About a life devoted to the love for Folklore, Mythology, Legends and.....Art

Friday, July 29, 2011

Avocado Art

This was a birthday present made for me by Marcus. You can find all his marvelous work here: LINK

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Shadow Puppets!

Faust and Mephisto

Hansel and Gretel

The Sandman

Another series of hand-cut shadow puppets! Reproductions are soon for sale at my shop.

I hope you all like it!

Theater Decors

I decided to try something new for my shop... theater decors. I hope you all like it!
Reproductions are soon for sale at my shop!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tell me a Story - Update

Last week I received a copy of my upcoming book: Tell me a story.
I can not show you any pictures of the hardcover yet because I have yet to receive it.

The book is now going through the last stages of perfectionizing and then my book will finally be for sale. I can hardly wait!

Jacket Design made by: LINK
Jacket Illustrations by me :-)

DIY Shadow Theaters

I have been working on some new products for my shop for the last couple of weeks. One of these "experiments" resulted in a shadow theater which people can make themselves at home.

I would have loved to play with it myself when I was a kid.... Actually I love playing with it now as well!

More exciting shadow puppetry related news will follow soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sketchbook Project!

I finally have some time to tell you all about my latest project! It is a small project which I only did for fun's sake and also because I wanted to get my mind off of things during these busy months.
As usual I focused on the folklore theme, in this case Dutch folklore, but let me first tell you a bit about the project itself.

The Sketchbook Project:

The Sketchbook Project, an initiative of Art House, is a collaboration of artists who submit their sketchbook in order to create the largest traveling sketchbook library in the world. Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the USA. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be bar coded and available for the public to view.
At the moment 28594 artists from 94 countries around the world are participating and one of these artist is me :-)
To find out more about the project and the tour dates please check out their website: LINK

About my Sketchbook:

It will probably not surprise you that I decided to work with the folklore theme for my own Sketchbook. I thus created a character: Mister Oswald who is a professional folklorist and story-collector. For his work he travels through Holland in order to collect as many folktales as possible. These tales he writes down in his journal, accompanied by drawings he makes and other things he finds on his way.
My sketchbook: Mister Oswald's journal, will thus be a collections of tales and drawings, old and new, put together in one small book. Which I hope many people will enjoy to read and view !

I will upload scans of the journal/sketchbook pages on my Deviant Art account as well as my profile on Art House.
Those of you who are not able to visit one of the exhibitions can thus still see the sketchbook and read the folktales of my country.

You can view the entire contents of the sketchbook here: LINK


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Witte Wieven - A Dutch Folktale

(Please, click picture for bigger and better view)

'Why all these Dutch folktales all of the sudden? ' some of you might be thinking. Well, I have started a new folklore related project a few weeks ago about which I will tell you all later this week.
But first I would like to share with you my latest drawing, which is also part of the project, named: "Witte Wieven". These two small words have two different meanings. Witte can mean white or (in dialect) wise and wieven means women. Thus it can refer to white women or wise women. In this case both interpetations would actually be correct.

These Witte Wieven are always described by the people as white, ghostly, witch-like figures, often brought in connection with mist. They haunt the old burial-mounds, which can still be found in the Netherlands, dating back to the Iron Age. It is not a coincidence that these ghostly women are haunting these burial-mounds because the Witte Wieven are infact the vestiges of the old Germanic priestesses worshipped by the people. The church obviously disapproved with this sort of worship like they cursed the old burial mounds, being graveyards of heathens. And soon the two: Germanic priestesses and the burial-mounds, became connected.

The people for a long time strongly believed in the powers of the Witte Wieven. They often left food for them in order to recieve their blessings. Their favorite food was balkenhaze, which is the name for roast cat and pancakes. It was believed that if one should refuse to offer the Witte Wieven food they would take revenge. They would kill cattle by sticking long needles into the animal bodies and burn down sheds and if you were really unlucky they would kidnap you. They were especially known for kidnapping young mothers, because they needed them for feeding their young dogs. It was said that the Witte Wieven sometimes had such long breasts, because of the feeding, they could throw them over their shoulders. Hence the reason why they preferred other women to do the job, I guess. Once these women were captured they had to stay with them for 7 years, after which they were released.

The Witte Wieven were also great sorceresses; who could turn wood into gold and such. This is why the people were making offerings, in hope they would share these gifts with them.

There must be hundreds of folktales related to the Witte Wieven: stories about revenge they took on young rude boys, women they kidnapped and about women who knew how to escape. Tales about farmers who owe their riches to them and farmers who lost it all because they broke with the tradition of food-offerings.

Nowadays, the people in the eastern parts of the Netherlands no longer believe in these matters, but the tales they have survived. But if you are lucky to meet one of the old farmers they will assure you all of it is true and they still look at the burial mounds with a suspicious eye. Of course, they know better....