Author Archives for Ellen

Memories

My earliest memory came back to me in a dream. Around my twenties i dreamed i was crawling on a short stairs with maybe 2 steps. It was warm. I felt the warmth in my hands which were resting on the steps. I felt the warm stones beneath my fingers. My mother was sitting in front of me. She pointed to somebody behind me. My father. He was standing there with a camera in front of his face. He clicked. I had the photo. Somehow i lost it. I searched for it quite a few times. I still hope it’s somewhere in a book or a notebook. Somewhere hidden. I do love this memory. I can still feel the warm stones. I was like a year, a year and half old.

When i walked to the kindergarten, i was scared by the door with a message on it and a drawing of a skull. I think it was black and yellow. I remember walking around it.

When i was six i got a cold. I was only a few weeks at school. I remember my mum going out on the balcony. I was standing in the kitchen looking out. My mum told me not to get outside. That evening it got worse. We didn’t have a phone, so someone went to the neighbours and made a call to the doctor from there. I had pneumonia and croup. I was carried outside, going down the stairs. The ambulance was driving fast with the siren on. Red lights seemed to spin around me.

In hospital i did say to the nurse that i didn’t like carrots. She still gave them to me. I threw up. Mushed orange carrots on a pale blue blanket.

I loved my teacher in the fourth and fifth class of the lower school, meester van der Staay. I was 9 – 11 years old. One day i dislocated my ankle in a school break. He carried me upstairs.

In the first class of high school, one day, a friend was hit in front of my house. I walked with her to school. But halfway, when i realised i was going to be too late, i went on my bike and let her walk alone. I shouldn’t have done that. A teacher said so to me in front of the class. Everybody hated me. It seemed.

I think in the final year of high school, one day, the first spring day, me and a couple of friends went outside to the park and walked in the sunshine. When we got back, we were called by the dean. When we said where we had went and why, he couldn’t hold back a smile.

After my exams, i went on a holiday with a good friend and her family. We were going with the train. We went to Italy, in the north part close to the Alps. Aosta was the town close to where we camped. The day we left, i called her on the telephone. She didn’t answer. I got in a panic and walked up to her house. As it turned out, i was calling the wrong number. Stupid me. The whole time we were hardly talking, until one evening we had a huge fight. I left the next day, or the day after. Afterwards she gave me the photos with me on it. I never saw her again.

When i studied at the Technical University one day in spring i went to ‘t Platenmanneke in Delft. I listened to Tracey Thorn’s then new album Plain Sailing. For the most part i had my eyes closed. When i bought the album, the person behind the counter looked at me. Like she or he might have looked at me while i was listening. I was swept away by that record. I still love it.

The first year at art school, in the first weeks, we got an assignment to go outside and, i’m not sure, but i think draw. It was in September, late summer. The sun was shining through hazy thin clouds. The light was warm golden. The trees had lost their freshness and were turning yellowish a bit. And the smell! I smelled it again later on in that same period. I cannot describe the smell in words. It’s too subtle. For me anyway. I felt so happy.

In 94, while i was working temporarily at a printer, i knew they were looking for another DTP person. I didn’t think about myself. At all. But one day i was working there, and they were guiding this person around who was applying. I remember thinking then “He doesn’t fit here at all!”. And then i thought “I might! If i would just say something?”. It dawned on me i could simply get the job if i wanted it. I had to think. I knew it would mean i would leave behind art. It would be my first real job. So i took it. The next five years were hard work. The hardest of my life. It was also a lot of fun. I actually did sing at work. Chatted with my colleagues. Some of whom were friends. It did wear me out. After five years, i couldn’t keep on going anymore. But those five years will always be a special memory.

It does seem to me memories in later periods of my life have grown less. I do think it also has to do with me working on lfs.nl. On that site i mostly make things, i talk about music and memories and such. Also, the things i made are connected with my dreams a lot. So to me it feels like my dreams are already out there, like for instance Dancing Queen.

The past eight months are really special. They still are. I do know i’m closing in on the end period. I’m still not sure what i will be doing with my life. I am in for a change.

*hugs*

Added monday 14:00

My first volunteer job at the Rotterdam Film Festival, i think in 1992. It was a Saturday morning. It was so crowded! In the newspapers there were photos of the cues! I worked at the Lumiere cinema check out. A small round glass building with i think 4 or 5 check outs. I tried not to look at the people in front of me. I was happy there was glass between us and the rows and rows of people in front of us. It was mad! At one point i think i simply felt i needed a bit of break, not sure. But i did turn around and looked at the check out person sitting there. She stood up, took my place and told me to go outside for a bit and get some rest. I cried. I did go outside and stood against the door and took some deep breaths and tried to regain a bit of control of myself. Than i went back inside and started working again.

The farewell party from my job at the printer. I never said it’s name! It’s Tripiti, in the centre of Rotterdam, the area called Cool. I always enjoyed that name. It’s also the name of the main central road of Rotterdam, where the city hall is situated, the Coolsingel. You don’t say it like you are doing in English. It’s pronounced as ‘coal’. But, getting back to the memory, my farewell party. A client helped with making the snacks. We bought a shiny disco ball to hang up high above the printers. My friends came, Pieter and Rens from 75B were there. Jelle van der Hijden was there, Femke and Martine. Jeroen en Han. And i got way too drunk! I actually at one point sat outside and threw up. They put me in a cab and sent me home. But it was glorious!

Published on June 1, 2015 at 6:00 by

Centre

I made a present like this one before in Flash published May 20 2003. I did open the file and read through the code. It is similar, but there are also differences. I’m still struggling with scope in Javascript. I set the startX and startY points before the setCanvas function was executed, so the centre wasn’t properly determined. So i put the code back into the drawPresent function, which is executed after the setCanvas function. It does calculate the centre good now. Adding a detection border wasn’t that hard.

So, we start in the centre and hobble on from there. Watch it 🙂

Read more…

Published on May 28, 2015 at 6:00 by

Draw

It was a quiet day today. I did eat an icecream this afternoon. A pear sorbet. It was nice. I watched the people walking by, biking by, driving by. Then i went to the Marqt. I bought bread, butter, tomato pepper soup, a can with large white beans, a can with black beans, a cheese croissant, cheese and pumpkin seed crispbread. I do think that was it. Then i went back home. I lied on the couch for a bit. Listening to music. But now it is quiet. I made some drawings. They are like old drawings. Like ones i used to make 25 – 30 years ago. I do like em. They do look like i made them with pencil. I didn’t. I made them in Photoshop, with a brush on 70% opacity. With a tablet. It felt good.

Enjoy your day.

Read more…

Published on May 26, 2015 at 6:00 by

Frozen

Friday evening i saw Frozen for the first time. Sunday i saw it again. It’s lovely. I especially love the songs. I did some research. I’m of course very late in appreciating this movie. It came out late 2013 and already received an Oscar for Animated feature film and Original song Let it go sung by Idina Menzel. I don’t have kids!

It is a Walt Disney film. I did speak of Disneyfication in the post where i read aloud Repelsteeltje. I don’t have the distance yet to comment on this. It is a divergence from usual fairy tale tropes that the story is essentially about two sisters and their love for each other which does save the town and themselves.

The music is wonderful. I didn’t realise Let it go was such a big song, selling over 10 million copies in 2014. It was also the song that changed the film. Elsa was originally a villain, the songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez saw her differently. “The minute we heard the song for the first time,” says Jennifer Lee, the film’s co-director and screenwriter, “I knew that I had to rewrite the whole movie.” This is a good thing to read. A song with a different point of view can change the way other people see characters and how they develop.

It is something to think about seeing how fairy tales rule my world the last few weeks. I always liked fairy tales, but it was years ago since i last read one. In films i do enjoy fantasy and sci-fi, i guess that is close to fairy tales. I don’t worry about it too much though. All i can say is that it makes me feel happy!

Read more…

Published on May 25, 2015 at 6:00 by

My diaries 1973 – 1987

I’ve kept a diary for the most part of my life. My first page is when i was nine years old, 1973. The last page was 2006. The last nine years of my life i didn’t keep one.

In this post i show you some pages from my diaries up until 1987. The first page is from my oldest one. I photographed this page before for Homebase, a project from 1998, but so much smaller, it was hardly readable.

The next pages are from my diaries i kept from 1985 until 1987. I wrote a lot during that time. Multiple times a day sometimes. It’s bewildering reading those diaries now, in 2015. It’s so much, so many thoughts, crazy, wild, messy. I was desperate trying to find some peace, some rest. In those days, i couldn’t find it.

I didn’t read the diaries very thoroughly. Part of why i want to show them is the look. The handwriting. Some drawings, doodles in the sidelines. And i did use the I Ching a lot in those days.

I do feel a lot quieter now. More peaceful. And happier! The past nine years have worked out good for me. Even though my thoughts are still racing, it’s not racing in circles. My thoughts are still changing daily, moving forward.

Like today, my initial thought was to write about February 11 1986. I was going through my diaries to look up what i wrote. It is in this post. But i decided that, since i had already written about that day, i would show you the pages themselves. And some more.

I did translate some sentences in the captions. But it’s too much to translate. Still, enjoy!

Edit May 22 17:15 – I am translating the pages now, adding it to the captions.

Read more…

Published on May 22, 2015 at 6:00 by

Read aloud: Snow White

I will be reading the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. The English name is actually Little Snow-white. But i stick with the Dutch title: Sneeuwwitje. Hmm, while i’m writing the Dutch title, it’s dawning on me that it’s the diminutive of Sneeuwwit. The appendix -je or -tje in Dutch means ‘little’. The same goes for -let in English and -lein and -chen in German. It’s actually in my first name, Neeltje. Which nobody has ever used! I mean, my name has always been Ellen, but officially my name is Neeltje Ellen Pronk. It’s in my passport.

German is close to Dutch, or better said, Dutch is close to German. The Dutch word for fairy tale is ‘sprookje’, the German word is ‘Märchen’. The Dutch word for girl is ‘meisje’, the German word is ‘Mädchen’. A better English translation is ‘little maid’. The English word Dutch is coming from the word Diets, a precursor to the modern Dutch. In the Netherlands we use the word ‘Nederlands’ for the word Dutch. Dutch to us sounds more like how we call the Germans, Duitsland, and how they call themselves: Deutschland. I do like how these words get mixed up and change meaning over time.

OK, an end to this digression. Back to Snow White. I did do a search for analyses of this fairy tale. It was hard to find decent ones. So many movies have been made, from Disney’s 1937 ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, the 2012 ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’, the TV series ‘Once upon a Time’ and so many more. There is this rather nice article on the newyorker.com ‘Snow White: Beauty Is Power‘. In this article it is said the most important theme of the story is a generational sexual rivalry in a world where beauty – and youth – is the main asset of a woman. This does remind me of our current world still. Not strict, but the young are so beautiful, and it does give them power. Look at people like Ariana Grande, or Miley Cyrus. It’s not that they are not capable of what they are doing, but their beauty does add to their enticement. It’s not the only path a woman can walk, but it is still a very tempting one for the young and gorgeous people.

The seven dwarfs in Grimm’s version are not named. Also Snow White does not clean up their house, but eats a bit of their food, tries out their beds before she falls asleep in the one bed that fits her. The dwarfs in Grimm’s version are hard-working. They state very clearly from the outset the Snow White can stay at their place, only if she is willing to work. “If you will take care of our house, cook, make the beds, wash, sew, and knit, and if you will keep everything neat and clean, you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing.” Snow White needs to grow up and take responsibility of her own life.

I won’t go into any more possible analyses of Snow White. I leave it up to you. Enjoy!

Snow White

Published on May 21, 2015 at 6:00 by

New eyeshadows

Making up my eyes yesterday did put a thought in my head. This morning i was thinking about what i would do for todays post. I had no idea, but then i thought about my MAC palette, what i wrote yesterday and i decided to go to the Bijenkorf and buy three eyeshadows and make my palette complete.

Yesterday i wrote about the colours i was thinking about. I want warm orangey colours. I did get one i wrote about, Coppering. It’s a beautiful deep warm orange with a frosty shimmer. I did check the other colours i wrote about, Rule, Red Brick and Expensive Pink, but i was tempted by another beautiful cool red colour i had been reading about for years, Cranberry. It’s an absolutely gorgeous cool berry red with a pink shimmer. The last colour i bought was Nylon, a warm golden shimmery light yellowish off white. It’s also gorgeous.

So i’m happy my palette is complete. Until i get the next one. Then this process will start all over again 🙂

2015-05-19-14.52.04
On my arm from left to right: Coppering, Cranberry, Nylon
2015-05-19-14.32.03
My complete MAC pro palette!
2015-05-19-15.43.34
I did make up my eye this morning, a lot simpler though than yesterday. I added Lingering to my eyebrows. A dark line above my eye done with a eye pencil, with a bit of Typographic and Sketch to blend the line and give it a bit of colour. Just now i added Nylon at the inner corner, Coppering on the center of the eyelid and a bit of Handwritten on the outer part. I also put a bit more Charcoal Brown on the crease. That's it!
Published on May 20, 2015 at 6:00 by

An eye make up

I went for quite a dark eyelook for this post. Because, well, i do enjoy putting it on! First i’ll show which colours i have in my small collection.

In the top photo you see my Chanel palette Mystic eyes which i got for my birthday a couple of years ago. You also see the MAC Soft Ochre paint pot which i use for a base, the Dipdown fluidline for an eyeliner, the Clinique high lengths mascara, the Lingering eyebrow crayon and the Clarins concealer for around the eyes.

2015-05-18-17.38.20

My MAC pro palette

  • Vanilla
  • All that glitters
  • Satin taupe
  • Wedge
  • Charcoal brown
  • Handwritten
  • Sumptuous olive
  • Club
  • Blackberry
  • Sketch
  • Copperplate
  • Typographic

There is still room in this palette, but i’m not sure what colour would be good with it. Sometimes i think about Carbon, the black. But sofar Typographic was enough of a dark for me. A light shimmery colour would be good too, but i do have those colours in the Chanel palette. With my blue grey eyes, an orange colour will be good. I read good reviews on Expensive Pink. Red Brick matte and Coppering veluxe pearl i will check in the shop soon. And there is Orange matte too. I might even get two different finishes. I do like a bit of shimmer, just not all over my eyes. I’ll let you know once i bought new colours!

Read more…

Published on May 19, 2015 at 6:00 by