Monday, May 31, 2010

Start of new signature journal and a little commission

As I already said in my previous post I am working on a second signature journal. So far it's a little different from the first one, but who knows how it will turn out in the end. Anyway, I finished the front cover this weekend. It's a little 'crowded' for my taste, but I am trying not to judge my own work too much. In trading art I have often found that others have completely different preferences to me when it comes to my own art and stuff that I was not too proud of was considered really cool and stuff I loved hardly got any attention. So one never knows what people might like. Therefore there may be two rules to live by: 1. Don't judge your own art and 2. Put everything online no matter how much you think it sucks, cause you never know who might like it! ;-)

So here's the cover for whatever it's worth:

The next pictures need some explaining: A few months ago a niece of mine asked me to make something for an empty wall in her new house. She is actually going to pay for it, so you could call it my first little real commission!

After sketching and trying out ideas I finally came up with something we both could live with (in this I was far more critical than she by the way) and now I have started to work on the actual canvasses. For her pleasure and my own I want to put up the process of making the paintings. It's a set of three long thin canvasses that are each 40 cm wide and 120 cm long. Together they form a square, but the plan is that they will be hung with a little space between them. I have never worked on such a big surface before!

I will first show the two final concepts I showed her that will form the base for the actual paintings:

She preferred the dark one because it would contrast better with her white walls.  The colors in the actual paintings will be a little different though.

Anyway, I have today started on the first layers on the 'real' paintings and here's how that looks:

It is simply a first layer of gesso and then torn pieces of sketchbookpaper glued on with acrylic medium.

And this is all three of them. Hard to believe they will one day actually look like something that can go up on a wall!

I hope to add more layers to them this week and will show the progress as I go along. Can't wait to see how they will turn out!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

One cannot have an artsy blog without art

Ain't that the truth. How sad it would be to link people to my blog without anything to show them. So for my first artsy contribution I thought I'd show you my latest adventure in art journaling. Art journaling is a great love of mine (bigger than Hugh Jackman and chocolate) and I have been doing it for year now. I also keep written journals as writing is a first necessity in my life to keep sane.

This project is my first signature journal. So far I had only been working in ready made blank books and albums or just on loose index cards. But this is the first time I have actually made a little booklet from scratch. The signature is 16 pages thick and I keep it in a manila envelope that I still want to decorate. I made this journal in the course of seven days. I wanted to do it in four (I had this long weekend and it was sort of a personal challenge), but as is always the case with me I totally overestimated my abilities! Oh well, I finished it and that's the most important thing, right? (Right)

So here are the spreads. The first spread is actually the cover, so it gets folded when the book is closed into the front and the back.

The first 'real' spread is about finding a place where your belong. I added magazine pictures that spoke to me as a place to call home.

This spread is about longing (sehnsucht is beautiful german word for this that cannot really be translated well). I have this quote of Alice Walker in my office that goes "Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise" I believe this spread sort of speaks of that.

The next spread is about my love for London and how it intervenes with my wish to visit Rome one day. I was going to go to Rome this year, but i would have meant not going to London, so I decided against is. That's how much I love the British capital.

The next spread is what it says, a long letter to my muse ;-)

The following spread is my personal favorite. I love the way the bird stands out against the yellow moon.

Ah yes, love, been living without it for a long time. It's a good thing I'm such a loner, but sometimes.....

The final spread is about doing what feels right and to just keep making art no matter what.

And with that it's a wrap on my first signature journal. I am currently working on a second one and will show that as soon as I can.

Starting an artsy blog

Well, I suppose we all must start somewhere. For what feels like forever I have wanted to start a blog about my artsy stuff. Yes artsy 'STUFF'! Far be it from me to proclaim my art endeavors are anything like Art with a capital A.

I want to start this blog for two reasons:
First of all of course to simply show what I make to the world and maybe share my art with others who have the same passion as me, as I have been doing in several yahoo groups already. I do this for myself too, since I always have this mistaken idea that I am not productive at all and by telling myself on this blog what I actually do I may once and forever rid myself of this ridiculous notion.
My second reason is the fact that I have been struggling with the 'meaning'of my art making for a while now. I don't mean the artworks in themselves (my art is what it is and that's that), but why I make art in the first place. For a long time I thought I would like to make money doing what I love best, but every time I ventured in that direction the fun would just leave me. It became a chore and I hate chores, hate them, hate them! ;-) But still: just making art for me and never sharing it with the world is not good enough either. Sigh...So maybe over here I can share a little of my struggle for meaning and still keep the pleasure alive.
So here's my intention: to write about my art and to write about art and (my) life.
For my Dutch friends and family: you may have noticed this blog is in english. If you didn't you're either totally blind or totally brilliant (I leave the choice up to you). Because most of my internet contacts are from all over the world I thought it most practical to write in English. I assume English is spoken by more people in The Netherlands than Dutch is spoken by other people. So you'll have to adjust.

I have no idea where this blog will lead me. I'll just take it as it comes.

As I am writing this I am still struggling with the lay out and things like that, so bear with me please for a while. It took me a whole two hours just to get the little gadget to work that links to my flickr, so it may take me years to figure out how to make this page look just like I want it.

Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this blog as it evolves and I hope I will as well!