Friday, May 31, 2013

Photography Friday

Can you believe it? It's time for another Photography Friday! I try to do one every two weeks and it amazes me how fast the time goes. It also always amazes me how many pictures I take in two weeks. I'm always seeing something.

So without further ado, here's some shots of the past two weeks.

A tree tunnel.

Spring blossoms. So pretty.

Working on the Sketchbook Challenge of April. Yes, I'm late, very late.

I love how green everything is becoming. Such fresh newness.

Same thing around the pond. Green has so many shades.

On the edge of the forest, a view over the dunes.

Fascinated by how these pines made a drawing against the sky.  I might sketch this some day.

Close up of pine cones in the making.

A dandelion passed it's prime and still so beautiful.

On a wet day this felt like a rain forest to me.

The colours become so sharp and clear. People were complaining about the wet weather, but I loved it.

The local church through some fresh greens.

Sketchbook bliss!

Leeuwarden, where I went shopping.

Oh studio, how I love thee!

A well rooted tree.

My assistant being in the way as usual. See that green stripe on his face? That's from a crayon!

Eventually the sun did come through and gave the island some warmth.

Hope you enjoyed this little view in what I come across in my day to day explorations.

Today is a bit of a historic day. It's my last day as a full time employee. Come next week I'll be a part timer and have three day work weeks and four day weekends every week! I can't believe this is really happening, but it is. So happy!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More pattern doodles

I'm still really enjoying playing with pattern doodles in my Moleskine sketchbook. I'm not sure if pattern doodles is a term anybody else uses, but that is exactly what they are, so I'm using it for these drawings.

I first draw the patterns with an ordinary Pitt brush pen. It's fun coming up with different shapes, repetitions and schemes. I feel I have only scratched the surface of what's possible when it comes to patterning and I have a lot to learn about it so I don't keep falling back on the same shapes all the time. 

The most fun part however is colouring them in. For this I use Pitt Big Brush markers and they are absolutely wonderful on the Moleskine sketchbook paper. It's like they were made for each other. A match made in doodle heaven!

I like picking colour variations and seeing how they affect the patterns. I'm finding I like contrasting schemes a lot better than monochromatic schemes. For instance I like the doodles above a lot better than the ones before that with all the blues, simply because those seem more boring to me. 

It's also like doing a bit of a puzzle sometimes. Where does which colour go, how many colours do I use in one pattern and how do they fit together?  Especially with small patterns like the one on the right above it can be easy to make a mistake.

Still all in all it's a very relaxing thing to do and basically I just think they look pretty. ;-) They will also serve me well as ideas for bigger patterned pages that I can use for collage. I still have to do those, but I'll be sure to keep you informed when they come into being.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Anoeschka and Ullah finally finished

You may remember that my online friend Anoeschka asked me to draw her and her horse Ullah. To get into things, especially the horse daunted me,  I did some try out sketches of both of them separately. You can see the sketches of Anoeschka here and those of Ullah here.

But sooner or later I would of course have to leave my sketchbook and do the actual assignment. I took a watercolour book and sketched the both of them in pencil (I didn't take a picture of that) and then outlined them with a brush marker. Then the picture looked like this.


I have to admit I was quite pleased with it. It's not a very elaborate drawing, but I don't think it needs to be. Getting lost in too much detail is not my thing anyway and I really admire people who can draw meticulously.

I decided to colour the drawing in with watercolour paint. I also decided to add some lettering on the left side and a very simple background. The end result can be seen in the following pictures, with some detail shots as well.

Anoeschka has seen the picture, but not the original yet which I still have to send to her. But she seemed very pleased with the result and that in turn of course makes me happy.

I found this request quite challenging, but I'm glad I went and did it. It taught me again I can do more than I sometimes think and that's it's good to stretch your comfort zone a little. I hope you enjoyed following the process and that you like how it turned out.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Back to my old ways - The White Book continued

At the beginning of this year I decided to put my old journaling style aside for at least a while and keep a separate journal for writing and a more visual journal in the White Book. I have really enjoyed writing willy nilly without having to think about layout or how much room I had to write. does make for a rather dull book to look at. I like my books to look interesting!

On the other side of the spectrum was the White Book. I've let you share in my struggle to make it work and I actually found some nice ways to fill a page and learned to enjoy making spreads or separate pages without thinking too much about writing. I liked the new type of pages I did in the White Book. I liked them a lot.

But what's happening now is what has happened every time after a while of trying to separate my journal writing from my more visual journaling and that is that I miss the combination of the two as I usually put them in my books. And at some point I always return to my old way of doing things.

It seems that for me there is only one way to work that really makes me feel like keeping a journal and that is to combine the visual with lots and lots of writing. I may do this in different ways through the times, but still it boils down to the same thing. I cannot seperate my writing from the visual aspect.

Well, I can, but only temporary and it never feels like I'm keeping a journal. My White Book became more like a photo-album and my written journal became like a diary. It's only together that for me they are like a journal.

This is a very personal thing and you may wonder why I even bother to try different approaches, but at the time I make these decisions I really need to step away from my usual way of working so I can broaden my horizon a little. And I have learned some new things in making up a page and in writing. This is good.

Compare it to traveling. You need to see things outside your own world in order to really appreciate what you have take what you saw back home with you and it influences your life. I think for instance that the one page collages I did in the White Book are something I really want to keep up  from time to time to give room for bigger prints of my own photographs. And I liked playing with magazine images to make a collage. The White Book could just be a next step to a combination of ways of journaling.

But the writing must return to it and so it has. In this post  you see four finished spreads and two spreads that are still waiting for writing. I so enjoyed going back to that way of working. This is the cool part about being an artist and a journaler or maybe just about being a person in the free world: you are allowed to change your mind. And guess what? You are allowed to change it a hundred times over!

The journey of my journaling keeps putting challenges before me, but I must stay true to myself and if at some point I need to turn back to where I came from, so be it. I will bring the experience with me and this way nothing goes to waste!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

(PS Because it's a bit of busy week for me I will only be posting once this week. See you next week!)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Photography Friday

It's Photography Friday again. Enjoy!

Spent my birthday gift certificates on art supplies....

... and books! So happy!

View over the pond near my house. I love this pond from every angle and in every weather.

A beautiful day, a blue sky and a white boat. What else is there to wish for?

The first really green tree I saw. It's like it came out of nowhere!

The dyke is getting quite green too and the dandelions are in bloom.

My completely useless assistant taking up space on my studio table while I play with my water colours.

Better weather means sitting in the dunes with my face in the sun. Mmmmm....

Still keeping my shoes on though. It's not that warm yet.

A little valley next to the forest.

A narrow path through the trees begging to be explored.

Useless yes, but oh so relaxed. He's the king of napping!

I cheated on my assistant with this dog. I'm so in love with her. She's my sisters.

Harlingen on a busy boat day.

Found the perfect containers for my alcohol markers. Yay!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend. Mine will be three days long, so I'm pretty happy about that! Well...until June of course, then they will all be four days long, but that's for the future, right now I'll take what I can get. ;-)