During the pandemic, our collective lives shifted to a quieter pace. When everyone suddenly had to start working from home, we decided to put my studio out of the house, and set up an office. At that time I signed myself up for a tiny little studio in another part of Utrecht and started trying to process the reality of our new lives. The themes are everything, and largely uncomfortable topics: Wildfires, Corona, & Political divisions. I had originally set out to do one for each month of 2020, but that fell into the soup before the year was out. I sort of lost track of time and did them out of order, but really, who cares? Dates are such arbitrary markers of the passage of time. Although, if you look for it in the titles, you'll find the original idea. Here in photos, may I present to you: The 2020 headlines series.
I just finished a lovely assignment for a couple who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, and the blushing bride her 50th year on earth in the same year. Her best friends decided to go in on a very personal gift: a painting from me!
For several years running, I have had the privilege of designing and painting the set design for our kids' primary school musicals. When I first started doing it, the parents had traditionally come up to school in the evenings to do it for the kids. I quickly recognized that in order to be a self-sustaining system, I would have to get the kids involved in the process. Over the following years I gradually got the kids involved. At first I guided them under my sole direction, and then I started enlisting the help of other parents to come up to the school to guide the students while they learn how to lift heavy objects together, apply paint with roller brushes, measure & draw lines, and stay within the lines while painting the smaller details. Gradually, I helped shift the balance towards giving kids that feeling of accomplishment! This year, now my own youngest child is in Group 8, I'm proud to say that the kids did almost all of the work! I've also created a how-to manual for future generations to be able to continue in this new tradition.
4 years ago I did a large composite drawing for Cafe Lombok, but it was due for an update because so many changes to our skyline have happened the intervening years. There are 7 new 'elements' to find (go see it in person!), and I was also invited to draw their pantry door, too. All in all, I'm pleased with the results and enjoyed working with my hands again. After so much studying to become an English teacher, I'm glad to see I haven't lost the touch!
Each year for the past 4 years I have guided Group 8 students to paint their own musical decor from sketch to completion in about 1 week. It's always great fun, and such rewarding work that it's one of the main reasons I decided to go into teaching. This year's script was called "Betoeterd".
Last summer, I could not resist helping out with this great project! I was invited by local artists Marij Nielen and Sandra Westgeest to help put a couple insects designed by students from the Catharijnepoort school to be painted on a building looking over the Cremertuin, a local community garden.
3rd annual Art Bike Parade at the Schimmelpleinfest. Thanks all for coming out & especially to the ABP team for organizing, and congratulations to this year's winners: Rainbowbike, Silverfish & Strawberrybike! Honorable mentions went to: DragonRocket, Art Car & PostAirplane.
This past winter I was contacted by some neighbors who gave me the delightful challenge of depicting the Utrecht skyline as seen from the Vleutenseweg. They wanted to mark the passage of time together in their beautiful home as well as supplement their burgeoning art collection. I took the opportunity to show the current relationship of (our) neighborhood and it's proximity to the city while the nearby Central Station area is undergoing a dramatic, decades-long transformation. As such, the scenery is constantly changing as the developments come ever closer to our collective doorsteps. I was careful to show the train line and tram, characteristic buildings & a few subtle cultural and political statements that the viewer can spend time considering their interconnected complexities, and will hopefully continue to enjoy looking back on such points of contention after time has worked it's magic to soften all the rough edges. Many thanks to Marielle and Ferjan, with a wish to you of many years of viewing pleasure to come
Recently, I was invited to illustrate a young couple's relationship through their shared experiences around Utrecht landmarks, leading up to and including completing it by live drawing them at their wedding! The assignment included many beloved icons of the Utrecht skyline, such as the Tivoli Oude Gracht, where they first met, to their first date at restaurant LE:EN on the Vaartsche Rijn, a quick tour through their first neighborhood, and where they bought their first home together too... and no Utrecht tableau would be complete without the Dom Tower! The centerpiece of the work is, of course, the marriage. I enjoyed getting to know them and discovering little personal details I could add in to their piece. Many thanks to Michèlle and Jasper, I hope you continue to enjoy your illustrious (pun intended!) past as you look forward to the future!
at Schimmelplein Festival 2016, Utrecht.
This year we formed a real working team, brought out some amazing new trophies, to be re-used every year. we are also making organisational notes to streamline the process for future parades. Big thanks and congratulations for a successful parade to the organizing team: Bethany Bartran, Okke de Koninck & Sandra Westgeest, and much appreciated additional support from The Schimmelplein Beheergroep, Marieke Eelman, Eemke Koppelman and Saskia Kluit!