Friday, 31 January 2014

Getting ready for my favorite challenge ...

Oh my, this week has been so busy I didn't even find the time to blog .... Coming back from holidays and a few days later the start of the new school year didn't leave much extra time. I'm still having trouble getting into the rhythm of getting up early every day, having to watch the clock again, getting to sleep early (didn't work at all this week!) and generally running around trying to get everything organised for a family of 4. Thank God it's Friday, I NEED the weekend badly ...

Despite not having much time, I managed to paint a bit. I finished another journalpage that I started in Orly's workshop:

This was a collaborative pieve where all the participants in the workshop added a little bit following Orly's prompts. When it came back to me it looked like this:

I didn't really know what to do with it. I'm not used to using a lot of black in my art,and it was a challenge to try to make something out of it. But then I saw a figure running away and went with that. I like how the black makes the colours pop.

The next one is an experiment I did during my holidays. I wanted to try out some ideas, but I didn't like it at all.  In the end I decided to use some black to make some areas more defined, and it made it a bit better. Still don't like it though ....

And do you remember this painting?

I really have been struggling with this one. I kept seeing a face in the upper left corner and despite trying out all kinds of things it didn't go away. So I decided to just use it. But then I still didn't like it.
And then I remembered Flora Bowley's wise advice: "When you're stuck: be brave. Do something drastic. Something that scares you a little bit but do it anyway. After all, it's just another layer".....

So I got rid of the bird and decided to put trees and branches there. This is where I'm now:

And guess what? There's still something bothering me. I think it's the small face. Or her hand. I don't know. I'm not gonna try to get rid of her face altogether, since she'll just come back, but I might get rid of the hand, or make her face more vague.... I'm getting a bit sick of this painting, but I have to finish it since I'll be having an exhibition in March and still need to finish some paintings for that .... What do you think? Should I get rid of the small face in the left corner? Or the hand? I really would like to hear your opinion, it might give me some ideas.

Oh yes, made another doodle especially for Valentine.

Well no, not really. I was just drawing this couple and when I was writing down the words it occured to me that it would be a nice Valentine-present for someone. So I put it in my Society6-shop and made mugs and pillows and totebags out of it. Here's the pillow:

And last but not least: do you know what's starting tomorrow? My favorite challenge..... The 29 faces challenge!

I've thought about skipping it since time seems to be running away from me as it is, but I skippd it in September and didn't like it. So I'm gonna do it anyway, I'll make time, even if it's only 5 minutes. You can find out all about this popular challenge here.

Okay, enough rambling for now. I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. It was so nice to see you all again last week, thanks for visiting me! Hope you'll have a beautiful Friday and manage to catch up on some rest and relaxation and play during the weekend! See you tomorrow for the first day of the 29 faces challenge! ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 24 January 2014

Artjournaling from the heart

Phew, I'm back. January is almost finished, 2014 sure started off in a flash :-)

After 3 weeks on the road, I'm happy to have decent internet again.

And guess where I was last weekend ....?

Ooh, just looking at the picture makes me long to be there again..... I was in beautiful Jervis Bay, where the lovely Tracy Verdugo had organised a weekend artjournaling workshop with Orly Avineri.

I've been admiring Orly's raw emotional journaling since I discovered her book through one of the blogs I was following. It was something I longed to do myself, but had no clue how to. I've been keeping journals for years, but that's more to try out new ideas, to sketch or to make drawings for new paintings. Whenever I tried collage or something I ended up trying to make it "pretty", and got really frustrated in the process.

I was hoping to learn how to let go of that perfectionism, how to make my artjournal an outlet for what's inside me, how to use collage in a way that complements this.

I got all that and so much more out of this workshop. This wasn't really a workshop, it was an experience. And Orly has such a beautiful way of explaining everything.

Two days long we splattered paint and tea around, glued little pieces of paper that were lovingly "pre-treated" by Orly in a very unique way, made self-portraits in lots of different ways, got a lot of great tips about the use of certain materials and generally had loads of fun.

This is the first spread that I finished. Up until now I did't really like using the 2 pages, but now it really makes sense and for this journal I wouldn't want it any differently.

This is a detail of the second spread. When it was nearing the end the words of a song from Stash (a Belgian band) kept popping up in my head, so I wrote them down, although I kept most of the lyrics unreadable ....

I discovered this little figure in the pieces of collage I had there. It symbolised for me the light and the hope, even in times of great sadness.

And now I'm hooked. In the evenings I couldn't stop adding more bits and pieces and penwork. The last days were pretty frustrating because "normal life" got in the way of my yearning to paint and to play. And it'll stay like that for a few more days I'm afraid, with the new schoolyear starting next week, and a pile of administration to work through.

I'm so happy I had the chance to do this workshop. Thank you Orly for everything you taught us in such a gentle way, and thanks Tracy for bringing Orly to Australia and giving us the chance to experience this!

I'm linking this for the first time this year to Paint Party Friday. Looking forward to seeing what my favorite artists have been up to in the last weeks :-)

Wishing you all a wonderful relaxing weekend full of joy! Thanks for visiting ♥ ♥ ♥