Saturday, May 26, 2012


Of course I've been drawing outside again :D Although not as much as I would have liked to - but there you go. Such is life, such is my life in many aspects at the moment. Still trying to find balance, still sucking at it ;) A work in progress...

But stuff is happening, though! Inspired by this book, a tip from Jodi on her very inspiring blog, I sort of came to a conclusion about my style. My outside style. What I know and love - pen and watercolours - will work beyond these walls, too. Why not?! I can work on being faster, I can work on being a little less into detail, but I don't need to reinvent myself! Hindsight, I really don't get why I made such a big ado about it all - I guess it was nerves about taking the show on the road in the first place ;) Sometimes, apparently, it takes a lot of hard thinking & going round in circles to find you were alright & okay to start with. Hmm! I send myself on wild goose chases! No wonder I can't seem to find balance :D

Here's what I drew on Mother's Day after deciding to stick to what I know:

A little work-in-progress :) Fun to see myself working when I didn't even notice the pictures being taken :) I've found out I'm not as sensitive to my surroundings (specifically: people!) when drawing outside as I thought I'd be - which is another good thing to know! It makes it much easier to plonk myself down somewhere, regardless, and draw!

And here's the final image, some details - involving a bit of creative license - drawn from a bench in the sun, while Amsterdam was busy all around me:

And, last Saturday, I had an art date with Koosje, who actually got me thinking about taking my art outside in the first place :D We met online through Stephanie Levy's Creative Courage e-course and this was the second time we saw each other in real life - while she is already awesome on the 'net, she's even more fun in person :D We spent a really cool afternoon chatting, drawing & painting outside in Amsterdam, which will definitely be repeated! Here's (part of) the loot:

This may sound cheesy, but to heck with it: YAY - from my toes! - to new friends with creative habits!! We should all examine what we loved most when we were kids and find people who'll take it beyond kindergarten with us!! That really is awesome & I'm so grateful :D

Here's to old and new friends who've been out drawing with me - to many more chat & draw dates to come :D This really is a style of getting together and hanging out that I could get used to :D

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It's been almost two weeks since this blog has seen any action from me... Lots of comments though, thank you so much :D

I've been a little - okay, a lot! - busy with Pikaland's Making Your Mark e-course. It's a course that promises to help you find or investigate your personal style in various ways, and so far that's true. There is a new assignment every week, and there is plenty of room to stretch yourself, if you choose to. It's interesting! Last week I had to create an image from a combination of one item on a list of things I KNOW and one item off a list of things I LOVE, and then recreate that image in both pen & ink and collage! It was a total challenge, especially to get it all finished within a week ;) But I did, and I love the way it coaxed me out of my comfort zone - especially the black and white image that was supposed to include tones and values. Man, tones and values are hard! I knew that, I've only just begun trying to add more light and shadows to my watercolour pieces, but then to decide whether red is lighter than blue, and how to represent that in ink lines? Hard!

Here is what I did in my 'medium of choice'. My 'items' were "I LOVE going outside with my kid on his balance bike - he's given me new eyes and a new lease on wonder", and "I KNOW my kid is half South-African". The elephant was annoying - I miscoloured it, then re-coloured it, which didn't work as well as I'd hoped, and then I tried to rescue the whole blessed overworked thing with coloured pencils. Let's just say he's got a skin condition and be done with it ;) And let's say I'm able to draw an elephant that looks like an elephant, because in the end, that impressed me most :D As well as how I drew my kid :D Sure, there is something not quite right with his hairline, but hey - we all need areas of practise, right?! ;)

This week's assignment will be fun too, I think and hope! We were meant to go to a museum or art gallery, and revisit an existing work of art. And while that sounds like fun (can't remember the last time I went to a museum - shame on me!), I don't really see when I could be doing that and finish some art work before Monday. And then I remembered (funny how these things work, really!) that there is a whole ado around here about a couple of months that Claude Monet spent in Zaandam back in 1871! I investigated and found out there is a little book about it, so I went out and got that - and there are quite a couple of surprises there :D But I won't spoil the fun just yet - I'll post about that when I'm able to illustrate my findings ;)

Yes, I'm enjoying MYM, for sure! I love a good challenge! I am a little disappointed in the lacking sense of community there though. After both assignments, I've been going out of my way to find something constructive to say about each and every piece of art work posted - because I feel that's part of the deal, and because I enjoy seeing what others come up with, for inspiration and at times awe, but hardly anyone bothers to come back and do the same. Apart from KoosjeJodi - much appreciated :) Of course that is what it is, but in the end, I feel I've paid a lot of money for just a challenge and some feedback from the course's creators - who don't come back for a bit of dialogue either. But it is what it is. All that said and paid for, I will enjoy the challenge, and see what I can get out of Monet in Zaandam. Because honestly? I probably never would have investigated what the ado was about if it wasn't for MYM :)

Are you straying outside your comfort zone in any way? I'd love to hear and see!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


These are the drawings I came home with after working outside - or at least in public ;) - last week :D

This was lunch on the 26th, on an art date with a friend :) We did lots of walking and talking, and we even managed to draw some :) Lovely day!!

Another art date on Saturday, with a friend in Gouda, to make up for the missed Sketchcrawl the week before :) We sat on a park bench in the garden of a museum, surrounded by beautiful old buildings - but I ended up challenging myself with angles again. I figure the only way to get better is to keep trying ;)

On the way back from Gouda, we ended up in a traffic jam because of road works. And I decided to take out my sketchbook :D I'm really starting to dig the idea of bringing it everywhere :D

And here's my lovely boy. His back, anyway ;) I am having such a hard time with realistic faces... I maimed him in the drawing I did before (which I tore out of my sketchbook, totally going against principles. It really was that bad!). But then I was struck with the brilliant idea that I could focus on his cute little backside ;) The pockets on this pair of jeans are stitched low - just so you know - that wasn't me missing the truth again ;)

That last drawing, on Queen's Day (celebrating the Dutch Queen's BD, fleamarkets everywhere and people wearing lots of orange)? I did it in the park, on the playground, sat on a bench, surrounded by throngs of people! I'm definitely getting braver, and I'm really starting to love just going with the flow! Sure, I hesitated, but I did it, anyway :D

When last did you do something anyway? I'd love to hear :)