30 December 2018
Oh and I am doing good things at the end of the year. After about six years, I finally started using my Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet. Yay me. I have no idea why it took me so long, because now I wish I did it way sooner. It’s such a time saver if you do intense editing. Last night’s illustration took way too much time to turn into a digital clip art file. And that was quite a simple design to separate from it’s background. So when I started this phoenix today, I knew I had to start using the Wacom. It was a joy.
By the time I was ready to start painting the background on my page, Sinéad’s song had been on the radio, so I could feel the mood of the song, which resulted in quite a heavy image. Well, it is a heavy song. A very beautiful song, but also with a lot of anger in it. The part where she kind of promises she’ll rise from the flames (after she died killing a dragon), really spoke to me.
The fire is one big disaster and it looks hurtful, but look at that Phoenix. It’s very, very strong and very determined. Whatever the fire in your life may be, be that Phoenix!
When I first thought my page was finished, I wasn’t too happy with it. Then I started doodling the white stars and it made such a difference. It gave dept, contrast, balance and it was just the thing I needed to connect the elements. To add even more fun, I also added some white dots in small clusters. Now I am really happy with it. Sometimes when you’re not happy with the result, it just needs a little more.
Again I started with an illustration. I like to continue that for this year’s Top 2000 pages. I wish I started this the very first day. Well, can’t go back, so let’s just embrace that imperfection. They’re all in a special Top 2000 journal, so the pages from last year are also in ther and there will be many more in the future. But for now, I like to continue this way of working.
Only two days left. The list has come to the point where it’s an ongoing bliss of the greatest songs of all kind. Pop, rock, ballads, hiphop… it’s all there.
29 December 2018
Today I chose the song “Memory” by Barbara Streisand. It made me think of the musical cats, which isn’t too weird since that’s where the song originates. I remember how the old cat sang the song and even though I haven’t seen the (movie of) the musical for a very long time, this song stills brings me in tears.
So I started with a drawing of a sad old cat.
After scanning, digitalising and printing the cat, I painted a night scene. Of course it had to have a big moon. I glued the cat image to the page and wrote down part of the lyrics.
I have to admit, this isn’t my best page. I do like the sad cat though. I think I would’ve liked it better when the cat was closer by. Speaking photography terms, I think it would have been better if the whole scene was more zoomed in. Can’t change that now, so I call it done.
Tomorrow a new page. Or so I think.
27 December 2018
I really love making my own clip art to use in my art journals. It’s quite a lot of work to build my pages this way and quite time consuming, but I love the look. Plus I can use the same image over and over again or send it out in happy mail swaps.
Alright. On to the next song. Maybe picking a song is taking most time at the moment. There’s so much to choose from. I found out the best songs aren’t necessarily the best to illustrate.
26 December 2018
Since I’ve tapered down my anti depressants after a good 22 years and then completely stopped taking them (all in consulatation with my doctor of course), I’ve had a bit of a rough time. I’m still off of the anti depressants, but since a couple of weeks I’m on anti psychotiscs. Only temporary. But they’re making me very slow. I mean, it’s like those dreams where you try to run, but everything goes in slow motion. My thinking is slow and my acting is slow and therefore I get hardly anything done.
Enough with the explanation. I don’t want to complain. I’m glad I’m finally off those meds and although my body and mind are having a difficult time adapting, I can already feel I will never go back on those nasty pills. If you need them then do take them. In my case, I never should have gotten them in the first place. My depressions aren’t biological. What I need is trauma therapy and that’s what I get now.
Teddy likes to wish you a merry (belated) Christmas. Well, officially not belated according to my country. We have 2 days of Christmas.
And when it’s Christmas in The Netherlands, it’s the start of the annual Top 2000. From Christmas till the New Year, 2000 of the best songs ever made. Or at least, the songs that got the most votes. I remember listening to the Top 2000 as a teenager in my small bedroom, while making art. How amazing that these days Marit hosts the Top 2000 Blog Party, where we make art inspired by the songs in the Top 2000. You can find all the details here and please join if you are inspired. There’s still enough time.
This is my entry for day 1, which was yesterday:
I’ll try to do another blog post tomorrow. If not, there’ll definitely be a new photo on my Instagram.
14 February 2018
Hello friends! Teddy and I want to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day! This year we took some serious business and really prepared for it. We didn’t do just one shoot. No, we actually did two! What can I say, Teddy’s so adorable and if there’s anything to celebrate, it must be love. Although Teddy likes to add having fun is equally important.
Our best pics from the first shoot:
“I don’t know who you are, but you smell funny”
“Ooh what’s this…looks interesting!”
“What to do with this?”
“What do you mean, we’re done for today?”
“Aren’t there any treats involved?”
“Saving my best smile for last”
That first shoot didn’t go too bad. Teddy really enjoyed himself with the fake rose. Best part of his game was throwing it on the floor, so I had to pick it up and lay it back on the dresser again. He also loved it when I used it as a feather toy. What I’ve learned in these nearly 18 months Teddy is with me, is if I want to have a chance of any nice photos, aka making him cooperate, it needs to be fun for him. As soon as he feels I want him to do something, he’ll do exactly the opposite. After all, he is a cat and that’s what cats do. Dogs like to please their owners, but cats can be little rebels. The challenge for me is that I have to do it all by myself. No extra pair of hands to help me keep him in place so I can stay with my camera. I’m learning with every shoot.
On to the second shoot. After viewing the photos of the first shoot, I found that all the extra props were quite distracting. Especially that toy cat with his big eyes. So I decided to do another shoot and keep it real simple. Just Teddy with his bowtie, some paper hearts and of course the rose.
He was in a very playful (read: naughty) mood. At the same time there were some wild parakeets flying around the house and their happy chattering always draws his attention, hence the look in his eyes. He’s never been an outdoor cat, yet nature tells him he needs to catch every bird he sees or hears. The pigeons are always taunting him by sitting in the balcony, close to the window, where he can see them.
I’ve save the best photo for last. He’s really playing irresitable mister Valentine here.
I hope you find a way to have a nice Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a mister or miss Valentine in your life, there are other ways to still make it a good day. Spoil yourself. Make heart art. It can be a masterpiece or just some doodled hearts. Listen to your favourite love songs. Watch a cheesy romantic movie. If nobody sends you chocolats, go buy them yourself. And if they ask if it’s a present, tell them yes, because they will decorate it for you. It’s none of their business that it’s a present for yourself. Sometimes I like to do that. Especially when they have really nice wrapping paper. Or when I’m a bit embarres to confess it’s something I buy for myself. That happens as well.
Thanks for visiting! Oh and please do leave a comment, so I know you were here. For more regular updates, come over to my Instagram account. I try to upload a picture there every day. Bye for now!
01 January 2018
Hello world! How are you doing? Did you have a good start of the new year? Well, here in The Hague we went with a boom. Aparently it’s not a tradition all over the world, but here in The Netherlands we are allowed to light our own fireworks. Not all kinds though. There’s legal fireworks and illegal fireworks. I can assure you there’s always an aweful lot of illegal fireworks. But there’s also a lot of gorgeous fireworks and it’s all over the place. So you don’t need to go anywhere to see a beautiful show. I had the most amazing show from my balcony. Here are some photos I took.
This last one may not be one of the best photos, but I thought it was so special to see a firebird was flying over my neighbourhood. The magic of photography.
I hope you enjoyed this photo journal. See you back soon!
31 December 2017
Welcome to the very last day of 2017. Outside there’s an awful lot of noise as the neighbourhood is having fun with their own fireworks. We do have an organised firework show in the city centre, at the parlaiment building, but as long as people are allowed to light their own fireworks, I’m staying safe inside. Besides the fireworks there’s this weird tradition in my city of making bonfires wherever people like. For that one’s there’s also an official alternative at the beach. There’s even a contest for that one. Two revelling city parts (both former beach villages that are now part of the city) have been working for a whole week to build the tallest bonfire. I’ll come back to that at the end of this post. First, music!
For today I’ve chosen the song “Private Investigations" by Dire Straits. It’s been one of my favourite Dire Straits songs since my childhood. The instrumental part left plenty of room for my imagination to make up a movie in my mind. It was a bit a too high aim to try and image that movie on my pages, especially since I had to finish it today. So instead I went for a minimal approach with a big chance of success: a Gelli Plate party. When I thought about a private detective, I thought of Sherlock Holmes, who is as a matter of fact the most famous private detective. I found a very usable image at the Open Clipart website, which I cut with my Silhouetten Cameo. I decided to use the mask part of the cut out. My explanation for my colour choices: I wanted to have something that represented the old of the stories about Sherlock Holmes, for which I chose brown. And I wanted to add the atmosphere of the mystery for which I chose the purple.
#69 Dire Straits – Private Investigation
Here’s a few extra pictures for you.
Work in progress
The bonus I got out of this printing session. Left the print in my journal. Right the bonus print.
Now about those bonfires at the beach. The winning citypart is Duindorp. They built a bonfire measuring almost 30 meter in height. Pretty awesome right. The other citypart, Scheveningen, built a bonfire of a good 25 meter.
Photo credits: Ernst de Heer
Have a fabulous New Year’s Eve. Stay safe!
30 December 2017
Perfect timing. The minute I’m writing this blogpost, the radio plays the song this artwork is all about. The great Sinéad O’Connor and her epic song “Troy”. So without further ado, here’s a tribute to my hero!
#260 Sinéad O’Connor – Troy
It was a tremendous lot of work and a very ambitios challenge to do this lino carving all in one day, but I managed. Yay me! That is, if I hit the upload button right now. Bye!!!
Edit: okay, maybe a few BTS pictures?
Teddy taking over my workspace
The sketch transfered onto the linoleum
The aftermath… I spent two hours cleaning up my table prior to today’s art session. Looks like I can start anew tomorrow.
Okay, that’s really it for today. Teddy’s been complaining about a rumbly in his tumbly (yes, Pooh refference) and I can do with a late night yoghurt as well. Besides, it’s time to go to bed. For a change I might try to be in bed before 3 AM.
I’ll be back tomorrow for the last day of the Top 2000 Blog Party, but I don’t know what time that will be. So if I don’t speak to you before old turning to new, I wish you a happy New Year’s Eve. Stay safe and enjoy whatever you’re going to do. For me it’s going to be home alone with Teddy (so not really alone), watching comedy on telly and hopefully making some good pictures of the fireworks once the clock strikes 12.
Hi there! I’m so sorry I haven’t updated my blogposts these past few days. It was a race against time and of course I lost. I finished my page for day three at day four and only finished my page for day four past midnight. So, you’re getting a bonus in this blogpost: three days in one! Which means more artwork pictures in this one post.
I am having a blast with this combined art and music event. There’s so much great music on the radio. Some even worth checking out the singer or band to find out what else they make. And the art journaling’s also giving me tons of fun. One of the reasons I’ve run behind, is that I don’t want to rush my work process. If a page takes more time, then I give it the time it needs. For the page of day three, I added lots of layers, which took time, but with every layer the page got so much more depth. I also love to challenge myself by creating things that I’m not really used to. Like a full figurine, a ballet dancer in this case. And that hand was a huge challenge too! Let me show you the page I’m talking about.
#1371 Elton John – Tiny Dancer
At the moment I’m going through a very difficult time and it can affect my mood badly. When I listened to the radio and heared the song “Lemon Tree” by Fools Garden, I realised after hearing this song a million times before that it’s actually quite a sad song. Sometimes it takes a sad mood to understand these things. I alsways thought this was a happy song and I loved it. I still love it, but last night the meaning of the song made a shift. I found it interesting how the chorus described a happy world, while the phrases described sadness. It was that contradiction in mood that I wanted to express on my pages. And while being in this sad mood myself, it actually felt great to image the sadness into art. Bare with me as this is only my second attempt of doing a 3/4 face. The nose is better than my first attempt, but now I see the eye is way too close to the nose. I’ll pay attention to that next time. We’re learning by experience, right?
#906 Fools Garden – Lemon Tree
And just because life happens, I have just decided to totally skip day 5. I got hit by fatigue this afternoon and just had to go to sleep in order to respect my health. I’m very sorry for this disappointment. To be honest, I mostly disappointed myself, because I had a great idea for today’s part of the list. I guess that has to wait. Maybe I just save that idea for next year hehe. Trying to think smart now. Tomorrow’s another day. Only two more days left.
If you want to learn more about this Top 2000 Blog Party, go visit Marit’s blog. Here’s where you can find the information if you want to join. It’s free and fun, so why not! And if you just want to see what everyone else’s been creating, you can follow this link.
Hope you’ll be able to make something fabulous, weather you join this blog party or just have your own project going on. Or maybe you’re here because you like to see other people’s work, but are not much of a crafty person yourself. In that case, I want to ask you if you are sure about that. Many of the people I now respect for the art they make, have thought of themselves as being non creative for decades. Apparently many High School teachers have ruined our trust in our own creativity. Maybe you should reconsider their opinion. After all, it was nothing more than their own opinion. And their concept about what makes good art doesn’t necessary have to be the truth.