Blog

A little laughter of hope

A little laughter of hope

"Awww, you..." Darkness Sometimes hope gets eaten alive. It was the morning after Russia had invaded Ukraine. I sat reading the news with an ever heavier heart. This couldn't be happening! War doesn't belong in our time. War is something of far-away places and of...

read more
De lente brengt hoop in De Kleine Grote Wereld

De lente brengt hoop in De Kleine Grote Wereld

Iets nieuws in deze tijd?

Het juiste moment kiezen om mijn De Kleine Grote Wereld project te starten, was niet zo makkelijk. Eerst was er corona met alle onzekerheden die dat met zich meebracht. En nu voltrekt zich plotseling een oorlog in een land waarvan de hoofdstad hemelsbreed maar 1851 kilometer van mijn bed vandaan is. Hoe belangrijk mijn project dan eigenlijk nog? En kun je zomaar wegkijken van een oorlog om je op andere dingen te richten?

Prunus bloesem in De Kleine Grote Wereld van Mandy van Goeije

Juist nu!

Vandaag, toen ik in de tuin stukjes Kleine Grote Wereld zocht, kreeg ik een seintje dat het nu júist het moment is om De Kleine Grote Wereld te starten. De bloesem aan de Prunus barst open in de eerste lentezon. Dat doet me denken aan de Sakura, de kersenbloesem, die in Japan het symbool is van hoop. Althans, in het prentenboek De Kerseboom staat weer in Bloei van Japans boeddhistisch filosoof Daisaku Ikeda. In dat verhaal lijkt de hoop in na-oorlogs Japan verloren totdat het met liefde en zorg weer tot leven komt.

inspiratie voor De Kleine Grote Wereld van Mandy van Goeije

De Kleine Grote Wereld als hoopgenerator

Net zoals de kersenbloesem in dit verhaal wil ik dat De Kleine Grote Wereld een plek kan zijn die hoop laat groeien en mensen kan verbinden, met zichzelf, met elkaar en vooral ook met de natuur. We weten inmiddels dat het met de natuur niet zo best gaat en dat de klimaatverandering een enorme uitdaging wordt. Maar wat we niet altijd beseffen, is hoe wij mensen onderdeel zijn van het ingenieuze systeem dat de natuur is. Wij zijn ervan afhankelijk en spelen er een belangrijke rol in. Daarom is het belangrijk dat we leren begrijpen hoe het systeem werkt, wat onze rol daarin is en wat wij kunnen doen om het systeem dat ons in onze behoeften voorziet te ondersteunen. Daar hoef je niet gelijk een heel regenwoud voor te redden. Begrijpen hoe de natuur in jouw achtertuin of in het parkje in jouw straat werkt, kan al een heleboel in gang zetten.

Hoezo, De Kleine Grote Wereld?

De Kleine Grote Wereld is precies dát…jouw balkon, jouw tuin, de groene plantsoentjes in jouw buurt, het park waar je gaat wandelen…kortom de natuurlijke wereld in jouw directe omgeving. We kijken er zo makkelijk overheen. Wat is daar nou voor bijzonders aan? Maar wie écht gaat kijken, gaat kleine wondertjes zien. En wie zichzelf vragen stelt over wat hij ziet, zal in die Kleine Wereld steeds meer zien van de Grote Wereld en steeds meer van het systeem begrijpen. Dat kan ons helpen onze rol in het natuurlijke systeem op zodanige manier te vervullen dat we haar niet langer alleen maar belasten, maar ook voeden zodat zij op haar beurt ook in ons bestaan kan blijven voorzien.

Beeld voortgekomen uit De Kleine Grote Wereld door Mandy van Goeije

Kunst en De Kleine Grote Wereld

Mijn manier van De Kleine Grote Wereld observeren en proberen te begrijpen, is er één van beeld en taal. Ik observeer, ik verwonder en ga op zoek naar antwoorden op mijn vragen. Ik teken en ik laat mijn fantasie de vrije loop – geïnspireerd door wat ik heb ontdekt. Het leidt misschien niet tot natuurgetrouwe tekeningen, maar eigenlijk houdt elke tekening verband met een bijzonder aspect van het door mij ontdekte beestje. Ik hoop dat proces binnenkort met mensen te kunnen delen – hier in het hart van Zeeland – in de natuur. En anders misschien wel online.

Aquarel boom uit De Kleine Grote Wereld

Ga je mee op ontdekkingsreis?

Wat je hier in De Kleine Grote Wereld kunt vinden, is het resultaat van mijn ontdekkingsreis in mijn eigen Kleine Wereld en ik hoop een boel inspiratie voor het ondernemen van jouw eigen ontdekkingsreis. Ook hoop ik dat we onze ervaringen kunnen delen en met kleine lapjes Kleine Wereld een beeld van De Grote Wereld als een puzzel kunnen opbouwen. Ik hoor dus heel graag van je in de commentaren onder mijn berichten.

Tot slot…

Ik hoop dat dit project blij maakt en je inspireert om jouw eigen Kleine Grote Wereld in te duiken. Maar voordat ik dit bericht afsluit, is hier nog een animatiefilmpje van het boek van Ikeda waar ik mijn bericht mee begon. Ik hoop dat de boodschap in dit verhaal hoop geeft aan wie het in deze tijd kan gebruiken. En daarna…gauw naar buiten met je camera!

Witness on my Blog

Witness on my Blog

The painting "Witness" lying on a drawing table
Witness” on the drawing table – watercolor and color pencil

Back on the Blog

Hello dear reader! Are you still here? Maybe you can give me a little wave or smiley reply to let me know you’re here reading? I’ve been away for so long that I can hardly believe anybody’s still reading this blog. I hope you are, though, for I’m pumping new life into it!

Last year I left facebook. For numerous reasons. Let’s do the quickest recap possible and say the cons greatly outweighed the pros for me. I’ve hardly missed it. One thing I have missed, though, is blogging. I intended to rekindle my blog and website the moment I left facebook, but a chronic health issue spiraled out of control soon after that and eventually sent me into hospital, taking me off my feet for a few weeks. I’m well on the mend now, though, and feeling better than I have in years, so hello blog, here I am! And you, dear reader, welcome!

faces and ghosts
detail from “Witness”, ghosts from the past in the canopy

Forming connections on Patreon

After leaving facebook I set up a Patreon. I was looking for a place to have real and unburdened, non-algorithm driven connections about watercolor and my art. Of course the little health devil extinguished the fire on that project too for a while…BUT…it still is up and running! I paused billing for the months I couldn’t fulfill my Patreon promises, as I am pausing the billing for February too. Because this month I need a fair bit of extra time for further recovery and also…I’m updating and tweaking this website and blog. And I’m FINALLY making a webshop!!! So this month will be a little less filming…although I’m already planning filming doing a drawing tomorrow or next week… But anyway…should you like to take a look…now it’s free. There’s a lovely February desktop calendar available for free….you’re more than welcome to enter and download it.

ornate tree trunk
detail from “Witness”, an ornate tree trunk

Watercolor work

My work hasn’t been very consistent the past years. I was dealing with a chronic pain issue that got worse and worse. It made me stop teaching because I could no longer be sure I was going to be able to deliver. It made me stop taking commissions because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to deliver. And eventually it almost made me stop working completely. Basically because there were hardly any pain-free days or nights anymore. I was exhausted and at the end of my tether.

detail of canopy
detail of “Witness”, ghosts from the past in the canopy

It wasn’t swell, ending up in hospital. But it turned things around. There are pain-free days again, weeks, even. I sleep well again most nights, so I have tons more energy. That means that some days I can even do full work days at my drawing table. I just needed a little direction once I could get back to work. It hadn’t been easy, constantly stopped in my tracks by the pain. It had diffused my work focus and lots of plans and promises had ended up in the bin, next to my confidence. The days in hospital weren’t only healing physically. Being down for a while helped me see what really mattered from where I was. There was no need to go back to the humongous plans I once made. All I yearned for was to grab my watercolors and paint…grow my body of work, develop as an artist. Looking back I know that for years I had been trying to compensate for the pain and insecurity by making BIG plans. Now I know there’s no need at all. I have a lot to say. And I say it best in watercolor. So, here goes!

watercolor painting 'Witness"
“Witness” – watercolor and color pencil on watercolor paper

“Witness” is one of my latest paintings. It’s another tree world. I have a feeling I’ll be painting trees forever 🙂

“Witness”, the painting

Silently they stand there, Now barren, soon heavy with their canopies,storing our rainwater, socializing with the funghi networks hidden from our sight, sending food back and forth between friends, family, strangers in need, fighting over light and space…and all of that quietly, without protest. Did you know trees ‘walk’? Yes, they do. Some
move inches per year. They may be quiet, but they are not inanimate. They are not just the decor against which we live our o, so important lives. The things they have seen over the years, witnessed. The voices they heard, the embraces they supported, the bullets they caught, the tears they sucked up in their roots, cycling them through their trunks, their branches, their leaves, their roots. Nothing is ever really forgotten where they stand. And sometimes, when you allow yourself, you can hear their memories whispering softly against your cheek.

“Witness”, watercolor and color pencil on 18×26 cm paper. Prints on request.

Soon in the shop!

As I mentioned, I’m working on a webshop for some originals and limited edition prints. And I’m currently looking for a local printer to make some beautiful postcards for me. And I’m exploring printing on demand services for fun products like mugs, tote bags and laptop stickers. There’s no shop just yet, but limited edition prints of “Witness” are available. You can e-mail me if you’re interested or contact me through the contact form on my website.

The IDEAL Watercolor Palette

The IDEAL Watercolor Palette

Last Summer I began composing my ideal watercolor palette. I needed one very much. I had collected so much paint over the years that I reviewed watercolor on YouTube that I needed that one go-to box of colors I could paint almost anything with. Having a lot of paint is wonderful, but at some point it takes more time to find the right paint than the painting does and then it’s high time to sort your colors out!

It was a tough job. BUT! I did it! In 7 days from sunrise till midnight. In two runs. The first version I made turned out to be a little less ideal than I thought. So I threw myself at the job for another few day sand reached a near ideal palette. Now I’m changing just the one color, or maybe two. But then this set is pretty much definitive and ideal.

I made a video to share the process and choice of colors. And below the video you will find a list of the colors that are in my IDEAL palette with links to the products, should you be interested. None of these links are sponsored. There are no affiliations. I make no money from sharing this with you other than a few dimes for the ads on YouTube (although I also offer my videos ad-free on Patreon). This is simply me sharing my pigment quest and what I’ve found to be the ideal and most versatile set to work with.

List of paints in the IDEAL watercolor palette:

This list is composed after having taken out the Chinese white that you can still see in the photo. You will also find the additional link to my preferred Permanent Alizarin Crimson in the list. It’s not yet in my palette, but it has a good chance of ending up there once I know which of the colors in this palette are not as ideal as I thought they’d be. In other words, as soon as it’s apparent there’s a color I hardly use it can go to make room for this Alizarin Crimson.

Should you like to compose a similar set of watercolor paints, then by no means do you need the exact same paints. Feel free to tweak your color composition to your personal liking. And also, if you have a paint with the same pigment number from another manufacturer, then feel free to use that instead of feeling nudged to buy a new one.

The format of the list will be: brand, color name, color number (if it has one), pigment number(s).

Click for bigger version

Top row of the palette:

Golden Qor, Dioxazine Purple, PV23 (to replace the Chinese White I don’t use)
Daniel Smith, Titan Buff, PW6:1
Sennelier, Cadmium Lemon Yellow, #535, PY 35
Rembrandt, Azo Yellow Light, #246, PY154
Daniel Smith, Nickel Azo Yellow, PY150
Sennelier, Cadmium Yellow Deep, #533, PY35
Golden Qor, Transparent Pyrrole Orange, PO71
Daniel Smith, Pyrrole Orange, PO73
Rembrandt, Permanent Red Medium, #377, PR255
Rembrandt, Permanent Red Deep, #371, PR254
Rembrandt, Perylene Red Deep, #354, PR178
Daniel Smith, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, PR 177, PV 19, PR 149 (- not in the palette YET)
Daniel Smith, Quinacridone Coral, PR209
Rembrandt, Quinacridone Rose Reddish, #367, PV19

Second row from the top:

Schmincke Horadam, Purple Magenta, #267, PR122
Rembrandt, Cobalt Violet, #539, PV14
Rembrandt, Quinacridone Purple bluish, #593, PV55
Schmincke Horadam, Cobalt Violet Hue, #473, PV62
Daniel Smith, Manganese Blue Hue, PB15
Rembrandt, Cerulean Blue, #534, PB35
Golden Qor, Cobalt Blue, PB28
Rembrandt, French Ultamarine, #503, PB29
Rembrandt, Indanthrene Blue, #585, PB60
Rembrandt, Phtalo Blue Reddish, #583, PB15
Winsor & Newton Artists’, Phthalo Turquoise, #526, PB16
Winsor & Newton Artists’, Aqua Green, #697, Palomar Turquoise (This pigment, interestingly enough, has no number)
Schmincke Horadam, Cobalt Turqoise, #509, PG50 (This color is often named ‘cobalt teal’)

Third row from the top:

Sennelier, Cobalt Green, #856, PB36
Golden Qor, Viridian, PG18
Rembrandt, Phthalo Green, #675, PG7
Rembrandt, Phthalo Green Yellow, #681, PG26
Rembrandt, Chromium Oxide Green, #668, PG17
Rembrandt, Sap Green, #623, PY150, PG7
Rembrandt, Azomethine Green Yellow, #296, PY129
Sennelier, Naples Yellow Deep, #566, PBr24
Daniel Smith, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, PBr7
Rembrandt, Transparent Oxide Yellow, #265, PY42
Daniel Smith, Goethite (Brown Ochre), PY43
Rembrandt, Burnt Umber, #409, PBr7
Rembrandt, Burnt Sienna, #411, PBr7

Bottom row:

Rembrandt, Quinacridone Orange, #229, PO48
Daniel Smith, Deep Scarlet, PR175
Daniel Smith, Permanent Brown, PBr25
Daniel Smith, Perylene Maroon, PR179
Daniel Smith, Piemontite Genuine (pigment is genuine piemontite mineral)
Daniel Smith, German Greenish Raw Umber, PBr7
Daniel Smith, Van Dyke Brown, PBr7
Schmincke Horadam, Peryleen Green, #784, PBk 31
Rembrandt, Lamp Black, #702, PBk6
Schmincke Horadam, Mars Black, #791, PBk11
Rembrandt, Opaque White, #106, PW6
Kremer, IRIODIN® 323 ROYAL GOLDSATIN, #501798

None of these links are sponsored!

Patreon….here I come!!!

Patreon….here I come!!!

It’s high time for an update, don’t you think? Well, I’ve got one. Patreon!!!

This past covid year has been…hmm…let’s say I feel a bit like Rip van Winkle at the moment…waking up to the world after a loooooooooong nap. I was finally released from isolation by my covid jabs. I feel privileged and thankful for living in this part of the world. It’s wonderful being out there again. Small things. Like going to a book store or finally getting some new clothes (About time! I literally had only one t-shirt left without holes or paint stains J ) I can’t wait until flea markets are allowed again and to go and have lunch somewhere. Oh, and an appointment with a hairdresser…I can make that now! I love being back in motion.

This motion also brought back the flow in my work, so…..I have a Patreon up and running!

I’d been planning to for a long time, but couldn’t quite figure out what I was going to offer. There are SO many possibilities. And then it’s a matter of figuring out what fits. Apparently, taking decisions is easier when you’re out of isolation J I’ve decided to start with a few basic tiers and let it evolve from there. Nothing better than a good start, right?

My Patreon now has 3 tiers with ad-free videos, exclusive videos and digital downloads of my work – even hi-res prints for personal use. I recorded a little video about it, with a painting demo and some Patreon information:

You can find my Patreon page here. Or by clicking the red button below:

Become a Patron!

Besides Patreon I have a lot more things I want to do on my mind, like revamping my website, setting up a decent portfolio and shop and sending out regular newsletters. Monthly, with inspirations I feel are worth sharing and little updates about my work. I’ve painted SO much that I haven’t showed anyone yet. It’s about time these paintings see the light of day.

I hope wherever you are in the world, this update finds you well.

Rembrandt granulating watercolors

Exploring Rembrandt further, this time I’ve painted swatches from their granulating watercolors and compared them to other brands that used the same pigments. I included Daniel Smith, a comparison many people asked for.

Below you can find the high-resolution color chart. Remember that digital reproduction inevitably leads to color changes. I’ve tried to scan and process the color charts for the best color rendering I could manage on my configuration, but due to browsers, screens and video cards, images can look very different on other screens. Keep that in mind when choosing colors and make sure to refer to the manufacturer brochures below for more accurate representations of the colors. Click the links below the video for the original files.

Rembrandt granulating watercolor
Click for high-resolution image

This review is not affiliated. I just love Rembrandt watercolor paint and feel it is somewhat under-represented on YouTube and deserves better. Here you can find more information:

Rembrandt watercolor
brochure

Rembrandt vs Van Gogh watercolor comparison

Having both the complete Rembrandt and Van Gogh watercolor collection, I could now do a comparison of sorts of the both. Here’s the video:

And here are the three hi-resolution color charts. Remember that digital reproduction inevitably leads to color changes. I’ve tried to scan and process the color charts for the best color rendering I could manage on my configuration, but due to browsers, screens and video cards, images can look very different on other screens. Keep that in mind when choosing colors and make sure to refer to the manufacturer brochures below for more accurate representations of the colors. Click the links below the video for the original files.

Van Gogh01
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mandypics/50799229083
Van Gogh02
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mandypics/50800084987/
Rembrandt vs Van Gogh
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mandypics/50799229623

This review was not affiliated. I just love both these brands and feel they are somewhat under-represented on YouTube and deserve better. Here you can find more information about them:

Rembrandt watercolor
brochure

Van Gogh Watercolor
brochure

Do you want a Hug from me? You can have it!

Do you want a Hug from me? You can have it!

Person X hug by Mandy van Goeije

A personalized Hug

Did you like the Hugs that I posted online last week? And would you like to get a personalized Hug for yourself or for a loved one? You can! I’ve decided to draw Hugs for other people who really need one or who would like to give one to someone they would love to hug but now can’t.

On this page you can read all about it!

What the Hugs have done so far

I can’t wait for the Hug requests to come. The past weeks I got so many wonderful responses from my friends whom I’d sent a hug. They felt exactly the same way, missing the embrace, the short moments of showing and receiving affection. I’m all for keeping a distance in this pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard. Worse, even, when friends are going through rough patches and you can’t do what you’d love to do most…hold them and comfort them.

I know I’m not alone in the experience. I know there are many people out there feeling ‘cold’ in a sense. And if the Hugs are something I can make people happy with, it makes me happy. It’s still not a real hug, but a Hug drawing is absolutely the next best thing!

Ready to go!

I can’t wait to start! My sketching pencils are sharp, my paper’s eager, my ink jar is full and my pens can’t wait to race over the paper again! We’re ready for you!

Drawing one Hug takes me a full work day, usually. Sometimes a tad more. But I think I can manage doing 5 a week. If you want a Hug from me, let me know quickly by filling out the form. I’ll let you know when I expect to be able to work on it. Thus far my schedule is free as of coming Monday.

Shipment can take a while in this pandemic, so be mindful of that if you’re ordering for a special occasion. However, I did think of that and for such cases, I’ve drawn ‘a promise’ that can be printed as a card to give on the date, should the drawing arrive late.

I think I’ve thought of everything. If you are missing things after reading the page about the Hugs, please contact me.