Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Staatsmijn Emma

When I was young there used to be a huge coalmine just a few 100 meters from my house. The "staatsmijn Emma" (the national coal mine Emma). It was named after one of our Queens.
The coalmine was one of the largest in the Netherlands, and it was closed around the mid-70s.
The drawing is based on old photographs and old memories.
Unfortunately there is nothing left, they tore down literally everything, and replaced the area with houses. Only us, the ones who grew up back then, can still see the scars. The bicyclepaths (once railroads), the wooded hills (once coalhills), the black earth (once cokesovens). They even tore down the original hyperbolic cooling towers - which were invented here. Well, you can see those all around the world, that would be the Emma offspring.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Failed glass vase

This should have been a beautiful vase. In frosted, sugar like semi-translucent light blue glass.
With yellow and red patterned bulbs sticking out.
Made in a difficult, elaborate and expensive glass fabrication method called "pâte de verre".

In a few pictures I can show you the procedure: first you make the model in clay, then you cast a mixture of gypsum and silicosis around, to produce the mold.
The second picture shows the mold, after two weeks of drying, and after I removed the clay model.
The third picture shows how to fill the mold: the holes are filled with fine-ground powder-like red and yellow glass, held together with wallpaper glue.
Then adding layers of sand like glassparticles, size about 1-2 mm. again bound  by glue. The total thickness is about 5-6mm, made in two layers.

As the glass would sink to the bottom when heated, I had to make an inner mold as well. In this case by adding pure loose gypsum in the middle, lightly compacted (picture 4). We had to wait a few weeks to have it dry again, and finally it went into the oven.
But..... it failed. The glass did not melt enough, the top ring was okay, but the lower parts fell apart when I removed the mold (picture 5).

Here you see the remnants of what should have been a lovely vase.
All that's left is a glass crown, which I show at the top. Just to show how it could have looked like.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

MIG 21 in Maasbracht

I made a drawing of this old MIG 21 today. It's standing in the business park of a village called Maasbracht, some 30km away from where I live, at a car junk yard. No idea how it got there.
It was hidden from view by a line of trees. I had noticed it a few times last winter, when the trees were bare, but only today I found the time to draw it.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Schimmert watertower

Drawn this evening, the old watertower of Schimmert. It dates back to 1927, and was made in the style of "the Amsterdam school". You can see the waretower from 50km away, as it stands on top of one of the highest hills in Limburg (and obviously also the Netherlands).
I was waiting for concert evening with local choirs, my wife sings in one of them. She had to arrive early, so I had half an hour to spend before the visitors could enter. A beautiful summer evening with good music. That's summer.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

I had this dream again...

Woke up this morning, with this dream in my head. It was about some robots tearing down a huge stack of houses, while a heavy church organ (up on the adjacent cliff) was playing some Olivier Messiaen music.
In my dream there were also a lot of spectators in front, all wearing Humphrey Bogart trenchcoats and hats, but that was too complicated to add to the drawing.
I know where the dream came from: a few days ago I reread the french 60s comic book by Philippe Druillet, called "Les 6 voyages de Lone Sloane", the third chapter "Rose". 
Anyone familiar with Druillet will notice that this drawing is totally different in style of course.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Volkswagen and Chevrolet Apache

Drawn at the same vintage car meeting as the previous one. I had more trouble with this one, as the paint would not dry as I wanted. The area is a bit damp, and it's always late in the evening.
I have to try other brand of colour, or use different paper. The other sketch worked better (and much faster).

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Chevrolet Pickup 1954

I was at the weekly America Car meeting "Cruise in", in Brunssum this evening.
A lot of chances to draw old cars.
This is a quick sketch, of a Chevrolet Pickup 1954, a beauty. Took me about 10-15 minutes to make this one.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

DJ Shadow

Just a drawing, after a picture in the newspaper of last Thursday (Volkskrant, 30-06-2016). In fact I have not read the article, but the picture by Derick Daily hit a string.
Today a fellow sketcher, Roger Klaassen, made a drawing after that picture, and I decided to do the same. Just for fun. Here is the link to Roger's blog:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Blue skies

Sometimes I have the privilege to make something extraordinary.
Our Tebodin office moved from Maastricht to Elsloo, in a far better and contemporary office building.
I did the interior design, and made a few round glass separation walls.
As the office lacked some colour, I designed this repetitive sky with a sketched local Limburg landscape, also with a hint to the work we do at our office.
I found the sky on Google images. But I still had to redesign 30% of the clouds, as they were not repetitive.
The sketch was made with fountain pen on a small  piece of paper, and resized 20 times or so.

It was printed on vinyl foil, and glued/pasted on the glass walls. When the sunlight is out, it shines through the foil, and the scene becomes very vivid.  

The size is 9 x 1,2 meters. The largest drawing I have made so far.....

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Eagle hunters of Mongolia

One of those weeks. I badly want something to draw, but somehow I don't find interesting subjects on the streets. I don't know, maybe I don't go outside so much due to the recordbreaking amounts of rain we have had in June.
But there was this interesting photograph humming in my mind, of the eagle hunters in Mongolia. The original picture of this boy Bahak Birgen was made by Asher Svidensky (check his site for more fantastic pictures and stories: ).
In this drawing I tried to experiment with different inks, combined with watercolour, flowing into each other. Difficult to have them behave how I want them to. Still need exercise.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Pate de verre

I am now working on new projects in glass. The procedure is called "pâte de verre" and it's an old french technique of making glass objects.
First you make a model in clay, then you cast gypsum around it, to form a mold.
The mold is polished and reworked, and then you grind glass. The grinded glass is sieved into different sizes, and (depending on the type of ground) you mix it with an adhesive. I use wallpaperglue. Then you lay down one or more layers of the glass into the mold, and it's heated.
These objects are glass flowers, to be fitted into the vase I made two weeks ago. I still have to make the stems.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Verseidag, Krefeld

 A quick sketch of a deserted factory terrain in Krefeld, Germany. Part of this factory (not this part) was made by Mies van der Rohe, one of the most famous architects of the last century.
While the rest of the group was given a explanation of the modern 30s architecture and its restoration, I made this drawing. Took me about 10 minutes.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Naked Flame

We visited some Mies van der Rohe buildings in our region (he was born 20km away, in Aachen).
Two of his villas (Haus Lange and Esters) ware transformed into a museum for contemporary art. A very nice museum I should add.
In one of the rooms a performance had just started. A work of art by the UK artist Roger Hiorns.
He invites naked young art students to sit on a complicated machine to stare at some flames, which are slowly dying out. The idea sounds easier than it was: it makes you contemplate on our age of technology and the relation of that technology to our naked existence.
Just enough time for a quick sketch.  I talked to the performer later on, a nice guy. He was a photographer and video artist himself.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Girl reading Klimt

I finally had time to finish the painting yesterday, it has been on my easel for far too long. But with all my travelling I just lacked the time.
The painting is Acrylic, 70x90 cm, and made as final piece of the Annemiek Jongen Painting Master Class.
In a previous post I described the painstaking journey to a good composition looking-for-klimt-1.

 After I made the linesketch I scanned it and made this quick digitally coloured version using GIMP.
I tried several trees and fabrics, but in the end I liked this compostion.

But the first version painting had the wrong colours, I had to redo most colours three times.
And it was quite painstaiking work to get rid of te blue patterns, they kept shimmering through the yellow colours.

In the end I am pleased with the outcome, even though I still see possible improvements.
It's time to move on.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The painter

At the barbeque this weekend Bob, my son in law, remarked that painters should either paint on easels or in houses.
(meaning I look funny when I draw standing outside). The Dutch word for easel is "ezel", which also means donkey.

Which led to this quick sketch.

Een schilder schildert op een ezel of in een huis.
Dus waarom niet op een ezel in een huis.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Oldsmobile Toronado

Also made during the Cruise-in meeting in Brunssum, a quick sketch of a 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado.
Very long and sleek, this american beauty.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Dodge Coupe 1937

I felt the urge to draw cars again. So this evening I went to visit the Cruise-in again, it's the weekly meeting of American and vintage car owners in Brunssum. Always a nice batch of old and not so old cars.
This is a gem: an 1937 Dodge Coupé, in beautiful chestnut brown. It had the hood open, so you could see the well restored motor. 
Like always I attracted a lot of attention at drawing in the wild, but they know me there by now. It's always nice to talk with the owners, they are always very dedicated to their cars.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Glass vase

My latest glass works piece. A vase for three flowers.
Layered sheet glass with enamel coloured layers in between, tack-fused. Tack-fused means fused at a lower temperature. In this way the sheets are not completely molten into each other, and still visible as separate sheets.
The flowers are there only for show, I notice that the holes practically impossible to clean, too small.
So live flowers will not be possible. I have started with some glass flowers, and will use a new technique called Pâte de verre. It was time to move on after a few Tack-fused objects.