Posts Tagged With: simplicity

Sunday morning – counting my blessings (Day 5 of “31 playful days of drawing”)

Colours expressing the warmth, cosyness and Chosen slow motion mode of my favourite kind of Sunday Mornings. Images Show how much I love the simple things: a good Cup of coffee, a candle, journaling, having beautiful trees in front of the window (or being able to look at the kitchen AND Loggia window to see them)

Colours expressing the warmth, cosyness and Chosen slow motion mode of my favourite kind of Sunday Mornings. Images Show how much I love the simple things: a good Cup of coffee, a candle, journaling, having beautiful trees in front of the window (or being able to look at the kitchen AND Loggia window to see them)

Categories: Art, colours, creativity, drawing, gratitude, life, sketchbook, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Morning (de-)light …or …how the simple things in life contribute to my happiness

Brush bouquet

Brush Bouquet

The good thing about being an early bird is to being able to walk around the flat when it’s still so quiet outside,

when the light is very Special and therefore my camera is silently begging to be picked up.

The photos are taken at home with a mindful attitude and a thankful heart.

Inspired by Susannah Conway, Tara Leaver and the amazing Project you find on www.3191milesapart.com

Coffee scent in the kitchen, a heart in the milk foam almost too nice to make me drink the coffee...

Coffee scent in the kitchen, a heart in the milk foam almost too nice to make me drink the coffee…

 

Tulips ... reminding me that the next spring is just around the corner

Tulips … reminding me that the next spring is just around the corner

Fairy lights warming the atmosphere

Fairy lights warming the atmosphere

berry light (640x597)

closeup of the other “yarnball-style” fairy lights – I love the light spreading through the holes, reflecting on the wall.

friendly and charming roommates ;)

friendly and charming roommates 😉

The reason why I love taking photos of my beloved everyday simplicity, the things I refuse to take for granted although they happen to be around me seemingly “all the time” is that I am making sure to have a Little “vacation mindset” during the week.

I do not want to wait for the next ‘real’ vacation to feel happy and grateful, nor do I think that waiting for a vacation of 5 days could release work stress of 5 weeks for example.

driftwood and circles i

driftwood and circles

star shaped tree bark (can it get any better?) and circles on my old table which probably would have a few stories to tell. How I love this kitchen table. It came to me as a gift and I do not want to take it for granted.So much Beauty in its imperfection!

star shaped tree bark (can it get any better?) and circles on my old table which probably would have a few stories to tell. How I love this kitchen table. It came to me as a gift and I do not want to take it for granted.So much Beauty in its imperfection!

If you haven’t done this (in a while) I invite you to take your camera and look around your house:

-take photos of things which have accompanied you for a long time, which have a story to tell (and maybe write down the story for them if you feel inspired to do so)

-take photos of how the morning/noon/afternoon or evening light makes parts of your place so special

-take photos of little treats which can help to press the pause button during your day…. like a cup of tea or coffee you are enjoying

-take photos of things you once purchased or got as a gift, which mean a lot to you, but which sit at the same place for a while already and might be taken for granted a little  …

And just as important:

  • What do you do with your photos?

  • When do you take time to print them?

  • Do you want to put them into a Journal or Album?

  • Do you feel like making a Collage? Craft a postcard to a dear friend with the help of these photos?

  • Do you feel like posting them in a blog – for example – and possibly inspire others?

  • Maybe even put them into a Special file to go make a photobook with them at a photostore, as a reminder of lots of things to be happy about?

My experience is that it’s of course very nice and precious to first of all take photos with the mindset I have described in here.

But, you know… these days, yeah, sure, you can take zillions of photos with your digital camera, store them in files and even give them captions and names. If you give These photos a Special “presentation”, honour them with your time and Attention, they might serve you as a reminder of reasons to be happy about “the simple things in life”.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." - Henry Ward Beecher

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, coffee, contemplative photography, gratitude, life, mindfulness, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The August Break – Day # 27 – “number”

This book, called "A Year of Mornings" is the result of an amazing photography Project. To learn more about it, go to www.3191milesapart.com

This book, called “A Year of Mornings” is the result of an amazing photography Project. To learn more about it, go to
http://www.3191milesapart.com

Categories: books, photo blogging, photography, The August Break, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paradise

We saw Rabbit Island, the left one, during a mountain hike

We saw Rabbit Island, the left one, during a mountain hike

This is actually not on rabbit Island. and yes, I do know this is no rabbit,either ^^. It's in Molyvos, on the same day of the trip to R.I. :)

This is actually not on rabbit Island. and yes, I do know this is no rabbit,either ^^. It’s in Molyvos, on the same day of the trip to R.I. 🙂

Have you ever made a top 5 list of places you might want to call Paradise? Last year in early August, on a trip to Lesbos, Greece, I sure found my own definition of Paradise: Rabbit Island.

An Island of sorts!

Population:

zero humans (just our captain Alekos, who visits and has built a lovely place to spend a few hours there) or an occasional biologist, watching animals.

About one hundred rabbits. Really.

The nature: breathtaking (as will be proved by the following photos), peaceful, a small spot, smelling like wild mountain thyme and other herbs, the sea, those amazing rabbits, really shy, really lots of them.

Here are a few impressions for you.

can you hear the Sound of the waves splashing?

can you hear the Sound of the waves splashing?

Rabbit Island Beach. Just...drop me there.

Rabbit Island Beach. Just…drop me there.

Paradise. Have I mentioned this?

Paradise. Have I mentioned this?

What else is paradise-like? Well, for example my summer break started and it’s day # 1 today, quite a treat that is! Summer breaks usually start with a good mix of laziness and planned Quality time, such as visiting with dear friends, going to the coast for 10 days or just taking time for:

BEING SLOW!

A very good way of being slow is starting the day with sitting Meditation and Qi Gong practice.

Drinking coffee(s) at the open Loggia Windows and breathing in fresh air, not having to worry about what time it is and if it is time to leave for…somewhere work-related.

Taking time to sort through a pile of photographs, daydream or be aware of the smell of coffee, mixed with the irresistable smell of fresh toast with “hagelslag” (tiny Little chocolate chips from the Netherlands you pour on your bread if you are inclined to do so)

When I remind myself to “go to my happy place” in tensed moments sometimes, the images of the most amazing Rabbit Island usually come to my mind right away.  And yes, it sure is helpful. But let’s not fix the idea of Paradise/Quality time/ your happy place to a place which you cannot realistically go to whenever you want. Because this might cause tension.

What’s paradise to you? Feel free to comment, I sure am curious about it!

Categories: coffee, colours, life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love for common things. Cup gallery # 1

The aforementioned Mr Nobbs, whose book I …assimilated into my System ^^…. says that he drew lots of Cups. As I own lots of  Cups (ask my dear friend who wrapped them all in paper when I moved about 20 months ago…ha ha) I guess I have a lot of drawing material.

Such a lovely idea anyway to draw such a common, yet important thing. Having in mind how many minutes a day I am holding a cup in my Hand…it ranges from 30 minutes to maybe something like 2 hours!

And there are Special Cups for Special moods. of course

The first attempt, however, was a little de-caffeinated. Forgive me. 🙂 Pretty please….

IMG_1784

In my eyes (or rather: for my eyes ^^) it gets a bit better here:

my favourite all-purpose (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) all-mood-Cup. Just so you know ... ;-)

my favourite all-purpose (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) all-mood-Cup. Just so you know … 😉

Brown. Therefore only for coffee (logic made by ...me ^^)

Brown. Therefore only for coffee (logic made by …me ^^)

Small Cup - allpurpose in case you're wondering. Mood-lifter for grumpy times :-)

Small Cup – allpurpose in case you’re wondering. Mood-lifter for grumpy times 🙂

Very likely to be continued. Which is a good Thing, considering I  called this Cup Gallery #1

And please, pretty please, share your Cups, too, photo,sketch, drawing (or ask for my address and ship them,hahahaha…no not really cupboards are not exactly empty.) Share the love for common things. Post them on your blog and link it to this post..or send them to my emailadress.. wouldn’t that be delightful? (yes it would, eh?)

xxx Nicseventysix

Categories: coffee, colours, life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 7 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:

http://taraleaver.com/2012/09/moth/

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… well..it’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

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

Thankful for everyday-life treasures

IMG_1760 (800x734)Inspired again and again by the wonderful photo-art-collaboration “3191 miles apart” (see older post), sometimes during a quiet moment (making sure to have some each day!) I see the Beauty of simple things right where I live and make sure to get the camera out.

Ever since I started taking photos of those “simple”, every day life treasures, it seems my thankfulness of how and where I live has come to a new level, accompanies me through the day and just..makes me happy.

The pebbles in the photo above all but one came home with me from Eftalou, Greece. The one on the left which looks a bit like an arch was a gift from Max Bailly, an Artist and my art teacher for one week. He collected pebbles for everyone in the group for our last day for our final meditation round.

Here are a few more photo still-lifes of the past few days:

IMG_1756 (526x800)

 

The cherry tree in front of the Loggia window. Meanwhile blooming fully and shining a bright light in the morning, when I have my first cup of coffee at about 6:15

 

 

IMG_1759 (533x800)

And my cosy dutch favourite cup – with greek mint-verbena tea, I can almost smell it through the photo …

IMG_1758 (800x606)

 

There is a beautiful Poem by Mary Oliver which matches the mood of this post.

Mindful
 
Every day I see or hear something that more or less
 
kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle
 
in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for – to look, to listen,
 
to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over
 
in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional,
 
the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant – but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab,
 
the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help
 
but grow wise with such teachings as these – the untrimmable light
 
of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?
 
~ Mary Oliver ~

 

 

Categories: life, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Love of mornings and simple things – 3191 miles apart

IMG_1566 (800x533)This is for all those, who are deeply able to look at a picture and feel (almost) as if being on a vacation.

Who love “photo-still-lifes” …                                                         

Who love simple things and are able to see the beauty in it.

A couple of years ago two women had -each – a flickr account of their own. Due to similar interests they came

across each other’s account and noticed how similar their style of photography is.

Online they developed a contact, then a friendship, then met.

And the “fruit” of them Meeting has become their first book “A year of Mornings”:

about 250 photos!

The two live in (!) Portland, Maine and Portland Oregon.

Every weekday morning, they took, without communicating with the other (and this is a very important and fascinating fact to know), a picture of their morning setting. May it be a Cup of coffee, a pair of shoes, a view out of the window.

The fascinating thing is how those photos match! Sometimes there are very similar colour or Motive schemes, sometimes somehow the theme is the same.

They made further Projects such as “A year of evenings”, unfortunately this book seems unavailable,

and,

here  comes the treat, dear Reader

online free accessible:

A year of Sundays.

http://www.3191milesapart.com/?page_id=55

You might want to take some time, like 20 minutes, and a cup of coffee or tea.

Enjoy.

Categories: photography | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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