Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sacha stretches, while Judy sketches in a new Moleskine.

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photo copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong

Sacha has been spending the past few days lounging around, all stretched out on top of the table on the deck in the back garden. Lovely days for a kitty cat, but the ducks are sometimes distracting.

While Sacha is "living the life", I've been busy with my new Japanese Folded Moleskine ... it stretches out, just like Sacha! I have a few of these particular types of Moleskines, but haven't worked in them until I decided to just go with a variety of images that may (or may not, I hope not!) feed into one another. It's very interesting to try to work in a continuous flow of image into image, thought into thought. I'm aware that it would be easier to have each page be an image on its own and that the pages do not have to continue into the next image, but that's part of my personal challenge for this sketchbook - to see if I can keep a connection between the images ... and I'm enjoying it! This will be more about finished drawings than real sketches..that's for certain.

I'm titling/themeing this particular sketchbook: "It Began with a Drop in the Universe; My Random Visual Thoughts".

copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"It Began with a Drop in the Universe; My Random Visual Thoughts" sketchbook
(work in progress) Japanese Folded Moleskine
watercolors, colored pencil, pen & ink

Another view further along.

copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong

I'll be working on this for some time to come, just seeing where the days take my mind and my brushes, pens and pencils - will have to show an update at another time. I'm sure Sacha will be keeping me company, while she is lounging ... or stalking ducks and birds in "her" garden!

Tot ziens!
Judy
and Sacha
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 - A Sketch & Photos from Normandy

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copyright 2007-2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Omaha Beach View - Normandy, France 2007" sketch
colored pencils, watercolors and pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook


Last summer, my humans spent a day at the United States World War II Memorial and Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France - a truly impressive memorial/site. While the weather was beautiful that day, "mom" & "dad" said they couldn't help but imagine how insane & sad it must have been during the D-Day landing on June 6th, 1944 - an event that eventually helped to liberate the Netherlands and western Europe. Since today is Memorial Day in the U.S. and my human "mom" is an American, "we're" honoring the day in our hearts and hoping someday for peace in the world.

Here are some photos from last year, taken at Omaha Beach.
(Click on each image to enlarge)
Omaha Beach landing site and path down to the landing beach & up to the gravesites.


all images copyright 2007-2008, Auke Nijholt

Images on top & bottom are sculpture monuments within the cemetery. Center image is view towards the grave sites.



all images copyright 2007-2008, Auke Nijholt

Top: The chapel within the cemetery.
Bottom: Inside the chapel - altar displaying flags from the D-Day allied nations.
(images may appear side by side in your feed reader)

all images copyright 2007-2008, Auke Nijholt

Top: Headstones (too vast to caputre in one image).
Bottom: Central Memorial Pavillion.

all images copyright 2007-2008, Auke Nijholt

Last year on Memorial Day, we wrote about the American WWII Memorial and Cemetery in Maastricht, Netherlands. You can see that post here: In Memory of ~ Ter Nagedachtenis aan


Sacha
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eurovision Song Contest... hmmm...let me explain...

Yeah, explain "Eurovision" Sacha ... hmmm well, I'm not so sure what this is all about really, but humans sometimes do wonderous things for entertainment purposes, from what I (a Cattonian) have observed in my few short years on this planet.

So here I show you a little Random Silliness from Spain - this is their entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The big final was last night and aired all over Europe and elsewhere I suppose... I don't know, I'm a cat. Oh yeah, this year's contest was held in Serbia who put on a very impressive production - they won last year so they hosted this year .... but back to the Spanish entry, my favorite:

The artist is "Rodolfo Chikilicuatre" - a character played by the Spanish comedic actor, David Fernández Ortiz, who appears as Chikilicuatre on Spanish TV. The song is "Baila el ChikiChiki" (Dance the ChikiChiki).
This video, on You Tube, is from the Spanish television network RTVE.
(There is a video in the space below, but it may not be showing up in your blog reader... have to view it by actually visiting this blog post... don't ask me why!)



I kind of like it - actually, I like it a lot! - it sort of sums up the whole world (planet earth), from a cat's point of view. Sadly, the song didn't win (even received boos from the audience!!! shameful!) - it placed 17th out of the 25 finalist countries (by the way, the Netherlands didn't even make it past the semi-finals ... ).

The honor of winning the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest went to Russia with a very nice song "Believe!" preformed by Dima Bilan , but not quite as "entertaining" as "Baila el ChikiChiki"... in a cat's opinion, that is ... ;o) heh heh!!

If you're not familiar with the Eurovision Song Contest (and my readers in the US probably are not, but I bet you remember ABBA and their hit "Waterloo"- yes, a Eurovision winner) , you can click the link at the end of this post for more info. The voting is always very political as everything seems to be ... but I'm a cat and I'm not going there.

My runner up would have been France's entry "Divine" written and preformed by Sébastien Tellier - the song seemed to have caused something of a stir in France because most of the lyrics are in english...quelle horreur!! ... see I told you, everything "human" is always political. * a little cat's eyes rolling here* Perhaps that's why I chose the Spanish entry, yeah! Baila el ChikiChiki everyone! ;o)
Hasta luego!
Sacha


Eurovision Song Contest - article on Wikipedia

Rodolfo Chikilicuatre - article on Wikipedia (in english)

Sébastien Tellier - "Divine" on You Tube

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sketching in the Garden with Colored Pencils and Pen & Ink

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"Sacha's Garden (De Tuin van Sacha) - Spring, 2008"
photo copyright, Judith Nijholt-Strong

“Mom” has been in my garden ... again ... sketching in her large Moleskine Sketchbook - some were done at the very beginning of this month, like the tulips which are no longer blooming in my garden. The tulips were so pretty this year and they all pretty much bloomed at the same time...even our heirloom bulbs!

This first sketch is not an heirloom bulb, but it is a wonderful variety of tulip that did so well in one of our borders. Triumph Tulip, "Gavota" is the name - the petals have a deep violet-red almost maroon colored "feather", bordered in white and bright yellow. Beautiful.

“ Triumph Tulip - Gavota” sketch
Copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
Colored pencil & ink in Moleskine sketchbook


And in my front garden, some "Bleeding Hearts" ( in dutch, this plant is called "Gebroken Hartjes" (broken hearts)).

"Bleeding Hearts - white and pink" sketch
Copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
colored pencil in Moleskine sketchbook

This year we have an abundance of Columbines (Aquilegia). We didn't plant them, they just sort of "happened" - lovely!

“Delicate Pink Columbine (Aquilegia)” sketch
Copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
Colored pencil in Moleskine sketchbook


A "Mexican Heather" plant on "our" patio table. When it's sunny outside, I like to sit next to this plant.

“Mexican Heather” sketch
Copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
Watercolor pencils, colored pencils & ink in Moleskine sketchbook


She’s been very busy this spring in my garden (which is why I haven’t been blogging much – she does the typing for me...) planting, drawing, sketching, painting and she has a lot more in her sketchbook(s), but scanning & photographing the sketchbooks is not fun (according to “mom”). So once (if) she gets them scanned or “photoed”, I’ll show them to you at another time...maybe! heh heh.

Oh!, for those of our readers who wonder about stuff like this, these are the materials she used in the large Moleskine Sketchbook for the sketches pictured above:
» Caran d’Ache Pablos colored pencils
» Faber-Castell Polychromos regular colored pencils
» Lyra Rembrandt regular colored pencils
» Talens Van Gogh regular colored pencils
» Caran d’Ache Supracolor II Soft watercolor pencils
» Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencils
» Sigma Pigma Micron pens (waterproof archival ink)

This is what I’ve been doing while she’s been sketching ... (ok, sometimes I jump on her lap to give her a critique or bug her ... because I can and that's my job!)


I love my garden ... so does "Mom". :o)



Tot ziens!


Sacha & Judy


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