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LIVE Workshop Writing and Illustrating Tankas

Why Tankas?

My first love was words. I filled tons of diaries with words. And when plain words weren’t enough anymore, I began writing poetry. I think I was 11 years old when I started. I poured everything that happened in life into poetry. In poetry and dancing. Unfortunately, one day I stopped dancing. But I never stopped writing poetry. Often on its own as recordings of my days or impressions I collected or thoughts that need to fly. But just as often I combine poems with a drawing or painting to complete a story.

I love Tankas because of their simplicity. They are short, but just long enough to really say something. Tankas don’t ask for much. All they want, is a little rhythm. Sometimes when I’m in bed at night there are a few words that still want to be said and they dance their way out of me into my notebook in the shape of Tankas. And often, the next day, a drawing or painting grows out of them to complete the story.

So I figured, since I love writing and illustrating poetry so much, why not make a workshop of it?

Workshop Writing and Illustrating Tankas

Besides, it’s high time for a LIVE event!!! In the flesh…close to home, with a small group of students.

I simply long to work with people again. I love teaching online courses, but I really missed LIVE interaction with people. So…I found a really rustic location and on 9 December I’m doing a full-day workshop on writing Tanka – which is a simple form of poetry – and on illustrating them in two different ways. The technique we’ll be using in the illustrations is watercolor and ink. And with a little luck, we are going to conclude the day outside with a lovely fire in the garden with blankets under the stars.

The workshop will be for a small group of no more than 12 people and will be in Dutch. But for all those who do not speak Dutch, no worries…something’s coming up in English too ♥

If you’re interested in the LIVE workshop, you can read more on this page.

Cool Watercolor Faces, a NEW online workshop NOW OPEN!!!

cool watercolor faces online workshop banner mandy van goeije

Cool Watercolor Faces – an Intuitive Watercolor Workshop

What better workshop to help you cool down in midsummer than Cool Watercolor Faces? (And for those on the Southern hemisphere…this is the perfect online workshop to get a summery buzz in midwinter 😉 )

In this workshop you will learn a watercolor technique with which you paint Cool Watercolor Faces on the fly without drawing a single line and with a minimum of tools. With just one color, blue, you are going to learn to layer paint to create depth and dimension resulting in a face that might look anywhere from odd to realistic but that will have character nonetheless. As you go, you learn how to shape faces and create unique characters by chance and by skill with confidence, over and over again.

To show you the possibilities for using faces like these, this online class offers three videos using a Cool Watercolor Face in an Art Journal Page.

to spring from the hand art journal pages in cool watercolor faces online workshop by mandy van goeije

The Cool Watercolor Faces online workshop includes:

• 1 in depth real-time technique video. It’s a quick technique, so this video is just over 15 min.
• 3 time-lapse videos of the making of 3 Art Journal Pages with detailed information about the techniques and supplies used.
– video 1: Watercolor and ink
– video 2: Watercolor and mixed media
– video 3: Watercolor, gouache and pen
• A detailed and richly illustrated step-by-step pdf file to print for working offline.
• All course material is downloadable.
• Access to a designated, closed facebook group for questions and feedback.
& Trouble shooting videos for beginners

This Class is also available in SUMMER SALE COMBO PACKS for a really friendly price!!! Check out my other Etsy listings @ www.etsy.com/shop/mandyvangoeije

I am a viking art journal page in cool watercolor faces workshop by mandy van goeije

HERE’S WHAT SOME STUDENTS SAY ABOUT ANOTHER ONLINE WORKSHOP BY ME, THE MIXED MEDIA CHARACTER FACES WORKSHOP:

“Mandy’s techniques for backgrounds and ‘finding’ faces are just SO much fun!! I really loved this class!!”
– Deb Weiers

” I have thoroughly enjoyed Mandy’s Mixed Media Character Faces! It is such a fun way to create and something fun always develops as a surprise. Mandy makes herself available for feedback and it is always so helpful. I love when I teacher can pinpoint a way for you to improve and can make it so clear. Great class!”
– KJ Allison

“The online course Mixed Media Character Faces, was great fun to do. Mandy gave me some advice how to continue my painting when needed and that made it even more worthwhile.
A good online course for a good price.”
– Marion Berkhout

summer breeze art journal page in cool watercolor faces intuitive online watercolor workshop by mandy van goeije

Or, if you’re looking for a whole lot of inspiration for the Summer months, check out the super-great priced Combo Packs!

Newsletter readers get 15% off on online classes at checkout. You can sign up for the newsletter right here. In the process you’ll be given a link to the latest newsletter which contains the current discount code.

See you in class!!!

cool watercolor face and watercolor art supplies in intuitive online watercolor workshop by mandy van goeije
cool watercolor faces combo pack online watercolor workshops by mandy van goeije
cool watercolor faces and mixed media character faces online workshops by mandy van goeije
Cool watercolor faces and gouache and mixed media workshop by mandy van goeije
super combo pack art sale four online classes by mandy van goeije watercolor mixed media and gouache

Color my Page! July Art Challenge

A new Art Challenge!

Dear art challengers,

today Summer has begun. With recess just around the corner I thought I’d chuck in the July challenge early so that I can just squeeze in an August challenge for those who’d like to do all months. This time the challenge is an online lesson I once taught. It is an inspiration challenge rather than a technique challenge this time.

This means you can choose your own medium, your own canvas, your own technique, your own colors…your own everything. The only requirement to take part in the challenge, is to think of a journal story using the inspiration technique I demonstrate in the accompanying videos and make sure to write the story you got from your cubes with the photo of your work.

Introducing Story Cubes

Give the Story Cubes a try!

These are the Story dice that we’re going to use in this challenge. You can either look at them on screen or print this image and puzzle them into a storyline to give this a try.

If you like these and want more, you can find the Rory’s Story Cube site here. They also have an app for mobile devices these days!

From Story Cubes to journal page

In the next video you can see how I used a set of story cubes as a source of inspiration for my work. In it I show you how I go from ‘just a story’ to my own story and how it applies to my own life. And to finish it off there is a speedpaint of the journal page I made with these cubes as a basis.

Rules and Intention

What I show here is just my personal approach for that particular journal page. If you feel for a different approach, don’t hesitate to use that. This challenge is meant to inspire you. I don’t want to extinguish your fire with strict rules.

The two rules are:
1. Make a journal page on the basis of a personal story you associate with the given cubes on the image above
2. Post a photo of your work AND write down your story in the description so that we can see how you’ve approached the challenge.

Deadline and Prize

Especially for this challenge I will compose a set of painted antique collage paper. And who knows, If I get crazy, I might scribble on a page or two!

The deadline is the evening of 15 July (central European time). I will announce the winner in the Facebook group!

Enjoy the Challenge!

Color My Page Art Challenge: Green

June 2017’s edition of the Color My Page Art Challenge: “Green”

I think it’s high time to get some structure in the Color My Page Art Challenge. Something I can now do because all my deadlines are made and I have time to fill with my own projects.

So first thing I wanted to do, was to arrange a new Color My Page Art Challenge and draw a winner of the last one. It had no deadline, but only few people enrolled, so I gave it some time, but few or not, later today I’m drawing a winner!

Also, from now on there will be a monthly Color My Page Art Challenge with deadlines well in sight!

But first, I present to you this new Art Challenge!

The Challenge and the prize

So, quick recap:

This month’s challenge is to do an art journal page or piece of art featuring the color green and using at least one collage element in it.

The prize is a little stack of collage paper, a large part of which are papers from this stack of paper I painted myself earlier today.

A winner will be drawn and announced on Friday 16 June in the evening (central European time)!

Below you can see my own journal page for which I’ve used the painted green paper…

How to enter the Challenge

To enter this month’s challenge, go to the facebook group and post your work there.

You can find the facebook group right here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/colormypageartjournalingchallenge/

I’m looking forward to seeing your work!

Speedpaint and new Art Journal Pages

Speedpaint video + a little about gouache

Last week I painted this floral pattern painting above. It was a wonderful, colorful and relaxing process that I wanted to share with you in this speedpaint. At the same time I was writing an article on gouache. I figured, why not record it as a voice-over to this video? I’m curious what you’ll think of this concept, so please let me know how you like it!

New Art Journal Pages

The past few months I’ve been so busy making online courses that I hardly had or took the time to work in my art journal for myself. But the more time went by without it, the more itchy and cranky I began to feel. It’s one thing making online classes for others, but it’s mighty important to keep refuelling your tank of creative energy. I had manoeuvred myself stuck before a self-imposed deadline and doing 5 online classes in a row proved to be a bit much. Or rather…5 online classes in a row is fine…not spending enough time on refuelling my own creative energy…now that is something that offers room for improvement for when I start working on the next online classes. We live, we learn, eh?

There is one huge advantage to letting yourself dry up creatively, though… The joy of rediscovering and replenishing that source inside! I did a whopping amount of art journal pages this weekend. Some were just tutorials by others to get me going (for some reason I always believe I need that after a time of drought and then I end up ignoring what’s being taught completely anyway…), one was an illustration I did for the theme “Resist” of this week’s Illustration Friday and two were pages that just popped up when I held a brush…

Red Noses

The first page I did began last Friday when I had discovered that my Indigo Schmincke Horadam watercolor had a deplorable lightfastness. This is something I’d never realised because for a long time I used the Cotman Indigo and never had much issues with lightfastness at all. On study, I found out that the Cotman actually consists of three lightfast pigments. So I figures I had to try and mix my own Horadam Indigo for commissions in the future.

This art journal page is the result of some smearing of a brush that had some paint left on it. The red noses, the shading and the beard I added yesterday.

Heads Up

This second page emerged spontaneously yesterday, when I was toying with some more mixes of self-made Indigo. I so love any mixes including mars black. I love the granulation and the cauliflower clouding. Most of the times you don’t want that. But in this art journal page, I purposely aimed for a lot of unseemingly watercolor behaviour.

The page seems grim. And yet the heads look up, the corners of the mouth curled up somewhat. It is definitely influenced by the fact that last Friday it was Liberation Day in our country. As always the media bombards the people with war, suffering and remembrance around that day. Rightfully so, of course. The War must never be forgotten. And the fact that the social and political climate so swiftly seems to swirl and bend towards such critical points again where hate rises and boils again, we must certainly be reminded of the gruesomeness of war. But as always in the week around Liberation Day I can’t help but feel heavy, worried, sad and disappointed in the repetition of facts despite what humanity could learn of history if only we wanted to.

So when I started out painting this dark scene, initially what I had in mind, was the scene from Schindler’s List where the women are taken into the shower and where they think they have ended up in the gas chambers. I wanted to depict the atrocity an inhumaneness of packing people like sardines for destruction. But as I was painting, something inside of me began to resist and fight the urge to depict atrocity. Rather than the movie frame of fear that I started out with the frame where the relief set in when rain, not poisonous gas came out of the showers began to push itself to the front of my mind. Did I really want to add to the fear? To the resentment? The disillusion? And with every next stroke of my brush the heads began to look up. The grimness is still in there. And the dark side. But the heads turned up. Because deep down inside I believe that we must always keep resisting our own hate and resentment. That we must rid ourselves of disillusion and instead fight to create good things in life for ourselves and the world around us.

Heads Up

This second page emerged spontaneously yesterday, when I was toying with some more mixes of self-made Indigo. I so love any mixes including mars black. I love the granulation and the cauliflower clouding. Most of the times you don’t want that. But in this art journal page, I purposely aimed for a lot of unseemingly watercolor behaviour.

The page seems grim. And yet the heads look up, the corners of the mouth curled up somewhat. It is definitely influenced by the fact that last Friday it was Liberation Day in our country. As always the media bombards the people with war, suffering and remembrance around that day. Rightfully so, of course. The War must never be forgotten. And the fact that the social and political climate so swiftly seems to swirl and bend towards such critical points where hate rises and boils again, we must certainly be reminded of the gruesomeness of war. But as always in the week around Liberation Day I can’t help but feel heavy, worried, sad and disappointed in the repetition of facts despite what humanity could learn of history if only we wanted to.

So when I started out painting this dark scene, initially what I had in mind, was the scene from Schindler’s List where the women are taken into the shower and where they think they have ended up in the gas chambers. I wanted to depict the atrocity and inhumaneness of packing people like sardines for destruction. But as I was painting, something inside of me began to resist and fight the urge to depict atrocity. Rather than the movie frame of fear that I started out with, the frame where the relief set in when rain, not poisonous gas came out of the showers began to push itself to the front of my mind. Did I really want to add to the fear? To the resentment? The disillusion? And with every next stroke of my brush the heads began to look up. The grimness is still in there. And the dark side. But the heads turned up. Because deep down inside I believe that we must always keep resisting our own hate and resentment. That we must rid ourselves of disillusion and instead fight to create good things in life for ourselves and the world around us.

Illustration Friday: Resist

Illustration Friday contribution

Finally I had time to sit down and do another illustration for Illustration Friday! I’ve missed doing that and it’s been a fab day working in between chores and errands. But the illustration is there. This week’s theme was “Resist”. I don’t think my illustration needs further explanation.

Below three process photos… Materials I used are graphite pencil, watercolor and black color pencil.

Hi and Welcome! I’m Mandy.

I’m a Dutch artist, art journaler and teacher and I am a passionate visual storyteller. It is in the stories we share that other people read or see a reflection of their own. It is through stories that we connect. That’s why I make art.

I help people use art and language to tell their stories and show them it is the stories we carry that make us unique. They determine how much we allow ourselves to heal. By looking at all of them, those in the light of our lives and those tucked away in the shadows, we can find strength, healing, joy, relief and confidence.

People talk a lot, but opening up to the essentials is something altogether different. In our own unique visual language we can do so safely. And I go to any length to help people do so, because…“What’s wrong with being personal anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”
– Meg Ryan in “You’ve got Mail”

Read more about Storytelling in Art and about my story

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mandy van goeije is a guest teacher at life book 2017
mandy van goeije is a guest teacher at art journal summer school 2016