Tag Archives: Maria Greene

Paper madness!

Paper madness can strike at any time. I love paper in all forms. What would the world be without paper? Plastic books? I don’t think so.

I don’t want to talk about books but more about art journals and writing journals. I think there is a journaling craze going on. Michael’s has a whole isle with journals and insets and stickers to add.

Maybe we never grow too old for stickers??

I went to Hobby Lobby for some acrylic inks and came away with a great deal on a snooty Fabriano art journal.

Fabriano
paper madness

The paper is exceptional. I touch the pages reverently and imagine what I can create inside. No junk journal here…  It says drawing paper, but at a sturdy 90lbs it can hold just about any wet media.

You know how they describe wine. Dragging my hand across the paper, I would have to say it has a rich depth, is robust, yet smooth and silky against my tongue skin. 🙂

I use a lot of different kinds of journals for my art journaling, but I write my thoughts in a cheap notebook every morning. I have a great pen made for smooth writing (ek Tools journaling ink pen.)

I finish a notebook quickly so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive journals that sit around gathering dust because my handwriting would ruin them. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t write in them.

But, I did buy one for Christmas last year, and I’m about halfway through. It has pictures and sayings. Some of the pages are lined and some are blank. It’s SACRED SPACE, Writing and Creativity Journal by BlueAngel publishing. Journal art by Toni Carmine Solerno.

journal
Sacred Space

journaljournaljournalIsn’t the artwork lovely?

That is a journal I would keep, but I usually throw out my written notebook journals once they are full. No written masterpieces there…

To journal feels good. It clears the mind clutter and gives new vision. It makes you connect inside, with the inner small voice, and also with problem loops of thoughts that keep us away from what is important.

I’m also mad for any kind of funky paper, and I like to make my own too of course.  I alter the plain paper with inks, paints, dyes, markers, and collages that I print. It’s a way to put your stamp on plain paper or alter bought scrapbooking paper.

In art anything goes,  Mixed media art is a heaven for paper enthusiasts. I love it when there is a sale on scrapbooking papers. I buy a bunch and then I can’t wait to add some to my artwork.

If you’d like to read a basic article on how to get started with art journaling you can check out this post, Art Journaling Tools.

What do you like to write in? Notebooks or expensive journals? Do you use your computer as a journal?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Maria

P.S. Speaking of papers, I have a short art journaling paper making e-course that is lots of fun. You can check it out via THIS LINK.

 

Fear holding you back?

Fear holding you back from pursuing your dreams? It happens to all of us, at least to those who accept they have a dream.

fear
fear

It was not random that we came into this world, and as we grew we showed certain talents and skills. Some were good at math, some at the gym, some showed artistic talent.

When I was a kid I knew I had a talent for words.  I loved expressive art, but it developed later. Words have always flowed easily for me so I ended up becoming a writer until that interest kind of petered out. But as they say, a writer is always a writer.

I have to say visual art is a tougher dream, but I love it passionately. There are so many ways to express oneself. Where to start?

art palette
art palette

There are two things I want to mention:

You often look at other people’s art and then try to copy it because you like it.

Or you encounter massive resistance.

That is the fear / ego kicking in saying lots of nasty stuff about your lack of talent and sense of color or whatever. Your fear will find something wrong with you no matter what. I wrote a blog post about resistance a while back: Who is in charge…

If you have no clue where to start, copy other people’s art that you love. As you get more sure about your art supplies and what they can do, you start to experiment with what you have learned.

As you grow bolder with each experiment, you start to feel more secure, but the fear is always lurking in the background.

Do the art processes that feel good to you. If it doesn’t feel right, try something else. There are so many techniques and tools it can be bewildering.  The only way through is to keep trying and doing.

If you hit a block, know that things are about to change. It usually shows up before a major breakthrough, but you can get stuck in procrastination. That is a sneaky way for the inner critic to attack you when you’re down. I wrote a post about that, available here: Procrastination is an ugly beast…

There are no shortcuts of easy fixes. Each artistic journey is so individual it’s hard to give advice that fits everyone.

One thing is for sure: A dream is worth pursuing, and the way to do it is to give it some time every day. Create a discipline for your dream. If it is important enough you will do it.

Is it?

Well then, what are you waiting for?

When all is said and done we have to do things that light us up, otherwise, what is the point?

Have a great creative week!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some handmade art journals in my etsy shop that might help to get you started. CLICK HERE to check out my offerings.

Inspired by emotion

Inspired by emotion is the title for the art journal video interview I had with artist Mel Bunny Sparkles. It was so much fun and she is full of inspiration and suggestions for new artists and veterans alike.

You will want to check out this video!

Bunny is the guest artist for June in my free 2017 Art Journaling Journey. If you haven’t signed up for the free prompts, you can do so HERE. You will receive all the prompts for this year via email. You can also join my Facebook group that is brimming with inspiration. CLICK HERE.

If you sign up for my regular art newsletter (top right corner of this page,) you will receive an art journal primer and a project to make. Great for beginners!  You have to start somewhere.

I also have many helpful art journal videos on YouTube under my own name. YOUTUBE CHANNEL. There are videos for beginners and for those who are looking for tips and tricks to jazz up their art journals.

art journaling
life at the beach

Have some fun, summer is here!

Lots of love and inspiration!

Maria

P.S I’m selling art journals ready-to-use in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY.

You want to sell art?

You want to sell art? Well, why not. We need more art in the world and yours makes a difference. Everyone’s art perspective counts.

People usually advise against becoming an artist since they always equate such a creature with a “starving artist.” Side note: I feed a feral cat and many people do, so why would we not feed starving artists??

There are many ways around the starvation syndrome, one is to become a creative thinker and produce many streams of income. (You can always get a sugar daddy or mama… joking.)

rainbow rose
rainbow rose

I painted the rose above in ’06 and I sold 7 versions of the same painting. I still own this one but I might put it in my etsy shop.

I paint, make mixed media art, art journaling, and several crafts. I enjoy them all. I started selling paintings on eBay back in 2003 (how time flies!) What did I learn from that?

  • Always add hanging mechanisms on the back of the art. All I did was varnish the paintings and send them off. 🙂 Small paintings work well with sawtooth hangers. Large paintings require picture wire and eye hooks. Apply the eye hook to the INSIDE edge of the stretcher bars so that the picture will hang flat against the walls once you attach the wire.
  • Paint on gallery wrapped canvas or some other professional surface. If you paint on cheap stretched canvas and the staples show on the sides, you give the impression of “starving artist.” (Gallery wrapped canvas is the kind that is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame.)
  • If you can afford it, always buy stretched canvases with the deep 1″ edge.  They look so much better, and definitely don’t need a frame, which is a selling point. If you’re handy, stretch your own canvas. You can get rolled canvas for great deals on eBay. Other surfaces that are usable are Masonite and luon-covered plywood. Places like the Home Depot can cut them to size right there. You need to gesso the surfaces and they need to be framed (by the buyer.)
  • Write eye-catching descriptions if you sell online. That is a make or break point besides awesome art.  Use TAGS, as many as you can think of, so that peeps can find your art during a search.
sisterhood painting
Sisterhood

Sisterhood was a painting I ended up making eight versions of and they all sold. This was back in 2008. People have wanted to use the art for their business cards. I think women loved these paintings because of the sisterhood idea.

  • When something works, make several versions that show the same theme, different shapes and colors. I get tired of repeating myself, but I make as many as I can stand.
  • If you use mixed media, make sure the papers and ephemera are glued down securely. Nothing is more annoying than flimsy edges and corners that stick up.
  • Use a quality acrylic varnish to finish off the artwork.
  • Try lots of different styles until something clicks and you come home to yourself.
  • Master some kind of fun craft and sell the things you make.
polymer clay mosaic art
polymer clay mosaic

Crafts are like a meditation for me.

If you can only focus on one kind of artistic expression, do what you love the most and hold a part time job to pay the bills until your art takes off.

In this day and age, you can find our art spread all over the internet. I sell art and crafts all over the world through my two etsy shops. I find that my crafts sell better, but painting is my first love.

Arts and crafts shows were never something I wanted to do, but I know artists who do well with those. Whatever floats your boat.

Today I focus online and I have been creating art e-courses for the last couple years. Talk about a giant learning curve… lots of fun!

The bottom line: MAKE ART EVERY DAY, and you will sell some, guaranteed!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of lovely and affordable gifts in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. Support a successful living artist today! 🙂

Artist struggles

Artist struggles can be hard to overcome, especially if the road seems pitted with pot holes and many disappointments, not to mention loads of failed art work. I will get to that.

There is the issue of artistic expression, and the issue of selling your art. In a way, they go hand in hand even if they are two different arms of the biz of being an artist.

brushes

Artist expression, how to negotiate the pitfalls:

The biggest thing for expression is COMMITMENT.  As with any other work you have to be committed to get results. How do you build commitment if you don’t have it?

You have to build a new habit by showing up every day at your art, come hell or high water! There is no way around this. Even when you feel no inspiration at all, you show up and put brush to paint or whatever medium you’re using. Prepare you tools and inspiration might start to flow. If it doesn’t, paint anyway. It might look like crap, which is often does, but so what? You can always paint over it later. The sooner we realize how important commitment is, the sooner we will see progress in our art endeavors. Make loads of ugly paintings and be proud of them!

COMPARISON: Don’t compare your work to that of other artists. You are unique.  Why would you want your work to look like someone else’s?  To find your own style, you have to produce a lot of art, trial and error style, until you feel the unmistakable vibe of YOU in your art. It can take some time, but you are committed.

Guitarists did not become great overnight… Practice can be tedious, but the progress is noticeable.

It’s hard to explain what the vibe of YOU is, but you will know. It feels right, it feels magical, it feels like “yes.”

Then again, you might lose that feeling as you continue to grow and advance in your art. Then you lean on your commitment until the next breakthrough.

JUDGMENT: It can be the death of creativity. If you judge your own art as you move through your process, you are likely to quit making art. Judgment of others can be hard to take, but why take their word for it? They come from their single point of view, and maybe they are envious of your courage to be an artist. It takes courage to let the world see your art. Who cares what others think, right? Thick skin, remember?

Those are the three biggies.

business

Two pitfalls in art biz:

VISIBILITY: Unless you’re a performer it can be hard to make yourself visible online and offline. Many artists are introverts and find it difficult to allow the vulnerability of self AND personal art into the world.

The only way to overcome this is to SHOW UP and grow some thick skin. People will always be quick to criticize, but if you did your best and you love your art, you don’t have to buy into the criticism. There can be helpful criticism, but you can feel the difference. Don’t buy into the b*llshit. Remember your passion for your art and your commitment.

It’s easier to be visible online since there is a barrier between you and the public, but you will encounter trolls there too. Trust in yourself. You are enough, and your art is enough. It’s a journey, and you keep on going.

Blogging and having an online shop are two ways to be visible online. What is most important to you? To have gallery representation or online sales? You can have both. I find ways to show my art, usually in shops, and coffee shops. So far, I have not been in more than a couple of gallery shows, but I’d rather sell online. That has been my choice.

Make several streams of income available.

CREATIVE THINKING: Art-ing is not the only way to be creative. To make opportunity for yourself, you have to get your art out there. Think of ways you enjoy to make your art available. You don’t have to be represented by a gallery to have good sales, or travel to art shows.

I mix it up with some crafts and I also make e-courses. Find several ways to bring in income from your art. Build a mailing list.

Some of these things are pretty boring, but have you ever done work that was all fun and play? Commitment involves doing the boring stuff that is needed for your art to be visible.

There are so many ways to sell your art online: Prints, art on totes and mugs, commissions, online shops, a website with all the links to your goodies. Get inspired by what other artists have done to sell their art. If they can, you can!

When I started out I used to sell art on eBay, and I look at my art from my early days and wonder how it ever sold!  Some did though, so there are people who will always see the beauty in your art even if it’s amateurish (compared to where you are now.)

Today is the day. Make that commitment and go for it!!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of new things in ONE of my etsy shops: https://etsy.com/shop/EarthandFaery

 

Empty well?

Empty well today?  Maybe it’s a chronic condition and you say I’m suffering from artist’s block. Writers get away with that quite easily, but artists? We see life in color so the well is easily filled again. Here are some things I do to fill my artistic well:

MAKE CRAFTS

I’m grateful that I enjoy making stuff with my hands. As a kid I learned to sew, knit, and crochet, but these days I mostly create polymer clay embellished boxes and inspirational frames.

polymer clay mosaicI love the meditative quality of crafts. I don’t have to think too much, just make the tiles and paint them. They usually come together easily once I design the box lid or frame.

polymer clay mosaicI also make handmade art journals, which are SO MUCH FUN! I can get real sloppy with inks and paints.

art journalI sell the crafts on etsy in my EARTH AND FAERY shop and they are quite popular. That is a side bonus that also inspires me to make more.

To get back to art making as in painting and art journaling, I come back with a fresh eye after a few days of craft making. My other major inspiration is:

NATURE

If you live in the boonies you are surrounded by nature, but if you live in an urban area like I do, it’s hard to get outside and be surrounded by trees. I live by a park, and that was a choice I made. Pretty much every day I go to the park, and the energy fills me up.

There is something so healing about nature, and it also balances you. Just as you make a commitment to join a gym, you can make a commitment to spend time in nature every week. Look at it as self-care.

YouTube

There are so many tutorials on YouTube you could spend a lifetime getting inspired by other people’s art. Half an hour here and there works wonders. I also love to look at art by the old masters. A trip to an art museum or gallery can be inspiring.

EXERCISE!

Many dread that word, but exercise is essential for well-being on all levels. I find it to be the fastest way to clear out the cobwebs and get the ball rolling. Once it’s rolling, it keeps going.  Exercising and park visits go hand in hand…

ART PARTY

Every month I get together with a couple of artsy friends and we have an art party. We take turns to host it. We make art, talk, and eat a great lunch. It’s truly refreshing and inspiring. I usually end up working in my art journal. Doodling is one way of expressing art while deep into a discussion.

TAKE A NAP

When all fails, take a short nap! You wake up with fresh eyes. 🙂

If none of these things appeal to you, well, come up with your own regimen for creative self-care. Then the well will always be filled.

Creating art is not always easy, but don’t blame it on “artist’s block.”

Have a creative weekend. (Those are the best kind.)

xo

Maria