Monday heroes: JR and Agnès Varda

Last week I saw a beautiful French documentary on Dutch television: Visages Villages. 

The film follows the old nouvelle vague photographer Agnès Varda and the young street art photographer JR on a tour around France.

They meet and photograph people, and stick huge, beautiful portraits of them on the walls of their hometowns.

In the meantime they talk and quarrel about their work and life. It is a very touching, funny and uplifting movie. A must-see.


JR is also known for the photo-project he did with the wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Agnès Varda died earlier this year at 90 years of age.



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Today, just for the fun of it: comparing eggs.

Mine (upper left) are very classic, I found dozens like it, like the bowl of eggs by Ingrid Schuling (upper right).

Eggs have such a lovely clean shape, and they nestle so nicely in a bowl.

Casorati put them on a book, Lockwood Morris paints a lovely-coloured still life with them in a Portugese dish, van Riswick's little red pan looks like he was going to boil them for an egg salad and was suddenly struck by their beauty.

But most original is Tim O'Kane's box of eggshells.


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Annual prizes for children's literature

The annual Dutch prizes for children's books were handed out yesterday.

Koos Meinderts won a Vlag en wimpel (equivalent of a bronze medal) for the text of Reinaert de Vos, and Marjolijn Hof for the text of Lepelsnijder.


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Monday hero: Oliver Jeffers

Some time ago Koos (Meinderts) translated two books by Oliver Jeffers for Fontein publishers:    The day the crayons quit and The day the crayons came home.

I was an immediate fan, they are such funny and endearing books.

In fact, all his books are lovely. And beside picturebooks he makes beautiful covers like the one for The boy in the striped pajamas above, and also free work.

Oliver Jeffers was raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but now lives in Brooklyn, USA.


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In the ditch at the beginning of our street I regularly see cormorants. Afterwards they dry themselves with spread wings on top of a streetlamp.

For this print I located them on the bank of a lake or sea, but the rest is true!


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Monday hero: Diana Sudyka

Diana Sudyka is a Chicago-based illustrator.

She started by designing posters for bands, but has since illustrated loads of books as well as making personal work.

I love how she draws the natural world, and am frankly jealous of her birds.

Her work is not solely naturalistic but also a bit folkloristic and magical.

I like how she uses handwritten text in her images as well.


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Cigar boxes

The one downside to having less and less smoking friends is not getting any cigar boxes anymore.

This while I love making stuff out of them.

In Berlin, in a very nice bookshop I saw little diorama's in boxes and wanted to try my hand on that.

I had three suitable boxes left, see above.

Yesterday I went to the tobacconist and asked if they had any to spare, and was given a small pile of nice ones.

I wonder what they will turn into!


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Girls II

This week I received an email from Edinburgh, where my print Nettie III is part of an artcollection for healthcare settings.

The small lithograph, that I made in 1988, will be included in a book with artwork from the collection, to help people with dementia engage and communicate. A great honour!

When I looked up this print, a 'self portrait' as a young girl with our budgie Loekie on my head, someting struck me: I had short hair, as my 3 sisters had, and most of the girls I knew.

Nowadays it seems girls have to have their hair long, even from a very young age.

But look at the portraits above, these girls with their (not even that) short hair, don't they look great?

A plea for short hair for girls!


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Monday hero: Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell

Here we go again: I'm 'homesick' for Scotland, as often in May and June, for this is the most beautiful time to be there.

Luckily, when you can't start packing rightaway, there's always fantastic art to look at, like these paintings by Francis Cadell (1883-1937).

Cadell came from a wealthy Edinburgh family. He learned to paint in paris, and loved to work on Iona, subject matter of all the paintings above.


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This morning a giant cruise ship rammed another ship and the quay in Venice.

For years now Venice has attracted more people and ships than it can handle.

Venice has also always held an enormous attraction for artists.

I also fell head over heels for a city where all transport is by boat, and all buildings seem endlessly to crumble into the sea.


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