The old man as a young man


Two museums, two really intense museums in one day. So, no, they didn’t hang this cockeyed.
I’m certain there are people who know how to look at things. And no one really objected to me standing in front of this without earphones and an audio guide. I stepped away politely when someone urgently needed a few seconds for a needed photo to help them remember remembering seeing it briefly through an eyepiece some years earlier when they want to recall it. "Oh! I have a picture of that!"
Is there something more real? more actual to stopping for a half an hour, drawing, reproducing, and then seeing this here?

Apple trees

Van Gogh heritage apple trees from the backyard garden in Sumi ink style.

Never again

Never again will I buy a $75 miserable 300 megabyte international data package when a €20 30 day 4 gigabyte SIM card is available.

Impressions of an ecstatic experience


So I left out the little guy doing the reaping, but went away still with a fair impression of the traces of an agitated mind. So, above, my impressions of that impression.

Self portrait with Gaugin.


So a bunch of these guys hung out together. Painted stuff, and drank wine. Bros. Apparently though it was really hard to get Gaugin to sit still long enough for a selfie. So everyone painted a self portrait with Gaugin. Here is Émile Bernard.

Vincent and his brother Vincent


Van Gogh, reasonably enough, pissed at the quality of contemporary photography as a portrait tool, proposes miniature hand painted. portraits. Soon to be a dying art.

The old man himself


Also at the Mauritshuis you can see any number of Rembrandt’s. Any student of art or history must make this pilgrimage.
Now you can’t get within two feet of this small piece, so it’s hard to see the brushwork, which is really what you want to see; how much is merely suggested, not stated. Still, it continues to be an image of an immortal.
Photography is such a bitch; it having taken over so much of the process of seeing things. Even as Vermeer and Rembrandt give us such rich and accurate images, and as photography has made reproducing reality so simple, easy, so glib, to see the finished surfaces made up from abstract and calligraphic marks, made by human hands is quite another thing altogether.

The girl with the pearl earring 2


I stepped over the little brass bar in the floor. Got a yellow card. Guard followed me from room to room for a bit.
Sat on the round couch and drew a few things.
There is a remarkable cityscape by Vermeer of some buildings and boats. I poked my nose too close, but it was remarkable to see all the dots he painted with, and the lens aberrations and shallow depth of field. I know there is suspicion he used camera obscura, and the obvious, when you know what your looking for, results on the canvas are evidence.
Still very remarkable work.
Outside, watching others look at the poster of Pearl, I knew, even across languages, what he was telling his companions about the highlight on the earring with a twist of his hands and a purse of this lips.

The girl with the pearl earring 1


We arrived early and still stood at the end of the line. If you whip upstairs fast there are only a few people lingering in front.

Two buildings in Leiden


And not even the nicest part.

Escher visits the volcano.


Yes, a short visit to Het Paleis Escher museum. Of course it’s a remarkable collection, and my favourites are the landscapes of Italy, wherein he was working out some ideas. So here he is looking monumental overlooking Vesuvius in eruption.

A chair I sat in.

Dog days.

Just a few magic numbers

I was born August the 8th, 1953. Yes, that’s 08/08/53
5+3=8
8+8+8=24
2×4=8
And today I turn 64
8×8=64

Yes. I know it’s all coincidental, and there is no secret meanings. Just a bit of fun.

Stadium