written by Austin Kleon, published by Lannoo
genre nonfiction / self-help, 140 and 215 pages
Don’t ever judge the value of a book by its size! If size would have mattered, I would never have picked up either one of those fantastic books; ‘Steal like an Artist’ and ‘Show your work!’.
Although there are many great books to read, every now and then I feel like rereading one of the books I’ve read before. Sometimes I really liked the story, sometimes the book was very inspiring, sometimes for no particular reason at all. READ MORE
When writing the post ‘2017 in a nutshell’, in which I look back at the milestones reached last year, Magnus’ birth announcements had just been send out and I promised that it wouldn’t take long before I’d share pictures of the end result with you as well.
At this second day of 2018, I’d like to take a brief moment to look back at the past year. A year that has kept me so busy, especially the second half of it, that I barely had the time and energy to keep up with Morrie&Me.
Than what has been keeping you so busy? You might wonder… Well this year has been all about 3 big milestones for me and I can hardly believe how much has happened these past few months!
written by Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner, published by Lannoo
genre interior design & plants, 239 pages
When looking for garden and plant inspiration for our home this book full of pictures of the most incredible and very original, green interiors had to be explored. Plants not only help keep your home fresh and clean, they also add life and character to your interior. Flipping through the pages of Wonderplants makes me even more excited to add some beautiful plants to our interior.
written by Martje Haverkamp & Emilie Sobers, published by Uitgeverij Unieboek | Het Spectrum bv
genre life-lessons, 188 pages
starring Jeroen Krabbé, broadcasted by AVROTROS (Dutch national TV)
launched in 2017, 8 episodes of app. 35 minutes
Two years ago the Dutch national television broadcasted the same documentary series presented by Mr. Jeroen Krabbé (a well known Dutch actor, director, presenter and painter), portraying the work and life of Vincent Van Gogh. A series I absolutely loved because Van Gogh is one of my all-time favorite painters and getting an insight look into his life, the places he lived and visited, background stories of the people he hung out with and the environments that inspired his art, was an absolute pleasure.
In this year’s series Mr. Krabbé takes us on a trip through France, Spain and Italy, following the footsteps of the richest, most famous and maybe even most talented painter that has ever lived; Pablo Picasso.
Throughout the series we get to know Picasso, the development of his art, the women that inspired his work, his homes and different lifestyles he’s led. An extraordinary man, who’s lived a fascinating life. An artist that changed the style of art as easily as he exchanged women. A man who’s had a massive impact on all who surrounded him and leaving behind the most amazing artworks man has ever made!
The series consists of 8 half an hour long episodes, in which we follow Picasso’s life chronologically. Starting off getting to know Pablo as a child, followed by the different stages of his life and the women he spend them with. Ending with his death that was followed by a five year long tragic fight over his enormous heritage by his many descendants, ex-lovers and family members.
episode 1 1881-1905 : De jeugd van een genie / The childhood of a genius
The Journey takes off in Malaga, where Pablo Picasso lived as a child. Pablo’s fascination for bullfighting can allready be seen in the artwork he’s made in his childhood. We follow the young painter to Paris where he moves into the artist residencies Bateau Lavoie. There he meets one of his first big loves; Fernande Olivier.
episode 2 1904-1908 : Het leven krijgt kleur / Life gets colourful
In the second episode we see Picasso’s paintings evolve from pink and optimistic, inspired by his love for Fernande, into abstract art. During their summer in the Spanish mountain village Gósol, the color Iberic orange catches his eye and he starts painting abstracted, mask-like faces, which for example to can be seen on ‘Demoiselles d’Avignon’.
episode 3 1908-1915 : Over vriendschap en concurrentie / Friendship and competition
Back in Paris Picasso’s friendship with Braque results in one of the most renewing and controversial artforms of the entire art history; Cubism. His cubistic and semi-abstract work is inspired by both his luxurious life with Fernande and his secret love affair with Eva Gouel. When Eva dies in 1915, Picasso becomes deeply depressed.
episode 4 1915-1927 : l’Epoque duchesse / The era of the duchess
It’s 1917 when poet Jean Cocteau askes Picasso to design costumes for the legendary Ballets Russes. Pablo travels to Rome and immediately falls in love with ballerina Olga Koklova. They get married and move to Paris. On his wife’s request, Picasso paints her portraits in a very classical and romantic way.
episode 5 1927-1936 : Twee vrouwen / Two women
The 17-years-old Marie-Thérèse Walter, with whom Picasso has an 8 year long secret love affair, is the inspiration for many surrealist paintings and sculptures. When Marie-Thérèse gets pregnant of their daughter Maya, both Picasso’s affair and marriage end and the painter finds himself in a deep personal crisis once more.
episode 6 1936-1940 : Dora en de burgeroorlog / Dora and the civil war
When the Spanish Republicans ask Picasso to create an anti-Franco artwork as their contribution for the World Exhibition of Paris in 1937, the bombing of Guernica becomes the theme for this massive artwork. Picasso’s new mistress Dora Maar photographs Picasso during the creation of Guernica, one of the most famous anti-war artworks.
episode 7 1940-1953 : Het naoorlogse gelukkige gezinsleven / Pastwar happy family life
During World War II Picasso meets his new wife, the 40-years younger law student and artist Francoise Gilot. After the war they live a happy and quiet family life with their kids Claude and Paloma in the South of France. Their happiness ends in 1953 when Francoise, with their children, leaves Picasso because she can’t take his continuous cheating.
episode 8 1953-1973 : Op leven en good / On life and dead
In 1961 Picasso marries the 46-years younger Jacqueline Roque. They move to Mougins where they live a very isolated life and Picasso starts art battles with masters like Rembrandt, Velazquez and Manet in his studio. The artist works passionately until he days in 1973.
Pablo Picasso was a genius artist, living a fascinating (love)life which resulted in the most amazing artwork. Mr. Krabbé’s is an excellent storyteller and his enthusiasm for the painter and the artworks is very contagiously. I’m actually pretty sure that if you wouldn’t really be that interested in the work of Picasso, you’d still have a great time watching this series. (Please note, the series is presented in Dutch).
For those of you who can’t get enough of getting an insight look into the lives and artwork of the most fascinating artists, I’ve got some really good news to share. For the next series Mr. Krabbé will follow a painter that left behind everything to be able to totally focus on his art; Mr. Paul Gauguin!
For more information or to watch the episodes, have a look at the npo website.
written by Elizabeth Gilbert, published by Cargo
genre nonfiction / self-help, 256 pages
While traveling trough Australia I picked up Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and fell in love with her writing immediately. I love her personal tone of voice, her humour and the way she intertwines her own life into her stories. Reading her books feels like talking to a friend, a friend who’s giving me advice, telling me about her own life and experiences. ‘Big Magic’ is exactly that; Elizabeth being her honest and lovely self while explaining the mystery of creativity.
Elizabeth divides the creative process into six sections, the six chapters of the book. She explains where creativity comes from, and how inspiration and motivation can be found. She tells us to have the courage, to let go of fears and anxiety and to enjoy the creative process. She knows how hard it can be hard at times, when inspiration is nowhere to be found and you might even wonder why you started the project in the first place. It helps to know that it’s just a phase you’re going through and sooner or later inspiration will come back. All you have to do is stick to your project and keep on going.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
As mentioned Big Magic is broken into six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. A creative life can be divided into those stages and it’s up to you to deal with each and every one of them.
Courage: Elizabeth starts with the question whether you do have the courage to share with the world the treasures that can be found within you. Do you have the courage to start this adventure, to dive into the unknown? Insecurity and fear might be a part of this process, are you willing to deal with that?
Enchantment: Elizabeth believes inspiration to come from a magical source outside ourselves. An idea searches for the right person to collaborate with, somebody who’s open, willing, curious and disciplined to make the project succeed. I think looking at inspiration like it comes from an external source makes it easier to go through the creative process and deal with the (un)successful outcome of the project. The genius was either with or without you, you’re just the person who helped to fulfill the project.
Permission: you don’t need anybody’s permission to follow your passions and live life creatively. Follow your curiosity and don’t do it for anybody else. Even Big Magic wasn’t written for us, Elizabeth followed her own interests and curiosity and actually wrote this book just for her own satisfaction. That we also find meaning in it is absolutely wonderful, but that doesn’t mean a project is less valuable when that isn’t the case.
Persistance: a creative process, just like every job, also contains less pleasant parts. Instead of wondering what you would love to do, you should ask yourself what you love doing so much, that you’re willing to deal with the shitty parts as well. Interesting question, isn’t it?!
Trust: just like you love creativity, creativity does love you as well. Have trust the project wants to be made and that it wants to be made by you!
Divinity: when we act as playfully as possible, divinity can do serious business with us. A creative and inspirational life is full of paradoxes. When you embrace these paradoxes, you can make anything you want!
Everybody can be creative and the creative process is both lovely and hard for everyone, whether you’re successful or unsuccessful, a professional or an amateur. Just remember that following your curiosity and developing your creativity probably won’t bring you any external success, but it for sure will bring you a fun and interesting life and definitely internal satisfaction. Nothing should keep you from following your passions or keep you from living a curious and interesting life!
– Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic gave me some insights, maybe even approval, that I’d been looking for for years. After graduating from Art School, I felt like I had to live up to my title and earn my money as a designer. Not being able to do so made me feel like a failure. Thankfully I followed my heart and decided that I love being creative but my creativity doesn’t necessarily have to bring food to my table. I can earn money with a less creative job, a job I might even really like. Even though I do have a creative job right now, reading this book reassured me of how I want to use my creativity; without any expectations but with a lot of fun!
In case you’re right in the middle of one of those moments, wondering how you’re going to finish a project or why you even started it in the first place, or if you’re interested in the creative process and the origin of inspiration, Big Magic is a book you should definitely read!