Time for another trip to Amsterdam. I started out in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam and spotted a poffertjes stall in the market. I couldn’t pass without sampling these yummy, tiny, dutch pancakes covered in icing sugar.

In need of a coffee, I stopped off at a cafe nearby.

Next stop – Amsterdam public library. This is europes largest public library and opened in 2007. It’s fantastically modern and bright. I’ve never seen so many magazines and newspapers on display from around the world. You could easily spend all day here surfing the internet, browsing the books, mags and music. Can even stay for lunch and dinner and look out at the amazing view from the top of the building. I only stopped off for a couple of hours and  did a few quick sketches. Love the lighting. Will definitely return.

Lunch was followed by window shopping and more coffee!


Took a trip to Utrecht. Famous for it’s medieval architecture, canals and Miffy! There are many shops and art galleries too. Stopped by the Australian Aboriginal Art museum which has a Cobra exhibition running alongside the Aboriginal art. It was overrun by school kids so I didn’t stick around for too long!
I felt like I was on a school trip as I followed another group of teenage students toward the Centraal Museum.

At the museum there’s an exhibition of Utrecht architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld known for ‘that chair’ (1918). It’s a fascinating show and I was surprised there were so few visitors. It shows his contribution to 20th century design alongside contempories such as Le Corbusier. Interesting to see how he has influenced other designers today and amusing to see other artist/ designers interpretation of his Red-Blue Chair. Being a lego fan (at least I was in my youth) I really liked Mario Minale’s chair made entirely from lego. There’s also a chair that was constructed by students at the Rietveld Academy in the 1980s protesting at cutbacks in education and very relevant today.

There are alot of architect models and plans. I was immediately drawn to a tiny model made out of cardboard. Rietveld made this on a train journey after he was given a brief to design a Sculpture Pavilion. It was later built in Sonsbeek, NL.

Afterwards I did a quick sketch of the view from the Centraal Museum.

Next stop Miffy museum. I’ve visited before and never tire of seeing his books covers and posters on display. There are also play areas for children and films of Miffy creator Dick Bruna including a personal favourite of Dick Bruna illustrating one of his books in his Utrecht studio.

Afterwards I sketched a bridge over the canal with the magnificent Dom tower in the background. Then sketched a view of the canals.


Spent a couple of hours in Leiden. Here’s one of the drawings. The other’s were a bit of a disaster but some days are just like that! Hope to go back again soon.


Took a trip to Rotterdam on sunday. It was pouring down so took shelter in museum Boijmans like most of the population of Rotterdam! It’s currently holding a Kees Van Dongen exhibition. Can’t say I was very familiar with his work previously so it was an eye opener seeing a retrospective of his work. He was associated with the Fauvists and clearly influenced by Matisse in his early years. In the 1920s he shared a studio with Picasso in Paris which is when he developed his distinctive style. I particularly liked his strong, colourful portraits of women and dancers. There’s also a number of his posters on display.

Boijmans is a large museum and there’s alot to pack in. There’s also an exhibition of dutch designer, Hella Jongerius work. It was great to see a designer exhibiting in this space. Fantastic work! She has an amazing sense of colour and her colour combinations are beautiful. On display are ceramics, furniture, textiles and shoe designs that she has done for a number of clients including Vitra, Ikea and Camper.

There is an amazing show of  300 vases arranged in different colour ways. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast when an exhibition warden spotted a young boy trying to pick up one of the vases.  Fortunately all vases stayed in tact!


I’m back in Amsterdam! Squeezed in a couple of drawings. It’s not easy drawing the cyclists or trams. I hope I’m improving. I sit and wait for the next one to come along and add a little more detail each time. I did a larger drawing (shown here) as well as a few sketches in my sketchpad.

Battersea Power Station

I took a detour before heading to the Tate Britain. Here are a couple of sketches I did.

Eadweard Muybrige is showing at the Tate. I’ve always found his photographs fascinating. I often try and capture movement in my drawings and I love how he freeze frames each stage of an animal or person moving. He was born in Kingston upon Thames and there’s a permanent exhibition on a much smaller scale at Kingston museum which is well worth a visit too. At the Tate, it’s also interesting to see his lesser known photographs of Yosemite Valley and panoramic views of San Fransisco taken in the 1850’s.