Val's Blog

It's where I sometimes post some news about this and that. Nice if you find it interesting to follow.

Limited palette

The autumnal one

I am going on with my experiment on painting with a very limited palette. This time I even omitted red and used only Ultramarine, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow and Titanium White. We have harvested a good crop of Doyenné du Comice pears, and this couple of them looked nicely on the sunlit windowsill along the stoneware flask I bought years ago in Alsace so I decided to paint the setting.

So it became the Comice Pears, acrylic, 30x24 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

a new still life in progress

Primary colours

A new challenge

Mixing (almost) every colour from three primary colours is quite possible, say my books and the youtube painters I follow. As I am still using the 16 colour tubes of paint that I got long ago in a gift box, I have never been thoroughly thinking of using a limited palette. During a recent painting session, my fellow amateur artists and I started a kind of challenge to try out a limited palette. I made a still life setting, and I chose the three-plus-two formula (Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine as primary colours and Burnt Umber and Titanium White as a support) to bring it over on canvas. Well, though I did not really match every colour with the photograph, I am quite satisfied with the result. A fellow painter did the same and she produced really a good art work. So we proved that the use of a limited palette is actually almost unlimited. I think I will go on with this experiment.

Here you can see the photograph of the setting and the painting in progress. Lets call it Blue Jar, 25 x 25 cm. The finished painting is to see in My gallery.

still life setting a new still life

Good news

Hope Hope Hope

It feels like the new art season starts nicely. At the moment it looks like the annual November exhibition of the Art Month Ameland goes on. I am happy to participate this year again with some of my new paintings. Hopefully we will receive lots of art lovers in our galleries again.

And the first painting of this season has been sold! I am very happy and proud that one of my favourite works, 'Downstairs', has now a new home. I hope the new owners will enjoy it for a very long time.

poster of the exhibition painting sold


Making my own old fashioned ones

Since I find the frame to be a very important part of a painting, I have always been making my own frames for my works. It is not an easy, time consuming but satisfying job. I like my frames made of real wood, in modest classical style and painted preferably black, sometimes with a golden border. Some art lovers find this choice too sober/heavy/oldfashioned but it is my choice at the moment. I exhibit and sell my paintings always with my handmade frames. When a customer prefers to have their own frame or even no frame at all, a considerable price discount is possible. Because a handmade frame does cost money.

making my own frames

Just proud

Honoured and flattered

What can I say... Just really proud to read back a nice article written about my paintings by an awesome artist and author, Gonneke Braakman. Hoping this will bring more inspiration and luck with the coming exhibition in November to all of us. Fingers crossed! And yes! Come and see yourself, each November is a great Art Month on the island of Ameland.

article in De Amelander

Let's picnic

Summer still life

Yes, the nice summer seems to be back again so I thought why not trying to paint something outside. We love to picnic sometimes when the weather allows, so the setting and composition were not difficult to find. Loved to learn catching the light and shadows on the cloth. Nice experience, need to practice painting these textures more.

Let's picnic. Acrylic, canvas, 30x24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

details painting Let's picnic new painting Let's picnic in progress

Back to still life

Tea from far away

Inspired by another traditional event in our village. It is a kind of public diner with a theme of historic international meals, and this time it was the one of my backgrounds. I was glad to help to organise it. The story of a tea tradition was a part of the evening. My partner and I are lucky to possess an old traditional Russian water boiler, called samovar, from 1880. So we were proud to show it and tell its story. This all made me paint this small still life set up in our kitchen.

Tea from far away. Acrylic, canvas board, 30x24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting Tea from far away

Trying another interior

Magnus by candle light

The medieval St. Magnus church in our village is small but beautiful in its simplicity. Sometimes for special ocasions, it is only lit by the real candles in the three 18th century chandeliers, what makes the church cosy and majestic at the same time. I now tried to paint that effect.

Interior of St Magnus church in Hollum. Acrylic, canvas board, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new church interior painting

Staying at home

Still going strong (as it seems)

Painting interiors seems to be the thing I quite like. Another week of lockdown, another corner of our house. This time I tried to paint our little hero Chester as well. He sometimes loves to sleep on the sofa (when allowed by the strict humans), especially when the sun gives him a long warm kiss.

I am content with this first "portrait", so I hope I one day will paint more of Chester, or even of other animals, like maybe my self portrait :-)

At home. Acrylic, canvas, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new interior painting

A challenge

Gone but not forgotten

A friend who I admire for her phenomenal knowledge and memory for people and places of our island, has found an old photograph of a forge, an old smith workshop that was run by her grandfather. Sadly, the building doesn't exist anymore. Some fellow island artists announced they would attempt making a painting or a drawing based on the photograph. I am trying now to make my own translation of this scenery.

I am wondering how is it to paint something based on an old black and white photograph that has no quite defined shadows. Never done before. I tried to change the perspective as well but without destroying the actual details. Very interesting but quite a challenge, I must admit my fantasy is not as developed as I hoped. But nevertheless, here it is. I hope she will like it.

Oude smederij. Acrylic, canvas board, 18x24 cm.

new landscape painting

Electric light

Another interior

Last year I painted the sunny Amelander Interieur with pleasure. This time I am trying to paint the other part of our sitting room lit by the lamps in the night. Love to work on it and to learn how colours can totally change by the dark and electric light.

Amelander interior. Night. Acrylic, canvas, 30x24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new interior painting

Good old days

Wash your hands

In late February I was lucky to visit the Huis van Eysinga in Leeuwarden before everything was forever closed. It was a cold day with showers and sun changing rapidly. The house was almost empty except for some staff so I had enough time and a good opportunity to explore this well preserved piece of the art of living. It is a nice concept they are using there; unlike in most museums, here you may touch and try everything. It was great to go through both up- and downstairs. While in the large original kitchen, you almost are expecting to hear Mrs. Bridges' voice shouting "Ruby, scrub them potatoes!"

I loved the light falling into that beautifully tiled scullery, on the ancient sink and the copper bucket. So, I am now trying to paint that effect on canvas.

Downstairs. Acrylic, canvas, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new interior painting


View from kitchen

The sun shines alot these days, providing lovely light effects on buidlings and gardens in the village. The traditional farms and houses across the yard look very cosy in those light and shadows. I took a photograph on a such afternoon. Thought it would perhaps be good to use it as a source for a new small painting.

Hollum. Spring. Acrylic, canvas, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new spring landscape source photograph


Sunrise in our village

Got up early for a change and caught the first sun rays touching the rooftops in a cold morning of late March. There was a hope for a lovely day, there is a hope for better future. Stay safe and enjoy the tiny little things around. The most beautiful of them are free of charge.

Roofs of Hollum. Sunrise. Acrylic, canvas, 30x24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new landscape

Uncertain times

An empty street

I love this small old street in the genteel medieval city of Zwolle. So I loved to paint it. The winter sun in the morning hesitantly turns the old roofs bright orange. Another day, full of hope, begins.
Stay safe, everyone.

Walstraat in Zwolle, acrylic, canvas board, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting new painting

Cityscape again

An old small romantic passage.

When visiting beautiful city of Kampen, Overijssel, I accidentally came across a narrow and quite street passage in the historic centre. I loved the scenery, so I took a photograph. Now I wanted to make a small painting of it. There was no sun, it was cold and windy and the roofs and pavements around were covered with moss. Time seemed to stand still. This was the nice old Dutch winter I love.

A small street in Kampen, acrylic, canvas, 25x25 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting

No sooner said than done

Salicornia fields after a thunderstorm.

The quick small study of a landscape that I made last week, had to be painted on canvas. So I thought. So I did.

Autumn behind the Hollum dyke, acrylic, canvas, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting


Salicornia fields behind the dyke.

Inspired by the Félix Ziem's rainbow sky that I have finally seen in real last week in the Gouda Museum, I tried to paint a quick small study of a landscape. The actual setting goes back to september when I took a photograph of our beautiful tidal fields full of salicornia which have turned into a wonderful rusty carpet by that time. A storm was approaching. The sun broke accidentally through the heavy dark clouds. Then autumn made its entrance.

Hope to make a larger version of this soon.

Achter de dijk bij Hollum (study), acrylic, paper, approximately 9x20 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting


Winter morning through the rear window in Zwolle

Inspired both by the view of this historic and intimate place and by the Hitchcock's film, I am making a new cityscape painting. I like the low morning sun producing that shadow line. Tried to catch it. Though I would rather prefer to set the buildings more impressionistic, like the church here, I am mostly satisfied with the result. The sky remains the thing I still have to learn to paint.

Rear Window, acrylic, paper, 34x28 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting

Roofs again


The small study I made last year seemed to be quite challenging, so now there is a larger version of it. Based on the real view from our attic, though I've played with perspective a little bit.

Roofs of Hollum, acrylic, canvas board, 24x30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

new painting

Quiet evenings


Another festive season is over and it is nice to relax reading something useful in the evenings or just having good coffee with some quality liquor. Or both. And maybe to paint again.

Some lovely people I was happy to meet last year, thought for a moment and by mistake that my first name was Valta. Since those people are artists themselves, I actually found this a good idea to sign my paintings from now on with "valta". Let's hope it will bring luck and inspiration :)

Triple pleasure, acrylic, canvas board, 30x24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

a new still life

Proud again


Exhibiting with the AAK during the Ameland Art Month brings me luck again. Four paintings are sold so far. Including the self-made frames. I am very proud and happy that people appreciate my art. I am also very proud to exhibit among the dozens of most talented artist of our island.

You can find the pictures of my painings in My gallery.

Sold paintings At the exhibition

Let's read

Another small still life

Inspired by a fellow amateur painter, I have tried a new setting with books and a candle. Glad to discover that red can be so luminous!

Books and a candle, acrylic, paperboard, approximately 14 x 19 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

Setting for a still life. A new still life.

Amelander Kunstmaand

November is the month of arts on our island

I am proud to participate this year again among a group of enormously talented amateur artists living on the island. Five paintings of mine will be exhibited the whole month of November at a location in Buren. Good luck, guys!

For more information on the traditional international Art Month visit

My paintings to be exhibited during the Art Month 2019.

Coast is home

A seascape

Trying to paint the sea again. This is the view of our nearest beach, next to a catamaran club. A quick study on paper, using the photograph I took recently.

Reddingbootpad, acrylic, paper, approximately 24 x 15 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

My new painting, almost finished.

Appeltaart, perhaps?

Another still life

Never painted apples before. The first ripe ones from our little garden gave me this opportunity to try a new setting with a white sugar pot and some cinnamon sticks and star anice. Well, almost all you need for a nice Dutch appeltaart!

Eerste appels / Early apples, acrylic, canvasboard, 30 x 24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

The setting for a new still life. Early appels, my new painting.

Yet another interior

"Evening sun in our house"

Planned to paint this for a long time. The light fall in our sitting room produces rather lovely effects I wanted to catch... Glad to practice and to learn more about perspective as well.

'Amelander interieur', acrylic, canvas, 24 x 30 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

My new painting, 'Amelander interieur'.

Trying a landscape


Inspired by the Jacob Collins' painting, I am now daring to try an 'abstract' landscape. A very quick study, using paper and learning the alla prima technique.

'Sunset Study', acrylic, paper, 24 x 15 cm.

My new study, 'Sunset Study'.

Back to the kitchen

"Aan tafel!"

Another try to combine still life and interior in one painting. I love the light falling into our kitchen through the small windows. Just like last year, I used the place to make a new setting. I think I have caught the shadows on china rather nicely. Table clothes and cutlery is what I'd like to practice more in future.

'Aan tafel!', acrylic, canvas board, 30 x 24 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

My new painting, 'Aan tafel!'.

Struggling with roof tiles

New experience

Making a study of a view from my attic window. Never tried this before. Maybe later I will make a larger version of it. Finding right colours and structure for painting the roof tiles is a challenge indeed.

Roofs of Hollum, acrylic, paperboard, approximately 20 x 9 cm.

My new painting, Roofs of Hollum.

Going on

Another miniature

This turned out to be fun. Tried landscape again. This time it is the view of the village where I live. The photograph I took a while ago, has been of much help.

Hollum, acrylic, paperboard, approximately 5 x 12 cm. See the final version in My gallery.

My new painting, Hollum.

in progress

Going smaller

A first miniature

Inspired by tropical weather last weekend, I have tried now to paint a sea landscape. Something I wouldn't normally want to paint. Well, here it is. Remembering our Normandy holidays, let's call it A Channel Beach.

A Channel Beach, acrylic, paperboard, approximately 12 x 5 cm.

My new painting, A Channel Beach.

almost there...

Another still life

Cheesy light

Browsing the web lately I got inspired by some beautiful photographs I ran into on a tumblr of a Scotsman with great taste. I loved the composition of a photograph with cheese and wine setting. So I decided to make my own version of it.

Here is the result. Let's call it Sunday Lunch.

Sunday Lunch, acrylic, canvas, 25 x 30 cm. See a larger image in My gallery.

My new painting, Sunday Lunch.

almost finished...

New painting season

A new still life

Dark winter days seem to be over, and it feels like I want to paint again. This time I would like to catch the visual effect of some liquid in a crystal glas in bright light.

Glass of whiskey, 24 x 30 cm. See a larger image in My gallery.

My new painting, Glas of Whiskey.

almost finished...

Certified in Digital Marketing

Another Google Certificate

Just completed The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing certification exam after a 40-hour course at Google.

Useful knowledge to put into practice with my web design projects.

Google certificate on Digital Marketing


The very first expo turned to be a success.

The Ameland Month of Art made me proud. Unexpectedly, four of five paintings are sold, including the self made frames. Astonished. Grateful to Mireille for encouraging to start painting, to @Maria for inspiration, to other friends and family for their support and especially to Paul for always being there for me!

Visit my gallery to see these and other paintings of mine.

Valta's paintings at the expo of Amelander Amateur Kunstenaars


One month to go till my first exhibition.

Ameland Month of Art is coming. I am accepted to participate this year with some of my paintings. Proud and quite excited. More to come.

Flyer of Amelander Amateur Kunstenaars


Just got another Google certificate!

My interest in analytics has been rewarded. After folowing two courses at Google Analytics Academy, I am now in posession of Advanced Google Analytics Certificate. Proud and full of expectations to use the knowledge and to go further.

My new Google certificate

New website for a wedding car

Another website's gone live!

The HTML code of the old version of this website was obsolete. So it was time to get it into the latest version of Bootstrap. Compact, fast, easy to navigate and reliable now. Check the

A new website design

Brahms Bed and Breakfast

Another website's gone live!

Great to work on a new website for a very nice and cosy bed and breakfast in a very hart of historic Utrecht. Got to listen to the music of its great lodger, too! :-)

It is live from now on.

A new website design

Field flowers

Let's paint still life again!

Got inspired by my very creative niece Maria who took a beautiful photograph.

Masha's summer, 24 x 30 cm. See a larger image in My gallery.

A new painting, Masha's summer.

almost finished...

A figure in the light

A new study; new experience.

It's the first time I am triying to paint a human figure on canvas. Once I took a photograph of while visiting a small castle near Utrecht. I found it a great setting, worthy for trying.

In the room of Belle van Zuylen, 24 x 30 cm. See a larger image in My gallery.

A new painting, In the room of Belle van Zuylen

the photograph and the painting

A new still life

After a long break, trying to paint again.

I took a photograph of these nasturtiums last October. I loved the play of light on and around the setting. I thought then, it would be nice to paint it once. Well, it was quite a challenge, especially the struggle with the flowers again, but now here it is.

My October Symphony, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 cm. See it in My gallery.

A new still life of October nasturtiums

the actual photograph and the painting

The site of Villa Louisa is live

Proud to work on the website for a magnificent holiday villa laying on the bank of Lake Como in North Italy.

The website of is live from now on. It's a light bootstrap based one-pager with some Google Docs (sheets and forms) embedded so that the site owner is able to edit and control the vital information at any time or place.

New website of

the new website of Villa Louisa in Nesso, Italy

Chester's got a new page

My best friend and an apple hero Chester could not just wait forever for his old page to be renewed.

So I've made a new page for him. A totally up-to-date one. Feel free to visit: Chester's Page

New design of Chester's page

the new design of Chester's Page

A new design

Happy to present a totally new design of my website. I used the Bootstrap framework, the (new to me) text editor Atom and the stuff I have lately learned by Google and Udacity.

My previous design was dated from 2007; its html code was obsolete and it was not responsive. Though I still love it, it was my first creature.

New and old design of

new vs old design of

The 20th edition of Art Month Ameland

November is the month of arts on our island, we celebrate then the Kunstmaand Ameland. This year more than 100 artists from the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and Iceland show their works at more than 40 locations across the whole island.

People of Ameland are very talented. The artists living on the island exhibit their works in the galleries of Amelander Amateurkunstenaars. Will I join them next year?

flyer of the Amelander Amateurkunstenaars

expo flyer of Amelander Amateurkunstenaars


Proud again.
I have been accepted into the Google Developer Challenge Scholarship.
The coming three months I am going to learn a lot on HTML, CSS and JavaScript at Udacity. Exciting and challenging.

"Dear Val,
We received applications from many talented and motivated candidates, and yours truly stood out..."

the Udacity and Google Scholarship Team
Udacity Scholarship Badge

Wet fun

It's been raining cats dogs and dogs lately. But our Chester is having fun, thinking he is an air boat. :-)

watch more Chester's videos on YouTube


Proud. Just received my Google certificate in Online Marketing.
It's been interesting to learn at the Google Digital Garage. Lots of useful information I can use from now on building websites or advising on digital marketing strategy.

Google certificate

Setting up a still life composition

Setting up a composition for still life has turned to be fun. Trying to find the best lighting I have made almost a hundred of photographs. Finally, I chose the one to make my newest painting - Orange still life.

Setting the Orange still life

the photograph and the painting