Homework 1

I have always liked to work with pastels. I discovered this material in my one and only year in Waldorf school when I was about 16 years. I remember copying The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer, and being amazed at the result, especially the brightness of the colors.
Since painting classes at Rietveld were not such a success (understatement) I thought to give pastel a try. Hooray! I am actually quite pleased with my accomplishment. I am concentrated and in control, while at the same time letting it happen on the paper. I feel euphoric. Very nice.
I also copy a photo of Ila by Harper, while Ila's friend Sheila is over for a play date. But she doesn't play, she stands behind me and marvels at the colors that blend into the picture of her friend. Very cute.


GRA - 6th class sculpture

Finally we get to work with clay! The assignment is to contract two words and make a new word, but I get excited by the word 'koffiekop' which means coffee cup or coffee head. There is my excuse to make a clay face. Here at the Academy they say to make the assignment your own, don't need to follow it to the letter, so here I go, just using the assignment as a starting point...

Part two of the assignment is to translate this object 4 times bigger with a non-mouldable material.

But I am lazy. I don't know where to start and there are too many other things keeping me away from my art work (like Sinterklaas, birthdays and other festivities - it's December after all!). But in class, I realize I do have an idea that I would have liked to work on. A while ago I saw someone on the street with a bouquet of flowers that was wrapped in a very fancy way. The paper around the flowers was fortified with wires on the inside, that made it stand out wide like half a globe. That gave me the idea to make it rest on someone's shoulders, like a reversed head scarf, or with an ear attached , like a coffee cup. I am sure I will use this idea sometime...


MK24 - 11th & 12th class

The theme is: city, metropolis, repetition in the city, repetition in nature, and we work with mixed techniques.
We prepare the paper with gesso (light blue in my case). I found an intriguing picture in The International Herald Tribune; European-style houses in China that I want to recreate using stencils.
I like this technique. It allows me to work fast, mix colors easily. I use one stencil to make three different houses, so the perspective is not realistic, but I like the effect. I have noticed that working fast and carelessly improves my work. However towards the end of the evening I tend to overwork the paint again. It's so hard to stop. I can feel the work is not finished, but am not sure what it needs. There's a fear to leave it the way it is, because when will I have time to work on it again? I should allow myself more time. To make more versions of it, to try out different things. I have to learn how to fail, how to kill my darlings, how to move on without regret... Ah, life!


GRA - 5th class sculpture

Extra assignment: Go to the open days of the Rijksacademie and choose two works of art: one that appeals to you and one that does not. Explain.

I enjoy taking my 9 year old daughter along. She notices things I (and other adults) do not. It helps me appreciate what I see better than if I would have walked here by myself. Most of the art is so hideous I don't even want to stand still to examine why I am so repulsed by it. Is it because I think I could do better? Or because I just don't understand. It fatigues me to try to figure out and understand what the artist is trying to express. Most of the time I don't want to bother. Is this what I would want to do myself?
The best work I see today, is because of my daughter. We enter a small room with a window where you can sit down and watch another room full of dead leaves. There's a radio that produces noise, just noise. I am about to walk out when my daughter says, 'o look, it moves.' And then I see... It's very subtle, like breathing. The dead leaves are not dead, they breathe, they're alive. The whole floor moves up and down. Breathtaking!