A big shipment of natural air-hardening clay came in today. This clay contains minerals and natural cellulose fibers that harden strongly and naturally without kiln firing. It's a beautiful non-toxic clay that comes from the coast of Spain. Into the wet clay body, I'm hand-mixing Dutch artist pigments ground by a windmill here in Holland, the Verfmolen de Kat. It's nice to live in the tradition of the Dutch Masters like Vermeer and Rembrandt, who lived just a few steps from my door.
The paintings of Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Ruisdael immortalized these old mills in their time. Being in the presence of these bits of history as I commute every day, I can't help but sketch the moments when the ochreous Dutch sunlight brilliantly illuminates a mill against dark storm clouds in the distance, or when I see bits of old windmill history in one of Holland's many museums. It makes me nostalgic already, the knowledge that once I leave Holland, these tiny ink and graphite drawings of mine will be all I'll keep of the immense emotional impressions these old mills make, standing and creaking just before me.
A Dutch film maker named Menno Mennes has produced a set of Holland Heritage videos that I absolutely love. Here's a short film by Mennes, "Levende Molens van Holland," or "Living Mills of Holland."