.

Yes, that’s right. It’s a frigging choice.  You are not really ruled by your inner hang-ups, but it might seem that way because that’s how we are used to living life. No wonder the whole society is neurotic.

You can choose right now to change your life, one baby step at a time.  You will gain confidence, experience, new ways of seeing things, inspiration to move forward even if the road seems dim at times.

If we all did this we would live in a happier place and inspire others to be happy, and before you know it, more and more people would be infected by the happy bug.

Let’s be explorers of our own capabilities and see where they might lead.  Never a boring moment for sure.  Happy new year, all year long.

So whatever argument you have to what I stated above is an EXCUSE.

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Let’s be happy!

I did some art in the last couple of days and had lots of fun, art journaling mostly.

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listen
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Free to fly.

On that note, have a fabulous week, doing what you love FIRST.

I have some items on sale in my etsy shop.  I made three handmade journals that are ready to be embellished.  CLICK HERE.

xo

Maria

Doubt is what holds us back.

I have no doubt that doubt holds us back from achieving our dreams.

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doubt and fear

Dreams can be elusive, and you might have a vague idea of what your dream is about. If you have an inkling that is GOOD! So many people don’t have any idea of what their dream or passion is.

Achieving a dream can be fraught with doubt and other pitfalls, but the easy part is to JUST START where you are now.  Say you want to be an accomplished painter and you know you feel great when you paint, but something holds you back.

Fear create doubts. “I’m not good enough.”  “I can’t paint well enough.” “I never went to art school so I can’t be a painter.” “People don’t approve.”

Sounds familiar?  But who cares?  When you start something, you might not have any idea of where you’re going, but buy some art supplies that appeal to you. (Most likely, you already have some dusty stuff hidden in the closet.) Dust that stuff off and bring it back out.

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Despite the doubt, just start.

Once you have started and made a commitment to pursue your desire to become a painter, you will find that the next step on the journey will reveal itself.  It’s as if starting sets off some kind of unseen magic.

You will make some ugly art and you will make some great art, and the PROCESS is what makes things interesting.  Everything you do will teach you to take the next step. Art, by the way, is an endless exploration so even if you are a painter for 60 years, you still have more to explore. That is a great thing!

Other passions might not have that longevity factor.

You will be working on yourself as you follow your passion.  Everything we dare to do helps us to discover new depths and gifts within ourselves. That is another gift that happens when we dare to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.

By all means, take some painting courses to learn technique, but know that the true creativity is inside of you. Don’t become a copy cat. Be brave enough to forge your own path even if there is lots of resistance. That might never go away, but you can make friends with it and DO IT ANYWAY.

Resistance meets me every morning in the studio, but what the heck is new with that?  Nada.  Old record of fear keeps playing in my mind, but action takes me beyond that and into the space where magic happens, or not. I still gain experience that is valuable.

How to find your passion if you don’t know what it is.

Think back to when you were a kid. What did you do then that you enjoyed? I enjoyed crafts (paperdolls,) reading, and the outdoors.  Art making has traveled like a red thread through my life.

Think of some job you liked or had a knack for. It might have been a summer job when you were young.

What do you have a knack for?  Writing? Numbers? Decorating?  What do your friends ask you to help them with if anything?  Do they often say, “You’re so good at this.”

If you like more internal things like reading, maybe you can try writing a book.  What if you like intuition and meditation, all internal experiences? Maybe you can teach that to people.  What if you love to cook? Maybe you can specialize in some type of cooking and write a cook book?

The possibilities are endless.

Maybe you like to speak, to lead, to teach. The online world is filled with endless possibility to make your mark and help many people.

Find your passion, START doing it.  Take one step at a time, and when hurdles show up (as they will,) deal with them one at a time. You may have to do some internal work to get past feelings to inadequacy but in the long run, you will stand VICTORIOUS, and who knows, your paintings might be worth millions (once you’re dead, haha.) It’s all in the process, baby.

Kick the doubt to the curb and tell it stay the hell away!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have an art and intuition ecourse coming up. Art as Oracle 2 starts on June 7. You can read all about it HERE.

When inspiration fails.

 

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When inspiration fails what do you do? I get that question a lot as an artist, and I can tell you the muse is often fickle, but one thing I have learned: you are not a slave to the muse! Maybe everything flows more smoothly with the muse on hand to pave a rosy path, but when all you can see is a creative desert ahead, what do you do?  To get to the other side, you have to walk through the desert, or do you?  I don’t believe in that but the challenge would certainly give you stamina and stick-to-it-iveness. However, art is not something we do in survival mode but more like following an easy stream.

Here are a couple of things I do when the muse refuses to be part of my life:

  1. Take a walk. Yes, it’s a great way to shake off the cobwebs and take in new inspiration. The colors and shapes are great for new ideas. Walks are always good for general problem solving as well.
  2.  Look at art books. The classics and more modern artists are always inspiring. Through the pages I can absorb the energy of their work and find myself eager to try something new on my canvas. Nothing wrong with copying elements and then make them your own.
  3. Get out of the studio and meet a friend. Lunch out is one of the world’s greatest pleasures, and if you have a good friend that does not annoy you by talking incessantly about themselves, it’s a BONUS.
  4. If you live in a city, go to an art museum. This falls in the same category as looking at art books, but it also gets you out of the studio, another BONUS.
  5. Try kickstarting your art by gluing down bits of papers at random on the surface. Let your hand and eye coordinate and see what comes up next on the page or canvas, and then take that step, and the next, and the next. Just try something new, a new angle, and new color.
  6. Use a color palette you rarely use. Example: if you always paint in cool colors, make yourself use only warm colors for the next project. Your sense of playing it safe will rebel, but it’s easy enough to send it packing for one piece of experimental art. Ugly is okay.
  7. Learn a new craft. Look through some craft books at the bookstore and see if anything pulls you in. Crafting can be mindless and meditative, and you might find yourself creating a pile of cool gifts.
  8. Let someone else paint on your canvas. Taking the pressure off the process can be very freeing.
  9. Paint with your hands. You can really feel the paint when you use your hands. It’s a more intimate creative way to paint. If you don’t like to paint throw a handful of mixed ripped papers on your canvas and glue them down where they land. It can become the start of a whole new way of making art!
  10. When all else fails buy some new art supplies! I think that is my favorite suggestion. I love (and my muse loves) a new art supply challenge. A shiny new box of pencils or crayons can light up your world. It does mine.

No matter what you choose to do to interrupt a creative drought, do SOMETHING.  The drought is temporary. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and paint the same over and over, but it’s just as easy to challenge yourself to something new. 🙂

Happy creating,

Maria

P.S. I have some freebie challenges on my website you can try to break the drought. CLICK HERE.