Friday, April 29, 2016

Tiny mandalas

I have a ton of sketchbooks in use and they all have a specific purpose.

My smallest one currently is a Canson Art Book 180 which measures 9x14 cm (that's 3.5 x 5.5 inches). I keep it near the couch for drawing and colouring in what I call 'tiny mandalas', which is pretty much what it sounds like.

Here are some of the latest I've done:

I draw them with a waterproof drawing pen like a pigma micron or faber castell pittpen and I colour them in with felt tip pens (usually Stabilo 68). They are a nice way to get some quick art done while relaxing on the couch.

I'm looking forward to the day when the entire book will be filled with these. I have a couple of dozen in it now, so still have a while to go.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Eight weeks of Spooky

It's been exactly eight weeks today since I adopted my strange somewhat neurotic new cat Spooky. I told you a bit about him in the first days, but I wanted to give you a little update, after all he is my furry companion and a part of my artsy life.

As cats go I don't think I could have picked a more different one from my previous assistant than this one. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it sure took some getting used to. For the both of us!
Spooky started out as a total scaredy cat. He spent the first days in hiding and did not trust me one bit.

Where my previous cat Peer was pretty much all over me from the get go, with Spooky everything takes time and patience and it makes me feel strangely special that in the past weeks he has decided I'm okay and can for the most part be trusted. In fact, I'm the only person he trusts. If I have company he runs straight upstairs (where he has a hiding place in my studio) and doesn't come out again until the guest is gone. Then he sits next to me on the couch and we both sigh with relieve that we have the place to ourselves again. ;-)

After about three or four weeks I let him go outside. It was not my intention to do this before he was neutered, but staying indoors made him so unhappy I just couldn't take it anymore.

He rewarded my kindness by going missing for two days! I was in total panic and worried sick about him. But after those two days he showed up and from there things slowly got better. He still spent about 90% of the time outdoors, but at least came back for food and some rest and I was okay with that, as long as he was happy. And he sure seemed happy to be going outside!

Then two weeks ago it was time for him to be neutered, chipped and vaccinated, all things the previous owner apparently did not find necessary, but I find an essential part of caring for your pet.

It took the help of my sister (who just happened to be here at the time) just to get him into the travel basket and I wondered if all the slowly built trust was destroyed again after that traumatic ordeal, but lo and behold, it was not!

Now the overactive male hormones are slowly leaving his body Spooky has become much more of a homebody and seems more and more affectionate and sweet. It's not that he seeks me out all the time (he did not have a character make over after all), but we have actually spent time lazing about on the couch where he will sort of halfway sit on my lap and purr contentedly. He now pretty much only goes out at night and even then comes home regularly and he actually comes and greets me when I come home or downstairs in the morning.

As I said he still does not care for strangers and even his affection for me is a lot more reserved than I am used to from previous cats, but somehow that makes it all the more special. It makes me feel rather privileged to have his trust.
He is not a very curious cat and does generally not really care what I am up to (unless it's food related, then he cares very much, haha), but every now and then he will actually keep me company when I'm writing or arting and that's what the pictures in this post are about.

All in all, we are slowly stealing each others heart and it's a very precious and worth while experience. We caused each other a lot of stress in the beginning, but I think we're going to make it just fine.

Have a wonderful and artsy day.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Introducing the ScrapBook - my current journal

Whenever I close a journal the next one needs to be different. I like to vary in size, paper and format because well...I just thrive on variation. I always have a ton of empty notebooks and sketchbooks to choose from and I am always in the process of prepping a notebook or ordinary book to maybe use as a journal.

When I came close finishing the Adori I came across a beautiful scrapbook in a department store. This one:

It houses different types of paper, has some fold out pages and also some sleeves to put ephemera in. It measures 25x25 cm, that's approximately 8x8 inches. It was the perfect candidate to become my next journal. So despite the overflowing amount of candidates I already had at home I bought this one to use as my next journal. And so I have.

Now that I have been working in this journal for three months I'm almost halfway through and I'm beginning to see a practical problem that is totally the maker's fault. They did not consider that when you present something as a scrapbook it will get filled with extra paper and so become at least twice as thick. The spiral binding was perfect for the amount of paper that was already in there, but does not leave enough room to really fill it up. As you can see it's already starting to get quite full. I may have to remove at least a quarter of the pages if I want the binding to hold. I'm not there yet, so we'll see how far I can go, but I'm quite sure I will not be able to keep all the original pages, which is a bit of a pity, but not the end of the world. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

For now I wanted to show you some of the first spreads of this journal. Hope you enjoy!

I don't know if you can tell, but some pages are blank, some are lined and others have a grid on them. The grid pages are the ones that fold out, which is really cool. I really like this book and I enjoy working in it, even though every time I tackle a big book like this one that takes a long time to fill, I start to crave a smaller journal. So no doubt when one day I finish this one I will move to a small journal again.  You know, for variety's sake. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pattern variations

A while ago I bought a small (A5) Fabriano paper pad with dotted grid paper in it. I had this idea that using the dots as a guide would make it a good way to draw patterns without having to measure them out. I was right.

So now I sometimes sit on the couch with this pad and a few felt tip pens and just draw away. Here's a sample of a bunch of drawings I did with the same colours in different pattern variations.

It's a bit like playing connect the dots, but then with patterns according to your own ideas. I had a lot of fun doing these. I also can't help thinking that these different line works would make really cool embroidery patterns. I can just imagine a journal cover with one of these embroidered onto it. Yep, I need new ideas like I need a hole in the head, but who knows what will come of this one? The creative mind never stops, does it?

Hope your mind is full of new ideas too, or old ones that keep nagging you to be executed. It's all good! Wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Monday, April 18, 2016

And the winner is....

Last week I did my traditional birthday giveaway where you could win this beautiful colouring book by Johanna Basford.

I used a random number generator to pick the winner from the 22 commenters. The winner was number 4 and that is P. Welch. Here's what he/she had to say:

Looks like you have to get into the colouring book trend now! Congratulations on your win.

Now if you want to claim your prize please contact me either through the contact form on the side bar or through regular e-mail at c.m.j.winkelman[at] with your snail mail address so I can have the book sent to you. Please do so within two weeks. If I don't hear from you before May 2, I will pick another winner from the original commenters. Comments for my giveaway post will be closed for that reason. But I'm sure you would like to claim your prize so a second draw won't be necessary. ;-)

As for the rest of you, thank you so much for participating and for your kind birthday wishes. Hopefully next time it will be your turn to win, be it on this blog or another.

For now I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Take a walk on the west side

The west side of my island is absolutely stunning. I don't go there very often, because it's more of an undertaking than just stepping out my door and walking away. Since I don't drive I either have to take a bus or a bike and I don't really bike here at all (I hate riding a bicycle in the harsh winds we have).

On my birthday last week however my sister and brother in law and I took the bus and went on a short walk along an area called Kroon's Polders and Posthuyswad. I may be yet one year older, but I did not forget to take pictures so I can show you just how pretty it is there. You're welcome.

Every time I go there I am amazed at the beauty of the place and pretty much want to kick myself for not going there more often. So for the  hundredth time I have vowed to more often step on the bus and take the trouble to walk there. Let's hope I keep my word this time. :-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A word of advice...

Go on, just do it:

You'll be glad you did.

Have a wonderful and artsy day all!

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's my birthday and you know what that means! Giveaway time!

Hello my wonderful blogsy people!

Today I celebrate my 46th birthday (yes yay!) and it has become a personal tradition to do a giveaway on my blog on my birthday, so pay attention and you might win something (yay again!).

I have been wondering about what I should give away this year and I decided to simply go with something I have fallen in love with, namely adult colouring books!

I have bought quite a few colouring books over the last year or two and here's the weird thing I have to confess: I don't really colour in them! You see,  I buy them mostly because I am infatuated with all the beautiful line drawings and patterns in them. So to me they are more like art books than workbooks. When it comes to the actual colouring in, I always prefer to colour in my own drawings, so for me colouring books are mostly just a source of inspiration. But far be it from me to prevent anyone else from colouring their hearts out, I certainly see the appeal.

One of my favorite artists for making colouring pages is Johanna Basford and I know I don't stand alone in this, because her books are super popular. I have all her three colouring books and for this giveaway I have decided to give one of her books away. No, not my copy (nobody is touching that!), but a brand new one.

I have decided on this one:

It's I think her third colouring book and it's absolutely stunning!

Here are some pages from the inside:

Isn't it gorgeous?
If you would like to win this book all you have to do is comment. That's all. No strings attached.

The winner will be drawn a week from now on Monday the 18th of April. Please be sure to check back whether you have won. I will then give instructions on how to get your prize. Please do keep in mind that if you don't check back I will (after a reasonable amount of time of course) pick another winner.

Well, I hope I will make somebody very happy with this giveaway and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy and colourful day! Oh and...Happy Birthday to me! ;-)

Update: comments for this post have been closed as a winner has been picked.