A very special commission indeed
When I posted this story in March I still did not quite believe this project could ever be realised. Today I am proud to tell and to show that the project was successfully completed, and that I was honoured to play a small part in it.
But first things first. The most northern historical windmill in the Netherlands, called De Phenix, has been thoroughly restored and repurposed as a unique working both flour and oil mill with a large underground visiting area. Dozens of professionals and volunteers have been working hard for four years to make this happen. It became one of eight Amelander Musea.
Being a volunteer, I was invited in February by the museum working group to collaborate in the design of the underground space of the mill. Beside the whole construction, I was particularly impressed by the very long concrete wall which I thought should stay just clear and unfurnished bearing only some decoration on it, possibly depicting a scenery traditionally connected with Dutch mills, like some cornfield panorama. This would make the room more spacious and deeper and give the visitor a warm and cosy feeling. My first idea was photography, but I was finally asked to make a sketch and later a painting in the ratio 1:4, according to the proportions of that wall.
Being very excited, I finished the painting within days, completing my part of this project. Then, "the magic" happened, made true by the museum working group; the painting was scanned at the highest resolution by a professional photographer, then printed at a factory in Dokkum 20 times larger on a special sound absorbing acoustic wall panels, covering approximately 3 x 12 meters of the wall. During the summer it was installed in its place. It turned out to be a success so later it was even extended to the outside and inside walls with an additional length of 14 meters.
Today the new museum mill De Phenix was officially opened by the mayor of Ameland. Today I saw the result properly for the first time. I am quite impressed. And I am extremely proud and grateful to be a part of this special project. As for the name of the painting, it remains actual from the moment it was painted at the end of February.
The original painting is now on loan by Amelander Musea. They are launching a small merchandise line using the image. Some visitors of the Kunstmaand Ameland (a couple of thousands, I've heard) are receiving a postcard with it when visiting some island museums.
This was a post of a happy artist.
View the painting in my gallery.