Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Netherlands 2011 ~ Fijne Feestdagen vanuit Nederland 2011

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painting copyright 2011 Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
"Happy Holidays 2011" - December ~ Utrecht, Netherlands
W&N watercolors on Arches paper (digital lettering added)
approx. size of painting: 6"h  x 5"w

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays
and a Prosperous, Peaceful, New Year!
Thanks for visiting "Kats-in-Klompen" in 2011 :o)

We're taking some time off to enjoy the holidays
here in the Netherlands, and then a short trip to
Antwerp, Belgium in the first week of January.

We'll be back blogging in 2012 ~ see you then!

Fijne Feestdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

:o)  Judy & Sacha (the 'kat in klompen')

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Christmas Cookie time! ~ "Koekjes!"

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong all rights reserved.
"Koekjes! Christmas 2011"  -  4"h x 3.5"w approx.
colored pencil with pen & ink on recycled paper

Did you know that the American word "cookie" is really a Dutch word in origin? It's true!

Brought to America  in the 17th century with the first Dutch settlers of New York, the word "koekje", in dutch, means "little cake". Overtime, with the mis-pronounciation of the word by english speakers in the colonies, "koekje" became "cookie".

I think we should say "Bedankt, Nederland!"
(Thank you, Netherlands !) :o)

photo copyright Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved.
"Judy's Christmas Cookies, 2011"

Obviously, I've been baking this week. This is a box of cookies (or koekjes) that I sent to work with my husband to share with his colleagues (I'm American, it's what we do - at least I do!). By the time he came home from work, not a crumb was left ... lol! 
Looks like the Nederlanders (the Dutch) approved of my "koekjes". ;o)

Back to more baking!
Judy
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Random Silliness for Christmas ~ Naughty or Nice?

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photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.
all rights reserved.
Sacha Looking for Santa
December 2011 ~ The Netherlands

Everyday, Sacha sits in the back window behind our Christmas tree, looking for Santa. She's a little worried that she's not been a good enough girl this year and perhaps she's not getting anything for Christmas! Really, she tells me that every morning, in her loudest, most whiney, voice. lol

;o)
Judy
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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Mysterious Gingko ...

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Fallen Gingko Leaves
approx. size: 10"h x 7"w
colored pencils, pen & ink on recycled paper
December 2011 ~ The Netherlands

At the end of November and the first week of December, we had some really stormy, windy, weather. Everything was blowing around, including the leaves of a Gingko tree. Each day, piles of beautiful yellow-gold leaves were landing in front of my house.

The thing is, I don't know where this Gingko tree is or who on my street owns one!?! Apparently, Gingko leaves really take to the air on a stormy day. They looked so pretty on the gray stones in my parking spot, as well as on the red cobblestones of my street, so I picked some up to draw and then went crazy with the cross-hatching for the background. I simply love to do ink cross-hatching, though it is time consuming. :o)

For this piece I used:
Faber-Castell Polychromos regular colored pencils
Caran d'Ache Pablos regular colored pencils
Sakura Pigma Micron Archival Ink Pens - sizes .005 and .01
Daler-Rowney "Earthbound" paper


tot ziens,
Judy
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Collections: Pinecone with Sumi-e brush & Ink

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From my collections ...

artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.
all rights reserved.
Pinecone in Ink - Dec., 2011
9.25"h x 7"w approx.  - India ink on watercolor paper

During this week of decorating my house for Christmas, I thought a lot about pinecones and how they seem to make a *grand* appearance in decorations at this time of year. So, I pulled out my box of nature "stuff", my tin of Sumi-e brushes and my bottle of Winsor-Newton India Ink (my favorite) to do this drawing. No pencils or pens were involved, just my Sumi-e brushes.

I think I picked up this rather large pinecone, years ago, in the forest of Lage Vuursche which is located here in Holland. However, I might have also picked up this pinecone on one of my vacations in France. In any event, I wanted to do a black & white brush drawing, so I did. :o)


I keep my Sumi-e brushes, Sumi-e ink sticks, Sumi-e ink stone and India ink in an old tea tin that I picked up at a Dutch flea-market. The tin still  has an old price sticker on the underside, with the price in Dutch guilders! Yes, I also collect tins, old and new; I enjoy the graphics on certain tins.


doei,
Judy
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec 5th! Sinterklaasfeest Pakjesavond, 2011! Saint Nicholas Fest Gift Night, 2011!

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It's the 6th year of me (the expat) celebrating Sinterklaas on
"Kats-in-Klompen" and tonight is pakjesavond (gift night)! :o)

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Gifts From the Saint ~ December, 2011
Utrecht, The Netherlands

No drawings or paintings this year, but I have some current, wonderful, pics of Sinterklaas chocolates, cookies and of course, pakjes (gifts) for you! At the bottom of this post, I've included the links to my previous posts about Sinterklaas and this happy Dutch tradition.
(click to enlarge)
all images copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved
Sinterklaas Pics Mosaic ~ December 2011
Utrecht, The Netherlands

And here are the links to my previous years' posts about Sinterklaas (click on the titles under the small pics):






(a detailed history of the tradition in this post)


Happy Sinterklaasfeest to everyone!

:o)
Judy

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

No Matter How Hard I Try ...

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
"Cup o' Colored Pencils" ~ December 2011
colored pencils on hot-pressed watercolor paper

No matter how hard I try to keep my drawing desk clear of clutter, it's obvious I need to do some clearing up .. again. :(

Proof 1:
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

Q: How can you find anything?  A: Well, I know where to reach...

Proof 2:
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

Q: Do you really need more colored pencils?  A: Always!

So, in another "brave attempt" to sort out my messy desk before the next drawing happens, I'm cleaning it up again this weekend (making this, oh, about the umpteenth time this year)! Notice that I'm not mentioning clearing up the rest of my studio. ;o)



tot ziens,
Judy
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Photo Friday: Late Afternoon Light ~ Utrecht Dom Tower & Canal

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We were in Utrecht's old city center this past Wednesday and the beautiful late autumn light on the Dom Tower caught my eye. I love this view of the Dom from Zadelstraat ...

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Utrecht's Dom Tower In Late Afternoon Sun
Utrecht, Netherlands ~ Nov 30, 2011

After running some errands, we had coffee, tea and apple pies in a café at the foot of the Dom Tower. By the time we left the café, the moon was rising over the canal off Zadelstraat ...

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Canal Over Zadelstraat in Utrecht at Twilight
Utrecht, Netherlands ~ Nov. 30, 2011

Lovely warm lights glowing from the houses along the canal ;
that is gezellig! (cozy)


:o)
Judy
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Friday: Winter is just over the roofline

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photo copyright 2011, Judith Nijholt-Strong.  all rights reserved.
Winter Is Just Over the Roofline
The Netherlands ~ November 25, 2011

Tops of poplar trees, over the roofs of the houses across the street from my house in the Netherlands, are what I see daily from my attic studio window. Throughout the year, I am fascinated with gorgeous skies, shimmering summer leaves, the bleakness of winter, rain, fog, snow, the simple, the full or the empty, always changing view.

It's often an inspiring and informative view - to me. These trees are consistantly a reliable portent of things to come (better than the weather reports). Today the trees are telling me that winter will soon be upon us. :o)

Judy
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Fat-free, Guilt-free, Gluten-Free, Zero Calories, Zero Cholesterol, Possibly Vegan, Easy to Fix, No Worries, Thanksgiving Dinner!

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OK, maybe a little air is needed ... heh heh












photo copyright 2011, Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
My "No Worries" Thanksgiving Dinner
November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving
to our American friends,
wherever you are in the world!

:o)  :o)  :o)


Judy and Sacha (the kat-in-klompen)
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A day at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands

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drawing copyright 2011 Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
André Volten Sculpture at Kröller-Müller Museum
November 11, 2011 ~ Otterlo, Netherlands
pen & ink with watercolors in small moleskine sketchbook

Last Friday, we spent a day at the Kröller-Müller Museum, which is located in the National Park the Hoge Veluwe in Otterlo. We wanted to enjoy some fall colors in the park before they get blown/rained away, and to check out the refurbished museum.

The day was incredibly beautiful, as you can see by these photos of the walk we took in the museum's sculpture garden. The garden walk is quite huge and meanders through some lovely forested areas. I might add that we only walked part of the garden area and I only managed one drawing in my moleskine dedicated to trips we take within the Netherlands (yes, I like to theme my moleskines) - the day was a bit cold!

photos copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong  & Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved
Top: Museum Main Entrance ~ Sculpture garden walk
Mid.: l'Air by Aristide Maillo  ~ Le Chant des Voyelles by Jacques Lipchitz
Bottom : Floating sculpture by Marta Pan ~ Me drawing the Volten sculpture
Kröller-Müller Museum - Nat'l Park the Hoge Veluwe
Otterlo, Netherlands ~ Nov. 2011

Among other famous paintings and sculptures in the permanent collection, the Kröller-Müller Museum is also home to many paintings by Vincent van Gogh, including one of  two paintings he did of  "The Potato Eaters". The painting in the Kröller-Müller is an oil study created before the completed painting that is part of the collection of the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The Kröller-Müller collection of van Gogh's paintings is not as large as the collection in the van Gogh Musuem in Amsterdam, but it's still quite impressive in a managable museum amidst the gorgeous surroundings of the national park.

Here's one of my particular favorites, by van Gogh, in the collection ...

photo copyright Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved
Vincent van Gogh
Portrait of Joseph-Michel Ginoux ~ Arles, Dec. 1888
oil on canvas - 65 x 54,5 cm
Kröller-Müller Museum ~ Otterlo, Netherlands


I highly recommend a trip to the Kröller-Müller Museum and the Park Hoge Veluwe, if you're ever in the Netherlands.


tot ziens,
Judy
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Friday: With Respect ~ Armistice Day, Rememberance Day, Veterans Day

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photo coyright 2007 Auke Nijholt. all rights resererved
Poppy Field in St. Valery sur Somme, France
June, 2007

Remembering ....

"Veterans Day", "Armistice Day" or "Rememberance Day" is not celebrated in the Netherlands. During WWI, the Netherlands remained neutral.

However, things changed for Holland during the 1930's and the Dutch Day of Rememberance (Dodenherdinking) is held on May 4th every year since the end of WWII,  followed by Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) on May 5th. 


with respect,
Judy
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Mumuration of Starlings

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This video of a mumuration of starlings (in dutch = spreeuw), filmed in Ireland, has been going around the web ... but I loved it (and I want to look at it again and again),  so I'm posting it here with a couple of other sightings I found of other murmurations.


Murmuration by Sophie Windsor Clive

A murmuration in Hoograven, Utrecht in the Netherlands, on March 3, 2011:

Spreeuwenspektakel by tuurhoffmann

A full explanation of just what a murmuration is and why, is in this video shot in the UK in November, 2010:

Video filmed by UK wildlife cameraman, Dylan Winter

For more info on the European Starling see:
Wikipedia entry : European Starling (in english)

And in dutch:
Wikipedia entry: Spreeuw (in nederlands)

Many years ago, when I lived in North Florida, I once saw a small, but sizable, murmuration of starlings occur over an estuary on the Apalachee Bay. Needless to say, I was awestruck and felt blessed to see it!

:o)
Judy
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Moleskine Drawings from my 2011 October Vacation in the Limousin, France ...

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As promised, my Moleskine drawings from our vacation this past October. Better late, than never... :o)

art work copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong  all rights reserved.
The Window View at the Rental House
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ October 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook


art work copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.  all rights reserved.
Early Morning View of the Chestnut Tree at the Rental House
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ October 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook


art work copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.  all rights reserved.
Windows in Mortemart, France
Mortemart ~ Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin, France - October 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook


art work copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.  all rights reserved.
Sweet Chestnuts on the Kitchen Table at the Rental House
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ October 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook


art work copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.  all rights reserved.
R : Church in Lestards    L : Cathedral Columns in La Souterraine
Lestards and La Souterraine ~ Correze, Limousin, France
 October 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook


art work copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.  all rights reserved.
Autumn Leaves from Limoges
Limoges, Limousin, France ~ October 2011
watercolors, pen & ink, postage stamps in moleskine sketchbook

And me drawing in the village of Mortemart, France ...

Another marvelous vacation in the beautiful Limousin region!


* Materials used (for those who want to know) :
Sakura Pigma Micron Archival Ink Pens - fine liners (black)
Sharpie Fine Line Travel Pen - fine liner (black)
Staedler Pigment Liner Archival Ink Pens - fine liners (black)
Winsor-Newton, Daniel Smith, & Sennelier Watercolors
Niji Waterbrushes and Da Vinci Serie 1573 Travel Brush
Moleskine Sketchbook - size 3.5"x5.5" (9x14cm)
Real French Postage Stamps  :o)


tot ziens :o)
Judy
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