Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Thank you to all the people who have supported and encouraged me in my artistic and sportive journey so far. I look forward to show you many more new paintings and share exciting outdoor adventures with you in the new year!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Artistic Explorations: Abstraction (3)

After having watched all episodes of BBC's programme "Frozen Planet", and experienced some beautiful Scottish winter weather the last few days, I was inspired to make a painting that would respresent the freeze-and-thaw cycle in the Arctic that is happening every year, but more dramatically in the last decades due to climate change. The way they captured the shapes of the ice plates and icebergs, the icy blue and turquoise colours and the textures that emerge during the freezing process were just jaw-dropping beautiful!

Online research gave me some good reference how to develop my concept. Here is a selection of images that worked really good for me.


Copyright unknown

©Arise and Rejoice




©Jonas Elmqvist



I finally created this painting called "Ice Formation". It's painted in acrylics on MDF board and the size, including frame, is 61 x 61 cm. The image here shows a frame I created digitally, because the actual frame is currently being made. The rectangular shapes, varying in tones, colour and size, represent the ice plates that are being created by the melting process. The cracks, created by the relief of woodchips, represent the ice crystals that emerge during the freezing process.

This painting has been submitted for BBC's programme "Show me the Monet". Although there is little chance my work will be selected (there will be 3,000 applicants!), it's a nice thought of having one work being inspired by a TV programme and then show it in another one!

Ice Formation ©Fenfolio2011

Monday, 12 December 2011

Ski Touring Glenshee

Winter has arrived in Scotland! Most people loathe it because it can cause major disruption, but I love the snow because I can do my most favourite outdoor activity; skiing! Weeks ago I joined Edingburgh Ski Touring Club and last weekend it was my first trip with them. We met at Glenshee Ski Centre with our touring equipment (touring skis and boots, skins, ice axe, map, GPS, hot drink and food etc.). Saturday was a beautiful day with a temperature of about -5 C and hardly any wind. The snow varied from really icy on the South-West facing slopes (there was a massive storm a few days before!) to fluffy powder snow on North-East facing slopes. After we left the ski lifts behind us, a group of 10 people headed for Loch Vrotachan and eventually to Munro Carn a Gheoidh (975 m). The routes shown below are is a rough line of our actual track. Next time I make sure my GPS will work!

We had stunning views all around us.

After about 5 hours of walking uphill and skiing downhill off-piste, we enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate with cream in the cafe to end our trip. Most people would make their way back home again but two other members and myself booked a nice and neat hostel in Braemar. Our dinner in The Gathering was excellent and well-deserved after our physical endurance.

The next morning it was unfortunately +3 C, but it didn't disencourage us to plan for another trip. We checked the slopes from a few spots in Glen Clunie and heather was mainly what we saw on low level so we decided to go back to Glenshee carpark. It was already very busy with many downhill skiers so that was a good sign that there was still enough snow.

We made our way along the towbars and then headed to the fishing hut at the bottom of Loch Vrotachan.

The wind had picked up and even though the temperature was higher than yesterday, the chill factor was certainly there. The shelter from this building was very welcome to refuel our bodies. There was unfortunately not enough time for us to explore the area towards An Socach but the season has just started and in a few weeks time the days will get longer again. I can't wait to go out on my skis again....

Monday, 5 December 2011

Handmade Christmas baubles

On the 5th of December Dutch people celebrate "Sinterklaas", a tradition that has similarities with Santa Claus, apart from the fact that it could be seen as discriminative for someone who doesn't know anything about this Dutch tradition. Until this date most people won't be thinking at all about Christmas. The Brits however have been in the Christmas mood since the end of November. TV ads, newspapers, radio jingles , supermarkets and shopping malls are bombarding everyone with their "amazing" offers. Roads to town are gritlocked due to heavy traffic of stressed shoppers who are socially pressured to get their presents.

For me, it's a slightly different experience. It seems ages ago since I last celebrated Sinterklaas. Christmas in our family is also more about spending quality time with eachother than about impressing eachother with expensive gifts. Preparations for this festive season started however very early for me this year because I wanted to display my handmade and painted Christmas baubles during the fair I organised for the golf club last month. People asked me how I made them so below I give you some kind of instruction. Have fun!

What you need:

* Small, medium and large polystyrene balls
* Long skewers
* Acrylic paint
* Medium sized flat brush, small round brush and another small brush
* Hot foil pen(s); (Foilplay)
* Foil (Foilplay)
* Glitter (Foilplay)
* Small pins
* Silver and golden decorative hooks
* Ribbon and/or thread

How to make your baubles:

Place a polestine ball on top of your wooden or aluminium skewer. Apply a layer of paint in a chosen colour. When dry, apply another layer in the same colour. If the layer is not opaque enough, paint another layer.
Once completely dry, take some hot foil from the pen by pressing on paper en take this liquid onto your flat brush. Apply in random strokes onto your bauble. Once dry, rub a sheet of foil over the bauble. Make sure you press hard enough and in all places. Tear off the foil. If you're not happy with the result, add some more in the same or another colour. Once dry, get some more liquid from the hot foil pen and transfer it to your small round brush. Paint a design with your brush and liquid onto your bauble. Once dry, apply some glitter with a separate brush. When you've painted and decorated the bauble, remove the skewer, add some ribbon and pin the decorative hook over it on top of the hole where the skewer was. Voila, you've got your very own, unique Christmas bauble. You can hang them in your Christmas tree, but I think you can see them better when they hang in some dried branches with lights.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Artistic Explorations: Abstraction (2)

It's been a while since I have written an article about my Artistic Explorations. The drive to sell artwork can sometime conflict with the wish for pure enjoyment and soul food! After a very hectic and emotional week in Holland due to a bereavement, I returned to my art class this week with only two big brushes and some black and white acrylics paint. Finally we could leave the still life exercise behind us and start the abstraction process which was the reason why I signed up in the first place. After watching a video about artist Franz Kline, I used my finished still life study as inspiration for the shapes and let my brushes and imagination do the rest of the work. It was utterly liberating!

Here are some samples of Franz Kline's artwork to give you an idea:

Below I show you how I created my final piece "Balance of the Forces". It's made in acrylics on grey cardboard, sized 76 x 52 cm.

Photo 1 for composition study

Photo 2 for composition study
Still life of objects ©Fenfolio2011

Balance of the Forces ©Fenfolio2011

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Online shop

In between all the preparations for next week, I've also managed to set up my online shop. I'm very pleased with the result and I'd like to thank Nina's Apartment for recommending this great and easy solution!


Delivery to Europe is free of charge. More products like A4 prints, original & mounted paintings will be added regularly. If you have already seen something I created, but can't find it yet, let me know. I hope you like what you see (your feedback about my shop is very much appreciated) and that my handmade products can inspire you for buying some Christmas presents!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Christmas Fair

On the 10th of November I'm organising a Christmas Fair at Inchmarlo Golf Club from 10 am until 1pm. Six exhibitors will have their goodies for sale such as organic beauty products by Organica J, home accessories and handmade cushions by Nina's apartment, candles from Liselotte Osugo imported from Denmark (www.ester-erik.dk), jewellery from Robin Key (Clavis Jewellery) and art (me). I will have my handmade cards, prints, miniature paintings and handcrafted christmas baubles on display and for sale. A second type of gift box with handmade cards will then also be available for the first time. This one is a more luxurious box with crinkled paper and rose petals. It includes 5 new designs (2 of each) sized 9 x 9 cm and textured ivory envelopes sized 10 x 10 cm.

Here's the invitation card. I hope to seeing you there then!