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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

21 Secrets Fall 2015 Early Bird Special!

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Hola from Spain my friends!

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This is the view from our deck! We can see the Mediterranean!

It’s with great excitement that i tell you all we are in Spain – soaking up the sun and connecting with the splendor in Spain. My roots are in Spain – that’s where my ancestors are from so it’s with great excitement that i get to experience it once more after 42 years!

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21 SECRETS FALL 2015
Another fabulous thing is happening right now – Connie Solera of Dirty Footprints is gearing up for a fabulous event – 21 SECRETS FALL 2015!  
I remember what fun i had being a part of 21 SECRETS LIVE last year.  Now Connie is giving those of you who register early a bonus – you’ll get to enjoy mine as well as nine other fantabulous artists live workshop from last year!  How cool is that?
You will really love the line up of wonderful artists for the upcoming workshop!  If you love Art journaling you are going to enjoy 21 Secrets Fall 2015 – it’s a truly transformational experience!
Click here if you’d like to take advantage of this time limited offering!
Enjoy the rest of your summer or winter!

Love Violette xo

 

Art Journal Summer School Giveaway Contest closed!

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We have a winner – Roc - congratulations you win the spot on Art Journal Summer school. Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to leave a comment xo  So sorry i couldn’t give you all a spot.

You’ve probably heard by now about the latest art journal workshop! Yay!!!  Marieke Blokland is gifting all of the teachers with one spot to giveaway to the Art Journal Summer School. How fun is that?

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If you would like to know more about this awesome Art Journal Summer School please click here.  In this fun online summer school workshop you’ll have access to 11 teachers – I am so thrilled to be one of them!  Just a little hint……….my workshop will include Quirky faces!

In order to enter the contest to win a spot for this summer school please leave me a comment here about whether or not you are going away on holidays this summer (or winter) and if you plan on bringing art supplies. I hope you do!

I’ll be drawing a winner on Friday June 5 at 9 am PST.  Good Luck everyone!

Love, Violette xo

 

Art Journal Summer School starts soon!

 

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Wow – my apologies for being absent for so long!  I do have some exciting news to share with you however.  Marieke Blokland has invited me to teach at her Art Journal Summer School. This is the kind of summer school you’ll love.  There are 11 amazing teachers who will be presenting video tutorials on art journaling techniques you can use while on Summer Vacation.  Check out the teachers who will be sharing during this online class.

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If you are at all like me you tend to bring WAYYYY too many supplies with you while you go on vacation.  Well in this workshop we’ll be teaching you how to only use supplies you can fit into a toiletry or cosmetic bag. How cool is that? More info here.

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You’ll be art journaling in a smallish journal (about 5″ x 8″) so it won’t take up too much space in your suitcase or knapsack. If you’ll be planning a Staycation instead of going away it will still be awesome as you can easily bring these supplies with you to the beach or coffee shop.

Find out more here

Watch this video and be inspired.  I hope you’ll decide to join us so you can have some art journaling fun over the holidays!

Next week I’ll be hosting a giveaway for one spot in Summer school.

In the meantime hop on over the Marieke’s to find out more info.

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.

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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

 

 

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