Friday, 29 March 2013

Etsy-promotion link is up!

I worked on my new painting yesterday. I had another one prepared that's the same size as the one I finished last week (40x40 cm - 15,7x15,7 inches). I really like that size, and I love painting on square canvases.

This is what I started out with yesterday:

I watched it on my monitor, because sometimes you see more things on there. Turned it every way around, but kept coming back to this. The first thing I saw was the big bird flying up in the sky. That way I could also keep the small bird and the fish saying hello. Next thing I saw was a profile in the bottom left (looked like an old Indian), and another bird in the bottom right. I had wanted to make a painting with only birds and fish, but I just couldn't ignore the profile. There was another face in the top right corner, but too close to the big bird, so I decided to make a smaller profile there.

Starting to bring the figures out

Adding a tree (my new favorite thing ☺), and I found another fish swimming around the men's head ....

Too dark, time for some dribbling

Thought the male profile was too domineering, so tried to make it a bit smaller and add another tree.

And this is where I am now. Time to look at it for the next week and see where I want to go and what I want to change ...

I don't know if you noticed, but I have a new page on here where you can link up for the Etsy-promotion. I tried to explain it as clearly as possible, but if you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me through the comment form or via e-mail.

I will be taking a break from blogging next week, because of the Easter-holidays and the fact that we might be going away for a few days (if the weather permits ...). But I will still read my e-mail.

I will also close my Etsyshop for 2 weeks, since I don't know when I'll be here, and I don't want people to have to wait for an order.

But just go ahead and sign up if you want, don't forget to read the "promotion-rules" !

I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Hop on over there to see everybody's work!

To finish, here's another oneliner that I don't think I've put up here already:

That's it for now! Hope you're having a wonderful Friday and will enjoy a long and joyous Easter-weekend!
Thanks for visiting, I really appreciate it ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Artists that inspire me: Amanda Mendiant

Todays' artist is a French-Swedish illustrator, born in France and living in Sweden since the age of 16.

I first came across her work by watching a video. It was fascinating to see how she works.

 Her work is sort of a blend of graphic design, illustration and painting on canvas.

Working really really big, she mixes acrylic paints with charcoal, pencils and other media.

She is running her own company, 'House of Mendi", as a painter and a freelance illustrator.

She paints almost only women, because she thinks they are the most inspiring in their differences and variations. And they are the nicest to draw. Ooh, I can so relate to that!

Here is the first video I saw of her. Go watch it, it's fascinating.

House Of Mendi- NIKI D. Time Lapse from Amanda Mendiant/HOUSE OF MENDI on Vimeo.

You can visit her website or her Facebook if you want to see and know more of her.

Hope you enjoy her work as much as I do!

Just want to show you one more thing. I went to a sewing class yesterday, to learn how to put a zipper in an ipad-case. I am always struggling with zippers, so I really wanted to learn this. Look what I made:

Isn't that cute? I must say I'm really happy with it! Gonna practice a lot, and already bought some plain fabric to paint and then use to make all kinds of zipperbags from. I might even paint my fabric with my gelli-plate, since it FINALLY arrived today! I ordered one at the end of January, and then it got lost in the mail. Really really annoying.  Kept waiting for it to arrive but it never did. Luckily, the company was so nice as to pay me my money back, even though they didn't have to, so I ordered a new one and paid extra for registered post. And yes, only 3 days after ordering it, it was delivered at my door .... 

About Google reader: it seems most of you are just as confused about it as I am. I'm gonna try to find an answer, and if I do, I'll share it on this blog.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks so much for visiting, and I'll see you on Friday for the Paint Party! ♥ ♥

Monday, 25 March 2013

Burst of colour

Thanks so much to all of you who visited me in the last few days and left your wonderful and heartwarming comments. I really appreciate it!

I guess by now you all know that I LOVE colour. And the other day, when I was driving home, there was a car in front of me that had a bumpersticker in black, with coloured dots around it. It immediately drew my attention, because the black made the colours really pop, and when I got home I decided to make a journalpage with brightly coloured dots on black.

Really fun to make, I love "dotting" and it always amazes me the fun results you can get with it. I worked on it in between other things, because the dots needed to dry, and when I was satisfied I wrote a quote in the center. Here it is:

Whenever I see the page in my journal, it lifts my spirit, because the colours are so bright and happy. So funny where one can sometimes find inspiration, isn't it .....

I also finished another miniature-painting (10x10cm - 4x4 inches):

And Jessie Lilac is having a double giveaway on her blog. If you want to win hop on over to her blog and follow the instructions. Here's one of her works that you can win: an original watercolour painting called "peace":

Wouldn't it be great to win this? Such a wonderful peaceful atmosphere .....

And now I have a question that maybe one of you can answer: Google Reader is supposed to end at the first of July. Does that mean that all of you who subscribed to my RSS-feed will be thrown out? Is Google-reader the same as RSS-feed? And is that the same as the people who show up in my feed? It's not the same as the followers, is it? Because the blogs that I follow also show up in my reader. But the blogs that I follow through RSS too ..... Aaarghh, this technology is freaking me out sometimes. I hate it that they keep changing things, usually just when I've mastered something .... If someone knows what exactly is going to change, what the consequences are and what I can do to not lose all of my followers, please share .... ! I'll be forever thankful :-)

Well, it's bedtime again for me! I'll be back on Wednesday with another inspiring artist post. Thanks so much for being here, hope to see you then! ♥

Friday, 22 March 2013

How fragile is the heart

Yes! I finished my painting. For a long time it looked like it wasn't going to happen. I struggled immensely with some small details that I normally have no trouble with at all. And when school was out, it wasn't ready. But I picked the kids up and then just continued until I was satisfied. Man, that feels good! On to the next one now ;-)

I'll show you all the in-progress shots from the very beginning.

This is how it all started: a canvas that I used for my left-over paint (I left some foambrushes in water, and was amazed my how much colour was still in there. It gave a nice watercolour-kind-of-effect):

More leftover paint from the next paintings session:

Yummy colours! I really liked it at this point ....
Then I started the dripping process:

And then I went overboard big time with my whites and blacks ....

UGH! Where are all my lovely colours ...?
Get some colour on there fast! Where would I be without my drips and my spray-inks ....

starting to make some random marks

Painting around the marks and looking for figures to jump out at me

Saw several figures on there, not sure which ones to go with yet

Yes, definitely want to go with the figure in the front center. And of course the bird leaning over her ....

I decided to put a tree in there, and I must say I really like it. Expect lots more trees in my next paintings ... ;-)

Working out the top figure, still not sure about the head next to the tree (can you see the eyes?)
Bit too dark for my liking, so out comes the spray ink. Oops, pretty yellow everywhere ...

Decided that I didn't want another figure on there, so I painted a bird instead.

This is where I got to last week:

Starting to work on the details

And no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the bottom figure to look at me ....

Went over the eyes several times, but she refused to look at me. So in the end I just left her there, and worked on the rest of the painting. But it kept bothering me. I thought she looked like some kind of drugged-out addict, and I didn't like it ....

I didn't mind that the other one didn't look at me. But the bottom one HAD to!
So I just kept working on it, got the kids out of school, and started again ....
And in the end, YES!, she finally made contact! Phew! 

This is the finished painting:

I'm glad I kept working on it. I can't finish a painting when something keeps bothering me. And it was definitely her eyes that were bothering me.

I called this painting "How fragile is the heart", because both figures look a bit melancholic and sad, despite being surrounded by beautiful colours and birds. That's just the way life is, sometimes you're high up in the sky and feel as if you can tackle the whole world, and just as easily you come crashing down to the ground and have trouble getting up again. Here's a quote from Neil Gaiman that fits this painting perfectly I think: "There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts".  

I did a discovery with this painting. When I was making the random marks, I used those little plastic bottles with a very small hole on top. I mixed some acrylics with water and filled them up, and then squeezed the paint out of it to make the marks.

And now they make a really nice texture on the canvas, despite the paint being mixed with water, it was still thick enough to be a bit 3D. It gives a lovely effect. Look:

I just used it to get some marks on there, and now I have added texture without even trying! I love it when unexpected things like that happen! 

Okay, this post is getting a bit long. Just a quick heads-up on my big Etsy-promotion-idea. Since I forgot that April is also Easter-school-holidays, and we might be going away for a few days, which means I would have to close my shop, I decided to postpone it to the month of May. Somewhere next week, I'll put up a separate page on this blog, with a list where you can link your Etsy-shop. The list will be open for signing up for the whole month of April. And then in May, everyone on the list will be promoting 4 or 5 shops on her/his blog/Facebook/Twitter, and will in turn be promoted on 4 or 5 blogs. 

So this is your chance if you have been neglecting your Etsy-shop. Plenty of time to dust it off again and try to get some new visitors there. And of course everyone else (with a shiny sparkling non-neglected shop) who would like to get some promotion is welcome to participate. I'll try to write a decent explanation next week ;-)

I'm linking this, as always, to Paint Party Friday. Hop on over there to look at all the other artists!

Thanks so much for visiting me! Hope you're having a wonderful Friday, and that your weekend will be filled with lots of fun, warmth, love and creativity! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Artists that inspire me: Holly Sierra

Holly Sierra lives in Vermont, and calls herself an earthy artist, who loves to create goddess and nature paintings.

I, of course, am mostly drawn to her goddess paintings.

I love the bold colours, the delicate hands, the graceful postures ....

Holly paints in acrylics on canvas or watercolor paper. She loves detail and patterning, which is obvious in her art.

She likes the singer Loreena McKennitt, and I must say that her art fits the music of Loreena very well! It has the same dreamlike, soft and peaceful atmosphere.

Her work has been published by several publishers over the years, and she is currently working on her new children's book illustrations.

If you want to see more of her work, you can visit her website, her Facebook and her Etsyshop. Lots more to see there! Hope you enjoyed this artist's work as much as I do! 

Meanwhile, I have had my first sale in my Etsyshop!! Woohoo! You might be confused, because I had one sale already, but that was just my hubby who bought a card of me because I wanted to know how it worked exactly and what kind of emails the buyer and the seller (aka me☺) would get. So that was not a "real" sale, but more like fieldwork ;-)

But now I've had my first real sale and it was so exciting! Hope many more will follow!
Which brings me to my big Etsy-promotion-plan. I've decided to put up my Linkylist somewhere next week, and the whole month of April people can sign up to be a part of it. And in the month of May everbody who signed up will be promoting 4 different shops, and will be promoted on 4 different blogs (maybe 5, since May has almost 5 weeks ....). Details will follow so keep an eye out for them.

This way people who have an inactive shop at the moment will also be able to participate. I'm looking forward to this, it should be fun!

I'll finish with another doodle. I hope during the Easter holidays I will find the peace and quiet again to make some more of these. Now I only work on them when I'm doing my shift at the art gallery, which is only one day a month.

That's it for now! Thanks so much for visiting. I'll be back on Friday with (hopefully) a finished painting. I'll definitely start earlier than last week ☺

hugs ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, 18 March 2013

Lyricsgirl, oneliner and a surprise from England ....

Well, thanks so much for all your comments on my previous posts. It looks like there are quite a few people interested in promoting each other's Etsyshops! Way to go!

There's a small change of plans though. I'd wanted to do the promo-month in April, but I'd forgotten it's Easter-holidays then, and we might go away for a couple of days. Which means I would have to close my Etsyshop for that time, which means it's not much use doing any promotion .... And I might not be the only one in this position ...

But no worries. We either postpone it until the month of May, or we do it from the middle of April till the middle of May. Whichever you prefer. Just let me know in the comments. It gives me a bit more time to figure out how to put separate pages on my blog and how to make a Mr Linky. Also, some of you have indicated that you might be interested but your Etsyshop is not active right now. So it gives everybody a chance to get their shops looking the best possible, ready for all the new visitors :-)

I'll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, I've been doing some painting, but nothing finished yet. So I also made a new lyricsgirl.

 Lyrics from Neil Young, background in panpastels.

And also a new oneliner ....

I love that quote! So true!

And today I also got a really nice surprise from England. Ziggy Shortcrust, a very talented artist, whom I virtually "met" during one of the 29 faces challenges, has set herself the challenge of reviving the lost art of the handwritten letter. She is doing this by writing a letter a day, but not just words, the letters will be illustrated with one of her famous Ziggy Elves. She sends these all over the world, to everyone who signs up on her blog to receive a letter!

So naturally, I signed up! And look what I found in the mail today!

Isn't it gorgeous to receive a letter like that!?

And there was another beautiful drawing inside the envelope. And a REAL letter ....

There are some exquisite details in there, that you can't even see in the pictures. She must use an extremely fine pointed marker.

I am so happy with those wonderful drawings that came halfway across the world. I think it's a wonderful idea. When I was a teenager I had penpals all over the world, and whenever a letter with a foreign stamp arrived I got all excited. It is a shame that real letters are seldom written anymore.

So thank you Ziggy, for doing this and making me remember my long-ago favorite pastime!
If you want your own elf, hurry over to her blog, I'm not sure how many more days she has "free". You can sign up for her challenge here.

Well, that's it for now. I'll be back on Wednesday with a new inspiring artist post.
Thanks so much for stopping by! ♥