intuitive artmaking

Welcome, October – and welcome, “31 playful days” with a huge thank you to Tara Leaver

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 1 - favourite coffee mug. The Cup which "stood model" is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content... Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

Day 1 – favourite coffee mug. The Cup which “stood model” is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content… Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

This year, welcoming October could hardly be easier, for so many reasons:

-It’s warm and sunny, the sun turns everything into Gold here and I Keep admiring the red beech and a maple tree in front of the window, and how much Beauty they have to offer

    • -I purchased 2 new Memory Cards for my camera and cannot stop taking photos of the treetops and the deep blue sky
    • -It’s my fall break – hip hip hooray
    • -The long awaited new novel by Rachel Joyce, “The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy” has been released – at the beginning of my fall break, how happy am I?  (This will take an extra blog post sometime today or tomorrow)
    • -last Wednesday, “31 playful days”, Tara Leaver’s generous and amazing drawing Project started. Again: how happy am I? (Very)

This morning is a rather grey-ish Sunday, and – oh happy fallbreak – a perfect reason to catch up with Tara’s blog. Next week will be the Creative Spark anniversary, means, it’s a year ago that I took part in Tara’s first ever online course (see related blog post) and not only did I create drawings and paintings I hadn’t before, I also met the most amazing People, and made amazing friends, way beyond social media !! One of many reasons to keep going back to Tara’s ever-inspiring blog, especially without jumping up for desk work or other chores.

   The latest post is a very precious gem in Terms of learning about creative process, intuitive artmaking, Living a creative life, Inspiration to get the art supplies out! Not to speak of the artwork added in the photos!! Go see yourself:

October might also be a Blogging-intensive month here – as I plan to Keep you updated about 31 playful days. Day 1 and 2 are up there, well, obviously :), and here are Day 3 to 4. Day 5 is yet to be born.

Day 4 - A Way To Travel Everyone who knows me just a little won't be surprised with this choice.

Day 4 – A Way To Travel
Everyone who knows me just a little won’t be surprised with this choice.

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Categories: Art, books, creativity, intuitive artmaking, sketchbook, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some personal thoughts on contemplative artmaking

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

concentric circles. tons of layers, a 'few' spoons of texture paste...and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to "brighten it up" was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

concentric circles. tons of layers, a ‘few’ spoons of texture paste…and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to “brighten it up” was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills ;) ...) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills 😉 …) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Working on "Buddha faces" - Stockmar crayons

Working on “Buddha faces” – Stockmar crayons

My major motivation to take a brush/Crayons/pens&pencils out to start creating something is to do something contemplative.

-the movement of your Hands,

-breathing with awareness,  witnessing of what goes on inside while making a particular brush stroke for example

-the choice of colours and shapes

-the choice of style and the activity of building layers, including natural ingredients such as smaller twigs or sand, tiny pebbles or a sea Shell

can be consciously chosen to develop a contemplative mind set – so circular movements are my favourites to deal with my “crazy monkey mind” (as Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche would put it)  – If you haven’t experienced it, just take some colour and a big Piece of paper and start making circles ….but: without the inention to create perfection. Witness the Feelings and sensations while doing so.

The results often are precious to me. And it’s not in the first place because I think the end result is so outstanding and good, it’s more like I have a Souvenir of a process which was unique and very likely to having taught me something about myself.

You see some of the latest ‘souvenirs’ in this post.



‘Life is about using the whole box of crayons’ – (Unknown; source: Pinterest)

Enso - the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn't left ever since.

Enso – the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn’t left ever since.

‘Art enables us to find ourselves and to lose ourselves at the same time’ – Thomas Merton

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, creativity, intuitive artmaking, mindfulness, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

a big thank you, ‘happy friday’-wishes and a precious link for everyone interested in artmaking

Ready for having friends over.

Ready for having friends over.

First of all: happy friday, dear you, who is reading this blog post. I hope you are happy to start the Weekend (soon, especially depending on which time Zone you’re in 🙂 ) Here’s a Piece of cake for you – and I am baking a sweet whitebread with a Brown-sugar crust and Brown sugar crumples in it (and will share this virtually with you guys, too, soonish)Yesterday, in my contentment of early finishing desk work and soaking up the autumn-ish atmosphere of my surroundings, I did a very spontaneous, really heartfelt post, I just wanted to find an Expression of the mood I am in… The comments by Sherry, Sherry and Michelle really warmed my heart! Thank you, dear ones! I did intend to offer some atmosphere-ish scent by writing… but I wasn’t sure whether not this would be perceived the way I wanted it. Your comments really showed me that it worked, I felt connected to you guys! Like almost with one foot in Ontario with Sherry and Sherry even 🙂 (No, I don’t have particularly long legs hahaha)

Painting is stillness to me - as I mostly paint without Music or audiobook in the background (unlike sketching for some reason...) Just the very gentle sounds which are being created by putting colour on canvas/paper.


Now let’s talk about artmaking (always!). Tara Leaver, whose Website I recommend anyway to anyone interested in starting to pursue a creative take on …life…posted a blog entry about making art which got your own Fingerprint on it, means, which actually looks like you yourself created it. This is the very Stadium which I find very interesting. Because I have a pile of paintings and other things which might just start to learn Walking by themselves..but they still have “collaged copies” of my “Gurus” in them 🙂 Which isn’t a bad Thing. I love Tara’s take on this Topic and if this got you intetested – go and see yourself.

Categories: Art, coffee, colours, creativity, food, intuitive artmaking, life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Challenge? Accepted … as mindfully as possible.

Source of joy

Source of joy (Photo credit: Skinny Artist)

This is the Clip about the wonderful animated film “planting seeds”… I felt like posting it because teaching children and teenagers to develop and appreciate mindfulness will be something I start doing at the School I work at up from next week, combined with Qi Gong and painting. It will be a challenge, this much I know, but I have hardly ever been looking Forward to a challenge as much as I look forward to this project!

Anyone who reads this and who feels like sharing experience and ideas, Video footage (so happy to have smilecalm’s Youtube channel!  My favourite of all time!) is very welcome.

Sending sunny greetings to all of you.


Nic 🙂

Categories: Achtsamkeit, buddhism, films, intuitive artmaking, life, meditation, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Creative Spark e-course. Watch the wonderful, wonderful clip Tara made

If you only slightly consider to get more into (re-) discovering your creativity…then Tara’s ecourse and also her book are the most inspiring source to go to! She has a very integral approach to creativity and I cannot really imagine that any of you who is just reading this  – how much or little time you have spent with any kind of creative activity so far – could not enjoy Tara’s Creative Sparks!


Categories: Art, colours, intuitive artmaking, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Tara Leaver’s wonderful blog post about ‘icad’ (‘index card a day’)

Hello there, on a hopefully sunny Sunday morning!

For those of you who are interested in being creative or about  to start, I generally recommend the website of one of my very favourite Artists, Tara Leaver:

Very often, after having visited Tara’s blog, I have a definity urge to get my art supplies or my Journal and get started, and the post I am going to introduce here just had me get all tingly with enthusiasm.

Tara followed the hashtag ‘icad’ through the web and found out that “index Card a day” is about artmaking on index cards. For the very details follow the link Tara mentions in her blog post. I won’t have 365 index Cards ready next year in August, …..but… it’s a wonderful, wonderful way to be creative (and to me: Charge up on days with way too much Input)

Basically this is what you need:                                                                                                       IMG_1548 (638x800) (316x376)

-a stack of index Cards

-art supplies of your choice

What I love about the idea is that you can get your Cards and art supplies and go somewhere sunny, and off you go.

Tara wasn’t the one inventing the ‘icad’ idea but you should have a look at the photos of her index cards!!  

Soooo  – as I am not going to Keep you waiting any longer – here’s the link to make you happy:

I am going to post a few soon. How about you?



Categories: Art, colours, intuitive artmaking, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back from the arts supplies store. Ready to play : ) … and introducing Michael Nobbs “Drawing your life”

New toys. horray!

New toys. horray!


Just getting back from the Arts supplies store (before that: a visit to the farmers’ market including Caffe Moccha and rhubarb streusel cake, buying fresh flowers for the Loggia-slash-studio and multicoloured veggies)

So a good part of today’s noon to early evening will be spent mixed media-ish… not only on the canvas, but by mixing a new tape to accompany the painting, painting with lots of other things besides brushes (well, like old toothbrushes, rugs, fingers, old credit cards….)

This post is quite inspiring today’s plans:

And today, after having listened to “Cerulean” by Ben Leinbach for about 10 times… we’ll see what happens

A Quote came up today, too…’s really mixed media all over:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anaïs Nin

Big and courgeous words to me.

IMG_1759 (533x800)

Here Comes a more everyday-life but yet very very unique way of approaching the Topic of art:

Let me introduce Michael Nobbs to you.

Michael Nobbs, well, his blog Kind of popped up… somewhere….I do not even remember where…but it’s amazing it did. He released a book  he developed during a time with low energy. he was diagnosed with this “chronic fatigue Syndrome” and had to rest lots. That’s when he started drawing, there, right in this bedroom. As he had not too many possibilities to get around, he draw everyday things.

That’s where he got me! I love the Magic of simplicity, the beautiful of your personal still lifes like just a Cup of tea on a coaster or something…just imagine your favourite Cup on your favourite spot and you can probably already tell that there are colours, shapes and generally impressions mixing right there!







Here you can get a Little taste of what it is like to get into Michael Nobbs’s world of ideas. I was happy to read that he refers to Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and very curious about a book called “The Zen of Seeing” by a dutch author I am yet to check out.

In the Video Clip you can see that the book is for drawing, doodling, scribbling in it. 🙂 Fun to be had!

One of my favourite pages is a double page, where he says “treat yourself to a breakfast in a Café” and then you are to draw your table and condiments and then your breakfast on the next page.

With my dearest Inspirations at the Moment, namely the book “Creative Spark” by Tara Leaver, as well as looking at her online Gallery or reading her Poems, Flora Bowley’s Approach to Artmaking, Michael Nobbs’s way of cherishing the simple everyday life through painting… Susannah Conway’s take of photography …all this Closes the circle between my Intention to find different ways to practice mindfulness and making art. why?

I pay Attention to the very treasures in the very present and just where I stand or sit.

Partly this leads to taking photos or drawing.

Which again might lead to a painting.

All this keeping me quite in the very Moment.

Which is intense.

And fulfilling.

And emotional.

And so worth it!

Let me Close today’s post with a Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote which happens to make me feel Kind of adventurous:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and  leave a trail.”

Ralph  Waldo Emerson

Related articles

Categories: Art, intuitive artmaking, life, mindfulness, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This is meant as a p.s. post to the prevoius one. Some video painting footage. Enjoy : )

First of all an additional Video Clip introducing Flora Bowley, it’s about three and a half minutes:

Then, if you want to spend time up to 25 minutes, here’s a Video of a live painting by a woman called Donna Downey…who I actually just discovered by looking up some Video footage. I think it’s interesting to watch how the painting transforms.

And here’s a lovely Video Clip about Susannah Conway’s “this i know”. You will have the book cover kind of tattoed into your visual perception .. 😉 because you will see it throughout a good part the clip and hear the two women talking…but you also get lovely pictures which give you an idea about Susannah’s book.

Maybe you are like me – having a candlelit, cosy Friday night with a glass of red, your fairy lights, a bowl of Risotto, whatever (an art supplies Shopping list hehe) and you feel like watching those Clips.

If you feel like jumping up and start painting,there is one Thing I can tell you to do:

Don’t. You. Hesitate! get old clippings, magazines, some pens, some papers, just make flowers, houses, clouds, cats, Dogs out of the things you find at home and don’t wait until you’ve completed your art-supply Shopping. The Thing about being creative is to go unusual paths.

Categories: colours, intuitive artmaking, life, photography | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

You don’t have to go by the name Van Gogh to paint!! Notes on spontaneous, intuitive, non-perfectionistic artmaking

IMG_1530 (800x730)

First of all: Happy Friday!

I know, I knooow not everyone is as happy as I am and has today off…

I want to share a few thoughts on artmaking. Many, many wise people (,who have written wonderful books even, but we’ll come to that in a bit) have already put it out there:

you don’t have to know about composition, technique, the whole theoretical stuff to create a painting…may it be on a


crayons (Photo credit: dyetochange)


canvas or

a sketchbook

or a huge piece of paper attached to the ground,

an old wooden drawer you found on the street (one of my favourites!!) and which Kind of already gives you this 3 dimensional Impression simply by being a drawer …

As someone who cried when a kindergarten teacher mistook my fairy for a “tree with wrong colours” … and a 16 year old back then who was closed to being paid by her…well…very extravagant art teacher just to quit her arts classes ^^ … I perceived myself – for a while – as someone who is well advised to stay away from Crayons, brushes, paper, canvas.

Thank god there were other experiences as well, and especially in the past few years, even after having started to teach art to Special School students all ages…..

it seemingly started to rain hints and Inspiration!

It’d be a way-too-long post..oh wait … sadly, the word “Inspiration” is being used a lot lately, very often in very purple-sparkle-esoteric-ish ways…. it makes me a little sad but then again I come to think of the meaning of the word. In-spire, like putting Spirit into you. How precious is that? It takes away the sparkle again and me to a more peaceful mood 🙂IMG_1548 (638x800)

There is a bunch of artists who might make you get to the next art supplies store and start, because they teach a way of painting, which is just connecting with the creativity each and every one of us has already in us!

Add photography (and YES, you do find outstanding ways to take photos within a short while!) as it is…or can be… next to painting another really fulfilling creation process.

-Let’s start with the photography. There’s this book I read. Not because of photography, but because she has a really  beautiful  column in the new Magazine “The Simple Things”:

Susannah Conway’s “this i know”

This is what you can read on your Website about her book:

“This book is about unraveling the layers of our lives, delving beneath the surface in order to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our path. Author Susannah Conway uncovered this process following a tragedy—the sudden death of the man she loved. In sharing her journey of self-discovery first through her blog, then her online courses, and now in these pages, she reveals how grief reshaped her life and led her to reconnect with her creativity, make peace with her past, and learn to appreciate herself.

This is a guidebook of sorts, a collection of thoughts and theories, each chapter culminating in a small creative exercise for the reader to reflect upon and apply to her own life. The author’s signature dreamy Polaroid images are also included throughout. Conway reminds readers that they are not alone, that living mindfully is a process, and that unraveling is not about coming undone or losing control, but rather letting go in the best possible way. By untangling the knots that hold you back, unearthing the potential that’s always been there and ditching the labels and should-haves you can let yourself be who you were always meant to be.”

And while you’re at it, go visit her photography chapter as well, just sit down and dream away (and maybe do the same as I did and go ask around for a Polaroid camera)

And then there’s :


let me introduce Flora Bowley, my very “art-Guru” to you by this Video Clip:

Her Motto: “Let go, be bold, unfold”

How I came across her? I got her book “Brave intuitive painting”

as a gift from someone who knows me very well. It took days just to look at the beautiful photos of painting processes, of art supplies and Flora’s paintings. You learn how to paint with old rugs, fingers, dip your brush in different colours and just …Play!…or spray water on your acrylic creation to add extra effects..

What I like so much about Flora’s art teaching (go to her Website for courses, both personal and e-courses) is how she first sets the mood, with a favourite record, to which she Dances or some yoga Stretches … You just have to read all this, her book is a real gem.

Here are a few things Susannah and Flora (mostly, but also the mixed media Artist Sarah Ahearn Bellamare)  inspired me to do and which Kind of stuck with me:

  • go for an aimless walk/wandering, take your camera with you, pay Attention to surrounding shapes (for example heart shapes in rocks), or colours, or signs of the season you are just in and its typical colours, your Initials or words you love, for example in shop windows or such
  • Keep a Journal, write, Scribble, make Little doodles to express yourself, take an envelope with you to collect flowers, a Flyer from a shop with something worth becoming a clipping…
  • Before starting to paint: get out a table full of art supplies, clippings, templates, rugs, old tooth brushes, bubble wrap (great for colour printing!!) etc etc.
  • Then: light a candle, make sure you sit down in an upright and comfy Position, enjoy some conscious breeaths… or do a yoga Stretch or two (I love the tree for this occasion)
  • Try. Try colour combinations. Paint with Crayons like a four year old and listen to the Sound the Crayons make on the ground (I got -thanks to my teacher Max Bailly) a wooden board to which I stick my papers, it’s a lovely Sound – this click and clack of the Crayons hitting Wood and the board does resonate with you. I promise
  • I sure hope that this blog entry expressed what I intended to: the fulfilment of being spontaneously, intuitively, bravely creative and that you are very very welcome to let go of your inner demons which tell you this is silly … (Tell them to go where the sun don’t shine. 🙂
  • What’s the worst thing that can happen? You are not going to like what you see. Gee. This is why I love Mixed Media Artmaking. You can still attach some beautiful clipping on top of a “painting accident” if you really feel like it. You can add contours in a colour which is complementary to the Background or you can just allow yourself to and that’s fine, too. 🙂 Go on then and Keep creating. Enjoy the process, don’t think of the result. Be surprised by what you will end up with. It’s like travelling a new area over and over again. And so worth it!!


Categories: colours, intuitive artmaking, life, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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