Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Beauty

Autumn is here and nature is showing it. The woods on our island are boasting spectacular colors all around and I can't get enough of looking at all that fall beauty.

I love autumn. I've read some blogs where people state they love autumn, but hate that it's a prelude to winter. I'm not one of those people. For me the fact that winter comes after fall is just a bonus. I love dark days, I love the storms that visit us this time of year, I love that the clock is at it's normal rythm again (I just don't get daylight saving time). I love that it gets colder. I love it both outside and inside where finally the time is coming to burn candles and make things extra cosy. In short: I'm a winter person, not a summer person.

Every autumn I walk around with my camera and shoot the leafs. Mostly I take shots like these:

I'm fascinated by the variation of patterns and colors on leafs. I take close ups and shoot from a distance too so I can photograph groups of leafs.

But this fall my attention was also drawn to those leafs that had already left the tree they used to live on. And once my attention was drawn I saw beautiful fresh fallen specimens everywhere.

Such beautiful reds and yellows no artist can do better. And then I saw some real street art! I was walking this biking trail and noticed how the leafs that had fallen a while ago were sort of starting to merge with the ground. I found it breathtaking and there I went again klick klick klicking away on my camera.

It might be interesting to try to get this effect on an actual painting or mixed media piece. For now however I will just enjoy the way it looks in real life. Art really is everywhere! Keep your eyes open and you might see it too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What are you up to Wednesday - part 28 (woyww125)

It seems that long before Jen Osbon started her "What are you up to today" thing (see sidebar) there was Julia Dunnit's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (also see sidebar). So I figured I might as well join that too. So here's a big hello to those of you who are on that blogsy involvement thing (I have no idea what the word is for something like this). Anyway, for me this is my 28th what are you up to post, but my first WOYWW post. I hope it's okay if I just keep calling it What are you up to Wednesday, cause I so like the sound of that.

Anyway, here's what's on my workdesk in the studio:

It's not a great picture, but you get the idea. What you're looking at is my Studio Book and my new big inktense pencil box (still in love). I'm doing another flower-with-background-drawing. I have already colored in the background and now have to move on to the flowers themselves. After that I will try to ad some shading and details so it's a little less 'flat'. I do enjoy the colors of these pencils, they are indeed in(k)tense!

On my worktable downstairs the situation is like this:

On the left is my out-of-the-studio book with a big doodle/zentangle thingy. I have finished the black and white, but still need to shade with a pencil. When it's done I will show it more up close.
On the right is the altered atlas journal with a spread that is half finished. This one has some of my own photographs and some glitzy stickers to liven it up a little. And writing of course, always lots of writing.

So this Wednesday it's all about the sketchbooks. I have some bigger projects lining up, but I feel more like just playing around a little and not thinking too much. Some Wednesdays will be like that. ;-)

Wishing you all a very artsy and happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

More journal spreads from the atlas

In between everything else I do (or don't do as is sometimes also the case), my journal is one steady factor that almost quietly continues.

I may sometimes feel like I'm doing nothing artsy at all, but in the meantime I still journal.

I sometimes may skip a day, I may even skip two days, but it happens rarely and when I wait too long I become grumpy and grouchy like the grinch who stole journaling.

Journaling has become second nature to me so much, that I hardly consider it anything special anymore.

But it is special of course.

Putting my journal on display helps me realize just how fortunate I am to be able to express myself through my journal.

I love the visual aspect of the images and the colors. I love the words that just flow out of my pen, straight from my mind to the page.

I'm creating a reflection of my life and in doing so I can reflect on my life.

It's a good tool to have and I'm grateful for it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sketchcrawl Gouda - what I sketched

I have been raving about the Sketchcrawl all week now without actually showing you any sketches! But today's the day for the big reveal. Ahem...drums please...;-)

I filled ten pages in my sketchbook last Saturday and most of them are simple line drawings done with a pitt brush pen. No masterpieces were made, but I did have a wonderful time doing moderately quick drawings of what I saw. I hope you will enjoy them.

I started out with some people sketches at the meeting point (the windmill).

People always look at me funny when I paste a tea package in my sketchbook!

I had lunch on a bench by this canal.

There was an industrial complex near the windmill. Another world.

The only sketch I colored in.

If you really study this drawing, you will see it makes no sense. I got lost in the lines.

The tower of a church. I drew the same one last january.

Pipes in the distance and a chair sideways.

I like doing these quick sketches of people  most of all.

The guy on the right is the miller, he volunteered to pose for me!

All in all it was a pretty productive day, which is good, but still the best part of a sketchcrawl is to be around fellow sketchers. It's just wonderful to be around people who actually get you and who are enthusiastically looking at each others books. For that alone I would recommend a visit to a sketchcrawl. The next one will be in January and I sure hope I will be able to attend.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What are you up to Wednesday - part 27

This Wednesday it's all about scoring (almost) free stuff! Yay!

As you may know my current journal is an altered atlas and it is in its final stages. I think it will be finished in two to three weeks. After that I will switch to my ROD2 journal, but since the last one was filled so quickly (a mere six weeks for an entire journal is pretty fast for me) I am already on the lookout for the one after that. Also it takes some time to prepare a book for journaling the way I do, which means gessoing the pages and putting color on them before I start using it, so it's ready to go. So off to the local thrift store I went. And look what I found:

It's two huge books! They are even bigger than the atlas! How cool is that? The red one is a family world atlas from the seventies and measures about 26.5 x 32.5 cm. The beige one is a huge book on ancient civilizations. It has some wonderful illustrations in it and since I will be tearing half the pages out (to leave room for collage), I will have some great collage fodder of it as well. This second book measures 26 x 35.5 cm.

These two books together set me back 5 euro's, which is next to nothing for such wonderful books, so I was very happy to find them.

Then the mailman came and brought this:

A big envelope from across the Atlantic. It was a generous offering by a fellow blogger, namely Pat from Art Kerfuffle. She has been showing off some incredible handmade books she and her friend Gaye are making with the use of security envelopes. It was Mary Ann Moss who put my attention to the amazing patterns that can be found in those envelopes, but...over here in the Netherlands they are mostly just bland grey or blue. I go through tons of mail at work and it's very rare to find anything interesting at all. I complained about this on Pats blog and wouldn't you know it: she offered to send me a selection of her collection of envies. Wow! Was I ever happy about that!

This is one of the most wonderful things of the internet and blogging: you get to 'meet' some really generous people who for no reason at all send you wonderful things.

Now let's open the envelope, shall we?

Two packages! Looks like there's more in here than just some security envelopes. Let me say up front that I'm already smitten with the popcorn bag. (Is that weird?). What could possibly be inside all this?

Oh my, it's generosity overload! ;-) Not only is there a ton of security envelopes in there, there's also a lovely piece of fabric, a sweet little book of tags, some sheets of braille paper (yay!) and some wonderful pens which are said to write on anything! And of course a nice note from Pat. I am just in heaven with this truck load of stuff. So...thank you so much Pat!

If you don't know Pat you should really check out her blog. Not only does she make wonderful things, especially books, but she also has an irresistible sense of humor. So hurry on over there and leave an admiring comment!

Now all that's left to do is wish you a wonderful artsy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Location location

Location, it's supposed to be everything isn't it? Well, it helps, that's for sure!

The location for the sketchcrawl of last Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. It was an old windmill in the city of Gouda that was situated near the city center. Because I didn't take many pictures last time I spent most of the morning there taking photographs.

I know I know, I was there to draw, but I'm a person who sees images everywhere and then drawing can be frustratingly slow. So, here's a little photographic impression of the beautiful city of Gouda. I'll just let the images speak for themselves.

We were allowed to climb the windmill and that's were you got the most beautiful vistas. As you can see the weather was really good as well. It had frozen in the morning (we were quite surprised by that), but the afternoon sun was pleasantly warm. It was like a perfect day.

I know you're all wondering what I drew that day and I will show you that on Friday. I just couldn't resist showing off one of our beautiful Dutch cities. Hope you enjoyed it.