Occupy facebook

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I don’t know if it’s a ‘Dutch’ thing, or perhaps global; but I was requested to occupy facebook with art. And I didn’t dare to say no to that request. In fact; I really liked the idea, so I gladly joined the ‘facebook art-occupiers’, which sounds more serious than it was, actually.

How did it begin? Well, last month (or should I say; last year, for it was in December,..) the Dutch version of this ‘game’ appeared on my wall. It was a real nice surprise to see paintings from Pia Erlandsson, Annemarie Busschers and Peter Wever. All three of them contemporary, European artists, and all three of them interesting and beautiful. I liked the painting from Pia Erlandsson (a Swedish painter) the best, so I entered the game by liking this painting. (for those of you who don’t have a facebook-account; you are able to click the button ‘like’ if you like something someone posted on facebook :-D)

After liking this painting, my facebook friend, gave me the name of another artist: Udo Braehler. Now I was supposed to post a painting from Udo Braehler. So I searched on the internet to see what kind of artist he is, and I kinda understood why Udo Braehler was given to me: he creates religious art. And I, Master of religious studies, really love everything which has a connection to religion. But, just like Udo, I like non-religious art as well; so he also creates a great deal of non-religious artworks. In fact, I chose a non-religious artwork, called: After now. I would love to show it to you, but I’m afraid he’s got copyrights on his paintings, so I’ll advise you to visit his website. This is a link directly to the painting I chose. I chose this one for the colors (I like bright colors) and for the display of different techniques. You can see the use of print and paint, but he also works with ink, pencil, photo’s and epoxy. His website unfortunately doesn’t tell what specific kind of techniques were used for this particular painting, but I do like the end result.

Four people liked my post. So I was to give them names of painters, for them to post a painting of. I gave them Yossi Kotler, Steve Hanks, Justyna Kopania and RemziTaşkıran. All of them contemporary artists, who I got familiar with through pinterest. Awesome, right? How social media helps us to discover new art. I think it is.

It was sad though, that only one of the four facebook friends actually posted a work of art on their wall. But then again; even one work of art shared on facebook can make a difference. I bet a lot of people enjoyed the painting by Steve Hanks my friend posted. At least I did.

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Amsterdam Museum

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As I promised, I will give you a review of my visit to the Amsterdam Museum, last Thursday.

ImageIt was a rainy day, as you can see on the picture, but the museum was located in the center of the city, so there were plenty of tram stops nearby. The entrance is amazing. It’s just in the shopping center of the city. The location is very surprising; just in between two shops; there’s an alley and a gateway with the three crosses; which is the crest of Amsterdam. The gateway is very old, it belongs to the orphan house, in which the museum now is located.

It was kinda hard to find the entrance of the museum though, for all you see, when you enter the gateway, is a simple courtyard and a restaurant. But when you walk through the next gateway, you will find the entrance. (something simple, but I needed at least 10 minutes to find out,..)

Like I said in my earlier post, I visited the museum together with my son. (He’s on the pictures) So when we got to the counter, to get our tickets, the lady assumed we were planning to see the little orphanage. But I told her I wanted to see Saskia, for I read that the museum has the painting of Rembrandt’s wife on loan from the Washington’s National Gallery. And I wanted to see it. So, the lady explained to me where I could find the painting, but since my son actually was eager to see the little orphanage, we went to see that first.

ImageThe little orphanage was a nice surprise. It was built around the story of the life of Jurriaan Pool; a painter I actually didn’t know anything about. But, he grew up in the building which is now the Amsterdam Museum. The little orphanage shows how life was like, living in a 17th century orphanage. I actually had the feeling it should have been much more gruesome than the museum displayed. But, well,.. maybe it REALLY wasn’t that bad,.. For the museum told about the education the kids got, about the stables, the food, the medical care and the clothing in a child-friendly way.

The orphans lived in a big house which functioned as a little town, so they did not have a reason to leave the house. Jurriaan moved there, together with his sister, when he was three years old. His sister, however, had to live in another part of the orphanage. Girls and boys were strictly separated. The museum did tell this, but did not put much emphases on it, because, it actually is very sad. Having lost your mom and dad at the age of three is a horrible experience. And being separated from your sister, after this experience, makes it even worse, if you ask me.

But the museum did make the visitors believe the brother and sister had some kind of communication. By letter perhaps. Even though it is not very natural for a three year old to be able to write.

Anyhow. The little orphanage did not only tell the story of Jurriaan Pool, it also showed plenty of paintings of 17th century orphans. I only took one picture, which is not very clear, for the painting is just a little part of the picture. You can see it if you scroll up. The painting is behind the crack in the wall. The orphans were to be recognized by their red and black woolen cloths. None of the paintings in the little orphanage were real. It all were prints. The museum has a very obvious reason for displaying prints: the children visiting the little orphanage are allowed to touch everything, so real paintings from the 17th century would not last for long. But for me; I would have preferred real paintings, lol.

Just before the end of the tour through the little orphanage, we were told that Jurriaan was allowed to leave the orphanage, before the habitual age of 18 years. For the orphanage found him a painter who was willing to house and train him. They didn’t mention which painter, unfortunately.

ImageSo, Jurriaan became a painter. And the fact the orphanage was willing to arrange his apprenticeship, makes me believe the orphanage actually wasn’t as bad as I think it should have been,.. Jurriaan did not become a very famous painter,.. although a portrait of him and his wife is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. Which probably means he was important enough to be remembered.

When finishing the tour, one can see a real life painting (finally!) made by Jurriaan Pool. The picture is not very clear, (again) but you are able to see Jurriaan in the oval shape, right to the middle.

After visiting the little orphanage, we finally were able to visit Saskia. What can I say? It was typically Rembrandt. And at first sight I wondered why it took him about 3 years to finish this painting, for it isn’t very complicated or big. But perhaps he loved her so much, it was hard for him to work on the painting. I would understand, for I have been trying to create a portrait of my son a couple of times, and I just can’t be satisfied with the result. I love him so much; it needs to be perfect. If I would paint his portrait; it probably would take me 3 years to finish it, as well.

The history of Amsterdam in paintings

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Because my son will be free from school next Thursday, I decided to take him to a museum. Not because he likes it; it’s just because I like it and because he needs to be entertained in one way or the other.

That’s why I used the website of the Dutch museum card to see whether it was able to recommend me a museum which is suitable for kids AND has paintings. The website advised me to go to the Rijksmuseum or to the Amsterdam Museum. I know the Rijksmuseum, I love the Rijksmuseum and I would love to go there, but it is not suitable for kids. Or at least; not for my son. So I think I will visit the Amsterdam Museum, and because I don’t have anything fun to do this evening, (just writing some papers) I decided to check the website of the museum to see what the museum is like, for I never visited it before.

The museum used to be called; Amsterdam Historisch Museum. Historisch; meaning: historical. I guess they changed the name because no tourist was be able to pronounce it. Amsterdam Museum is more clever, because it is both English and Dutch. I guess they expected a huge increase in visitors after changing the name. Nevertheless, it still is a museum about the history of Amsterdam. And it has paintings. These paintings probably serve to illustrate the history of Amsterdam. And I was happy to find out that the website of the museum shows all of these paintings, so I was able to see what paintings represent the history of Amsterdam.

ImageThis painting of Rembrandt is curious. It is an anatomical lesson, painted in 1656. Why did they choose to display this painting in a museum on the history of Amsterdam? Well,.. I think it’s quite simple: Rembrandt IS Amsterdam. OK,.. I have to admit; he did live in Leiden as well. But this painting was created in Amsterdam and the painting itself has a history which represents Amsterdam. In the 17th century, Amsterdam was very fortunate, and took part in the growing world of science. Both the fortune and the science is shown in the painting, for only wealthy doctors are able to pay for a painting. Albeit the doctor on this painting did not pay for it all by himself. The painting used to be a group portrait. But Amsterdam, like many other cities in the 18th century (and before), was not safe from big fires. One of them destroyed a huge part of the painting. Luckily; the core was saved from the fire.

Other paintings in the museum are, of course, views of Amsterdam. The canals are typical Dutch and the canals are Amsterdam’s grace; people know that for centuries. No wonder a lot of painters painted Amsterdam’s canals and streets. I was cornelis gerardus 't hooftsearching the online collection for Amsterdam painted by famous painters (like Rembrandt), but most of the paintings in the Amsterdam Museum were produced by names like Jacobus Storck, Willem Koekkoek, Hendrik Pothoven and Cornelis Gerardus ‘t Hooft. Even though they are all in the collection of the Rijksmuseum as well, little people know these painters. (or at least; I am not very familiar with them) I can only recall seeing a painting from ‘t Hooft, and that’s why I added his painting of the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam to this post. I’m looking forward to see this painting next Thursday. I like it. It’s dark. It has a certain ethos over it; which can easily remain unnoticed, just because it is so dark, warm and easing. At least that’s my opinion.

Some other paintings in the Amsterdam Museum are about slavery. An interesting and gruesome topic. It’s a black page in Dutch history; people tend to forget it ever happened at all. And we (the Dutch) seldom give it a moment’s thought that we made good money at the expense of many, many African lives. So it is more than fair the museum has some paintings on this subject. Unfortunately they apparently were unable to find any paintings that show the real deal of slavery, for most of the paintings in this category are of colonies in Suriname and portraits of investors of the West Indian Company (a chartered company of Dutch merchants who traded slaves). But the intention (not to hide this black page in our history) is a good one.

So, I’m very interested to see the paintings in real life. I probably will dedicate my next post on my visit.

Unfinished business

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Today it’s the eleventh of January. Time flies, and I actually am annoyed by that.

There’s so much to do and so little time to do it! (do you recognize this feeling?) One of the things on my to-do list is writing my blog, but since I also have to write papers (for college), go over some assignments (for my internship), and plod at about 600 pages, I feel very sad about the time passing by that fast.

I will, nevertheless, write a very short post about all the great paintings I am about to finish(hopefully soon). I have a couple of them waiting to be completed, all standing on shelves. There are about 4 paintings on these shelves, so they don’t provide enough room for any other unfinished painting. Which is a good thing, for if it did, I probably would have at least 10 unfinished paintings shelved over there. I like to start up a painting, for I have a continuous flow of ideas for paintings. So, if I were given the opportunity to start up paintings daily, I would. But I am nothing like Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt; who had a dozen of students to do his work,.. I do my paintings all by myself.
And, even though it results in not being able to start up a painting daily, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just love painting! But I only paint when I KNOW I can paint for at least 2 hours straight,.. without interruptions. And because I don’t have that many opportunities to paint for 2 hours straight, I, unfortunately, can’t paint as much as I would like to. (I need a change in that,..)

Hence; unfinished business. Some of the unfinished paintings were started up more than a year ago. I have attached some photos of the paintings and will discuss them separately in following posts. done that 2 CAM00644 CAM00645Image

Let it look bad!

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Today I was reading a really cool book about color theory, when my bf texted me from the gym: I needed to watch tv immediately, for he just discovered a new Bob Ross during cardio. Now this new Bob Ross probably is known by a huge crowd already, but to me he was new.

And funny: Gary Jenkins.

Now here’s leafs,.. But I’m mumbling, I’m not saying HERE’S LEAFS, I’m saying hhhhs l…ff,.. Not leafs, but hhhh,.. Mumble!

Great way of explaining impressionism to a bigger audience! ‘Let it look bad!’ was another exclamation he made while creating wild, easy styled lines on the canvas. Probably with the intention to make us paint, just paint, without any goal-orientation.

In this video I was watching, early in the afternoon, he was painting a vase with roses. And, just like Bob Ross, he could do it within 30 minutes. And just like Bob Ross he’s got one marvelous PR-machine working for him to make sure his brand (because that’s what he is; he’s a brand) sells. I think it’s genius. It’s a wonderful way of earning money while having fun, right? Because painting is fun, and that’s exactly what Gary Jenkins wants you to experience. I wish I’d be that clever, and were able to individuate my name! Well, I’m trying, for I too sell paintings occasionally. But since I’m no impressionist, I can’t finish a painting within 30 minutes,.. most often not even within 30 hours! And on top of that; I really am not capable to put my jolly thoughts in words, while painting. So no big shiny television series for me,.. Bummer,..

But after googling the guy, I found out he not only has his television series. He has books, he has dvd’s, (of course) painting packets, and also, his own Jenkins teacher training program. After following this program, one is a certified Jenkins master art teacher. How cool is that? Would I ever consider becoming one? ** no!! hahahaha,.. I love being rare,.. And copying or being copied does not exactly imply being rare,..

But the paintings are really nice though, and amazingly cheap too! Only 300 or 350 dollars per painting. But, if you think about it: he creates them within 30 minutes. If he would work 8 hours a day, he would be able to earn at least 4,8 k per day! Only by painting! No one can deny this guy deserves to be honored.