long live the chaos!

'the house on the hill'
collage, drawing and a little bit of photoshop 

My studio is one big mess. There is hardly any order in the things. There are a lot of unfinished paintings, pieces of paper and leftovers from other projects. Somehow this big mess inspires me. This little piece of art is defenitly a result of that.

Long live the chaos!

let's find us a bench

let's find us a bench
where we can sit
and watch the sun go down
where we can sit and stare
until the stars have regained
their magical state
and we start believing in miracles again


In the weekend of 23 and 24 september Leiden is having its 'Kunstroute' again (www.kunstrouteleiden.nl).
During this artfestival artists open the doors of their studios for the public.
My studio will also be open from 12 till 6.
You're very welcome to come and take look at the art I'm working on now.

The adress is: Rijnsburgerweg 75, Leiden

Saturday: studio/shop open

Het is weer zaterdag 12.00: 
Atelier/winkel 'The Happy Artist' (that's me!) is open! 
De kat is al op bezoek (zie bank).

Sunday: artmarket in Leyden

'yellow heart'

Sunday June 25 I'll be at the artmarket at the Hooglandse Kerkgracht in Leyden.
I'm going to draw all day long on large paper.
Do you want to join me and draw a little too?


Oeps! Nog geen vaderdagcadeau? Geen nood! 
Ik ben zaterdag geopend van 12 tot 17 uur.
Je kunt wat kunst kijken of kopen of zelf een leuke tekening maken. 
Welke Paps vindt dat nou niet fantastisch, een zelfgemaakt kunstwerk krijgen? 
Tekentafel staat klaar!

paper doll!

paper doll

just playing around with cardboard, staples, paint and markers

waiting for G....

My love G. is doing therapy twice a week. While he is struggling and sweating I wait in the car or on a bench nearby. And I draw... Sometimes images like these appear in my sketchbook: a lady with a funny hat. By the way: I love funny hats!

picking flowers on a beautiful day

'picking flowers on a beautiful day'

artjournal page, mixed media, acrylic paint, collage, markers and brushpen on paper

working in books...

I sold another painting today on Etsy. Since that doesn't happen very often I'm very happy about that. Soon this one will be shipped to the USA. It made me thinking: 'I have to make more paintings...'
Actually I have more than enough art in stock to last a couple of months even if I make sales every day. But still it startled me, that thought of 'having to' make more.
At this moment I hardly do any real paintings. I work in books, make books and make prints from pages in my books. I write in them, draw and paint and make collages here. I love to do this so much that my bookshelves are getting full, overloaded in fact. What I love so much about the working in the books is that it is very easy to flip through the pages and to keep on working on the drawings or paintings all the time, adding a little here, and adding a little there a few pages later. In that way stories seems to emerge step by step, line by line.
I start new books and go back to books I made twenty years ago. Reading old memories, seeing old drawings and adding new ones is a bit like life itself. I guess that that is why I love this way of working so much.

queen in the morning: a monday poem...

queen in the morning
sleepy head
but the eyes open
'it will be a good day for ruling',
she thinks
and she gets up
brushes her teeth
and goes to work

shut the hell up


I'm reading this wonderful book right now. It is called 'Collage' and it is written by Danielle Krysa (aka 'the jeaous curator'). It is full of collages (of course) and absolutely inspiring.

So I thought about trying a collage also. I do that more often, but now I tried something different. I googled the word 'HELLUP', which is Dutch for 'help', although wrongly spelled. I just picked the word because I used it today.

Googling I looked only at the images that came up and picked some, printed them and started cutting them up, glueing them down. Then I scanned the result and reworked it roughly with photoshop and voila.... here is the resulting image! I hope you like it as much as I loved making it!

reviving old paintings

I cut up an old painting and made some new art of it. 
This is one of the new pieces.
A sweet, happy girl with birds singing around her head.

prints are available here

an interview with Nancy Regens who will show her work at 'The Happy Artist' (my place)

On saturday april 1th Nancy Regens' exhibition of her art will start. You probably want to know a little bit more about her, so I asked her a lot of questions, which she answered with flair and enthousiasm. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.

Mariska: Hi, Nancy,
Welcome here! I'm so happy that you are showing your paintings at my place!
I love them very, very much!
I want to ask you some questions about you and your art.
I understand that this is the first time you're showing your work to other public than your husband or direct friends. Can you tell me why this is?

Yes, very few people have seen any of my artwork. While in middle school I remember my art teacher sarcastically saying, “Well, I hope you are not planning on making a living in art!”

But about 15 years ago I found myself painting every room of my house and porches. I mean walls were different colors. Then I started collecting art of all sorts. And before I knew it I was told I had a “good eye”. I would move things around – furniture, art objects, paintings, etc until they looked good to me. People would ask me – are you an artist? I’d say no. Then a common comment began – it looks like your house is your canvas.

A few years ago a friend asked me to go with him to a drawing class. Since I travel so much I missed probably half of the classes. After awhile I figured out online art classes would work better for me since my attendance was not stellar.

Being in The Netherlands has given me the time, space and inspiration to delve into my more artistic side.
It has been very rewarding and a lot of fun!

Mariska: Can you tell me how you 'work'? Do you have a routine? Do you have any habits concerning making art?

Nancy: A very important part is music. I have to have that. We are lucky to have a great sound system in our rented apartment here. So I crank it up, dance and begin putting paint on the blank canvas in a random manner with no intentions. I find my paintings are better if I do not have an idea of what I’m going to paint when I begin. And after a few layers I begin looking for things. I begin pulling these things out and then begin looking at color, lines, composition, etc. When I plan something out too far ahead of time I get frustrated very quickly. I let the painting come to me.

Mariska: What inspires you? How come?

Nancy: I’ve been taking photographs for a few years now. This makes me look – really look at things around me. I work with Lightroom and again this helps me hone my visual skills.

After retiring I decided to become a docent at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. I love sharing art with people of all ages. I use VTS – Visual Thinking Strategies to get art patrons to look over a longer period of time. We talk about what they see and what exactly they see that makes them say that. Listening to others talk about their experiences with the same piece of art is very important. The group is stronger than one individual art patron. I believe in looking at a few pieces of art for a longer period of time rather than quickly seeing many works of art. The docent experiences began to make me think – maybe I could make art.

Mariska: What does making art mean to you? How does it make you feel?

Nancy:I like your question – not what does art mean to me but what does making art mean to me. Making art is like an itch that has to be scratched. I have to do it now!

Creating art is such an intense experience that time flies by when I’m making art. The music helps carry me along as well. The feeling is all consuming! And I find if I go too many days without working on some art project I feel something is missing in my life. I truly miss it! Creating art definitely makes me feel more alive.

Mariska: What is the first creative moment you remember?

Nancy: I think that was when I felt compelled to paint the walls of my home and collect art and other artistic objects to fill it. I think that was my first positive art experience. Until then I never thought of myself as an artist. When growing up my parents were very practical. They both grew up in the Midwest. And art was not practical. They wanted me to support myself – teaching or nursing careers were my options.

Mariska: What artists are a model for you or do you like a lot? Why?

Nancy: There are so many. I find artist models everywhere. My husband, Steve and I just went to see the street photographer Ed van der Elsken’s exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. It definitely made me think about where he found inspiration and how he went about creating it. His motto was “show the world who you are.” The word here for me is “show”. Showing my work is difficult for me.

Mariska: You seem to be travelling quite a lot? Does that influence your art? In what way?

Nancy:Travel is very important to me. I love seeing new places, visiting old places I’ve made connections with, meeting new people and visiting friends I’ve made earlier in my life. When I travel I use my camera to capture what I’m seeing and try to convey what I’m feeling. I’m always looking around for a photo shot. These skills come in handy when I’m looking at my canvas for what I can find there. Through this I bring out what is inside of me.

Mariska: What do you dream about?

Nancy: I feel like I am living my dream. Steve and I are here in Leiden, enjoying the Dutch lifestyle. I’m painting and Steve is writing and giving talks. Now I’m having an art show with live music. Don’t think it can get better than that!

Mariska: What are your plans concerning the art?

Nancy: So far I’ve concentrated on making art–paintings and photographs. But slowly I’ve been shifting towards showing others what I’ve been doing. I now have a website via Zenfolio and I post on Instagram. This art show is my first but I’m planning on having a show for my friends and family at my home sometime after I return to Tucson. We have art studio tours a couple times a year in Tucson. So I’ll try to get into that.

Finally I want to thank Mariska Eyck for this opportunity to show my work. She has been very support and positive. She even loaned me a table easel. I’m super excited about the live music at the opening.

Next I want to thank my “head cheerleader”, my husband, Stephen Pompea. He brings home new canvases when I’ve painted on all of the others. He gives me encouraging words at times when I’m doubting myself.

And now:
You're welcome to enjoy Nancy's work at my place.
Saturday april 1th we will have an opening party with live-music from Boys on the Edge and the Girl.
Join us from 4 to 6.
Nancy's paintings will be here until may 6th and can be seen every saturday (except on april 8th when the place is closed) from 12 till 5.

Mariska Eyck's gallery/studio/shop 'The Happy Painter'
Rijnsburgerweg 75, Leiden

Nancy on the internet:

the girl with the giant theapotbag

It is so funny to experience how making art makes the subconscious speak.
Today I was making a to-do-list which was on its way to become endless. 
My head full, overflowing in fact. 
In the meantime I was just doodling around, drawing lines, spirals and forms.
 And suddenly there she was: the girl with the giant teapotbag! 
She appeared like a message from above saying: 
'Throw all your to-do's in a big bag and make sure to take a lot of tea time today!' 

Have a nice tea time filled day today everybody!

Saturday april 1th (no joking) opening party for exhibition of Nancy Regens

Nancy Regens

shows her beautiful paintings at my place (april 1-may 6). 
On april 1th we will open her exhibition with wine, a bite and live music from 
Boys on the Edge and the Girl (inderdaad: Gerard, Ed en Berthe!). 
You're welcome to join us from 4 till 6. And please bring your artloving friends.

lady with the hat

lady with the hat

Jean Tinguely

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor jean Tinguely

Vandaag dan toch nog de expo over Jean Tinguely gezien in het Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Terwijl we nog een discussie voerden over de waarde van kunst en cultuur, zwierven we door zalen vol met wezens, machines en totaal zinloze figuren... En we hadden de grootste lol. En met ons veel andere toeschouwers.  De grappige machines die soms even mochten bewegen, riepen verrassing en plezier op. En de run op een machine als die 'aan' ging. Hartstikke spannend.  Welke gaat eerst... en wat gaat ie doen...? Kortom,  alle elementen voor spel waren aanwezig. Lol, spanning, verbazing, verwondering en beweging. Gelukshormonen dreven in dikke wolken door het museum. En leken zich als vanzelf te vermeerderen.
Hoezo heeft kunst geen waarde? Een dagje Tinguely maakt dat je die vraag niet meer hoeft te stellen.

Nog tot zondag te zien in het Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

room for art = room for me = room for life

Sorry, my dear friends who don't understand Dutch! This post is going to be in Dutch. It's a piece I've written some time ago remembering how much making art means to me.

Room for art = room for me = room for life

Ja, dat is wat ik voor mijzelf wil, wat ik de wereld toewens. Room for art: ruimte voor het maken van kunst, voor het beleven ervan, voor het lezen erover, voor het erin wegzinken…

Ik word een beetje emotioneel als ik dit schrijf, zittend hier in de 'Leidse Lente'.
Ik ben hier voor de eerste keer en alles ademt leven, kunst, creativiteit, Joy en zo. Al zijn de tafeltjes van formica en de bloemen van plastic. Mooie muziek op de achtergrond. Inspirerend.
Dat emotionele? De herkenning van een plek, waar ik misschien thuishoor, een sfeer die voelt als een ziel, als een bezield geheel. Of is het een van de eerste zinnen van zojuist: dat de wereld toewensen van kunst… en dat mijzelf van harte, zeer van harte toewensen.

Wat als iedereen op zijn/haar eigen plek zou kunnen landen, in zijn eigen diepste ziel, in die bron van leven. Want ik geloof niet in zwarte zielen, zielen van dood en verderf, al ontken ik niet de ellende van de wereld, in de wereld, de afgrijselijke dingen die mensen elkaar aandoen. Maar ik kan nooit geloven dat dat hun allerdiepste waarheid is. Dat dat toch eerder die plek van licht, van energie van kleur is. Een plek die bij velen van ons is toegedekt met angst, woede… Angst lijkt mij bijna de oorzaak van alle zwartheid. Angst voor de dood, voor niet mogen bestaan, voor te klein zijn om opgemerkt te worden.

Every day I love you more..’ zingt de zanger in de muziek die opstaat. ‘ I’ve been away too long…’. Ik denk aan het LEVEN: I’ve been away too long, lief leven. Everyday I missed you more and everyday I love you more.
Maar het voelt wel wat ver weg de laatste weken, dat leven. Alsof het elders gebeurt, ik er niet bij ben, eraan voorbij leef, mijn hoofd vol met gepieker en geoordeel, zeg maar rustig met veroordeling. Nu voel ik me even VRIJ. Vrij om aardige dingen over mezelf te denken, te genieten van de klanken van de muziek en van het geluid dat mijn vingers maken terwijl ze zinnen typen op dit kleine tabletje. Vrij om mezelf de ruimte te gunnen, van harte toe te wensen, RUIMTE VOOR KUNST, RUIMTE VOOR MIJ!

Oud oranje behang, 80-erjarenpatroon… opeens mooi.
Ruimte, ik word ruimer, voel me lichter, minder bekneld in mijn eigen gedachten en angsten. Oh, my, wat is de muziek mooi. Een balad. Ik ken hem niet.

En hoe maak ik van mijn kunst een ruimte waarin ook anderen welkom zijn, mee mogen kijken? Voortdurend toch dat veroordelende in mijzelf: deel alleen wat heeeeel erg goed is. Maar dat vertegenwoordigt helemaal niet hoe ik over kunst denk, over mijn kunst voel. Die is juist vrij, helemaal vrij, ze schept voor mij die vrijheid doordat in mijn werk alles kan. Ik kan zweven boven de wereld, boven mijn angsten en vele harde eisen en oordelen over mijzelf. Dat gevoel zou ik willen doorgeven…

Maar hoe? Maar ik durf niet… bang voor… oordeel, afkraken, door anderen… en dan neem ik dat over en vind ik mezelf ook maar een prutser… zoiets. Hoe kan ik mezelf losmaken van het oordeel van anderen… 

Wees moedig!!! Zegt er iets in mij. Recht je rug en geloof in je kunst (fake it till you make it, desnoods). De angst zal steeds weer terugkomen, keer na keer na keer. Maar hoe vaker ik ermee deal, hoe beter ik het kan. Oefening baart kunst immers. Er is geen andere weg. De andere weg is slappe hap, half leven, doen alsof het me niet kan schelen dat ik geen kunst maak. Alsof het er niet toe zou doen dat ik het niet deel, dat gevoel van vrijheid dat de kunst mij geeft.. de joy, de vleugels.

Party-time with OneNote


I was playing on my tablet tonight and discovered OneNote, a simple program by Microsoft. I ended up making this drawing.
It was actually quite funny to work with a simple drawing program instead of with Photoshop with all its complex functions. There is not much to choose, just a limited set of colors and pencils. So there are not so many possibilities which made that I didn't expect a lot from it.  In fact I didn't expect a lot from myself. 
It made me thinking about all the big plans I tend to have, which have to turn out so perfect that they can lead to quite some stress, which costs a lot of the potentional joy that making art can bring. What if I kept it all a lot more simple in more aspects of life? Would that add more fun to it? Let's give it a try!

busy times around here

Busy times around the house. Children moving out and back in again. It is like the house is in a constant state of movement and so am I. Lots of long to do lists to keep a more or less clear view. On top of those lists is this task for me: DRAW EVERYDAY TO CALM THE MIND (and soul)! This never fails... And if it does, it is only a sign that I haven't yet made enough art that moment...