Sketches

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Monteriggione

Another small sketch from the Volterra trip: the little church in Monteriggione. I misjudged the size of the paper (or rather the size of the church): the top of the tower fell over the edge. It was such a nice weather: we sat on a shaded terrace with some nice espresso at hand.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Alphons Wintersprize

The Alphons Wintersprize was made public yesterday evening. No, I did not win the prize or one of the honorary mentions. But I was not disappointed, far from that. The winners delivered really fabulous work, far better than mine.

I am proud to be chosen through the selection stages and having reached this final round.
And if I look at the final exhibition I see very high quality of the works, and it amazes me that the jury considered my work to be fitting among them.
And that with a portriat, something I could not do decently a few years ago.
Here is the portriat of Anne, painted two years ago in a live portrait session.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Exhibition on gender preferences

We have a museum called the "Continium" in Kerkrade, some 15 kilometers away.
It's a museum mainly for children. It covers subjects like science, nature, technology, biology, history, that kind of stuff. Essentially: "how does it work".
The exhibits are not aimed at showing objects, but they try to involve the visitors and to make them play with the displays.
This is an exhibit where children are asked to make choices between art objects, music, clothes, books, films etc. The choices are then recorded with the aim to show them about gender differences, and how that involves different tastes and interests. And maybe that preferences are not so gender specific at all. 



Anyway, one of my paintings was chosen for the exhibition: the view on Madison Avenue in New York. The top painting.
I made it back in 2011, based on an unused sketch made during our New York trip in 2009.
 http://www.renefijten.blogspot.nl/2011/02/madison-avenue.html

The exhibition will run for a full year.

Monday, 17 November 2014

The total view of Volterra

Here are the last images of the Leporello. The top image was made on the last morning, just before we started on our trip home.

video

And here is the total strip of drawings: 1,5 meter long, 20cm high.
As you can see there is no room for mistakes, you can't tear out or delete a drawing.

Most drawings were totally made on location, 3 were drawn there but painted at home, the alabaster worker was redrawn from an original sketch in my moleskine book and the last one under "Volterra" was based on a picture.
The video is a little experiment in posting. I have to figure out how to handle sound or music, steadyness and how to improve the brightness. Next years challenge.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Brazil


2 portraits of Brazilian people. Based on pictures from a newspaper (Volkskrant dec 2013).
It was an exercise in monochrome painting, as part of this years Model Master class.
Acrylic on paper, about 50x60cm.

Monday, 10 November 2014

albaster workshop

Volterra is famous for its Alabaster (a kind of natural stone, a mixture between gypsum and calcium). You can find small workshops where craftsmen make all kind of artistic pieces and statues from this stone. This guy was working so concentrated in front of his workshop window, that I am not sure he even noticed me drawing him.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Monteriggione


Sketches of Monteriggione, near Siena. A small medieval fortified city on top of a hill. I was there 30 years ago and I remembered it as a bit abandoned and deserted town. It was more lively now, a lot of tourists, even for october.
The 4th and 6th instalment of the leporello.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Volterra scenes

Volterra as seen from the hostel. We slept in an ancient seminario (San Andrea), and the parking lot had this stunning view to the city skyline. Especially at 7 in the morning, as the orange sun hit the top of the buildings.
This is the access to one of the old entrances to the city, and a statue of a pig on one of the medieval towers.
The drawings are the 2nd and 3rd instalments of the leporello.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Porta Docciola

Volterra, Porta Docciola. You can see the medieval (~1300 AD) washing basins under the arches. A laundramat avant-la-lettre.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Piazza dei Priori

Another of the Volterra sketches. We had 6 students and 2 teachers, one did photography and art, I did drawing and architecture.
As I had to teach I could not draw so much myself. But at times I would give the students a difficult assignment (see below), and we would observe them from a nice shaded terrace with some hot espresso, and I was able to do something like the above drawing. It's the first installment of a Leporello, a long strip of paper (~1,5 meter long) with drawings. More to come.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Zelzate, Belgium

Had to drive to Zelzate in Belgium for another project. It's near the harbours of Antwerp. There is a canal (kanaal van Gent naar Terneuzen) fit for seaships, with some steelfactories at the side. A quick impression with fountain pen ink, diluted with water.
The other Volterra drawings will follow.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Volterra Piazza dei Priori

Two sketches of the Piazza dei Priori. I was there to instruct a group of students in architecture and drawing techniques.
It meant long days of arganising and instructing, and not so much drawing myself.
Just a few times, when I gave them a difficult task to do, did I have time to make a few sketches myself. These are the sketches of the Piazza dei Priori, the central market place, with a few high medieval towers (about 1350 AD).

Monday, 27 October 2014

Pisa, Italy


I just returned from a very intensive week in Toscane, Italy. Willem Verhaeg (a professional photographer) and I teached a group of architecture students into the sacred art of architecture, drawing and making good pictures.

This is a drawing of the Piazza dei Miracoli, in Pisa, with the famous leaning tower.
It was made last Saturday. As you may notice we had terrific weather considering Christmas is less than 8 weeks away. Good for a heavy smelling espresso on a sunlit terrace.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Teaching drawing and sketching

This is my class; 6 architecture students hard at work to sketch the built environment in Maastricht.
Next to my regular job as an architect, I also gave a course of drawing and (hand)sketching for the Academy of Architecture in Maastricht (part of the Academy of Arts). It's a 4 year course to get a Masters degree in Architecture, 2 evenings and a full day a week.
I taught them the principles of linework, hatching, perspective, isometric and axonometric drawing, hand drawing, visual drawing and sketching as method of design. And more.
I finished the final session (of 7) last evening.
Very tiring but also very rewarding to do! Here you see them enthusiastically drawing a grey stone wall at 1 meter distance. It was real nice to find a new surprising challenge every week... haha.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid made a design for a fire station on the Vitra terrain (Weil am Rhein). A fantastic building.
This is not the exact representation of the ground-floor plan, but an abstract analysis of it, made from recollection. Tried to capture the motion within the building.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Frank Gehry in weil am Rhein


Two views of the Vitra Design museum, by the architect Frank Gehry. Hard to believe that these two drawings ware made on standpoints only about 30 meters apart.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Lörrach from Vitra haus

The village Lörrach as seen from the top floor of the Vitra haus.

As architects we cannot pass the area without visiting the Vitra design centre in Weil am Rhein, with an array of fantastic buildings by: Herzog and Meuron, Frank Gehry, Jean Prouvé, Buckminster Fuller, Alvaro Siza, Peter Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid and Tandao Ando. I probably forgot a few.  Now I cannot help but wonder why I never visited the area and the site before. This is the new visitors centre, a really fantastic building with some superb furniture at display.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Basel (Switzerland)

I just returned from Switzerland, on an architecture trip to Basel.
Basel and its surroundings (including Germany and France) has a lot to offer on recent top of the bill architecture. I'll post some architecture sketches later.
But let's start with a sketch of the view across the river towards the Basel Altstadt. Made while sitting on a nice terrace in the evening sun, enjoying a good Weizen beer with some colleagues. I think the church is the "Basler Munster".

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Dog house or house dog

A random doodle during a boring meeting led to this sketch.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Maastricht: St. Matthiaskerk

Quick lunchtime sketch of the St. Matthiaschurch, in the Maastricht city centre. It was good to be out sketching again; we have good weather presently, even for the final days of September.