Saturday, 31 December 2011

Out with the old & in with the new

It's the last day of the "old" year already. Unblievable how fast the time flew by, both the whole year and the Christmas break. I had a whole list of things planned for the break, and of course, didn't get anything done (such as working on my blog design). Well, that's actually not true. I was quite busy and productive, and spent quite a few days painting. I finally worked through the She Art Workshop (before access expires in January) and created a total of six girls (and one boy). While these girls are not necessarily the kind of style I want for my own work, I do like them for more personal uses. Just for myself. I painted them on book covers to create a kind of journal for the new year, containing my dreams and wishes for 2012. It's not quite finished yet, there are still a few things I want to add during January. But I really like it so far, and I hope the new year will be as promising as my journal :).

Here's a detail from one of my girls, one I did after my own design. I'm a true winter's child; born in winter, and happiest when the the days are short and the world outside covered in white. And snow, ice, winter, the north etc., these are things that are part of my dreams and wishes for the new year.

I've spent the last few days "preparing" for the new year in various ways. I am not going to take any New Year's resolution for 2012. Last year, I decided for inspiration to be my guideline, and forget about resolutions for the first time. And it has been a good, successful year in this respect, full of inspiration and getting into the creative habit again. I noted down a few "things that would be nice to do and/or achieve" in the new year, though. If I can make them happen, good. If not, no tragedy either.

One of these things is patience & practice. I really enjoyed the watercolour workshop in Salzburg in mid December. It was three days full of inspiration, useful tips, hours of painting, home cooked food and prosecco. At the end of the workshop, we had to choose our two best paintings for a little exhibition and critique. I had a hard time choosing the two. In fact, I didn't like any of them. I'm still not really used to  watercolour, both the medium and the colours, the right amount of water, the right paper size and structure, etc. Maybe also the subject (city scapes) wasn't right for me, or at least not yet. But I received some encouragement, and I decided not to try and judge and compare too much. Instead, I am giving myself a whole year's time, in which I will just keep on practising, and at the end of next year, I'll judge and decide if I like it enough to keep on or if it just isn't for me.

Above the pile of paintings I did during the workshop. I actually didn't select the two I liked most for the critique, because I had a feeling the teacher would not really appreciate them. The one on top I call "Sunset over the river Thames". I was getting a bit tired of the paint never behaving the way I wanted it to and not getting the shapes right, and just wanted to play a bit with colours while trying to stick to the city theme ;). The one underneath I call "London sleet". A wet and rainy winter sky over St. Paul's. Done in about 10 minutes, but I really like the effect in the sky.

One of the two I selected for the critique is the one on top, "Fireworks over the river Thames", and with this I want to wish you

a very happy, inspiring, prolific, creative New Year. May all your dreams and wished for 2012 come true!


  1. I have been finishing up my 21 secrets since it expires Jan 1st too! Your girl rocks. I have found doing art is much more fun than the ordinary work I "should" be doing. I love your watercolors - and I think your 1 year plan is very wise. I know when I take a class I often need time to fully process the techniques and add my own style to them. Until I add my own style it doesn't feel right to me.

  2. Wishing you a very happy New Year. Your journal is looking amazing and won't it be such fun to fill it as the year develops. I just adore your watercolours and I do like the girl:)
    Best wishes

  3. Patience and practise seems like good words to focus on. I could use some of that too. I hope 2012 will be a creative year!

  4. I love your winter girl... she really speaks, probably because of your own love of winter. I'm very inspired by you, and precisely by your "patience and practice". I hope to find my own vision to apply this to.

    Happy New Year!
    - Heidi

  5. Wonderful stuff. I love the winter girl, especially with the 3D elements and that gloriously rich, deep red hair. The hat/head scarf at a jaunty angle is very reminiscent of your favourite 1920's/30's era. Personally I quite like the way the watercolour paints can run away on their own little creative path. Sometimes, if one is in the right frame of mind, it's nice to let some things happen out of our control.

    I am intrigued by the darker painting, back left, where we can really only see the windows of a building. With a little hint of dark red sky it makes me think of the more hidden, sometimes dangerous, parts of old Victorian London.