With my children, looking at the poetic lines of Snowdonia’s green hills, I have a vision of us living in a place of such beauty, in such a cottage as our holiday home. We have chickens, a mountain brooklet running past our house, rabbits, a big garden with fruit trees and a large patch of vegetables. A world in which every now and then I can escape the household tasks simply by walking into the woods with my sketchbook or easel and enjoy the silence.
But as I hold Artemisia’s chubby legs and feel the comforting effects of letting my imagination loose, the idyll is rudely interrupted by the deafening sound of a jet plane flying between the hills for the sixth time that day.
Screams. Children panic. The magic of the moment is completely ruined.
Maybe we should not move here after all. But for a two week vacation it was perfect and a big source of artistic inspiration!
I could not find the time to capture my surroundings in paint, except for a few quick sketches, but all the beauty is safely stored in my head as memories I hope to translate in imaginative watercolors as soon as I’m done with my present projects.
Although I was often moved almost to tears by the melancholy atmosphere of the Welsh mountains, with their rusty, purple and green hues alternating each other harmoniously as in a fair isle sweater, I could not help feeling a bit home sick too.
It was not a sad feeling, no, more a relieving one. I came to the conclusion that, apparently, the home I have so often complained about gives me great joy. The rhythm I found between work and family, the diversity of projects I’m working on right now and looking forward to and, most importantly, the friends I made through sending my eldest to the pre school, make my living space nicer than ever. I realize that focussing on that which I have not, brings me only feelings of dissatisfaction and pushes me to compare my situation to that of others. On the other hand, being aware of all the happiness and beauty in my life, makes me energetic and productive. Only now I’m discovering how powerful positive thinking can be and how it helps me to channel my artistic inspiration.
As if I am rewarded for my optimistic attitude, my life is flooded by many exciting new things!
On September 3rd there was the opening of an important exhibition at Galerie Bonnard, Nuenen, where for the first time my large imaginative paintings were shown. Also, in the months after Artemisia’s birth I worked very hard on new water colours and oil paintings for this show and I’m very proud of what I have been producing while also spending a lot of time with my baby. On the day of the opening three paintings were sold and one was of a very personal nature, starring me and Efisio in the woods. Seeing people reacting so positively on these new works that differ from the alla prima landscapes and still lives I often made, means a lot to me.
You can still visit the gallery and see the show till
October 1, don’t miss it!
I am looking forward to finish the pictures for the book about sheep Brebella when I find the chance, but suddenly a lot of people seem to want portraits and of course, commissions go first. One commission especially is a very exciting one and you’ll definitely hear about it when it is finished.
At the beginning of September school began and it was time for both my children to go to the pre school/daycare together. For the first time in years, I found the wonderful sensation of having time to spend on my painting or anything creative at home, undisturbed.
That’s right, I have cleared my studio in Groningen, so you will see me in a completely other setting in my next YouTube video. Many of you may recognize the energizing feeling of having a new space to work in and make your own! I am overwhelmed by the inspiration I get from it!
The first project in this new studio is a commission for my first mural. Near my home place there is an outdoor swimming pool and I was recently asked to do a sketch for a painting on a huge container near the pool. Quite naturally the idea came to me to draw a colourful scene with water birds chilling in the water and under the parasols near the waterside. A group of high school girls is going to do the actual painting, so I made my line drawing neat and easy to colour. Here you see the initial colour sketch.
I can’t wait to share with you the painting and drawing of commissions and personal projects, so be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I share most of my progress. Till next time!