Saturday, August 22, 2009

A shot of old fashioned Dutch coziness

Hello friends!

I haven't updated the blog in quite a while, as I'm sure you noticed, but fear not! I have not been idle on the artistic front during the absence :-) Quite the contrary - I had the extreme good fortune to spend three weeks in July in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and England, and I'd like to share a few souvenirs of my adventures with you...
So, Amsterdam. Depending on your viewpoint, the mention of the word Amsterdam either brings forward mental images of windmills, canals, people wearing wooden shoes, and tulips, or...sodom and gomorrah with canals. Of course, the stereotypes have a bit of basis in reality, but the real deal is far more than any of these things.
Travel is a mind-altering experience any way you look at it. Amsterdam is...cozy, quiet, relaxed, warm, friendly, funky, tolerant, beautiful, zen, juicy. As an artist, you simply must take the opportunity to have your mind slowing down and just relaxing, taking photos by the dozen, seeing the art museums.
Listening to jazz drifting in the air as you peruse the colors of Indonesia and the exotic east at the Waterlooplein market.
Pedaling out of town along the Amstel river to visit the windmills. Feeling the quiet settle around you as you whirr past farms with cows and ponies knee deep in the clover and grass.
Sketching the flowers in their planters on the houseboats.
Renting a bike and flying along the moonlit canals with the wind in your hair, floating like a quiet bird.
Laughing, having fun, stopping for some cheese and beer, or a rose and honey flavor liqueur in a 300 year old creaky wooden-floored bar.
Catching the nightly parade of happy families on their boats cruising down the canal.
I'm sure some of the locals must have had cares in this world, but I didn't see them, and so I didn't have them either.
Ah, Amsterdam. Relax and breathe......
July night sky on the Prinsengracht, 10 p.m.

Pedaling along the Amstel on a sunny afternoon

They really do have working windmills! Didn't see any wooden shoes though.

Twilight in the Jordaan District, any second you'll see the boats come out with their Dutch flags flapping in the breeze

A waterfally of color at the Waterlooplein Market


Anne said...

Hi, Jane! Such grand adventures! Sounds so wonderfully relaxing and refreshing! :-)

Janny said...

You have been in the Netherlands!Ik have a great pict there from one gracht with 30 withe swans on the inkblack water that evening, it was like it was not real;o)