Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Our chestnut tree in winter - charcoal drawing


In front of our house is a small chestnut tree. It came as a just budded little tree and is now almost eighteen years old. The last few years we have lots of flowers in springtime and chestnuts in autumn.
From my kitchen window I am watching the leaf buds grow thicker in springtime, and I cannot wait for the leaves to sprout.
This year I am trying to capture that process in drawings and paintings and I have started now, in winter. The leaf buds are already visible when the autumn leaves have fallen off and I have chosen a nice angle to work from with the help of my camera of course.

The days are grey, a cold wind blows and sometimes a chilly drizzle falls.
To show that feeling in a painting is not easy, so I chose to make a charcoal drawing. I started with the outlines of the branches and wiped the charcoal to the right side of my paper as I was trying to give the illusion of wind and movement. The branches were filled in with some dark colours from my box of Tinted Charcoal Pencils and I think the feeling of winter in The Netherlands was captured on my paper.

More information about this charcoal drawing (size, materials used, availability, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Morning



The conclusion of Advent is Christmas - of course. After the four Sundays of Advent, with more and more light coming into the world and my paintings I just had to paint Christmas as well. Because I had used my mothers old missal as the source of information for the Gospel readings of Advent, I turned to that book again. I found that sixty years ago there were Gospel readings for Christmas night, dawn and day. The readings for night and dawn follow each other, but the Gospel for Christmas day is very different from the stories we have been reading before and is not easy to translate to a landscape painting. 

I chose to paint a landscape inspired by the Gospel reading of Christmas dawn. 
Luke 2, 15 -16; "And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger." (source of the English text is www.kingjamesbibleonline.org)

As this scene is at dawn, there is much more light. The Star is supposed to be in the sky until Epiphany and shines brightly now. On the right side of the road are fields like those where the shepherds spent the night. They have left for Bethlehem, but the remains of their fires can still be found. On the left side of the road is a town like Bethlehem could have been and some fields that might be used for agriculture. Of course this landscape is imaginary, like the ones I painted for the four Sundays of Advent.
The sky still has some of the colour of the night, so I used indigo again, but the landscape is well lit and has much more colour.

This project was really nice to work on. Indigo is a great colour to work with as it is usable for all tonalities in a landscape painting. Adding more and more colour was also coming naturally as I have painted all five paintings in order within a few weeks time.

More information about my Advent project can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Saturday, 23 December 2017

The fourth Sunday of Advent


This year I decided to paint landscapes that were inspired on the Gospel readings belonging to the four Sundays of Advent. 
That is easier said than done, because in the Roman Catholic Church in The Netherlands we read the Gospels in a three year cycle.
So I asked my mother for her old missal, published in 1957 (long before that three year cycle was introduced) and used that as my source of information.

This painting is inspired by Luke 3, 4b - 5: The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth (source of the English text is www.kingjamesbibleonline.org)
Of course I have included some other elements that are connected to Advent - at least they are connected for me.
The star is a sign we hang in our windows when Advent starts and we remove it after Epiphany. So in every painting the star is present, though hidden behind some clouds.
A star means night, so the main colour is Indigo and only where the light shines other colours are introduced. 

The landscapes are scenes that are familiar to me: I did not search the internet for the landscapes of Israel, but I chose to paint variations on the nature of The Netherlands and Belgium. Sometimes I used a lot of imagination, sometimes I did not add much to the original landscape.
Because the text of this Sunday is related to the text of the third Sunday I have tried to make the landscapes look like they are related also. I used most of the elements that featured in the other paintings, such as the bushes, the reeds, a stone, small trees, the path of course and the illusion of a forest in the background.

More information about my Advent Project can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The third Sunday of Advent


This year I decided to paint landscapes that were inspired on the Gospel readings belonging to the four Sundays of Advent. 
That is easier said than done, because in the Roman Catholic Church in The Netherlands we read the Gospels in a three year cycle.
So I asked my mother for her old missal, published in 1957 (long before that three year cycle was introduced) and used that as my source of information.

This painting is inspired by John 1, 26 and 28: "John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 
These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing." (source of the English text is www.kingjamesbibleonline.org)

Of course I have included some other elements that are connected to Advent - at least they are connected for me.
The star is a sign we hang in our windows when Advent starts and we remove it after Epiphany. So in every painting the star is present, though hidden behind some clouds.
A star means night, so the main colour is Indigo and only where the light shines other colours are introduced.
There are three light rays this time and more light is introduced by suggesting the morning twilight.


The landscapes are scenes that are familiar to me: I did not search the internet for the landscapes of Israel, but I chose to paint variations on the nature of The Netherlands and Belgium. Sometimes I used a lot of imagination, sometimes I did not add much to the original landscape.

More information about my Advent Project can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Friday, 15 December 2017

Still near Fauvillers - behind each bend in the road.....


The path we were following was curved around the hills of The Ardennes and we were expecting to descend into the Forest of Anlier very soon. But behind every bend in the path we had new views and I could not resist the temptation to make some more pictures. Especially because the light was changing fast - from misty to a clear sky with lots of sunshine. Once inside the forest that would not make so much of a difference, but now on the hillside the landscape looked much warmer.

To paint a landscape in warmer greens is not that much of a challenge when you mix your greens from blue and yellow colours. In this case I just used French Ultramarine (as I have used Payne's Grey in the previous painting and got a much colder landscape) with some shades of yellow to obtain the desired greens. Or some greens that are very close to what I had in mind.
For this painting I used a larger piece of paper to express the vastness of this particular part of our walking route. We really did have some nice views while walking this path.

Painting this scene was a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon and I am glad I finished painting before the daylight was fading away. These are the shortest days of the year and the hours of daylight seem even shorter when the sky is overcast like we had this last week.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, materials used, availability, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Near Fauvillers - walking towards the Forest of Anlier


Another memory from our last vacation in The Ardennes. At this point we have left the village of Fauvillers behind us and are almost entering the Forest of Anlier. Before we really are between the trees we just have to follow this path downhill.

This vacation I have been making my own reference pictures - usually my husband makes them on my request as he is holding the camera.
I chose this scene because I was inspired by the lines of the fencing, the bushes and the path. The electricity poles and cables add to this as well.
This picture was taken a few hours after sunrise and the sky was still a bit gray. (later that day we would have sunshine, blue skies and some clouds)

For the painting I chose a small size (1/4 sheet instead of 1/2 sheet) because the scene 'asked' for that approach.
Some details like the electricity cables, the wire in the fencing and some of the grasses are made with my Professional Watercolour Sticks. As expected I have experienced that they are great for drawing these details, like the dry brush technique they can give the dashed lines I want.

Painting this one was fun for me! More vacation memories are waiting to be painted so you can expect some great views and forest scenes in the next weeks.

More information about this watercolour painting (materials used, size, availability, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 









Saturday, 9 December 2017

The second Sunday of Advent


This year I decided to paint landscapes that were inspired on the Gospel readings belonging to the four Sundays of Advent. 
That is easier said than done, because in the Roman Catholic Church in The Netherlands we read the Gospels in a three year cycle.

So I asked my mother for her old missal, published in 1957 (long before that three year cycle was introduced) and used that as my source of information.

This painting is inspired by Matthew 11, 7 - 8a; And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? (source of the English text is www.kingjamesbible.org)
8
Of course I have included some other elements that are connected to Advent - at least they are connected for me.
The star is a sign we hang in our windows when Advent starts and we remove it after Epiphany. So in every painting the star is present, though hidden behind some clouds.
This painting has two light rays, as promised. It shines on the reed that is not shaken with the wind, an image that in this text could be a symbol for the prophet John.
A star means night, so the main colour is Indigo and only where the light shines other colours are introduced. 
The landscapes are scenes that are familiar to me: I did not search the internet for the landscapes of Israel, but I chose to paint variations on the nature of The Netherlands and Belgium. Sometimes I used a lot of imagination, sometimes I did not add much to the original landscape.

More information about this watercolour painting and the first one of my Advent Project can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Forest of Anlier - in a charcoal drawing


Last October my husband and me were in The Ardennes (Belgium) and I have already published some watercolour paintings I made during and after that short vacation. 
There have been other things to do since my last painting of the Forest of Anlier, like the Christmas Card painting, some decoration stuff that is not painted - I do crochet sometimes - and the Advent project.

So now it felt good to return to the inspiration I found in the Forest of Anlier and I started with a charcoal drawing. 
The scene is one I had already painted in watercolour during one of the evenings in our small vacation home and I wanted to know how it would be in a charcoal version.
This is the result of only half an hour or maybe three quarters of an hour work but I am certain I cannot add any more to my drawing without ruining it. In fact I am very happy with this result.
The scene has changed a bit compared to the watercolour version. That always happens when I paint or draw a scene for the second time. This time the forest in the background is much more open and in this version that's just what the painting asks for. (I do listen to my paintings most of the time, that improves the results)

More information about this charcoal drawing (materials used, availability, etc) and the other paintings I made inspired by The Ardennes can be found on my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The first sunday of Advent


This year I decided to paint landscapes that were inspired on the Gospel readings belonging to the four Sundays of Advent. 
That is easier said than done, because in the Roman Catholic Church in The Netherlands we read the Gospels in a three year cycle.
So I asked my mother for her old missal, published in 1957 (long before that three year cycle was introduced) and used that as my source of information.

This painting is inspired by Luke 21, 29b - 30: "Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand." (source of the English text is www.kingjamesbibleonline.org)

Of course I have included some other elements that are connected to Advent - at least they are connected for me.
The star is a sign we hang in our windows when Advent starts and we remove it after Epiphany. So in every painting the star is present, though hidden behind some clouds.
There are light rays, one for the first Sunday, two for the second - and now I am already saying too much, the other paintings will be published when it is the right time.
A star means night, so the main colour is Indigo and only where the light shines other colours are introduced. 
The landscapes are scenes that are familiar to me: I did not search the internet for the landscapes of Israel, but I chose to paint variations on the nature of The Netherlands and Belgium. Sometimes I used a lot of imagination, sometimes I did not add much to the original landscape.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paints used, availability, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

It's time for winter paintings!


Winter will be here soon and with that comes the question about the Christmas Cards of this year. So I start to search the paintings I made last year for a candidate, sometimes with success, this time not. I have painted some nice foggy winter landscapes, but those are not suitable for Christmas Cards.
That meant that I had to paint a suitable winter scene from fantasy. For inspiration I asked my daughter for some guidelines and after her reply I had to start searching for images of gatehouses. Of course I found nothing I could use directly, many gatehouses are not what I was looking for. 

After some thinking this is what appeared in my sketch-book: some small buildings with a gate and a wall, a lane towards the gate and the suggestion of the continuing of that lane behind the wall, snow and lights in one of the buildings and a very small lantern by the gate.
For the colours I started with sepia but gradually I added more for the lights, the roofs and doors. And the shadows on the snow of course. And I added a small shrub of holly close to the building on the right. Look well, it really is there!

At first I was not satisfied with this painting, thinking the outlines of the buildings should be more defined. But looking at it a few days later the scene good as it is. In winter the world can be very grey and everything looks a bit dim on those days. The colour I used for the sky suggest one of those grey days so it is not necessary to alter the outlines of the  buildings.
So I decided to listen to my painting and not change a thing. 

More information about this watercolour painting (materials used, size, availability, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

View on Fauvillers


We have been walking the first day of our short vacation in The Ardennes. On the Internet we found a walk of 12 km that started in the village of Fauvillers and went downhill, passed along the river Sûre, crossed some more hills, the Forest of Anlier and returned to the village of Fauvillers again.
At this point we were still full of energy, as we had just left the village behind us. Looking back I decided to make a picture of the view we had on the village church and some of the houses. Most of the village is hidden behind the bushes and trees but what is visible is just nice for a painting.
Fauvillers is situated on top of the hill and we had to walk down to the valley of the Sûre.
This is very close to the village, so the hillside is filled with fields where at some points cows were grazing. 

The light was a bit strange that morning. By the sea the sky had been grey all day, due to Sahara sands and dust from forest fires in Portugal and Spain blowing over with an autumn storm. We just had a little bit of the dust and a grey sky in the morning, some of my pictures show a grey sky with a yellow shade, depending on the angle of the camera. Later that day the sun would be really warm and the sky was blue again.
The fields were still green, the bushes and trees are beginning to turn orange and brown.

For my painting I only used yellow and blue colours, with Burnt Sienna for the autumn colours and to mix the grey colours of the buildings. 
As the sky was overcast, there are no strong shadows, only under the bushes and in the uneven parts of the fields some dark areas can be found.

I am still experimenting with mixtures of blue and yellow colours, for this painting I have used a yellow paint I had just bought and had not used before. With every painting I make in this way I am learning and enjoying my decision to 'forget' the ready-made greens more and more.

More information about this watercolour painting (paper and paint used, size,  availability, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The valley of the Sûre and the Forest of Anlier - my first impressions

We have been on a short trip to The Ardennes, Belguim, to be more precise, to the Forest of Anlier and the Valley of the river Sûre. The weather was great, maybe a bit too warm for autumn but we have been walking in the forest, walking in the valley and I have been taking pictures and most of the evenings were dedicated to painting.

These are small paintings, only A4 size. The circumstances in our 'gîte' were not as good as  in my studio. Most of the times the lights were not very helpful, but I managed to get used to this set-up and made some nice watercolours.


This is the first one I made, and as we had just arrived in the 'gîte' this is the view from one of the windows. The background is the slope of one side of the valley of the river Sûre which is covered with trees, the other one is right behind our 'gîte'. The river is in fact between the fields and the background. 
I was struggling with the lights, the height of the table, the moisture of the air (close to the river) so this painting may be not the best I have ever made, but for a 'warming-up' it is a nice one.


The Forest of Anlier is a piece of land that has been described by Julius Caesar and has remained a forest since these days. We had chosen a walk of 12 km and we have just seen the northern part of the forest. I have been making some nice reference pictures and for the 'first impression' I chose to do a scene with lots of autumn colours and some fallen trees. The sun was shining and the forest seemed to be on fire with all those yellow, orange and red colours!


The next day we started out from the 'gîte' to walk in the valley of the river Sûre. The first part of that walk was following an abandoned railway track and was easy. I made some pictures showing the track and the green valley beside it. This day we returned early, we had some problems with shoes, muscle aches and so on. In the afternoon I stayed in the 'gîte' to paint as my husband decided to discover a bit more of the surrounding landscape - on better shoes. 
This time I painted in daylight and the air seemed less moist than it is in the evenings, so the process of painting was more relaxed than the other days. 


The last day of our vacation we were in tourist mode. We went to visit the town of Schengen, in Luxembourg and as we returned we drove once again through the Forest of Anlier. I asked my husband to stop in a safe place so I could make some pictures. Imagine a road of 10 km or more surrounded by these trees - I just had to have those pics! The scene was still sunny, with lots of shadows from the trees. A lot of leaves have already fallen and the foliage is not as dense as it was a few days ago, so the colours of the trees are lighter. In a few days this autumn splendor will be gone, all leaves on the ground and the trees will be as good as bare. 

Of course I will paint more, using larger sizes of paper and some other reference pictures. These will be done at home, in my studio where I can take all the time I need to complete a painting.

More information about these watercolour paintings (paper and paints used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Rain is coming!


Autumn in The Netherlands can be a wet season. Wind and rain are normal these days and we usually take either raincoats or umbrellas with us when we go outside.
This was one of those days. We had a family reunion in the old harbor town of Elburg, in the northern part of the Veluwe. The old town is a protected area and outside the old city walls the landscape is rural. On one side is what remains of the once dangerous 'Zuiderzee', the Veluwemeer, a small lake between the 'old' and the 'new' land.

This somewhat overcast view attracted my attention so I made some quick reference pictures before it actually started to rain again. 

It may be autumn yet, not all trees have lost their green colours. There is a lot of yellow and brown visible already, promising more fantastic autumnal splendor to look forward to.

For this watercolour painting I decided to use a quarter of a sheet of paper and a limited palette of blues, yellows and a brown colour. I am getting used to mixing my shades of green from blue and yellow paints and I am more and more satisfied with the results of these mixtures. I just have to keep in mind that I want to use transparent blues and yellows for this and my greens will be nice and transparent too.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paints used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 



Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sunrise in autumn - walking along the railroad


Sometimes I walk to my job having a great view and this time I just had to use the opportunity to make a quick picture with my phone. The picture was not perfect of course but I have made the best of it.

The walking path and bicycle path have a bend in the distance so they don't end in the 'vanishing point'. The bushes on the slope of the railroad were dark and in the shadows so I have only suggested their shapes. At the moment I took my picture I was alone on that walking path so the scene is calm.

I have used my Twilight Colours and added a yellow and a grey-blue for the colours of the sunrise and the deepest shadows. The lines of the lamp posts and the overhead of the railroad are made with a water soluble pencil, that can be applied more subtle when needed. The Twilight Colours can also give nice dark mixtures but that would have been too dark for this purpose. 

I enjoyed painting this and experimenting a bit more with the colours on my palette.

More information about this watercolour painting can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The end of summer - a nice day to walk in our beautiful nature!


Summer has ended rather suddenly this year with storms, rains and cold weather in the early part of September. That is not the way it was in the last years but it does give me time to be in my little studio and paint.
We spent one of the last beautiful afternoons outside.

We went to a small Natural Reserve near the border with Belgium, the "Oude Buisse Heide" near the village of Zundert. This is a nice spot for a walk, we chose a signposted walk of about 4 km and we passed through a lot of different landscapes. I have made several reference photographs for later use and this is the first watercolour painting I have made.

We had been walking in between fields and a part of the heath that gives the Reserve its name. Looking back to where we came from I decided the view was worth a painting and stopped to make several photographs for reference. 
The bushes on the left mark the ending of the heath, the fields on the right are grazed by cattle and have an uneven surface with several kinds of grasses, some flowers and small bushes. The path bends to the right and the different fields are separated by lines of wickets that have some higher grasses growing under them. I think the wires between the wickets are under electrical voltage to keep the cattle inside.
We had a cloudy day and most of the time no direct sunshine, so there were no distinct shadows on the path.

Again I have mixed all the green colours in this scene from yellows and blues. This is getting easy as I am having much more experience - and not to mention much more blues and yellows on my palette.
For the grey colours in the sky I have not mixed a grey using blue and brown, this time I used small amounts of Payne's Grey, just to see if that would give a satisfactory result. For this scene it proved to be perfect, so I will certainly do this again.

More information about this painting (size, paper and paints used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Flaming Birch tree


While I was on painting vacation last summer I had sketched an birch tree and decided that day not to use the sketch for a painting. The sketch and the plans I had for it were still on my to-do list, so I have made the painting.
Maybe not exactly as I had planned in summer, but even now it is not so very different from the kind of painting I wanted to create.
The tree was having all of its foliage in summer but I managed to follow the lines of the major branches for the sketch. Now that I have suggested an autumnal tree, I could make the white branches stand out much more.

For the painting I have made a drawing of the outlines of the tree and the major branches and covered that area with colourless masking fluid. Once that was dry I used water and paint to create the background, the foliage and a suggestion of fallen leaves on the ground. I applied two layers of paint to create more intense colours for both the foliage and the dark background. With all paint dry I removed the masking fluid.
After that I started to fill in the shadows and the markings that are so characteristic for the birch trees. I also applied a third layer of paint on the top part of the foliage and the ends of the branches, suggesting the existence of foliage in front of those branches.

Experimenting like this with water, paint and the suggestion of - in this case a birch tree in autumn - is really nice to do. I have found that these experiments make my 'touch' in the more traditional landscapes a bit more relaxed, especially in the suggestions of the background. So every now and then, when I start to feel stressed about painting bushes and backgrounds I will make a few paintings like this. 
And of course when I feel like doing so, because - as I said before - this is fun!

More information about this watercolour painting (size, materials used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 2 September 2017

On the Pier of Hoek van Holland - looking towards England


When I am on the Pier of Hoek van Holland, I do not only look towards the seashore. The Pier is really a long way into the North Sea and at the end of it is a radar post with a helicopter platform which is the only one in The Netherlands (maybe even in the world).
On the left side of the Pier is the canal through which the Port of Rotterdam can be reached, on the right side there are some of the basalt blocks that protect the beach. When I am at this spot I have walked further towards the end of the Pier compared to the spot where I made the sketch for my previous watercolour painting.

For this sketch I really had to imagine the Pier without all the tourists and fishers.
The radar post is the one on the right side of the Pier, on the left side is a light beacon. They both seem to be on the horizon, but the beacon is much closer to the point from where I am sketching.
The waves do often fall over the edges of the Pier, leaving dark wet marks on the concrete. 
We were here on a Sunday, so there was some traffic at sea, but not as much as would have been on a weekday. I have suggested only one ship at the horizon. Sometimes even that one ship was not to be seen that day.
The previous painting had a lot of clouds in the sky, but half an hour later those were all gone. There was a strong wind that day, I really could not have painted on the spot if I wanted to do that.

After I got home I looked at my sketch and thought 'Why did I do that?' because it was not a very detailed sketch, a few pencil lines and notes about the colours on white paper. 
I decided to paint the scene and make the best of it. Using the right colours for the basalt blocks, the light beacon and of course the sea would bring back the scene that inspired me to make that sketch - I hoped. And that is exactly what happened.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paint used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Monday, 28 August 2017

At the Pier of Hoek van Holland


We did not really have a long and hot summer this year. Most of the times it was cool, windy, cloudy and sometimes even rainy weather. Some days we had a lot of sunshine and one of those sunny days was used to visit the beach and the Pier of Hoek van Holland.
That pier is made out of basalt blocks and some of those are at the side of the pier, for extra strength. 

At some point I decided to sit down on the edge of the walking path over the Pier and make a sketch of the view I had there. The great sea vessels were on the other side of the Pier, where the Port of Rotterdam connects to the North Sea. It is strictly forbidden to swim this close to the Pier so at that point there were no tourists either.
This way I had a nice view with only some sailing ships on the horizon. I had a nice time sketching this scene and I also enjoyed painting it.

The basalt blocks with sand blown up to their sides are still a bit of a challenge, but I am confident that some day painting them is as easy for me as painting the sky. I have painted so many clouded skies in my landscapes that it is a part of my landscape I am very confident about. I still need to give attention to the sky but there never is that moment of "I can never achieve what I want here, I might as well throw the thing away" which almost came up while painting the basalt blocks.


More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paint used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Hanging my artwork for an exposition is hard work, but the results are great!

Near my home in the village of Papendrecht is a small forest: the 'Alblasserbos'. This is an area surrounded by grasslands and cows in the polders. A bit to the north are the windmills of the Kinderdijk, south of this area and my village lies 'The Biesbosch'.
In the Alblasserbos is an educational center, 'Natuur- en Vogelwacht de Alblasserwaard'.
In that educational center is the opportunity for expositions and this time I am allowed to have an exposition there. I have selected fourteen examples of my artwork and we have had a busy morning hanging them nicely.


I was really glad I had help, not only my husband gave his assistance, two volunteers from the 'Natuur- en Vogelwacht' and the Amateur Artists Association that work together in the organisation of these expositions were there to help and advise me.


After the frames had been touched many times, I had hard work wiping off all fingerprints!


And here is an impression of the exposition.
Unfortunately the frames with glass do reflect the light a bit too much, not only because I had been wiping off the fingerprints.

I am showing recent work here and I am really happy that the space for the exposition is such a nice one. My works look great on that wall.

More information about this exposition such as the address and the end date can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Howling to the full moon



When I was thinking of scenes that can be painted with lamps, the idea of street lanterns howling to the full moon also came up. So this was to be my next project!

For the background I used the darkest colours I could find and with these I tried to create a night sky with clouds and a full moon. There had to be a street level somewhere and I thought that leaving light spots would suggest pools of water - as if it had been raining.
Making these dark colours flow and stay on the surface is not easy, most of the background is more or less painted. Using more water would have washed away the paint that I had already applied.
The lanterns were 'lifted' with a damp brush. That was easy as expected after my efforts for the background.  The moon was shaped with the aid of a small candle holder and I painted in some clouds and of course the shadows on the moon.
After that all was really dry I used two shades of red to shape the lanterns and some white to show the lights.

As I am using the last bits of study-quality paper this time I chose a square format. This also gave me the space I wanted for this scene. Now the moon is in the painting, not on the edge of it. The street lanterns are at a nice level now and there is some suggestion of a (wet) pavement on the foreground. 

For this painting I have had a lot of very helpful feedback from my daughter Mariska. This type of painting is fun to do, but I am relatively new to it, so a little help may be asked and given. Thank you very much Mariska!!!!

More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paint used, etc) and my other lamp-paintings can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Lamps, watercolour and other things


During my last painting vacation in the Ardennes I was introduced to Expressionism.
The result was a rather strange looking beer bottle (it was meant to be like that)  and the feeling that expressionism is not really my style. 
That morning I had also made a sketch of a standing lamp in the house we were staying. That lamp was transformed with the help of the shapes that originate from random splashes of watercolour paint that are dropped on a wet surface. The result of that experiment was also published in one of my blog posts about my painting vacation.

The idea of transforming the original shape of a standing lamp using the random shapes of watercolour that has been free to flow and mix stayed with me. No wonder, it was really fun to do and does not take much time to execute.

So I decided to use my own standing lamp as my model and try again. This time a different set of colours and a 'reason' for the transformation of the shape of the lamp. Spider season is upon us now, so there was the 'reason'. The colours I chose are looking forward to autumn: yellow, orange, red and a dark blue. Once again I used one of my Professional Watercolour Markers for the lamp, only the glass part was suggested by Indian Ink. The spider and his web are also drawn with Indian Ink.

Of course I have planned this concerning the materials I have used and the spider theme, but the final shape of the scene was dictated by the lines and shapes that were formed by the wet paint and the water - with a little help of gravity of course.

This was fun and I have many more ideas so after I have had time to buy me more of the paper I am using for these little paintings you will definitely see more lamps showing up in my artwork!

More information about this painting and the other one I have made in this style can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Ardennes, this time some good photographs
























The last week I have been posting the paintings I have made during my week of vacation in the Ardennes. The photographs were not as good as usual and for a reason. I did not have the opportunity to give the published pictures my usual watermark which is meant to prevent abuse of my artwork.
Today I have made some good photographs at home and I have given them the watermark.
So they are ready for proper publication now.

For the story of each of my paintings I refer to the blog posts I have written last week.

Some additional information may be necessary.
These painting vacation are group activities with two teachers, both ladies are qualified. Each teacher accompanies half of the students each day and they change groups every other day. Unfortunately they have decided to stop giving these classes and focus on one-day-workshops instead.
The paintings I have made this week are very much my own idea, I have had some guidance, but not much. With one exception, the bottle in expressionistic style could not have been completed as it is without help from my teacher. I am not ashamed to say so, expressionism is really not my style. The lamp was easy using the hints I needed to finish the bottle.

More information about these paintings (paper, paints, other materials used, size, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Ardennes, day 6

The last day is always about playing with paint and ends with an exposition of the results of the week.
This time the playing part was monoprint and I had to 'borrow' some acrylic paint for that. I tried to include some dried flowers and grasses in my prints but that did not have the results I hoped for.
So I continued with the results I got and added red ink in one of my prints and crayons in the other.

After lunch I will be 'composing' my exhibition.

More information about me and my paintings can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Ardennes, day 5

Today was about abstracting.
We were invited  to make sketches on a beautiful location and to create an abstracted painting after that sketch.
I found a very nice spot for my sketch and decided it was too beautiful to make only an abstracted painting. So I started a watercolour painting using the realistic colours and while that one had to dry I started a small one which had to be more abstracted. Halfway we moved back to the house because it started to rain. After these two were finished, I decided to do a white-on-black painting in the afternoon, using the same sketch for inspiration.
The results are in the picture.

More information about me and my paintings can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Ardennes, day 4

Today the weather forced us to stay in the house. We were invited to paint in an expressionistic style and I found inspiration in some small corners in the central room in the house.
Because expressionism is not my usual style I was very happy with all the suggestions our teachers gave me.
Today's results are colourful and experimental and I enjoyed painting like this for a day.

More information about my paintings can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Monday, 31 July 2017

Ardennes, day 3

Today we have been away from the house, on the shore of the lake. First we had an introdution to Impressionism and then we were invited to paint.
The shoreline is curved, so we could all choose a different view.
I decided to include some of the pine trees and bushes to suggest the distance between my spot and the opposite shoreline.
Once again the creation of all those shades of green with blues and yellows was challenging, but the results are much more to my liking than the results I got when using greens from the factory.
In the water I added some touches of Iridescent Medium, just for fun. The results are nice! So thanks to my daughter who gave me the Iridescent Medium for my birthday.

More information about me and my paintings can be found at my website  www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Ardennes, day 2

This day is 'warming up day', so we start finding our inspiration in the view from the house. There also is a nice garden and many of us started painting flowers.
Of course I found my inspiration in a lot of trees and some buildings on the other side of the lake.
After I had started the green painting one of the teachers said "Why don't you paint two paintings at the same time?" and I gathered paper and other stuff to start a second version of my subject. As one was drying, I painted the other one and so on. Each watercolour painting has three or four layers of paint, so I have been switching a few times.
It was really nice painting  this way!

For more information about my watercolour paintings, please visit my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Ardennes, day 1

This week I will be painting in The Ardennes again. The view from the location is great, even in the evening. Today was mostly spent in the car, we arrived in time for afternoon coffee with cake. Tomorrow we will start painting and I will post the results of each day.

For more information about my previous painting vacations, please visit my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

After the rains - morning in the mountains



Last autumn my husband and me had a short vacation in the Black Forest, Germany. I have already made and published some watercolour paintings I made during and after that trip. On the way home we started early - as it is over six hours by car to get home - and we stopped for this sight. In the night and the early morning it rained and now the water that had fallen was rising up to the sky again in the form of mist. In the mountains that is a great sight especially for people like us, who are living in a flat country.
On my request my husband Peter stopped the car (in a parking place of course), opened the window and made some photographs.
We were near a hamlet situated in a bend in the road, so there were some buildings in front of the forests, the mountains and the mist.

Because I wanted to lay emphasis on the tranquility of the scene I have 'forgotten' to show the part of the road that was visible and added some bushes to the ones that were already there. The house on the left is also a bit altered and has got a more traditional 'Black Forest' facade.

Once again I have not been using green from the tube, but mixed my greens using several blue, grey and yellow paints. Because it is autumn I have added the yellows in pure form to the trees and bushes. The pine trees are evergreen of course and most of them are emerging above the mist. Only those on the far left are hidden behind the mist as that mountain ridge is much further away.
The smoke from one of the chimneys is highlighted with Chinese White.

Once again I had not stretched my paper before painting on it, and again I had some small difficulties. I have been giving this method a second try but I have found out that it is better for me - and my painting habits - to soak and stretch my paper before painting. 

More information about this watercolour painting (paper and colours used, size, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Evening mood in the polder



The reference photo for this watercolour painting had been waiting for almost two years now. My son Martijn lives in Almere, which is in what we call 'the New land', one of the polders made in the IJsselmeer. His birthday is in September so when we drive home after a visit the chances of a nice sunset are good. Usually my daughter Mariska makes a picture from the car when I ask her to.

Because of the poor light circumstances the fields were very dark and without structure in the reference photo so I have changed that part a bit. I had to do this from my memory because since the photo has been made, parking places have been made there.  
The railroad is still the same. On the right is the little railway station, unfortunately its structure is mostly on ground level. Behind the railroad only one building is visible. There are plans to build more of course as the town of Almere will be developed further in the next decades.

Maybe it is due to the rainy weather but painting this was not without struggle. It can also be caused by the fact that I did not soak and stretch my paper before starting to paint. The surface of the paper reacts differently to water and paint when the coating from the mill is not removed by the soaking and stretching. It's easier to remove paint this way and I had forgotten that - I remembered quickly though.
Nevertheless I made a painting I like very much.
For the first time I used Chinese White in this painting - only to highlight the moon a bit. After I had removed the masking fluid I tried to soften the edges and the result was not good, so I tried to hide that behind some clouds, and still I was not happy about it. The white paint did the trick, as it is not very opaque (like gouache) the clouds are still there, but my moon is round again.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, paper and paint used, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com 

Monday, 10 July 2017

I have got free art materials!

This month my favourite art supply store gives away free art materials when you get yourself a membership of the Dutch Association of Artists.
So today we went to the store, filled in the application  form and went shopping.
The result is in the picture.
I got paint and paper for my watercolour paintings, charcoal, fixative and paper for charcoal drawings and paper for sketches. I will be using some of these materials when I am on my painting vacation in The Ardennes - in a few  weeks.
The membership of the Artists Association does also have some nice advantages, so I think I got myself a good deal.
Now I only have to paint.

More information about me and my paintings can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com

Friday, 7 July 2017

View on the Kasbah of Ouarzazate


After so many weeks working on a project using charcoal, I wanted to paint again! So I brushed away the dust from my palette and started browsing through my 'inspiration gallery'. That is a collection of reference photos that were made by my husband, my children and me. 

This time inspiration came from Morocco, my son Martijn visited that country as a tourist almost three years ago and gave me some of the photos he made there.
One of the trips he made was a visit to the historical Kasbah of Ouarzazate, a monument.
The view is great and a challenge to paint. The colours of the buildings have only a little bit of variation so I had to exaggerate that variation to give depth to the structure.
There was a hint of green and grass in the landscape so I used that as well.
And the cactus on the rocks in the foreground. 

This is my first cactus and it was a bit of a challenge, especially as i am still mixing my greens from blues and yellows. I had to find the right mixture here and that meant experimenting with my colours. The green of the cactus is made up with two different mixtures of a yellow and a blue and a grey mixture for the shadows. Each mixture is applied on the dried paint I had already used, this technique allows me to suggest the shapes of the cactus leaves. Of course it is not perfect yet, but for my first attempt the result is satisfying.

For the grasses and the dry branches on the foreground I used my Watercolour Sticks. They are nice for drawing thin lines and when used dry on dry the lines are uneven because of the structure of my paper.

More information about this watercolour painting (materials used, size, etc) can be found at my website www.jannekesatelier.webs.com