Monday, August 31, 2015

The Spiral Book (aka the new journal)

It feels a little silly to put 'the new journal' as a heading to this post, because actually I have been working in my current journal for almost two months already and it is getting very full and pretty close to the finish line. But it's new for you, so what else can I say?

The 'new' journal looks like this:

It is a very basic spiral bound sketchbook. The original cover has the orange quarter circle on it, but the rest of the decoration is mine. I turned it into a quarter mandala. ;-)

The book is slightly wider than a landscape A5 and I am absolutely in love with this size and also with the paper in it, which is a really nice white sketchbook paper that will take a lot of wet media.

Now the problem is that I have only seen this sketchbook once in the department store where I bought it and never again and I don't know what brand it is either. When I bought it there were only two there, and I'm still very sorry I didn't by the other one as well, because this book suits me very very nicely. So this is a call out to all of you (especially the Dutchies): if you recognize this book or know where I can get it online, please tell me, because I want about 300 of these! ;-)

Anyway, here are some spreads from my current journal that I have dubbed The Spiral Book, because I'm original like that.

The atc and the tape in this spread were a gift from Lynn Bishop.

As with the former journal, The Canson Book, this journal is a lot of photography and writing and just a little decoration, but I have done some art in it and actually I plan to do a specific post on a specific kind of art I've done in this book sometime next week.

As you can see sometimes I use the journal as is and sometimes I flip it sideways, whatever feels more comfortable at the time, and I use many different coloured pens for writing. I hardly ever use spiral bound journals, so this is a new thing for me and I am quite enjoying it. I do protect the spiral and the book by carrying it around in a simple tote, because spiral bound books have a tendency to get damaged more easily. So far this is working well.

I hope you liked this peek in my journal and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Walking Pictures (and a big thank you)

Hello my blogsy people. It has been a while, longer than I expected. The passing of my assistant hit me pretty hard. I want to thank you all for the wonderful sweet comments, mails, messages and other signs of sympathy I received. I was pretty overwhelmed by your kindness both here on the blog and on Facebook. I was even more overwhelmed by the fact that I received several snail mails in my mailbox from some of you. I cannot express how much I appreciate it all, so thank you, thank you, thank you. You all warm my heart.

I'm slowly getting on with life. I've decided to stay catless for a little while, but eventually I'm sure I will hire another assistant. I just want to get over this one first. I've lost cats before and it's never easy, but I'm finding it especially hard this time, because he simply was not an old cat yet and it feels really unfair that we did not get more time together. Still, as the cliche states: life goes on. It really does.

It's time to pick up the blog again. It was good to be away from it for a while, but I feel it's also instrumental in getting my life back to normal again. So I thought I'd start with a selection of some off my most recent walking picures. Hope you enjoy!

All these pictures were taken on the island, except the last one. That was taken in the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen that I got to visit with my coworkers on an group outing last Wednesday. The museum showcases an oldfashioned fishing town and is very picturesque. Most of the day was spend playing a puzzle game together with all kinds of assignments (big fun!), so I did not have a lot of time for photography, but that just means I will have to return some day soon and bring my camera, right?

Here on the island the busy season is slowly starting to come to an end. School vacations will be over in two days, then next weekend we'll have the annual music and art festival Into The Great Wide Open and after that we will have what is called the after season, where there will still be tourists, but the overflow of them will be gone, yay!

Hope everything is well wherever you are and I wish you a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saying goodbye to the assistant

If you have been following events on Facebook and Instagram this will not come as a surprise to you, but for the rest of you I have some very sad news. I have had to say goodbye to my sweet furry assistant Peer.

I got him from an animal shelter less than four years ago and he was without a doubt one of the most affectionate cats that ever lived. Unfortunately he was already suffering from a chronic flu/cold type of thing (I don't know the English word for this, so you'll have to forgive me, but for the Dutchies among you: "niesziekte". ).

He had antibiotics several times when I just got him, but he did not respond to them. He was however feeling great and doing fine, except for the occasional sneeze attack and leaving snot all over the house for me to clean. So it was really  more of a practical problem that I could live with just fine, since he was such a wonderful addition to my household.

But unfortunately such a condition does do damage over time and this is what has been happening over the past two months or so. He slowly got worse and worse. We tried several treatments and medications, but he only started to get more miserable. So I had to make a decision in his best interest and he was euthanized two days ago.

I am incredibly sad and I miss him like crazy. He was a very cuddly and adorable presence in my life and he stole not just my heart but that of every cat lover that ever met him. It's a shame he did not get to live to a ripe old age, but I'm grateful I got to have him with me for almost four years.

So here we say goodbye to Peer: he was a lousy assistant, but the bestest of cats!

PS: Because of the above I will not be blogging for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Morning Paintings #171-180

This batch of morning paintings meant the finish of my fourth sketchbook full of paintings! I actually have a small stack of painting sketchbooks now, how cool is that?

Here are paintings number 171 to 180.

#171 - Flowers on Ochre and Yellow

#172 - Patience

#173 - Abstract Nonsense

#174 - Alien Language

#175 - The Dress

#176 - Starlight

#177 - Mail Order Catalogue Girl

#178 - Faith

#179 - Simple Flower Pattern

#180 - Gratitude

I like how my mandalas are developing over time. I'm experimenting with different backgrounds and lettering. I really love how I added a white border around the lettering in the last one. The words underneath simply reflect the mood I'm in at the time.

Painting #179 is the fastest one I've done so far. Out of necessity by the way. I just didn't have any time at all and wanted to put something down anyway. Sometimes something simple can be quite nice. It took only a few minutes.

I hope you enjoyed this new batch of paintings and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tiny Mandalas

I am on a mandala high lately. I paint them in the early morning when doing my Morning Paintings. I draw them in my journal when I just want to get my hand moving. And I draw them in my tiny canson artbook for the fun of it, which makes the mandalas themselves tiny too.

Here are six of them:

These mandala's measure approximately 3.5 x 3.5 inches (9x9cm), sometimes even a little smaller, so you are seeing them much larger than they really are. They are drawn with a drawing pen and coloured in with felt tip pens. They are the ideal art for couch potatoes with little time. Not that I am one of those of course.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Finishing the Pattern Book!

Ah, the Pattern Book! I'm not sure exactly when I started it, but I'm pretty sure it was around two years ago. It was a nice moleskine sketchbook and sort of by accident I found out the paper went really well with my Pitt Big Brush pens. And so I started drawing patterns. I love drawing patterns, they are relaxing and colourful and very satisfying.

I read a quote by artist Helen Dardik who says: "Drawing a pattern feels a bit like meditating and solving a puzzle at the same time.", and that is exactly how it feels to me. And sometimes I make mistakes with the puzzle part, but it's all worth it just for the satisfaction of yet another colourful page.

And now the book is full. There are exactly 100 patterns in it. The book is like a gem of colour and shapes and I love it to bits.

I love how the book seems so unassuming when it's closed. Just a black book. And then you open it and there's an overload of colour jumping right at you!

Here are the last three spreads of the Pattern Book, mostly done during the few really hot summer days we've had so far.

As happy as I am with this book I'm almost a little sad it is all filled up. Now I have to move to another one and that kind of feels like having to start all over again. I did start actually. I bought a new moleskine sketchbook and the first pages have already been filled. But I'll tell you all about that in some future post.

Here's one last look at my filled up gem:

Now it will live with my other filled up books and from time to time I will look through it and sigh. I also intend to make colour copies of some of the pages, because they will make wonderful collage fodder! So it's probably not the last you've seen of the patterns in this one. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!