This is a forest diary entry that took me a long time and it had everything to do with the theme.
🍃
I love the changing of seasons, especially spring and fall. In both cases the colours are beautiful,
the scents magnificent. 
One is a promise of life and the other a promise of certain death.
For several years now, all that emerging life has also become a reminder of dying.
Today (April 17th) would have been my mom's birthday. In 2013, two days after her birthday,
she died of colon cancer. 
She thought she had a bad flu...
🍃
The period after her death it felt like I had a gaping hole in my chest. As if the wind had free
rein and whirled through the hole, whirring and tugging at the ragged edges. 
During that time I
did a lot of forest walks. 
Slowly I felt grounded again and at the same time I felt an enormous
connection to nature, to the earth. 
More than ever before I was aware of the cycle of life and
death, how one comes from the other and both can't exist without the other.
This awareness helped me to cope with the loss of my mom and also brought me back to an old
love, drawing nature. 
(Wilted-) flowers, insects, mushrooms, toads, birds. I have to draw the
overwhelming beauty of it all and share it.

🍃
The flower my mom called hers, the flower that coloured the street where she grew up pink
during her birthday, is the cherry blossom, the Japanese 'sakura'.
Symbol for transience, symbol for life, both beautiful and short.
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This is from when spring really started last March.
Blooming hazel catkins and great crested grebe doing their mating dance 💗
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This forest diary entry partly dates from April this year.
The last few months I've been so busy I couldn't find the time to continue but today, finally I
finished this page 🎨


'Up Sammy, look up Sammy
Because up there is the blue sky'
is the song by Ramses Shaffy, famous Dutch (and French/ Egyptian/ Polish) chansonnier.
It is a beautiful song, but sometimes there are beautiful treasures to be found on the (forest) floor.

Feathers, hatched blackbird eggs, snail houses, leaves in many colours, dew drops, flowers and
seeds, all kinds of fungi and mosses, the shield of a Polyphylla fullo beetle, a drowned
butterfly, a hornet finished  fighting.

But down there creatures live, crawl and love, creatures such as insects, snails, slugs, toads ...
We walk and cycle into the forest or park and look up and we forget about the world down
there, enjoying "high" and "the blue sky" our feet and tires crush a lot of beautiful lives.

It’s breeding season this time of year for amphibians. Frogs, toads and salamanders
wake up from hibernation at a temperature of 8 to 10° Celcius which has to last for at least 3
consecutive days.
First the smaller men wake up and a little later the ladies follow and travel back to the breeding
ponds where they were born themselves.

However, many will never reach the ponds of pleasure. Their journey ends beneath our feet
or tires. So, Sammy, look down too 🐸
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Exciting news!! After much consideration I decided to start offering linocut courses from
my home studio!


‘Why now?’ you might ask. As you may know, I studied to be an art teacher. After many
applications I was always considered too young and/ or too inexperienced. So I moved on and
started to do other kind of jobs. Also, renting a classroom comes with extra costs and because
of that I let go of the idea of teaching art.

However, since I have redesigned my home and the studio part almost surpasses the living part,
I’ve been playing with the idea of organizing classes from home and now the time has come.

And I'm really looking forward to it!

For now I’ve planned 3 lino courses for the months of September, October and November.
These will take place on Thursday evenings, from 7.30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
All courses will be in Dutch.

Since it is at my home I have limited space for only 4 people, so if you are interested, move fast!
You can find all courses here.

Every course has a different theme. For the September course we will be working from a
photograph chosen by you and translate that to linocut.

October is all about autumn and/ or Halloween. During this course you will cut and print a round,
decorative lino from an image or drawing that symbolizes autumn to you.

In November we’re going to make Christmas cards/ New Year’s greetings. Send your family
and best friends an exclusive, homemade card this year smile


Next to the courses I mention here I want to organize much more courses in the future.
Courses on watercolour, drawing in various techniques, drawing/ painting outside...

Let me know what you are interested in or what you would like to do, so I can take that into
account when planning the following courses 🎨
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Last week I had a nice encounter with a European Robin. I had just finished my walk at
the Meerzicht islands when a robin landed right in front of my feet (or well, 1.5 meters away).
He watched me intently, pecked at something on the path, flew up and sat down in a low
shrubbery at about the same distance. He continued to look intently at me until he had
enough and disappeared into the forest to continue his interrupted song (loudly).

I think it's safe to say "he" because currently there's a lot of arguing going on concerning
territory and lady robins and I think this little fellow was very curious about the weird animal
wandering through his territory.

This week I had similar encounters with other robin-gentlemen.
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