Friday, 29 August 2014

Rock mania

Two weeks ago I started painting a rock for a commission, and figured I could just as well start putting a groundlayer on my other rocks, in case I found the time somewhere to make some more.
 

Because I'm working at the gallery tomorrow, and my rocks are almost sold out, I got them out again this week and started decorating.

And couldn't stop...


It's a weird thing with these rocks, they can lay there for months without me going near them, but once I get them out it's sort of addicting to keep working on them. I love the feel of these rocks in my hands, and how the shape of each rock defines what I'll put on there. I always work on more than one at the same time, keep going back and forth between them until all of a sudden they are all finished, and I can start looking for a fitting quote for each of them.

Funny enough, the one that I started out with, the commission, is not finished yet. But it's getting there. Here are a few that I finished this week:




I also made a few more pages for my 2015 calendar:



Still working towards the creation of a year planner, although I really shouldn't, given I have so much to do at the moment, but I'm not quite ready yet to give up on the idea. I have been making my own planners since 1997 (gee, can't believe it's been that long!), but I haven't made one since living in Australia. Mostly because I want to try out a self-publishing venue (until now I printed it out myself), but in the end it was too complicated and time ran away from me. I will try out a few pages this weekend, and then either proceed with it or wait for another year ...

Oh yes, despite having to get ready for the big move, I spend too much time on Pinterest (I figure at the end of the day I deserve a break from organizing, so I treat myself to some Pinterest and completely lose track of time, as I'm sure some of you will be familiar with ... ☺). And I come across so many funny/interesting/ wise things on there, that I decided to end my blogposts with one of these pics every week ;-)

can't stop laughing with this ... :-D


That's it for this week! I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Thanks so much for being here and leaving your wonderful comments. I hope you're having a great Friday, and some nice things to look forward to in the weekend! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 22 August 2014

Doing things I haven't done in a looong time ...

Not having much time to make art these days  is forcing me to rethink what I can make and still enjoy doing without taking up too much time. So I discovered my watercolours again :-)  I can make the drawing while sitting with my daughter on her bed at night, and colour it in really quickly. So here's my first (!) watercolour-girl for this year ....


I'll be using her for cards and my Society6-shop, adding a background in Photoshop. I love making these, don't know why I didn't make one for so long. Guess there are too many things I love making ... ;-)

And while sitting on the bed with my daughter, doodling is also a favorite. Here's a new doodle I finished:


Meanwhile I've also been working on my new calendar for 2015. Only finished 2 months for now, more will follow soon (I hope!):



And some more (dare I say the C-word in August Nic? ☺) Christmas- and New Years' cards that are now available in my Etsyshop:



That's it for now. I have been thinking about making a daily planner for 2015, but I'm not sure I can afford spending the time making it while I should be packing and other boring stuff .... Still, the idea is there in my head and I might act upon it ...

Thanks so much for your visit! I hope you're having a great day wherever you are, and an enjoyable weekend ahead of you! I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday, with thanks to Eva and Kristin! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥


Friday, 15 August 2014

Experimenting with patterns

I've been wondering a long time how to make patterns, and in December I came across this post on Michelle's blog on how to do it. I was so happy and immediately set to work to make one...


Of course I should've started with a simple pattern, just to try it out.  Did I? Nooooo .... I didn't .... I started out with about the most complex pattern I could make: one of my doodles..... Needless to say it didn't really come out as it should ....


This is precision work, meaning you have to cut the paper exactly straight, and tape it back together exactly right. I don't know where I went wrong, but I was off by about 1 mm, and it showed clearly in the pattern. The lines in one part didn't match up, and it just looked bad.

This is the doodle I started out with:

 I then cut it in two and taped it together in the middle


And cut it in two again and taped it back together. Somewhere around that time something went wrong (but I didn't know it yet)...

Then I drew another figure in the middle, like this:


I saved it as a pattern in Photoshop and started playing, and then was all disappointed because, as I said, some lines didn't match up.

So, just to be clear on this, I did this about half a year ago. Tried fiddling with it in Photoshop but couldn't get it right, so I tossed it aside ....

Until last week... In my Society6-shop, it's now possible to sell duvet-covers, and my mind went into overdrive with all the patterns I could make. Luckily I had scanned every image on my computer before cutting it up, and I suddenly got the brilliant idea (if I say so myself ☺) to cut it in pieces using Photoshop. That was bound to be more precise than me taking the scissors in hand. And I wouldn't have to do the whole drawing again.

So I got to work, and the lines matched beautifully. So I printed it out and drew another figure in the middle, which was fairly easy to do since I already had an example. Scanned it all in, made a pattern and tadaaa! It worked!

Here it is:


I meant to colour it in, but that was way too much work with all the small patterns in there, so I chose to make two versions, one black & white, and one with a blue background.

Here's an example of a shower curtain in my Society6-shop:

http://society6.com/denthe/life-is-a-song-you-should-dance-to-the-music_shower-curtain#35=287

And of a duvet-cover:

http://society6.com/denthe/life-is-a-song-you-should-dance-to-the-music-me2_duvet-cover#46=342

Not sure whether I should leave it like this or make the pattern a bit smaller. What do you think?

So much fun to do, and I'll sure be making more patterns in the future. Thank you Michelle, for pointing me in the right direction :-)

Just so you know: there's again a promo in my Society6-shop, with up to 30$ off depending on your total amount.

This week I didn't manage to paint one single brushstroke ..... We had a long weekend, Monday was a public holiday here in Queensland, and in the weekend we celebrated my son's 14th birthday. So the rest of the week went by in the blink of an eye. I did manage to make some more Christmascards though, to sell in my Etsyshop.

Yes, Christmascards.... Or New Year's cards, however you want to call it. If someone had told me last year I would be making Christmascards in August I would've declared them crazy. Usually I only start thinking about Christmas one week before. But, well, this year everything's a bit different, and since I'll have to close my Etsyshop somewhere in October, and won't open it again until the new year, I have to do it now. Here are some of the cards that are for sale now:




Okay, that's it for this week. Thanks so much for being here, I really appreciate your visits and comments. Linking this as usual to Paint Party Friday. Take a look over there to see many different artworks from talented artists all over the world.

Hope you're having a nice day and a wonderful relaxing weekend ahead of you. Take care, I'll be back next week! ♥ ♥ ♥



Friday, 8 August 2014

a bit of journaling in between other things ....

This week I started in earnest with my todo-list for our move back to Belgium. But I managed to do some art in between. This is a journalpage that I had finished before but didn't post yet:

It's mostly collage from my own artwork, except for her hair. I love playing around with different hairdo's for my girls, and this is my latest obsession: cutting out "real" hair and glueing it on top of one of my faces. Amazing how many different looks you can create that way :-)

On Thursday I had had enough of sitting at my computer with my todo-list and decided to get out into the sun and paint some rocks. I have one order for a rock that I sold some time ago and will now try to make another one of, so I figured I could just as well give all the rocks that I still have a basecoat. That way I can just do some in between, whenever I feel like playing :-)

Felt completely energized after that ;-)

And when I was looking for something I came across this painting that I had started months ago and kinda forgot about. It has a drawing on it already, so I figured I could just as well start colouring in. That doesn't take much time, and I can do it in between other things ...


Need to keep my creative juices flowing, don't I  ... ?☺

I finally managed to get my website completely up-to-date, and listed some more original art in my Etsyshop. These miniature-paintings were not in there yet but they are now!



These'll be the last pieces I will put in my Etsyshop for now.  I will have to close the shop in October, and won't be able to open it up again until after New Years, since our container will only arrive around that time. It's a good thing that my Society6-shop and Redbubble-shop can just stay open, as well as Lulu, where I sell my calendars. Making a new calendar is next on my list.....

So, that's it for now. Thanks so much for visiting, I really appreciate all the thoughtful comments and the encouragement you guys (or girls ☺) give. I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday.

I wish you the best of days, and a wonderful weekend ahead of you! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 1 August 2014

featured artist in the gallery

This whole week I've been busy getting all things ready for the start of my 2 months as featured artist in the Seaside Artists' Gallery in Redcliffe. I had a whole wall to fill, so it was time to get all my paintings ready. Do you remember this one?

I did this one in a workshop 2 months ago, and it didn't feel finished to me. Kept it on the easel all that time, and now with the exhibition coming up decided to do something with it.

So I stamped and stencilled a bit, put up some more collage, dripped some paint and dotted some paint on there. It's only now that I feel it's finished:

 "The sigh of a faraway song" - mixed media on canvas - 76x61cm
For sale in the Seaside Artists' Gallery in Redcliffe

It's weird, I didn't feel any connection at all to this painting. I did it in a workshop with a professional artist, and there were "rules" to follow in terms of design. And I'm not one for following rules.... Probably a good thing that I never did do an official art education :-)

It's only now, after 2 months staring at it, that I just started playing with it without thinking about rules, and I feel it's more my own now. Although I'm still not as attached to it as to some of my other paintings.

And do you remember this one?


I wasn't sure whether to put a text on there or not, so I decided to just leave it for then. But it felt too empty to me, so this week I decided to add some words. I deliberately used a colour very similar to the background, because I didn't want the text to stand out too much.

 "I'll find my way home" - acrylics on canvas - 50x40cm
For sale in the Seaside Artists' Gallery in Redcliffe

This morning I went to the gallery with all my stuff, and spent all morning putting it all up. Nina, the manager of the gallery, has given me extra room and tables for my small stuff, because she wants to help me sell everything so I don't need to take it back to Belgium :-) So nice of her!

Here's a picture of the main wall:


Tomorrow Saturday will be an afternoon tea to celebrate the opening. For those of you who are in the area: the address is 133 Redcliffe Parade, at the top floor in Comino's Arcade, at 2.00pm. Everyone's welcome!

I decided to take the small paintings that I made for this year's Summer of Color too, instead of putting them in my Etsyshop. In case you're interested in any of these, please let me know and I'll get it in the gallery. Here they are all together:


My little poetrybooks were ready just in time and I really like how they turned out. Should've ordered some more, but I first wanted to see how they looked. And now the sale is over of course .... I'll just wait for the next one I guess ;-)


Here's some more pages from it:



And then to finish this post: my 2 partners in the around-the-world-artsy-bloghop have answered their questions! And very interesting answers they are as well! Have a look at their blogs and the gorgeous artwork on there: Andrea from Falling Ladies, and Dia from "Dia's Creation Station". I love reading about how other artists think and work, and their answers are very recognizable to me. Thanks so much for playing along, Dia and Andrea!

Well, that's it for now. Thanks so much for your lovely comments last week and well-wishes regarding our move to the other side of the world. Next week I'll begin in earnest with my todo-list ....

Linking this to Paint Party Friday. Hop on over there if you don't know it already, always lots to see!
Thanks for being here, I hope your day is happy and your weekend full of love..... ♥ ♥ ♥ 



Friday, 25 July 2014

making decisions ....

I've finally finished another page in my art journal. It seems I always work in stages, I have my journalphase, my sketchphase, my doodlephase, my boxphase, my rockphase, my mosaicphase, etc ... and sometimes all of these together when there's a market or a show coming up ;-)


The only phase pretty much constantly there is my canvaspainting-phase. And I have come to the difficult conclusion that that phase will have to be put on hold 'till the end of the year...

*gasp*

Why? you ask. Well, because there is too much going on at the moment. After living in Australia for 3 years, we have decided to move back to Belgium in October. It was a very tough decision, because we love Australia and we love the people here. And the climate. And the beautiful nature. But all that beauty and all that kindness cannot replace the people you grew up with, your family and friends. Our family is very important to us, and we've come to the conclusion that we don't want to be so far away from them anymore. We want the kids to grow up in a big extended family, instead of just the four of us. And we long to speak our own language again, to not have to search for words or completely miss the point of a joke. We had a fantastic time in Australia, but it'll never be really "home" for us.

So, moving from one part of the world to another is pretty time-consuming, with everything that needs to be sorted out and packed and tossed away, not to mention the administration, oh my, .... I have a todo-list that is now 9 pages long ....

The last months have been really stressful and frustrating, with me trying to do everything: keep on making art, trying to build my artbusiness, working part-time, and preparing our move back to Belgium. So in order to keep sane I've decided to cut back on my painting. My big paintings that is. I need at least a few hours to work on these, and I get so frustrated when I can't find that time. I will still be making art of course, that is something that I need to do, also in order to keep sane, but it'll be the small things, like sketching, doodling and working in my artjournal. Things I can do in between, that I can easily leave and go back to.

So today I started a new mosaic figurine. Whenever I pass the table I can put a few pieces down. Easy-peasy. And nothing too stressful :-) Plus it fills my need for colour.


At the end of October we will move back to Belgium, and it'll be another 2 months before our container arrives. Which means I will only be able to get back to my beloved canvases in the new year ....

(although I secretly hope in the next weeks to suddenly have lots of free time in which I can paint ....)

I will be making more pieces digitally, like products for my Society6-shop, new postcards, a new calendar and maybe even a diary. This week I decided to try out a little poetrybook. I finished it already, but have to wait for the printout. I've made 5 and will (try to) sell them in the gallery. If they sell, I might make new ones and put them up in my Etsyshop.

Here are a few pages:



And because this last week has been such a horrible week in terms of loss of human lives due to senseless violence, I thought this page was rather fitting:


Well, that's it for now. Another decision I've made is that I'll only blog one day a week anymore, on Friday. But I will keep on doing that, no matter what. Can't leave my friends from Paint Party Friday, right ;-)

Next Friday I'll link to Andrea and Dia, who will answer the questions for the round-the-world-bloghop some time next week. My answers to these questions are in this post.

Thanks so much for visiting! I hope your day is beautiful and peaceful, and let's hope this weekend we'll be spared more horrible news from around the world ... See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Around-the-world-Artsy blog hop


 image by Minerva Levinston

Angelique from Angelic Art And Craft invited me to be part of an around the world artsy blog hop, where each artist that participates answers the same 4 questions, being:

1. How does my creative process work?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. What am I working on now?
4. Why do I create what I do?

I “met” Angelique last year when we were both participating in Art Every Day Month. She makes beautiful cards, and I love seeing her colourful art journal pages, where she often explains her process. Her answers to these questions are definitely worth a read. You can find them here.

Okay, since I was supposed to be writing about this blog hop on Monday, I better get on with it …. Here are my answers to these (not so easy ….) questions:

1. How does my creative process work?

My creative process is usually very chaotic. I get an idea and I want to try it out. Preferably immediately. That means that sometimes in between peeling and cooking the potatoes I run to my worktable and ‘make art”. I’m always working on more than one piece at a time, usually in different area’s as well. I paint on big canvases, mini-canvases and everything in between, on wooden boxes, on rocks, on magnets and on fabric, I make mosaics, I draw and I journal, I sew, and I work digitally to make cards and calendars of my images. My workplace is usually a big mess. No matter how hard I try, I never can keep it tidy and organized.

 okay, I'll admit this is really extreme (it was before a market), 
usually I have a bit more space left to work ...

It’s hard to say where my ideas come from. Sometimes I see something on the internet that triggers my imagination, a way of doing something, a picture that inspires me, a certain technique, …. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with art. I get my best ideas at night. It almost seems as if all the triggers I see and hear during the day start simmering and broiling in my head, until they are cooked and ready, and when I wake up in the morning the idea is there.
I have recently discovered Pinterest, and am now starting to suffer from information overload. I have some folders on my computer that are full with inspiring techniques and how-to’s. If only I could find the time to try them all out … I am always hungry to learn more, I love experimenting, I need to be able to switch from one thing to the next, whatever I’m in the mood for at that moment. 


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

People often tell me that my style is very distinctive. Even though I do so many different styles of art, there seems to be a common ground in all of them. Typical for my art is the abundant use of colour and the presence of human beings and birds. I am a colour junkie, I can’t live without colour, colour makes me happy. I also have to paint or draw people. I love to make a figure come alive. See the different stages it goes through, and end up as a person with its own character and emotions. I love how you can manipulate the different expressions on a face just by a few brush strokes. I almost always paint women. I like the fluid lines, the curves, the softness, the different emotions. And I love to paint birds. Not realistic birds, but weird birds with bright colors that always seem to interact with the humans on my paintings. I don’t like realistic portraits, I always need to put some fantasy element in there and create a kind of dream world.
I am also passionate about poetry. Since I was a teenager I’ve been collecting poetry and quotes. I like to combine it with my drawings and paintings.


3. What am I working on now?

Oh, where do I start …..
I just started with the background of 2 new (big) intuitive canvases, am still finishing my last 2 canvases, am working on new collage-techniques in my art journal, just finished making new mosaic clay pieces so that I can start on the 4 mosaic figures I have waiting, last night finished an experimental poetry photo book with my art (there was a sale on so I had to do it in-between), am designing new postcards, and have quite a few other pieces in progress that I hope to be working on in the next few weeks (a box, a few rocks, another smaller canvas and a mirror). I am going to be the featured artist in the gallery during August and September, so I need to get a lot of things ready. And as usual when something is coming up, like an artshow or a market, it’s chaos and stress galore ….


New postcards

4. Why do I create what I do?

Because it’s inside me and it needs to get out. When I can’t create I get cranky. When I’m creating I’m in a different world where time does not exist. Apart from feeling the need to create, I’ve discovered that my art helps me to express emotions I sometimes didn’t even know I had. I like to think of art as a kind of poetry. I paint from my heart. I often don’t have the words to express how I feel, but through my pencil or my paintbrush the feelings reveal themselves. Sometimes it’s only after I see the images my heart created, that my feelings start making sense. My paintings teach me things about myself and how I see the world. This became very clear to me after my sister’s death last year. All of my emotions kept pouring out onto the canvas and the pages in my sketchbook. It is almost like a kind of therapy. It helps me deal with life. I very much believe in the healing power of art.

While I create to satisfy a need in myself, it really lifts my spirit when people are touched on a personal level by my art. With my art I want to evoke emotions, I want to make the world a little brighter and a little better. My art is healing for myself, if it’s also healing for even one other person out there, it makes it all the more worth it.


Well, that’s it for my answers. Next week, I’ll be linking to the blogs of these wonderful people: Dia from Dia’s Creation Station, who makes beautiful dreamy and spiritual paintings of women, and Andrea from Fallingladies, who makes exquisite watercolour paintings, mandala’s and is now working on a wonderful picture book. They will be posting their answers to these questions next Monday.

Thanks so much for visiting! It was fun to participate in this blog hop, because I really had to think about the answers, and sometimes it’s good to reflect on why you do what you do. I hope you take the time to visit the blogs of Angelique, Dia and Andrea, and maybe participate in this blog hop yourself! See you on Friday!