As I was making this mural for this new soul coming into this world, I was imagining her growing up with this bird. First looking at her with her big sparkly eyes as a baby. Later talking to this big Magical bird, see her as her best friend, telling her secrets , her heart's longing and her big problems in her tiny world. Looking at the shiny stones , fantasizing that they are real diamonds and maybe trying to get one of the wall and keeping it in her hand the whole day. All this brings a smile to my face and I can feel some pain in my heart that maybe one day this girl would grow up and tell her mom that she's tired of this childish bird that she once loved so much.
I booked a last minute flight to Italy as I had the opportunity to housesit for a friend who is living since 3 years in Matera. I just wanted to be in Nature and needed some time for myself as I've been in the city of Amsterdam for two months already. My sister is having a baby and is due in the beginning of August so this was the perfect time for a getaway. .
After I booked my ticket I started to do some research on Matera. The more I saw and read about Matera the more excited I was getting for this unexpected trip.
I love to spend time in solitude and draw in nature. Since coming to the West I haven’t felt safe enough to be alone in nature. My soul sings with joy that I finally found a power spot after more than a year. My new ‘studio’ is in the Marine park close to a road with just enough traffic and I still have the feeling that I’m in my own world.
I am quite sensitive to my surroundings. Coming back to Saint Martin from LA I noticed that I was feeling a very insecure. I've been living a simple life for the past 3 years carrying all my belongings in my back and happy just being in nature and painting.
Los Angeles has been a totally different experience compared to the rest of my trip so far. I had to go there unexpected for sickness in the family. So I was mostly spending time in the hospital and with loved ones. Quite intense and demanding times and I tried to keep my balance by eating healthy, doing yoga, meditation as LA is quite a city of extremes and it's quite easy to get lost in seeing all the glitter and glamour.
I was so eager to spend my last night dancing in Amsterdam that I squeezed in a visit to Club Lite after midnight even though I was tired and I had to head to the airport at 6 am. Dancing was a source of so much joy during my stay there that I preferred to catch up on sleep in the plane. The night took an unexpected turn as I ended up spending my last hours waiting for the doctor at the hospitl. While I was dancing I knocked off some glasses a la Karate kid and I had quite a big cut.
One of the things I dreaded the most was that I would maybe run out of money and had to go back to holland. I was quite unhappy in the last year before I set out traveling. My visit to holland was something necessary as I needed to arrange some stuff as I left quite unexpected. The intention was to be only there for a short pitstop.
My last project on Curacao was creating a buddha mural at a swimming pool. It was a beautiful house at Jan Thiel and the lady (Aisha ) gave me complete freedom to create a piece. Her house was a dream come true for her and she wanted the text: My dream.
I was honored that I was asked to give a TEDx talk. From the start I knew that I just didn't want to talk about the places that I have been but I wanted to share a personal story. What drove me to travel and leave everything behind
Garrick Marchena, a local artist and me came up with the project "Drecha bo barrio". (Pimp your neighborhood) To bring art to children in neighborhoods that need some color in Curacao. A dream collaboration for the both of us but also my farewell gift before I leave the island.
Honored to be last minute one of the 50 artists from all over the world to participate in Curacao's worlds longest painting. Apart from the attempt to break a world record of 2km with the community, all artists get 10 meters (!) of fabric each. The proceeds of the painting goes to founding an art academy in Curacao.
I am beyond excited to see Natalie Vanos EYE AM book out on hardcover. The book is beautifully handbinded, handwritten in such a playful way. It is filled with illustrations from me as well as from other artists.
On my way to South America I decided to make a stop on the Island where I was born , Curacao.
It has been quite a transition from traveling to being back home. I feel like I still need to land and find my grounding again. I spent my days mostly with the family and today I decided to go "outside" again, to get in my usual routine of going to cafes and in nature to draw.
Just finished my last painting. The Sea Godess. This one took such a long time to complete. I started drawing one spontaneous night at the Rock Bar in Koh Samui where I "discovered" that I don't need to limit myself with only one page. ( Something quite logical but it felt as a huge discovery that night and quite symbolic for my life at that moment. That a lot of the rules and beliefs in my life are now self imposed.)
I've been to Krabi almost a year ago where I spend almost two months in Ton Sai , rock climbing . I didn't go to the touristy places such as Koh Pipi where the famous movie the beach was shot. As I'm planning to leave Thailand soon as my visa was declined this time I decided to head that direction.
A visa run brought me to Penang, Malaysia. Little did I know it would be one of the most creatively exciting cities I have seen on my trip! I'm really blown away by this creative city that's on the Unesco World Heritage list. Every wall is a work of art and the colors and textures are amazing. I feel dizzy by soaking all of this up!