Christmas Light on Regent Street, London. Last week we went just for one day to London. Unfortunately just one day. There is always too much to see and do, but this time we went especially for the Abstract Expression exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Work from American artists like Rothko, Pollock, and Still. Huge canvases in the most incredible colors. This is art with an impact. No recognizable shapes or subjects, and yet, these works are really worth looking at for a long time. It wasn’t allowed to take pictures, so all I can do is talk about it. Check the link above for more info.
On our way to the boat to England, we passed Wassenaar, where a new museum is opened: Voorlinden. Here I made this weird picture of my husband standing on the floor of a swimming pool.
Knitted with 2 strands, one dark and one light and very soft yarn, a new cardigan. In the picture above the colours are quite right, the picture below is a bit off. Pattern: Weekend Walk by Drops.
This is the second cardigan I made with this pattern, and I really love it. It is very easy to make and very warm and soft to wear. There are a lot of options left to mix colours of both yarns, so maybe I’ll make more of these.
The special thing about Matisse was the diversity of techniques he used. Started as a painter he tried a variety of styles and slowly he worked towards his cuttings. But even the themes and shapes he used there, were also present in a lot of other works:
Although rather crowded, it was absolutely amazing. Of course I’d seen pictures of this painter before, but never so many of his works together, and that was phenomenal.
Just 2 of my favorites:
The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis
Reading Old Lady – detail
Both museums are on a large square in Amsterdam, and only last week something very odd but beautiful was shown there: Waterlicht by Studio Rosegaarde. I was very lucky to be there and although not as beautiful as the real thing, maybe this picture can give you an idea.
Then, I travelled; together with my son I made went to a beautiful city. I think you can guess where….?!
I made over 400 pictures in just 4 days. I think it is best to leave it at these four.
Last but not least a little preview of what I working on. It’s almost finished, and I think I like it that much that I will write a pattern for it.
PS: 2 jaar geleden heb ik een vertaling gemaakt van Jam Mades patroon van een olifantje. Helaas heeft zij plotseling haar toestemming hiervoor ingetrokken en mij gevraagd het patroon te verwijderen. Om jullie de kans te geven het patroon toch af te maken als je ermee bezig bent, heb ik besloten het nog 2 weken te laten staan, maar vanaf 5 juni zal het echt weg zijn. Mocht je dus een olifantje aan het haken zijn, of ken je iemand die ermee bezig is, zorg dan dat je niet voor verrassingen komt te staan!
And again it has taken me much longer than I wanted, before this post is written. These days have been filled with so many different activities that I just don’t know where to begin. I think I just write about a few of them, the ones that stand out.
It began with the birthday of our son, and the next day when I organized a family gathering. My family lives on the other side of the country, so we don’t see each other that often, especially now that the next generation is of to college and doesn’t live at home anymore. So everyone came here, and except for my parents who stayed at a hotel, my sisters and their families (including boyfriend and – girl), stayed at our house. We had such a great time. So now I’m thinking of a new occasion to do this over, maybe next year.
Then last Wednesday again a day at the Museum. This time the Mauritshuis in The Hague, where an exhibition is with items from the Frick Collection from New York. It is a rather small exhibition, but the works are fabulous. Unfortunately it wasn’t allowed to make pictures; I’m sorry, but you can read more about it here.
Of course I spent a lot of time studying, and in between I managed to make a new dress. Remember the fabric I showed in my previous post?
Very simple, a dress with a box pleat, a square neck line and long sleeves. It is very airy.
And because there was enough fabric left, I made a cowl too. Perfect to wear with the dress, but also mixed with another garment.
When I wrote my previous blog post, I had in mind to blog at least once a week. So 9 days isn’t what I should be. I’m sorry!
It has been a strange 9 days, and I think for once I’m going backwards in time.
Today I finished the birthday gift for my oldest son, who is going to be 19 years old tomorrow.
This is just the kind of sweater he loves and wears almost all the time.
Can you see the inside of the hood? It isn’t lining, it is just the back of the fabric; so soft and warm. And to keep this softness and warmth, it didn’t seem right to make the seams the usual way, so I decided to make ‘French seams’.
All seams are double stitched, so no I guess Mr. Sensitive won’t have itching-issues with this sweater.
Where the hood is sewn onto the sweater, I’ve used a ribbon to cover the seams, because a French seam would become to thick.
That was today, and of course I have been working on it for a couple of days; since Sunday that is. Sunday I went to a huge fabric market. Twice a year this is organized in a town nearby, and it is huge. And because fabric shops are very rare these days, a market like this the perfect place to go to.
These are the fabrics I brought home with me (plus of course the fabric for the hoodie). 3 Linen fabrics and some flowers.
This fabric especially I like a lot. It has wonderful colours and I can’t wait to make a tunica with it. Nothing complicated, a very simple dress it is going to be.
The flower-fabric is going to be the lining of my new bathrobe; the outside fabric will be purple terry.
Saturday was special too. Before we had children, we used to go to the ballet, a couple of times a year. We haven’t been ever since we got our first child; indeed far too long! Saturday though, we went again and it was wonderful.
The National Ballet danced George Balanchines “Jewels”, a ballet in three pieces, with emeralds, rubies and diamonds as inspiration. All three pieces were quite different, one very classic, the other a bit more modern. But all were real gems!
This was such a succes, that I brought home the program for next season and looking at it, I’m almost sure it won’t take another 19 years before I go back.
The days before Saturday (well, actually including Saturday), I paid a visit to Flew-ville, and I don’t think you are desperate to hear all about that…..
Wednesday was great. My husband took the day of from work, and we went to Groningen, the museum there is having a wonderful exhibition with paintings from the ‘Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister’ in Dresden.
Don’t be afraid; I won’t bore you with all the paintings, just a few.
These portrets were painted by Pietro Rotari, and August III, who founded the Gemäldegalerie, had appr. 62 of these paintings. All the same size, and all from the same distance. That seems a lot, but it happens that Catharina II from Russia, had almost 370 of these portraits. And these 16 are already so beautiful to look at.
Finally, something craftrelated.
See the knitting-project-bag in the background?
Even in the 18th century they knew, knitting, wine and pastry are a womans best friends!
Thank you all so much for your kind comments on the Cowl from Scraps. It is always nice to read these kind words.
It has been busy these last few days. The last gifts for December have been made; I will show and tell next week. This weekend we have been back to the town I was born and raised because of my fathers birthday. And since we were a bit early, we had time to go into town for just an hour. Not enough to have a long walk in this beautiful and old city, but enough to go and visit a world famous book shop.
As you can see it was quite crowded, but it still looks awesome, doesn’t it. This church, Dominikaner in Maastricht, was first build in the 13th century, and during its history it has been destroyed and build again, and around 8 years ago it has been changed into this bookshop.
The pile of books we bought was so high, that we realized it is a good thing this shop isn’t around the corner for us.
Then today we had another outing.
The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague is hosting an exhibition of the work of Mark Rothko, and at the same time an exhibition with Fashion from the Romantic period. Rothko alone is really worth going there, and I enjoyed every minute I was in these rooms with those immensly huge and very intensive paintings. I don’t have pictures for 2 reasons. First you can find them all over the web, but secondly and for me most importantly, the impact of these paintings can’t be shown in pictures. It only shows when you stand in front of them. I did hear about this effect,but never really knew what to expect. I can’t explain, but now I understand I can’t just show you some pictures. If you ever have the opportunity to go and see some of his work, I can highly recommend it. You’ll never forget.
The second exhibition wasn’t this intense; it was fun, candy for the eye.
Entering a room like this, brings you back a few centuries. The dresses were grouped using movies and books as a guide. Wuthering Heights (Bronte sisters), Gone with the Wind, La Dame aux Camelias, Pride and Prejudice, and our Dutch protagonist, Eline Vere; they all came by and were the center of room. Because almost everyone has images of these movies and their dresses in mind, I won’t show all these dresses, but some details I was quite amazed by.
This last picture isn’t of an old dress; it is actually a detail of a dress worn by Cora in Downton Abbey!!
The dresses were a lot of fun, but what really caught my eye, were the pages from ladies magazines from the 19th century.
Beautiful dresses; but what do you think of pages about hairdo’s, or about how to wear a veil?
And there was a Horror Room! It appears that the substances used for dyeing, sometimes were toxic, sometimes even lethal. They even once used arsenic to obtain a special shade of green which was very fashionable.
On the chair you can see a dress which was actually worn by someone; now it has been decomposed quite a bit.This was one of the few rooms with a cord preventing the public from getting too close!
Isn’t this a beautiful painting of a beautiful building? The painting is made by Bartolomeus van Hove, and can be seen at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
But this post isn’t about the Rijksmuseum, but about the museum in the building on the painting; Het Mauritshuis
Although originally build as a palace for Dutch Prince John Maurits, it is now an art museum with the emphasis on Dutch and Flemish paintings from 15th/17th century. The building still looks quite the same, and, completely renovated this year, inside it is like a beautiful candy box.
One of the first paintings which caught my eye was this intriguing portrait of and old woman and a boy, by Peter Paul Rubens. The tenderness in her face is so wonderful to see.
Something completely different:
This cute fellow is the star in an amazingly detailed work by Paulus Potter: the Bull.
It was so amazing to actually see all these paintings. The images were all known; as all Dutch kids did, I grew up with pictures of all of these famous works, but in a picture in a book, you can never see how big a painting really is, you don’t see the texture, the actual colours, etc..
Of course there were a lot of paintings by other famous painters like Frans Hals and of course Rembrandt. But also:
Vermeer’s little girl; she actually follows you with her eyes when you move through the room.
A painting not as much interesting for the image, but much more for its frame:
A Portrait of Michiel de Ruyter by Ferdinand Bol. If you look at the frame (the original!) you can see all kinds of attributes which belonged to this Dutch Admiral, or which refer to him or his career. They were attached to a frame and coloured with a golden colour.
And finally, one of the smaller paintings but since it was used in a book last year, a very famous painting: Carel Fabritius’ Goldfinch.
Unfortunately, I can’t show you all the beautiful, paintings of this wonderful museum, I can only hope that you’ve enjoyed this little tour, and maybe you’ll go and have a look if you might be in the neighborhood.
This doesn’t happen often, but today I’m writing to you even thought my last post is from yesterday. But this morning I did something I just really want to share because I thought it was so very special.
I’m not a connoisseur by a long shot, but I really love art. And one of the most wonderful periods in Art History happened right after the second World War, when a group of young artists changed a lot in expressing and making their art. And now more than 50 paintings and sculptures from this period and owned by the New York Guggenheim Museum, are to be seen in the Cobra Museum in our little country. Isn’t that exciting?
This morning I went there with my son (16 years of age and he wanted to see these paintings; isn’t that great?).
Paintings from very famous artists like Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Karel Appel were there, and of course on an ordinary Tuesday morning it wasn’t crowded. So we could have a good look at all these paintings and sculptures, both up close and from a distance.
Asger Jorn, Green Ballet
Pierre Alechinsky, Vanish
Willem de Kooning, Composition
Luis Feito, No 175, detail
Karel Appel, Two Heads
Of course there was a lot more to see than the above, but for an impression it will do….
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been to France this Summer. We stayed at a camping site at a farm, where the ducks came to our tent every night around dinner time, to see if there were any crumbs left for them.
And that tells exactly the story of this holiday; it was calm, cozy and time just went by without noticing.
Of course there was a bit of excitement; you can’t go some place with 2 teenage boys, and do nothing at all!
So, one of the things they really, really like, is climbing. And in France there are these huge high rope courses and that is where we went. And there was no longer any way I could avoid joining, …….
At first the boys were very patient, and waited for me on every next platform, where they had all the time to make the most awful pictures of me! But that didn’t take long; I was far too slow for them, so they went on, and lucky for me my husband stayed with me. I ended up doing 3 courses including rope sling and zip line. This was the first and the last time!
For me, the most exciting part of the vacation was a visit to the town of Moulins. It’s really beautiful with a very nice, Medieval center. But that was not the best part.
As it turned out, there is a Museum for Costumes from the theatre, opera and ballet in Moulins. It is the first museum in the world with this kind of collection, and ever since its opening in 2006 it has had exhibitions about a certain theme. Now the theme was the Circus! In a tour through 13 rooms one could get a very close look at the beautiful costumes used in the circus. From very old, to costumes used in the shows of the Cirque du Soleil.
Because it wasn’t permitted to make pictures, I couldn’t do anything else but to take home a few books.
The one on the bottom is the catalogue of this exhibition. In it are all the costumes in beautiful pictures. Like this one from the Saltimbanco show from the Cirque du Soleil:
A coat completely covered with paillettes, made for the clown Weber Rehde:
The details used in these costumes are incredible. Look at the embroidery, applique and all the paillettes:
I can show so much more; it was just amazing. It was great to see how much work and effort are used to make these wonderful costumes; a few of the techniques were shown in detail and there were some drawings of well known fashion designers (like Jean Paul Gaultier).
Which brings me to the book on top. Christian Lacroix is known for his fashion, but he has also designed for the ballet in Paris, and in this book is described how he actually designs and makes his costumes. From sketches, to actual design drawings, mood boards and collections of fabric, the sewing, embellishing,.. it is all in the book.
The book in the middle is comparable to these two; the subject is the permanent collection of the museum, a lot of history, and of course, lots and lots of pictures.
All I can say, is that if you ever are in the vicinity of Moulins in the Auverne in France are, you really have to go to this place. It is like a candy store (without the calories!), and it gives you so much inspiration.
Today I want to share a post with you, totally different from what you’re used to from me. I went to an exhibition in Rotterdam, with the work of Jean Paul Gaultier. And it was really incredible.This man has a wonderful way of using different techniques and shapes, and working them into an item with lots of detail and of course an unique look.
One of the first things that come to mind when you mention his name, are of course the stripes in sailor’s clothes. But he uses them in such a different way:
Like above in a beautiful evening gown, or below, with lace.
There was amazing knit- and crochet work,
And can you see what this is??
You really had to look up very close to see:
And some more amazing beadwork,
I feel very lucky to have seen all this, and I can only hope you like this little collage of pictures.