A business trip to Goslar (Germany) again. As it is early dark, and I was travelling with colleagues, I had no chance to go into town and make a drawing of the beautiful houses over there.
So what was left is this early morning view from my hotel room window. I made this in about 10 minutes, and added some touchups later that day in the car driving home (I was not driving).
I hope to be able to do better sketches next time.
Another glass project that I have been working on this new year. After making stained glass, leaded windows, and glass objects, I went to experiment with glass fusion.
This object is about 30 cm high, an abstraction of a city scape. It was my first attempt at glass fusion: I made it to find out how enamel colours behave when pushed to mingle in between sheets of glass. And what it looks like after its melted together.
As example: the left part consist of four sheets of plain glass, one with enamel in three colours in between, the other with aluminium and copper foil, and one with (special) wire in between.
I am going to use this experience in the next object.
On my birthday, yesterday, I treated myself and my son Mart and daughter Rianne to a modern opera: Akhnaten, by composer Philip Glass. It was performed yesterday evening in Antwerpen.
Absolutely superb (the pictures are not mine, these were found on the internet by Annemie Augustijns).
The music of Aknathen (together with Einstein on the beach) has always been my favourite piece of music.
The opera was about the life of Aknathen, a Egyptian Pharaoh, who arguably "invented" the monotheism.
At least he was the first to accept the idea of a common God, called Aten, instead of the previous worshipping of countless lesser gods, stars, moons and suns.
The last of the carnival drawings, like the previous one this one was made during the "Konkours van de zaate herremeniekes". There were a lot of sambabands playing in the streets, at least five of them. This one is Passatempo, a very good and colourful band. I made the drawing on location, and talked with the drummers afterwards. Here is a picture showing some members of the band.
Today is the last day of Carnaval, for some a good reason to go for the last mile, but not for me. I went back to work today.
Luckily my office at present is in Maastricht, so after work I went into town, to visit the "konkoers vaan de zaate herremeniekes" (to be translated as: the musical battle of the drunken brassbands).
All carnaval brassbands and samba bands assemble on the main square "Vrijthof" and play for the BIG prize: eternal glory. Everyone wins of course.
I was able to draw and paint a few sketches, one of this fantastic dressed up group. As you can see my drawing does not even come close to the purple beauty of reality.
More parades, today was Heerlen (Hoensbroek, my home town is part of the municipality of Heerlen).
Over 200 colourful groups walked the parade today. They had started at 12.15 PM, and when we left at about 16.30 there were still some 30 numbers to go.
Yesterdays parade was about elaborate floats and huge numbers of dancing youth. Today's parade was about bizarre and baroque dressed up groups with less elaborate floats.
Anyway, I drew and painted this on location. I had to work fast, as the group would continue to pass, and I had to capture the image within something like two minutes.
Carnaval is here again. Today we visited the first of the carnaval parades, this time in Meers, near Stein.
My daughter Rianne lives there now. They had a very long and good parade, especially if you consider that it's a tiny village. And we had nice weather: a bleak but already warm sun.
At a certain point the parade came to a halt, which gave me the opportunity to sketch and paint this scene on location: a float of the group: "de Flierefluiters" from Stein.
This post is the blogpost number 1000.
A regular milestone, I never thought I would be doing blogging for such a long time. Or sketching for that matter.
I started exactly 8 years ago, in February 2007. And this is really pure coincidence: my first post was about "Cowrunning". Back in those days I was still captain of a running team, and I remember we won that year the B-I-G prize.
And guess what: tonight the tournament was held again, as starter for the Carnaval weekend.
Unfortunately I cannot participate, our team fell apart three years ago, but I still enjoy watching the spectacle. This drawing was made on location, but painting the sketch did not work: too cold and too crowded.
I am ready for the next 1000 posts.
The last few drawings of the Brussels Autoworld sketchcrawl.
Above just to prove that you can draw more than just the exterior of cars. It's the engine of a huge Minerva firetruck, and the pumps on the front bumper. Impressive.
And the bottom one is a Belgian car: a 1925 FN sportscar. A fun to draw.
One of my most favourite artists is Terry Miura. (Check out his blog: full of useful information http://terrymiura.blogspot.nl/). He describes this technique of "lost and found": when painting try to change reality into abstraction, but to the point where it loses its meaning. Then go beck one step.
It sounds easy, but it isn't. Where do you loosen the edges, how does colour behave, what is the relation between background and subject. I never expected it was so hard to do.
I introduced the technique in our Master class, and here is the first result of yesterday morning live model session. More to come.
Another car at display in Brussels: an Amphicar from the 60s. It was both a car and a boat.
What makes this car so intersting for me is that it was the vehicle of kapitain Zeppos, a youth TV series from the mid 60s. Not a Dutch series, but a Flemish (Belgium) one. I loved that series, even though it was probably badly acted in our present day eyes. Well, Kapitein Zeppos drove this car. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEW7tqT9bN0
Two more Autoworld sketches from the sketchcrawl.
The top one is a tricycle from 1927, a French Darmont. It was a car built in license from the English Morgan manufacturer. I once talked to an owner in a vintage car rally, these cars are very tiny. The driver woild hit the passenger in the ribcage when steering this thing.
The other is a French Cottereau from 1904. It was displayed as if in a garage.
Marsha, our beloved cat, died this afternoon. She was 18 years old, a respectable age for a cat.
She was a real part of our house, for my (adult) children she has been part of the family as long as they can remember.
She had a very active life: our big garden was her unending joy.
But the last two weeks she was only a shadow of her former being: she didn't eat, didn't mow and didn't clean herself anymore. And her movements were very stiff. Yesterday, when I made this picture, she could only stare out of the windows for a few minutes before she dozed away exhausted.
Mart en Rianne dropped by to say farewell.
For a change I did not organise a sketchcrawl myself, but accepted Corinne's invitation to join the Belgian Sketchcrawl in Brussels. As it is winter we went to the indoor Autoworld. A feast of drawing cars.
Here you see the assembled group of sketchers, regular visitors may recognise Gerard Michel, Florian Afflerbach, Arno Hartgens, Fabien Denoel and Corinne herself. And so many others that I had the pleasure to meet and admire their interesting work. We had a fantastic day.
The top drawing is a Cord, an American car from the 30s. For that time a very sophisticated design with innovative features: among others front wheel drive, a supercharged engine and retractable headlights. And quite difficult to draw I tell you. More drawings of cars to follow.
I borrowed some tissue with fibers into it, and glued it into my A4 moleskine with acrylic binder.
Then added watercolour, which flowed with this nice result. The watercolour went its own way, it was hard to steer. But that was the fun part of it.
A few more sketches from Spain. One from Altea, a little white village on top of a hill with view to the Mediterranean sea. E beautiful walk to the top.
And a sketch on one of the terraces of the senior English guy sitting next to us. I don't think he noticed us, he was rather focused on the big screen with English championship soccer and pints of beer. All terraces in Benidorm have huge screens showing either soccer or darts.
What I do for a living.
Together with the dutch organisation "feed design lab", Tebodin organizes a symposium on animal and livestock nutrition. It will focus on the use of new technology, improved logistics and sustainability.
They asked me to illustrate the invitation to the symposium, cartoonwise. Here it is.
Yesterday I returned from a short business trip to Goslar, in the Harz, not far from Hannover.
On monday evening we had a cosy dinner with the client in an Italian restaurant. After the meal I made a short night walk through the beautiful town.
So yesterday late in the afternoon, the snow had gone but it was still freezing, I took the opportunity to make this quick sketch of the Kaiserpfalz, on location. The sketch is not very good, it was quite cold and a few flocks of snow made the paper too moist. But here it is anyway.