Monday, November 26, 2012

Herman does the cleaning up. I get to paint the results. Yes, the fall is turning slowly into winter. Small birds are going for the sunflower seeds and we are bedding the garden down for the cold weather.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here in Holland if you have achieved some unbelievable feat, you get flowers. Always flowers no matter what. Here you are Barak Obama. Congratulations with flowers. We are very happy with you and your family.

Friday, November 2, 2012

In 1980 I painted this book cover for a Dutch publisher. The book is "Adriaan & Olivier met Oerkoendoe" by Leonard Huizinga.
For art lovers the painting I used is obvious=Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe by Edouard Manet, a painting I have always loved. Copying masterworks is a century-old way to intensely study the work of an artist one admires. Once again, as in the 19th Century, you can now see students painting in museums. I take my hat off to anyone who dares this. Sorry to say I did not go to Gare D'Orsay in Paris to copy this Manet and to substitute the lovely woman bathing with a cave man. I did enjoy painting it in my studio and I still have the original.
I Blog this because I have begon a new series of paintings based on paintings by old masters. My next Blog will show the process.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

                       Of course I want to show the world Cooper Thomas Johns, 13 months.

During this last trip to America, I did more photography than painting. Here are some young people sitting on City Hall Square in the heart of Philadelphia. We got a tip from one of these people to keep walking to Reading Terminal Market. You can eat from any culture including my native Lancaster County Amish food in that picturesque 120 yr. old railway station. It was a great way to spend the 5 hour lay-over time before flying back to Amsterdam.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This is, for me, a great opportunity to feature portraits I painted between 1997 and 2012. I exhibited the first wall of portraits at Nashawannuck Gallery, Easthampton, MA in 2000. Nearly 90 townspeople were portrayed in oil on 10 X 10 inch panels for that exhibit. It might be interesting to see again how I made these impressionistic renditions. There have been many new ones painted in these past 12 years. I paint these portraits in "conversation sessions"of not longer than 2 hours. No one is required to sit still. That brings excitement and challenge into the effort and results in
studies that are full of movement and imperfection.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It cleared up nicely this afternoon and we got these light fluffy clouds floating gently by.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am absolutely addicted to painting the fast-moving clouds we have been having for the past month. Today they started like this and now are fleeing even faster but dull and angry-a real SW storm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Maybe we will have seen the last butterfly in the garden, but the sunflowers are holding on to their blazing glory. First frost last night and that is the sign of winter to come. I can hold the feeling of late summer flowers in my paintings. They give my house the extra warmth it needs on those frosty fall days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our view between the two trees going out and back into the polder. I have painted this many times. Everthing is constantly changing although the two trees and their unique shapes "sculpted" by Herman every spring are somewhat constant points. I never tire of looking into the distance and dreaming of infinity.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dutch Skies

                                                          Here's the dessert today.

Painting Dutch Skies

It doesn't look like I will run out of subject matter. Every day is a continuing procession of changing forms and colors. Following the flow of movement is addicting.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Couldn't resist sending this one- hot off the easel. such fun to do. never want to stop watching these dramatic skies and having the excitement of following the upsweeping waves of color and form.

These absolutely fantastic days of crashing-into-each-other cloud formations have gripped me by the throat and sent me to the easel. I have begun a series of thumbnails, the smallest so far being this one:10 X 15 cm. on prepared mat board panels. I let the brush go where it wants, following trails of colors sailing across my field of vision. I couldn't imagine doing these from photos. That would be boring for me. I want the excitement of change, the freedom to let the paint go where my eyes take it.
More tomorrow.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Today I want to honor my son, Craig Johns, Cummington, Ma. He made this Iron Scrap sculpture some years ago at a time he was over here in Holland for a few months. I will be featuring more of his work on an off. We have a large collection of Craig's Iron Scrap sculptures in our gardens. This piece is called "The Family". Yes, we have chickens which might have inspired Craig. The idea of his own family did not exist at that time. He now has a wife, Joy, two children of hers-Drew nearly 13 years old and Anwyn, 10 years old, and their baby Cooper Thomas Johns,  1 year old on September 2nd. Who would have thought it-exactly what it turned out to be?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Herman's Carnae water lilies

Today I want to honor Herman and this year's superb crop of water lilies. I paint them when inspired by the light going over the mystical waxy petals. Someone recently asked to have a bouquet of Carnae's for a wedding. They will come open around 10 a.m. and close slowly around 4 p.m. for about 4 days in a vase. look to his part of the website:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Today is the 1st birthday of my grandson, Cooper Thomas Johns, Cummington, Ma., USA. I will be enjoying the beauty of nature here in Holland- right in my own backyard. This series of landscapes is painted in oil, then paper and then another layer of oil to produce a sensually ethereal impression of the world I see from my garden.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sitting in the garden painting these beautiful Carnae water lilies is the way to "cool off" on these hot days.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Sunday in August

En plein air painting is challenging to say the least. This morning there is a bright sun shining here in the Netherlands and a slight wind will make painting by the water bassins a real pleasure. The water lilies will make their appearance in full ornate around 10 a.m.- time enough to take the bike ride, get the gear set up, Italian coffee next to me and let it rip.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Yesterday Annelies Peet picked up this portrait of her father Gerrit, one of my Men in Blue portraits.
In this case the blue fits him very well as his life was spent flying and teaching for KLM. These portraits of which I have made 27 in the last eight years are 60 X 80 cm. in size. A difficulty factor is keeping the background pure virgin canvas and letting the painted image grow out of it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This painting in Mixed-Media was painted for the Maria exhibit. I was inspired by a beautiful small painting by Rembrandt in the Maurits Huis Museum in the Hague entitled "Suzanna and the Elders". In this case Maria-Suzanna is not so sure she really would like the announcement made by the dove. The background was inspired by a Courbet landscapre. I love taking ideas of others and incorporating them in a new painting.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We continue to have exquiste cloud displays here. If I am quick enough, I can get a good sketch and the feeling of that fleeting movement in the sky.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wil Kokelaar, a reputable photographer, took this shot at the opening of the exhibition, "Maria", at the STA-ART Galerie in Alphen a/d Rijn, the Netherlands. "The Holy Family" is my family story. Joy is the mother of 11 month old Cooper Thomas Johns. Her children, Anwyn and Drew watch over their caring mother as well as the 16 goats which also live on the Land. Craig, my son views this in awe.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A much-loved grey day today. These Ranonkels were profuse this spring. Now a reminder.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"Maria M."

I saw a photo of a woman with a mysterious expression. I didn't try to copy the photo. I was inspired by it to make this mixed-media portrait which made me think of Mary Magdelena. This painting also hangs in the exhibit "Groeten van Maria", STA-ART Galerie, Alphen a/d Rijn.

finally-the Maria Exhibit!

Fifteen artists have put together an amazing exhbit in the Sta-Art Gallery, Alphen a/d Rijn, here in the Netherlands. Tomorrow we will have an "inspiration evening" to discuss our motivations and where our ideas took us. The show opens Friday evening and runs until 18 August. This final version of "The Holy Family" has undergone some minuut changes which seem to make it richer in a sense. Maybe you can see them?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In the woods

My blogs will be limited until
July. Having a good time caring for Cooper, 9 months.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Painting in the Dutch polder

Spring days in Holland are often windy with clouds racing across the sky and fishermen trying their luck. My favorite days to paint. Suddenly, a tern dives into the water and is gone in the blink of an eye.

Progress with Maria Project

After settling on the first composition for my tribute to mothers, who are all essentially Marias in the symbolic sense of the name, I picked out a painting on canvas which I was dissatisfied with. I used Tissue de Soie and Caparol in a random application to cover the oil paint. Then came I drew composition and began the new painting in oil. It is the story of my son’s family, his protection and the hope in new life. Their goats symbolize fertility, vitality and creative energy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Maria Project

My first sketch for the Maria Project was made on my iPad-just briefly using the colors and setting up the composition inspired by a photo I had received of my new grandchild, his mother, and sister.