White Ravens 2019

The International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, the biggest library of children's books in the world, has announced the White Ravens for 2019. The White Ravens are remarkable and innovative books.

One of the titles chosen is 'De schelmenstreken van Reinaert de Vos'.


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The film 'De club van lelijke kinderen' or 'The ugly children's club' has turned out great!

Koos wrote the book that formed the base about 30 years ago, but the subject (exclusion) is still very much valid, and Umami film productions has placed it firmly in the NOW, thrilling and funny, and most of all with very good actors.

I sincerely hope it will be shown outside Holland.


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Monday hero: Jan van der Kooi

Suddenly it is upon me again: that time of year when we look at the world mostly from our windows.

To get us into the mood, I show some works by the Dutch painter Jan van der Kooi (1957)

He paints landscapes, portraits and still life paintings, but my attention was drawn to the eye-catching amount of windows, and the light that comes in through them.


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The ugly childrens' club

This afternoon we're off to the premiere of 'De club van lelijke kinderen'.

The film is after a book by Koos Meinderts, one of the first books I ever illustrated back in the late 80s.


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Monday hero: Gustave Baumann

When I make a print, I challenge myself to use as few colours as possible to suggest loads of colours. This always fails, and I invariably end up printing more colours than I envisaged.

But when I see the work of the German born American Gustave Baumann, I think: why bother?

More is definitely more!

The colour woodcuts by Baumann (1881-1971) are extremely beautiful, and extremely colourful.

And he is right, a print is finished when it is perfect.


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All of autumn

During my stay on the island of Schiermonnikoog I did some landscape sketches, but my focus lay closer by.

There is an almost meditative pleasure in looking closely at something, and trying to draw it as precisely as possible.

All drawings are on white paper, by the way. Colour differences are due to my photographing skills.


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Monday hero: Victor Pasmore

Looking at the work of the british painter and architect Vitor Pasmore (1908-1998) I am reminded of Piet Mondriaan.

It is in the shape of the trees he painted, and in the fat that his work became more and more abstract.

And like with Mondriaan, I like the work he made just before he painted total abstraction best.

It is subtle and pale, almost colourless.


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After nature

Outside the work I brought with me to Schier, illustrations for a book of songs and sketches for another book, I love drawing after nature.

All the bushes are laden with berries and hips, and the mouse was deposited on the path to our house by a nabourhood cat I guess. Thanks.


Monday hero: Martin van Waning

I am on the small Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog for a working holiday. We have rented a house that used to be the studio of the artist Martin van Waning (1889-1972).

This painter-sculptor was born in The Hague, but moved to Schiermonnikoog in 1937.

Many of his landscapes were painted here.

In the village here, there's an ill-proportioned bronze statue by Van Waning of a monk (the island is named after the monks that lived here)


Sea buckthorn

On a bicycle ride today I couldn't resist picking a bit of buckthorn, risking life and limb (those thorns are really sharp!)

I love the colour combination of the grey leaves and the orangy yellow berries.