I create art and I write, my words create a picture and my pictures tell a story…let’s call it the Art of Writing. I cannot do them at the same time, but I have no preference. There are days or even weeks that I want to write and then I can feel a strong urge to paint. The process is almost the same. I have a vague idea, I sit down and get a pencil and create a rough sketch on the canvas or I grab a pen and start sketching a rough idea for a story in my notebook. The rest is very intuitive. The painting happens while I’m working on it. I have an overall idea of the colours but I don’t plan it ahead, the colours mix on the canvas, and I add more till the balance is right, I just go with the flow. It’s similar when I write. The overall idea is there. It works best if I sit down somewhere and just start writing. It’s like opening a gate in my head and the words just appear.
I don’t pretend to write literature, although some say that my first book Secret Thoughts is. I leave it to the judgement of others. I just enjoy writing the words that occupy my head, as if I’m talking. Depending on the subject of the book I like to dig into my fantasy and create surreal scenes as I did in Secret Thoughts. A little book with quirky, sensual stories, many of which with an unusual twist. I enjoy the process of writing a short, even very short story. The challenge of saying what you like to say in few words is interesting. It is a matter of writing and re-writing many times. This is of course a natural process when you write a book.
I’m not a native English speaker. I’m Dutch and although my English is good, I prefer to write in English and not in my native language. I have used a process of several proofreaders and a final editor for all my books. My blogs are not edited, so I’m aware of the fact that my language is not the same as a native would say things, but it is me, it is me being vulnerable and being myself. Not searching for that perfection but wanting to share my thoughts and more importantly inspire people, and bring some happiness in this world through by books and art. I think authenticity and vulnerability are key ingredients and that the reader and the art lover will pick this up, as a secret energy creating a connection between the artist&writer and its audience.
I’m an indie author. This is an author who is the creative director of all their books, from concept to completion and also beyond, without approaching publishers. Times have changed and more and more people self-publish. I have become a publisher myself so that I can obtain the necessary ISBN numbers for my books, and through the print-on-demand service provider – who submits my books to Amazon – all my books can be purchased from me directly and from Amazon.
My art and my writing are intertwined.
I use my own art for the covers of my books, which I feel makes me stand out from the crowd. But my art and writing are also intertwined in different ways. For example, I create sensual and sometimes surreal art and my book ‘Secrets Thoughts‘ is a book with sensual and surreal short stories. This book is also translated into Spanish called ‘Pensamientos Secretos‘
Cheers on the other hand wrote itself, as if my hand was guided, inspired by a higher force. I interviewed people and then crafted their experiences into short stories. The entire process only took three months, which is very short for a complex book. I do believe I was meant to write that book as through personal experience, my natural curiosity about what this would be like for others and my love for writing I had the perfect tools to create the book.
I created a painting for the cover of the book, it shows a female figure in soft orange, light colours and you can vaguely see her angel wings. She is holding a male figure, broken, shattered as if he is bleeding. So the painting is telling the story that can be read in the different stories in the book. Both the book and the painting are very special to me. The book has already helped many and I hope it will continue to do so. You can read more information about Cheers on this website. Cheers is also translated into German, Dutch and Spanish.
Working in series
I like to paint in series and have, for example created a series of mandala women, women with masks, flamenco women and I’m currently working on angel paintings (angels to bring some lightheartedness into the world).
I have also created quite a few flamenco paintings. I call them flamenco with a twist as ‘my dancers’ are usually not dancing, but staring into the distance. I live in La Herradura, a small seaside village in the province of Andalusia, the cradle of the flamenco dance and music. This inspired me to create a series of flamenco paintings. I made a painting depicting a flamenco dancer, especially for a book that I wrote about the village. It is called ‘Reflections from La Herradura’. For this book I interviewed some people from the village but also many artists (painters, musicians, writers, dancers, etc.) who felt attracted to the village by its magical energy. Their stories also describe what inspires them and how they create their specific art. It is a story-telling journey through La Herradura, much loved by many artists, including the famous Andres Segovia. The book is also available in Spanish, called ‘Reflejos del paisaje humano de La Herradura’.
That is a name that I’ve given my paintings that don’t have a specific theme such as flamenco or angels. It covers the paintings I created from when I started painting professionally (in 1986) and participating in group exhibitions and many solo exhibitions both in galleries and other art premises and events. I guess you could say that this is a book waiting to be written. I like to write ‘colourful stories’ and you can read some stories on a blog page I created a while ago called Spanish adventure. I have not been writing blogs for this post for a while as I want to concentrate on my art and book blogs and my online presence which is taking up a large part of my time. I also need to free up time to paint so for the moment the Spanish adventure blog is put on hold. However, you can of course still read the stories I so far published there.
The art of feeling better
If you have visited my author page on Amazon, you might have noticed that I’ve also written three more books. For the covers of these books I’ve used mandalas that I’ve created. I have a passion for mandalas. All my mandalas are free-hand painted mandalas. I do not necessarily consider my mandalas art, but I do love creating them. The book series ‘The art of feeling better’ consists of little books with visualisations which intent to make you feel better. You can read more about the series by clicking on the link above.
I believe that art and writing can help you feel better, whether this is creating art or books or enjoying art or books. I create because I have this inner urge to do so, but I hope that what I create can make others feel better. I write and paint from the heart as you can read in my previous blog. But what the Art of writing comes down to for me is: being honest – even if you work is fiction, as it still needs to be genuine – not copied, perhaps inspired, but original, and also as an artist and writer being authentic and OK with being vulnerable.
Get to know me!
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