Over The Moon

Over the Moon 2.18

“Over the Moon”,  acrylic on Canvas, Feb 2018 ~ Maria Doglio

Moon-day Morning, early dark slightly lifting.  The first day of daylight saving time.  I sleepily shuffle through the kitchen, coffee mug in hand and open the curtains of the south east window of my front room gallery.  I look out to find a crescent moon flirting with a cloudy sky, casting just enough light against them to create a dramatic, changing scene of illumination within the surrounding blackness.  I’m painting it in my mind.

My thoughts turn to the comfort of familiarity.  The countless phases of the moon, the sun’s rise and setting, the consistency of their daily orbits, ties us together in a familiar human experience on this particular planet.   We humans watch in tireless awe at the ever changing, creative patterns they paint in their travels, day and night.

No matter how much we insist on our separateness, our countries, customs, languages and borders, the moon rises and brings us all out to stare at the night sky, as it dances in an arc with the  stars.  The sun rises to chase the moon and darkness into another night far away until it sinks again to follow the moon’s trail.  The familiar play needs no translation.  It brings our human condition together in oneness.

One night, as a full moon appeared among an amazing array of popcorn like clouds, I snapped a photo as the moon drifted through them, the clouds misting and reforming into a shape I saw as a wolf leaping over it.   The inspiration to paint that scene resulted in “Over the Moon”,  #4 in my wolf series, completing it.  Here is my wall of wolves, where I like to sit and watch the morning unfold.

Wolf Series_Front Room Gallery 2018

The sky has lightened now into pale shades of blue and yellow with a hint of pink on the horizon, while a heavy bank of billowy dark clouds move in against it, promising rain.  The crescent moon stands alone now,  waiting for the sun to show it’s face before moving on.  A new day dawns.

Let nature inspire your creativity with abandon – the patterns are endless.

© Maria Doglio March, 2018

 

 

 

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Solitude of the Forest

Space Clearing for Our Hearts 

West Fork Trail, Sedona 2017

West Fork Trail, Sedona, AZ ~ 2017, Acrylic on Canvas

Sometimes, if I can’t get to the forest, I paint a memory of one.  For this I rely on old photos of places I’ve been that have brought me serenity and joy, allowing a higher guidance to come through.  Nature gives us the opportunity to be quiet, to reconnect with the earth, ourselves and our relationship with each other.   Here we can listen to the voice of our soul.  Julia Cameron* expresses it so well when she says, “…we clear space in our lives in order to center and clear space in our hearts.  The soul’s voice, the voice of guidance, then ventures into the clearing we have created for it.”

When I paint a memory of a place and how I was feeling at the time, that energy goes into the painting.  If I am successful in that, the energy of the feeling goes back out to the viewer who is sensitive to the energy within the painting.

West Fork trail is in a magical forest – it takes you through meadows, wooded areas and streams deep within it.  The painting, West Fork Trail, captures a small part of my journey during my first exposure to Sedona’s energy back in 2004.  The memory of it and this particular spot was what I wanted to express in this painting.  It hangs in my living room and I can view it from my couch and fall into it’s peacefulness whenever I need to.

Going farther back in time, is this view of a piece of the Hudson River.

Meadow on the Hudson 2015

Meadow on the Hudson ~ 2015 (Acrylic on two 4×5 canvases)

Meadow on the Hudson  was an experiment in a continuous painting on two small canvases.  It depicts a little scene from when I lived in Massachusetts and took a trip in a vintage red Thunderbird convertible with a passionate artist friend who I was in love with at the time. For me it has a light hearted memory attached to it, with much joy in breathing in this scene in the moment we were there.   A painting can be small and still draw you in to a deeper place.

Finding Serenity captures a moment when the peace of nature with woods and river brings us back to center.  We can breath deeply and let go.   We can reconnect and ground ourselves, remembering the qualities of life that matter most.  One on one time with my daughter was a precious moment.

Finding Serenity 2016

Finding Serenity 2016 ~ Acrylic on canvas

Take time to nurture yourself.  Treat your creativity as a spiritual practice, drawing from your authentic self by tuning in and painting intuitively from the inspiration you find within yourself.  The joy of expression through painting is an endless process that keeps on giving. 

 

© Maria Doglio, July 4, 2017

* Excerpt from “The Artist’s way, Every Day” by Julia Cameron

PLUMERIA DEVA TAKES A BOW – #3 in Four Panel Series

WELCOME PLUMERIA DEVA

A weekend painting intensive brought forth the Plumeria Deva.   Instead of heading off to bed, which was my original intention, it was one of those times when I was pulled into the art studio at 10:30 pm Friday night, with a strong impulse to get going on this painting.   Driven, I worked hard all weekend.  This morning I was up early and was painting in my PJ’s.  When I am immersed in art, there is a pull so strong inside all else falls away – there is only the painting.  That was the state I was in, adding various refinements, until she came to full completion.

Plumeria Deva 2014

Plumeria Deva – Acrylic on Canvas Board, 16 x 20

I am noticing as I paint each Deva in this series, the personalities that come out as I paint. The initial drawing may show one aspect, but as I paint the face and flowers, the personality her features evoke moves through several shifts until I feel she arrives at where she wants to be within the painting.

Now it won’t be long before I start on the final and 4th panel of this series.   I am anxious to have this last Deva join her sisters and to share with you my reflections and the message that nature is sending out through their emergence as I paint.

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?” – George Bernard Shaw

Albert Einstein said:  “Creativity is contagious, pass it on”  – That is my desire in sharing with all who visit here–spawning contagious creativity!   Be joyful in all you do.

© Maria Doglio, September 2014

FAIRY IRIS DEVA EMERGES

NATURE DEVA SERIES – Number Two of Four

Recharging Myself and the Studio:

Taking a side path for a bit of time to concentrate on craft items for an outdoor show, my Deva painting series got put on hold for a bit.   The Fairy Iris Deva sat patiently on my easel for weeks, just starting to emerge on the canvas.

Meanwhile, the aftermath of serious crafting production, left my studio in utter chaos.  I closed the door for a while, with the need to take a break.  I took up a library book – Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell –  a historical novel of Monet.  The story is of a young Monet, his first years in Paris along with his companions at the beginning of the Impressionist movement–Renoir, Pissarro, Bazille, Manet and Cezanne.   As I got caught up with the novel, I felt that it began to fire up the artist within me.  From my own studio came the call of the unfinished canvas.

Digging in first to clear the energy of chaos in the studio, I set to work cleaning up and organizing.  I brought in my drum to change the vibration to a higher state and clear out the old stale (and rather stuck) energy.  The window was flung open to let in sunshine and fresh air.  Laying out my paints and brushes, I was ready to go.

The more I worked, the more I got lost in the painting.  The fever pitch set in, causing me to lose all sense of time until my cell phone twitched with a text message.  I realized it was 6:00 pm already and I was very hungry!   I actually love it when this happens, being consumed by a painting.  Ultimately you realize that you are over tired and better stop to avoid any big mistakes.  It was close to mid-night.

She sits now – at rest, having fully emerged.  It’s at the stage where I “live with” a painting for a while – essentially finished, but sitting observed on the easel in case a need for tweaking becomes evident.

Two more Devas waiting in the wings will complete the series.  There is energy in these paintings that I can not explain.  It is a journey, not only in the painting, but also, I believe, in connecting with the energy that comes from the force of nature personified.  The authors of Findhorn and Parelandra books talk of their cooperative work in the gardens with the over-lighting Devas and Nature Spirits.  As the Deva emerges in each painting, I will continue to share my personal journey in painting them with you until all are complete.

Be inspired to step out of the box with your art – what shows up may surprise you!

 

Fairy Iris Deva

Fairy Iris Deva – Maria Doglio, 2014 – Acrylic on Canvas Board,  16 x 20

Ref:  Bird of Paradise Deva July 13, 2014 Blog for first painting in this series.

© Maria C. Doglio, August 24, 2014

 

 

SPRING INTO DIY – Creating the Creative Home

HOME

WELCOME

ENTER MY WORLD

COME ON IN!

I love entrances to homes.  I’ve always wanted mine to be inviting in such a way that it makes the visitor want to continue on through the rooms, find a comfortable seat and stay a while.  I like that when you enter my home, you can see straight through to the bamboo trees in the back yard.  It pulls you forward.  Everywhere are reflections of my arts and crafts nature, a gallery of creativity, enticing visitors to explore.

Lately, I’ve been in an artistic lull, allowing myself much needed rest.  My art studio has been a quiet jumble, projects and paintings waiting for the muse to awaken from her nap.  Sometime during this lull, spring arrived, turning my thoughts to gardens, flowers, vegetables, weed whacking and digging up the front lawn to accommodate the California drought.  Visions of new house colors and DIY projects began to dance in my head.  DIY spring fever hit hard.  Now I wanted to take my artist beat outside.

A little Paint, Ingenuity and Some Old Stuff ∼ I love utilizing what I have, transforming it to a new use or new beauty. With two broken garden chairs, and some weather beaten side tables, I began a creative and colorful transformation for the front deck.

Broken Lawn Chair

Broken Lawn Chair

Weather Beaten Side Tables

Weather Beaten Side Tables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a cue from the red geranium, I decided on a color scheme that would give me a pop of color for the front deck.  The old webbing was cut off the lawn chairs, except for on the chair arms.  The black frame was in good shape and now ready to be transformed into a comfy, stringy outdoor seating with attitude!  I bought red 1/4″ poly rope and began wrapping.  It was worth the effort.  Next I found my bucket of red and painted the  remaining webbing on the arms; then on to the tables.

TA-DA!!

image (3)

Rescued Metal Lawn Chair (Amazingly comfortable)

Finished project (almost) below with the little red Geranium that inspired me.  (The second table is in process of being transformed)

Pop of Color Seating

Pop of Color Seating Area

The Stringy Outdoor Seating idea came from Fresh Home Magazine, Summer 2011 – sometimes it pays to keep those old magazines!

This led me to sprucing up a porch corner next to my red pop seating area.  Under a painting on wood of a parrot by my Uncle Bruno, circa 1950’s, I arranged little potted plants on an antique plant stand, which also nicely hides a pipe.  The parrot painting compliments my pop of color scheme.

image (5)

Corner Plant Stand

photo

Parrot – oil on wood, Bruno Giunchi, circa 1950’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More:  

Drought can inspire you to be practical and responsible to the condition of California today, Why not inspire creativity at the same time?  My thoughts turned to how I could creatively become lawn free.  Of course I wanted to do something artsy!  I made it up as I went to see how it would flow.  Like all my artistic approaches, I worked intuitively.  With flow in mind, I combined plants and ground cover to some existing plantings in a pleasing to the eye way. image (7)photo (1)Redwood bark is used as ground cover with an uneven fringe of pea and lava gravel to resemble sea foam retreating from the sand at the beach.  This little side lawn was my practice “canvas” – now on to the bigger main lawn in front of the deck!

Whatever you do, let your home reflect who you are.  Our homes are an extension of the personalities that occupy it.  I love the  DIY craze that has blossomed everywhere–reuse, rethink, re-purpose – there is so much amazing creativity springing from the imaginations of people around us.  Look around your house and instead of throwing out what you think is junk, be inspired!

All this DIY creativity, has lead me to creative writing as well.  Now, I feel the stirrings of the muse coming out of her slumber!  Time to open the curtains of the art studio and let the light in!

“The Artists Pray to Their Gods, While Opening and Preparing Their Canvases”

(Line from a poem “One with Sweetness” by Amy Trussell from her book The Painted Tongue Flowers)

© Maria Doglio, April 13, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recovering from a Painting Block

“Every time we say Let there be! in any form, something happens” – Stella Terrill Mann

The day I decided to try to paint without judgement, without comparisons to other artists, silencing the harsh ridicule of the inner critic, was the day I crawled out from under a painting block that lasted 24 years.  I was living in Sedona, AZ, in 2006, surrounded by the most amazingly creative art that I had ever seen, and happened one day, to notice the date of my last painting–one of our dogs– Logan, 1982.

Logan's favorite spot on our Vermont porch

Logan 1982

I did other creative things during that time period – stencil design, craft work, and photography, but the canvas continued to allude me.

In Sedona, I began to frequent the many galleries.  The energy and creativity of other artists began to penetrate and crack the shell I had built up surrounding painting.  Inspired, I began to think I might start painting again.  At the urging of a friend, I experimented with a small painting of apples.

Little Green Apples

Little Green Apples – 2006

What followed was a surprising surge of creativity.   I started painting, reinstating my passion, discovering new areas of creativity and haven’t stopped since.   I began to understand that my art was my creative expression unique to me – not everyone has to like it.  If I achieve in my art what my inner vision wants to express, my art piece is successful.  It is a piece of me that I am sharing with the world.  That is enough, no judgement necessary.  The inner critic is always there, lurking for an opportunity to be heard the moment you get a little bit discouraged.  Sometimes I have to do the work to subdue it again.  That is when I walk away from a painting and let it rest on the easel in contemplation.  I can then intuitively plug into the painting–it tells me when I am ready to return to it, then it reveals how it would like to emerge into completion.  Go within and listen to your muse.

“When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you.  At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.”  – Fernando Botero

Unblocking Tools:  One of the biggest influences  in recovering my sense of identity as an artist, was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.  Her course ignited a journey that is on-going and I return to it for inspiration during periods of artistic down time.  Her course helped me think outside the box and to just let go.   The exercise of “morning pages” – a brain drain, stream of consciousness – is the most amazing and surprising tool to unlock blocks.  Julia describes the morning pages  as “the primary tool of creative recovery”.  Writing allows you to get all the negativity out, facilitating the letting go process.  It may seem like an erratic process at first.  Keep at it and trust. The Artist’s Way helps you to uncover your real self, restore confidence and free your intuitive creativity.

“All you need to do to receive guidance is to ask for it and then listen”  – Sanaya Roman

My current leap in creativity is developing this website and in writing this blog –ten years ago I wouldn’t have had the courage.  It reflects back to me where I have been and where I might be going,  By sharing my journey, I hope all who read this are inspired within their own journeys.  Over time, I have recovered my sense of strength, connection to my inner muse and most of all, my sense of possibility.  My artistic journey continues to grow in new ways- taking me on unexpected curves in the path.  My creative blocks, if they happen, don’t last very long.   The nature of life is, in itself,  creative and  never a straight line.  We flow on waves of connected quantum energy.  How you utilize that energy is a choice.  How you let that energy affect you is a choice.  Each day gives us the opportunity to create anew, to express our authentic self, be inspired, and keep growing.   Keep an open mind to creativity and it will lead you to higher goals; once reached, set new ones.  You will soon discover that creative imagination is limitless.

“The universe will reward you for taking risks on it’s behalf” – Shakti Gawain 

Maria Doglio © 2014         (Thank you to Julia Cameron – juliacameronlive.com)