Friday, April 30, 2010

Celebrating Koninginnedag 2010 (Queen's Day) with our Prinses Irene Tulips


photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Prinses Irene Tulips - April 2010

For the past 3 years (in autumn), we've planted these lovely, stripey orange, Prinses Irene tulips in our garden and they have never failed to delight us each spring -this year is no exception! The tulips are named after one of the sisters of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and orange is the color of the the Dutch Royal family, so most orange tulips, here in Holland, get a royal name too! :o)

It seems to me that the Prinses Irene tulips are always in their full glory come Koninginnedag (Queen's Day), which is a national holiday in the Netherlands to celebrate the Queen's birthday. Queen Beatrix is the current monarch of the Netherlands and although her actual birthday in in January, today, April 30th, is the day of the nationwide celebration.

You'll find my other posts about Koninginnedag here:
A tulip for Koninginnedag 2009 (this was a sad year)

Queens Day 2008, Colored Pencil Drawing, Tulips and lots of Orange!

Today is Queen's Day!~Vandaag is het Koninginnedag! - 2007 (this post has more of the history of the celebration)

Oranje Boven!
And Happy Koninginnedag - even if you're not Dutch! ;o)

tot ziens,
Judy & Sacha (my own "princess")

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Getting my Vitamin-C by drawing in my Folded Moleskine

Oh yes!, I'm also eating the tangerines (mandarijnen) as I draw them.

Drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Tangerines Are Good For You
5.5"h x 3.5"w (page size)
Colored pencils with pen and ink in Japanese Folded Moleskine

I've been trying to shake the lingering cough from the lingering cold. Seem to be getting better, but I've really had enough of this cold now... or plague, or whatever it is.

Fortunately, I like eating tangerines and drawing them!
And the folded Moleskine continues filling up with little things on my desk :o)
tot ziens,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sacha enjoys interupting me!


drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Sacha Interupts the Research
Pen and ink with watercolors, in Moleskine sketchbook

Sacha decided it was time for me to stop researching and writing, so she "put her paw down", literally! She takes great delight in either walking all over anything I'm doing (painting, drawing or writing), or making it very clear it's time for me to stop whatever and pay attention to her.

Oh! I just noticed, the Dutch word for today is studeren , which means to study - how appropriate! LOL!! I didn't even see that until I posted this.

I still have the miserable cold, but I also have an indoor model to draw now - Sacha. :o)


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring starts in our garden ...

New flowers (to us) coming up in our garden this year...very spring!

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Spring Begins with Jet Fire and Persian Pearl
April 2010

The daffodils/narcissus are "Jet Fire" and the deep pink/deep magenta species tulips (with the long thin leaves) are tulipa.pulchella "Persian Pearl". I really like species tulips because they're normally very small and very pretty, (dainty little flower people, in my mind), are rather good repeat performers - plus, they do not have to be dug up after the season is over unlike what is recommended for normal tulips. We're waiting for the new Princess Irene tulips, that we planted in Dec. in that same bed (the bigger leaves in the photo), to bloom next - probably a couple of weeks away, yet.

If I didn't have an annoying and painful head-cold *sneeze*, I'd be out there drawing my new beauties. Perhaps next week...

tot ziens,

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter, Ducky! ... colored pencil drawing.


copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Lucky Ducky!
5"h x 5"w
Colored pencils on Art Spectrum Colourfix Coated Pastel Paper

A happy little ducky for Easter! :o)

For this drawing I used:
4Sanford Prismacolors colored pencils
4Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils
4Art Spectrum Colourfix Coated Pastel Paper (sanded surface)

Oh, not to forget!
We have some nice Belgian chocolates for you too.

photo copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
Paaskasteel in Chocolade (Easter Castle in Chocolate)

Leuven, Belgium - Chocolatier's Easter Display

For those that celebrate, we wish you a wonderfully happy Easter weekend. And for those who don't celebrate, we wish you chocolate!

Vrolijk Pasen! ~ Happy Easter!

and "Sacha"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poisson d'Avril - Aprilvis - April Fish ... April Fool's Day

It's April Fish Day!

Oops! We mean April Fool's Day, but there is a reason it's April Fish Day too ...

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
(Netherlandish, b. Breda ca. 1525? - d. Brussels 1569)
Big Fish Eat Little Fish , 1556
Drawing: Pen & Ink on paper.

Collection of Graphische Sammlung Albertina - Vienna, Austria.

Poisson d'Avril, on April 1st, is when French children play the traditional April Fool's trick of sticking paper fishes onto the backs of adults, then run away shouting "Poisson d'Avril!" (April Fish in english and Aprilvis in dutch). Cute!

Chocolate fish, another centuries old April tradition in France, are also given to family and friends during the month of April. Getting chocolate fish sounds like a very nice tradition to us -especially to Sacha !! ;o)

Here's another of Bruegel's Big Fish Eat Little Fish - (because we love the works of Bruegel). This is an engraving done in 1557, where, as you can see that the original drawing has been flipped:

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Big Fish Eat Little Fish, 1557
engraver: Pieter van der Heyden (b. ca. 1530 - d. ca.1572)
publisher: Hieronymus Cock (b. Antwerp ca. 1510 - d. Antwerp 1570)
date: 1557 - Engraving - 9 x 11 5/8 in. (22.9 x 29.6 cm)
Collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, New York

(There's also a print of this engraving in the collection of The British Museum - London, England)

A little history of Poisson d’Avril (very little, or you'll get bored) :
According to most articles, (we’ve read), about Poisson d’Avril being the original April Fool’s Day, this quirky tradition’s origin can be traced back to mid-16th century France. Up until 1564, the accepted calendar was the Julian calendar, which observed the beginning of the New Year around April. However, King Charles IX , declared that France would begin using the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year's Day to January 1 . Not everyone was pleased with the change and some continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. Folks who were caught celebrating the New Year on April 1 would be mocked as “April Fools”.

So, dear little fishies ... Happy April Fish Day!
Or, Happy April Fool's Day ... fishies!

Judy and "Sacha"


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