Monday, September 1, 2014

Introducing Flora (the new journal)

Let me introduce you to Flora, my current journal. She's a big girl measuring a little over 8x11 inches.

She's had a bit of a rough start. Here's how that happened:

About a year and a half ago I bought this big Dylusions journal at the Kreadoe art supply fair that I attend every year. I intended to use it as a journal sometime in the future, but after sitting in my cupboard for a year I still hadn't used it.

Then I became interested in botanical drawings and flowers and thought: why not use this journal just for drawing, doodling and making art about flowers and trees? So that's what I decided to do and the sketchbook was named 'Flora' to represent its subject of the plant world.

Well...that didn't go well. I did do a few things in it and decorated the cover, but somehow it just didn't take off the way I hoped it would. Putting too many expectations on a sketchbook is never a good thing for me and then I start to avoid it. So Flora was abandoned again.

Then last june I had this idea of seperating the visual journal from the written journal for a while and to use Flora as my visual journal while I wrote in a notebook. Guess how many pages that produced?....Exactly one! So...not a good idea probably and again Flora sat on the shelves.

Me and my big ideas! Sigh...

With all these false starts I felt kind of bad for the poor book. I know, I must be a little crazy to have 'feelings'  for books, but when I use a journal they become steady companions over a period of time and with Flora I felt like a disloyal treacherous 'friend'. This is a beautiful sketchbook/journal and it just felt wasteful not to use it.

So when I finished the Book of Luck and had to pick a new journal I decided to move on with Flora and I must far so good! It does mean that the first few spreads in this book are from months ago, but we'll just call that part of her special history. ;-)

Anyway, after this long intro, here are the first pages from Flora, my current journal:

Not all of the above is fully finished. I still intend to decorate the envelope on the inside cover and I also want to do a background on the wraith spread. When those things are done I'll of course show them to you.

In any case I am glad Flora is finally in good use. I do like her paper and her size, even though I do have to get used to it as well. She's not easy to carry with you I can tell you that! ;-) But at least I'm working in this book and enjoying it.

Just to be sure that I picked the right book for my next journal I asked my assistant and he tested it extensively.

"Yep! Very comfortable!"

Sounds like a keeper to me! ;-)

Have a wonderful and artsy week!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Doodles in the journal

My current journal (which I'll introduce officially in my next post) is quite big. This means that when I do one of my colourful doodle pages they take even longer than they took in previous journals to finish. But...what fun they are to do!

Here's two doodle pages with some close ups. The first is drawn with a felt tip pen and then coloured in with coloured pencils. In the second I did a background with shapes in gouache and then doodled over them with a felt tip pen.

I like how these two different approaches can both lead to interesting results.

Do you have a preferred way of doodling? Tell me about it in the comments and...have a good weekend all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let's go walking!

Let's go walking!

We'll go among the trees and through the dunes and cross over to the beach.
We'll take in the sights and the little details, some left behind by other walkers before us.
We'll enjoy the cloudy sunny weather in between the bouts of rain and feel lucky that we picked just the right time to go outside.

And we'll take pictures of course, 'cause that is how we roll after all...

After we come home we will fix ourselves a vanilla latte and put our feet up. And maybe...just maybe...a cat will come and join us!

Any day with a good walk and a nosy cat is a good day, I'm sure you agree.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

From the Pattern Book

During the warm days of summer my Pattern Book was a steady companion to take with me when going outside or just sitting downstairs. A few markers and a moleskine sketchbook can make for quite a pleasant time when the studio is too warm to work in.

For about ten days now the weather has changed considerably and it seems almost as if fall is here already! Lots of rain and wind, but with plenty of dry spells to go for pleasant walks again without having to get out of the house before 7 am.

The studio is still a bit warm from time to time (the warmth seems to linger there), but I have been back at my work table a few times already, so things are looking up in that department as well.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Monday, August 18, 2014


On a walk the other day I came across the cutest little birdie. A fledgling fresh out of the nest, not sure about how to fly yet and too innocent to be afraid of a huge passing woman with a smartphone pointing at it. That's how I could take this picture of it:

When I was home I was still all 'oooh' and 'aaaah', so I just had to draw it in my journal to confirm to myself I had really seen this little sweetie up close:

I hope the little fellow is doing okay and that it will grow up to be a strong and brave bird. I felt a bit sorry for it sitting there all by itself, but then again, that's nature. We're all fledglings at one point or another.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The last of the Book of Luck

It's hard to believe but true: I finished another journal! The Book of Luck is all filled up.

Last year I pretty much only worked in one journal, the White Book and boy was that book a struggle sometimes. But his year so far I have already finished four! And that's without counting the Fake Journal, which was more of an experiment (and not really finished in any traditional sense of the word).

Anyway, it seems this year I have a preference for journals I can actually end within two months. The Book of Luck took me about six weeks and here are some of its last pages:

This really was a fantastic journal to work in, strangely enough because it was actually not suitable for art at all. The paper was only good for writing. But the size was wonderful and portable and I liked adding pieces of sketching paper for the actual art and just sticking in all kinds of random stuff. It also reaquainted me with my love for collage.

If you are new to journaling I think it would be a really good idea to get a book like this, one that is not so pristine and perfect, but just a regular notebook. It takes a lot of pressure off the whole thing.

Meanwhile I have of course already started yet another journal (a very different one again, since I thrive on variety), but that's for another post. For now I am just happy to add another favorite to my stash of finished journals.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!
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