Tuesday 10 July 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Caatje

Hello guys - I'm currently off on holiday at the moment, which was originally supposed to be York, but this horrid English rain but a dampener (haha!) on that. So I'm in Venice WAHOOO!!! I have longed to go to Venice for years, and now finally with a last min deal (like really last min - on the day kinda deal, which has meant rushing around like a mad woman repacking everything so I may have the pleasure of getting up to leave the house at 2:00am!) I am. Long story short - this post is scheduled...and not trusting such things I'm fully expecting this to end up a Tell All Wednesday, Friday or heaven forbid Saturday lol. But regardless of the day it ends up on this artist is worth the wait (another thing that I'm nutty about is this gal's pages - yum!). Check her out and I'll see you next week =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are 
I am a mixed media artist living undercover as an archivist on the beautiful island of Vlieland in the Dutch Wadden Sea with one black and white cat and lots of books and art supplies.
I love making art. I love reading books. I love going on long hikes across my island. I am happy as long as I can do those three things.
I have no real preferences when it comes to the art form. I write, I draw, I paint, I collage, I photograph, I do mixed media. I do prefer to do all those things in books and I love making my own books and my biggest love is journaling. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Balancing it all with a full time day job. I have more or less consciously decided not to go the professional route so my art remains purely an act of love. But this means that money has to come in by keeping a day job. I live alone and so am automatically the sole provider in my household. This means it all has to come from me, whether it is money to pay the bills or just doing the boring housework. This can be tiresome and frustrating sometimes. It however also means that my free time is really my own and not sucked up by responsibilities to others (well, most of the time anyway). My free time is therefore sacred to me. It also means my house is fully geared toward me and my interests and I am slowly turning my entire house into an art studio in a way and that is really cool.
I'm not sure if I will ever really overcome the conflict between having to make a living and having the need to keep my art free from all that hassle, but so far it's the only thing that works for me so I'll just have to live with it.

What do you find easiest / hardest in your art?
The hardest is to start and to stop. I often find that I will only feel like making art by actually starting to make it. Then in ten seconds I'm in the zone and I'm off. The feeling comes from the doing. You can't wait until you are inspired before you start, because nothing will ever happen. You just have to start. It took me a long time to learn that and it's still an obstacle sometimes. Because once I get going it's hard to stop I can sometimes go on too long and that makes me cranky too.
The easiest part is the art making itself. Once I get going it's all just play to me. Of course I do have those times when I can't wait to get started and when I really am fully inspired to get going, but mostly there's a little inner obstacle to overcome. I'm not even sure what it is, but it's gone the moment I ignore it and start anyway.

What daunts you most as an artist?
The fact that there are so many ideas that you can never do them all, no matter how much time you get or how old you become. The more you work the more ideas you get and the more you realize how this is a two edged sword. A multitude of ideas is absolutely wonderful because it means you will never be bored and always have something new to try and there is so much interesting stuff to explore! But it also means that for every idea you actually develop and execute there will be ten to a hundred that can never be accomplished.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
After several years of putting it off and kind of being a little afraid to take on the responsibility I finally started a blog two years ago. It may have been the best thing I ever did and my only regret now is I didn't start one up sooner! You can find it at http://caatjesartsystuff.blogspot.com . There's links there to my two flickr accounts, my pinterest and my facebook. 

Thanks so much Caatje, after reading that I feel we might be separated at birth!! The biggest two-edged sword I have found out since I started my own creative path is that the amount of ideas (while it is a beautiful gift to given them in the first place) excel any human possibility of ever achieving them. I try my best, but it is quite simply impossible as every project sparks off more gems to set you off down another track. But what I have learnt is to go just with my heart as to which ideas I develop and which I don't, that way I can never regret which inclinations I listened to and which I ignored.  Would you like to be a featured artist on Tell All Tuesday? Email me @ jennibellie@yahoo.co.uk if you feel up to sharing. 


  1. Another wonderful interview!! I am looking forward to visiting her blog. I hope you have a FANTASTIC time in Venice!! Can't wait to hear about it! ;) xxoo

  2. Have found my way over from Caatje's and am so glad to have found you! Thrilled in fact! I love this idea of yours and love Caatje so all good.
    Oh and I don't bl;ame you for escaping this horrid English weather either!

  3. Thanks Jennie for introducing Caatje, a very talented artist.
    Enjoy your holiday, Venice is a magical place. I'm lucky to have been twice, arriving both times by train (don't do planes). Will never forget walking out of the station onto the banks of the Grand Canal, being overwhelmed by the beauty and the amazing light and crying with happiness. Not only me, Mr B was also teary-eyed.
    Look forward to seeing your Venice journal - mine is still on my to-do-list.
    Ann B

  4. I totally agree with the hardest thing being where to start and when to stop as I myself have that problem. Thanx so much for sharing your work ...it is just gorgeous! Cannot wait to see more of it.


  5. Hurray, another blog to go stalk. Great advice there too.

    Hope you are having a fab holiday Jeni x

  6. Another awesome interview--so glad to "meet" Caatje! And you...going off to Venice without inviting the rest of us...not sure how I feel about that ;) ;) ;)

    p.s. HAVE FUN and TAKE PHOTOS!

  7. Thanks so much for asking me to join in on the tell all tuesday fun. I really enjoyed thinking about your questions! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  8. Fabulous interview! I love Caatje, and I love hearing her responses to all of your questions. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your vacation!

  9. love this artist...thx 4 introducing!

  10. I love to see Caatje featured here! Way to go girls (yes, both!) Enjoy Venice Jenny!!

  11. Another fascinating interview, and another blog to keep an eye on :)

    Hope you're enjoying the break. x

  12. Hi! Just found your blog, happy to be following along!!

  13. Just want you to know you are missed! Hope you are having a grand time. Deborah

  14. Oh wow, Caatje, I can SO relate. Yup.... I definitely have that overwhelmed with ideas, thing.

    Thank you for sharing. Your art work is beautiful. =)


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