Friday, December 20, 2013

"Fortune's Spindle" shrub - moleskine drawing & Happy Holidays and New Year!


Drawing copyright 2013 Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved.
Do Not Copy - Do Not Pin
"Fortune's Spindle (euonymus fortunei)"
pen & ink with watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook
December 2013 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands


In between getting my Christmas tree up & decorated, making presents & cookies, and squeezing in some travelling, I've been doing more small drawings of flowers & leaves that are still growing in our garden. Amazingly, this December in the Netherlands has been very mild  - rainy, but mild. We still have pelargoniums (geraniums) & pansies in bloom! When I have time, I try to draw something from my garden. However, due to the rainy (mucky) weather, I usually have to bring things inside.

Only recently have I discovered the name of this shrub, (the leaves & berries that I drew),  that grows in our garden: Euonymus fortunei : variety "emerald & gold". In English, the common name is "Fortune's Spindle"; I really love that name. In Dutch, the common name is "Kardinaalshoed" or "Kardinaalsmuts" both of which translate, in English, to: "Cardinal's Cap". This drawing is in my Moleskine sketchbook I have dedicated to and titled, "Flower's, Plants & Trees".

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

This is my last post in 2013 - I doubt I'll have time to post again before the new year. It's been a busy year for me offline, which actually has been a good thing! I'm not complaining!! :o)

So, without further ado ...

Have a Happy/Merry Christmas ~
Happy Holidays and New Year!!
:o)

See you next year ... in 2014!
omg... 2014 ... tempus fugit




tot ziens,
Judy
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sinterklaasfeest (St. Nicholas feast) - Dec. 5th, 2013

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Tonight's the night!
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved. 
Do not copy. - Do not pin.
"Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) 2013"
December 5, 2013 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands


Sinterklaas has been in the Netherlands since November 13th, traveling around  the country (on his horse Amerigo) meeting all the children who have been anxiously awaiting this night - Pakjesavond (Gifts Night)! 

Tomorrow, he leaves the Netherlands and travels to Belgium (and parts of Northern France) to deliver more presents. Then it's back to Spain, where he's from, until next year.
`










artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Do Not copy. - Do Not Pin.
"Taai-taai cookies for Sinterklaas"
Watercolors on Arches HP watercolor paper
size approx: 5 x 7 inches


If you want to read more about the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas, follow the links below to other posts I've written:
Sinterklaasfeest 2008 (St. Nicholas feast 2008)
Sinterklaas 2007- Pakjesavond (Gifts Night)
2006 - Sinterklaas might be the original santa!


Happy Sinterklaasfeest!

:o)


Judy
.........................................................................................

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oak Leaves in Moleskine & Happy Thanksgiving

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved. 
Do not copy - Do not pin
"Oak Leaves & Acorns"
pen & ink with watercolors, in moleskine sketchbook
October 2013 ~ Château-Chervix, France


This drawing is from last month, when I was in France. We had taken a walk in a forest to look for cèpes (mushrooms), but we didn't find any. Too many mushroom hunters had been there before us.  Being the 'pack-rat' that I am, I picked up the little oak branch with the acorns, brought them back to the rental house and drew them in my Travels in France moleskine.

Because I've been asked: 
When working in my travel molsekines, I use predominantly Winsor & Newton pan watercolors, Niji water brushes and Sakura Pigma Micron archival ink pens. The Micron pens and the W&N paints are my most favored "tools" for use in my moleskine sketchbooks. I've become used to how they perform on the moleskine paper and have learned to control the amount of water I use with the paints in order to avoid a lot of color bleeding through the page.  A little 'bleeding' isn't really a bad thing in a travel journal ... in my opinion. I feel it's a learning curve you just have to go through to find what works best for you - it's also a highly individual choice.

Lastly, here's wishing my American friends, all over the world, a very Happy Thanksgiving!  ... cèpes or no cèpes. :o)

P.S. & For the record:  
So you know -"Thanksgiving" (the last Thursday in November) is not a Dutch holiday, it's an American tradition.




tot ziens,
Judy
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pen & Ink Sketches ~ Cloister Arches in Utrecht

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved. 
Do Not Copy. - Do Not Pin.
"Utrecht Dom Cathedral Cloister's Arches - sketches 1 & 2" 
Pen & Ink in Moleskine plain paper journal
November 2013 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands

Behind the Dom Cathedral, (or the Dom Church, since it's no longer Catholic), is a lovely cloister garden where you can sit and ponder the day, enjoy the Gothic architecture, read, chat with a friend, or draw undisturbed. Frequently, I've seen either art or architecture students busy drawing the views in the cloister garden. Even on a dreary day, the cloister garden is still very interesting. 

Personally, I rather like drawing the detail of a portion of the arches.
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved.
Do Not Copy. - Do Not Pin.
"Utrecht Dom Cathedral Cloister's Arch detail"
Pen & Ink in Moleskine plain paper journal
November 2013 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands

As I'm very fond of visiting and drawing the Gothic cathedrals in Europe, being able to sketch the Dom Cathedral keeps me in practice :o)



tot ziens,
Judy
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo Friday - November Sunset

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photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. 
All rights reserved. Do Not Copy - Do Not Pin.
"November Sunset in The Netherlands"
November 2013 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands


Finally, a beautiful day with no rain! :o) The sky decided to put on an amazing display full of pinks and blues; the shot was taken from my back garden in the Netherlands.

Simply put : A  gorgeous ending, to a gorgeous day. :o) :o)



tot ziens,
Judy
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Last of the Hydrangeas from France - moleskine drawing with watercolors


drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved. 
Do Not Copy - Do Not Pin.
"Last of the Hydrangeas"
pen & ink with watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook
October 2013 ~ Château-Chervix, France

This drawing was done last month while I was in France. These hydrangeas (hortensias) were on the table in the kitchen of the rental house. Combined with lively croton leaves in the vase, the pale blueish lavender and pink hydrangeas greeted us when we arrived at the house. They were very pretty, but fading fast by the time we left. I forgot this was in my sketchbook, or I would have posted it last month! oops! :o))

It's been raining, raining, raining here in Holland, so not much drawing outside has been happening. I also can't get a decent photo of my sketchbook because every day is so overcast (i.e., dismal grey). We still have spring bulbs to plant in our garden too, which needs to happen soon before we float away! lol


tot ziens,
Judy
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Monday, October 28, 2013

A drawing from my fall vacation in France, 2013


Lately, I've been too busy to blog ... alas, other work piles up sometimes. But, here is a drawing I did, earlier this month, while on vacation in Château-Chervix, France. 

Me :o) drawing the cider apple tree at the rental house in France.
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved.
Do Not Copy - Do Not Pin
October 13, 2013 ~ Chateau-Chervix, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, France

Despite how the picture above appears, it was actually quite windy (and cold) while I was desperately trying to quickly draw the tree.

The drawing was finished outside but painted inside, looking out the front window of the house ... cause it was too cold to stand out there for any longer!

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved. 
Do Not Copy - Do Not Pin
Cider Apple Tree in October 2013
pen & ink with watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook
October 13, 2013 ~ Château-Chervix, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, France

I've drawn and/or painted this view of the cider apple tree a few times before. The tree is very, very old and I just love looking at it, drawing it and observing how this tree changes every time we return to Château-Chervix. :o)



tot ziens,
Judy
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