Sunday, 26 March 2017

Kinderdijk - 2

The Unesco World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk is mostly famous for the windmills, but there is also a nice folktale that explains its name.
For the story I have copied the text on the Wikipedia page about Kinderdijk: 

"The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for 'Children Dike'.
During the Saint Elizabeth Flood of 1421, the 'Grote Hollandse Waard' flooded, but the 'Alblasserwaard' polder stayed unflooded.
It is said that when the terrible storm had subsided, someone went to the dike between these two areas to see what could be saved. In the distance he saw a wooden cradle floating on the water. As it came nearer, some movement was detected. A cat was seen in the cradle trying to keep it in balance by jumping back and forth so that no water could get into it. As the cradle eventually came close enough to the dike for a bystander to pick up the cradle, he saw that a baby was quietly sleeping inside it, nice and dry. The cat had kept the cradle balanced and afloat."

As a reference to that nice folktale a wicker cradle is floating in the water close to the entrance of the site. As we saw the cradle floating I tried to translate the tale to our French guests. I hope they could understand enough of my French to appreciate what I was telling them.

The area has a lot of water, dikes and small bridges and not all the reeds were harvested. The windmills were in plain sight with most of the reeds cut.
I wanted to get a nice composition with some windmills of the 'ordinary' type and another one, the one on the right is a 'wipmolen' or wip mill.  The reference picture I made for this purpose shows the cradle from the tale, so I decided to include the cradle in the painting, draw some extra attention to it and tell the story in my blog post. 

I hope you also enjoyed the story of the baby and the cat in the cradle, surviving the flood.

More information about the painting (size, materials used, etc) can be found at my website 


Sunday, 19 March 2017


The windmills of Kinderdijk are a Unesco World Heritage site and I live not very far from that place. One of the reasons we do not visit it very often, is the fact that it usually is full with sightseers.
This time we had guests from France and they liked to see the windmills. As it was still winter and a grey day, it was relatively quiet.

Our guest were making lots of pictures and we had taken our own camera as well. As the reeds were not as high as they are in summertime, we had a nice view of all of the windmills. I have been making some reference pictures during our walk and this is the first watercolour painting I made using these references.

As I said, it was still winter, but springtime is already near. There are some patches of green between the yellow stalks of the reeds. The meadows on the right are green and what I cannot show in the picture is the fact that hundreds of geese and other birds were feeding in the meadows behind the windmills. We could not see them, but they made themselves heard very well.

This is only one of the many inspiring views in the area, I have made several reference pictures to paint from. After I have posted this one I will be planning the next.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, materials used, etc.) can be found on my website 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Exposition in 'Kerkcentrum Holy' in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands

Last year I responded to a call for artists willing to join the summer exhibition in the Church centre in Vlaardingen-Holy. Two of my watercolour paintings were accepted and were in a exposition for about three months.
When that arrangement was made, I was also offered six weeks of solo-exposition in the same centre, beginning today March 13th until April 19th.
Last weeks I have been selecting and framing my paintings for this exhibition. 
I have chosen to show a variety of techniques and mostly the landscapes of The Netherlands as subject.

So this morning we packed the fifteen selected paintings in the car and drove to the town of Vlaardingen to hang the exposition.
This is an impression of the results of our work:

Eight large watercolours in a long row, three smaller ones on another wall and a wall with four varied works: a mixed media with pencil, two gouache works on black background and one charcoal drawing.

More information about this exposition can be found at my website under the button 'Expositions'

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

'Allerheiligen' waterfalls - a second attempt

Last autumn we were in the Black Forest - in Germany - for a short vacation. During that trip we visited the ruins and waterfalls of Allerheiligen. 

The ruins have been painted (and will be painted again) and during the vacation I already painted the waterfalls once and I promised myself that I would paint them again.
Waterfalls are not an easy subject for me, because I have to go on vacation to visit them. In our flat country there are no waterfalls to be found. At least nothing over a meter.

As I have written in my first post about these falls, the Allerheiligen waterfalls are a series of falls cascading down around the mountain. To visit them safely there are stairways and platforms beside the falling water.
At that time my knees were giving me messages about 'age' and 'not in shape for this terrain' so I stood sketching some of the falls as my husband went down a bit further to make lots of photographs. This painting is made after one of my sketches.

For this painting I chose to do a small size using only two colours. This enables me to focus on the falls; how to paint them in a way that they can still be recognized as waterfalls. On top of the scene is a small waterfall, which is mostly in the shadows of the rocks and trees surrounding the falls and the path beside them. 

As it was my goal to make a recognizable waterfall, I think I have succeeded with this painting. Of course I will have to paint much more waterfalls to improve my skills on this subject.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, colours used, etc) can be found at my website 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Some information about 'Sallandse Heuvelrug'

The past few months I have painted scenes from one of our Natural Reserves, the 'Sallandse Heuvelrug'. In the posts dedicated to those paintings i already gave some information about the history of the area.
As I did with the 'Naardermeer', I am now posting a map of the area.
This map is part of a brochure published by the organisations that share the stewardship over the area. The numbers 1, 2 and 3 indicate information centers owned by those organisations. At every information center are start points for several signposted walks, varying from two to sixteen kilometers in length. 

As it was winter we chose walks of five to ten kilometers. The days are short in winter and visitors are only allowed between sunrise and sunset, so we decided to do these walks instead of the longer ones. That is better in the summertime, when the days are much longer.

We started our walks from the point indicated with 1, the point indicated with 3, and the parking place that is indicated halfway between 1 and 2.
Most of the time we walked on the moors (colour purple) although all three walks started and ended in a piece of wood (colour green).
For people living in the west of our country, between the rivers, those moorlands are something special, so we like to visit them when we are on a short trip. I can imagine the people living in the area of the 'Sallandse Heuvelrug' are interested in visiting our flat lands, dikes, windmills and lots of water. 

If you like to see the paintings and drawings I made (and will make after today) you are welcome to visit my website: