The First Four Days

I usually hesitate joining a challenge because it never fails – I will usually lose steam mid way and pretty much give up.   I have all the right intentions but life gets the best of me, I find myself stressed to keep up with the daily task and it becomes too much to handle.   Can I say this time is different?  Maybe but I am trying to approach this 30-day challenge differently.   I have prepared ahead of time and I am not going to stress myself to get it done if I get backed up.

Whats the challenge?

The challenge is to create 30 paintings in 30 days for the month of September.   I have been using acrylics and mixed media paper.  I will only give myself about 30 minutes to an hour to complete a painting.   I move quickly and if I feel a painting is not going where I need it to be, I put it down and start a new day – I can return with a new eye later.

How am I doing?

So I got through the first four days with a breeze.  I worked ahead of myself and created a bunch of “start.”   Each day has its challenges, but I have managed to stay motivated in inspired so far.   I am enjoying the free flowing movement of my abstract paintings.  And, I have learned so much with experimentation of different color combinations and mark making.  It has been fun so far and watching my transformation and journey has motivated me in my other creative projects.

How to keep motivated through a challenge when life hits you hard?

So it has only been four days but I am staying positive and will keep moving forward towards my 30 painting goal.   So how can you stay in the motivated spirit to take on a challenge:

  • keep a journal and document your daily challenges, ups and downs.
  • reward yourself – what is at the end of the rainbow if you complete your challenge?  maybe a trip to the art store for some goodies.
  • don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep up.  You can always start over or try your best to catch up.   Remember it’s your challenge.  You make your own rules.
  • Have fun and explore new things.   Get your creative flow moving by trying a new medium or substrate.
  • Share your journey with everyone else – post it on Instagram or Facebook.

So I got four down and twenty-six more to go – I can do this – watch me.

Follow my journey on my Instagram @creativesoulsart_journey

All of my pieces are available for sale – click here to purchase

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A 30 Day Challenge

30in30

So my creative soul has been in a kind of a rut lately.  I guess it’s the obvious coming of Fall and the year coming to an end.  Even though we still have time left, I feel like the year has rushed past me and I have accomplished nothing.  Well, I actually did a lot, but there are still several things on my to do list that I never got to.

So I decided to put the pressure on and participate in a 30 day creating challenge.  To be honest, I usually always fail at these.  I start out with a big “gung ho” and eventually fizzle out towards mid way.   I know I am not alone – we all do this.

But this time is different?

Yes, I think. No, I know.  I have prepared and will spend no more than 30 minutes to an hour on each daily piece.  They will be on my favorite mixed media paper so not feelings of waste if I screw up a pricey canvas.   I will post daily on my Instagram page and share here on my blog as well.  I really need a boost here and writing about it somewhat holds me accountable.   And sharing keeps me in a positive and no fear, no perfection zone.

So follow this 30 Day journey, maybe do one yourself and see how you feel on October 1st.

Follow my Instagram to see my progress.

@creativesoulsart_journey

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Playing with my Paint

How do you get your creative soul motivated to create?

I like to use new mediums or tools to play – yeah many times the result is a mess, but it allows me to loosen up, get to know the tools that I do have and also play around with how color reacts to each other. These can be amazing practice runs for the real thing – you know the big white canvas.

I have been a crazy woman trying to get commission completed, get through all of my shows and also trying so hard to get this business off the ground.   I find my creative self gets stalled in the process of busyness.   I end up breaking down and getting nothing accomplished.  So these little prompts help me stay inspired and motivated.  Occasionally, I learn something new, and it gets incorporated into a bigger painting.  Whatever happens though, I try my best to have fun, let loose and just allow myself to create without judgment or criticism.  Ha, easier said than done.

Here is a quick creative project that can help you get a creative boost.

Supplies I like to play with:

A cheap watercolor set

Acrylic Inks

Inexpensive foam brushes or paintbrushes

Big white piece of paper or sketchbook

Spray bottle of water

You can gather up whatever supplies you like as well.

Turn some music on and focus your attention on creating.  Let go of what happened yesterday, today or what is supposed to get done tomorrow.   Don’t worry about making anything perfect – this is your time to explore and create freely – don’t judge yourself or compare.

Allow the paint to do the work

I love using acrylic inks and watercolor in my intuitive painting process because it takes away my control.  I have to allow the flow of the ink or water based medium to take shape.  Sometimes it creates a happy surprise and sometimes it all flows together into a big puddle.  Whatever happens – this is a great exercise to let go of control.   This can translate into everyday issues as well.  Sometimes we just can control the situation at hand.  This is how this process works.

  • You can’t control the end result
  • the end result may not be what you intended
  • You will need to let go and allow the process to unfold
  • If the process fails – you can start over brand new or use that as your underpainting.

I included a quick intuitive painting session I recently did.  I used watercolor, acrylic ink, and pastels.  I really didn’t think about where this was going and just made an effort to have fun.   To me, this is a great start to more.  I can continue to build upon this layer until I say it’s done (that’s another post though).

 

Watch Video Here

 

A Creative Mind is a Messy One

Can anyone relate here?   My studio or anywhere I create is a mess – a beautiful mess though.   But my creative mind is always moving, always thinking and seeing subjects to paint everywhere.   When I listen to music, see a cloud formation or simply just relaxing on a park bench – I can see something to create.  I take my weekly field trip to my local art store – yes it’s an obsession – and I have to buy a new tool – even one little marker can inspire.

Since my shows are starting to wind down, I have returned to the studio to get even messier.   Playing and experimenting again with my tools.   Some things are working and a lot are not.  But I am learning, I am opening up to change and making bold moves.   I don’t have to settle with where I am right now even though I accept and allow myself to be in the moment.  I can find transformation from within and see what new things I can create.

That mess though…

So I can’t help it – I create in chaos.  Outside and inside.   I look at other #studioscenes on Instagram of other artists that look so carefully scripted and neat and I just can’t relate.   Stuff is all over the place and my inner soul is right there with it.   I am finding this method works though.   Chaos breeds amazing surprises in my art.  Things happen or become visible only by just letting my intuitive nature take control.  My work becomes more fluid and less structured.  I stop nitpicking on the small details and I start to think and feel bigger.  After three years of doing this artist thing full time, I finally feel like my art is going somewhere and coming alive.

Do you create or work in chaos or complete order?

What about you? How do you create?

  • Do you need strict order – everything in its place?
  • Do you start orderly and end up with everything all over the place?
  • Do you just work in complete chaos and let it all go?

Does it matter?

I am a strong proponent of letting yourself go and letting your inner soul take over.  If whats happening is happening – let it happen.   When I am in the creative spirit I stop focusing on everything else and pour my soul into my creation.   So if you work in mess both inner and outer – stop thinking about making things orderly – it will only inhibit your growth.

So go out and make a mess!

So I challenge you to go make a mess.  Write in your journal, make a mess on a brand new canvas.  It may all come out as gibberish but you are releasing creativity.   This is where unexpected surprises begin to surface.  Free writing, brainstorming, intuitive painting, dancing – I can keep going.  These are all practices to help free that messy creative mind outward.   How many masterpieces were created this way?

Share your creative mess with me on Instagram at #creativesoulsart and follow me at @creativesoulsart_journey.

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Here I am sharing this explorative journey – not sure where it will end up, but I am saddling myself up for an amazing ride.

 

Pushing Myself to Try Harder

My creative mind is all over the place.  Every day I wake up I have a different vision of what I want to create that day.  There are days in which I am ready to focus on my landscape paintings and sometimes I just want to play and explore to see where it takes me.   I just can’t focus on one style or subject.  My mind moves and changes with the wind.   This becomes an issue as I try to build my brand, my business.   Everyone tells me I need to have one vision but I can’t help it.   I try new things, they work and then they stop working.   I see another artists technique and I try it – why not it looks like fun.  I see how far I can take a medium or subject and if it works I keep going.  If not – I start over.   No biggie – right?

So I have been busting out of the seams as I have been preparing for all of my shows this season.  This is usually where I display my oil landscapes and pastels.   They have done quite nicely and my audience has been receptive to it.  But my other side – the funky wild side wants to play too.   My Goddesses have finally come home and are selling like hotcakes – as so are my Buddha paintings.   And I took a long hiatus on my floral abstracts.  But now – I am pulling out everything and pushing myself to reach further.

  • Can my oil landscapes improve – why yes?
  • Can I introduce new Goddesses, maybe using a new medium or collage technique
  • Can I paint some more Buddhas – why I just did
  • Can I explore my abstract phase a bit more?  I am already there

I have been itching to try to use oil paint in my abstract exploration.  Wow, how much I love the way the paint moves, how the colors blend and get all yummy all over.   This is an exploration and me learning how I can push my oil medium further.   Not only am I opening myself up to seeing a new way of creating but I am learning more about how oil paint moves and talks to my creative soul.  I have always said my abstract, my fun explorations are always helpful to me as I grow in my landscapes.

So I Push Harder

We should never feel content.  We should always feel like everything we do is a work in progress that can always find areas to improve and get better.   This is evident in my creative process and I live by it.  But this is what is always arguing with me every day:

  • I feel like failing and giving up every day – But how can I – I have invested so much at this point.
  • I see so many other artists better than me – wow now my art looks so amateur –  I am not here to be like some else – I can let them inspire me but I need to create what comes from me
  • Why doesn’t anyone buy my art?  Because I haven’t connected with those people that connect with my art and my story yet.
  • Why is creating so hard sometimes?  Because it just is.   It comes from within, and it takes a lot to tap into that inner soul.

And Harder…

So to hush down that pesky inner critical thinking, I just do it.  I take out that canvas and let something happen.   It may work and creativity may flow out like a flood or it may be a disaster but who cares?  I am creating right?

So I sit here a day after a rather OK show and I am on a path of where to begin again.  What canvas is waiting for me to give it some love?  What paint brush needs my attention? And if it doesn’t work today, hey, there is another day coming tomorrow.

 

 

Everyday I’m Hustlin’

The life of an artist is not always fun and passion seeking.  There are times of intense stress and days I just want to give up.  Now don’t get me wrong – I love the path I have chosen but those feelings just seem to creep up into my soul.   In the end, life seems to work itself out.  Maybe because I am just doing what is meant for me and I have chosen what my divine path should be.  But, again, those negative downers like to burst out from time to time to say hello and burst those bubbles.   Although I get into my funks every now and then – they become fuel – the food to bust out and make a move.   I taught myself how to hustle my way out of a funk.   I have developed a hunger (not for food) that feeds my soul to push forward towards success.

So I in a sense – I am Hustlin’ everyday

Am I not going to make the mortgage this month or pay for those extravagant college tuition costs for my son?   Well, what’s a girl to do?   I am going to push myself to create more, be persistent and get someone to buy some art and support my hustle.   Does it always work?  I will say about 9 out of 10 times.  I find a side hustle – a teaching job or a quick commission to hold me over.  It’s like when I am in need of help, the creative soul reinforcements come calling to save the day.   Someone magically reaches out and decides to buy that painting they have been looking at for a few months.   I get a random email for a local pop up show.  Something always seems to come through – just at the right time.

Do you believe in magic?

I am not going to call this all luck.   Maybe karma.  There is some strategy going on here.  But I truly believe because I have chosen my path and am passionate about what I do everyday – the happiness finds a way to return its favor just in the nick of time for me.   It’s like the positive Gods refuse to let me give up.  Because this is my destiny – this is my chosen path.

What happens when you feel like throwing in the towel?

All I can say is don’t!

  • Stay positive.
  • Don’t give up and stay strong.
  • Find your hustle.
  • What can you do to support your dream?
  • Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get there?
  • What are you willing to give up?
  • Can you sacrifice to make your dream come alive?
  • If it doesn’t work this time – are you willing to pick yourself up, even if it hurts and start over?
  • Can you listen to your inner soul and not the outside critics who will try to keep you down?
  • Can you silence the inner critic that tells you – this can’t be done?

Interested in supporting the hustle?   Buy some art created handmade by a true creative soul.

Check out my Gallery and follow the journey

Challenge yourself to Challenge yourself

Do we all find it difficult to accept a challenge within ourselves?

Do we see and accept change but can’t seem to get it going?

Are we scared of taking on a challenge because we just might fail?

I know I do all the time.   I hang my art up and create in hopes that the masses will sweep in, love my work and buy it all.  I have ideas I want to express but feel like I don’t have it in me to express them.

Remember Fear and Perfection?

Those two pesky things that keep us from change, new ideas and challenging ourselves to break free of normal.

So let’s take on a challenge starting NOW!

Now our challenge doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking like climbing Mt Everest.  It can be small like committing to waking up at 4 am every morning.  Or maybe spending one hour a week on a new craft or hobby.   It can be anything – there are no rules.  But a small challenge can build up to bigger things and allow us to get up the confidence to take on big changes in our lives.

So what is my challenge?

I find I am having a hard time getting stuff done.   I have a bunch of shows this summer, I teach at nights, and I have a few commissions in the works.  I want to work on a new series of Goddess paintings, and I want to start getting these online classes up and running.  It’s overwhelming.   I have succumbed to the fact that it just doesn’t need to happen right this second and I can take the time to develop these ideas.   But how can I find a less anxiety-free way to get my ideas and wishes to work?

So I figure I can break these tasks into smaller manageable tasks or challenges – I can develop and inspire myself by making small challenges daily, weekly and monthly and eventually get to my larger goals.

Here is a list of small challenges I could incorporate into my schedule:

  • spend 10 minutes a day journaling my thoughts – these small passages can be used for future blog posts and prompts
  • take one hour a day to do something outside in nature – Bring my camera and take pictures and video so I can use them for a future blog, social media, and inspirational posts or artwork subjects
  • challenge myself to add at least 3 new people to my email list a week – the more the merrier and the more I can add to my list the more I can spread the word that I AM AN ARTIST.
  • Take 30 minutes a day to sketch or paint a quick study – practice.   These small studies end up becoming larger painting ideas or they are sold as lower priced inventory I can sell at my shows – plus it helps build up my painting confidence

Many times we challenge ourselves, but the goal becomes too big.  We end up giving up before we even got ourselves on the right footing to get started.   So these are a few small challenges that become inventory and ideas for my bigger goals.  I can take on these challenges with little or no setup or stress.  I break them up in smaller increments of time so they do not become overwhelming and I can fit them into my busy schedule.  I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the bigger picture because as I gather these small challenges together, the bigger goal will surface.

Ok so who is up for the challenge to be challenged?  I am!  I will document these challenges in a visual journal that I will share with all of you as I go foward.  Wish me luck!  and I wish you support and guidance as we move forward together in following our journey.

Should I Find a Direction and Stick to it?

 

So I have been quite absent from my blog for a while.  It has been a combination of feeling overwhelmed, being busy with shows and opportunities and as always, procrastination.   My pathway is leading in different directions, and at times I feel as though I am not sure which way to go.   Will by choice lead me to success or a letdown of sorts?   What should I do?  What choice should I make?  What direction should I be going towards?   It can all be so overwhelming and in the end the procrastination sets in.   So I took a Soulful Break.  I focused on painting and painting a lot.   I created some amazing pieces and some not so amazing.  While I am still not sure of where this path is leading at this moment, I take it all in and learn from whats working and whats not.   I try my best to stay where I am at this very moment in time and not dwell upon where I was yesterday or where I have to be tomorrow.  But it can be tough.

Should I find a direction and stick to it?

One thing I have learned while following my creative passion is it can lead me to many opportunities.   Many times these opportunities come at me at the worst moment – when I am not ready.   A commission, a solo show, an event in which I don’t have enough artwork, and I am working feverishly overnight to get it all done.   I have tried to get my online and teaching off the ground, but a one-woman show is quite tough.   It is slowly (very slowly) creating itself, but I have come to the realization that this is a marathon (a rather long marathon) and not a sprint.   Do I resolve myself to change direction?   My direction is still going in the same direction, but sometimes I need to accept a small amount of change to push it forward.   Being open to change as I push forward on my journey has been an eye opening and soulful experience.   It can be hard to accept change, but in the end, it is probably for the best.   An example is the many art fairs that I have been doing this past year.   I have found some success and truly enjoy doing them, but some are just not working for me.   As much as I love it – I need to open my eyes to the realistic view that I need to shift this pathway a bit to experience success.   Sometimes, emotional decisions need to take a back seat so that the real success can shine through.

Can I move in different directions at once?  

I do, but things can get crazy at times.    I am finding I need to pick a focus – one at a time and get that completed before I move on to the next.   I find myself gathering up too many things at once – and while I am a good multi-tasker – my overwhelmed anxiety kicks in and I shut down completely.   Time seems to rush by me as well, and a well planned out focus can end up coming at me at 50 mph.

So how do I stick to it and get things done?  

How can I focus and complete the tasks that are needed to move forward?   

  • I can allow myself to be where I am right now.  Give me permission to live in the present and accept those things that just aren’t working right now.   It’s perfectly fine that one project isn’t getting done as planned.  Maybe it’s not where I need to be right now.
  • I can take time each day to focus on myself – maybe just do nothing and allow myself to regroup internally. Stave off the anxiety before a shut down occurs
  • I can find activities that encourage positivity – traveling, hiking, exercising, meditating, yoga, etc…   Yes, it takes up precious time but time is what you create onto yourself.   Making time for positive activity encourages creative energy.
  • I can just create.   It doesn’t have to be a perfect masterpiece.  It can be a simple, playful project or a new medium.   Releasing that creative energy so I can inspire my soul to flourish inward and outward.

So a direction is just that a direction.  It can be a simple straight path or all over the place.   Your direction may change slightly or dramatically.   But don’t let it inhibit your growth – reevaluate your path and journey as you move forward.  Accept change but also challenge yourself to finish what you started.  Utilize positive activities to help you focus and not get caught up in a tangles web of confusion and giving up.   Your direction can lead you to so many new adventures – you will accept change throughout – but the inner passion will always be constant.

Connecting and Spreading my Passion

Can’t believe we are already through March.  For me, this means packing my artwork up and going outward to connect with customers and spread my passion to the many indoor/outdoor shows I do throughout the year.   Last year was my first year doing this, and it was tough.  I cried, I laughed, my anxiety set in and I sometimes left defeated.  But I persisted through it all and had a pretty good first year.  No, I did not become a famous, rich artist, but it was a success overall.   I met so many new people, I was able to hone into my ideal customer, and I learned a lot about getting out there and selling my art as an entrepreneur.

This year my goal is to get out there more and open up to share my story with my customer.   Allowing myself to expose me even more and touching those that need a creative boost of sorts.   My art is an extension of my soul, and I hope to give others my experience of nourishment, renewal and a reset.   The opportunity to share my art allows me to get out of my studio and get to know who my customer or my tribe is.   Every so often, someone is touched soulfully by my art.  They say they feel happiness or solace.   This brings a big smile to my face because “IT’S WORKING”   My goal of trying to express how I am feeling into my art has been tough.  It can be hard to let in and let go into the creative process.  But through all of my various creative outlets, it has allowed me to bloom outward and onto my canvas.

So continue to follow the journey:

I truly enjoy sharing my journey even when it is not always fun and successful.  But it helps to let it all out and see me from the outside.  I hope one of you out there can find inspiration and motivation to find your journey through my story.  I hope I can put a smile on your face and spread happiness in a time when we need a little.   I want to give back because I am blessed to be able to be sitting here writing this blog and pursuing the life I love to live.

 

It’s Time for the Goddess to be Heard

If you have followed me this past year and a half, you have seen my Goddess series grow, expand and come to life.   It started as a project to reinvigorate my own inner goddess to create with more passion and confidence.   It has now grown beyond my just playing to a series that has become stronger and more powerful.  It has touched and inspired others to hang them on their walls and find a connection to their imagery.

It’s time to take this series deeper into a spiritual, political and empowering level.  The overall climate of today has released anger and uncertainty from not only women but people of all shapes, classes, races and religious backgrounds.   We are experiencing a need for change – YES – but ask yourself is it the right change? Are we forgetting our need for empathy, gratitude, and simple respect?   Can we take time out of our busy lives to think of others before ourselves?   Change is good but not when it facilitates hate, racism, bigotry and misogyny.

Goddess #2 – Work in Progress, 48×48

My Goddess series is moving in this direction.  A direction of change that facilitates a positive environment.  It will empower and encourage everyone to move forward beyond our current climate to a journey of peace, happiness and bringing together a source of positive change.

“She Grooves to Her own Beat” 48×48 acrylic on canvas is the first in a series of 10 paintings that will represent and focus on the female Goddess.  It will bring forward strength, a positive inner self, and our amazing beauty from within. It will get political, it will get religious and it will be powerfully strong in statement.  But it will not spread or share negativity or hatred.  It is my creative contribution to bring goodness back into the framework of our environment.

I am so excited to share this new series and am hoping to bring forth both an online show and a show later this year.   I will be creating limited edition signed prints of the series and possibly a book in the works.  So follow the journey and watch the transformation and growth of my Goddess Series.   It will be an amazing experience.