Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back from the Berlin trip of Jan. 2009 ...again.

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I shot this photo just for Sacha ....

photo copyright 2009. Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Bronze Cat - Egyptian, Upper Sudan"
Altes Museum, Egyptian Collection
Berlin, Germany

It's was cold in Berlin the week of Jan. 18th - 25th, 2009 - very cold!! Most of the time we felt like that Egyptian bronze cat, (stiff ... LOL), but we all (I include my Kermits here) had a great time. Watched the inauguaration of President Obama on the TV, in our warm hotel room! It was an interesting moment in time. I didn't do much sketching, only a few (will show them at a later date, maybe on another blog, been thinking about that.). My fingers were so cold and the benches made of stone didn't help any... heh heh. All I wanted to do was drink lots of hot coffee or warm gluhwein. Yummy. :o)

Anyway, my Kermits (the world travellers) decided on this trip that they'd visit a few museums in Berlin. So here are some pics of them enjoying what they saw ; only some since they wanted to see everything. To my amazement, I discovered that my Little Kermit has a tendency to give art lectures in front of famous paintings ... heh heh.

photo copyright 2009. Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Großes Kermit (Big Kermit) in front of the famous bust of Nefertiti"
Altes Museum, Egyptian Collection.
Berlin, Germany.

The day was cold, but sunny!

photo copyright 2009. Judith Nijholt-Strong
The Altes Museum, January 2009.
Museum Insel - (former East Berlin)
Berlin, Germany

The Altes Museum's Egyptian collection was fascinating. I recommend it to anyone visiting Berlin, especially if you like Egyptian art/antiquities.

The other muesum I recommend, if you are a lover of the work of the Old Masters (especially Medieval, Nothern Renaissance and Netherlandish Masters) is the Gemäldegalerie (painting gallery).

photo copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong.
Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz, Gemäldegalerie
(former West Berlin)
Berlin, Germany

This buidling houses the Gemäldegalerie with its impressive collection of Old Masters. The style of the architecture is very modern and, imo, belies the beautiful paintings inside. I'm not saying it isn't a lovely building, it's just quite a contrast to what's inside.

Like this gem ...

photo copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
Kleines Kermit (Little Kermit) gives an art lecture.
"Virgin and Child Enthroned"
Hans Memling (c. 1480's)
oil on panel - 31 7/8 x 21 5/8 inches (81 x 55 cm)
Gemäldegalerie - Berlin, Germany.

Yes, the colors are still so bright and vibrant in these masterpieces! They just glow like jewels. I am so thankful to have been able to see them in person. Little Kermit was giving his lectures at almost every painting in the museum ... couldn't keep him quiet.

photo copyright 2009. Judith Nijholt-Strong
Little Kermit in front of a very tiny, but oh so beautiful, painting.
"Portrait of a Young Girl"
Petrus Christus (c. 1466)
oil on wood panel - 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches (29 x 22.5 cm)
Gemäldegalerie - Berlin, Germany

With all the museum hopping in Berlin, the frogs were constantly hungry - they whined all the time, drove us crazy ... kids! Little Kermit enjoys something very American in Berlin ...

photo copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong.
He likes pizza, who knew?!

I don't have much time right now to blog, so neither does Sacha. I have to get caught up on a lot of things that need attending to (scanning, cleaning, writing, cleaning, editing, cleaning, general life... did I mention cleaning? lol ) Hmmm, vacations quickly turn into *non-vacations* once you're home again. *sigh*

See you sometime next month ... I think.


cheers,
Judy
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Man, it's Cold !!! ~ Jeetje, het is Koud !!!!

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"Winter Trees 2009 - attic window view" photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

It's been very cold here for a couple of weeks. Colder than it has been in about 12 years, I think. Really cold, really pretty, but really cold.

I'm on my favorite table, down by the small canal behind our house, debating if I want to walk on the ice ...
"Sacha Spies the Icy Water - 2009" photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

I quickly left that scene ... tell-tale signs I was on that table.
"Frosty Kitty Prints - Jan. 2009"photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Another view from "mom's" studio in the attic.
"Winter Trees 2009 #2 - attic view" photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

Humans love this stuff ...
This is the pond in our neighborhood, currently a natural ice rink.
"Ijspret in de buurt - 2009" (Ice fun in the neighborhood)
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
When the canals, ponds or lakes freeze, the Dutch go skating! I'm a native Dutch cat, but I don't skate. I don't even like to walk on that white stuff, no way.
Me, the Queen of all I survey, go outside again? Surely you jest!

"Sacha is not amused - cold January 2009" photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

Ok, so it's probably going to warm up this week ("they"predict) and all this cold stuff will melt, then I can go outside and track my muddy pawprints back into the house.....yessssssssss!!!
Well that's about it from my point of view. My humans are off next week for another vacation - in Germany this time. They're going to find the Ampelmann and what's left of The Wall again (and "mom" is taking her sketchbook again, of course) ... can you guess where they're going? lol . I'll be back, when they get back.
doei! (bye!)
Sacha
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something for Three King's Day ~ Iets voor Driekoningen

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"Lucky Charms for the 'Galette des Rois' "
photo copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong

Today is the feast of The Three Kings. In Holland and the Flemmish parts of Belgium, it is known as Driekoningen (3 kings). In France (and other French heritage parts of the world) it is known as "Fête des Rois"(feast of the kings). Spanish countries/cultures call this day "Los Reyes Magos" (the magi kings) and in English cultures (US, Canada, UK, etc.), it is known as Epiphany. This day, January 6th, marks the end of the Christmas season in the Christian calendar and is believed to be the day the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem to give their gifts to the baby Jesus. Many Christian cultures, throughout the world, still reserve this day as the day for giving gifts to each other.

In France, on this day, a special cake is eaten – the "Galette des Rois" (Cake of the Kings). Inside the cake are hidden small charms to be found in your piece of cake and the luckiest of all to find is the baby Jesus. Pictured above is my collection of these little treasures, most of which I bought this past summer at a flea-market in Montivilliers, France.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them since I won’t be baking a Galette des Rois today (and I have far too many for just one cake) ... but I just had to have them. Some of the charms are very old and others very new. Many seem to be not very traditional in their motifs ( i.e., the cat or the Tabac (tobacco) shop seller) and not all are made of porcelain, but I find them all simply delightful. There was even little old bits of cake left on some of the oldest ones! :D

Maybe some of them will find their way into one of my mixed media sculptures, or maybe they’ll be the subjects of a painting or a drawing. I never know what might inspire me, but I have many different collections of small treasures ... this is just one more. Heh heh!

Happy Driekoningen!
(heh heh, that's what I call "Dinglish" :D )

In case you're interested:
Last year's post about Driekoningen...with a little more info

Tot ziens,
Judy
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's 2009, Happy New Year!

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photo copyright Auke Nijholt
"New Year's Eve, 2008 becomes 2009"
Fireworks (vuurwerk) in the night sky over our house in the Netherlands.

Proost! Cheers!

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Mmmm, and we had champagne. :o)

Happy New Year!

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!!


Judy & Sacha
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