Friday, 31 May 2013

The house I live in

Please watch, please share, please tell people of what you've learned. Memorize the numbers: For instance; The U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world – both per capita and in terms of total people behind bars. The U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it has almost 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population. ( I shed a tear. (I cry easily, I have to admit) But the bravery of some people just made my eyes tear. What an inspirational, sad documentary.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Het Bottenpaleis.....

door Pam Emmerik. Een mooi, zacht, verdrietig en mooi verhaal over twee jonge vrouwen wiens levensverhalen naast elkaar liggen, en elkaar soms raken. Ik lees bijna nooit meer nederlandse boeken, maar dit vond ik een prachtig boek. Dankjewel Roosmarijn!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Just Kids.... Patti Smith. I have such an admiration for Patti Smith. I think she is smart, strongminded and she seems totally un-interested in living up to the expectiations of society of what a woman should look like. So i was very pleased with the book Just Kids, by Patti Smith, given to me by my friend Onneke. It describes the love and friendship between the young Patti Smith and (the later to be photographer) Robbert Mapplethorpe. Both of them arrived in New York city as very young adults, with hopes and dreams to be artists. She describes their struggle, their hunger (especially Patti doesn't have enough to eat. She explains she has a very fast metabolism, and looking at her, oh man, she really must have been hungry) My admiration for Patti Smith just grew bigger while reading this book: she writes beautifully but also she really was the one who worked, brought the money in, made sure they could pay the rent. What a trooper! She just felt it was completely normal that she paid for stuff, so Robbert could fully develop himself into the big artist that he wanted to be. (and she wanted him to be.) Just out of love for him, and with lots of faith in his abilities. But exactly this also dissapointed me a bit: Come on, are you really working over 40 hours in a shitty job, be hungry, travel back and forth in the subway, while your man smokes weed, draws a bit, and eats your food while you can't hear your own thought because of the rumble of your stomach? Apart from their story it was interesting to read about the 'scene' in NY in the early seventies, late sixties. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Harry Smith and Andy Warhol. They all play little parts in this book. The music-lover in me loved the book, but the artist in me loved it even more. And the strongminded woman in me just thought: 'yes sometimes you put your own dreams aside because you have so much faith in the one you love'.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Little Boat

The story is a bit like an adventure story. But one with a sad ending. 8 friends, free spirited, and anarchastic, left the Netherlands on an old boat to England. They ended up in a stor, were saved by the UK coastgoard, busked the Pubs of Stonehaven and made a plan to sail to Norway, to watch the Northern Lights. But some of the friends doubted the boat was safe enough to make ti accros to Norway. They had a row, 5 of them left the boat, and remaining 3 left for Norway. This is sort of where the story ends cause the boat and the three occupants are lost. No radio contact, no signs of the boat. I imagine them lying in a fjord somewhere, drinking beer and coffee, enjoying the view, the sea, the sky. But im also really scared for them. Every day the boat still missing the chance of the three of them surviving is a bit smaller. And it's saddening. One of details that really touched me: Two twin sisters travelled together, one of them left in Stonehaven, the other continued. Heartbreaking. But the adventurous spirit that the eight of them had to cross the sea makes me admire them.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

I'd like to think i have some sense of humour. But after reading a few books with a variation of the following sentence on the sleeve: Funniest book ever" or "funniest book I have read in a long time ", but finding them not they funny at all, I'm in self doubt. My latest read, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman has the following quotes on the cover: " Made me laugh and tremble all the way through" Emma Donoghue. "A gut-wrenching sad novel that makes you laugh out loud" the Guardian. I did not laugh out loud about this book. Pigeon english is, I agree with the Guardian on that one, gut-wrenching sad. It's written lightly and free, and I loved reading it. I totally fell for the maincharacter: a ten year old boy from Ghana, wearing cheap white sneakers and living in the housing estates of a London Suburb. He misses the colors and smells of Ghana, and misses Agnes, his baby sister, who's still there. The book gives you a little insight in the life of immigrants in the UK. But in a lighthearted way. There was a specific scene that stuck in my mind: Harri the main character doesn't not understand the sign next to playground that say' Say No to strangers'' Quote Book: " Me: 'What if they ask Where is the hospital? What if they need your help' Jordan: 'Don't be gay. They never need your help. They just want to take you away in a van and shag you up the arse, innit.' It felt very crazy. Nobody asked to sex me before. Most people just want your help. if I see a stranger I'll ask him first what he's looking for." It was little things like this that made me fall in love with the book, and with the main character. And I learned a new word: Hutious. I think it is hardcore London housing estate slang, so better not used by this white artist type from the dutch countryside.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Oh Boy

Im color blind! Too much orange (the dutch celebrated the inauguration of our new king) for my eyes and now my eyesight is f*cked. The only remedy was to spend as much time as I could in a green zone. So I drove up north and I settled between two meadows and underneath two huge elms. Unfortunatly due to cold weather the grass wasn't as green as it usually is this time of year. But that didn't matter, it was lovely to be outside. It is so quiet in the countryside; all I could hear was the wind, and the birds chitchatting all day. The pigeon really stood out with it's loud sounds. Last saturday Trouw published one of my drawings, but I was so occupied with doing nothing that I couldn't be bothered with uploading the illustration. And that's where the 'Oh Boy' comes in...... Oh boy I was lazy and it was looooovely. Now im back in the city, work is waiting, and hush hush, I have to upload my illustration to my blog. Have a lovely spring people, and get away from the www, your Ipad, Smartphone etc.... birds and trees have interesting stories to share with you as well...