Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Jo Myns, the Flemish Sculptor

I'll get to him in a minute...Jo Myns (pseudonym for Johan Van der Mynsbrugge)....

But first, after our day's visit to the Christmas market in the limestone caves of Valkenburg, in east-southern Netherlands at the end of November (remember?), we drove 5 km west to our B&B in Berg en Terblijt...10 km east of Maastricht, if you know the area.

Astrid is the one who does the research for our B&B or hotel locations and loves it.  So do I, for us both.
De Geulhemermolen in Berg en Terblijt is a great example of what she finds and was a total charm.

We love these places...especially for their breakfast the morning after.

Someone had great fun decorating the place.

Afterwards, in daylight, we loved exploring the grounds behind the hotel/B&B
...before heading on our way for the day.

As we left our B&B, we saw the cave dwellings in the same kind of limestone caves as from Valkenburg.
Can you imagine living there!

And then we were on our way to Lanaken, Belgium, 5 km west of Maastricht.
Don't you love these names and how everything is so close together!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In Lanaken, Belgium, at the La Butte aux Bois hotel, is/was a fantastical "exhibition" of the nude sculptures of Jo Myns, a Flemish/Belgium artist.  We had heard about him and seen his work via a blogger friend, Tom Wilson, on our Shutterchance blog.  Tom is a retired professor who lives in Sheffield, England.  

After seeing the series of 8 images Tom showed us on his blog, both Astrid and I earmarked the place for any time we might be in the area.  Bingo!  This was our chance and, lucky for us, the exhibition was still there.

La Butte aux Bois is a bit out of our league (4-star hotel), but they graciously allowed us 
to roam their lawns, in spite of the fact we weren't their overnight guests.
We told them how their reputation preceded them!

  What a delightful place...even at the end of November.

Now, where to start!

At the beginning with the first lady we saw...

...to this sun-worshipper, which you can buy for €595 ($810).

How can you resist these 2 ladies balleting on the lawn...

...or these 2 ladies stopping their bikes to catch a quick chat!

Nearby, another lady balances herself with her invisible pole.

All this while 2 other ladies play tug-of-war with Astrid...

...and the only man of the entire lot.
See how Astrid gives them all scale...just a bit smaller than life-sized.

Before leaving I went to the reception desk to ask if by chance there were any sculptures inside?
Aren't you glad I asked...even if the large one by the pool is the same as the previous sun-worshipper.

EUREKA and thanks to Tom:  we found them all!
And this was only the morning, before continuing on with the rest of our day....

(to be continued)


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Your photos, the environs, and the sculptures. Like Astrid, I just love researching lodgings. She did a great job here.

    1. This was totally worth the visit, Ruth, so I'm glad you agree with our assessment. Thank you! :) And yes, that Astrid and you would be like two peas in a pod, researching! :)

  2. OMG! How I love these sculptures!!! Thanks ALWAYS for sharing parts of your world! One day!

    1. You would have had a heyday there, Robin. I often think of you at these places, picturing you "taking" your own unique version of this world here. One day...again...indeed.

  3. We had a fabulous hotel, I love the surrounding, the sound of the Geul river, the lock was just under our window, we slept with the window open to have the wonderful sound.
    Those sculptures were worth the trip. What a great place to visit and host such wonderful species, and I am glad that you went down at the pool to see the sculpture.
    I love our 'outings', the things we see. Thank you for being part of it.

    1. We don't need 4 or 5-star hotels. A nice B&B is enough for us. I'm so glad for that. We have seen so many wonderful places and met so many wonderful people. We're very lucky. We even had free Wi-Fi. :)

      Thank you for sharing this great Journey with me!

  4. next time you go out for an outing, can i come? i will be very quiet in the backseat!

    1. Awwww. That is so sweet, Maria. You don't even have to be quiet! :)

  5. I bet the preliminary drawings the sculptor must have done for these statures are gorgeous as well - my daughter loves figure drawing and I have two nudes I want to frame. The weather in November is so gorgeous… adore the pops of orange and of course, the paths and gates …

    I have a post I think you might enjoy - a song my older son wrote and performs BUT … with an introductory drum roll by my youngest son (he got a set for Christmas). Hope you enjoy it ;) http://margaretbednar365.blogspot.com/2013/12/railroad-growlin-song-written-and.html

    1. I can just picture your entire family staying there at that hotel, Margaret, and having a heyday with the statues, nature...all of it. You saw the horses, too, I'm sure. It has your name written all over it. OMG!

      And thanks for the link to both your sons. As I said there, I sure hope I don't have to choose who's my favorite. :)

    2. Ha. I don't have favorites, of course, but my youngest son does let me kiss and hug him as much as I want so that earns him a LOT of brownie points :) Yes, I noticed those nice horses…
      looks like the one on the right might be a Haflinger. The riders are wise to wear helmets - not everyone does here in USA.

    3. LOL. Get all your brownie points while the getting is good, Margaret! He'll never forget it.

      I should have known you'd guess the breed of horses! And now that you mention it, I did notice the helmets but it didn't register anything...other than that they might be part of a riding school? But if it's for safety, then good for them!

  6. Absolutely beautiful sculptures! However, I don't think riding a bicycle naked is the biggest joy on earth (ouch!). I love how Astrid joined the tug-of-war - that really shows us the scale of these sculptures.
    And of course you made me all jealous again by showing those breakfast pictures. Real freshly baked rolls - oh yum!!!

    1. Of course you'd love all of this, Carola. It's all so European. It will be hard to leave this part of the world if it ever comes to that. But you already know that. And yes, I often make sure Astrid is in pictures to show the scale. It helps us, too! :) Thank you.

  7. I think I'll knit scarves for all those cold ladies for when it snows in Holland!

  8. Where to start...fab B and Bs...wonderful scenery and those nudes..wow! It is like fantasyland...every excursion a blissful delight!

    1. I never know where to start when I do these posts, Donna, so I usually just start from the beginning, the way everything happened. We're always "short of eyes."