Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sometimes it's out of your hands

You can prepare for an (art) event all you want but some things are just out of your hands.
The ArtWest Open Studio weekend was promoted quite well by the organisation. I properly framed all art I wanted to show. I send out invitations via e-mail, via Facebook, I put the event on my website, wrote a blog about it, shared it a couple of times on Facebook… We cleaned the studio, hung the art (it looked quite good I think), bought drinks and snacks, we had a massive flag waving for attention, the door stood wide open…
But then on Saturday there was rain, lots of rain and Sunday there was a storm and only a few people dared to venture out of their warm, cosy homes.
Saturday we had 36 visitors and Sunday 46, considering the weather not that bad but still, if the weather had been nice the turnout had been much higher. From our group of 5 I was the only one who did not sell.
That evening wasn’t very pleasant. I doubted myself and my work. Was my attitude too much ‘wait-and-see’? Should I jump people when they enter the studio (something I hate when people do that to me in shops etc.). Was my art just bad/ weird/ unmarketable? Did I present it wrong? What did I do wrong??
Sunday, at the end of the event our group of Grafisch Collectief Thoets decided to prolong our open studio to next Sunday. We would again invite everybody and hope for better weather.
The weather was nice, a lot of people who couldn’t make it the weekend before came by and I sold some small things. Happy.
I need to remember that there’s nothing wrong with my artwork, I just need to reach the right people.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Getting ready for ARTWEST Amsterdam

Getting ready for this!!
The last couple of weeks I’ve been working hard to finish up for my upcoming open studio
weekend which will be on November 19th and 20th.
Together with my artist colleagues Jan Baas, Ina Brekelmans, Edwin Emmens and
Ellen Huijsmans (Grafisch Collectief Thoets) I’m participating in ARTWEST Amsterdam for the second time.

Please come by and visit at:

Nassaukade 321, 
1053 LS Amsterdam.
On both Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 till 18:00.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Varnish Adventures

Today I varnished my most recent work. I started it a while ago and got stuck, put it away for a few months and finished it last week.
After the ‘30 Paintings in 30 Days-challenge’ from last September I finally knew how to continue.
Since I started working in colour more and more I also like using lots of different materials (bistre, pigmentedink, water soluble (ink) pencils, soft pastels by Schmincke) at the same time, just mixing them up.
Varnishing is possible because I work on aquabord by Ampersand and can be a problem using all these different materials. I start by putting on different layers of fixative letting them dry for 24 hours in between layering. After that I put on a layer of matt acrylics varnish. This is the tricky part because if not fixated well enough the varnish can partly dissolve the fixative and make the materials run.
All went well today.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days – Lessons Learned

This was the second time I participated in Leslie Saeta’s ’30 Paintings in 30 Days’ challenge. This September was very different from last January, both the set-up and also the lessons learned.
In January I painted at home, used pictures I made and flowers I bought to make the flower portraits I did.
This past September I got my sketchpad, my painting- and drawing materials, my drawing stool and went on my way to the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) by bike and then went on by foot.
Being on my way to ‘the spot’ was very much part of the process but also took time. Posting my blog and pictures with it, took more time. So a lot of time went into this project which was hard sometimes. But I did it, I could manage the busy schedule for a whole month!
So in one way I’m glad it’s finished and on the other I’m sad because it also felt very good to spend my days painting and drawing in the forest.
When the weather is good I will probably go back there to draw. This felt too good to quit!

My plan was to spend my time drawing plein air, drawing nature. I love nature but drawing or painting it was a horror to me with all its chaos. During this month I think I moved in the right directing to finding order in this chaos and putting it to paper.
Along the way I added more colour which I think turned out to be a good move. Adding colour gave my work more depth.
Also just sitting down at a nice spot doesn’t make a nice painting/ drawing. I need to pick a subject within the image I want to create and love it! This is wat happened on day 21 where I fell in love with this tree stooping over the path. From that day on I tried to find a tree like that again and again.
Spending more time (love) on one drawing also worked out for the better I think or at least it added to the joy I experienced in making.
These trees still live in my brain, especially the ones that had fallen over. They probably will find their way back as a subject.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, September 2016 – Day 30

Deciding to draw outside every day in the month of September in The Netherlands is quite risky. Usually it’s 18°C/ 64,4°F with occasional rain, so not the best circumstances for drawing outside.
That’s why I decided to draw ahead. Every week the weather forecast said: rain! And every week the rain was pushed back with a week until September 29th! So I’m really happy I finished the challenge two days ago!!

I loved doing this last one. When I sat down next to these tree roots all kinds of animals and faces kept popping up. Amazingly beautiful.

Amsterdamse Bos/ Amsterdam Forest, bistre & pencil, 24 x 30 cm

Monday, 26 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, September 2016 – Day 26

During previous drawings I would bring my drawing stool and sit on a grassy field or a path, but last few drawings I let myself wonder off the yellow brick road and into the woods.
After the blackbird has stopped it’s alarm all gets quiet again, or actually very noisy because when I sit there very quietly the birds don’t take notice anymore and let me be a true observer.

Amsterdamse Bos/ Amsterdam Forest, bistre & pencil, 24 x 30 cm

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, September 2016 – Day 24

Back at my new spot and back at this fallen birch tree. This time from the other side with a close-up of the roots.

Fallen Birch tree, Amsterdamse Bos/ Amsterdam Forest, bistre & pencil, 24 x 30 cm

Friday, 23 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, September 2016 – Day 23

A new spot to draw, again the Amsterdam Forest but this area has a more woodsy scenery.
During this drawing I was surrounded by the sound of beech nuts falling from the trees, sounding like rain. They kept falling on my drawing pad and ended up being a nice little snack.

Fallen Birch tree, Amsterdamse Bos/ Amsterdam Forest, bistre & pencil, 24 x 30 cm

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, September 2016 – Day 22

Yesterday was the first day I felt a little cold drawing outside, in the shades. After a while I had to  move to a sunnier spot.
Temperatures had been way too high for the time of the year in the Netherlands but when I rode my bike into the Amsterdam Forest this week all of a sudden the paths were yellow with leaves and the leaden summer air had changed to a cool autumn air. How I love the change of seasons.

Fallen Birch tree, Amsterdamse Bos/ Amsterdam Forest, bistre & pencil, 24 x 30 cm