Thursday, 11 May 2017

Feeling blue

I finished my painting! Yes! The last layers were a real struggle, but I'm finally happy with it :-)

I'm in love with the colours in this painting. I used really strong contrasting colours and I love how they look together. Just seeing the colours makes me happy.

I call the painting "Feeling blue". Because all the time I was working on it I was feeling kinda blue. The perfect word to describe it is in fact "Weltschmerz". It's a German word and means something like a feeling of deep sadness and melancholia because of the state of the world. All brought on by everything that's happening worldwide, the uncertainty of the future, the destruction of our planet, the cruelty against the most defenseless creatures, the madness and hate of people in power, the stupidity and ignorance of too many people. Need I go on?

Maybe that's why I needed these colours. Maybe struggling to finish this painting helped, or maybe it's  because there are signs that people are starting to wake up, to realize that hatred and extremism isn't the answer to all that we are dealing with in this world, but I'm feeling better. I'm feeling a little bit more hopeful for the future. Thanks to Austria, the Netherlands and France. Three countries in Europe where people didn't let themselves be fooled by the cries and hatred of the far right populists, and the attempts of the Russians to interfere. Well done!

So, if you're up to it, I'll lead you through the different stages of this painting. Be warned: there are a lot of pictures! If you just want to see the finished painting, scroll down to the end of this post :-)

Here goes ....

I started out with warm colours, put on the canvas with a roller

added cooler colours until there was no more white :-)

adding collage

adding stamps and stencils and spraying with my inks

 drips and sprays

adding some white

 and black for contrast

 some more dripping and putting on colours

and then I started looking for figures, and found three!

 decided the faces were too big so I made them smaller

 working on the figures, finding two more birds

 first time stuck. Couldn't find any more figures, had no idea how to proceed

decided to add some hills and trees, but it looked too peaceful to me and I didn't feel peaceful ....

  so I got rid of the hills. What now ... ?

 I liked the flowing of their hair, so I decided to go with long flowing lines all the way to the top

added some strange-looking flowers 

 I liked the blue, but it was a bit too dark for my liking

decided I needed to change the colours a bit, because everything started looking the same

I liked how the lighter blue looked when painted over the white background, so I added white in all the places I wanted to use this bright blue

 hmmm, no, not happy ...

 lightening it up again, and finding that the space in between the blues on the top looks a lot like a bird ... That's a happy find :-)

something's missing but I don't know what. Somehow the bright blue feels too overwhelming. This is where I was last week.

I try to add some patterns, but I don't like it. Then I add more darker blue. Feeling better about it already. Then I tone the patterns down, add some more details and tadaa! Finished!

"Feeling blue"- mixed media on box-canvas - 1m x 1m (39,4"x 39,4")

Congrats if you've made it this far :-)  I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, as usual, and I'll finish (as if this post isn't long enough yet) with a few funnies. Here they are!

The more serious ones...

And to end this achingly beautiful picture with a text from Tyler Knott Gregson. I love his poetry, and the piece he wrote for this photo grabbed me by the throat ...

I found the rest of you there, the bit you left behind, and I want you to know how beautiful you were. Even on the street, the crowded noisy street where thousands of feet walked by you without stopping to appreciate, you carried grace. I know you carry it still and I will find you, again, and celebrate your new form while you still have it. Know that I see you, know that I love you, know that in all that noise and hustle, I stopped to say goodbye.

Tyler Knott Gregson

Thanks for your visit! Hope your coming days will be filled with warmth and hope ♥ ♥ ♥


  1. Whew! What a roller coaster ride of emotions you've taken me on today! I'm afraid I'm still in that 'blue' state....concerned for my country....having trouble finding hope...... :(

  2. thanks for all the photos :) it is interesting seeing how you changed things and then changed things again :) love all the birds :)

  3. I am amazed at all of the steps you took to reach this exquisite painting...just gorgeous!!!
    I have given up on our country for the next four years. Maybe we can still be saved after the billionaires and the millionaires go back to Wall Street and get out of politics.
    That poor little bird and those beautiful words...a Kleenex moment 💜💚💙

  4. Fantastic art, love the process shots of your wonderful painting. Great funnies, too. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  5. Where to start? Well, you know I absolutely love your paintings and it always fascinates me to see your process from start to finish because of the entirely intuitive nature of it. Whereas when I, and most other artists, start a piece we already know what we're painting and just have to hope we manage to get the likeness right or at least our interpretation of it, with you it's so exciting because even you don't know what you're painting until it emerges from the riot of colour and shapes on your canvas. This turned out beautifully and thank you for giving us Weltschmerz - a perfect word to sum up the feeling so many of us have these days.

    The photo and poem are so beautifully sad and poignant. I love that he gave that little bird the meaning and respect we all expect from our human lives but rarely give to the non-human animals we share the planet with. I'll certainly look up more by Tyler Knott Gregson.
    Thank you for such a wonderful post. xx

  6. Had to exhale at the end of this!! Breathtaking post! Thank you for sharing your wonderful process I am in the midst of doing something like this for my bedroom on a large canvas. I haven't taken photos, and this certainly inspired me! This piece is particularity rich with depth. The expressions on the girls definitely mirror your words perfectly!! Great piece...wonderful depth as always!

    Hugs Giggles

  7. How lovely to see this work coming together, with the various steps and thoughts along the way, to the resulting rhythmic, colourful, painting you created. I love it. Also, I like the cat funny.

  8. That is fascinating to see your process step by step like that. I love the colourful figures you paint and love how you make them come together. Happy PPF!

  9. Really gorgeous painting. I love the blue colour, too.
    Thanks for introduction and funnies.
    Happy PPF and weekend xx

  10. Wow! Your finished painting is excellent. It was great to see the process of how you work too. Oh, the world is such a dark place at the moment. I don't even watch the news reports anymore. They get me down so much, I find it hard to get back up again.

  11. What an emotional ride Denise. Thanks so much for sharing all the steps in creating your gorgeous piece-I love it! What a touching poem honoring the flicker. Although I don't do it in poem if I find a deceased bird or animal I always say a little prayer. Happy PPF!

  12. Amazing to see how you go about your painting. I enjoy it each time. It really is wonderful and interesting.

  13. thanks so much for sharing your process. It leaves me in awe of your eye and how you "see" the forms emerge. And the final piece? Stunning! The bird poem left me thinking of all of the humans that die in full view and we in our hurried life rush on trying hard not to see. Our Mother (Earth) has many problems today. We need someone with vision (like yours) to see the picture in the chaos and create something of beauty out of it. Wishing you a Happy PPF

  14. WOW! That painting is just amazing! I so love the contrasting colours. It's really beautiful with the birds and the ladies. What do you do with all of your wonderful art? Do you ever sell prints?

    1. thanks Sal! These large paintings are made exclusively for a gallery near here. My smaller ones (although I don't make many of those anymore, since these large ones take so much time) I sell through my website and during art shows. And I sell prints myself up to size A4, and larger ones through Society6 (and when I finally get to it also through Curioos) :-)

  15. A strikingly gorgeous result, Denthe. It is so amazing how you dig out those beautiful faces and birds. Thanks for commiserating with me a little about the tick allergy. Your "funny" about the waitress taking the order hit me between the eyes. I used to be so intolerant of people who "couldn't eat this or that". I really had trouble believing that allergies existed. I don't have that trouble any more. Well, at least I may lose the 10# I've been wanting to lose!

  16. Beautiful vibrant painting!

  17. You bet your post gave me feelings, all kind!
    First, I love that you show your process! It's a fascinating lovely outcome! And I love each one of them, your choice of colors is excuisitely. And the painting of the birds and ladies. Your words are so true. The last I read in the news was about all the plastic brought up by the birds from the sea to their nests, causing the death of birds! So sad to read. Your funnies are entertaining, but the last one with the dead bird on the street and the poem made my eyes wet....

  18. Wow I love how you create. It is amazing to me how you lay down color and the "see" your theme. Brilliant. Love all the funnies too.

  19. Thank you for sharing your process. Your art amazes me, inspires me, and makes me happy just to see it. I understand the blue feelings about the world. I get up each morning fearing what the new day brings from our "president"...I love your funnies. But then you ended it with that photo and the beautiful words the guy wrote. Thank you for being you...a lovely, creative, caring person.

  20. Prachtig Denise,
    mooi zo als je laat zien hoe je schilderij langzaam ontstaat
    het heeft een lange weg gegaan, maar het is prachtig!
    liefs een groetje

  21. Luv your finished art and thanks for sharing your process.
    That quote about Art is beautiful.
    Have a nice weekend

    Much love...

  22. Hello Denthe, I'm so glad I caught up with your post, it's magnificent in every way!
    Your finished painting is gorgeous and it was really good to journey along with you as you came to finish it. I can see why all your paintings have such depth, you put so much into them... and I don't just mean paint. Truly wonderful to have visited with you. Cheerio and I shall catch up again at next PPF :D)

  23. Denthe, every time I visit your blog, I'm inspired. I absolutely love that you share so many photos of your process, and i love how you work through your art. I do the exact same thing (only i take less photos!). That whole "I like it. I hate it. Nope. Yup. It works. It's crap".... I think as artists, we all go through that. It's hard not to be judgemental about our own work & just let it be. This painting is fabulous. And your funnies crack me up!! Love them all. Especially the Trump ones. One person can do a lot of damage to the world - directly & indirectly. But if one man can do so much damage, it means there's potential for one person to HEAL the world. Maybe it's all of us - collectively.
    That last photo of the bird, with the poetry moved my heart too. xo

  24. Your painting is so beautiful and meaningful! Thank you for sharing your process and your feelings! It's nice to meet you! Thank you for coming by my blog to say hello! Big Hugs!

  25. I needed this post dear Denise. It seems we have been on the same universe wavelengths. Your amazingly brilliant painting, following your steps, is like coming out of the sadness and darkness and finding new light,new joy- thank you for this!
    Oh how I wish we lived closer to one another, we are kindred souls, I believe this with all of my heart!
    Thank you so much for always being you- you make my day!
    huge hugs,Jackie

  26. Your artwork is lovely! I like the bright color. Thank you for sharing.
    Love :) ♥


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