Friday, 24 April 2015

Playing with paint

I'm still working on my canvas, and I've also started putting layers on a new canvas. So many ideas in my head, I just feel like painting and sketching all day. Alas, life gets in the way more often than not...

Here's where I am now:

Once everything is drawn on there, it's quite meditative to colour in the white. It'll need at least two layers before the background is covered enough. Then I can start working on the figures. Looking forward to that.

And here's the new canvas that I'm playing with:

This is the part I love the most: just playing, spattering, dripping, layer after layer after layer, until I see figures starting to emerge :-)

Made a few more ACEO's:

I will probably put these in my Etsyshop. Did you notice my new page on top? I decided to put some of my smaller paintings up for sale on my blog. Need to keep practicing putting paypal-buttons on my blog, right!? ;-)

This week Dawn DeVries Sokol's new book : "A world of artist journal pages" was published, and I'm proud to say I'm in it!! Can't wait to flip through it (it'll only be available in Europe next week), it looks like a great tool for inspiration. So nice too that quite a few of my internetfriends are in there as well, and even some people I met personally. So cool!

You can even see a small part of one of my journalpages on the backcover (upper right corner) :-D

Okay, it's after midnight here, time to dive into my bed. I'll link this to Paint Party Friday tomorrow. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving your wonderful comments!Wishing you a fun weekend ahead of you, and some more sunshine to enjoy! (I love all the spring-like paintings on all the blogs! So clear that everyone is over the moon that the cold and ice are behind us for now ...)

lol :-)

See you next week! ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 17 April 2015

Tutorial for putting Paypal-buttons and an image-gallery on your blog

The sun is still shining, the kids are still home from school, so I still didn't do very much artwise.... I just had to go outside and feel the warmth on my skin. It's funny, when I was living in Australia the sun was shining almost all of the time, and I could just relax and stay inside if I needed to, because I knew the sun would stay. But here in Belgium I have the feeling I need to grab every little bit of sunshine that's there, because it can go away any minute....

Yesterday I took my markers and my canvas outside and started drawing the figures on there. So I did a little bit of art :-) I even painted a small part already ...

It was fun working big again.

And even the dog is smiling because the sun is shining ;-)

And I finished 2 more ACEO's:

As promised, and because some of you asked, I'll try to explain how I made this extra page with the paypal-buttons.

1. First you need to add an extra page to your blog, by going to design - pages - add new page

2. Make sure you work in the HTML-mode, not the compose-mode.

3. Next you need to make an image-gallery. The tutorial I used for that is this one. I changed a few things to suit my needs.

The html is for an image-gallery with 4 (equal) images next to eachother. Copy and paste the html below:


<td><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="yourwebsiteurl" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" target="_blank"><img alt="yourimagetitle" border="0" src="yourimagesource" width="120" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">yourcaption</td></tr>

<td><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="yourwebsiteurl" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" target="_blank"><img alt="yourimagetitle" border="0" src="yourimagesource" width="120" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">yourcaption</td></tr>

<td><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="yourwebsiteurl" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" target="_blank"><img alt="yourimagetitle" border="0" src="yourimagesource" width="120" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">yourcaption</td></tr>

<td><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="yourwebsiteurl" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" target="_blank"><img alt="yourimagetitle" border="0" src="yourimagesource" width="120" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">yourcaption</td></tr>



For every new line of 4 images you need to enter this HTML-code again.

4. Change the blue text:

yourwebsiteurl : first I put the name of my blog here, but then when I clicked on the image it went back to my blog, and  didn't want that. I wanted a larger view of my image when I click on the image. So I put the same link here as in yourimagesource
Where do you find that? Go to the blogpost where you used the image,  Click on the image you want, then right-click and go to image-information (not sure whether it's exactly like that in English, since my blog is set to Dutch and I'm just translating). Copy the link that comes up, and paste the same code in both places. You can also make a new post with all the images you want to use (you can leave it in draft-modus if you want to). Just upload your pictures as usual, then switch to HTML-mode, and look for img src=" or src=". What follows the quotation mark is the part you need. It starts with http:// and ends with .jpg.
yourimagetitle: whatever you want to call your image. You might want to keep SEO in mind when you do this, it's also the title that comes up when your image won't load on someone's browser. I use the title of the ACEO and the number.
120: this is the width if you use images of the same size. I make the width 100 for a vertical ACEO, and 140 for a horizontal ACEO.
yourcaption: here you need to insert the code for your Paypalbutton

5. Make your Paypal-button

If you don't have one yet, sign up for a free Paypal-account here. I set mine to business-account to receive payments, although I think it also works with a normal account.Then you go to profile - settings - selling preferences and you can start making your button.

Step 1: choose a button-type (if you choose "shopping-cart" customers can keep adding items to their shopping-cart, if you choose "buy now" they buy one item, have to pay, and then can continue shopping). You fill out the item-name and the item number. Very important this one if you sell more than one thing. If you don't give it a number, all your items will have the same number and if someone buys something you have no idea which one they bought (yes, it happened to me ....). This means that for every unique item you need to make a new paypal-button. Which is actually easy to do because you can click "create similar button" and you only need to change the number. For the rest of this part you just fill out everyting you need, you can choose the currency, you can add shipping costs if you want (leave this blank if the shipping is included).

Step 2: track inventory profit and loss: you need to fill this out if you sell one-of-a-kind items, in order to avoid having two customers buying the same item. Click "track inventory", and fill in the item ID and the quantity in stock (= 1). Then you choose the option "don't let customers buy the item". When someone wants to buy an item that has been sold, they get the message that's it's not in stock at the moment they want to pay. When an item is sold out (in that case you get an email from Paypal), you need to replace the HTML-code for the paypal-button with the message "sold out". For now there is no way to let Paypal add that automatically when the inventory = 0, you need to do that yourself.

Step 3: fill out what's necessary, click "save button", and then click "create button".

You get the HTML-code for this particular button, you select all and copy it, then you go back to your blog, and you insert the code in yourcaption.
Do this for every single image.

6. Create a "view cart" button

You only need to create this button once. This button allows your customer to see which items they have put in their shoppingcart. After you have created your "shoppingcart"-button, you can find "create more buttons" underneath your generated code. Choose "create a view cart button", copy the HTML-code, go to blog design - layout - add a gadget - HTML/Javascript and paste the code in there. You don't need to give it a title. This way the "view cart"-button is in the sidebar of your blog, so that it's always visible no matter where you are on your blog.

That's it! I hope it was not too confusing. If you have questions just ask and I'll try to help. Don't forget I'm not an HTML-expert, I can only share my experiences .....

To finish this post: my funny of the week ;-)

lol ....

Okay, that's it for this week. Linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. If you want to see lots of wonderful art, just click on the link :-)
Thanks for visiting me, hope your day has been going well, and I wish you a nice, relaxing wekend with no stress whatsoever! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 10 April 2015

Spring is here!

Oh yes, finally! The sun is shining and I only want to go outside and feel the warmth on my face. The kids are here all day and we've been doing things together, so art has gone to the back burner for now. No painting, just a few ACEO's. But that's okay, there will be time later :-)

What I did manage to do this week is finally figure out how to put Paypal-buttons on my blog and make a gallery of images. Oh, you wouldn't believe how good that made me feel! I have been wanting to do this since such a long time, but every time I started it seemed so overwhelming and there was always something that made me postpone it again.

I couldn't believe it when it actually worked :-) I've been so happy about it that I'm now thinking of making a page for my smaller paintings to sell as well. Here's the page for my ACEO's. You can also click on it on the top of my blog. I'll be adding the new ACEO's regularly.

If any of you are interested in doing this yourself, I'd be happy to share how I did it on my blog next week. Just let me know in the comments.

And then I had a really nice surprise in the mail today. A few months ago I got an email from a lovely lady in Australia asking me whether they could use one of my paintings for the front of a booklet about climate-change. Since climate-change is something that is really important to me, I felt honoured and proud to be a part of it, and of course I gave them permission to use an image of one of my paintings. They chose a painting that I made a few years ago and that has been sold already. And today the booklet came all the way from Australia to me! Here's the front cover:

It is such an interesting approach to climate change. It's from a Melbourne based group of psychologists and helping professionals who are working to foster emotional engagement with climate change. In the booklet are personal stories of people concerned about climate change who are trying to raise the subject with friends and co-workers, and the different reactions they get to it, going from silence to denial to anger. It's about how to engage people and overcome psychological and cognitive barriers to talk effectively with others. Very interesting, I'm even more proud now to be on the cover of this!

And last but not least: next Monday my Soulfoodlesson will air! Oh, I'm so excited! And nervous! For those of you who would still like to sign up: I know I said last time that you can sign up until the end of the year, but that was a mistake. You can access and download the lessons until the end of the year, but registration for Soulfood ends on April 30. So there's not much time left. If you still want to sign up, here's the link!

Okay, that's it for this week. I'll finish with one of the funny pics I find on Pinterest, since I've been forgetting that for the last few weeks ;-)

Just yesterday, our cat must've thought the same thing. She was outside for all of 5 minutes, captured a mouse and managed to bring half of it back into the house. Urrgghhh!

Well, I hope the sun is shining in your part of the world as well. The world looks so different with sunshine all around. The people are different too, I just love spring! (and summer even more!). Makes me miss Australia a bit less ... I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Hope you're having a wonderful day and beautiful weekend ahead. Thanks for being here ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 3 April 2015

Finished painting and ACEO's

I finished the smaller painting that I showed you last week. Added a lot of small details, that you might not even see very well, but now I consider it done.

The colours still make me happy, which is good since I can't even see a hint of blue skies around here yet.... Oh well, at least we don't have snow ;-)

I called it "Someday we'll stand in the sun", for two reasons: first of all because I consider it a sunny painting, but also because the world is such a big mess at the moment, with so much hate between religions, that I sometimes lose courage and look at the future with dread.

And then I have to remind myself that things will get better, that people will come to their senses, that someday all people will indeed stand in the sun and embrace and accept each other's differences. So in a way this painting represents hope for me.

"Someday we'll stand in the sun"- mixed media on canvas - 40x30cm (15,7x11,8 inches)

I still didn't work on my bigger painting, because I discovered a new love: ACEO's. I have done some ATC's in the past, but didn't like the small size so I stopped doing it. But lately when I'm listening to the radio I so often hear song lyrics that speak to me, and I was thinking of ways how to incorporate that in a daily art practice. Because I really want to make art every day, but it needs to be something small that I can easily do even when I don't have much time. I wanted to do something with collage, using my own art. And tadaa! Since I got some questions on Etsy already whether I sell ATC's, the idea of making ACEO's was born. And I had so much fun with it, I guess I'll be making lots more of these in the future :-)

People that have been following me might recognize some of these faces. They're al from paintings and sketches in the past, and I love re-using them and making something new out of it. And best of all: I can use all those lyrics that I love so much.

I have re-opened my Etsyshop but only listed a few items, since I'm still not sure whether I want to keep my shop open or not. I have been looking into selling art on this blog via Paypal-buttons, so I might start with these ACEO's. This weekend might be a good time to try it out :-)

Anyway, that's it for this week. Here in Belgium, the Easter holidays are starting tonight, and I'm looking forward to having a bit more time on my hands. I'll be linking this to Paint Party Friday, my favorite bloghop :-)  Thanks for visiting, I wish you a very happy sunny day, and a loving Easter weekend ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 27 March 2015

Painting in progress

Didn't get to paint as much as I would've wanted this week, but still, managed a few hours and it felt sooo good :-)  I remembered all of a sudden that I still had an unfinished canvas from when we were in Australia, and I've worked on that. It's not finished yet, but almost there. Here are some sneak peeks:

I used very bright colours, to make up for the grey and rainy weather we're having here. And cold ....! Man, I forgot how long the winter lasts in northern Europe ... Although, reading some of the other blogs, I guess we can't complain, there are places that still have snow. Ugh!

I didn't draw my figures on the other canvas that I showed you last week. Because I decided it could do with a few more layers ;-). So I went to work with my inks and, yes, with bright colours again, and got some gorgeous details. Here are some of them:

Oh, I so love playing with colours. The possibilities are endless. Next week I will try to draw some figures on this canvas. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll keep this canvas for an intuitive painting. Not sure yet ....

That's it for this week. Artwise I mean. I've been trying to re-open my Etsy-shop for ages, but it has taken me until now to recalculate the shipping rates and put all the prices in Euros. Almost finished now, so one of the next days it will re-open. Although I was in serious doubt about opening up again, since there are some things about Etsy that I really don't like. But I haven't found a good alternative yet, so until then it'll have to do ...If any of you have any suggestions about other sites similar to Etsy: please share!

One more thing about Soulfood: I got a comment last week from someone who forgot to sign up and thought she was too late. No, you're not! You can sign up for Soulfood until the end of the year if you want, because that's how long the class stays open. The videos are all downloadable to your own computer. So even if you've missed classes, you can still catch up. Getting pretty excited now, my class will air in 3 weeks :-)

I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Click here if you want to see lots of varied artwork from around the globe!

Wishing you a wonderful day, and a peaceful and fun weekend to reload your batteries!! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 20 March 2015

I'm back

Phew, lately I feel as if I'm constantly short on time. I cannot believe how time-consuming making a video-lesson is. It might have something to do with me making it too long, wanting it to be perfect.... And of course, since it's the first time I do this, I still need to learn a lot about editing. But it's a great learning-process, I'm so happy to have been given the chance to do this, and I know I'll be able to use everything I'm learning now in future projects.

I forgot to show you the journalpage I made in preparation for my Soulfood-class. I showed 2 of the faces, but there were many more on the page. Here it is:

I didn't get the chance to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Paint Party Friday last week, but as far as self-portraits go, I guess all of these figures could've been me at one time in my life ;-) (except maybe for the hair colour.....). I really enjoyed visiting the blogs of other participants on PPF and see all the different and unique self-portraits.

As I've been buried in video-editing material over the last 2 weeks, I didn't get a chance to do much else. I've made some sketches though, that I want to use in a new painting of mine. Do you remember this background?

When I unpacked it after our container had arrived, it gave me such a happy feeling because of the bright colours. I can't wait to start painting on a big canvas again. I want to make another painting like this one:

And these are some sketches I've been making in preparation:

Oh, so looking forward to it :-)

I also want to try out some of the other lessons on Soulfood. There are so many different styles, and each single one gives me inspiration. We're approx. halfway now, so still a lot of lessons to come. Can't wait!

Well, I'll go back to putting the finishing touches on my Soulfood class. Hope you're having a wonderful day, thanks so much for visiting! Linking this to Paint Party Friday, the weekly blogparty that has entered its 5th year already!! Take a look over there, it's worth it! ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 6 March 2015

overview of the 29 faces challenge

This'll be a quick post, because I'm in the midst of videotaping my lesson for Soul Food! Oh, I'm learning so much doing this, and you know what? I really really enjoy teaching! I might start to make a whole series of small workshops online. And some people have been asking me to do live workshops. I might make that my mission this year :-)

But first I'll show you the last two faces for the 29 faces challenge.

Face 28: pencil and marker (and more hair than face really .... ;-) )

And the bonusface (since February only had 28 days this year): watercolour and marker:

And here's an overview of all the faces I did this month:

I'm always amazed by how much one can get done in one month. Thank you so much Ayala Art for organizing this! It's one of my favorite challenges and I'm already looking forward to September :-)

Okay, I have a question for you: when you do an online workshop do you prefer to watch everything in "real time", or do you prefer to have some parts fast forwarded? If I leave everything in real time there might be a lot of video's to watch and with people always being stressed for time it might not be the best thing? Just wondering .....

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday and for the last time to 29 faces challenge! Take a look over at both blogs to see the beautiful things people create!

And don't forget: you can still sign up for Soul Food! The classes started in February, but you have access to the class until the end of the year, and all video-lessons are downloadable to your computer to keep! I haven't had time to try out any of the lessons yet, but I have watched almost all of them and really enjoyed it. Give it a try! There's so much you can learn :-)

Hope your day has started out wonderful, and that the coming weekend will find you happy and healthy. Thanks so much for visiting! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥