Friday, December 21, 2012

Old stuff

I have been scanning older pages in my art journals and some collages.
I didn't like these collages much at first, but after a few months now I find I do like them.
Sometimes it helps to forget about something and be able to have a fresh look.
 Soon I began to enjoy the freedom.

 leaning on me.  like a source of power. a pillar of strength.

 To start with it feels good to forget useless stuff

I was inspired by an exercise I read in Jane Davies' book Collage Journeys.
You start with creating an all over collage . Then use a viewfinder to select small compositions.
I cut these into ATC size collages. ( Artist Trading Card: 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches (6cm x 9 cm or 64mm x 89mm )
It has become one of my favorite ways to create backgrounds.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Handmade Journals

This weekend I missed the bus. So I spend half an hour sketching the building site across the street.
I only had a ballpoint pen and a little notebook with my grocery lists and chores with me.

So that evening I decided to make my own little sketchbook.
Not too big, not too small. Just the right size for my handbag.

Too be honest I didn't have the patience to measure things out and follow the instructions. So it looks a bit homemade.
I couldn't resist making a little collage on the cover, even though it's for watercolor sketching.

Budget tip: use dental floss (waxed).


how to do it properly

simple basic sewing for a booklet

I think I found a new hobby!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Art Journal every day

My art journaling this week has been mostly abstract.
I was inspired by a documentary of one of my favorite photographers.
She creates beautiful almost abstract pictures.
Her name is Friederike von Rauch.

Here are some of the collages I made this week.
I used the same paper for all of them.

Maybe I will add some lines with a black marker later, I'm not sure.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Before I was properly diagnosed with a thyroid condition I didn’t have the energy to do the things I wanted to do.
So I improvised.
I  started to make simple collages. Very simple, but these are still my favorites.

This was the beginning of my love for abstract art.
These simple collages forced me to think about composition and color, and I began to learn about design.
Simple can be very difficult...

Here are some inspiring videos for creating abstract art:

 Free series on abstract art and painting

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On writing

I love to write.
Actually that's not true.
I find it difficult and frustrating.
But still I write.

Maybe it's just the fantasy of writing an amazing novel and become very rich. Maybe it's the fantasy of being admired for being so wise and funny and clever ( and rich ).

So why do I write?
It's not fun, I don't enjoy it. It takes effort and discipline. It's risking making a fool of myself.

One thing I do know.
Writing helps me to distance myself, from myself, my life, my feelings.
When it's on the page I can analyse it, it brings everything into perspective.

That is good enough reason to write.
 And maybe it turns out to be brilliant and I will make lots of money, and it will be turned into a movie and......

(I blame J.K. Rowling.)

Here are some of my favorite links on writing:

A creative-writing-course

On writing historical fiction

On finishing your novel

Jim Butcher's blogposts on writing a novel

How Writing Really Works by Diana Gabaldon

and much more here :

Online Creative Writing Courses Offered Free by Top Universities and Educational Websites

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dream time

I finished this page in my art journal.
It was inspired by animals I  dreamed about when I was ill.
A snake shedding it's skin, a giant bird that took me to a mountain top, a scary prehistoric looking fish and a tiny black leopard that was hidden in a small box.
For my little totems I wanted a cave painting look and I was inspired by Aboriginal art.
It seemed appropriate for my dream theme.

For the colored dots I used a nail, for the white dots (budget tip) a correction fluid pen.

google aboriginal art images

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This week in my art journal

December colours


I didn't get to do much art journaling this week. My 86 year old father had to be taken to the hospital with an allergic reaction, so things have been chaotic.
He's fine now and things are slowly getting back to normal.

 I did notice a change in my use of color recently. Instead of bright blues, yellows and greens, my colors have  become darker, warmer. It must be the season, I guess.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Expressing myself through art journaling

I have always found it difficult to express myself through art.
I can paint a portrait, a landscape, a still life - that’s 'easy', but to actually express my feelings, my thoughts - that is not easy.

Two collage methods I found very helpful to become more open:
1 Combining text and images.
2 Soul Collage.

Combining text and images:

I simply collect images I like in one container and text in another.
And then I have fun combining the two.

I use a very basic background technique :

I glue down 3 or 4 bits of random paper.
I add diluted white acrylic paint or gesso.
Then paste the images and text
add some more white paint or gesso and finaly
add some details.

I need loneliness, even the painful aspects.

upwards, into the sky.

Soul Collage :

“Using intuition and imagination, you create your own deck of collaged cards, where each card reflects a different aspect of who you are.” 

The intuitive method:
Find images that appeal to you.
Collect background images.
Categorize images and work with one category you find interesting.
Combine those images with the backgrounds you have collected: the right one will just ‘click’.

This is the very first card I made about two years ago. I found I had collected these images of hot airballoons. Why?
No idea. 
But put together with these high (and safe) castle walls, they tell a story.

(Sorry about the quality of the scan.) 
The outcome of these collages are always personal and often lead to more ideas for themes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Strathmore workshops.

Last year I followed  two  wonderful Strathmore workshops.  And next year three new workshops will start. And best of all: they are free!

Workshop 1: Abstract Fine Art Painting with Mixed Media
Start Date: March 1, 2013
Workshop 2: Sketching & Drawing with Toned Paper
Start Date: May 1, 2013
Workshop 3: Artful Card-Making Techniques
Start Date: September 3, 2013

On their  You Tube channel you can check out older workshop video's.
Here are some of my favorites from last year from Cathy Johnson - Water color sketching:
lesson 1
lesson 2
demo lesson 2
lesson 3
lesson 4
Cathy Johnson YouTube Channel

Sunday, November 18, 2012

On art journaling

Here are some of my art journals:

They are cheap notebooks that I use almost every day.

I use them to experiment with different techniques and materials.
To make notes and write down ideas.
To make small composition sketches.
For mind mapping, doodling.
To create a visual journal about thoughts, feelings, events, people and moments I want to record.

The reason I use cheap notebooks is that it takes off the pressure of ‘doing things right’.
I can waste paper as much as I like.
With expensive paper or journals I would be to worried to do anything!

(I still have some very expensive pastel drawing paper under my bed that I have used only twice in 20 years.)

Here is some more information on art journaling:

15 reasons why artists keep visual journals

How to start an art journal.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mini collage

When I am sitting at my desk and have to wait,  I will grab a piece of paper and start making a mini collage.
Sometimes it’s a blank piece of paper, sometimes paper I have used to wipe off excess paint or ink:

 I will use  my cheap box of watercolors, some left over bits of colored paper and add some details with markers.

Messing around like this is great. There are no expectations, no right or wrong, no mistakes. Just cheap bits of recycled paper and cheap materials, so I don't have to feel bad about wasting money or materials. And the best thing is that without all that pressure I feel free to experiment. With sometimes surprising results!


Saturday, February 4, 2012


On the hazel in the garden were these beautiful crystals.
I took some pictures before the sun could melt them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Creative Jump Start

From the website :
"A group of wonderful, inspiring and creative women from around the globe in the scrapbooking and mixed media fields have joined together for the Creative Jump Start Summit 2012. We are coming together to tell you how we get back into the creative groove and how we get our creative juices flowing. We want to share with you to help you jump start your creativity in 2012."

I just watched the first video and it is great!