Monday, September 15, 2014

Mermaid Circus fun and painted backgrounds


Mermaid Fun

I have joined the Mermaid Circus with Jane Davenport and Teesha Moore.
We are making a shaped journal and using collage in the creation of our Mermaid.
At first I found it very challenging to work within an already outlined area.
I was also not comfortable with using collage in my art work at first.  I have only ever used collage in creating backgrounds, but not in the subject itself.  But I persisted with the creation of this project with an open mind.  Whilst creating my mermaid I started to enjoy the process more and more.  In the end I was very pleased with the effect of the collage pieces to create the scales for the mermaid.  I really like the effect it has.  I will definitely incorporate collage into any of my future art creations again.  It also taught me that it is great to try new things and challenge yourself to create in ways that you do not feel comfortable with.  If you keep an open mind and just go with the process one step at a time and just enjoy the process rather then expecting a result, the whole experience can be quite rewarding in the end.

Painting Fun

I have also been busy playing with paint on canvas and watercolour paper.  Just playing around with paints and dylusions spray inks creating backgrounds.  The idea was to just play and have fun like an 8 year old.  Experimenting with different types of colours and combinations and seeing what happens.  I am very new to painting.  But I love all the paint colours available.  It is very nice and relaxing to just play for the enjoyment of painting itself, rather then doing it for creating a result.  Afterwards I scanned the backgrounds into my computer and used the images in Picasa to create a collage:

Before I started the painting session, I created the following intention for myself:

Having an intention before you set out to create,  is a great way to remind yourself during that session, what it is you set out to achieve.  Some days you might just like to play and be curious like a child.  Other days you might like to learn a specific technique.  It is great to mix things up a bit and have different intentions on different days.  As each will bring your forward to your next step in creating art and exploring the possibilities that are available to us.

Friday, September 12, 2014

29 Faces - Face 5, 6 and 7 & an Art journal page

I am a bit behind with creating a face every day for 29 days.  I find it quite tricky to keep up with any challenges that involves creating something every day for consecutive days.
I try to get in my art room most days and do at least something small towards a project that I am working on.  I often have many projects going at the same time.  As a result I don't always finish everything I am working on.  Sometimes it can stay half done for ages.  But at the end of the day I guess that does not matter.  As long as we are busy making something that inspires us on a regular basis to give us joy.

Here are first 3 faces I sketched in my sketching journal with pencil.  I like to sketch faces to practice different face shapes and hair styles.

Face 5:


Face 6:


Face 7: 



Art Journal page:


For the following art journal page I created, I was inspired by the Art Journal & Tutorial videos by Iris Impressions.  The particular video that inspired me for this page is called: 'She did her best'.

Here is a link to one of Iris's blog post that includes this tutorial:/
 and many more great inspirational videos created by Iris.

Today she has posted another great tutorial on her YouTube channel called: Access your Joy.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

29 Faces - Face 3 and 4

Face 3:

For face 3, I decided to use water soluble oil pastels.  I continued to work large on the A3 printer paper as I did for face 1 and 2.   I am more used to working with coloured pencils, which have a nice fine point.  So working with these oil pastels was quite a challenge for me.  I am glad I was working on a big piece of paper as it would be impossible to draw any fine detail with crayons.  The other challenge I found working with this medium was that I could not rub out any mistakes.  Any lines down on the paper were final.  With these oil pastels I also could not smooth and blend the colours with my fingers, as you can with charcoal, graphite or soft pastels.  I did not use water with these water soluble oil pastels because the paper would not allow for it.  I would need to try that on water colour paper.
Once again I enjoyed working large and drawing with crayons gave me the feeling I was drawing like a child.  Just putting down lines and colour without being too concerned about any perfections.

Face 4:

For face 4 I used black india ink, drawing with a bamboo dip pen.   Again, I used the A3 printer paper because I enjoy working large at the moment.  Creating the zen-tangle style hair was very relaxing. 

Thank you, for your visit!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

29 Faces September 2014 - Face 1 and 2

I have decided to participate in the 29 faces challenge created by Ayala Art.
29 faces was originally created in a leap year to celebrate the year with art.
29 faces in 29 days in February.
It's all about a FACE.

The idea is to gather up all your art supplies and to try something new to YOU!

It is time to play and not be afraid.

To be ready to mess up, fix up, practice and have a huge amount of fun while doing ART.

I am not sure if I will be able to keep up with this commitment every day for 29 days, but I give it a try.

The only way I have any chance to create 29 faces in 29 days is to create a face quickly in not too much time.  Generally when I draw a face I can easily spend a long time on it.
So my challenge is to create a face in a limited amount of time as well as using mediums, methods and elements I normally would not use a lot.

Through my blog posts I will share with you the faces I have created and the challenges I have faced using different methods and mediums and what I have learned from each experience whilst creating a face.

Here we go:

Face 1:

One of my first faces I ever drew that I was really proud of, is when I was a teenager and created a face with  charcoal.  I have not used charcoal for years.  So I went looking around my supplies to see if I could find some.  I could not find my original charcoal I had as a teenager, but I found a packet with charcoal pencils, charcoal sticks, a blending stump, and 2 different type of rubbers.  First I had a go at sharpening the charcoal pencils.  But I was not successful.  Every time the point would break.  So I decided to just use the charcoal sticks only, to draw with.  I got out an A3 piece of printer paper.  So nice cheap paper and cheap art supplies (little packet was from a thrift shop - probably explains the breakage of the charcoal pencil).  
I drew this without any reference to look at.  Just a quick sketch to loosen up.
I enjoyed drawing on a larger scale as I would usually (A4 or A5).
Drawing on A3 with a large stick of charcoal gave me a nice free feeling.  I loved just sketching without any expectations.  Using the A3 paper allowed me to draw a larger face as I would normally draw and I experienced that because of this I was now drawing more from the shoulder instead of my hand.  
I will definitely start drawing larger on A3 paper more often from now onwards.  I managed to draw this face in approximately 15-20 minutes.  

So I drew another one:

Face 2: 

I used the same art supplies and A3 printer paper.  I feel working large is a great way to loosen up and leave my tendency of wanting to create in detail behind.

I am looking forward to see what else I will learn on the way creating 29 faces.  If you are participating in this challenge as well.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you are discovering on the way.

Here are my 2 drawings together with the supplies I used:


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mermaid Circus

Jane Davenport is one of my favourite artists.  In the past I have done her following classes:
'Draw Happy' and 'Supplies Me'.
'Draw Happy' is a great course for beginners and 'Supplies Me' is a great follow up where you learn about all the different art materials and how to use them.  Through her courses she explains very well how to draw faces.  This is how I fell in love with drawing faces.  Especially whimsical faces.  I also really enjoyed her video: 'The whimsical face' filmed with Cloth Paper Scissors.

Her workshop Mermaid Circus opens 8 September, created with Teesha Moore.
If you like to find out what this course is about and also like to enter in her give away to win an entry to the course, head on over to her website here.

I would love to win an entry to this course.  Having done some of her courses previously I can highly recommend them.  They are a lot of fun.  Good luck to all who enter.

I like to finish this blog post for today with one of my latest face drawings:

 Reach for the stars and colour your world

 Happy drawing. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Artsy Blog Hop - Part 2

The above image has been especially created for the 'artsy blog hop around the world’ by Minerva Levinston, who invited me to participate.

What is an artsy blog hop?

Artists from all around the world give answers to the following 4 questions:

  • 1.      How does my creative process work?

  • 2.      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

  • 3.      What am I working on now?

  • 4.      Why do you do what you do?

You are invited by an artist from another blog to participate.  You then post your answers on your own blog on a nominated date and then invite other artists to participate and link to their blog, where they will post their answers on their blog a week later, and so on.

Last week I posted my answers on my blog here.

The week before Minerva posted her answers on her blog here.

Today I like to introduce you to 2 artists that I am linking to:

  • ·        Denise from Denthe

Iris and Denise both come from Dutch speaking heritage, just like me.
Iris originally comes from Holland, now living in the UK.  And Denise comes from Belgium, now living in Queensland, Australia, just like me. 
I am so excited to have met two Nederlands (Dutch) speaking artists in the online art community.  I met Iris through this artsy blog hop and I met Denise last year participating in Art Every Day Month.

Iris is a mixed media artist who creates very cute whimsical girls.  She has recently created a free 20 page inspirational guide and is now regularly posting little videos, in which she shows the creative process as mentioned in her guide.

Denise creates stunning colourful art which is vibrant and happy.  Her paintings feature geometrical shapes inter-weaved with images of humans and birds mainly.  She also loves poetry, which she often combines with her pieces of art. 

Both artists absolutely live and breathe creating art and spend every spare time they can find, creating at their art table.

Please take your time to go and visit the blogs of these creative souls, and read what inspires them to create and the processes they go through, all explained in their post: Around the world Artsy blog hop.

To visit Iris click here.
To visit Denise click here.
To visit Minerva click here.

I like to finish my post today with showing you a page from my art journal:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Around the world artsy blog hop

I was invited by Minerva Levinston to take part in an artsy blog hop, where each of us participating give answers to the following 4 questions:

  • 1.      How does my creative process work?

  • 2.      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

  • 3.      What am I working on now?

  • 4.      Why do you do what you do?

Minerva is a beautiful ex-closet tradigital artist who has just recently come out of the closet by launching her blog in May this year.  Like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly, she has decided it is time to fly.  Please visit her blog to see her beautiful tradigital creations.  To see her answers to the 4 questions of the artsy blog hop, click here.
At first when Minerva approached me to participate in this blog hop I felt overwhelmed when I read the questions.  I thought: ‘I am not a real artist, these questions appear to be directed to an established artist.  How can I answer these questions?’.  But Minerva encouraged me to give it a go. 
I have recently read that if you want to follow your dreams, you have to overcome your fears and mental blocks.
Leap and the net will appear. 
Well here I go.  Hope someone will catch me if I fall:

How does my creative process work?


My inspirations come from:
  • ·        Watching online art videos
  • ·        Reading blogs and admiring other peoples creations
  • ·        Going to local art and craft workshops
  • ·        Visiting art and craft supply shops
  • ·        Sorting out my art and craft supplies
  • ·        Looking through magazines
  • ·        Visiting home ware stores and stationery shops

All of the above bring images into my head, which I then like acting upon, by trying to create what I am seeing in my mind.   Other times I just like experimenting with my art supplies and see what unfolds whilst creating.  I will let myself be surprised.  This experimenting with supplies is something I learned through online workshops.  Artists like Jane Davenport and Tam Laporte encourage you to use and play with your art materials  and just have fun with the process of creating without the need to create a master piece.  This is a great way of creating to help you move through your creative blocks.  You can’t learn to swim by just reading a textbook or watching ‘a learn to swim’ video..  You have to get into the water and get wet.
So with my art supplies, I have now learned to use them, rather than hoard them.  They need to be used.  This has been one of my creative blocks I have managed to work through by following these online classes.  

I still have my first box of artist quality coloured pencils from when I was a child:

Many years I was too worried to use them.  I did not want to waste them on creating something that was not worthwhile.  Now in my forties, I realise I have wasted many opportunities to create because I was so OCD to keep my box of pencils looking neat and perfect as if just bought from a shop.  The best advice I got in the ‘Supplies Me’ online workshop by Jane Davenport was to take the pencils out of their original box and put them upright in a container:

How does my work differ from others?

Not sure.  I am still trying to find my style.  Finding what is me and what I like doing through experimenting with different products and techniques.  My first to go to art supply as a child was always coloured pencils.  I have loved coloured pencils my entire life.  But growing up and in my adult life now, I am constantly exposed to more and different art supplies.  I really like to try them all.  When I have drawn faces with coloured pencil and posted these in online art classes in the last few years, people have given me the feedback that they recognised my drawings because of the way I have drawn the eyes and the girls hair.

What am I working on now?

I usually have a lot of projects going at the same time.  I often start a drawing or a project and don’t complete it till months later.  I start something and then get distracted by something else that has grabbed my attention.
This weekend I created these ICAD’s:

I picked up a box of Gelatos on Saturday morning that I had ordered and wanted to experiment with them on a small scale project.  So I thought a small index card would be the perfect thing.

Why do you do what you do?

I love creating because it puts me in a happy frame of mind.  When I create it feels like time does not exist.  I has been my saviour in life to keep my sanity.  Like a friend who is always there for me, happy to listen and allow me to express myself.  It has allowed me to move through difficult times in my life.  Art is a great way to express your emotions and feelings. 
In 2006/2007 my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my husband had a terrible accident. In 2009 my mum past away.  Living on the other side of the world (Australia) as to where I was born (most of my family lives in Holland), I felt that due to these experiences, my whole world I was living in had become unpredictable.  With the loss of my mum (who always shared her creativity with me) I also lost my trust in life.  Lots of stuff I normally would not even worry about, now started triggering the feelings of fear in me.
Through re-discovering art in 2011 and the wonderful art community online, I learned to trust in life again.   Art and craft has been a wonderful healing journey for me to transform my grief.
I have also learned that each person you encounter in life has a story to tell.  People might appear on the outside as if they have got it all together and have a handle on life. But most people have lived through some type of hardship or adversity.  Knowing this, never judge a book by its cover.  We don’t know about other people’s inner world  they live in.  Artists create from a well of images that come from their inner world.   From their life experiences.  So for an artist to share their creations with the outside world, they are putting themselves in a vulnerable position.  They are now open to criticism.  Most artists already struggle with their own inner critic, let alone being exposed to outer critics.  It takes a big leap of faith to share your inner world through art with others.  But it is this vulnerable part of each one of us, that makes us all unique.  It is this uniqueness, that is likable about us to others.  We do ourselves and the people around us injustice by not sharing this part of ourselves.  It is the uniqueness that makes each person shine when they are willing to share this part of themselves with the world.
I am so glad I participated in this blog hop.  Through answering these 4 questions and reading the blog posts of other artists we are linking to or linking from, I now understand what it means to be able to say:

‘I am an artist!’

It does not just come from:
  • Gaining a formal art qualification
  • Having a certain amount of experience creating art
  •  Having achieved a certain level of skill to qualify in naming yourself an artist.  This level of skill achieved would also be subjective to whom is making the judgement:  the beginner or the advanced artist

‘I am an artist’ to me means:
  • I love creating art and sharing this love with others who like to share this journey with me.
  • Being an artist is a life long journey of creating.
  • Creation is the natural order of life, so creating to me means living life.

So I urge everyone out there, if you are still reading this post by now:

Start creating!

Start using your art supplies or whatever else you like to create with and start doing.
Stop living your creative life in your mind only, or hidden away in a closet.

Take action today!

Being an artist is a way of life, not a tittle or a goal to be achieved in the future.
Being an artist is the journey of dedicating your life to creating and sharing this love with others.

Thank you Minerva for coming out of the closet and sharing your beautiful self to the world.  You have taken the leap of faith and now so many of us can admire and learn from your creations.

Next week:

Next week I will be linking to the artsy blog post of other artists answering the above 4 questions.
One of these amazing artists is Iris. Her blog is called: IrisImpressions.  I met her through this artist blog hop as she posted a comment on Minerva’s blog and also Gracie Howlie, one of the other artists on the blog hop Minerva is linking too. 
Iris is a mixed media artist who is passionate about mixed media art, art journaling and inspiring people to be free to create the way they are meant to create and shine the way they are meant to shine!
One of the posts that I loved reading and highly recommend is:
Reading this post has helped me to transform my believe from: ‘I am not a real artist’ to ‘I am an artist’.
I am very grateful for meeting her and helping me dissolve this mental block.
I was so delighted when she replied that she wanted to participate in this blog hop.  Last week she launched ‘a free 20 page guide to get you creatively inspired’.  Go and get your copy here.
It might be just what you need to start creating.

Another wonderful artist I have met online is: Denise.  Het blog is called DentheShe loves turning everyday items into colourful and special objects, using a variety of techniques.  Her paintings are very bright and colourful with the presence of human beings, birds and fantasy elements, all organised in a beautiful pattern of colour and shapes.  She also has a passion for poetry which she likes to combine in her paintings.  She has several online shops where you can buy her stunning art work featured on lots of everyday items.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Card diary

Yesterday I had a lovely time at Papertrenz.  In Sue Smyth's workshop we started making this mixed media Card Diary.  This is what I have completed so far in class.  My homework now is to finish decorating the inside pages and adding the embellishments on the cover of the book.  The flowers on the top of the cover are just lying loose there at the moment to show you.  They were originally plain white flowers which we coloured with gesso and spray inks and paint.  We will eventually bind this book with a cinch binding machine when completed. 

Monday, June 23, 2014


Made this card over the weekend for someone who is expecting. I used papers from the Early Years collection from Kaszazz.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Being Brave

Today I am being brave sharing the following art journal page with you that I created this morning.  I always enjoy trying out new techniques or drawing something that I have not  tried before. Last week I fell  in love with big eye art drawings created by Sherri Baldy.  The first one I drew  last week I used a drawing from Sherri Baldy as a reference.  Today I tried to draw this style of girl out of my own head.  Well I found that rather challenging.  I have been practicing drawing faces for a while now, but still have great trouble with trying to draw a body to go with it.  I first drew in pencil and then traced my drawing with a micron pen.  Because the eyes were so big I needed a bigger black pen tip to fill in the black of the eyes.  I used a memento pen which just happened to catch my eye in my pot of pencils and markers.
But I did not realise that the memento pen would smudge when I started rubbing out all the pencil lines.  Then I wanted to give her a bit of colour.  I started with some water colour pencils, to soon find the journal I was using did not like water.  The paper in an ordinary visual art journal does not tolerate much water at all.  So I finished colouring by putting a little bit of chalks on for colour and then journaled around  the drawing about how I felt about this 'failure'.  Most people would probably only want to share on their blog successful creations.  Today I have decided to purposely share something that did not turn out very well.
I am not happy with the result of the creation, but I am happy with the lessons I have learned on the way.  Journaling around my drawing about how I felt with this creation helped me to accept what I had put on paper so far.  I first wrote about all the stuff that did not work out for me creating this drawing, and then I also tried to put a positive encouragement on the page to help me move on and accept my 'failure'.  This is what art journaling is all about.  A space where we can experiment and try out new things.  They don't have to be master pieces.  As for every success, there are many failures.  It's only through using our products that we can learn how to work with them.  It is not something that can be learned through reading out of a text book or just  looking at and admiring other peoples creations and You Tube videos only.  We have to be brave and have a go ourselves.  Practice something every day.  As it is the habit of this practice that will open new doors and experiences for us.  That is why I have started this blog.  To make myself accountable for creating.  To see my own creative journey with its ups and downs.  A creative diary online.

What have you created or practiced today?  

Please feel free to leave a link to your blog in your comment to show what you have made today. 
Where you happy with your creation today?
What did you learn from what you made today?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another background

I started another background for another journal for the Jennibellie workshop.  This time my daughter joined me.  We both used the same scrapbook papers and then both used the same colour paints.  But the results are different.  We had a lot of fun creating these background pages.

Then we started making some embellishments that can be used later in our journals:

I also folded my background I created the other day into a journal.  It is now ready to go for drawing, collaging and adding embelishments.
If you like to find out how to create and fold this journal go and hop over to the ning site of Jennibellie.