Friday, 21 December 2012

Hear the song that I sing to you

Hi, and welcome to this blog for the last time this year! I am going on a holiday break with my family, and I'm guessing there won't be much time for blogging ☺

But, before I go, I have some more pictures to share with you. I finished my painting! I really had a lot of fun with this one, it came together without any hassles.

I called it "hear the song that I sing to you", as a reminder to myself (and to others) that we should open up to all the beautiful things and beings surrounding us, calling out to us, singing to us.

So often we are inclined to only see the bad, and sometimes it's difficult to keep seeing the good in the world and in the people we share this earth with.

I find that the more I paint, the more my paintings offer me a glimpse into another world, a softer world, where it's allowed to be kind and fragile and innocent and naive and sad and strong all at the same time.

So this is where I stopped last week:

I kinda liked the flowery things in her left thigh so I didn't want to paint over that too much.

So I decided to make the background less noisy by using more white mixed with my paints.

And then I had to do something with that face I saw ... ☺

And I liked it so much that I painted another one....

To balance it a bit more I decided to paint another tree/flower/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, in the top right corner.

 And this is the finished painting!

Yesterday, I finally managed to get to Eudlo, where Jenny is exhibiting along with other artists. I "met" Jenny this year through the 29 faces challenge, and we've been following each other ever since. So when she wrote on her blog she was in an exhibition only about 70 km away from where I live, I knew I had to take a peek.

I was surprised by the brightness of the colours. So yummy, all of my favorite colours. Pictures often don't show how it looks in reality. Up close I liked it even better than from the pictures on her blog.

 Here you can see all of her work grouped together.  Hmmm, all those drips ... LOVE it! Great work Jenny!

The exhibition is once a year, and focuses on small artworks. This is art by Annie Burns.

These were really fun. In every canvas there were pieces of a puzzle integrated. 

This is the side of the painting with the snake that you can see in the picture above. Very small details, the picture doesn't even show half of it.

Art by Veronica Cay. Bit hard to take a decent picture through the glass frame.

There were many more artworks, but this post is getting a bit long so I'll stop here. I'm really glad I went to this exhibition. It was in a very picturesque village in the middle of the mountains, but still only about 27 kms from the ocean. So afterwards I took the kids to the Sunshine Coast to take a dip in the water. Because it's HOT here! Not Christmass-y at all ....

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday.  Don't forget to take a look at all the other participating artists there.

Thanks so much for visiting. I am so happy to be a part of this art community on the web, and I've really enjoyed and appreciated all of your visits and comments. I hope that you will find yourself surrounded by loved ones this Christmas, and that you'll sail smoothly into the new year. Let's meet again in January! I'll be back somewhere in the middle of the month.

Hugs to all of you ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Felt like doing a one-liner today. It's the first week of school holidays, and I've been sewing all day. I finally found a fabric shop where the fabrics are reasonable in price, so I bought a whole bunch of it and couldn't wait to get started. Just like painting it was too long ago that I did it. Sure felt good.

But it left me with little time to do some art, and since I wanted to post something today it had to be quick. And that's where one-liners are the best: one line and some text, and finished!

Here she is:

I'll be back for the last time this year on Friday for the Paint Party. Hope to get my painting finished by then .....

Thanks for visiting! Hope you're having a lovely day! Here in Australia it's bedtime again. See you on Friday! ♥

Friday, 14 December 2012

Yesss! Finally! Painting again!

For more than a month now I had banished my in progress canvases to the cupboard. Because I wanted to work on them and I knew I didn't have time.

But now with the market out of the way I can paint again! Still not that much, because my canvases were not the only things that were neglected over the last couple of weeks. It took me a whole 2 days to actually be able to see my worktable again. Things were stacked on the floor, under the table, on chairs, ... it was not pretty anymore ... My whole family heaved a collective sigh of relief knowing that for the foreseeable future there will be no more markets.

But on Wednesday, 2 hours before I had to collect the kids from school, I got out my canvases and started working. It took me a while to get organized again. Find my paints, put on my favorite painting music .... But from then on it was bliss. Pure bliss. Oh, how I missed it. The 2 hours were over before I knew it. Managed to paint a bit more yesterday, and now I feel it itching again. But today the summer holidays start here. Not sure how much I'll get done next week, but I'll try my hardest to get as much done as possible.

Lots of in-progress-pictures, so let's get started:

This is the second one of my 3 canvases with a sand background (the first one ended up as "a place away from darkness"). It's just some doodles and swirls. I didn't look for a figure in there, because I wanted to use a sketch I had in my journal.

Starting out making the figure visible (not easy to make a drawing on such a busy background ...)

Yes, 2 birds. I'm in full bird-mode again ☺

I promised myself to not use any pink or purple this time. I might start limiting myself more to certain tints, otherwise all my paintings start looking the same.....

starting on the face

That's as far as I've come. The thingie on the left side is supposed to be some kind of tree, but in the bottom one I see a face. It's so clear that it's going to be impossible for me to ignore I'm afraid. Might make the whole painting a bit weird, but then all my paintings have something weird in them. I like the unexpected, and going with what I feel at that moment. That's what I love about this way of painting ☺

Okay, almost time to get the kids from school again. For the last time this year... How time flies!

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. Have a visit there to see all the amazing artwork that people keep creating. Thank you all so much for visiting, I hope your Friday is coming along great and that you'll enjoy a stressfree, cosy weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Artists that inspire me: Abdalieva Akzhan

First of all I want to thank each and every one of you for commenting on my previous post. I felt frustrated on Sunday and needed to write it down to get it off my chest. And then opening my mailbox the day after and finding all those heartwarming comments, ... it really lifted my spirits. It was exactly what I needed to get myself up and going again. So thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm so happy that you are all out there cheering me on.

Despite saying that I wasn't going to do another inspiring artist post until January, I can't help myself. I love sharing these artists with you. This particular artist was again very hard to contact. No website, no blog, no shop. I found a Facebookpage but it turned out to be from a fan and not from her.

Abdalieva Akzhan is a young artist from Kazachstan. Well, actually, it's hard to know how old she is, but she looks really young.

In the end I did find her website, but it hadn't been updated since 2011, and there's no recent information about her. At least I didn't find it.

I discovered her art not so long ago, and am absolutely totally madly in love with her work.

It's a bit of a mixture between cubism, whimsical and Klimt.

Her ladies all seem to have something to secretly smile about.

I love the many details in the background, the swirls, the colours...

the sheep ....

Isn't it gorgeous?

The more I look at these works the more I see.

I really hope to find more new work from her in the future.

And on Monday I received again some happy mail! I really am getting spoiled lately ;-) A few weeks ago I won a giveaway from Jessica Sporn. A beautiful uplifting original watercolour and pen mixed media work. Here it is:
Isn't it beautiful? All those little details. I have so many gorgeous new things to hang on my walls now ☺

These Moo-cards were also in the envelope:
I might just have to get them myself from Moo. They are sooo cute.

And today I finally finally started working on my canvases again. Aaahh, that felt so good! How I missed it! It's really weird, I love painting but when I haven't done it for a while I'm always reluctant to start again. It's as if I have to learn how to do it all over again. But I forced myself and it didn't take long to completely get into the flow again. Before I knew it two hours had passed and I had to get the kids from school. I hope I'll find time again tomorrow. Here's a sneak peek already ....

A bird of course. What else ... ☺

More of this on Friday for the Paint Party. Thanks so much for visiting! ♥

Sunday, 9 December 2012

I can breathe again ...

Thank you all so much for the good luck wishes and the lovely comments. They made my day. I am so glad to be part of this community of artsy souls who encourage eachother and sympathize with all the struggles one encounters when trying to make a living out of making art.

About the market: what shall I say ... I'm left with a kind of dubious feeling about it all. Maybe my expectations were too high. The last few weeks, whenever I was in our local shopping mall, I couldn't find a parking spot because of the huge crowds of people running around like maniacs with shopping carts piled high with presents and their hands full of shoppingbags. I've never seen it this crazy before. It bothers me a bit because for me Christmas isn't about presents at all. Christmas for me is about family and spending time together. But, well, seeing as they are this crazy about buying presents and spending all that money, I (maybe naively) figured there would be loads of people at the market with pockets full of money eager to buy everything we all so lovingly and caringly made ...

Hmmmm ....

It wasn't like that at all. I'm not gonna say there were no people. I'm not even going to say they didn't buy anything. They did, but it was less than I expected, both the number of people and the number of sales. Talking to some of the other stall holders that had done this same market before (for me it was the first time), they agreed it was a bit slow, there weren't as many people as last year, and there was a lot of ooh-ing and aah-ing but not so much buying.

And that saddens me a little. In the afternoon, when it was especially slow, I walked around the market to look at the stalls of the other people, and it was so clear that they had all put their heart and their soul into everything they created. So much attention to detail, little loving touches, everything beautifully packed and wrapped for Christmas, reasonable prices, thoughtful presentation. And still .... People seem to prefer buying their presents in the big commercial stores. Presents that are not unique at all, that you can find in every shopping mall in every town. One in a dozen so to speak.

It's a bit disheartening. All the hours of work, all the stress, all the hassle. It makes me wonder whether it's worth it. Don't get me wrong, I did sell some boxes, some small paintings, some cards, some magnets, and I'm really grateful to the people who bought them from me. And we had a real community sense between all the stall holders. But still. I'm not sure I'm prepared to do it again. Because, let's face it, the first thing you want to do is sell your stuff. The community sense is great and all, but at the end of the day you don't want to drag everything home again. You want to have an empty stall and pockets full of money.

I think it's the big dilemma for every artist.  I need to make art, not for the money but because it makes me feel good and I have this urge inside me that makes me want to create, need to create. It makes me happy. When I can't create I have an emptiness in my life that can't be filled with anything else. And I would love to be able to do it all day and every day. But I also need to live. And what better way than to be able to live from what you love doing? Alas, experiences like this make me wonder whether it'll ever be possible.

I don't want to sound negative. I earned back the money I paid for the stall, and some more on top of it, which is more than some of the other stall holders could say. So I shouldn't complain. I met some really nice people and got the feeling I was part of a big family, which felt great. But I couldn't help feeling a bit deflated when I went home.

But when I got home, I found a parcel on the table. Addressed to me, from the USA. Gina, who had won my print in my 100 followers give-away, had sent me a surprise packet to thank me for the print. It was so completely unexpected and such a nice gesture that I got tears in my eyes when I opened it and found her little note and the 2 lovely ornaments she made. Thank you Gina, you saved my day! These little ornaments are going to get a very special place in our home!

Because of the limited amount of time I had in the last week, I haven't been able to show you some other happy mail I received this week. A few weeks ago I was looking at Aimee's blog, and I saw a print that looked as if it was made for me. I knew I had to have it. She even had a sale on in her Etsy-shop at that moment, and offered a second smaller print as a present if you bought one. So I didn't have to think about this at all. And on Thursday I got it in my mailbox. Here's the print that immediately spoke to me:

And here's the one that I chose to accompany it (and it was very hard to choose, so many beautiful things in that shop...):

Isn't it gorgeous!? Thanks again Aimee, for making this art!

And I'm not even finished yet! I realize this post is getting way too long, but I really need to mention 3 more people. Last night I finally had time to read my mail again, and one mail was from Viola, who had bought my calendar and received it this week. She wrote that it would make her wall smile all next year. How lovely is that! Thank you Viola, for buying my calendar and loving it. It makes it all so worth it.

And today I got a mail from Chrissy. She's a local artist who also had a stall at the market yesterday and who was in love with one of my small paintings. She went home with it and wrote me to tell me she was so inspired by that painting that she felt a strong urge to paint when she got home. She finished two paintings that same night and wrote a blogpost about it! You can find it here. Go check it out, she makes beautiful things. I'm very happy to have a lovely print and a card from her as well. Thanks Chrissy, I'm so glad my painting inspired you to make these beautiful works.

And last but not least, Sandra was a stall holder at that same market too! I finally had a chance to see her amazing dolls with my own eyes. She bought my doodle-box, and did an art swap: one of my small paintings for one of her small dolls.  I LOVE it!  It's made of recycled materials and so cute.

I especially love the flowers on her dress, and the bonnet on her head (made from a beer crown). Thank you, Sandra, too, for making these sweet little things and brightening up people's lives.

So I can end this post with a positive note. The most important thing is to do what your heart tells you to do. If you feel the need to create, by all means: CREATE! If you can only touch one person with something you made with your heart, it's all worth it. And the bills? Well, I'll figure out a way to pay them while still keep on doing what I love to do. But for now, I'm going to relax in the knowledge that I have enough stock to last for a while,  and take time to play again and just enjoy. And now I'm finally ending this very long post with a saying I found on Carol's blog:

Let's all do this, shall we? Thanks for visiting! ♥ ♥ ♥ you all!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Ready (!?) for the market!

As usual, the week has flown by and I'm afraid it's going to be night work again to get everything finished .... Although I must say I'm much better prepared than other times. I've even tried out my table setting! Tonight I will go to the market hall to set up my table already, so tomorrow I will only have to bring in all my products that I'll hopefully sell ☺

I still have something in progress, a pink heart shaped box that I started a few days ago. It's nearly finished, needs some varnish and the inside needs to be colourwashed as well, but other than that it's ready.

Also finished my middle sized box and glued the canvas on.

 Here they are all three together (they fit inside eachother but I will probably sell them separately).

Painted some wooden magnets ....

And made some more Christmascards

For those of you who will be in the area: here's more information about the market I will be attending. It would be great to see you there. I will be inside the hall (I don't trust the sometimes very stormy weather here in Queensland ☺)

Well, that's it for this week. Gotta rush, kids' school is out in 10 minutes and then I'll need to start packing.

Thanks so much for visiting here. I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. Go have a look there at all the amazing work of the participating artists, and join us if you like!

Hope your Friday will be lovely, and your weekend will be stressfree and relaxing! ♥ ♥ ♥