Not The House Of My Father

Another advantage of cleaning up archives, is the joy of finding drawings which were long time forgotten. For instance the drawing I've made of this cottage in the village I was born. I'm not sure in which year I've made this pendrawing, but it must be around 1994, cause it's made with the same sizes and drawingpaper I used for the drawings I made for the exhibition that never took place (read my previous post).
This cottage stands on the corner of the street where my father was born. His elderly house didn't look a bit of what it looked like when my father lived there, so I choose this house as subject of my artistic needs. The house my father lived in was also in use as a bakery and a little shop. My father started his own bakery when he got married and my uncle inherited the bakery my grandfather started. Over the years the building was reshapen to the demands of modern entrepeneurship and architectural ideas of how a bakeryshop should look like. That is: according to my uncle. That didn't turn out to be a pretty sight, as you might expect.
Luckily my father had some very old sketches in his possession, which were made in the 1930's by his old neighbour. Using these sketches and some old black and white photographs, I've made a coloured pendrawing. This drawing still hangs on the wall above my father's organ, back in my parents house.


Black and white with pen and ink

After I'd made several drawings for the local newspaper, the editor-in-chief told me that the readers were very pleased with my drawings. As a result the publisher used them for greeting cards. People could buy them in a set of six different drawings. The editor-in-chief also told me that his brother knew a gallery where they might wanted to have an exhibition with my drawings. Wow, that sounded great!
I was a bit naive and forgot to ask "who, where, when, why?" and started to make several drawings in pen and ink instead. Below you can see what kind of detail I'd put in it. I soon found out it was hard labor to make these kind of drawings. But it was worth it, I thought. And they sure looked better then the drawings I made for the newspaper!

The location is Istria, where I've been in the summer of 1988. It was part of The Republic of Yugoslavia. With very angry-looking soldiers at the border, checking your passport for a very long time without saying a word. It happened to be a nice holiday, though. I've met friendly people, the weather was splendid and the drinks and food were very low priced. At the end I've treated the whole group of about 25 people on the greatest icecream they've ever had. And still had money left!
I've brought my sketchbook with me and with the help of several photographs I could make this drawing back at home.
Of course the exhibition never took place. Due to several problems with local legislations and other very important management and business terms, the gallery never opened and so my drawings ended somewhere in my archive. Until now, because I now can use my blog to share these drawings with you.


Illustration Friday Music

This week's topic on Illustration Friday is 'Music'. When I think of music, two things come up in my mind: The Blues and on the same level of interest: my saxophone.

One drawing doesn't do right to the wonderful looks of a saxophone. There are so many nice cornerings, valves and other parts that, when they work together, makes such a wonderful sound. So I highlighted a few parts of my saxophone.

This is my second Selmer Bundy II tenor. The first one was stolen after burglars had 'visited' my home. It took me a while (12 years) to get over it and buy another one. Now I have a black epoxy, second hand instrument, but it sounds just as great as the first one I had.


Local drawings

The first drawing which was published in the local newspaper was the old painters academy. The building was build in 1500, but the academy was founded in the 18th century. Between these dates there were several changes made to the original design and lay-out of the building.
The academy was founded by the Dutch painters Frans van Mieris and Carel Moor. Nowadays it's still in use by a painting and drawing society, called 'Ars Aemula Naturae'.
Note the amount of bricks I drew on request of the editor-in-chief. I'm still grateful to his contribution to the art of drawing... Not.
The credits for research goes to Henri van Aggelen, a pensionada. He was banker in Switzerland, but after his retirement he finally had time to study the history of normal day life in the city of Leiden, his hometown. He had a particular good sense of spotting human interest facts in the story behind an old building. Much to the delight of the editor-of-chief, although he didn't quite liked Henri's idea of writing some articles about hidden brothels. After all, it was a Sunday's paper and he was a little afraid that this sort of articles might abuse the advertisers.


The first drawing

As I was searching through my things last week, I did not only found drawings I made for an exhibition which never took place, but also a set of drawings I made as a presentation for the local newspaper. The intention was to make one drawing a week of a place of interest, along with a short story about the history of that place. The editor-in-chief wasn't totally against my proposal, but he found the drawing a bit to much Charles Dickens-like. He thought a line drawing was more appropiate for a newspaper. I also remember a phrase of him: "Bricks, I want to see more bricks! You drawing people always suggest there are bricks, but never draw them! You're just to lazy to draw bricks! I want to see bricks!" So I drew the same object much more in his taste and got the assignment:

When I look back now, I think I should have stayed more to the original style, which is somewhat warmer in a way. And less bricks to be drawn...
Anyway, I've learned a lot back then. And not only about the history of the town, I must say. One specific lesson I've learned, is that you can't expect that the reader of a newspaper (or any other medium) knows what you mean with your drawing, painting or photo. There has to be a context in which it fits.


Study in black and white

It's been a while since I've posted, but this week I saw this drawing of Terry Banderas. He made a study of Eucalypthus trees and besides it's a very good piece, it also inspired me to pick up my pencil.
I made a study in black and white, which was taught me by Michael Warr in his marvelous book Capturing Texture. Best is to draw the same subject three or four times, so I'll keep you people informed what progress I make in this technique/subject. It's for sure a big difference regarding to the drawings I made 15 years ago for an exhibition which never took place. But that's a totally different story.