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This graphite pencil drawing ‘Gent – 08-05-23’ shows a different scenery for a change. Usually you see me wandering about in the Haaglanden area, searching for artistic motifs. This time a city in Belgium is on the menu. The reason was twofold. I wanted to break-out and see new places. Another was I had an meeting with an owner of a gallery in Oostende, called Galerie d’O . It’s a nice one and they show high class art. Exactly the place to send my work to so to be continued. Anyway, back to the when and why of this art work. Driving back on the E40 I passed Gent (‘Ghent’ in English). I thought I might as well take the exit to that town.
You see, there is this mightly fine museum (Museum voor Schone Kunsten or ‘ MSK ’) just outside the city centre. It’s also close to the highway and it turned out parking is free on a Sunday. So no searching for a parking lot, struggling through busy streets like in Amsterdam for example. Great collection and I specifically liked their Jeroen Bosch and Van de Woestyne paintings. After my visit I walked to the centre. There I saw why there was so much parking space in front of the museum. You litteraly could walk over the heads of all the visitors. Bus loads of tourists flocking the narrow streets. A bit disappointing that was. Not that I have a grudge against them. It seemed Gent has fully adapt her functioning to these massive crowds though. Lots of Döner and Dim Sum Palaces, fast food chains and pizzerias.
I had a vision of me sitting on the banks of the Leie. Taking a selfie with a beer and mussels for my parents. However, it proved to be too tall an order to execute. Restaurants at the Graslei were all full and mussels costed a staggering 28 euro. I settled for french fries stew from a famous Belgian ‘frietkot’ instead. Next thing was to take some pictures. There simply wasn’t enough space or a bench to sit on for sketching outdoors. I came across the Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicholas Church) . At the back I had a nice view on the Emile Braun Square. Suddenly the sun came through the clouds. Plenty of leafy structures to capture. I had the same execution of drawing in mind as my last drawing of Berg en Dal . See how it would look applied to man made structures.
I had great fun depicting people reclining on the grass. It’s rewarding how only some scribblings in the back can present lots of people. That’s due to the more elaborated and bigger ones in the front. The power of suggestion can make believe there is a lot going on. Makes me want to do some more in the next future. Looking forward to more better weather. The freezing cold finally has gone.
Graphite pencil drawing (Sakura 0.5 mm, 4B) on Winsor & Newton Bristol board paper (21 x 14.8 x 0.1 cm – A5 format)
Artist: Corné Akkers
About Corne Akkers
My work can be seen in many countries all over the world. I employ a variety of styles that all have one thing in common: the ever search for the light on phenomena and all the shadows and light planes they block in. My favorites in doing so are oil paint, dry pastel and graphite pencil. It is not the form or the theme that counts but the way planes of certain tonal quality vary and block in the lights. Colours are relatively unimportant and can take on whatever scheme. It is the tonal quality that is ever present in my work, creating the illusion of depth and mass on a flat 2d-plane. I combine figurative work with the search for abstraction because neither in extremo can provide the desired art statement the public expects from an artist. Besides all that, exaggeration and deviation is the standard and results in a typical use of a strong colour scheme and a hugh tonal bandwith, in order to create art that, when the canvas or paper would be torn into pieces, in essence still would be recognizable.
I teach art (drawing / painting) at Voorburg, Netherlands where I have my second studio next to my first at The Hague, Netherlands, where I live.