When starlight dances,
It bequeaths pure light,
Empowering fireflies,
And princesses alike.

It whispers of magic,
It resonates might,
It sings in the darkness,
And transforms the night.

~ Janna Vanderveen

This painting captivates me. I find myself contemplating the untold story within its layers, only to grapple with the feelings it evokes, ones of sadness, intrigue, and wonder. The forest looms, yet is beautiful. The princess appears to be lost and alone, yet is accompanied by her faithful friend (the bunny). Her bunny seems trapped, unless it climbed onto the branch to nestle in the crook of the tree’s arms, to better appreciate the lush wilderness of its surroundings. Layers. This painting itself took many layers over several weeks to create, starting with acrylics on paper, and ending with fingerprinting in procreate.

I tried my hand at creating something a little different this week, compared to my usual splashy, color-filled paintings. Having recently learned some new skills from the great Lucy Brydon, a master Gelli print artist, I decided to experiment with my supplies to create an image which has been floating around in my mind. Using muted tones, I created a landscape scene using a Gelli plate and open acrylic paints. Drawing into the background after it dried, I added additional details using a variety of acrylic paints, Posca pens, Derwent Inktense Pencils,  Caran D’Ache Luminance pencils and neocolor 2 crayons. It may look somewhat simple, but it was fun.

I had a vision of a girl standing between the trees with her bunny, staring out at the world. She was neither happy nor sad. Accepting, I think. Maybe somewhat lost and alone. But ultimately, I knew that she belonged in this forest of light, where peace, love, and beauty abound.

Girl in Forest, Janna Vanderveen 2017

I recently stumbled across Canadian painter, Melissa Mckinnon’s artwork.  I have long-loved incorporating finger-painting into my artwork, as evidenced by my previous paintings, and felt inspired to try and paint my own birch/aspen tree.  I completed this painting on an 8 x 10″ piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper and used a variety of acrylic paints as well as modeling paste for texture.

One of my favorite on-line art teachers is Tamara Laporte from willowing.org in South England. An accomplished artist and soon to be author, she has mastered the craft of creating whimsical characters on paper. She recently completed a series of paintings using only a few Tombow markers and some Caran d’ache neocolor crayons. I was intrigued by the simplicity of her supplies and the complexity of her pieces, and thought that I’d try to emulate her work. I had to improvise on my supplies, since I do not own Tombow markers (they are on my bucket list of art supplies to someday own), and used a variety of watercolor paints, inks, and pencils instead. Overall, I think my whimsical girl turned out pretty nice.

This is the second, in a series of three watercolor thank-you cards, featuring my whimsical princess with her bunny.  I love painting sunsets and valleys reflecting the beauty of life all around.  I used a combination of artist grade MaimeriBlu and professional grade Winsor Newton watercolor paints on this 5×7 card.

This is the first, in a series of three watercolor thank-you cards, featuring my whimsical princess with her bunny.  I love how it turned out. I used a combination of artist grade MaimeriBlu and professional grade Winsor Newton watercolor paints on this 5×7 cards.

No matter how deep you fall, or to what depths you dive, I am there. I descended to the depths to be with you, but I didn’t stay there. On the third day, I rose and took you with me.

I completed this 9″ x 13″ watercolor illustration on 140 lb. watercolor paper using Winsor Newton and Maimeri Blu watercolor paints.

Even when the sun wanes,
You are not alone,
For in darkness,
My love shines brightest for you.

~ Janna Vanderveen

This morning I wish you freedom and life. May your day reveal the sweet surprise of unfettered kindness as you walk in love with all you meet.


She wanders alone,

Exploring a world not her own,

Seeking someone to love,

And a place to call home.

~ Janna Vanderveen

Would you awaken the moon

For a glimpse of the queen?

Would you open your eyes

And risk being seen?

For she laces the frost

With her silver-hearted breath,

Creating beauty in madness,

She whispers life into death.

~ Janna Vanderveen

She materialized to life
From the shadowland’s hold.
Filled with color and light
And visions untold.

~ Janna Vanderveen

She ruled, not with an iron fist,

But with an iron-clad mind,

For her identity found footing in love,

And her compassion could not be shaken.

~ Janna Vanderveen

Where science and fantasy meet,

Imagination abounds.

From the pixels,

Pixies emerge,

And beauty astounds.

~ Janna Vanderveen

Sometimes  I splash inks, watercolors, and acrylics onto paper just to see what happens. Within the chaos an image usually forms, and in this case, I found fan adorable little fantasy creature. What is she? A who’s it, or what’s that, or whatchamacallit? You tell me. Regardless, I fell in love with her flower filled hair and tail puff, her tiny fairy wings, and her big eyes.

Vivid, colorful, and full of light, this young woman surfaced on my page as I coaxed her to life with my fingers and brushes.  I painted her on a 4″ by 6″ piece of watercolor paper (140 lb.) using acrylics, oils pastels, and inks.

I completed this 12 1/2″ by 19 1/2″ painting of “A girl in moonlight” using watercolor paints for her face, a variety of inks and watercolor crayons for her hair, modeling paste over ephemera to create textured clothing, and oil crayons over a layered background to create a dreamy sky. I love how she turned out.

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