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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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

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

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