Tag Archives: life

What if life seems blah?

What if one doesn’t feel like making art? What if life seems blah and there is no inspiration for anything in particular? It happens.

Life is not always a downhill ride; more often than not, it’s a slow, steady path forward. The mundane can be magical, but for the most part, we don’t see that aspect.

When you create art, you change the status quo, even if you don’t like what you produced. The fact that you did is something to celebrate.

Now, if art becomes mundane or just another chore, it’s time to focus on something else for a while. I like to crafts as a break of pace. There are endless varieties of crafts, something for everyone.

What if that doesn’t work, or you have no interest in crafts?
Ask your body how it feels when you apply yourself to various tasks. Do you feel eager or repulsed? Is there a feeling of “go ahead” or does it stand still, as in neutral? When it does, you have to stop and wait from a sense of direction. It will come, but it requires patience, which most of us don’t have. We want things to flow, to work out with ease.

Art has no master.

Either you follow its flow, or you go against it.
You will feel when you go against it; it’s like wading upstream in cold water. I have learned that inactivity is often a breeding ground for new ideas, some that you never thought about before.

Often I catch good ideas, like a gentle sweeping wave. If I don’t write them down right then and there, I forget them, and I know they will never come back. So many times I have ignored the recording part, but I’m listening more closely now.

Another way to break a slow drought:
Break out the sketch pad and draw some things. It could be the tea mug on the table, the cat (also on the table though it’s not supposed to be there.)
A pretty leaf with all it’s perfection, a chair, a car. Draw what pulls your attention, and then be happy with your effort. You’re not competing with anyone, least of all yourself.

I have a journal that I never show to anyone because it’s full of color slashes and messes that don’t mean anything except a way to express my frustration or lack of patience. It has more of my true vibe than most of my carefully crafted art.

Sometimes it’s too easy to get stuck in the preciousness of things.

My colors are too precious to be changed. The face in the picture can’t be tampered with at any cost. The result of such thoughts is stuckness. It’s all too precious to destroy but it’s in the destruction that the truth can come out.

It’s both hard and easy. When things flow I can paint a painting quickly, and then there is the issue of value; it was painted too fast, it can’t be worth much. If I labored over a painting that took days, it’s much more valuable.
That is screwed-up thinking.
People are captivated by the vibe of the art, not so much the execution.

What if YOU are the art?

Your vibe doesn’t lie, but if you painted with the finished product in mind, you let no vibe in or a lesser one. I want to let it all hang out, but it’s scary.
The only way to deal with that is to continue to paint. There are no shortcuts, only means of opening up more to the process.

Carry on, the path leads somewhere great…

goddess face, clay craft

If you want additional inspirational reading, this might interest you: Inspiration Where is It?

Lots of love,

Maria

P.S. I have lots of goodies in my etsy shop Earth and Faery, if you’re looking for unique gifts.

Receiving is a good thing

Receiving is a good thing though they say giving is more important.  Receiving is not what we think it is as in birthday presents and people doing you a favor. Those are all part of it, but to me, receiving is a state.

A state is a condition that we experience, FEEL. Most of us don’t have a clue about how to receive. Guilt plays a big role. We have to live by the convention of “I scratch your back so you scratch mine.”

It is an exchange of energy between people and I don’t disregard that, but receiving is so much more. It’s a state of “grace”, of being fulfilled, of gratitude for life as a whole, not just the perks we get.

When you’re in a state of receiving you are not chasing anything, no gains, no positions, no desires, no wants. You are open to receive whatever comes, but if you are filled with gratitude for life, mostly good things come to you.

It’s not easy to gain that state of receiving in a consistent manner, but by examining life and all those beliefs and habits that hold us back, we can learn to accept it ALL, and from there gain appreciation about the mystery of life.

We basically don’t know any more than newborn babies. They know more that we do in a greater sense. They are still pure and innocent, as we once were. They are in a state of receiving.

As are pets if you think about it. They lie around all day and don’t worry where their next meal is coming from. It never enters their mind, and they are always provided for.

In a sense they take for granted that life will support them. And it does.

Meanwhile, humans run around, or rush down the closest highway to get to nowhere.  We worry and curse and plan.  We are always chasing money. The whole day is revolving around making money.

We lost that innocent trust a long time ago, traded it for a man-made world that offers a lot of pain and suffering.

When we claim life and stop struggling, something shifts. Life becomes more beautiful and filled with situations we can be grateful for. The more accepting and grateful, the more abundant the gifts from the universe.

It’s not easy to change, but by becoming aware of what we do, and why, and what we say, and our prejudices, we can slowly shift the energy to be more supporting and loving of ourselves. The more you love yourself, the more the universe will support you!

What does this have to do with art, you ask? Really everything.

We tend to criticize and judge our art efforts harshly.

We compare ourselves to others.

We have an idea of what the art should look like, and it never does, so back condemning the effort. It can be a vicious cycle. Many stop making art because of it.

What if the art you make turns out ugly (in your opinion.) What then?  Do you continue or just drop the whole adventure?

If we don’t stick with it, we miss out of the mystery.  The adventure becomes a hurried rush down the highway, like with so many things we do.

We are addicted to doing and seeing results.

When you can shift and be in a receiving mode as you begin your art session, you are in a non-judgmental state and can receive the art as it manifests through you. That is such a gift!

It might not look like much, but your energy is in it. The receiving as a state of grace shows up in your art. Even if you only painted a blue line across the canvas, people will feel something.

We might admire technique but it’s the energy that draws us.

Stop chasing, become a receiver of life. Make open stillness be part of your daily process.

I did some art journaling lately.  I can’t say I reached that magical state of wonder, but I had fun.

receiving

Be who you want to be.

receiving

A cat person…

receiving

Doodles


receiving

Strange lady… Summer solstice

receiving

More doodles…

I guess I was into yellow and blue this week.

To be open to receive is to allow, to accept, and live in gratitude for what is, and what appears on the page.

Follow me in Instagram. I post most photos there, @greeneearth

I have some ideas if you’re looking for a gift. My etsy shop has lots of cool gifts. Earth and Faery.

You can read some of my older blog posts for more inspiration: Why do you do what you do?

My inner critic on a rampage

Have a great and safe July 4!

xo

Maria

 

Hurricane Irma and art

Hurricane Irma could have done a number on my studio, but everything was spared. Not to bore you with too many details, but when I had to pack up some valuables in plastic bins (just in case) I stood in my studio and looked around the walls at my paintings.

What is important as far as possessions go?

My art is an income stream for me, but as I stood there staring at the walls crammed with art I realized none of them mattered. There were ugly paintings and paintings I love, and I thought “so what?”

What if I lost everything?

With that kind of thought, the paintings did not seem that important. I can always paint more, right?

At one point I felt detachment about everything in the house except my cat. I packed him up in a carrier (to loud protests) and went to a shelter.

The night was nasty but we were snug inside the building. The morning after we came home to a mighty yard mess and a fallen tree, but that was it. Nothing was harmed.  I can’t tell you how grateful I felt.

Then started the Big Clean-up. Still going on in places. We now have huge walls of debris lining the street on both sides. I developed toned arms… The hardest part was being without power for four days. In the 90s outside during the day and sticky heat at night.

I truly appreciate electricity! 🙂

What did I learn from this experience?

  • Letting go. don’t sweat the small stuff….
  • Breathing through the stress, before and after
  • Patience
  • Nothing is worth fighting over
  • Being FLEXIBLE
  • Be nice to neighbors, they are the best!

All creatures in nature learn to be flexible and stay that way. We could learn from them and experience more freedom.

I wondered where the birds went. They were gone for a couple of days, and then they came back. I gauged that by the attendance at the bird feeder. All the squirrels survived.

I think staying flexible was my biggest take away from this experience.

I got completely out of my creative groove. It didn’t seem that important to create–until now.

We got lucky in the Tampa Bay area. I don’t know how the people in the Caribbean Islands stand going through hurricane season every year. Many heartfelt blessings to them!

I’m slowly finding my groove again. I have many creative ideas swirling through my mind.

I made some of my polymer clay boxes, which are available in my shop now: EARTH AND FAERY.

follow your heart

winged heartwinged heart

Follow your dream, come hell or high water! Life is short and it is a gift, so spend your time wisely.

xo

Maria

 

Needing validation

Needing validation is like breathing; it’s something we all do.  As artists it’s important to have someone say, “what a great painting,” or “I love your art” or “your art gives me a good feeling.”

We love comments like that whether they are honest or not. Validation makes your work worthwhile.

However, if you sense the compliments are not sincere, you start doubting your talent (again.) I assume we come from a place of doubting the art all the time. I know I do, except for a few times when I truly KNEW the paintings were great.

needing validation
validation

How does it all start?

As kids we had to find out if what we made was any good. I remember showing drawings to my dad, and thank goodness, he always said they were nice. I still remember that.

But I also remember the bullies in school who always tried to tear you down, especially if you’d done something good, like gotten an A on a test, created a beautiful painting or broken a school record of some sort.

To seek validation is like making sure we are alive.

If we didn’t get any validation who’s to say we even exist, right?

That’s a pretty deep question, but one place were we can find true validation is within. You can validate your worthiness through whatever physical aspect you use to express. Worthiness is a feeling inside.

When you feel good about something you did, that’s validation enough.

We are social creatures but do we need the false compliments that people hand out to be “nice?” I say thank you for every compliment, false or true. I’m not going to confront someone about their honesty.

So how do you get to a point where inner validation is enough?

You have to learn to trust yourself.

Trust is a sense that was beaten out of us since childhood. “Trust no one.” I remember I learned to keep secrets so as not to be punished I was four years old. It didn’t get any better through life until I realized I have give myself the gift of trust.

If I trust in me, I can trust the world. The secret is to grow the trust within so that the games of the world do not affect you.

Trust, like worthiness, is a soul feeling.

I have learned to trust more through forgiving others and most of all, myself, for having a low opinion of myself.

Make a list of people you need to forgive today. Truly forgive them for all they have done to you, and ask for forgiveness for your stuff. This can be done in silence, but you need to be sincere.

Life is so much easier, brighter, and filled with possibilities when the burden of guilt and shame is gone.

Through inner trust you can find true validation.

Forgive yourself for art that didn’t work out and try again, and again. Life is a journey, art a process.

Life itself is validation enough.

Fear and mistrust go hand in hand. I have another blog post that takes this further, What do you fear?

Make something fun today!

xo

Maria

P.S My etsy shop is stocked to the brim. 🙂 Sale coming up SOON! EarthandFaery

Your dream is real

Your dream is real, yet we do everything BUT listen to and acknowledge our dream.

Everyone has a longing for something. For me, it was art, making art in many forms. I have made a lot of art over the years, but there have been many detours along the way.

The problem is DOING, and major lack of listening.

To really get beyond all the conditioning we carry from as far back as our childhood, we have to stop everything and listen within.

The dream might be a small flicker of light or a great big monster trying to get your attention.

Our conditioning is based on doing, of accomplishing, of getting ahead, of making money, of being practical. Listen to the voice of reason.

Problem is, life becomes an uphill struggle, a chore, an anti-dream. We push through, we are super women or men, and we hate getting up in the morning (if we allow ourselves to think about it.) Maybe all doors to thinking and feeling are closed. Easier that way.

But it isn’t. If we don’t listen within, there comes a crisis where we’re faced with our blocks and short-comings. Then there is no way forward except for letting go and facing the uncomfortable voice of truth.

Why do we allow the crisis to happen? It’s the illusion of all is fine, “I’ve got this,” “I’m okay,” while quietly suffering inside or not acknowledging our feelings. Sticking the head in the sand is not the answer.

I have come to a cross-roads and I’m willing to look at it. It’s not the first time in my life that change has come knocking on my door.

There has been a time of major blah in my life lately. I go through the motions but the mojo isn’t there.

Well okay, I recognize the signs of change.

Instead of stubbornly pushing through, which is my most common way of performing, I have learned to drop it all and really look into the gaping maw of the unknown.

Either I can be excited or full of fear.

Why hang on to the old? It’s like having a favorite sweater you don’t want to let go of even if it’s full of holes and paint spatters.

I might not know what is next, but so far, life has worked out just fine, so why would I need to fear the future?

I’m not afraid but I don’t like change. It’s so much easier to stay in my comfort zone than to take a look at my inner far-from-perfect patterns. It can be outright disgusting. But I have to acknowledge the truth if I’m to free myself from conditioning.

Self love, self-compassion are important as we change. They help when we’re facing the “beast” that does NOT want to examine anything. It says, “I don’t want any inner growth.”

But do you want to stay in the stale sameness? I know I don’t, so I bite the bullet. Allowing the inner to come out is a new way of living.

Let’s live from the inside out! Facing the “beast” can become a healthy habit, just like exercising and eating right. I’d rather support my path to renewal than support the same ole, same ole.

Behind all of the stuff we carry, there is LIGHT and it’s always available. 🙂

Yet, listen up. Your dream wants to manifest in 3D so let’s make room for it.

I did have some fun. I made a how-to art journal video this week. Check it out.

mermaid

Have a great weekend! Let that creativity flow.

xo

Maria

Masks we wear

Masks we wear are many and varied. One person can wear many masks or personas.  We swear the masks are who we are.

I could call myself an artist, a writer, a reader, a nature lover, a spiritual being, a woman. Some roles are more prominent than others. I could go on with more, but I’m already tired of thinking about all the roles I uphold. 🙂

masks we wear

I did some art journaling around masks and it got me thinking about what is behind everything.

We believe our mind is the sole creator of who we are. We have compartmentalized all that we know, all our experiences and beliefs of who we are and who everyone else is.

masks we wear

So much crap is stored “up there,” but to be honest it all hangs out in our energy. The brain doesn’t store all the images and beliefs. The brain is a glutinous mass that sends out and receives signals. (Simplified version.)

Just to digress a little… a bird is a bird, not wearing any masks, a cat is basically a cat, though I have seen mine wearing masks. However, on a more basic level all animals are what they are; they live by instinct.

The wind blows in the trees, the leaves bend naturally to the wind. They don’t say or think that it’s uncool to bend. They don’t have to wear any designer masks to BE.

After my morning ritual I was lifting my arm to scratch my neck and thought, who is lifting my arm? Is it my brain sending out signals? Yes, but there is more too it.

The impulse that got my brain sending out signals to lift my arm to scratch the itch was automatic as is much action involving my body.  We don’t think about it, just do it.

We take everything for granted until it doesn’t work any more.

To cut to the chase, the life force moves the impulses and also creates my art. It makes the whole world go around, sometimes with terrible force like hurricanes.

We are NOT the roles we play.

Roles can only hinder the latent creativity that lies underneath it all.

It can be scary to remove masks. Vulnerability is something we protect at all cost.

However, creativity is vulnerability. If you don’t dare to show up as yourself and you express an artist persona or only copy art that is the latest “trend,” you miss out.

Sometimes I get stuck in limbo between stepping up and “taking action” (as in forcing something to happen,) versus allowing things to unfold at its own pace. It takes courage to stand vulnerable in front of your art. There can be a lot of creative angst yet the reward is great if you follow through and don’t give in to all the imagined monsters in the mind.

We have a great fear of being judged unfavorably. Seeking approval is one part of the mask we have built up. Truth to tell, who gives a sh*t what others think about your art??

We are the hardest judge. We compare the art to the accepted norm and find it falling short of expectation.

What a buzz killer that is.

You have a choice. Do you keep going or do you give up? Do you forgive yourself and allow the art to be just as it is?

We go through many stages as an artist. There are no shortcuts so we might as well enjoy the journey and revel in the moments that feel perfect as everything falls together without barely an effort.

Those moments become more numerous with time, but there is no guarantee.

Be the explorer of a new continent that does not have boundaries like land. Live in the moment and let the wind sing in your “leaves.” That is true art. 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. If you want to explore art journaling but doesn’t know where to start, sign up for my artist email newsletter and get a free art journal primer. SIGN UP.