Monday, August 10, 2020

Seals in winter

When I picked up this blog again it was clear I would not be able to catch up on everything that I made or took pictures of over the fourteen months of my absence. But some things I just cannot not show you, if you know what I mean.

One of those things happened last winter when a lot of seals were found on the beach. This happens pretty much every winter when the seal pups are born. If a storm hits they are not strong enough to swim back to the place they usually live and they stay on our beach until they are. Sometimes that's just one or two seals, sometimes it's a dozen, it's different every year. December 2019 was a good time to go seal watching, so here are some pictures I took during that time.

This is not a wounded seal, it's the umbilical cord, so this one is very very young. 

All these were taken with my zoom camera from a safe distance. It's important not to get too close to them. It causes stress and can even make a mother abandon her pup. Tourists often feel bad for the pups when they see them lying all alone, but nine out of ten times the mother is out in the sea to hunt for food for her young.

Also, if you get too close to the adult seals, you may live to regret it. People tend to forget they are fierce predators, and not to be messed with. 

But it sure is a wonderful sight to behold. 

You can see in some cases there is green spraypaint on the pups, this is a signal for the people who keep an eye on them, that a certain pup has been spotted before and doesn't need to be reported again. It means they will be taken care of if the mother doesn't return. 

Having these seals on our island every year keeps being special and I enjoy it every time. 

Hope you have something to be fascinated by and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

From the Collage Book

I have a very colorful scrapbook in which I do collage from time to time. Not often, but I do like working in it a lot. It's a spiral book that I bought years ago at Paperchase.

When I was recovering from surgery last year, for weeks on end I couldn't really focus on anything, but when I finally felt ready to go into the studio again, collage was one of the first things I tried to do. It's such a relaxing way to do art, just a lot of mixing an matching. I don't plan out anything, I just  let them happen.

So here are some collages from what I call my 'Colorful Collage Book'.

Recently I looked back at these collages and it occurred to me how they (and my many collage cards) always seem to have this theme of living the good life and looking for beauty and calm. These are indeed things I think about a lot and aspire to.

It by no means means that I am a very calm en together person. Like my patterns teach me patience, these collages sort of teach me about peace of mind. It's probably something I will have to work on for the rest of my life. :-)

Hope you are doing something that brings you joy and focus and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Radiotherapy Project

Late August to late September 2019 I had my radiotherapy sessions. It meant going back and forth to the main land for five days a week for five weeks straight. Before it started I was not looking forward to all the travel, but it turned out to be a strangely calm and orderly time. It helped of course that I felt good and suffered only very mild side effects.

What also helped were coffee houses, drawing on the iPad and a little photography project where I took black and white photographs of my trips. Mostly in Leeuwarden where the institure for radiotherapy was situated, but some were taken in Harlingen and one is of the ferry in the early morning before I left from the island.

Here are some pictures from that little personal project.

It was good for me to have more things to focus on than just the treatments and to fill all the waiting time with creative endeavours. Even when your world feels very small you can broaden it by looking around you. I helped me a lot.

Hope you are broadening your personal world a little everyday and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Morning art and not so much morning art

Before the whole cancer ordeal I was for a long time very much into morning art. The idea was to draw or  paint or do anything creative for half an hour right after getting up and before breakfast. In the past year I had to drop that for a long time and wasn't sure if I would pick it up again.

I did draw in the morning art sketchbook from time to time and recently I have actually been trying to get my habit going again. So here are some pattern drawings from my morning art book of which some were  done randomly and others were actually done as morning art.

Morning art is still a wonderful type of meditation for me, but I am less strict about it than in the past. I do it because it is enjoyable and calms my mind before a busy day (or even a not so busy day).

The first four were drawn with Stabilo 68 pens and the last four with Crayola Supertips. I bought the Crayola because they have a larger colour range. I have the 100 set. I like them, but they are not the same quality as the Stabilo's which come in 48 colours. I wish the latter would make more colours. A girl can dream...

Hope you are cherishing some creative habits and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The cat lately

Today I bring  you....just some pictures of Spooky being a cat.

I sometimes feel he is more of a supervisor than an assistant.

supervising me taking his picture from just the right angle

supervising me doing a drawing in watercolour pencils

supervising me working from home

supervising me making some collage cards

supervising the mouse by sitting on it and making sure I can't get to it and being smug about that

supervising me writing in my journal

supervising me drawing on the iPad

One of the sad thing about my surgery was that he couldn't sit on my lap for several months. He's not always a lap cat, but from time to time he does like to snuggle up to me and it felt terrible to tell him no.

Also getting cancer made me worry about him. What if I couldn't take care of him anymore or would no longer be around? Luckily a local friend promised me she would take him in if that happened, which is a big weight off my shoulders. But of course now I'm better and I hope to be well for the rest of his life and not need to take her up on it.

By the way, I have an extra supervisor in this neighborhood cat. His name is Garfield and he's a regular guest in my house and not above interrupting anything I do either.

Wishing you all a furry supervisor of your own and a wonderful and artsy day!
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