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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

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

20 Minutes Of Creating Challenge

Join the fun challenge of creating for the sake of fun! No pressure, just supportive creatives cheering you on to keep practicing your craft. Click through for more details.

Painting and collaging and playing with my supplies have been my favorite thing to do for a looong time now.  In my down time, it’s always been such a great way to unwind and get lost in my thoughts, just playing around and seeing what shows up.

Then I had a baby.  Whoa nelly!  My down time totally disappeared + it’s been quite hard to get back to that relaxed state of creating.   I kind of lost myself in the time when I was adjusting to motherhood and trying to figure out the new version of who I was.  I know a lot of new mothers feel this way, and frankly it probably applies to a lot of life adjustments–divorce, new job, etc–so I know I am not alone in trying to get a grip on the new reality.

I wanted to figure out a way to start creating art everyday, even if it was just for a small period of time.  Because I was putting too much pressure on myself to make something substantial each time I sat down and that scared me into not trying at all.  I had lost the fun part of creating just to create.  Can you relate?

Then I thought of the challenge:  How you + I could get creative together and not worry about what the end product is. Let’s have fun with our supplies for 20 minutes a day and see what we can come up with.  Screw the feeling of making it sellable or perfect for viewers on every platform, let’s get back to the feeling of reckless abandon for the pure act of creating.

And you can share what you create in my private Facebook group made up of other creatives.  (Join here!)  You can also use the hashtag on Instagram so everyone can see what you’re working on: #20minutesofcreating

Yes!  Let’s do this!  We can inspire each other to get back in the saddle of creating consistently.  The best part is: it’s for fun.  Can’t make it everyday?  No problem! Post when you can so we can cheer you on.  No pressure, just fun.

The challenge starts June 5th and goes until July 5th.  I can’t wait to see what you make!

Love, Steph

20 Minutes Of Creating Challenge2018-03-29T20:23:05-04:00

The Creative Process: What Works For Me

Want a peek into the creative process I use? Click through to read more--It may help you discover your own.

Does the creative process elude you?  I remember when I started taking my painting class, my teacher spoke about his creative process and how it was an integral part of producing actual work.  Because let’s face it, even when you have the time to sit and get to work, the inspiration isn’t always there.  This is where the creative process can jump start things!  Most days I have to refer to a few tricks to make the most of my time when I’m trying to get in the zone.

It wasn’t so obvious to me what my process was in the beginning, though. I had to almost step back and watch what I did as I did it, to figure out how I created my own inspiring environment.

So if you’re not sure of your own creative ways, don’t worry!  I have a few tips to help you figure it out.  The main idea is to focus on the 5 senses: it will help you be really present in the moment and ready to embrace whatever comes up.

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Here is a peek into my creative process and how I use each of the senses:

Sight: I like to be in an environment with visual stimulation to keep the juices flowing.  This can be sketchbooks I keep open to look at now and again for ideas, previous paintings on the wall or some other artist’s work in Instagram that gives me some ideas to adapt into my own. I usually paint in my studio (which is also a spare bedroom right now) so I like to have a lot of color around me to keep me loose and brave.

Hearing: Music playing helps me get out of my own way. I heard once that when you play music while you are creating, it turns off that left brain so that the ideas flow easier.  That makes so much sense, right? The inner critic is silenced a little easier.

Taste: A drink and a little snack nearby helps me keep going so I’m not interrupted!  I love my snacks 🙂  And no one likes to stop the flow in the middle of a good idea.

Touch: I love to keep my supplies within arm’s reach so I can experiment with different markings and materials.  If I don’t have to dig through clutter or an overwhelming amount of supplies. I create more easily.  (That’s probably true for most of us.)  I have standby favorite supplies. but I also like to keep unlikely tools around to mix things up. (spray bottle, bubble wrap, baby wipes etc)

Smell: I once saw a video of  Flora Bowley where she prepped her canvas with a smudging stick.  She said the smell of the smoke and the energetic clearing of the space helped her get focused.  I love this!  I tend to use a candle, but it has the same effect. Smells can bring up a lot of memories, so I make sure the scent is one I love and has a good association.

Another part of my process includes wearing clothes that are comfortable and messy–ones that I don’t worry about getting paint on.  I also allow a little time before I create something to think about the inspiration behind my session.  Whether it was a song or a poem or a color in nature that I saw that day, I try to hone in on what brought me to my table to create.  Knowing the ‘why’ makes it easier to break through when I hit a block.

I hope this inspires you if you need help figuring out the creative process; using the senses is a great way to start and you can expand on it from there.  Just keep in mind, it’s a fluid practice and it’s always changing!  Go with what moves you forward at the moment and enjoy whatever shows up.

Love, Steph


The Creative Process: What Works For Me2018-03-29T20:23:05-04:00
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