New Color My Page Challenge + format review

A Kiss - watercolor

Big Color My Page Challenge news!!!

Hi everyone! It’s been a bit quiet on my blog, but I’ve been brooding and producing…I have a new online art class coming up (news and sign up at the end of this week!!!) and I’ve reconstructed the Color My Page Art Challenge a bit…

Color My Page Challenge revamp

Things are going to change in the Color My Page Art Challenge…for the better!!! The challenge is going to be a format that works better for me, and even more important… A LOT better for you!

No more waiting

From now on I will use a color combination of a certain brand and kind of paint in a demo video, explaining a little about the paint and the pigments that I’m using. After that, you can immediately grab the chance to do your own painting/journal page in these or similar colors and paints. And share your art in the group, of course!
This cuts out the waiting time we had so far. You can start working on the challenge immediately after you’ve seen the video. And also…if there is a giveaway…it will happen straigth away…no more waiting…win, win, win!!!

The Kiss #2 - watercolor

Why the change?

Well, as you must have noticed, nothing much appeared here lately. The reason for that is that the format didn’t work well for me. The bottle neck being the Golden High Flow challenge…It turned out I really didn’t like the paint. It wasn’t at all what I’d expected it to be. And on top of that, the color combo didn’t work for me…it gave me an artist’s block every time I sat down with them.
It got me thinking and then I realised that all this waiting could impossibly be inspiring for you guys…and it is YOU who I set up this group for!!! To inspire you…to get you into motion… So…high time to blow a fresh wind through this challenge!

I hope you’re in for the ride, so read on and you have a chance of winning the top Kiss if you join the challenge♥!!!!

The Kiss #3 - watercolor

The New Color My Page Art Challenge + Giveaway

Here is how it works

I made a video for you, which you can find below this text. In it I demonstrate working with 3 colors of Daniel Smith watercolor: Indian Yellow, Quinacridone Coral and Cobalt Teal. This video is meant to inspire you do do a painting or journal page in these paints or in any paints you have that look a bit like these. In this case any yellow, red and blue watercolor paint would do. Once you’re done painting, you can post your painting in the designated closed facebook challenge group.


In the demo video I did a little painting that will be the prize in this giveaway! I will choose a winner randomly from anyone who is signed up for my Mandymail (so that I can get in touch with you through e-mail when you win) and posts their work in the group!!!

You can find the closed Color My Page Art Challenge Group here.

You can sign up to MandyMail here.

Color My Page Art Challenge #5 – Golden High Flow acrylics

Time for another Color My Page Art Challenge!

And this time I’ll demo Golden High Flow acrylic paint using a watercolor-like technique.

In the video below you will find a bit more information about what the Color My Page Art Challenge is and why I started it and I introduce to you this challenge’s paint.

YOU can vote MY palette in the poll!

In this poll below you can vote for up to 5 colors you would like to see me paint the demo in. When you’re done voting, you will see the results thus far.

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Facebook group

Do you like being challenged, art-supply wise? Do you dare painting with a limited color palette like I do? And would you like to see how others pull it off and share your own work? Then join the designated closed facebook group! You can find it here!


You can be the winner of the painting I’m going to make in the demo video. To partake, leave a comment below this blog post! And if you want to be kept up-to-date on new challenges, demo videos, workshops, tutorials, giveaways, then go here to sign up for my not-so-frequent newsletter!

Life Book 2017 Sneak Preview

Life Book Sneak Preview

Life Book 2017 has started!!! I checked out the first two lessons and it promises to be a good, very good year!!!

I’m teaching two lessons in this wonderful year-long art journaling course…the bonus lesson I’ll keep secret for now, but my main lesson is really, really cool…it’s a wonderful watercolor & mixed media technique like you can see in the page above. I’ve decided to give you a sneak preview; in the latest newsletter you’ll find a step-by-step photo series of a painting like the one that will feature in my Life Book lesson.

If you’re not getting my newsletter yet, you can still sign up. When you do, I’ll make sure this step-by-step Sneak Preview lands in your mail box! To sign up, go here!


Oh, and before I forget…there are only 5 days left to grab the 20% discount which makes this already affordable course extreme value for money! You can find the coupon code in the newsletter!

What resolutions did you make?

I never took New Year’s resolutions seriously. But this year I have one.

new year's resolutions art journal page

Racing cars and hyper-focus

You see, I’m kind of a formula-1 racing car. I carefully engineer my plans and then I take off in a dash, leaving people amazed at the speed and noise with which I go. This kind of productivity is made possible by a hyper-focus mode which deepens and intensifies my concentration and pushes away any needs in favor of that focus. Those are the days that my daughter’s return from school catches me by surprise  because only then do I realize I lost track of the clock and totally forgot about lunch or any other needs. Days like that can easily string into periods of weeks at a time in which I get a lot done.

Pit stops and gravel traps

But, as with most racing cars, I need to make a lot of pit stops to repair damage and refuel. And, quite to my embarrassment, I often land in the gravel traps. Worn out to the bone, the ultra-productive weeks take their toll with one or two weeks of physical misery. Then a fatigue knocks at my door so deep that I sometimes fear it will drag me under the pavement in the back yard. Then stray viruses bite themselves a way into my flesh, periods refuse to wait for their time and weaknesses blow themselves up into undeniable proportion because my body won’t resist anyway.

The amount of energy it takes to get back on a roll after crashing is unspeakable. Starting up costs way more energy than driving.

Steam trains

I met quite a few steam trains over the years. People who are the perfect opposite of me in life and work. They take time to do things and have no trouble resolving to do something ‘some time’. Or the week after. And they have the audacity to take time for family, friends, hobbies, long baths, days out and such luxuries. Stuck inside my own frame of reference I used to think that such a laid back way of working wouldn’t get them far. But now, a few years later, studies have been finished, new career paths have been trodden and new companies are up and running. In other words, the steam trains got as far as I did. But with one big difference: they took things easy, enjoyed life more, stayed in the race with a pit stop or two and managed all of that without crashing. So in the end, they didn’t spend half the amount of energy I did to get just as far.

Lesson learned, resolution made

So, being a steam train isn’t that bad after all, it seems. It’s impossible to change one’s character, but I’ve seen enough gravel the past years. So this year I’m going to try and say bye-bye to my inner racing car and embrace my inner steam train instead!

I’m curious; what new-year’s resolutions did you make?

Best wishes and Life Book update

christmas card mandy van goeije

Hello from the cocoon, dear people…I’ve already retreated from the dark and cold outside into my warm nest, filling it up with lights and love, to celebrate the return of the sun…the longest night is already behind us on the Northern hemisphere…

How are you celebrating the holidays?

After this roller coaster year we nearly have behind us, we’re planning on some serious cocooning…that is to say, our cocoon includes long walks with the dog and of course family and friends. Not too much hassle, though, this year. We’re taking the time to do things slowly and enjoy our time together. My entire Christmas planning fitted on one side of a 5x5″piece of paper a quarter of which was still empty…no stress this year! And I must say…it’s fantastic! Soup’s cooking and some final laundry is tumbling in the drier, so I had time for a little blog post. Mainly, I want to wish everybody very happy holidays…whether you celebrate Christmas, or not…if anything, I wish you a lot of warmth and light in your life. Not just for Christmas, but for keeps…

Life Book Love

Speaking of light and warmth…it is double worth checking out Life Book 2017 this holiday season! Until 14 January you get 20% off at checkout if you fill in the code: FIREWORKS2017
I’m not just saying that because I’m a teacher next year, because leaving myself out of the equasion, I think that if you’re looking for a huge amount of input and a great diversity in techniques, Life Book 2017 really does have a lot to offer…and the 20% off makes it the best priced program in the field for what you’re getting by far.

(com)mission accomplished!

2016 has been a mad year for me and my family. I remember so well that on New Year’s eve last year, I said out loud that 2016 would finally be a calm year. Well, as you know, it wasn’t. And still, it was a beautiful year that made us treasure what we have more deeply. It was the year in which I produced 5 online courses (of which two will run next year) and a lot of review videos and many journal pages and also the year in which I did this illustration for a health care organisation. It became their Christmas card to all their relations…

Itching fingers

And now, after a year of hard work, it’s time to retreat, to be with the ones we love and if we can’t be with them, to reach out to them, call them, write them, be with them in mind, remember them.
It’s time to find light in the darkness and to nurture our light and keep it burning to help light the world.
And it’s time to stretch and massage our fingers and whisper sweet little somethings to them for they carry our voices onto paper to share our ideas with the world. Grant them a little rest or finally let them go rampant on our sheets of paper and canvases…my last Color-my-page Art challenge got lost in the end-of-year humdrum and my fingers are itching to dig it up and finally work with the lovely greens the challenge turned out for me.

Well, dear people…this will be all for now…I’m retreating back deep into my cocoon for the coming weeks. I wish you all very warm and light weeks and am looking forward to seeing you back again next year!

Love, Mandy

Color-my-page Art Journal Challenge #4, Daniel Smith Watercolor Sticks, Giveaway and Discount

Another generous offer

A few weeks back I received a message from Gina offering me a wonderful set of Daniel Smith watercolor sticks to try for a demo video and look what she’s sent me! An amazing set of Daniel Smith watercolor sticks for another amazing art challenge plus some more gorgeous art supplies I can’t wait to try. But first, this Color-My-Page art challenge that you can take part in too if you like. And this week there is an Art Giveaway. More info in this post!

Gina's parcel, bringing me Daniel Smith watercolor sticks, M. Graham watercolor paints (yay) and Prismacolor markers

Smart thinking: from sticks to pans

Gina wrote how she loved the Daniel Smith watercolor sticks. They seem a bit cheaper than the tubes and also, she figured out that if you cut the sticks into chunks, you can fill pans with it and thus create your own paint box. This way she makes these sticks incredibly versatile! I’m not an easy one to convince to buy crayons or paint sticks because it’s so different to the way I normally work. But Gina came up with a wonderful application that made these sticks very interesting to me! I tried a green one that I got from Caroline in the last Color-My-Page art challenge and was pleasantly surprised by the intensity of the paint and how easily a wet brush picks up paint from it! The fact that Gina put them into these pans makes them so much easier to work with when working with a lot of colors at the same time. So my fingers are itching to go!

Daniel Smith watercolor sticks in pans

So…now vote my colors and win the demo painting!!!

Right below you will find the color chart and the poll where you can vote for your 5 favorite colors. The top 3 will be used for the Color-my-Page demo video. If you would like to take part in the giveaway of the original demo painting, then please leave a comment below this blog post so that I can contact you should your name pop up…♥

Daniel Smith watercolor stick color chart
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Watercolor Workshops ahead and 20% discount on LifeBook 2017!

Before the end of this year I will launch a lovely watercolor workshop. So keep an eye on my blog or sign up for my newsletter so you’re sure not to miss out on the opening sale! I’m also a guest teacher in Life Book 2017 for which I’m doing an adventurous watercolor workshop! There is now a 20% discount to be had by using the coupon code FIREWORKS2017 before 14 January 2017 at checkout. See you there?

More Daniel Smith watercolor paint videos by my hand

A little while ago, I did four Daniel Smith videos after I’d received a Daniel Smith dot sampler color chart to review. You can find the Yellows and Reds here, the  Blues and Greens here, the Browns and earth tones here and the Blacks, whites and effect paints here.

Color my Page #3: Daniel Smith watercolors – the Caroline edition

Daniel Smith watercolors…would they be as great as they are made out to be? I tried the dot color sampler, as you can see in my demo videos of it. And I was impressed. Only, some viewers said: Hey, Mandy, some of that paint is much more easily lifted from the tube and is much more vibrant from the tube! So I got curious…

…and then Caroline generously sent me set of seven vials of this wonderful Daniel Smith watercolors to play with. I let you decide which three colors to use and here is what I made!

Color mixing chart

First I did a color mixing chart of the three colors I was given through the poll. This is a wonderful tool to see what colors can be made by mixing or expected when used wet in wet.

The colors that came from these three colors were wonderful and very warm. Moonglow proved to be a color that altered the warm red and yellow so well, creating a range from purple to bronze to orange to yellow.

The Painting

Then it was time to sit down for the painting. I had no idea what to paint. Sometimes I have a fixed idea in my head due to previous ideas I had. Sometimes it’s a dream that conjurs up an image that sticks in my head all day, waiting to be painted. Sometimes it’s the folds in a towel that ended up in the corner of our bathroom that transformed into a character in my gaze. Sometimes it’s a feeling I have that is very strong and that asks for a character to let it out. Today there was none of the above.

So I started with a watercolor stain, which I trust to bring me a character to paint…and indeed, it did!

La Vieille Dame painting in Daniel Smith watercolors by mandy van goeije

Demo / review Video

Color My Page Challenges and Online Watercolor Workshops ahead!

I’d love to know what you’d like to see me demo and/or review next. I can’t promise I can fulfill every request, but I have a lot of art supplies here and I might just be able to make you happy! Let me know in the Color My Page facebook group!

Want to be kept up-to-date about every Color My Page challenge and perhaps even join yourself? Sign up for the closed Facebook page here.

I’m teaching a new online watercolor course this fall. If you want to be notified as soon as it launches, sign up for my newsletter here.

Life Book 2017 Discount Code for 20% off

If you like to see me as a (watercolor) guest teacher among many fantastic and inspiring teachers, visit LifeBook 2017…it may be just the thing for you! Now get 20% off until 14 January 2017…fill out the discount code: FIREWORKS2017

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


Online Workshops:

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