Sunday, 27 September 2015

Guimarães - that tree in the museum

The museum of Alberto Sampaio in Guimarães is housed in the buildings belonging to the Collegiate Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira. 
Part of this is a former cloister and the garden is still worth seeing, although very small.
It was not easy to take a good picture of this old tree but somehow my daughter Mariska succeeded. 
That picture has been waiting for me to find a way to paint it for over two years now. The composition was something to think about so I have been looking at the picture and cropping it several times. 
And still I could not think of a way to make a good painting.
But recently I was introduced to charcoal drawing as a medium and now I finally saw a possibility to make the painting I wanted to make.
Deep shadows in the structure of the building, the tree standing out in front of it and the illusion of space around it, now they are all there!

More information about this work (size, material used) can be found at 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Painting mushrooms!

Somehow I always liked mushrooms, not only the ones that can be cooked with. So it's not really a strange thing that I started painting them as well.
These ones were growing a few years ago in the Sauerland (Germany) and my husband Peter made some nice pictures of them - and others that were standing close by.
In autumn the ground in a forest even more littered with branches, leaves and moss than in the other seasons, so I had to simplify that a bit.
For this painting I chose to work on a very heavy 'all black' paper using white gouache and some colours of watercolour paint. 
This technique worked really well for the white stems of the fly amanitas (Amanita muscaria) and the spots on the hoods, better than I would have managed with watercolour on white paper.
Making a good photo of a painting like this proves to be aquite a challenge. Using flashlight makes the background grey, sunlight does the same and when it's really overcast outside you can't see the painting. My daughter Mariska waited for the right moment and did capture my painting well!

More information about this paiting can be found at

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Connemara - as I imagined it would be

Many years ago there was a song by Michel Sardou called  "Les lacs du Connemara" that created an atmosphere of barren, unforgiving nature. Ever since then I imagined the landscape of the Connemara to be like that, but unfortunately I never saw it.
Last spring my son and daughter-in-law went on a short trip to Ireland and brought back a lot of beautiful pictures and amongst them some nice ones of the landscape of the Connemara. They allowed me to paint from their pictures, so here is the first one!
I was attracted by the clouds, the lake and most of all the mountains in the distance that really create that same atmosphere I remember from that song. 
This picture taken by my daughter-in-law Claudia really shows the Connemara as I imagined it would be!

More information about this watercolour (size, colours used) can be found at

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A bit more about me

Some days ago I was asked by Patience Brewster to write a blogpost with a bit more information about myself as an artist. The questions asked were not that easy to answer, so I took some time to think them over and write the answers down in a nice, readable post. I hope you will enjoy this one!
I was asked to describe how I became an artist – although that was posed in several questions – and what inspires me.
As a child I was not very exposed to art like paintings and drawings. My father was an amateur photographer,  so photos and cameras were always a part of my life.
Another big part of my life is reading and that led me to watercolour. It all started with a series of lessons based on fairy tales and poetry. There I got acquainted with the wet-in-wet technique. 
More lessons were taken, now focusing on painting what I saw. Here I discovered that the landscape is my favourite subject.
I really want to show the beauty of this world in my paintings and sometimes I achieve that goal. The more I paint, the better I manage to express the feelings I have when I am in a certain landscape.
There are times in which I do not paint what I have seen personally, but what one of my children saw, photographed and told me during and after their travels. Those times I really need their words before I can paint. My son once told me that my painting expressed the atmosphere of a certain place better than his pictures did. That was really a special compliment to me!
The last few years I have also been trying to find out whose paintings I like the most.
From the past I like Rembrandt and the masters of the School of The Hague. Turner and some of the Impressionists are on my list of favourites as well. And you may think this a strange one, but I grew up with his art for it was always somewhere in school or public places: M.C. Escher. There are many contemporary watercolourists I admire so I will not bother you with that overly long list of names…

What the future will bring me I don’t know. I follow the path I started upon and I cannot really see where it will end. Along the way I hope to be surprised by fantastic landscapes, beautiful paintings and nice comments of the people who see my artwork.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Hubermont - looking in the other direction - now as a Charcoal drawing

Sometimes I feel like doing a scene twice and try out how it looks using different colours or even a different technique.  This time I wanted to do a charcoal drawing of the last landscape I painted in watercolour.
In fact this is my second charcoal drawing ever, I learned to appreciate this technique on that painting trip in the Ardennes I mentioned in my previous post.
While making the watercolour I already got acquainted with the scene and that helped me a lot doing this drawing. Here I left out the clouds because they would have interfered with the branches of the trees and the wind that was blowing on that hilltop is easier to visualise because I used a smudging technique to create the foliage on those branches.
Alltogether I am very happy with the results.

More information can be found at

Friday, 4 September 2015

Hubermont - looking in the other direction

I was on a one week painting trip in the Ardennes this summer and came home with some nice watercolours and a lot of ideas for more. 
One morning we went sketching on a hilltop in Hubermont, not far from the place we were staying.
On that hilltop I made two sketches, one of them was already used for a painting  I made that same day, the other one is the inspiration for this painting. 
I simply turned around and sketched what I saw: the road I was standing on, some fields to my right and ahead of me, the woodland on my left, the distant trees and hilltops and the clouds in the sky. I felt that I could make a nice little watercolour out of that scene.
Well, that feeling was right! 
I worked with a limited palette, changed the colours a bit and created this watercolour.

The information about the size of this watercolour and the colours I used can be found at