Painting with leaves

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These leaves say it all : It’s Autumn

It’s that time of the year once again, Autumn is here, probably my favorite time of the year because of  all the amazing Fall colors I see everywhere. I live in a very green city and our region is transformed into a haven of colorful foliage at this time. I am Asian and this season is totally absent from where I grew up so I am very grateful that I see this beauty. Before, the magic of experiencing Autumn is unknown to me, not until I moved here in Germany and live with this season of cold, wet, rainy and yet fascinating metamorphosis of nature colors.

I’ve always been interested in the color-changing process of leaves during Fall. I knew its science and natural phenomenon but still, I am susceptible to its charm. I find it totally relaxing to watch nature and its beauty in its simplest form.

Even more rewarding when combining this with my favorite hobby : Painting.

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There is something about doing what you love and enjoying it at the same time. It is always a win-win situation!

All you need is a head full of imagination and creative enthusiasm and you will be on the right track. My Blog is full of my rendezvous about my Expat life here in Germany, as well as my personal journey of mastering my own craft. Painting is a journey. It is a lifestyle of discovering of what you are capable of doing and not inhibited by insecurities. At the beginning of Fall, I have created new  abstract paintings inspired by Fall colors using Acrylics. It’s something that I have never done before.

 

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Many times, when I don’t know how to do something or I haven’t mastered yet a certain technique, I am hesitant, and always making excuses not to do it in the first place. But then I’ve learned that the only way to find out is to try. I have never tried painting with leaves before but I got an inspiration and wanted to replicate the natural leaf patterns that a dried leaf has by engraving them through watercolor paints.

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The whole process is quite easy. This is a great DIY Home project especially if you have little kids and wanted to engaged into a creative project. The materials are quite handy. If you have the free time and willingness to learn,  then its one of the things I recommend you to do .You might even develop a hobby out of it.

 

Materials needed :

  • Fall leaves in different shades, shapes and colors of your choice.
  • Watercolor paper ( you can prepare it in postcard or in any medium paper you like but it should stand heavy watercolor washes and wetness, so I recommend an artist-grade paper.
  • Watercolor paints or Acrylic paints
  • Sets of brushes

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How to do it? 

  • First,clean and make sure your leaves are clean and free from dirt like mud or sand.
  • Create the background wash for your card or poster by brushing your preferred color as a background. I choose warm tones like red, burnt sienna and light browns.
  • Once the wash is dry, arrange the leaves in the paper and make sure they are flat. You can start by brushing the other side of the leaf with high-consistency paint and then flip them over to the paper, just enough to lay them flat. This is very important in drying and getting the patterns engraved in the paper in the drying process.
  • Once you arrange all the leaves and pattern you desired, you can add more colors, just to create a more liquid, or more texture to the painting. You can intensify the colors by painting all over the leaves, making it more wet. Make sure not to add colors that makes a “muddy” appearance or the colors blending to each other.

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  • Place your painting in a place where it will not be touched or moved so that it will dry fast and the leaves remains intact in the paper.I do this overnight and remove the leaves once I saw that it becomes loose from the paper.
  • Remove the leaves slowly.
  • Add more color or enhance your painting with other effects to highlight the texture and tone.

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Remember, PATIENCE is the key in creating a wonderful, personalized and unique artwork. It doesn’t need to be expensive,it just takes a hand full of creativity.

 

Have you enjoyed reading this post? I hope so and l look forward to hear your feedback if ever you have tried it. What was your approach?

I hope you enjoy this wonderful time to do something creative like this. If you need more inspiration, make sure you follow my Instagram feed, I post there some creative ideas and DIY projects I do . Have a lovely week, my friends!

The irony of Motherhood

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A Journey together… (Mother and Child)

Sharing with you once again my artwork inspired by my “Mother and Child “series. This one is done in 36 x 48 cm, watercolor paper, in artist grade inks and paints. If you’re interested for purchase, just drop me an email at justbluedutch@gmail.com.

The Irony of Motherhood

To be honest, I’m just winging it. Life, motherhood, and my paints. Everything.

Here in Germany along with many parts of the world, this coming Sunday ( May 14) is  Mother’s Day (or Muttertag) is being celebrated. This would be my 2nd time to celebrate this day as a mother and I feel honored to experience this. While motherhood is a 24/7 lifestyle, I just thought that maybe I reflect on some of the Irony of my own life.Have a read if you have time, and if you agree, you can leave some comments !

Ok, so why am I always cleaning? I need to finish this post within half an hour  or else it will be stuck in my 100+ drafts…maybe forgotten soon, because I still  need to clean up the mess, pick up toys,etc., seems like nothing stays clean as usual.

Did I mention before that when I say No, NO! Nein! It’s sure she understands YES, Oh yes Mama! And there she goes…

Before, staying up until 2AM is peanuts.I can still go to work at 7 am and still  feeling good. Now, I am utterly exhausted every time. All the time. Hitting the bed at 9PM is a luxury. Sometimes I think I should consult a doctor why this back pain never goes away! Now I understand what ‘different kind of tiredness” mothers have…can you relate?

I spent countless times searching  and creating  healthy toddler dishes. I go crazy looking for Chia seeds and that elusive Kale in the fresh markets, but my child only knows, Hagelslag, Spring rolls, blueberries, and bread.  Anything foreign looking food especially ‘green ones ‘ will be seen on the floor .

Sleep? What is it? how does it feel to sleep for a straight  8- hours? I totally forgot. Maybe because I am too sleepy… yes even now, yawns *

I don’t know about you but half an hour spent in a grocery shop seems like a lifetime. I can’t wait to be in the check-out counter especially when there is a raging storm of a whining, screaming kid trying to create a havoc in the line to the cashier.Thank God there’s gummy bears!

My two-year old still lives in diaper and onesies, but why is it that I have tons of laundry to do everyday? Laundry seems like an endless chore!

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Motherhood : A journey together

Pre-baby, I only know Mickey mouse . Now, I have never known so much nursery rhymes, cartoon characters and lullabies, after I had a child where I need to sing the whole playlist before bedtime.Everyday.On demand.

Can somebody please give me the formula of how to put your child to bed in 5 minutes?Do you think 2 hours is normal?

My favorite cardio-exercise : Running after my child in the playground and push the stroller.

I spent hours to choose cute outfits for my daughter but the moment she runs into the park, she rolls over in the sand, gravel and grass as if she is adoring mother earth!

Babies are often called bundles of joy. They are, in fact, bundles of screaming diarrhea, or a gooey  goo, a puke, or  pee. I can even smell it from a distance!

Motherhood is a whole lot of ‘fun’ than you think. It is more than cuddles and cuteness overload. It’s a whole Lotta ‘Hardwork’as well!

Why is it that she keeps on uttering “Oh no… Oh no…” she has her own way of getting what she wants.Terrible two’s…

Anyways, what is the common thing that painting and babies have in common?

They are both messy.

They are both hard to handle.

They are both time-consuming and energy-zapping.

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But then, just like any masterpiece, being a mother involves  real, hard , long hours of labor.There is no such thing as instant work -of-art. Motherhood is like a vicious artwork. Creativity comes with pain, ironic and delusional ideas.

But the moment your kid comes to you and in a tiny, squeaking voice says “Mama, hug you… ( she means she wants to hug me ) and tries to squeeze herself into my arms…I just wanna freeze the time.

She have this look on her face that I can’t handle. She can be so sweet, yet so annoying.

What else can you say?  or do?

I can’t explain what I am feeling when I am hearing her voice. It is just pure bliss. This time, no kidding, but these ironic blues turns into an artful moments.Sort of.

 Disclaimer : If you don’t have kids, single and have never had a child in your whole life, let alone never stayed up all night when your child is sick then you might find this post  totally unrelatable…I was once this type of person. I look in dismay once I see a mother with crying and screaming kids,  thinking “how can she not control her kid?” How could she?

Now I know how must she have felt. Now I know and just smiled…I wanted to give her a hug and say “I feel you”…

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Happy Mother’s Day ! (Aquarelle painting //justbluedutchArt)

I guess, you can never know the feeling of a mother, either being a stay-at-home parent or a full-time working Mom, not unless you become one. That’s the irony.

To all the sweet Mamas out there, here’s a cheer for you: You are remarkable!

 

 

Artwork : Sittin’ on the dock of the Bay

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“Watching the Sailboats “original artwork in Aquarelle, 36 X 48cm  with my first bud of Tulips that I planted in our garden.

 

A midweek inspiration to share with you since I was sick these past few days. I am feeling lethargic but my mind is full of images that I wanted to paint. Seascapes, with  fluffy clouds,more like a stormy weather, strong waves and scenic seascapes are flowing in my mind so I had to grab my brush to materialize them. Spring is a fantastic season, with all the blossoming of flowers and things sprouting in colors, still, at the back of my mind, how I wish to sit in front of the beach and waste some time! I know, it’s my guilty pleasure.I guess loving the waters has been in my system since the time I have learned to swim (though not professionally),but because  I am a self-confessed nature-lover.  I don’t know why, but the sight of waters makes me feel calm.Be it in the beach, river, lake, or a waterfalls, or a cozy swimming pool, all of it  sure keeps me happy.

And yes, I’d like to waste time just watching the waves, the water, the sun and time goes by. While painting these artworks, these lyrics was in my mind ;

“Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah”

{ Sittin’ on the dock of the Bay, Otis Redding}

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Watching the sailboats go by ( Original artwork in Aquarelle 36 X 48cm)

My ideal summer getaway would be in an island, with lots and lots of beach, blue skies and tropical paradise! I kinda miss the coconut trees & palm trees. Give me Hawaii, or Maldives, or just my home country’s virgin and secluded paradise like Amanpulo, Bohol or Palawan.When I was living in Kuwait, I have spent so many times just strolling along the Arabian Gulf and literally “sittin’ on the dock of the bay“, watching the skyline on a clear , dust-free sky, the overreacting jet-skiers, and boats passing by. With the magnificent background of the sunset or sunrise, I am feeling ecstatic all the time. I would never trade an hour of sitting in front of the beach to watch the waves rolled by , or watch how the clouds change their colors and shapes. Today, as I checked my camera roll with its 3,000+ photos, I’ve noticed that my most photographed subjects were  my daughter, flowers, nature and the sunsets. The best ones are with bodies of water in it.

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Stranded ( 36 x 48 cm) Aquarelle painting

“So, I’m just gon’ sit on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time..

Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, listen”

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A cloudy Day ( 30 x 40 cm ) Watercolor Artwork
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The clouds, the only birds that never sleep.
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Two of my favorite seascapes painting.

 

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Original artwork. Follow me in INSTAGRAM : JustbluedutchArt

I am happy that I could “enliven” the sea in my paintings.While doing it, my mind travels through time when I was so busy island -hopping with an adventurous banca and enjoying some fun with nature. I find it so relaxing that I can equate my passion with the things that I love, that painting can even express my desires, emotions and yes, wish lists.

Do you love going to the beach?

What is your favorite beach soundtrack?

Thank you for reading friends,I love reading your thoughts on this post so please feel free to leave your comments.

If you have more time to waste, please head over to my Instagram so you can see more of my latest Artwork.

 

We’ve got a long weekend coming over here in Germany, Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

Beauty + Art in solitude

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Mixed media landscape painting  created with Crelando paint pallet in acrylic, watercolor, cray pastel and colored pencils.

S   o l  i  t u  d e

Solitude is a luxury that I can’t afford everyday. But when I have it, I indulge and create something that  calms my tired soul.

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Landscape Mixed media painting

There is beauty in Solitude. There is Art.

#Conversationswithmypaintbrush

In response to this week’s DP photo Challenge | Solitude

Faces in the crowd

Did you know that when you draw, you see more? You see more of details, the proportions, the faces..yes, the faces in the crowd.

It’s the same as when you read more, then you can write more. I don’t know about you, but I think I can’t make this Blog happen if I am not fond of reading.

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Faces in the crowd, can you recognize yourself ?

Last week, I have shared with you a glimpse of my artwork.Given the time, painting is one of the things that I love to do second to photography.  This year, I also wanted to take and make better photos, both personally and for the blog so I’ve tried a new camera lens and I am so happy with the results. I love the shots I took, all stunning. I’ve got to test its shutter and performance yesterday when we did another unexpected adventure- walking on a frozen lake! I guess that what goes around, comes around so here’s another watercolor art that I specifically associated with myself.  I call them ‘Faces in the crowd’. These are the product of my imagination while I’m having conversations with my palette and my brushes. Mostly done at night when my daughter is fast asleep. I also got new brushes so I’m just happy to do some art therapy when I can squeeze some time.

One of the subjects I’d like to work in painting are faces, especially women. I just find it an enigma to draw women from  characters that are swimming in my mind. I don’t have a particular technique but I’d like to mix n’match the layers with different intensity of washes. The shadows,the playful and geometric patterns I used to ‘give character’ is something that follows after I draw out their personality . The side of the face that shown is also important to portray an activity . I haven’t tried yet doing portraits of live people but who knows, maybe I will soon. I remember that during my childhood days, I often doodles ladies with a mannequin form so I can cut them out to be dolls. It’s a thing in the school where you also made paper dresses for each ladies.Such nostalgia.

For me, the eyes are the focal point in my painting  since it’s the one thing that draws interest to the whole aura. It’s the one showing the most sentiment. I’m no expert but women in particular are such a great subject because I can incorporate myself in them. They are someone I can relate.

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Today she puts on flowers on her head.

I was doing a course about the Modern Art and I have learned so many facts and facets about Modern Art of today and the way it paves way to an artist’s interpretation of everyday life. The symbols, the icons, and their dreams made into a work of art that can also perceived as an expression of their emotions or rather, an artist’s interpretation. The use of different medium and depicting a raw rendition of human’s inner emotions into an unrealistic landscapes. If you’d notice, I like to play with colors as well. It’s like the Rolling stones’ song “She’s like a rainbow “ and that my characters always comes in colors. I often think that a colorful face is such a powerful tool to convey so many things and that art and its form is unlimited. That the message it transmits solely depends on the viewer’s perspective. This makes me revisit  my memories when I saw the works of the Dutch masters in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

What do you think about colorful faces? Does it exudes a sense of individuality ?

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She’s one of the few faces I can’t forget

Today I have decided to put these ladies in one couch for them to gather together and get to know each other.  It would be brilliant if they were in a Tête à Tête sofa.The others will follow soon and join them. The stories behind each one of them is still untold but I leave you with your own interpretations. I hope someday you can know them individually.

But right now, I am  glad to share with you some faces in the crowd from  my conversations with pallet and paintbrushes.

When was the last time you have seen a beautiful thing, so interesting, and so moving that it affects you?