One of the places I had really loved my last trip was the Oude Kerk. It's buried, improbably, in the Red Light district, and you do have to wade through some marijuana smoke to get there, but it's a lovely oasis when you do. A soaring space in shades of grey and tan, interesting flagstones, and real tangible quiet of the sort you get in ancient stone buildings..
I sketched this staircase last time in my sketchbook and wanted to do a more finished watercolor of it this go-round.
I also did a page in my journal, quickly, after doing the watercolors. I'm trying to keep a visual record of what I do this trip. And it can be fun to do a very quick sketch of something you've already painted and "figured out." I also wanted to sketch Saskia's gravestone. She was Rembrandt's first wife and died at the height of his popularity and wealth, so he could afford to bury her here.
After working I bought a bit of quiche at a bakery, which they heated up for me. I took it out to a park bench along a canal (I love that about waking cities in Europe -- the plentiful benches as well as the lunches to take outdoors). Halfway through lunch, a gypsy jazz group set up right in front of me to play. Great entertainment and a sketching opportunity all rolled into one.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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