The last day of the Symposium I was out dodging bicycles and exploring again, this time in the Jordaan, a neighborhood with numerous outdoor markets, stunning houses, interesting shops and more canals! I particularly wanted to find the Het Papeneiland a historic outdoor cafe I had seen in my guidebook. It was early in the morning and barely open yet.
Once again I tried to tackle all the elements at once! (When will I learn?!) Then walked across another bridge to get this stunning view of the cafe from a different angle.
There I met a charming Yorkshire sketcher who, while she was drawing this whole complex scene, regaled me with stories of life on the moors where the Bronte sisters lived. Soon a Dutch woman joined us with her own local stories. . .which is why I sometimes enjoy wandering “alone”.
The subject matter here was chosen as a result of resting my feet and drinking an iced coffee at another cafe on another canal.
Just in case you haven’t been to Holland and you picture people walking around in wooden shoes or skating on the ice of canals. . .this is the scene outside the Central Station in Amsterdam. If you want to blow a gasket, try sketching that tangle!
One has to learn very quickly that pedestrians must yield to the bikes that are coming at you sometimes at alarming speeds from all directions at once. After a couple of near misses I caught on and walked with exaggerated caution.
The Symposium ended that day as it always does with the final sketchwalk followed by picture taking and the closing reception. I joined the Spanish “delegation” on the waterfront across from the Nemo Science Museum, built in the shape of a boat.
The day ended at the reception with the big announcement that next year’s Symposium will be held in Hong Kong!
A high point for me was getting to meet Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, the online art school creators of Sketchbook Skool . It was Danny’s book Everyday Matters, 2003, that launched me on a lifetime of sketching and broke the ground for the Urban Sketcher movement. His books and courses have been at the top of my resource list for students for years. So I shook his hand and offered my sincere thanks for his gifts to the world of sketching. . .and we had a lovely conversation. Koosje too, as beautiful and enthusiastic as she in the online workshops she teaches.
The next morning I took a bus out to the De Gooyer windmill to do my mandatory windmill sketch. Up close one is struck by the enormous span of the blades/arms; also the attention to primary color accents, which now seems so “Dutch”.
Seated at a sidewalk table at a lunch spot near the Zuidekerk I had a busy view which I chose once again for an architectural landscape reflecting Mondrian style.
While I was busy with this sketch a fellow stopped on his bike, watching in respectful silence. I looked up and asked “Are you an artist?” Bingo! He nodded and smiled and we started talking and he asked to join me and an hour later we parted.
Corstiaan had been noticing scores of sketchers occupying his city and was happy to have someone tell him about it. He is an accomplished Dutch artist, master of many styles and materials, and was fascinated to learn about the international world of urban sketchers. I was equally fascinated to meet a local and hear his perspective of the art world in Europe.
Stay tuned for the last two days. . .