Friday, February 25, 2011

Rabbit drawing & a visit to the Museum Speelklok tot Pierement

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Rabbit ~ 2011
5.5"h x 4.5"w - pen & ink, colored pencils on brown paper

No, I'm not trying to jump ahead to Easter with this drawing, but I did want to mark the Chinese New Year with something, so I did this small drawing of a rabbit. I know I'm a little late, since the Year of the Rabbit began a couple of weeks ago, but it still is February! :o)

And for something else Chinese, "Sing Song, Treasures from the Forbidden City" :

This past Wednesday, my husband and I went to the National Museum Speelklok tot Pierement (Music Boxes to Street Organs Museum) in Utrecht, to see the special exhibition of spectacular 18th & 19th century imperial clocks & music boxes from China's Palace Museum of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The clocks and music boxes were made in Londen during the 18th and 19th centuries, expressly for the Chinese trade - most, of course, were made for the Imperial Family (namely, the Emporer) of China. This exhibition is the first time these clocks and music boxes have been seen outside of the Forbidden City - so I had to see it!

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Museum Speelklok's Entrance - Feb., 2011
Nationaal Museum van Speelklok tot Pirement
Steenweg 6  ~ Utrecht, The Netherlands

The Museum Speelklok is world reknowned, and unique in the world, for the delicate restoration work its conservators do on mechanical musical instruments (clocks, music boxes, street organs, etc.). The museum's conservators have also done work for the Metropolitan Museum in New York and for The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Museum Speelklok is also one of my favorite museums in Utrecht - not only is it educational, but it's also delightfully entertaining!

The exhibition, Sing Song, Treasures from the Forbidden City, respresents a 3 year collaboration by the Museum Speelklok and the Palace Museum in Beijing to restore some of the beautiful clocks and music boxes in the Palace's collection. And oh my, are they ever beautiful! Resplendant with precious jewels, sparkling stone, carved gold, etc., the clocks' figures move and make beautiful sounds - some using bells and tiny wooden organ pipes. One particularly charming music box, which was demonstrated for us, was a golden cage with little feathered birds singing (tweeting!) - this particular piece was the one with tiny wooden pipe organs inside, with a small air bellows. Sorry, but no picture taking of the pieces is allowed in the special exhibition.

However, on YouTube there are a few videos of some of the pieces from this exhibition. This one is of one of the large elephant clocks currently on view ... it's absolutely amazing!

video copyright Nat'l Museum Speelklok tot Pierement
Olifantklok - Elephant Clock
Francis Pergil (maker) - ca.1775 - London, UK
Collection of the Palace Museum - Beijing, China

The following video is a trailer from a DVD about the clocks and the collaboration work between the conservators at Speelklok and the conservators in Bejing (the video is in dutch however, with a few bits in english). Along with some scenes of the restorers at work on the clocks,  there are also some great views of the Forbidden City and of the old city center of Utrecht in the video. The full DVD is available in the Museum Speelklok's gift shop.

video copyright Golden Monkey Enterprises
documentary filmaker Pieter Fleury 
Klokken van de Keizer - The Emporer's Clocks

If you happen to be in Utrecht, you might like to see Sing Song, Treasures from the Forbidden City. Having been such a popular exhibition, it has been extended until March 31, 2011. If you can't make it to Utrecht, you can also visit the Museum Speelklok online (link is in english) !

tot ziens,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snail shell on brown paper ...


drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Snail Shell  # 1  - 4.5"h x 5.5"w
pen & ink, colored pencils, on recycled brown paper

I've been drawing and painting on brown paper these days, and enjoying it very much. This is a small snail shell I picked up in Normandy, France, several years ago ... from my big box of  "nature stuff" collection. :o)

Materials used:
  • Sakura Pigma Micron pens ~ .01 and .005 archival black ink
  • Derwent Coloursofts, Prismacolors, Lyra-Rembrandt reg. colored pencils
  • Bee Papers' Bogus Recycled Rough paper
  • and a snail shell  ...

doei! (bye!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - with a cookie drawing.

.drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
"Still Sweet" ~ February 14, 2011 ~ Valentine's Day
4.5"h x 6.5"w - pen & ink with watercolors on brown paper

Maybe a few bumps and bruises along the way,
but it still beats and it's still sweet.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Fijne Valentijnsdag !

tot ziens,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photo Friday : Thinking of Egypt

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
all rights reserved
Head of "The Seated Scribe"
dated to the period of the 4th Dynasty, 2620-2500 BC
Musée du Louvre, Egyptian Collection
Paris, France - 2011

photo coyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
all rights reserved
 "The Seated Scribe" - full view
dated to the period of the 4th Dynasty, 2620-2500 BC
Musée du Louvre, Egyptian Collection
Paris, France - 2011

I would like to go to Egypt, but I probably never will. So I "travel" there by seeing things collected in various museums in Europe ... when I can.

We visited the Louvre in January, expressly to see the Egyptian Collection. I've only ever seen "The Seated Scribe" in my art history books, usually in small pictures. It's so much better in person - a very real, life-like sculpture. The sculpture is over 4000 years old and yet it felt as though we were really interupting his work, or that he was intently listening to someone's dictation.

Currently, the world is watching and listening to Egypt ...
I hope a good democratic outcome is in their future.

tot ziens,

If you'd like to know more:
Here's a link to a video in english, from the Louvre's site, to more on  The Seated Scribe


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frist Sign of Spring - Snowdrop in colored pencil.

.drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
First Sign - Snowdrop - February 2011
2.5" x 3.5" - ACEO size *NFS*
colored pencils on white stonehenge paper

I saw my first snowdrop yesterday, albeit in a neighbor's garden. The Common Snowdrop (Latin name: Galanthus nivalis) is always such a welcomed arrival, and so sweet to see ... imo.

In the Dutch language, they are called Gewoon Sneeuwklokje (literally translated: common - snow - clock/bell). I think that's a fitting name for a plant that heralds the impending change of seasons.

Alas, we have never planted any snowdrops, although it is something we have been meaning to do but never got around to it. Ahh well, next fall perhaps we'll plant some. We do have crocus planted though and they are starting to come up too! I'll have to draw, or paint, one of them sometime soon. :)

For the little drawing of the Snowdrop I used:
  • Stonehenge paper - white
  • Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils
  • Prismacolors colored pencils
  • Caran d'Ache Pablo colored pencils

Come on Spring!

tot ziens,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Photo Friday: Ready for Valentines ?

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Leonidas' Chocolate Hearts - Antwerp, Belgium

Leonidas chocolatiers' windows are always so tempting!
So is the month of February - chocolate !!! :o)

tot ziens,


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