Valta's Blog

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

From scratch to hatch

The summer art show proved to be successful

Making a project low risk is always fun. No great expectations, no regrets when it's a failure. Safe. Still, there is always a tiny (or immense) hope of success. And this time success it was.

I am very proud to involve the top artists Erwin Pattipeilohy and Peter Kiewied. I am happy with and grateful to all the visitors and the art collectors (10 art works were sold, and we've got some commissions as well).

I am enormously thankful to everyone who helped promote our project!

My very special appreciation goes to our patrons and friends of arts Eva and Riekus for providing that unique and beautiful space in their historic house.

And above all, huge thanks and all my love to Paul, for believing, constant support and encouragement!

Perhaps, we will repeat the show next year. You still can view some of the exhibitied works on our page. And check this video to get an impression.


Taste of summer

Fragole & Aceto Balsamico

I like my strawberries with a drop of balsamic vinegar, like this 12 year old one by Giuseppe Giusti.

Last spring I painted this still life with strawberries. Now I wanted to paint it again but in a different setting, in oil and alla prima using my limited palette.

This is how it became the Strawberries, oil, canvas, 24x30 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

Have a nice summer everyone!

in progress

in progress

A summer show


I am happy to work on this small but lovely project, organising a 3-day show with the art works of 3 artists living on our island. The location is a magnificent historic place, a perfectly preserved and restored former stable in the middle of the village of Hollum.

My fellow artists Erwin and Peter will be showing their marvelous sculpture and superb design objects.

We hope the visitors shall enjoy what they see. For those who can't be on Ameland these days, have a look at the art works on our page. For the happy ones who are on the island on June 17-19, welcome and see you there!

in progress

the show poster


Simplifying the light

I am in love with our old house. I believe this is the fourth painting I am making of this very room (have a look at the first, the second and the third one). The sunlight makes nice and strong contrasts when it falls through the west facing windows, making the historic interior and its colours quite vivid. So I wanted to paint that effect. It's a good exercise to simplify things, too, and I hope I haven't involved too much of unnecessary details.

I painted this one alla prima on a Mus panel with oil colours. As usual I used the three primary colors plus burnt umber and titanium white.

This is how it became the Amelander Interior, oil, panel, 24x30 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

in progress

Coffee time

Light, books, etc.

For a long time I wanted to paint a still life with books again. A few weeks ago, I was reading a book one evening, having a nice cup of coffee. The old bouillotte lamp was on, and it gave a nice soft light-dark effect to the stuff on the table and the books on the shelves behind. I took a few pictures of that setting, and I knew I wanted to paint it.

Again, I used the three primary colors plus burnt umber and titanium white.

This is how it became The Cup of Coffee, oil, panel, 24x30,5 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

in progress

Back to the table

Still life again

I love the spontaneous settings that are not set deliberately. While making breakfast on a sunny morning, I noticed the lovely shadow effect made by the sunlight falling through the window, covering a part of the table and creating a strong tonal light-dark contrast in the room. A kind of chiaroscuro effect. I immediately took some photographs and decided to paint this composition on canvas. I used my primary oil colours (cadmium red, cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue plus burned umber and titanium white) and the alla prima technique.

You can find a very short video showing the painting progress in my account on Instagram.

So this became "Breakfast", oil, canvas, 30 x 40 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

in progress

A lovely garden

Another commissioned work

Last autumn Paul and I were invited to visit a beautiful garden with some marvelous views. The owners are passionate art collectors so I was asked if I could paint one of those views on canvas, so I took some photographs to use as a reference later on. I was happy to work on this painting, choosing the right composition and using my oil colours in the alla prima technique. And then I handmade a wooden frame for the painting.

Now I am very proud the collectors liked the result. So today this painting has moved to their home.

So this became "In de tuin bij Kerkpad (bij H en R)", oil, canvas, 24 x 30 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

finished and framed


Historic village view

Today I showed the finished painting to the commissioners and I was very happy to hear they liked it. So this painting has now moved to its new home.

I liked working on it. A rather large canvas has been a challenge as well as the new alla prima techniques with the oil colours. The unusual composition with a broad perspective in combination with the winter sunlight and long shadows made it work. I must admit I was also much inspired by the beautiful old classic frame provided by the commissioner, which is now a part of the painting and quite a nice match.

So this became "Burenlaan in winterzon", oil, canvas, 40 x 50 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

finished and framed painting

Peaceful fields

Special commission

A couple of weeks ago I got an unusual request to make a painting with the ratio 1:4.

Well, I've managed to finish it before the deadline. I am very proud to work on this very special project.

The purpose of all this will remain a secret for a while. I hope this story continues soon.

So this became "Peaceful fields", acrylic, cardboard, app. 16 x 60 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

in progress

Winter show

An isle of traditions

I am very proud that my painting "Winter. Hollum" is now a part of the Amelander Winters exhibition in the Sorgdrager Museum.

The old island tradition of riding a horse-drawn wooden sleigh is being cherished, praised and remembered.

An impression of the exhibition

Here's to Julian!

Copying the master

Time to learn more about oil colours. I believe one of the best methods to learn is to copy something you like. So, back to whiskey and to my favorite "virtual mentor" Julian Merrow-Smith then! I adore his way of playing with light and colours. By trying to copy his work I am learning to understand more about the magic of light and about the techniques of painting with oil.

So here is the result, still far from what I wanted and miles away from the original, but I enjoyed the process and I hope I've learned something.

Here's to Julian!
a master copy after J. Merrow-Smith. Oil, cardboard 15 x 20 cm.

in progress in progress

new study in oil

New journey

Oiled and on

It took me ages to finally dare and give the oil painting a try. I am still not certain about many things and especially about how to accept the enormous drying time and to get used to the idea the painting have to wait at least a year to get varnished (yes, I'd like my oil to be thick I suppose, and for me not varnished = not finished).

But I will find out. I am happy I am trying. I love to learn. I suppose I will need to study the process and techniques from scratch again. Glad I have some great books and great teachers on Youtube. And I will not stop with acrylics, I don't think I will. Acrylic is a great medium and I still have lots of tubes with it to use.

So I started with some small studies in oil colours on a well gessoed acid free cardboard. Unusual feeling your paint doesn't dry out on your palette within an hour; I still can use it next day, and the day after. Happy with that. I love the viscosity of the paint as I am trying to paint alla prima. So happy with that, too. Great it almost doesn't smell, and I don't need to use solvents or turpentine as I started with Cobra, the water mixable oil colours. So happy I can clean my brushes just with water.

The first study is a copy of my still life Blue Jar that was sold last year. By copying a recent painting I wanted to learn the difference in the process between acrylic and oil paints. I was rather satisfied with the result.
Then I tried to paint a street view of our village, and I understood there must be a totally different approach in painting the trees and the sky wet in wet rather than in layers. And today I've painted another small still life with lemons and oranges. I liked the process again, learning to use a dry brush to soften the edges. Well, I think I go on with this journey for a while now.

And yes, still using my very same limited palette of five pigments, but now in oil.

So these are my first small oil studies. Perhaps soon a larger painting in my gallery.

in progress in progress in progress

new studies in oil

Playing with sea 2

Painting water

Still having fun with painting Chester.

Last summer on a quiet evening Paul took some nice photographs with my phone camera. Chester and I were playing on the beach and the light of the evening sun was playing with the sea, so this all made a lovely setting. Now I tried to paint it on a small piece of cardboard. Still using my limited palette.

So this became "Let's play", acrylic, cardboard, ap. 13x23 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

in progress

in progress

Playing with sea

A quick study and a painting

There is nothing funnier than chasing a tennis ball, according to our fetching hero Chester. You can often find us playing on the beach, where Chester can run as much and as hard as he can.

Still impressed by wonderful seascapes made by Dennis Roberts, I decided to paint a little study on cardboard first, trying to catch the movements of the waves, the dog and myself. Not really succeeded in making the shapes and figures having correct proportions first, but I think I conveyed it right later on canvas. I used the limited palette of primary colours plus burnt umber and titanium white.

So this became "Fetching", acrylic, canvas, 24x30 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

study in progress painting in progress

study and painting in progress

Let's think of summer again

A glimpse of the neighbours' garden

Finally began painting again after a long break. I had this village view for a long time in my mind. It's a cosy little place behind the Sorgdrager museum surrounded by many historic houses build back in the 18th century. At the end of the yard there is a lovely garden of our neighbours, always full of beautiful flowers during the whole season.

I am still using limited palette of just three primary colours plus titanium white and burnt umber. And still small formats of canvas.

This one became the "Achter Sorgdrager", acrylic, canvas, 24x30 cm. View the finished painting in my gallery.

working on the show

almost there

Vanitas vanitatum

et omnia vanitas

What was meant to be the show of the year, is now closed one day after the opening. Several weeks of excitement and hard work seem to be in vain. More than seventy artworks of twenty fellow artists from our island are now sealed in a closed museum for an unknown period of time due to another total national lockdown. What is prepared for us next in these strange times?

At least there is still a working website about this exhibition. I was quite proud to work on this project.

working on the show

last preparations before the opening/closing


Exhibition sales

I am happy and proud to tell that two of my paintings were sold at the annual exhibition of the Amelander Kunstenaars and are now on their way to new homes.

This annual art fair event, Kunstmaand Ameland, has been a succes again, as it has already been 24 times before. About 100 artists from the Netherlands and some Nordic countries were showing their art 30 days long in more than 50 locations across our island.

Only our showroom has had around 4.000 visitors, and hundreds of art works of my fellow island artists were sold. Now it is actually time for gallerists and art writers to discover what really sales.

In the meantime, my fellow artists and I are being busy with a new art show project. Even with two. (So no time to paint yet, which is a shame!) But let's hope there will be no lockdows so I am able to tell good news very soon as the exhibitions are planned already for december! Fingers crossed...

sold painting sold painting

Sold paintings

Blue Jar

Online sales

I am very proud to hear that another little still life of mine has been sold by Saatchi Art. I thank the collector and wish the painting long happy life at its new home in Germany.

A year ago I enjoyed painting this setting with this blue jar handmade by a very talented ceramic artist here on our island. I recently could buy another piece made by her, and this time I did ask the name of the artist, and now I finally know it! I've just posted about this on my Instagram.

sold painting

Blue Jar is sold

Good news again

Traditionally exciting

The annual international Kunstmaand Ameland is coming up. Hopefully it won't be canceled this year.

I am happy to be a part of it and to exhibit again. Ten of my paintings have been accepted to enter, I will show them soon in my next posts.

Welcome to visit our exhibitions, live in november on the island of Ameland and also online at

exhibition AAK

AAK's new exhibition poster

Good news

Four plus four

Totally unexpected and therefore extra exciting; this week four or my recent paintings, as well as four old studies and master copies have been sold. I am very happy and proud that they are all going to decorate the walls of some beautiful historic homes from now on.

sold paintings sold studies

sold paintings and studies

You will harvest what you sow

First apples of the season

I love apples. In all shapes and sizes, fresh, baked or cooked. So I thought I also like painting apples. This year we have already harvested many Cox's Orange Pippins in our small orchard, so there was no shortage of models to pose.

But somehow it became this time quite a challenge to paint those few apples. It took much longer to finish the painting than I thought. Perhaps it had to do with the new surface that I have never used before, an MDF panel that is actually intended for fine painting. Furthermore, I find that I could not quite match the colors of the apples. And I will be silent about the struggle with the foliage. So there's still a lot to learn for me. But in the end I am suddenly satisfied with the result.

So, it became the "First of the season", acrylic, panel 25 x 30 cm. The final version can be seen in my gallery.

underpainting painting in progress

almost finishes


Time to learn

I need to learn painting the sea. And, I have got some very small frames that are not sutable for stretched canvas. So it's time for excercising and trying out new materials.

Using acrylic gesso I glued thick paper on cardboard and then covered it with few layers of the same gesso. I took my usual limited palette of cadmium red, ultramarine, cadmium yellow, burnt umber and titanium white. And I tried to paint small quick studies of the North Sea shores. One, using a photograph of our Chester I took on the beach. The other, trying to make a sort of a master copy after a painting by Dennis Roberts whose works I admire.

Here are the results. "Chester on the Beach", acrylic, paper app. 10 x 21 cm.
And "Same Sea, Opposite Shores. After Dennis Roberts.", acrylic, paper app. 12 x 22 cm.

study Chester on the beach study after Dennis Roberts

the latest studies

Snow in August?


Since we are not having a warm and dry summer this year, why not think of the proper winter then for a while? It was cold and white for almost a fortnight last February. And it was wonderful to watch the islanders having snow fun on their traditional horse-drawn sleighs. As well as the white rooftops of our village.

For a change, I decided to paint on cardboard this time, applying lots of layers of gesso first. Again, I used the limited palette; cadmium red, ultramarine, burnt umber and titanium white.

Thus it became "Hollum. Winter", acrylic, cardboard 30 x 25,5 cm. An image of the finished painting to be found in my gallery.

myself and the new painting in progress

almost finished

One of a kind

To mother

As I am still not allowed to travel to visit my mother due to the restrictions, it has now been four years since I have seen her. Nevertheless, I was able to surprise her a bit on her birthday this week.

It was my brother's idea to make some sort of booklet for her with some of my paintings that she liked but could only see digitally. So, she has now received that booklet exactly on her 84th birthday. And I made this video of that booklet before sending it.

Happy birthday, mama, and thank you! For all your support and your believe in me. For always being proud of me and never doubting or being discouraging about the things I do. I am proud to be your son.

the booklet



I believe that every painting should have its own frame. I hand-make mine myself. Every time it is a lot of work but I actually like both the process and the result.

I like them classic and sober, mainly black with a little gold. Last spring I unexpectedly received a few tubes of black alkyd paint as a gift from a sweet unknown lady who suddenly showed up at the door. Since I only paint with acrylics, I couldn't think of a better way to use them than to paint my frames with them. I think it turned out very well. Thanks again, Ms. T.K. from Nes!

new frames in progress

framing in progress

High summer

Another interior

Since I really enjoy our little garden, and so does Chester, I eventually wanted to paint a small part of it. In combination with the interior of our garden/guest room. Quite satisfied with the awaiting pose of Chester.

I used the limited palette; red, yellow and blue plus burnt umber and titanium white.

Thus it became Come Out!, acrylic, canvas 30 x 24 cm. The finished painting to be found in my gallery.

new painting in progress new painting in progress new painting in progress new painting in progress new painting in progress

in progress

Vitamin D

Back to painting

I've tried to paint Chester again, combining a dog portrait with interior painting. It seemed like a perfect setting when I saw him routinely enjoying the sun rays while in our attic in Zwolle. It turned out to be difficult to choose the right values for the background; I still have a lot to learn about how to convey depth with dark objects in the foreground.

Is it a coincidence (I am wondering now) that I recently visited the Transverse Orientation by genius Dimitris Papaioannou where he deliberately opted for the lighter background of his masterpiece?

I used the limited palette again; red, yellow and blue plus burnt umber and white.

Thus it became Chester the Sun Worshiper, acrylic, canvas 24 x 30 cm. The finished painting can be found in my gallery.

new painting of Chester

in progress

A new project

Completed and realised

I am happy with this small but beautiful art project that I have carried out in a very short period of time in collaboration with Amelander Artists and De Amelander Musea.

From July 1, 2021, three Amelander art photographers will exhibit 25 works of art in the De Amelander Vuurtoren museum in Hollum. This will be a permanent exhibition where visitors can also order a print of the photos in different sizes and on various materials via the website, which I also made.

So, this way you may soon have a beautiful piece of Ameland hanging on your wall!

poster of the new exhibition website of the new exhibition

poster of the exhibition

Finally summer. And some more knowledge

Something different

It seems that my annual winter depression this year, due to the lockdown and to the unusually sunless, cold and wet spring, lasted for half a year instead of a few weeks. I was of course happy to be able to paint and read, but I was also thrilled to discover many interesting courses at Coursera, which I loved to audit. And that was not few. Proud of this list so far. But I don't intend to stop. I like to learn. So there's still a lot planned, maybe after the summer break.

Hoping that this long depression is finally over, I am now fully enjoying the nature around and our garden again. And I'm also working now on a new small but nice art project for our island. I hope to report on that very soon.

So, see you soon, take good care of your mental health, and of the others.

list of my courses

more courses in progress

Some rooftops again

Spring has finally come

Another painting of another corner in our village. The almost four centuries old but perfectly preserved buildings of the neigbouring museum look lovely and romantic at every season. This year the unusual weather made our ancient pear trees blossom quite late. So I was happy to catch and to paint this small scenery. Using again the limited palette of blue, red and yellow, plus white and burnt umber. Will we get a nice crop of pears this summer?

Well, have a good summer averyone!

So it became the Bij Sorgdrager, acrylic, canvas 30x24 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

new landscape

in progress


Some more alcohol

I found this setting with lots of different shadows and the sharp but cool sunlight quite exciting. And I love that luminous effect you can achieve by mixing red, yellow and burned umber.

The old famous liquor of our island has recently changed its bottle design, and as we were happy to receive a new one from our new friends, I thought it could have been good to paint the old and the new one next to each other.

Well, 'proost!'

And try it yourself once. The name is Nobeltje;)

So it became the Transitions, acrylic, canvas 20x20 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

new still life

almost finished


Sunday Lunch gets a new home

The month May proves to be full of surprises, again. Except it still unusually feels like winter outside, some good news came unexpectedly from Saatchi Art where a couple of my paintings are being exhibited. They have sold the Sunday Lunch to a collector in Virginia. The painting is now thoroughly packed and labeled and is on its way to the United States. I am proud. I am hoping that the new owner will be happy with their new original painting and that the painting itself will get a new lovely home.

Excited, this is such a stimulating happening! Bye for now, gotta rush back to my easel.

painting sold painting sold

bon voyage!

Some strawberries

"L'inverno non finisce mai..."

Just like in the old and lovely Italian song; this winter seems to never end now but we still have nice memories. Strawberries are one of those fine connections to keep you warm and hoping. I love having my strawberries cut in half with some drops of old Aceto Balsamico. That's why I now tried to paint this all in the setting of our old blue kitchen. Yes, still using the limited palette.

Still hoping for good and warm news to come very soon. Please don't give up, you too.

So it became the Strawberries, acrylic, canvas board 24x30 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

the new painting in progress

in progress

Let's bake

Last days of winter

Christmas memories are nice even when it is (cold) March outside. I like to bake my own version of Christmas pudding with lots of fruit, both dried and fresh. I took some photographs last December and now I found them worthy to make a small painting. Still using the limited palette of Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine plus Burnt Umber and Titanium White.

Well, happy Christmas then!

So it became the Festive Season, acrylic, canvas 24x30 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

the new painting in progress

almost finished

Cheering up

Back to still life

When life literally gets almost still, you somethimes need a good shot of old single malt. Well, I do. And I like how it looks in a crystal glass. So, using again the limited palette of Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine plus Burnt Umber and Titanium White, I tried to catch and paint the warmth of that noble liquid.

Well, here's to us!

So it became the Glass of Whiskey, acrylic, canvas 30x24 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

the new painting in progress

in progress

Full of hope again

Going on with our Southwest

When the strong sun light breaks through the rapidly moving dark clouds, you can accidentally get that special warm feeling of hope, which for a moment helps you to go on, makes you expecting the better times, believing. The South-West part of our beach often has such sceneries. I love to watch those great nature shows. I have now tried to paint one.

So it became the Buien boven Zuidwest, acrylic, canvas 20x20 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

the new painting in progress

in progress

A bit of drama

Storm approaching

The tower of the Magnus church used to serve as a beacon for the ships for centuries. It can be seen well from the Wadden Sea and also from the beach, even though it is now half hidden behind the dike. A lovely beach where I often walk with Chester. Sometimes the low winter sun plays with the approaching heavy clouds full of rain, and it produces then dramatic images. I tried to capture this effect.

So it became the Southwest. Storm is coming, acrylic, canvas 30x30 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

the new painting in progress

in progress

Back yards

A new start. Landscaping again

Glad I finally got myself to paint again.

There is a nice little space next to our street with a marvellous view on the meadows, dunes and the dyke. The stable with a red door and barns in the back yard of our good neighbours Jeroen and Yvonne make the setting look cosy, rural and peaceful. The winter sky on a windy and wet day gives a piece of hope that the bright light is still there, approaching.

I am still using the limited palette of Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine, Burnt Umber and Titanium White.

So it became the Stal achter Burenlaan te Hollum, acrylic, canvas 24x30 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

the new painting in progress

New landscape in progress


Some good news

This strange and sad year is finishing rather fine, at least for my artistic affairs.

Another still life of mine, Triple Pleasure, has been recently sold, including the hand made frame. It's hanging now on the wall of a good home, what makes me feel very proud again.

And, the art auction that my fellow island artists were holding in December, seemed to be quite successful. I am happy to support them with webmastering. Fifteen artworks have been sold (my early "Sunflowers" among them), raising a total of 1.700 Euro. The raised money to be gifted to ASL Nederland.

And, I have been accepted to show and sell some of my paintings with Saatchi Art. You can find them here. Let's hope there is still luck.

Have a safe and sane 2021!

the sold painting art auction sunflowers

Late autumn

Street view

We had a lovely long and calm autumn this year. No any early heavy storm, so the leaves were able to get their dramatic colours on time while still on trees. The low but still warm sun light against the heavy dark clouds full of cold showers made the contrast even more striking giving the scenery quite a cosy effect. The young linden trees along the neighbouring Herenweg street in our village make a perfect setting for a painting, I thought.

I've tried to catch this effect here, still using a limited palette (red, yellow, blue + white and burnt umber)

So it became the Herenweg te Hollum, acrylic, 30x24 cm. The result is to see in My gallery.

new painting Herenweg te Hollum

Nice cooperation

Online exhibition

Despite the famous annual Kunstmaand Ameland exhibitions being cancelled due to the covid times, a group of enthusiastic island artists decided to go online together to show their artworks to the world.

I am happy to make myself and my skills useful, as I was asked to make a website for this group called AAK (Amelander Amateur Kunstenaars).

It just went live! We already show the works of twenty artists now, and there are many more to join very soon.

So, feel free to visit our new website, and enjoy the art of the most beautiful island in the North Sea.

new webiste AAK

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