March has already come, so it’s been two months that I’ve been focusing solely on new work. Or rather…I’ve also been reorganizing my studio due to some new arrivals and I’ve been doing some online updating. You will read all about it here.

Shifting Focus for New Work

It wasn’t before I sat dow in my studio, realizing I was really no longer teaching online that I became aware of how much my focus had been on the outside world in the past years. I was always making stuff I felt I could use to teach or to inspire others. Rarely was I deeply and fully immersed in my own work, my ow process. After my decision, all of a sudden it had to happen now. It took a few weeks to straighten my thinking and adjust to a new flow.

Mixed Media as a Flow Starter for New Work

For starters, I grabbed a canvas board my mother-in-law had recently given to me. Either I had to store it in the attic or work on it straight away. Not knowing where I was in my mind, I figured I might as well throw in some paint and find out. Here is the result:

"So Many Different Answers": New work by Mandy van Goeije, 2020
“So Many Different Answers”, mixed media on 40x60cm canvas board © Mandy van Goeije

It was liberating to work with mixed media again. The materials themselves drag a whole different style of work from my hands, but I love it nonetheless. After this one I did a lot more new work, some of which I’ll share below. But first I have two important things to share:

Online news

Besides reorganizing my studio, I’m also in the process of reorganizing my online presence. For starters, I’ve created a brand spanking new art-only Instagram account: @mandyvangoeijeart. That’s the account to follow if you’re interested in my art. The old account will remain active, but contains more random and personal stuff. I felt I needed a clean slate to gather all my art to browse in one glance. I’m filling it up with really great pics of my older work and my latest work and it’s beginning to look really nice. For now I’m updating both accounts with my art, but in the future all of the new art will go to @mandyvangoeijeart.

I’m doing the same thing for facebook. No new account was needed there, but I’m turning the art page art only and my personal profile will be what it should be: personal. Since I’m not really enjoying facebook much of the time, I might even turn that account to ‘private’. I’m going to be communicating through my blog anyway. That’s home, after all. So, if you want to follow me on facebook, make sure you follow my Mandy van Goeije Art page.

"The Unlikely couple", new watercolor and mixed media art by Mandy van Goeije, 2020
“The Unlikely Couple”, watercolor and mixed media on 18x24cm watercolor paper, © Mandy van Goeije

FINAL CALL for online students

VERY important for my online students: if you’ve purchased one of my online courses, make sure to download all course materials before April because early April the online courses will be taken down. Only Art for Earth will remain accessible online through the links and pages given in the Art for Earth package. For all other online courses this really is the final call. Once the courses go down in April, materials can no longer be accessed, so this is the last chance to download the course videos and pdf files. Hurry!

New work: Watercolor

The first watercolor piece I did this year was “The Unlikely Couple” above. They were incredibly great to paint. The left figure was already there and then a whole lot of color. But his companion soon came into the picture when I sat down with my paints and brushes.

The second piece I did is also an older piece that I’ve finished.

"Reminiscing", new watercolor art work by Mandy van Goeije, 2020
“Reminiscing”, watercolor on 23×30,5cm watercolor paper, © Mandy van Goeije

The HOW surprises people

Of this painting I posted some process and close-up photos on Instagram. It is with those close-ups that people realized there is no quick technique or trick to paint textures like these. It really is hard and patient labour of laying down layer after layer and painting minute detailing with the finest brushes available. Paintings like these take days. This one about 40 hours. But I love it, though, because to me, it brings out more than ‘just another face’. With that many layers, every face turns into a character, a story. It’s a pity that watercolor is so hard to photograph and scan…the digital image never quite captures the liveliness and depth of the colors, but I think you at least get an idea here.

Is gold always bling?

What I also love to do, is to add gold to paintings like these. Watercolor on high-quality paper is a very matte medium. So adding the gold is not so much about adding sparkle or upping the decorative value; it’s much more about adding contrast. Not just in color, but in matte versus shine. To me, it makes it more interesting to work on too because adding the shameless glam requires a whole lot of tweaking of the tender watercolors to make sure they balance out against the bejeweled boldness or else that will take over the painting.

"Reminiscing" (close-up), new watercolor art work by Mandy van Goeije, 2020
Ahh….that Gold!!! It just gives the oomph to the piece…or at least, in my eyes ♥ © Mandy van Goeije

Gold equals exclusivity indeed

The golden paint makes paintings like these exclusive in one go because pigments like these can by no means be reproduced. So when you buy a painting with such golden elements, you know absolutely for sure that you are getting a unique and original painting.

Speaking about buying art…since I was teaching online I hardly put any effort into selling my work. Well, I will now. I am working on the construction of an online sales page. I will let you know when it’s ready. If you can’t wait because you fall in love with one of my pieces, you can always contact me personally. All the pieces on my instagram account @mandyvangoeijeart are available unless stated otherwise. At the moment many are stated unavailable because I added some older work too to add content, but I’ve lots of work that’s available that I will keep adding from now on. And I’m making new work too, of course.

So, this was my Springtime update. It’s not really Spring yet, but with the trees in my garden blossoming and the crocuses and vincas blooming…I call it Spring! The next update won’t be long because I’ve already got it lined up for publication.

So, happy Spring (or Fall, down under 😉 ) and till soon!

Love, Mandy