vrijdag 1 januari 2016

Heb ik dit wel nodig?

Deze blog, InspirIng, heb ik die wel nodig? Ik heb een FB-pagina die over dezelfde dingen gaat, Ingidee, nog een FB-pagina over een permacultuur-project, CuraDura (en daarvan ook een blog) en natuurlijk mijn persoonlijke FB-tijdlijn en een Google-profiel. En dan heb ik ook nog twee websites, die op Exto over kunst en die op Weebly over van alles .. Die beide websites bieden ook te mogelijkheid om blogs te schrijven. Dat doe ik ook, op m'n Weebly-website.

Nee, het is teveel! Er moet iets afvallen. Waarschijnlijk wordt dat deze blog hier.
Denk jij daar anders over? Geef hier dan een reactie met jouw goede raad!

dinsdag 29 december 2015

Ingidee, alles anders

Ik ga mijn blog maar anders doen. Toch maar in het Nederlands. Veel ruimer dan alleen tekenen en schilderen. Net als mijn Facebook-pagina Ingidee. Alles wat me bezighoudt, vooral op creatief gebied. Als ik steeds een kort stukje schrijf, dan kan dat vaker ...
Je ziet hier een tas, gehaakt van plastic tasjes. Plastic tasjes gaan zeldzaam worden ... dat is goed! Dan waaien ze tenminste niet meer door de straten. 

maandag 8 juni 2015

fighting the slugs

(Nederlands zelfde onderwerp, minder illustraties: de-strijd-tegen-de-slakken )
In my Garden Journal: start of the herb spiral 

A herb spiral in my garden was what I wanted. I knew about the principles of permaculture, for years. It was about time to put them into practice. The spot once was a small terrace. Some years before I took the hexagon-shaped bricks out, piled them along the edge. In new soil I tried to grow pumpkins there. I should be aware this spot had a problem: slugs! They ate every young pumpkin plant in there!

I thought to know better: the slugs ate the pumpkins, but they wouldn't like herbs. They never ate the rosemary, sage and chives. Now I know those are plants they do not like. But that isn't the same for all herbs ... or the vegetables I was planning to grow there too.

Map / design of the herb spiral 

So I had a spiral in mind. The hexagon bricks were right for shaping it. In the middle it had to be a little higher. First the soil had to be prepared. Late 2014 I started. A cardboard box, filled with cotton rags, soil over it, made the middle part higher. I covered the ground with cardboard. Bricks prevented it from being blown away by the wind. And so it rested for some months.

We would leave for six weeks, from mid February. Early February I went on with the preparations. The cardboard, already soaked wet, was torn to pieces. I put over a layer of soil and autumn leaves. Leaves of planes and willows were easy to find in the neighbourhood. I shaped the spiral neatly, rising to the middle from one to three layers of stones. Now it had to wait until we'ld return from the trip.

It was the start of April. Time to sow seeds. I sowed some different herbs, marigolds, beans and peas. At the market I saw cabbage and lettuce plants for sale. I bought some cabbage and planted it at different spots in the garden. I did not buy lettuce, thinking it would be 'slug fodder'. I found out all too quick also cabbage is fodder for the slugs! OK, no cabbage in the spiral then. Let's see how the seeds grow. Yes, I saw something green coming ... Happy I portrayed the little seedlings in my Garden Journal. Some days later they were nowhere to find. Only slug traces ...

The first seedlings in my Garden Journal 

I had to do some research on permaculture ways for fighting slugs. I asked at some forums and Facebook: which are plants slugs hate? I thought to put such plants alongside and inbetween the herbs, and then the sluggs would stay away. Good thinking, but alas ... such plants do not exist! There are plants slugs do not like to eat: onions and alike, rosemary and wormwood. But to use them to get the slugs out, you have to plant three rows of them closely together around your spiral. So someone from England told me.

Drawing and description of  the slug 

I got more advices on slugs. Most people told about coffeeground. I put a layer of that stuff around some cabbage plants in other parts of the garden. Now I have one cabbage left (because of the coffee, or was it a better part of the garden?). A little bit of coffeeground is not sufficient, it has to be a thick layer in a circle around a plant. Crumbled egg shells, suggested by some, did not work. I even saw slugs nibbling at the egg shells.

The last cabbage plant in my Garden Journal 

Another advice I got: nematodes. Nematodes are like very small worms living in slugs. If a slug has too many of it, it dies. It's easy to grow nematodes. First you catch slugs daily, as much as possible. You put them in a bucket with a lid, with a little water and plants they eat. Then one day you see all slugs are dead. Then you fill up with water, stir and sieve it in a watering-can. Pour it all over your garden. This water contains so many nematodes, they will soon kill all slugs. It seemed to work. At least the amount of slugs was diminished very much after this process. Or was it because of catching the slugs daily?

June started, more sun, dryer. Not often I discovered a slug. I had some nicely grown plants in containers. I thought time to plant them was now ... You guess it: next morning they were damaged again! Even if there is only one slug, it can damage all plants in one night. The slug picks out the tasty green point in the middle. That's the point from where the plants grows. Without that, it's lost!

Some plants around an 'olla' in my Garden Journal 

Now the conclusion. First: start doing research long before you start your herb spiral. Study the history of the spot, the soil, the plants and shrubs growing there (now and before). Read (or re-read) all there is to know about permaculture before you even start your preparations. Second: wait until everything is in balance before planting any vulnerable vegetables. In the first year there is definitely no balance, probably that will take a few years.

How could I do better? I should have prepared the spiral and planted it all with slug-resistant herbs. Think rosemary, sage, mint, wormwood, garlic, chives. After some years, when it's clearly in balance, I can start experimenting other species. So: no more vegetable plants this year! Now onions, potatoes, mint (that's like weed) and still one pea-plant are growing there. The empty places I can fill with rosemary and sage. And I'll have patience!
A different view on the herb spiral 

zaterdag 11 april 2015

Plein Air Curaçao 2015

I am totally addicted to Plein Air painting now! I was at the Caribbean island of Curaçao for some weeks. February 27th to March 7th I joined the Plein Air Curaçao Festival. This festival is there every two years. Yes, I was there two years ago too. But this time was even better! 
the yellow house of Fleur de Marie 

It’s so nice to be with a group of artists together, doing what you like most: painting. You all paint the same view, but everyone does it in his or her own way. Your styles are different and you use different materials. The materials we used were: oil, acrylics, watercolours and pastel. This time I wasn’t the only watercolourist. 
view from Klein Santa Martha 

Some of the artists are used to visit Plein Air events, mostly in the USA. Others are studio painters, not used to the way of ‘plein air’. The advanced plein air painters know how to work fast, to finish their painting in about two hours. For others that is difficult. But we learn from each other. 
view from the  boat at Fuik 

After the festival was over, I stayed at Curaçao for some more weeks. I did some more painting. Because then the Plein Air Galley was closed, I made them having in mind selling at an art fair in the Netherlands. I did my best to make some ‘nice tropical watercolours’. 
bird's cage in the garden 

Now I’m back in the Netherlands, I want to go on painting ‘plein air’. But usually the weather here is not so nice. Often it rains, you can’t go sit outdoors whenever you want. I was so happy we had some really nice spring days last week! So I painted my own neighbourhood using the paint that was still on my palette from Curaçao! 
my neighbourhood in Meppel (the Netherlands) 

donderdag 29 januari 2015

ARTticle 'Art and Culture' *

It seems there is a connection between culture and art. Often these two words are used together. But what’s the meaning of ‘culture’?

The word ‘culture’ has its origins in the Latin word ‘colere’, meaning ‘plowing the soil’. That still is one of the meanings or ‘culture’. You know ‘agriculture’ and ‘cultivated soil’. Also the product of the cultivation is ‘a culture’, varying from micro-organisms to roses. The culture of roses is about growing a certain type of rose. The distinguished characteristics of that rose are developed, improved.

This is leading us to the other meaning of ‘a culture’. Now it isn’t about flowers, but people. In ‘a culture’ they develop distinguished characteristics. The people in a group all have a certain behaviour. They develop the same values, tradition, rituals, a lifestyle. And this leads to a style of building, clothes, food, music, etcetera.

Now we arrived at the meaning of ‘culture’. Cultural expression: everything characterising humans, or a group of humans, a sub-culture. In fact that is everything except nature. It can be architecture, fashion (clothing), food, music, fine arts, theatre, etiquette, traditions, and many more.
By mentioning ‘art and culture’ in the same breath the aspect of ‘art’ is widened to ‘all art’. But the aspect of ‘culture’ is narrowed to only that part having to do with art.

So at one side ‘culture’ is something that makes groups of people differ from each other, at the other side it’s about what they have in common. It can be restriction, or development. 

a product of culture: a rose 

*Voortaan staat de Nederlandse tekst op een aparte pagina 'Nederlands (Dutch)'. 

maandag 12 januari 2015

Creativity is a Gift

Create, creation, creativity, creative thinking, being creative 
'Creativity is a gift', coloured pencils in 'daily journal January 2015'*

Creating is not just ‘making’. An important aspect of creating is designing. Someone can design a ‘creation’ and have it made by others, but is still the ‘creator’. Someone ‘thinking creative’ can have wonderful ideas … which are impossible to execute. But these ideas – the thoughts – are created!

It’s my conviction every human has some creativity. I base it on Genesis 1:27 (the bible). There it says God created humans ‘in His image’. God is the Designer and Creator of all there is. We are ‘in His image’, so we are designers and creators too. It’s a spiritual (mental) ability, because God is a spirit. So every human is able to think creative.

The ability to be creative does not show in every person. Many people never learned to use their creativity. Maybe they weren’t stimulated to think by themselves. Maybe their toys were unimaginative and the TV was their nanny. So their creativity was smothered.

When there are no materials, creative children can find a way to execute their creative ideas. With sand, sticks and stones children can create beautiful things! If parents tell them to stop otherwise they will become dirty … they oppose their creativity!

If parents don’t give their children materials to colour and potter with ‘until they’re the right age’… their children might never have ‘the right age’. As soon as a child can hold something in its hand, it’s able to create. Sure, parents have to give a little ‘direction’, or the child will create anywhere: on the wall, the carpet, the table-cloth, etc. All direction needed is: giving a large tough piece of paper (f.e. wallpaper) and keep an eye on it, the crayons are used only on that paper (b.t.w. wax crayons are the best for the hands of toddlers).

But … you aren’t a toddler anymore. You have a history. In the past you might not be stimulated to show your creativity. You never have any ideas and you can’t even draw a stick-figure … Do not worry! 
'Begonia rex', sketch using cheap felt pens on cheap printing paper 

As I said there’s creativity in every human. So you have it in you. Maybe it’s hidden very deep inside. But you can ‘draw it up’. You can learn to surface your inner creativity. I mean real creativity, the ability to develop an idea, to design and create something. Of course it isn’t there in a wink of an eye … Take your time.

First think: what would you like to do? That’s personal. Some people want to paint, others to write poems and others to plant a beautiful garden. These are all creative activities. But you need more than only creativity, you need to learn and practice skills.

You know what’s funny? When you start learning the skills … the creative ideas will follow. After all you had them in you, spiritually! While you’re busy learning the needed skills, the ideas will find a ‘way’ to surface. So you can search for a course to learn something you like to do. You’ll notice: the more you’re busy doing what you like, the more creative ideas will surface!

Creëren, creatie, creativiteit, creatief denken, creatief zijn

Creëren betekent: scheppen. Scheppen is niet zomaar ‘maken’. Een belangrijk aspect van scheppen is het bedenken of ontwerpen. Iemand die een ‘creatie’ ontwerpt kan die zelfs door anderen laten maken, maar is toch de schepper ervan. Iemand kan ‘creatief denken’ en zo tot heel aparte ideeën komen … die misschien niet uitvoerbaar zijn. Toch zijn die ideeën -de gedachten- dan wel gecreëerd! 

Het is mijn overtuiging dat ieder mens creativiteit in zich heeft. Dat baseer ik op Genesis 1:27 (de bijbel). Daar staat namelijk dat God de mens schiep ‘naar Zijn beeld’. God is de Ontwerper en Schepper van alles wat er is. Als wij ‘naar Zijn beeld’ zijn, dan zijn wij ook ontwerpers, scheppers. Het gaat dan om het geestelijke vermogen, want God is een geestelijk wezen. Ieder mens heeft dus het vermogen in zich om creatief te denken.

Dat vermogen tot creativiteit komt er echter niet bij ieder mens uit. Veel mensen hebben nooit geleerd om hun creativiteit te gebruiken. Misschien werden ze als kind niet gestimuleerd om zelf dingen te bedenken. Misschien hadden ze fantasieloze speeltjes en werden ze al heel jong voor de TV gezet. Daardoor wordt creativiteit al in de kiem gesmoord.

Als er geen materialen zijn, dan bedenkt een creatief kind wel een manier om toch z’n creatieve ideeën uit te voeren. Kinderen kunnen met zand, stokjes en steentjes prachtige dingen maken! Als de ouders dat echter verbieden, omdat het kind er vies van wordt … dan werken ze de creativiteit tegen!

Als ouders wachten met het geven van kleur- en knutselmaterialen ‘totdat het kind er aan toe is’ … dan komt het kind er misschien nooit aan toe. Zodra een kind iets met z’n handje kan vasthouden is het in staat zich creatief te uiten. De ouders moeten dat wel een beetje ‘sturen’, anders uit het kind z’n creativiteit overal op: de muur, de vloerbedekking, het tafelkleed, enz. Maar dat ‘sturen’ hoeft niet verder te gaan dan een flink stevig stuk papier (bijvoorbeeld behangpapier) te geven en er op te letten dat kleurkrijtjes alleen daarop gebruikt worden (dikke kleurkrijtjes zijn heel geschikt voor kleine peuterhandjes).

Maar … jij bent geen klein kind meer. Je hebt al een heel verleden achter je. In dat verleden ben je misschien helemaal niet gestimuleerd om je creatief te uiten! Je weet niets te bedenken en je kunt nog geen poppetje tekenen … Niet getreurd! 
Zelfgemaakt 'reisjournaal' (travel journal) met suède omslag 

Zoals ik al zei zit creativiteit in ieder mens. Dus ook jij hebt het in je. Misschien zit het heel diep weggestopt. Maar je kunt het ‘ophalen’. Je kunt leren de creativiteit die jij in je hebt, te uiten. Echte creativiteit bedoel ik, het vermogen om zelf iets te bedenken en dat uit te voeren. Natuurlijk kun je dat niet zomaar ineens … Neem er de tijd voor.

Bedenk eerst wat jij leuk zou vinden om te doen. Dat is heel persoonlijk. Er zijn mensen die willen schilderen, terwijl anderen gedichten willen schrijven en weer anderen een mooie tuin willen aanleggen. Dat zijn allemaal activiteiten waarbij je creativiteit goed kunt gebruiken. Maar je hebt meer nodig dan alleen creatieve ideeën, je moet ook vaardigheden aanleren.

Weet je wat zo leuk is: als je begint de vaardigheden aan te leren … dan komen de creatieve ideeën ook wel. Die zaten tenslotte al in je geest! Doordat je bezig bent met de vaardigheden, vinden de ideeën een ‘weg’ om tevoorschijn te komen. Ga dus gewoon een cursus volgen om iets te leren dat jou leuk lijkt! Je zult merken: hoe meer je bezig bent met wat je leuk vindt, hoe meer creatieve ideeën er in je op komen!
 Een schets van Van Gogh als voorbeeld voor mijn schets in 'daily journal January 2015'* 

* ideas (prompts) for daily journal sketches in January 2015 I found here:
ideeën voor dagelijkse schetsen in januari 2015 vond ik hier: 

zaterdag 20 december 2014

Watercolour pencils, how to use them?

Probably you know about watercolour pencils. They’re pencils of which the colour is soluble in water. You make a drawing, put on some water … and it looks like watercolour! Sounds easy … but is it really? What do you have to know to do it yourself?

Don’t buy a cheap box of watercolour pencils in a supermarket! The cheap stuff is of bad quality, not nice to work with. Good pencils the special store for artist materials sells the piece. You can take some colours you like to start with. Later on you buy some more. I use Caran d’Ache Supracolor Soft. There are more good brands. The shop owner can advise you.

When you have your pencils, test them. Draw squares on a piece of watercolour paper. Colour in two squares side by side in one colour. Make the colour go from light to fierce and back again. Then you take water, dip a small watercolour brush in, and work over one square only. The other square stays dry. Start at the light part and work towards the part with more colour, enforcing the flowing effect.
You do this with all of your colours. You’ll remark they don’t all react the same to water. Now you’ve done this test you can take account with that. 

Test of my watercolour pencils

The right paper is important too. You use water, so ordinary drawing paper isn’t right. Use strong watercolour paper. You can buy it in the same shop as the pencils. Ask for a brand of paper that can handle all layers of pencils and water. There is ‘rough’ and ‘smooth’ paper. You could try both to see the difference.

Nu we start drawing! You draw with watercolour pencils, but the end result can look like a (watercolour) painting.
First you do the ‘lay-out’ (or ‘sketch’). You mark the setting of all parts of the drawing on the paper. I use watercolour pencils to do that. I draw the lay-out in a neutral colour (grey or brownish), or in the colours I’ll use in the drawing. This lay-out will be invisible at the end.

I draw from photos or from my imagination. Often I first sketch the subject in pencil or pen on printer paper. So I get acquainted with shapes and sizes of my subject. When I use a reference photo I measure accurately before putting shapes on my watercolour paper. I don’t use a ‘grid’, I use a ruler to measure. If you want to use a grid, draw it very lightly in graphite pencil, erase it when the lay-out in watercolour pencil is ready. You can’t erase watercolour pencils.

Children portrait, lay-out in watercolour pencils

I explain the way I work. You do not need to work the same way. There are so many methods for drawing! Do it the way you like.

I often start in ‘shadow colours’. That’s not easy to explain. I analyse the colour I will put on. Maybe it looks like brown … but it’s a shadow of a reddish colour … I won’t take a brown pencil. I might start with a dark green. When I go over the green with the reddish colour, they both mix and become brownish. If it still doesn’t look the way I want, I put on more colour(s). It’s more like ‘feeling the right colours to use’. When I’m drawing from imagination it’s all ‘feeling’.

In this way I colour all of the drawing in one or more layers. Only white parts have no colour (nor white pencil).

Children portrait, first coloured layer after first wash with water

The first layer of colour is not fierce. First I ‘wash’ my drawing with water. I use a small watercolour brush. In the test I wrote how to do it. For every new shape I rinse my brush in water. Some shapes have flowing colours and I want to enforce that. In that case I put a lot of water on my brush and work on until that shape is finished. If that isn’t possible, I take new water on my brush and go on in the wet part where I was before.

In a portrait I often want a nice flow from white to colour. Then I start with my wet brush in the white and work over to the coloured part.

When all of the drawing is washed with water, it has to dry thoroughly. If you go on with watercolour pencils when the paper is still wet, you’ll get unexpected effects … Maybe that is what you want … the explanation comes later.

A day (or more) later I go on. If I see some change in shapes is needed, it’s still possible, the colours are still light now. In the following layers I make the colours stronger, more fierce. Sometimes I add more layers of the same colour, but often I work over in different colours.

Children portrait, end result

You can add a texture in parts of your drawing. You use small lines, or other doodles, to get that texture. These texture lines you make with more pressure on the pencil, in the first layer. I often use a ‘shadow colour’. When you brush it with water, more colour will stay in the lines, and less in the parts between. In the next layer you put colour all over. After the wash then, a darker mixture will stay in the lines. This is a way to draw fur, hairs, etc. Use smooth watercolour paper, because rough paper has a texture of its own.

Illustration from my imagination, first layer: texture in the kitten’s fur 
Illustration with kitten, end result

As I said, there are many different ways to work with watercolour pencils. I’ll tell a little about two of those.
You put lines, dots, shapes on your paper and you want them to stay right there where you put them? So you won’t use a brush; the brush moves the colours a little from their original place. I use a spray bottle then. The drawing is flat on the table and I spray a mist of clean water over it. The drawing stays in place until it’s dry. The water changes ‘pencil’ into ‘paint’, but the drawing will stay as it was.

You want unexpected effects? Make your paper all very wet and start drawing with watercolour pencils. When the core of the pencil is really wet you can even ‘paint’ with it! Just try this!

Two dogs, added more black at last with wet black watercolour pencil