Black Marie Antoinette

After Martin van Meytens le Jeune, Portrait de l'archiduchesse Marie Antoinette (1767-1768)

Ballpoint on paper.


Marie Antoinette's husband

After Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Louis XVI roi de France et de Navarre (1774)

Such a kind man, born at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Was never meant to be king. Was never meant to marry a duchess from an enemy country. Would have preferred being a simple locksmith. He was so simple they didn't think he would need his head.



Four layer triple chocolate cake with strawberries and a pot full of Earl Grey tea. Teatime = happy time.


Sad little boy

Sometimes I can't help drawing sad children. Here's a little boy. He thinks not much of himself. He feels like nobody sees him. And he's all alone. Maybe next time I'll draw some flowers, some trees and some other children around him. To cheer him up. Because he's not alone. There are so many of us.



Pieter de Goede, Alkmaar 1889 - Amsterdam 1983

Pieter was the son of Cornelis (Beemster 1861), 
greatson of Jacob (Beemster 1832), 
great-greatson of Pieter (Beemster 1793), 
great-great-greatson of Klaas (Stompetoren 1767), 
great-great-great-greatson of Jacobus (Schermerhorn 1732),  
great-great-great-great-greatson of Arian (Ursum 1708),  
great-great-great-great-great-greatson of Cornelis Dirckzoon (Broek in Waterland 1677),  
great-great-great-great-great-great-greatson of Dirck (Broek in Waterland 1641) and  
great-great-great-great-great-great-great-greatson of Cornelis Dirckzoon (Broek in Waterland, ca. 1620). 
Our oldest known ancester was a milliner and millbuilder. We couldn't be more Dutch.


Pieter de Goede, Alkmaar 1889 - Amsterdam 1983

Pieter de Goede, Alkmaar 1889 - Amsterdam 1983

My handsome great grandfather, also probably on his wedding day. He was like a father to his bastard grandsons. They lived with him for a couple of years in the wooden house behind the fire station on the Marnixstraat in Amsterdam. He was the caretaker for the veterinarian. 
My great grandfather was a gentleman. He smoked a pipe. When I kissed him, I would smell the sweet tobacco in his white moustache.  I met him when he was already very old. He mumbled a little. Like with my great grandmother, we didn't talk much, but we smiled a lot at each other.


Seventh drawing inspired by Marie Antoinette

After Antoine-Jean Duclos, La Reine Marie Antoinette annonçant a Madame de Bellegarde la liberté de son mari (1777)

They've all kind of fallen from the puppet box, haven't they?


Gerarda Johanna Hardeveld, 1888 - 1986

My beautiful great-grandmother, possibly on her wedding day. She married Pieter de Goede on July 24th 1912 in Amsterdam. Together they had three children, Annie, Catharina (my grandmother) and Gerard. I would visit her once in a while, she was very old and fragile. She was always embroidering something.  She would let her daughter take care of her, which she did quite sternly. Getting even perhaps, with the old days. My great-grandmother shared her lunch with me and smiled.


Work in progress

After Antoine-Jean Duclos, La Reine Marie Antoinette annonçant a Madame de Bellegarde la liberté de son mari (1777)

In my version, I think she is trying to push Mme de Bellegarde outside of the frame. Too plain, perhaps. There are some ladies missing in this picture. Forgive me, I got a little tired of the lace and bows and curls...


After anonyme, Marie Antoinette avec une coiffure "a la Belle Poule" (ca. 1775)

That boat goes on and on. It didn't even fit on the paper. One can only wonder how it fitted on her head, that poor, poor head...


Fourth drawing inspired by Marie Antoinette

After Jean-Francois Janinet, Marie Antoinette (1775)

I remember sitting in front of a mirror and trying to do my hair like she had. How do you keep it up that high? How do you make those perfect rolls on the side of your head? And the grey... Why did even young girls have grey or white hair? I would use talc powder and cover myself in clouds of sweetness.


Third drawing inspired by Marie Antoinette

After Martin van Meytens le Jeune, Portrait de l'archiduchesse Marie Antoinette (1767-1768)

I'll have to redo this one someday soon. Something went wrong with the hand. It's like she's putting her finger in her ear, instead of looking incredibly elegant.


Second drawing inspired by Marie Antoinette

Détail de l'ornement du petit théatre de Marie Antoinette.

I am just going to work my way through my books on the subject. Today no face or clothes, but a typical decoration of that time. Kind of kitchy, isn't it?


A new serie of drawings inspired by Marie Antoinette

After Jean-Etienne Liotard, Portrait de l'archiduchesse Marie-Antoinette d'Autriche a l'age de 7 ans (1762).

 I visited Versailles for the first time when I was 7 years old. That overwhelming palace with its enormous gardens and park was the most beautiful place I had ever experienced. I remember the statues in the Fall light. Golden brown leaves. A soft breeze. The sound of rustling skirts. I remember marble busts with elegant curls. I remember the gold and the candles of the Hall of Mirrors. I remember dancing with my cousin. I remember smiling the whole time. 
 "She was beheaded," said my stepfather. Marie Antoinette has been with me since then and I have read almost every book that has been written about her life. She continues to fascinate me.


Back to drawing

Just a little drawing I made last month when we were camping in Friesland. I miss making my daily drawings and hope that now that I have quit my job (what a time to do it) I can make myself sit down again and explore what I can do more with paper and ink.


9th drawing, day ....?

I always have all kinds of recycleble materials in my studio. I had already cut out some pictures from an old calendar that I wanted to use for another project, and I have stacks old boxes that I like to use as a canvas. Why not practice on cheap materials first, eh?
I started this project with no other idea than to use my new gouache paint box. As I was cutting, assembling and glueing, my thoughts wandered of. I had to think of my little boy who is so unhappy at school, and the image of a child, disconnected appeared.

 "I have a body that feels, a head that thinks and hands that make, but how do I make them all work together? How do I make sense?"


10th day, 8th drawing

Our maison de campagne has no bathroom, no toilet.
It has four rooms. Two bedrooms upstairs.
One salle de séjour downstairs on the left side of the front door.
And a kitchen on the right side. There are stairs in the middle and a big barn behind. 
There's an attic with strange noises. I think there are ghosts.

When my stepfather has to travel, my mother and I stay here alone with a gun behind the front door. My mother says she will never use it. So I practice shooting on empty cans. I always miss.

When we are alone my mother hears a horse on the front steps. In the distance a wolf.


7th day, 7th drawing

Marie Louise is posing with her friends behind the tractor. She is wearing a chemise. So are her friends. The chemise has a flower pattern. I didn't have the patience to draw the flowers. A chemise is worn on weekdays, over a shirt perhaps, no tights. A chemise  covers up any bodily shapes. Stains too. When you are a cook, like Marie Louise, you even wear your chemise on Sunday.
Marie Louise would wash herself every day with a cologne soaked wash cloth, at the mirror by her open door. I have never seen her brush her teeth (except with a knife).

My mother would say that people here look like they had fallen from the puppet box.


6th day, 6th drawing

From 1979 until 1983 I lived in France with my mother and stepfather. Somewhere in the centre of rural France, where no highways went, where old people lived on small farms without toilets. 
This is my mother, probably aged 30 years with our neighbors, Monsieur Robert Debelut and his housekeeper Marie Louise, who was an excellent cook and who had wobbling teeth that she cleened with a knife (!). He was stiff from arthritis and would defecate standing up behind the shed. Beautiful blackberries would grow there. His pants would always have dark stains. Marie Louise would give me a piece of stale brioche every day after school that I would feed secretively to her dog on a leach. She emptied the chamber pot on her front stoop. In Summer the smell would mix with the blossoms of the wisteria that grew abuntantly above her door. In the pouch around her neck, my mother kept her pills against anxiety and depression.


5th day, 5th drawing

Maybe I am too lazy. I make a drawing like this in 10 minutes. And then I feel like I am done. Like I have done enough. But it's not enough and I am not satisfied. But it is one drawing a day. I said I would do it and I did. So? It's a tiny accomplishment, but it is one step at a time.


4th day, 4th drawing

Detail of assigment.
Not impulsive, but intuitive.
As you can see, it's a whole lot of nothing.


Third day, 3rd drawing

According to my kid, I am cheating when I skip a day of drawing. But hey, it's Sunday today. So I am uploading a drawing that I made another day.


Second day, second drawing

My daughter is baking a cake in our new kitchen. I now realize I forgot to draw her utensils. And where is the cake? Anyway, it's just a little practice drawing. My second one in two days. Hooray!