Friday 27 December 2013

Maybe you're still here ....

5 more days ..... Can't believe the year is almost over.... And what a year it has been. With very low lows but luckily also some highs. But for me 2013 will always be the year my sister died. I still recall the sinking feeling in my stomach when I got that phonecall, the feelings of bewilderment and denial and disbelief. There are days I still can't believe she's gone, that I still think she'll be there when I visit Belgium... But she wasn't there when I went there in October, and it was such a strange and sad experience to see her husband and her 3 beautiful daughters walk in the door. Without her...

Life isn't fair. I guess we all know that. I'm blessed that I still have 3 sisters left. And I feel as if the bond between us had become stronger since it happened. That is something to be grateful for. But her death has made me afraid and uncertain. I almost look with dread to the new year ahead. Thinking: what's in store for us now? Who else is going to go? Very morbid thinking, I know. But some days I can't help myself.

Do you remember this little mini-painting I made during AEDM?

When I was making the backs of these little canvasboards to take them with me to the market, I realised this painting didn't have a title. So I went to  my file where I keep all kinds of sentences and words and phrases that I like and where I look for inspiration for titles. And one phrase jumped out at me: "maybe you're still here". I knew right away I wanted it for this little painting, it just seemed to fit. And then the weirdest thing happened: I turned it over to look at it again, and I suddenly realised that it looks a lot like my sister. The same hair, the same lips. It was as if she was there and she was saying: don't worry, I'm still here, I didn't really leave.

It has been standing near my computer since then. No way I was taking it to the market with me. This painting will stay with me, it'll never go somewhere else. Because maybe, just maybe, she is still here. Somewhere, around us, not being able to contact us but being able to leave little messages like this. And like the rainbow on the morning I flew to Belgium for her funeral.

This'll be my last post for this year. I don't want to end it in sadness. Because there have also been a lot of happy things this year.  It's just that at this time of year memories often become stronger and more overpowering. It'll pass, I know it will.

Meanwhile, I have been adding more layers to my new painting. This is how I ended last time:

It bothered me a lot, I had the feeling I didn't know how to paint anymore, got really frustrated but in the end I kept going. It got a lot more layers after this ....

This is where I am now: (I'll show all the different layers when the painting is finished)

I was looking for figures in there and I saw a rabbit. A rabbit! I never see rabbits. I see birds and faces all the time, but a rabbit! The kids saw it too, and thought I should use it. But I didn't feel like having a rabbit in my painting. So I resisted, turned it over and over and over. But the rabbit kept appearing, and in the end I went with it. And now I really like it, it looks so sweet, almost as if it's asking for a kiss.... ;-)

Not sure yet what to do with the upper left corner. It's far from finished. But I'm glad the painting finally started speaking to me. Working out the images is the fun part.

Well, that's it for now. I'm linking this as every week to Paint Party Friday, the last one of the year! It's a great bunch of artists that link up to it every week, not only do they share beautiful art but they share so much more than that. Last week they had a virtual "tea-party" for Tracey, a well-loved artist who is battling cancer and is crazy about tea. So many artists made an artwork with a tea-theme for her. It must've been such a great feeling for Tracey to see it all.

I want to wish you all the best for the new year ahead, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping this blog alive, for visiting me and leaving encouraging and uplifting comments. It has meant more to me than I can tell you, and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. Here's my New Years' wish for you:

I'm taking a few weeks off blogging to enjoy the summer holidays here in Australia. Thanks so much for being here, for being you, and have a safe journey into the new year ♥ ♥ ♥  See you there!

Monday 23 December 2013

The totebags arrived .. :-)

These are busy days .... and as a result, not much gets done artwise. But my totebags arrived today, so I do have something to show you :-)

They come in three different sizes, and I ordered the 2 smallest.
And glad too, because they're more than big enough.

Since I don't like my picture taken, and my daughter does (a bit too much tbh ....), she suggested she'd pose for the pictures. So here she is, or better: here's the totebag, the smallest one:

And this is the slightly larger one:

And boy am I glad I ordered these! Because the text that's on there wasn't completely visible because of the seams. Luckily they hadn't been ordered by someone yet, so I deleted the picture and created a new one, that leaves enough room on the sides to keep the text visible. Lesson learned ....

The quality is gorgeous. Really thick and sturdy material, and the images are exactly as they should be. Now I'm only waiting for the pillowcovers, hopefully they'll arrive this week.

I did paint a little bit today, not sure yet what to think of it... It's still definitely in the "ugly teenager-phase"...

 Making lots of marks (again ....)

And working around the marks ...

Well, that's it for today! Wishing all my followers the very best Christmas ever!

I'll be back on Friday ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday 20 December 2013

experimenting ....

It has been a bit of a crazy week this week. The holiday-feeling still didn't arrive. We didn't put up the Christmastree yet. I had to get up early every single day of the week. And to top it all off yesterday in a moment of madness I bumped into the car in front of me and got our car badly damaged.

Oh well .... These things happen I guess. But it's very annoying and I'm left with a frustrated "how could you be so stupid"-feeling. And as a result I'm all over the place, working a little bit on this and a little bit on that but too restless to stay with something for very long.

Still, at least I got my Christmascards done ....

I also finished a lyricsgirl:

Lyrics from Heather Nova (again! She's one of my favorite singers ....). Background is done with panpastels.

And this morning something nice also happened: the mugs I ordered from my Society6-shop as a kind of test arrived! Here they are:

I ordered the 2 different sizes, but decided I like the small one better. Mostly because it has the design right through to the bottom. All in al I'm really pleased with them. The images are really crisp and clear. Here's a picture of me showing the sizes of the mugs:

Even the smaller one is more than big enough. Now I'm still waiting for 2 pillowcases and 2 totebags. Exciting ... :-)

I also painted a little bit on my bigger canvas:

Using lots of transparant paint and my favorite fluorescent Golden fluids.

Arriving in the "ugly teenager"-phase. Generally just messing around making marks. Lots of them ...

Working around some of the marks and making new ones.

More of the same ....

And then I went and messed it up completely .... I knew I should've stayed away from it today. Way too enthusiastic with my sprays and covered up too much ....

But there are still some really nice details:

I love using these as backgrounds for my doodlegirls and sketches. Who knows, I might make some pillows out of it :-))

Well, that's it for this week. Linking this as every week to Paint Party Friday. Have a look over at their blog and all the links. It's worth a visit!

And thank YOU for visiting me! I hope your Friday will be lovely, and that the weekend will pass without any accidents or heartbreak. Sometimes that's all we need to hope for ....

And I also want to wish you all very happy merry holidays spent with loved and dear ones. ENJOY! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Taking it easy

Well, seems the summer holidays have started just in time, since the last few days I was so tired I could sleep all day. Now, finally, I'm starting to feel a bit more energetic. Cleaned out my art table, which looked as if a bomb had exploded there, as well as the area surrounding my computer. It's unbelievable how fast the mess accumulates when you don't have time to deal with it.

Besides cleaning up the messes I made and catching up with my paperwork I have mostly been doodling and sketching. This is a doodle I just finished and uploaded in my Society6-shop.

I decided to change the shape a bit so it could easily be printed on a cup. I really like these mugs. I've always had a bit of a thing about mugs, I don't have more than 2 that are exactly the same. I love collecting them, especially the big ones that can take a lot of coffee ;-)

So excited about all these mugs that I can create myself :-))

And I've finally been painting again! Well, not really much, since it had to dry and I could only start after I got back from work. But at least I managed to do something. I missed painting on big canvases.

This is what I had:

I always have a canvas on my easel on which I can clean up my palette.This canvas has layers and layers of leftover paint from all my projects in the past 2 months. I hardly ever use a brush to put the paint on there, usually I use an old creditcard or my fingers.

Today I decided to bring in some contrast with black and white.

That's as far as I got today. Not much, but it feels good to be painting again.

Here's a box that I finished and didn't show yet:


Well, that's it for now. Thanks so much for your visits and comments, I'll be back on Friday for the Paint Party! ♥

Saturday 14 December 2013

Relax .....

Yesterday the school summer holidays started. Now that my market is finished, I have the feeling that the holidays have started for me as well. Even though I’d planned to be all zen about the market it was quite a stressful week, trying to get everything ready in time.

About the market: it was a beter experience than last year. But I’m still not sure whether I like doing markets or not. It seems to be quite a lot of work for not that much outcome. But I’m glad I tried it again and it was nice to actually meet the people who like my art.

Here are some more things I finished this week:

I’d planned on making a small mosaic mirror but didn’t get around to finishing it. But these were 2 leftover pieces of wood that I decided to paint and put a quote on. They both sold within the hour. And they were such fun to make. Ideal to do when there’s not much time. I’m sure more of these will follow … ;-)

This is the only box I sold last night:

People always seem to need more time when deciding about the boxes. So I’ll bring the leftover ones to the galery this weekend.

The mini-paintings were quite popular, and since I love doing them more of these will certainly come. These are some of the ones that sold yesterday:

(don't know why the image is so small here. If you click on it it'll be bigger....)

I started making them on canvasboard instead of box canvas, because I also want to sell them online, and the shipping costs of the box canvases are horrendous. Until now I didn’t use canvasboard because I had no idea how to hang these. But then when I visited Marianne’s blog a few months ago she showed how she did the back of her canvasboards, and a lightbulb went off in my head. Of course, Marianne is a cardmaker (and also a very gifted painter btw) so the backs of her canvasboards are little artworks in themselves. Mine aren’t nearly as pretty, but they do the trick and it gives me the chance to put a little information on the back. I even had a woman in my stall last night who didn’t buy the box canvas because she liked the thinner ones much better….

So thanks heaps Marianne :-)

My rocks were also quite popular, these are some that have found a new owner:

Sold some magnets too, some cards, and a notepad (the first time I have these for sale), so all in all it was a good night.

And now I’m going to relax and enjoy some familytime. It has been a very busy few weeks, also with school and gymnastics for my daughter, but now the holidays started and I’m so ready for that!

I’m linking this to Paint Party Friday, even though it’s Saturday already :-)
Thanks for visiting! Wishing you a lovely weekend as always! ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday 9 December 2013

painted boxes

Still busy preparing for the Christmasmarket on Friday. Painted all my boxes on the inside, put varnish on my magnets and mini-paintings, and finished some more boxes that were still in progress.

Here are two that I finished today:

Also scored some lighting today, since it's the first time I'm participating in a night market. I really wonder how it's going to be. Last year's Christmas market left me with mixed feelings, as I described here in this post. It made me almost give up on the whole market thing. And indeed I didn't do one for a whole year. But I can't help it, at a certain point I start to feel like it again and usually just at that time an opportunity comes along....

For those of you who are in Brisbane: the market will be on on Friday the 13th of December at King George Square in the heart of Brisbane from 4-9pm. Hope to see you there! I'll be up on the deck!

Well, better get in bed now, almost midnight again .... Thanks for visiting, I'll be back in a few days ♥

Friday 6 December 2013

a bit of everything ...

Friday again! I won't say again how times flies (but isn't it so though ....).

I've been working on and off on my creative projects this week, but spent a lot of time at the computer as well. Getting my adminstration in order, figuring out how to upload the correct images to my Society6-shop, and how to make notepads .... So I have been creative, only it's not really as visible as during Art Every Day Month.

I made another mini-painting, an intuitive painting this time. This is the background I started out with:

I saw the face right away, and of course the hair. Do you see it? I love it when the images are that clear!

I've also been finishing some magnets (one is a bit smaller because I didn't like the dotted border around it, but I couldn't paint over it because it would still be visible). So I decided to cut it off and make a smaller one instead ...

and another rock:

I'm really excited about my new Society6-shop. It took me a while to figure out the resolutions and uploading and everything, but I got it now, and I took advantage of the free shipping last weekend to order some of my own products to see for myself. And guess what? Yesterday I received a message from them that the free shipping is extended and there's now also a 5$ discount on almost all items in my shop (there are 3 exceptions). And this thru to Sunday 8 Dec midnight PST. So I'll be adding more stuff on there and taking advantage of this offer as well. If you would like to use this offer, you'll have to visit my store through this link. Otherwise you won't get it. Here are some more examples:

 iphone and ipod-skins


And to end this post in a beautiful way: look at this sunset!

Isn't it gorgeous!?  This was last night. I noticed that our driveway was pink, and when I looked up at the sky it was like this. Only an hour before it had been raining.....

That's it for now. Linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Thanks so much for visiting, I wish you a wonderful Friday and a restful weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Still creating ...

although not every day ..... I really had to catch up with all my paperwork. I'd left everything that wasn't extremely urgent in a pile that grew bigger by the day. I've also been trying things out in my Society6-shop. Really enjoying the different possibilities there. I've taken advantage of the free shipping they had to order some products and see for myself what the quality is. Can't wait to receive them! These are some of the products in my shop:

 iphone- and ipod-skins
 throw pillows
 mugs, 2 different sizes

But I've also been sitting with my daughter on her bed every evening to draw and sketch while she's reading. Here's a finished sketch:

I love making weird hairdo's ;-)

That's it for today. I'll be back on Friday for the Paint Party! Thanks for visiting ♥