Friday, April 26, 2013

More from the White Book

Well, what do you know! Just last week I complained how I had not been journaling for ages and here I am showing you eight new pages! It seems just blogging about it was the kick in the butt I needed!

So, without further ado: here are some new pages from the White Book! Really truly it was the first time I worked in it in exactly a month!

The previous ones all had my own photographs as focal images, but I wanted to explore my new way of journaling a bit further and wondered if I could just use ephemera and magazine images as well, the way I used to in my altered atlases. Hmmm...turns out I could!

The funny part of these last pages is that the background is ... white! And that was what the original purpose of the White Book was, to work with white backgrounds (hence the name). I kindof stepped away from that, but now, almost naturally I come back around to it. Isn't it odd how that works? I don't think I will be able to do everything with a white background, but I do like the experiment and how it makes the colours pop.

I also feel this style is like a logical follow up of the altered atlas journals. Lots of collage and juxtapositions of images and words by intuition only, but this time with little to no room for writing. I really love where this book is going. Is it still a journal? Who knows? Who cares! I'm loving it and that's all that matters!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pattern Crazy

If you've been to my blog longer than today you know how much I love to colour in things, especially my own simple line drawings.

Lately however I have been obsessed with something that won't let go. It's basically pattern doodling. I draw these designs in a black marker and then colour them in. That's it. It's so relaxing and wonderful and I'm really enjoying it.

I think it started when some blogger put up something about a fabric pattern designer. Before I knew it I was googling for inspiration and I had ordered several books on pattern design, just to know how this stuff works. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut in these things.

I draw these mostly in a Moleskine Sketchbook and have found that the wretched paper of this sketchbook (it resists wet media!) is actually perfect for my Pitt Big Brush markers. They go on so smooth it's amazing, like the paper was made for them.

I have however also started a bigger pattern book in a Strathmore Mixed Media Journal. My idea is to fill that book with more patterned pages and then I can use them to photocopy and so make collage papers for myself (aren't I smart?).

So far I've only done one in that book though, so I'll keep that for another time when I have filled up more pages. I'll make sure to share them with you when the time comes and make good scans so you can print them and use them as collage papers (or whatever you want) as well.

For now I'm just showing you the Moleskine ones and I hope you enjoy them just for what they are: shapes and colour and repetition and sometimes symmetry. They are simply easy on the eye and that's the only reason I do them.

This one is the only one done with tombow markers and you can see how the paper resists the colour (grrr).

I think a lot of this 'mindless' pattern doodling is just my personal form of meditation. It's a good way to unwind the mind. Feel free to give it a go and see where it takes you!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Drawing Anoeschka

It's an interesting experience to be part of an online community or, as may be the case for me, several online communities. You can have interesting interactions with people you never even met and know little pieces of their lives, where in any other time you would never even have met them. I think this interaction is one of the coolest things to come out of my blogging and my partaking in a couple of discussion groups and Facebook.

One of the people I've never met is Anoeschka. I know very little about her except for the fact that she will be doing something amazing soon and is in full preparation for it right now. See, she's going to do a several hundred miles walk through The Netherlands together with her horse Ullah for a charity called 'Hersenstichting', which loosely translated means 'Brain Foundation', this is a charity that commits to research and help concerning people with all kinds of brain conditions. How fabulous is that?

I was ever so surprised when Anoeschka contacted me through Facebook to ask if I would draw her and her horse. I said yes immediately, since I like a challenge from time to time, but I also warned her not to expect too much, because I had no idea if I could even do it. So Anoeschka sent me some pictures of her and her horse.

I figured I would start easy with what I know and that's drawing faces. I hadn't drawn a horse in over 25 years, so I would keep that for later. So today I'm showing you some try out portrets of just Anoeschka. Consider it a way to get into the mood for this challenge. I added the reference picture so you can see if I'm close to the real thing or not. (Yes I left out the hand, I know my limits!)

The first is a very fast one in  a brown Stabilo Woody, which is like a cross between a crayon and a watercolor pencil.

The second one was done with a Tombow Brush Marker.

The last one was done with more detail and was made with a green Derwent Aquatone pencil (and wetted here and there).

All portraits were done in a really big sketchbook which measures A3 size. The paper in it is not really suited for wet media, as you can see in the buckling of the last portrait. I did however enjoy drawing the same face in different media to get a feel for it. I also like how different media can give a completely different look. So what do you think? Any good?

Meanwhile I have also done some first attempts on the horse, which was a lot more difficult, and it shows too! I will show you those probably sometime next week and I hope that soon I will be doing both of them togehter which is an ever bigger challenge, because of my problems with proportions and such. But I will keep trying until I have something that's at least a bit to my liking. (Anoeschka is way less critical than me by the way.)

It's a wonderful thing to stretch yourself like this, especially if you're not sure you can actually do it. I hope you like these first tries and who knows, you might like to try and do something a little intimidating yourself. You never know, you might surprise yourself!

Wishing you a wonderful and artsy week!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

We have a winner!

Well, 56 of you should be pretty excited right now, because today we pick a winner for my birthday giveaway! Who will win the beautiful Book Formerly Known As ROD Square? Let's find out shall we?

First I will write all your names on a piece of paper.

Then I cut you all up into little strips (ouch!). ;-)

Then I scrunched you up into little scrunches (this really is a painful process!). ;-)

And then I pulled out a winner...drum roll please!

It's Kim! Here's what she had to say:

And here's what I have to say:
Congratulations to you Kim! I'll mail you privately for further details and I hope you will enjoy this journal as much as I enjoyed making it.

To the rest of you:
Beter luck next time and thank you for all your wonderful birthday wishes and compliments, they will last me at least until my next birthday!

Enjoy the rest of your artsy weekend!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Photography Friday

Time for a peek through my camera phone lens, enjoy! ;-)

My assistant forming a circle of one.

Several trips to the main land means more ferry art.

One of my many household tasks lately: washing the curtains and cleaning the sliding doors. So proud of myself!

When a pond looks as gorgeous as this.... have no other option....

....but to take pictures from every angle!

Only one beach walk in the past few weeks. I feel deprived!

Still obsessed with drawing patterns and colouring them in. What's a girl to do but give in to this craziness?

Winter has stayed so long this year, nature is waking up late.

The annual beach cleaning, volunteered to help, along with other coworkers.

Ah yes, my birthday. A box of goodies for breakfast from my friend Patries...

...and a box of goodies for dinner from my friend Monique (Monk)!

Monk also made this gorgeous card. Isn't it cute?

Preparing for a bookclub meeting is so much easier with a helpful assistant on top of things.

More birthday goodies by mail. These are from Marit. So cool!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

From the White Book

Every now and then I will have these periods of time when I hardly journal. I neither write nor do collage or anything like it in a journal or diary. Unfortunately right now I'm in one of those periods.

When I don't write it's like the other creative things fall by the wayside as well, it's strange how these things are interlinked. It's like one is symptomatic of the other.

The reason is simply that I have been too busy with other tasks and few of them artsy (although I am drawing patterns a lot of which I'll show you some next week).

I'm mostly busy around the house. I don't know if it's the spring cleaning bug or something, but I have a great need to get my house and garden in order and especially the last one is in a lot of disorder. I have been working really hard cleaning things out, both indoors and outdoors. You know, just purging this enormous amount of possessions I have accumulated over time.

It feels really good to do this, but it leaves me rather tired at the end of the day with little energy for sitting in my studio and getting some art work done. In short...I just don't feel like it right now.

It's okay, I will get back to it, I always do and I do feel proud of finally tackling some household tasks and upkeep that have been pestering me for ages. I feel all accomplished about it actually, haha.

But lucky for you I still have some pages from the White Book that I haven't shown you yet, so that's what you're getting from me today. Maybe it will inspire both of us to get back to journaling. Let's hope so!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge - Natural Surfaces

The theme for the Sketchbook Challenge of March was right up my alley, namely 'natural surfaces'. Since I'm already fascinated by those I often take pictures like these:

These are close ups of tree bark that I took on my walks. I spent a whole walk especially taking pictures for the challenge so I could do something with them in my sketchbook. I took a couple of dozen pictures and here's what I did with them:

I printed them as a contact sheet and filled an entire spread with them.

I did a mixed media spread with paint and collage and markers, much fun was had with this one!

I tried to turn the shapes of one of the pictures into abstract art in different media.

All the above spreads were done in my Studio Book by the way and this book measures 25x25 cm (10x10 inches). It's nice to take a theme in different directions and see where it might lead you. I like the differences in the looks of the spreads and the variety in materials I used and yet it's also obvious they belong together. That's what a theme can do for you! ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!