Sunday, December 30, 2012

Health breakthrough - for eyes and teeth!

Customizable photo frame calendar magnet for 2013 - art by Anne Vis
While around me Amsterdam is doing it's "New Year thing" (involving constant sirens of ambulance and police, gangs walking around with hand grenades, heavy explosions, and yesterday the killing of a couple of people around the corner from where I live), I try to keep my sanity. I have never understood the "fun" of war and probably never will.
But at least we survived all the doom prophecies and now is time to think ahead and look at what positive light sparks may be ahead ...
The good news is coming from Russia this time and for all of us with impaired eye sight or in need of dental treatment (I guess we are now covering the entire population). For eyes there are now eye drops that rejuvenate the eye and eliminate short sightedness or myopia, glaucoma and age related macula degeneration. For your dental treatment the new laser developments are at a standard that makes them suitable for surgery and the talks we have heard for years about the pain free laser treatments for the hard tissues seem to become reality now. Yeah!!!
Watch this:

And if you do not have time or are not in the mood, you can find out some more information about eye treatment here. It looks like for now we need to go to Russia to get this medication though ... maybe a new adventurous holiday?
We could do with a break! :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fitter and leaner in just 3 minutes a week?

B&W Love Song Wedding Invitation - music themed art by Anne Vis
Are you thinking about "New Year resolutions"?
If so, you're probably going to be interested in today's post, as I would like to share with you some stuff that might help you to improve your health and weight.
It's not new, but by now there is more research about two methods that were discussed in Horizon in February 2012 and as shown on the Belgian tv this past week (talking about timing!). And also if you don't do New Years resolutions, like myself, a way to get in better shape and have more energy without much effort(!) is always worth while.
So here is what was discussed:
HIT - high intensity training, with sometimes an added "i" for interval.
Working out as much as you can for about 20 seconds (for instance on hometrainer), followed by 1 minute break, repeated three times.
And
NEAT - Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis
This basically is about all the movement that is not considered sports that you do on any given day. It means that if you move in small ways, standing up more often, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, you can burn a great many more calories and lose weight.
I'm not an expert, so I am going to share some links with you:
What is interesting about this, is that it lowers the amount of fat that is in your blood, which in theory reduces the risk to get a heart attack or stroke and possibly also the risk to get diabetes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Romantic Dreams

Romantic Wedding Program Flyer - dreamy fantasy art by Anne Vis
For those of you who visited this site because of news on healing, I have to say that I completely closed my healing practice. This means that the website that used to provide all the information about Reconnective Healing is now displaying my artwork. And yes, sunnysites art site will be closed soon as I don't need two websites with the same content.
This blog has always been irregular, not appearing every week or complying with any rhythm or sense. I guess it will continue to have it's cat features ... :-)

So what else is new? Well, I have continued my efforts in building lines of wedding gifts and items, one of them you can see above. I opened a new store on Zazzle for wedding design: Anne's Wedding Boutique.
I haven't yet made up my mind about different wedding items spread over my other stores, so for now they remain where they are. It's like one of the themes of the new store is restoring connections with nature, so it looks a whole bunch of animals and animal spirits is gathering to support this and be featured as well. And flowers of course ...
Have you ever dreamed about a wedding with a horse theme? You can find it in my new store, more coming! Horses have great magical qualities and they are also friends with gay and lesbian couples. This store is same-sex friendly!
I guess bringing the dream and the magic into daily life and relationships is in a way healing as well ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Wedding Trends

Romantic Wedding Invitation - dreamy fantasy art by Anne Vis
If you were following my latest artistic endeavors, you may have noticed that I have been working hard on creating new lines of romantic wedding gifts and products, like invitation cards and other stationery needed for a wedding party or gift items, nice to present to a couple and congratulate them with their wedding.
So far so good. Then I just read today that in the Netherlands people are now in general seeing a marriage as a business proposal and they go to a government desk just to get the official paper for their wedding. Nothing romantic, no party.
And as I am creating these beautiful romantic items for a couple about to tie the knot, I am pondering about the "meaning" of a wedding, if there is one. One view is that marriage is oftentimes ending up as some sort of prison, where the partners are limiting each other and the marriage feels like a trap.
This is also reflected in the reactions in the newspaper to this new trend in wedding: people get married with already at the back of their mind the option of a divorce.
In my designs I want to create something else.
I think what is really important about marriage is to be partners who stimulate and enjoy each other, who love, share and have fun ... and yes, support each other when the times are tough ... still in mind the expansion and dance ...
I want to bring back that magic in the wedding, the dream, the fairy tale ...
Soft floating angel wings and that magic connection, the understanding without words ...

You can see this is a process. Yes, I will also use some traditional symbols, like the rose or the love birds. And I just figured out that the boat, which is a traditional symbol for a Dutch wedding (yes, seafaring nation and all that ... :-))) is not used in the US for instance. Traditions are so different in every region. But one thing will remain: love unites. And let's make it colorful and vibrantly alive!

P.S. The image above is not published in a new line (yet), but you can already see previous wedding designs on Sunny Sites Design website.

Dutch Masterpainters in the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam

Une rêverie - dreamy fantasy art by Anne Vis
The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam has now also re-opened it's doors after a renovation. Contrary to the awful new and renovated museums elsewhere in Amsterdam (like the Museum of Modern Art, which I described earlier), this renovation looks professional and in style.
Hence my visit to this museum had a quite different mood. First of all I guess I have to say that I am not really a museum go-er. I prefer to do stuff, like creating my own art and you can find me rarely in a museum.
All the more a pleasant and very interesting experience to find so many old Dutch masters in the Maritime Museum. It is just amazing with how much detail and know-how these ships were built (yes, the topic of all paintings is the ocean and ships!) and also the outstanding skills of the painters. I just love the way they used light. Lighting is key to me ...
There is also an awesome collection of art that was used to decorate the ships as well as globes (dimly lit, probably for conservation reasons, but it made me long for a torch ...).
The next museum re-opening it's doors will be the National Museum, which is scheduled for April next year. This is a great museum (and from the previews on local tv, will also have a stylish renovation), so I would not mind having a peek there as well ... stay tuned! :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Elections and Peace

I vote for love - bumpersticker art by Anne Vis
While in the US a lot of people are focused on the economy with regards to the election, in the rest of the world most people want to know if there will be peace or not ...
What are the chances of finding peace, especially with Iran?
Obama and his israeli "friends" have already started a war with Iran, with insane sanctions that are hurting the ordinary people in Iran as well as ordinary people in other countries. Not to mention the Stuxnet attack of course, which is now causing a major threat to all other nuclear reactors worldwide (just in the Dutch news this past week, there are numerous attacks in cyberworld, now especially targeting the nuclear reactors. Thanks Obama!)
And this week the brutal attack in Sudan (looks like the American tax payer could also pick up the bill for that one ...) ... happily ignored by all mainstream media as far as I have seen ...

There will also be elections in the israeli territories, so I don't know if that will influence the path ahead. And Romney so far seems to be a free radical, although his talk about his israeli "friends" is not very promising (or just election rhetoric?).
One thing is sure: from what Obama has shown so far, if he is re-elected all the wars (and he started many!) will continue.
I am glad that I don't have to vote this time and probably wouldn't either ... I vote for love and peace ... :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Urban Organic Beekeeping

Beeswax and Bee Card - art by Anne Vis Rainbow Beeswax Encaustic Card - art by Anne Vis
Last night I decided to check out an information evening about the local bee situation in Amsterdam and I wasn't the only one! In the audience were both beekeepers and people who were just curious to know more about the bees, like myself.
After publications that local beehives were suddenly found empty, I was wondering how these amazing creatures are doing now. And they are still struggling.
Urban beekeeping is becoming more and more "trendy" and Amsterdam is trailing behind other cities, where there are many more beekeepers. London actually seems to be "full" now!
This evening was run by organic beekeepers, and it became clear that there is a lot of discussion in "bee keeping world" about what is actually the best way to keep bees. One of the reasons also being the mites that are killing the bees and how to decimate them. Suggested was an environment friendly approach consisting of warming the entire hive, which would be supported well by the bees, and faint the mites, which then could be "caught". (not killing the mites).
The bee world turns out to be very complicated and thus the reasons why they are struggling so much might also be in a variety of factors all coming together. The pesticides, the electro smog, the GMO and also the climate. This latter was devastating this past year in the Netherlands. The main (excellent!) speaker, Albert Muller, who has his hives in the center of the country, said that in this past (according to the media "mild") winter the bees had a very hard time to survive weeks of minus 21 degrees Celsius. They need more food to keep warm and eat honey. I did not know that bees eat honey, but they do. (This suddenly makes eating honey maybe not such a great practice ...)
Actually keeping the bees well fed seems to be one of the keys to keep their immune system strong. What can help there is having a variety of different flowers for them.
And talking about GMO, the genetic build-up of bees is a story in itself. It is not only related to the distance from the hive they go to feed, but also surprising other factors play a role. Like the import of thousands of bees from Hawaii! (Who would have thought that?) This seems to be related to money or should I say big money ... (what's new).
Connected to this is the way beekeeping is done and how it affects the honeycomb as in nature bees build this themselves, but the past fifty years it has become habit to prefabricate the honeycombs in the (erroneous) belief that this will produce more honey. And because of the recycled wax that is used, the immune system of the bees is affected ...
As just a regular citizen, the best way to go is probably grow some flowers where possible. The representative of the local government who was present said the government is aware of the situation and is doing their best to use bushes instead of fences and plant as large a variety of plants and flowers as they can.
You can find more information on this topic on I love Beeing (Dutch) or information in english on organic beekeeping.
Or you may check out my previous posts on bees in Amsterdam and experiences with bee healing.

Did you know: that bees see grass as grey and have their hearing senses located in their feet?
On a final note: the images are some of my earlier works, created with beeswax or called encaustic art ...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Contemporary Art in Amsterdam

The Celebration - modern art by Anne Vis
The local newspaper had a devastating review about the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, which is really a museum of contemporary art and should also display local artists (but doesn't).
All museums in Amsterdam have been closed simultaneously and now once in a while one of them reopens, as the "Stedelijk" last week. If I were traveling from abroad I would at least wait till next summer, because on average the situation is still a mess.
OK, back to the Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam (for some reason they do not bother to translate the name in English on their own website, which seems odd).
If you look at it from the outside it is sitting next to a building resembling a garbage bin and the museum itself looks like a failed bathtub, uglier than ugly. (are you still there?).
On the inside there are works from some famous artists like Kandinsky and Karel Appel, but for some reason they have apparently not been able to buy the real great works of those artists. Every artist has some works that on hindsight may not be their best and this is what they buyers of the museum have put up with. Very disappointing indeed. There was just one work in the entire museum that sparked some interest in me and that was a Mondriaan. In the US called Mondrian (sorry folks, the guy's real name is Mondriaan!) The painting was a square format white on it's side with an asymmetrical black cross. I would not see it as a masterpiece, but at least it was playful, different and creative.
Apparently modern art has been unable to compete with the Dutch masters from earlier centuries. If I were visiting Amsterdam now, I would go for the Rembrandt House (which is also from a historical and architectural viewpoint really interesting) or go to Haarlem, where you can find beautiful smaller gems with Dutch masters like Frans Hals.
And if you like Mondriaan, you may be interested in my personal Mondriaan inspiration line.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

World Animal Day: focus on animals

Snow Cat Christmas Ornament - art by Anne Vis
It's finally arrived again: World Animal Day! :-)
Of course I would rather think of every day as World Animal Day, but some of us seem to have other thoughts about that ...
So just for the fun of it, I looked at how animals are portrayed in the news, just this month, and found some rather interesting stuff:
New Fanged Dwarf Dinosaur Found—"Would Be Nice Pet"
'Green Brain' Project to Create an Autonomous Flying Robot With a Honey Bee Brain
And what to think of this one:
Oregon farmer eaten by pigs
And I really did not have to spend a lot of time at all to find these ... food for thought, huh ... :-) (Uhm, yes, the pigs obviously thought differently about that ...)

Since my muse Knor left, the cat art has become more erratic and sporadic, but above you can see the latest with snow cats stealing the show! You can replace the cats with your own picture to make it more personal.
Also, I am currently spending an awful lot of time expanding and updating my art site, to represent all lines of products and gifts with my individual designs. There are about 5000 unique items in my stores now, adding more every day, so you can see this is a sheer impossible project, which you can find here: Sunny Sites.
Meantime: Happy World Animal Day!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The art of winning an election

Christmas Party Invitation - art by Anne Vis
Some of you who stumble across this blog may wonder why there is so much about politics and the world around us in this blog. Where is the link with healing and art?
As Madonna recently mentioned, it is impossible for an artist not to be engaged in the world. Regardless what an artist does, it reflects their statement about the world around us. Even a recluse is saying something about that world ... (by withdrawing from it).
A healer goes within is the general assumption. But aren't we all formed and affected by what happens in our lives (read: the world)? And shouldn't also a healer be involved with society? I think the times of meditating on a mountain top are far behind us, we need to live here and now ... except that there is no here and now. (detail :-))))

OK, now that we got that clarified, let's move on to what is going on in Dutch politics today.
And you may say that it really does not matter what happens in a tiny country, maybe on the other side of the planet from where you are. But you are wrong there: every one of us matters!
Of course the media here have been shouting for weeks that the elections were about a choice between two parties (where in reality there are many parties). And in this case indeed: depending on that one person that happens to be leading it right now. Read: the puppet is important, not the policy.
There has been a huge repulsion amongst the Dutch public against the latest government, and especially with laying the bill of the bank robbery squarely for the people and leaving the safe of the bank wide open for the looters to continue their business. But all of that has long been forgotten (while still continuing of course):
The discussion in the media was about health care, or better to say lack of health care.
So the public was completely distracted from the real issues.
And guess who they voted for: the same jerks that got us into this mess in the first place!
How could that happen?
Personally I think only part of it is caused by foul play of the media. But the majority in my view voted for their mortgage (yes, here it is again!): the winning party was the only party who said they would not change the enormous tax cuts for those of us willing to be a slave of their mortgage (read: the banksters).
The policies have been for years to not provide enough housing for the population in affordable prices. People were oftentimes left with no other choice than to "buy" a house. But they never became the real owner: the real owner still being the bank, until the mortgage is fully paid, which is almost never the case.
This entire game gives of course free play for banksters and their friends, the unreliable politicians.
(You may also be interested in an alternative reading of the election results in Dutch with an english language movie which I have not had time to see yet).
A small note here: our "prime minister" has officially been named as the politician who was consistently lying about everything. And one of our national "grumpy old men", Maarten van Rossum, said he was a "lying liability" (free translation from "liegende brokkenpiloot").

And yes, I did find a matching illustration today: hope for a warm and cosy Christmas, peace in this volatile and turbulent world ...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What every politician should know

Peace wrapped canvas print - art by Anne Vis
Less than a week to go to the elections in the Netherlands.
And I still haven't heard any of the politicians about the cause of the crisis and how to manage it.
And the population seems to buy into the idea that we have to cut government deficits by raising taxes and most other costs of living.
Meantime, the plundering goes on: in the world of banking it is business as usual and while the politicians are lying about just anything that comes out of their mouth, the banksters keep filling their pockets.

However, there are positive sounds coming from people who use common sense.
I just found that Tegenlicht, a Dutch documentary program, will issue a broadcast on the banking crap on September 17. How convenient to do that right AFTER the elections ... (and we'll have to see what they cover. The announcement that their main guest is Wellink, the previous head of the Dutch Bank, is not very promising.)
One of the guests on the site posted a comment about Perfected Economy (site seems to be still under construction, but you can find very useful information already). In Dutch there is also a site with information: Holland4MPE.
What they say is basically the same as what Positive Money in the UK is promoting, and what I mentioned in several previous posts. The process in which private banks can create money out of thin air should be stopped (and as far as I'm concerned immediately, no minute to waste).
This has to be NUMBER ONE, top priority on the list for politicians.

The role of the media in this is verging on being criminal. A journalist has the obligation to inform the public, not to deceive. It is time that journalists start to ask the real questions.
This affects real lives of real people!
BBC had something that was almost hilarious if it was not so sad: they mentioned that the amount of children in poverty has diminished. Great accomplishment. Except: they calculated the amount based on a percentage of what the average person has as income. The point is that everybody else got so much poorer ...
British humor, can't beat it!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Google or Bing? Easy!

Elegant Floral Wedding Table Seating Card - art by Anne Vis
The fact that you are here watching this post may very well have to do with you using Google as search engine.
I recently survived a fatal computer crash (more or less) and had to buy a new computer. To my horror Bing was installed as default search engine, which suggests that it is now becoming the standard browser (at least in the Netherlands as far as I know). It takes a lot of effort to kick it out if you want to use Google again.
Personally this may mean the end of my business. I get zero hits from Bing.
And then I mean: absolutely ZERO.
Bing does not have Blogger as integrated system, which may also mean that blog posts may not be found when you're on Bing. But also when I type in "Anne Vis" you would expect www.annevis.com to come up first in searches. No ... Bing can't find it!
Also the image search is downright lousy in Bing (although I must say that it is also in Google very limited). Anyway, Bing can't find more than 12 images on my blog, which of course has tons of images (I am referring now to my other blog: www.inspiring-gifts.blogspot.com) ... :-(
From what I understand Bing uses Facebook ... That's not going to help: the favorite ads that Facebook uses on my page are ads for cat food and XXX large size bras ... You can easily understand that that is going nowhere ... :-))) (especially since Facebook says they are using the data you enter there ... ?)
Needless to say that Bing and I got off on a really bad start ...
And thank you for using Google if you did not come by direct link ... :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Election Without Choice

Elegant Floral Wedding Invitation - art by Anne Vis
You are probably wondering how the title of this post relates to the image. I'll tell you. This is how I keep my sanity in a world that seems completely crazy ... creating beauty and sending angel wishes to those of us dreaming about a happy future ...

So now that we got that clarified, let's explore what is going on with all these elections. In the US we have been talking about it for what seems forever and we still have to wait till November before anything becomes clear.
In the Netherlands on the other hand, the elections are in a few weeks, and barely anybody has started talking about it ... politicians just yesterday returned from the beach ... So my conclusion would be that apparently they don't care.
Which of course fits in nicely with the general image of the Dutch: indifference.
And don't say I am not very sad about that. One starts to wonder if the entire population is drugged? Maybe the chemtrails that we see on a daily basis? (no, the stuff about the coffee shops is very exaggerated if you take the population at large into consideration).
There is not really much to choose is the experience, as in the end they all talk with each other, comfortably seal the ideals in the bin and do whatever the whim of the day dictates.
What would I like to see on the agenda that is not there?
1. A solid way to prevent the banks from creating money. The information can be found on the website of Positive Money.
And I don't think it is a good idea to stay in the Euro with the way things have been handled so far (which is a shame). The messing about has been going on way too long already ...
2. Cooperation versus competition. It was of course from the beginning a bad idea to sell out the properties of the population to greedy companies. They need to be returned to the rightful owners: the people! And: who ever thought it would work to let doctors compete? Are they out of their mind??!!!
3. Lower tax rates. "The economy" (do you also start resenting that word?) will do better, but most importantly: the PEOPLE will fare better when they are not taxed to the roof.
Just to mention a few topics ... :-)

In the US we can safely say the situation is hopeless ... If Obama manages to create a policy that has even Dick Cheney enthusiastic beyond words, what might happen if Romney wins ... better not think about it ... it is already bad enough as it is.

And now that we're at it: it looks like there are still some angelic interventions needed for Assange ...
I guess it is clear why I prefer to draw cats and create wedding invitations ... :-)
Also take a look at my art website, which is undergoing major changes and expansions currently: www.sunnysites.org

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The artist way

It's late for me today, but I have to share this movie. It's about finding alternatives to big corporations, a collapsing government and banking system. Basically: about how to cooperate with each other instead of compete ... finding solutions ... be creative ...
Or in other words: the artist way:
Enjoy!
P.S. The movie is in English with Dutch subtitles. It can be shocking at times ...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Obama and Peace (again)

Heartfelt Thank You Sticker - art by Anne Vis
Thank you, Obama, for giving the israeli warlords another $70m ... I'm sure those kids in the US who don't have proper housing or food any more will thank you for this generous action in their name ... :-(
And then consider that the israelis are actually the US' most dangerous enemy. Read this article about the elaborate israeli espionage activities. The israelis are famous for their spying on governments and airports and such, where they have their so called "security devices". Not to mention nuclear facilities. (also read another previous post about Obama)
It was interesting to see a billboard with this:
comparison between Obama and the suspected Colorado shooter, Holmes.
Indeed wondering how long that will live ...
Just some items from the news in just one day ... what a world!
I find it very worrisome that Obama now only focuses on keeping the power, instead of being focused on what is in the interest of the nation. Is that the "Change" he appeared to be so full of just a few years ago? Looks like a lot more of the same old crap to me.
What went so wrong with Obama, what on earth happened that we got so cheated? It was of course already a bad start when he appointed an israeli warlord as chief of staff to begin with. Was he threatened, or was his family blackmailed? Or was this a plan that was in existence all along and were we deliberately misled?
And what does the New Age movement have to say about all this? Is the silence the result of them being so ecstatic about Obama when he came to power and now seeing his policies extending along the lines of Cheney? Or was all the fuss about 2012 about the death of dreams?
That would bring us back to enlightenment: this is all there is. It's just amazing, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Higgs Particle and Healing

Dutch historic countryside - photography by Anne Vis
It ain't easy for a Photoshop addict to have to live without now for several weeks. My computer crashed and I have a lot of trouble getting my programs to work again. Delivery of a new Photoshop is weeks late ... :-(
Not sure if it will ever arrive ...
Anyway, it is very hot here now, so maybe too warm to worry.
What was really fun was that Tony Parsons was back in Amsterdam this past weekend, which, as on previous occasions, I thoroughly enjoyed.
Tony also said something about the Higgs particle that I found interesting. In my view it was actually referring to another theory which has been around for a long time, which is that a particle can be a wave as well. And where science says that this is an alternating situation, being either particle OR wave, Tony says, it is a wave AND a particle simultaneously. He referred to the Higgs with it being and NOT-being at the same time. This is congruent with what he says about "it is both real and not real" (referring to our daily lives, the floor, the chair you are sitting on and so on ...).
This is also relevant to several healing practices that use this theory of "being in a particle or wave state". Other healing modalities, like Vortexhealing®, state that a healer needs to be "enlightened" in order to be a good healer. It may certainly add to any healing practice if there is a realization that includes particle and wave simultaneously, but of course Tony would say "there is no enlightened healer" :-))). So that brings the entire discussion back to where it started. Of course any "healing" would fall into the category "story" anyway ...
Also read the previous post on the Higgs particle and you may also like some of the new YouTube movies with sessions with Tony Parsons:



Or you may like to visit Tony Parson's website: The Open Secret.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Higgs Particle and the Field

Seductive Dream - art by Anne Vis
Wow, the Higgs particle has been found!
For those of you who have been following my blog it will be no surprise to hear that I was on the tip of my chair excitedly following the documentaries.
I could not help thinking about the similarities with what we have seen in the New Age movement and the way this Higgs field is being described. Lynne McTaggart and Gregg Braden have always been promoting this idea of an "intelligent field":



Some thus have called the Higgs particle the "God particle" and it was cute to see how many scientists were horrified about that ... :-)
It is my understanding that each Higgs particle only exists an extremely short amount of time and that makes it interesting to think how communication with this field may be understood. The time it takes to think a thought is way longer than any of the particles that sustain it, may live. That is, if you are with me to say that thought is a thing that has a certain "mass", however light that may be.
As always, I regret that the "techno chip" was not installed when I was manufactured. I am sure this discovery is going to have a big impact.
And it will be very interesting to see how this will give a boost to alternative healing.
But in many ways this discovery already had a huge impact as I see it: all these people working together and being so excited about what they were doing, those shining eyes and the sparks of energy they are spreading ... It is huge and I want to thank everyone involved for this impressive collaboration.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Lesbian Hairdo?

Elegant Black and White (Silver) Anniversary Invitation - art by Anne Vis
Life is as crazy as it can get.
I recently had to have a very drastic haircut, which evoked quite a wave of strong reactions that I had not foreseen.
First of all one of my friends announced that this would most certainly call an end to anything that might resemble a love (read: sex) life.
Very cute and charming ... :-)
Then a gay friend looked at me and said: "You look like a lesbian from the eighties. Couldn't you have it at least cut more asymmetrical or more fun?"
As you notice, the comments are getting increasingly flattering ... :-)))
So, yes, I look grey, lesbian and hopelessly old-fashioned.
Personally I really can't be too bothered about it, but there is something more intense about this. Because with all the football stuff going on, the Ukraine is big on the map. And not because of football, but because of violating human rights for gay and lesbian people.
Apart from it being out of the question for me now to travel to the Ukraine (...), I find it more alarming that some people apparently think they have to control what others are doing in their own bedroom. And apparently it is NOT OK to look a certain way.
In Amsterdam I have not been harassed (yet) because of supposedly being lesbian, but the sheer thought of it is just beyond my comprehension. Even a good friend of mine told me she has the impression that all lesbian and gay people are mentally unstable and "drama queens/kings". I must say that having lived most of my life in Amsterdam and San Francisco, both capitals of the gay, I know quite a lot of gay and lesbian people and cannot underscore this impression at all. On the contrary, I would say.
Anyone who ever fell in love, knows that it is something that happens beyond control. There is no reason to assume that this is different for people who are gay or lesbian.
In August the Gay Canal Pride will happen again in Amsterdam: brightly colored and festive boat parade to celebrate freedom for gays and lesbians.
And then I haven't even mentioned the transgender, bisexual and what you have ...
It looks like there is still a lot of work to be done to find true respect for anyone who is not "straight" in this world ...

The image on top of this post is an 25th anniversary invitation card I created today. Unfortunately it will still take quite a lot of time before the first gay married couples will get to their silver anniversary ...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fusion in Art: surreal, vintage and steampunk

Time Flies - art by Anne Vis
Lately my art has been inspired by vintage art, as you may have seen in previous posts, and also by steampunk.
I have always been very inspired by surrealism, especially Dalí, and now it looks like I get a fusion of these three styles (at least for now, you never know where creativity is flowing next ... :-)))
What makes it so much fun?
Surrealism has the magic, the feeling of other worlds and new possibilities. Vintage has the wonderful quality of "feeling good", a world of peace and harmony. Not that the past has ever been like that, but somehow the vintage style is associated with these feelings. (interesting, isn't it?!) And steampunk combines the qualities of vintage with sci-fi, a world in a fascinating future, where technology plays an important role. And technology can be seen the way it was explained by Tesla in this respect. I still think Tesla is one of the most inspiring technological inventors we know of, still inspiring many people today.
Seen from an artistic point of view, the very popular and in some ways vintage style of art nouveau, also fits nicely with this medley.
Enjoy and be in peace ...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bank Bailout?

The Flower Song - art by Anne Vis
While I am playing with fractals as you can see in this latest artwork, our government is busy bringing this country (the Netherlands) to bankruptcy.
Does anyone even understand why the banks are being bailed out, and not the people? The latter would be a million times more productive: the people would have money and would buy stuff, the economy would be thriving, the tax would feed the government enough to keep going and everyone would be happy. Any other business that is doing such a lousy job, would just go bankrupt, not the banks. With what justification? And it is not just money, it is literally a matter of life and death.
A grim picture? Sure. In some new age circles it is softly referred to as the "Great Harvesting of Souls" ... Nice. Does it help to view it that way?
The only spark I have found so far, that would be a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, is a proposal by a British group called Positive Money. Their proposal is a must see/read for everyone. In short it explains how money is being created by private banks (who fill their pockets with it) and what to do to stop this process.
THIS HAS TO BE NO 1 ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA!
As long as this is not the case, I will be posting about this again in all likelihood, as I have in a previous post. Because, while you are busy reading this, the banks are in this very moment busy plundering your account.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Eric Pearl in Amsterdam

Elegant Sunny Personalized Announcement Invitation - art by Anne Vis
Next weekend, June 8-10, Eric Pearl will be in Amsterdam.
If you haven't been to any of his events yet, I would highly recommend to go if you can.
He is a remarkable healer and gives demonstrations in public. And even if you're not that interested in healing: his story is astounding and he has a great sense of humor, so you're in for a wonderful night out!
And once you have a taste of it, you can always stay on for the weekend! :-)
On Thursday there are also yoga and animal healing workshops.

On top of this post you can see one of the new invitations I recently designed. This is a universal invitation, and as you can customize the texts, suitable for many purposes.

Obama: president of war

Ready for Take Off - art by Anne Vis
Last night the Belgian state television broadcasted a documentary on the dangers of cyber war and how vulnerable our hospitals, water systems and public transport are. In the Netherlands there was recently a threat to sabotaging the pump systems that keep the water out ... imagine what that would do!
And guess who is behind all this: mr. Nobel Prize Peace Winner Obama himself, as he ordered the attacks against Iran! Who would have thought!
It was quite mind boggling to see this confirmed in a journal no less than the New York Times and I must say I am still in shock, even though my suspicions were already there obviously.
If you love to see thrillers and read mystery books:
Read this article in Deep Journal for more scary bedtime stories. The truth is worse than any nightmare you could imagine ...
My guess is that the "conspiracy theories" have been right once again and this is a co-creation from israeli-obama hand.
I can't help but thinking about Fukushima again: as I mentioned in a previous post, this most likely was not a regular earthquake but a cyber attack and as you can see evidence is mounting ... Also watch this:



And this just at a time when all the drone attacks are flying wild and Obama has started wars now with Somalia, Yemen, the Philippines, Pakistan ... and today also the news came out that Obama wants to start a new Guantanamo in Afghanistan ...
It is really unbelievable that this is a "president" who, what seemed like just a few years back, promised peace and could all say it so well ...
And already a few months back I asked the question: should Obama hand back the Nobel Peace Prize? ... never mind ...
I am glad I found a few good news items a few days ago, we need new sources of hope ... in the continuing "story" ...
Although Tony Parsons would say: "there is no hope, this is all there is ... " :-)))
Watch one of his more recent talks:



The art on top of this article is called Ready for Take Off. (quite fitting for a change, don't you think? :-))

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Top Three Best Good News Items Today

Beach BBQ Party Invitation Card - art by Anne Vis
It does not often happen that one can find more than one happy event in the news, but today there were quite a few news items that in my view are good news:
  • Germany has been investing big time in solar energy and today the best news came out: just this day there was so much sun in Germany that the production of solar power exceeded that of more than 20 nuclear power plants! Yeah!
    Go Germany, go!
  • And more good news on the environment: Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff has vetoed a law that would enable further deforestation of the Amazon. In June there will be a big meeting again on sustainability. This decision is a great step, which will hopefully be implemented in a good way.
  • And last but not least:
    It could be that there is now a solution to tackle bacteria that are resistent against antibiotics. This resistance has been a HUGE problem in health care and if not solved will not only cost many lives, but will also drive up the already tremendous costs of health care. So thumbs up for this news as well!
And as you can see the cats are having a happy BBQ party tonight ... :-)
To join them, visit, Anne's Cats Online Store :-)
Wishing you a delightful weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stop the banks from creating money out of thin air

4th of July BBQ Party Invitation Card - art by Anne Vis
While the cats are roasting a fish on the beach, and I have been busy creating a lot of new invitation cards, a group of English thinkers have created a video to show us how to stop the continuing robbery of your bank account. This documentary flies into the face of all that the media are trying to tell us and apparently the politicians don't want to know:
In the west some people still downplay the economic crisis and continue a luxury life, but also here in the Netherlands, a growing group of people is plunging into poverty. This is more serious than just not having much money, it affects relationships, health and can cause serious depression. It is well known that the rates of suicides are going through the roof. Thus it is no exaggeration to say these banksters are serial murderers ... that go unpunished ...
This documentary proposes to disallow the banks to create money and democratize the process of distribution. The video lasts for about an hour (which is the short version), but I strongly recommend watching it and please make it viral!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Healing the Economy

Housewarming Party Invitation Card - art by Anne Vis
Could it be that after all the stressful news about the economy there is hope?
Apart from all the new small businesses (previous post) that are starting, I saw a documentary on the Dutch television that I thought is very hopeful indeed. It suggests that the exodus of labor and manufacturing to China has come to a halt and that the Netherlands is going back to producing it's own products.
Something similar is happening in San Francisco where Zazzle has organized hand made manufacturing of messenger bags and several other products locally, as I mentioned in a previous post about outsourcing.
One of the reasons behind the reversal of this process also sounds like really good news: the Chinese workers are earning more money and there is more attention for the environment.
For those who understand the Dutch language:
sitestat

And on another note: the Housewarming Party Invitation Card you see on top of this post, is part of a series of new invitation cards in square format. Some of them are in Sunny Sites Online Art Store and others in Anne's Cats Store. More to come! :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Transforming the labor market

Child therapist or counselor business card - art by Anne VisCat care or cat sitter business card - art by Anne Vis

Where Obama used to talk about "Change", the Dutch government goes even further and talks about "Transformation". Both are of course empty words, as the policies of Obama are just a continuation of the Bush administration and the "transformation" by the Dutch government is just a huge increase in taxes and other costs for ordinary people.
But what is really derailing our societies so much, apart from just having had the biggest bank robbery ever and leaving the culprits free to continue to steal even more ...?
I think one of the most devastating causes is the mentality of "competition". Everyone has to compete with each other, because the government seems to still think that that will increase "productivity" and lower prices.
Instead it just increases anxiety in people and everyone knows the disasters of this policy as it is ripping health care apart and has caused grave accidents with trains. And where exactly has it lowered prices? It has only increased prices.
One interesting side effect of all these crappy policies, is that a lot of people are now starting their own business. Of course the government does everything it can to thwart these efforts with difficult bureaucratic rules and extra taxes, but people see no other alternative. On the one hand this is a very promising and exciting development, as it makes people less dependent and may eventually break the power of multinationals. Or: genuinely transform the multinational's policies. On the other hand: not everyone is made to be a business person. It will be fascinating to see where this goes.
Because the bottom line is of course that we need to learn to cooperate instead of compete. An interesting development in that field in the US, but also in Spain and other countries now, is that of cooperatives, where every employee is also shareholder. It turns out that this is a very successful business model in which the participants feel committed and the collaboration on a mutual project creates of course a much better atmosphere than when you have to be fearful that someone else will take your job.
Another example of individualism combined with cooperation is of course the field of art. Somehow being an artist does not mix very well with being a business person in general and this has oftentimes led to artists cooperating and organizing shows together and promoting each other instead of just themselves. I can tell you from experience that this creates a lot more joy!
Cooperation is not always easy, it is supposed to be a basic skill acquired in preschool, but somehow the idea of working together has also left the education. Bringing back cooperation as main focus, as opposed to competition, is the real transformation that needs to happen will we survive ...
Cremation or funeral service business card - art by Anne Vis Insurance business card - art by Anne Vis

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Climate and the green parrot

A hot spring night canvas print - art by Anne Vis
This past winter hundreds of wild horses died in the Netherlands, the fruit harvest is ruined for this year and trees have only a few flowers compared to the abundance we saw last year. Weeks of temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius have created havoc in nature. Still the media call it a "mild winter". Honestly, even today the temperature has not been above 10 degrees Celsius ... (so much for "global warming" ...)
Yet, this spring (or is it still winter?) I noticed a new species in my neighborhood: the green parrot.
Given that this is a bird that used to live in much warmer areas, it is absolutely remarkable that the green parrot has been able to come back in such large numbers, announcing it's presence with loud squeaks, paling the beautiful black bird's song. The bird is of course famous from Coit Tower in San Francisco and has been housing for years in Amsterdam as well as in other European cities like, London.
I would not expect to see it in such large numbers after such a horrible winter, a miracle?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sunny Sites: new website!

new website sunnysites.org - art by Anne Vis
As you can see, I've been really busy this past week creating a new website. The navigation and design have been completely restyled.
The focus is now much more on the three Zazzle stores to bring art into your daily life experience, coloring and brightening up products you use every day.
It comes with my vision that art is not just a wonderful thing on the wall, but is embedded in all of life. Art as a way of living and then I am referring to not just the visual, but the creativity and inspiration of life. The way you design your contacts, that smile to the driver of the bus, the joy of interacting with animals ... it is really everything.

One of the things I discovered through the new site, happened when I started debugging and found that my contact page did not work any more. My server had disabled PHP scripting and I somehow had missed that information ... So sorry to folks who tried to reach me and did not get anywhere! You can find a new email link on the "about us" page.
Anyway: enjoy the new site and all the new products and inspiring art that is available!
And let me know what you think! :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Impeach Obama

Galaxy Space Abstract Art iPad Case - art by Anne Vis
Now just yesterday I briefly mentioned how sick and tired I am with all the warmongering and other criminal stuff that the Bush III administration thinks it needs to do.
And unfortunately it is not just in the US that these things are happening.
However, in the US some brave people have come to protest (I haven't seen anything like this yet in the Netherlands, everyone is still applauding Obama and apparently supporting the wars ... applauding for what exactly is beyond me ...).
A movement to impeach Obama, clearly explained in this video:

And again: this is not just about Obama, but all these things are in fact crimes by governments against their own population.
It would also help if all these israelis were worked out of the different governments and the eavesdropping equipment that the so-called israeli "security companies" have installed everywhere, would be removed.
We must realize that a "point of no return" is approaching and certainly here in Europe we need to only remind ourselves of how Hitler came into power. If we want to live in a peaceful and harmonious world, just sitting and watching football or dreaming and meditating will not do the job ... we will need to address these things. Now.
So, although I am not usually a "Republican thinker" and am wondering how you can even call your site "infowars" ... this time I think they have a point:

And, in worst case scenario, the israeli attack on Japan last year will finish us all of:
check out the latest news on Fukushima. (Just to stay on the bright side ... )
And you will easily understand why I prefer drawing cats ... :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's New?

The Cat Song Wrapped Canvas - art by Anne Vis
In politics the Bush III administration is continuing it's warmongering and bailing out Wall St. instead of Main St., so nothing new there.
For the really exciting things, as well as more uplifting topics, we go to the world of cats, knors.
I had a visit of a Knor, who explained to me how she can just BE music, instead of listening to or making music. Imagine how healing that is, to just be that soft purring singing. She joined her friends the birds and you can see them here in one of my latest creations.
(click on image or go to Anne's Cats)
There is not only a lot of news in the cat world, but I also introduced a new product in my other store, Sunny Sites: photo sculpture magnets. These are magnets that are cut-outs and since they are in the shape of stars and flowers, you do not have them on a round or square shape, but as is.
Floral Design Fractal Sculpture Magnet - art by Anne Vis
I already put up quite a few flowers, but also Christmas stars!

On this blog I rarely feature other artists, but you can find their work on my other blog: Inspiring Gifts and on a Squidoo lens: Inspiring Art, where I also write about inspiration in daily life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Every Day Earth Day

Bee postage - art by Anne Vis
With just a few weeks to go to Earth Day, the spring weather is helping to feel more connected to nature. And I find it very interesting and joyful to see that animal life is thriving in the city. Last year fishermen found a huge eel in the canal in Amsterdam in my neighborhood. It had the size of my leg! And this year the bee keepers have installed their hives on top of the Central Theatre on the Leidsesquare to create "city honey".
The theory is that the variety in nature in the city is larger than in rural areas and also the plants have less pesticides and other chemicals. This latter argument is questionable as there is a lot of pollution in Amsterdam by all the major building and construction projects, scooters and of course the petro-chemical industry, which is right around the corner.
However, it is a wonderful project and we are all looking forward to see the bee hives thrive and the bees create delicious honey!
Have a great spring!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Santorum: the Anti-Christ?

Inspiring Quote Cork Coaster - art and text by Anne Vis
Can anybody please explain to me what the difference is between the Taliban and Rick Santorum? And what exactly is "pro-life" about sending young kids to war?
It is almost surreal to watch the corrupt circus of the US "elections" (did anyone mention it is supposedly called "democracy"?)
I was so relieved to watch Anjelica Huston on CNN voicing all the things that have been on my mind for a while. Not only the women's rights, which are rapidly flowing down the drain, but also animals rights. It breaks my heart to see the sweating or freezing horses on the Dam in Amsterdam standing there, day in day out, bored to death and abused by many of the people who run them.
Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would do would he be alive in this day. He did not give me the impression of having an attitude of "holier than thou", but radically threw the merchants out of the temple and in this day probably the Santorum guy as well ... ?
On another note: how do you like the illustration I found for today's post (knowing they usually don't match the text)? I must say that I first had a text of Martin Luther King, but then got an email from Zazzle that the Martin Luther King organization had contacted them for copyright infringement (? you would think they would be pleased that the message is spread, but no ...) So I made up my own text (one can never be sure of course if somebody else also came up with these words, I am obviously not so at home in the world of "quotes"). It is just as example, as I thought it would go well with the design, and the text is customizable. Thank you buyer who bought it "as is", with an original "Anne Vis Quote" ... :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dutch media call for sponsors insurgence in Syria

Futuristic Sci Fi Notebook - art by Anne Vis
I've barely been able to watch the news coming from Syria: it is just too awful.
And I kept having that strange feeling that something was not right about the media coverage, I just could not imagine it to be true.
Bashir al Assad has said from the beginning that it was western intervention.
And it seems that he has a point.
Last night the Dutch media openly called for sponsors to support the "rebels" ... Bringing it as something that might not be the best, because they could buy weapons (?!) (talking hypocrisy ...), but nevertheless: all the information and a great propaganda stunt.
It seems that the worst scenario that can happen to any country is the west coming in for a "regime change" and bringing "democracy" (of course without consulting the population, oh irony ...)
For an average person it is these days almost impossible to get a clear view of what is going on. I just want the people of Syria to know that I love them and whatever my government is doing to harm Syria is not in my name and I wish them peace, good health and happiness ...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Portrait painting vintage style

Portrait of a Lady - art by Anne Vis
A while back I posted the story of a "pimped" window model and today I would like to present a portrait that was originally done by François Gérard (1770-1837) and that I "pimped" or modified or whatever you would like to call it.
Here is what I started out with:
Portrait of a Lady - by François Gérard
When I set out, one of my objectives was to create a "vintage style" portrait that would not be an exact copy of what Gérard had done, in other words: give it a bit of my own style. One of the things that I began with, was altering the mouth. I wanted to give her a different facial expression and look somewhat more happy. For some reason blue eyes also create that effect in a setting like this (which is probably because it creates more contrast). So I made "new eyes". The veil was one of the beautiful details that I left almost "as is" as you can see: I added a hat, to make it a bit more kinky ... :-)
Of course it was a beautiful painting to begin with, so in that respect quite a challenge!
I hope you enjoy the result!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Netherlands: a totalitarian state?

flower power fractal rose pillow - art by Anne Vis
Last Sunday I briefly turned on the television to see what was happening in a news program. What I saw just got me transfixed on my chair in horror. They had a lifeless woman there of whom I can only say that she was the female version of the "hate imam" who caused so much uproar just a few weeks ago. Naema Tahir claims she is a "recovering muslima", but we can only say she is now confused in the days: muslim prayers are on Friday, not on Sunday ... and she was certainly preaching. Some journalists are in her view "immoral" and need to be removed from journalism.
Interestingly, she targeted Rutger Castricum as her prey. He happens to be one of the best journalists we have in this country. Yes, he can sometimes be a bit too bold, but usually he gets the information he (and the viewer) would like to get, and he does it with a great sense of humor.
Soon enough we could see what is happening behind the scenes here, as (of course) the very next day Rutger Castricum was on her doorstep and asked (very politely I must say) to speak with her. However, hubby was determined to get him at the throat and became very violent.
So much for crossing the fine lines of civilization.
So back to her preaching: she went on to say that nice people like Job Cohen should be revered ... Excuse me? This is the guy that left a mess after he was mayor of Amsterdam and is now sent away by his political party, as he was almost single handedly chasing away the entire following of the party. A very grumpy and incompetent man.
The entire preaching was so out of line with Dutch society. If she likes a totalitarian state she will have to relocate. (don't know why she hasn't thought of that solution yet?)
I have never seen Rutger Castricum physically attack anyone, yet apparently Tahir has no moral problems with her partner attacking a journalist physically.
The partner, Kinneging, seems to be a teacher in law at the university. I suggest this is the end of his career. No wonder society is such a mess if people like that are supposed to "educate" law students.
Interesting detail is that Kinneging said that television should be banned from politics altogether as people get distracted by what they see. He obviously saw a documentary the day before, that I also saw, about how we are visually deceived and how the brain makes an image and fills in the blanks where it cannot know. Some research was mentioned about a debate between two politicians and according to one group of observers, who only saw the debate, politician A won, and the other group (who only heard the debate) said politician B won. Kinneging, who presents himself as a scientist, concluded that the group who just listened and did not see the debate was correct ... Excuse me?
I see it as very dangerous if people like these two get their way. We get a government that decides what journalists are allowed to say and what not ... soon to be followed by ordinary people like you and me ...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Back again: Euthanasia!

Black and white polka dots photo frame magnet - art by Anne Vis
Did I mention euthanasia back in my previous post, ever since a member of the Dutch royal family got into a coma with little chance of any recovery, the topic is back in the headlines once again (or did it never leave?).
It seems like there is no other country in the world where it is such a big issue than the Netherlands. Ironic for a people that claims to be one of the happiest nations around ... (but maybe that is because of the high number of people on anti-depression medication ... ).
I follow these discussions with interest, as sooner or later we are all faced with situations like these. The other day there was a desperate mother of an eighteen year old who was mentally retarded and had no quality of life whatsoever left ... just laying in bed like a vegetable, unable to do anything for herself. And of course this situation with this prince now gets a lot of attention, but let's face it: the 99% of us know someone in a situation like this or have known and it is sad beyond words.
I think that what people are forgetting is that many of these situations arise because of medical possibilities to treat. Without medical intervention, a lot of the people in situations that now evoke the euthanasia discussion, would have already died. But for the medical personnel this is very difficult (if not impossible) to assess in advance. The prince was reanimated for 50 minutes: if that would not have happened, he would already have passed away. So if you can take the decision to intervene to postpone death, are you also allowed to take the decision to terminate the life if you see there is no "quality" left after your intervention?
It is a very difficult decision to take and then: who is going to take it? Does the medical profession have a responsibility to refuse to continue treatment for "hopeless" cases?
In a time where medical care is becoming a luxury a lot of people cannot afford any more, it seems legitimate to ask these questions.
It is an entire different ball game to be in the position of the person who says, OK, lets pull out the plug now ... And I want to add here that my thoughts go out to everyone facing this and similar situations.
Not everyone has a reaction of sympathy though.
It seems that 20% of the people think that it was his own fault, so nobody should meow about it.
And one "very religious" woman: "He will go straight to hell!"
Personally I thought the very concept of hell was from another era, but apparently not ... so much for compassion.
After all: yes, he may have made a mistake, but isn't that just human ... ?
It is not all as black and white as my illustration today suggests ... (yes, I am still hooked to creating photo frame magnets for your own images, check them out at new products in Sunny Sites online art store!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Art ... of living ...

The Escape - art by Anne Vis
Art is a strange creature.
And today I would like to share some of what is going on (in me?) during and after creating a painting ...
When I am in the process of creation, I am usually in a state of bliss, just focusing on the composition, colors and some details ...
It is not until it is finished, that I look at the piece from the outside (as far as that is possible for any artist regarding their own work) and get some sense of what it actually might be about.
Also the painting you see here ... I was completely mesmerized by the colors ... and it wasn't until later that I saw it is actually quite profound and having associations with life and death and how we live our lives.
The bird is traveling in a glass sphere ... the lightbody ... transparent, yet still some sort of a boundary. How accessible are we for others?
And where is the bird going? A landscape with an ocean ... plenty of fish to eat and new friends already waiting?
Or traveling in the lightbody to the world of the souls?
Lately I have lost quite a few people around me ... one of them committed suicide. It is hard to tell sometimes how people are really going through life, or maybe I should say how life is going through people.
In the Netherlands euthanasia has been a hot topic for a long time. And the discussion has flared up again to include not only people who are terminally ill without any hope of recovery or an end to suffering, but also to include people who are just "tired of life".
With the economic depression, more people want to "get out" and I wonder to what extent I am tuning into a larger societal movement when I am creating my artwork. Where do I get these images from? I guess it is once again clear that nobody is really "separate" and everything is connected ...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bandoneón

Music Binder - art by Anne Vis
This week an extraordinary movie was shown in Amsterdam (and will be shown in other locations as well, so keep an eye on it!): El sonido del Bandoneon.
The movie is about the instrument and it's amazing story and features some of the most passionate people working with it. Here is the trailer:

The filming is beautiful and of course: so is the sound! If you get a chance, go see it! :-)
And if you don't, you can always take a look at the most amazing bird gifts I found today, featured on Inspiring Gifts, my other blog! :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crisis, what crisis?

Sympathy Encouragement Art Card - art by Anne Vis
Everyone is meowing about a crisis in the building and construction industry. This is however in no way reflected in what is happening in Amsterdam. The entire city is one huge building and construction site, coming with all the noise, pollution and what have you.
One of the reasons is that our previous mayor left us with a building industry that is largely in hands of the mafia. Corruption all over, and unfortunately I am sitting in the middle and can see (and hear!) it all from close by. Not to mention all the court cases.
The houses across the street are (were I should say) on the monument list and situated close to the center of Amsterdam. The entire street is old and on the site where several houses are being demolished now, there were previously only old houses.
Left you can see what it looked like a year ago, and on the right what it looks like today:
Everyone in the neighborhood is very upset, because of the damage this does to our city, whereas it would have been very well possible to maintain the facade of the building. Lies, lies and more lies, that's the government.
So, people in Spain: if you are a skilled construction worker, here is the place to be, as we are also tired from the balconies dropping off buildings and other disasters that seem to be happening on a weekly basis ...
Uhm yes, I finally found an appropriate illustration for this post: a sympathy card ... I am getting famous (or infamous, what should I say?) for these ... :-)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Marketing for the starving artist

Toast to Love - art by Anne Vis
If you thought marketing for an artist in the traditional media was hard, think again about digital artists. Not only is the reputation of digital art not that of fine art, but the competition is wild ...
And as many artists do not have a budget for marketing, nor the skills and expertise ... you have all the ingredients for "The Starving Artist" ... (maybe until they die, as after death their artwork seems more attractive?!)
Anyway, I decided I did not want to wait till I die and started some attempts at marketing without a budget. Of course happy enough not to be hindered by any knowledge or skills in the field whatsoever ... :-)
So today I would like to share my experiences so far with free marketing tools.
  • Blogger
    I have been writing a blog for many years, first on Wordpress, but after my site got hacked, I decided to continue on Blogger. As a marketing tool it does not do much for me as far as I can tell. The images cannot be found in Google and apparently my rantings don't seem to entice enough visitors to make it a useful instrument for marketing :-). But then: I may not be using the correct details and I am all over the place when it comes to topics. I have now started a second blog that is only to promote artwork, not only my own, but also from other artists. It has a different format and I see it as a new experiment and will give it some time to see what it does. The main thing is that I just like writing ...
    By the way, my new blog is called
    Inspiring Gifts.
  • Squidoo
    I started years ago with a lens called Inspiring Art, mainly featuring artists that I find inspiring. I usually add one artwork a month and it is now adding up and becoming a genuine source of inspiration, not only for artists, but to get inspired in daily life.
    By now I have added a couple of other lenses (a lens is basically a webpage on some topic). The trouble with lenses is they only work if you get a lot of traffic ... see my point?!
    So this has turned out to be yet another one of my "fun projects" that does not necessarily do much with regards to selling my artwork.
  • Facebook
    I regularly post thumbnails with a link to one of my artworks on Facebook. So far it has not led to any sales as far as I can tell. It is interesting however to notice that although there is usually not much response, when I meet friends in person, they turn out to have seen my work. So maybe more people are familiar with it now than when I would not have posted on Facebook. I also have to add that all the tools mentioned here may work differently for other people. Like on Facebook, I sometimes see art that gets a lot more response. It could also be that my art just does not speak to a large audience, but the tools themselves would work fine ... Who knows?
  • StumbleUpon
    This is not only a real fun tool, but also one that can generate a lot of traffic. People browse through sites that you normally do not find on Google, based on recommendations. So it generates brief visits, but in my experience not the serious buyers generally ... but again: who knows ...?
  • WeHeartIt
    This is a site that allows members to recommend images. I have seen some of the images that I put on Weheartit on Google and as many people search for products or art with Google Images, this is a good thing.
Of course there are more tools, but believe me, if you are using all of the above, it is already a miracle if you still have time to create new art, let alone develop new skills!
The best thing in my experience is that someone who is very good in attracting lots of traffic to their site, loves your art and features it on a regular basis ... once people know the way to your stores and are happy, they will come back!
Good luck!