Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays!

My dear blogsy people,

I just want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. Whatever you celebrate or don't celebrate, may the end of the year bring you warmth and joy and good times, and may the next year bring you everything that is good and kind. You deserve it!

Christmas at Casa Caatje

I will be off blog (not to be confused with offline, haha) until the beginning of the new year, so I hope to see you back then. Until then I want to thank you for visiting my little place on the interweb and for encouraging  me again and again with all your kind words and support. It means a lot  to me.

I'll see you in 2018!

Love,
Caatje

Monday, December 18, 2017

Morning Mosaics

Still going strong with my morning art. Every morning, well almost every morning, I take half an hour to do some art. My current project is time consuming and slow, but very satisfying: watercolour mosaics.

Here are four more mosaics that I finished in the last weeks:





All these took eight or nine half hour morning sessions to finish, so this is over a months worth of work. I still have about 25 pages to go in  this sketchbook, so I will be working on it for at least most of 2018.

If at some point I get tired of these mosaics I may switch to something else, but for now the plan is to finish the sketchbook before I do that. The slow process is very zen indeed and a nice calm start of my day. ;-)

It's also a wonderful way to experiment with patterns and the colours in my paint box. And yes, I am using the good expensive top quality paint. No point in not using the good stuff!

Hope you are using the best you have and not letting it go to waste and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Decorating the Journal

I love journaling. For me the journal is a combination of writing and imagery. The imagery can be from daily life, photographs, stickers, ephemera and drawing. I do enjoy decorating the journal, but because I write so much not every spread gets a pretty layout to write in, I simply cannot keep up with my own writing, haha, so often I will just quickly stick a sticker or an image on there and move on.

Still every now and then I like to sit down for a little while and just prep some pages for future writing. I thought I would show you some samples of that from a decorating session I had a few days ago. I kept the same colour scheme for all four spreads and it was a lot of fun to do.





The colours (red, blue and yellow) were based on the washi tape that is on the right of the first spread. I like the simplicity of these layouts and they give me lots of room to write donw my thoughts, since I have many many thoughts.

In time I will show how these spreads look when they are written on. The writing will make the pages less pristine, but more alive and I like my journals to look as if they are being lived in instead of overly clean. I think of all the books an sketchbooks I keep the journals will always be most dear to me. They are the closest reflection of who I am and how I live my life.

I hope you are keeping some record of your life that is dear to you, in whatever form you choose and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Open grids

My love of grids can no longer be a surprise to you.
What is a surprise is how I can still find new ways to play with them. A thing I have been interested in lately is doing what I call 'open grid drawings'.

Usually I have the tendency to fill a page to the brim with colour, but now I am experimenting leaving empty spaces in between my patterns. It's a whole new grid world to explore!

Here are some examples of what I mean:





I will often work on these later in the evening when the day is mostly done. They relax me and give me an artsy closing to my day. I just sit on the couch with my feet up and this book on my lap and a podcast in my ears and all is well with the world.

I also enjoy exploring different colour combinations. To step out of my own comfort zone I sometimes like to look for colour palettes online and so use combinations I would not think of myself. The last two drawings are a result of that.

All these were done in Stabilo 68 felt tip pens, still my favorites for playing with grids. The sketchbook is a Moleskine XL softcover squared book. I love the size of this book which is very close to B5.

Hope you are exploring new angles of your favorite pastimes and that it is bringing you joy. Have a wonderful and artsy day!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Ferry Art

Living on an island means lots of travel by ferry and since the main land is an hour and a half a way it means there's plenty of time on board to do the things you like doing. Reading for instance, or writing, or drawing.

When I draw it is usually in my journal, but I do have a special not too big moleskine cahier for grid drawings. I don't work in it often, but it's nice to know it's there.

These pages are from that sketchbook:





Doing these can sometimes take several trips and even though I also work at them in coffeeshops and the like I still consider them ferry art, because they are all done away from the island.
It's nice to be able to do a bit of art everywhere.

I hope you liked this peek into my ferry art sketchbook and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Another step by step watercolour mosaic

I love how my current morning art project gives me the opportunity to show the process of a painting. I paint half an hour every morning and these watercolour mosaics are pretty slow going.

Here's another watercolour mosaic in half hour increments:










Differences in colours are due to the different lighting circumstances when I paint. On workdays I paint with artificial light and on other days usually with daylight, although as the colder season progresses the days get shorter and shorter.

Hope you liked this peek into  my process and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Around here lately...

Just some random pictures of the past few months, because that is my life too....

The things you can do while a mechanic is replacing the electricity meter.

Feeling watched at a restaurant.

Being extra cute when your human writes about you is always the smart thing to do.

A weekend trip to Amsterdam. The view from the A'dam Tower

The Museum Plein in Amsterdam. I visited the Van Gogh Museum. Highly recommended.

Participated in Dewey's 24 hour readathon. These are the essential ingredients!

Spooky thinks readathons are made for cats, since there is fulll time lap space.

Decorating the journal again.

The beach after a huge fall storm. This is actually low tide!

Changeable weather leads to many rainbows. This one didn't fit in the picture. 

Cutting up  magazines for collage fodder.

Journal writing, it never gets old.

Making collage sheets out of painted paper and stamps.

And then cutting them up of course, so they are ready for use.

Christmas in November. Okay then.

Work has been stressy lately, but life in general has been good, so I can't complain.

Hope you are content in your neck of the woods and that life is giving you some good times in between the everyday nonsense we all have to face one way or another. ;-) Sending good vibes your way.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Media Journal

A while back I stumbled upon a YouTube video by Dina Wakley where she showed an art journal that I absolutely fell in love with at first sight.

Did I need another sketchbook/journal? Hell no! But sketchbooks (and art supplies in general) are to me what clothes and shoes are to most other women. You may have dozens of them, but you don't have this one yet! So yeah, I bought it.

It's about B5 size (I love the B sizes more than the A sizes for some reason, don't ask me why)

It has thick white cotton paper....

...and burlap pages....

...and canvas pages...

....and kraft paper pages!

It's the different surfaces that lured me in. If you are even remotely as greedy as me when it comes to sketchbooks, I'm sure you understand.

So far I have only worked on the first four pages which are made of the white thick cotton paper. The paper holds up very well to different media, so I love it so far.

Here's a look at what I did:

Abstract in watercolour.

Doodle drawing in markers and gel pens.

Collage with paper, and flowers in coloured pencil.

Collage with gouache and decorative papers.

 I used all sorts of media on it, from wet to dry and collage as well and it's all going down fine.

The next page I have to do is a burlap one and I have ideas of using embroidery thread on it. I'll let you know how that goes.

For now I'm pretty pleased with my purchase and I look forward to seeing where this book will take me.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!
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