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Maartje van Hoorn

Dutch artist, blogger, reviewer, internet addict and all around nutter

Last Build Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 21:08:06 +0000


Painting animations

Fri, 19 Oct 2012 15:48:00 +0000

Someone suggested on my Facebook page that I make animated GIFs of my work in progress pictures that I sometimes post of the drawings I’m working on. I thought that was a cool idea so I made GIFs of my two latest endeavors. A Jensen Ackles painting and a Colin Morgan painting.They’re big files so they might take a while to load!Colin Morgan animationjensen Ackles Animation [...]

Wacom Cintiq 24HD: a first look

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 15:32:00 +0000

Perhaps you’ve noticed me talking, over and over, about Wacom’s fabulous Cintiq 24HD. I guess if you talk about it long enough people (your parents) get so sick of you talking about it (or realise that you really really would like nothing better than to have one) that they decide, that since you’re turning 25, to give you one!Oh yes, I have a Cintiq 24HD! It’s really really beautiful, and really really large (the screen itself is 24″, but along with the frame, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is 30″ total). I did not get to unbox it, as they say, because I was on holiday and when I got back, it was on my desk, all hooked up to the computer! My parents like to do this, surprise me with stuff after I’ve been away.Right, so I should probably tell you what I think about it now, right? The first thing I noticed was how incredibly smooth the screen is. It feels almost liquid. Secondly, it uses the same pens as the Intuos 4- upward, which is really nice, since I have a few of those (pens, not multiple Intuoses (Intui?)). It has a lot of express buttons. I love express buttons, because you hardly have to leave your screen to do things you’d otherwise have to go into menus for. It also has two fabulous touch rings that can perform six different, fully customisable tasks. I think this is Wacom’s most flexible tablet yet. Same goes for the positions the screen can be put in. I tend to go for my usual only slightly tilted position, though. Also because I can’t change the position by myself because you need to use two hands for that (sheesh, Wacom). The only thing it doesn’t do, and the Wacom Cintiq 21UX did, is rotate. I didn’t use it that often, but that was pretty handy. I think I should now just digitally rotate the canvas. No biggie.Another, really, really neat thing is the Cintiq’s perfect compatibility for multiple screens. You can set one of the express keys to ‘toggle screen’, which allows use to use the Cintiq across your other monitor, as a regular tablet. Really handy if you’re working with multiple programs at the same time. You only need one hand instead of two. Way to go Wacom!I’m sure there are many many other cool things that I’ve yet missed, but I never have the patience to check out all the options as I always just want to create as fast as humanly possible.  I’ll write down more cool stuff when I come across them. [...]

Bringing this blog back to life

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 15:24:00 +0000

I still get a lot of visitors here on this blog, so I can't just sit around here and ignore all of you anymore.

What can you expect? Art, for one, but I'll also post book reviews, movie reviews and other entertainment and opinions on this blog.

See you guys soon!


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green review

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 10:17:00 +0000

One of the best books I've read in 2012, so far. No shit, Sherlock, it's only January. 

But no, seriously, I love this book. I'll go ahead and label it as 'cancer book', but I don't think it's negative in this case. 

John Green approached the subject of dying from cancer with a good sense of humour, without taking away the seriousness of the disease. It made me laugh out loud and cry intermittently. 

I finished it in one weekend. It was interesting to read about Amsterdam through the heroine's eyes and discovering some of the magic that I never really saw there, myself. 

Definitely worthy of a read, or two.

Buy it on Amazon here:
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Looking For Alaska by John Green review

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 15:49:00 +0000

Looking for Alaska is a deliciously tragic and dark book about young people who all go through something they shouldn't have to.

Everything in this book feels tense to me. I'm not even sure what I mean by that, but it had me sitting on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the two days it took me to read the book. 

The characters in the book almost seem subsequent to the things that happen to them, and that makes me wonder if we, as non-fictional beings, are as defined by what we do and what happens to us as the people in this book. Maybe I'm thinking about it too much now.

John Green writes about tragedy like most people breathe air. Or at least, I'd like to imagine he does. Death, the great mystery of the unknown and acceptance are themes that are written about often but no one does it as well as John Green.

Buy the book on Amazon:
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Darren Criss paintings

Sat, 17 Dec 2011 18:24:00 +0000

I thought it would be nice to put all my collected Darren Criss paintings into one blogpost. I think this is about three years worth of Darren, haha.I met Darren a couple of weeks ago, and he signed my art. That was lovely! [...]

The tendency to skip a step when launching a new website

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:39:00 +0000

As you can probably see from my various attempts to keep a blog, try a new design, try a new project, I tend to skip a step or two in the process of launching a new website.

I see a service that I like - a design that is quite lovely - a template that I fancy - a new topic that I think is cool - a new way of interaction that I think might be fun...

I go for it. I don't think: I buy a theme, I launch a new site, I sign up for a new service, just like that. Most of the time that equals in investment. Of time, of money, of energy. But most of these impulsive actions don't pay off. Why? Because these things need to be thought about. You need to ask yourself many important questions before - and not after, like I do - you make a decision.
  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. What is my goal?
  3. Do I have time for this?
  4. Will people even care that I do this?
  5. Will people interact with me on this?
  6. Should I be publishing this?
  7. Haven't I already tried this before?
  8. Is this worth my money?
  9. Will I stick with this or will I get bored doing this?
  10. Am I doing this to please others or myself?
Just a few questions that I never seem to ask. I just get really excited, and really impatient, ignore everything that I've ever heard in university about planning communication, and just do it.

And most of the time, I end up being disappointed.

In other words, I'm launching my revamped homepage website art page thing soon!!!

Some revamping, and an art update

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 20:31:00 +0000

Hey people... it's been a while, but I'm back with a new post and a new lay out!

Here's some art!

The accidental Billionaires - book review

Sat, 16 Apr 2011 07:31:00 +0000

align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align: left; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">I read The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich after I saw the movie The Social Network, which based its plot largely on the book.

The tagline of the book is (on the UK version) Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook, but the book is not so much about Sex, or the Founding of Facebook. While the latter is the circumstance to which the story is set, it is largely about the impact of Facebook's success, on the friendship between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin.

I read this book not thinking of these characters as real people, because that somehow makes me feel like a stalker, plus it shapes my opinion on characters too much before reading. As characters, they are well written college boys with a great amount of luck. I loved each character as often as I absolutely hated them, which I'd like to complement Ben Mezrich for. It makes the book and the relationships very dynamic and makes you question your allegiance to the characters more than once.

I found this book largely entertaining, but that's exactly what it is: entertainment. No deep sociological novel, not a true account of the people's lives it's based on. But it's not pretending to be any one of those things; all in all a good book.

Buy it on Amazon by clicking the picture.

Art update

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 15:10:00 +0000

Ok, I lied, it's not a book review, it's an art update: [...]

Yes, I'm still alive

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 21:27:00 +0000

Since some of you have been asking, yes, I'm still here!

I'll do a proper blogpost soon, but until then, let me just tell you that I am doing well and that I've bought a house which I get the key to on April 1st.

Upcoming post will be a book review, so look forward to that ;)

Never Let Me Go

Sat, 04 Dec 2010 15:51:00 +0000

Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro was one of my favourite books that I've read in the last year. Ishiguro takes simplicity and turns into a new artform.

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Today I saw the movie that was based on the book. It was good, even if for me, it did not reach the emotional depth of the book. Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley portray the three main characters, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth. My favourite thing about their portrayal is the social awkwardness and the warped perspective of life. That, to me, is the best part, and very true to the book.

I can't say much more about the film without adding spoilers, so I'd say...

Go read the book before you see the movie.

More Darren Criss Paintings

Fri, 26 Nov 2010 11:33:00 +0000

Darren as a superhero :P
That's actually Joey Richter ;)

With famous pink sunglasses!

Darren Criss Painting

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 23:26:00 +0000

Darren Criss
Darren Criss with more detail ;)

NaNoWriMo day 9, 10 and 11 targets are easy, but I’m lost #nanowrimo

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 23:25:00 +0000

I’m sipping Cinnamon Spice tea as I write this, looking back at the last few days of NaNoWriMo. I seem to have found a way of making the targets without actually having to nearly die to do it. I make littler goals for myself. So I look at the clock and say: OK, you are going to write 400 words in ten minutes. And that actually works because I don’t really have to think about what I’m going to write plot wise. I just focus on a paragraph or two and the plot unfolds itself. The only downside? I have no idea where it’s going and I’m now a little lost. I’m just hoping it’ll work itself out. What do you think?

NaNoWriMo – day 7 reprise + day 8 back in the game #nanowrimo

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 19:41:00 +0000

I know I wasn't altogether positive yesterday, as I'd been behind on my targets. I thought I wasn't going to make the one for day 7, and it had me downright moody for most of the day. I was stuck in the plot and didn't really see a way out. But I made my target by connecting several scenes that I'd already written, to each other. Plot of course, still a major issue, but thanks to the tips from Writer on the Verge, a new source for writers whose staff were kind enough to pull me out of the bad mood, I managed to make the target. I passed the 10.000 word mark yesterday, can't remember if I mentioned that already.

Day 8 was relatively easy. Managed to let go of my plot and take it in a slightly different direction. Used a good tip from my friend Sam, wrote most of the dialogue first without the 'he said' and 'she said' bits and filled them up later. Good for flow. Anyway, reached my target just past noon and also did some catching up on the targets that I'd missed on Friday and Saturday. Win!

NaNoWriMo day 3,4,5,6 and 7 fail (please help) #nanowrimo

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 22:07:00 +0000

This blog is titled fail because I failed a couple of days. I mean, I didn’t reach my targets on day 5 and 6 of NaNoWrimo, but let’s start with the days I did make the target of 1667 words on.

I can’t even remember that much about it but I remember thinking I wasn’t going to reach the targets on those days, but made them anyway. I’d been stuck on the plot for a bit until a friend helped me out, and then managed to write again.

Day 5 and 6 were half days for me: I had the Friday off work but I had an outing planned in Amsterdam (concert) in the evening which was lovely, but I was only able to write around 600 words before I left for Amsterdam. I stayed there overnight and visited the van Gogh museum on Saturday. When I got back home at five in the afternoon I was dead tired. I felt stuck in the plot again too. I have scenes written across the story, but there’s still a lot of open space that needs to be filled up. I managed another 500 words before I simply had to go to bed.

Today. Day 7. I’m still stuck in the plot. I’ve written around 500 words, which seems to be my magic -now you fail- number. I tried writing and adding to existing scenes in hopes that they would somehow get me onto next scene, but there’s nothing. Buh, I am so moody. What do I do…?

NaNoWriMo day 2 In the nick of time

Wed, 03 Nov 2010 09:31:00 +0000

So, after getting ahead of schedule on the first day, I was feeling quite excited about writing more on the second day. I’d expected that the goal for the second day would be lower given my head start, but the daily deadline remained 1667 words. It didn’t seem like a lot to me when I was thinking about it before NaNoWriMo started, but it turns out it is quite a lot to write, especially if you, like me, have no plot and are just going with the flow.One of the things that bothers me most about having no plot is that I find it difficult to pace the story. I write events pretty close together, and then remember that I have more than 45.000 words left to write, and I can’t possibly see how I’m going to spread out the important scenes enough to make it to the end, how I’m going to pad them to make them solid and a decent length and whatever else I’m going to write in between of the most important scenes.I’ve already started writing one of the really important scenes, but then realised I’d put the event in too soon and I’ve pushed it back for later use. I wish I knew how to plot, but it seems like I just can’t look around the corner.Another point I’m struggling with is the balance between funniness and seriousness. I wanted very much to make this a comedic story, but I find myself writing a serious scene and wondering whether or not that clashes too much. Does anyone have any tips?Anyway, I was struggling pretty much until dinner, which I put off having until I had at least hit the 1667 + 1667 word mark. But what they say is true. Your brain needs food, so after dinner, I was on a roll again. Found myself insanely distracted though, I don’t quite know by what. Chubby Checker provided musical accompaniment throughout the evening. It was the stroke of midnight (the end of day 2) when I reached the deadline. I wrote a little over 1670 words yesterday and my total word count is 4284. I can’t make up my mind about whether it is depressing or not that that’s nearly 5% of the required total amount of words. [...]

NaNoWroMo day 1 Met my deadline early

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 21:27:00 +0000

Today was the first official day of NaNoWriMo 2010. It started at midnight and will finish at midnight (duh). Remember how I said I was going to maybe stay up for the start? I did! I guess there is something very exciting about the start of a new project.So, I wrote for about half an hour after midnight and penned the first 542 words without much trouble. It was interesting to do because I’m still exploring this story as much as the main character Suzie is exploring her surroundings. I love describing surroundings; throw around lush adjectives, imagine little quirky details, it’s my thing. I did however have work today so I had to go to bed at a fairly decent hour. Of course, once in bed, my mind was still buzzing with ideas and excitement, so I didn’t have the best night.All day, I wanted to write, but I can’t really write a novel during work hours, can I? So, unfortunately, the ideas and inspiration for the story at that point pretty much evaporated. So, had a pleasant day at work mixed with frustration of not being able to work on my story. Of course, my ride home took longer than expected, so all the things I had planned to do before I would start writing again (laundry, laundry folding and other annoying house work things), went out the window. If only I could tell things like laundry not to bother me in November.I started writing again and soon got to the point where I began to struggle with dialogue. I’m not at all good at dialogue, or rather, the stuff connecting the dialogue to make it flow. I don’t find it particularly fun to write, either, but at least there is the motivation and consolation that after the dialogue, there will be more descriptions, setting of moods and interpretations. A friend of mine is fantastic with dialogue, so maybe I will ask her for help. I did however reach my deadline of 1667 words at 18:34 and have since then surpassed it, which should give me a little breather for tomorrow as I still have a little dialogue to write. If there is any participants reading this, do you write the story chronologically, or do you skip back and forth through scenes and stick then together later? I’m always a bit sketchy about writing ahead as that sets a story so much. [...]

NaNoWroMo day -1 Ahhh! Panic!

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 19:35:00 +0000

Today, the day before NaNoWriMo, I planned to be writing a sort of plot or outline… Guess what? I have done… nothing. All day. So much for plotting. I did have some general story ideas when I was in bed last night, but they weren’t all that solid. So, eh, guess I’ll have to wing it.

Oh, before I forget, you can track my wordcount and progress on my NaNoWriMo page. You can also see my wordcount in the sidebar widget. And if you are someone writing for NaNoWriMo, do get in touch, because I have virtually zero writing buddies and I’ve been told that you need a support team to make it through the month.

NaNoWriMo starts at midnight tonight, which is in less than four hours for me! Eek. I may or may not stay up for it, but I’m thinking not. Oh, yes, before I forget: don’t ask me to do anything too time consuming this month because I’ll be busy writing a novel. Wish me luck!