How an organic artist saved my weekend!

The organic artist by Nick Neddo
The organic artist by Nick Neddo, delivered by amazon

I love amazon! Without amazon, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get this fantastic book so easy.

When I was researching some recipes for ink made from natural, non-toxic ingredients, I stumbled upon Nick Neddo and his book “The organic artist“. I received it today  – and it is awesome!

Neddo really goes into details on how to use nature to create your own art supplies. There is much more to discover than the obvious ideas like berry ink or clay.

Here is an overview of the content:

  • Charcoal
  • Pens
  • Inks
  • Inkwells and paint dishes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pigmentss and Paints
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Printmaking
  • Sketchbooks and Journals

I read the part about berry ink this morning and it answered my questions on why my own experiments didn’t work out as intented. The book would have spared me some anger and frustrations…

I already got some new ideas on what to do next 🙂

beautifully illustrated tutorial on how to produce acorn ink
beautifully illustrated tutorial on how to produce acorn ink

The book is for adults, but I think it’s really easy to adapt some of the ideas for children. I’m sure I’ll try a lot and I’ll let you know what happened!

One sad thing is, that I don’t have a bigger garden or field. There are some tutorials in the book that require an outdoor firecamp e.g.

If you’re interested in this book, please use my affiliate link, this helps me keeping that blog up and running! Buy that book at amazon.com.

The author Nick Neddo is an artist who creates beautiful illustration of nature, made with nature. You can see more of him on his website: http://www.nickneddo.com. He is also an instagram. His feed is great, he shares not only his artwork, but many everyday outdoor pictures.

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Where does this road go to? An new direction for my blog

Ah, you noticed my absence, didn’t you?

Well I was sick and suffered from a lack of motivation concerning my blog. Why that, you ask?

I have had that strong feeling that this blog developed into a direction where I didn’t want to go. It’s not specific, I’m interested in so many things that I had a hard time narrowing it down. But that’s what I did.

I had a close look on what I did so far, on what I missed and on what direction this could be going.

And this is what I came up with: I want to focus much more than before on holistic aspects of art and creativity. Creativity advise will get a bigger part, because I want to help people being creative in business as well, not only when creating art.

The original idea of my post was, that I wanted to share with you how I bring more creativity and art to my everyday life. I completely lost thist before, but this is back. You’ll be able to peak in my life and watch how it changes.

I created an editorial calender for the next twelve months and it’s huge! I’m so excited! But first things first: I’ll add more information on what exactly I mean when I talk about holism during the next days, plus some new features for the website. I want to start with publishing ‘real’ new content with beginning of april. So don’t forget to come back and check it out.

Love, Martina

PS: Best thing is you follow me, for example on bloglovin’

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Shaving cream marbled paper art project for kids

Did I ever tell you how much I love my kids’ daycare? I love the teachers so much!

Just today I discovered some new art they created with the kids:

shaving cream marbled paper art / craft

My son loves to experiment, that was one of the first informations I got as feedback when he started daycare when he was 14 months old: When he got some pencils and paper, he didn’t (or at least not only) try to draw some lines. Instead he tried what else you can do with a paper and a pencil: roll it, drop the pencil when using the paper as a slide, and stuff like that.
He’s four years old now and this somehow didn’t change. He sometimes draws an object, but most of the time he draws totally non-representational.

So when they can do such experiments with a beautiful and artsy outcome at daycare, he’s delighted. And Mommy too 🙂

What did they do here?

The teachers put some shaving foam / cream in a box or something like that. Than the kids could add a little fluid color and stirr cautiously. Small pieces of paper were placed on top of the foam, so the foam pattern would be printed onto the paper. Voilà.

Such a fun way to build great art pieces! And the mess… Depends on the surrounding and the kids tendency to destroy furniture, but it should be ok 😉 No really, I think this is not a big deal. In any case, you could opt for some water soluble colors.

Ok, you want a complete guide? I just found one by Kelly (thank you for the picture!) from “Typically Simple”. And it’s pretty cool, she made some easter egg craft with this marbled paper.

This weekend I’ll decorate the easter eggs, so I think I’ll try some shavingcream easter egg craft.

I wonder if you have some other ideas for art with shaving cream? Please share your thoughts in the comments! Also, let me know if you’ve written a cool blog post about this, so I could share it here.

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My favorites on Instagram (part 4) – weaving a world

Today’s Instagram roundup is all about the art of weaving. Weaving is one of the oldest crafts of mankind and our modern culture is unthinkable without the achievements of the weavers of ancient times.

It’s also on of the first crafts I can remember 🙂 We made a woven heart out of red paper stripes for mothersday.

My mom showed me how to build my own weaving loom with an old cardboard piece – which I then used all. the. time. I was allowed to use her wool leftovers and created fancy things like a small pink and white handbag (which made me lose my money as it was too loose) or home decor for my Barbies.

Weaving is a technique that was a little out of date for a couple of years, but the comeback made it cooler than ever before. Weaving is perfect for getting into the flow and let the mind wander. It’s perfect to express our feelings, we can choose of so many patterns and materials nowadays, possibilities are endless! We can even create stunning pictures as if we had paper, brush and color. Well almost. No it’s just as stunning, but it’s different!

I did some paper weaving for spring decoration lately, but I need a loom or a big cardboard, as I want to weave some coole seating mats for my kids’ outdoor playspace. I’d like to give it to them as an Easter present, but that doesn’t fit into my Lent resolution (which is: I won’t buy ANY new art supply before Easter – very hard to stick to, as I’m addicted to trying new stuff).

As for most crafting and arts fields, Instagram is an Eldorado of Inspiration for any aspiring weaver! Here we go:

THIS! is my favorite weaving picture this week:

Filipa Duran Mata of @crochet.e.etc posted this for International Women’s Day and I think it’s just so beautiful!

 

Then I love @haandvevd, a textile artist from Norway. She makes thoughtful and minimalist woven wallhangings in natural colors. Her feed is wonderful!

Judit Justs weaving art is more of the ecclectic colorful kind, she often combines the weaving with knotting.

〰✂ available on my Etsy shop -link on profile. ✂〰

Ein von @_jujujust_ geteilter Beitrag am

Check out Christabel Balfours feed, if you’re into artful tapestry! Her style is minimalist, calm and simple.


If you want to create your own stuff and need a challenge: visit The Weaving Kind. Because that’s just what they offer: Challenges, and inspiration!

Let me know if you think I should add your feed to this list as well!

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A view on the art world

When I worked on my blogpost for International Women’s Day yesterday, I noticed (once again), that I have a very limited view on the artworld. There was this russian avantgarde artist Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova of whom I never heard of before. So I made a small research on Wikipedia, just to notice that I missed a really influential artist – and came across some art fields I never heard of before.

I wondered why and I came up with many more questions…

I grew up in Germany and studied in Germany, always feeling as a European. In art history classes we talked almost exclusively about german and french art groups. So when we talked about expressionism, we talked about “Der blaue Reiter” and “Les fauves” with a focus on Matisse. I don’t know if I wondered at that time if maybe at some point there were artists in Russia or the United States who worked on the same ‘problems’.

Are there? I don’t know! I can’t name any american artist of that time. (For Russia there’s Kandinsky or Chagall, but I didn’t think of them at once.)

Researched that and to my surprise, expressionism really originated in Germany, so that wasn’t some kind of unjust entitlement. But the movement spread all over the world and there are of course important expressionist artists in other countries than Germany or France. Yes, artists I know. But those I know have some strong relation to Europe as well, like Lyonel Feininger or Willem de Kooning.

To make a long story short: I think my view is blurred by my own origin and my surroundings. Plus: there is this strong atmosphere of elite entitlement whenever it comes to art, which is really sad.

I don’t know anything about art history in Asia for example. My only point of contact is the knowledge of several contemporary artists from South Korea (because I was in Seoul and Busan several times and there is a gallery in my city that focuses on artists from South Korea).

What happened in the artworld outside of Central Europe since 1900?

And is art relevant all over the world in the first place?

What about primitive or nature-oriented cultures? (I hate this word, primitive. So arrogant)

I have to post the question wether I’m talking only about art that can be releated to individual persons, in contrast to collaborative or anonymous work.

But speaking of that, what about the factory of Andy Warhol? Or of Damien Hirst? Or other famous artists?

And what about art that can be related to an individual, but this individual wants to be anonymous and that anonymity is part of the art? I’m talking about Banksy. Spoileralert: Though many sources still state that nobody knows the true identity, I’ve read about ‘the real Banksy’ in a book. Yes, I’ll take the time and search for the passage, but not today. I think it was in Don Thompsons ‘The §12 Million stuffed shark’, either that or his other book about art economics ‘The supermodel and the Brillo Box’. Both are brilliant by the way! You can buy them at amazon by following the link, if you’re interested.

From what point on do we consider some artwork as art?

When it sells for more than a certain value? But what about artwork that can’t be sold or sale was never intented?

Ok, Christo makes money by selling postcards of his floating piers, or you have to pay an entrance fee. It’s more difficult with the sale of a performance. While the performance exists only for a limited period of time, you can only buy a video, the right to execute the performance as intented, or even only a certificate that you’re the owner of this performance idea. Yep, that’s happened, read the books for more information 😉 (I can’t remember the artist and the artwork Thompson talked about, but it was fascinating – and funny. I’ll have to read that once again).

What about streetart and graffiti? Which graffiti is art, which is not?

And where do we distinguish between art and design? When we distinguish between fine arts with their focus on aestetics, and the applied art with their focus on practical considerations, is that a typical ‘western’ thinking? I just can’t imagine that for example someone who grew up in a Bhuddist culture would make this distinction.

Maybe this whole blogpost is just some typical western nonsense?

You tell me!

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International Womensday

It’s international womensday, I’m sure you already noticed…

Time for me to think a about women in art. I bet the first woman who came to your mind was Frida Kahlo. Am I right?

Kahlo is amazing, one just cannot elude from her pictures and the stunning photographs her father (or others) took of her. One cannot help but admire her for the way she stood up after her tragic accident.

When I thought about wether I should take her as my personal hero post today, I started thinking about the situation for female artists today. Sad enough, I came to the conclusion that there is still a lot to do. The awareness for female artists is weak.

You don’t believe me? Then name 5 male artists who had their pictures sold for more than 1m$ during the past ten years. Pretty easy even for persons who don’t spend their everyday live in the artworld. Well, now name 5 female artists whose artwork reached the same prices. No? I didn’t manage this without cheating, either.

Let me present the 5 best-selling female artists to you:

1.) Georgia O’Keeffe

Her picture ‘Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932)’ sold for 44 million $ last year.

2.) Louise Bourgeois

Her ‘spider (1996)’ sold for 28 million $ in 2015. She’s my role model, though she never wanted to be one!


3.) Joan Mitchell

Her painting ‘untitled (1960)’ sold for 11.9 million in 2014. The Joan Mitchell Foundation shows one of her sketchbooks on their website, don’t miss it. Here is a little peak inside:

4.) Berthe Morisot

Her impressionist painting ‘Après le déjeuner (1881)’ sold for 10.9 million $ in 2013. Here’s ‘Hide and Seek’

Hide and Seek. Berthe Morisot, 1873. #berthemorisot #impressionism #arthistory

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Art History Feed (@arthistoryfeed) am

5.) Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova

I have to do some homework here, I never heard of her before. Hmh, russia is some blank space in my art worldmap, I don’t know anything about russian artists! Her piece ‘Les fleurs (1912)’ sold for 10.8 million in 2008.

My cheat-sheet for the prices is this cool site on artnet btw.

And what about contemporary artists like Yayoi Kusama? Vanessa Beecroft? Yoko Ono? Marina Abramović? Barbara Kruger? Elizabeth Peyton? I’m just naming some of the best-known female artists but I assume that for most readers those names are familiar but wouldn’t have come to mind by themselves. I’ll have to ask my husband. He doesn’t work in the art branch, but he is very interested in art. I don’t hink he could name any of these. Maybe Abramović, as we saw a self-portrait of her in an exhibition last fall.

So, there is one book I want to recommend to you, in case you’re interested in woman as artists: ‘Danger! Woman Artists at Work’ by Debra N. Mancoff. You can  buy it at amazon.com:

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Procrastination monday

Today I’m a bit depressed, it’s raining and as I started gardening season this weekend, I kinda thought it would stay sunny and warm. but no…

So, today I’m procrastinating, thinking about my next articles and doodling a little….

This book is great, by the way! It’s german, but if you want to buy it, you can do so at Amazon Germany. It shows a big range of methods for printmaking, each with an overview of tools you need, how to use the tools and some cool expert tips. There are many examples and the really really cool thing is, that Sonja Kägi doesn’t have a focus on either kids or adults. Instead, she tries to give examples for both, so that you can use this book for your own artwork as well as for a rainy afternoon with the kids…

Don’t worry if you’re in need for an English source of wisdom: it’s this one: ‘The printmaking bible: The Complete Guide to Materials and Techniques’ by Ann d’Arcy Hughes and Hebe Vernon-Morris. It’s more or the less the same as my german book. It shows so many different methods to try and does not finish at showing how to make a print with this method. You’ll also learn a lot about history of printmaking, current artist, … So if you think printmaking is something you should give a try, grab this book!

 

Edit: I need to figure out how to format these amazon link, as I think I’ll post book reviews every now and then.

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My favourites on Instagram (part 3) – tiles are tiles

tiles are tiles

I love the soothing repretition of pattern and tiles and as I already announced in my blogpost about the tiles at Sintra and the Alhambra: “the soothing art of tiles”, my weekly Instagram roundup will be about tiles.

The profile ihavethisthingwithtiles reposts great pictures of tiles, mainly floortiles. It’s probably the first one you find and you’ll stick there 😉 Use the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithtiles to get featured. Considering the high quality, Gabriela Insana (I’m guessing she’s the owner of the account) curates before reposting.

There is a similar profile ihavethisthingwithfloors. They collect floor pictures, but as not all floors are tiled… Anyway, you can find such great pictures there:

🍃🌸🌿Regram @katherine_sabbath #ihavethisthingwithfloors #tiles

Ein Beitrag geteilt von I Have This Thing With Floors (@ihavethisthingwithfloors) am

Side effect: You’ll want to shop shoes right away 😀

There are several collectors of floor pictures, check out your own city. I like Paris very much, though there are many mosaic, not only tiles (but who cares?)

I totally admire the moorish influences in Spain and Portugal, so #azulejo is a great hashtag. That means tile, both in Spanish and in Portuguese. My favourite account is one that collects pictures of facades in Porto: https://www.instagram.com/azulejosporto/ I think it’s really special! They often show single tiles, not only the pattern as many others do. This feed always remindes me of my grandmas house, I don’t even know why, as I can’t remember one single tile there. I guess it’s the style that was used in old farmhouses (and we’re speaking about a Black Forest farmhouse, not one in southern Europe).

To go in another direction: tiletuesday shows often modern tiles and their surroundings.You can tag your pictures #tiletuesday to get featured. They show pictures from all over the world. Here is an example from Berlin:

There are 2 shops that have special Instagram feeds which I love. The Cementtileshop sells – guess what – cement tiles 😉 They focus on the rooms or places where the tiles are ‘living’.

Pratt and Larson on the other hand focus on their new designs and ideas. You’ll often find work in progress, like when they are painting the tiles.

There are some hashtags I can recommend for further research on Instagram. Try

#ihavethisthingswithtiles

#tilescrush

#instatiles

#tiles

#artisttiles

Maybe you’re interested in a special style or pattern? Try the name of the pattern or the word for tiles in the language of their origin.

Feel free to comment if you think your Instagram feed should be mentioned as well or if you have a website about tiles or just want to say hello 🙂

 

 

 

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The soothing art of tiles

I have this thing with tiles… I thought I was only one crazy enough to fotograph every single tile I can find while tileseeing – uhm sightseeing… But there is even a widely used hashtag on Instagram: #ihavethisthingwithtiles 😀

There is also a user with this profile name (ihavethisthingwithtiles)  and I recommend this feed for all who are tile-addicted. They curate and repost tagged pictures.


When it comes to tiles, there are some places to be like old houses, Lisbon (Sintra) or Andalusia (Alhambra)

I remember that I first got into tiles when I was in Lisbon and we made a day trip to Sintra, a small town north of Lisbon with old palaces and … tiles … everywhere!  The stunning thing is that they do not only have eye-catching patterns, but use tiles as canvas for art. Here are some impressions:

Tiles in Sintra, Portugal
More tiles in Sintra, Portugal
Green and white tile pattern in Lisbon

Another place with jaw-dropping tiles is the famous Alhambra in Andalusia.

I love the contrast of light and shadow at such sunny places
Another beautiful detail of a tiles pattern at the Alhambra.

 

This is also a great pattern of tiles at the Alhambra
This is how tiles are distributed all over the places at the Alhambra.
Even the floor has some cool details!
Look at those mural tiles at the Alhambra!
And some more mural details…

Tiles are fascinating in so many different aspects, be it as art canvas or ‘simple’ pattern with its repetitive impression. I also love it when they come in plain color. Oh, I have to search for a picture of our former bathroom. There were cool light blue tiles, but we had to get them off the walls when we renovated and installed new pipes.

I think you got the point: tiles are awesome! That’s why my this weeks Instagram roundup will be about tiles! Don’t miss it tomorrow!

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My favourites on Instagram (part 2) – the coloring artists

Today I’ll write about my favourite coloring artists on Instagram. I love their feeds, they are candy for the eyes! (And as I finally found out how I can embed some examples here, I will give you proof right here and now!). Don’t forget to add your own favourites in the comment section! I’ll also recommend some coloring books on this page. If you click on the link, you can purchase them at amazon.com and I’ll get a provision.

Johanna Basford / johannabasford

Well, kind of obvious that I’ll enlist her. She’s the queen of coloring books and her Instagram feed is full of sneak previews and glimpses of her current work. She also shows works from followers and artists that colored her illustrations. You can buy her books, postcards, calenders, … on amazon.com. There is a cooperation with method soaps which I like a lot. You can find more information here.

Chris Cheng / colorvscolour

Chris Cheng is awesome. Her coloring is so vibrant and beautiful, have a look! Also, don’t miss her Youtube channel if you want to learn more about how she works.

 

Maria Trolle / maria_trolle

She’s not only an illustrator and author of childrensbooks, she also published some gorgeous coloring books. You can buy them via amazon.com for example.

 

Daphne / daphnesgallery

Want some more vibrant colors? Don’t miss daphnesgalleryand her stunning instagrams.

 

Faynnn

Fay (I guess that’s her name) has a more dreamy and romantic style. She prefers nature as motif and calls her style carnifloral.

 

Cherry Lee / cherrycolours

You’ll find more asian motifs in this feed by Cherry Lee.

 

Let me know your most loved coloring feed in the comments! Alos, let me know if you are into coloring and want to show some of your artwork! I plan to write more on coloring and on designing coloring books soon, so let me know if you want to be featured!

I write about my favourites on Instagram on a regular basis. Well. That’s my second post. But there will be more, I’m totally addicted! You’ll find them all in the category “Inspired by Instagram”.

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