Friday, November 30, 2012

Photography Friday

Autumn is passing. Slowly but steadily the branches of the trees are getting more and more empty. I'm showing you some of the last fall colors before they are gone. I will miss them.

What I do love about more and more leaves falling is the thick carpet they leave on the forest floor. So soft and colourful to walk on. So beautiful. And also I am looking forward to winter and to even shorter days than there already are. I'm such a none summer person that autumn and winter are like one big holiday to me. Even though spring is still four months away I'm already feeling time is speeding too fast. In a few weeks it will be Christmas already! Can't fall and winter stay all year this season? Just once? Please? ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend and do come back next week for my atc-tutorial!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Working on a tutorial

I had so hoped to be ready this week with my next tutorial, but even though the bigger part of it is finished I still need to do another part of it. Am I being vague enough? See, I'm working on a tutorial that will be probably be a four parter. Shall I give some hints?

We will play with acrylic paints.

We will color stuff with markers.

We will be drawing with paint markers.

We'll tear up book pages.

We'll use shiny little bits and pieces.

We could make use of a circle template.

Alright already! Stop twisting my arm! If you look very carefully underneath the last picture it will show you what I'm so busy with. See, I'm working on a tutorial on atc's. We'll be making a big background sheet with mixed media and then cut it up into several atc shapes and then I'll show you three different ways to make atc's from the same background and how to make them nice and sturdy.

So far I've done the background and two series of atc's. I just need to finish up the last series and then I'm good to go. So I wanted to do a full week of blogposts on atc's, but that's just not going to happen this week. It will however happen next week and today is nothing more than a teaser of what's to come (and a way to show you that I'm busy for you all). Hope you look forward to it!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

My first digital endeavours

Well well, she of the analogue preference has actually bought something this week she never thought she would. Lookit:

That's right. It's a tablet computer. It's a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for those who care about stuff like that. I decided against an i-pad because through google this baby integrates with my phone and automatically takes over my preferred apps and settings which is kind of nifty. Anyway, now I got one I spent most of the past nights trying to tweak it to my liking and looking into the wonderful yet confusing world of apps.

Of course I already have a nice amount of apps on my phone, but this is the first time that I actually looked into creative and artsy apps. No matter how much I love my phone I just don't see myself drawing and sketching on it. I do use it all the time for photography, which is a thing I cannot see myself doing with the tab, although technically it is possible. All of that has to do with the screen size of course. Photography is easier with a small gadget and drawing is more practical with a big one. That's just how it works.

Anyway, so I downloaded some paid and free apps for drawing/sketching/painting and photo-editing and yesterday I did my first two pieces

Please keep in mind that these were made just to test some of the brushes in two different apps and not really well thought out pieces of anything. ;-) Still, I love what you can do with these apps. Especially the second one. It looks like I went through some very intricate complicated strokes there, but it does that all by itself just by picking certain brushes. It's so much fun! The first one is from an app that seems more intended for children. I'll share the names of the apps once I make sure that they are really to my liking and I've had a bit more experience with them.

I have some more complicated ones that I still need to get into, but I just wanted to show you my first two tablet pieces of art, just 'cause it was such a joy to make them. Like an e-reader will never replace real books for me, this tab will never replace my studio, but both sure are convenient and fun to play with. So I will probably be showing you all some digital stuff from time to time in the future and let's hope my results will improve over time (although I don't dislike these). I also just got a stylus, so I can draw a bit more precise, the above were done with my finger.

If any of you know of a good artsy app I'm open to suggestions and if any of you have dabbled with digital tablet art I would love to see it. Leave a comment if you have something to share and I'll check it out.

Another question: does anybody know of a good app for blogging that interacts with blogger? The Blogger app absolutely sucks and I simply refuse to use it. It's completely unfit for bloggers who want to show a lot of imagery and adapt the size and captions of their images. Tips are welcome.

Time for wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend. I'll be having my first full weekend to myself in four weeks, so I'm pretty pleased right now. I want to play!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Butterfly music (mixing the old with the new)

A few days ago I wanted to try out some of my new supplies that I got at the Kreadoe. I started by doing a background with some acrylic paint dabbers (I was only moderately impressed by those by the way, especially when used on top of gesso).

I had no idea what I was going to do and that's when intuition takes over. Here's the spread I eventually ended up with.

I used some new stamp inks, some new stamps and the aforementioned acrylic dabbers. But what was extra fun is that I also used some materials that I hadn't used in a long time. The girl is drawn in oil pastels. I don't think I've used oil pastels in over a year before this and it was such fun to get reacquainted with them. Especially rubbing them out with my fingers made this page feel very ... what's the word?....tangible?...maybe even sensual?

The words came into my head while making the spread simply because of the combination of imagery and it seemed like a nice and poetic thing to say.

Here are some close ups of this spread:

It's fun to combine the old with the new.  Don't be afraid to revisit old materials, they might surprise you. Sometimes it has been so long ago that they are new all over again. ;-)

 Hope you liked this little peek into my sketchbook and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A journal session for two

A few months ago one of my online pals, Chanou, mailed me to tell me she was going to come to the island with her family sometime in the fall. She asked if it would be too much trouble to spend a day together journaling, so she could finally get going on something she had been wanting to do for a long time. She even bought some books about it, but just needed a little jump start.

Meet Chanou! We both are bookgrrls! Bookgrrls is an online reading group for (dutchie) women.

Well, if I ever had a mission to go for world domination I would do it by making everybody journal, so of course I said yes. There cannot be too many art journalers in the world. Of course I was a little nervous too. The thing is that when you present yourself online and show your stuff, people start to think you actually know what you are doing, but the truth is I often feel like someone who's just dabbling and trying stuff out. Also I'm always a little worried that people who do this journaling thing for the first time will ask me questions and then think that my way is the only way. It's not. It's just my way. In short...I didn't want her expectations to be too high (that's probably my inner control freak worrying too much).

But Chanou insisted she just wanted to get some inspiration and to get over the hump of starting. So...we started. Last Saturday was J-day (journal day) and we spend almost the entire day exploring the wonderful world of art journaling. Here's a little  photo report of what we did.

I started by showing her how to make a simple one signature journal. We both made one of 16 pages that was A5 size, so nice and compact.  And no, like the forgetful person I am I did not take pictures of this process. Sigh....

Then it was time to get out the supplies for putting some color on the pages. We worked at my journaling table of course!

I showed her some simple backgrounds techniques with watercolor, acrylics, a sponge, babywipes and some stencils!

Here are some of Chanou's backgrounds:

Aren't they gorgeous? I noticed how much more detail she puts into them than I do. I love seeing how different another person can work with the same materials.

Here are some of my backgrounds:

I have much more of a tendency to splash and go and move on. For me the details usually don't come until I really start working on the pages. The background is just that....a background. Different approaches and both cool.

Then we started filling the pages with collage and penwork and other stuff. Time to pull out things like this:

Oh washi tape, how we love thee!

And here's Chanou picking and choosing what to do next. So much to choose from!

Of course we had way too little time to really fill our journals, but at least we got a start and here's some of the results. Keep in mind they are not always fully finished spreads.

These are some of Chanou's:

This is my favorite of hers.

And here are some of mine:

This is my favorite of mine.

All in all we worked for about five hours. And before that we had already done some 'research' by looking at some books and some of my old journals, so I could get a feel for what she wanted. It was fabulous.

At the end of the day we were rewarded with a wonderful dinner in the vacation rental where she and her family were staying. Chanou made some wonderful Carribean food, yum! If you want to know about her culinary endeavours you should totally check out her blog. She is very much into bento for instance and makes the most beautiful boxes.

Doing this made me realize how much fun it is to share your love for journaling with someone else and to pass on a little knowledge on techniques and materials. So if anybody among you is ever in the neighbourhood you're more than welcome to drop by and we'll have ourselves a private journaling session!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photography Friday

Yep, it's that time again. Time to go through my pictures of the past few weeks and show you some of my favorites. If you like my pictures you might like to befriend me on facebook, because I often post a picture there of things I'm doing or working on. It's becoming like a little online journal for myself. My facebook link is on the sidebar. Now let's see what's been going on lately!

A bike path along autumny trees. Autumn is everywhere right now.

I have to walk on my lunchbreaks now instead of after work, because it gets too dark. This means different routes.

Working on a spread in my sketchbook. Little houses. They are such fun!

The paths in the forest are carpeted with leaves. It somehow has a luxurious feel to it.

I can't get enough of autumn. I wish it would last forever. Well, maybe not forever, but longer than it does.

Orange and yellow and red, oh my!

Failed picture of a chandelier at Hotel Leiden, but still cool! We had a fancy dinner there!

Went to the musical "Soldaat van oranje" in this theatre, it's a former airplane hangar. It was fabulous by the way!

Self portrait in mirror of hotel bathroom. It's so difficult to take nice self portraits!

Clouds, sun and low tide...a wonderful combination.

Walking up to the light house. Isn't it a cutie?

The lighthouse from the other side (on a different day)!

Hope you enjoyed these snapshots of the past two weeks. Can you believe the weekend is here again already? I have some wonderful plans since an online pal of mine is coming over and we are going to journal together. She says she wants me to inspire her, but no pressure. Ahem....right....;-) (Just kidding Chanou!)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!