Aachen, Germany

December 12th, 2011

Visited the historical town of Aachen in west Germany at the weekend. Wanted to get in the Christmas spirit and headed to the Christmas market there. Thousands had the same idea! Very crowded but enjoyed seeing the impressive cathedral and city hall. Squeezed in a sketch before looking at the arts and crafts and sampling food from the different stalls. Couldn’t leave without eating wurst and mulled wine.

Museumplein

December 9th, 2011

Before the Van Gogh museum opened, I did a quick sketch of the traffic on the museum plein. It’s starting to get really cold now!

Groningen

December 7th, 2011

Travelled to Groningen in the northern part of the Netherlands with laptop and sketch book in hand. It’s a large university city with some impressive old buildings. Weather was terrible! Wind, rain and hale but enjoyed seeing the city on foot. Stopped off for coffee. Took in the view towards the Martini tower.

Once in the Grote markt I stood and sheltered by the tourist info centre and did a few sketches. Really like the architecture and the theatre/bar signs. Sketched cyclists and cars passing from the St Jansstraat.

Then made my way past the Aa church and university and walked quickly to station. Stunning building designed by Isaac Gosschalk and completed in 1896.  Then walked back to the Groninger Museum nearby.

Enjoyed the Jan Altink exhibition showing the dutch artists paintings and prints from the 1920’s and 30’s. Often painting Groningen landscapes and workers on the land. His influence from the german expressionists (notably Kirchner) is clear. Always like to see prints and liked his etchings and woodcuts. (above)

There’s also an exhibition of traditional and contempory portraits and chinese porcelain which is worth seeing.

I often spend more time in the shop and cafe than I do in exhibitions. The museum is very striking inside and out. Designed by Allessandro Mendini and Phillippe Starck opened in 1994. Futuristic and colourful in design it’s a nice place to relax. I liked the interior design of the cafe with ‘twig’ chairs, red pendant lights and grey walls. I ordered the cake with the edible museum photo on top!

I looked out of the window and sketched the cyclists and pedestrians walking on the bridge.

St Nicholas church linocut

December 3rd, 2011

I’m back in Holland! Before I left I printed a linocut of St Nicholas church, Amsterdam at the Ink Spot Press. Enjoyed overlapping colours and creating new ones.