Changing art

Carla Sonheim had a great lesson about moving art, inspired by Alexander Calder.

I used leftover papers painted on both sides to make these little changing landscapes. While I was making them I thought about inner landscapes. Several ideas came along.

  • You can use them for communicating your mood when words are not an option.
  • When they are closed nobody can see the inner beauty.  Same with a person. When you are closed and maybe protect your vulnerability you also hide your inner beauty.

So moving art is a very adequate term but I like to call this changing art because you can change the view of it. I made a litte video of the first two I made. As you see they are also little books. I hope you like them as much as I do.

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Recycling an old painting

I started 18 years ago with painting on canvas. Most of these old paintings are not my taste anymore. Occasionally I repaint one. This one took some time. There were some ingredients that made it hard. I do not paint a lot the last months. I was not really inspired and not having much confidence in my skills anymore. Not a very good start. Painting on an old painting helps but I had expectations. I wanted it to be good. Also not a good ingredient for painting with joy and fun.

You can see the old painting and the result. I’m not sure I like the face but it feels finished. I love the unfinished look. If that make sense…

And I show you the process in this mini video. So you get an idea of my struggling. It helped a lot to make a onliner for the face. I used this photo.

In the stripes on the background I wrote this quote: Het doel van de kunst is niet het uiterlijk van dingen weer te geven, maar het innerlijk… dat is de echte werkelijkheid. Aristoteles. (Translated:The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.)

Here I show you how I made the pattern on her dress.

I hope this inspire you to use old material again. It is nice to start with a background. And good to reuse materials. Do it for the earth and everybody on it. A little tip, start with a lot of confidence, inspiration and without expectations. Your painting will be finished in no time!

Love, Herma Starreveld


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The 100 day project

Instagram is my favourite App at the moment. There are always fun projects going on. Now it is the #100dayproject. It started April 2 or 3, I’m not sure. Because I didn’t know all the details I started a day earlier. I did two 30 day projects in the past with success so I think I’m ready for a 100 day project. So far so good. I did 20 faces in procreate. It helps to work in advance.

Carla Sonheim had a wonderful lesson this week. Drawing a face from an old photo over scrap paper. So I made two of them. I bought the photos some time ago in France. I hope to make more of these because I really like the unpredictability of it.

On Instagram there was also a project #artvartist in which artists post a photo of themselves surrounded with there art. I highly recommend to check it. I love it, because you can see how art and artist are one. This is mine, I looked for work that looks like me or is me.

Have a great day! Love Herma











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A lot is going on…

Hi dear reader,

I didn’t blog much lately because there is a lot happening in my life. I needed time processing and I was busy.

I almost finished the illustrations for a children book written by Marjolijn van der Bruggen. It is about a little bird in Amsterdam. The perfect topic for me. It is a very sweet story about perseverance and making your wishes come true. You will hear more soon!

You can see my studio table while I work on the last changes and adjustments. As you can see I’m not a very neat worker. I like a bit of chaos on my table. It inspires me.

That said I have to admit that is was a bit to much chaos in my studio and I completely rearranged my furniture and all my creative stuff to make a better workspace. I even bought a new closet!

I feels like a new beginning and it is a new beginning because I stopped my regression therapy practice in October 2017 to focus 100% on my studio. It worked well out till now.




On Thursday 22 March I will give the second workshop Botanic style illustration in the beautiful space of the popup hand picked by Anna & Renée shop combined with the Break out lunch cafe. And it is sold out! So we plan a new one in April. If you are interested you can find the info soon on facebook or on this website. Here you can see the first workshop which was a success.



And Anoushka van Velzen did a great job with making new portrait photos of me. I added some fun to this one.

So now you are updated of what is happening here in the studio. See you next time and thank you for being here!


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Since I have Photoshop CC on my computer I learned a lot.

This week I made my first little animation. It is a bit clumsy but I like that.The birds are made in a class by Carla Sonheim. I posted the video in the facebook class group and someone said some sweet words: “Love the relationship and the marching forward to meet love”! I really like it when people fantasize little stories about what I make. Luckily birds don’t kiss each other.

Have a great day!

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My first illustrated book

Two years ago someone ask me to illustrate an education book for little children. It is about two women who love each other and live their live with pleasure and with difficulties.

I took my time. One illustration in a month. And I finished 10 illustrations. I was happy and she was happy.

But unfortunately it will not be published. I want to show them all in this blog to say goodbye to this project.

Luckily I’m working on a new project and I can do it much faster this time! I keep you informed!


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Sketching faces with a pencil

I wish you very creative 2018!


This pencil face sketch I made for the ‘Held captive’ class by Jeanne-Marie Webb. I drew several in a small sketchbook . This is the one I like the most.

I discovered that I can’t copy photos or use them as a reference. I fail… and I found it far more fun  to make them by my own fantasy. Or better said I love to let them arise. I don’t have a plan when I start, so I surprise myself.



Here I show you how that works for me. I draw the last face of the book. I use a stumper to smear the pencil and to make shadow.

I love faces but I disliked working with a pencil. I’m still not really excited about it but I had fun to make this book. You can imagine that all these people are relatives or friends and they all have their own stories and emotions. I hope you enjoy the book.

Thank you for visiting my blog!



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Illustration of Boris, our dog

Photoshop CC isn’t a easy program to work with for me. But I’m learning. This time a lesson by Anne Bollman. (Illustration in Photoshop: Professional Work From Your Sketches) On Skillshare.

The subject is Boris. He past away a month ago and I miss him. So this was a good opportunity ‘to be with him’…

I struggled a lot with Photoshop. It does sometimes weird things and I know it is me that does the wrong things but when you don’t understand what you did wrong you think it is the computer or the program. Don’t you? I do!

I started with photo’s and made a sketch in photoshop. But I got so frustrated that I cheated and continued on my Ipad with procreate.

I found out that I made a too complicated illustration. I tried it again with alone his head,  in Photoshop. Made the sketch on paper with a marker instead of on the computer with the mouse. You see the various steps and the final result. As a good portraitist I made him a bit younger and more handsome.

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Long time no see…

Hello everyone! Sorry for being occupied with lot of things and having no time to blog…

It was not that there is nothing to say or to show. I don’t know where to start….

I made a new lesson on Skillshare. Fantasy birds on postcards. It is a great success! I have more than 200 students and they are very enthusiastic. 25% recommended the class to others. Just some of the reviews:

“Loved this class! Great for people just getting into mixed media or for more experienced artists to loosen up. A perfect project to do with kids also. I hope to see lots of classes from this instructor.”

“Fantastic class! Herma does a wonderful job describing her process and encouraging students to let their imagination fly!”

If you use this link you can try Skillshare two months for free. I love this platform for creative people! Learned so much there.

And there is more….there is a super fun shop in Alkmaar that sell these birds and other stuff made by me. Sorry I don’t have a photo from the birds.






I think that is enough for one post. Thank you for reading and thank you for visiting my website!

Have a good day!




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I finally have photoshop CC on my computer. So now I have to learn to work with it. It is not easy but I love the possibilities! I like to make photo collages and the lesson by Meg Lewis on Skillshare combined that with some basics of photoshop. A perfect lesson for me.

I made one moodboard with a structure made by Meg. The photo’s are from our holiday in Etretat (France).

And I want to make a square one because I love square. I made my own structure. I used photo’s I made on the beach last autumn on Terschelling (Holland).

I love the beach as you can see…

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