Categories for My story

A walk through the Kralingse Bos

It does feel like this journey i set out on a year ago is finally getting somewhere. The clip i made last week is not the best ever, but to me it is the first clip i ever made. The first of many. Yes! It was such a joy working on it. Over the weekend i slept a bit better. I also do start to feel different. Happier. More at ease. Not sure how to describe it really.

So today, monday 21 September, the very first day of autumn, i spend walking through the Kralingse Bos. Taking clips all over the place. Of the trees. The leaves. The sky. The mushrooms. The water. I spend some time talking to a person sitting in the car close to the sheep herd. I saw that herd the last time i walked through the forest, a week and a half ago. The thought that crossed my mind then was that i liked seeing the sheep there. I felt it was like a different kind of keeping the grasses and other plants a bit shorter. This time i walked up to them. I saw the sheep, the dog sitting besides the car and a man sitting in the car. We talked for a short bit. It was indeed what i suspected, the sheep were rotated through the park and grazed the various lands they were put on. The goal was to get them all around the park for two or three times. Sometimes when a land was flowering a lot they were not allowed there. Or other plants they – pretty sure they are the forest keepers and other people supervising it – don’t want in the forest that much. He said the name of one such plants, but i confes, i forgot. He also said there are orchids blowing in the forest. Close to the golf course. A place i haven’t seen yet. Another plant he also named was the leper lily, the kievietsbloem in Dutch. A flower which is extinct in Belgium and only grows in a few areas in the Netherlands. So yeah, it’s pretty special it is growing in the Kralingse Bos. He also talked a bit about all the different sorts of people he meets walking in the forest. Some are looking out for birds, birds of prey even, others look out for flowers. Yes, I did learn a bit!

I also sat at the water for a while. There was a bit of sunshine, only high clouds. I listened to the water lapping. I looked at the water’s continuous change of shapes. Mesmerizing.

When i got back home again, i made me some tea. I did copy the clips from my phone to my computer. All 72 ones. I also picked the music. Classical this time, from Rudolf Escher. Tomorrow i will listen to some other pieces from him. I do want to get the right piece. But anyway, i will work on it for the rest of the week. I do hope it will be done by Friday, but i’m not sure of course.

Time to go to bed now. Good night sweeties!

Published on September 22, 2015 at 6:00 by

Me

Working on a video. With music! Something is working right. It’s not perfect, but the clips i filmed work, the music works. But i do need a bit more time to get it right. Till the end of the week anyways.

I am tired now though, i haven’t been sleeping well the last few days. So i’m giving myself a day off.

Bye bye!

Published on September 16, 2015 at 6:00 by

Dreams

This morning i woke up around four. The cat was miaowing outside and scratching the door. I do close it the last weeks because litle Mieke does like to wake me up in the middle of the night with her little paw with those sharp nails. After a while i do go out, walk to the kitchen, stroke her and let her eat some dry cat food. This morning i got out too. And walked to the kitchen.

I went back to bed and put on the light and got my iPad and read a little. Then i got my book and read some more. Modesitt‘s Recluce series now, the books i have. Then i tried to fall back to sleep a bit more. I often fail! At nights i think. Sort of dream awake. No dream is ever the same as another. It is usually the same situation, but each time with a different scenario. Slightly different.

The last couple of days i do fall asleep again in the morning. This morning i had two dreams. Which i remember! This is new, because usually i don’t remember my dreams anymore. But today i did. I made drawings of them. Not terribly successful, but they are still images connected to those dreams. They were not pleasant dreams.

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I step on a boat. It is dark. There is water in the boat. In that water is a fish. A flatfish. I'm scared.
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I'm standing in a building near a grassfield. I watch the door. Through the door i see a person, a military man. People are walking into the building. They are standing out of sight of the military man. I'm scared.

I don’t know what these dreams mean. But i do see i’m scared in both of them. The last one reminds me of a dream i had much earlier, when i was around 20 years old.

I’m in a building in the Shell swimming pool area close to my parent’s house. There are people lying on a sloping curve, their faces visible. There is a gel like substance flowing over them. Only the people at the top survive. They stand up and walk down over the dead people. It is really frightening me. A nightmare.

Another dream i remember is one i had the night i read The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. The book is so much better than the film. The dream is around 35 years old.

I’m running down a street. I do see the street building up as in run from a grey background. I keep on running into the greyness, but i never fall into it. I do remember walking into a house at one time, but that’s very vague.

The last days i’ve been very tired. I do think a lot too. Nothing fancy pancy, nothing dreamlike. I think i’m on the brink of making a decision. Soon.

Published on September 9, 2015 at 6:00 by

The truest artist is the most feigning

It feels to me like i’ve come to a conclusion. I know i’ve been there before. It’s not a big surprise to me, it’s something i’ve known all along. But i do feel i might just be able to really go through with it. Being an artist.

With everything in me that was always keeping me back, my shyness, my aloneness, my searching, my findings. I do still feel the wind blowing for me, not against me.

I don’t know what is gonna happen in the future. But i do feel like i’ve sown many seeds and some of them will bloom, absolutely. It’s not a vague feeling.

But right now, i’m tired. I do have a slight headache. The whole day. So i’m gonna go try to get a bit more sleep. Last night i slept ok, up until like four in the morning. It was a bit better than the night before. But still, awake for quite some time. I’m still tired.

Have a good day!

Published on August 27, 2015 at 6:00 by

Old drawings

These drawings i made in art school in the first and second year. Most in the first i guess, but it is a long time ago, so the memory is a bit faded. I got these drawings from the attic today and went through them. There are loads more, but these are the ones which i liked best.

It starts with a series of drawings i made with pastel crayons. I do remember working on these, sitting at home in the front room and being completely focused on making these drawings. It wasn’t like i knew what i was making, it was just the excitement i felt at the time and the pressure i felt of making these drawings. I can still see it in the drawings themselves.

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The one photo with three drawings on them next, most likely made with gouache paint. A dark with a little blue in the top one. These were made with gestures and making a solid mass with paper on top of the paper so you would get those cut-out shapes.

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The next series is one made with gouache paint as well. I made these at school. I folded the paper and painted different colours on the different sides of the folded paper. I don’t remember how i made the ones with a rounded interior shape. These were made with colours all painted all over each other. I remember the class i got this assignment in. I went in a completely different way than the other students. I remember the paint dripping of the table, as i was working with all these layers.

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A drawings of a mountain and a lake with a swan in it. There is also a moon or a sun in the sky. I always thought of this swan as being me. I know, fairy tales!

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A drawing of a large quadrilateral shape filled with pencil. Still love making these shapes. I made several of these on lfs in flash. I played around with different random generated fillings and fillings made by the people watching. Still enjoying this. I should check how to make this in html and/or canvas.

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The last drawings i used much earlier in homebase. They are the the Girl with a Pearl Earring from Johannes Vermeer. I should make a separate post on Vermeer, i still love his work. The middle drawing is a selfportrait. The last one is a drawing of Whitney Houston.

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Published on August 21, 2015 at 6:00 by

My bookcase

I don’t buy that many books. Partly it is the cost. Partly it is because i don’t read that much usually. I still have some books i haven’t read yet. They are on my list!

The bookcase in my front room has my main books in it. I’ll go through them.

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A tiny book from Remco Campert called Fabeltjes vertellen. Little stories with language games and mazes in them. Another tiny book, Faust from Goethe. Never read this, i do know its world famous, just.. too tiny letters.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. It’s been years since i read these books. I didn’t finish Ulysses, i’m ashamed to say. I did enjoy reading it till around three quarters. I know i should finish it.

Jonathan Safran Foer. Extremely loud & Incredibly close and Everything is Illuminated. These two books didn’t really stick. I enjoyed reading them, but that is about it.

Ian McEwan, Atonement. Brett Eaton Ellis, Lunar Park.

Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections. I also had his book Freedom, but last year, when i was reading it, i left it on the train station.

David Foster Wallace, Everything and more, Infinite Jest. I did read Everything and more this year. I had to brighten my math knowledge, which had sunken deep since i went to school. Infinite Jest is still on my list of to read books. I did try, but it is a hard book. One day i’ll be able to read it fully.

A.S.Byatt, Possession, Babel Tower. Dom DeLillo, Underworld. John Irving, A widow for one year, A son of the circus. Vikram Seth, A suitable boy.

Salman Rushdie. A discovery in the late 80s. I first read Shame. I don’t have that book myself. Which make me think now i should actually get it. I loved it. Midnight’s Children i read after that. Wonderful. Satanic Verses i loved too. His later books i didn’t think of that much to be honest. But still.

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Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead. A borrowed book i never returned. I read this book i think when i was around 18 years old. I did reread it a couple of times.

Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland. A birthday present. Should reread it again. Great book.

Jung Chang, Wild Swans. I think i read this book when i was on holidays on Crete in 1993. My first acquaintance with Chinese history of the 20th century. Pretty shocking.

Paul Ford, Gary Benchley, rock star. I’ve been a fan of ftrain.com since i got to know it, i’m guessing around 1999. The main reason i bought his book yes. I do love his posts. This year his post on What is code? was published on Bloomberg.com.

Jeannette Winterson, The Power Book, Sexing the Cherry, The Passion. George Perec, Het leven een gebruiksaanwijzing, not read yet. Per Olov Enquist, Het bezoek van de lijfarts.

Umberto Eco, In de naam van de roos, Baudolino. I read the first book on holidays when i was 19 years old. Loved it then.

Thomas Mann, De Toverberg. A classic. Should reread this.

Italo Svevo, Een geslaagde grap. August Strindberg, Aan open zee. Adrienne Rich, Poems 1950-1984. Thomas Rosenboom, Publieke Werken. Harry Mulisch, De zaak 40/61. Jan Wolkers, De perzik van onsterfelijkheid. Gerard Reve, Nader tot u, Op weg naar het einde. Bob den Uyl, Quatro Primi, De bloedende trein. A.F.Th. van der Heijden, Advocaat van de hanen. Multatuli, Max Havelaar.

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Philosophy and non-fiction books.

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Youth and young adult books. Thea Beckman, Tonke Dragt, J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series, Philip Pullman and Astrid Lindgren.

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My cook books.

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My art books.

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Vinyl.

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Vinyl, singles, Tolkien, my Asterix comics and Kuifje comics.

Published on August 19, 2015 at 6:00 by

What next?

Since last year i’ve been thinking about what direction i want my life to take, what i want to do with my life, how i want to live. I was lucky i could take that time out. I was lucky i had the money to do so.

I don’t have definitive answers. Nothing clear cut. I do know what i do not want. But i’m not sure i can live like that.

I do know i want to keep on working on ellenpronk.com. It is not always my best work, but it is still a steady stream of work, thoughts, memories. Sometimes very little stories. Sometimes big stories. I still make five updates a week, published at six AM in the morning, CET.

I’ve been through my history. Through my old work from art school. Through my old work from lfs.nl. It is a special sort of work, doing this each day.

I love the walks. I love taking photos. I love going out there and being all alone in the Dutch landscape or the Dutch city. I love going out at the beach, at the polder, at the water, at the harbour, at the river, the grasslands. Looking out and taking it all in.

I love the singing! I know, i need to learn so much! But i’m so happy i’m finally doing it. I’ve been singing for so long, but never for other people. And now i finally am able to sing. It’s sort of difficult to sing a cappella, there is no escape, nothing to hide behind. But i still love it. Even though i find it hard to listen to.

I do hope i will keep up, i do hope my best work is still to come. I do hope people will find me.

I do hope i will bring a bit of joy, for you.

Published on August 17, 2015 at 6:00 by

A slightly longer musical history 2005 – 2015

My music listening habits keep changing over the years. From vinyl and cassettes to CD’s to iTunes to Spotify. I remember the playlist i made in a playlist organizer for my birthday party. I don’t remember the name of the application. I had to connect my computer to my sound system with a long wire.

I wrote a post on lfs.nl called A short incomplete musical history in 2005. I will quote the entire post here.

timelineReading the Rip it up and start again-book made me thinking back lots, as i wrote yesterday. Being a witness of this period, but from such a distance it lost its depth. It felt like a watching a movie from the backrow. Reading the book makes me see it from behind the scenes, see unexpected threads connecting.

Being born halfway the 60’s, my earliest memories are a thick LP with a red label with Dutch children’s songs on it (“In de speeltuin”, “Toen onze mop een mopje was”). I also remember a double single from the Beatles, with a booklet inbetween: Magical Mystery Tour. That was fascinating to me, i used to leaf trhough it, it had such pretty colours, enchanting. I also remember a single from the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations. These were both from my sister. Her being nice years older than me, she was the most important influence on my childhood music memories. So its twofold, on one side the music from the charts: George McCray, Rock you baby, Boney M. on the other hand my sister’s music, American westcoast music mostly: Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Loggins and Messina, Little Feat.

A memory still clear: me watching ABBA perform at the Eurovision Songfestival. Being 10 years old, it was still exciting for me to watch it, comment on every song with the family, none of the campy sentiments surrounding it today. You actyallu wanted your country to win! But in 1974, i remember being swept away by Agnetha’s blue satin trousers and white boots, the little cap on her head, the long blond hair and pretty face. Long before i bought Dancing Queen the single at age 12, ABBA was destined to win, i was sure of it! Another mention goes to Jesus hrist Superstar, the first record i remember singing along with. My favourite part ofcourse Yvonne Elliman, I don’t know how to love you. I really don’t know how doing that affected my mental state, singing Maria Magdalena’s part that young. Not raised in an overtly religious family, but the Calvinistic tendency in Dutch society was felt throughout.

Some 20 odd singles later – Tavares, Heaven must be missing an angel; Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Make me smile; Fleetwood Mac, Go your own way. Inbetween the chart singles and westcoast music, suddenly Saturday Night Fever and Grease. On holiday with my parents on Tenerife, we tried to dance John Travolta-like in our appartments on the cassette i taped before we had left. I’m not sure what i made of the movie, only when i saw it again much later i relaised it was much more mature than i probably realised at the time. Grease ofcourse was happy fluff!

Another milestone: Seeing Nina Hagen on a Dutch televisionshow presented by Sonja Barend. I was hooked. This screaming shouting Unbeschreiblich weiblich singing, beautiful woman with her black edged eyes and black lipstick, her tightfitting shiny black pants in one smash made me enter adolescence in one night. Gone were the old west coast music, the charts singles, this was something i liked. Another irreverent Dutch band from that time, Gruppo Sportivo, making fun of the record companies, exposing some of the mechanisms behind charts music made for the perfect music for a 14-year old girl.

But still, a time without internet, the only available information for me still was the radio. Not having a radio of my own, it was Madness, the Specials and the Police, the alternative pick of chart music which ruled my world. Only a couple of years later, having a bit more money, access to information through Vinyl, a Dutch early 80s postpunk magazine, getting friends, going to gigs and listening to Spleen on the radio (or go to the live transmitions broadcasted from Parkzicht on the sunday afternoons in a sunny summer 1983). This, to me, was the most exciting period of my music listening live. Going to the record store on thursday afternoons, going through the ‘new releases’, going the to public library for some back cataloguing, but not much, cuz there was always something new to discover. From the poppy end, starting from XTC Black Sea, bought when i was 16, to the dark corners of Throbbing Gristle and Test Department, almost getting to Captain Beefheart, but not quite, there was Prince in the end, with ofcourse a romantic movie and music which made you wanna dance and be happy.

And then the final blow to my music investigating days – apart from me moving out of my parents house and having no money, something i will conveniently forget for now. Summer 1985, Scritti Politti. Most importantly, it was music that made me think, that confused me. It didn’t seem to lead to a definite conclusion, it questioned itself mostly, and boy did i like that. For a time i defiantly turned against the prominent music of the time and read Smash Hits in the canteen of art school, singing along with Whitney Houston and Kylie & Jason. Guess i somehow wanted to go against the grain one way or the other. I started to like music that made me feel happy, with a little bit of irony. I tried to listen with an open mind, forget any preconceived ideas i might have. Around this time i noticed the Pet Shop Boys, who i really really liked – i remember a rather fierce argument where i defended them, i doubt with any success…

The 90s went by too fast going over into the 00s, just some standard fare, a little of Beastie Boys, Massive Attack, Portishead, Radiohead. No real interest, a bit of Beatles and Beach Boys research, some soul music. At this very moment blogs spark my interests in dance, M.I.A., Girls Aloud, and i’m actually discovering the fun in listening to new music again. Oops, its the end of the line, seeya tomorrow! lfs, Ellen

The biggest change was in 2010 when Spotify entered the Dutch market. I did first have an account myself, but in 2011 i switched to another provider which had Spotify premium as a free service. Looking through my playlists i do think one of the first ones is the office one, a public lists where all my colleagues added songs they liked. This is huge tumbler with music ranging from jazz to rap to rock to soul to heavy metal to indie to pop. It’s still in my list, but its been years since i listened to it.

Over the years i added many private playlists. I went through all my vinyl, cassettes and cd’s and added the albums i could find. I have another group of lists called albums in which i add new and old albums which are drawing my ears. There are some playlists i am subscribed to. Which i don’t listen to enough! Some greatest hits playlist: The Pitchfork 500, NME 100 tracks of the decade, Lowlands 2011, Top 2000 editie 2011, John Peel.

One playlist i have listened to this year The Needle from the user The Sounds of Spotify. You can read about these lists on this blog furialog.

So put the needle on the record. The things people are listening to far away only seem weird because “far away” used to matter. You used to have to go to Estonia to hear what people were listening to there. Estonia used to be a “there”. It’s still partly a “there” for licensing reasons, as not all of the songs in all of these lists will be available in all the other regions. Art and joy always move faster than law. But eventually we always catch up. Everywhere can be a here now. Or tomorrow, or next week.

Another site he made is Every Noise at Once, which makes me stare at it with a huge silence in my mind. And then i start clicking and listen to the fragments. Even the category ‘levenslied’ is stuck in between all the other ones.

Another user which caught my ear was Sasha Frere-Jones who listed his Perfect recordings last year which i discovered through kottke.org. I used to listen to his playlist when i was in the train headed to work last year. Nice 🙂

Lastly, i’m building my own mixtapes. I used to have quite large breaks between lists. It went from October 2010 to May 2012. A couple in 2013 and in 2014. From October 2014 till now each month i added a lists of songs i liked. Some old favourites, some new favourites, songs which i like, songs with memories, songs i love. I just made a new lists in which i copied all these songs, which is added below this post. It’s the main list i listen to right now.

I do know i miss an awful lot of music. I wish i had the time to listen to it all. I was listening to a lot of music the past year, but still the quiet is what i like the most. You gotta make choices. I’m still happy with the few playlists which have caught me and made me learn music i didn’t know yet. Curious as to what i will discover next.

Published on August 12, 2015 at 6:00 by

More contactsheets

At the moment i’m going through my old work. Some of it in a cupboard downstairs. Some of it still in the attic. In a ring binder in the cupboard i found some more contactsheets. I decided to photograph these too and make a separate post of the. I do like these.

I also photographed two pictures i found, because well.. i like em.

Another thing i observed when i scrolled back over the last 15 posts, is that i seem to keep images more before the break. I won’t be doing that with the walks pictures. This page will get so large to download. I do think though that the really important photos i do like to keep before the break. If there is a break even.

Ooh well.. just some minor thinking there. On with the show!

Ooh, the top image. It’s one of the single images i photographed. I love this one.

Also something else. I don’t think i talked about it specifically. I just want to emphasize here that i made these photos myself. All alone with the camera, smiling into nothingness. It does remind me of my first memory, where my mother points to my father behind me, who takes a photograph of me then. I was like a year, a year and a half. The fact that i do not see my father, but i see the camera he is holding on front of his face. I don’t know if the memory is related to my obsessive self portraits later on. But it is something i think about.

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I do like this one. I also have quite small boobies here. I don't think i ever did anything with any of them.
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I like these too. I may have used some of these for minor works. It's quite an early sheet too. Like most of these sheets anyway.
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The last photo on the fifth row i used. Some other i used too. I really like this one. Some great shots.
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I seem to like most of these sheets. I do look quite angry on some of these.
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The last photo on this one i used. Like the other photos too.

A last image of this post. Just because i think she’s cute. 🙂

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Published on July 20, 2015 at 6:00 by

Sexposition

Getting past art school in my personal history. After i did my exams for art school, in 1991, i started talking with a friend about organizing an exhibit. It took us over a year to get the exhibit ready together with a special evening with performances.

The evening was sold out. Yep, sex sells.

The following people performed:

  • Nico Okkerse presented the whole evening
  • Van Reck Ten Bosch Puppet Play performed fragments of Epoche
  • Marlies Dekkers fashion show
  • Anne Vegter read some of her own stories
  • Henk Oosterling gave a philosophical interpretation of the evening
  • Piet Hein and Jacquelline van der Geer were the pamperers of the evening
  • Cora de Ridder performed a tantra ritual with rhytmic accompaniment by Gerard Kuster
  • Rita Knuistingh Neven played Gaspard de la Nuit from Ravel
  • Meindert Velthuis sung jazz songs with Chris Smalt on piano
  • An exhibitionist showed himself
  • A lovemaking couple

The exhibit had the following participators

  • Anton Beeke – posters
  • Gon Buurman – photos
  • Rob Cox – graphics
  • Marlies Dekkers – fashion
  • Christer Hennix – mixed media
  • Milou Hermes – drawings
  • Tony Hewitt – photos
  • Annemarie Roos – photos, 3D
  • Erik van der Schalie – photos
  • Lena Tuzzolino – photos
  • Bertus Weeda – paintings
  • and more: pornographic images of the past 25oo years, material of the medical faculty Rotterdam, dildo’s and other things from My Sin, Massad Shop, postorder company Mail & Female and the AIDS fund, 17th, 18th and 19th erotic poetry, pornographic stories from Anne Vegter, computer games, comics and more!

Afterwards i was exhausted. Empty. There were quite some difficulties. I’m pretty sure i’m not always the best person to work along with for something like this.

This exhibit is part of my past, and with all its failings, i’m still a bit proud of it. I knew i had these photos, but they were in a box in a cupboard. I hadn’t looked at them for years. Watching them now, i actually do like ’em.

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That is actually me sitting behind. Smoking! Happy i don't do that anymore 🙂

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The program for the evening performance, 24 October 1992
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The invitation, a small paper called Het Privaat. This is a difficult word to translate. The best word most likely is The privy
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Published on July 14, 2015 at 6:00 by