Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Art in the Journal

Recently I told you about the trouble I was having with my previous journal, a B6 traveler's notebook, mostly because of the inserts I had purchased for it and their crappy paper.  So I closed that book prematurely and moved on to another journal and I couldn't be happier.

One of the ways I can tell I'm happy with a journal is that I take it with me everywhere and also do some art in it from time to time. My current journal is a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook and I will tell you more about it and why I like it so much in another post, but for now I just wanted to show some of the drawings I did in it. You see the paper is absolutely made for my felt tip pens and I just can't resist doing pattern type drawings in it and then colouring them in, especially after notebooks that just bled through so easily that I didn't bother with anything like that.

So here are some of the more artsy excerpts from my current journal:

All these were done in Stabilo 68 pens, my favorite felt tip pens. I take this book with me everywhere, so that's basically where I work in it too. On the ferry, on my walks, at my lunchbreak at work, having a coffee in restaurants or just at home.

In a future post I will show you some of the regular spreads in this journal and tell you more about it. For now I just want to wish you a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Morning Portraits

Even though I have been doing morning art for about two and a half years, it still remains a process and I'm always learning new things. For instance, a while ago I wrote about wanting to skip it on my workdays (only three days a week) because it was costing me precious sleep.

From time to time I skip a day or so anyway, so it didn't seem like such a big deal, but it was. Turns out that when I don't at least intend to do it every day the whole habit of it just kind of blows up in my face. By that I mean that I didn't do my morning art at all, not even on the days when I did have the time!

Also I noticed that I missed the routine of it. After doing this for such a long time it seems my mind/body/system (or whatever is affected by these things) felt completely unbalanced without it. Kind of like I feel when I don't journal for a while. Apparently this whole morning art thing has become 'something I do' and when I don't, it bugs me. In any case, I did not like it.

For some reason it is hard for me to have a habit that I only keep up several days a week. I have to do it every day, or at least have the intention to do it on a daily basis. Now I have always skipped on vacations and sometimes for practical reasons, but never as part of the routine, if that makes any sense. Vacations for instance are all about getting out of your regular routines so that doesn't bother me at all.

So after about two weeks of trying to start my day without it, I got back to it and yes, that again means that three days a week I have to get up at five in the morning. I hate getting up at five in the morning! But I hate not doing my morning art even more. Sigh....

All this is a very long intro into five more portraits that I finished recently. Here are portraits number 16 to 20.

Just the other day I was curious as to how many days I have actually done morning art over the past years, so I started adding up and I came to around 720! Like I said I don't do them on vacations, I don't do them when I have the flu or when I'm away from home and last year I took a hiatus of an entire month for personal reasons, but still...720 is a big number in my book and I'm quite proud of it.

It's interesting that it's a bit hard for me sometimes to explain why I do this morning art thing in the first place, but that it's something I really miss when I don't do it. I guess in the end it's just a rewarding thing to start your day with a bit of creativity.

Hope you are doing something rewarding in your neck of the woods and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tiny Mandalas

Near the couch in my living room I keep a very small pocket sized sketchbook that I don't take out very often, but that I do love having around just in case. It is completely dedicated to mandalas. Tiny mandalas. Because...well...there's just no way you can draw huge mandalas in a tiny sketchbook.

Here are some I did recently:

Just like a lot of my grid drawings I do these while listening to podcasts. There's something so satisfying about combining my doodles with podcasts. It's also very relaxing.

All of the mandalas are drawn with a fineliner/micron pen and coloured in with regular felt tip pens. At the rate I'm drawing these it's going to take years to fill this tiny sketchbook, but it is a gem to look at already, so it's worth it. I enjoy having themed sketchbooks very much even though that means I have stacks of them unfinished. It also means there's always something to work on.

Hope you are enjoying some creative endeavours wherever you are and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The B6 journal continued ... and stopped

A while ago I showed you the traveler's notebook journal I was working on in B6 size. You can see that post here. 

As I told you then, I had purchased three B6 notebooks to use as inserts for the cover and I was not too pleased with the quality of the paper. After I finished the first insert I did complete the second, but it was a real struggle. I'm not even sure if it was just the paper, or the size (even though I actually love the size when I look at it) or just a case of the right book at the wrong time.

Don't get me wrong. The TN itself was and is absolutely stunning, but somehow the inserts and the journaling just were not working for me and it made me restless. So after a lot of back and forth in my mind (and in writing) I decided to abandon the book after I filled the second insert. That way I would simply have two B6 notebooks filled and I can use the third one maybe as a travel journal or regular notebook in the future.

So today I thought I would show you a selection of spreads from this second finished insert/notebook. I guess when you look at it you can't really tell I had so much trouble with it, but if you're Dutch and read some of the writing you will know I complain about it a lot. ;-)

I swear sometimes there's just no rhyme or reason as to why some journals work for you and others don't. Since I finished the B6 I have moved on to another journal that I absolutely love even though I can find things wrong with that one as well. But I just can't stay away from it and that's what matters. My journal needs to be a place I love to spend time in, not a place I dread to visit.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: if a certain book or format doesn't work for you feel free to quit prematurely and find something else to try. You may just be dealing with a not so perfect match. Don't immediately use it as an excuse to stop journaling altogether, you might be missing out on a wonderful experience. Unless of course you hate journaling in general, then you should just stay away from it, haha.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Morning Portraits

My current project of morning art continues. I'm filling a 32 page sketchbook with nothing but portraits. Most of these are done in multicolour pencils by Koh-i-noor. I like using these so much that I'm almost sorry I did the first two portraits in this sketchbook in watercolour. Those two now make the book look less consistent, but oh well...these things happen and it is only a sketchbook after all.

Here are portraits 10 to 15:

I'm still picking faces from the same (old) mail order catalogue I started with. I love drawing women and girls, I'm not sure why. I have always done this, since primary school actually. I was always drawing girl's faces in my notebook, often just from my imagination. I guess some things just stay with you your entire life. ;-)

Hope you are doing well wherever you are and wishing you a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Walking with a friend

I love walking and I live in the perfect place to do it. Mostly I do this on my own. I love the peace and quiet and the freedom to just take my time and enjoy the view, take pictures or just sort of medidate while moving and not having to talk to anyone. I am an introvert to the core of my being, so I don't often walk with others. But ... every now and then I make an exception.

The nice part of having the company of another person is that you get to see everything around you with fresh eyes. Now no one could ever accuse me of not seeing the beauty of the island I live on, but the enjoyment of someone who is visiting instead of living here makes it extra special somehow. It makes me extra aware of the privilege I have to be able to live here. It makes me grateful.

Here is one of my favourite companions to walk the island:

Every year my friend Monique visits for a few weeks during summer vacation, because she loves it here. We usually take the time to explore a little together. This is often a very relaxed slow going business. Yes, we walk, but we also spend hours on benches or having very very long lunches or drinks in local restaurants. There's lots of chatting, but also plenty of comfortable silence.

Recently we took a walk around the area of Kroonspolders which is on the west side of the island. I have shown pictures of this beautiful landscape before, but I can never stop taking pictures when I'm there. It was a windy pleasant day and we took our time strolling the area.

We enjoyed watching the endless landscape and spotting birds. We are not very knowledgeable when it comes to flora and fauna, but we had this free poster with local birds on it, so we could check them off. We were both very sorry we did not bring any binoculars, a thing I tend to forget all the time even though I have a very nice compact one.

After all that walking and watching we went to the Posthuys, which is a restaurant/hotel near the area, and enjoyed a very well deserved lunch while sitting on some very comfortable chairs.

We sat there for a long time and it was most relaxing. The great thing is that Monique shares my love of journaling and drawing and creativity in general, although she is more of the 'sketch what you see' persuasion and I am more of the 'patterns and doodles' persuasion. Of course we brought our journals/sketchbooks with us. It's nice to be around someone who just gets it, you know. ;-)

Just to prove I was actually there too, here's a picture Monique took of me at the beginning of our walk:

This is a bird watching cabin in the middle of the area that is otherwise restricted. The view from there is spectacular and some of the pics above were taken from that spot. On the bench you can see the free bird watching posters. Of course I took two of them so I could cut them up on both sides, which I did that very night and they live in my journal now. The parts I didn't use will go into my folder of collage fodder.

All in all it was a very good day and I hope you enjoyed tagging along with us vicariously through this blogpost. Wishing you some good times of your own and of course a wonderful and artsy day!

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