Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Last couple of days I’ve been experimenting a bit with lines and layering.
This is an overview of the layering-experiment I did. I started with layer of thick, bright watercolours and then added pastels, charcoal and pencil.
More experiments coming up!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Sticks and Stones

When I started this blog I set out to share the good things and the bad things and now I’m about to share a ‘bad’ thing I hesitate… It’s hard to share when things don’t go as planned.
As some of you might know I’ve been battling a burn-out for some time now.
First I continued to work but after a while I had to stop and when I did, I started to fully comprehend how bad I was doing. Back then I wasn’t even able to do art, I wasn’t able to do much of anything.
Just recently the tax authorities got wind of me not making much money and I got invited for an appointment at their office. The burn-out had made sure I didn’t make much money of my art and couldn’t spend much time on my art either.
Because of that they ended up taking away my fiscal entrepreneurship status and they will be checking up on me in 2017.
The appointment was last week and I felt very bad after that. It took me a few days to feel better but yesterday I had a little help putting me in my place again.
The lady I had the appointment with called to run through what was said earlier and explain her findings. She repeated once again they would check up on me in 2017 and she added, because they were not very convinced any significant progress would be happening.
I’m sure the lady didn’t intend or realize it but these words felt like a right kick in the face.
But hey, ‘sticks and stones’, right?!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Window art: Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

Most Roald Dahl-fans will know that on September 13th 2016 it’s 100 years ago Roald Dahl was born and that the July 2016 premiere of Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is no coincidence.
To celebrate these wonderful events the American Book Center Amsterdam asked me to paint a special Roald Dahl window in style of Quentin Blake’s art. I am both a Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake fan so I immediately said YES!
At home I made a small design of some of Dahl’s characters (almost) all being after Wonka’s Golden Ticket.
When it was time to paint the design on the window itself I first started sketching the characters in white. This to position them correctly and also provide a more rough surface so the next layer of colour paint would stick better and be less see through. When all this was done I used an acrylic marker for the line work that I drew on top of the acrylic paint.
So hop on over to the American Book Center Amsterdam to buy one of Dahl’s treasures and see my window live at the same time. As far as my window goes you can do so until July 14th.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Open Studio Grafisch Collectief Thoets

Last weekend me and my colleagues at Grafisch Collectief Thoets had our open studio Sunday.
It was fun but compared to the exhibition weekend I organized last April it was soooo quiet…
At the end of the day I started doubting myself.
Was my work not good enough? Maybe the way it was displayed on the wall wasn’t working?
Or maybe the art didn’t work well together…
Also I find it very challenging to divide time between all of my different guests: friends, family, old customers, potential new customers… Maybe I did it all wrong!

Maybe I did some of these things wrong, maybe, but then I thought I just had this big show in April, people had just seen me (and my art).
Also we started promoting the event quite late, only 2 weeks ahead of time.
Next to our event there was a lot happening that weekend, a big comic festival in Haarlem, the start of Terschellings theatre festival Oerol and probably much more…

Today there was a new episode of a podcast that I like, the Creative Pep Talk by Andy Miller and the theme of the show fitted perfectly: Breaking Through (creative) Anxiety.
Or as Miller puts it: ‘Creating from a place of anxiety is like trying to plant a garden on concrete.’

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Picking up blogging again

Since last January I haven’t written at all. First I wanted a little break after posting a blog every day for 30 days. But this little break got a bit too long I’m sorry to say…
There was plenty to post about but for some reason I couldn’t move myself to do it.

After my ‘30 Paintings in 30 Days’ project I started working on finding a place to exhibit these 30 paintings and then organizing the exhibition itself. It was a lot of work but it was well worth it.
Next I did a commission of 3 savanna animals, I did some illustration work for Dutch magazine
Zone 5300, I started a newsletter to which you can subscribe here, I had my exhibition at the ABC Treehouse and sold a nice amount of art.
After a break of 2 years I started showing my art again at the art market Artplein Spui and now I’m preparing for the open studio at my shared studio Grafisch Collectief Thoets this Sunday June 12th.
And somewhere in between I celebrated my 40th birthday.
See, plenty to write about but somehow I just didn’t. Sorry.

My plan is to pick up my weekly blogging. Next week will be about how the open studio turned out!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Looking back at the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

When I first decided to participate in Leslie Saeta’s 30 Painting in 30 Days Challenge I wasn’t sure if this was for me. I wasn’t sure how I would react to the pressure of creating every day, taking a picture every day (considering the murky Dutch weather), posting every day…
After my first aquarelle on January 1st I knew that the plan I had (drawing insects and flowers from graveyard Huis te Vraag wasn’t going to work. Already I felt a huge resistance to continue.
Next day I made a flower portrait. In my ‘drawing a day’ sketchbook I had been drawing a few flower portraits and decided to continue with those and there wasn’t a day I got bored with it.
Some days I feared not being able to do another one but every morning I would find a fitting face and flower. And in a months’ time I feel like I did grow in the way I told my story.

Lessons learned: I like working on projects like this. I like working on not too many things at the same time. I can (sort of) handle aquarelle paint. I can handle the pressure of having to finish a painting every day for a longer period. I enjoy creating and I can do this every day.
Creating makes me happy and no matter what people from the past or present have told me, I am an artist!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge – Day 30

The last flower portrait of this challenge. A bit of a creepy one. I was thinking about this composition a while back but didn’t feel comfortable to actually paint it and decided to save it for last.
Thank you Leslie Saeta for this wonderful challenge, I learned so much.
Aquarelle, 25 x 18 cm, +/-10 x 7 inch

Friday, 29 January 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge – Day 29

Both enjoying and regretting the (almost) end of this challenge. Going to miss these flower ladies but also going to be happy about having more freedom in my daily schedule. I learned so much this month (I will get back on that in a later post) and I think it’ll have to show in my upcoming work one way or the other.
Aquarelle, 25 x 18 cm, +/-10 x 7 inch

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge – Day 26

So here’s slightly different. Although I was pleased with the result of the portrait/ flower mix I missed having around ‘creatures’ half-way being a person and flower.
Aquarelle, 25 x 18 cm, +/-10 x 7 inch

Monday, 25 January 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge – Day 25

This has been the 7th portrait of portrait being blended into flower. For the 5 remaining days of this challenge I want to try something slightly different…
Aquarelle, 25 x 18 cm, +/-10 x 7 inch