Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Day on the Heath

Today we spent a wonderful day on the heath…. the Hulshorsterzand.

After breakfast this morning Dorri packed a picnic-lunch and we were off.

About six kilometers from where Coert and Dorri live we went to a heath that Coert helped restore (by clear-cutting 18 acres) some ten years ago.

I had a wonderful time just setting up my easel and painting for a few hours.

While I was busy Coert and Dorri were either taking walks in the area or reading in the shade. Dana & Christiaan were busily working on their paintings.

With the heather in full bloom I was reminded of how much I love this landscape..... to see the horizon and all the colors in between.
See the pictures below (click on them for full-sized image):

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My First Week in Holland

During this last week I have been observing (and enjoying) the typical Dutch atmosphere.

I have been to Friesland with Dorri to visit her mother enjoying the landscape on the way. One of the excursions on this day was to a distillery in the town of Sneek where they produce the regional “bitter”.

I went swimming with my grandchildren, Dana and Christiaan, went out to dinner with my brothers and spent quite some time on the bicycle on our trips back and forth to Harderwijk…. Averaging ten to 12 kilometers a day.

Today, Saturday, is market day in Harderwijk. We all went to town with saddlebags. Coert even had a little trailer so their dog Esra wouldn’t have to run all the way.

Luck would have it that today was the annual “Flag-day” for the traditional fishing fleet.

The whole harbour was full of old fashioned fishing boats, people in traditional dress, stands showing and selling the lost arts of basket weaving, net-making, broom-tying.

I think the pictures below should be self-explanatory by now:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Arrival in the Netherlands (no weeds in the yard)

Coert, Dorri and the children picked me up at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam Saturday morning. We were back at their house in Hierden by lunchtime. Of course I'm here to celebrate Coert's birthday.... today actually.

Yesterday (Sunday) Coert and Dorri had a bunch of people over for drinks. I didn't get to making any pictures of the festivities that lasted late into the evening. Maybe for the better.

What I did make a picture of is what I saw over the hedge in the neighbor's yard.
I was very surprised to see five well kept pot plants growing there.
Coert told me his neighbor has the right to have five plants for personal use and he is exercising that right with enthusiasm. Although his partner is apparently not that enthused about it.

Myself only once ever trying but never having inhaled the stuff was proud to have recognized the plants.

Thought the folks over by the North Bend might get a kick out of this….

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peter's 72nd Birthday

Peter's 72nd birthday was a weekend of joy.
It all started friday night with our weekly cocktail party. Everybody was there.
We had cake and sang happy birthday in Dutch and English.
Saturday a Dutch friend we had not seen for seventeen years unexpectedly arrived with her husband and two teenagers. As they arrived late we orderd pizza and we had a nice evening catching up and watching the Olympics on the new t.v. Peter got for his birthday.
Victor, our 14 year old guest from the Netherlands, had installed it. We had tried but could not get a picture.Sunday morning Cornalijn, Paul and kids came to be there when the candles were blown out on the birthday cake. Now there was eleven of us. Our dutch guest Corlijn (12 years) old made a painting of my granddaughterLillian. Daniel helped blow out the birthdaycake. We all went for a walk in the backyard to visit my 'thinking rock' (meditation place). While we were on our walk Peter's cousin Bill and his wife Carol had arrived. It was so festive to have so many people around. We all made dinner and had another long evening with lots of laughing and singing. Our friends from the Netherlands left for the Niagra Falls on Monday afternoon.....but not before having seen a Cardinal, an Oriol, Hummingbirds, snakes, squirrils chipmunks.

Now it's time to get ready and pack my suitcase to go visit my son and his family in the Netherlands. I will be there just in time for his birthday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Re: Where Are My People of Chilmark?

Almost a year ago now I deliverd a commissioned copy of Thomas Hart Benton's "People of Chilmark" to a buyer in Los Angeles. This buyer ended up selling the painting because at its original size (65x77 inches or 166x197cm) it was larger than he had anticipated...

Since then I have been trying to find out where this painting was.... because I wanted to know.
I had heard that it was sold to a restaurant or club but nothing was for sure so I posted missing painting report with a reward on this blog and saturated CraigsList in L.A. with want ads.

Just a couple of weeks ago the original buyer (Jim) was at a flea market in Los Angeles and recognized person who bought the painting from him. Jim knew I was trying to locate "People of Chilmark".
Jim was bold enough to approach the man, Ronald, and told him the whole story of my search
It turns out that Ronald is a art collector. After buying the painting from Jim he had the canvas stretched and framed.
Ronald and I had a wonderful telephone conversation. I am very delighted with this happy ending. Thanks to everyone helping with the search and being supportive!
The findersfee goes to Jim.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Keeping Busy

Besides being very busy in the flower and the vegetable garden. I have been painting.
Here a vase with sunflowers. At 24x36 inches this is a large painting.
The vase they are in is one of my WorcesterWare vases. I made a series of six of these vases in 1990. Most of them were later made into lamps. See the second photo for detail.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

North Bend Garden

Gardening this year started out as quite the challenge.

All the water this spring got me off to a late start.... and the those !@#$%^coyotes that had been taking my chickens have left and been replaced by wild rabbits that ate all of the seedlings as they came up.
Since reinforcing the garden fence with chicken wire and replanting pretty much everything the ball has been rolling in a positive direction.

In this picture you see that I have help from friends..... "crop-sharers"instead of "share-croppers".
In the third picture you can see how fast everything is growing.
Note the sunflowers, they are not blooming yet, but see how tall they are.
We have already harvested several meals of summer-squash, little tomatoes, swiss chard, cucumbers, eggplant and even a pepper. All this besides the regular herbs. The pole beans "Kentucky wonders" are blooming. I like those a lot because of the red flowers. The hummingbird visits them a couple of times a day. ... You can set your watch by it.
Last but not least note the new fence. I am enlarging the garden for next year.

Friday, August 8, 2008

.... Bringing it back to me

This year I discovered a new nursery hidden out on Route 56 in Rutland called Southern Exposure Nursery. Most of my garden annuals and vegetables came from there.this year.
Tracy , the woman who works there is so nice, and so beautiful. We asked her to pose for the portrait group.
They have a
Southern Exposure website so you can have a look.

I made a painting of the place but I am not very happy with it. The painting is too wide and the righthandside is just too much.
I do love the middle though, with the little yellow shed under the shade of a big tree. On the left I tried to get the colors of the flowers as much as I could.

Anyway, I bet when I look at it in January I will like it.