Friday, May 31, 2013


So here's how I'm hanging :)

Yup, bottom-right, that's me, naked in a shop window ;) Next to the toilet cleaner. Cool thing to claim about yourself ;)

That's the kid, behind the doors. Not too impressed being left behind ;)

I love the orange and blue feathers & thingies behind the drawings ;) And my own reflection ;)

And that's the kid again. Paying me back for leaving him inside the shop. Doing his own thing rather than pose with his mamma's art ;)

Yup, that's my art hanging somewhere :) And it really is a giant step! I'm not making light of it - this is an expo in a shop window, and it won't launch my artist carreer right now, just yet ;) - but it definitely does something in my head! Knowing that it's out there - I'm out there - for people to see makes it much harder to deny that I might be an artist :) We're going to have to see what happens when it's taken down - but for now, I'm an artist - and it's AWESOME :D I'm holding on to that feeling!

& not just that, I've sold some art work from my all-new Etsy shop & all :D Thank you so much, lovely friends, for supporting me - and for getting me to pretty much skip to the post counter singing 'I'm selling my ART, people!' :D Yes, I wanted to share that mental image, because it felt really, really good :)

Of course there is contemplation going on in the background. Wild thoughts and notions. What it all means and where it will go. And how it will take me along for rides. And how to stick with believing. But they're not for here and now. Now and here is for feeling proud and excited  - and wishing you the same!

Thank you so much for being here and being excited with me - it really means a lot :D 


Monday, May 20, 2013


I know you might be expecting the photos for the second assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop, but I didn't get around to it... It's hard to admit, because I strongly feel that committing to take part means you commit to take part, but I've got some stuff going on in my 'real life' & I sort of forgot to make time. Saturday snuck up on me! All these single-day national holidays and visiting relatives (my father-in-law is here right now) warp time a little, and my head is spinning just a bit - so, quite out of character, I've given myself permission to drop out, this week ;)

& without much more ado, here's why I'm out-of-sorts: I was asked to show some of my work! I was asked! It's hard for me not to back that up with a story that makes it a little less impressive, but I won't :) I'm just going to go with 'I was asked to show some of my work' :)

The 25th of May to the 1st of June this year will be the Dutch week for non-professional art, and the Fair Trade gift shop (Wereldwinkel) where I volunteer is taking part, displaying art in their shop window. I've never made a secret of drawing a lot - so people know that about me ;) - but I was very surprised when the shop coordinator emailed me to ask if I wanted to be the artist to exhibit!

We decided on what to display - I was quite impressed with how she went for my style, as opposed to the more neutral work I'd slipped in - and I've been working on the prints, polishing little blemishes away since Wednesday ;) Here's what will be shown:


There's a lot of mayhem in my head. I'm fighting not to down-play, nor to over-stretch and it's hard work! I'm doing okay, I think, but I don't have a lot to say right now. No oversight, no insight either. The funny thing is, every time I come out of a bad stretch, promising myself that for now it will be all about drawing for myself, to be me inside my life, something happens. Something that shakes me up, tells me something, although I'm never quite clear on what exactly, while I'm in the middle of it all. This time, I'm trying to stay calm (haha). I'm going to try and wait this out - to see what might have shifted on the other side. Instead of forcing things to shift right now ;)

I got this flyer in my local art supply shop:

I took it, along with other flyers, and it wasn't until hours later, when I properly looked, that I saw I'm on it :D Not just that, it says 'kunstenaars', which means artists :D So even when I might still have a hard time referring to myself as an artist, this flyer doesn't, so it must be true ;)
(* the T means 'tekenen', which means 'drawings')

I'm ready for brighter days, and I'm not just talking about Summer and sun ;) Hope you're well! What's happy in your life?

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Pure Photo Workshop - Week 1
I don't want to start off complaining, but I will mention that I've got a lot going on at the moment! Flow? She is right here! Stirring me, inspiring me, making me a little crazy, too :) On the edge of overwhelm, so I need to stick close to myself, to try and be smooth with it all. It wasn't all that long ago that I was trapped in the austere room, the fragile place, and I've got no intention to go back. Not now, not ever, although that might be too bold a statement. Let's go with - gentle. As much as possible ;)

Tackling one thing at a time, I'm taking part in a four-week photography workshop called Pure Photo Workshop, organised by Jane! Back in 2010, I joined a similar workshop, which was pretty cool (see those posts by clicking here), and I was really excited when I received an email from Jane, asking me if I'd be interested in taking part again!

The first assignment was posted on Sunday, last week, and it invited us to explore personal style. To find images that speak to and of us. To create a My Style pinboard over on Pinterest - and discover yourself and your personal style.

I have to admit I've avoided Pinterest, so far. Not because I'm against it in any way, or because I couldn't see myself using it - more because I could see myself hanging out there. I have explored Pinterest, of course, to see what it was about, and I decided to stay away from it, especially because it's vast and beautiful... Because I knew it would get in the way of doing as opposed to browsing. The internet is such an inspiring place for easy procrastinators like me, and I didn't feel I needed another excuse ;)

Coaxed by the assignment, I made an account and started pinning, anyway - you can see my pinboard here. But it didn't feel right. First of all, I was too hurried. Pinning left, right and center like there was no tomorrow, all while knowing I wasn't even merely making a dent. There is no way I can quickly pick and choose my way through all that beauty on offer - and really feel like I'm closing in on who I am. And secondly it feels sort of wrong to try and show myself through other people's art, photos and images. I guess this comes from being preoccupied with honesty and nakedness on a personal level; I'm all about being open and inviting you in.

So instead of pinning and trying to catch up with the whole Pinterest Revolution in one day, I've decided to create a couple of personal photo collages from the stretched archives on my hard drive, instead.

Here's me, then; here's parts of me.

This is my home. I love colour. There is a lot of red, white and blue going on, which is a coincidence as far as nationalism is concerned, but a conscious and happy choice nonetheless ;)

My kid is four and a half, and he's awesome. I'll be 40 at the end of this year. I'm a stay-at-home mamma and an artist. I think too much. And I'm happier than you'd think from reading this blog.

My absolute favourite colour combination is blue and orange :D It took me a long time to embrace orange as a colour, but now that I've got it, I'm sold :)

I love being outside, exploring the little things; the happy coincidences, found paint splatters, tiny bits of nature and wildlife. Having my kid around to point out things I'd otherwise miss really helps :)

And I draw. A lot. I want to draw more. I don't draw as much as I can, but I want to. Like I said, I'm a procrastinator and I think a lot, and that gets in the way. But drawing makes me happy - whether it's inside, at my dinner table studio; or outside, somewhere, drawing whatever jumps out.

I'm all about learning to embrace my warts these days. Seeing I'll be turning 40 soon, I think it's about time to be okay. Be enough. Be.

When I'm not outside, drawing what I see, I draw about being human. About growing and stretching. About seeing light in a dark corner. Finding a smile where you thought there wasn't space for one. That's what I think I'm drawing - that's what it feels like. But you're free to see what you see, of course :)

All that said, here is the photo that I took today. This is where I draw. It's where I am, even when I'm not. This is the place I think of when I think of happy:

And this is the rest of happy:

I'm using a Panasonic Lumix FZ18. It's getting older, but it still does tricks :)

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with!

Friday, May 10, 2013


I'm thinking about it. Changes, I mean. To my approach. In a very broad sense. But I'm me, and it's all tentative, as usual, so I won't sing about it, out loud, quite yet. I need to flesh those bones a little, first. And it could all well end in the bin, too ;) But to celebrate the idea of new thoughts anyway, here is an unusually quick sketch for you!
Yesterday being a national holiday, we drove to Volendam. Yup. Not quite sure why, the idea struck on the road elsewhere, but it was okay. It was nice, for a quick visit.

Note to self: quite a bit to draw there, architecturally, if I ever feel stuck, and not unimportantly, so inclined ;)

On the road, off to IKEA for a quick and cheap Swedish-meatballs-and-fries meal out (that idea had been stuck in my brain for days, so it had to come out and happen at some stage!), we saw a double decker bus somewhere, sparking imagination - me and Squirt came up with a million ideas to make it fun to live in one :)

When we got home, I needed to get some of the ideas onto paper quickly, and so did Squirt :D He drew! Double, tripple, quadruple deckers :D Which is awesome, since his stuck Theme has been 'a Dragon with Three Heads, a Volcano, and a Brachiosaurus' for weeks now - in whatever medium he gets his eager and quick little hands on ;)
Here's his version - the middle bus has a tent on its roof, the rest of the tents are in front of the wheels, and the bus on the right has a cannon per deck. Of course. We need to defend ourselves against the meanies, don't we?! ;)

Squirt drew outside his box (after a little coaxing, telling him he 'can draw busses, I'm sure of it!'), and I drew outside mine. Quick sketch, bamboo dip pen and Zig brush markers for colour! And I'm posting it on my blog! I've long been thinking about - adding to my can-do, too. About a need to learn to be quicker, dirtier, different - just and especially for fun! To shake things up a little, branch out! This process started after taking Koosje's awesome Just Draw It! ecourse (I'm totally endorsing!), was reinforced by my latest (S L O W) sessions of drawing outside, and definitely inspired by my blog-reading catch-up and especially Koosje's versatility.

Like most things, doing something different is in the doing. Not in thinking about it; not - although it's always inspiring - in looking at how other people do it; but in getting the darn pen and paper out and get DOING! If you wait long enough, think long enough, you're giving yourself ample opportunity to come up with all the reasons why you shouldn't, and then some. Trust me, I know ;)

Now to be honest, I did this quick sketch to - work it out later... To make it into a Bus to Live in, my style. And maybe I still will. There's nothing wrong with my slow but trusted process, I still like my own 'signature style' :) But I really appreciate that I did it like this, first, and I published it, too. Here's to first steps and flaunting them :)

Need inspiration? Why not draw your version of a magical place to live in? :D
Please let me know if you do!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


You might not think so, from reading here, but we have lovely days, too ;)

When my head is busy, I tend to use this blog to spill. I need to spill somewhere. I think, rethink and overthink, and it needs to go somewhere. To stop it from spinning & swirling, if only for a day or two. But I have a life, too. I like to think that spilling here makes me more able, elsewhere. Places where I need to be able no matter what. When it comes to my kid, I'm there. He sees me sad, he sees me kicking at life, of course - & I honestly believe that it helps somewhere, later in life, to know your mother is a human being with strengths, struggles and weaknesses, which is another discussion - but he gets my most able, too!

We walked through the woods, over the sand dunes to the beach, yesterday. We had some crisps and drinks on the sand, and while Squirt and his dad wanted to find out how cold the water really still is, me and ouma (my South-African mother-in-law is visiting for two weeks) looked for shells. Nothing like the beach to bring out the inner little girl :) 

We walked back to the car park and had a very late... dunch? linner? I don't quite know what to call food at 3.30 pm, but it was good :) 

Everyone else had pancakes, and I had tuna salad on freshly baked, crunchy-crust bread.

One quarter of a slice, immortalised! I didn't do the texture of the salad any justice, but I practised, which is awesome, right?! ;)

We walked about 7k, got sun-kissed (most of us) & sun-burnt (husband) and had a lovely day :) So this is what happens in this life of mine, too. When I'm not here chewing on something, finding feet. I do that a lot - finding feet. Thinking. Overthinking. I won't pretend I don't. But it's not all that's going on, either. We do funny, light, happy around here, too! Just thought you might like to know ;) I went and found my feet where they actually hung out!