Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chapels, Windvanes and Cows, Oh My!

HA!  I guess you had to be there...but sometimes it really is like a fairytale. Another joyride on Sunday, this time in the area of Arkel, Hoornaar and Schelluinen, all nearby....

  Arkel is where Astrid used to live, just 3 km north of us in Gorinchem.
I've seen this wee Koepelkerk a thousand times, it seems, but had never been inside.
It has a long history, beginning in 641, but the present chapel was built in 1855.

This past Sunday they had an open-house viewing from 2-4 p.m.
Lucky for me that Astrid notices these things in the paper!

And yes, they have a small congregation with services every Sunday.
I think my dad would have loved being pastor of this cozy chapel.

He was such a lover of books and hymnals.
So am I.

But instead of sheep to shepherd that day, all we got were cows!

Cows and more cows.  
It was a heyday for cows, most of which are grown here for their dairy products.

We did find some sheep, however.  HA!

And two gable stones on the same house.

And TWENTY-ONE weathervanes, of which these are the NON-birds/animals...

...and these are.

Milkweed covers many of the canals right now (bottom-left).
And Spring is still showing off her beauty everywhere.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On an entirely different note, close to home...

Look what we saw Saturday morning right after breakfast.
Astrid says it's a koolmees (Great Tit), common to Europe.
Apparently this little fella was too young to be frightened, while eating his own breakfast.
After several minutes, he flew off to mind his own business.
Did he know he made my day, I wonder?

That was about the same time I was connecting many dots to fulfill a life-long dream:
P A I N T I N G.

There are so many embellishment and/or manipulation tools these days,
to transform photo images into paintings...without all the mess, I might add.
So as I start my new decade (in two weeks), my dream is becoming real.

This is an oil painting of one of the collage images above.

Here's a watercolor of the same bird but different pose.

And how about a watercolor of the cows!

It may not be everyone's cuppa tea, but for me, I'm in heaven.
You have no idea how soulful this is for me!
(so might as well get used to it)


  1. I think it's always good to add a new something to the tool box, ha! That's what I'm loving about Instagram and all the apps. It's just pure fun to play! Looks like another wonderful weekend in paradise!

    1. Because I don't have an iPhone, Robin, I don't do Instagram, though I suppose I could do it with my iPad. But, yes, I am finding the tools that are soulful to me. So much fun. So much fun in paradise!

  2. Just beautiful.

    You know how I feel about you painting! Go go go!

    I have to ask, what about the snake windvane in the non-animal collage? Or is that not a snake?

    1. I'm so thrilled that you and others are along for the ride, Ruthie, because this is so very fun and soulful for me. Thank you.

      The snake vane is the icon for the apothecary/pharmacy world. It's the Rod of Asclepius:

      It's so fun, these weathervanes. Just when I think there couldn't possibly be another new one, there is!

    2. Oh, DUH! I finally got your question, Ruth...that, yes, the snake is an animal and probably should have gone in the other collage. Because I was associating it with a profession, I didn't even think about the 'animal' part. :(

  3. We don't need to far to have a good time and to see something beautiful. The Koepelkerk is a wonderful church of a large congregation and the building is well kept.
    Those cows are a joy to see in the meadow, the right place to be for a cow is MY guess.....
    The weather-vanes are so wonderful, the one with the Esculaap (Dutch) is very surprising, I think there lives a pharmacist in that house ...things we see, I never get tired of it.
    AND.....not to forget, your painting, I think that painting of the cows is fabulous, my favorite so far, The bird is beautiful. I can see how much fun you have with this new gadget IHVJ.

    1. Every time I see the cows I say to myself, "The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn." HA! The sheep are what I'm NOT used to, so sometimes I forget about the cows. But not on this Sunday. They were everywhere, with no sheep to be found.

      Thank you for being my fan club on the painting endeavor. You haven't seen the end of it yet! :)

  4. Good evening!
    Curious this old organ in this modern place !! nice details in postcard - but also the best for last !! painting water cows in the meadow !! a great achievement - Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by here, Pat. Very sweet of you!

  5. I have always wanted to to do it with these apps now. And that chapel is they cut the top off of a church...and the collection of weather vanes is very unique.

    1. I did do a bit of oil painting when I was in high school, Donna, but I wasn't good at it, IMHO. Watercolor would have been my wish to learn. It feels like a very happy solution to now do both digitally with my photos. I couldn't be happier! Thank you.

  6. Don't you love it when juveniles are too young to be afraid? There is a lesson in there for all of us. I love your painting, so I'm already used to your efforts...the more important thing being that it makes you happy. But to take a close up photo as you did and then use it to paint seems glorious to me. Another fun post. I'm such a fan of old books as well. Cheers Ginnie!

    1. Thank you, Susie, for sharing my fun. It's all so very soulful to me. And, yes, those juveniles are the ones who often explore the world and make all the new discoveries because they're fearless!

  7. I’m not sure why I especially enjoyed this blog post, but I did. The little chapel is lovely, even to an atheist. Did you get to hear that rogan? Interesting word, “heyday.” Glad it’s not “hayday,” which should be bad news for cows because it means they’re not getting the good grass summer feed that gives them the strength to produce milk. Black sheep! Lovely pose - perfect! Imagine those three sheep embroidered in wool on a sweater. The drinking serpent weathervane may be your greatest find. Where can I get one? Close second, the goofy moose. Did you know we have mooses? And then you end it all with the discussion of paint-like effects. I’m curious what programs you are using. Also, do you have a Wacom tablet (perhaps by a different name). I find a Wacom pressure sensitive pen is essential to what I do.

    1. No, we didn't get to hear the organ, Ted, but I would have loved that. I should have mentioned that to the volunteers there that day.

      I love that you liked this post, for whatever reason, and that you liked the pharmacy weathervane. The moose made me smile big-time. Maybe someone lives there from Canada or with some link to Canada or New England. So fun to imagine the stories.

      I write you more in an email about the paint-like effects....