Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! A new linocut artwork before the year finishes

At the end of the year I always look through my blog posts and compare with the previous year. This year I think it was quite creative and productive for me. Because I am a self-learner, I did many experiments and learnt many things from my mistakes, and sometimes discovered new things. This is the way I like it! Life is an adventure to enjoy... Happy New Years to  you all!


This week I worked on a new linocut design. "Thursday mood" is the fifth piece of "Mood of the week days" series. I got inspired by a hashtag #TBT which indicates the first letters of "Throw back Thursday". Generally on Thursdays you share an old picture along with this hashtag. Let me tell you about the process; I did the sketch and to reverse the image I used a small Plexiglass board which comes with a light for seeing the lines easier on the back side of the paper (see pic). Afterwards, I transferred the reversed image on the lino sheet with a red ball pen, to transfer all the line art properly (see pic). Once the image was on the sheet, I went over the lines with the red ball pen, in order for all the lines to be fixed. After that, I carved the lino sheet. Once the carving is finished, I decided to check the negative image on a very thin paper with a charcoal stick. This is kind of a pre-proof stage for me. After seeing the result, I went over the lino a little bit more. I did the proof printing, and lastly, I fixed a few more details. 

Work in progress

"Thursday mood" by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Original limited edition handmade linocut print
(Edition of 25 only)
Paper size 6" x 8" (16 x 20 cm.)
Image size 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm.)

Available, click on SHOP

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Monday, December 19, 2016

They must be right saying "Hard work pays off"


Hi everyone, It was another busy week at the studio with creating a new still-life painting, sharing and exchanging many ideas with other pastel and linocut artists from all around the world, filming, video editing and working on a raffle project which will give a chance people to win my artwork and finally updating my online shop on ETSY.  I worked very hard last week and couldn't have a break, even on the weekend, so I am really looking forward for this coming weekend to loosen up a little bit, and have fun with my Spanish family on our traditional Christmas dinner. 

Work in progress

Last week I worked on another festive composition, this time I used oil pastel medium to paint. Last year when we visited Istanbul, my mother gave me a few geranium cuts to take with me. I planted them on my way back and they bloomed so many times since then. Originally my grandmother, who passed away last year, used to have them. So this plant reminds of her memories and I call it grandma's geranium, too like the title. I set the plant into a brass bowl and decorated a little. I wanted to use similar tones as the flower has, so I laid two different kind of scarves to make contrast with each other and with the flower as well. I disregard the details on scarves and worked on the objects instead. One of the complementing object is a KLM's collectible miniature Dutch style house, a porcelain gin bottle, I bought it from Amsterdam 5 years ago for my husband, and yes it has gin in it! The last one is another collectible, a gift from my mother. It's a small glass snow ball with a landmark building called "Maiden's Tower" in the Bosphorus, This one reminds me of my hometown Uskudar in Istanbul. I think it's important for you to know about these objects in order to enjoy the artwork more...  I myself have more attachments with some of my paintings for that reason. 

See you until the next newsletter,  Have a great week! 

Detail

"Grandma's geranuim" by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Oil pastel on pastel paper, 29.7 x 21 cm ( 11.7" x 8.3")
Available as Framed Limited Edition Reproduction Print (US only)
If you are interested in to own the original artwork please contact me.


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Monday, December 12, 2016

Let's spread the spirit of Christmas!

Museum visit in Vegueta

In the last few weeks I visited several exhibitions in Las Palmas city. One of them was quite interesting, a homage exhibition to famous Grancanarian Poet Pino Ojeda (1916-2002) in San Martin Centro de Cultura Contemporánea. It was curious to find out that she was a good painter also. She painted abstract landscapes with wonderful textures and powerful abstract paintings (see pic above). There were a few portraits of her painted by other Canarian artists as well. The exhibition will be opened until 19th of February 2017. That's lot of time for planning a nice Vegueta visit. 

Work in progress

The Christmas spirit is all around the island nowadays. Streets and window displays are decorated with holiday ornaments. So, I felt like creating a festive still-life composition with soft pastels. I used Royal & Langnickel brand 48 piece soft pastel set with Rembrandt Artist's quality peach color toned pastel paper. I am using this new soft pastel set and it's pretty good and the pastel paper holds several layers of soft pastel very well, too (see pic below). Enjoy your week and don't forget to spread the spirit of Christmas...

Detail

Merry Christmas by Birsen Ozbilge, 21 x 29.7 cm, soft pastel.
Available as limited edition reproduction print.
12" x 16" on an acid-free heavy-weight matte paper made in USA.
To see details click on SHOP


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Friday, November 18, 2016

A visit to Casa Africa and New Linocut Print "Friday Mood"

Enjoying the exhibition at Casa Africa

The other day we saw Fernando Nguema's "Obras incompletas 1992 – 2008", a sculpture exhibition at Casa Africa in Las Palmas city. Sincerely, this place never fails my expectations, every time I visit there, I discover unique and beautiful creations by African artists. If you will be wondering around the city these days, I will highly recommend it. Casa Africa is very close to Plaza de la Feria and 15 minutes walking distance from Parque San Telmo. It will open until the 5th of January, visiting hours; Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.  

Making of  the linocut

This week I worked on a new linocut print (see pic above) project. This one is called "Friday mood", it is for the "moods of the week days" linocut series. When I was sketching the design, I was listening the famous hit song from the 80's, "Friday I'm in love" by The Cure. So, somehow the CD cover and the earphones ended up getting into the composition. I tried to express the joy of being free from typical "9 to 5" work and enjoyment of a glass of beer, calamari snack and music by the sea side. I hope you feel the same way... 

If you wish to have your own limited edition linocut print, you can contact me or simply order it at my online shop. (only 25 editions will be printed). In advanced of upcoming Black Friday, I have a special offer, which is **FREE Shipping worldwide** by registered mail with purchasing any 3 pieces of linocut prints in my ETSY shop ClickGallery. Use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY for the discount. (offer ends on November 28th, Monday) Enjoy  your weekend!


"Friday mood" by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Original limited edition handmade linocut print
(Edition of 25 only)
Paper size 6" x 8" (16 x 20 cm.)
Image size 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm.)

Available, click on SHOP

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Peace on Earth

Holiday season is getting closer, in less than 2 months... So, last weekend I started to design a linocut print greeting card. This year's theme is "Peace on Earth". The world really needs this now as it should be our wish for everyone. As you may know already, many famous as well as unknown artists created unique handmade greeting cards in the past and these are collectible small art pieces, which can be framed as an artwork (see pic below). This year I am going to offer a set of 6 greeting cards for 40 € including Free shipping worldwide with registered mail. Also, 5% of the sale profit will be donated to UNICEF Foundation to help children affected by war. 

 "Peace on Earth" Greeting card sets (left) - Mock up for framed linocut (right).

Even though the preparing process was quite time consuming, the result was worth it. After several sketches made, I transferred the final one to the lino sheet (see pic below) and started to carve it. I did a test print with a chalk stick (see pick below). Because the blue ink was a little bit dark I inked the lino sheet with lighter blue mixing it with white color. I tested inking a few prints to make sure no more carving was needed (see pic below). Next day when the prints were totally dry, I cut and attached them on heavy-weight hand-cut card stock. Later on with an HB pencil I wrote the title, signed and dated the cards. Each card has its own envelop and protective plastic sleeve. If you think your friends or relatives might be interested in ordering them, feel free to share this e-mail (or share the blog page link). I will be busy printing and preparing card sets till mid-November, in order to give enough time for people to send them for the holiday season. Have a great weekend!

Making the "Peace on Earth" linocut print for holiday greeting cards

"Peace on Earth" Handmade Linocut Greeting Card
by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Card size is 8.25 cm x 13 cm (3.24" x 5.11)
Set of 4 is available to order, click on SHOP

********* 


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Monday, October 17, 2016

How to frame a Linocut Print

a visit to Museo León y Castillo 

Well, I just fixed a few things on design and video editing programs to be able to share with you the latest news from the studio and the island's undiscovered places. 

I don't know if it happens to you, but I was always curious about the street names, especially the ones with people names... Many years I passed through "calle León y Castillo" which is one of the longest and important streets in Las Palmas, and the other day we were walking around the historical part of Telde and came across with this same name on a museum building.

Fernando León y Castillo (1842-1918) was a politician, and a very important personality who decided on an intervention of Spain and North Africa and he was an ambassador in Paris for many years until he died. The collection is full of history with wonderful paintings, sculptures and decorative artworks from the last century, many gifted from royal families. (see pic above) We really enjoyed this visit. At the end of the tour we were allowed to sit and rest at the roof terrace, where we relaxed and I sketched the surroundings.

from carving till framing 

Last week I worked on a new linocut print (see pic above). Earlier this summer I made two linocut prints titled "Saturday mood" and "Sunday mood". So, I decided to continue this series and I came up with another traditional drink; Turkish coffee. This 3rd one in the series represents the beginning of the week, it's a "Monday mood" (see pic below). A little coffee fortune session will be fun for Monday, I thought.

I ship my linocut artworks well-packed and registered but with no frame. It's much safer and economical. So, I prepared a short clip about how to frame this linocut print with an IKEA black RIBBA frame (it may be ordered online) It's not difficult at all! You will need an acid-free masking tape, a short string, a scissor and a screwdriver. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great week!

"Monday mood" by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Original limited edition handmade linocut print
(Edition of 25 only)
Paper size 6.5" x 8.5" (16 x 21 cm.)
Image size 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm.)

Available, click on SHOP


Click on video ( (if you have difficulties to see click on YouTube video)

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Welcome to Autumn with a new linocut print

The view point from Carrizal

Hi everybody, I finally found some time to write on the blog. I have been sketching outdoors lately and getting lots of inspiration for the new projects. This is the first week of autumn. That means for us, soon the windy season will end in our neighborhood. So, I will be able to do more plein air paintings.

This week I worked on a new linocut artwork. I drew an imaginary composition inspired by a landscape view point from our neighborhood where we often take a break from on our way to home (see pic above).  

After I transferred the sketch image to the lino sheet, I started to carve the tree shape first (see below pic). Once the carving is finished, I decided to check the negative image on a very thin paper with a charcoal stick. This is kind of a pre-proof stage for me. After seeing the result, I went over the lino a little bit more. I did the proof printing and lastly I fixed a few more details. I titled this piece "By the tree". Enjoy it and have a great week!

Making of the linocut


"By the tree" by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Original limited edition handmade linocut print
(Edition of 15 only)
Paper size 6" x 7" (15.5 x 16.5 cm.)
Image size 4" x 4.25" (9 x 10 cm.)

Available, click on SHOP



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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Salud, Dinero y Amor

Work in progress

Last weekend we were invited for a Paella lunch at our friends place in El Burrero. After the meal, I decided to paint with oil pastels. This time I chose three main objects; a mango, a wine bottle and a rose flower, which represent "Salud, dinero y amor" (health, fortune and love) in this painting. Additionally I added a complementary object, a scent candle. (see pic above) I used a heavy-weight draft paper which holds the layers very well. My oil pastels are artist grade Cray-Pas 50 color set. Additionally I used a black pastel pencil to create sharp edges in some areas. But I kept the colors of the objects soft and not competing each other, in other way of saying I tried to keep the harmony of the colors. I softly layered 2 colors and 3 colors in some areas and avoid to smudge too much as I like to give the viewer to enjoy the oil pastel texture. I hope you enjoy it, if you have any questions leave in the comments please. Have a great week!

finished artwork


"Salud, Dinero y Amor " by Birsen Ozbilge
Oil Pastel on Craft Paper, 24 x 32 cm
Available as Limited Edition Reproduction Print
12" x 16" on an acid-free heavy-weight matte paper made in USA.
To see details click on SHOP


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Would you like to make a wish?

Last Saturday night I worked at my friend Gemma's kitchen. I challenged myself drawing a candle light this time. I picked a beautiful cross ornament and a sea shell from her shelf to accompany the candle light. And there at the background, I added a touch of "El burrero" scene. While I was drawing I made a wish and that's why I gave the title "Make a wish" to this painting. Have a great week!

Work in progress

"Make a wish" by Birsen Ozbilge
Oil Pastel on Craft Paper, 24 x 32 cm
Available, click on SHOP

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Plein air painting day with my nieces

Drawing of my niece (6 years old)

On Thursday we went to a lovely park called "El Parque Cruce de Arinaga" to have a picnic with the family and kids. We had done this meeting with them last year as well... It is very relaxing, sitting on the grass, enjoying plein air painting with my nieces. The youngest niece is 6 years old now, this is her drawing. It's incredible how she advanced a lot in a year. (See last year here)


Girls like to draw

There was a nice breezy weather in the park that day. We set our picnic under a big tree by the play ground. After the lunch meal, I started to work with oil pastels (see pic below). I tried not to fill the composition with too much details, so I took out a few objects, like a trash can, a bench... This way the pastel painting will reflect the peaceful atmosphere in the park. Enjoy your weekend!

Work in progress

"Under the shade of a tree" by Birsen Ozbilge
Oil pastel on craft paper, 32 x 24 cm.


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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gran Canaria Sketchbook drawings

Sunset at Etretat, by Monet, 1882

During the 1880's the famous French painter Claude Monet worked on a number of paintings depicting the cliffs and sea at Étretat in the Normandy coast (see pic above). He was coming to the beach followed by kids carrying his canvases and he was painting the same rock form at different times of the day. Each painting has different colors and effects according to the light and shadow of the hour. 

In a way, I am similar to him with my drawing and painting obsession of El Burrero. I have done a lot of sketches and studies of Burrero Beach rock form for the last 2 years and without a doubt, I will create more of them...
work in progress

Sunset in Burrero no:2, by Birsen Ozbilge
Oil pastel on craft paper, 12,5" x 9,4" (32 x 24 cm), 2016
Available, click on SHOP

This week I was working on a slide show videoclip for my Gran Canaria sketchbook drawings (see pic below). I scanned 30 sketchbook pages and put them together with their work in progress photos in a video editing program. This 5 min. presentation is the summery of my 6 months of work. Enjoy it, and have a great week! (If you have difficulties viewing the clip, click on this link https://youtu.be/qBrV0JVOcLM )


Editing the videoclip


Sketchbook drawings from Gran Canaria videoclip, 4:54 min.


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Friday, July 15, 2016

Paintings from my neighborhood "El Burrero"


From "El Burrero" paintings

The very first time, about 13 years ago, I visited and immediately fell in love with El Burrero, a little coastal town in Gran Canaria. Over the years since we know this place, its population didn't grow that much, it has a few more new houses and same number of services. It's still one off the beaten paths of the island. Heaven for windsurfers but maybe its special strong windy condition is not for everyone. Last 5 years we have been fortunate to live close to this place, just 15 minutes walk from our place.

Since we move to this area, I have been sketching and painting seascapes of El Burrero. Recently, I created a short slide show with some of my finished artworks and their work in progress images. I am planning to paint more of El Burrero seascapes and try to exhibit them in the future... A few pieces from these series already found their new home. I am thankful for that and any kind of support, encouragement for helping me to do my job. Now, sit back and enjoy the slide show below (if you have difficulties viewing the video click on https://youtu.be/d7oUeWRW7FU )

"El Burrero Paintings" slide show video clip, 2:50 min

Last week we went to visit our friends at El Burrero. After the lunch, I worked on a sunset seascape oil pastel painting looking at the view from the kitchen window which is my favorite spot to work (see pic below).

I used Cray- Pas Expressionist 50 color oil pastel set on aa acid free heavy weight craft paper. I am experimenting this combination for a while and getting very good results for being able to apply more layers of colors. Also, I painted some parts not totally covered using cool tones over warm, to show some brown paper which created an interesting optical illusion for the sea (See the finished work below pic). 

work in progress

It may be hard to see in the small image but there are a few fishermen in the rock form. Click on the image below and see if you can locate them. Enjoy the weekend!

"Sunset in El Burrero" by Birsen Ozbilge, 
Oil Pastel on acid free heavy-weight craft paper,
 24 x 32 cm,  2016
Available, contact me for purchase details

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Customized handmade linocut bookplates for book lovers!

Pasting the original linocut bookplate to the book

Last week I started to work on a small owl design for making a linocut bookplate print. You may have seen a bookplate with "Ex libris" written in the inside cover of a book, which indicates ownership of that book. "Ex libris" meaning is "from the library of" in Latin language. The custom of labeling bookplates to the books has been used by individuals and libraries for over five and a half centuries. People commissioned talented artists to create their custom-designed bookplates. At the turn of 20th century, bookplates were collectibles for their aesthetic value as miniature prints. I proudly continue this old fashion custom of labeling on each of our personal library book with a bookplate saying "Ex Libris Biblioteca Birique" since 1998. And finally, I created a bookplate design which I will use for labeling our new books (see pic above). So, now I am open for commissions, I can create customized handmade linocut bookplates for book lovers!

Let me show you some pictures from making the linocut print and explain the process. I transferred the owl image on lino sheet and started to carve outlines first. Once I completed the owl, I started on "EX LIBRIS" piece and then the book rim piece which is the space for the name of the owner of the book. Afterwards, I cut outside part of the owl and attached them together by putting a clear tape from the back side. (see pics below)

 
work in progress

I cleaned the table for the printing process and placed an A4-size paper with clear tape. I drew guide lines on it. I put another paper next to it for inking the plate. I put a little printing ink on my marble, and covered the brayer with an even coat of ink. Then I rolled the brayer on the plate evenly. I placed it on the first paper, inside of the guided lines carefully. I covered with printing paper and pressed with a wooden spoon firmly all around the surface and pulled the print out slowly (see pics below).

work in progress


Owl Exlibris Bookplate by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Original handmade linocut print, 7 x 14 cm

I am giving the digital printable image of this owl bookplate as a gift. The pdf document is one page including 8 high resolution bookplates with cutting crop marks. Print as many as you need for your personal use. 

I created two pdf documents with A4 (EU) and Letter Size (US) options, choose to download depending on your paper size. Set your printer as "landscape" printing position mode and uncheck "fit to print" option if selected, to make sure they are printed at the correct size.


Enjoy it!


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Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer time stories and a new linocut "Afternoon walk" is available now

"Liberación del deseo" by Paco Juan Déniz at Centro de Artes Plásticas, 
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria can be seing until 22 July.

Yesterday I went to see a photography exhibition at Museo Casa de Colon in Vegueta area. When I arrived there, at the reception, they told me there was fumigation going on in the building, so the galleries were closed. It is very absurd if you think about it, why they have to do this job in the middle of a week day and visiting hours? At least, It was not the last day of the exhibition, not a total disaster but I had to come back another day. Anyways, I knew another place, not very far from there, just around the corner called Centro de Artes Plásticas which belongs to Cabildo Insular (run by the island council). I decided to give a chance to this little art gallery and actually at this time, I was surprised and quite happy with the visit. 

At the gallery, I went through the exhibition catalog to know about the artist Paco Juan Déniz. I learnt that he was born in 1956 in La Vega de San Mateo, Gran Canaria. He is a self-thought artist with many years of experiences and he has done numerous exhibitions through his career.

At the exhibition there were many artworks from different years and periods of his artistic journey. In his early works, he used monotone oil colors experimenting the abstract forms to convert figures, which was interesting to spend some time and get lost inside of these paintings. The other artworks were also very curious, such as neat color pencil drawings and acrylic paintings with many figures, objects as symbols (see pic below). Lovely creations truly, you could tell he got influenced by surrealism, symbolism and mediaeval art. It was a good discovery for me to know about another talented local artist.

Enjoying the color pencil drawings

This week I worked on a small linocut project. It has been quite hot these days, so I felt like creating the composition with a girl and her dog by the coast of our neighborhood El Burrero (see pics below). This neighborhood has strong wind and nice breeze this season. Whenever we visit there we come back home refreshed and now whenever I look at this linocut print I feel much better in this hot summer day. The handmade linocut print is numbered and signed by me and printed only 25 editions. Now it's available at my online showroom ClickGallery. You can click on SHOP to see the details. If you are going to purchase my artwork for the first time, you can have a 10% OFF discount coupon. To receive your coupon code you need to sign-up at http://bit.ly/ACreativeJournalofanArtist-Sign-up  Have a great weekend!

Ready to print

Work in progress

"Afternoon walk" by Birsen Ozbilge, 2016
Original limited edition handmade linocut print
(Edition of 25 only)
Paper size 6.5" x 7.5" (16.5 x 19 cm.)
Image size 3.8" x 4.75" (9.75 x 12 cm.)
Available, click on SHOP


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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Another Canarian Artist to admire and My Mother's Portrait to enjoy

José Jorge Oramas (Canarian painter, 1911-1934) 

Recently I visited a collective exhibition titled "Esenciales" at Museo San Martín, consisting of small formatted artworks by Canarian and foreign artists from different generations. The collection belongs to CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. I was curious about it and it was good for me to see who from my generation was in this collection. Unfortunately, I did not like many artworks from the new generation. My favorite one from the whole collection was a landscape painting by José Jorge Oramas (1911-1934) (see pic below). Later on at home I read his very short and sad life story (see pic above). He became an orphan child soon after he was born, and his grandmother and his aunt raised him. At a very early age he started to work at a barber shop. He had interest on drawing and painting. He was very talented, so he went to study art education at Escuela de Lujan Perez in Gran Canaria. He participated in a few collective exhibitions and had only one solo exhibition. At the age of 24 he died from tuberculosis. In this very short lifetime period he painted close to 100 artworks; Portraits of his friends, many landscape paintings of a colorful neighborhood, Canarian scenes with local people and more...

Enjoying a painting by Jorge Oramas

If you follow me on social networks, you may have seen me working on a small oil painting portrait project these days. I was painting my mother's portrait from a reference photo image (see pic below) along with her budgie parrot that she used to have. She doesn't know about her portrait painting yet and I am sure she will be very happy when she sees it.  

 work in progress


Painting is drying in the display rack

 "Semos and Boncuk" by Birsen Ozbilge, oil on canvas sheet
29,5 x 30 cm. (11,5" x 11,75")


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