Monday, 28 January 2013

A Klee a Day, 1

Weird title, I know! But like I said some posts before, I love the painter Paul Klee (1879-1940). And since this is probably going to be a cold, dark and horrible week, I thought I would brighten it up a little with a beautiful, funny and amazing colourful painting by this artist.  Every day this week you will find here a painting by Paul Klee; A Klee a Day so to speak.
I am not going to give any information about the painting, so do not worry about the name, or the date, just look at it, admire it, and enjoy!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Virginia Woolf

To enjoy freedom, we have to control ourselves.

Virginia Woolf (last Friday was her birthday)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Museumgarden in Elburg

In the lovely town of Elburg there was also an old convent garden. It has not been a convent since the reformation, and now it is part of the museum of Elburg. Some lovely and fun modern art works could be found here. All photographs were made by me.

The old convent, now a museum. 
A fish, made out of stone and metal. I really liked this artwork.  This artist  (I cannot remember her of his name) also made another work of an octopus that was afraid of water, but I did not take a photograph of it. 

Rats in a tree
The museum again
Mother and children

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The lovely town of Elburg

This summer I visited Elburg, a so called fishermen's town at the Zuiderzee (southsea) in the Netherlands. The Zuiderzee does not excist anymore, but the old town has a lot of character and fishing is still important. Here are a few impressions. All photographs were made by me.

boats in the harbour

Lovely houses
parts of the old ramparts

The church looks very imposing
But the houses near the church look lovely and charming

The entrance of the town, with the towngate. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

If it be your will, Leonard Cohen

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will

Leonard Cohen

Friday, 18 January 2013

Paul Klee

A painter I am really fond of, and whose work I almost always think it beautiful, is Paul Klee. This Gerrman/Swiss painter (1879-1940) made works that had a huge impact on the artist that came after him. His work is abstract, often colourful and sometimes very funny. Paul Klee will be seen here regularly, but I just want to give a short impression, by showing two of  his works.
Don't they just make you smile?

painted in 1927

Red bridge

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Art in Rotterdam

In a modern city like Rotterdam there is art to be found in very unexpected places. On street corners, in people's gardens. If you pay attention, you can see the most amazing, beautiful and often fun art works. Here are a few examples of artwork I saw in Rotterdam. All photographs were made by me, except for the last one, that was made by my father.

A man with his suitcases

Somewhere in a garden

Examples of the modern city can be seen in the background

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Virginia Woolf

Melancholy were the sounds on a winter's night

Virginia Woolf in 'Jacob's room'

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Coffee the Italian way

I am not much of a coffee drinker, but when I drink coffee, I want the Italian kind. One of my favorite moments of my holiday is when I arrive in Italy and I can order an espresso. A real espresso, an Italian espresso. It is the only kind of coffee I drink, since I really do not like the froathy milk in cappuchinos.
There are of course other kinds of coffee possibe, there is for example the 'caffè corètto', the coffee that is corrected with a splash of Grappa.
Photo found Here
In Napels they even have a better kind of coffee, the so called caffè sospeso, or the waiting coffee. You order a coffee for yourself, and you pay for two cups. That other cup can be drunk later in the day by somebody who does not have the money to buy a cup of coffee themselves.

We do not have that tradition here in the Netherlands, and unfortunately we do not have such amazing espressos as they have in Italy. I sometimes wonder if I should buy an espressomachine for myself, but I realize these are far too expensive (altough very beautiful).
Photo found Here

So, I have the poor man's version of the Italian coffee.
I have the stove top espresso pot, or the moca pot as some may call it. You can see one in every Italian movie where they make coffee for themselves at home. I love my little Italian coffee-pot.
My moca pot, or as I call it, my Italian coffee-pot.
The bottom half is filled with water and the middle thingy is filled with coffee.

It takes some time for the coffee to be ready

But is is definately well worth it.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

We will open the book. It´s pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is calles Opportunity and the first chapter is New Year´s Day.
Photograph made by me, 2012

Edith Lovejoy Pierce (English author)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Modern art

Woodcutter, Kazimir Malevich, 1912
A couple of weeks ago I was at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. This is a museum of modern art. I am not a real fan of (too) modern art myself, but I do appreciate certain abstract and modern works.

On the ground floor you could find the artists of the periode 1900-1950. Here they had works by Breitner, Kandinsky, Karel Appel, Picasso and Charley Toorop. They also had a favorite of mine: Malevich. I really like his white-on-white paintings and there was a lot to be enjoyed. They even had one room with drawings by Malevich, very beautiful.
On the ground floor there was also the design department, with furniture, jewelry, kitchen utensils etc.

Supremacy of the mind, Malevich 1920
On the second floor were the artists from the period 1950-now. Here I also saw some good paintings and objects, some very nice, some funny that made me laugh and some beautiful. I really enjoyed the works by Piero Mazoni, who works a lot in white (just like Malevich) and where the lines, the light and the shadows play a large part.
Achrome, Piero Manzoni 1959
But unfortunately, there was also a lot of absolute nonsens. I do not call two dustbins and four lavalmaps in a line 'art', nor a couple of grey tiles on the floor or the photographs of an urinating man. There are certain things I do not even want to see, quite frankly.

Odalisque, Mike Kelley, 2010
There was also a special exhibition by Mike Kelley, but I am afraid I did not like that as well. Some plastic chairs, some toys on the ground and barking and meouwing noises, or objects with a lot of lights and noises are not my idea of fun or beauty. It just made me tired, and not in a good way.

Rosy fingered dawn, Willem de Kooning
Luckily, despite all that, I did see amazing and beautiful things to call it a very succesful visit.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

It is 2013!

A very happy new year to all of you, and may 2013 bring you everything you hope and wish for.

2012 was not a very good year in some respects, but I did see, read and hear amazing things, and here is a little overview.

I saw a few exhibitions in 2012, and two really stood out for me.
First there was 'Impressionists in the Hermitage', in the Hermitage in Amsterdam. I really like impressionist paintings and this was really beautiful. You can find the webiste Here
But the most amazing one was 'Lux in Arcana' in Rome, which I was fortunate enough to see when I was in Rome in August. This was an exhibition with all kinds of special documents and papers from the Vatican archives.

I bought a few cd's this year and my two favorites are 'California 37' by Train and 'Liverpool Rain' by the Dutch band Racoon. Both cd's are packed full with amazing songs.

I am just giving you the top 3 of fiction and non fiction books here, for a more complete list I refer you to my post on a corner of the library

Non fiction
1/ Rubicon, Tom Holland
2/ To the river, Olivia Laing
3/ Alix & Nicky, Virginia Rounding

1/ The Villa triste, Lucretia Grindle
2/ Mr. Vertigo, Paul Auster
3/ Stoner, John Williams my review

Most of these books have not been reviewd yet on my English bookblog A corner of the library, but they will be and then I will post the links to the relevant articles.
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