Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Art Studio Refresh

I can't believe it has almost been two years since my Art Studio Redo.  It still feels like a dream come true for me every time I walk in the door, even when it's a mess.  However, recently I have made a few changes here and there which I think make it even better.

To refresh our memories, here's how it looked back in April of 2014:

My Art Studio in 2014 - Click Here For More Photos

And here's how it looks today:

My Art Studio Today

As you can see it's not a huge change but I did switch out some of the rugs which made a nice difference to me.  However, the biggest difference happened on the wall above my desk.

Here's what that looked like before:

Art Studio Desk Wall Before

And here's what it looks like now:

Art Studio Desk Wall Today

I decided to move my art to my home gallery so I could add some deeper display ledges for my growing collection of art books and other stuff.  Then one of the art fairies got loose and did her magic above that which I think was the perfect finishing touch.

A Closer Look At The Desk Wall And Some Art Fairy Magic

My chalkboard wall really hasn't changed that much but here's a picture of that too, just for fun.

My Studio Chalkboard Wall Today

Of course the best thing about these changes is they are inspiring me to spend even more time in here making art.  Yay!

If you'd like to see another room refresh, click here to see The Cabbage Gallery Refresh over on The Cabbage Blog.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Believe In Artists: Mary Claire

Artist Mary Claire showing off her work, "The Heart Of Buffalo" on a signal box,
part of a community project (read more here)

I have been a fan of Mary Claire's art for a long time now.  I find her soulful style and feminine themes to be uplifting and healing.  So when she agreed to do this interview, of course I was thrilled.  I had a feeling her answers to my questions would be as inspiring as her art and I was not disappointed.  I'm happy to share both with you below.  Enjoy!

Artist Mary Claire

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

Mary Claire: The six words I would use to describe my art.......playful, simple, expressive, colorful, reflective, and intuitive.

"Wild Heart" Painting by Mary Claire

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

Mary Claire: Marc Chagall is one of my favorite artists and has definitely been an influence on my art.  I love his symbolic figurative work, his surprising use of color; the scenes in his paintings coming from memories and dreams; all of these aspects in his art really speak to me.  I find his style unique and interesting; especially for his time.  I love the fact that he delved into many mediums to create art including mosaics and work on tapestry.

"Stillness Within" Painting By Mary Claire

Question: What inspires you to create?

Mary Claire: Inspiration to create initially came from within for me, it has always been an urge or a calling.  Drawing as a child gave me something quiet and productive to do, and being an extremely shy child, it gave me confidence I really needed.  I would turn to art growing up and it became a great expressive outlet throughout my life.  And now I find the things that inspire me are very different from when I was a child yet I strive to keep the childlike quality in my paintings.  I find inspiration in all of my life experiences, the people I have known my whole life, people I've recently met, and even people I've never met.  I enjoy using my imagination to capture a feeling or a character.  I'm inspired by walks in nature, books, strong women, quotes, looking at paintings in a museum or gallery, or just being around other artists. 

"The Goddess Within" By Mary Claire

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

Mary Claire: I really get into and enjoy my creative process, but I would have to say being fully satisfied with the outcome is my favorite part of it, with the ultimate goal being making someone else happy with it.  As far as the actual art making process itself, I usually approach each painting differently over time.  With the nature of the type of work I do being very forgiving, there is room for growth, happy accidents, and experimentation.  I pick up new methods and techniques by taking classes or from books or online,  but ultimately developed my own style by doing a ton of work, struggling with the bad, and keeping the good for the next one.  

"Creation" Painting By Mary Claire

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

Mary Claire: The most challenging part of the creative process for me is living a balanced life alongside the constant need to create.  I work on overcoming this by infusing a little more discipline and organization into my day, paying more attention to my health and well being, a lot of family time, more time unplugged and less time on the computer.  In turn, this has helped me use more restraint in my art (number of pieces, color choices, not staying up late making art), and I believe these changes have and will help me mature and evolve as an artist.

"Joy And Sorrow" Painting By Mary Claire

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

Mary Claire: Believing in art means believing in freedom; the freedom of expression available to all of us in so many forms.  Believing in art is believing in life.

Thank you Mary Claire for this enlightening glimpse into your creative life!

To learn more about Mary Claire and her artwork, visit her website at

You can also connect with Mary Claire on Facebook and Twitter.

Would you like to be featured in an upcoming "I Believe In Artists" interview post?  Send an email with a link to where your art can be seen (website, etsy shop, social media, etc.) as well as your answer to the question "What does believing in art mean to you?" to for consideration.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love & Art,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

5 Reasons To Not Make Art

Make Something

There are more than a million wonderful reasons for me to make art.  Number one would be that I really enjoy doing it.  And yet somehow I still manage to find a handful of ridiculous reasons to not do it.

Here are five examples of that ridiculousness and how sometimes I am able to overcome it.

1. I Can't Make Art Because Conditions Aren't Perfect

My Options (Dry Erase Board Available Here)

For me "conditions aren't perfect" usually means my art studio is a mess.  Perhaps for you it might mean that you don't have an art studio or you think yours isn't big enough or pretty enough or whatever.

There are two simple solutions to this: fix it or get over it.  I suggest the latter because it's quicker.  Believe me, I have spent years renovating, reorganizing and redecorating my studio and it hasn't made me a better or more prolific artist.  In fact, when I allow myself to embrace it, I find chaotic surroundings can be very conducive to creativity.

So when this excuse pops up I try to remind myself of that or just spend the ten lousy minutes it takes to tidy things up a bit.

Problem solved.  Next...

2. I Can't Make Art Because I Have Too Many (Or Not Enough) Ideas

My Beloved Idea Notebook

I get a lot of ideas.  I'm pretty good at writing them down but that's as far as it gets sometimes.  I tell myself that I'm overwhelmed, that I don't know which one to choose or where to start - blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda...

But here's the truth: when I have a good idea, I mean a really good idea, I usually can't stop myself from pursuing it.

Oh, and guess when these fabulous ideas tend to occur to me.  That's right, when I'm making art.

Enough said. Next...

3. I Can't Make Art Because I Have More "Important" Things To Do


Note to self: Unless there is some kind of emergency or a Rick Springfield concert, nothing is more important than making art.


4. I Can't Make Art Because I Don't Feel Like It

"Art? You just do it."- Martin Ritt

I have this problem with exercise too, which is understandable because I hate exercise.  However, I'm probably more disciplined at making myself do it precisely because I never expect to feel like it.  I do this by just planting my feet on my yoga mat and not allowing myself to focus on anything other than my first move.

So when I don't feel like doing the thing I love to do, I try to remember to treat it like the thing I hate to do by just planting my feet in front of my easel and focusing on that first brush stroke.

Or I procrastinate, speaking of which...

5. I Can't Make Art Because The Internet

There are a lot of fun, creative and worthwhile things to do on the internet (like blogging, for instance).  However, when I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time searching for photos of cat tee-pees on Pinterest, it may be a sign that I am procrastinating on making art.

I hear you saying, "But Victoria, cats in tee-pees!  How can you tear your eyes away?"

It's extremely difficult but if I can just muster the strength and courage I need to click onto my I Believe In Art Pinterest board, I am often motivated to take my own advice and just go make some freaking art already.

Which is what I'm going to do just as soon as I finish this post, and so should you!

Happy creating!