Introducing My New Mini Course: Create Time!

Hey friends! If you subscribe to my newsletter elsewhere, then you may have already heard about Create Time— woohoo! Either way, I wanted to formally introduce it to you all here on the blog. I’m really excited about this!

I have thinking about this project for a loooonnnng time. It was something I desperately needed so I know it’s something that someone else (maybe YOU!) might need too.

I used to spend hours in my studio, painting to my heart’s content, And then? I had a baby, and my art practice was never the same again. I found it so hard to fit in any creative time.  After months of frustration, I took some action, started implementing small shifts and things changed. Sound interesting to you? Keep reading, sweet friend!

I created a simple mini course called Create Time: 5 Days to Making More Art

Inside this mini course you’ll learn:

  • How your schedule is sucking your fun time (and how to change that!)
  • How to bust through your creative blocks and make small, manageable shifts to build better creative habits.
  • The value of having a creative practice

This course is launching for the first time this week and I’m offering special pricing of $15 for a limited time for the first group of customers so come on over and check it out!

Love, Steph

Introducing My New Mini Course: Create Time!2019-07-22T12:15:57-04:00

Self Care Tips I Use As A New Creative Mom

Self Care Routine

Self care is such a buzz word these days, isn’t it?  I used to be a health coach so I found it was so easy to build self-care into each day because it was just a part of what I did.  I had no problem waking up and meditating, doing some yoga and then blending up a green smoothie for myself.  Boy, how things are different now!

I have always heard how motherhood changes your life but I never realized how it would really impact the day to day practices that I had in place until I became a mother myself. Something as simple as taking a shower in the morning became a major event–and I didn’t always get to it (still don’t some days).  I had been so immersed in making sure my tiny human got everything he needed that I forgot to get what I needed, too.  The thing I’m most amazed about is how long I put off going to the gym.  I used to go to the gym 5 or 6 days a week before Marty was born!  Until recently, it’s literally been years since I’ve been there.  Where did all of my motivation to be super-fit go?

Part of it is time.  And let’s be honest, another part is laziness.  If I have an extra hour, I’m resting or taking a nap, not running to the gym to sweat my butt off.  But as Marty becomes a better sleeper and I get a little more time to myself, I can feel the motivation to implement self care come back into play.  Here are a few ways I’ve climbed out of my self care rut and gotten back on track to feeling good:

  1. Shower and get dressed. This is a non-negotiable because it makes me feel like a real human being that can be ready to work, run errands or get whatever needs to get done around the house.  And for me, taking a shower is more than just getting clean and putting clothes on–it’s also the process of taking some time to care for my skin (hello moisturizer!) and practice some deep breathing in the shower.  It’s a few minutes of peace to enjoy the warmth of the water and quiet space, alone.
  2. Plan out 1 healthy meal to eat during the day.  Due to a hectic schedule I find myself grazing a lot, so I always try to plot out one meal a day that I know will give me some super nutrients and sustaining energy.  I want to enjoy my day without crashes that those quick, easy foods can bring (and that are usually loaded with sugar).  I can  cook a few days worth of quinoa to dump on various veggies or leftovers, and I am prepared in a pinch.
  3. Create a game plan.  I don’t know about you but I’m a crazy list maker.  I mean, I literally make lists about my lists!  So even though it can feel like I’m organized, I tend to always have a bunch of lists and because of that, I’m not sure what I should be doing.  I have recently started to look at my list(s) and pick 3 main tasks that I want to accomplish for the day.  If I get more than that done, great!  If not, then I at least got those 3 things done.  It not only gives me a sense of accomplishment, but it also keeps me mentally moving forward.
  4. Schedule in rest. I know this sounds ridiculous but I’m not talking about a 2 hour nap, I’m talking about 20 minutes to close your eyes and do some belly breathing (or nap!) It’s amazing what a little mid-day recharge can do for one’s mind and spirit.  Also, I feel like whenever I’m tired, it takes me twice as long to get things done.  If I stop and rest, I can get more done later in a shorter period of time!
  5. Plan 2 days to move. I am nowhere near the 5 to 6 days of working out I used to do but I currently have a Sunday morning yoga date built into my schedule that I really look forward to.  The rest of the week I try to stretch 2 mornings and go for a walk 1 other day.  It’s not training of any sort, but it is a beginning to get my body moving again and I know these small steps will build big results.  Patience, grasshopper.

My mantra is: lasting change takes time.  Do I miss the days of my perky butt and that exercise high?  Yes.  But the best way to get back there is to recognize things have changed and to be patient with the process.  I know that I will make my way back, eventually.  I try to give myself some grace when making changes and you should too!  Pick a few things to work on and you’ll be building lasting self-care habits in no time.

Love, Steph

Self Care Tips I Use As A New Creative Mom2019-04-07T11:41:28-04:00

Who’s Your Girl?

I have a series of paintings I like to call ‘the girls’.  Fittingly, they are all of different types of girls, each with a unique background and sentiment.  I remember the first time I painted one–I had been religiously going to my abstract art class on Monday nights and because of that, I had quite a few abstract canvases painted.  But no matter how much time I spent on each one, they always felt unfinished.

One Saturday afternoon I got a drop cloth, all of my art supplies and set up camp in the middle of my living room.  I took one of my abstract backgrounds and started adding a character, that would become the first in the girl’s series.  But right before I started, I had a feeling of excitement and then,  “what if I mess it up?”  Even though I wanted to try something new, I was still having those creative doubts of screwing something up that was just ok.

Then after I started, things just began to flow.  I let go of my expectations and just focused on enjoying the process.  I added collage papers, more paint, stamps and I drew freehand on the canvas–it was so much fun.  When I stopped trying so hard, that’s when things started to come together.

Here is the result of that session, her name is Gracie:

Her heart fluttered

And this is where the girls began.  I have loved creating each one so much!  You can see them all here in my etsy shop.  There are currently a few in progress and I plan to keep making them until it isn’t fun anymore.  All of the sentiments come from gentle sayings my mom used to tell me growing up and they always made me feel better.   I want to share them with others who may need to hear these things, too.

be kind to yourself
Love Who You Are
Be gentle


I’ve been posting all of the girls on my social media sites and using the hashtag #whosyourgirl to show everyone the faces and what each girl has to say.  Pop over to Facebook or Instagram and check it out!  And if you choose a favorite, please tag me, I would love to know who your girl is.

Love, Steph


Who’s Your Girl?2019-04-04T12:26:13-04:00

Art In Progress: Choose Happiness

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

This piece was a looonnnng time coming because I had this background in my closet for at least a year before I put a girl on it.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep it as is or if I wanted to layer on top of it.  I fell in love with the colors as I was creating it and I just never wanted to cover it up, until recently.  I firmly believe that works evolve over time to what they’re meant to be!  This one needed a little more resting time before I was ready to change it.

Here was the background I started with, it was just a fun experiment of colors and boldness:

Work in Progress: Choose Happiness

It was a fun colorful piece that I loved to look at so you can understand my hesitance in changing it (or messing it up!)  But one of the things I’ve learned about growing as an artist is not to get too attached to anything I create.  If I hold too tightly to particular pieces or elements of my work, it stops me from expanding my skills and growing.  And actually that’s pretty good advice for me to follow in my life too!  I always think I’m just painting, but being creative always teaches me about life as well.

Anyway, since I loved the colors I used so much, I knew the sentiment “Choose Happiness” would go perfectly with this background.  I started the transformation by putting a girl on top and I gave her a dress pattern to compliment the colors.  I like to name each of my girls too, so she’s appropriately named: Joy.

choose happiness

Then I stamped the sentiment in, as well as added some more details.  The little pieces are my favorite–my art teacher always tells me not to get too lost in the minutiae, but I feel like the details are part of what make my paintings special to me.  I love looking up close and seeing what is hidden, in both my work and other people’s creations.

choose happiness

And here’s the final image below.  I feel like it was worth it to wait for this to emerge!  I’m so happy with how she came out–vibrant but simple.  I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

Choose happiness

Buy Choose Happiness (Joy) on Etsy Here

Love, Steph


Art In Progress: Choose Happiness2019-01-14T20:25:43-05:00

Two Weeks of Fun: Join The November Creative Challenge

Join my free 2 week art challenge starting November 1st. Click through for more details!

Everyone had so much fun with the last challenge, I’m back with another one! This one is inspired by daily prompts, so all you have to do is check in each day, read the prompt and let the inspiration flow.

I’ll be posting the prompts in my Facebook group so if you’re not a member yet, come over and join!

Once you’re in the group, you’ll be able to see everyone else’s work each day, which I always find to be pretty inspiring.

You can also use the hashtag on social media so everyone can see what you’re working on (and you can see their work!): #createyourartandlife

This challenge is free for everyone and you just post in the group whenever you can. There’s no pressure to make something everyday–it will just be cool to see how creative you can get with the prompts. This is about having fun and getting our artistic mojo on 🙂

The challenge starts November 1st and goes until November 14th. Just head over to the Facebook group each day and the prompt will be posted. I can’t wait to see what you make!

Love, Steph

P.S. Make sure you post your work in the Facebook group and use the hashtag #createyourartandlife on social media so we can see your stuff 🙂

Two Weeks of Fun: Join The November Creative Challenge2018-03-29T20:23:05-04:00

Acrylic Painting Demonstration #1

I made my first acrylic painting demonstration and it was so much fun! Short and sweet, click through to check it out.

I LOVE watching painting demos online.  Just ordinary everyday artists in the groove, making it happen–it’s fun to watch because  I love seeing new techniques, hearing their commentary and listening to how they end up making the choices they make.  Kind of like life, the journey is the best part.  I feel like no matter how long I’ve painted or what I’ve learned, there’s always more to know and painting demos help me get there!

Anyway, so after watching a looooot of demos, I decided to try to make one myself.  And you know what?  It was so much fun.  You know what else? I only painted for 10 minutes, took one take of the video and called it a day. So the best part of all of this is that it didn’t take forever to do.  YOU GUYS IT WAS FAST AND EASY!  And you can do it too!

Ok, so you can take a peek at the video below.  I’m posting it in my FB group too, so if you want to give me some feedback, hop on over there and join us in the conversation.  Do you want to see more of these?  Tell me.

Love, Steph

PS: Come join my Facebook Group for Creatives HERE.  We can’t wait to meet you!

Acrylic Painting Demonstration #12018-03-29T20:23:05-04:00
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