Saturday, November 28, 2015

Walking Pictures

It has been a while since I shared some of my walking pictures, the photographs I take with my smart phone while I'm on one of my walks across the island. Not always, but every now and then I will share a compilation of those pics on Instagram, so if you are curious to see them in 'real time' you can follow me there via @caatjes_artsy_stuff.

Here are some pics of the last few months for your viewing pleasure:

The next pics I took last week when I was in Harlingen (that's where the ferry arrives on the main land). I was staying in a hotel there after traveling for work when it was too late to catch the ferry at night. Early in the next morning after my stay I shot these photographs on the way to the ferry terminal:

Never let it be said I don't live in a beautiful country. People in the Netherlands often have a tendency to want to travel to the most exotic places, but I find a lot of beauty and interest can be found practically at our doorstep. Keep your eyes open and it's right there.

Hope you enjoyed these pictures and I wish you a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Introducing the Adori (my current journal)

A while ago I finished the Spiral Book and that meant it was time to move on to a new journal. I decided to go with my absolutely gorgeous Adori.

Now you may be wondering what an Adori is.
As you may or may not know at the end of 2014 I purchased a Midori Traveler's Notebook. I have shared several posts about that book on this blog (just check the midori label in the sidebar). I still use that midori with great pleasure as a daily planner and notebook. It's really a bit of workhorse that I carry with me a lot, not so much a pretty book that I journal or do art in.

Because of the midori I started to get interested in so called fauxdori's, books that are based on the same kind of system (a leather folder filled with loose notebooks) but that were custom made. So after a lot of thinking I decided I wanted a moleskine cahier sized one, but I just didn't know what colour I preferred. Then Anja Verkooy of Adori made with Love showed a custom made traveler's notebook that just seemed to be made for me (except that she had made for one of her customers). So with a few tweaks added I asked her to make one for me and she did.

Here's a pic I took from my Facebook timeline to show you how it arrived:

Yes, I had only ordered the cover, but apparently Anja is determined to send a truck load of freebies along with every order. She's very very generous that way.  Anyway, is it gorgeous or what?

So when the Spiral Book was finished I decided to use this beautiful Adori as my journal. I filled it up with several pretty notebooks from Tinne+Mia (cannot recommend that brand enough, the paper is stunning) and the sketchbook insert that Anja gave me and here are some pictures of the way I have been using it so far:

The above spread was the end of the first notebook. It took me about a month and a half to fill.

Below you can see the split between the first and the second notebook. You can also see I decorated the pretty notebooks with some extra stickers. 

Most of the Adori is filled with writing and photographs. Here and there are some everyday ephemera and some funny stuff I picked off the internet.

I enjoy working in it and I love (adore, haha) how it looks, but I must admit it's not the most practical journal I've ever had. In the pictures you can see how I need to use my fingers to keep it open for instance. And writing on one notebook in a cover that is filled with several is not always comfortable either, but somehow it's worth it. I really am still very much in love with this traveler's notebook.

I hope you liked looking at my current journal and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Morning Paintings #241-250

Every other fifty paintings feel like a new milestone. I reached number 250 a month ago and am starting to feel pretty proud of my morning painting discipline, especially since I always think of myself as someone with hardly any discipline at all! Could I be wrong?

Here are paintings #241 to #250:

#241 - Flowers and Numbers

#242 - Stuffed Sheep at Sister's House (done in watercolour)

#243 - Joyful

#244 - Shirt

#245 - Shirt

#246 - Shirt

#247 - Shirt

#248 - A Bit of Nonsense

#249 - Abstract Nonsense

#250 - 250

As you can see I've been experimenting some more with washi tape here and there, some times it works better than other times. And personally I love the shirt paintings. I can see a whole series of clothing items in my future. These are not my shirts by the way, they are adaptations of clothing from a mail order catalogue.

#242 was done at my sister's house in watercolour, because my gouache box is a bit too bulky to take with me on trips. Speaking of my gouache box, I'm still working in the same one that I started with in January. I bought a replacement box several months ago already, but I have not needed it yet. I think that's pretty amazing in itself.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Doodling with markers

In August I took Pam Garrison's wonderful creative sketchbooking class on CreativeBug which I highly recommend and ever since I have been mesmerized by a new to me doodling style that was inspired by that class.

I showed some in a previous post that I did in my sketchbooks and journals, but now I have moved on to separate pieces of paper and am really starting to develop a bit of a personal style.

This very smooth mixed media paper (Clairefontaine Paint On) is A4 in size and absolutely perfect for my big brush markers (Faber Castell), so I use those for colouring in all the sections of the paper. The doodling on top is done with a Micron drawing pen (black) and a Sakura gelly roll pen (white).

I'm not even sure why these doodles are so satisfying to do and to look at, but I just love them! I'm definitely making more of these in the future.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Watercolour Mosaics

I love painting mosaics in my A4 Moleskine watercolour book. There's something really soothing about filling in simple shapes with colour and even in drawing the shapes with a ruler and a circle template. It has something to do with focus and precision and, yes, control. I may have said it before, but this kind of art is perfect if you are a total control freak!

I also think it calms the mind if your head is racing. I even use it for that on purpose sometimes. My head is always full of ideas and thoughts and sometimes you just need a break from yourself. That's a good time to grab my ruler and mechanical pen and start drawing a grid and then colouring it in with a small brush and the really good watercolour.

Here are some pages I've done lately:

It's also a really good way to try out new colour combinations. My favorites in this batch are the second and the third one. They just work somehow.

I'm curious if you ever use your art just to calm your busy mind or to get some focus. Let me know about it in the comments if you like.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Morning Paintings #231-240

This batch of Morning Paintings was the start of my sixth sketchbook. As I'm writing this I actually just bought number seven, because I'm one week away from finishing number six. It's a little amazing how fast you can almost feel the time go when you do a painting every morning. At least I have a couple of hundred paintings to show for it!

Here's paintings no. 231 to 240:

#231 - Welcome

#232 - Express Yourself

#233 - Dots & Circles

#234 - Flowers on Green

#235 - Experiment

#236 - Courage

#237 - Simplicity

#238 - Mail Order Catalogue Girl

#239 - Mail Order Catalogue Girl

#240 - Flowers and Washi

#238 was the first portrait I did in quite a while and it shows. I could really feel how rusty I had gotten in that particular area. I felt like I just had to do another one the next day to proof to myself I still could paint these faces and I think that one went much better. I think this shows that drawing and painting is like a muscle you have to train over and over again and that being good in one subject does not necessarily mean you can just paint everything without effort. It's all a continuing practice, again and again and again.

#240 was the start of something new in my morning paintings: the use of washi tape. I was just curious how it would look and I like how it turned out. I have used washi every now and then since that first try because of it.

Well, that's another ten paintings. If you want to follow this practice real time you can do so by following me on Facebook (see sidebar) or Instagram (@caatjes_artsy_stuff).

I hope you're doing something wonderfully artsy in your neck of the woods and I wish you all a beautiful weekend!