Friday, 26 December 2014

Overview of a creative year

Last week on Morag's blog "Paper Rainbow", she gave a round-up of her year's creative highlights, and I thought that was a really good idea. I always feel as if I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do, but looking back on my year I realize I've accomplished quite a lot. Maybe not all I had in mind, but then I always make my goals too big, and I shouldn't forget that I also made an intercontinental move this year, which takes up a LOT of time (still does!).

So here's my overview of this year :-)

January: Since it was summer holiday in Australia we went on a trip, and I didn't do much art. But I did manage to squeeze in a 2 day-workshop with Orly Avineri about art journaling. This is one of the spreads from that workshop:

February: my favorite challenge: 29 faces! Making a face every day of the month, and  one extra, since February this year only had 28 days. Love that challenge! Here's my overview of all the faces I did that month:

March: Did all kinds of things in March, but I also finished a painting: "I don't know how to let you go". One week after I put it on my blog it was sold already! My quickest sale ever :-)

April: in April I did a giveaway on my blog to celebrate 200 followers. This was one of the 2 paintings I gave away:

May: in May I did a weekend workshop with Tracy Verdugo. Two whole days of painting, bliss! This is one of the paintings that I started during the workshop: "Build a brighter world".

June: Another one of my favorite challenges started this month: Summer of Color. Six weeks of creating something using the prescribed colours. A real challenge sometimes to use colours I don't really like, but sometimes it leads to interesting discoveries. This is an overview of the 6 paintings I made.

July: in July I finally tried out something I'd been wanting to do since a while: making a poetrybook with my art. I used poetry from the public domain, in combination with images of my art. Loved making it, and will definitely make more in the future.

August: I managed another thing I had been wanting to try out since a long time: making a pattern! After a lot of trial and error, I came up with this:

September: August and September I was the featured artist in the Seaside Artist's Gallery in Redcliffe. At the same time it was my goodbye to this wonderful gallery, where I was able to exhibit for almost 3 years.

October: the month of our overseas move, but I still managed to do a few drawings for the Inktober challenge. Loved it so much that I'll definitely do it again next year!

November: so little time to do art, but I managed to do some sketching, and also had a giveaway on my blog for a spot in Soulfood, where I'll be one of the teachers next Spring!

December: the end of the year, and I've discovered artjournaling all over again :-) Of course it helps having a friend who loves this too, so most of the time we sit together and paint. A practice I really want to continue in the next year.

Thanks so much Morag, for giving me this idea for an overview of the year. I did much more than I thought I did, and it gives me a boost knowing what I could achieve in a year that was marked by a big house move that needed a lot of time and preparation. I know now that even when you have limited time on your hands, it's always possible to do something creative. You just need to remember to do it.

This'll be my last blogpost for this year, so I want to wish you all a wonderful new creative year, a year to overcome challenges and embark on some new adventures, a year where you remember to take the time to just play! Thanks so much for sharing this journey with me, for being here and for taking the time to comment, for encouraging me and giving me wings to keep on going. Big hugs to all of you ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 19 December 2014

I know there's an entire world out there

Another journalpage :-) How I enjoy working in my journal, never knowing what will come out of it, just starting from scratch.

Yesterday I spent the whole day journaling with my friend, and even my daughter joined us. We will try to keep doing this each week. It is such a nice break from all the hassles of everyday life.

It took me a while to find figures, so I kept adding layers until I could see 2 very clearly. I'm not completely sure this page is finished, might add more to it but for now I consider it done.

My friend suggested adding the one in the back, and I'm very happy I did that. Two always see more than one, right :-) That's an added pleasure of not working on your own.

Here's the entire spread:

And this time I remembered to take pictures while I was working! So here are some in-progress-shots :-)

 started with some paint, some drips, some collage and a stamp I made from a foam tray

Too dark in some places, so adding more white and a bit more collage

bringing out the two faces I saw first

Seeing the chin of another figure, and working that one out...

Decided to change the face in the upper left corner. She was freaking me out with that staring eye ;-)

That's it for now! Linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Not sure whether there'll be many participants this week, with all the festivities coming up. I might take a break for the next two weeks too, trying to get my Christmascards sent (no, still didn't do that ....), get my commission ready, finish my year planner and of course enjoying time with family and friends :-)

Thanks so much for visiting. Hope you'll enjoy your day, and that the weekend will be fun without stress! Here's a little funny to keep you smiling:


And a little Christmas-wish ....

Take care of yourself and enjoy the holidays! ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 12 December 2014

and I keep going ....

Yes, another artjournalpage :-)  Can't get enough of it. Didn't have much time left for art this week though, so I had to work on it in between other things.

But I managed to finish it. I was hesitant at first using so much black, but on the other hand I think it makes the colours really pop, so I just went with it. Raw journaling, remember ....? Doing what I feel like at that moment, without too much thought of how it will look later on.

This time I saw all the figures right away. First the girl that's hanging in the air, her image was so clear that I couldn't ignore it. Then the big face on the left, and then the other faces. I love it when I see figures everywhere.

Here's the whole spread:

This week is a week full of promotions in my Society6-shop. Every day there are different promotions, and on top of that, until the 14th of December it's also free worldwide shipping and 5$ off every item in my shop! I made some new shirts this week. Takes a bit of time to get them all in my shop though. Here's one:

Also, every week another instructor from Soul Food is introduced here. Keep your eye on there, because every week there's a chance to win a free spot in Soul Food 2015!

Well, that's it for now. I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday.  Thanks so much for visiting, and for leaving your lovely comments. I really appreciate it :-)

Here's my funny for this week:

oh yes, and don't I know it ... :-)

Hope you're having a good day, and a lovely weekend waiting for you! See you next time!   ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 5 December 2014

another journalpage

My friend and I managed another day this week to journal together! Really getting into it now :-)

In this journal I try to do some "raw" artjournaling. Not trying to make "pretty" pages, but just let the paint guide me, experiment, paint what I see and feel without trying to make it look good. Which is not easy for me.

I always look for figures in my backgrounds. It doesn't have to be much, sometimes it's just an eye or a part of a shoulder that I can see, but once I see something I take it from there.

With this face I saw the right eye and the mouth right away.

And oh, how I struggled to keep it like this. It bothered me that the mouth was so far on the side, but at the same time I couldn't bring myself to "fix" it. If that's the place the mouth showed up it should just stay there. Fixing it would mean trying to make it "pretty" again, and that's exactly what I don't want in this journal. So I left it, although I still need time to get used to it....

Here's the whole spread:

No sketch this week, which doesn't mean I didn't sketch. I am preparing 2 small canvases for a commission, and since I don't know if the people I'm making it for read my blog, I better not show it here in order not to spoil the surprise....

I can't believe it's December already! Time flies, we almost need to go looking for a Christmastree ....  It feels strange to have a "real" Christmas again, in Australia we never got used to celebrating Christmas while it was blazing hot outside and putting a Christmastree in an airconditioned room somehow doesn't feel the same ;-) But here it's cold, (which I hate btw), but it sure makes Christmas feel more "real".

Just in case you don't have a calendar for the new year yet: there's still time to get my new calendar in time before 2015 starts! I'm working hard on finishing my yearplanner too, although I'm not sure I'll manage to finish it in time. But I'll try. This is the painting for December.

If you click on the link to my Lulushop, and then on preview, you can see all the months.

Thanks for coming to visit me! I hope you're having a great day so far, and that the weekend will be without hassles and stress. Linking this to Paint Party Friday, the weekly blog party. And finishing with another funny picture, from Pinterest of course ;-)

Haha, love it! Take care and see you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 28 November 2014

yes! Paint on my fingers :-)

Yesterday I spent the day with a good friend of mine, and we did some artjournaling together. Aaahh, the feeling of paint on my fingers again, the sound of the paintbrush rinsing in the water, the stickiness of the gel medium, the dripping and splashing and scraping paint around on my pages..... heaven ....

Even with the limited supplies that I had I had the greatest time. It forced me to be creative and find new ways of getting the results that I wanted. I'm not sure it is finished, I might change things or add to it, but I'll share it anyway :-)

I can't wait to get all of my materials here and start a canvas again. But for now I'm hooked on my artjournal. It's a long time ago that I worked in my artjournal, and I had forgotten how much fun it is to just play and not think about what will come out of it.

First it was hard seeing figures, but then I left it for a while and came back to it later, and one by one the figures started to emerge. This is the whole spread:

The weather is very dark and gloomy here, and it was not easy to make a good picture. Can't get the colours right, but it's the best I can do at the moment.

I also made a sketch this week:

She looks a bit sad, but at the start of the week I was having a hard time getting used to the cold and dark weather again and I guess it showed through in my drawing ...

But yesterday I got such a lovely gift in the mail. A few weeks ago, around the time I was doing my giveaway for a free spot in Soul Food, I also participated in a giveaway at Magpie's Nest. And lucky me: I won!! There were a few prices to win, and I got the one that I really wanted:

"Quotes Illustrated", a wonderful book full of art from different people and with different mediums, each combined with a quote. The perfect gift for me, since I'm crazy about the combination of images and words. So thank you so much, dear Patty, I will always treasure it!

There are a lot of promotions in my Society6-shop this week. Today it's free worldwide shipping and you get discounts if you buy for a certain amount. Go have a look!

 And last but not least: my funny for this week :-)

Enjoy your day! Thanks so much for visiting, and I wish you a wonderful relaxing weekend! Linking this to Paint Party Friday ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 21 November 2014

a little tutorial and some sketches

I'm still catching up with paperwork and e-mails, so I still didn't get as much art done as I would've liked. But .... I bought some canvases, I bought a new artjournal, and I bought some basic paints. And, oh yes, some gesso and medium too. And grabbed a bunch of magazines from my mother's table last weekend ;-)  So I'm ready to get going next week, or maybe even this weekend already :-)

I managed to finish 2 sketches this week though:

This last one is a sketch I had already started in my sketchbook, and I decided to finish it for a dear friend of mine, who lost her son 5 years ago this week. Art does not take away the pain, but it can soothe and heal. Art has helped me so much when my sister died last year, and it still does. I remember finding a beautiful picture of an artwork online when I returned to Australia after the funeral, it really resonated with me and with the pain I was feeling. I just hope my drawing helped my friend a little bit in the same way ...

To make up for the lack of paintings, I decided to show you an easy way to make some cheap stamps. I started making these a few years ago already, and made some more in the last weeks in Australia. Took some pictures, but didn't have the time to write a blogpost about it. Here are some results:

These are not for fine details, but they are perfect to use in a background.

So how to make them? You can use all kinds of foam for this, but the results can differ depending on how thick and firm the foam is. Just experiment a bit with it. I have used those knee pads they sell for working in the garden, also foam that was in toys for kids, and here I mostly used kids' floor mats, like these:

In these the back has a pattern in it, but you can also find foam that is smooth on both sides, and then you can burn a pattern in both sides.

I used a woodburner to do this. When I wanted to start, I didn't want to spend too much money, so I called 5 different stores for the prices and got 5 (very) different prices. I went and bought the cheapest, which was about 12 euro's, and had 6 different tips that I could use:

And I've been so happy with it! The only thing you need to take care of is that you either work outside or in a very ventilated room, and that you wear a mask, since the smell is really not that nice and I'm guessing not very healthy either. But once you get past this and protect yourself enough, it is so much fun! It goes really fast, before you know it you have a whole bunch of them and can start using them. Here's another example:

Take care that you don't hold the point too long in one place, because it burns really quick. Start with the finest tip, and when you get a feel for it you can experiment with the bigger ones. And it gets really hot too, so don't touch the tip before it's completely cooled off.

Hope you'll have fun trying this out! I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Take a look over there at all the participating artists. It's worth it!

Here's my funny for this week :-)

And no, it's not my cat ;-)

Oh yes, almost forgot: remember I asked you last time whether you prefer using word verification or registered users to be able to comment? From your answers it was very clear that word verification is not very popular, and that most people prefer to comment as registered users. So I'll leave it like it was. Thanks so much for commenting!

Hope you're enjoying your day, and that your weekend will be beautiful! See you next week! ♥ ♥ ♥