21 07 2010

I’m in Pasadena at the moment, and am making one small painting of a Pasadena detail per day.
If you want to see them all, go to my art blog!

A really huge daunting project

14 02 2010

I am preparing for my ”Ladies sidesaddle weekend” another fun weekend with my friends and this time we are going to be taught in sidesaddle riding. And when we are not having lessons we hope the weather will be good enough for our usual sport of dashing at mad-speeds through the forest!!!

But if the freezing weather holds, (and it’s next weekend!) we will have to resign and behave as ladies all the time instead of half the time as we planned….

Anyway, there’s going to be no fun for me if I can’t get my trailer fixed. I have a great trailer, I brought it with my savings many years ago and it was allready old then. In the years it is mine I have repainted it, replaced the pulling thingy, made a new floor, and replaced the axels, and now the walls have become so rotten that if I don’t replace them is ”Adios trailer”!

My trailer

The holes in the walls:


In the summer all kinds of interesting musrooms and toadstools grow on the rotten wood…

I painted the rotten parts whitish to make them less noticeble from a distance. But some parts you can stick your finger through!!!

But this is a really huge job! Not just the job, but the taking apart of the trailer! The fiberglass hood is attached in a very bizarre and complicated manner and it took us quit a while to find out how. Also there are so many Screws and bolts to take off, and they are all rusted and rotten and fixed together with all the rust. Also they tend to swivel around because most of the wood is rotten!

The screws and bolts, which ones belong where and how many we need

I was not really sure I could ever do it, so i was thrilled when my friend J offered me to stay the weekend and I could use her barn and she would help me take the thing apart and rebuilt it!

My hands hurt with the cuts and abrasions, and my back aches, but at last! late at night we figured out how to get the hood off! Without J’s help I would never have managed to get this far! (Which isn’t far at all)
Here you see J cutting through one of the bolts we couldn’t get out so we have to destroy it to remove it.

The attachment of the hood, There must be a weld between the folded strip and the U-profile on the inside. Here you can see it after we bend it to open, so we could loosen the fiberglass hood. If the fiberglass cracks I can throw the remains on my trailer on the dump!!! It’s a stupid construction: it holds a lot of water. I was hell to drill out the 45 special bolts!!! J did most of them!

So tomorrow we will remove the hood very carefully, and store it in a safe place. Then we will try to see how to remuve the metal strips and get the wooden panels out. Hopefully in one piece so we can use them as a template to cut the new oned. I brought the special plates yesterday. We need to do two big walls, to small ones, and one narrow strip in the front. We plan to do one piece at a time so as not to make the whole thing fall apart.
We think that putting the trailer back together might actually be a lot less work as taking it apart! We still aren’t quite sure if we will succeed.
In case the suspence is killing you, I will continue the Saga of the Trailer tomorrow!

The Equerience

30 11 2009

That’s the name of the big horse and coach expo I went to with The ”Istituto d’Arte Equestre”. The classical dressage institute from Maestro Giorgio Mereu Pez who is my riding instructor. The whole weekend was a good time. I had some paintings, to cheer up the stand, and made drawings, and finished a painting of the maestro himself.

I sold quite a few of my diary paintings, and got some commissions, but unfortunately I invested the proceeds in a very good Champion and Wilton side-saddle….

I’ve got a bit of a writer’s block, besides being very busy, with painting, cleaning, horse and saddles, (I’ve brought the Champion and Wilton side-saddle remember!!!)
Everything’s going swell, and I will be with the Q again soon. And will be stuck in America with lots of time to write 😉

This is a drawing I did last weekend, sorry for the bad quality, I had to photograph it and it was dark, all my photos of the weekend are bad 😦

Today, yesterday and the day before

26 10 2009

I made these paintings.

Read all about them on my Art blog!

24 Oktober

25 Oktober

26 Oktober

Drawing at the horse fair

21 10 2009

Yesterday morning I went to the village of Zuidlaaren. Every year, people from all over Europe flock to Zuidlaaren to sell and buy horses.
When you go you should go very early in the morning, Before 07.00. And it is usually very cold so you should get all your winterstuff out and wear it in layers! I bring a fresh sketchbook and a couple of soft pencils (The soft pencils get a lot harder in the cold)
The sketches I made will be posted at my Art Blog.

When I arrived (before 07.00) it was still dark

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art

Check out the murderous candy! There is a fair attached to the horse fair and many people spend the whole night there, going on the rides and doing the rounds of the café’s. I always preferred to sleep early and be comparatively fresh when setting out for a hard days work.


Now there are a lot of really ugly, badly built horses. And horses which aren’t quite healthy, But then they are one of the reasons I like to sketch at the fair. And every year I fall for one of these horses! If I had some money I might actually take one home!

So… Wanna see ”The Artist at Work?”
Go to my Art Blog where I also post videos of ”The Artist at Work”

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 14

The black Frisians are always hugely popular. But the breeding lately seems to aim at a very slender narrow horse. I don’t like it at all; I like the more compact broadly build Frisian. They always carry their head very proudly.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 3

Norwegian Fjord Horses. Very popular in the Netherlands for those who are not all out to ride competitions, but prefert o ramble around nature.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 10

After being put there since night not all horses are resigned tobeing tied down.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 8

There are big horses and small horses.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 22

Drawing a draughthorse

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 37

The village is absolutely Packed with humans and horses. It’s a miracle no accidents happen.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 41

A couple of Belgian heavy draughthorses.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 55

Warmblood ridinghorses, all very young still, basically foals.

zuidlaardermarkt Horse fair art 60

Designer Abaya

12 10 2008

I have been busy lately… A very dear blogging friend (who had just had her birthday!) has been dreaming about the perfect abaya
One made from a suitable material for hot temperatures, pockets (!), a hood so as to eliminate the need of carrying a shayla around, some nice simple trim, easy buttons, wide at the bottom so you can take large steps, chinese collar… and a ”Hello Kitty” on the sleeve!
Hmm…. All quite do-able… just a bit of work 😀

The sketch

Collecting materials

The abaya finished!

Because it can get cold too in KSA, the abaya comes with a matching woolen wrap

According to the recipient it is a good fit too! So with any luck we’ll be seeing some nice photo’s of the abaya in it’s supposed home-land; Saudi Arabia!
That is of course if they can get made before the lady is arrested by the Commission for the Prevention of Virtue and the Propagation of Vice, who have been busy on a new project: ”Getting all haraam, fitnah-causing, attractive abayas off the streets and out of the shops”!!!!

Finished! (for now)

18 05 2008

Yes: I finished the gruelling workload, and they’ve just picked it up, and they loved it! So: all’s well that ends well. I finished 20 minutes before they arrived!
I should now publish something on loo’s or so, because my stats have fallen to a dramatic low!

But first I’ll show you what has been keeping me from blogging.
And making awful comments on your blogs 😀
I have been painting about 70 illustrations, (gaarghh) to be used on three show-boxes (made by me), containing a booklet (also made by me) an educational cardgame (made by me) and a game with words (made by me), and coloured glasses (not made by me).
The boxes open when the lid is taken off.
The three colours and illustrations correspond with the personality dynamics of ”Human dynamics” .

The boxes open, to show the booklets and games, and the drawings inside the boxes belong to the word game. The words for that game are in little envelopes left and right.

Ok people: I’m relatively free again for comments and chat!
(relatively because I now have to clear up the mess left after 2 weeks of doing no house work)

Update: And I have just been to visit the Tarq!


14 05 2008

Have to work very, véry hard the next days, no time for blogging!!!!
Or riding,
or mailing

A hards days work

25 04 2008

Have had a hard day! I have been to the doctor, and then to a laboratory for blood tests, and another leg examination. and I have to go back Monday. And do I hope I’ll get a clever nurse! Last time I had a dunce! she had to poke around for 10 minutes before she found the vein! And it is not as if you have to look for veins on my arms: they show up blue! All (other) nurses always comment: ”hey: that’s easy!” My arm was numb for half the day! Luckily it was my left! Always try to get them to do your left arm! (unless you’re left, then I’d go for the right)

It’s the one in the crook of my elbow they need: How can anybody miss it!!!

Anyway, I’m doing this really interesting but difficult project now: I have to illustrate a teaching program about Human Dynamics for children. In Sweden the whole school system is reorganised on the principles on Human Dynamics! But I have a lot to learn and read. Never mind: that fits in well with my ”Personal Dynamic” So I used the little time left to keep up with my reading.

It’s só hard having to work at home

Utterly Exhausting!!!

Update, Friday:

Wauw! My doctor stood on my doorstep this afternoon, with a letter and papers and he insisted I go to the hospital. So, after 4,5 hours they have set me free, it is now 22.17 and I’m really hungry. I’m going to live but I have to give myself injectiones over the weekend and come back on Monday, but now to this other part where I’ll have to wait!!! Bleh! At least they didn’t keep me there.

Not that anybody is ever going to keep me in a hospital again while I can still stand and give out a blow.

And they have taken gallons of blood today, I was clever enough to hand them my left arm, the nurse hit the vein first try, but really hurt me taking the needle out. It still hurts!!!!!


16 04 2008

Today it is Tuesday, every evening on Tuesdays I drag my exhausted frame to the Graphic Centre, to do three hours of gruelling hard work, with the single purpose of producing a few worthwhile prints.

On Tuesday I do Lithography, or translated from Dutch: ”Stone-print” This is because you use a very special kind of very fine stone to make your print. This specific sandstone can only be found in a quarry in the south of Germany, a place called Solmhofen. The exceptional fineness of the sandstone quarried here makes it possible to make beautiful pictures on the polished stone, which can then be reproduced in previously impossible numbers. This printing process was invented in 1796.

It has also made it possible for some of the most amazing fossiles to be preserved. Many very delicate dinosaur bodies, sometimes with fur or feathers still visible as they imprinted on the sand when the stone was still sand. The most impressive and well-known of these is the beautiful archeaopterix, a real missing link! This fossil shows all the hallmarks of a small dinosaur combined with those of a bird.

Back to printing:

The whole process is very time consuming, but when everything is in place, and you have a good day, you can quickly make your prints. First you have to wipe the stone clean from the previous drawing. This is done by grating the stone with special abrasive carborundum-powders used in increasing levels of fineness. Here you can see W. grinding a really BIG stone. A smaller stone, like the one I’m showing next takes about one hour, one and a half to grind. You have to be very careful that the grinding doesn’t make a dent in the middle of the stone, or at the sides. If this happens you can’t print. So we check this during the first grind regularly with a metal ruler.

When the stone is clean and smooth, we take it to another room to dry. We don’t wait for the drying; we use old hairdryers to speed things up! Then we etch the stone using ”Strong Gum”, This is Arabic gum laced with nitric acid. This will prepare the surface for the drawing. The first thing is to paint a border on the stone with Arabic gum. Your drawing must always leave room for a substantial border on the stone, because the leather ‘rijfer’ (sorry I really can’t find a translation for this) has to be smaller than the stone. (Its on the photo) Anyway, The Arabic gum protects the stone. any fatty sustance like fingerprints will be visible on the print later on.

Here you see the beautiful Krause press we are lucky enough to use at the Graphic Centre. In the middle of the circle, you can see a small bit of wood, just sticking out underneath the metal is a thick leather strip. This is the ‘rijfer’ it will press the paper to the stone and thus transfer the drawing on the stone to the paper.

Now you can make your drawing. I’ve made a simple drawing with a special Lithography crayon. The drawing is dusted with talcum powder, and then covered with Arabic gum and left for 12 hours at least. We artists rely a lot on Arabic gum and are really pissed when there is another war/struggle/upheaval in the middle east, because that will mean there is less Arabic Gum coming our way, and we poor artists have to pay high prices to get our hands on some.

This is the stone covered in dry Arabic gum, next to it is the sketch I used for the drawing. I don’t transfer the drawing; I just draw it directly on the stone. The nice thing about Lithography is that it will reproduce exactly my drawing lines. It is very direct.

As you prepare for the printing of the drawing, you have to first prepare the paper: it must be of the right size, and often you might like to soak it in water first, then it has to dry off again. The test-paper is also prepared and the paper that goes on top of the printing paper is cut to size. A dish with water, laced with a small dash of Arabic Gum, and a sponge, is placed in a handy spot, and the pen-ink which I’m using is rolled on to the roller. Every kind of printing calls for a specific printing-ink.

Now we take the stone itself to the washing space again, and spray it with water and add turps to it.This cleans off the Arabic Gum, and the turps clean off the drawing. The drawing is very faint now. From now on, the stone has to be kept wet at all times! We take the stone back to the printing-studio, and roll the pen-ink onto the stone. The drawing now comes back again. The whole trick of Lithography printing is based on water and fat, and the (oily) ink wanting to stick to the greasy drawing on the stone while leaving the wet part completely clear. when a bit of the stone has dried the ink will stick on the stone and you’ll have to clean the stone immediately, or the stone is ruined and you’ll have to start all over again!

The wet stone now remains on the press and is rolled again before every print. The paper is placed on the stone after it is rolled with a fresh layer of ink. four to five pressure papers are placed on top of it, on top of that goes the grey plastic sheet. The stone is then placed undermneath the ‘rijfer’ which is pressed down with great force, by the metal handel, you see a part of it on top of the photo., and everythink is then rolled forwards. You can see the little bits of white tape we use to mark how far we can roll the press. The pressure is só great, that if you roll the press too far, the stone gets catapulted away from the press. You could kill somebody doing that! Or worse: break a valuable Litho-stone!!! Behind the Krause, you can see the Roco-press. Chances are, one of your friends is printing on that one! It’s not the best arrangement, but we don’t have a lot of space. It takes at least 3 to 4 prints before the ink is settled enough for the really good prints to be produced.

The printed paper is placed into a drying frame.

The finished print.

And framed. I gave this one as a present to the lady of the farm where Tarq and Rabhar are stabled. She looked after them and cleaned their stables while I was immovably stuck on the couch with my ankle!