Tag: Amsterdam


Enjoyed wandering around Amsterdam with no particular place to go. Sketching the architecture, passers by and trying to capture the cyclists whizzing past.

Ended up at the boeken markt in the Spui. Leafed through some old books and sat and sketched the visitors and stall holders.

Visited the Jewish museum. There are often great exhibitions here. Currently there’s an exhibition of Saul Leiter’s work ‘New York Reflections’. Was fantastic to see his photographs and paintings. Loved his colour photos from the 1950’s and 1960’s. He socialised in ‘The Club’ which was the watering hole to the Abstract Expressionists including DeKooning and Pollock.  His photographs showing fragments of New York street life have an instant appeal. Wonderful use of colour and composition and he often uses reflections and intersecting shapes and colour fields. The Haircut (1960) seen here is one of my favourites.

Next stop Cafe de Jaren to meet a friend. Before, I sat on the balcony and sketched towards the cinema. It’s getting darker earlier now and it was nice watching the sun go down. The sky turned pink which made for a very pretty view.


Amsterdam screenprint

It’s been a busy few weeks at the Ink Spot Press, Brighton with many art students working towards their degree shows. Brings back memories! I’ve been editioning a screenprint based on my drawing of the Leidseplein, Amsterdam. I got into a colour frenzy!


Before visiting the Van Gogh museum, I did a couple of drawings at the Leidseplein. It was freezing! My fingers and toes went numb. I even started to shake at one point (hence the wonky bike). This was clearly a sign to move indoors.

The  ‘Picasso in Paris’ exhibition at the Van Gogh museum opened today.


Surprisingly – No queues! The exhibition shows a selection of Picasso’s paintings from 1900-1907. It was a period when he moved to Paris and was clearly influenced by Toulouse Lautreque, Van Gogh and Gauguin. His most famous painting Self-portrait with a palette being the most memorable. Running alongside it is an exhibition ‘Stepping Out in Montmartre’ which includes famous posters by Toulouse Lautreque and Steinlen.  I particularly liked the lithographic illustrations for magazines and theatre programmes. There are a number of really nice etchings too by less well known artists such as Henri Evenepoel.

I felt inspired to do another drawing before heading home.

Amsterdam pen and ink

I’m back in Amsterdam. Travelling lighter today and after window shopping on Kalverstraat, went for a coffee at a roof top cafe. Great view! Took out my moleskin and did a few line drawings of the roof tops and gothic style Nieuwe Kerk.

Afterwards walked towards Centraal Station. The weather took a turn for the worse so stopped off at the library. Enjoyed reading and sitting in a comfy pod sketching the view out the window.


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!


I love sketching in Amsterdam. There’s so much to see! The architecture and canals always catch my eye and  I particularly enjoy trying to capture all the cyclists that pass by. I could quite easily sit in a bar all day sketching city life. I’ve included a sketch of the Westertoren which has the tallest tower in Amsterdam.  I’ll be including a number of sketches from Holland on my blog.