Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Saturday I made a little tour through our surroundings, visited Stolberg, in Germany just south of Aachen. About 40km from my home, but I had never visited it before. There is a fantastic medieval castle on top of the hill, and steep roads with small typical houses, rising up the slope.
It was still winter there; I looked for a sheltered place to draw and found a little roofed guardpost. But the wind was cold, and my fingers froze; even my fountainpen stopped running. I had practically finished the inkdrawing, but had to do the paintwork at home.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Portrait "toetsen"

Art class; purpose of this exercise was to make a portrait of a (live) model in which the brush strokes must remain visible. The strokes had to be a little transparent to have the colours working in layers. This was the best of the three paintings I made in two hours. Acrylic on carton, about 50x60cm.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Our group (almost all)

A quick sketch of our sketchcrawl group of last saturday. I drew them while we were drinking coffee. Missing in this drawing are my brother (a small revenge: he commented last time that there was no resemblance) and myself.
As I stated last time: resemblance was not really the goal, in these kind of quickies you do well if only one or two really look like the person at hand.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Ikea pots and plants

Ikea has a large department with green stuff, pots and plants. It proved to be a real challenge: it looks like a colourful part, but all these 50 shades of green are difficult to paint. At least to make an interesting painting. I drew and painted most of it on location, but had to adapt a few parts at home.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Ikea seats and pillows

This is the first of my sketches of the sketchcrawl at the Ikea. One of the advantages of drawing there is that you can find a decent table and chairs to sit on while drawing. This was a quick sketch of the seats and pillows department. I left out the people walking by, the walkway was between my table and this scene.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Timeline: January

A new year, a new project.
This year I am planning to make a drawing each month, based on an image in the newspaper or on the internet that hit be somehow. I am planning to do this every 15th of the month (an arbitrary date, it's just the date that this idea came up). I hope that in december these 12 pictures will tell something of the year that has passed. I will choose the images on their graphic quality, and they will be done in black/white with simple coloured area's.
This is a striking image of French soldiers landing in Mali. When looking for it I found as much as 4 different versions of this picture. Original photo by Eric Feferberg.

Sketchcrawl 38, Ikea

I organized another sketchcrawl yesterday, we had so much fun!
We went to the Ikea this time, a good idea considering the cold winter weather.
It's such a nice location to sketch: cosy corners, fresh colours, beautiful objects, and a nice restaurant for the coffee break.
The participants: Kelsey, Rene, Jos, Jacqueline, Pim, Luc, Roger en Tineke.

For the results see our special sketchcrawl blog:

Friday, 18 January 2013

Burg. Damenpark, Geleen

Winter in the Netherlands.
One of the pleasures of being an architect is passing one of "my" buildings every day, and seeing it is used as I meant it to be.
I designed this bandstand in the Burgemeester Damenpark in Geleen some 15 years ago, and it's still there in good order, and being used regularly. Of course I mean regularly used in summer; in winter it's standing silently in the snow.
I got out of my car wednesday morning to draw some pencil lines, but had to proceed to the office. Too cold to draw anyway.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sketchcrawl Ikea

Next saturday I organize a sketchcrawl in Heerlen.
At the Ikea, woonboulevard Heerlen.
A sketchcrawl is an international sketching event, held in about 200 places worldwide.
Check this site for our version: 

If you're interested, we will meet at January 19th, 13.00 hours, at the the IKEA main entrance at the info desk on the right hand side of the main staircase.

Ik organiseer weer een sketchcrawl Limburg op zaterdagmiddag 19 januari. Dit keer bij de Ikea, woonboulevard Heerlen.
Heb je zin, we verzamelen op zaterdag 19 januari om 13.00 uur bij de hoofdingang. Bij de info balie aan de rechterkant van de hoofdtrap.
Deelname is gratis, voor niks, niente, nada, zip.
Meer info zie 

Misschien tot ziens.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Oudezijds voorburgwal

Remember that I posted a drawing of a public urinal somewhere in Belgium, thinking they are becoming extinct?
I found another one, in Amsterdam, on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, next to the Oude Kerk (old church).
In the heart of the red light district.

I am told everyone calls them "de krul" (the curl), quite obvious that name.

Funny: there are two small statues on each side of the entrance, depicting a man doing what he has to do.

It was freezing when I drew this; I painted it in a nice warm café a few minutes later.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Einstein on the beach

Yesterday evening I visited the Opera "Einstein on the beach", music by Philp Glass, direction Robert Wilson.

It's an opera taking 4 1/2 hours without breaks, performed in the Muziektheater in Amsterdam.

It's all about slow moving scenes, ballet, texts, visuals and patterns of the "actors" and stage, with repetitive somewhat minimal music in the hypnotizing Philip Glass style.
Sometimes you would sit through 20 minutes of looking at a simple light beam moving from one side to the other.

Back in 1979 I lived in Amsterdam, the piece was on the radio one evening, and I was thunderstruck. It was my first encounter with modern "classic" music, and it has been my favourite music piece of all times since.
But that was the music, the theater performance I only knew by reputation.

I have waited 35 years for this, and it even surpassed my expectations.
Even my son, not really into that kind of music, could not keep his eyes from the scene, and sat though the opera without even taking a break.

I am still enthralled.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Second set of drawings of last Saturday.
Above an assortment of old and new floats and objects, as found and drawn on location. Floats, that's how Carnaval wagons are called in English (according fellow USK sketcher Virginia, from LA-California).

Also a sketch of the group "Noebele" working on their float.
I am not too pleased about that drawing, persons are drawn too stiff .
The penguins are from last years float, which had as theme Hollywood. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Carnaval: optochthal

Optochthal, I don't even know how to translate this: "parade warehouse"?
Anyway, Carnaval is approaching fast, it will be around February 10th, and the preliminaries are in progress everywhere.
I visited a local warehouse where the parade wagons are made; there were a lot of people working on different wagons.
The whole place was crammed with objects, there must be at least 60 wagons, old and new, in store or in the process of being assembled.
I made a few drawings on location, this is the group "Vanalbijee" (translated from our local dialect that means "assembled from all sorts").
They are making a wagon with the theme "bakery". The clown-like baker will hover over a huge assortment of breads, "vlaaien" (a local variety of flat fruitcakes), cakes and cupcakes.
They were still welding and covering the structure with papier maché.

Optochthal van Hoensbroek/Heerlen, de groep Vanalbijee (van alles bijelkaar) druk aan het lassen aan hun carnavalswagen. Er waren daar minstens 60 wagens in die hal, geweldig.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Chemelot from the fence

Back to work again. Still having my office at the Chemelot Chemical plant in Geleen.
As I arrive and leave in the dark, I can only make drawings near my working place. I made this view from the parking lot, sitting in my car and listening to the new Muse album.
Actually, I sat there for two successive evenings, yesterday evening the light dissappeared way too fast to finish the drawing. I was lucky the same parking place was available today.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


First, best wishes for the new year, may it be a good and healthy one.

I know, a bit late, but here are the sketches of the "sinterklaas" surprises I prepared for my family and their partners.
All have a story linked to events that happened last year.
For example, Rianne now lives and studies in London. She uses a bike there, but being Dutch she does not use the usual flashing lights, yellow safety jackets and helmets. So I prepared an UK-helmet with christmas lights, to help her assimilate in London.

The  wooden voodoo-foot (full size, I cut it myself from a piece of firewood) was meant for my wife; it refers to the fact that the doctors could not find an origin and cure for the achilles injury she has since summer.
And Brenda and Bob received some jokes as well. I'll have to start thinking about next year.