Summer News!

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The Summer Exhibit is over, the rooms are mostly back to normal, and I officially am done with my formal art education. I got an A- (1,66 in German grades) on my diploma and could just rest on that…
But that’s not happening, here’s what will really happen:

  • I will take a 2-week vacation with my parents and sisters in Italy. Although it is a vacation, I want to use that time to draw and go to art exhibits. One week Tusany near Pisa, one week Venice.
  • I will try to paint 2-4 Paintings as well as reframe some of the old ones. I still get to use the art studio at the academy until I leave in September
  • A mini-art-show in one of the main museums of Karlsruhe! I applied for a place, and I actually got accepted! I can only show one piece, so it’ll either be “Window”, “9th Street”, or “2 Fishing Boats”.
    The show will be on Sunday, August 21st, at the Botanical Gardens of the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. It’s part of the “Kunsthallensommer”.  The Motto “Montmartre, Paris
  • Study at the academy’s library. They are open even during the vacation and the book about art and art history are amazing! I hardly had time to be there before, but now I do :)
  • Getting ready to move out: I will start studying for another degree, this time Theology. I will move to a small town in Hessen (3h north from where I live now) and study at a small but very good seminary. I will have a lot to do there, but I also get a free art studio and acess to the tool shed and shop. Art is not going away!

So that’s my summer news. What are you doing with your summer? And do you have any tips on relaxing, studying, or packing?  Leave a comment if you like, and have a great day!

 

Some Summer Comissions!

 

It’s summer and so I have time for other projects, including comission jobs. So if you e.g. want a cabinet painted/refinished, a painting, a sculpture, a poem, or something else, you can let me know! I’d be glad to make something for you.

Above are some examples of comission-work/ stuff I could do as comissions. Of course there are many more pictures on my site, but these are just a few from different categories.

Thanks for your support and your ideas, and have a great day!

 

The Grand Opening!

Today we opened the art exhibit at the art academy in Karlsruhe. I served hotdogs and watermelon outside my exhibit room and had my portfolio and postcards there. My mom and dad and a friend helped with the food and the setup.

The opening was at 7PM, but people didn’t really show up until 7.30 or later. But when people did come, the hotdogs were the hit!

Meanwhile I talked to some people, answered a few questions and spent time with some friends. In short, it was a great evening!

 

 

5 Professors and an Alien!

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“Greedo”
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“Devil’s Canyon” and “Window (Open)”
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“Mountain Town”
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“9th Street”, versions one and two
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my portfolio on its stand. I made the stand to cover the sink and hold the postcards and portfolio.

Today was my practical diploma exam. I presented 5 paintings and my sculpture “Greedo”. There were 5 professors and the exam was about 15 minutes.

I was asked about my process and about other (sometimes obscure) stuff: They asked e.g. why I did the American theme and I told them that I was from the US. One of them blurted out “Oh I’m sorry about that” to which I said “Well I’m not”. He didn’t mean to be offensive, just to provoke and see what I would do.

The important thing in situations like these is to keep calm and show confidence and honesty at the same time. If a critic sees a weak point, they’ll dig deep and push you into a corner. As an artist you are (or at least will be) faced with critics, everyone will have a say about what you should or should not do. Part of being an artist is shaking it off and keeping confidence. You have a choice as to how you respond to stuff. As for me, I have the rest of the day off :)

…where Artist’s get their Inspiration!

When people ask me where I get my inspiration for artwork or songs, I usually answer with something generic like “I get inspired from everything around me” or “by what I think about or go through”. While these statements are all true, they might sound hollowed out. That is, until the “stuff I go through” actually happens. And that “stuff” can be anything from strange or thoughtful to funny or absurd.

The events this weekend (Headlines first):
1. I built a painting rack
2. I held a giant rooster and put him in the bathroom. I heared 2 roosters crowing in the house

1 The other day I decided to build a painting rack, kind of like a CD-shelf for canvases. It’s as big as I can get away with in my room. and there’s plenty of space for more paintings.
“Stuff”-category: practical accomplishment

2 Meanwhile, we’ve had some adventures with our chickens: My mom got chickens in summer and with this breed (giant Brahma) it’s almost impossible to tell their gender until they mature. Well, we found out a few weeks ago that two of the chickens were in fact roosters, and on Christmas Eve they decided to be old enough to crow. The saying “before the rooster crows” is suddenly filled with meaning!
We didn’t want to bother the neighbors, so we’ve been holding the roosters until sunrise for the last few days. And this morning they started so early and persistently that my mom carried them into the house at 6AM! She sat with them for a half hour, then I got up to help her. Finally, the birds were getting too hot and restless, so we locked them into the bathroom until 8:30AM. They were crowing in the bathroom, but you couldn’t hear it from outside.
My dad is taking them back to the farmer who sold them to us. We will, with luck, be able to buy some hens to replace them, but the farmer needs to breed more chicks first. It’s a shame because they are such beautiful birds! Moral of the incident: you can’t stop a rooster from crowing, you can’t change their nature.
“Stuff”-category: crazy, bizzare, worthy of a story someday

 

Work in Progress: Going deeper

Slowly but surely “Shadow under a Bridge” is coming together. I was encouraged by my professor to try new techniques and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Today I was looking at the picture and decided that it needed more depth. So the hills got a layer of pale blue on top while the mid-ground got more detailed. I made the foreground blurry, because I want the focus to be on the figures. Kind of like a photo. (compare left/right photo)

It takes time to get somewhere, and it’s a lot of work. Sometimes I find myself avoiding the “hard work” to get quicker results.  But then I re-focus again, and I remember that it’s worth it. Where do you find things that are “worth it”? Is there something you feel yourself avoiding? Sometimes you need to question yourself on why you do things, that really can help you focus. I know it helps me.

 

This is what my painting “Shadow under a Bridge” looks like so far. I am trying a “new” technique with this picture, and so far I’m quite happy with it: a base coat in the opposite color you want it to be later. So if my sky is supposed to be white, I start with black, if the grass is to be green, I start with pink/red, etc. (ex.: compare the grass from the 1st picture with the 2nd picture) All the areas that will be “important” get a contrast-base, the “out-of focus”-areas get a less contrast-base.

The reason I even tried this technique is because I have a new professor, and he instructs us in a good way. My old professor was not a good teacher, but with our new professor I feel like I’m really learning something. The difference between the two is not that one knows more or is even more passionate about art, it’s the teaching philosophy: while my old professor taught by letting us “find out for ourselves”, the new professor gives real instruction and teaches principles.

There is a place to leave freedom, especially in creativity, but even then a leader should excersise discipline. Just like it says in the Bible, in the book of Proverbs, if you love someone, you should care enough to discipline and instruct them (compare Prov. 3,12 and  13,24). I am benefiting from this new level of instruction and “discipline”, but also want to learn to apply this when I grow as a leader. It’s always easier to criticize the leader than to be a leader yourself!

Christmas Gifts? Here are 7 Ideas!

In case you are drawing a blank on gift ideas for Christmas, here are some suggestions:

  1. Make a Card: You can use any material, like old magazines, colored paper, felt or candy wrappers. Just choose a simple design or think of your own. Here are some examples I did, but it can be much simpler as well, more is often less!
  2. Cook a good meal
  3. Write a Poem/Song: Find out what the gift recipient likes and have a go!
  4. Help out around the House: Actions speak louder than words, as they say. Do something you might not normally do and do it with a good attitude.
  5. Buy a cool Christmas Ornament: You know what he/she likes, get a fun ornament to go with it. Do they like Star Wars, Gardening, the color Orange? Find out!
  6. Make a Mosaic Number Tile: This one is really simple and also adds a fun DIY-touch to someone’s front door. Here’s how you do it!
  7. My CD “Crossroads”: You can also give your friends/loved ones a CD with 5 cool songs :) The “real CDs” cost 6,50Euros a piece and 18Euros for 3 CDs. Just write me an email at nicole_heymann@yahoo.de or download the songs on Itunes and Amazon

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Work in Progress!

I said that I was working on a new canvas frame. Well now the frame is done and I’ve started sketching the picture (“Shadow under a Bridge”) out. This is what a painting looks like when you start…

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A new Picture!

I’ve been building a canvas frame this weekend, getting it ready for the next painting. It will be based on this photo from Holland this year.

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A Portrait of Sarah

I started working on this painting in August, and after being in Cyprus for 7 weeks, went back to finish it. I think it’s pretty much finished, I might put more detail in the face and hair if I can manage that (fine-motor-skills are not one of my strenghts)

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As in other paintings, I don’t know what to call this one. Do you have any suggestions? Leave a comment and share your idea!

…Back to Work!

I was in Cyprus for 7 weeks, that was amazing. But now I’m back in Germany. Back to normal, back to work!

I went ahead to work further on my painting “Portrait of Sarah” and became aware of something: I hadn’t seen the picture for 7 weeks, and last time I worked on it, I thought it looked pretty finished. But seeing it again after some time, I could immediately see the areas that needed improvement.

This experience shows me how important an “outside-perspective” can be when you are working. When I am working, I see how the piece is progressing and don’t necessarily see what still needs to be done. Someone from the outside can see the piece without bias, that is an advantage. It can be scary to allow honest feedback, but it’s so important. I want to stay teachable, and try to “step back” to see things as neutrally as possible.

How hard/easy is it for you to recieve feedback? What halps you to see things from an outside-perspective? Leave a comment if you like!

Travel-Log Day 50-52: The End of a Great Time

I went to visit the Zykos-Family on Saturday. They consist of Aris and Heather, their 8 kids, their dog Mina and plenty of birds (chickens, doves, pidgeons). It’s a simple home, but the love and joy makes it a great place to be. We had some meatloaf, peas and carrots and baked potatoes for lunch. And for dessert they served some home-made peanutbutter-chocolate-bars, I contributed some home-made ginger bread. I talked to the parents and played a drawing game with the kids. They are a great family!

Sunday was spent in church, as usual it took all day. This sunday one of the guys started playing some African songs during the worship time. It was a happy church! There’s just something about African songs that makes you want to dance and be joyful. :)

And on Monday my time in Cyprus came to an end. I could spend some last time with some friends and sit at the beach a last time. Then I was brought to the airport and went home.

This has been a full, amazing, beautiful, challenging and God-filled 7 weeks. I have learned a lot and am glad I was there!

Travel-Log Day 40-59: Final Laps and Fun!

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As in the previous weeks I’ve been keeping busy. I could get to know my interns better than before, realizing what treasures they really are. They are not perfect and have their battles, but they are great people. I can see what I need to learn just by seeing other people. They are like a mirror or my own issues. I learned, for example, that you need to be really careful what you say as a leader, how to chose your words and use them to encourage rather than put down. I also learned that I miss out on making friends because I feel like I’d be “bothering” the other person if I try to be friends. This seems to be rooted in fear and a false self-image. Because I realized that this is an issue, I started to change my attitude. I decided to “make the first move”, to take initiative more and not think that people will be annoyed by me. Because the truth is, I’m a great person, and so is the person I might miss.

On thursday was the celebration dinner, where people contributed to the buffet and to the program. I met a woman from Rwanda and was so excited, because I have a sponsor child in Rwanda. I got to play 2 of my songs and share a testimony. Other people got creative too, it was great!

And yesterday was the last day of the internship. We had an amazing 6 weeks and none of us wanted to leave. But we brought the time to closure and said good-bye to each other. I will see some of the people again before I leave, others I won’t but it was a priviledge to be part of this time and to meet these people.

Travel-Log Day 37-39: Something Serious and Something Fun

We have a less packed schedule this week, but this doesn’t mean we are doing nothing.

Yesterday we learned a lot about the topic of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, as this is one of the outreach focuses of the House of Prayer (HOP) here. The HOP networks with, help equip and prays for ministries who fight against human trafficking, and in the past they have started and led a full-time work with trafficking-victims.
We watched two documentaries on the topic, and especially the second documentary is very moving. It doesn’t “shock” in that sense, but it shows what is really going on around the world. The topic is very dark and can be very depressing, as you could tell from the stories of those who were interviewed. But luckily the story didn’t end with overwhelming despair: The people who were interviewed for the documentary have been rescued and restored from their former life, both the women who were slaves and the people who used them.
What I think is key to realize: If you just rescue someone out of slavery, they are complete wrecks and will be broken for the rest of their lives. Counseling and therapy can help the victim a lot, but it cannot repair what was broken. Only Jesus can repair a person from the inside out. I really believe this is true, based on what others have experienced, but also my own experience (I never had to endure what slaves have to go through, but even in my “good life” I am being made new every day). So when I think about this whole topic, it would leave me sad, angry and overwhelmed if I only looked at the problem. But when I turn to God, I have hope, despite the problem.

That was the serious part of the post, now come the fun part: I was able to record my new songs and posted them here to listen to! And because it’s my Mom’s birthday, I am posting my song “Calvin and Hobbes” as well. Happy Birthday Mom!

Face to Face:

Calvin and Hobbes:

New Me: