Thursday, 6 July 2017

How to have winter fun in June:

Well … all you have to do is to design for stationary! I am slowly getting used to the "design schedule" for Holiday cards. This year I didn't feel as much disconnected with the rest of the world as I did last year. And all that snow even had a cooling effect on some very hot June days :-)

The designs shown here are submissions to the current Minted Challenge for Holiday Cards. Like always with Minted comps votes and likes are very welcome! Please just click on the images, that'll lead you directly to my submissions on the Minted page. Thank you so much! Voting ends on Friday evening, July 7 … already … it's almost too late for vote asking … 

And here's a bit more about my designs:  

" A Holiday Stroll 1"

" A Holiday Stroll 2"

The two cards above both feature details of one of my watercolour paintings.
"Angel Duo"

Whereas the sketchy pen + ink and crayon angels were done as part of an advent challenge a while ago.

"Anatomy of a Snowflake"

The snowflake design is for a corporate Holiday card. It was inspired by old anatomical/ botanical  drawings and provides a lot of room to add the company highlights of the year and a thank you + holiday message to the clients.

"Wish upon a Winter Star"

The inspiration for the two snow bunnies wasn't forest animals, but my own cat. I watched him observing and admiring the first snow of winter through the studio windows, obviously planning some mischief (he just loves snow!).
I painted this little winter scene with gouache and silver gouache.

"Christmas Ballet All Stars"

And finally a Christmas Ballet card that is just a bit silly :-)

I hope you'll like my card designs. And now, back to summer!!!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

New stationary designs

Lately I haven't had much time for creating due to family health issues … but somehow, in between things, I managed to do some work for the "Better Together Minted Greeting Card Design Challenge". Would have loved to do more … Oh well ok, I think in times like these the most important thing is to somehow just keep working – in order to keep one's creative muscles relatively fit and healthy.

Today I'll show you some of my submissions to this challenge. It is a contest for both copy and design. One could either work with own copy, or choose copy submitted by another artist and create for that. Something that I loved to do!
Votes and likes would be very welcome! Voting already ends on Monday evening, 15th of May (mid european time) – sorry for the rush! I simply didn't manage to post my designs earlier … Thank you so much for voting and liking!

Lovely Day Flowers

"Lovely Day Flowers" – watercolour floral design  for a birthday card with copy by Jennifer Lew: "Front: Make today lovely/ Inside: Happy Birthday".

"Walk in Flowers"

"Walk in Flowers" is a 21st birthday card featuring a shower of watercolour petals based on my own copy. Front: "May you walk in flowers and dance in the rain." Inside: "With lots of love on your 21st birthday!"

"Sunny Road"

"Sunny Road" is a another 21st birthday card based on my own copy: Front: "Wishing you … wind in your hair, joy in your heart and a sunny road to life's adventures." Inside: "Happy 21st Birthday!"


"Entwine" is a wedding card design based on a copy by Lisa Sunday Rinella. Front: "Lifes entwine, dreams melt into one another, joy is on the wind." Inside: So happy you found each other." I immediately fell in love with Lisa's words and together with my watercolour details this card makes one of my fave submissions.

"Emerald Isle Blessing"

"Emerals Isle Blessing" – this one is special to me because the copywriter, Mariecor Agravante, chose my photographic art print out of the bounty of designs that are already for sale on Minted and wrote a copy for it specifically to go on a card together. Front: "Emerald Isle Blessing", Inside (excerpt):  "May the mists of the Eirinn isle, bring a glow to your dimpled smile, … And may the wings of Irish laughter, Uplift you now and ever after." Thank you so much, Mariecor!

"My own kind"

"My own kind" – here's a mixed media botanical design that I used for a mother's birthday card featuring copy by Kate Ross. Front: "You've always taught me to be my own kind of beautiful." Inside: "I'm so grateful for you, Mom. I celebrate you on your birthday and always."

"Always Love"

 "Always Love" – this sympathy card features my own photography. The copy is by Courtney Crane. Front: "Though there is loss …, Inside: "love always remains. Thinking of you with heartfelt sympathy."

Finally this is a card to send to a loved one: "Galactical". It is based on a copy by Frooted Design. Front: "The moon is way too close." Inside: "Love you to the furthest galaxy and back!"

Want to see more? You can have a look at ALL submissions (3752!) to this challenge over here.
And you can find ALL OF MY submissions using the filter "Sorted by artist" and then hop over to page 71. Thank you!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Spring Awakening

It's been a while since my last blogpost – sorry! Sometimes the days go by so fast … Especially in these first weeks of spring when I grab every opportunity to get outside!
I love seeing our valley and the river Lahn slowly waking up to spring. It's almost like you can watch the change from day to day.
These pics below are from the end of March.

The catkins are the first to wake up. And as we've got a lot of them, for quite some time the riverside will be spotted by glowing yellow-green bushes – a beautiful sight!

The canoe/ kayaking season is slowly starting too. (We have a few steadfast canoeists who get out on the river even in winter, but these are really very few.)
The wild violets are pretty early too. You'll occasionally find them on the slopes of the valley.

This is the typical riparian forest above, at the beginning of April.
And below, this now is mid April – I took these pics yesterday.

Well you can say that it's the same as every year … true, but I love it anyway! I hope you'll enjoy my pictures as well. Wishing you all a happy, peaceful and green Easter!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

New originals in my Etsy shop!

Over the last days I filled up my Etsy shop with new listings. Some are older paintings, some pretty recent.
I've had a serious studio sorting – just the thing one does before springtime starts I guess! Feels good to get things out of the drawers. Half way through this I realized that do this (and maybe need to do it!) to invite new work in.

For now here's some of my new listings:

First up here are two smaller watercolours that tie together well. "Color Energy 1" and "Color Energy 2" inject a generous dose of fresh colour to energize a room after the long grey winter.

And here is another floral watercolour – with a softer vibe this time:

"Soft Summer Bouquet" is great to bring an informal, relaxing summer mood to any room.

And I now have a new section for kids in shop! For now it is just three paintings, but I hope to grow it over this year. Here's one of the new listings: "The Adventurers" – they originally were painted as a placement design for kid's fashion but I think my little animal pirates are great for wall art as well.

Let me introduce you to the gang:

Tiger for sure is the captain. No adventure will escape his brave heart and sharp green eyes!

Little Rosella Piggie always looks on the bright side of pirate life and has a smile and joke for everybody, even in bad or dangerous situations …

and Benno the dog is a faithful and strong sidekick, the best friend any pirate could have!


 There's more in the shop, so feel free to have a look :-) Hope you'll enjoy!


Friday, 3 February 2017

A new contest: magic light … and lots of animals!

February starts with a new art contest, with the 2017 "Minted x West Elm Art on the Big Stage". The contest is for art prints, theme and chosen medium are open.
Here's some of my entries, I hope you'll enjoy them! They pretty well reflect my fave media at the moment: photography, watercolour and handprinting. Please vote for them if you like them! You as well can have a look at all of my submissions on my voting page. Thank you so much! Voting ends on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

(If you'd like to vote you'll have to open up an account on Minted, or log into it. Then you can rate the submissions from 1 (worst rate) up to 5 (best). Likes don't count as vote. Love them anyway though!)

Morning Bath Killarney Ireland

With the photographic collage of a scene at the Lakes of Killarney in Ireland, I was aiming for a storytelling print that feels like an entry into a diary and depicts a fleeting but treasured moment. The scene was shot against the light, which adds to the dreamy atmosphere of the beautiful landscape.

Deer Jump

Looking through my entries I realized that I included a lot of animals this time! Well they are very inspiring to me :-)
I did the "Deer Jump" as part of last year's Inktober challenge (you can read a bit more about it here if you like to). I love the way this simple painterly sketch captures movement and animal beauty as well as a magical mood.

Collecting Birds – Caffinch

"Collecting Birds" is an ongoing series of watercolour birds in their natural surroundings, painted to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature. They are inspired by the illustrations you'll find in old books for identifying bird species, and I try to marry this inspiration with the loose painterly quality of watercolours. I submitted 3 of these – you can find the other 2 on my voting page.

Irish Sheep 2

Ok, I simply had to include this friendly chap! Travelling in Ireland these sheep are your constant companions, but I tried for long to do a good portrait as they tend to be wild and shy. This close up and upfront shoot now finally shows one of them in full beauty and pride :-)

Cow Parade

My "Cow Parade" is a digital collage of monoprints. The prints I used are all leftovers from an older commission – all the ones that went a bit wrong somewhere … I call them "odd prints", have been collecting them for quite some time, and love them for exactly that, for the mistakes and quirks. It was fun to do sthg with them finally – and I hope people will have fun with them too!

And here's two more landscapes!
In this shot of Dingle Harbour in Ireland below I captured clouds and sun playing on the ships and hills, reducing them to silhouettes and highlighting the importance of the elements – it's a small land floating between a vast sea and sky. The photograph is part of my Irish "Light on …" series. I submitted 3 of these – you can find the other 2 on my voting page.

Light on Dingle Harbour Ireland

A Winter Walk

Finally here's a watercolour painted in Germany. It was inspired by a walk on a foggy day in early winter – I loved the reduced color palette and the way the forest and hills melted into the soft greys of the frosty sky. A painting that radiates a peaceful and meditative mood.

Want to see more? Just hop over to my voting page!
You as well can have a look at all submissions here. But beware – it might take quite a while, there's 6278 of them in the whole! Wish me luck!
And thank you for visiting and voting :-)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Hello 2017 – and nature's New Year celebration

Here's to 2017 – wishing everybody a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!

There won't be a real review of 2016 this time … I'll just settle on admitting that I am pretty happy to be in 2017 now! And that 2016 was a challenging year at least. Caring for two 90 year old peeps (one of them with dementia) while looking after two households plus trying to run my art and design business often brought me to the edge of exhaustion. I believe that there's a time for everything in life, and this obviously is not the time for big career plans …

So for 2017 I'll just try to concentrate on the positive things. Hoping to help my parents to live their high age life in dignity – which is not easy all the time – and praying for patience for myself. And I'll just take every chunk of time I can get to create. It has become crystal clear to me that this is one of my basic needs, going way beyond any thoughts of career or making money.

For today – and to celebrate the New Year – I'll show you the winter wonderland that we enjoyed for two days right at our doorstep. It started on the 30th of December when we had a day and a night of dense fog. When the valley appeared again out of the big nothing, it had wrapped itself into a festive cloth of glittering frost … enjoy :-) Happy 2017!