Monday, February 22, 2021

The Schierbook - part two of two

Creative work in my vacations is usually hit or miss. Sometimes I don't do anything at all, sometimes I just keep a regular journal and sometimes, like this time on Schiermonnikoog, I do some very specific creative work in a travel journal every day. Sometimes my only memories are my photographs and sometimes I have a very specific book for a very specific vacation.

I'm quite happy that this time I made a very physical reminder of these two weeks, but it is by no means certain that I will be doing that again next time. It all depends on my mood and intentions.

Anyway, here is the second part of my travel journal/sketchbook from Schiermonnikoog:

I spoke in my last post about how challenging I find landscapes and that hasn't changed, but during the weeks gradually I did learn to enjoy making them a little more. I also learned that many problems can be solved by a little bit of opaque white paint. For some reason that gives the whole thing a little more depth. All these paintings had stages where I jus knew I totally ruined it and somehow they all ended up okay anyway. 

All the paintings were done after my own photographs in the comfort of my appartment. I am not a plein air painter or sketcher at all. I like to sit behind a table in a warm space with no wind, and trust me, on the islands wind is pretty much a given. 

Just a little credit where it's due: the beautiful postcards that I pasted in here and there are made by Marieke Feenstra. They were so stunning I just had to add them to my journal. If you want to see more of her work go here:

Well, that's all I have to share about Schiermonnikoog. I will probably turn my own photography postcards of my first two posts into a photobook as a companion to this travel journal. 

As I post this my vacation freedom has been over for several weeks already and I am back to work and the daily grind. But I'm sure I'll have plenty of art and photography to show you in the coming time from my own home. 

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

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Schierbook - Part one of two

Just like my island Vlieland is lovingly called Vlie, Schiermonnikoog is called Schier mostly by those who visit it. So when I decided to make a travel journal while I was there I of course had to call it the Schierboek (Schierbook). 

I chose a Hahnemühle watercolorbook which I afterwards decorated with a beautiful postcard and a keychain that was a little gift with the appartment I rented. The book has 60 pages, but I already knew beforehand that would be a bit too much to fill in two weeks. Still, I'm quite proud I still managed to fill 40!

I brought very little with me, a gouache set and a Flow Book for Paper Lovers, which is a book full of different papers, stickers, labels, etc. The only other thing I used was an information paper from the tourist agency of the island, so that's where a lot of images come from. 

My intention was simply to play and not really have any plans. So the book has a bit of everything, but I am most proud of doing ten landscape paintings! Not because they are so great, although I do like them, but because when it comes to drawing and painting, landscapes are the hardest thing for me. I ask myself questions like "how does grass even work?" or "how can I represent all these different greens?". In the end I have no answer to these questions, and all I can say is that I was just winging it all the way!

Here is the first half of my Schierbook for your viewing pleasure:

It did take a bit of discipline to keep working on this book, but I'm glad I did. The second half will come in my next post.

Hope you are doing something fun and a little challenging and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Postcards from Schiermonnikoog - part two of two

My vacation to Schiermonnikoog was exactly what I needed after almost a year of living with corona measures. I had been to my sister's house two times during 2020, but I did have the responsibility of taking care of her dog then and even though I love doing that, it was nice to just be away from any chores or responsibilities for two weeks. It really recharged my batteries. And that is me speaking as a person who of course lives in one of the best places in the world to be during a pandemic! 

Here is the second set of postcards from two heavenly weeks!

Besides all the walking, photography and a little biking I also spent a lot of time inside in my wonderful rental appartment reading, napping and...working on a travel journal!

So my next two posts will be about the sketchbook that I filled during my stay of which I am kind of proud!

For now I hope you enjoyed the landscape and walking with me and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Postcards from Schiermonnikoog - Part one of two

Hey there my blogsy people!

Well, that took a bit longer than I expected before I got back to the blog. Sorry about that.

The thing is that I had two vacations in a row with two weeks of work in between and I was sure that in those two weeks I would have gotten back to you, but it just didn't happen. No big reasons, just life I guess. 

Anyway, first of all, better late than never: happy new year! I hope your holidays were good and that you entered this brand new year with love and hope. We all need that with this worldwide coronavirus going on. 

The rules are relatively strict in our country right now, with all but the most essential things closed, no travel abroad unless absolutely necessary, and even a curfew, which means you cannot be outside after  9 pm. That made it a bit questionable if my second vacation would go trough, because I had planned two weeks on one of the other islands, Schiermonnikoog. 

Fortunately in the end I could go and since I am a social distancer and loner by nature, plus the islands have vast amounts of space, while I was there I was basically in close contact with no one. 

So these first posts after my little blog break are about my two week vacation to Schiermonnikoog.

I will start with two posts full of 'postcards' that I made from the many photographs I took while I was there. As usual all I did was go outside and enjoy the landscape and nature of this beautiful little island. 

I was lucky that even though the weather was very changeable (which you will see in the pictures), I could go out pretty much every day. Mostly I walked, but I also rented a bike and did a couple of bike rides. 

So without further ado: here is the first set of postcards from Schiermonnikoog!

As you can see Schiermonnikoog is stunningly beautiful. As a lover of winter I was also very happy that we had a bit of snow, even though it didn't last. 

Even more than my own island, especially in winter, Schiermonnikoog has that feeling of desolate space which I really like. The landscape is endless and to walk in it makes you feel pleasantly small and your worldly problems totally insignificant, which is a good thing in these crazy times. 

More postcards in my next post, but for now I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!