Friday, September 30, 2011

Finally Back to Painting

After all the rush over the past two weeks I'm finally back to painting. I had two unfinished canvases sitting on my table and I started working on one of them yesterday and hope to finish it over the weekend.

Since ever I was a child I've been drawn to funky little houses - either on stamps or by drawing them or whatever. I wanted to create a happy little canvas and just started this 8x8 canvas with sky and green bottom, then added the house - and just went from there with whatever came to my mind. I particularly like the trees. I still want to work on the roof, it's too plain for me at the moment, and I also plan to put little blossoms in the grass.

The second canvas is a different story and I'm not sure where it will take me.

I tried something more abstract as a background for this one. I'm thinking of adding women silhouettes and then perhaps draw wings on them - I just don't know at the moment. For the background I have torn some models out of my favorite women's fashion catalogue from Sweden, painted Golden fluid acrylics on top of them (I like these acrylics for their transparency) and then added the circles and the torn paper strips that are out of the same catalogue (they match the skirt and the pants of the models).

This morning I'm off to a mixed media painting class at the college - I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm also a bit nervous. I expect to learn a LOT!!

I am linking to Paint Party Friday and Sneak Peek Friday - it's good to be back!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Hello to the biggest snoop around the world, hosted by the Queen of Snoops, Julia at Stamping Ground. Every Wednesday we look at other artist's worktable, and I can tell you, it is a lot of fun and a source of inspiration.

This canvas has been sitting on my desk for two weeks now, pretty much in the same condition. Which translates to: I haven't worked on it. Not a bit. I haven't even thought about it. My mind was completely occupied with our garage sale that we had last Saturday, and I'm happy to say that it was a very successful one and we got rid of a lot of stuff. So all the work was worth it, but I neglected everything else, especially my blog and visiting other blogs and leaving comments. I don't even mention painting or doing anything creative. (But I sold a few of my handmade cards at the sale as well!!). After the garage sale I realized I hadn't taken any photo - that would have been a good one, a shot before and after. Oh well...

So I hope to get back into blogging and networking and painting and... I started this week with listing some of my handmade cards in my Etsy shop, so I did at least something. It's surprising how much I missed my blog and the blogging community. But - the sale is done, I will still list a few items on Craigslist, but that is done quickly. Hopefully someone buys them, otherwise they will go to my favorite charity. I so enjoy the space in our garage! By the way, the box of scrapbooking and craft supplies that I showed you last Wednesday is almost empty now - only a few items are left. That certainly was a big seller. To my utter surprise, the two boxes of GERMAN books were sold within the first ten minutes! And the guy who bought one box of vinyl records at my yard sale three or four years ago came back on Saturday and bought the second box! Returning customer!!

Alright, I've kept you long enough - now go and visit all the other artists and see what they are up to.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Made in Germany 27 - Tübingen Neckarfront

Remember the Hölderlinturm that I showed you here last Monday? You can spot it at the left side of this photo. Here you can see the entire row of houses along the river Neckar that ends with the Hölderlinturm. These houses are mainly from the 15th and 16th century, most of them beautifully renovated inside. The biggest problem in these houses, since they are so close to the river, is the dampness which often shows in mold. It needs a lot of maintenance to live in these houses, but the location is just priceless. This "strip" is called the "Neckarfront" and behind the little wall you can see there is a narrow path that you can walk along. In summer or whenever the weather is warm and nice people hang out on the wall, eating ice cream and just enjoying life. The trees on the left side belong to the long island that divides the Neckar here and houses the Neckarallee, a long path lined by tall trees. It's especially beautiful in autumn when the leaves are turning. The boats in the background near the Hölderlinturm are punt boats - we did a lot of punting "back in the days". Punting is a tradition among the University's students and every May there is a big punting race that draws huge crowds and is a lot of fun.

I might tell you more about the punting next week!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Little Witch

A little girl who has dreamed about being a witch for Halloween fulfilled her dream.
She colored her hair green, put on the orange-blck striped dress, the fancy boots and the witch's hat with the little owl on the rim and ventured outside, accompanied by her faithful little friend, the black cat (who looks slightly scared).

It was so much fun to create this canvas!
It is now for sale in my Etsy shop.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hello and welcome to "What's on your worktable Wednesday" created by the lovely Julia at Stamping Ground. Every Wednesday more than 100 people show to the world what is on their worktable (and sometimes the worktable doesn't have to be a table actually).

Well, today this is on my table:

which in itself doesn't make much sense.
We need the second picture:

We're having a garage sale this Saturday and I'm currently pricing all the craft and scrapbooking supplies that I have sorted out and hope to sell. Kaefer has gone through all her stuff and hopes to sell quite a lot. Even her old bike will go (hopefully). Honestly, I can't wait to see the stuff go and have more room to actually move around. I'm so tired of all the clutter. Everything that doesn't sell will go to the thrift store on Monday.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Made in Germany 26 - Hölderlin

This is one of my favorite pictures that I took while I was living in Tübingen. It is the Hölderlinturm (tower of Hölderlin). The - supposedly mad - poet Friedrich Hölderlin spent 36 years of his life with the Zimmer family who gave him a room in this tower, until his death in June 1843, at the age of 73.

His poems have inspired many composers (among others Johannes Brahms) and also modern bands in Germany, Sweden and Finland. The language of his poems is not the easiest but it is extraordinary beautiful. Translating it into another language must be extremely difficult as it is with all poetry.

I found an English translation by David Constantine of Hölderlin's poem "Wohl geh ich täglich..." - the title of the translation is completely different.

'Another day'

Another day. I follow another path,
Enter the leafing woodland, visit the spring
Or the rocks where the roses bloom
Or search from a look-out, but nowhere

Love are you to be seen in the light of day
And down the wind go the words of our once so
Beneficent conversation...

Your beloved face has gone beyond my sight,
The music of your life is dying away
Beyond my hearing and all the songs
That worked a miracle of peace once on

My heart, where are they now? It was long ago,
So long and the youth I was has aged nor is
Even the earth that smiled at me then
The same. Farewell. Live with that word always.

For the soul goes from me to return to you
Day after day and my eyes shed tears that they
Cannot look over to where you are
And see you clearly ever again.

If you're interested in the German original, you can find it here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumn Morning at the Lake

Kaefer had a big cross country meet at the lake yesterday morning. They were the first group to run, so we arrived at the lake even before the sun had risen over the hill. The mist was still hanging over the lake, but you could see how the sky already cleared up. It was a perfect autumn morning, the kind I love.

When the sun climbed higher into the sky, he illuminated this bare tree and the surrounding trees on this little island. The lake itself was perfectly still.

It almost looked as if the water was on fire.

The ducks took flight from all those people who were there so untypically early.

And here's Kaefer (in blue) making the finish line.

The magic of the morning had gone by then.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Autumn Splendor

I'm late this week for Inspiration Avenue's challenge, "Autumn Splendor". At first, of course, I thought about all the wonderful colors that autumn presents to us, like this crape myrtle in front of our house.
Or this beautiful sedum "Autumn Joy" in my backyard:

I thought of turning leaves, all those earthy colors.
But then I also thought of another side of autumn, the one that sets our table. I didn't have to get any further than into my backyard to find a richly set table.





Japanese eggplant...

our "volunteer" corn...

... and apples.

We also have a plum tree that this year was more than full with fruit. My friend Jo picked all of them, brought a whole lot to the food bank and made jam out of the rest.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Warm Colors of Autumn

In January I created this mixed media canvas for an Inspiration Avenue challenge. Today, I've put it in my Etsy shop for sale. It is still one of my favorite works - I just love the warm colors of autumn (I really don't know why I prefer the word "autumn" over "fall", perhaps it is more poetic. Is there a difference between the two words?).

I'm quite excited about the season change. Many trees in my neighborhood are turning leaves, it looks beautiful. The two crape myrtle in front of my house are glowing in a deep pink, it's marvelous. I simply love this stunning display of bold color.

I hope all of you - at least in the Northern hemisphere - enjoy the earthy colorful season.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WOYWW - I've Lost Count

Hello dear WOYWWers, yes, it's me, obviously not a regular anymore. I haven't been here for the last few weeks (two? three? even more?). The reason is simple - I've set up and opened my Etsy shop and that obviously took all my energy. It's a quite fascinating adventure, pretty much work is involved, but I expected that and really like it. However, I did not expect to sell anything in the first few months, and I already sold a mixed media painting and one of the small journals! That came as a surprise - I am very happy about and deeply thankful for it.

But you're not here to hear me ramble but to see what's on my worktable - it's this:

I'm working on another girl, a little Halloween witch this time. She will get green hair and a typical witch's hat. Somehow I want to include a cat and perhaps an owl - or a crow. I'm thinking of working more on the background and to make it a little more "halloweenish".

Do you want to see what's on other worktables? Just visit Julia's Stamping Ground and find the "guide".

Antelope Canyon

I've decided to sell some of my photos as greeting cards in my Etsy shop.
I am starting with four pictures I took in Antelope Canyon a few years ago.

Antelope Canyon is a fascinating slot canyon near Paige, Arizona. It's on Native American land which means you cannot just go there and enter the canyon. You have to pay an entrance fee and then wait for the Native American guide who will lead you to the canyon. The entrance to the canyon is so hidden that I wouldn't have found it without the Native American's help.

The light in the canyon is incredible and paints the slickrock in fabulous warm yellow, orange and red shades. I was there during winter, so the sun never really shone into the canyon, but the sun light made the rock glow.

It was unforgettable.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Made in Germany 25 - Warm September Light

September is one of the most beautiful months in Germany. The weather usually is relatively stable with warm and golden Indian summer days. The days are noticeably shorter, the light is not as harsh as during summer. Fields seem to be golden - like this one in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This East German state still has vast fields and a huge proportion of agriculture. Its beauty always warms my heart.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Morning Walk

Yesterday Jo and I walked around our lake. We do this at least once a week, right after our kids have left for school. Often we start our walk in the fog and finish it in brilliant sunshine. We almost always see wildlife, watch birds - it was during one of those walks that we discovered the owls' nest.

While we walked and talked (that's of course the other pleasant thing we do!) Jo bent down and lifted up this beautiful leave. While we both admired the colors and the beautiful pattern on it, it hit me that this week's challenge at Inspiration Avenue is "Patterns". So why not highlight nature's patterns? For me, nature is the most accomplished artist. So I took a few pictures of the leave before we left it where we found it.

This had opened my eyes, and we were both looking for more patterns. We did find a lot - here are our two other favorites. The first one is poison oak - isn't it interesting how something that can hurt you so much is so beautiful?

The other favorite was this tree bark - I just love it and I'm very tempted to incorporate it in some work or other. The colors were so rich and the texture so yummy - I could do an entire blog post just on this bark.


Friday, September 9, 2011

The Night of the Dancing Ghosts

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love its quirkiness, the craziness, of course the ORANGE, the bats, spiders and ghosts. This is the first time that I attempted a Halloween themed mixed media painting. I was thinking of glittery ghosts who dance in the night. The glitter is really hard to see in this scan, but anyway, here it is - finished in a couple of days:

It is now available in my Etsy shop.

It's Friday - so I'm linking to the two wonderful bloghops Paint Party Friday and Sneak Peek Friday. Please take a peek - it's fabulous.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Process of Elimination

Many of you know how much I like to read Kat's blog The Kat Eye View of the World. At the moment she writes about a very interesting topic, the process of elimination. I use this a lot - either while I'm taking photos or afterwards with the help of Photoshop.

Here are a few examples, all taken in the port of Brookings, Oregon.

I really loved the colors of the buoys on this boat, but there was no way that I could get closer. So I took a picture of the boat...

and then cropped it until only the buoys were left.

Same here - I really liked the crab cage, the way it sat on the pier and was reflected in the water:

By cropping closely I also was able to eliminate the other more distracting reflections and the rope:

Or here, where it was the color again that caught my eyes, but it was too far away. I was able to crop out the blue house, and then I used the wonderful tools of Photoshop to get rid of the poles:

However, I got close enough to this boat, the "Earl Green"...

to get a close up of this detail...

and to get a closer look at the texture of the boat's paint:

If you want to see what other photographers did you can follow the link here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Daughter - finished!

Yesterday I've finished my mixed media painting "The Daughter" about whose "history" I wrote here.
I'm pretty happy with her, and she is now available in my Etsy shop.


Made in Germany #24 - Fairytale Town

Today I thought posting a typical German postcard motif: the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber,
THE fairytale town in Germany.
Loved by many, visited by thousands of tourists from all around the world every year.

It is a magical little town, surrounded by its medieval wall. You can walk along this wall and almost completely walk around the old town center. This photo was taken from one of the many towers in the city wall.

Rothenburg has many nice shops, of course medieval buildings, museums, a beautiful market square, good wine and delicious food. Although it is a very touristy place it still has kept its German flair, especially in its crafts industry. You can get local food and wine, both very delicious and worth a try. One of the most fascinating places to visit is the "Medieval Crime Museum" (I wouldn't have had a chance in medieval Rothenburg with my red hair).

Did anyone of you who went to Germany visit Rothenburg? And if so, what did you think of the place?


Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Voice of the Sea

I almost forgot this week's theme at Inspiration Avenue, "beach treasures". It's Saturday evening, and I either can just pass it this week which I really wouldn't like, or I can contribute with something that I made a year ago. I opted for the latter.

Acrylic paints on a 8 x 10 canvas, then added some shells, seastar and driftwood that I had found on our beaches. Stamped a seastar, glued a torn book page in the lower right corner and embellished with the stamped image of the "sunsource" (one of my favorite stamps by Stampington & Company) without the sun. The colors are not quite true to the original, but I couldn't get the camera to represent the colors correctly. This shade of sea green seems to be a challenge!


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Daughter

A few days ago I read some of the letters again that my mom wrote to me when I was 18 years old. Her letters are so beautiful and while I read them I remembered everything we did at that time - it was 1978. Although it brought tears to my eyes, it also painted a huge smile on my face.

My mom passed away four years ago, and those letters (I've kept them all) are the biggest treasure I have from her. I can hear her voice when I read them - she wrote the way she spoke, so completely her. She was a wonderful letter writer and I am forever thankful that I grew up in an era when people would still write letters - something you can keep.

It inspired me to create another girl - "The Daughter".

It is a 6x12 canvas, a size I have never worked with before. I discovered that I really like this size, it's perfect for the girls.

Beneath the acrylic paint you can see some written words peeking through - this is a copy of one of those letters from my mom that I adhered to the canvas first. It's a piece of my heart, so to speak, something very personal of myself that I worked into this painting. The words say "She kept her mom forever in her heart". It is still not quite finished, but very close. She will be available in my Etsy shop.

This is also my contribution to this week's Paint Party Friday and Sneak Peek Friday. Please come and visit these talented artists - there is so much inspiration you can get and just some real honest eye candy.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Big Leap

Photo by the Geek

A week ago I opened my Etsy shop. That was a really big leap for me, something I was scared of and excited about at the same time.

I had been dreaming about my Etsy shop for quite some time - way too long, actually, before I finally started to make it happen. Even before Kelly Rae's "Flying Lessons" did I know that I wanted my shop, my own little space where I hoped to sell the pieces I created.

Why did it take so long? In the end, it certainly was fear. But I think it also was being sick for such a long time without knowing it. When your body isn't healthy, it lets you feel that without you realizing it. You're tired all the time. Your energy level is extremely low. Your optimism shrinks quite a bit. There are times, sometimes several days in a row that you feel downright depressed. You're the worst company you can imagine.

Since my surgery almost three months ago I do feel like a new person - just as my surgeon had promised. I feel healthy, energetic, optimistic. These days I have more energy than I had for a very long time - I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be healthy. I will never ever again take that for granted.

With this new energetic me I've felt confident enough to deal with my fears and see them as a challenge. I told myself that opening my own Etsy shop really does not carry a big risk - I can't lose anything, but I can gain a lot instead. So why not try it? In the worst case I am not selling anything. That would hurt, of course, but it is nothing that would ruin me. And I can tell myself that I tried and it didn't work out. Still better than not trying at all because I'm scared.

With these thoughts on my mind I set up my shop and finally opened it last week. I only told a handful of people. Of course I feel like a complete newbie which I am, but everyone at Etsy once was a newbie. I'm slowly making my way, finding connections, building up my "circle" and just getting familiar with the Etsy environment.

Yes, it is scary. It is also exciting and exhilarating. It's discovering new things every day.

It makes me feel ALIVE !!!