Friday, 25 July 2014

making decisions ....

I've finally finished another page in my art journal. It seems I always work in stages, I have my journalphase, my sketchphase, my doodlephase, my boxphase, my rockphase, my mosaicphase, etc ... and sometimes all of these together when there's a market or a show coming up ;-)

The only phase pretty much constantly there is my canvaspainting-phase. And I have come to the difficult conclusion that that phase will have to be put on hold 'till the end of the year...


Why? you ask. Well, because there is too much going on at the moment. After living in Australia for 3 years, we have decided to move back to Belgium in October. It was a very tough decision, because we love Australia and we love the people here. And the climate. And the beautiful nature. But all that beauty and all that kindness cannot replace the people you grew up with, your family and friends. Our family is very important to us, and we've come to the conclusion that we don't want to be so far away from them anymore. We want the kids to grow up in a big extended family, instead of just the four of us. And we long to speak our own language again, to not have to search for words or completely miss the point of a joke. We had a fantastic time in Australia, but it'll never be really "home" for us.

So, moving from one part of the world to another is pretty time-consuming, with everything that needs to be sorted out and packed and tossed away, not to mention the administration, oh my, .... I have a todo-list that is now 9 pages long ....

The last months have been really stressful and frustrating, with me trying to do everything: keep on making art, trying to build my artbusiness, working part-time, and preparing our move back to Belgium. So in order to keep sane I've decided to cut back on my painting. My big paintings that is. I need at least a few hours to work on these, and I get so frustrated when I can't find that time. I will still be making art of course, that is something that I need to do, also in order to keep sane, but it'll be the small things, like sketching, doodling and working in my artjournal. Things I can do in between, that I can easily leave and go back to.

So today I started a new mosaic figurine. Whenever I pass the table I can put a few pieces down. Easy-peasy. And nothing too stressful :-) Plus it fills my need for colour.

At the end of October we will move back to Belgium, and it'll be another 2 months before our container arrives. Which means I will only be able to get back to my beloved canvases in the new year ....

(although I secretly hope in the next weeks to suddenly have lots of free time in which I can paint ....)

I will be making more pieces digitally, like products for my Society6-shop, new postcards, a new calendar and maybe even a diary. This week I decided to try out a little poetrybook. I finished it already, but have to wait for the printout. I've made 5 and will (try to) sell them in the gallery. If they sell, I might make new ones and put them up in my Etsyshop.

Here are a few pages:

And because this last week has been such a horrible week in terms of loss of human lives due to senseless violence, I thought this page was rather fitting:

Well, that's it for now. Another decision I've made is that I'll only blog one day a week anymore, on Friday. But I will keep on doing that, no matter what. Can't leave my friends from Paint Party Friday, right ;-)

Next Friday I'll link to Andrea and Dia, who will answer the questions for the round-the-world-bloghop some time next week. My answers to these questions are in this post.

Thanks so much for visiting! I hope your day is beautiful and peaceful, and let's hope this weekend we'll be spared more horrible news from around the world ... See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Around-the-world-Artsy blog hop

 image by Minerva Levinston

Angelique from Angelic Art And Craft invited me to be part of an around the world artsy blog hop, where each artist that participates answers the same 4 questions, being:

1. How does my creative process work?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. What am I working on now?
4. Why do I create what I do?

I “met” Angelique last year when we were both participating in Art Every Day Month. She makes beautiful cards, and I love seeing her colourful art journal pages, where she often explains her process. Her answers to these questions are definitely worth a read. You can find them here.

Okay, since I was supposed to be writing about this blog hop on Monday, I better get on with it …. Here are my answers to these (not so easy ….) questions:

1. How does my creative process work?

My creative process is usually very chaotic. I get an idea and I want to try it out. Preferably immediately. That means that sometimes in between peeling and cooking the potatoes I run to my worktable and ‘make art”. I’m always working on more than one piece at a time, usually in different area’s as well. I paint on big canvases, mini-canvases and everything in between, on wooden boxes, on rocks, on magnets and on fabric, I make mosaics, I draw and I journal, I sew, and I work digitally to make cards and calendars of my images. My workplace is usually a big mess. No matter how hard I try, I never can keep it tidy and organized.

 okay, I'll admit this is really extreme (it was before a market), 
usually I have a bit more space left to work ...

It’s hard to say where my ideas come from. Sometimes I see something on the internet that triggers my imagination, a way of doing something, a picture that inspires me, a certain technique, …. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with art. I get my best ideas at night. It almost seems as if all the triggers I see and hear during the day start simmering and broiling in my head, until they are cooked and ready, and when I wake up in the morning the idea is there.
I have recently discovered Pinterest, and am now starting to suffer from information overload. I have some folders on my computer that are full with inspiring techniques and how-to’s. If only I could find the time to try them all out … I am always hungry to learn more, I love experimenting, I need to be able to switch from one thing to the next, whatever I’m in the mood for at that moment. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

People often tell me that my style is very distinctive. Even though I do so many different styles of art, there seems to be a common ground in all of them. Typical for my art is the abundant use of colour and the presence of human beings and birds. I am a colour junkie, I can’t live without colour, colour makes me happy. I also have to paint or draw people. I love to make a figure come alive. See the different stages it goes through, and end up as a person with its own character and emotions. I love how you can manipulate the different expressions on a face just by a few brush strokes. I almost always paint women. I like the fluid lines, the curves, the softness, the different emotions. And I love to paint birds. Not realistic birds, but weird birds with bright colors that always seem to interact with the humans on my paintings. I don’t like realistic portraits, I always need to put some fantasy element in there and create a kind of dream world.
I am also passionate about poetry. Since I was a teenager I’ve been collecting poetry and quotes. I like to combine it with my drawings and paintings.

3. What am I working on now?

Oh, where do I start …..
I just started with the background of 2 new (big) intuitive canvases, am still finishing my last 2 canvases, am working on new collage-techniques in my art journal, just finished making new mosaic clay pieces so that I can start on the 4 mosaic figures I have waiting, last night finished an experimental poetry photo book with my art (there was a sale on so I had to do it in-between), am designing new postcards, and have quite a few other pieces in progress that I hope to be working on in the next few weeks (a box, a few rocks, another smaller canvas and a mirror). I am going to be the featured artist in the gallery during August and September, so I need to get a lot of things ready. And as usual when something is coming up, like an artshow or a market, it’s chaos and stress galore ….

New postcards

4. Why do I create what I do?

Because it’s inside me and it needs to get out. When I can’t create I get cranky. When I’m creating I’m in a different world where time does not exist. Apart from feeling the need to create, I’ve discovered that my art helps me to express emotions I sometimes didn’t even know I had. I like to think of art as a kind of poetry. I paint from my heart. I often don’t have the words to express how I feel, but through my pencil or my paintbrush the feelings reveal themselves. Sometimes it’s only after I see the images my heart created, that my feelings start making sense. My paintings teach me things about myself and how I see the world. This became very clear to me after my sister’s death last year. All of my emotions kept pouring out onto the canvas and the pages in my sketchbook. It is almost like a kind of therapy. It helps me deal with life. I very much believe in the healing power of art.

While I create to satisfy a need in myself, it really lifts my spirit when people are touched on a personal level by my art. With my art I want to evoke emotions, I want to make the world a little brighter and a little better. My art is healing for myself, if it’s also healing for even one other person out there, it makes it all the more worth it.

Well, that’s it for my answers. Next week, I’ll be linking to the blogs of these wonderful people: Dia from Dia’s Creation Station, who makes beautiful dreamy and spiritual paintings of women, and Andrea from Fallingladies, who makes exquisite watercolour paintings, mandala’s and is now working on a wonderful picture book. They will be posting their answers to these questions next Monday.

Thanks so much for visiting! It was fun to participate in this blog hop, because I really had to think about the answers, and sometimes it’s good to reflect on why you do what you do. I hope you take the time to visit the blogs of Angelique, Dia and Andrea, and maybe participate in this blog hop yourself! See you on Friday!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Everything comes to an end ....

and yes, also Summer of Color ... Doing a challenge like this makes you realize how fast 6 weeks are over and done with. I really enjoyed experimenting with my "negative" painting, and all the different colours. Thanks Kristin, for another fun SOC!

Here's my last piece: colours are raspberry and tangerine with a touch of lemon.

In reality the colours are less reddish, but somehow my scanner makes it darker. My orange is darker than the tangerine, because I only saw that it had to be light tangerine after I painted the background. Oh well, it's as close as I could get it anyway :-) And I had to use a strong bright orange to make up for all those weeks without it ;-)

And just for the fun of it: here are all my SOC-pieces since I started playing with the challenge (which was 3 years ago...)! Every year I choose a certain technique that I stick to for all 6 paintings.

2014: negative painting

2013: coloured doodles
2012: intuitive painting

So much fun to see them all again!

I will probably put them up for sale in my Etsyshop some time next week. They are all made on canvasboard size 20x25cm (8"x10").

In the meantime, I'm having fun putting new layers on my next canvas. Here are a few detailpictures:

That's it for this week. I'm still looking for some people who want to participate in an artsy bloghop with me (see previous post). All you have to do is answer 4 questions about your art, and link to 3 other bloggers who answer the same questions. I've read some really interesting answers already, so if you want to be a part of it, let me know and I'll link to your blog next Monday/Tuesday.

Linking this for the last time to Summer of Color, and of course to Paint Party Friday.
Thanks so much for visiting, I wish you lots of love today, and a wonderful fun-filled weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

yes, yes, YES! Finally ....

Orange! And pink! If that isn't summer I don't know what is :-)

I've had to wait until the very last week of Summer of Color before my favorite colour finally came. This is this weeks' combination:

Raspberry and tangerine with a smudge of lemon .... Aaaah, just working with these colours makes me happy :-)

This is my first layer:

Oops .... Now that I see it like this my orange might be a tad too orange ..... I just had a need for these strong colours I guess, after waiting all those weeks ☺

Today I forced myself to leave administration and internet alone and go DO something. And I did. I painted a second and third layer on my new canvas:

 just some random marks
  fun with stencils ...

Do you see that lacy-ish print? That's not a stencil, but a piece of plastic tablecovering that was sold by the metre. I almost squealed when I saw it in the shop. This is the first time I've used it and I love how it looks! Lovelovelove it! There was another similar one like that, might have to get that one too ...

I also made new mosaic pieces:


Worked a bit in my journal, and painted the base for 3 new mosaics. All in all a very productive day. Good thing too, because I was getting frustrated by my lack of progress, and tomorrow I have to work so no time for play ...

And finally: Angelique from Angelic Art and Craft invited me to take part in an artsy bloghop. She answered 4 questions about her art, and linked to a few other artists, who will answer the same questions next Monday. So one of those artists is moi :-)  Next week Monday (or maybe Tuesday since Monday might be a bit difficult for me, and in Australia we are way ahead of everybody else in time, so in other parts of the world it'll still be Monday) I'll post my answers to these questions, and link to other bloggers who want to participate. If you're interested in participating, just let me know, through the comments or via email, and I'll link to your blog next week. If you want to know more about it, visit Angelique's blog here, and read her very interesting answers to these questions. Thought-provoking and informative, definitely worth a read!

That's it for now, time for bed! Thanks so much for visiting, and I'll be back on Friday, with my last piece for Summer of Color! I know I keep repeating myself but I can't believe how fast time flies ....

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Summer of Color week 5

I have been offline for a week, enjoying the nature and the company of my little family in beautiful Rainbow Beach a few hours north of where we live. And although I took my sketchbooks, the days went by so fast that I didn't get anything done.

So when we got back last night I didn't even know the colours for this week's Summer of Color! Must admit I was a tad disappointed seeing that there was again no orange. For me, orange is the symbol of summer and sun and warmth. Plus it is my all-time favorite colour. Let's hope for the last week I can finally get my oranges out!

The colours this week are red, royal blue and a smudge of light blue:

I don't have a picture of my first layer, since I had to work fast this time :-)
But seeing it now makes it look very similar to the colours of week 2 .... The blue I used was royal blue, but looks different to the blue in the sample picture. Oh well ....

Still glad I got it ready in time :-)

And when we arrived here last night there was a surprise waiting for me in the mailbox! I had won a giveaway on Siggadis' blog! Look what I got:

I seem to be winning a lot lately, isn't that great!? There are 2 cute mini-cards, and a lovely little notebook. I so enjoy seeing what other artists create. It just makes the world nicer being surrounded by things that other people made with love. Thank you so much Siggadis ♥

In my Society6-shop they recently introduced biker tanks, and now there is a promotion of 5$ off when you buy one. On top of that there is free shipping on almost all products in my shop. But only if you use this link. I added some more shirts, and will be adding more in the coming weeks. Here are some examples:

The promo will end 13th of July at midnight.

And lastly, since I couldn't use orange in my SOC-piece, I want to share with you some pictures of beautiful Rainbow Beach, and the colours of the rocks there ....

The reason for the name is probably obvious. There are as many as 72 different coloured sands! The sand dunes have all these amazing colours because of the different minerals in the sand. At least: that's the scientific explanation. I like the aboriginal legend better, which is this:

"Way back in dream-time, there lived on the banks of the Noosa River a beautiful black maiden called Murrawar who fell in love with the Rainbow, which came to visit her here every morning. She would clap her hands and sing to this lovely rainbow.
One day the Burwilla, a very bad man from a distant tribe, stole Murrawar for his slave wife, beating her cruelly and making her do all his work, while he sat in the shade admiring his terrible killing boomerang. This boomerang was bigger than the biggest tree and full of evil spirit.
One day Murrawar ran away and as she hurried along the beach, which was all flat in those days, she looked back and saw Burwilla's boomerang coming to kill her. Calling out for help, she fell to the ground too frightened to run.
Suddenly she heard a loud noise in the sky and saw her faithful Rainbow racing towards her across the sea. The wicked boomerang attacked the brave Rainbow and they met with a roar like thunder, killing the boomerang instantly and shattering the Rainbow into many small pieces.
Alas, the poor sick and shattered Rainbow lay on the beach to die and is still there with all its colours, forming the hills along the beach."

 Look at that sky .....

I just couldn't stop taking pictures. So glad I was surrounded with these beautiful colours all week.

Okay, that's it for now. Better get this post out there before the weekend is over.

Thanks so much for visiting. I'll catch up with your blogs this weekend! I'm linking this again with Summer of Color and of course Paint Party Friday.

Take care, hope you have a beautiful weekend with luscious colours ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 4 July 2014

Summer of Color week 4

The colours this week are so summer-y, I really enjoyed seeing all the art that was created by the Summer of Color-participants. Still, I'm longing so much to use my absolute favorite colours like yellows and oranges. Maybe next week ....

As I showed before, this is what my first layer looked like:

This was the colour-combination for this week: pink, apple green, and a touch of dark green:

And this is the result: some happy girls enjoying life. I guess the colours brought that out :-)

This week we had such beautiful weather. Winter has started here, but we had clear blue skies and sun the whole day. So I could finally paint outside (in summer it's usually way too hot). Took advantage to start 2 new canvases with a lot of dripping.

This is the first one:

This'll be another one like "Connections", so the background will change a lot before I start drawing the figures.

And this one I started a long time ago, but didn't get further than the first few layers. I decided to start adding some contrast with black & white, but when I brought it back inside, I saw that it was a bit crooked. I hate is when that happens! Lately I´ve taken the habit of only using box-canvases, but this one was an old one that was laying around. I really don´t know what to do now: continue or throw it in the bin ... ?

There are a lot of layers on there already, so I would hate to throw it away. What do you do in a situation like that? I have thought about using some MDF to glue it on, but it's 50x70cm (19.7x27.6inches) so that would make it really heavy. I'll just leave it like this for now ....

Well, that's it for now! Thanks so much for visiting! I'll be linking this to Paint Party Friday and to Summer of Color. Go have a look over there, and join in if you want!

Hope you have a nice day, and for my American visitors: happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Quick post :-)

Time to go to bed, so I'll make it quick. The colours for Summer of Color this week are more to my liking than the ones from last week: Pink, applegreen and a smudge of dark green ...

Pretty, aren't they?

So I made the first layer with pink and a touch of dark green, although it doesn't look that way in the scan:

When I have finished the second layer I might just take a picture instead of scanning it. There's a weird thing that happens every time I use fluorescent colours: my scanner doesn't pick them up at all! The lighter sports on here are actually the places where there's more of a fluorescent pink. And the ink splatters are really dark green and not that brownish colour it looks here .... But ... you get the idea ;-)

I also finished another floodle. If you don't remember what that is: it's a combination of a doodle and flowers. Actually, it's not really a doodle anymore, it's just a drawing, but anyway, the name sticks and I like it :-)

She looked a bit sad, so I thought the words were fitting ...

Okay, that's it for now, heading off to bed.
Thanks so much for visiting, I'll come round your blogs asap ♥