After a wonderful trip to the Netherlands this week I felt inspired to do a few sketches and post about it all.
Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. We only spent three days there, but we agreed that we could have spent weeks exploring, relaxing and enjoying the food, not to mention the architecture and museums.
For the first two days I felt almost reluctant to visit the museums, as it felt such a shame to miss what was going on outside on the streets and canals. I had read a few guides to the shops and restaurants in advance (this blog in particular was great: http://www.happy-red-fish.com/wordpress/the-best-secret-guide-to-amsterdam-de-pijp/ … This one too! http://www.thetravelingdutchman.com/amsterdam/neighborhoods/de-pijp/ ) and I’m pleased I did because the creativity here was very inspiring. The food was so good too. Here is me eating fries in Haarlem square. It may have been a bit of a rainy day but these fries were seriously AMAZING!
The Rijksmuseum was wonderful. As I was on a budget I wasn’t sure whether to invest in the entry fee, but once I was inside I was so glad I did! I felt like I learned so much about Dutch art and culture in the few hours I spent there. Of course there were big crowds of people around Rembrandt’s Nights Watch and the Vermeers, but I found the Dutch flower paintings and portraiture fascinating. There is also a gallery which focuses on Java, a former Dutch colony which gained independence from the Netherlands in 1949. i think this portrait of Javanese aristocrat Raden Syaruf Bustaman Saleh calls out for its story to be told in more detail. A fascinating man, who left Indonesia to learn artistic techniques in the Netherlands. He became famous in both countries, wearing exotic clothing while in travelling in Europe and painting ‘oriental’ landscapes for the social elite.
Back home: My little wooden tulips are setting into their vase on the window sill. The sketch is a work in progress… I might have to go for bolder colours next time to really capture the vibrant streets of Amsterdam.