Monday, April 25, 2016

the magic of getting started

What do you think is the hardest part of the creative process? Getting started or to keep going? Although both are hard, I argue getting started is always the hardest and there is a magic in just starting.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it~ Goethe (tweet this)


One of the reasons I am in love with collage is because I know I can always just start collaging - gluing down my inspirational bits- even when I am uninspired knowing that during the process the inspiration will find me.


Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.~Picasso (tweet this)


I believe that it is a great creative truth that inspiration will find you...but only if you are working. you cannot wait until you are "inspired" to start your art. You just have to begin.

I use this tenet to get my teenage son to do his homework. I know that getting started is always the hardest part. He cannot wait until "he is in the mood." Who was ever "in the mood" to write a paper about to Kill a Mocking Bird? Yes, it was a great book- but to write a persuasive essay- well pigs fill fly before a teenager will be "in the mood" to write that.

However, once he writes that first sentence, he may be in the mood to write another and then another. And one more until the creative well runs dry. So we put it away and then I have to force him to the kitchen table the next day to get started.

It is the same with art. Many make the mistake that because art is enjoyable that they can wait until they are "in the mood" to paint. But to make great art you have to work at it often because not everything you do will be a masterpiece. Like a writer, you will scrap many sentences and throw out rough drafts. Like a scientist there will be many failed experiments- canvases that you will not want to ever display. (don't be tempted to list these on ebay or give to your mother. If you don't like them, you should paint over them with something better.)

The Magic of getting started...


But we know that once we start we will happily be reunited with our muse... it is also like exercise.. the hardest part is getting to the gym. I liken it to the first peck the chick makes in her shell. 

Are you surprised to hear me compare my art to writing an essay or exercising? The creative process takes discipline and the magic is in the hard work.

In this blog post I share the secrets behind this poppy painting... come and see.
The secret behind the vibrancy of the flowers are watercolor markers. The watercolor markers are transparent color. Since it is a marker, the color is applied as pure pigment and not diluted with water. I used shades of red and pink to create the poppies. The transparent watercolor allows you to see through the color and enjoy the luscious layers underneath.

In order to make the poppies "pop", I white washed the background with diluted white acrylic paint. The paint was diluted with glazing medium. not water. You can still see the layers peeking through the white veil but they no longer compete with the flowers. I teach all these techniques on my free youtube channel SchulmanArt plus I also offer online classes at theInspirationPlace.net 

Mixed Media Madness is probably the best class to learn most of these techniques. If registration is not open now, then you can get on the waitlist here.

Some details you will notice in the collage layers are piano music. I love adding music to my collages as the music brings in an energetic force to the piece. You will also notice words and other snippets of pattern.

Bringing complex art in your home means you will have art that you never get tired of looking at as you notice something new every time you study the artwork. The colors are intended to cheer you up while bringing you a sense of calmness at the same time. →collect this art
The finished painting measures 20x20" and comes with a black floater frame. The original mixed media canvas comes framed and ready to hang on the wall so you can enjoy poppies all year long.

Here the painting is shown displayed over a Pottery Barn bed. All furniture, linens and accessories are from PotteryBarn. You can collect the painting at SchulmanArt.com

 http://tinyurl.com/schulmanarts

Want to save on this art right now? 

let me email you the latest coupon


Want to learn how to create your own art like this?


Other Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net


Let's Discuss!


What do you think is the hardest part of the creative process? Getting started or keep on going?
Read More »

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Feng Shui of Elephant painting

feng shui elephant symbolismhttp://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-feng-shui-of-elephant-painting.html
Lately, I've been listening to podcasts as well as reading a lot about Feng Shui and I've been thinking about how that relates to my art.

What is Feng Shui?


Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of aligning your stuff with its most positive energetic forces. The basic concept is that everything has energy. There are some things that will always give off "bad" energy...these are things like clutter, dirt, anything that is broken or negative.

And there are most positive energetic symbols.The art of Feng Shui is placing these energetic symbols where you will get the most positive impact.

Why this isn't just hocus pocus


Now before you dismiss this as hocus pocus, the real idea behind any of this is to create mindfulness around your environment. While the exact rules of Feng Shui may or may not matter, giving careful thought to the placement of all the objects in your house does matter. Not keeping clutter, dirt or broken or unnecessary objects around your home does matter. Placing beautiful uplifting art around your home does matter...and does shift the energy of your home.


Feng Shui and the Elephant


Since I recently completed this elephant painting, I wanted to give some thought to where someone might hang this painting in their home based on Feng Shui principles.

  • Want your kids to study harder or do better in school? Place the painting in your child's bedroom, or wherever she does homework. The elephant symbolizes knowledge and trust.
  • If you want to promote stability, place the elephant in the north of your home.
  • Elephants guard and protect the household. They guard the door and bar the chi energy from leaving. So with that in mind, you can hang this elephant in your foyer near the door.
  • Placing the elephant painting at the front door brings good luck, protection and strength to the household. Most feng shui practitioners believe that these elephants should have their trunks facing upwards as that represents prosperity, good luck and victory. 
  • The main rule for placing an elephant in your home is to always have the elephant facing into the room. 
feng shui elephant symbolismhttp://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-feng-shui-of-elephant-painting.html
completed mixed media collage painting, Elephant Dreams, available exclusively at www.SchulmanArt.com 

Details

feng shui elephant symbolismhttp://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-feng-shui-of-elephant-painting.html
Detail of Elephant Dreams. The elephant is dreaming of tromping through the poppies.. perhaps even eating a few on the way...hence the happy face. >>bring this painting home

feng shui elephant symbolismhttp://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-feng-shui-of-elephant-painting.html
Another detail of the texture in this painting,  >>bring this painting home


More Decorating Ideas

One more Decorating idea: If you are not inspired by Feng Shui, look how great the Elephant painting looks above this Pottery Barn sofa. Can you imagine it in your home?  >>bring this painting home
There is only one original painting of this art available at www.SchulmanArt.com and once it's gone...it's gone. New collectors may take advantage of subscriber coupon. (see below)

 http://tinyurl.com/schulmanarts

Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon



Other Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net


Let's Discuss!


What do you think of the practice of Feng Shui? Have you ever tried rearranging your stuff to bring better luck or fortune?
Read More »

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Invoking the Muse

Did you ever hear the story of how J.K Rowling came up with the idea for the Harry Potter series? She says "I was travelling back to London on my own on a crowded train, and the idea for Harry Potter simply fell into my head."

Have you heard of that concept before? I was recently reading a story about Gloria Vanderbilt and she was discussing her writings. The New York Times reported: "Of the erotic novel, “Obsession,” she said: “That was so much fun. It was almost as if somebody else wrote it and it just sort of fell on the page."

Gods, Angels and Muses


The ancient Greeks had an explanation for this, they felt that art and poetry came to use through the gods, or muses. Plato's Phaedrus described it as the "noble effect of heaven sent madness"


In her book, Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert explains "In ancient Greece and ancient Rome people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then. People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source for distant and unknowable reasons. The Greeks famously called these divine attendant spirits of creativity ‘Daemons’. Socrates famously believed that he had a Daemon who spoke to him from afar. The Romans had the same idea but they called that sort of disembodied spirit a ‘Genius’, which was great because the Romans did not actually think that a genius was a particularly clever individual, they believed that a genius was this sort of magical divine entity who was believed to literally live in the walls of an artist’s studio … and who would come out and invisibly assist the artist with their work and who would shape the outcome of that work."

and for those looking for a painter's perspective Philip Guston said 

"I go to my studio every day, because one day I may go and the Angel will be there. What if I don’t go and the Angel came?"
I get that feeling sometimes when I paint. In other words, that the power is not mine. I think that is why sometimes I, we, get insecure with our work. Because we don't believe it is us who really created the art but some divine intervention. As a result, we worry we will never be able to invoke that muse again.

That is why I titled this painting Dante's Daffodils

Dante conceives of the Muses as effective allegories of his poetic talent, a talent he perceives to be a gift of the Gods. He recognizes that his art is beyond his innate poetic talent and need divine inspiration. 

(disclaimer: I never actually read Dante's Inferno. When I was a freshman in college, I was supposed to read it for my Freshman English class so I transferred into a different section of Freshman English just to avoid it. That may or may not have been a mistake.. but I did enjoy the Robert Frost we discussed in my class.)

 

Decorating Idea

Details:

Size: 18x24" art has 1-1/2" sides painted black. 
Medium: Mixed Media, acrylic collage and watercolor on canvas
→ Collect this art


The gallery wrapped canvas is wired and ready to display on your wall without a frame. I've shown it here over a leather Pottery Barn couch but really, you can display the art anywhere that you desire a pop of color.

There is only one original painting of this art available at www.SchulmanArt.com and once it's gone...it's gone. New collectors may take advantage of subscriber coupon. (see below)

 http://tinyurl.com/schulmanarts

Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon


Other Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net


Let's Discuss!


Now I want to hear from you. - Where do you think ideas come from...talent, genius, divine wisdom, or magic?

Read More »

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How to grow a peony garden painting

mixed media flower art | floral art | pink peony painting  http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-to-grow-peony-garden-painting.html
I am often asked how I can bear to sell my art...why don't I keep it? Part of what makes it easy to let go of my art and sell it is that I know that my best art will always be the next one that I paint. My favorite art in my collection is always my most recent art piece.

Is this really different than gardening? How could you bear to cut your flowers and make a bouquet except that you know the earth will replenish the flowers and spring will come again.

mixed media flower art | floral art | pink peony painting  http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-to-grow-peony-garden-painting.html
As I paint, I love sharing sneak peeks of my art on instagram and on facebook. Sharing works in progress is not new to the art world. Although, it is a bit faster with the use of technology. Matisse used to send works in progress photos through the mail to the Cone sisters of Baltimore.


mixed media flower art | floral art | pink peony painting  http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-to-grow-peony-garden-painting.html
There are a ton of artistic details layered into this mixed media art. In addition to the music and text layered into the main painting surface, the sides are also treated to a leopard print pattern. This elevates a traditional subject of pink flowers to the modern era. You'll want to display this art in a place where people can see it since it is a conversation starter. Let children in the room see how many hearts they can spot layered among the flowers. The adults will delight in discovering hidden messages throughout the artwork. >>collect this art
living room decorating idea for pink peony painting  http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-to-grow-peony-garden-painting.html

Decorating Idea


Use this decorating idea to give you inspiration for how to hang the art in your home. As you can see, the art looks great on the gray neutral walls..would look equally at home on white walls. The pillows and pink side chair complete the decorator look without being matchy-matchy.

Decorating Credits


I found this image on House Beautiful and the bold and stylish Manhattan living room is decorated by Ashley Whitaker. Since most New York City apartments are quite small, the designer made the living room seem larger by using a single cushion on the sofa which is also convenient since no one falls into the cracks if you are seating three on the sofa! Hanging a large single painting above the sofa provides the same optical illusion. The painting in the 
actual room has been digitally replaced with my painting to help you visualize the art in your own home.

Designer Details


The acrylic coffee table adds a bit of modernity while also opening up the space. The article I read didn't say, but I would bet my money that it's a Stark carpet underneath. 

Poet's Peony Garden is a love poem in paint. Bring this 24x30" artwork home with you and fill your home with the powerful vibration of love. Since the sides are decorated, you do not need a frame to display this art which comes to you already wired and ready to hang right out of the box.
>> collect this art

There is only one original painting of this art available at www.SchulmanArt.com and once it's gone...it's gone. New collectors may take advantage of subscriber coupon. (see below)

 http://tinyurl.com/schulmanarts

Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon


Other Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net
Read More »

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Goals With Soul

use your art journal to set goals http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/goals-with-soul.html
Art journaling serves as an important took for goal setting and keeping goals visible. Just the act of setting the goals down on paper is a small step that most people neglect and yet it makes it twice as likely that you will reach your goals just by writing them down. It is like creating a contract with yourself. I also love a place to revisit my goals during the year and the fancier I make my goal list the more I am able to etch the goal list onto my memory and keep those goals front and center.
use your art journal to set goals http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/goals-with-soul.html
Create "Smart" Goals

In the personal development world, there is an acronym called "smart" goals that describe what makes a good goal. The acronym stands for "specific", "measurable", "attainable", "relevant", and "time bound." For example, a weak goal would be to say you want to lose weight this year. A "smart goal would be to say that you want to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks so you can look better at an event you are going to. The relevant is your "why" and it is key to make sure you know your reasons for reaching a specific goal.
use your art journal to set goals http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/goals-with-soul.html
I had made a huge list of goals for the year and all of them had to do with my art business. It is a mistake to only make goals in one areas of your life (what I am saying is that I screwed up) and also to make too many goals. So as life went on and I realized my mistake I rewrote my goals and put my children and husband at the top of my goal list. Next came my weight because I do feel that my health and fitness is important followed by happy customers.

Create Balanced Goals

This more human centric approach to my goals for 2016 felt more balanced. I still have financial goals (yes, there is a spelling error on my sheet) and I want to continue to clean up my house and let go of any negative baggage I may be lugging around. My art and artist friends are also very important to me as is always learning by reading, taking courses and visiting art shows.

Nothing else matters.
use your art journal to set goals http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/goals-with-soul.html
1. Art by Tamara Hampton Meadows
2. Art by Victoria Freeman
3. Art by Susan Rowley
4. Art by Lorena Carretero
Missed your chance to sign up for Painting With Words? Join the waitlist to be notified when registration opens again!

Other Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...



Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.htmlHello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net






Read More »

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Soul Intentions

art journal ideas | art journal prompts | art journal pages http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/soul-intentions.html
Every year I have been making very fixed goals... I define a goal as a very specific, measurable, actionable outcome for the future. But I also set some intentions for the year. The difference between an intention and a goal is that intentions guide the present whereas the goals determine the future.
art journal ideas | art journal prompts | art journal pages http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/soul-intentions.html
Get inspiration for your art journal by setting your intentions for yourself. Intentions are different than goals. Find out why.

More important than setting goals, are setting the intentions of how you want to live your life. 

Intentions set up your heart felt aspirations of how you want to live your life. 

The two may be interconnected. My goals tend to relate to success metrics in my life whereas my intentions affect my feelings and how I treat others.
art journal ideas | art journal prompts | art journal pages http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/soul-intentions.html
In my painting with words online class, I asked my students to also set their intentions. 
Here is a sampling of art from the class.

1. Art by Terri Neal
2. Art by Lorena Carretero
3. Art by Linda Dinsmore
4. Art by Lisa Derby Oden

Missed your chance to sign up for Painting With Words? Join the waitlist to be notified when registration opens again!

 Other Art Journal Inspiration You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...



Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.htmlHello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net





Read More »

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How to stretch watercolor paper

watercolor techniques | how to stretch watercolor paper http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/how-to-stretch-watercolor-paper.html
Buckling paper is a frustrating and common problem when painting with watercolor which is why I always recommend new students start with a watercolor block. However, there are going to be times when you want to paint much larger or in a different non-standard size. In those cases, you do not have to put up with buckling if you stretch the paper. (I am told "buckling" is called "cockling" by my European friends) 

Here's how...


Stretching Watercolor Paper



If you have a relatively small piece of paper, say 9x12", then you can just use cheap clear packing tape to hold the watercolor paper down to a hard surface or board. I like to just tape the dry paper right down to my work table. The packing tape will peel cleanly off of the watercolor paper without ripping. The work table will get gummed up by the tape, so don't do this if it is a table you care about...like your dining room! Instead, you can just tape it down to a piece of Masonite or drawing board.

If you are working with a large sheet of paper, for example a full size sheet of paper, then you will have to use this process for stretching the paper.

Don't get intimidated. Just follow these easy steps and you can download my free checklist to help you out.


watercolor techniques | how to stretch watercolor paper http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/03/how-to-stretch-watercolor-paper.html
First, you will need to immerse your paper in water. I do this in my bathtub. I am betting you will need to use the tub as well! Use cold water for this as warm water may alter the surface of the paper. This will also remove sizing from the paper which is not a bad thing. Place the soaking paper on a piece of gator board. you can purchase gator board from a framing shop, an art supply store or some hardware stores. You can also get it online, but shipping may be pricey so local options are your best bet.

Next, you need to wait until the paper is damp but no longer has a shine. I will help that along by wiping the paper with a cotton rag. (an old t-shirt) Don't blow dry or use a heat gun to dry the paper because it will not dry evenly and that will defeat the whole purpose

After the paper has "settled" - it is still damp but no visible shine to it.. you will use a heavy staple gun and staple the paper all along the edge. The reason you want to wait a bit is because the paper will expand when it is wet and it shrinks when it dries. If you don't wait then the shrinking force will be too much for your staples and they will either pull out of the board or the paper will rip.

When your paper has dried, the surface will be tight like a drum. You can now paint with as much water as you please and any buckling will correct itself. As you paint, don't forget that the staples will leave holes, but that is okay because that part of your painting will be covered up with your choice of mat and framing!


Other Watercolor Technique Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...


Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.htmlHello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net



Don't forget to download your free checklist, how to stretch watercolor paper so you can have perfectly stretched and flat paper every time!

Now I want to hear from you! What watercolor techniques would you like to learn?

Read More »