Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from Holland! 2010 - drawing & treats.

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Happy Halloween from Holland ~ 2010
Pen & Ink with watercolors in small Moleskine
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We're having a scary Halloween feast, are you? Booooooo, scream, I made a mashed potato ghost! :o) He was deliciously spooky. heh heh heh ;o)
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Potato Ghost

My homemade Witches' Fingers and Dirt Cupcakes certainly went down a "treat" too.
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Halloween Treats - 2010

The candy spiders, on the cupcakes, are a special kind of licorice that is relished by the Dutch. It's called "salmiak drop" (salmiac licorice) , or zout drop (salty licorice) - they love this stuff (you know who you are... lol). My cat, Sacha, and I can't stand the taste! It has sort of an ammonia-like aftertaste (salmiac is ammonium chloride), ...ewww. But, I did love the spider shapes - purrrfect for Halloween. ;o)

Happy Halloween!
spiders or no spiders ...
:o)

Judy & Sacha (the cat)
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If you're curious about Salmiac licorice, read this article from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salty_liquorice
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little Bumpy Pumpkin - water soluable graphite drawing.













drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Little Bumpy Pumpkin"
8.5" x  4.5"
water soluable graphite on
Arches etching paper

My vast collections of  "bumpy gourds & pumpkins" are being forced to model for me these next two months - poor dears. ;o)

This drawing was done with Sanford's Prismacolors Water Soluable Graphite - which I find very pleasing to use. Of course, there are other companies that also make water soluable graphite pencils, I just happened to have the Sanford brand in my studio. I worked on a cream/off-white color of Arches etching paper (400gm weight) which, for many years, I've always preferred for my graphite drawings...going all the way back to my art school days!

And another photo of this year's Halloween decorations in my house ... this time with delicious, French white wines and a tall ceramic pumpkin bought at a flea-market during our recent trip to France. :o)

photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

Oh! As if I have nothing else to do (like a watercolor commission I need to get started ... omg), I've also been folding Origami Bats out of black paper - that's one of them in the photo above. heh heh :o))

(ackk! the pumpkin drawing jpeg is rather pixelated - sorry about that, will try to upload a better one later on. *sigh*)

tot ziens,
Judy
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting ready for Halloween: "Gourd on High" - colored pencil with ink drawing.

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The days are drawing (pun intended) closer to my favorite yearly celebration, Halloween ...








drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Gourd on High
7"h X 5"w - approx. size
colored pencil with pen & ink.

Soooooo, I'll be posting some drawings and paintings I've done of gourds & pumpkins. Some old, some new, none borrowed, or blue.  :o) ... but all drawn from life.

For this piece I used :
» Prismacolors, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Lyra Rembrandts, Talens Van Gogh and Bruynzeel Full Colors (discontinued brand) - all regular colored pencils.
» Pentel Color-brush (black only) ... sort of a pen, sort of a brush.
» Arches watercolor paper, satin grain (very smooth, much like a vellum surface)
» Solvent: Prismacolor Colorless Blender Marker (not the pencil) - used in some areas after many, many layers of color had been applied.

Though Halloween is not at all a Dutch celebration, in my house it is!

photo copyright J. Nijholt-Strong

We're a proud multi-cultural family ... and me being American, I do by best to enjoy a little "Halloweeny" spirit in my house in Holland. ;o)
tot ziens,
Judy
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

More "Serious" Doodling in the small moleskine ...

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Celtic Knot & French Flowers Doodle"
pen & ink with colored pencil
5"h x7"w in small sketchbook Moleskine


This "doodle" is my attempt at a celtic knot design mixed with a design of a flowering vine that I saw in the poychromed chapels of the St. Etienne Cathedral in Limoges, France.

Done with Derwent Graphitints colored pencils for the purple and reddish colors, along with my black Sakura Pigma Micron ink pens. The bright blue areas of the knotwork were done with a true blue Prismacolor regular colored pencil.

I have no idea if I will ever incorporate this doodling into anything larger but, for now, I'm happy just doing them in my little moleskine. That's good enough!
doei,
Judy
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Friday, October 22, 2010

When in doubt, just doodle!

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Circle Design Doodle" 
pen & ink with colored pencil
5"h x7"w in small sketchbook Moleskine

When I'm not really motivated to do anything terribly serious, such as an involved big drawing or painting, I doodle in a small moleskine that I call the "Everything and Then Some" moleskine. So this is what I've been doing this week ... just doodling. Sometimes doodles lead to bigger things - you just never know.

Expect to see more doodles from me, because I'm just in a doodling mood these days.

As always, I used Sakura Pigma Micron pens and Faber-Castell Polychromos regular colored pencils.
:o)
Judy
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Travels in France Moleskine drawings (vol. 4): Limousin, France - end Sept. to beginning October, 2010

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As the title of this post states, I'm now on my 4th Moleskine sketchbook of drawings done while on my trips to France! Although I had a pretty bad head cold for most of the time away in France, I did manage to get some drawing done of our trip, in the last week (first few days of October) ... not a lot, but some.












drawing copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Ancient Apple Tree" Chateau-Chervix, France
pen & ink with watercolors in moleskine sketchbook

Did the drawing of the ancient apple tree in front of the rental house where we stayed, in Chateau-Chervix ... while also doing a lot of sneezing! I love that tree though the apples are inedible. I was miserable all day, but I kept on drawing/painting this one from inside the living room, through the picture window. The tree is right across from the window... lucky me.

For part of a day, I felt good enough to go to Limoges for a few hours where I did this one while having coffee:












drawing copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"The View Outside of La Tart-in Café" Limoges, France
pen & ink with watercolors in moleskine sketchbook

I have no idea what that ornate building once was, (or is now), but along with the bright blue October sky, I loved the ornate balcony and huge shuttered windows. The bit of the building on the right of the drawing is a medieval half-timbered house - there's a lot of mixing of the centuries in Limoges which I find extremely fascinating.

Here I am starting that drawing - my husband had to amuse himself with his new Lumix camera while I insisted on drawing...lol.
photo copyright 2010, Auke Nijholt
"Judy drawing and drinking coffee in Limoges"

Another day, the beginning of October, I managed to do this ... from the car!












drawing copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Little Chapel in the Field"  Vicq-sur-Breuilh, France
pen & ink with watercolors in moleskine sketchbook

We've never been in that chapel, (or church, not sure which), though we've driven past it many times on our way back to Chateau-Chervix. I'm not real sure if you can even go in it, as it sits in a corn field which looks to me like it's on private property - though it is a lovely little building from the outside.

We also did a trip, by car, through some pretty villages in the Correze area of the Limousin - just below the Haute-Vienne area where we were staying. This drawing was done in the church (Eglise Saint Robert) in St. Robert - which sounds so much better if you pronounce St. Robert as the French do. :o)












drawing copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Capitals and Reflections, Eglise St. Robert" St. Robert, France
pen & ink with watercolors in molekine sketchbook

I did all the initial ink work right in the church and then did the watercolor, later on that night, back at our rental house. I might have gone a tad crazy with the reflections from the church's stained glass windows on the floor, but they were there and they were beautiful! Obviously, I was also attracted to the original column capitals from the church, which they had in what was an interesting, albeit odd, display.

And this is the final drawing I did during this trip to France ...
























drawing copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Little Cider Apples of Chateau-Chervix", Chateau-Chervix, France
pen & ink with watercolors in moleskine sketchbook

Even though those little apples are truly inedible, I did stick a few in my "art bag" to bring back to Holland. They are now sitting on my desk and, remarkably, drying out without rotting! Good souvenirs and future still life models. ;o)

Ooops!, almost forgot the Kermits and their photo moment of this trip :
photo copyright 2010, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"The Kermits at the fountain of the Jardin Botanique"
Limoges, France

And my Little Kermit also had his first swimming lesson in the fountain!
photo copyright 2010, Auke Nijholt
"Petit Kermit's First Swimming Lesson"
Jardin Botanique - Limoges, France

Oh, those Kerms! :D ;o)

If all goes according to plan, come May of 2011 we'll return to the house in Chateau-Chervix for another wonderful vacation. We're looking forward to seeing Anne Marie, (the wonderful owner of the house), again and of course, the lovely "Minette" & "Blanchette" (the cats that actually own the house).  :o)


tot ziens,
Judy
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