Writing with Umbrellas & Igniting the Sun

These past couple of days have been really strange.

I feel like something has shifted.

The sadness I feel over losing a friend
and the pain I feel for her loved-ones,
go side by side
with a feeling of incredible lightness.

I have tears in my eyes,
but on my face a smile keeps appearing.
My heart is hurting and loving at the same time.

I am lost for words and yet
I can’t seem to stop writing.

I feel like time and space have faded.
I am here –
and at the same time I am 5000 miles away
sitting and painting with my friends.

I have the whole day to work and play –
and at the same time
I am reminded of the fact
it could be over in just a second.

And the freedom that comes from that
is almost too much to handle.

Inside me, something is moving.

Inside me, something is breaking free.

I feel an urge.
An urge to play.
An urge to create.

And most of all
an urge to love.

I keep reading Kimberly’s words and I keep looking at her art.
And the words she spoke
at the end of one of her video interviews
keep circling in my head,
keep stirring my soul.

When in doubt: love.

When in doubt: love.

When in doubt: love.

I need to act on these words.
They call to my soul.
They won’t let go.
They are here to stay.

They are a call into action.

And I am listening.
It’s not even a question of whether I want to or not.

I am listening.
I am writing.
I am breathing.
I am loving.


I am offering.

I am offering a new project.

It is my gift to you.
And my promise to myself.

At the moment this offering is nothing more than a starting point.
A true believe in this shifting I am feeling.
A commitment to the process.
A declaration of trusting this path.

It’s a new home for my soul.
An open studio for my tiny tribe.

There are stories I want to share.
And questions I want to ask.
And there is love.

Everything else will find its way.

Please, if you are touched by this in any way,

join me in:

Umbrella 08

And yes, I WILL explain that title.

But for now,
all I am asking is for you to join me.

Join me if this speaks to you.

Join me to love yourself.
Join me to come alive.
Join me to love the world.
Join me to celebrate life.

Join me here:

Umbrella 08

All my love,
From my wide open heart,


I am sad, scared & ready

At the beginning of this year I didn’t choose a word for the year
– as I had done in previous years.

A word to dream about, a word to work with, a word to invite into my live.
For example, the year I started ‘The Dutchess of Orange’ it was ‘SING’ – and I did!

Like I said, I didn’t choose a word this time.
This time, the word choose me.

Kimberly’s word:SQUARE Oracle cards 2


I saw it everywhere,
Read it everywhere,

I painted it,
Journaled it,
Dreamt about it.

Kimberly was my sister-in-paint, my fearless sister. Together with many others we created the Fearless Sisters Oracle Deck: ‘Awakening to your Divine Self’. Her card was ‘Integration’. Her art was so beautiful. Her words so inspiring.

I didn’t tell her.
I didn’t tell her she was my word.
I didn’t tell her she was my inspiration.
I didn’t tell her, because I wasn’t ready.

Because telling her would mean I wouldn’t just be dreaming and painting and journaling about integration – safe and secure.
It would mean I would need to practice it.

Need to live it.

Integrate all the different parts of my life.
Not be one person at work and another in my studio.
Not show happiness in my workshops and cry in my journals.
Not only show the art I love, but also the process and the struggle.

And I wasn’t ready.
I was scared.

This week, without any warning, we lost Kimberly.

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And in the hours and the days after, my mailbox and Facebook were filled with her.
Her beauty.
Her life.
Her art.
Her words.

When in doubt: love.

Only this time her words didn’t make me smile and nod my head.
They didn’t just make me shout ‘yes’ to my screen.
They didn’t just inspire me to create and live.

They cut me open.

Without this past week,
without the love her friends shared,
without her love and encouragement,
I would not be writing these words.

I would be scared.
To show up.
To speak.

And that’s not where true freedom is found.

Yes, I am afraid you will not understand.
Yes, I am afraid you will reject me.
Yes, I am afraid.
Yes, I am painting anyway.

So I picked up my paintbrush.
And painted with so many of our mutual friends in the Commemorative Online Painting Vigil for Kimberly.


Like Kim said in one of her wonderful posts:

“Within minutes I lost myself in the paint, which really means I found myself again.”

2015-05-15 18.39.12a

And I came back here.
And wrote my heart out to begin my personal practice of Integration.
Trying to find to way to express my gratefulness to Kimberly for having the courage to open up, to show her deepest, most vulnerable self. And by doing that – giving me permission to do the same.

The Dutchess of Orange is changing.
I am changing.
I am integrating.
All the parts of me into one:

I am Kim.
Nice to meet you.


The last day

Inside 3Today is the last day of THEEkenen 2.

That means that for 30 days I have guided a group of wonderfully creative women into making daily drawings. Not because I wanted to teach them how to draw, but because the THEEkenen process supports you in finding a daily moment of peace for yourself.

Some time to breathe.
Some time to rest.

I haven’t made a single drawing in these 30 days.

All I have been doing is coloring.
And I can’t wait to tell you why.

If I am completely honest: for me, THEEkenen didn’t start at my first THEEkening.
For me, THEEkenen started with coloring.

Last year, just before the summer vacation, one of the children in my class gave me a going away present. A coloring book. So sweet!

Now I must admit that I don’t really like things that are ‘IN’ at the moment – if everyone is doing it, why bother – but pretty soon I noticed that I actually loved to color.

I loved it so much that the coloring book became an inspiration source for my own drawings – and I colored those too.
Slowly they became a book ,
and another book,
they started to appear in my journals
and eventually turned into THEEkenen.

However, while my wonderful THEEkenen Tribe spend this past month drawing, I went back to my first coloring book.

Because, even thought I had finished most of the coloring pages, I had a feeling I wasn’t quite finished with it.

And I wasn’t.

Because the pages missed a little ME.

Slowly, page by page, I turned the book into a Kim-book, a creative journal, a play-book. And I used other coloring pages to create small gifts and other juice items.

And like almost anything else I do, I turned my own creative process into a workshop:

Inside 4

In ‘Inside the Lines’ I will show many different ways of adding a little YOU, a little more meaning and a little more play to the pages.
I will also show you how to recycle and ‘upcycle’ :) your pages.

‘Inside the Lines’ is absolutly NOT the kind of intensive workshop that Creative Fitness or THEEkenen have been.

During the 6 weeks you will receive 12 lessons, so 2 a week.  You see, I am in the mood for something small & easy & colorful – I want you to have enough time for your coloring – and your life :).

If you are interested in joining this is what you need to know:

Time: 6 weeksInside 6
Start: May 25th
End: July 4th
Lesson: 2 Lessons a week, so 12 in total
Price: 15 USD (or 25 USD if you sign up with a friend)

There will be a private Facebookgroup for this workshop, inspiration on a Pinterest Board and I will also send you some coloring pages.
You’ll be able to download all the PDF’s, so you can access them forever.

Please note that I will not be teaching you any coloring techniques.
This will be an easy and fun workshop, about the things you can do with your colored pages.

If you have any questions, please email me at kim(at)dutchessoforange.nl

And if you are ready to get started – sign up here:

Sign up HERE

Yes, I want to color INSIDE the lines!