Friday, 30 May 2014

Is the week over already??

I don't know what it is, but since March the end of the months seems to come right after the start. The middle seems to pass me by in a haze of busyness, and when the haze lifts another month has started already ... I must admit I don't like it. At all .... And I have no clue how to change it :-(

This week I worked mostly on my mosaic. I finished the new mirror I started:

And felt like starting another one! But first I needed some more mosaic pieces. So I got out all of my materials Wednesday night, and started working the clay. Oh boy .... that didn't feel good on my hands ... The clay was really hard and crumbled in my hands. And all the kneading didn't do much good. I kept going at it (I'm stubborn that way ☺), and succeeded in getting it more or less like it needed to be. But my poor hands ....I even had a blister in my palm! The things we do for art ..... I know some people would call me crazy ...

Anyway, the mosaic pieces I managed to make weren't nearly enough, so I started searching the web for solutions on handling hard and crumbling polymer clay. Thank goodness for the internet! And for the people willing to share their experiences and solutions...

I was so inspired by all that I read that I stayed up until 1.00 am ... Decided to "marinate" my cut-up clay in some oil overnight, and expected them to be soft and pliable in the morning. Were they?

Still felt very hard and couldn't get them to mix together. So I took another (more extreme) advice I read about, and went to work on them with a hammer .... And managed to beat them all into submission :-D
It felt very liberating smashing those stubborn pieces of clay (great stress reliever) and I finally had soft and manageable clay, phew ...

These are the pieces I finished before the kids got home from school:

Still need more, but I think I'll give my poor hands some days off ;-)

As a result of my mosaic making, I didn't get to paint very much. But I've almost finished the first layer of white. I love this kind of painting, it's very relaxing, almost like a meditation. This is where I am now:

And then yesterday I got a big surprise in the mail! Netty, who had won one of my paintings in the giveaway a few weeks back, decided to send me a surprise package with art goodies.

Oh, so exciting to open up ... :-)

And look what was inside! I love every single thing in it!

A beautiful pendant. I'm in love with the little glass beads at the bottom. It's nice and glossy, and the girl is so cute.

Love this tag too. And I had to write her to ask how she got the girl on here so glossy. Love the result! And again those lovely beads ....

 And this is actually a little notebook! I'll only write very special notes in there ;-)

And it was all wrapped in a beautiful napkin that I can use in collage:

Thanks so much Netty. You didn't have to do this. But I'm happy you did :-)

And following my last post about all the time I'm wasting on Pinterest lately, Conni from Atelier Tante Trulla sent me this pin:

 Hihi ... so true ;-)

Well, that's it for now. I'm linking this post as always to Paint Party Friday.

Hope you're having a fantastic day! Thanks for visiting, and enjoy the coming weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

getting distracted

It's very late already and I should be in bed by now, but I got distracted. Again.....  By Pinterest ...

I now understand how you can lose hours and hours on there without even realizing it. And it's not as if I go there deliberately. No. It's very clever how they set it up. I get emails from Pinterest telling me that maybe board so and so would interest me, with some pictures. And usually, there's some board that interests me. So I think: I'll have a quick look....

Problem is: it's never quick. Because from looking at one board I see another board that's even more interesting, and then I have to check out the interesting pins as well ... And before I know it my evening is gone and I need to go to sleep.

Need to change that. And sooner rather than later ...

Managed to work on my mosaic today. It should be finished by Friday.

And I also tried out something new in my journal (being very inspired by the flowers from Alisa Burke ☺):

And now I'm going to shut down the computer and GOTOSLEEP !
Thanks for visiting! See you on Friday ♥

Friday, 23 May 2014

finally mosaicing again (and a little bit of painting ...)

I finished a small mosaic that has been on my worksdesk since months. Don't know why, it was almost finished but I just didn't feel like working on it. Now I forced myself to finish it, and guess what? I started another one already because I'd forgotten how much fun it is :-)

This is the one that's finished:

It's small, only 12x19,5cm (4,7"x7,7"). I'm experimenting a bit with new sizes and formats.

This is the new one I started:

Lots of little details in the beginning, but I so love to see how it looks all together. I want to get it finished by next week Friday, so I can take it with me to the gallery.

In between, I've also been working on my second canvas from Tracy's workshop. I'm experimenting with negative painting, and leaving the positive space as much as possible as it was. I will have to bring details out a bit more but I'm going to try to change as little as possible. I'm really enjoying this, the nice thing is I only need white paint at the moment, so I can do it in between all other kinds of things, like cooking. Doesn't take much room and makes no mess. That's quite handy every now and then :-)

This is where I am right now:

That's it for this week. Don't forget there's still a sale going on in my Society6-shop. Free shipping worldwide, the cards are on sale at the moment and from tonight there will be 5$ off all tees, tanks and V-necks. This sale will be on until Monday at midnight PDT.

Here are some products from my shop:


 rugs! Believe it or not ... ;-)

 throw pillows, with or without insert

 different models of tops

 wall clocks

... and so much more. Have a look, the quality is superb!

Thanks so much for visiting! I'll link this to Paint Party Friday, go over there to have a look at the diversity of artprojects people created this week!

Hope you'll have a wonderful weekend ahead of you! Enjoy your day ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Quick little post

Long time ago that I did a sketch. It was fun, really should do it more often. When I scanned her and saw her on the computer I had the feeling something's off, though I'm not sure what ....

I think it's something with her eyes, though it could be something else entirely. Guess I'll have to look at her a bit longer in order to find it ;-)

And despite a promise to myself to finally start a new mosaic today (people in the gallery keep asking me about it), I just couldn't stay away from the second canvas I started in Tracy's workshop. I so want to work on it. I'm trying out something new, and having lots of fun in the process :-)

Finally, believe it or not, but Society6 is having a promotion of free shipping again! I love Society6, they so regularly have promotions, and I always use those to also buy things for myself or for a friend. Here are some products from my shop that I haven't shown yet:
 wall clock
phone cover

Well, that's it for now! Hope you're having a wonderful day! Thanks for visiting ♥

Friday, 16 May 2014

Build a brighter world

I finished another painting! It helps to be able to paint 2 days in a row to get a lot of work done :-)

Although I must admit this one didn't go smoothly ... Something was bothering me and I didn't know what it was. Although, when I think about it know, I did know what it was, I just didn't want to know ...

I'll explain when I show you my in-progress pics ...

This is how it all started:

 Charcoal and collage on canvas. And now I know for sure: I don't like to use "normal" collage. Normal collage for me is collage from normal paper, as opposed to prints on delipaper. I don't like the chunkiness of it, I don't like it that you can keep seeing the edges, I don't like the smoothness as opposed to the texture of the canvas... I love how delipaper almost disappears into the canvas. So that'll stay my collage-material of choice.

Next step was to put a lot of ink and fluid acrylics on top

 Then we were going to look for things in our canvas. And what did I see right away? Yes, the big head in the lower right corner ... I had to go with it, even though it was in a bit of an awkward place....

Then I saw the standing figure, and the other face next to her. Again in a place I didn't really want it.

 But she kept begging me to bring her out, so I did ....
The way she was holding her hand reminded me a bit of the painting I finished a few weeks ago: this broken world". Again something I didn't want .... sigh ...

 But I struggled on, not really knowing where I was going with this but letting the painting guide me

This is where I was when the workshop finished .... And that same night after the workshop I woke up really early in the morning and knew that I wanted her to scatter flowers around. 
Problem solved, I thought ....

Throwing some paint on it trying to get some more different colours on there ...

Starting to bring out the flowers. Which was really tedious work I must say ...

But it was mostly tedious because something was still bothering me about this painting. And I knew what it was. It was the big face in the right corner, and the position of the second smaller face .... But I didn't want to take him away, because he was the first one I saw, and I kinda liked his weird face. And I didn't want to take the other face away because I really liked her hair....

What to do ....

Couldn't figure it out, so I decided to ask my family-members. Which went something like this ...

me: "is there something bothering you about this painting?
hubbie: "Yes! The big face in the right corner. Doesn't fit in with the rest"
son: "but I LIKE the big face. It's different"
me: "so the other face doesn't bother you?"
hubbie: "no, that one is okay"
son: "the big one is nice too, I like it"
me: "if I take it away, isn't it going to create an imbalance with the face on the left? With the 2 that remain being so close together?"
hubbie: "hmm, now you mention it ..."
son: "so leave it then, it's a nice face"
me: "maybe I should make it a bit smaller ..."
daughter (coming in the room just then): "take both of them away. They don't fit."

Hmmm ....

So I remembered one of the valuable lessons from Flora Bowley: if you're stuck: be brave and bold.

So I was .... (sorry son ...)


 aah, my beloved birds ... They fit in much better I reckon ...

Working out the shapes, still not completely sure ...

getting there and finally feeling happy with it :-)

working out the eyes and generally fixing some small things that are bothering me, and then it's finished!

"build a brighter world" - mixed media on canvas - 60x60cm - 23,6"x23,6"

I called it "Build a brighter world", because for me it's about bringing light into the darkness, bringing hope where there seems none left, bringing happiness in every which way you can, however small it is. I might 've been a bit inspired by this because of some things I came across this week. First of all the big Facebookcampaign Jessica Sporn has set up with regards to the 300 kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria "Artists for #bring back our girls". Have a look at their Facebookpage, the auction is now running here. All the money raised will go to Girl Rising, you can find information about that here.

I really admire Jessica for doing what she can to help raise awareness. It's thanks to people like her that the Nigerian government finally took some action to try and save these girls.

And another thing I came across this week was this artist who builds mini-houses for homeless people out of illegally dumped trash. Take a look here to see what he does. I think it's brilliant.

There are so many small things we can do to make this world a better place. It doesn't need to be big and all-consuming. And that's something I wanted to convey through this painting ...

Okay, this post is getting a bit long again, sorry about that :-)

This is the other painting I started during the workshop:

Want to try something different with this one ...

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. There are some artists from PPF who are selling art in the auction, so one more reason to have a look over there. Thanks so much for visiting, I wish you a wonderful Friday and a bright and happy weekend ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Sacred Marks with Tracy Verdugo

Two full days of painting ..... what can I say ...? Loved every minute of it, and could've gone on for a few days more.

Although, I admit, at the end of day 2 my back was killing me .... I'm used to working on an easel, and standing bent over a table 2 days in a row is not really that gentle on your back....

But I'm not complaining. We had a wonderful group of artists, all eager to get going, and Tracy herself was wonderful and sweet, and taught us so much. And it was such a surprise to meet 2 bloggers that I've been following for a while, and didn't know were coming: Jenny from A Simpler Life and Cathy from Studio 28. It was lovely to meet them in person, and to go on this art journey together :-)

Plus we were in a beautiful location: Buderim at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland ....
What more can one want ... :-)

We started 2 canvases, and although most of the participants had one canvas finished, mine are far from finished....

The first day we got a lot of prompts from Tracy, and demonstrations on how she does things. Very interesting ....

What I liked most was how diverse the artworks were. Since I'm not sure that the people whose artworks I took pictures of like to have them posted, I won't put them on this blog, but trust me, there was a lot of talent in this group. What I can post are the paintings of Tracy ....

of Jenny ...

of Cathy ...

and mine of course (the one I'm working on right now)

Couldn't help it, I saw faces ... again. And you know what? Something has been bothering me for days about this painting, and I think I finally figured out what it is .... So expect some big and bold changes to come in the next few days ... ;-)

If you ever get a chance to do a live painting workshop: go for it! It's the best way to learn, and there's such an energy in the air with all these people creating that you just can't achieve alone in your studio. I've discovered the live-workshops this year, starting with the one with Orly Avineri in January, and I will be doing another one in June....

Might become a bit addicted ... ;-)

And today I got a nice surprise in the mail: one of the paintings I made in Flora Bowley's online workshop was featured in her newsletter! Very happy about that. This is the painting:

 "Where are you now?" - acrylics on canvas - 60x80 cm - 23,6" x 31,5"

Thanks for being here! I'll be back on Friday with hopefully some progress on my Sacred Marks painting ♥