Monday, 29 March 2010

Fontana delle Tartarughe, Roma

Fontein van de Schildpaden, Roma
oil on canvas board
18 x 24 cm
painted on location - Monday 22 March 2010


Four ephebes (adolescent boys) in bronze, cavort around the base of what is unquestionably one of Rome's loveliest fountains. They are gently hoisting four bronze tortoises up to the sparkeling waters above them. This fountain is located in Piazza Mattei, in the Jewish Ghetto quarters of Rome. Built in the 1580s as a wedding present by the Duke of Mattei to his fiancée. Legend has it that it was erected overnight to impress the brides father! The turtles were added many years later by baroque master, Bernini, during a restoration.

A picture of the situation, taken by my colleague, Dimitris. I am set up on the other side behind that lady with a camera.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Fontana del Moro e Campo de' Fiori, Roma

Moor fontein, Piazza Navona
oil on wood
10 x 15 cm (small/klein)
painted on location - Sat 20 March 2010

Campo de'Fiori (blomen)
oil on wood
10 x 15 cm (small/klein)

This fountain is located on the southern end of Piazza Navona, a lively place, a place where both locals and tourists like to hang out. Artists gather in the sqaure to paint and there are many entertainers and vendors selling souvenirs. The central figure depicted, is a muscular Triton, riding a dolphin, it was sculpted by Bernini in 1654. I had just finished an oil painting of the overview of the whole plaza. Sit up at the same spot, only looking in the other direction. That painting was bought off the easel by an elegantly dressed elderly couple visiting from Madrid,Spain.
The flower market scene actually has a fountain behind the stalls, but I was much more inspired by this view. We were not having the greatest of weather conditions, thus the overcast sky.
Working on location, with the light changing by the minute, these two pieces maintain there character of an oil sketch. The main advantage of this kind of painting is that it is not overworked, things and objects are suggested rather than shown in elaborate detail.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Piazza di Spagna, Roma

Piazza di Spagna, Rome
oil on canvas board
24 x 30 cm
painted on location - Sunday 21 March 2010

€ 325

One of the most delightful Piazza's in Rome, featuring the famed Spanish Steps which are located just to the right of this scene. The fountain 'la barcaccia' (old boat), featured in the forground was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1627. It is ingeniously sunk below ground level to compensate for the low pressure of the delicious Acqua Vergine that feeds it. In 1870, over 400 painters lived and worked in the area around the Spanish Steps. It also atrracted poets and musicians, in fact just 15 meters from were I set up, can be found the house were John Keats lived and died in 1821, at the tender age of 25. Also just behind the sunlet building, is Via Margutta, which was the focus point of the 1960's art scene, and Federico Fellini lived here until his death in 1993.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Trevi Fountain, Rome (by night)

Fontana di Trevi, 's nachts.
oil on canvas board - 24 x 30 cm
painted on location - Sunday 21 March 2010

As some of you may already have known, I went on a working vacation to the Eternal City of Rome, with 5 colleagues. We stayed in a comfortable apartment just a stones throw away from, Piazza del Popolo. Centrally located, a great find at an affordable price, when you take into consideration that just around the corner, on Via del Babuino is located Hotel de Russie, renting suites from 1,500-2,700 euro per night! This painting was made amongst a crowd of no less than 550 persons(probably more). All awe struck by the beauty and magnitude of this imposing marble structure, measuring 25.9 meters in hight, and 19.8 meters wide. Inspired by a design from Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the final version, was built by Nicola Salvi, in the 18th century, taking some 30 odd years to complete (1732 - 1762). The central figure, set in the niche, is Oceanus, God of all water, (figure on the extreme right of painting). He is flanked on his right, by the Goddess, Abundance, who is spilling water from an urn. There are a multitude of figures and creatures from both land and sea featured in this extravagant fountain. But what's even more empressive is the thundering sound of water one sees and hears. In fact nothing else, in the stifling heat of a Roman summer, gives such a feeling of sensual delight as the abundant, splashing, cool water. If you don't believe me, ask Anita Ekberg, she made this fountain famous when she plunged in wearing a strapless black evening dress in Federico Fellini's classic La Dolce Vita.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

View of The North Sea with Scheveningen trawler

Scheveningse sleepnet visser boot op de Noord Zee
oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm
painted on location - Mon 15 March 2010

painted over, thus no longer in existence

The colors were so inspiring at the Sea yesterday morning that I opted for a view of the sky and water rather than a path in the dunes. The result is for you to enjoy. Mind you this situation lasted the better part of 45 minutes, afterwhich the heavens became overcast with clouds to the point were no celestial blue sky was visible. Setting myself up on a spot, in the dunes, risking the chance of getting a fine (boete) from the local authorities, I had this rather brilliant vantage point. That trawler made a good model and was just what I needed to give a reference of location to this scene.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Canal Scene, Scheffersplein, Dordrecht

Winters dag te Dordrecht
oil on canvas
50 x 40 cm
painted on location, Thurs 11 March 2010

I found myself in Dordrecht yesterday, visiting with 3 fellow female artists, one of which was her birthday,(Mieke van Zundert). Revisiting a location I previously painted, I took it upon myself to paint over a work I already made last summer(see small picture bellow), during the art manifestation, 'Place D'Ary'. This time it was freezing cold, with a mild yet brisky wind. I did my upmost to bring this situation across on the canvas. Even though this work is very loose, I am rather content with the result, as afterall this is a painting, not a drawing or illustration. Featured on the lit up square is a statue of Ary Scheffer, a famous 17century painter born here in Dordrecht.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Path in the dunes, Westduinpark, Evening Sunlight.

Pad en de duinen, Westduinpark, Den Haag
oil on canvas
18 x 24 cm
oil on canvas - painted Tues. 9 March 2010

Usually I'm out there in the mornings, but as is evident from this scene, the evening light has a brilliance of its own. Causing the dry yellow ochre grasses to flare up, as if about to ignite. The Sun is making its descent, hanging somewhere above the horizon line, literally just behind my left shoulder. The light house depicted, in the not to far off distance, is the openning to the habours at Scheveningen. Not quite fully recovered from a cold I picked up on my last outing, I decided to work on a smaller format.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Path to the North Sea, Westduinpark #6/2010

Ingang #10 Zuiderstrand, Den Haag
oil on canvas
40 x 60 cm
painted on location - Thursday 4 March 2010


This time the dunes are just behind me. I've sit up my easel at the end of the path, as low as possible, due to a bitter cold North East wind, which seems like it could find its way into the smallest of openings, and takes delight in bringing ones warm blood to an uncomfortable chilly state. Although the Sun is in full glory, man is it cold. Featured on this scene is a garbage bin specifically in place for our beloved canine friends, who can fortunately for them, dump a load anywhere the feel like! Thank God for responsible dog owners.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Path to the North Sea, Westduinpark #5/2010 or Peace in the Valley

Pad naar de Noord Zee #5/2010 of Vrede in het Vallei
oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm
painted on location - Wed 03 March 2010 SOLD

Just made it on time, before the sky became completely overcast, thus having a dull effect on the scene which, thanks to my memory and swift painting skills, you can enjoy with the effect of a soft yet welcomed sunlight. For some unexplained reason, the words 'peace in the valley', kept repeating in my thoughts, during the making of this work. Couldn't help but to think, "if some guy had malicious thoughts, such as to cause an act of violence, I would imagine that a walk down this path, might indeed have a soothing affect on his state of consciousness. Like the passing of the clouds, so would his negative thoughts go by, and his life would carry on in harmony and peace". Oh well, I know as I struggled with all my gear, to the top of this path, my eyes did behold a most spectacular view, enriching my being with a delightfully pleasurable feeling.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Path to the North Sea, Westduinpark #4/2010

Pad naar de NoordZee #4/2010, Westduinpark, Den Haag
oil on canvas
30 x 90 cm
painted on location - Mon 1st March 2010


You know they say a painting is never really finished, it just stops at the right place. That is at times a difficult decision to make. One must learn not to be a prefectionist, one must learn to detach himself from the work in progress, one must be satisfied with dealing in uncertainties. There are many things I take into account before I decide it is time to put my signature on the painting, believe you me. In this case I had to increase the intensity of the light colored dry grass on the extreme right side, in order to achieve a comfortable balance with the dark shadows being casted from the wind swept bushes to the left of the path. And I'm grateful to that feathered creature, who took about a 15 second break on that pole, just enough time to load up the thinest brush I was holding with enough pigment to anchor her in.

Two details for your viewing pleasure.