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 ♥ ♥ ♥


  1. Your art is always so magical to me. It blows me away to watch the process of what you start with, what grows out of it, what stays what goes...amazing to me! Always stunning finished works. Hppf!

  2. Wonderful art. I agree sometimes we hang on to bits that don't fit, your final result is awesome and I like the sentiments behind it.

  3. Stunning. I am taking floras course which started on Monday and it is great. Fabulous work.

  4. How wise and honest your daughter is! Your art definitely makes the world a brighter place. Amazing details, colour and theme, Denthe. I am still waiting for images to reveal themselves in my paintings, and have decided to keep them abstract for now. One day perhaps.... It continues to be a wonderful experience to visit your site and to see your art and the steps you journey through! Enjoy your weekend!

  5. I love the end result, absolutely gorgeous, you did well to follow your instinct and be brave!

  6. Wow this is incredible. Your jntuitive journey always blows me away and what a brave and correct decision to get rid of both faces- the birds look amazing and the finished piece is simply magical.

  7. A magical painting - loved watching the progress! Valerie

  8. I like to read about your processes, they teach and inspire me a lot.

    I like to use kitchen paper on the surface, it works like a sponge, it eats paint and the colors find their own way, I can relax and sit, only look and follow them.

  9. wow your work is incredible and so brave, thank you for sharing the wonderful results Denthe. The wonderful painting I received from you is now in a large black shiny frame and those wonderful colours come shining through, so love it. Happy PPF, Annette x

  10. I really enjoyed coming along with you on the journey of this painting. :) I love the first stage where you've just put on all the runny colours but like you say, we really have to be brave and true to what we feel happy with on the canvas. It's heartbreaking to cover over something that looks good but it's so worth the relief when it all comes out better in the end isn't it?!
    Jess xx

  11. Wow! What a transformation. As I was reading through, I was yelling "NO NO don't take those faces out". But when I saw the final piece I know you made the right and BRAVE decision. I LOVE IT!

  12. I love seeing your paintings progress and hearing your thoughts as you are painting. And as always, the finished piece is wonderful!

  13. I love seeing the birth and rebirth of your painting! Your method is so inspiring - and the constant struggle of the artist steeps in your writing! How many times are we faced with something we like......but we know it isn't quite right? Way to be brave and bold! Your painting is beautiful and whimsical! Happy PPF!

  14. I am in awe of your technique, I love the idea of discovering what is already there in the painting. I think you were right to go with the birds.

  15. you know, i was actually getting anxious when you started talking about removing the big head on the bottom right side. i sort of liked it. but then, seeing the end result, it's perfect!! glad you were brave enough to take that step!

  16. I always admire how you work. Such creativity. I like the faces myself. Love your completed piece too.

  17. Wonderful finish! How brave of you (and your daughter - I don't know that my kids would say anything.. lol), to just paint over something you are loving, a sacrifice for the greater good. <3

  18. wow Denise-your art is just filled with magical happenings!! And thank you so much for sharing this whole process-I LOVE how it turned out ! Jessica has put together a wonderful art auction to bring awareness and funding in regards to this tragedy with the girls and I'm sure it will bring a significant sum of money towards such a worthy cause.

  19. YOU are AMAZING!!!!! Your art is so inspiring. Your thought process and the laying it all out to share with the world. Your colors are always what draw me to your art. The gently pull me in and allow me to experience your art world. Love this piece!!!!!

  20. I wouldn't have picked the face on the right. I would have focused on that face, actually, and made it my focal point. However, seeing how it turned out..all I can say is WOW!! I think your husband was right. I love how the flowers make it pop, and the bird is really cool. I really love how it turned out!! :)

  21. One of your "best" paintings! i adore this one very much. I also show my son my drawings - the last one i showed him, he said "what's with the pig nose" on my beautiful girl's face ! but i changed her nose a bit and i must say it looks better now . . . thanks son for your cheeky feedback

  22. I always enjoy seeing the step by step process of your paintings. In the final stage of this one, I love how the painting looks so vibrant with the colorful flowers that you have painted. I love your paintings for they look so mysterious and magical to me.
    Wishing you a creative weekend

  23. I love how you changed it!!! At first I was agreeing with your son and saying Noooo, don't change it but when I saw it with the bird it was beautiful. And definitely much better. Amazing job! I love the way you create your art. It's so great that you add progress shots.

  24. This is so totally amazing, to make a complicated, lovely painting with the faces, then be brave enough to take the faces away and make an even more beautiful painting.
    I agree with you about collage, the rough edges always bother me, so now I will go in search of deli paper.
    What a fascinating post, thanks for all the many process photos, I almost felt as if I was there painting with you. I loved the dialogue between you and your family, very amusing.
    Your finished painting is wonderful, I cannot find words to describe how much I like it, I so enjoyed the way you "pulled" the design out of the paint, and the finished work with the birds and flowers and the combination of colours is outstanding.

  25. I really enjoyed watching the process of your beautiful painting! I would love to take flora's class someday too! Happy weekend.

  26. I really do love the birds, but i probably wouldn't have dared get rid of the lovely faces, being bold is hard! I am glad you did though as the birds needed to be there too!

  27. Great post and the art is truly moving ! I love the whole process you shared :) I need to learn to be more bold with my art too. Now I'm off to check out the links you shared. Have a great weekend!!!

  28. Loved watching the transformations, twists and turns. WoNderFul!! :)

  29. Denise, this is my favourite from yours. It is dreamy and magical!I love visiting your blog. Merci!

  30. Truly amazing!! Just magical! I love the colors, I love everything!!

  31. Good for you for being BOLD! It is always hard when you know what the problem is but don't want to face it. Great decision, and gorgeous result, my friend!

  32. Ha Dente,prachtig het verhaal hoe jou schilderij tot stand kwam
    leuk dat je familie er bij betrokken is en was.
    en lef om het zo te veranderen.....MOOI !
    groetjes Christiene.

  33. It is a treat, Denthe, watching the progression pics of your art. I love the explosion of colors and the graceful figures in your paintings! Like you, I liked the two heads too, but the birds are great too! :-)

  34. I enjoy seeing your process and reading about the changes that take place in one of your pieces. This week was an especially interesting explanation. What an amazingly beautiful result. I agree, the birds do seem like they flew to the right home.

  35. Well done! You bravely let it go and that tall standing bird in the bottom right is just perfect. To me she seems to be standing among the planets and stars and seeding new worlds with flowers. Which totally fits the title.

    It's also really terrific to remind ourselves that we can do good things with our art, things that make the world a better place. Both small things and big things can make a difference. :)

  36. Loved your painting before Denise... and I LOVE it even more now... absolutely stunning.... must admit that I didn't like the normal collage on my canvas either... much prefer the delipaper as well...can't wait to see which direction you go in with your second canvas.... fabulous post...

    Jenny ♥

  37. Your paintings are so beautiful! The colors are fantastic! Love them :)

  38. such a beautiful piece
    i love the spheres and how it all came together!!

  39. Amazing painting!
    Love the step-outs - and this turned out fantastic.
    The colors are so bright...


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