Friday, 29 June 2012

Artists that inspire me: Svetlana Tiourina

Svetlana is a Russian artist who lives and works in Amsterdam.

I discovered her a few years ago, and fell in love with her beautiful paintings.

I love the movement in her work, and the emotion that radiates from it

and the expressive faces ...

I don't know what it is with Russian artists, but a lot of my favorite artists happen to be Russian ....

Hope you like her as well! 

I had planned this week to make a business-plan and finish my Facebook-page. Alas, didn't do it ... I read a lot about it though, so I should have all the information I need when I do find the time to start.

Instead, I have been doing a lot of art this week. A lady from the Netherlands contacted me about 2 painted boxes I had on my website. They are sold, but she wanted me to make new ones for her. So that's what I've been doing. I discovered it's not so easy to replicate something I've done before. The boxes I paint, I always draw straight on the box, which means I don't have sketches that I can use again. I tried for hours to get it as close to the original as I could, but I'm still not satisfied. When I show it to my family they say it looks the same, but I can see exactly where it's not the same .... I've painted part of it already, but I might go over it again.

Here's my table with works in progress:

That's it for now. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving those wonderful comments! I try to get back to you all in the next few days!

Hope you all have a lovely, restful weekend!
hugs, x

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Summer of color: week 3

The flavor of the week is Baseball Nut. I would never in my wildest dreams have associated that with ice cream! The things you learn from Blogging are endless ...

Baseball nut is vanilla, black raspberry and cashews. Interesting colour combination I think.

So I started out with a background in those colors again.
And found that my Summer of Color paintings are turning into Summer of Birds paintings. Because I saw birds. Again!

Actually, this time I saw 2 possibilities, depending on how I held the canvas.

 This way up, I saw a bird in the upper right corner, and a face with 2 eyes in the upper left corner. 

And this way up ....
I just saw 2 pairs of eyes ....

I decided to go with the second one, and this is what came out of it:

I'm not sure whether I'm completely satisfied with it. Seeing it on the computerscreen there are some things that bother me about it. So I might play with it some more. But for now it'll do.

Going to have a look at the other participants now. There are 70 already!
Thanks for visiting! I'll be back in 2 days with another inspiring artist (there are sooo many!)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Start of a "real" art journal!

I finally did it. I started a "real" art journal.

Not that I didn't have any journals before. I have several actually. But I use them mostly to sketch or work things out. Sometimes I paint in them, but usually when it comes to painting I grab a canvas.

But I was always admiring other people's journals. The colors, the looseness, ... And I wanted it for myself. Just didn't know how to start. Until the 29 faces challenge in May. I was fascinated by the journal pages of Courtney, who made an art journal of an old book. And then I discovered Orli Avineri, and became even more eager to try it myself. And last but not least, I went to the papercraftshow in Brisbane, and saw Jane Davenport. She had her gorgeous journals spread out on her table for us to look through, and oh my, I was almost literally drooling over it.

So I went to a thriftshop, bought an old book with a hardback cover and googled how to turn it into an art journal. I took some pages out, glued some pages together and put some collage in it.

Then what?

I had no clue how to start. Tried putting gesso on some pages, tried drawing with a paintbrush, tried to loosen up and just paint a face, which I quickly covered with gesso again. I even ended up putting the book back on the shelf.

I must say that art journaling is way more difficult than it looks ...

But last night I flipped through the pages again, and decided to MAKE something. ANYthing. Loosen up.
On one page there was a collage of a little body, so I just put a face on top of it. And went from there.

It's by no means anywhere near the quality of the 3 people I just mentioned. But at least I had fun. And didn't feel like throwing the thing in the bin anymore.

So who knows? I might become a "real" artjournaler.

Here's my first page. Don't know whether it's finished, but for now it'll have to do.

Played around with ink in an old-fashioned pen. That was fun! You can make really fine lines with it. Bit more difficult to handle than markers, but I'll definitely try some more with it.

And here's a sneak peek of my box ....

Tomorrow it's summer of color-time again. This week the color is Baseball Nut ...

Thanks for taking a look! So nice to have you here :-)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Artists that inspire me: Ademaro Bardelli

I can't believe this! I looked up this artist's website to put the link on here, and guess what: he died in 2010! This is the third artist that I write about here who has inspired me over the years, and he's also the third one to be dead. Seems like all my favorite artists are dying ... What a shame!

Ademaro Bardelli was an Italian painter, born in 1934, who started his painting career in 1956.

I adore his work. The strong colors, the beautiful faces, the way they seem to come out of the background, it's just so beautiful.

I'll shut up now and just show some more of his gorgeous work ...

Last night, I managed to visit about 1/3rd of the blogs in the challenge. Phew, it's a lot of work. But I'm discovering some new fascinating artists out there, which makes it all worth it.

About my business-courses ... I felt a bit like screaming today ...Watched some tutorials for Wordpress, got confused about whether I should use or (yes, there IS a difference between them...), got some more confused about hosting and domains, hesitated between Wordpress (which seems to be really technical (which I'm not)) and Weebly, which is supposed to be easy but "serious artists should use Wordpress", huh!?, wanted some simple answers and couldn't find them, decided that I shouldn't be bothered since I don't have anything to put on my website anyway if I don't start finishing things, tried to figure out the shipping costs from Australia to Europe for a small box and was blown away by the price, and I'm not even sure it's the right price, realized that I have no idea how to ship a painting, let alone how much it would cost (just in case I would ever sell one through my new still not even embryonic website), and where the hell should I go to find all that information that all other artists seem to have no trouble with AT ALL!? Aaarghh! I think I'm overwhelmed and spinning out of control.... Almost bit my hubby's head off in the process...

Suffice to say that it was a bit of  a frustrating day .... ;-)
Maybe I should take a break tomorrow ...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Summer of color: week 2!

This week the color was mint-chocolate-chip. I'm not sure whether I got the color right this time. Try as I might, it either was too bluish or too greenish. And probably not enough dark brown either.
But, well, it's close enough I guess...

I started out with this background:

And, contrary to last time, I could see 2 figures right away! Just wasn't sure about the purple in the middle. Could it be a man?? I drew a man, but he didn't fit in, so I erased him and kept looking.

And then I saw a beak, and I knew it had to be a bird again ;-)

So that's what I drew ...

And here's a sneak preview of the box I'm painting:

For once this week, I'm gonna try to get into bed at a decent hour. And tomorrow I'll try to see all the entries for Summer of Color. There are 69 already!!

Thanks for stopping by! I'll see you in 2 days with another inspiring artist :-)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

One more teesha and finally: the start of a new painted box ...

It was a verrrry busy weekend, so I didn't have much time to make art. But I did finish the last teesha I was working on, and I signed up for another business-course: Art Empowers Me. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the website of The Abundant Artist, and was fascinated by what Melissa and Cory are saying. Signed up for their free course, and decided that I wanted to do the business-course as well. I had to decide quickly, because Saturday was the last day they accepted new members.

So now I'm doing 2 business-courses! I sure know how to keep busy now (as if I didn't know that before...). But I love all the ideas I'm getting from them, and I'll keep you posted on where I'm going with it.

In the meantime, here's my new teesha:

The text is from a song by Rod McKuen. I might go back over it with white, since I think that's easier to read. So much for trying out a different color ...;-)

And then I finally decided to start painting wooden boxes again. One of the things I love doing is decorating useful objects, or making "new" things out of old things. You can use them and at the same time you make it a unique one-of-a-kind-object. Last week I got an email from a Dutch woman who wanted to buy a wooden box from me, but all the boxes on my website are sold. And I realised I hadn't made any new ones since the end of 2010.

High time to start again! Luckily I had brought some plain boxes with me from Belgium, so I could start right away. I decided to make another zendoodle-box. They're such fun to make. Here's an example of one I did a few years ago:

This is what I have now:

I have only done the drawing-part, but that's the nice thing about it: I can do it in between other things. So I'll share the progress with you over the next few days/weeks.

And now I'm off to bed! But first I want to thank all the beautiful people who took the time to come visit here and to leave comments on my posts. It is so motivating and so inspiring, and I want you to know I really truly deeply appreciate it! Tomorrow I'm gonna take the time to visit your blogs as well!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Should I or should I not?

Well yes, why not!? Seeing all those pinky-orangey-yellowy pictures everywhere, I decided to also join the Summer of Color. It's a weekly challenge, which is a bit easier to combine with all the other things I'm doing right now.

The first color prompt is Rainbow Sherbet. Pinks, oranges, yellows. Well, these happen to be among my favorite colors (the one from next week also is...).

So I made a very pink background.

This is what I started with:

And then .... I couldn't find anything. No images came up to me. I turned it in all directions. And then finally, holding it like this, I could (with a whole lot of imagination) see the shape of a face. But it was very high up on the canvas. And I just couldn't see anything else. Well yes, I could. But it was only a small face, and when I drew it it just didn't feel right.

So I decided to just draw something out of my imagination, and since birds are always a favorite of mine, that's what I drew.

Still struggling with my Facebook-page. Well, actually, I didn't do anything with it yet. I started looking on the net to find easy tutorials, and then I started thinking: what am I going to put on there? Maybe I should first get a website. Because the one I have is from Belgium and all the prices are in euro on there. I can't change that. So I want to make a new website. And I might want to add pages to this blog. And I want to open an Etsy-store. So which one goes first!?

Still trying to figure that one out ....

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Artists that inspire me: Laurel Burch

Well, it's pure coincidence, but the second artist that inspired me early on in my attempts to paint, is also deceased. It's Laurel Burch, who died in 2007, only 62 yrs old/young.

I love the bright colors she uses in her art, and I am fascinated by her life story. You can read all about it on her website.

She was a self-taught artist, which makes me like her even more. I always admire people who just go against the flow and follow their dreams, despite not having the "right" papers or degrees.

A lot of her designs are printed on fabrics and used for quilting and patchwork.

She is most famous for her paintings of horses and cats. There are also journals with her work on it.

That's it for today! I have a little bit of time left before it's bedtime, so I guess I'll try to figure out how to finish that  #$&^@#% Facebook page ....

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Some more teeshas and struggles with Facebook ...

I finished 2 more teeshas, which is good since we had a very busy weekend. Didn't spend much time on my business-course though. My head is spinning from all the information and I don't know where to start.

But today I figured I should do SOMEthing, so I decided to increase my online-presence by making a fanpage in Facebook.

Before I continue, you should know that I really don't like Facebook. I have an account on there, but very rarely use it. I also don't understand Facebook. And I don't feel like figuring it out. It's all too much time spent on the computer which I'd much rather spend doing something else.

But since it's important to use Facebook nowadays if you want to get somewhere with an online business, I feel like I don't have much choice. I could also use Twitter, but don't get me started on that. In my eyes, that's really a waste of time and energy. So I figured Facebook is the lesser of 2 evils. Besides, I've seen some great fanpages on Facebook, and it would be nice to have something like that.

Well, I made a new account, since I want to keep it seperate from my personal Facebook account, and I added a page. And now I'm stuck. I really don't know how to continue to make it look even remotely acceptable. Which means I will have to spend hours on the internet trying to figure it out. UGH! 

I'll just leave it for now. Maybe I'll get a brilliant idea tonight in my dreams ...

Back to the teeshas. Here they are:

They're made on a small canvas (20x20cm), with acrylics, watercolour crayons, acrylic markers and collage.

I made a birthday-calendar for my niece today, using the pictures from my teeshas. I love making calendars out of my art. Only just starting to discover all the possibilities out there ...

I want to finish with a quote from Ira Glass, that I found somewhere on the internet. Very true and very wise. And something to remind myself of frequently. The weekly deadline is something I should keep in mind too. I really don't paint enough lately.

I'll just blame it on Facebook and the likes ....

Thursday, 7 June 2012

New teesha's

I took a break from the computer today and have finally been painting again. Doing that business-course has made me realize that I can't do very much as long as I don't have enough stock. I've sold or given away almost everything I had before moving to Australia, so I really have to start from scratch.

So today I made some "teesha's". I call them my teesha's because Teesha Moore gave me the inspiration for these. They're so much fun to make, and I really enjoy choosing the quotes that go with them.

Only one's finished, but 3 others are close to finish. So all in all it was a very productive day today.
Here she is:

In the last post about Corneille, I forgot to show you the picture of my Corneille-table. I had an old wooden table with a damaged tabletop. So I got the idea of taking off the tabletop and replacing it with a piece of MDF. Then I painted the whole surface with my favorite images of Corneille.

It has been my favorite table for a long time. Unfortunately, when we moved to Australia, I was afraid to take it with me. It was very old and the quarantine-laws in Australia are very very strict. I surely didn't want it to end up in the garbage. So I gave it to one of my sisters. She was very happy with it.

I miss my table though, so I might make another one like that. I love giving old things new life.
Here it is:

Well, that's it for today. It's almost midnight, so I better get into bed FAST...

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The artist who made me want to paint: Corneille

First of all: thank you so much for your lovely comments on my work, and for the tips and information that you so willingly share. I'm soaking it all up and getting "smarter" by the minute ;-) I'll do my best to share with you things that I know and/or think. So if you have a question: please ask!

Like I said last week, I want to share with you artists that inspire me.

And the one that comes to mind right away is Corneille. Aaaaahh! I lovelovelove his work.

He is the main reason why I wanted to paint. I first saw his work somewhere in 2004. I was visiting a nursing-school for my work, and they had those colourful pages of calendars hanging in their hallways. I was mesmerized by it. I wrote down his name and attacked the computer the minute I got home.

He was born in 1922 in Belgium, out of Dutch parents. He was kind of a rebel and co-founded the CoBrA-movement, an experimental artists-group which had a big impact on modern art.

Women, birds and cats feature prominently in his work. I love the fantasy aspect of his paintings. And those colors! Gorgeous! I get happy just looking at it!

Sadly he passed away in 2010. He lived in France for a big part of his life, and he kept painting till the very end. I once saw an interview with him on TV, and he was exactly as I had imagined him to be: a warm, kind, funny, enthusiastic and enormously creative man.

I must admit I was very sad when he died. I wanted to paint or draw something in his memory, but nothing came to mind. And then all of a sudden one night a few weeks after his death, I started drawing and it just flowed out of my pencil. I still have the drawing in my sketchbook and want to make it into a painting one day.

This is him! Hope you enjoy his work as much as I do!

I have a question again: If I want to feature an artist that I admire, someone with a blog or a website or something: what is the "blog-etiquette"? Can I just link to them and name them in my blog, or do I have to ask permission for posting something about them?

I would think that the more exposure they get, the better, but I might be wrong here. After I'd have posted about their work, I would send them an email with the link, but do you think I need to do it beforehand?

Well, that's it for today. I'm trying to find the time to do some more painting, but alas, the business-course is keeping me busy ;-)

Sunday, 3 June 2012


Friday I started the guided Business Goddess workshop with Leonie Dawson. You have the choice to sign up for just this workshop, and then it's finished after 5 weeks, or you can sign up for a membership with the Goddess Circle, and then you get access to all the workshops and materials on the site for a whole year. Being just 20 dollars more, I figured I'd be better off doing the whole year membership.

And now I'm a bit overwhelmed. There's so much information on there that I don't even know where to start. There's a wonderful group of people to meet, forums to read and information to share. Although from what I've seen so far it seems to be more of a place for people who want to do women empowerment, healing, massage, coaching, meditation, etc ... If you're into that, you're definitely in the right place there.

Don't get me wrong, it's also about art and making a business of it. Actually, it's for everybody who wants to make their dream job come true. Whatever that dream job is. I've picked up some real interesting tips and information already. Looking forward to exploring it all.

But you can't sit in front of the computer all day, can you! So yesterday I played with a painted background again. This is what I started with:

I immediately saw the bird, and then the contours of a body underneath...

 so that's what I painted (Inktense pencils and acrylics)

It's so much fun to do these little paintings. I never would have thought to paint a figure like that, it just came out of the drips and layers of paint. Pure coincidence. I have a whole bunch of them now, but I still need to  finish them. Meaning that I have to paint the sides and put a coat of varnish on them. And then they'll be ready to sell. Oh, yes, and put my name on there as well ;-)

I am thinking about setting up an Etsy store, but I need to look into it first. I have also been reading about Redbubble and DeviantArt, where you just have to upload an image, and if somebody wants to buy a print, they take care of it. Of course they also take a percentage out of it. But I've read some really bad reviews about it, so I'm very much in doubt now.

Do you have experience with selling your stuff like that? Are you happy with the results, or is it just not worth the work? I would love to hear your view on this!

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! Enjoy!

Friday, 1 June 2012

All my faces together !

I first want to thank the beautiful people that wish me well and tell me to go for it! It means so much to me having people who believe in me. I must admit that last night it made me a bit nervous that I had actually written down what I want to do for everyone to see. It's so much easier to keep it for yourself. Because then, if you fail, no one knows. But it's also much easier then to give up on it. Now I have made a commitment to try my best and go for it, and it makes it so much more real. I really HAVE to do it now. It makes me nervous and jittery and excited all at the same time.

I also made a commitment to myself about this blog. I am going to post at least three times a week, and every week I will be sharing with you an artist that I admire or who inspires me. There are so many wonderful artists out there, and sometimes I get so enthusiastic about someone that I want to share it. But alas, my family is not really in to art. So I'll share it with you.

Here's a compilation of all the faces I did last month:

And here are the faces I did in the February challenge:

Actually, I'm impressed! It's amazing how much work you get done when you set your mind to it.

That's it for today. I'm off now to explore Leonie's Goddess Circle ...

Hope you all have a wonderful, restful weekend!