The mood of a Landscape painting

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My “tools” 

Looking back from the time I started with my journey with Painting last year, I have received numerous requests of doing more Landscape artwork. People always have a thing for replicating nature—like flower fields, mountains, seascapes, mountain views, and yes, even the skies. I have received many compliments when I am doing the Galaxy-effect sky painting, from which I viewed only as an intermediate attention. I won’t lie, but I created that piece accidentally when I only wanted to use up my leftover paints.

I have the impression that choosing a particular piece and subject of artwork is definitely a personal thing. Like for example, some of my friends cannot appreciate any Abstract piece, while here in Germany, most of the people I knew value my Abstract pieces. But I have learned that as a self-taught artist, you created what you love. You paint what your emotions and mood dictates, from your brushes to your pinsel. the medium that you used is totally depending on where you feel most comfortable with delivering your thoughts on your work. Doing artwork for the sake of making money out of it and pleasing your audience is something offensive to an artist’s creed. It forsakes your own talent, your own mantra of creating something that personify yourself. Not unless you decide to become a full-time Artist and you rely solely on painting to pay your bills. That would be a different story.

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Messy pallete –Out from this mess, I create something good.

I have collected some pieces of my moody landscapes paintings and would like to share it with you here. To give you an idea, I personally loved landscapes, but I am definitely need a lot of learning more to do to make the best of this, especially when I am working with watercolors. These paintings are inspired by the beauty of landscapes that surrounds me. I tried my best to use my watercolor pallete to bring out the hues and texture to give an attitude to these paintings.Notice that they are moody, almost surreal and I used varying shades to re-create a view from my mind.

Here are some paintings I did for Moody Landscapes paintings in Aquarelle.

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Autumn Reflections 

Autumn Reflections — 40 x 50.8 cm ( 16″x 20″) Aquarelle painting in 300G/M2 (140lb) Cold-press artist grade paper.

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Waves in Turmoil – 36 x 48 cm (14.2″x 18.9″) Aquarelle Landscape painting in Artist Grade paper.

 

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Prelude to Dusk – 36 X 48cm ( 14.2″ x 18.9 “) Original Watercolor/Aquarelle painting

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Magical Spring Garden – 36 x 48cm ( 14.2″ x 18.9″) Original Watercolor/Aquarelle Landscape Painting

 

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Let’s Go to the Tropics – 36 x 48cm ( 14.2 “X 18.9”) Original artwork in Watercolor/Aquarelle .

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The “Autumn Reflections“is displayed in one corner in our living room before shipping to its new owner.

Some pieces were already commisioned for purchase and I am excited that my artwork will find new home.There’s a feeling of happiness whenever I create something and people would actually wanna buy it! I, myself haven’t purchase any original artwork in my life, so I truly respect the people who wanted to invest in my talent. It is a great encouragement and tool for motivation to continue mastering your craft. I guess that the best job in the world would be  the kind that you really love doing, like a combination of your hobby or passion, and you got actually being paid to do it.

I don’t even have my own studio. I used our kitchen counter when I do some messy work and oftentimes, I am in our dining table to do what I love. Sometimes I do things simultaneously while waiting for other paintings to dry. I visited Art shops looking for art supplies and using the translator app in my phone (since almost all labels are in German), I make both ends meet. Many times, when I am painting, I am also doing some house work, looking after my child, and taking care of other tasks. If I give in to complacency, then I wouldn’t be able to do what I want to do. 

There is really no excuse if you want something to be done.

I write this because for me——every piece of artwork is personal. Painting is something that I wanted to do until I grow old and that my hands can still grip on a brush. 

What is your opinion of these landscape artwork? Do you like landscapes?

Feel free to share your comments, I would appreciate it!

Thank you once again for reading my friends!Until next time!

 

Tschüss!

 

 

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!

Abstract painting : The rhythym of Crimson

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Abstract Artwork : Rhythym of Crimson ( 40 X 40 cm  Acrylic painting on canvas , JustbluedutchArt 2017)

“People, even those who don’t like abstract art, know art when they see it..”

Have you ever looked at a cool abstract painting  and said to yourself ;

I can make a painting like this myself “!

or I can do better than this!

and yes,  even a 3-year old toddler can make that! ”

Oh yes, I know it’s not only me,  I heard you and I can totally relate. Just like you,  I’ve said it to myself a million times. But to tell you frankly, as a self-taught artist, when I started my journey in creating an abstract, I was  also squeezed between this dilemma.It is not just all about splashing your favorite colors into your canvas. Not all people love Abstracts and many have raised their eyebrows, trying to decode what does it mean. In fact, there is a scientific study about this matter and based on the statistics, people, even those who cannot appreciate an abstract piece, knows a good art when they see it.

Before I thought it was that easy. As we all know that Abstract artwork can be a complicated artwork, sometimes they might look carefree, boundless, but also confined. But each piece  shows a statement of the artist’s  personality. Others see it as an organised chaos.

But how you squeeze an idea out of it?

When I started making an abstract painting, I said to myself that it’s gonna be an easy-peasy job. I remember visiting the Museum of Concrete Art and I saw this big painting in  bold, plain pink and green  paint, and I really thought, what is this?

Abstracts can be just splash of colors, few strokes and that’s it. I was wrong!I was disillusioned to the fact that I have made many bad paintings, muddy ones and I call  a crap. It didn’t stir any feelings in me. It took a lot of time for me to finally create something that “pleases” my senses and feel a satisfaction with it. I’m still an amateur, a beginner and I still have a lot to learn.

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“Gone Fishing ” ( 50 x 70cm  Abstract / JustbluedutchArt 2017 Acrylic painting on canvas) 

I personally  observe as well that artistically inclined persons tends to enjoy more abstract than people who only “see “it at a glance.  I have tried to ask opinion of my mother or my friends about my work and their opinions are all varied. Someone even said “Why is the color like that? or What figure is that? It’s totally different when I have conversations with my fellow-artistically-inclined friends. Not that their opinion is biased, but their comment is really more than the normal “I like it, or It looks so nice “.

Wassily Kandinsky, a widely credited as the first abstract artist, called it the ‘science of the soul‘ and his art explored the relationship between colours and form. I personally believed in this because I consider my artwork very personal, but it needs to follow the trajectory of technical skill. For me, I think it’s just impossible to create something “moving” without putting your heart into it, no matter how talented you are!

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My road to creating abstract paintings
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Shades of Autumn, plum, scarlet red, blacks, and mauve, Burnt sienna and lots of texture.

But how can you really tell a good abstract from a good one?

What makes an abstract a good one?

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Visual Art Collage :  Koleidoscope world of Abstract Acrylic paintings 

Take for example this piece I have made last week. I called this  set the “Rhythym of Crimson“, a 40 x 40 Original acrylic on canvas which is inspired by the scarlet skies, mauve reddish plum autumn colors. I used a lot of layers and colors of red, burnt sienna, black, white, yellows and burgundy. I painted with various strokes of brushes, but I achieved the texture using a pallet knife. When I was making this, I don’t have any concrete figure in my mind, I just let the mixture of colors and composition says what I wanted to impose. The metamorphosis of autumn, the natural course of changing colors and them decomposition of matter.

What is your opinion of this artwork?

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I remember the time I walked through the Gallery of the Dutch Masters inside the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. For me, that was one of the highlights of my artistic endeavors. To be able to see the works of the famous works of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, and Johannes Vermeer leaves me in awe. Their painting moves me. Their works are ethereal and considered as legacy. But talking about Impressionism, you learn to appreciate an artwork because the subjects are clearly noted in the painting, the story can be clearly seen and even so much more insights comes to those who took time to study a certain artwork.

But with abstract painting, you have the fundamental elements of design like size, shape, color, texture etc. that compose together to create a statement. Well I am not going to talk about the theoretical fundamentals, I simply wanted to share my own experience how do I view an abstract artwork and what difference does it made to me when I decided to plunge into “creating “one.

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How do you distinguish an abstract to be a good one?

If you might want to know,  I consider an abstract artwork a “good”one if it stirs me, if it has the “moving factor”that catches my attention.  If it holds my stare and made me hold my gaze further, longer than expected, and that my feelings are affected. Sometimes it made my mind travel into deeper context and start creating a story out of it. It’s like a puzzle I need to put together.

Have you ever experience this feeling when you walk into a Gallery or into a museum and you see a painting that is so striking and  instead of just passing through it,  you’ve stayed?

A good art can be a matter of good concept or excellent skills in execution, but I think a great art touches the mind, heart or soul of the viewer. No matter if you’re an art enthusiast, a collector, a housewife, a carpenter or just a random stranger. Art is art when you see it. That moment when you just can’t take your eyes off from it. But as a budding artist, It takes one to know one.

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New paintings adorn our living room.

“Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? …people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.” ( Vincent Van Gogh)

 

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20 x 60 cm Abstract paintings /JustbluedutchArt 2017

Now the opinion of the viewer is totally different from the Artist itself. Many times, I asked my husband what does He thought of a certain piece and his opinion is totally different from my views. There are just some things that I can perceive that He can’t .This made me understand more and more how I see Abstract.

I respect the fact that my works can’t be accepted by others, or other people might not see it as an artwork either. Abstract for me is never subjective. It’s something that you see that strikes your soul to the very depths, that opens your eyes and your mind to the beauty of it.

 

How  about you, how do you appreciate an abstract painting? Do you like it?

 

Let’s get connected! Please don’t forget to visit my Instagram page for more updates of my Journey with Acrylic Painting. Oh do you fancy Acrylic pouring ? All my artwork are available for purchase and I can do some commisioned artwork or customed-made pieces.For inquiries, please send me an email at justbluedutch@gmail.com!

Thank you so much for reading , looking forward to read your comments and wishing you all  a lovely week !

 

5 Reasons why hand made greeting cards makes a lasting impression this holiday season

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Christmas project 101 : Personalized and hand painted Christmas greeting cards

There’s something about receiving greeting cards, either by hand or by mail. I couldn’t explain it,  but for me, I find it sooo special to receive a card through snail mail or express. It really becomes a lasting impression. A special memento, a keepsake that is treasured. Traditional greeting cards beats all the technology that we have in right now.Receiving cards is totally different from e-cards,and mobile messages that we can send through internet.Call me traditional but I can never trade the crisp texture of an envelop containing a card than swiping my fingers in my iPhone.

It’s Christmas time once again and one of the things that floods the shops and bookstores are wide arrays of Holidays greeting cards. There’s so many designs and styles to choose from.From family to friends, to business and for general media, you name it, there’s always a card for any occasion.Back then in Kuwait, I couldn’t have this lifestyle because the mailing system is so crazy that there is 99% that mails got lost into doom land. There were numerous times that our mails were lost and it’s so hard to track. Now that we live in Germany where the local postal system is just right at our doorstep, I find another excuse.

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My Christmas greeting cards project this holiday season

 

If receiving cards gives a lasting impressions, how about making and giving it instead,yourself?

This year I wanted to make something special. I wanted to make a craft project that I can really do and not compromise. I needed to squeeze my tight schedule for a craft time for drawing & designing cards. So instead of buying dozens of Christmas cards to be sent out to our dearest  friends and family, I decided to make them instead.

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Holiday Craft project : Watercolor painted greeting cards
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The materials are simple and very handy : Watercolor, colored pencils, construction papers or  parchments, a creative mind and  a lots of love!

Why personalized and handmade greeting cards make the lasting impression this Holiday season? Here’s my  FIVE (5)  reasons ;

  • It shows your style – The type of card, design and the content you share always shows  a bit of who you are.Your personality is delivered through your drawing, handwriting, and even on the choice of materials  you used.Remember, every card is special.
  • A bridge to connect with someone special – As an Expat, we are very good in connecting to far away friends & love ones.But almost all of them through our phones. There’s No better way for me to bridge the gap between love ones and friends than making an effort to send a message to them. This also depends on your location and accessibility to make this happen. Sending mails and cards can be expensive too but it all depends on your budget and lifestyle.
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Few of my personalized greeting cards, all hand made, designed and drawn by me.
  • It has the unbeatable element of Surprise – There’s no undeniably bad reason for having a big surprise when you receive something that is totally unexpected. That moment when you receive a greeting card from a friend that you haven’t spoken for years, that family or relative that live across the other side of the world..It’s all about the element of surprise. It’s a priceless gift and oftentimes, unforgettable!
  • It’s really the thought that counts – Okay , so if you’re not feeling creative or crafty and your artwork sucks? Never mind, for what really matters is the thought of giving. I once received a card for my daughter that is drawn by a 3-years old, it only shows smears and dots made out of colored pens, more like a scratch. But for me, I find it so special.
  • It shows that you care – The act of making it,and picking out a design to make cards shows that you care and you are willing to give a fraction of your time during the busiest time of the holiday season, and that is enough reason to make someone else laugh, smile and feel loved.

Do you still need more reason?

To make cards and to give them away  is simply because its Christmas! and who doesn’t want to feel loved this time? I have learned this mantra : You cannot give what you don’t have.

Have a little love, have a little artwork, spread a lasting impression!

“There’s something about the tactile nature of receiving a card,” says Shelley Patenaude, product manager for season cards. “It says that someone cared enough to pick out a card just for you, hand-write a note, and place it in the mail or deliver it by hand. Unlike a message that shows up on your computer or mobile phone, greeting cards make a lasting impression. You can display a card on your mantle for all to see or keep it forever as a memento. And with the hustle and bustle of the season, a greeting card provides that moment of peace that’s just between the sender and the recipient.”

Do you like to send someone a card this Christmas?

If you like my designs of cards in photos above and you want to receive a FREE hand-made & personalized  Christmas card,just write your thoughts in the comments or you can email me at justbluedutch@gmail.com!