Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It is always some sort of a challenge to make a night painting. Working en-plein-air is very difficult because one does not have a neutral source of light to check if the colors on the painting are accurate. Using a camera can be helpful, but then it is also not possible to get the colors that one actually saw. For this painting I used a photograph as a starting point. But I had to go back at night to memorize the tones and colors.

River Amstel at Night
oil on canvas
30 x 40 cm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Recently I made this little oil sketch of a couple looking at the window of a jeweler shop. I you wonder why the man is bending over that much. Well, it's probably to check the price tags.

Jeweler Shop Window
18 x 24 cm
oil on canvas

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Amsterdam canal in the evening

This painting, I guess, shows my fascination for the city by night. The dusky old town with its electric lights reflecting in the water raises an atmosphere that is cozy and mysterious at the same time.

Oudezijds Voorburgwal in the Evening
oil on canvas
50 x 60 cm

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My former studio

It has been some time since I posted to this blog. Due to a thorough renovation of our appartment I had to move to a temporary address and after moving back again there was an awfull lot of backbreaking work to be done. The studio at the ground floor had to be transformed into a large living room and exposition space. I had found a new studio that suited my needs much better.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


A few days ago someone told me that a painting by my hand titled "Woman with hat" is going to be sold this month at auction house Korst & Van der Hoef in Den Bosch.
I could not remember what painting it was. Fortunately I could check an online cathalogue and there it was...

Of course I immediately recognized the little portrait I painted in 1980 of Rita who happened to be my girlfriend at that time. My relationship with her had not lasted very long. Mainly due to the fact that a gruesome experience in her past had caused an alcohol problem that appeared to be too serious for me to handle in the long run.

The painting is interesting not only because I painted it while being in love, but also because it is in fact the very first portrait I painted. And it was not bad at all.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Meeting Aldo

There are not too many contemporary painters whose works I admire. Aldo Balding (b. 1960) is definitely one of them. I got familiar with his typical style of painting because he is one of the artists connected to my wife's art agency. The progression of his work that I witnessed for a couple of years now, proves he is on the right track.
Last Thursday he came to Amsterdam after making preliminary sketches in Rotterdam for a portrait commission. We picked him up at the train station and walked home. He appeared to be a charming person with a good sense of humour. It was his first visit to Holland. The weather was very nice and I noticed he immediately registered the beauty of the sunlit old town centre. So we spend what was left of the afternoon walking along the canals making photographs. We talked a lot about painting and I got filled with joy. It appeared to be one of those rare occasions where one meets a congenial spirit. The next morning, on the way back from the airport, I felt sorry he could not stay longer. I am looking forward seeing him again. Maybe in the South of France where he lives and works.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Small Paintings

When I visited an art fair for figurative art lately I noticed that many gallerists tend to show very large canvasses that are often over two meters wide. I think they use it as a way to attract the attention of the public. If those paintings were well done, there is no problem of course, but often those huge paintings are weak and boring. Below is a photograph of such a huge painting.

A. Fuertes
50 x 210 cm

I think that using huge paintings merely to impress people is a pathetic approach of art combined with an underestimation of the public's ability to recognize quality. Some subjects ask for a large canvas, like Rembrandt's Night watch. Painting for instance a bowl with cherries blown up to a 3 x 3 meter canvas however seems somewhat overdone.

Many art collectors love small paintings. Not only because they are usually more affordable and take less space than large ones, but also because small paintings often are much more interesting in terms of intensity and painterly qualities. Small paintings can be sparkling little jewels. I remember a visit to the Sorolla Museum in Madrid, where I was especially struck by a number of very small but powerfull paintings by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida.

I like to paint small paintings, especially when I am painting outdoors and there is only limited time to complete the art work. But also in my studio I love to scribble away spontaneously on a small piece of cardboard for instance. The last one I did is shown below.

oil on cardboard
20 x 19 cm

Shown here is a family of, probably Italian, tourists studying their city-plans in order to find the way to the Anne Frank House or someplace similar. It is meant to evoke a feeling of being lost in a strange city and to make the viewer smile.

There go about 27 "Tourists" into one "Pears".

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