Local Heart, Global Soul

January 18, 2020

Stone Sentinels Close To The Fire…

Following on from yesterday’s post I took the opportunity to visit the Freemasons House in the Hague during the 2019 ‘Nationale Monumentendag’. This is an Open day for National Historic Places sites, or private establishments who open their doors to the public on this weekend. Yesterday I was looking at a stunning fireplace that had beautiful carved wooden faces in it’s upper section, now, closer to the heat source, carved figures continue, but this time in stone.

Today I am looking at the male and female head and torso figures standing in matching (modest) poses, below them, cheribs and close to the floor, very small busts of a woman. All of these figures are idealised and show far less detail and character than the wooden figures above them. Who knows, maybe they are even “catalogue” pieces, bought off the rack and fitted below the personalised section? The cherubs and ladies at the bottom are pretty much identical so I only photographed one of each. These stone sentinels can definitely take the heat.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 17, 2020

Capturing Individuality Without Appearing Wooden…

There is a beautiful fireplace in one of the rooms of Freemason’s House in the Hague. I got to see this masterpiece in stone, tile, carved wood during an event called ‘Nationale Monumentendag’. This is a day / weekend where once a year these National Historic Places sites are open to the public. I had arrived here one hour too early by mistake, but they were kind and let me inside anyway, so for a brief time I could take uninterrupted photographs without having to wait for other people to move aside etc. (Yes, I told them about my blog and asked permission first). These carved wooden faces adorn the top area of the fireplace, the light was not optimal but it’s clear to see that these were probably carved with definite individuals in mind, and not just a “generic” Greek/historic figure as was sometimes the fashion. Each face has it’s own character and I can only attempt to capture their individuality as carefully as possible.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 16, 2020

Lions And Their Place Near The Fire…

One of the things I found whilst visiting the Freemason’s House in the Hague on ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (National Historic Places Day) sites) was a stunning fireplace in one of the rooms. It included carved woodwork, Delfts Blauwe tile work and these stone lions that are placed either side of the fireplace. They are imposing, beautiful, tactile and even in the low light, photogenic.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 8, 2020

Stepping On Words…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During the 2019 I visited some of the ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for the public for National Historic Places sites around the Netherlands.)

I arrived at the ‘Freemason’s House’ on the Javastraat, and since Himself dropped me off on time, I was about to ring the doorbell when a man stopped on the street next to me and retrieved some keys for this door from his pocket.

I wished him Good Morning and joked that I must be their very first visitor for the day.

He looked surprised and told me that I was an hour early! It turns out that the booklet gave an earlier time to that which they actually opened so I was a little in shock when I heard this, thinking that I would have a long wait outside.

Luckily the man, who was quickly joined by several other colleagues, agreed with them that I may come in and begin my visit earlier. I Thanked them profusely because standing outside on crutches for an hour had been a daunting thought. The first thing that struck me as soon as I entered was that fact that the steps leading upstairs had words etched into the risers of the staircase. Not wanting to keep the kind gents outside waiting, I didn’t have time to work out what it all said but took a few quick photographs…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 7, 2020

Monumental Days, And FreeMasons…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have been back in New Zealand for Christmas, and just touched down in the Netherlands again.

The time differences, my tiredness and stupidity are the reasons some of my recent posts entered the world a tad unfinished.

I write texts in one place, have pictures in another and apparently keep my brains elsewhere completely so my deepest apologies for the mess.

I’m currently deep in the first fuzzy days of jetlag where your mind, sleep rhythms, stomach and the rest of your body are all in different time zones and not quite adjusted or agreeing to working together yet.

These posts were mostly finished before we left but seeing that I can not be trusted to get things in the WordPress schedule correct, I’m, coming back and doing some double checking.

The Netherlands has a national event called ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) where many buildings around the Netherlands that are usually closed to the public are open for one or two days of the weekend for visitors.

I try and get around as many as I can, usually selecting several sites close to each other. Sadly I need to tank up heavily on additional pain medications in order to mange these heavy days out, something not normally advised but the results are worth it.

My first destination is what I think is ‘Freemason’s House’.

I know next to nothing about the Freemason movement, and have passed by this building at the beginning of the Javastraat hundreds of times without giving the symbols on the blue shield outside much of a thought.

It’s an impressive historic building and I’m finding it intriguing to get a glimpse into a world of which I know so little.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 6, 2020

Old And Older…

Apologies for the recent mess in sorting out my photographs… we have been travelling and some of my posts were not complete… apologies! There is a beautiful statue in the centre of a large roundabout in The Hague that is called Plain 1813. There happened to be an antique tram travelling by at that moment and the view of the beautiful tram passing by a beautiful monument was too good to be missed. I grabbed a photograph a quickly as I could, beautiful!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 5, 2020

Sterren op het Doek,: Stars On Canvas…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a Dutch television programme called:  ‘Sterren op het Doek’, (Stars on Canvas) where three artists paint a portrait of a famous Dutch person whilst that person is being interviewed by the presenter of the show.

The artists make sketches / paint basis from the live subject sitting, then complete the portrait in their own studios within a designated time limit.

A few weeks later they reassemble in one of the famous galleries of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where they again meet the famous person for the big reveal.

The initial reveal is done without the artists present so the famous person has no idea who has painted which portrait. The person then choose one of the portraits to take home with them, the other two are auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The artists who take part are hobbyists or those who manage to make a living from their artwork, and their styles are always very different which makes for compelling viewing, the audience kept guessing which of the portraits will be the one chosen. 

On this occasion the artist (Bert) is one of the artists who has been chosen to paint a portrait, but as per the theme of the programme, none of the artists will know who the famous person they will be painting is, until they walk in for the interview.

The spot where the interview takes place may however give a clue as to the identity of the famous person.

The famous person in this instance is Lee Towers, a Dutch singer famous from the 1970’s to the present day who gives Las Vegas style performances.  

Bert is the painter that I have been visiting during one of the 2019 ‘Parels’ (Pearls) days, but I didn’t know that when I visited.

Bert also wouldn’t let visitors know the outcome of the show, which had been filmed but hadn’t been aired yet. He didn’t even vaguely hint that he had won, so the outcome of the show when I saw it on TV it was a complete surprise!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) TV Presenter Özcan Akyol, Singer Lee Towers and Lee’s wife

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(below) Bert and his winning portrait…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 4, 2020

A Bookshelf Of Inspiration…

Seeing these books in this artists studio, I asked for advice about where a semi-beginner artist might start trying out oil painting for the first time. My own artistic skills are in graphic art and many types in printing techniques, but not at all in watercolour or oils. Two books in particular were recommended, mostly because I mentioned was interested in figure drawing and anatomical studies, I’ve photographed their covers here. The interesting thing is that these are Dutch translations of book that were originally in English,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) The Classical School of Painting Techniques // The Classical School of Drawing Techniques, both by Juliette Aristides. (Do Note that the books in English may have different cover illustrations).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A peek inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 3, 2020

A Well Lit Studio…

Following yesterday’s post, this is the studio of the artist who’s paintings I have been featuring in recent posts. His style is detailed and realistic, something that ticks every box for me! He tells me that this used to be a family bedroom but now that his children are grown and more of less out of the house, this room has been converted into his artist studio. The skylight gives natural daylight in abundance, perfect for painting. In Dutch houses where space is often at a premium, this kind of art space will be looked at with many an envious eye (mine included!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 2, 2020

Tools Of The Trade…

Oops, A New Year and I’m out of synch again: as a creature of habit the new date always throws me on the first days of January.  Apologies for that. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I love having an inside peek into artists workplaces, not only can their work spaces be interesting but their tools of the trade can be very photogenic too. Ok of course Rembrandt mixed his paint colours from ground powders, but the tubes of today are also beautiful in their own way…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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