Category Archives: Art

Creative Juice #261

Creative Juice #261

The best articles I’ve read this week.

Creative Juice #260

Creative Juice #260

I didn’t set out to make this week’s offerings photography-heavy; it just turned out that way. Enjoy, shutterbugs.

Creative Juice #259

Creative Juice #259

Pretty things and practical advice.

Creative Juice #258

Creative Juice #258

All sorts of info to inspire your artistic brain.

  • I know the common green mantises; I didn’t know they have diverse cousins.
  • Flip through Nathalie’s art journal.
  • How things get done in Mozambique.
  • Lovely photographs of ordinary objects.
  • Funny and amazing animal videos.
  • Natural poses to suggest when you’re taking photographs of groups of people.
  • Teeny tiny paintings.
  • This artist’s quilted portraits celebrate Black life. Be sure to click on the link at the end of the article to see more. (Actually, you have to click on the little box that appears when you click the link.)
  • For the writers: mining memories for your memoir.
  • Incredible photographs of endangered species.
  • For the artists: open calls, grants, residencies, and fellowships.
  • The Presto from the Summer concerto from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons played on a big honkin’ organ.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
Landscape with the Flight into Egypt by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569) is considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century. He is especially known for his landscapes and his depictions of peasant life. Some of his work also included religious themes.

Hunters in the Snow
Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Census at Bethlehem
The Census at Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Here is a quick overview of his work:

In 1551 or 1552, he traveled to Italy, as was customary for northern European artists of the time, since Italy was the artistic center of Europe. During his travels he was exposed to landscapes so different from his home in the low country. His observations of the mountains are skillfully captured in his subsequent landscape paintings. (See the top two paintings above.)

His paintings often include many figures, each unique and none prettified.

The Wedding Dance
The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Children's Games
Children’s Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Beekeepers
Beekeepers by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Peasant Wedding
The Peasant Wedding by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Peasant Dance
The Peasant Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

What does it say about me that my favorite paintings of Bruegel’s are the ones that remind me of Hieronymus Bosch, one of Bruegel’s influences?

The Triumph of Death
The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Fall of the Rebel Angels
The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Bruegel was an apprentice of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, and married Coecke’s daughter, Mayken, in 1563. They had two sons, Jan and Pieter, who also became painters. The sons are known as Pieter Bruegel the Younger (to distinguish him from his father) and Jan Bruegel the Elder (to distinguish him from his son, also a painter).

A video about a show of Bruegel’s work in 2018 in Vienna:

Creative Juice #257

Creative Juice #257

Lots of artsy stuff this week.

Fun with Homemade Foam Stamps


Last week I read an article by Alice Hendon about making foam stamps. I have long been a fan of Nathalie Kalbach, who designs rubber and foam stamps, and who posts her wonderful creations on her website. So when I read Alice’s article, she made the process seem so simple, I thought maybe I could do it. I knew I had an inkpad somewhere, but I couldn’t find it, so I visited Amazon and ordered this adorable set of inexpensive inkpads. (I have supplied the link purely for your information; I am not an Amazon affiliate, so I do not earn any commission.)

Ink pads
Over the weekend, Greg asked me to make a hobby supply run for him to Michael’s. While I was there, I picked up a foam sheet, and I happened to see a cute set of rubber stamps, so I bought them too. (Not an affiliate of Michael’s either.) When I got home, it was time to try them out.
Fun with rubber stamps
Yesterday I looked on YouTube to see if I could find the Sarahbeme video Alice mentioned in her article. I think this is the one:

After watching that, I was ready to try making my own stamps. I liked the angular stamp Sarah made first, so I made one like that, the same size as my stamp pad.

Step 1

Then I thought I needed some round shapes, so I cut out two circles, then cut them into quarters. I used the green ink pad and layered it on top of what I had so far:

Step 2

Then I cut some wavy lines, inked them with blue, and put them over the top:

step 3

Eh. I think that may have been too much. But it was fun to try, and I will definitely use them again, and make more. Next, I’d like to make a scallop design similar to ones I’ve seen on Nathalie’s site. I’ll definitely post more when I make more.

And if you try making your own foam stamps, let me know!

Creative Juice #256

Creative Juice #256

Things to think about, things to laugh about, things to love.

Creative Juice #255

Creative Juice #255

Hey, if you’re a writer, there are THREE articles here for you. And nine for everybody else.

  • Design so beautiful you’ll want to live here.
  • Like dogs and horses? Then you’ll love this Instagram account.
  • For the fiction writers: tips from Margie Lawson.
  • Sculptures made from zip-ties.
  • An artist celebrates her pregnancy.
  • Does your writing routine (or any creative practice) need a refresh? Go outside.
  • Do you like sunflowers? Here’s a bunch of ‘em.
  • Interesting street art.
  • Why writers should just do it and get it over with. (Sensitivity alert: there is a metaphor in this article that may be offensive to some people and may be an anxiety trigger for others. It made me laugh. Full disclosure: I’ve never had this procedure; back in the Stone Age, when I was dating, it wasn’t yet a “thing.”)
  • Do you ever think about writing your memoir?
  • I’m glad I read this. The pandemic, which I thought was almost over, is back again with a vengeance, and I have been longing for the good old days like nobody’s business. I needed a reminder that our lives before weren’t necessarily great, and I don’t have to look at the present like it’s oppressive.
  • Chimneys used to be a much bigger deal than they are today.

Creative Juice #254

Creative Juice #254

These articles fascinated me this week, and I wanted to share: