Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last waterlily painting, 2014

Winter has officially  started and I am looking back to sitting beside the waterlily pond in September knowing there will not be another with this beauty until next June. It was raining. Looking at this painting makes me want to use this painting as a symbol of hope for the next year.
Water lilies sleeping under water. No bother. I will hopefully be painting tulips in our greenhouse studio in February with Lynn Golden from Cornwall.
Have a good start on 2015. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Story

No Immaculate Conception here, but still the most beautiful Christmas Story I know.
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


These small,very quick, sketches are painted on mat board. Such a pleasure to fly with the clouds before they unload buckets of rain!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hilltown artist

Still haven't figured out how to get photos on the Blog. The Post can be seen on my Facebook page where I am now showing some of the portrait- conversations I have been painting. I am thankful for this  sharing.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Harpist and Venus

Please go to my Facebook page to see this Blog painting. My friend Gregory is the harpist. He sat playing and singing beautiful Renaissance music under the lilac tree/ bush in the back yard here. He said that the painting wasn't finished. He wanted a Venus. One of my favorites is Botticelli's "Venus on the Half Shell". I always love to do a copy exercise. Lucas Cranach is also a favorite for a German interpretation of lovely Venus.
Please excuse the absence of this painting here. I was proud of myself for getting an iPad photo on Facebook. I am an Internet Idiot.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dutch Clouds

For this week I have picked a small cloud-rushing over the Dutch sky study. I love to go for such a challenge. These clouds move fast! I think of John Constable and his studies= The best inspiration I could have.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Looks like a cozy Thanksgiving  gathering with the ghost of time's past looming up in the background. I made this improvised rendering of Eduard Manet's "Dejeuner sur l'Herb"  35 years ago for a Dutch book jacket. I still love it for all it's subtle tones and then the implications Manet intended and I added to. He was kicked out of the prestigious Salon in Paris for his "naughty mind" and courage to express it. A political statement about "the Enlightenment". The really good artists who dare say something with their work seem to get into trouble for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thanks, Ria en Ad

One of my first Paper- over-Painting- Painted Again works probably painted about 12 years ago.
I never knew it would turn out like this.
Snow outside here in The Hilltowns of New England. And these colors and memories give me warmth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

card players

If you have been following this Blog for some time, you would know that Herman and his three card-playing friends with whom he has been playing every week in the winter for around 35 years are still a favorite subject for me. I have 5 canvases going for a number of years now. the guys are constantly in movement, dealing, throwing and holding cards. yes, the hands in this still-sketch are not defined. When Herman, Jan, Rob and Leo are here at our house around the small round table, I begin by first scraping the excess paint and then attacking with the idea of following flowing forms of color, not placing lines. I want to get the intimacy, the secrecy, and mostly, the enjoyment of the card play. They go back in the rack until February when I will be back from America to plunge on with this continuing exciting project. Listening to Debussy puts me into the right mood of following themes and keeping the whole thing going in flows.
When is one finished? as you see, it takes years and years.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bathroom Art II

yes, I change the paintings I want to look at in our bathroom. Still wallowing in summer. Weather is wonderful here, but lilies are gone to the bottom to sleep out the winter. In this painting there is a little "Alien" watching me paint. The ponds were full of these miniature frogs. such a delight to see them play and jump about. Because of this painting I can vividly remember the moment and bring it up whenever I feel cold.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Little Goat

Craig Johns' chain sculpture of Little Goat is very popular with the birds. A Dutch early misty morning with many birds visiting Craig's sculptures on this island. Thanks, Craig.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Flora Vase

It's been some years ago that I was totally obsessed with painting these Stephan Sluiters' ceramic vases. Stephan threw each one into a different free-form and glazed the insides in order to hold water. I kept buying them and giving workshops for people to paint their own as decoration and/or vase for flowers. Every Dutch house has flowers somewhere all the time. There is always a vase with flowers in our front window.
Rembrandt was an inspiration for me with the portrait of his wife Saskia as the mythological figure "Flora". an explosion of flowers rises out of her head so to speak.
I gave some layers acrylic paint, tissue paper and again paint and varnish until there was something I liked. I still pick one up once in awhile when I see an improvement. nothing is absolutely finished for me.
Behind my vase are urns and on the wall "The Sirens and Apollo" by French artist, Dominique Sapel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bathroom Art

There might be some people who think it is strange to hang paintings in the bathroom. It is for me a logical and favorite place, possibly because our bathroom has natural light=the ceiling is plexiglass= clear into the endless sky. I can look at and even judge my work from the bath tub and other places.
This is one of the water lily paintings done in late summer. Haven't yet counted how many I made, but a lot. I use a full palette which results in the colors of towels, tiles, whatever pick up those in the painting.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Today I want to post a metal sculpture made by Craig Johns, my son. Craig gathered scrap metal here in Holland and did some incredible works while he was vacationing here some years ago. He is not only a Master Carpenter but an artist in many fields. This image,  welded circle bits, expresses hope, wonder and even despair for me. mostly hope though.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

late Summer in the Polder

A few days ago this was still the scene behind our house. now, with last night's first fall storm we are getting another view. This painting was done some years ago. I still love it because it gives the romantic impression which still exists here in Holland.
Size: 90 X 90 cm.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Late Summer Waterlilies

The benefit from going away and coming back is that paintings can be seen with a fresh eye. take this one for example, done a month ago when the water lilies were doing their best but becoming pale with soft orange and russet colors. The pads were still green with occasional greys.
I have put maybe three strokes on to strengthen blue depths. that will be the next post. stay in tune please. I want to know if you detect changes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Roses 'going old'

The test of time. After two weeks in America, this study of "Roses Going Old" stood up to the test of time. Fresh and rich with surprising colors. I am satisfied with how the white background works. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last lily of the summer, 2014

Maybe all these waterlily paintings look like each other. I don't know. Everyone, to me, was a new challenge=composition, color and what do I want that lily to be saying. All considerations before I charge and let it go where it wants. in this case, I started in sun light and ended yesterday in a soft rain. I keep painting until I am dead tired or the lily has folded her arms and withdrawn. This one, the very last in the basins, just kept going. We still don't know why they open and why they close when they do. They will mostly blossom for 4 days. There are always surprises, just like the rest of life. And then the water lily pads. they are also different, unique. The paint has to flow from one day to the next when the scene is completely different.
Closed the paint box for now. Will be back in two weeks. Time to look at what is going on in America.

Monday, September 29, 2014

last water lily in the rain

Two days ago I started this painting. Nice soft weather at the time. Today I knew I had to finish it. This lovely absolutely- last- water lily of the season was saying farewell and we both knew it. Herman brought the paraplu when the rain got heavier and I think I have finished it. don't want to polish it up and loose the surging loose strokes to the end. Music on my earphones was Russian and very good. tomorrow I will look at it with a fresh eye and then let it dry two weeks while we are in America. Hands off, Jeanne!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Five waterlily beds

Two weeks ago every kind of water lily Herman grows was bursting with joy in the polder behind the gardens. I couldn't resist trying to get it all down. too much? it just felt like it all must be included in this last breath of summer.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Today the fall has set in. Wind through the reeds and birds on the island. Actually this small vignette was painted several years ago when we still had the pair of geese and the old pram had not yet fallen apart. The atmosphere is the same and I am still painting that scene although it is a bit different now. another view next time. thanks for looking.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Dutchman

Gerard Hoveling has a typically "Dutch kop". Frans Hals and Rembrandt would have loved having him stop by as he often does here. He is brilliant with plants as well as having a bottomless knowledge of insects which he has photographed and put on the Internet. Some years ago Gerard started us on growing blue berries. We now have a field providing us every day a bowl of these healthy berries for a whole year. Thanks, Gerard. Have a good trip to America.

Friday, September 12, 2014

late summer blast

This is not a new painting, but the energy in it remains for me. The berries and sunflowers were in a bouquet given to me and I had to honor them in paint. Not a large painting= 50 x 50 cm. I would like to see it blown up on a wall. Pow! enjoy this day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Water Lilies in the Shadow

Never ending inspiration for the water lily basins these late summer days. Endless deep reflections.
It's hard to know when to stop. When the energy has pulled the plug, I sit back to look and enjoy the paint, thick and thin, washes and impasto. This size has been my favorite one for this series. Probably because the "Men in Blue" portraits are lying in the depths. Yes, there is a portrait of a Dutch man beneath the water lilies-an Ophelia idea but with men." Hamlet, Oh Hamlet,where art thou?" Dreaming away is part of the process.

Oil on linen, 60 X 80 cm. €1,800

Monday, September 8, 2014

Summer again

We are having a spell of beautiful summer weather. every day painting the water lilies which are having a revival. We are endlessly sitting beside the waters watching the hundreds of tiny frogs blundering about while several really gigantic older frogs sit on the Herman rafts waiting for a tiny one to swim by. Gulp. gone.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cumulus Magnimus

I am feeling like a ping- pong ball bouncing from the living room studio to the water lily bassins. These big clouds sometimes full of wetness are rolling over the land. They prompted this small study and a number of others. I love to paint these quickies on a deep red carton background. full of movement. got to go. have a good day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Morning in the Polder

This painting was made some years ago on a warm summer's morning. You hardly see fishing boats anymore. I pulled this one out as an hommage to the way it used to look here. These two fishers had sought the shade of an island full of tall trees, berry bushes and assorted wild shrubs. This beautiful wilderness has been cleared off in order to have it conform to all the other islands barren of undergrowth. Not very interesting for painting anymore. I think, of course, that water never ceases to be interesting with all the reflections. My inspiration is focused to beauty close by this summer=water lilies. and still I love this one for its freshness.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Unfinished business

First I want to thank all of you, especially my old friends and brother-in-law, who wrote comments about this Blog. I never found them until just now! they inspire me to go on.
Weather today is so changeable pushed on by a strong wind. Wanted to get to the few brave remaining water lilies before they dive to the bottom, never to be seen again. Why did I leave the vaguely drawn one empty in the right hand corner? hmmm. just felt it right. up for anyone's interpretation.
Thanks again for looking and making a comment. I'm off to the ponds.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Swinging back into portrait work with rainy weather. Today is dubious so I am finishing up this small portrait of a friend's father, Ari. I feel I got him. never are my portraits literal likenesses. I hope to capture the feeling of someone talking with me. also an agelessness. an older man in whom you can see his youth, his hopes, worries and even longings. that is nearly an impossibility, but I try. I didn't crop this to give an idea of my living room studio looking into the kitchen and out into the garden.

I love to take on commissions.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Luxor Roses Revisited

I hope you won't say= "humph. I've seen this one before!" you have NOT. You have seen the under layer. Today it was raining. Yesterday I had started a study of 4 water lilies which had caught my attention. Beautiful soft salmon colors on deep moss green reflections in the water. I was an hour into the painting and the dark clouds let loose. Packed it in and hoped for today.
In the evening three people came and bought two water lily plants. JUST the two I was painting! I wanted to place a ban, but it is Herman's business and I am fortunate to be able to paint here.
Today I was amazed at the particular arrangement of my favorite roses= Luxors. They had been tempting me for several days. there was a canvas=one of my papered-over ones, hanging in the work shop. The composition had been bothering me for some time. Psyche and Eros are enjoying their place on the canvas. They belong to these roses I think.
Here it is with today's new layer. Am I satisfied? I never know until after some time.
What do you think?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

wind in the water

It gets really exciting when wind is ruffing up the waters. Here in Holland that happens quite often. a glaring hot sun and little waves reflecting the sky. The James Brydons are looking more and more like cups of liquid gold. Chalices of pure intoxication for insects. It is a carnivorous water lily without the petals closing around the prey. Insects drown in the sticky liquid inside. so, what happens in a water lily pond is not all sweetness. Life and death.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Morning by the Red Lilies

Sometimes things happen for the best. I had just set this painting up. Those warm rust-orange reflections of dead Crocosmia Lucifer leaves reflected in the basin setting off the deep pinks and reds of the James Brydons. and then the bright yellows of water lily leaves hit by morning sun light. wow! you die for such a day. what a symphony. I was enjoying some "calligraphy"- freely drawing with a fine marter hair brush in deep blue. actually that came from Bill Schultz' lessons in the 1960's, Pittsfield, Ma. Draw and then go back to forms of colors. well, I was having a grand time and a voice behind me said,"better leave it alone now". He was a stranger on a walk with his wife and he knows the problem of when to stop very well. Hans Visser from Rijswijk is also a painter. he was the man with the hammer. It takes two to make a successful painting= the one doing it and someone standing behind with a hammer who hits you over the head when HE thinks you have said what you wanted to.
And now keep my hands off and let it sink in. I am enjoying looking at all the passages, but, knowing me and a certain perfectionism, everything can change.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cool Waters

When it is really warm here in Holland which is not too frequently, I like to sit by the waterlily ponds and paint in hot colors and strong contrasts. Luckily there is often a cooling breeze making the project all the more pleasurable. Lots happens in the water= interesting ripples, ripening pods trying to reach up to the light, surprising reflections. I have chosen again to sacrifice a painting I thought did not quite meet up to standards. Painted over it. I am happier with this result. Thanks for looking.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Back from 9 weeks in the Hilltowns of Massachusetts. I started a series of my squares, conversations in oil paint on panel, including this one of Victoria Ahrensdorf, teacher and practioner of Felderkrais Therapy in Northampton, Ma. Both her work and her presence inspired and helped me. Thanks, Victoria.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Next Blog

It isn't that I am not painting. I am furiously working on a portrait project in Cummington, Ma. USA. More about that after I am back in Holland, july 14. Thanks for keeping up with me!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Roses galore

We are still building up to Pinksterday weekend back home in Holland. Herman will have Roses and Waterlily paintings on display. Of course the grounds and waterlilies are blooming in full glory.
We are not officially part of the Kunst Route as I will still be here in America starting up a portrait project. I am painting people who have made a major contribution to the culture of this small Hilltown village, Cummington,Massachusetts. Exciting.
Please come visit the Nymphaea Waterlelie Eiland, Voorweg 22 in Noorden, Z.Holland. You can call Herman as he loves to talk on the phone= 031(0)172-408376.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pinksterdagen and Carneas

It will be Pinkster weekend in the Netherlands. Lots of people biking through Noorden. They will be missing the chance to see these beautiful Carneas if they don't stop at number 22 on the Voorweg. Herman keeps the same price he asked 25 years ago for these adult plants ready to grace your pools and waterways. My paintings are there too to grace your walls. If you are in Cummington, Ma.,USA, I will be painting my usual small intimate portraits.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

James Brydons

Herman told me today that these gorgeous James Brydons probably will be blooming in two weeks if the warm Dutch weather continues. Come and enjoy them. For some of you that could involve flights to Amsterdam. Why not? Just as lovely as the tulips at The Keukenhof although a miniature version.

This painting is about 6 years old. 100 x 125 cm. in oil paint on canvas.
3,000 euros including one of Herman's wide frames.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Herman in the garden

This is what a visit to a Vincent van Gogh exhibit in Musée d'Orsay did to me! not sure I am finished. This impression of Herman in the garden is the result of studying van Gogh again. He never leaves me with his delicate forceful strokes full of energy and joy of living. The exhibit was about how society pushed van Gogh over the edge. There have been many books written about this "poor" man. If you spend time really looking at his work, you might understand in a small way his absolute passion. If you can find that in your life, you are lucky.
In Paris there is a statue of General Charles de Gaulle. Perhaps there are more of this statue in several places. I recently saw one in the 16th Arondissement, placed on a small square full of flowers and spring-green trees. It is a modern bronze where De Gaulle is making a momentous gesture like the man in the back of my painting. In my painting this man, however, is directing traffic in Noorden.

Please make comments so I can learn from you. Thank you.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

VVG in Paris

Paint by Number was developed and marketed in 1951 by Max S. Klein. 12 million kits have since been sold. Just to think about all the people these nifty kits gave pleasure to and maybe a beginning to a never-ending hobby or career.
When I entered the hotel room on the 5th floor of Hotel Jean Bart in Paris, I caught my breath. Over my bed was this number painting of Van Gogh's irises= totally different from the real Van Gogh and full of life and ingenuity in it's own way. This was modern art before it got snobby. Anyone could paint it and hang it.
During the three days I spent in that ever-incredible city the exhibition of Van Goghs in Musée D'Orsay was a high point. Many freshly restored canvases from particular collections with an unusual approach by Antoine Artaud. I really liked the wall color which always makes a difference. So, get your tickets Online and take a trip to the city of light.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Got your eggs in?

Maybe you have collected all your eggs and are looking for another path today? we are OPEN from 13 until 17 hours=Voorweg 22, Noorden. a beautiful day for a walk around our island.
Happy Easter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Herman and his beauties

Herman and I will be here all weekend including Easter Monday. Open gardens and studio from 1 until 5 p.m. wander in, wander out. Please comment on the rose paintings I am doing and any other which stirs your attention. Nearly everything is for sale. Please don't be disappointed at not seeing these gorgeous Carnea water lilies. They will be showing themselves at the beginning of June. Much more to see and talk about. very informal. hope to see you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

In the Living Room-Tim

Tim lives in Plainfield, Ma., USA. I hope to surprise him with this 25 x 25 cm. oil on panel study when I return in May. Next to him is a greeting card size oil on paper on carton of my favorite mythological figures of eternal love= Psyche and Eros in a starry night. I make a lot of these small studies and also put them into the large red rose paintings.
Hope you enjoy these. I have painted over 1500 of these studies, never wanting them to be more "photographic". It is about the life in the paint which expresses the life of the sitter. Hopefully someone will pop up here during the Easter weekend and be willing to sit with me for about 1 1/2 hrs. for a "Portrait Conversation". No strings attached=just the joy of the talking together while I send strokes of paint to the 25 cm. square surface. Surprise me, please.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Enough Roses? Come see!

Early this morning Hanneke arrived with these gorgeous dark red roses. I am thankful.
Do I ever have enough? No. every rose is unique and they inspire me to get out the paint and give it a go. Anyone wanting to visit my special Rose Garden over Easter week end and Monday is very welcome. also Herman's water lily gardens are something to see even though they won't be flowering until early June.

Monday, April 14, 2014


A piece of my living room which is a perfectly lit studio. I am working very hard on these gorgeous Luxor roses. And a portrait once in awhile.
This Easter weekend we are spontaneously having an OPEN HOUSE! no advertising. just a sign on the bridge saying "COME ON IN!" I would love to have someone chat with me for an hour or so while I paint their portrait. I will see who shows up first.
Please drop in. the water lilies are just pushing their deep red leaves above the water and the calla lilies are exquisite. EVERYONE IS WELCOME! HAPPY EASTER!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Portrait for Hospice wall

Another fast portrait of a willing volunteer for the local Hospice house. Some years ago the direction asked me to make portraits of the volunteer workers to place on a wall in the reception room. When families come to look at the possibilities of placing a dear one in Hospice care, they look at the faces of people who will be doing the care work. It seems to have a very positive effect because I am still painting portraits when asked. I love to do this work as I have also done the volunteer care. Now I do what I love best as my contribution.
These 25 cm. square portraits in oil are my trademark so to speak. Hope you like it. I also do them in commission.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Black Vase-1st layer oil paint

After I see a composition in the paper layer shown in the last post, I begin with the subject, searching the colors and forms in paint directly out of the tube. Some softening with brushes where the paint is really too thick is required. The duo Psyche and Eros, the mythological symbols of eternal love in this series take their places.
This painting has been hanging for several days to settle while I just look at it. I feel where I want to change colors, but will leave the exploding roses as they are. satisfied with their joyful expression.
I hope you are enjoying the process I go through.

Friday, April 4, 2014

First Stage in the Black vase

It gives me great pleasure to paste over portraits I no longer want to look at, in this case a Man in Blue from 5 years ago. It will now go further into the Rose Series. Still have the Ben Dot paper, thank heavens,and some other interesting ones to play with to develop the composition. Actually this one was fine in this stage. But I know it will change in light, which is also interesting if I want to wait. No, my itchy fingers got going with oil paint. more tomorrow. thanks for watching the changes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

my garden

My garden is this far= blooming calla lilies. we are experiencing a very early spring with summer-like weather. I painted this "romantic pair" a few years ago and still find it's exuberance symbolic of the exploding calla lilies and their nearly tropical leaves. Every year joy at the winter's disappearance and the beginning of a flowering season.

Painting:  90 cm. square, oil on linen, 850 €

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

rose detail

Back from 2 months bitter winter in the Hilltowns of Massachusetts. loved it. now hooked on the roses in Holland again.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Listening to the opera from Carnegie Hall. Yes, I am working here in America and spending two months in New England where there is lots of snow. This oil painting is from the Siren Series- the temptresses in the Old Testament. These are inspired by Wagnerian valkeries. Thanks for keeping up with this Blog.