Clear the decks.

You might think you put 2013 to bed a couple of days ago but here at Drawstring Mansions we take a more relaxed attitude to the calendar (Note to clients: except where deadlines are concerned, naturally) so here, to usher in the new year, are a few tail-end bits & pieces to finally wipe last year’s slate clean.

This is Hannah, from the last drawing session of the year at SCAC – a slightly truncated session that several of us left at half-time in order to get down to the Brighton Illustrators’ Group Christmas party.17Dec13-Hannah@SCACx217Dec-Hannah@SCAC217Dec-Hannah@SCAC_recline

Adobe Ideas sketch from a photo in the Guardian. Can’t remember her identity.CommonBreed

There seems very little point having a daughter studying in Amsterdam for a year if you don’t also use it as an excuse to go out there yourself at every opportunity. Having delivered her there back in August, it seemed only right that Lynn and I should make a return trip to bring her home for Christmas and make a weekend of it into the bargain.

These were a few of the characters on board the Dover to Dunkirk ferry:Sketch-19Dec13

As of a couple of years ago, a Light Festival has been established in Amsterdam at this time of year so the city looked extremely seasonal. We also spent a truly uplifting afternoon at the recently-refurbished Rijksmuseum, which re-opened earlier last year. It’s a wonderful building, with a bicycle lane running right through the middle of it. It would be hard to think of a more satisfying symbol of a civilised society! The real treasure is inside, though. An afternoon is laughably inadequate for a visit to this place but there was time to re-visit some of the crown-jewels of their incredible collection, including the Rembrandts and the small but transcendent row of Vermeers. That Milkmaid painting is one of the most perfect works of art in existence IMHO, something you’d never guess if you’ve only ever seen it in reproduction. I was also very taken with the work of George Hendrik Breitner and bought a small print of his Girl in a White Kimono. I cannot recommend the Rijksmuseum too highly; if you’re planning a visit to Amsterdam, stick it at the top of your ‘to do’ list.

Rijksmuseum

 

Sketch-20-21Dec13Sketch-22Dec13_1 1Sketch-22Dec13_1Sketch-22-26Dec13

Futile attempt to read a couple of pages:Sketch-22-26Dec13_1

My Mum, Avril, at the in-laws on Boxing Day:Sketch-26Dec13

 

Happy 2014, everyone!

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