Monday, July 31, 2017

Walking with a friend

I love walking and I live in the perfect place to do it. Mostly I do this on my own. I love the peace and quiet and the freedom to just take my time and enjoy the view, take pictures or just sort of medidate while moving and not having to talk to anyone. I am an introvert to the core of my being, so I don't often walk with others. But ... every now and then I make an exception.

The nice part of having the company of another person is that you get to see everything around you with fresh eyes. Now no one could ever accuse me of not seeing the beauty of the island I live on, but the enjoyment of someone who is visiting instead of living here makes it extra special somehow. It makes me extra aware of the privilege I have to be able to live here. It makes me grateful.

Here is one of my favourite companions to walk the island:

Every year my friend Monique visits for a few weeks during summer vacation, because she loves it here. We usually take the time to explore a little together. This is often a very relaxed slow going business. Yes, we walk, but we also spend hours on benches or having very very long lunches or drinks in local restaurants. There's lots of chatting, but also plenty of comfortable silence.

Recently we took a walk around the area of Kroonspolders which is on the west side of the island. I have shown pictures of this beautiful landscape before, but I can never stop taking pictures when I'm there. It was a windy pleasant day and we took our time strolling the area.

We enjoyed watching the endless landscape and spotting birds. We are not very knowledgeable when it comes to flora and fauna, but we had this free poster with local birds on it, so we could check them off. We were both very sorry we did not bring any binoculars, a thing I tend to forget all the time even though I have a very nice compact one.

After all that walking and watching we went to the Posthuys, which is a restaurant/hotel near the area, and enjoyed a very well deserved lunch while sitting on some very comfortable chairs.

We sat there for a long time and it was most relaxing. The great thing is that Monique shares my love of journaling and drawing and creativity in general, although she is more of the 'sketch what you see' persuasion and I am more of the 'patterns and doodles' persuasion. Of course we brought our journals/sketchbooks with us. It's nice to be around someone who just gets it, you know. ;-)

Just to prove I was actually there too, here's a picture Monique took of me at the beginning of our walk:

This is a bird watching cabin in the middle of the area that is otherwise restricted. The view from there is spectacular and some of the pics above were taken from that spot. On the bench you can see the free bird watching posters. Of course I took two of them so I could cut them up on both sides, which I did that very night and they live in my journal now. The parts I didn't use will go into my folder of collage fodder.

All in all it was a very good day and I hope you enjoyed tagging along with us vicariously through this blogpost. Wishing you some good times of your own and of course a wonderful and artsy day!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Around here lately

Some photographs from the past weeks on my facebook/instagram feed, because that is my life too:

One of these shouldn't be in my kitchen!

Now summer is here and the island is busy, I try to go on my walks as early as possible.

The idyllic island where I just happen to live.

Have to visit the port town Harlingen for work a lot these days, which means many early ferries (6.45 or 7.00 am)

It's tiring, but...there's always some extra time to walk around said town, which is nice.

Getting up early for the ferry gives rewards like these.

Visited an exhibition about chintz at the Frisian Museum. A piece of heaven for a pattern freak like me.

I actually try to avoid the forest a little this time of year. It's pretty, but full of flies. 

The dangers of Aliexpress. Cheap stickers and free postage, oh my!

The Wadden Sea at low tide. I think this was on my way to work. Those clouds!

View from Vuurboetsduin (the highest dune of the island) on a warm morning walk.

And another low tide. Every summer boats 'camp out' there and wait for the tide to come in again.

All the traveling to the main land lately is very good for my ferry art sketchbook.

Work is a bit stressy right now, but fortunately I have a lot of time to unwind and things are going along alright. That's the privilege of only working three days a week.

It's busy on the island with summer vacation in full swing. I don't show it in my pics, because people are not really my thing when it comes to photography, but trust me, they are here. I'm always happy when September comes along and the busyness subsides a little. But that's still a few weeks away. I will have to be patient and just enjoy the fact that at least they do give a bit of a holiday atmosphere when walking through town. ;-)

Hope you are enjoying your summer in your neck of the woods (or your winter if you're on the south side of the planet) and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Morning Portraits

My current morning art project of filling a small sketchbook with portraits is going very slow. Life has been a bit unbalanced lately and I just don't seem to get around to my morning art as much as I would like to. As I stated in my previous post about morning art, getting enough sleep is a priority right now and that just means that sometimes I skip my daily art practice. are five more portraits I finished:

I am really enjoying using multicoloured pencils for these and in these five I especially like the effect of the fourth one. In fact I am enjoying them so much in fact that I may do the entire rest of the sketchbook with them, which was not my intention when I started at all.

As before my models are mail order catalogue girls. They are not a great likeness by the way, but that is not why I do them anyway, I'm just trying to enjoy drawing women's faces and use photographs for reference of hair and positions of the head and expressions of the face. I see many flaws in all of them, but as a collection of portraits I rather like them.

Hope you are doing something artsy you find pleasing and  I wish you all a wonderful day.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The B6 (a journal)

When I finished my last journal, the Bunny Book, I moved into a B6 sized traveler's notebook made for me by Rosie Tian from R Atelier. Her work is gorgeous by the way.

I filled the TN with three notebooks by the School of Life which were themed after ancient wise men/philosophers and a B6 Maruman sketchbook.

Recently I filled up the first insert and I thought I would share some of its spreads with you. Not all of them, but just to give you an impression of yet another journal.

This is how the first insert looks out of the leather cover.

Although you can't see it in the book, I did use the sketchbook from time to time, just not for the journal. It's a bit of a separate entity really for some doodling and stuff when I'm away from home.

The journal itself is pretty straightforward as has been the case with my journals in general recently: lots of writing and some photographs, stickers and everyday ephemera. I did have to get used to the size and I must also admit that the quality of the paper in these books is not all that great. This was a bit annoying, because they were very pricey. Oh well, live and learn I guess, I won't be buying them again.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my journal and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!