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 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.
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. See the final version in My gallery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 kunstmaandameland.com.
Coast is home
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.
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.
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.
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.
Back to the kitchen
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.
Struggling with roof tiles
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.
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.
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.
Another still life
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.
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.
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.
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 @Femmie and other friends for support and especially to Paul for always being there for me!
Visit my gallery to see these and other paintings of mine.
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.
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.
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 trouwautohuren.org.
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.
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 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 mireillevankempen.nl 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.
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.
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 villalouisa.nl 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.
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
the new design of Chester's Page
A new design
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 vs old design of valta.nl
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?
expo flyer of Amelander Amateurkunstenaars
I have been accepted into the Google Developer Challenge Scholarship.
We received applications from many talented and motivated candidates, and yours truly stood out..."
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.
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.
the photograph and the painting