Category: General

2020 – 1

First post of the year. It’s strange how much things can change in a couple weeks…

First week of the Christmas holiday was mostly spent removing the last items and rubbish from the house of my parents. Second week was spent on the couch, being ill. Backlash of the rather tiring weeks before and some virus that was going around.

Still busy with the Bold, but I’m swimming around in murky waters and can’t see where I’m heading. Everything is connected but there is a giant Gordian knot in the middle I have to entangle first.

Painted a great many, mostly small scenes on paper the past few weeks. Every now and then I put something on IG, not sure if I should keep doing that. The walls have ears. I should put more stuff on this site, I have more time now. (Until some new issue/task comes up, that is…)

Finished watching The Witcher and Lost in Space, and this weekend when we were away I watched Wolf Hall on my laptop in the evenings while the rest were playing boardgames. A few years ago I got the book as a present but I couldn’t get through it, the style of writing is very confusing. The tv series is quite good, though. The main actor is convincing (though not so fond of the one playing Henry VIII and Claire is also a bit too much over the top) and the costumes and props, and the lighting looked realistic.

Last weekend we were away on the tradition annual in law family gathering, somewhere in the Ardennes. Here are some pics:

Marcourt village
The Ourthe river. The white chapel on the hill is St Thibaud’s chapel.
The chapel’s interior.
According to the info sign, the remains of the watchtower of the old castle lie under this hill. It was destroyed in 1413 by order of Anthony of Burgundy/Brabant, brother of John the Fearless, Charles the Bold’s grandfather. Anthony died a couple years later, in the battle of Agincourt (i.e. the battle that Henry V won).
There are cabins in the woods, and then there are toilets in the woods.
Not going to make the obvious joke again (medieval cars)…

Yeet

Detail of a painting in the Brussels Old Masters museum.

Yeet is het tienerwoord van het jaar; voor de rest is dat voor deze post niet van belang. Onze kat is weliswaar nog een halve puber maar de enige keer dat die yeet zegt is wanneer ik per ongeluk op zijn staart ga staan.

Ik ben momenteel bezig met a) correcties aan een paar schilderijen die ik begin dit jaar geschilderd heb b) verder werken aan Brexit c) het schilderen van Karels opgepofte wambuis.

Voor de rest ben ik aan het zwoegen om het schilderen van witte drapages wat meer onder de knie te krijgen. Ook op de academie (waar ik dit en volgend jaar min of meer vrij mijn onderwerp mag kiezen) ben ik vrijwillig aan een studie van een gedrapeerd wit kledingstuk begonnen maar het is lijden met veel bloed, zweet en tranen. Goed uitziende witte drapages vind ik een van moeilijkste dingen om te schilderen. Op YouTube zijn er massa’s instructiefilmpjes te vinden maar ze zijn voor het overgrote deel erg zwak. Uit boeken kun je het al helemaal niet leren. Kijken naar “live” voorbeelden en het gebruik van props en een goede belichting is nog het beste, maar zelfs dan… Er zijn maar weinig schilders echt heel goed in. Velazquez, bijvoorbeeld. Een van de meer geslaagde weergaves (de foto is jammer genoeg niet zo goed) vind ik ook de lendendoek van Christus op een schilderij in de Oude Meesters in Brussel. Ik weet helaas wel niet meer van wie het was.


The Sword in the Stone – Update

Het zwaard van Ardoewaan – very rough sketch in oils on A4 watercolour paper

So far I still haven’t finished one single painting in art school. Have been concentrating on the drafts and sketches. I have made dozens of sketches, trying out things and new colours, and new surfaces. It’s odd but I don’t like painting on traditional stretched or unstretched canvas. I prefer paper, wood and metal.

At home, I have more or less completed the small study of Apollo flailing Marsyas. Next on the to do list is to finish the rest of the paintings I have started but not yet completed: Oscar; Monthléry; the van der Weyden copy of Charles and Brexit. I am also making sketches for a couple new paintings.

Last week I ordered a digital copy of the 1944 Henry V movie with/by Laurence Olivier because I couldn’t find the complete film anywhere locally or online. The dvd arrived on Saturday morning and I have already watched it more than once and it’s even better than I expected. Apparently there is a new version of this play on Netflix but I haven’t watched that one yet. And there are many other versions of the play, among others with Kenneth Brannagh and Tom Hiddleston but until I have watched all complete versions, the overly camp version of the 1944 film is my favourite.

The matter of the magical sword of the Bold is out of the way, but now I am investigating the Valenciennes tournament knight again, and the autopsy report of Charles the Bold. There are many loose and even more dead ends.

But that’s for later. Now I am going to paint a little more.


Fine dramatic personalities

The past few evenings I binge watched Knightfall season 2. Ignore the Imdb score, season 2 is even better than season 1. Not exactly historically accurate but extremely entertaining nonetheless.

The past couple months I’ve spent most of my art time at home preparing my book with ideas and sketches for art school. Can’t show any of that yet (academy policy). But this week I have started work on the Burgundian paintings again at home.

Background music currently playing: the Unicorn ensemble with Rosa das rosas.

Gilles is a dead end but the Jacques are intriguing. Their coat of arms could be a lead.

(Re-)discovered an extra source of medieval inspiration, somewhat predating – or postdating as it’s based a play by the Bard – Charles the Bold: Henry V in superscope, aka Laurence Olivier rocking a bowl cut. Here is the link on YouTube:

In Superscope!


Small update

Royal residence at Loches. Joan of Arc once stood in that hall, btw.

Back to school, need to gather my painting stuff tomorrow and drag it back to art school on Tuesday. Still have to do a few Loire posts but that’s for later.

I’ve been mostly occupied with admin stuff, overseeing things such as repair work, maintenance work, various appointments, etc.

Worked on my project book for my next (and last two) years of painting classes.

In the evenings I worked on a costume for a medieval event next Sunday near an old tower. I made an underdress and overdress from some old tablecloths and the remants of a priest’s cassock. I also made a Burgundian hat (based on the hat the girl is wearing on the well-known medieval portrait by Petrus Christus) crafted from felt, remnants of a priest’s cassock and an old brooch of my grandmother. When I come across decent fabric somewhere I am going to make a real costume. Now I’m working on a temporary scabbard for my sword.

The tower mentioned above once belonged to someone who is a theoretical ancestor of theoretical Egidius, but as the Egidius link in the family tree is very dodgy, it should probably be ignored. Anyway, while researching the history of the tower I progressed a little in the tree and it got interesting again. The general conclusion so far is that beyond the 17th century all my ancestors are related somehow.

Theoretical until further research great great etc grandfather John II of Brabant who was also a great fornicator apparently. I do like his jupon, though.

Watching: two weird Scandinavian crime series. Saving the second series of the Crusaders for the coming days. Going to watch the Handmaid’s tale movie (didn’t like the book that much so didn’t finish it) and a series about the de’Medici, mostly for the costumes. Going to watch the White Queen series when I find some time. Some other stuff still lying around too. Watched an awful lot of Bernadette Banner videos on YouTube. A Stitch in Time was also very interesting. Interested in the Knight movie that has been announced for later this year.

Picking up the Charles the Bold quest again. Am reading a very vintage copy of Quentin Durward. It’s so vintage it had to be retrieved from the library’s reserve.

Trying to find a (affordable) medieval castle with a moat and drawbridge. Found one but it’s a six hour’s drive so yeah but no but yeah but no. I also found one where Philip the Good has stayed in the past. It is a shorter drive but not affordable. So no.

That’s all for now, ladies.


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