Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekend in Sneek - sketchbook drawings and a photo

We spent this past weekend up in Sneek, in the province of Friesland. Sneek is lovely port city which is very busy in the summer when all the boat lovers and watersports fans come to visit, and busy again in the winter whenever the canals (grachten) freeze over and people particpate in ice skating races. It's a very enjoyable city (stad)!

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Drawing a Jugendstil Building in Sneek
April 2011 - Friesland ~ Netherlands
pen & ink with watercolors in moleskine sketchbook

This building is right across the street from the Hotel-Café "de Wijnberg" where we had a bite to eat and a coffee. It's an eyecatcher of a building. The ornate Jugendstil (german for "youth style"), glazed tiles and the yellow-ochre colored, brickwork decorations can't be missed when walking on this street! Jugendstil, (or Art Nouveau as it is more widely known), design in architecture, art, fashion and furnishings was popular between 1895-1905.

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Windmill Cookie & Coffee at Café de Wijnberg in Sneek
April 2011 - Friesland ~ Netherlands
pen & ink with watercolors in moleskine sketchbook

Above is my drawing of the windmill cookie with my Koffie Verkeerd (literally translated = "coffee wrong"), which is the Dutch version of the French café au lait, or the Italian caffèlatte/latte. I order Koffie Verkeerd all the time, plus you always get a cookie or a piece of chocolate with your coffee, or tea. yum! :o)

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Drawing the Tulip Polders in the Flevoland Province
April 2011 - Flevoland  ~  Netherlands
pen & ink with watercolors in Fabriano sketchbook

I actually started this drawing of the tulip polders while in the car on our way up to Friesland - which accounts for a lot of the "wavy" look of the lines in my drawing - lol! I even added a lot of the watercolor while in the car - had my Niji waterbrushes with me and my little traveling Winsor-Newton watercolor box. This little drawing/watercolor was done in a Fabriano sketchbook that a friend sent me - it's not really ideal for watercolors (the paper buckles too much), but I use them anyway. However, it is good for pen or pencil work and I love the 3 different colored papers in it (white, cream and tan).

A little info about Polders and Flevoland:

Polders can be found in the province of Flevoland, which is the province just before you get to the province of Friesland. A "polder" is an area of reclaimed sea bed, or marsh land, that is surrounded by high dikes. Polders contain very fertile soil used to grow all sorts of  vegetables, ground growing fruits (i.e. strawberries), tulips and other bulb plants. These particular polders are below sea level. The area is protected by a system of dikes and dams - something the Dutch are very famous for and very good at - thankfully!

The word polder is not to be confused with the word veld (field) which would be used when referring to a normal field that is not made from reclaimed land. In a sense, a polder does look like a field, but polder land is also used for building houses/office buildings, etc., - entire cities in the Netherlands are built on polders. In fact, the city of Almere, in southern part of the province of  Flevoland, was constructed entirely on polder land and is below sea level - where I saw the tulip polders on our way. There is a definite distinction between the two words when you're speaking, or writing, dutch. I was reading a blog the other day, where someone translated "polder" as "field"... fout! (wrong!). But, they can be excused for their confusion because the blogger is a new transplant to the Netherlands and Ja! (yes!) , the Dutch language can be very moeilijk (difficult)! ;o)
(thus ends this little Dutch lesson...lol)

This is a gorgeous building in Sneek ... in my opinion.
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Stonework & Facade of City Hall in Sneek
April 2011 - Friesland ~ Netherlands

No way I would attempt to draw the stonework on the front of the Gemeentehuis (city hall) stairs and the ornate facade over the door , but isn't it beautiful?! Sneek is worth a visit if you're ever in the Netherlands.
Oh!, I forgot to tell you, Sneek is pronounced like "snake" - but it has nothing in common with a snake. :o))

tot ziens,


Rambling Tart said...

I love your work, Judith! I found your images through a Google search on Friesland and am delighted by your sketches. :-)

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks RT!


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