October (and some November) Weekends
One of the first things I noticed when I got to Amsterdam was the abundance of high quality, original art everywhere. And before too long I knew exactly why, Amsterdam is inspiring, it is for the free and it is an incredibly beautiful city, with water reflecting all around you, beautiful blossoming flowers everywhere, world class parks, trees lining the streets and canals, stunning architecture, a laid back atmosphere, several festivals and markets, Amsterdam is a city that is vibrant and alive.
And if you're an artist the best part is you live in a country where the government and society supports the arts. There are several world class art schools that attract artists from all over the world and several community programs that get people involved and encourage creativity, to add to this there are festivals, markets, galleries and exhibitions all year round that focus on the arts.
During October and some November weekends Amsterdam has a free open exhibition known as Open Ateliers where artists open their workspaces, it is the perfect opportunity to see how artists work and to see some of their works in progress as well as many of their completed works, best of all you can also meet with the artist and discuss their work.
Yesterday we went to open galleries in The Pijp, it was very eye opening for someone who dabbles in painting to see such a high standard of work among the local artists, probably higher than I have seen anywhere else. Some of my favourites included: Pieter Schmits who's nudes were incredible, with nice uses of colour and an interesting technique of letting thinned out paint flow on his canvas leading to beautiful flowing lines of the female form. Julie Dassaud (below) who had some very cool mixed media paintings with an industrial edge.
John Paaijmans who works with Indian ink using syringes and drips to create some really funky drawings. And, Antonio Fuertes who's beautiful profiles (like the one below) and still life's had a classical style with a modern edge.
I look forward to seeing more during other weekends!