On Thursday, June 4, I took a flight to Helsinki where I met my sweet friend Nathalie Kalbach to teach together at Matka Luovuuteen in Turku. A mixed media event organized by our wonderful hosts Elina Strömberg and Minna Enqvist.
It was an amazing weekend, filled with fun workshops but also a lot of socializing and some time for sight seeing.
Here is our weekend in pictures:
The first evening, drinks and an amazing dinner with Elina and Minna in Helsinki
Friday morning Nat and I were on our own and we took the opportunity to walk around beautiful Helsinki, taste some lovely and some less lovely Finnish food and enjoy the nice weather.
Later that day Minna picked us up for our drive to Turku where we would spend the weekend teaching on the boat the Bore. This amazing picture was taken by Minna around midnight. It was 2 weeks before Midsummer Night and it never got really dark and we lost all sense of time...
On Saturday, the first workshop day, Nat and I taught our Monoprinting workshop together. I really enjoyed that and I think we worked very well together. The group was amazing, fun, cheerful and a lot of laughing going on.
And in the afternoon it was my turn with my "For the Love of Layers" art journal class.
Here is some of the beautiful student work:
Here are Nat and me with our lovely hosts Minna and Elina.
And with the whole group.
And this is what happens at the end of a photo session :)
And then, with the blink of an eye, it was Sunday evening and we had to clean up and pack. Wow, that was fast but I guess that is how it feels when you're having such a good time!
As a bonus we got to spend the last night at Minna's house and meet her lovely family.
What an amazing place she lives! In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and woods. Deer walking in the garden. We got to sleep in a beautiful little house with an amazing view. It was so quiet en peaceful and beautiful that Nat and I sat on the terrace until way to late before going to bed.
After breakfast on Monday morning Minna drove us to the airport where we ate a reindeer burger as we thought we had to try that while we were here. Not a big succes unlike the reindeer tartare we had on the first evening.
And then we had to say goodbye to Finland... it was awesome!
I want to thank Minna and Elina for inviting and hosting us and all the lovely ladies who joined us for 2 days of creative mess :) I had a blast and hope to come back soon!
Nat came to spend the week at my place before our next teaching adventure at De Craftorij the next weekend but that is for another post :)
Thank you for stopping by!
Have a lovely weekend!
Oh man I have so much catching up to do on my blog! It's been ages that I've posted and I have done so many awesome things in the last weeks that I want to share. Tons of pictures too... So I will do some eye candy posts in the next couple days. Lots of pictures, little words. Easier for me and more fun for you probably anyway :)
Today I want to start with our visit to ColArt Benelux in Breda on May 18 where we were invited for a Intermixability training. We is Marsha and I and the Scrapbookzolder crew, Jeroen, Saskia and Yvonne.Check out the store, you will find loads of Liquitex products and much more!
Here is our day in pictures...
It all starts with some color theory:
Our instructor Lennaert and one of his portraits:
And then we are free to choose whatever we want to work with from all of this (heaven is a place on earth...):
As I have used most of the products frequently except for the spray cans I decided to go wild with spraying:
Can you tell I'm having fun???
What a great day this was! I was already a big fan of Liquitex products and now I'm even more!!
Do you want to know what Liquitex intermixability is all about? Click here!
And here are the products we worked with this day:
Did you see this fun little intro video Marieke made for Art Journal Summer School? It made me all giddy and happy for the rest of the day just by watching it!! The music and the bright colors will get you in a summer/vacation moods instantly. Aaaand will make you wanna join the fun! So watch it and then click here: bit.ly/1ICXwOz to sign up and treat yourself! You deserve it!!
I have my little toiletry bag ready to go!
For a chance to win a free spot and more info on how to sign up you can go to my previous post!
I would love to see you in Summer School!
Registration for Art Journal Summer School is open now!
Maybe you've seen some posts about this already on FB, if not let me fill you in :)
I am thrilled and excited to be one of the teachers in this amazing line up of art journaling artists to teach on this online course hosted by Marieke Blokland from Bloknote Acedemy!
What is it?
The goal is to keep you journaling over summer, not only at home but even during your vacation. We all know how hard that is, if only because of all the supplies you need to schlepp around while you're traveling. But here is the answer!
A limited amount of supplies, fitting in a toiletry bag is all you have to bring.
All teachers use merely the same supplies but all in their own way, combination and style. The colors may differ (which means you can use your own favorites) and maybe the brands, but the basics are all more or less the same.
The course is spread out over 10 weeks. There are 11 teachers bringing you 20 short video lessons (about 10-15min) filled with tips and tricks and instructions, showing you how to create beautiful art journal pages with limited supplies whether you're on the go or sitting in your garden enjoying the lovely weather.
We don't want you to spent hours on the computer, we want you to journal!
How does it work?
Click HERE to go to the store where you can find the supply list and more info. Then sign up and join the fun!!
It doesn't matter if you're a beginner, maybe even haven't done any journaling before or if you're an advanced journaler. Whether you want journaling to be part of your daily life or just document your vacation. This course is meant to inspire and motivate ALL of you to journal over summer!!
Course starts on July 1. There will be a new video up every Wednesday and Saturday for ten weeks. Lessons are downloadable. There will be a closed FB group to share and discuss and get to know your fellow students (but only if you want too ;)). Fun, fun, fun!!
And even more fun if you can join for free, right??
I'm going to give away one spot to one lucky winner!
How can you win you ask? That's easy!
Leave a comment here, tell me why you think you should win and why you would love to take this course. Or, share this post on FB and/or Twitter. Or go to my IG feed (BirgitKoopsen - follow me if you don't already) and repost my Art Journal Summer School picture, please leave a comment to let me know that you did. Or do all of this and double, double, double your chances to win.
I will pick and announce a winner by June 1. at noon (CET).
And know what? You can just go ahead and register for the course if you want to take it anyway, that's another chance to win and if you win we will refund you your payment! Pretty awesome right?!
AND… if you sign up before June 1. you will get a HUGE early bird discount. Pay € 69,= instead of € 95,=!!
So, don't waste any time! Do it, now!! :)
I would love to "see" you in class :D
Wouldn't you LOVE to get away from everyday normal for a day or two? A day or a weekend all for yourself, being amongst people that have the same passion for their hobby as you have? Just let go of everything and only focus on getting paint on your paper, create something beautiful and getting your hands dirty? Does that sound like a dream?? …. it doesn't have to be just a dream because Nathalie Kalbach, de Craftorij in Ede (The Netherlands) and I teamed up for a dream weekend!
You can book the whole package, which means you will have both days of workshops, stay in the hotel, food included, no dishes, no house keeping, no worries, just dig in the creating process deep!
Or you can choose to come only on the saturday or the sunday, or even come both days but sleep in your own bed.
On Saturday Nat and I will be teaching the whole day a mono printing workshop together, each with our own personal and specific style and techniques. See more details on the poster below:
On Sunday we will both teach our own art journal class, so you will have two different classes, one with me and one with Nat.
It starts the moment you sit down, an experience that is distinctly Art Journaling. A quick exhilaration, a sense of control, the art media’s surprising responsiveness as if they were simply an extension of you.
There is a word for this creative experience: Artvergnugen! Artvergnugen is what makes your journal a piece of art.
Join Nathalie for a half-day workshop and play with different art media and supplies. Learn techniques, tips and tricks to take your art journaling further and turn it into Artvergnugen.
Does that sound like heaven to you? For all the info and to sign up you can go to the Craftorij website HERE. In Dutch and English.
The Craftorij crew, Nathalie and I would definitely love to see you there!
On May 29 I will be teaching my FTLOL canvas workshop at Creatief Centrum Inside Out in Zwolle, The Netherlands.
Place: Brinkhoekweg 2, Zwolle.
Price: € 75,- including all materials and a nice lunch, drinks and snacks.
For more info and to sign up you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A long time ago I ordered quite an amount of small 6x6" (15x15cm) canvasses for a workshop I had in mind but that I never really worked out to teach. While looking for something else I came across these canvasses and thought I should do something with them.
I decided to challenge myself by working on several canvasses at the same time and started adding paper collages to them. I used paper from magazines, books and my gelli plate prints on deli paper. I had never thought that it would be so much fun. Just randomly stick paper to canvas and then adding paint, with still no idea in mind.
When I was finished with the first layers I took one of the canvasses to work further on but any left over paint I randomly added to the others adding to the layers. Fun, fun, fun!
For the whole last week I didn't have to start on a blank piece, there was something I was already working on every morning on my desk and it was so easy to sit down and continue! Way easier then a clean desk with nothing going on and having to start blank!
So far I finished 7 canvasses (6 little ones and one 8x8"(20x20cm) since last Sunday and messed up one. But I'm sure that one has great layers now to start something on top :)
I loved working like this, I felt inspired all the time just by looking at what I already did, I was in this perfect flow of feeling creative. I'm pretty sure I will work like this more often!
Here's an overview of the general process. I will do separate posts on the individual canvasses with more details on how they came together later.
Tell me what is your favorite way of creating, what keeps you going? How do you get in that flow of not wanting to stop and just create, create, create?
I would love to hear!
It's Friday, Yippie :D
Have a good one and happy weekend!
Products I used in these projects:
My previous post was about the For The Love Of layers Workshop that I taught in my studio 1,5 weeks ago.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and easy and gave me the opportunity to work on my example during class. I liked where it was going at the end of the workshop so much that I couldn't put it aside and kept working on it the next day until I finished it.
When I put all the canvasses I made since I started teaching this workshop next to each other I notice that I'm getting better and better in letting go of control and go with the flow. The thing I tell my students all the time about not thinking, just do it and so on, has been a hard thing to do for myself for quite a time.
A while ago I (in my "Around the world blog hop" post) talked about how I had always been a perfectionist in my "art", so much that when I made a scrapbook page I didn't glue anything down until the point that I knew exactly how the page would look like when I did. It took tons of time and thinking and rearranging and sometimes I felt like getting nothing done.
When I started using paints and inks on my scrapbook pages I had to try and let go of that control as paints and inks simply don't always do exactly what you want. A splatter may end up in a different place than you planned, colors might accidentally mix… But still, once the background was painted or inked I started controlling the layers that came on top again.
Starting to art journal made it better. I didn't feel like I HAD to create something beautiful anymore, I could mess up and nobody had to see it. And even if they saw it, it's an art journal, right? It's meant as a place to try out stuff and mess up. Nobody cares so why should I?
Besides, what is the worst thing that can happen… that you ruin a piece of paper! Big deal!! LOL, right?
If I look at the first period I did art journaling I see that there is still quite some control in the pages. But it got better in time.
I learned to start a page without any expectations, without a result in mind. Creating for the sake of getting my hands dirty and have a good time. It was very liberating. I now have quite some pages in my journals that I don't like at all, but they are there and that's ok with me. At least I had fun when I was creating them.
So when I started teaching this workshop I thought that I was already there, but looking at all the canvasses I guess I still had a way a to go :D
Anyway, I never lied to my students, I never said it was easy, I only said that it feels good! And it does!
Constantly telling my students to come with no expectations, no end result in mind, telling them to just add colors and let go of control and showing them who to do that helped making it easier and easier for me to actually do it myself. Because I really liked the outcome every time I was able to do so…
So here is the result of one of the first times I taught this workshop, about a year ago, and the latest one.
There is quite a difference, don't you think? Of course, you could say it is a matter of taste which one you like best… for me it's a matter of freedom. And therefor the second one is my favorite :D
BTW the first one is published in Marieke Blokland's book Art Journaling & Mixed Media. A great book stuffed with tips, tricks and facts for both the beginner as the more experienced artist. You can find the book here (in Dutch only)!
Thank you for stopping by and reading all my ramblings :) I'd love to hear if you are a control freak or not :D
Have a great day and happy crafting!
Products I used:
Last saturday I have been gelli plate printing all afternoon.
This is how I had my work space set up.
Monoprinting is such a great thing to do when you feel like creating and getting your hands dirty without a specific plan or project in mind. So just for the sake of creating.
I did all my prints on deli paper as I thought that would give me a bunch of opportunities to use them in later.
I ended up with quite a big stash of printed deli papers. I should have made a picture of them hanging on my "washing line" in my studio to dry but I forgot. Maybe next time :) But I did have my husband take a picture of my happy hands!
Anyway, the next day already I glued some of the papers in my art journal to become backgrounds for my pages.
Here is one of the pages that I finished. The gelli plate print itself was the orange background with the circles. The white comes from cleaning my brayer, the black stencil numbers, the blue on the right page and the man with the bike where prints from the left over paint on stencil I used with spray paints on other papers.
I used Liquitex Matte Medium (I just love that stuff!) to glue down the deli paper in my art journal. Of course the paper didn't fit, but once the matte medium is dry it is very easy to tear off the excess paper.
Then I added some more paint, stamped the hand cut leafs with black Archival ink and drew the stems.
Finally I added the book page circles, added some color and handwriting and splattered some black acrylic ink on top of everything.
I think this page has the feel of a summer night. It's almost getting dark but still warm and you take your bike out for a ride because it is to beautiful outside to go to bed...
Oh how I long for warm summer nights!
Thank you for visiting!
It's weekend, yay, have a good one!
… and make some art! (I sure will as I'm teaching my For The Love Of Layers Workshop in my studio today :))
Products I used: