Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dutch Gray Skies - graphite pencil and watercolors

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Dutch Gray Skies ~ July 2011
graphite pencil with watercolors, on Arches HP paper
approx. 5.5"h x 4.75"w

Ahh yes, back in the spring of this year, I was wishing for rain ... silly me! This July, in the Netherlands, has been nothing but rain, rain, rain, and then some more rain. And, if that's not enough, hey! it's raining ... again!!

The drawing above is the almost daily view from my attic studio window - with a great deal of artistic license taken, because it's not that blue out, it's mostly dull gray. The flowers are happy, the snails & slugs in my garden are happy - me and Sacha are not so happy. Oh well, it's better than intense heat and no rain ... I guess.

Judy
and Sacha (the soggy cat)
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Have Some Blues ~ another tiny drawing.

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Have Some Blues ...
pen & ink with colored pencil, on recycled paper
acutal drawing size: approx., 1.75 inch square

After several massive failures trying to do a little watercolor of these berries, I really did have the blues! :o(  I need more practice with the watercolors ... alas. So, out came my colored pencils and my Sakura Pigma Micron ink pens ... I feel much better now. :o)

Materials used:
Derwent Coloursofts colored pencils
Sakura Pigma Micron archival ink pens (sizes: 005 and 01)
Daler-Rowney "Earthbound" sketchbook - 5"x 7"

I know the 'conventional wisdom' is to do large drawings (huge even), but I've always liked small, involved, drawings or paintings or etchings - things you need to get intimate with! Never being one to follow 'conventional wisdom' very often (it's so, uhmm, conventional!), I'm on a roll with these tiny drawings - so you can expect to see more of them from time-to-time. :o))) However, I'm also working on a few larger colored pencil pieces. Yes, three at the same time - me the 'multi-tasker', but they're not complete yet because, I'm slow!! lol 

Also, obviously, I changed the background color of my blog ... a little. I'm not sure if it will stay this color, not sure I like it, but I wanted a change ... albeit a small one.

tot ziens,
Judy
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tiny Toast! - Toastje!

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Tiny Toast! - Toastje!
pen & ink, watercolor, colored pencil on recycled paper
Daler-Rowney "Earthbound" sketchbook  - 5" x 7"

I like small things and I like these tiny toasts! Drawn exactly to scale - yes, it's really that small. In "nederlands" (the Dutch language), it's aptly called a "toastje", which is the diminutive form of the word "toast".

You just have to love the Dutch propensity to diminutize their words with that "je" ending. That "je" makes figuring out the gender of the word a whole lot easier for someone, like me, who is still trying to learn the language! All words ending in "je" get the article (lidwoord) "het" (the). Makkelijk (easy)!! 

To my ear, it always sounds like everyone is talking "baby talk", but I'm not complaining!  Hmm, ik wil een toastje (I want a tiny toast.). ;o)

Tot ziens,
Judy
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Photo Friday : Sacha's Garden in Holland

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photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Sacha in Her Garden
The Netherlands ~ July 2011

We've been gardening! Actually, my husband and I have been gardening, while Sacha inspects (and approves) everything we plant. This happens to be her favorite corner of our garden ... I mean, "her" garden.

The blue & white ceramic water bowl, in the foreground, was meant for the birds - but Sacha thinks the rain water in it is delicious, so it's now become her "al fresco" water bowl.

Yes, she's our "princess".

:o)
Judy
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day, U.S.A.!

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"Puck" magazine cover - July 4, 1904
 illustration by Frank Nankivell
U.S. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Collections
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.


To all my fellow American readers:
Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the holiday. :o)

Happy July the 4th!


Did you know?
According to the 2006 U.S. Census, more than
5 million Americans claim total or partial Dutch ancestry.
The Dutch were the first to salute the American flag,
and therefore the first to acknowledge the independence
of the United States on November 16, 1776.


Judy
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For those interested, some more links:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Photo Friday: Cathedral Saint Éitenne, Botanical Garden - Fireworks in the Garden?

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photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
all rights reserved.
It Looks like Fireworks in the Garden!
Saint Étienne Cathedral Botanical Garden
Limoges, France ~ June 2011

It's coming up to the 4th of July celebrations in the US and as an American ex-pat, I do sometimes miss the festivities ... especially the firework displays and eating watermelon (and I mean big watermelons, not these tiny, expensive, things you get overhere... pffft!) *sigh*

Anyway, I shot the photo last month, in the botanical garden behind Limoge's Saint Étienne Cathedral, thinking it looked like a fancy firework. It does, sort of. 

However, I forgot to take a photo of the name card for this plant/flower. Anyone know what the name of this flower is?

:o)
Judy
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