Friday 28 March 2014

Working on my painting and more gelliplate fun

Oh, this has been a bit of a frustrating week. Very busy with work, and at the same time my head was overflowing with ideas that I wanted to try out but didn't have time for. But when it itches, you scratch, so I made time for it and as a result I have been diving in my bed after midnight every single day while having to get up early. And now I'm starting to feel it ....

The only day I've been able to paint for a few hours was Wednesday. Remember the picture of last week where I asked you whether you could see the images in there?

I admit it's not easy to see them, I only saw them when I was standing really close to my canvas. I've circled the 2 figures, the 2 birds and the face that I saw (click to see it better):

But when I started to bring out the face, I saw a third figure and decided to get rid of the face. I'm still in doubt about the birds. Asked my housemates, and my daughter reckons I should keep the bird on the left, my son thinks I should keep both birds, and my hubbie thinks I should get rid of all the birds ....

Hmm, not much help this way ;-)

Here's what I have so far:

And a bit of detail:

I have also been experimenting with my gelliplate. Just had to try out some things. These were made last night with selfmade stencils, and the more I look at them, the more I think of things I can do with these. Ooh, if only I could lock myself in a studio one day and not surface again until I've truly painted my heart out ....

These were made on canvasboards, but I noticed they are a bit harder to use on the gelliplate. They don't pick up all the paint because they're too stiff to make really good contact with the plate. Which gives some interesting results too, but is not always what you want. I'll be back with more of these ...

Remember the painting I finished last week? This one?

It's sold! The very next day! Never had a sale that quick :-) Thanks so much Jessica! I have been giving it some coats of varnish, and now I'm leaving it to dry completely before I'm sending it off to the United States. The first time I'm sending a painting by post. I'm a bit nervous about it, have been trying out all kinds of packaging materials, and I'm still not sure what to use. I just hope it'll arrive safely ...

And last but not least: 2 days ago I started the 100 happy days challenge. For 100 days in a row, you post a picture of something that made you happy that day. Here's more information if you would like to join. The purpose is to make you more mindful of the moment that you're in, to notice the things that make you happy. Sounds like fun to me. I'm posting my pics on my Facebookpage every day, so feel free to follow my daily journey here :-)

And I'll also make a new board on Pinterest with all the pictures. Looking forward to putting them all in a book at the end of the challenge...

Okay, that's it for now. Linking this as always to Paint Party Friday, the wonderful community of artists that come together every week and share what they've been doing artwise.

Thanks for being here and thanks for commenting. It makes me happy .... (see, I found another thing that makes me happy ☺. When you start thinking about it you can find a lot of things actually).

I'm wishing you a wonderful Friday, and a restful and peaceful weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday 25 March 2014

gelliplate fun, printing plates and a little bit of painting and sketching

I am doing so many different things at the same time, without having enough time to finish anything, so you can imagine how my worktable looks. Actually, my worktable is spreading out over the entire kitchentable ... ;-)

Just a quick overview of what I've been up to the last few days:

First of all, I finally played (a little bit) with my gelliplate again. I didn't really have time, but I squeezed in 10 minutes just before bed last night to try out some printing plates I had made. And now I'm all excited to try out some more ...

These are the printing plates I made: one with tacky glue and the other ones with craft foam:

And these are the prints I pulled from them:

Okay, it's not much, I admit, but I'm excited about the possibilities. The ones with the craft foam gave really good prints, the one with the tacky glue was very interesting but the glue wasn't as 3D as I had hoped. I tried to make a printing plate with my (tiny and very cheap) gluegun, that I had never used before, but I find it very hard to make a figure with that glue. There were blobs everywhere and when I stopped there were still long threads coming off it that I didn't really want on there. But it was much more elevated than the tacky glue, so maybe I should try again.

I also managed to paint a little bit and started to bring out the figures that I saw in my new painting.

I found another figure in there and decided not to bring out the face that I saw last week. Still in doubt about the 2 birds. Tomorrow is the only day I will be able to paint this week, so I hope I'll get a lot done, and hopefully can show you some more on Friday.

And I finished preparing another canvas for a doodle-like painting like last week, and made a drawing on there last night when I was sitting with my daughter on her bed:

And, oh yes, I started painting some new boxes for a market in 3 weeks:

That's about it. Lots of in-progress works, and itching to get back to it, but too many meetings and too much work this week, boohoo.

I'll be back on Friday with hopefully something more to show ... Thanks so much for being here, and leaving your lovely comments ♥

Friday 21 March 2014

Finished my painting (I think ...)

I am not completely sure yet, but I think my new painting is finished.

It's a bit like one of my doodles, but in colour. I just love drawing something and then putting lines through it everywhere and getting all these little spaces to fill up :-)

And this time I could fill them up with colour, which adds a new dimension to it.  I used mostly transparant colours and inks, and my Inktense pencils.

Because I wanted to make a more detailed drawing, I didn't want the canvas structure to come through, so I collaged the complete background, then gesso-ed it and then sanded it. Got me a pretty smooth surface to work on. Although there's a lot of texture too from the collage. But I wanted that.

This is how it started out. I didn't take many in-progress pics, since it was basically just colouring in.

Love the brightness of the transparent paints and inks. But since they're more fluid, it's hard to paint without seeing the brushstrokes. So after painting I smoothed it out with a soft cloth.

And this is the finished painting:

It's 30cm x 30cm (11,8"x11,8") on a box canvas. I never used to work on a box canvas, but I had some in my cupboard and because I didn't have any other ones left I used this and I must say I like the stability of it. Might use it more in future.....

I called it "I don't know how to let you go", for no other reason than that I was listening to a CD from Sarah MacLachlan when I was painting, and this was a sentence from one of the songs. It stayed with me and when I had to think of a title it just popped in my head and stayed there. And I think it fits the painting well. I even wrote this sentence down on the painting, but not really visible. You can only see it when you go real close.

In the meantime, I've been studying my other canvas and drawing out some figures I saw on there. I found 2 figures, 2 birds and 1 face. Can you see them?

I admit, they're not so easy to find ... ;-)

I'll show you next week what I did with it ...

I found something interesting in one of the Facebookgroups I'm a member of so I want to share it with you. If you do art journaling, you can try to get you pages published! Here's the link.
It's for a new book: "Artjournal Kickstarter", and the deadline to submit pages is the 16th of April.

I'll be submitting some of my pages too, although I must admit my artjournaling is a bit on the backburner at the moment, since I've been painting so much, and there's only so many hours in one day ...

I'm linking this again to Paint Party Friday, which has just entered it's fourth year running. I haven't participated since the beginning, since I didn't even have a blog then, but I'm sure happy to have found it 2 years ago. It's a great group of artists that come together every week and share their art. And new artists are always welcome. Have a look at their blog!

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for visiting! I hope your day is beautiful, and your weekend will be happy ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Paintings in progress and finally another doodle!

When I was looking through my sketchbook I found an unfinished doodle. So I decided to finish it, since I haven't done one in quite a while and felt like it again. Besides, I bought loads of new black markers, so I had to try them out, right?

And I'm working on 2 paintings at the moment; This is a smaller one, that I'm not sure how to continue ...

And this is the one that I showed you already. This is the 5th layer I think (or maybe the 6th, could even be the 7th ... ☺):

Starting to see some figures in there, but not very clear yet. I'll have to look at it some more, or add some more layers ... ;-)

Today I brought 12 paintings to the Sails Restaurant at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe. It is such a beautiful location right at the beach, and I'm so happy my paintings are allowed to hang there for 1,5 month. And guess what? I forgot to take my camera ..... And I don't know what it is with my phone, but I can't take good pictures with it. So I can't even show you how it looks. But I guess we'll be going there for a snack or a meal in the coming weeks, and I might be able to take some pictures then.

Okay, time to get to bed, have to work tomorrow and need a clear head ...

Thanks so much for visiting, and for leaving those beautiful comments on my previous posts. I cherish each and every one of them ♥ ♥ ♥

I'll be back on Friday!

Friday 14 March 2014

New painting: Still you pass me by

Yesterday was a really productive day. I finished my painting, put a new layer on the other one, and started 2 brandnew ones. Aahh, wish all days were like that :-)

And guess what? I was in such a flow that I even forgot to make more in-progress pics of the one I fnished. I was looking for them on my camera but I must've forgotten because they were nowhere to be found. I have a lot of pictures up to the point where I was a few days ago, but not after that.
Oh well ...

I wasn't happy with how it looked a few days ago. In fact, I was completely stuck. I didn't like her hair, I didn't like the collaged eye, I didn't know what to do with the background ....
So I just started glueing things down, painting a bit, using my square sponges again etc ...., until finally I had more or less what I wanted.

 This is how it all started:

Another canvas that was used to clean up my leftover paints. Decided I wanted some collage on there ...

Almost all of the collage I used was from my own artwork. I used torn up pieces of old postcards that I didn't like the quality of, and I printed out some of my doodles on greaseproof paper. I LOVE to use that for collage. It just kind of disappears, you don't see the edges, it looks almost like it's been transferred on there but without the hassle ;-)
Don't just stick it in your printer though, tape it to a normal piece of paper and put it through the printer like that. Otherwise I'm afraid your printer will  protest in a very nasty way ...

Used the canvas again to wipe leftover paint on when I was working on another canvas ... And of course I had to drip a little bit of paint ...

I saw a shoulder underneath that one eye so decided to go with that. But then what?

No idea how to proceed, so I started collaging some more and also using some stamps

That's when I saw the lady with the long neck in the back, and decided to bring her out (the face was from a stamp I made a few years ago)

I even added flowers, because it looked to me like she was sniffing something ;-)

It was way too busy, so I toned it down a bit ... Added some splashes of blue and my squares ...

Tried a weird hairdo which was harder than I expected and I didn't like it....

This is where I got to a few days ago, and the last in-progress picture that I have ....

Staring at it for a few days helps..... Yesterday I grabbed it and decided to finish it, no matter what. And I did! I glued on another eye, because it kept bothering me, got rid of that ugly hair, painted some bubbles and started scribbling things on there like on a normal journalpage. And a small part of a poem that I had glued on in the final stages suddenly leaped out to me as the perfect title. Love little finds like that :-)

 "Still you pass me by" - mixed media on canvas - 40x40cm (15,7"x15,7")

You may have noticed that I changed my blogs' sidebar a bit. It was getting too messy, so I decided to make my own buttons to make it look a bit more uniform. Not sure yet whether I'll leave it like this. But I like the idea that it's easier to find everything. It so often happens that I'm on a blog that I really like and want to follow, and I have the hardest time finding how to. I prefer to follow blogs with Bloglovin', because there you can choose to get an email every day with new posts from your favorite blogs. You can also choose to get one every week. I have the hardest time with Wordpress blogs. It seems like there's no way to follow them, except sometimes by email, and I prefer not to, since I get so many emails already. So, all I can say is: if you want people to follow your blog, please make it easy for them ...

Well, that's it for now. Linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Hope you'll go and take a look there, it's worth it ....

Thanks  so much for visiting and commenting! I hope you're feeling wonderful today, and have a great weekend ahead of you! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Keeping busy

I've been keeping busy with getting more images ready for Society6 and experimenting with Photoshop. And as a result I haven't gotten much other art done. And didn't feel like it either ....

But yesterday I forced myself to start a new painting. Not really new new, it's a canvas that I did some background on already, but it had been standing here since a long time and I thought it time to do something with it.

Here's where I am now after adding some contrast colours:

It's another intuitive painting, but with this one I'm trying to work in a bit more "controlled" way. The last paintings I made I went overboard quite a few times with dripping paint and scribbling lines, and as a result I had to make new layers all the time in order to get to a point where I could "see" something in it. This is the first time I'm happy after doing my blacks and whites. Looking forward to working on it some more....

And here's another one I'm working on:

I figured I'd try some of my journaltechniques on canvas. There's lots of collage in this piece. Not done yet, but hopefully by Friday ....

That's it for now. I can't seem to get back to 3 times blogging a week ... Time just escapes me.

Thanks so much for visiting! I'll be back on Friday ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday 7 March 2014

Celebrating International Women's Day with a new painting

I have really been in a painting-frenzy lately. It helps that I have an exhibition coming up to get my ass into gear. It's always like that, I keep procrastinating until I have just very little time left, and then I start and can't stop anymore. There are paintings everywhere in the house in different stages of completion. My son (after clearing away paint and paintings from the table in order to be able to eat his fruit) mentioned I really need a studio. Well, he's right about that ;-)

The painting I finished this week is all about women. Pure coincidence, because I'd completely forgotten about International Women's Day being tomorrow. It's a canvas that has been patiently waiting on my easel until I knew what to do with it. I loved the background and was hesitant to put something on top of it. But I couldn't leave it like it was either.

And then one night, I was reading the news on the internet and read an article about a law in a certain country that would make it virtually impossible to prosecute and punish men that abused their mothers/wife/sisters/daughters ... because of a ban on relatives testifying. 

And it made me so angry. And sad. And helpless. Thinking about all the women in a much too big part of the world who are treated as second-class citizens, who are beaten and raped and forced to marry a man who is forty years older and can do with them as he wishes. Societies where it's normal to treat women as dirt, where they have no rights whatsoever, where no one stands up for them, where little boys learn from a young age that women are inferior to them. Societies where women get stoned to death for being raped by men that cannot control themselves, where little girls are killed because they dare to dance ....

It sickens me. And it should sicken every single one of us. Don't those men realize they wouldn't even exist without a woman. They thank their very lives to a woman. Women should be respected if only for that.

So the next day when I walked into the kitchen and saw my canvas standing there, I got the idea to make it a celebration of women. Women rising up from whatever hell they're living in, and reaching for the light and for a better life. Women that won't be beaten down, that won't be silenced, that will keep speaking up until they receive the respect they deserve.

Because I wanted the background to shine through I used acrylics with lots of glazing liquid. I have rediscovered my glazing liquid. Years ago I did an online painting workshop with Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen where I learned how to use glazing liquid (it was an excellent workshop by the way, called "Chaos & Calm"). But the last years I kinda forgot about it. Until I recently used it for the 29 faces challenge and fell in love all over again :-)

I like how you can still see all the drips from the background through the figures. For me it's also like a symbol of all the tears and blood that's been shed by women all over the world.

I called it "You will never get me down". It's a big canvas, 30x100 cm (11,8"x 39,4"), which makes it a bit hard to photograph. Also to paint actually, quite a few times I almost swept everything off the kitchentable by moving it around ☺

Thanks so much for all the comments on my previous PPF-post! Most of you thought I shouldn't put any quote on there, so I just darkened the edges a bit and will leave it like this for now. It's one of the paintings that will go to the exhibition, and I'll just see how it looks when it hangs there. I can still add something later. I called it "I'll find my way home".

That's it for now. I'm still having lots of fun making new images for my Society6-shop. Really, I can't stop, it's addictive. And there's more good news: the promo on FREE worldwide shipping has gotten an upgrade and now there's also a 5$ discount on every item in my store. Did I say already that I love Society6? The promo is on until March 9th midnight, and only if you follow this link.
Here's another new image that I added last night:

Thanks also for those of you that started following me on Pinterest! I've added some more boards, and I'm starting to understand how it all works (phew, felt a bit dumb there...). And I'm starting to discover new boards all the time ..... ooohhh, I really need more hours in a day ....

And my last thank you is for you who's visiting me here. Thanks for being here, for commenting, for giving me your opinion. I hope your day is being awesome, and the weekend will even be better. Sharing this again with my weekly favorite: Paint Party Friday! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Having fun

Now that the 29 faces challenge is done, I have some more time to play with Photoshop. Ooh, the time you can lose on there ... I am discovering so many possibilities, but then I make about 10 versions of 1 image, and then I can´t choose anymore which one I like best....

I have been adding new art to my Society6-shop. Because this week it's again free shipping on most products (not on framed art prints, stretched canvases and throw pillows with insert). I just loooove Society6 :-)

Here are some new products that are available:
stationary cards

art prints and stretched canvases





And so much more .....

If you would like to take advantage of the free shipping order, you need to go to my shop through this link.

And guess what!? I finally opened a Pinterest-account! `Well, actually, I opened it months ago already, but then found it too complicated to figure it all out and just left it until I would have more time .... According to all posts and links and reports on the net Pinterest is really easy to use ...

Well, not for me it isn't. Some sites just don't resonate with me, and Pinterest is one of them. Don't get me wrong, I love browsing through Pinterest, but I find it quite hard to figure out things that should be fairly simple. But anyway, I did it, and I even made 2 boards already! If you want to have a look, and maybe even follow me (☺) here's the link.

It's getting really late, and Society6 takes a long time to upload (the files need to have a really high resolution), so I'll just continue tomorrow. I'll post more images on Friday, or you can just hop into my shop regularly, because I put new products in there all the time. The free shipping ends on March 9th midnight.

Thanks so much for having a look, I'll be back on Friday!