Monday, August 29, 2016

The last of the Scrap Book (a journal)

Before my July break my regular journal was the Scrap Book, a big book with different types of pages, envelopes and fold outs. I liked it a lot, even though it wasn't always very practical. For my July break however I wanted everything as simple as possible so I started journaling in a much smaller notebook which I really enjoyed and somehow I never looked back.

That new journal is for another post, but it did mean that quite unexpectedly I finished my Scrap Book before the book was full. That's a very unusual thing for me to do, but I'm okay with it. It helps that I didn't have that many pages left to go and that the book was already becoming too bulky even though I removed a bunch of its pages.

So here is the last of the Scrap Book for your viewing pleasure.

For those who are curious and don't read Dutch, I'd say about 90% of what was written on these pages is about the diabetes struggle and starting insuline. Whatever I'm preoccupied with will naturally find its way into my journal, but what else are journals for? :-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Early Morning Walk

In general the summer of 2016 has been a pretty cool one so far, but the last few days we are having a bit of  a heatwave in The Netherlands. As somebody who loves to walk, but loathes the heat I try to go out extra early to get my share of still fresh air and nature before the sun gets too high.

So this morning I left the house at 6:45 and enjoyed a sunrise, a foggy atmosphere (it's very humid here) and ... some photography. This post is of course about all three of those things for your enjoyment (and mine!). ;-)

For some reasons there were a lot of birds on posts this morning.

All the boats are only there in the summer. Vacations are almost over and I'm already looking forward to less busy times over here. Next weekend is the music and art festival Into The Great Wide Open and with that usually the main season pretty much ends. Wonderful. I like having my island mostly to myself. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

From the Morning Book

My morning art practice is slowly becoming like my journal: something that sort of continues on it's own whatever else may happen and whatever else may or may not get done. I really enjoy starting my day with art and writing.

Here are some pages I finished a while ago:

Apart from the first one all of these took several mornings to finish. Now when I say 'mornings' I mean several sessions of half an hour, since that is how long I work on this book every morning. I always set a timer. It's slow going sometimes this way, but I like the rhythm it gives to my days.

I seem to be mostly working in markers in this book. I think it's partly because I simply enjoy markers right now, but also because the paper in this sketchbook really lends itself to them.  The first four pages were a try out of new to me Spectrum Aqua markers, which are watersoluble (as you can clearly see in the first one). I liked them, but still prefer my Tombows for this type of marker. The brushtip of the Tombows simply feels more pleasant to me.

The latter two pages were done with Pitt (Big) Brush pens, which are filled with india ink and waterproof and basically my favorite markers in the whole wide world. If the art gods declared I could only use one type of marker for the rest of my life it would be them. ;-)

Would love to know what your favorite art supply is right now (if you have one). Let me know about it in the comments and have a wonderful and artsy day.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pattern Variations

I did not do much art in July. Partly because I just didn't feel like it and partly because of my injured finger. My finger is a little better now and I am slowly getting back into my artsy mood, which is a very good thing.

To start of as easily as possible I have been drawing what I call pattern variations. I use a squared moleskine XL softcover notebook for this, so I can use the grid as a guide. I basically pick four colours of felt tip pens and I divide the page into several sections and try to make pleasing patterns with the same colours, so they are automatically colour coordinated. This is both very relaxing to do and gives quite interesting pages.

Here are some recent samples:

As you can see I like to write down the colours and brand of the pens I use so I can easily get the similar colour combinations in the future should I want to. 

By doing these I am also slowly building a little personal library of possible patterns. I have all sorts of lofty ideas for artwork where I combine different patterns and these might come in very handy then as inspiration.

For now I'll just enjoy collecting these variations and taking it easy. I like art that relaxes me right now, without too many complications. :-)

Hope you have something simple that relaxes you when you need it and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A weekend getaway - part two of two - the park and the book fair

In my last post I showed you some pictures of my visit to Palace Het Loo in the city of Apeldoorn.
Now surrounding the palace and it's fancy gardens is a beautiful and quite big park. After visiting the palace I did not have a whole lot of time to visit that park, but I did want to go through at least part of it, so I went on one of the mapped out walks that they have there and at least got to get a good impression of its beauty.

I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed the palace and gardens with all their grandeur it was the park that actually stole my heart. Much more my style if you know what I mean. I guess I'm just not fit to be true royalty! ;-)

Here's an impression of what the park looked like.

What I really liked about the park is that there was a surprise around every corner. Little bridges, little buildings, ponds, hills with benches on them, things like that. I only saw about half of it, so I'm going to have to return some day and do some of the longer walks that are set out there. I'm already looking forward to it.

Now the second day of my trip I went to the city of Deventer for their annual book fair. It is said that this is the largest book fair in all of Europe. I don't know if that's true, but it's pretty big. All around the city center are stalls with books, books and more books. Mostly second hand. The total length of the market/fair is about 6 kilometers (4 miles). I actually didn't make it through the entire thing in one day, but I still got my fill of books.

I did not take many pictures that day, because it's a very popular and busy book market and...well...I was too occupied looking at books!

The cool part about a book market like this is that there is room for everything you can possibly think of. It also makes you realize that saying 'I don't like to read' or 'I don't like books' is just as silly as saying 'I don't like music'. There are so many subjects, genres and perspectives both in fiction and non fiction, that it's just impossible not to find anything you like at all. If you don't like books as a general thing that just means you haven't found your niche yet. ;-)

Anyway, I found plenty of stuff to like, but I kept myself specifically to what I call source books. By that I mean books with imagery that can inspire my art. It just so happens there was a colouring book stand there as well that sold four books for ten euro's and well, I couldn't resist that, since colouring books to me are pretty much just source books for line art.

Anyway, here's my loot of the day:

On the top the second hand books, on the bottom the colouring books.

I bought eight books with lovely illustrations in them. There's only seven in the picture, because one of them somehow got overlooked when I took it, but it's also a book on ornaments and alphabets. The picture also shows a quick look of the insides, so you can see why I love them. I think my favorite is the 'Spotting Birds' book which cost next to nothing and has the most beautiful bird illustrations in it.

All in all I was pretty content when I went back to my hotel that night.

I traveled home the next day, so it was a short trip, but it felt like I had been on a little vacation none the less. I really should take these short trips more often as they really recharge my batteries so to speak, so I'm already contemplating my next options.

For now I hope you have enjoyed a little vicarious weekend trip with me and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A weekend getaway - part one of two - the palace

Ever since my last vacation in January I had not really been on any fun overnight trips. Well yes, to family or friends of course and daytrips to the mainland for shopping and such, but nothing just for exploring and filling the well with new impressions. So it was high time I went on one and I finally got to go last weekend and it was fabulous!

I stayed in the city of Apeldoorn in a rather luxurious hotel near the former royal palace Het Loo, which is now a museum showing how the Dutch royalty lived in this palace for many years. I decided to visit the palace, its gardens and the park around it on my first day there and the next day I went to the big annual book fair in the nearby city of Deventer.

In this post and the next I'd like to give you a photographic impression of that trip. Please keep in mind the weather was often very cloudy, so not every picture turned out as bright as I would have liked, but I think you will get a good idea of where I was anyway.

Today I'll just show you an impression of the palace and it's gardens. Hope you enjoy!

One of the roads that leads to the palace.

The palace at the end of the above road.

Inside the royal stables. Only one horse was still residing there.

I just loved the look of all these keys.

Inside the stables. I love the lettering and the clock.

The gallery next to the stables on a rare people free moment. It was actually quite busy.

The stables from the outside. This is just one wing of them.

Onto the palace.

Close up of entry. By the way, us commoners had to take the steps down and did not enter through that majestic door.

The gardens were the best part of the palace if you ask me.

There was Delft's Blue china scattered around the garden. It was part of a special exhibition.

My favorite part of the gardens was this covered walkway that was almost like a maze.

It led all around a little garden in the center of it. I thought of the book 'The secret garden' while walking it.

An overview of half of the gardens at the back of the castle.

At the end of the gardens are these colonnades.

The place also has several fountains.

The collonades from the other side. I sat underneath them with some very nice ice cream!

The castle and part of the gardens from the other side. The sun had come out as you can see.

Although there was a whole tour of the inside of the palace which was very beautiful I did not take many pictures there, mostly because it was very busy and the lighting was not great for my phone camera. Still I think you can get a bit of an idea of the grandeur of the place.

It was lovely to roam around the gardens and discover little gardens within the bigger ones. Can you believe this was like a summer house for the royals?

The funny thing is that even though the palace itself is huge, the rooms inside were quite cosy and compact. I guess the Dutch royals enjoyed a bit of snugness just like the rest of us. :-)

In my next post I'll show you the park surrounding the palace gardens and my trip to the book fair. Until then I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!