Thursday, 31 January 2013

blue winds

amazing how such a seemingly fragile weave survives all types of weather and remains intact, despite the strong winds; I see a spider's nest in the corner

this morning we went for a short walk in the pouring rain with friends; it was good to be outdoors, but it was an ideal day to spend indoors in the studio; this afternoon, thankfully, the sun showed her face and T. and I took a hike along the river; there were hundreds of gulls on the water, they're there in the photo, but to small to see

it's very windy

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


after the gusty, noisy and wet night, wind and rain are on hold and we took the opportunity to walk into the woods; hadn't been there for a week; much has changed: the snows have melted, the earth is soggy and soft; temperature's gone from - 10 to +9 C

there's a new dam!
managing the water on a small scale

......and a lot of water, in the 'sloot' where it should be

and on land, here in the 'griend', where it shouldn't

note to self: visit the Deltawerken, (view on you tube) in Zeeland and the Afsluitdijk , up north, with the boys, for their and our education: watermanagement in the low countries on a grand scale; I'm a lazy mum who feels she should spend more time with the boys hopefully doing stuff we all can enjoy.

Sunday, 27 January 2013


I have just 'discovered' the amazing poet Hayden Carruth (1921-2008) and want to post so many of his poems, but I won't (at least not today) and after having read a couple of his poems I found this site the poetryarchive with this all important quote:

'My poems, I think, exist in a tension between the love of natural beauty and the fear of natural meaninglessness or absurdity.' Yes!

Living as we do in the countryside, we're close to the wildlife, rats and roedeer, pheasants, hares and mice, foxes, hedgehogs, toads.......So here's a word from Hayden Carruth on embracing them:

Little Citizen, Little Survivor
A brown rat has taken up residence with me.
A little brown rat with pinkish ears and lovely
almond-shaped eyes. He and his wife live
in the woodpile by my back door, and they are
so equal I cannot tell which is which when they
poke their noses out of the crevices among
the sticks of firewood and then venture farther
in search of sunflower seeds spilled from the feeder.
I can’t tell you, my friend, how glad I am to see them.
I haven’t seen a fox for years, or a mink, or
a fisher cat, or an eagle, or a porcupine, I haven’t
seen any of my old company of the woods
and the fields, we who used to live in such
close affection and admiration. Well, I remember
when the coons would tap on my window, when
the ravens would speak to me from the edge of their
little precipice. Where are they now? Everyone knows.
Gone. Scattered in this terrible dispersal. But at least
the brown rat that most people so revile and fear
and castigate has brought his wife to live with me
again. Welcome, little citizen, little survivor.
Lend me your presence, and I will lend you mine.
from Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey, Copper Canyon Press, 1996 
I found this poem here: tuesday poem

detail, rat and toad go for a stroll


it's still winter, but a different one: temperature is rising, we have rain coming in from the west, snow and ice are melting; the colours are changing

and straight away: catkins on the willows

I've successfully managed to sew on the airy bits, and want to continue in blues and (muddy) greys. The piece is lighter than in the pic, the blue velvet is more turquoise and grey.

and with the weather changing I'm also looking at a different palette: more shades of brown and grey, with some greens, like outside

Saturday, 26 January 2013


we found an aborted embryo this morning, the dark blob in the pic above, bloodstains and grass that had been rooted around, perhaps by a hare.

here it is in the palm of my hand, to give an idea of the smallness, and you can see an eye on the left; I asked our elder son to have a look (he wants to study medicine) and he reached the same conclusion: an embryo
and here's a photo of a photo (by Kevin Carter) from thursday's newspaper that tugged at my heart; a child in the Sudan, curled up dyeing of hunger with a vulture waiting in the background; and like the patient vulture, Carter waited for the perfect moment to take this picture and left, a year later he won the Pulitzer Prize. Kevin Carter was a South-African news-photographer who started working during the years of apartheid in South Africa, he commited suicide at the age of 33, in a letter he stated he had seen too much pain, fear and death. The reason for thursday's newspaper article which this picture accompanies, is an exhibition by Alfredo Jaar 'The sound of Silence' in Rotterdam on Carter's life and work, in the Nederlands Fotomuseum. Maybe I will visit.

Back in my studio, the two merged, the embryo and the image of a suffering child, knowing both lives were lost and I know it doesn't help anyone, but I just wanted to remember them both, here.

it's a bleak day out there

Thursday, 24 January 2013


inspired by the winter skies
the back of our house, as seen from the dike, yesterday

ice flowers & waiting dog

the winter weather continues and the snow is thick on the ground, no safe skating however, the ice quality is bad; we're enjoying the sunshine and cold, clear skies while they last
a hare has scraped away the snow here

Monday, 21 January 2013


we went out for a walk in the dark light, and no sooner had we crossed the dike, we heard a rustle and as we descended down the other side towards the river, we saw three! roedeer, pouncing alongside and then away from us.....out of sight
 we followed their prints and discovered they had walked over 'our' path along the river's edge

snakelike treetrunk
here's T standing on the frozen river drinking really cold water, this is one of his regular drinking spots, so he really wants to drink here if at all possible

Sunday, 20 January 2013


same walk in the uiterwaarden as last week, but oh my how the weather has changed; it looks bleak here, and believe me it was freezing cold with a sharp easterly wind and it has started to snow as I'm typing

I've sewn on the white sun and removed the red one that just didn't feel right anymore

a splash of orange and red in the studio: that's another thing I like about the cold outside: inside I can have a roaring fire in the woodburner and Tungsten can lie on the carpet

Saturday, 19 January 2013

cold continued

'winter' almost done 53x53 cm


it's cold out

an easterly wind is blowing

the light is extraordinary

I wasn't a fan of the cold; this year however, I have embraced winter, I'm  enjoying it! I don't know why, maybe because the light is overwhelming and I love the stark black lines of the trees and plants against the white-grey skies.
And I'm hoping the rivers and ponds will freeze so we can go skating on natural ice; and the blanket of snow hides the messy bits in the garden, and the view from the studio window is so pretty.....the dog loves winter too.

Friday, 18 January 2013


went to the hairdresser's this morning, I do believe this is the last time I'll have a Mohawk haircut, I'm getting too old; now that I have found the right translation for this haircut (btw called a cocks'comb in Dutch) I have unwittingly realised my childhood dream of becoming an Indian from North America, although my then alter ego had long brown hair in a braid. Funny how memories creep up on one and how old desires turn into a different reality.


sun/sky this morning

in progress: 'postcard' with a subtle heart for A.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

old bird

progress is slow in the studio, however a maiden has entered his chamber (her head's temporary) he wants a warm body, she doesn't look too thrilled....ah well, there are many stories; not all of them happy ones. Who knows: if I make her just that little bit shorter and her face a bit older, she'll start to fancy him and the outcome will be good

Wednesday, 16 January 2013