Archive of ‘Inspiration’ category

Kathryn Costa’s Mandala Guidebook and a giveaway!

Hello friends!  I have been absent for a while – been on an amazing wilderness adventure which I will write about next week.  I was able to do some art journaling on this adventure in the Great Bear Rainforest so I’m happy to share a few pages with you next week.

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But for now I’m thrilled to tell you about Kathryn Costa’s book The Mandala Guidebook: How to draw, paint and color expressive mandala art!  I was sent a review copy and absolutely love it.  This guidebook gives you step by steps on how to create free form mandalas but also mandalas using a compass and protractor.  Funnily enough Kathryn mentions some people’s fear or reticence in using those instruments – dating back to their school days where geometry struck fear in their hearts. That would be me :).  I don’t think I’ve owned a compass and protractor for a few decades. If you’d like to download a free chapter you can click here.

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As you can see I have incorporated free form decorative mandalas in my art for some time and truly enjoy how they spice up a page.  After reading Kathryn’s book and perusing some of the projects as well as studying her simple step by step instructions I am going to buy a compass set and start making intentional mandalas.

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This was one of my favourite mandalas in Kathryn’s book.

I am especially intrigued to use mandalas to solve problems, let go of my fears and to use in my gratitude practise.  Drawing intentional mandalas will also give you greater clarity and insight on what’s happening in your life. The possibilities are truly endless.

This book is full of prompts, pattern ideas, inspiration and mixed media techniques from using simple pen and paper to more complex mixed media projects.  There truly is something for everyone here.

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In celebration of the release of The Mandala Guidebook I’m having a giveaway.  You can enter to win some of my artful products – journal book, bookmarks, postcard, greeting card, Heidi wood block and Teens Dream Journal DVD.  Simply leave me a comment here – letting me know if you have used mandalas in your mixed media or art journal pages before.  I’ll pick a winner on Saturday May 28th at 9 am PST.

 

Good Luck!

Love, Violette


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Violette introduction Video

Hello everyone!  I finally did it – i finally created an intro video introducing myself.  It’s something i should have created a very long time ago – it’s much more difficult to do than creating an art video which is about the art and not you so much. I hung on to the video for 3 weeks before releasing it into the world as my inner critic was having a heyday!  It was pretty vicious saying such things as:

“your smile is crooked – you talk out of the corner of your mouth!”

“you’re old….give it up!”

“your teeth are crooked”

“you blather on too much – who’s going to care what you have to say?”

“check out the porridge you left out on the stove….idiot!”

and the critic went on and on until i was metaphorically huddled in a corner in the fetal position.

So I went out and bought this t-shirt on special which allows me to be “perfectly imperfect”.

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I figure better done than not done at all right? So i released the video into the world.  And i received some lovely and kind feedback on Facebook which was awesome!  Thank you dear sweet souls!

For those of you who are not on Facebook I have shared a bit about my health journey – my health was pretty terrible last year…..culminating in a diverticulosis diagnois (as well as a number of other things).  I had a big attack which almost landed me in the ER so i decided to make a few lifestyle changes. The changes included walking every day, adding meditation and cutting down on my wine consumption as well as monitoring my food choices. As a result i feel more peaceful, have lost 5 pounds which i had wanted to lose for some time and have not had the terrible pain i had been experiencing.

So it’s onward and upwards for me.  What are you adding/taking out of your life to live the life your truly want?

Love, Violette xo

 

Artist Interview: Maria Greene

I am thrilled to be interviewing the very talented writer and artist Maria Greene today.

I know i have been missing from my blog for a while but i think this interview is worth the wait.  Maria was kind enough to interview me a while back – you can read the interview here.   You might just want to go back and sift through the many inspiring posts Maria has up to get your creative juice going again!

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1. Tell us a bit about your life with art.

I have always made some kind of art since I was seven years old, but I really committed to it in 2003 when I started painting and selling my art on eBay. I had so much fun trying out different styles, but I could never stick with one for very long. I envy those who can paint the same motif over and over and enjoy it. I come from a pretty creative family. Mom was the happiest when she dove into her crafts, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She used to sew all of my clothes. Dad played various instruments, and my brother is a lifelong artist with many exhibitions over the years. Our styles are totally opposites, and that’s a good thing.

I was never truly interested in going the traditional way of being an artist. Exhibitions never called to me, but I have displayed my art in shops and coffeehouses. Art to me is something that is down to earth and should be easily accessible to everyone.

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2. What is art to you?

Art is a way of expressing my soul; that’s how it feels. Art is a constant exploration that never ends. If I live to be 100 I know I won’t say I have explored enough art expression. It is an endless journey and the satisfaction lies in that journey. What comes out on paper and canvas sometimes truly surprises me, and it is as if my art is telling a story about me that is so much deeper than everyday living. I realize I know so little about the subconscious part of me, but art channels that aspect very well. I think art can be a great way to solve emotional problems and other obstacles in life.

Unfortunately, we have so many expectations and we judge our art and others’ as good or bad. That tendency makes us stop making art and we never get to the point of pure exploration. The vein of gold appears when we dare to explore freely.

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3. What methods do you use?

I find that art journaling is the least challenging method for exploration. It’s hard sometimes not to judge what appears on the page, but it’s a personal diary that no one needs to see. With that comes freedom.

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4. What advice do you have to give to new artists?

Throw caution to the wind! Let yourself be free to explore what art wants to do for you. Art will lead you along. I suggest getting an art journal for mixed media (a minimum of 90lbs paper.) Maybe you don’t plan to use other media than paint, but before long you will find yourself adding bits of paper or other scraps to your page. In one art journal spread I used a lot of lace. I wanted to see what it would look like on top of paint.
As far as other materials, stock up on some cheap acrylic paints and brushes. If you start out inexpensive you won’t be afraid to use the tools, but it’s the opposite with expensive tools. As you get more experienced you can upgrade your tools.

Put no pressure on yourself, just play as if you were four years old again. If it turns into a brown muddy mess, turn the page and start over. By the way, ugly is okay! It’s good because it means you’re creating.

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3. What is your favorite style?

I’m very partial to intuitive painting since that truly opens the door to deeper exploration. I have posted some videos on YouTube about making art journal pages without having any plans for the outcome. Link at the end of this article.

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4. How did you begin to explore intuitive painting?

Back in the 90s I read a book by Michele Cassou, POINT ZERO, Creativity Without Limits.She also co-wrote LIFE, PAINT and PASSION, and her incredible writing triggered a deep resonance within me. Then I came across Aviva Gold’s PAINTING FROM THE SOURCE, and I used her suggestions to delve deeply into my art. I still have some of those old paintings. They are huge and painted on poster boards, some of them glued together. She challenges you to paint on one painting until there is absolutely nothing more to explore. It can be truly challenging to stay with one painting and let it lead you until it is finished. I enjoyed the process. When I had finished the piece I could SEE (and feel) my energy in the art. It was authentic.

Nowadays, intuitive painting has a wide following and many great artists as teachers.

Learning traditional art techniques can be very helpful, but what I’m talking about is free expression that comes from one’s inner life.

To be honest, I can’t draw a straight line, but I love color and composition. Even with art instruction, painting a face for instance, I make one eye larger than the other, and I can never get the angle of the mouth down correctly. Other artists are great at drawing, like you, Violette. We all have different gifts.

5. What is in store for the future?

I’m creating free and paid e-courses. I will have a mixed media tutorial up on the Create Mixed Media site this month, and my art if featured in Laura Probert’s wonderful WARRIOR SOUL: a journal to inspire your fiercely alive whole self. This is a book filled with art, poetry, and blank pages for your own addition. So it’s a journal and inspiration rolled into one. It was released last week and can be purchased on Amazon.

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My last suggestion: it would be a shame not to explore, to ignore that urge that wants you to paint. What is your gift to the world? What is pushing from within? Go do it now!
My links.

My website: Maria Greene

My art blog: Green Earth Originals

My YouTube channel: Maria’s youtube channel 

My etsy shop. Maria’s etsy shop 50% off all original art until December 20!

Thank you so much Maria for your inspiring words today.

Love, Violette xo

Happy National Craft Month!

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Hi Everyone – i’m back from a month long hiatus!  I feel like i am turning a corner and feel much more hopeful and energized! Thanks for all the good vibes xo

I was asked by the kind folks at Patience Brewster to create a post for National Craft Month.  I have been a huge fan of Patience’s whimsical creations for many years so was delighted to create a post. Do check out her glorious characters and lovely stationary. They will blow your socks off!

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Patience’s daughter Marietta asked me why crafting was important to me.  Well that’s a big questions!  I have pretty much crafted my entire life………i also call drawing crafting as that’s my earliest memory of being creative. When i was little i did plastic mosaics, paint by numbers, crochet as well as a bit of clay work. I loved it all. I found my bliss while drawing though.

As I grew older i spent many happy hours drawing and crafting when i had my children.  Crafting has been a constant in my life bringing me joy and solace as well.  When i suffered from depression (and still do from time to time) i would turn to arts and crafts to lift my spirits.

Although i love drawing and i find it to be a solitary pursuit – i enjoying getting together with friends to art journal and chat about what’s going on in our lives and about the latest supplies. (in the photo above are some of my art journaling friends).

 

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I’ve met many online friends through my art and my first blog which i created over 11 years ago. It was a wonderful way to connect with kindred spirits virtually.  I loved how creatives all gathered on my blog’s forum and how some of us made lasting connections, shared our art, our lives and participated in swaps.

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As time went on i discovered art journaling – something i had been doing but did not have a name for it yet. I shared my journal pages online and found that people actually loved them. So i did some tutorials and even learned how to shoot videos. You can check some of my how to videos on my youtube channel.  So being online and being connected with so many lovely creative spirits truly helped me grow as an artist. I took more risks and grew my skills because i felt people were counting on me. It was easier for me to do new things for others rather than just for myself. As a result of art journaling and sharing my pages with folks online my first book on Art Journaling called Journal Bliss was published.  That was 6 years ago. Wow! Hard to believe.

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I used art journaling to document the joys in my life but also the sorrows. Creating art around depression or something upsetting in life helped me move through grief and sorrow. As i shared these pages i do know they helped others as well.

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I have said it before and will say it again Art really saved my life.  I know it has saved the lives of so many others as well.

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I love how art often has a message for me……….i simply sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper and begin to draw.  Usually if i’m quiet enough the doodle tells me what it wants to be and also the story of the piece is revealed. So i usually get a message that i need to hear like the above Gypsy message “I predict you’ll be as happy as you decide to be”.  Obviously a message my moody self needed to hear on that day!

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The messages i receive often repeat themselves like “Do what you love” “Love what you do”, “be yourself” “love yourself” etc. What’s not to love about that?

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I continue to stretch and grow as i’m inspired by all the wonderfulness that is available online – pinterest and instagram are chalk full of artsy goodness!

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Lately i have been working in a moleskine book – something i had not done for quite a while as i don’t like to commit art to a book. I keep most of my journal pages in a box loosely.  Recently i took up a challenge put out by Suzi Blu  to create art and writing and keep a calendar in a moleskine book.  I began actually liking it………..but sadly i have not been able to keep up with the prompts and am mostly using the book for my art journal pages and little sketches and writing.

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It’s been fun though to have a book that’s gradually getting bigger by the day and poofy that documents my life.  I couldn’t commit to the Documented life project but felt this was a bit more doable.

 

 

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Wow – it’s been a while since I’ve blogged so i am going overboard here. I hope you are still with me. So now i want to circle back to the question Why crafting was important to me. Well it’s pretty much my life.  I use it daily to adorn my Magic Cottage, to make art and to craft a life that’s beautiful, eccentric and that’s worth living. I use it to connect with my little grandchildren who i’m teaching arts and crafts to.

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Little Toby feeling very proud with his Christmas Shadow box!

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Sam colouring Easter eggs and decorating them.

glitterCillian glittering a painted Rock for his Dad for Father’s day.

Arts and Crafts have totally enriched my life.  I hope they have yours too!

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month?

Love, Violette xo

 

 

Art journaling in my Moleskine

Hello friends!  I am so sorry i have been missing in action for so long. I’ve been somewhat depressed and tired from lack of sleep (i know that makes everything worse) that i haven’t felt like blogging. You may have seen me on Facebook or Instagram  by the way i’d love it if you followed me! It’s easier for me to post quick little photos with a blurb rather than doing a full blogpost.

So I’ve decided to post some of the pieces i have been working on – mostly been working in my moleskine grid book – inspired by Suzi Blu and her Paint Chronicles.  The first spread was inspired by Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow. If you haven’t already done so do check out Tammy’s blog – she’s full of inspiration and colourful art prompts to get your juices going.moleskin_sketches1 moleskine_sketches1sketch_paintswipe

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I have been making tons of doodles for years which end up either getting tossed in the garbage or getting lost in my masses of notebooks (as i don’t like keeping a journal) but since i’ve been working a bit in the Moleskine book i have found a place for my little sketches and drawings to live.  At least i can look back and see my process. You can see the little running princess and how i started off with sketches which i glued in my book?

The “Oh my soul” little piece came about because i was trying to paint a rock to replace the lovely painted found rocks and it wasn’t working so i swiped the loaded paint brushed on a piece of grid paper. I looked at it and thought “hey – there could be a face in there” so i began doodling and this is what i came up with.

Basically if i just begin then the drawing tells me what it wants next!

This has been a fun experiment (which i highly recommend) if you don’t want to feel like your journal page has to be perfect.  Just sketch away and then glue the doodle in an art journal book or a notebook.  You can add stickers like i have done here and use washi tape too.  I’ve added some images and words from magazines that spoke to me too!

Oh – yes – there’s an art journal jam today at the Good Day sunshine cafe! Hope to see you there at 3!

Well that’s it for today.

I hope you are all well and happy.

Love, Violette xo

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