Friday, February 5, 2016

Let me take you to Texel! - part three of eight

From January 15 to January 29 I vacationed on the island of Texel which is the island west of my own (Vlieland). This series is a travel report / slide show of that vacation so all my blogsy people can travel with me a little. Hope you enjoy! 

Day 6 - Wednesday January 20 2016

The sixth day of my vacation was pretty much the most incredible one of the entire two weeks. It actually didn't start out that way. I wanted to walk several area's in the south of Texel called Horspolders, De Geul and Het Pompevlak.

The start of my walk was incredibly muddy and had all these obstacles in the way. It was also rather cloudy and the path was almost completely covered without any views. I'm sure in the summer this would be a very adventurous trail, but now it was just annoying. I was just about to get cranky from all my maneuvering and trying to avoid slipping or getting my feet soaked early in the day when it felt like I surfaced and came on dryer ground and could actually see something.  

A few drops of rain started to fall, but slowly the clouds parted a little and let the sun through.

Then I crossed a dune and all of sudden the world looked like this:

I felt like someone had transported me to Scandinavia or something! It was breathtaking. The photo doesn't do it justice, but the rest of the day I was treated to the most amazing weather and the most amazing landscape.

Can you imagine having lunch on this spot? I did!

It really was like walking in another world and it almost made me want to live on Texel right there and then. I loved all those dunes combined with little lakes and ponds and other water.

I think of all my walks this vacation this was the one I am most grateful for. The weather, the sky the landscape were in perfect sync with each other, I'm sure it cannot always be this idyllic.  It was one of those one in a thousand days. I hope I managed to capture at least a little bit of the magic of that day for you.

Well, it's all downhill from now, haha! Nah, just kidding. There's still plenty of beauty left for five more posts, so hope to see you for the next installment.

Have a wonderful and artsy day all!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let met take you to Texel! - part two of eight

From January 15 to January 29 I vacationed on the island of Texel which is the island west of my own (Vlieland). This series is a travel report / slide show of that vacation so all my blogsy people can travel with me a little. Hope you enjoy! 

Day 4 - Monday January 18 2016

On the fourth day it was freezing cold, but also sunny and bright. I wrapped myself up warmly and went for a long walk along the beach to an area north of De Koog (where I was staying) called De Slufter. It's a place where the seawater sort of breaks through the dunes and makes for a beautiful landscape.

Walking back home I went through the area called De Muy, which is one of my favorite places on Texel. It has lots of water mixed in with green. It was a struggle to keep my fingers warm, but I really wanted to snap as many pictures as possible while I was there, so I kept taking my gloves off and then putting them back on again.

You can see in the pics how there's still a bit of ice on the water here and there and very very small traces of the snow.

Day 5 - Tuesday January 19 2016

At the end of that Monday I had a bit of misfortune, because a piece of one of my molars broke off. Talk about lousy timing! This meant I had to change my plans a little for the fifth day and first find a local dentist to help me out. I was referred to one in Den Burg who had time early that afternoon. I'll spare you pictures of that adventure (not that I took any). ;-)

It also meant that my planned long walk turned into a shorter walk, but still quite a beautiful one.

I walked an area called Hoge Berg, which  literally means 'High Mountain', but that's a very relative term when you live in a country that's mostly known for its flatness, haha. You can't really see it in the pictures either, but it's basically a softly sloping landscape that reminded me a little of a French countryside.

The weather that day was much more cloudy and the walk was very muddy even though most of the mud was still frozen. I did manage to come home with wet feet because of a misstep and at some point I couldn't go on because the path I was supposed to take was covered with water.

Oh well, I adapt easily when on vacation and it still was a very nice walk.

With wet feet and very dirty shoes I closed off day five of my vacation and also with gratitude for the existence of excellent dental care!

Hope to see you again for the continuation of my slide show next time. Have a good day all!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Let met take you to Texel! - Part one of eight

Well hello my blogsy people! It feels like it has been forever doesn't it? Two and a half weeks ago I posted my last post before I went on my two week vacation to the island of Texel. As is customary for me I will do a slide show / travel report for you in the coming posts and I have to warn you, it will take up quite a few posts (eight in fact)! Because I went for such a long time I have a lot to show and I don't want you all to miss a thing.

My luggage right before I left. Can you tell I like pink?

Let me begin by saying I had a fantastic vacation. I really feel like I was away from my life for a while. Not that my life is so terrible, but it's good to step away from your everyday existence and just be free without any obligations, be they imposed by others or self imposed. For me a vacation basically consists of taking in the sights (usually by walking and photographing) and keeping a travel journal and in the time I have left I love to just linger or read. That's all. Nothing fancy, nothing exotic.

I did keep a travel journal this time too of course, but that I will show you later. For now we will just stick to the photo's and the walks, okay?

The way I thought I would do it this time, is to simply go through my vacation one day at a time with the corresponding pictures. That way you can really travel with me and I get to go through my own experience all over again as well. It's a win win situation. ;-)

Day 1 - Friday January 15 2016

The first day of any vacation is usually travel. Texel is the neighbouring island of my island and it's almost ironic it takes so long to get there. If you go to the utmost western point of my island the utmost north eastern point of Texel is practically a walk away, but there's water in between that cannot just be crossed without a boat. In the summer there's actually a special ferry that goes there, but in winter we have to travel across the main land. It took me about four and a half hours to go to a place that's basically only a few miles away. We'll call this the charm of travel, shall we? ;-)

I arrived at my apartment in the late afternoon and immediately liked it.

It was located in the De Koog somewhat  halfway on the island on the east side. De Koog is a very practical place to stay. It's near the beach, the dunes and the forest. It's big enough to have stores and such right around the corner and there's a good bus connection to just about every part of the island.

My apartment was right in the town center and had a lovely view on the town square.

I did not do much that first day, but settle, unpack and go grocery shopping and such.

Day 2 - Saturday January 16 2016

I really consider this the 'real' first vacaction day. Because I wanted to do a lot of walking I decided to first visit the tourist agency and get some maps and guides. The agency was located in the most central and biggest town of Texel: Den Burg. Since I was there I thought I might as well take a nice leisurely stroll through the town.

I got my map and walking guides and I also bought a big mug with a very appropriate text on it. The apartment I stayed in had only small cups and I love drinking tea from big mugs, so I just had to buy one. What can you do? This one made me laugh.

After my trip to Den Burg I still had plenty of time to visit the beach at De Koog. It was a day with very changeable weather, which  you can see by the amazing clouds in the sky.

I was actually forced to stay a while in beach pavillion because of a very big hail shower. A good time for a hot chocolate! No complaints. ;-)

Day 3 - Sunday January 17 2016

Sunday was my first big walk (even though I still managed to put in a few miles the day before). I walked two area's south of De Koog called De Seeting and Bleekersvallei. I also visited the nature center Ecomare where they take in sick seals, birds and dolphins. Some they let go again and some can no longer survive in nature so have to stay. The place also has an ongoing exhibition about the local wildlife and a ton of aquariums.

This young seal will go back into nature when it's big enough to take care of itself.

As you can see we actually had the tiniest bit of snow that day and it was rather icy weather. But quite beautiful for a walk.

And with this ends the first part of my travel report. I hope you enjoyed it and would love to see you around for part two.

Have a wonderful and artsy day all!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Step by Step: the Evolution of a Doodle Drawing (plus a blog break announcement)

Ever since I took Pam Garrison's creative sketchbooking class at Creative Bug last year I have been developing this whole new to me doodling style and I am so terribly in love with it! Even though what I'm doing now looks nothing anymore like what Pam does (which is of course a good thing) I can't help but still think of these drawings as 'pamdoodles', because she is the one who basically introduced me into the idea of turning a simple scribble into actual art.  She has a ton of other techniques in that class and I can definitely recommend it if only for you to step out of your own box.

As said I have made her basic technique my own so I could develop my own style. Mine is way more abstract and much more about basic doodling than about finding representative shapes. I also use very different materials than she does which gives a whole different look. I thought it might be nice if I showed you a bit of a step by step of how such a doodle drawing of mine comes into being, so that's what this post is all about.

Here we go!

Step One - Make a scribble drawing

I start out quickly with a simple scribble in pencil, trying to cover as much of the page as I can. 
Then later I look over the scribble and begin to draw more purposely over the lines with a black marker. I look for interesting parts, leave out and erase certain lines and add other ones until I have a composition that is pleasing to my eye. What is left is based on the original scribble, but obviously much more stylized.

Step 2 - Bring on the colour

Now I choose four to six (in this case six) colours from my stack of Pitt Big Brush Markers (oh how I love those, but you can use any marker you have on hand of course) and start colouring in the drawing until not a smidge of page is left white. I again try to get a composition that is pleasing to my eye. I'm not trying to represent anything. A doodle drawing is simply a feast of colours and shapes to me, nothing more.
Sometimes, as in this case, I like the coloured in drawing so much I'm almost afraid to move on to the next step, but I always do, and it's always worth it.

Step 3 - Black doodles

I divide my colours between the lightest and the darkest tones. Then I get a black drawing pen or felt tip and draw on top of the lightest colours with all kinds of diffferent patterns and doodles. I don't plan ahead, I just work as I go and see what happens. Already the doodle is coming to life as you can see.

Step 4 - White doodles

The last step is to take a white pen (in this case a white gelly roll) and go over the darker colours with again lots of patterns and doodles. This is where the really dramatic effects start happening, because of the contrast between the different coloured doodles and the colours at the base of the drawing. I love doodling the background colour too, because it makes the whole piece just one big doodle party!

And that's all there is to it!
I think it's a bit of a mix between pams work and zentangles, except with a lot of Caatje thrown in. I love these. I have the ambition to one day do a really big version of these doodles, maybe even on canvas or wood in acrylic with doodling on top in acrylic markers. I would love to see how that would look.

I hope you enjoyed this little step by step insight into my process. I always love to see how creative work is done and I'm sure you are the same. :-)

Now it's time for something completely different: the announcement of a blog break!

Starting today I will have a two week vacation and I will travel to the island of Texel again! I was there last March, but only saw about half of it, so now I am taking two whole weeks to fully explore our neighbours (Texel is the neighbouring island on the west of ours).

Of course I will make sure to take pics and try to keep a travel journal, so I'll be sure to have a full report when I get back, which will be at the beginning of February. Until then I wish you all a wonderful and artsy time!
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