Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!

Season's Greetings from all your friends at Foppe's Acre!
Thank you for your interest and support in Foppe's Acre Originals in the past year. We're looking forward to many Moor new creations and smiles in 2013.
Ho Ho Ho :-)

Foppe and Peter are taking a short break till after the holidays.



Piesk. Miniature acryllic painting 4,5 x 4,5inch (6 x 6 cm).
I made this little portrait for my good friend Shigemi recently and now that Piesk arrived home in Japan I can finally show her to you:-)


It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas!

I never show illustration work I do for my business studioMoor but I thought it was nice to make an exception since we're all getting in the holiday spirit these days. This is an illustration I did for a children's magazine recently for a well known Dutch publisher.


Patsy and Mr & Mrs Hoogenboom

Latest additions to the impressionistic menagerie at Foppe's Acre; a portrait of our dear Kerry Hill sheep Patsy and a moment of leasure of our white geese Hans and Grietje (aka Mr and Mrs Hoogenboom).

Soon available in my shop!


I selll my miniatures on Etsy accompanied by a little wooden easel but they look good in a frame too, don't you think? (frames are not included)

Sir Snuggles Drake of Foppe's Acre

One and a half years ago my sweet buddy Snuggles passed away after seven wonderful years with us.
Snuggles was the leader of our Muscovy gang and was one of the first ducklings to be born at Foppe's Acre. He was a presence and we still miss him, it was time I painted his portrait.

Soon available in my shop

The making of Valentine

Working in a more realistic and impressionistic way is a totally different experience than doing my more cartoon-like paintings. Before I start painting the cartoony critters I design the image by sketching with pencil on paper, sometimes it takes many rounds to get the character exactly they way I had in mind. Than I transfer the sketch on to the canvas and start painting. Because I chose the colors on forehand painting the image is a carefully thought through process.
(See how this is done here)

The process of the new series of paintings takes less preparation. I carefully choose one of my photos that I think will make a nice painting, than draw a very loose sketch on the canvas and start painting right away. Instead of painstakingly copying the photo I let the brush strokes form the image, touch by touch, layer by layer. It's more of an adventure because I don't know exactly where it will lead me and have to decide when to stop. The result is more lively, more spontanious.

The below photos show the process of painting Valentine. Acryllic on 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) stretched canvas.


Results are in!

I've been using my mini studio a lot these days and felt it was time to take new pictures of my old ánd my new miniatures now that I've got the perfect light set-up.
I want to keep the surroundings as clean as I can but also wanted to add some objects to show the scale of the paintings. I'm not satisfied yet but on my way.
Once I've got the photos I'm happy with I'll replace the old ones in my shop to create a whole new look. This should be good!

Mini Studio

With the arrival of Winter (soon) and the lack of good natural light I've built a small portable studio for taking pictures of my miniatures.
I bought a new studio light set and after experimenting with them I'm quite satisfied with the result. The light bulbs aren't as bright as I expected but I can tweak things on the screen if I have to. Important is that the brush strokes are sharp and clear and the colors realistic, I think the photo of Timmy (below) is an acceptable example. Now I can finally take pictures of all the miniatures- and medium sized paintings! 

New Impressions

It's been a wee bit silent on Foppe's blog this past month, but that doesn't mean I've been hibernating.
On the contrary, I've been working hard on a few new projects.

Back to my miniatures, that's where Foppe's Acre Originals started afterall, and I've missed them.
It wouldn't be me if I didn't do something different though (I'm the restless kind;-)
You know me from my cartoony characters and I still enjoy those but after painting in a more direct way recently I decided to take the plunge and try a bit more realistic work.
The reason for that is that I've been doing a few commissions recently and my clients indirectly requested more recognizable portraits.

So I picked up my brushes again and did a series of portraits of our cats, all on the smallest size (2,5x2,5inch-6x6cm). Animals never sit still long enough so I've used some of my own photos to guide me along. I love this impressionistic way of painting, I only draw a few loose guidelines in pencil and start painting right away. That way I let the paint do its work which makes the process more of an adventure. 

Here are the nine first feline portraits, from top left to bottom right: Iris, Timmy, Foppe, Merel, Foppe, Iris, Jelle, Puck and Trijntje.
Soon available in my shop!



Angel pet portraits

Sweet angel on her way to heaven. Acryllic painting 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm).

There are many artists out there who offer to paint a custom portrait of your cat, dog or any pet, but Foppe's Acre Originals offers something different and quite unique!

This is a painting of my old lady Muis who passed away in 2000. I made a vector version of it at the time and decided to repaint it as an example of what is possible. I'll gladly create an angel portrait of your deseased cat, dog or any pet on his/her journey to heaven for you to remember him/her by in my own sweet an whimsical style.

See for specs my listing on Etsy.


Life is better with friends

What's in the cards for our critters today?
More of the same, 'cause every day is world Animal Day at Foppe's Acre!
But let's pay extra attention today and every day of the year to the critters who are less fortunate than our pets.

Happy World Animal Day to all of Foppe's friends all over the globe:-)
This card and many moor are available in Foppe's shop at Etsy.



Lino cut 'All ducks are equal' inspired by the George Orwell quote 'All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others'.


I've made a few proof prints of the Duck lino using two color blocks but found it hard to get the separate colors to register. So I've made a cardboard frame that keeps the lino block in place; drew the contours of the to be printed paper in pencil on the card board. I now only have to line up the paper with the contours on the cardboard so the different blocks will appear in exactly the same spot everytime;-)


Next step

Second phase in the making of the Ducks lino.
I've finished the first block (I think) and made a proof print after which I altered the water a little and made the black ducks stand out more (black in this print but will become a different c

olor in the final print). Started cutting the next block; second color of the water. It's going well but I find the linoleum too coarse which makes sharp edges difficult. We'll see how it turns out. 
Stay tuned!;-)


All my ducks in lino

Working today on a larger lino cut. I finally have enough courage to leave the miniatures and go bigger!
It will be a sweet pattern-like scene accompanied by a quote that you all know from George Orwell's Animal farm, but with a twist;-)

Here's a sneak preview of today's progress. Plan is to do a two or three color block print, still working on the lettering. More soon!


Second run of the Sugar Skulls

Two new Pysanky Sugar Skull goose eggs, just finished.
I'm getting there but I'm still not overly happy, I might leave the idea of four expressions and reduce it to two (happy and mad). The problem with four faces on one egg are the whisker
s, I can't get the position right connetcting one snout to the other. The eyes, nose and mouth are good though. Where the first two eggs were too detailed and the concept of a skull was lost, I think I've nailed that this time.
So on with the show, there's still plently of time and it's a lot of fun. Next post will be of the final Sugar skulls.

Día de los Muertos

Aaaah, today I've been busy preparing for Halloween (yes, this early;-) Since my shop is based in The Netherlands and shipping worldwide always takes one to two weeks I don't often create things for special occasions but this time I had a great idea.

I've made a couple of Pysanky goose eggs (Pysanky is a Northern European way of decorating eggs by using melted wax (batik) and drawing in layers, e
ach layer will be dyed seperately to create different colors). I've made goose egg sugar skulls in the Mexican 'Day of the Dead' tradition.
I'm not completely satisfied yet, need to get the hang of it again but already they look quite nice. Just need to tweak a few details and then I'll make a whole batch.

The idea behind this design is that the egg shows four facial expression when you turn the egg (it's meant to hang). It's supposed to be a cat-skull but that's not really clear in these two finished eggs. I might give it a paper crown with ears (not sure yet). As shown in the pencil drawing I'm working on tweaking the details (cheeks and whiskers, nose) to make it more cat-like (I may even change the pupils).
I think they're going to be fantastic, so no more delay and on with the day (of the dead;-)


Still hungry

A second cat food dish appeared in my shop the other day! Wohoo!
Felines come in all shapes and sizes so it was inevitable that I designed a new dish for our furry friends. Right now I'm working on a few variations which I will post soon, so stay tuned!

Let sleeping ducks lie?

I've been working on my lino prints again and added a new critter to the collection!
This time I chose one of our feathered kids, meet 'Spirit' one of the white Muscovy ducks at Foppe's Acre aka The Gelder Girls. Shhhh, be still, don't wake her up;-)

Meet Zoe Bear

Recently I painted a 4x4 inch miniature portrait in commission of Mim Eisenberg's sweet Pomeranian dog Zoe Bear. Zoe Bear is 16 years old and she's a sweet and very smart old lady. Zoe Bear knows the difference between at least 200 of her toys and can fetch them all on command, now that is clever!
I thought it was a fitting idea to portray Zoe Bear with a few of her toys, I painted her in a more realistic way than I normally do, I think it turned out wonderfully. Mim was very happy with her new miniature and added it to her ever growing collection of Zoe Bear artworks.

Thanks for the commission Mim!


More please!

With seven cats of my own I can assure you that they love their food (but that's a common fact I guess). Another fact is that they always ask for more when they're done.
Combining these two facts I came up with the idea for this cute dish of an orange cat with stuffed cheeks and still asking for more! The dish is big enough to hold a large portion of cat food but it's wise to feed your critters moderately of course. It is quite heavy so it will stay put once your kitty scoops up the last kibble.

The bowl is made from white porcelain with a transparent glossy finish.
Dimensions are: width (curve to curve): 6,3 inch (16 cm), length (top middle to point bottom) : 5,2 inch (13 cm), depth: 1,2 inch (3 cm).

Hand painted original illustration using porcelain paints, not transfered or screenprinted.
Each one is a unique piece of artwork, therefore every piece may be slightly different.
The bowl is fired at a high temperature and is dishwasher safe. Nevertheless: as this is a special product made with love and care, I'd advise you to wash it by hand with warm water and a mild detergent. Do not use any abrasive materials on the surface.



You may remember my post (July 20, 2012) about Rusty's miniature portrait I painted in commission for Foppe's Acre Originals which resulted in a commission of 24 small flower cards for my illustration business studioMoor.

Well, the cards are printed and the client added them to his collection of flower cards in his online webshop (wholesale). Wohoo!
The cards will be available in most florist shops in the country. So if you live in The Netherlands and want to surprise someone with a nice bouquet, why not attach one of these cute cards?;-)

I'm posting a few cards here along with Rusty's portrait, you can view the whole collection on the site of my client; Natural Flower Cards.


het buitenleven van...

het buitenleven van... by mr moor
het buitenleven van..., a photo by mr moor on Flickr.
Foppe's Acre featured in "Levende Have' a Dutch magazine about country life this month, wohoo! Part of the interview is dedicated to Foppe's Acre Originals too! The magazine is only available via subscription but single copies can be purchased in their webshop. We're very proud and happy of course:-)


Happy Napping

I'm really enjoying myself making lino cuts! A new feline has entered the stage.
This rolled up ball of fur was inspired by our orange wonder boy Jelle. He joined the cat and the bird in my shop, go and take a look!;-)


Forever Friends

Lino cut 'Forever Friends' of a sleeping cat with a sleeping bird friend on his head in a Scandinavian Folk Art style.
This is a 2 colour lino cut using a separate block for each colour. With prints of this type there are variations in positioning and ink coverage. Personally I think that's part of the charm:-)


It's been ages since I did my last lino cut so I need to master the skill again but it's a lot of fun and hopefully this one will work out (without loosing my fingers;-)
I'll show the print once it's finished so stay tuned!


Heat wave and brain waves

It's been a wee bit silent on Foppe's Blog this week but that doesn't mean I've been outside enjoying the good weather we're having in Friesland (although I have to confess I did take a nap or two in the hammock with Foppe and Jelle;-)

There is news; currently I'm working on a new 4x4inch miniature commission of a sweet little Pomeranian dog which is a lot of fun (I'll show something once I've discussed the design with the client). I'm also working on a post about the magic of internet friendships and yesterday I took a trip to a wonderful craft store in Leeuwarden (the capitol of our province) to get some new supplies.
I bought a few sheets of linoleum and will be making prints in the coming weeks, I also got some pens and more paint to decorate porcelain (thinking about creating personalized food dishes for pets). So inspite of the heat my grey cells haven't been affected and I'm working on some new and exciting new items.

Oh, this coming month Foppe's Acre will be featured in an article in the 'Levende Have' magazine (a magazine about hobby farming and life with farm animals). We've talked about our move from the city to the country, the ins- and outs and history of our critters and my art.
Very exciting, once it is published I'll try to show some of the interview.

Stay tuned!


Dinner Guests

Ant, Buster, Joni and Mick; four of our canine friends got together on this colorful card and are a perfect way to say hello, come party with us, let's get together or use them as a dinner invitation. Great for any dog lover.

This card is part of the series 'Always look on the bright side of the fence.' and are available in my shop.



I love it when unexpected things happen, I think it's called serendipity;-)

You all remember that I painted this portrait of Rusty a short while ago, well this painting done in commission for Foppe's Acre Originals resulted in a commission for studioMoor (my regular ilustration business).
A studioMoor client asked me to design 24 little flower cards (cards you attach to a bouquet to write a personal note on). While brainstorming with the client I showed him my miniatures and he really liked the design of Rusty and asked if I could design a collection of 24 cards in that style.

I'm in the process of finishing the project and can't show the series yet but will in a later stadium. The client is happy, I am happy and soon the flower cards will be available in most florist shops in the country:-)



Sven and Signe

Two new 10x10cm acryllic miniatures commissioned by Joy Moon.

Joy asked me if I could paint a portrait of Agneta Siljekil's two cats Sven and Signe, meant to suprise Agneta to celebrate their friendship.
Of course I was happy to oblige! Sven and Signe arrived in Sweden last week and Agneta is very happy with them.
I've known Sven and Signe for a long time on Flickr and it was a treat and an honor to paint these two miniatures.



For some reason my old sweetie Muis is on my mind alot these days (Muis passed away 14 years ago). I did a digital version of this little angel earlier but wanted to do a painted version too.

This is the first phase, I'm not sure where this will lead to but I'll let the paint guide me. Painting is such an adventure!;-)

I'll post a picture once it is finished.



I've made two new acryllic paintings this week, featuring two of our cats; Jelle Pelle (the orange spooked kid) and Timmy Jip. 
I've used an impasto technique for these pieces by mixing the acryllic paint with a gel medium which allows the paint to dry slower and creates a texture on the canvas. Instead of working painstakingly slow on the smallest details I've worked fast and with thick paint to get a direct approach.
They're painted on gallery wrapped canvas and because the image continues on the edges of the canvas it can go right on the wall as it is, but it looks good in a frame too. Added to the shop today, wohoo!


About Foppe's Acre Originals

Recently Etsy gave their sellers the opportunity to create an 'About' page where sellers can tell something about themselves and explain what drives their creativity. I finally got around to put the history of Foppe's Acre into words and am proud to announce that it's now online:-)

Everything you've always wanted to know but were afraid to ask...
Foppe's Acre Originals bio on Etsy!


Artists that inspire me: Sergei Isupov

I regularly share artists that inspire me, today it is Sergei Isupov's turn. Sergei (1963) is a ceramic artist born in Stavrapole, Russia. He studied art at universities in Kiev and Estonia before emigrating to the United States in 1983.
He works with clay and creates beautiful thought evoking sculptures.
Take a moment to see his website.

 Sergei Isupov - Guardian, 2009,
stoneware 25,5 x 20 x 17,5 inch
source: escapeintolife.com

Dog Days

According to Wiki 'Dog Days' mean:
"Dog Days" (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are most commonly experienced in the months of July and August, which typically observe the warmest summer temperatures. In the Southern Hemisphere, they typically occur in January and February, in the midst of the austral summer. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather."

Well, what better moment to add some more canines to the 'Always look on the bright side of the fence' series! Introducing two new pups; Mick and Buster, soon to be printed on cards and available in my shop.  Let the Dog Days begin!:-)


A tribute to Rusty

A short while ago the sweet old feline companion of a good friend passed away and she asked if I could paint a miniature portrait to remember Rusty by. Rusty has a lot of fans and admirors in real life and on the internet so my friend allowed me to add this little treasure to my collection of miniatures in my shop.



Not just the humans at Foppe's Acre are enjoying a beautiful summer's evening;-)


Dear Trijntje, I love you so much, I could eat you!

I just have to share this aneqdote I received from one of Foppe's Acre Originals admirors yesterday.

"By the way, I will be placing another Etsy order for my third Trijntje! The gifting of Francis (the duckling) brought about a "confession" of sorts from my friend. Her dalmatian, Winston, ATE poor Trijntje!! The funny thing is, I had noticed weeks ago that Trijntje wasn't in her usual place at my friend's and the question of whether or not Winston had eaten her popped into my head instantly! While that might seem a bit curious, if you knew this dog, you'd understand why that would be my first thought! I didn't ask my friend about it at the time though but the truth came out tonight :) That Winston... he is something else! Silly and goofy, lovable and a big troublemaker! "

This gave me a chuckle this morning. I'm always happy that my paintings are loved, but that they are good enough to eat never crossed my mind;-)


Little Francis

A few weeks ago one of Foppe's Acre Originals collectors Sandra commissioned a 4x4 inch miniature painting of a wee duckling that she and her friend once rescued.
Francis was a special little mallard duckling, a real fighter with a bright spirit that burned so brightly and flamed out far too soon. He was weak and shaky and Sandra's best friend worked very hard to save him but it was an uphill battle. Ultimately, it was a battle that could not be won.

Sandra very much liked a painting to remember him by and asked me if I could paint two copies, one for herself and one for her friend. She only had one low quality photo for me to work from.

It was a challenge to try to capture the cuteness and personality of this little kid but after a few sketch rounds both Sandra and I were happy with the result and I could start to paint him.

This past week Francis portrait arrived at Sandra's home in the United States and I am proud to post it today:-)


a summer's morning with foppe

a summer's morning with foppe by mr moor
a summer's morning with foppe, a photo by mr moor on Flickr.

New adventure about life at Foppe's Acre.

Three is company

Three is company, Foppe and two of his 'Buddha Cat' clones;-)

Just finished two copies of my most popular miniature painting, the orginal sits in the middle, left and right are today's finished copies. All they need is a layer of varnish for protection and brilliance and then they're off to their new forever homes.

Wedding presence

A few weeks ago Kirsten Langmuur ordered two miniature paintings of Chuck and Minnie, meant as a wedding present for good friends of hers.

The wedding took place last week and as you can see the newly weds (on the right) were very happy with them!

Thank you Kirsten for ordering Chuck and Minnie and for sending the photos, I'm happy that I could contribute to the festivities:-)


We're in business!

Oooh, I'm excited! Just got the promotion cards for Foppe's Acre Originals from the printer in China! It was a test as I had never worked with them before but I'm very happy with the result. Sharp as a tack (real offset, not digitally printed) and beautiful colors.

I'm sure I'll use this printer again, communication was perfect, uploading of the files easy and delivered within one week.



eggsertion by mr moor
eggsertion, a photo by mr moor on Flickr.

New adventure about life at Foppe's Acre.


It's all in the details

Some animal portraits take more time than others. I've designed several critters that I finished in a couple of hours but trying to capture this kid took a lot of tweaking.
I wanted to make a portrait of Ant, my Flickr/Facebook friend Paul Sopocy's cute old companion, who even has his own Facebook page!
I selected a few photo's and went to work. Ant is a little dog, he's very cute and lovable, he's one of a kind but capturing his features was not as easy as it may look.
I've made a lot of variations of his snout, his ears, the shape of his head, but whatever I tried I kept seeing a raccoon, a fox, sometimes a cat!


The cast

Foppe's Acre Originals is all abot our animals. There are the seven cats; Foppe, Merel, Puck, Trijntje, Iris, Jelle and Timmy; our sheep Patsy (and Eddy); our five geese; Rudie, Fay, Riet, Hans and Grietje and our ten ducks; Saartje, Sophie, Saffy, Sjoukje, Sieb, Solo, Suus, Snowy, Spirit and Suki (and Snuggles). And of course their friends and neighbors.
It is time that you meet de cast of my artwork.
From now on I will regularly post photos of our gang with a short story attached.


Commissioned cat portraits of Dolf, Tinus and Sientje

A short while ago Marjolein Vegers asked me to paint portraits of her cats Dolf, Tinus and Sientje. It was a pleasure to paint these beautiful felines and with a heavy hart I parted from them yesterday. Marjolein promised to look after them the best she can and they will adorn a blank wall in her livingroom from now on.

The cats are painted in acryllic on 30x30cm stretched canvas.

I've worked on these for a while, I started them in February but then my mother passed away and I couldn't work (on them) for a while, when I'm sad I make sad things and these had to be cheerful, Marjolein has been very patient.
I used photos of the cats but didn't copy a photo, I wanted to capture their personality. Marjolein gave me all the freedom I needed but she wrote wonderful descriptions of everyone's character and even took a few videos of them in action.

Dolf likes to cuddle with them in bed and always hides under the covers, Tinus is a care free soul and loves his naps in the sun, Sientje is a free spirit and dare devil and loves to be outside terrorising the dogs in the neighborhood, but she also depends on Marjolein and Martijns company. Of course they aren't realistic portraits but I don't do realistic and it wasn't the brief. I always put my heart and soul in my work so after working on them with intervals for such a long time I really got attached to them and I'm very happy with how they turned out. Even more rewarding because Marjolein and Martijn are happy too:-)