Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Maria Waye

Artist Maria Waye

Ever since I moved to my current home (affectionately known as The Cabbage) and inherited the gardens here, I have been increasingly aware of how much nature has to teach me about art.  I have also learned by studying artists like Claude Monet that art can teach me a lot about nature.  What I may not have fully appreciated before I encountered Maria Waye and her art on Instagram, however, was just how much nature and art combined can teach me about myself and other people.

Maria and her paintings have not only helped to further my appreciation of the beauty in every type of flower but they also continually challenge me to recognize the beauty in every type of person, including myself.

I hope experiencing her art and words below will do the same for you. Enjoy!

"Daring Dandelion" Oil Painting by Maria Waye
Maria: If you're a fiercely independent spirit, you may understand my admiration for dandelions. This painting is part of my "Being Courageous" collection.

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Maria:  Joyful art to delight gentle souls.

"MidSummer Blooms" Oil Painting by Maria Waye
Maria: I love the elegance of "Midsummer Blooms", part of my "Being Unique" collection.

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Maria: Mother Nature is my favorite artist. Every tree, bird and rock, seem to be an exquisite sculpture, beautifully lit by ever changing light.

"Charming Coltsfoot" Oil Painting by Maria Waye
Maria: Spring is here when you see wildflowers such as coltsfoot.

Question: What inspires you to create?

Maria: I'm especially inspired to paint flowers and plants. I love their different shapes, forms and temperaments. Each is lovely in its own way.

I hope my art helps us to cherish our own uniqueness, to see ourselves with the same awe, appreciation and love with which we view different flowers.

"Delightful Summer Flowers And Berries" Oil On Linen by Maria Waye
Maria: When you're in a contemplative mood, you may enjoy this still life.

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Maria: I love the excitement of starting a new piece, and enjoying it so much that I don't realize hours have passed.

"Foxglove Fancy" Oil Painting By Maria Waye
Maria: Let these joyful foxgloves bring you magic, fascination and delight.

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Maria: With so many ideas in my head, there's never enough time for art. I must make painting a priority.

"Cozy Coneflower Meeting" Painting By Maria Waye
Maria: I became obsessed with these flowers during a vacation by the lake, where they bloomed cheerfully in abundance.

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Maria:  I believe art awakens our senses, opens our hearts and fills us with love and appreciation, for all living things and nature. When we're filled with so much love, we're kinder, happier and more connected.

Thank you Maria for sharing your art, enthusiasm and point of view with us.  For more about Maria and her art visit her website at MariaWaye.com and be sure to connect with her on Instagram and/or Facebook.

Click here to find more artist interviews and learn how you can apply to be featured.  You can also connect with I Believe In Art on Instagram and Facebook.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,


Monday, September 18, 2017

Van Gogh's Footsteps

"Wheatfield with crows" by Vincent van Gogh, July 1890

I'm going to do something different (and, quite honestly, terrifying) on this blog post and share with you a video of myself performing a song that I wrote called, “Van Gogh's Footsteps”.

I wrote this song shortly after seeing a comment on social media that read: No great artist is appreciated during their time.

Not only is that statement discouraging but it is completely false. There are many brilliant artists who have been, and are, appreciated and successful during their lifetimes. Of course there are many who are not, too.

I imagine many of us think of Vincent Van Gogh as a prime example of one of those tragic figures. However, even before his death Van Gogh's work was starting to gain some recognition in the art world of his day. It is entirely possible that had he not been so ill and committed suicide at the young age of 37, he may have been able to achieve and enjoy success and admiration in his time.

I think one way we can all choose to not follow in “Van Gogh's footsteps” is to not allow ourselves to get too discouraged and to never give up (and, for those of us who struggle with mental health issues, to get help when we need it).

Also, I think this world needs more “Theos" (people like Vincent's brother Theo who loved and supported him). So if you know an artist please be kind, encouraging and supportive of them. You never know just how much of a difference that could make to them and to this world.

Okay, here's my song:

Thanks for reading (and watching/listening). Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,


Monday, August 28, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Adam Baranello

Artist Adam Baranello

Artist Adam Baranello is one of many talented artists I follow on Instagram.  Whenever I see one of his drawings in my feed I am always struck by the immediate impact it has on me but it also makes me stop and take a closer look.  Doing this causes me to ponder the messages in his art which have a way of helping me think and refocus on what's most important in my own life and work.

I believe that those who take the time to experience his art and words here will experience similar benefits.  Enjoy!

"Love" Art By Adam Baranello

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Adam: Original expression of thoughts and ideas. 

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Adam: I cannot pick just one, but these artists are at the top of my list because they do more than one thing or incorporate more than one thing into their overall message, which is what I am all about. To me, they also come across as authentic and true to their vision: David Lynch, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jean Luc Godard, Pharrell Williams and Andy Warhol

Frames From Adam Baranello's Film, "Beautifully Strange"

Question: What inspires you to create?

Adam: The people, places and things that I am lucky enough to be around inspire me on a daily basis. I am grateful for this. 

"Beautiful" Art By Adam Baranello

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Adam: To have an idea and see it actualize into something tangible is a pretty rad thing. 

Designs From Adam's Hand Painted Clothing Line

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Adam: Taking risks and not knowing if they will work out. I believe in growth and I believe in starting things in order to figure them out.  I have taken that approach since I started my career as an artist. I don't mind looking foolish and I am not afraid to fail but I do know, through working in this way, it makes me figure it out in order to keep going.  I really do subscribe to the belief of just start creating and figure it out as you go because I have experienced that it is a good way to figure out how to do as much as you can with what you have.  That is how innovation and new things get discovered.  If we just wait until we have every duck in a row, we may never see all of the possible ways in which things can get done and, more importantly, something even greater may come from doing it this way. 

"Life Action" Art By Adam Baranello

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Adam: To me, believing in art means Hope.  It is part of the good in the world and something that has the potential to invoke change.

Thank you Adam for sharing your talents and your positive message with us.

To learn more about Adam and his many creative ventures visit his web site at AdamBaranello.com and be sure to connect with him on Instagram and/or Facebook too.

Click here to find more artist interviews and learn how you can apply to be featured.  You can also connect with I Believe In Art on Instagram and Facebook.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back To The Drawing Board: Rick Springfield

Me With The Rick Springfield Chalkboard Mural I Created One Year Ago

When we first installed the giant diy chalkboard in the living room, the plan was to create murals for every holiday or season.  That proved difficult at first because creating murals on a giant chalkboard proved difficult.  However, I slowly started to get the hang of it.

Then, a new difficulty began to arise.  The better I got at realizing my visions for these murals, the harder it was to erase them when the next season came along.  And it wasn't just difficult for me.  As you can see in the photo below, Hippie had some trouble adjusting to the impermanent nature of this medium as well:

Hippie Protesting The Inevitable Destruction Of My Beatles Chalkboard Mural

I was sad to see The Beatles Mural go too but I reminded myself that the purpose of creating the chalkboard was so I could have an ever changing display, so I did what I had to do.

Then, around this time last year I created a mural in honor of the birthday of my favorite songwriter, performer and muse, Rick Springfield (click here to read that story).  The plan was to enjoy that until Halloween and then replace it with something appropriate for that season but when the time came I found I just wasn't ready to part with Chalkboard Rick Springfield.  I decided I would put it off until the winter holidays.

And then December rolled around and I still wasn't ready.  So this happened:

My Rick Springfield Winter Holiday Chalkboard Mural

It was the perfect compromise.  I got to keep Chalkboard Rick Springfield in my life and still exercise my drawing skills.  So I did this again when Valentine's Day rolled around:

My Rick Springfield Valentine's Day Mural

Then, over the course of three days in March, I created my favorite chalkboard mural of all (while listening to Rick Springfield's music of course).  I called it "Flowers From Hurricanes", taken from a line in one of his songs:

Me and My "Flowers From Hurricanes" Rick Springfield Chalkboard Mural

I didn't even think of erasing this one until a couple days ago when I realized it has been almost a year since I created the original Rick Springfield Chalkboard Mural.  Then it occurred to me that one of the things I admire about Rick is that he is always moving forward and doing new things.  I knew it was time for a change.

So although it kind of broke my heart, I finally forced myself to erase Chalkboard Rick Springfield...

And replaced him with Guitar Playing Chalkboard Rick Springfield!

Me With My New Rick Springfield Chalkboard Mural

Another one of many qualities I admire about the actual Rick Springfield is his persistence.  There have been many times in my life I've wanted to give up but haven't because of the impact that the example of his life and work has had on me.  I decided to commemorate that in this mural by adding a quote from an interview he did for Rolling Stone Magazine a couple years ago.

"My big ace in the hole is I never give up." - Rick Springfield

Now all I have to do is look at this mural to remind myself that I have the fortitude to keep going back to the drawing board, both literally and figuratively.

Thank you so much for reading.  I'd love to read about who or what inspires you if you would like to share in the comments below.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,

If you liked this post, you may want to check these out:

My Many Muses: Rick Springfield (2016)

Back To The Drawing Board

Back To The Drawing Board 2014

My Many Muses: Rick Springfield (2015)


Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Rebecca Maloney

Artist Rebecca Maloney

I love following my fellow artists on social media, especially those who share not just their art but their entire creative journey.  Rebecca Maloney is one of those artists.  Her passion for art and belief in the positive power of creativity comes through in just about everything she does and this interview was no exception.

I'm so pleased to be able to share with you her vibrant art and valuable insight.  Enjoy!

"African Woman" By Rebecca Maloney, 36 x 36 Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Canvas, 2005

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Rebecca: Flow, Colorful, Curious, Powerful, Uplifting, Passionate.

Abstract Study by Rebecca Maloney, 8 x 10 Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Canvas 2017

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Rebecca: It’s so hard to pick just one. I have always been influenced by the work of Robert Motherwell, Romare Bearden, and Picasso. Their work pushed boundaries, told stories, and expressed emotion, while being visually stimulating and rich. I also love the work by an artist of today, Angela Davis Johnson. Her narrative paintings are beautiful. I love her use of color and textures.

"Red Circle" by Rebecca Maloney 16 x 20 Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Canvas 2017

Question: What inspires you to create?

Rebecca: Music, books, LIFE! Also I am curious. I want to see what will happen when I create something that was once an inspired thought or image in my mind. What would a feeling in my heart look like on canvas? What would a song look like on a canvas? What does it mean when I take two images of something and put them together on a canvas? When I paint something realistic what am I learning as I interpret that onto canvas? How does my interpretation come through in pencil on paper? And then time falls away… where did I go? That’s all a part of the inspiration. And life, life is a journey and through art I can express its beautiful complexity.

"Mountains in Collage" by Rebecca Maloney, 20 x 23 Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Canvas 2016

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Rebecca: My favorite part of the creative process is the inner journey it takes me on. Kind of like falling down the rabbit hole and coming out on the other side. When I look back I can see the journey and the adventure in it and what it taught me about myself. I end up with new self-awareness and also a tangible record to display or give someone.

 "The Persian Beauty" by Rebecca Maloney, 42 x 30 Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Canvas 2012

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Rebecca: The most challenging part is self-doubt. The struggle between heart and mind. And the wall I face sometimes that says “what for?” The book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield helped me with this. I practice surrendering to the unknown and not needing to know the reasons why. Also listening into my heart when I create. There is wisdom and inspiration in creativity that I will not give up on. It’s important. Meditation is a practice I use as well.

"Painting to Music" by Rebecca Maloney, 24 x 48 Acrylic on Canvas 2017

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Rebecca: Believing in art means trusting the value art has to change the world for the better always. It starts with us. If we nurture our creativity we can live from our hearts more. Which I believe is what can create positive change on the planet.

Thank you Rebecca for sharing your talent and inspiring words with us.

You can learn more about Rebecca and her art on her web site at RebeccaMaloneyArt.com and be sure to connect with her on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Click here to find more artist interviews and learn how you can apply to be featured.  You can also connect with I Believe In Art on Instagram and Facebook.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,



Monday, August 7, 2017

My First Art Tutorial Video (Paint Splatter And Drips)

The paint splatter I created during my very first art tutorial.
Don't Drink The Paint Water Mug avalable HERE.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of my "Art Sisters 4 Ever" Greeting Card on Instagram and got a comment from a fellow artist named Jessie who asked if I could make a tutorial on how I created the paint drips I used for that image.  I have to admit my first thought was, "I don't create tutorials!" but then I thought, "Why don't I?"

Before I could talk myself out of it, I replied to Jessie that yes, I would create a tutorial for her.

Of course after that my anti-muse/inner perfectionist started talking to me.  She told me I better do some research on how to do this correctly, that I might need some kind of new equipment to do it perfectly, that I should probably spend hours practicing before I attempted it...blah, blah, blah...yada, yada, yada.

I listened to my anti-muse for far too long resulting in many days of procrastination and then finally I decided to sit down at my desk and just do the best I could at that point in time.

So below you will find my very first video tutorial.  It is so far from perfect!  I know I had problems with lighting and video quality and I didn't even realize there was train noise in the background until I watched it back.  However, that is life in my studio! Hopefully, it still does the job of demonstrating my technique for Jessie or anyone else who was curious about it.

While I sincerely hope that my imperfect video is of some value to my fellow artists, I know that the act of creating it had value for me.  It reminded me of the fresh energy and inspiration that comes with trying new things and that the best way for me to learn is by doing.

So thank you Jessie for getting me to try something outside of my comfort zone.  It is just one more example of the good things that can happen when artists support and encourage each other!

I'm excited to experiment more with taking videos (and hopefully I will get better at it) and even created an I Believe In Art YouTube Channel for this and future video projects.

If you would like to suggest an idea for a future video, share tips for how to make them better than this one (I would be so grateful) or just want to say hello, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading and viewing.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,


Monday, July 24, 2017

Creating Time And Space

When And Where To Make Art

Every now and then I will receive a comment on one of my posts on The I Believe In Art Facebook Page from someone who is struggling to find enough time and/or space to make art.  I always try to offer these people my best advice but often I don't have the time (and it isn't the right forum) to really address the problem, so I'm going to try to do that with this post.

I have to tell you that my challenges with making art do not currently include a lack of time or adequate space but that doesn't mean I can't relate to these issues.  My good fortune is not solely due to luck but also to some very conscious decisions that I have made over the last several years.

The big decision I made around the time I started this blog was that my creative life was the most important thing to me and I was going to put it first.  This led to a million smaller, daily decisions and a process of evaluating my time that I continue to practice every day. For one example of what I'm talking about, read my I Don't Do Dishes (and other shocking confessions) post from 2012.

The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is that if you are not finding enough time or space to make art, then you are making something else more important. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. I know it may seem shocking to hear me say this but I am aware that there are things that are more important than making art. Maybe in this season of your life working two jobs to support your family is more important or taking care of a loved one is more important or just getting your life in order is more important. Maybe at the end of a long, hard day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to spend time with your family or socialize and find support online or just relax and watch Netflix. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But if you are an artist, and by that I mean that the process of creating something sets your mind free and feeds your soul, then you have to make art as important as anything else that nourishes you. For you, creativity is like eating or sleeping. Depriving yourself of it just isn't good for you.

If this is you and you still aren't finding time or space to create then you have a problem and it's time to take that first step by admitting it. And the second step is to ask yourself, what are you making more important? Is it pleasing other people? Is it Netflix or Facebook or reading blogs (not this one of course)? Is it fear of failure or perfectionism? Only you know the answer to this question but do yourself a favor and don't stop asking it until you get the answers.

I believe that when you do your priorities will automatically shift and dictate your choices but here are a few suggestions for creating time and space for art in your life anyway:

Creating Time

Just think about making art. Daydream about it while you are waiting in line somewhere or in your car or as you're drifting off to sleep. Imagine the things you would create if you had more time and let that motivate you to find it.

Make a list of the ideas or projects you would work on if you had more time and then ask yourself what small step you could take right now towards realizing just one of them.

Commit to just five minutes a day of doodling or drawing.

Give up something you hate doing (like the dishes) – delegate it to someone else (even if you have to bribe or pay them) or just leave it undone for a day or two (the world will not end) – and do something creative instead.

Give up something you love doing (even if it's just for a day) because you love art more.

Creating Space

Be realistic about the space you need. Most people don't require more than a place to sit comfortably and spread out their materials, a bed or a dining room table or a desk in a corner by a window are enough.

Make a mobile studio using an art cart and/or putting wheels on an easel or work table. Think of yourself as a free spirit, gypsy of an artist who is free to create anywhere you damn please.

For God's sake do not get on Pinterest or do a Google image search for art studios unless you are actually planning on creating a studio and looking for practical ideas. If you want to dream about having a studio (and not just torture yourself with envy) then go draw a picture of what yours would look like or create a signature work of art that you could hang in your future studio to represent your style and expertise.

If you really think you need a kick ass studio in order to create art then by all means, give yourself that gift. Be a bold explorer and stake your claim to another space in your home. Sacrifice having a guest room or a dining room or a garage or storage space. A creative person I greatly admire (Tracy Porter) once moved her bed into a closet so she could use her bedroom as her studio! You're creative, remember? You can figure something out!

Okay, I'm going to stop telling you what to do now and go make art.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your own struggles with, or solutions for, creating time and space for art in the comments below.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,