Monday hero: Jan Sluijters

As you all know by now, I love portraits.

At this moment I am working on a project that exists of (fictitious) children's portraits, that I will tell about at a later stage...

I love the children's portraits by the Dutch painter Jan Sluijters (1881-1957).

They portray real children, complete with dolls and other toys, but they are also very serious.


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Monday hero: Giorgio Morandi

Sorry about the two 'Monday hero-less' weeks, I was in Italy.

Every year in Bologna in spring, the international Children's Book Fair is held.

But Bologna is also the city of the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964).

This year we didn't manage to go to the Morandi museum there, but I'm getting a second chance, as the Museum Belvédère here in Holland is showing his work this spring.

I am always curiously attracted to Morandi's work. 

Curiously, because almost all his paintings are still lifes of roughly the same objects: bottles, pots and blocks, in a very tight composition.

And yet, composition and colour are invariably just right.


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Children's Bookfair Bologna

I was in Bologna for the anual Children's Bookfair. Always a pleasure (and not only because the sun, the streetcafés and the swifts that are already there)

I am always surprised at the amount of illustrators, armed with folders and bussinesscards, that roam the halls of the fair.

Already on day 1, the walls of the entrance hall are clad with illustrators cards.

Does anyone ever get an assignment that way? Do publishers even look at them?

Please let me know if you know (or are) somebody who got work this way!


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Monday hero: Lucinda Rogers

When you think of cityscapes, you might think of lovely quaint canals and picturesque houses, but the work of Edinburgh born artist Lucinda Rogers is far from 'pretty'.

Her robust scenes, drawn in situ in f.i. London or New York, show the city as it is now.

But even though her subject matter might be mundane or even ugly, her drawings have an unmistakeble elegance.


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Mister Max

This morning we received the first copy of our latest picturebook De zee van meneer Max at Leopold publishers. Afestive occasion in itself, as the book has turned out beautiful, but there was cake as well!

A big thank you to editor Ria Turkenburg. 


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Monday hero: Roland Collins

I first came across the British painter Roland Collins (1918-2015) on Spitalfields Life website, and recently came across it again and was smitten again.

He has painted a lot along the coast, and his other landscapes also have an air of being on the edge of things. It gives them a melancholy air.

Collins has also worked as an illustrator for some children's books and record sleeves.


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Monday hero: Ramon Casas i Carbó

The Spanish painter Ramon Casas i Carbó (1866-1932) was the son of a wealthy Catalan family.

He worked in paris off and on, and also in Cuba and America. He was considered an avant garde painter in Spain. But later in life his art was thought of as oldfashioned.

It is above all unmistakebly Spanish : I find it striking that Spanish paintings are often very dark and heavy. You wouldn't expect that of artists from such a sunny country.



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Monday hero: Károly Reich

Károly Reich (1922-1988) was a Hungarian illustrator. 

You can see immediately that his work is Eastern European. He approaches his subjects in an almost decorative way, like in folk art.

His choise of material however is unusual: he seems to have embrased the humble felt tip pen, for some purist the least of materials. And the two outer illustrations on the top row  seem to be linocuts, but with the lino itself colored in!

So he had one foot in tradition, and the other foot firmly in experiment.


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Monday hero: Anne Redpath

I have an old nabour who is also an artist. Very occasionally we talk about art.

Once he asked me who my favourite artists were.

I named people like Rik Wouters, Helene Schjerfbeck, Isaac Israels, Eric Ravilious and Joan Eardly.

All well and good, but they weren't the Great Masters!

True. I fall more for the lesser gods than for big names like Rubens, Rembrandt or Picasso.

The Scottish artist I wanted to show today, Anne Redpath (1895-1965) is again one of the lesser gods, but I love her work! Her subjects are 'everyday' subjects, her colors are beautiful, and she paints in a nicely chunky way.


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Liebermann, de zee van meneer Max

This book is on its way to the printer, and the original illustrations are on their way to the Gemeentemuseum.

I have finished work on the picturebook about the painter Max Liebermann, that we made for Leopold publishers and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.

I have loved working on this, already the 19th book in the series of artbooks for children, published by the museum and Leopold.

It will be in the shops on March 21, and the exhibition opens on the 24th.


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