Saturday, August 19, 2017

Grid Patience

Whenever I post or show my grid drawings, someone is bound to say sooner or later that I must be a very patient person. Well...I am, but only when it comes to grid drawings or patterns! It is a total mystery to me how I can hardly bring up the effort to do a simple sketch from life in say fifteen minutes, but have no problem at all spending hours on a page in one of my grid or pattern books.

I can think of no other reason than that it is meditative. It calms my mind, stills my busy thoughts. Regular drawing (like with my current morning portraits) always makes me a little restless. Maybe because it has to be something. My patterns and grids don't have to be anything, just colour and shapes. Maybe I draw them the way other people colour in adult colouring books.

In the end the why of it doesn't really matter. It's just what I love to do and when you love to do something you make time for it.

Here are some grid drawings from my Moleskine XL squared soft cover book:

Still, all these drawings are an exercise in patience, even for someone who loves doing them. Some are spread out over the course of a week in different sessions of a little time here and there, some I can do in a day in a big session of several hours, but in any case they take time, escpecially the bigger ones like these and to me they are worth it.

Hope you are spending your precious time doing something you love and wishing you a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Art in the Journal

Recently I told you about the trouble I was having with my previous journal, a B6 traveler's notebook, mostly because of the inserts I had purchased for it and their crappy paper.  So I closed that book prematurely and moved on to another journal and I couldn't be happier.

One of the ways I can tell I'm happy with a journal is that I take it with me everywhere and also do some art in it from time to time. My current journal is a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook and I will tell you more about it and why I like it so much in another post, but for now I just wanted to show some of the drawings I did in it. You see the paper is absolutely made for my felt tip pens and I just can't resist doing pattern type drawings in it and then colouring them in, especially after notebooks that just bled through so easily that I didn't bother with anything like that.

So here are some of the more artsy excerpts from my current journal:

All these were done in Stabilo 68 pens, my favorite felt tip pens. I take this book with me everywhere, so that's basically where I work in it too. On the ferry, on my walks, at my lunchbreak at work, having a coffee in restaurants or just at home.

In a future post I will show you some of the regular spreads in this journal and tell you more about it. For now I just want to wish you a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Morning Portraits

Even though I have been doing morning art for about two and a half years, it still remains a process and I'm always learning new things. For instance, a while ago I wrote about wanting to skip it on my workdays (only three days a week) because it was costing me precious sleep.

From time to time I skip a day or so anyway, so it didn't seem like such a big deal, but it was. Turns out that when I don't at least intend to do it every day the whole habit of it just kind of blows up in my face. By that I mean that I didn't do my morning art at all, not even on the days when I did have the time!

Also I noticed that I missed the routine of it. After doing this for such a long time it seems my mind/body/system (or whatever is affected by these things) felt completely unbalanced without it. Kind of like I feel when I don't journal for a while. Apparently this whole morning art thing has become 'something I do' and when I don't, it bugs me. In any case, I did not like it.

For some reason it is hard for me to have a habit that I only keep up several days a week. I have to do it every day, or at least have the intention to do it on a daily basis. Now I have always skipped on vacations and sometimes for practical reasons, but never as part of the routine, if that makes any sense. Vacations for instance are all about getting out of your regular routines so that doesn't bother me at all.

So after about two weeks of trying to start my day without it, I got back to it and yes, that again means that three days a week I have to get up at five in the morning. I hate getting up at five in the morning! But I hate not doing my morning art even more. Sigh....

All this is a very long intro into five more portraits that I finished recently. Here are portraits number 16 to 20.

Just the other day I was curious as to how many days I have actually done morning art over the past years, so I started adding up and I came to around 720! Like I said I don't do them on vacations, I don't do them when I have the flu or when I'm away from home and last year I took a hiatus of an entire month for personal reasons, but still...720 is a big number in my book and I'm quite proud of it.

It's interesting that it's a bit hard for me sometimes to explain why I do this morning art thing in the first place, but that it's something I really miss when I don't do it. I guess in the end it's just a rewarding thing to start your day with a bit of creativity.

Hope you are doing something rewarding in your neck of the woods and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tiny Mandalas

Near the couch in my living room I keep a very small pocket sized sketchbook that I don't take out very often, but that I do love having around just in case. It is completely dedicated to mandalas. Tiny mandalas. Because...well...there's just no way you can draw huge mandalas in a tiny sketchbook.

Here are some I did recently:

Just like a lot of my grid drawings I do these while listening to podcasts. There's something so satisfying about combining my doodles with podcasts. It's also very relaxing.

All of the mandalas are drawn with a fineliner/micron pen and coloured in with regular felt tip pens. At the rate I'm drawing these it's going to take years to fill this tiny sketchbook, but it is a gem to look at already, so it's worth it. I enjoy having themed sketchbooks very much even though that means I have stacks of them unfinished. It also means there's always something to work on.

Hope you are enjoying some creative endeavours wherever you are and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The B6 journal continued ... and stopped

A while ago I showed you the traveler's notebook journal I was working on in B6 size. You can see that post here. 

As I told you then, I had purchased three B6 notebooks to use as inserts for the cover and I was not too pleased with the quality of the paper. After I finished the first insert I did complete the second, but it was a real struggle. I'm not even sure if it was just the paper, or the size (even though I actually love the size when I look at it) or just a case of the right book at the wrong time.

Don't get me wrong. The TN itself was and is absolutely stunning, but somehow the inserts and the journaling just were not working for me and it made me restless. So after a lot of back and forth in my mind (and in writing) I decided to abandon the book after I filled the second insert. That way I would simply have two B6 notebooks filled and I can use the third one maybe as a travel journal or regular notebook in the future.

So today I thought I would show you a selection of spreads from this second finished insert/notebook. I guess when you look at it you can't really tell I had so much trouble with it, but if you're Dutch and read some of the writing you will know I complain about it a lot. ;-)

I swear sometimes there's just no rhyme or reason as to why some journals work for you and others don't. Since I finished the B6 I have moved on to another journal that I absolutely love even though I can find things wrong with that one as well. But I just can't stay away from it and that's what matters. My journal needs to be a place I love to spend time in, not a place I dread to visit.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: if a certain book or format doesn't work for you feel free to quit prematurely and find something else to try. You may just be dealing with a not so perfect match. Don't immediately use it as an excuse to stop journaling altogether, you might be missing out on a wonderful experience. Unless of course you hate journaling in general, then you should just stay away from it, haha.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

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