Angry Tundra: see first posting March 2008

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nature according to Eef

I've not made any new Google Earth Art paintings for a while now. The main reason is that I've been encaptivated by a different theme which I've called "Nature according to Eef". Before Google Earth Art I made landscapes, often looking for unusual angles or subjects. When I visited Australia 3 years ago I was deeply inspired by the moderate rainforests in the southern parts of Victoria. So wild, so impressive and somehow alien. There's no use for us there. There's some more on my new blog Nature according to Eef

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mud (more drowned lands of Saeftinghe)

Again a painting from this endlessly inspiring tidal estuary landscape "Saeftinge"near the Belgian border. In this case painted in commission for someone who as a geologist has been fascinated by mud all his working life. He would probably use the term "tidal sediments" or such, but I think the word "mud" adds an essential dimension to this earth-scape that neither scientific understanding of the processes involved, or my interpretation of the satellite images can convey. Mud is beautiful.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The drowned lands of Saeftingen

Saeftingen 1 oils on canvas 70 x 110 cm

On the Westerschelde estuary, just north of the Dutch/ Belgium border lies a stroke of wetland called "the drowned lands of Saeftingen". The tidal currents are large here and have formed spectacular estuarian landscapes. The plants and animals that dwell here are adapted to an environment which can suddely change from fresh water to salty. The saltyness determines which planrts grow where. In summer some of these plants turn deep red. You can see in which season the Google Earth satellilte images have been taken bij the colours of the vegetation.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Drama in mud

oil on canvas 80 x 100 cm

Strictly speaking this is not Google Earth Art, I didn't use a satellite image for this but photo's I took along the Waal river (nearby). The eb and flow caused by ships passing by have the effect of a miniature tidalwave on the sandbanks. The erosion shows up all sorts of layers of clays and different soils which stick out because they erode less than the sand. But if I told you these were chalkcliffs in some desert landscape you might just as wel believe it. What fascinates me is that all these forms and structures are repeated at every level. Mud fascinates me in any case: the place where life probably started.  Sorry about the bad flashlight foto, I'll replace it by a better daylight one soon. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Summer exhibition and new ideas

And yet an other exhibition. Same place as last year, in the old Barabara church in Culemborg. Lovely place to hang a large painting, but for me again with mixed feelings. My work is about 4 billion years of evolution and the rate at which we are destroying it. I know that many modern christians accept the idea of evolution, more or less. But my feeling is that I am showing sacriligeous images in somebody's house of God. Just have a look at the contrast:
At the moment I'm working on a new set of paintings. From reactions of other artists (in particular) I get the idea my message is not coming across, or is maybe the message is not personal enough. I'm not sure if I really understand my critics or if I should listen to their well meant advice. If you as a follower of my blog would like to contribute to the discussion: be my guest and comment (or send me an e-mail if you prefer). I'm going to try a new approach anyway. The central theme for my next paintings will be the concept of the ecological (or carbon) footprint. Of course Google Earth will still be part of it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Exhibition at Kobalt

Long time no blog... I'm afraid work, holidays, exhibitions and other distractions have kept me from it. In this first september post some images from the exhibition at Kobalt Gallery in Culemborg. It's situated in what used to be the train station's restaurant. It was a duo show with friend and painter Henk van den Gronde with ceramics from his wife Yvonne.

I Don't like posing for pictures, but here's me with my latest 2 paintings:

Monday, June 1, 2009

No More Tigers and The Tiger Returns

oil on linnen 120 X 140 cm

This (not so good) photo of my latest painting is again all about deforestation. During my Google earth explorations of Malaysia I was triggered by a World Wildlife Fund location where research was carried out to see if tigers come back to a sustainably logged piece of forest. The conclusion seems to be that they do. Tigers form the top of the ecological pyramid in these parts, if they don't return you can be shure that the logging is'nt all that sustainable after all. This was good news and I wanted to paint it. However, sustainable logging doesnt look all that spectacular from above. I needed to offset it against the non sustainable kind of logging. There's plenty of that to be found in Malaysia. It looks like the painting below. Large pieces of land are stripped of valuable timber, burnt and bulldozered it in pretty paterns (probable following contours in the land). All ready to plant oil palm trees to supplement our hunger for fuel.

oil on linnen 120 X 140 cm

Exhibition at Kobalt

Gallery Kobalt is situated in the old train station. My friend/ painter Henk van den Gronde and I were there two weeks ago for the opening of an other friend of ours: Fons van der Mullen (see the link to the gallery for his current exhibition) . We thought it might be a good idea to have an exhibition together at Kobalt sometime and asked the owners if they thought so too. A few days later they called us: they needed a stand in for the coming month, were we able to get our stuff togeteher at short notice? Off course we could! So, if you're anywhere near Culemborg , Netherlands, drop by. The opening is on Sunday the 14th of June at 15.00 hours. Easy to find, especially if you come by train. The show will be running till Friday the 10th of July. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

The secrets of the trade: painting techniques

Well, it's been some time since my last post, and my faithfull blog readers (is there a better word? Blogee? Blogower?) are probably wondering if I have given up. 
Dont dispair! I will not give in to the pressures of every day life, Google Earth Art will prevail! 
(excuse my sense of humour)
I've had a bit of a time out, focussing - among other things - on getting myself married a second time round. I'm working on a new series of two, maybe three paintings of 1,20 X 1,40 meters, again with deforestation as a prime subject. I expect the first one to be finished in two or three weeks from now. 
In the mean time I've decided to show you some of the techniques I use in my paintings. I don't pretend do do anything technically innovative. Check outAquil Copier if you're interested in innovative painting in conjunction with satellite art! 
When I started painting Van Gogh was my prime example. I painted in quick strokes of thick complementary colours. Because I started out with acrillic paints my paintings tended to have this plastic like sheen which I did'nt like much. I have been very lucky to paint (8 years now) with a group of painters more experienced than me. Some of them are art teachers and the last thing they want to do is teach, they're there to paint! But you can learn a lot from just watching. So I learned to use medium and use more transparent pigments. This results in more depth of colour and gives the 
painting a more lively feel. Most of my friends paint in oils. Oils are slower, it takes a lot longer to finish an oil painting. But I loved the look and feel of the paint, and once I tried oils I was hooked. In the mean time I gradually traded the van Gogh like (impasto) technique for one using many more or less transparent layers. In the detail above from "Angry Tundra"(see first post) you can see the use of very thin layers, both opaque (e.g. the napels yellow mixed with zink white) and transparent (e.g. the indian yellow and sapgreen) over darker patches of prussian blue. The snow patch is done in a thick white paint with a tiny amount of magenta mixed wet on the canvas with blues (both prussian and cobalt I think).  
My friends tell me I have had a characteristic brushstroke from the start. Despite all the changes in techniques over the years my work is (aparrently) still instantly recognisable as mine. It's like a signature; the first one you made when you were 8 or 10 years old is completely different from the one you make when you're 50 (or whatever), and yet often recognisable as coming from the same unique person. Just to give you an idea: here's a small landscape I made 14 years ago in the Provence. Can you see its the same artist? 
I would'nt paint like this now, but it's nothing to be ashamed of either, is it?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lonely at the top

oil on canvas 100 * 120 cm

This must be one of the most remote places on earth, somewhere deep in the Russian Tundra (again). It's not a a spectacular mountain. Like most of the thousands of similar hills in the neigbourhood it's capped with cold granite rocks. I wouldn't be surprised if no human being has ever bothered to climb this particular hill, in fact I doubt if anyone has ever even taken note of it. But it's an amazing piece of earth history, thrust up as a mountain range I don't know how long ago, worn down by wind, rain, ice and snow. Lots of snow by the looks of it: this place was under the ice cap probably not so long ago (maybe 10.000 years). Anyway, I discovered this hill using Google Earth, and untill some-one challanges my claim, I claim it as MINE! Well at least in a virtual sense. The Earth of course doens't belong to any one except maybe life in general. So, I claim it in the name of LIFE IN GENERAL (and me in particular). 

Opening in Budapest

A wonderfull exhibition with 19 other Dutch artists in Budapest. It's still on for another week if you want to see it! The opening was great. The Opera Gallery is (as you might expect) around the corner from the grand old Budapest Opera House, in a stately 19th century mansion (not sure about the age). Opened by the cultural attache to the Dutch embassy, accomanied by live opera and jazz it was all a good opening should be. Met some interesting people (most of the artists made the trip over) and used a couple of days before and after to explore Budapest with my beloved. 
Check this link for the photo's

Monday, March 9, 2009

Brochure for exhibition in Budapest

The brochure for the exhibition I'm involved in at the Opera Gallery in Budapest, Hungary is published. Here's the link

Monday, February 16, 2009

Exhibition in Budapest, Hungary

Last week I gave a positive reply to an invitation for a group exhibition of Dutch artists at the Opera Gallery in the cente of Budapest, Hungary. It will be held between the 14 th andf 28th of March. So... if you're anywhere nearby, drop in to have a look! It's quite a large gallery around the corner from the old Opera house. Contact information is all on their lovely site:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Patty van Sprang

Patty van Sprang is another satellite artist. She wrote a comment on my post about Aquil Copier. She lives in Queensland Australia, but was born in Surinam, and lived in the Netherlands for quite afew years as well. Should I claim that again a new art form has Dutch origins? No off course not. This is going to be a true planet wide movement! I would dare to draw the conclusion that it is our love and concern for our planet, that serves as our main source of inspiration. Am I right? 
This is where you can find Patty's blog:

Spider impact crator

oil on canvas 100 X 120 cm
Flying over the North Western Australian dessert you might come across this huge meteorite impact crator.It's about 13 km across. There's hundreds of these meteor crators all over the panet. This is certainly not the biggest, I just liked the shape. Of course in all of (human) history there's never been an impact this size. It makes me wonder what would happen if a chunk of space rock this size would hit us.... A nice subject to discuss on my GE philosophy site (havent got round to it yet).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

WAD Next?

oil on canvas 100 x 100 cm
And yet another one in the series about this bit of wilderness close to home. In this case it's another close up of the island of Schiermonikoog. I can't claim any deep philosophical insight behind this painting (so much for my new blog- see previous post). I was drawn to the composition, the almost alien form. An open invitation to make my own interpretation. I havent found out yet what those round objects are. I suspect they are thorny bushes which have grown out in a circle over the years, gathering sand into small circular dunes. But that's just a guess.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Google Earth Philosophy

I've been wanting to add a page to my blog where I can delve into DEEPER THOUGHTS about Google, Earth, Art, Science, Polititics, religion, you name it. I could'nt find an easy way to add such a page to this blog, so....... I started a new blog which will be linked all over the place to this blog. It's called:
Google Earth Philosophy
Check the link:

At this time there's no posts, but soon there will be! I hope other authors will join me. Let me know if you're interested.

Friday, December 19, 2008


oil in canvas 100 X 100 cm
The "Wadden" islands along the Dutch/ German/ Danish coast lie in front of a shallow sea called the Wadden Sea. Large parts fall dry at low tide. "Wad" is a Dutch word for these wetlands. Water gets trapped behind sandbanks at high tide and flows back in riverlike channels as the tide recedes. This creates a wonderfull, ever changing landscape of fine and course sands, clays and all sorts of life. The waddensea is the nursery for fish in the North sea.  No-one realy knows what'll happen to this shallow sea when sea levels will rise in the coming century. Wad?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Changing Tundra

oil on canvas 60 X 60 cm
Google Earth gives you visual access to the most remote and inaccessable places on earth. Places where nature has just run its course without ever being influenced by us. Here, somewhere in the Russian Tundra you can see how the river has changed course countless times, leaving all sorts of slowly dissapearing scars in the landscape. Really wild and another great startingpoint for a painter to just let his brush do the painting. The result may apear like a COBRA abstract, but isn't all that far removed from reality. Just this once: here's the Google Earth original image (colours slightly enhanced):

Aquil Copier, the original Dutch Google Earth Artist!

Well, it seems I'm not the first Dutch Google Earth artist after all. Aquil Copier has been making Google Earth Art since 2005 (when his GE painting was nominated for the Royal Dutch art prize). His website (see GE links) has been online since may 2007. Aquil also has a blog to keep you up to date
Right now Aquil has an exhibition in Amsterdam at 2X2 projects. If you want to see it you'll have to be fast, it runs till the 29th of November. Here's the link to the gallery site.
His work got the attention of a national paper. I don't think the critic quite got the relevance of Google Earth art, treating it as just another angle to do landscape painting. His interesting technique was deemed more important than the subject of his paintings. But what the hell, new ideas are born overnight, but it takes years for them to reach adulthood. Good work Aquil and welcome to the club!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Expo at Lek Art weekend

An old, almost derelict house in downtown Culemborg was wat was available for my group of art friends at the Lek Art weekend a few weeks ago. And we only had three days to prepare the place for 80 or so paintings... It turned out perfect. The municipality bought it probably to tear it down some time in the future. The place has been used as a studio by several artists in the past few years, so it had this studio like feel about it. Anyway, we atracted over 800 visitors to our gallery in just one weekend, not bad for a small town like Culemborg. Here's a few impressions:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Down to the sea

oil on canvas 100*100 cm
I finished this one a while ago, just didn't seem to get round to making a decent photo. Again a Greenland ice river flowing down tot the sea. Ever faster as well. As a result Greenland is finaly beginning to live up to its name! What I love about these Greenland mountains is that you can really see the way the ice has shaped them. The power of ice is incredible, and that's what I aimed to get across in this painting.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Expo's and Shows

In addition to my last post about my own GE art exhibited tot the public, here's an invitation to alle GE artiststs: let me know if you're planning a show or whatever. I'll see if I can include an agenda or something like that on my blog.

Exposition of Google Earth paintings

Five of my GE paintings are at this moment exhibited in my home town Culemborg, in the old Barabara church. It's my contribution to a group show of the my regular painting group "Kleurig". The contrast in colour with the grey tones of the church is stunning. Below another 2 impressions of the expo including work by some of my colourful collegues. Coming saturday (13th of september) is the last chance to see the work in the church. But we're staging another show on the weekend of the large Lek Art fair in Culemborg (27 and 28 th of september). A one time hit and run improvised expo in the Herenstraat 10. I'll be showing several GE paintings.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kyle Goodridge

Kyle Goodridge has a new site. His previous site went by the name KTG creations, but he forgot to mention his name. The link has been replaced. His work is an abstraction of satellite images, and fits well under the "Google Earth Art" or "Satellite Art"label. The result reminds me of Mondriaan, but Kyle shows much more personal expression. His site is still under construction. I hope he will let us know what has ispired him to use satellite images.

Checking other Google Earth artists, I get the impression people have been working hard. I hope after the summer (that is: in the Northern hemisphere, my Southern hemisphere readers - Argenine Bolivia, Australia amongst others - are shivering in the cold I imagine) we can put up some kind of internet group show. Let me know if you want to join in!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Third Slenk on Schiermonikoog

oil on canvas 70*100 cm
"Slenk"is a Dutch word for which I don't know a good translation. A slenk is like a stream in a salty wetland, where tidal water flows in and out. These slenks are located on an island called Schiermonikoog along the Dutch coast. Its probably the most wild and natural part of my otherwise manmade country. I spent some weeks on my knees in the mud there when I was about 21 and training to become a biologist. I was'nt very good at it, I had a hard time distinguishing species of plants, I did'nt like the long hours of hard work in the rain. I guess that's where I decided I was'nt going to become a real biologist after all. From this moment on I was more interested in saving the planet with windmills and recycling and such. Now I look down on the spot with Google Earth and remember the beauty and wildness. I will have to go back there sometime in the near future.
By the way, the scale of my GE paintings can be quite different. "Eye-level" here is 1.25 km. In the Angry Tundra painting the eye level is about 10 km. You can jump across these slenks in most places!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I've finaly made a decision on which site I should sell my paintings: Yessy. It's a huge site (over 120.000 painters), but it gets a lot of visitors, and it's got a good search engine. I'll get round to making my own unique site some time. For now it will do me fine.
At the moment I'm working on an other Greenland melting ice cap painting: highways of ice flowing to the sea. The ice is so impressive from above. It must be a real kick to see them from close by.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dark clouds over the Maldives

oil on canvas 100 * 100 cm

Maldives, island paradise! The Maldives are well known for their coral reefs and luxery tourism. But for how long? On average the island rises only 1 meter above sea level. Already they're having serious problems with storms flooding parts of the islands. On the other hand, coral grows, thats why these islands have kept up with rising sea levels in the past. The question is: will the coral be able to keep up with the rapid rise of the sea level this century? Scientists still don't know enough about coral growth to be certain.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Google Outreach and Google LatLong

Great initiative by Google in support of environment and communicating climate change.

Friday, May 16, 2008


oil on canvas 100*100 cm
This is another part of the Amazon forest that has been clear cut and/ or burnt, depleted and eroded and left for cattle to graze the sparse vegetation that remains. To ensure there's enough for cattle to drink you can clearly see dams. To me they look like lonely eyes staring into the blue skies, hoping for rain.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


oil on canvas 100 * 100 cm

What more can I say? There's already over 5 billion of us. I thought I'd pick the largest city on earth to look for an image, so I Googled to check out the competition. That's how I started on painting Shanghai sometime in January. Later I was corrected by National Geographic: acoording to NG Tokio is number 1 and will remain to be for some time. Anyway Shanghai will do me fine. It took a while this painting. I wanted the city to look immense, endless and complex. A threat to all other life, yet with a throbbing life of its own. It reflects my mixed feelings towards our own species. So intelligent and creative and yet so arrogant and shortsighted. The painting was quite a struggle. I wonder who won?

Sunday, April 6, 2008


oil on canvas 100* 100 cm

So, this is what becomes of the Amazon forest (in Brazil) after its been clear cut to make place for soy production. The soy bean of course is the main ingredient for US and European cattle feed these days. That's why these fields have the colour of a nice big juicy steak. Or could it be just the iron in the soil? The great thing about being an artist is that you don't have to worry about silly little things like cause and effect. I just choose any colour I damm well please!
I realised I haven't given much technical information about my GE paintings. The series I'm making (this is number 4, 5 will follow in a couple of days) consists of oil paintings on canvas 100 cm * 100 cm (about 40 * 40 inch). Why don't you let me (and others) know what you think about the painting? There's a 'comment' option below this post.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Felting is (GE) Art

It's a desease! And now my girl friend 's got it too.... Angele Dohmen and I met exactly two years ago today so it's time to celibrate tonight! She designs in textiles and recently discovered felt as a material with incredible creative possibilities. She was also very excited about my GE paintings and has now translated it to felting. Check out her weglog and site (see more links).

Carl Holzman and Santiago Espeche

Carl Holzman (see link) calls his art 'abstract'. I think he fits in well with the GE-art concept wether you call it abstract or landscape. Santiago Espeche calls it 'satellite art'. I like that too. It's more objective than Google Earth art I suppose. Google is not the only company to bring out satellite imaging software. However, I feel Google deserves credit for making such a good program which, amazingly is available for free to anyone. An other nice term I think is 'earthscapes'. I'll raise the question in the GE forum.
Carl's reply on the GE forum contained a good idea: why not ask Google to sponsor a first international exhibition?
By the way, the site of Santiago Espeche (see link) can be read in English as well as Spanish (I'd missed that one). His is a wonderful poetic view of us and our planet, both in word and in visual images.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who's behind the mysterious KTG- creations?

More Google Earth art at this website. I hope to get a reply from the artist, I couldn't find his name on his website. Sometimes I have a blind eye for things and can't find the obvious. This is probably one of those times....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Deep in the Sahara forest

oil on canvas 100 * 100 cm

It took a while, but here's my Sahara forest. Forest? Yes it was a forest only 6000 years ago. That's about as long as recorded history of mankind, but in geological terms not even yesterday, but a minute ago! Just to show how climate change can have huge impacts, whether it's our doing or not.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

GE art on Google Earth Community Forum

Yesterday I proposed to start a new forum within the Google Earth community. So far I got one reaction. It links to an exposition of Santiago Espeche, an argentine artist, exposing at the Argentine Consulate, New York, between 6-26 March 2008. If I understand correctly these are large prints of satelite photo's. Here's a link to an article (in Spanish) about his work:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lasmeninas and Jennifer Walton

I've been searching the internet for other Google Earth art. I finally found an Italian artist by the name of Lasmeninas. He uses Google Earth to make cityscapes from the air. Wonderfull shadows and light. I started a Google Earth links on the blog.
Also check out Jennifer Walton's site in the links. Great stuff, I am realy impressed.
In my view it is inevitable that Google Earth will unleash a new form of landscape art, that artists around the world get the same idea more or less at the same time. A good enough reason to get together as a community on the internet?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Melting ice-capped mountaintops for you

"Melting ice-capped mountaintops for you" oil on canvas 100 * 100 cm

The title comes from an old Lou Reed song on his famous 1973 "Transformer" album. It's the earliest reference I rember to climate change and descibes the image well. It's somewhere along the coast of Greenland where the "rivers of ice" flow directly into the sea in the form of huge icebergs. If we had Google Earth ten years ago you would have seen that the big ice river shown here would have been much longer.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

First posting

Angry Tundra oil on canvas 100*100 cm

I have to start somewhere, so why not in Siberia?
I was inspired by the incredible 5 part BBC television documentary "Power of the Planet" to go look for the effects of global warming on the Tundra areas in Siberia -using Google Earth - how else would I get there? In the series a scientist shows how the melting tundra causes enormous amounts of methane to build up under the numerous lakes in the area. She hacks a hole in the frozen water and lights up the outflowing methane. The result was a flare several meters high! Anyway, this melting tundra is an extra worry for climate scientists because methane has a far greater warming effect than CO2. So I went looking for a strong image to convey the feeling. It resulted in a painting which further develops my emotional response to what's happening there. Hence the title:
Angry Tundra.