Friday 30 October 2015

Don't tell me October is almost over ....

Waaah, I'm starting to feel panicky and all stressed out .... I have subscribed for 2 Christmasmarkets this year, one at the end of November and one the second weekend of December. And after making a list with all the things I still need to do I'm feeling quite overwhelmed. Because of course there's also the house, which needs painting and a whole bunch of other things, and after that's finished we still need to move. Move! Pack everything up again! Omg, just thinking about it and about the state our house is in now makes me want to run as far away as possible and hide under a rock.

So what did I do this week? I made sure I finished my first calendar, and I'm in the process of finishing my second one. Why two, you might ask, since I have so much to do already. And I don't really have an answer to that, only that I thought it would be nice to have 2 different calendars this year, and once I have something in my head, I want to do it, even if it means losing sleep over it. I'm a bit weird that way....

Anyway, here's the first one:

This is the cover, with a detail of every page that's in it. It's a 12-month calendar, starting January 2016, and it's available for purchase here. When you go to the link, you can see "preview" underneath the image of the cover, and if you click on that you can see every single page. Here are some that I didn't show yet:

You can see the other pages in previous blogposts, here and here.

I'm hoping to finish the second calendar later today. Here are some images that are already finished:

It's a more "muted" calendar :-) These are images of my sketches, with some layering done in Photoshop, and a poem or quote that says something about the month. I like experimenting with layers and I'd like to do more of this in the future.

In between I threw some more layers on my big canvas, but no images are appearing to me yet, so I'll just keep going :-)

That's it for this week. Linking this to Paint Party Friday and to Show you Face. In November there's a special theme going on in Show your Face, "In The Style Of", where you examine your favorite artists and incorporate what they do in your own faces. Should be fun!

Thanks for your visit! Hope you'll have a great day, and a relaxing weekend!

Here's my funny for this week:

 Haha, I sometimes feel like the little one after walking our dog ... ;-)

Hope to see you next week! ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday 22 October 2015

Working on my calendar

No progress on my big painting this week, all painting I did was in our new house, and it's not nearly finished....

But I did manage to work a bit on one of my new calendars. This is the calendar with parts of paintings and journalpages. Here are some new pages that I made (click on the mages to get a bigger picture):


I am crazy about this last poem, again one from Warsan Shire. She writes so beautifully, I can just keep re-reading her poems all night.

Only a few more pages and this calendar will be finished. It'll be for sale in my Lulu-shop again. Next I'll make a calendar with sketches.

That's all for this week. Not much, but for tomorrow I've scheduled in some hours to work on my big canvas before I go to paint in our house again. It's a lot of work, but I love how a simple layer of paint can totally transform a room, and immediately make it more our own instead of someone else's house.

Linking up to Paint Party Friday, and also to Show your Face, although again these faces are not new, but hey, they were made before Show your Face existed so I guess it's all right to post them there :-)

And here's my funny for this week:

lol.... perfect for when you don't have time ....

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Thanks for joining me here ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday 15 October 2015

painting ....

Well, my new canvas got a few more layers since last week. This is how it looks now:

I really enjoy working on such a big surface, even though it's hard to handle sometimes with all the turning of the canvas I always do :-)

Here are some detailpics:

These'll probably end up in my Society6-shop as all over-shirts or duvet covers. I love playing with all these different layers and seeing unexpected things pop up :-)

But from now on I won't have much time to play with my canvas anymore. That's because we finally found a house! Since we came back from Australia (almost a year ago now) we have been living in the house of my second-eldest sister, which stood empty because she moved in with her boyfriend. We wanted to build our own house, but it was not easy finding a piece of land that was nice as well as affordable (Belgium is one of the most densily populated countries on earth ....). In the end we decided to buy a house and found one that really spoke to us, and last Monday we received the key! Now it's wall painting for a while, although I'll still keep working on my canvas in between.

I also started my new calendar for the year 2016. I always use images from the paintings that I made in the year before, but this year, due to our move to Belgium and due to my workshop in Soulfood, I only finished three paintings up till now. Luckily I have been doing a lot of artjournaling at the start of the year, so I will use those images. They look a bit "less finished" that the ones from my paintings, that's why I decided to make 2 calendars this year: one with images of paintings and art journal, and one with sketches. They will look very different, so there will be something for everyone's taste :-)

Here are 2 pages that I finished already:

 from my painting "A world that I long to see"

from a journalpage

I love making these calendars. I'll show all of the pages when I finish them.

Well, that's it for now, not much more to show. I'll be linking this to Paint Party Friday and to Show your Face, even though I made these faces a while ago. That won't matter I hope ...

Thanks so much for your visit! I hope this week's funny wil bring a smile to your face:
 hahaha, so recognizable :-)

Wishing you a glorious day, and a relaxing weekend ahead of you! Go do something you enjoy!
See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday 9 October 2015

We are never broken

Well, I finally finished my painting! It has been a long and laborious project, and there were times I had no idea how to proceed.

When I was looking back through my in-progress pictures I was surprised to see how many different layers this painting has. Sometimes I wasn't even sure it was the same painting ...

And even though I'm not even sharing all the steps I made, I'll have to warn you: this is a very picture-rich post, so if you want to skip all the in-between shots go straight to the end of this post and there you can see the completed painting :-)

 This is how it all started: back in Australia, when I was packing up all my art-stuff and decided to use up some nearly-finished paints on a blank canvas.

After spending a couple of months in the container crossing the oceans, I welcomed my canvas in Belgium and continued by adding more layers and a bit of collage

 always my favorite part: the dripping :-)

adding some contrast colours

and marks and drawings...

some more drips because, be honest, a painting needs drips, right?

adding some black lines

getting carried away with the reds and the turquoise ...

trying to break through all the red and blue, making lines and marks, still failing to see any images ....

And then all of a sudden I see her :-)

Starting to bring out her body

At this point I already know what she symbolizes for me. Now I "only" need to work it out ....

I see men everywhere in the bottom half of the canvas, and birds in the top half

At this point I want to leave the faces of the men in the background colours, and paint dark blue around them

or maybe white might be a better choice ... with some flowers and leaves .....

or red ...?? 

nah, don't like any of it, so I start painting a lighter blue

I kinda like the calming effect the blue has, so I go for more blue

But something is bothering me about this, and that has to do with what she symbolizes for me. I want to make the men less visible somehow

So I drip darker blue all over them ....

No, not good, too dark .... I decide to lighten it up with some white dots

Nooo, blah, don't like it. Too dark, too I don't know, it's just not what I want ....

Desperate times ask for desperate measures, so I take this picture and open it in Photoshop and try out some things. Because, believe me, there must be at least 20 layers on there already, and enough is enough .... I need to find out which direction to go, before I waste any more paint ...

I decide on lightening up the blue, get rid of all the white dots, and make the men more grey-ish in colour

And ta-daa: all of a sudden it's finished!

"We are never broken" - acrylics on canvas - 76 x 61cm - 29,9 x 24 inches

And now for the story behind this painting, or, at least, what it symbolizes for me. At the time I finally found her on the canvas, in between all the lines and marks, I was listening to Jewel singing "hands", don't know if you know the song but the refrain goes like "my hands are small I know, but they are not yours, they are my own and I'm never broken, we are never broken". And I had to think of all those women being victims of radical beliefs, and how systematic rape has become a "natural" element of war. I have been reading a lot about the lives of women in certain countries and I'm appalled by the lack of respect they get, it makes me sick how unspeakable acts are condoned in the name of religion. I am a fierce advocate of women's rights, and these things just make me so angry and frustrated. But I don't want to dwell on these negative feelings, I want to stay positive and believe in the power of women to stand up for themselves. I saw her as a strong woman, scarred by all she had to endure, but still rising up above it all, lightening up the world and leaving her past behind. Colourful and bright, while the men she's leaving behind are cowering in the dark and fading away in the distance, and hopefully, finally realizing that they did her wrong. Because that symbol was so strong for me it took me ages to get it right on the canvas. I don't know whether I succeeded, but for me it's finished. Phew ...!

And now I'm working on something new. A local gallery has asked me to make some very big paintings exclusively for them. So I ordered some canvases, and started on the first one:

It's BIG! I never painted a big canvas like this before, and it takes some getting used to. Not so easy to handle, and I'm always turning my paintings around to work from all sides. It measures 1 meter by 1 meter (39,4 x 39,4 inches).

Okay, very long post, so I guess I better finish here. I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday and to Show Your Face. I have been thinking about doing some drawings for Inktober too, but alas, no time. I started working on my new 2016 calendar though! Might be able to show some pics next week :-)

Before I forget: here's my funny for this week:

omg .... is this real !!?? :-D

Thanks so much for your visit, and I wish you a beautiful day and lots of warmth and love in the weekend! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥