woensdag 16 april 2014

Workshop Art Journaling with Lou Niestadt


A few weeks ago somewhere on the internet I stumbled upon the announcenment that  Lou Niestadt would give an artjournalning workshop. I was immediately excited! I have been following her ever since I accidently found her book in our local liberary almost a year ago. Whilst searching for the exact details of the workshop I started debating with myself how far I would be willing to travel fort his. Amsterdam..shure. Utrecht maybe.. To my amazement I found that it would be held in the next village. Only a 20 minute bike-ride away.  With the added bonus of recieving one of her books I immediately signed up.
This Sunday the wait was over and it was workshop-day.  I actually was quite nervous..  In my mind Lou is somewhat of a celebrity so the idea that she would be right there filled me with jitters.
I had never been to the “schijfsalon” before but it felt like coming home. The room was light and decorated with crochet-banners, lovely paintings with inspiring quotes, a table with typewriters and other lovely stuff. At every seat there was a black pen and a small , cheap box of waterpaints and a piece of paper.
I found a seat and met some of my “classmates”. I think I wasn’t the only one who was a bit nervous thankfully.
Lou had brought her 2 dogs and came to introduce herself to everyone who came in. She was lovely and I really had nothing to be nervous about. 

She started the workshop telling about how she does her artjournaling. She showed us some of her pages and talked about how everyone can do it.  She also spoke about how we sabotage ourselves. We tell ourself that we need those expensive paints before we can start or how we need that one specific type of pen in order to draw. And how, when we finally have all of those things, we are scared to actually use them because we think  we need to make a masterpiece with those expensive things.

The actual “work” part of the workshop consisted of drawing. We had a piece of paper that we folded in 4. That we it became a kind of little booklet. Next came the question: “what to draw?” I always struggle with this.  Lou had a very simple awnser: “what’s in your bag?”
Most of us carry a purse. And , if you are anything like me, you carry along things that have meaning to you. Now I carry a massive bag most of the time. My bag is really somewhat like my securityblanket. I have something in there for every occasion or emergency. I am trying to carry less with me but still I had lost of options to chose from.
I decided not to make it to hard for myself and started with my ever present tube of handcreme. 
There is nothing I hate more then dry hands..

To make it really challenging we weren’t allowed to use pencil first.. Because the problem with that is that for perfectionists like me you draw until everything is perfect.. and that is an impossible thing. So you spend ages erasing and re-drawing..
We had to draw straight onto the paper with the black pen. The first line onto the paper was really scary. But , as Lou told us, mistakes happen, you just need to accept them and move on.
After a few lines it got beter. I noticed it my lines did actually look like the tube of creme in front of me. 
After the drawing I got to use the paint. With my first stroke on the paper I realised that the black pen wasn’t waterproof and smudged in my paint. At first it really bummed me out  and I was tempted to pull out my "expensive"waterproof pen. But soon I realised it just added character to my drawing. It made it look really artsy. 

I happily drew and painted for the next hour and a half. I glanced at other people work and saw that everyone made lovely drawings and was also happily at work. Lou meanwhilst walked around and talked with everyone, awnsering questions and giving advice.
Before I knew it, it was 16.00 and time to go home. I was given some really good advice and went home very inspired. 

Lou is a lovely person and the way she talks about art journaling makes you want to try it yourself.
She even took the time to sign my book! 
If you ever have the chance to meet her or attend one of her workshops I highly reccomend it.



I had never been to the “schrijfsalon” before. And was pleasantly surpirsed to find such a lovely place not far from my home. They have regular writing-meetings and I intend to go to more often.


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