Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Charity sale held today for Dutch Radio 3FM Serious Request.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Bracket fungus

I mounted this earlier work (W047 - 2003) on a hollowed out trunk and did some corrections.
Below right a pumpkin (W072 - carved in 2006)

Fungus as carved in 2003

Sunday, 22 September 2013

And another one

Unexpectedly, this Toussiana mask was done.
The blue on the bird's bill used to be made with Reckitt Blue, as blue dyes were rare in Africa

Nowadays, Reckitt Blue has become a rarity, so I had to emulate with acrilic paints.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Friday, 1 March 2013

Finished today

The Cowry shells one time represented money

This mask symbolizes the transition to maturity.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Nearly finished Toussian mask

Did the blue and red today.
Some retouching still left to be done
Colours seem rather harsh due to flash
As blue pigment was not very common in Africa, Reckitt's blue was an attractive alternative.
Sadly, this one-time commodity is no longer available in Western Europe. I therefore use acrilic paints.

The bird's body will be decorated with cowry shells.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


With a Ukrainian Rushnik  or towel

(Last gold lines added tonight)

Saw this East African woman today, as I left the railway station, wearing some kind of traditional Somalian dress, very bright vermillion in the afternoon light. A shining, almost Marian appearance.
My icon was walking there.

Vyaz (Вязь) or lettering reads:
Korsunsk[a]iya B[ogorodi]tsa - Korsun Mother of God

Saturday, 9 February 2013

She starts looking at me

Flesh-tones and highlights added
Still, the skin has turned out somewhat darker, (almost African) than originally "planned".
But then, she's in good company...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Colours-the first numbers

Basic colours applied, except the skin tone [Sankir].
Many more layers of paint will be needed.

I also made a start on [decorative] Shponki.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Korsunskaya - painting by numbers

Lining was completed 2 days earlier, and I am happy about it.
Now it is time for planning asic colours:

1 ivory / off white
2 ochre
3 blue
4 maroon
5 Sankir [olive-brown]
[numbers on pieces of sheet]

I flatter myself that I kind of reproduced the facial expression:
(mirrored and trimmed)

Petrov-Vodkin, Kuzma (1878-1939) - 1914-15
The Mother of God of Tenderness towards Cruel Hearts

Friday, 4 January 2013

Mother of God Korsunskaya

I first saw a picture of the Umilenie or Korsunskaya in the mid eighties. The facial expression and the unconditional love between mother and child made a deep and lasting impression on me. I am trying to recreate that impression.
This is a Bulgarian Umilenie, from Backovo Monastery.

I made the icon board from our old kitchen counter in 2009, and then the process came to a halt. Still, the Korsunskaya never left my thoughts, so I started sketching (for a second time) on New Year's 2012. I intend to work on it every day, and let myself be surprized by the process itself.

The "towel" is called a rushnik [рушник - towel] in Ukranian or a salfetka[napkin] in Russian . This one comes from Kiev.
Excellent information with good photographs on salfetki/ruzhniki can be found on

Main page:

Still from Brothers Karamazov [Mosfilm 1969]

Why bother copying?

He [Birkin] had taken a Chinese 
drawing of geese from the boudoir, and was copying it, with 
much skill and vividness. 

"You are copying the drawing," she [Hermione] said, standing near the 
table, and looking down at his work. "Yes. How beautifully 
you do it! You like it very much, don't you?" 

"It's a marvellous drawing," he said. 

"Is it? I'm so glad you like it, because I've always been 
fond of it. The Chinese Ambassador gave it me." 

"I know/' he said. 

"But why do you copy it?" she asked, casual and sing-song. 
"Why not do something original?" 

"I want to know it," he replied. "One gets more of China, 
copying this picture, than reading all the books." 

DH Lawrence, Women in Love