Have a wonderful 2009 everybody!!!
Monday, 29 December 2008
I made another watercolour today. This is a Prunus in my garden. It flowers from November until April. I made a coloured pencil drawing of it once and I like the tree so much, I thought I'd try a watercolour too. I love my Winsor & Newton "Opera Rose"....
Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis'
about 15 x 4 cm, watercolour on Fabriano designo 5 Liscia.
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Don't worry... This will not be a long post. Just to wish you all a merry Christmas and to thank you for all your kindness these last couple of months. I hope next year will be a very good one for all of you. Happy holidays to all of you :-)
Sunday, 21 December 2008
If you want to see the locations of these photo's you can also take a look at my map.
I arrived on Saturday. I left a cold and snowy Amsterdam around noon and two hours later I landed in Florence where the weather was mild and sunny. It’s like a different world. The country, the weather, the people…. Giovanni and Michela showed me a lot of their beautiful city and country.
On the first day they took me to Piazzale Michelangelo. From that point I had a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Also I could take this nice photo of Ponte Vecchio across the river Arno.
Near the Piazzale Michelangelo was a beautiful and very old (1015) Romanesque church. It’s the church of San Miniato al Monte. Impressive and beautiful, from the outside but also from the inside. It was Sunday and the church was packed with people, listening to a very old mumbling priest.
The next day it was raining but not very cold. Giovanni wanted to show me Villa il Gioiello, the house of Galileo Galilei in Arcetri near Florence. He had told me about this house and its history before and now I got to see it. The house isn’t open for public. There are only three keys to this house and Giovanni has one of them. It was a privilege to get in and see the house and gardens.
There’s no furniture in the house (that all went to museums) but that didn’t mind. The house is beautiful. Giovanni did some restoration work on this house, since it is owned by the University of Florence, for which he works as an architect.
After that we went to see the beautiful Palazzo Vecchio in the centre of Florence. The ceilings of this palazzo are all beautifully painted. Every little part of the ceiling is decorated. If I would stay a month in that museum I wouldn’t only have a very cramped neck but also I wouldn’t have seen half of the painted ceilings yet. And that’s not all because there are so much beautiful paintings on the walls as well.
The square where this palazzo is situated is also very nice. Next to the palazzo is the Uffizi museum (photo left) and also there is a sculpture gallery, Loggia dei Lanzi, where I could admire the famous Perseus bronze by Cellini (photo right).
Is this post getting too long? Well.... I'm not finished yet, there is much more....
Giovanni showed me a lot that week. I won't bother you with telling you all and showing my entire photo collection but there are some things I really want to share with you. Just skip it if you don't find it interesting enough. I will never know ;-)
He took me to see the Botanical Gardens of Florence. He showed me the old greenhouses he restored last year. The plants were inside for the winter and that was very nice to see. Outside Giovanni and the director showed me a very old (203 years) oak tree, Quercus suber. Beautiful and impressive.
Another museum we visited that week was The Museum of Opificio delle Pietre Dure. In this museum are a lot of mosaics made of semi-precious stones. The style is typical for Florence. At first I didn’t think very much of it. It is not my style at all. But when you think that it’s all made with stones and you see how beautiful they captured the shades and textures of the subjects. It is truly amazing to see.
Michela and Giovanni took me also to the beautiful old town of Monteriggioni. It is situated on a hill near Siena in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany. It is extremely old and I suppose in the summertime packed with tourists. Now it was almost December and there were not much people walking around.
The sun was shining and we had a good lunch outside in the townsquare. Olives were being harvested and we had nice walk around the village.
All in all I had a wonderful week. I will definitely be back to see more of Italy, Tuscany, Florence and of course Michela and Giovanni. Not to mention all the other nice people I met while I was there… Thanks Giovanni for inviting me :-)
Friday, 12 December 2008
In the tagging game on Flickr (blogged about that a few days ago) I tagged my friend Franny B. (she also has a great Blog called Whetnall Watercolours). It turns out she tagged me first, but in a different "game". This tag is about blogs and I'm sorry Cecca that I've missed it entirely.... whoops...
So now after a long period of waiting here are my 7 facts about me and the rules of the game of course:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog
2. Share 7 interesting/random facts about yourself on your blog
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, leaving their names as well as links to their blog
4. Leave a comment on each of their blogs to let them know they've been tagged!
1) After reading Cecca's list, the first thing that springs to mind is that I danced for our queen and her family once on Queensday (April 30 1986 or 1987 or something). The queen was a bit in a hurry so she didn't stay long to watch us perform(my dance group) but her sons and nephews stayed for much longer and didn't want to walk on to the next stop (old people making baskets or something). The princes had to be dragged away from us ;-)
2) I live in the North of the Netherlands and I love it. I've lived in Breukelen (near Utrecht), Amsterdam and Duiven (near Arnhem) but living in the northern part of this country is the best! People are calm, some would say maybe a bit grumpy, or even slow. I like the people here and most of all the beautiful "countryside" (horrible word). It is flat, wide, open, windy and you can often breathe in the air of the sea.
3) I want too much. It might be a good thing but it also can be a big problem. My head is filled with plans and ideas but I never seem to have enough time or energy to do things.
4) One of things I really would love to do is to make a little book with drawings typical for the Wadden area/Schiermonnikoog. I haven't decided yet if it would be a coloured pencil book or a graphite pencil book or even both.
5) The thing that helped me most to become the artist that I am right now is a botanical art course in the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden. It introduced the beauty of botanical art and it really opened my eyes after a lot of difficult years.
6) I've been depressed for a lot of years, there... I said it.... I've had a lot of difficult years starting when I was about 18 years old. Since 5 years I'm doing very well and my art is a big part of my happiness.
7) I'm a Flickr addict. Flickr turned out to be such a great place to meet so many lovely and interesting people from all around the globe... Like Cecca for instance ;-)
7 blogs that are now tagged too:
Joan Y: http://drawingonnature.blogspot.com/
The photo is a bit blurred because it's behind glass and I only have my small camera here.... I forgot to scan it before....
Coloured pencil drawing, 15x10 cm (about)
Thursday, 11 December 2008
If you are tagged (like I was) you’re supposed to upload the 5th image in your 5th folder of your images folder on your computer. Drop this photo in the group “I’ve been tagged” and tag 5 other flickr people.
For some it is great fun I guess. Well I did my duty and dropped my 5th of the 5th in the group and tagged 5 others. This is my photo, another selfportrait (but this time it’s in colour):
Naturally I got some comments on this. Including a comment on one of the labels/tags I added to this photo (which was “Siggy Piggy”). My friend Michiel commented that he liked Siggy Piggy so much. Thanks Michiel. But let me explain where it comes from….
On Flickr I have another friend. His alias is Norfolkboy1. He loves it to be rude and hard and funny in his comments. Most of the time he is only rude on his own photostream I’m happy to say. It’s not really rude in a negative kind of way… actually he is a very loving and kind man (although he would never admit that in public, but I know he’s very nice). I love to tease him back, and that’s how it goes…
In our comments he makes it some sort of a sport to call me silly names. And the big challenge is to think of a new name for me every time. In the past few months I’ve been called a lot of things. Here are most of them:
Siggy Piggy, little pedant porker, little piglet, little limp wristy sigry, Sigpig, Siggry, Sagred van Porkmeister, Dutch Dingbat, Frenzied, low country, low life, Mrs. Frenzied, Sigrismoaner, Dumb Dutch Doodle Doer, dumb porcine personage, picolino porker sigrissimo, swine Sigristolamaniac, Snortmeister, little porker, kleine schwine, SigridPigrid, Sigristomania, little clog clad mate, porker, Sig, little miss troublemaker, Sigrid Frenzied, little snorter, Dutch type person, Sigrismaniac, Frensen features, little miss piggy-in-the-middle, cloggy, Sigrid Van Friesland, Sigrid van Cloggsmania, Auntie Sigmaniac, clever clogs, dopey dutch dingbat, cheeky Dutch monkey (?), Dutch type person, The Dutch vandal, Frendless, Sigrett, Signorina, Auntie Sigmania, Siggypigs, Auntie Sigridstein, little monkey, little cloggy friend, Siggy Wiggy, Sigristothemill, clever clogs Frenzied, Stalker Bird, Sacrid, Sacred, cheeky little low country monkey, clever clogs, Dijk trechter(?), Sigrafitti, Auntie Sigfriedline, Seegreed, Stig, Sagrid, Sigristtio, Auntie Startingrid, Sigrismondeo, Sigrismunda van cloggysville, Sigrisio Van Nederlandio, little cloghopper Sigristti, Sigismunda, Sigrissimo, miss Sigrismunda van Clogmeister, Sigismunda Clogoxantia, Nederlander troublemaker, cloghopper, sad eyed lady from the lowlands.
Pick your favorite ;-)