Schilderij

For a while now I have wanted to try my hand at painting. I have sketched with charcoal and oil pastels but never done any painting. So when I saw a chance to take a landscape painting workshop in Bussum (and get a chance to practice my Dutch), I signed up immediately.

We began sketching out details, in charcoal, on our canvases. Then we painted over the sketch and began adding color until our paintings were complete. I really enjoyed mixing the paints and layering the paint on the canvas. It was fun to learn a new skill in a new language.

My painting of de heide. In the upper left corner is the photo I used as a guide for my painting.
My painting of de heide. In the upper left corner is the photo I used as a guide for my painting.

Kunst

Let’s talk about art (kunst in Dutch). Art is not exclusively found in museums. In fact I found quite a lot of art by just walking around town. Art is in parks, train stations, buildings, and many other places; you just need to keep your eyes open. Below is some art I have found whilst wandering.

Haarlem
A window in Haarlem
Amsterdam
A statue in Amsterdam
Buurtatelier (an exhibition of art by Dutch children)
Het Buurtatelier (art by Dutch children, this painting and the next four are in a tunnel under the Muiderpoort train station)

trein station kunst 2

trein station kunst 3

trein station kunst 4

trein station kunst 5

I found this face on a bridge.
I found this face on a bridge.
Gedeeld verleden, gezamenlijke toekomst (shared past, common future). This art installment is in Oosterpark in Amsterdam
Gedeeld verleden, gezamenlijke toekomst (shared past, common future). This art installment is in Oosterpark in Amsterdam
De titaantjes (Little Titans). Oosterpark, Amsterdam
De titaantjes (Little Titans). Oosterpark, Amsterdam
Another statue in Oosterpark
Another statue in Oosterpark

Food Discoveries #2

Once upon a time I would only drink wine (usually red) and occasionally some vodka (loaded with cranberry juice). Then I discovered American micro-brews and eased into the world of beer drinking. In the Netherlands, you can find almost any style of beer: IPA, pilsner, stout, Trappist, lambic etc. Due to our proximity to Belgium and Germany, stores stock a lot of Belgian styles and German beers. Mike and I are on a mission to try as many of the beers available as possible.

Here are some of my favorites:

Palm Speciale Belge – This beer is a caramel color and tastes like a light amber. It drinks easy on its own or with food. Bonus: I can find it at almost any pub or cafe.

Belgian Wit – I love the light and slightly bitter/sour taste. This style is very refreshing.

Belgian Bruin – This style reminds me of a lighter stout, caramelly but not as dark.

So what are some things you eat with these beers? Well aside from drinking a beer with dinner the Dutch will have bitterballen, kaassouffl├ęs, krokets, and maybe a loempia or two. Personally, I enjoy

kaassouffl├ęs – cheese sticks wrapped in rice paper and deep fried served with sweet chili sauce

loempias -think spring rolls also served with a sweet chili sauce

Another one of my favorite Dutch snacks is Katjang Pedis, peanuts covered in a spicy sambaal mixture. I always try to have some Katjang Pedis or mixed nuts in the house.

Haarlem

Recently, I visited Haarlem which is home to the Ten Boom clock shop, Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer*, several museums, and lots of lovely architecture.

As I travel around the Netherlands, I am noticing that each train station looks different and many of them have lovely architecture and artwork. The Haarlem Station is no exception.

Art in the Haarlem Train Station
Art in the Haarlem Train Station

Stained glass window at the Haarlem Train Station
Stained glass window at the Haarlem Train Station
More art in the Haarlem Train Station
More art in the Haarlem Train Station
Third Class Waiting Room (apparently now these waiting rooms have been converted into a salsa club). Now there are only 1st and 2nd class train tickets.
Third Class Waiting Room (apparently now these waiting rooms have been converted into a salsa club). Now there are only 1st and 2nd class train tickets.

Cool Haarlem Building

I did not go inside the Ten Boom shop this visit but I plan to return in the future.

The Ten Boom Clock Shop where Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews during WWII.
The Ten Boom Clock Shop where Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews during WWII.

Historic Building with an apothecary head outside.
Historic Building with an apothecary head outside.
Hermes Foot statue by a canal in Haarlem
Hermes Foot statue by a canal in Haarlem
church in Haarlem
church in Haarlem

*I did visit the Frans Hals Museum exhibit on Kenau. She was a Dutch woman who fought against the Spanish in 1573.

Creating Home Pt 2

The second installment of our place in the Netherlands.

The wall opposite the couch. Eventually we will put up a picture on the empty wall.
The wall opposite the couch. Eventually we will put up a picture on the empty wall.
Yes, that is Sinterklaas on the wall. And yes, I know that Sinterklaasdag was 3 months ago.
Yes, that is Sinterklaas on the wall. And yes, I know that Sinterklaasdag was 3 months ago.
I love the towel warmer and the tub with jets.
I love the towel warmer and the tub with jets.
One of our 3 (yes 3) staircases. Note the angle of the steps and the bannister.
One of our 3 (yes 3) staircases. Note the angle of the steps and the bannister.
Most of our doors look like this (even the bathrooms). It does let in more light between rooms which is great ...sometimes.
Most of our doors look like this (even the bathrooms). It does let in more light between rooms which is great …sometimes.
De slaapkamer (aka the bedroom)
De slaapkamer (aka the bedroom)

Delft: Home of Royal Delft, Vermeer, and Burial Place of William I of Orange

My parents visited the last week in February and during their visit we went to Delft. In addition to the sites we intended to visit (Royal Delft Factory, Vermeer Center, and the tomb of William I), we encountered the local Carnaval parade.

A cool piece of art at the Delft train station.
A cool piece of art at the Delft train station.
Delft Train Station
Delft Train Station
Delft building tiles. I only recently discovered that Royal Delft made tiles for construction.
Delft building tiles. I only recently discovered that Royal Delft made tiles for construction.
More lovely Delft building tiles.
More lovely Delft building tiles.
Delft Lion tiles
Delft Lion tiles
Delft Eagle tiles
Delft Eagle tiles
Window made from Delft building tiles
Window made from Delft building tiles
This dress was created in collaboration with Delft artists and a designer to make it an original and one of a kind Delft dress.
This dress was created in collaboration with Delft artists and a designer to make it an original and one of a kind Delft dress.
Delft shoes
Delft shoes
Delft mark of authenticity
Delft mark of authenticity