Thursday, 9 October 2014

Guru-Mooch IV, Downward Dog

The Downward Facing Dog is one of the most well-known yoga poses. It is also one of the most popular, and for good reason. It provides a beautiful stretch that lengthens the spine, improves your circulation, strengthens not only the upper body muscles, but also the abdominal muscles. It will also leave most people feeling invigorated.
During a yoga session, the Downward Dog (as it is called for short) can give the practitioner some time to assess the body. Assessing your body does not mean that you judge it; it simply means that you are aware. Your breath might be shallow, your hamstrings tight, your shoulders may be sore but this does not need to make you feel inadequate or frustrated. If it does, just notice that too....
The Downward Dog is also a transitional pose, which means it will be revisited a few times during a session in which the practitioner moves from one pose to another. At the end of a session you might be pleasantly surprised to feel that your body has eased a bit more into the pose.

For Guru-Mooch however, this pose comes as easily as eating, sleeping and purring. For him, it is sometimes hard to distinguish where yoga begins and the mundane ends. There is most definitely a great sense of well-being, and no feelings of frustration or inadequacy. To be fair, feeling inadequate is not something our feline counterparts suffer from. It is us humans who seem to be very good at that. 
Nevertheless, Mooch has a bone to pick. From his 'humble' opinion, it should have been called the 'Downward Cat'. He is very quick to disregard the fact that dogs love this pose too, and excel at it. His human female, Ivette, tried to reason with him and pointed out that there actually is a 'Cat Pose'. Guru-Mooch was equally quick to point out it is not as well known as the Downward Dog, so he is holding on to his indignation. Ivette simply assessed the situation as 'too-hard', and Guru-Mooch still feels he is 'right', which only fuels his anger! Obviously, at this point yoga has 'ended' for him and he is indulging in something very mundane: a grudge!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Guru-Mooch III, headstands and face-lifts

Guru-Mooch is enthusiastic about yoga, and his enthusiasm is rubbing off on others. There was a tiny bit of information that totally swayed his human female (you know, that big, lumbering thing that sits in front of a computer all day). It especially concerned the headstand. While she was aware of the headstands invigorating effects, she was completely sold after reading an article, suggesting it has face-lifting potential. Guru-Mooch thinks she's being rather silly, like so many of her species. He thinks she looks fine, as long as she keeps feeding, massaging and admiring him. Oh, and open the doors. (They are pesky things. Stupid human invention!). She, on the other hand, doesn't consider herself to be particularly vain, but, when push comes to shove, is rather attached to her youthful looks.
The headstand seems to have many health benefits, ranging from a face-lift to the strengthening of the core muscles, anti-depressant and detoxing. It is even said that it slows the graying of one's hair!  

For those interested in the article that inspired his human, follow this link:

Both Guru-Mooch and his human female are aware that this pose should be taught by a professional yoga teacher!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fifty shades of black...

Some of you already know that besides 'Guru-Mooch' and painting abstract paintings, I also write the Moo-Chi Diaries. Obviously, both Guru-Mooch and the Moo-Chi Diaries are inspired by our well-pampered cat, Moo-Chi! While I am fond of writing these stories, there is one factor that slows me down no end: the illustrations! That might sound a bit strange from someone who is trained in painting instead of writing, but there is the problem: Mooch, as he is often called, is jet-black. (Oops! Correction. I have the problem. It's an artistic one. Mooch, being feline perfection incarnate, cannot possibly have any problems!) 
Nevertheless, when I envisioned a bundle of funny stories with lovely water-colours, I was thinking of something like this:

or this:

Yes, stripes and patches! Or at least a darker face, paws and tail, like a Siamese. This is much easier to paint. If I'm not careful, Mooch ends up looking like a blob of ink with two triangles on top. I am counting my lucky stars that he is not all white though.... Ever heard of fifty shades of white?! Well, neither have I. So, how did we end up with a bundle of glossy, black fur? 
Over a year ago we went to the RSPCA, 'just to have a look'. A volunteer asked us what type of cat we were looking for, and David said that in his experience it was the cat that chooses us, not us choosing the cat. Famous last words. The first kitten I wanted to hold was a little black and white tom. According to his description, he would lie in the sun all day, and sleep on your bed at night. That sounded good to me. I hunched down and reached into the enclosure. Mr Black-and-white didn't respond and stayed well out of reach, whereas his brother, called Midnight, tapped my hand with his paw, looking at me expectantly. 
I ignored him. 
Black-and-White ignored me. 
Midnight tapped me again, with a bit more force. 
I still ignored him. 
Midnight wiggled his bum and jumped straight into my lap. Now he had my attention. I went like: 'Oh, look at him!' I handed him to David and Midnight just flopped in his hands and started to purr. Loudly. We both turned to mush. 'Well', said David, 'I think we have found our cat!' To be fair on the other cats that needed a good home, I decided to have a look at some. All cats that day must have decided to join the dark side of felinity: aloof, uninterested and unaffectionate. A feline conspiracy that day? It wasn't much of a choice in the end. Two hundred bucks lighter, we walked away with a cardboard box containing a gorgeously cute, black inspiration called Midnight; soon to be renamed Moo-Chi! 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

GuruMooch 2

Mooch is trying his hand..uh...paw at yoga. Strictly speaking, his attempts to meditate are also a form of yoga. Here in the west though, yoga is equated with hatha yoga, mostly known for its postures (like standing on your head!). However, this physical type of yoga is only one of many pathways open to us. Yoga is a practical aid, not a religion. Yoga is a Sanskrit word which, translated into english, means: 'to unite', to join', 'to attach' or 'to add'. It is an ancient art based on a harmonizing system for the body, mind, and spirit. The promise is that a continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being. The practice of hatha yoga makes the body strong and flexible, and it improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, integumentary and hormonal systems. Yoga also brings about emotional stability and clarity of mind. While this is true, some practitioners are hoping/aiming at something more than a healthy mind and body. The 'true seeker' wants nothing less than the (presumably) pure bliss of 'enlightenment', 'union with God', 'atonement', 'white light' or... well... you-name-it. That indefinable bit that we have heard of and that seems to be missing from who and what we are right now. Or so it seems.... Mooch is definitely a seeker of this kind. 'Just sitting' in meditation is not enough- even though cats in general  excel at it. Now he will try to bend his body in every possible way; making it obey his will- also something cats excel at. Something cats do not excel at: standing on their heads.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend doing a headstand without having had the proper guidance of a qualified teacher. Nor am I an expert on yoga, meditation, enlightenment or even cats....

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Brisbane Square Library

This week was the culmination of many weeks of work and about two years of creative development. It all came together in the Brisbane Square Library. I know I have gushed about my love of public libraries before, and now I will do some more. Public libraries are places that are freely accessible for anyone who wants knowledge, entertainment, a place to study, to go online, to read the newspaper and more. They are an oasis of quiet in our busy lives. The Brisbane Square Library is located at the end of the Queen Street mall. The library is in the blue section of a high-rise block, and sports diagonal windows, visible from across the river. Its modern architecture contrasts with the neoclassical building opposite - ironically, a casino.
So there was I, car loaded with thirty paintings of various sizes, and an appointment 
with Anita, the library technician who is looking after the displays. She was very warm and also very enthusiastic about her work at the library. She equipped me with a large trolley, a ladder and an allen key in order to hang up my work. People who were quietly sitting on one of the many comfy chairs along the windows were gracious in their reaction to my intrusion. Anita came back after an hour or so, had a look at my work and gushed: 'They are perfect!'. I agree, if I may be so bold, that they do indeed look beautiful in the modern and airy space of the library, but the spontaneity of her comment made me float for the rest of the day! A yellow painting with a bowl seemed to made especially for the wall I had selected for it. Even the the colour of the wall paint seemed to match. 

My paintings will be there for the next three months. Even if you don't like my paintings, the library is still worth a visit!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


O, the distractions during meditation..... Sitting down for peace and quiet, but the mind just flits between thoughts about tonight's dinner, a conversation you had yesterday and some 'helpful' commentary on how bad your meditation is. 
Food, off course, can be a very powerful lure. I must admit that I have been on a meditation retreat where I was the first to arrive in the dining hall, and the last to sit down to meditate.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Meet: 'GuruMooch'

It has been a while since I've written. After my 30-day challenge there was time for 'three Rs'! Obviously not writing, nor 'rithmetic or reading. No, it was time for Reflection, Research and some Recreation. Yes, I needed a short breather. (To be honest, that did include some reading!)
However, the reflection on my 30-day challenge gave me a few useful points:

  • Producing and processing a drawing on a daily basis was pretty challenging. Too hard for me to continue. So, to all you cartoonists out there who produce a daily cartoon in a paper, or bloggers producing a daily drawing/cartoon: I take my hat off for you...... You totally have my respect!
  • I couldn't help thinking about the times I bought a small drawing to hang up on my wall.... and I'm still thinking. Granted, I produce most of my wall-coverings myself, but there is not much money in making small drawings unless they get multiplied.
  • Can I make images that will easily go on a mug, t-shirt or canvas bag? And what do I need in order to do that?
  • Last but not least: I am happy with some of the drawings I did and some of the feedback I got! A big thank you to all the readers who kept liking and sharing my work!
The research went into 'cartoonising' my Moo-Chi, and finding a suitable design program that was free. At this stage I am not going to buy Adobe Photoshop.
Mooch, from the 'Moo-Chi Diaries' is again a willing model, and many sketches were made. This time he'll be teaching yoga and meditation. 
Finding a software program that I could use proved to be a bit of a challenge. 
I've written before about my complete 'techno-crud' background. A few short years ago the small task of putting a picture on facebook was.... well.... let's just say you could wait a loooong time for it to show. Producing, scanning, editing and publishing a drawing for 30 days straight was a genuine accomplishment for me. 

To cut a long story short, I ventured into new territory. I researched various free software programs, downloaded and deleted a few, and I am still finding my way around my latest program called 
I've also been spending a lot of time on You-Tube, looking at tutorials. Again, many thanks to all those geeks out there recording, publishing and sharing their knowledge!!! I am sure Google and You-Tube have transformed the process of learning for many people.
This is my first GuruMooch picture. Or, to be more precise: the first picture that survived. I've made some before in a program called Inkscape. What I found was that that was too cumbersome for what I want, and the pictures that I saved can't be found anymore. Ho-Hum. As for this picture, it survived. However, I realise now it's also been saved in the wrong format. It looks rather cloudy around the text. And yes, four toes on one side and three on the other... But I guess a start has been made....

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 30

Day 30!!! I made it! Bath, Paris, cats, flowers, furniture and more cats....
For today I tried the 'less-is-more' approach. I mentioned Matisse before I started my challenge, as an example of exquisite simplicity. I am not putting myself in his league, but I am trying to push my boundaries. 
It may look like I finished it in 5 min. flat, but don't be fooled, I wasted a lot of paper. At least 12 cats hit the bin before I was happy....
Mooch, ink on paper, 21 x 29 cm

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 29

Fairy-wren, watercolour on paper,  21 x 14.8 cm 

We have these gorgeous Fairy-wrens in our garden. We used to have our house fenced in by barbed wire, and they'd land on the wire, or in the rather large weeds behind it. We have cleaned up since then by removing the barbed wire and slashing the place. Looks a lot better. Barbed wire doesn't have a very homely 'vibe', if you know what I mean. The only downside is that the birds have moved on as well. We actually have to go for a walk in order to spot them. 

Friday, 28 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 28

Giraffe, ink on paper,  21 x 29.5 cm

No feline today! I have never been to Africa, but I fell in love with a giraffe at a zoo in Holland. We (us humans) were standing on a higher platform than the giraffes, which brought us at eye-level with them. That's when I found out they have the most beautiful eyes with enormous eye lashes. (Lashes any girl would kill for.... Forget Maybelline...) 
For the last few days for my challenge I am just indulging myself, and dusted off a few favourites. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 27

Prof. D., ink on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm
Obviously no 'selfie', but my better half instead. Guaranteed no make-up, nor did I make him lose weight. He lost his stubble though... 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 26

Self portrait, ink on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm

A selfie; the old-fashioned way. No make-up, no wrinkles, and no clothes!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 25

Leopard, ink and watercolour on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm
It's day 25 and I've got my tongue hanging out by now. Not just from producing a drawing or watercolour, but also thinking about it, deciding a topic, scanning and editing, putting it on my blog, proof reading, and finally, publishing it. So, am I counting down to day 30? Yes! For today, I used a favourite topic of mine. I've always loved big cat, and leopards especially. Their spots make them interesting to draw. This is by no means the best leopard I've ever done, but time didn't permit me a 'redo'. So, here he is; warts (read 'spots') and all. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 24

Ginger Chicken, watercolour on paper, 21 x 21 cm
Ginger is a super chicken.... The only one of her kind in the chook pen. The other chickens are of a smaller variety. Ginger pops out a huge egg every day. Unfortunately, the other 'ladies' are so intimidated that they are permanently off the lay....

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 23

Muppet, ink on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm
Today, we have what I call the 'Muppet Treatment'. I've written about him before as a rather anxious cat, but when he's relaxed he is beautiful boy. This drawing is a 'bigger-and-better' version of one that I have done before. However, the previous one was on rather flimsy paper and a bit smaller.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 22

Winston, ink on paper, 29.5 x 42 cm

This is Winston, a cat I had the privilege of living with a few years ago. My housemate took him on board hoping he'd be a playmate for her four year old daughter. NOT. Winston is WAY too cool for that. No playing. No kittenish behaviour. The poor kid can play alone, thank you very much.
However, what he did bring to the table was pure Zen. He brought a beautiful stillness, and seemed to have a knack to seek us out when we were stressed. (At that point in time, my housemate and I were both going through an interesting period of our lives.) The more stress I seemed to experience, the closer his presence.
At some point I had a job booking flights for stranded passengers. There was an ash-cloud that originated in Chile, and seriously messed up the aviation industry. I would often come home after a 10 hour shift, having listened to stressed people and trying to solve their problems. So when my head would finally hit the pillow, it would buzz with flight-numbers, times and prizes. At the job, we would joke about having 'flight-mares' after a long day. Meanwhile in Europe, my mother had been whisked away to a hospital with a live-threatening condition. To make a long story short, my stress levels were high.
At night, I usually didn't have wait long before some indentations were made on the bed, ending with a little 'thump' on the pillow right next to me. Purring would start, often accompanied by the loud licking noises of Winston cleaning himself. (For cats, it is a meditative exercise. It is not a meditation technique recommended for us humans though. We are better off taking a bath instead!) For the rest of the night my nose would hit some serious fluff every time I turned over to the left. Nevertheless, it did have calming effect on me, and thankfully, I do not have a cat-allergy. My housemate confessed Winston would do the same to her on nights when she was worried and her mind was very active.
In this drawing, I tried to portray some of the stillness and high comfort level Winston exudes. I used fluid strokes with ink, but kept them to a minimum. Together with the red stamp in the bottom, it has a Japanese 'flavour', emphasizing Winston's Zen character.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 21

Flower,  watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.5

Taking yesterday's approach on a larger scale. Again, it is just a very small flower out of my friend's garden.  Sometimes, bigger is better (yes, in art), sometimes not. I think I prefer my previous watercolour.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 20

Flowers, watercolour on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm
There's not much growing in my garden... My rosebushes are on strike, it seems. Plenty of land, but nothing colourful. Fortunately, a friend planted some colourful flowers in his garden. 
I, not having a green thumb, don't have a clue what they're called. However, I do love the lilac and magenta, and I have set them against their complementary colour, which is yellow!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 19

Weasel sleeping, ink on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm
Weasel again, but this time I  wanted to work with ink and give her some lovely outlines. Personally, I prefer yesterday's watercolour. However, it is good to try different approaches, for better or for worse....

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 18

Weasel, watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm
This is Weasel, in an illustration for the upcoming Moo-Chi 
In this entry, Moo-Chi will describe his rather painful introduction to the other two cats in his environment. Mooch was brimming with confidence regarding his cuteness, thinking that everyone will love him. We, as responsible adults, tried to warn him to leave the other cats alone...... To no avail.......
I was trying to capture the moment where Weasel, the fluffy feline matriarch, spots the latest addition to 'her' household. The totally stunning realization that there was a new kitten on the block, a.k.a. Moo-Chi.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 17

Hydrangea, watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm
Hydrangeas were one of my favourite flowers in our garden when I was a kid. They had the added benefit that they dry very well, and keep their charm for a while longer. Unfortunately, I don't see them here in sunny Queensland, so I presume they don't grow very well in this climate.... Nevertheless, it didn't stop me from taking a trip  down memory lane. It gave me an opportunity to relish in it's vibrant colours....

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 16

Sushi, watercolour on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm

From Roman Baths to bottles, cameras and kittens. It may seem unconnected, but the great connector here is the camera. I am drawing inspiration from a large collection of cat photos. I've been know to photograph someone's dog on the street or walk into a pet shop and snap away ( after I have asked for permission off course). I've inherited a love for photography from my dad. As a child I spent time with him a our dark room, developing black-and-white photos, usually from our holiday. Throughout my life, I've been given a fair few cameras by my dad. One of them I drew and published a few days ago. As technology progressed, the need for a new camera was there, and today I am  (happily) snapping away with his latest gift. 
Some artists snub working from photographs. I disagree. There is a place and time for it, and it can speed things up enormously. Besides, there is still an interpretation happening when it is transferred to paper or canvas. To me, a fluffy young kitten asked for a slightly different approach than bottles and cameras. No dark outlines, but soft, watery patches with a bit more attention to detail in the right places.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 15

Day 15! I'm half-way! Whoohooo.. 
I started off with the idea that I'd do a drawing a day, but it seems that I'm more moving towards a watercolour a day. I love colour, and even though watercolour is by no means an easy medium, that is where this is taking me. Watercolour is a hugely underestimated medium, especiallly by beginning artists. For them, oil painting seems to be the holy grail. However, you can build up an oil painting and make corrections, whereas with watercolour you can't afford to make many mistakes. Even though I like the occasional spattering in my paintings to make it look more playful and effortless, I have thrown away many a piece of (expensive) paper because of a smudge. That can be very frustrating after a few hours of work. 
I have always associated watercolours with cute cats, peaceful landscapes and lovely florals, made by crazy catwomen and Prince Charles. Since I am obviously not of royal blood, I am now officially joining the 'crazy catwoman' category. 

Playful kitten, watercolour on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm

Friday, 14 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 14

There was a request for a collection of beer bottles, after my previous drawings of bottles. This is what I've got to say to that:

Champagne, watercolour and ink on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 13

Camera I, ink on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm
Camera's are cool! Planning on doing more in order to make a collection.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 12

Dressing table, watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm
This is a lovely piece of furniture that I've come across. The owner hadn't cluttered it with the usual assortment of make-up and brushes, but instead with some cuttings of plants.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The 30-day challenge. day 11

Moo-Chi lazing about, 29.5 x 42 cm
Cats, on the whole, are masters in the art of relaxation. It's a quality they demonstrate, if not flaunt, every day. Mooch is no exemption. He is inspiring me every day with his 'relaxation poses'.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 10

Bottles II, watercolour and ink on paper, 21 x 29,5 cm
More bottles. No need to let an idea go to waste. I was pleased with yesterday's bottles, so I got a few more from my rather large collection of potions and oils.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 9

Bottles I, waterclour and ink on paper, 21 x 29,5 cm
Well, the rose bush stopped producing, so I was left with the bottle. In this case, I dug up some more bottles for a contemporary still-life.
Once upon a time I would wait for inspiration to drop from 'heaven' straight into my head (as a matter of speech). I found that I could wait for a very long time for that to happen, so I learned to appreciate to small things around me.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 8

Like yesterday, I am focussing on colour, and a looseness (if that is a proper word) in the application of my watercolours. The rose bush in my garden gave some beautiful flowers, which I had put on a small vase (more accurately, an empty juice bottle that I happen to like and kept just for the occasion). It was too striking to ignore, so here is the result.
Roses, watercolour on paper, 21 x 29,5 cm

Friday, 7 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 7

Back to the Roman Baths. I wasn't finished with them. They made a real impression on me. I wanted to capture the fluidity and looseness of ink I had yesterday with Joris, but this time with an architectural scene.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 6

'Joris', ink and watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm

I have been a cat-lover all my life, so it's no surprise that I have a large collection of cat photo's. This is 'Joris'; a beautiful ginger tom-cat we had  when I was a teenager.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 5

The Royal Crescent, ink on paper, 29.5x21 cm

Back to Bath again... This time The Royal Crescent with the view partly obstructed by a large tree. The first drawing that I am actually genuinely happy with. The tree not only provides depth, but also contrast in line and darkness.
Stunning building. Wouldn't mind living in one of their apartments.... (yup, dream on...)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 4

Place de la Concorde, ink on paper, 29.5x21 cm

Paris again. The expression says: See Naples and Die. However, I can't vouch for Naples like Goethe did, but Paris ranks up there for me! 

Monday, 3 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day3

Back to the Roman Baths! The intense green waters combined with Roman and Edwardian architecture was for me a very compelling, yet peaceful image.
I can see that I will be all over the shop regarding my subject-matter. Nevertheless, the task I've set myself is a drawing a day. Knowing myself, I did not set myself any restrictions concerning the content, so brace yourselves for a barrage of ideas! 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 2

Rue de Rivoli, ink on paper, 29.5x21 cm

It has been a while since I was in Paris, but my 30-day challenge opened an opportunity for me to dust off a lot of old photographs of beautiful places that I've visited. For me, I like Roman architecture and all the subsequent periods of architecture that based their principles on it. In other words: bring on the arches and pillars!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The 30-day challenge, day 1

The Roman Baths, ink on paper, 29.5x21 cm

A quick sketch from the Roman Baths in Bath. I am trying to keep simplicity of line, no frills. Explorations of the wonderful green water will come later this month.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Detours, guilt and resolutions

Life never seems to go in a straight line. Instead, at times it curves, spirals and meanders. At other times it feels like going round a racetrack at breakneck speed. Then there are the pitt-stops and flat tires. I am talking here about myself as an artist. What I am trying to say in a rather poetic and floral way is that I've hardly produced any work over the last few weeks. There was a 'detour'. Not an unwelcome one, mind you. My fiance and I went to Europe to see our families. I'm Dutch, he is British and we went to 'Meet the Parents', so to speak. Unlike a certain movie with the same title, it was a thoroughly pleasurable event for both of us and our families. When we came back to Australia, we had to move house. All went well, and we are happily settled now, but it hasn't been a great time to put a brush on paper. So, what is the bottom-line of these detours? Guilt. At least, for me it is, and I guess that this may be the case for many artists. So, on the positive side, I was, and still am, inspired. The place we went to that inspired me most was Bath. Even as a kid I wanted to see the Roman Baths in Bath. Like any decent tourist, I was snapping away with my camera, mesmerized by the intense green water, the pillars and architecture. In short, I was inspired and couldn't wait to dust off my watercolours and brushes.

This is however, where doubt snuck in through the back door. During my days at uni it was made quite clear that originality was highly praised. To give a long, deep and meaningful explanation to back up your painting was even better. It gave me impression that just being inspired by a  beautiful place was not good enough. Even worse, the Roman Baths have been done by plenty of artists, most of them local. This time, I squashed the doubt, and came to a resolution. I've got plenty of photo's of beautiful places where I've had the pleasure and honour to be. Why not make a drawing a day, and publish them online? A 30-day challenge, so to speak?! I know full well that some days I'll produce better work than on other days, but what is wrong with a quick sketch? In fact, the simple drawings by Matisse
Henry Matisse
are masterful and deceptively simple. I'm not going to put myself in his league, but I will use his example to stop fretting. It's time to change gear and get back on the racetrack!