Saturday, December 22, 2018

Happy Holidays!

Well, it's that time of  year again. The holidays are upon us. I will have a blessed week and a half off from work and intend to spend that time relaxing, reading and walking and spending as little as possible time online.

So this is my message that I will not be blogging until the new year has come. I'll be back in the beginning of January.

So, from my cosy home to yours I wish you all very happy holidays, whatever you are or are not celebrating. I hope this time brings you warmth and joy and that you can look back upon a satisfying year and are looking forward to the next one. I know I am!

May your days be merry and bright and also...wonderful and artsy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Morning Art

After a four month hiatus halfway through the year in September I picked up my morning art practice again. It was a bit of an experiment, because I wasn't sure if it would 'stick'.  So I tried a few pages in an old sketchbook that was already in use and I enjoyed it tremendously. You can read all about that in this earlier post.

After a few weeks I was ready to believe I was back in the morning art game for real and I decided to start a new sketchbook just for that purpose. I chose this one:

It's a very plain bound paperback notebook that I got for cheap on Aliexpress. It is A5 in size and has a wonderful lightly printed grid paper. The lines on the paper consist of  very tiny dots and after I draw or colour on them they almost disappear into the pattern, which is wonderful.

The paper is quite smooth so my felt tip pens write on it very comfortably and also it is just a tiny bit more absorbent than some other papers I have used, so it doesn't smudge so easily, and makes the colours a bit more intense. This does mean that it can bleed very slightly, but I solve this by skipping every other spread. It makes for a very 'calming' book somehow to have empty spreads between all the filled up ones.

I have been working in this book since October and I absolutely love it. Here are the first three spreads I did:

All the above were done in Stabilo 68 pens. Especially the one with the tiny squares filled in individually, took forever to make, even more so when you only work at them for half an hour in the morning. But this slow process is exactly why I love doing these drawings. They are a life lesson in themselves: a little bit every day goes a long way. There is no better metaphor for an artistic practice.

I hope you are doing something that brings you joy time and again, and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Sometimes a journal just won't work

After I finished my second Leuchtturm1917 notebook as a journal in the beginning of the year I was all ready to start a different type of book. I chose a B5 sized Seawhite of Brighton Sketchbook. I love Seawhite sketchbooks for their incredible alround paper and have used several in the past as a journal too. I decorated the black covers and it looked quite nice.

There was no reason at all to doubt that this would be another wonderful journal and didn't work.  I cannot fully explain it. I have all kinds of reasons, but none of them seem quite good enough. Yes, the book was a bit more bulky when writing on the couch. The paper didn't feel as nice when writing with my fountain pens. It felt like it took more effort to use it. I just never looked forward to writing/working in it and found myself skipping my journal sessions more and more.

I couldn't believe myself! This was not a book with crappy paper (as I have had in the past sometimes). This was also not a type of book I never used before. So I felt I had to at least give it a good try and not give up right away. But after over a month of working in it I just gave up. I longed for another Leuchtturm and I bought one and have filled two more since then without any hiccups. 

Here are some spreads from this journal that just wouldn't work.

When I look at these pages I see absolutely nothing wrong with them, but I still remember the struggle of working in this book very well. Strange how that goes sometimes, isn't it?

Apparently over the past year or so I have had a great need for a compact book with smooth paper in which I can write endlessly with a fountain pen and just stick in an image here and there and maybe draw a little with felt tip pens. That's all I need and want right now.

The Leuchtturm notebooks feel like they are made for my current journaling style, and that is funny considering that in the past I have journaled in just about anything, from regular sketchbooks, to scrapbooks, to handmade books to huge altered atlasses.

I am by no means saying that this brand of notebook is perfect for everyone or even recommending them to anyone. That's not what this post is about. I am saying that just like in life in journaling there is a time and place for everything and for changing your style too. We are not robots or machines, we evolve.

So if you come across a journal and it simply will not work, maybe you could try another one or a different approach before you decide that journaling is not for you. Yes, it's possible that journaling is just not your thing, but it might also just be something very simple like needing a more comfortable pen and paper.

I am a seasoned journaler so I know that there's an eb and flow to the process and I can get over these things pretty easily. But if you're new to journaling you  might not recognize the difference between not being a journal person or just having materials that don't fit you and you might be giving up on something that might enrich your life if you just went for a different approach. I would hate for that to happen to anyone.

When I stopped this book after a month and went back into a Leuchtturm notebook I wrote for twenty pages straight! That should tell you something, haha.

Hope you are finding the materials that suit you in your creative endeavors and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Around here lately

Just some random pictures I took over the past months, because that is my life too:


Spooky envying the sketchbook on my lap while he has to sit at the table. He was not amused.

Patterns and supplies all over my studio table.

Sunrise on the way to work.

Spooky feeling very content. Often he does get his way. :-)

The journal, always the journal.

Beach walk on a beautiful day.

This is a print of Escher's Metamorphosis II, a very long painting, which I think would make incredible washi tape. 

Nothing is as comfortable to sleep on as your humans sketchbook. 

Another journal al filled up!

To keep our beaches and coast line from washing away, sand replenishment is a regular necessity. 

Participated in Dewey's Readathon in October

My reading nest by candlelight. 

Low tide at the North Sea.

A book and a cat. A perfect pair to have on your lap. 

Forever fascinated by silhouettes.

Another sunrise on the way to work. 

Visited the craft supply fair Kreadoe again with sister and cousin. This was my loot of the day. 

A table full of joy!

The overseer at work. 

Beach pole on a quiet afternoon.

Fall is showing up everywhere.

Foggy Forest

A sweet surprise from an online friend.

Currently I'm fascinated by drawing tiles.

Walking along the Wadden Sea at low tide.

All over the island fresh new carpets are being formed on the ground.

Pictures like these keep me grateful for and aware of the good things in my life. It's important to keep your eyes open for the good stuff, otherwise the not so good, the annoying, the stressfull  and even just the mundane could overwhelm you and make you lose perspective. I try not to let that happen, which isn't always easy and certainly does not always work, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Hope you are focusing on the positive things in life a little more than the negative and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Watercolour Mosaics

Mostly I express my pattern addiction through felt tip pens and markers, because they are just so convenient. Especially if, like me, you like to do your art with your feet up on the couch while listening to podcasts. ;-)

But I do love other media as well, so every now and then (not nearly enough to my liking) I do some patterning in paint or pencil or whatever takes my fancy at that moment.

Here are three watercolour mosaics that I did not too long ago:

All these were done in my A4 sized Seawhite of Brighton watercolour sketchbook. That is the same book I filled halfway with morning art when I was still doing watercolour mosaics every morning.  It's a beautiful book with beautiful paper, so one day I hope to have it completely filled up with painting like these.
The watercolour is the Rembrandt brand by Royal Talens, in case you wanted to know. :-)

There is a quality to doing patterns in watercolour that is different from using pens and markers. It's softer and a bit more alive if you will, because the colours are transparent and less solid. I really like the effect of different media on my pattern fascination, so I'll keep experimenting and trying out new things. It keeps things interesting.

Hope you are doing something interesting in your neck of the woods and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The last of the Moleskine XL

In May of 2016 I bought a Moleskine XL softcover notebook with squared/grid pages in it. By then I had become fascinated with patterns and especially how to work them on grid paper. I worked on the book quite regularly. It was my steady companion when relaxing on the couch and listening to podcasts. It was never far out of reach.

The pages I filled in it often took a lot of time, so even though I worked in it a lot and even though I only worked on one side of each page (to prevent bleeding) it still took me over two years to finish it. But finish it I did!

Here are the last six patterns in the Moleskine XL Squared:

As you can see I chose to use the same colours in the last six pages, very much inspired by the fact that it's autumn. As always they were done in my trusted Stabilo 68 felt tip pens. In fact the entire book was done in those. I actually have had to replace several colours over time, that's always a good sign of liking an art supply.

When I finished the book I made a very bad little video of me quickly leafing through it. You can only see a fraction of the patterns coming by, but my intention was to show the wealth of a fully filled up sketchbook, so I hope you enjoy this peek anyway.

Now that this book is finished I have immediately purchased another book. It's also a Moleskine XL squared, but I opted for a cahier style book instead of a regular softcover. The idea is the same though: filling it up with grid patterns. I have already done the first few in there, but that is something for another post.

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

P.S. For those who receive my posts by mail. You probably have to go to the blog itself to see the video. Blogger never  includes the actual video in their mail service. Sorry for the inconvenience.