Let it snow!

It's Summer, the sun is out and the yard is green but you have to take photos for Christmas listings in my shop, so what do yo do?
Well, you take some holly, white flour, play around and... Voila! 

Winter Friends

I know it's only september but I plan to design a lot of new stuff for Christmas, so... made an early start.
Just finished these winter friends this afternoon; Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, the Angel and a cute litte Christmas tree.

Spread a little happiness

Foppe and I are worried about the world, there's too much intolerance and agression. Why can't humans live peacefully side by side and spread love instead of hatred.

As an artist I can do my part, trying to bring a smile to people's faces and to make them happy with my work.
Here's a collection of commissions, made by me with love.
'Spread a little happiness as you go by.'

New dolls!

Felt like creating a new set of nesting dolls so I've been happily sketching away these days.
This is going to be a winter family, a bunch of sweet characters we all now and love.


An early Christmas

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la. 

Foppe's Acre Originals at the St Jansdal Art Fair

Saturday (September 6, 2014) Foppe's Acre Originals attended the St Jansdal Art Fair in Harderwijk (Gelderland-Netherlands).
The fair was located on the ground floor of the parking garage at the St Jansdal hospital in Harderwijk. Over 50 artitsts attended with a large variety of art works.

The maker behind his work! It was a wonderful day at the art fair. We met lots of nice people (co-stall holders and visitors) there was a lot of interest in Foppe's art and specially Green Men and greeting cards found happy new homes!
Our table/stall was fairly small so we couldn't display all our work and had to make a suitable selection for the day. Good thing that I brought the folk art trunks along! Though it looks quite cramped our stall stood out by the large variety of art work which kept people hanging around for a long time.

There's a new Green Man in the family!

Proudly presenting 'The Holly King', finished him this afternoon, just in time for the art fair next Saturday.
He only needs a coat of varnish and than he's ready to find a new home. I'm sure I'll miss him but I've got a few brothers who will keep me company in the meantime.

Forwarding Feedback.

I'd like to share some of the latest reviews on recent purchases from
Foppe's faithful fans:

Received this nice email from Kathy in Maryland. Thank you Kathy!
'Hi Peter
The package arrived yesterday in perfect condition thanks to your careful packing. I am over the top delighted with these green men. You have perfectly captured my idea of what a green man looks like. They should be just a wee bit sinister looking. So many I have seen are overly cute- these are perfect! The big one is already hanging by the porch door into the house (in a sheltered location) and so he greets us each time we come in.'

This review reached us from Susan in Australia. Thanks Susan!
'A Fabulous "Little Green Man" Beautifully created....now happily living in Australia!'

Another kind feedback from Pamela in North Carolina, USA. Thanks Pam!
'How does this artist read my mind. My husband and I love green men. A great tradition to have in your house. His packages arrive well ahead of Etsy's suggested time. Thanks!'

...and feedback from Pam on my lino print 'All ducks are equal;
'Wonderful! First, I've got to mention this seller gets things to you immediately. +++ Holland mail service too. Much more importantly, works from Foppe's Acre is so wonderful. I've bought several other things and love them all. There is a bit of folk and traditional here, but with a twist.'

Back on track!

Cast three Holly Kings today which will have to harden for one day before I can paint them on Thursday. Everything's going according to plan.

The making of the Holly King

Phew! Made a silicone mold of the Holly King last night hoping I could cast a few Kings for the fair on Saturday. Normally the silicone needs to cure for ten hours but when I checked this morning it still hadn't set and was still sticky. I feared something went wrong although I was sure I mixed the silicone and hardener as I should have. Stress! I consulted my sculptor friend Corine hoping she new what could have gone wrong. Corine thought that now it's cooler (Summer end in Holland) the silicone needs more time to set. So I placed the mold in our bathroom and turned the heater on as Corine suggested. Waited another six hours and took the risk and opened the frame. Voila! Mold exactly as I'd hoped, firm and full of detail! Now I can cast the first copy of the Holly King! Thanks for helping me out Corine!

More Green Men!

Had to go to the sulptors centre in Koudum this afternoon to fetch supplies for my Green Men, lo and behold look what I found over the entrance of the store! These are four ceramic Green Men and I could be wrong but I think they depict the four seasons.
Green Men are taking over the world!

I DO have a wooden heart (Sorry Elvis)

Finished these four hanging heart ornaments this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll continue with the Holly King who's completely dry now (put him in the oven along with the heart shaped dishes for a while.

Hen, duck, goose.

Dishes are done, makes seven in total. They now have to bake in the oven for 45 minutes (150 degrees) to harden the paint and then they're ready for the fair. On with the wooden hearts!

Dish it up!

Painted five heart shaped dishes in total now but only four go into a four leaf clover (obviously)
I'll show the rest once they're finished.

Hindeloopen at the fair!

I've decided to add a few more items to my Hindeloopen folk art collection for the art fair next weekend. I'll be painting wooden heart ornaments and porcelain heartshaped dishes.
I'm not simply copying the existing Hindelooper style, I won't be using he standard colors but give it my own twist and even though I do use the traditional motifs I'll make my own patterns with them so they will be unique and typical Foppe's Acre Originals. I'll show a few pieces later.

A Greener Australia!

Yay! One of our Green Man magnets made the journey to Australia to meet his new friends Susan, Daffy and Sylvester! Susan posted these wonderful photos this morning and wrote a sweet story along with it. Thanks Susan, Daffy and Sylvester, you made my day, I hope you all will enjoy your new family member!
This is what susan wrote:

'Hi Peter,
The little Green Man has arrived safely, he had his passport stamped and is now settling into Australian Life. ..Daffy and Sylvester were very excited to meet him and Daffy who is loosing some of her feathers due to the change in season had one settle on the "Green Man", this tickled his nose and made him sneeze ...but he was very polite and didn't mind at all!!
Also thank Foppe for the extra little gift x..... I have been informed by Miss Daffy and Sylvester I must visit your shop on "Etsy" and buy lots of your little Green Men!!

Thanks Peter and everyone on Foppes Acre!!...Susan, Daffy and Sylvester! '

Quick trunk project two

Decided to paint a second trunk in Hindeloopen folk art style but with a Delft Blue twist! These trunks are for our own use but a good practice to paint on a larger scale. Who knows this exercise will come in handy one day!


Greener than green

Tadaa! Commissioned Green Man finished!
My client requested a different color scheme for her Green Man, shades of olive green, no emphasis on the face and brown eyes, voila, no problem at all!
I have to say I really like these colors and might paint a few this way for my shop too. When I sculpted this Green Man I had an ivory colored face in mind so that's what I did but this green overall look is very appealing too!
The client is happy, I am happy, so this friendly character will be sent on his way to the United States asap!
Let's make the world a greener place!

Naar Buiten! Going Outside!

Etsy featured two of my doggie sculptures on their curated theme list 'Going Outside' (Naar Buiten) today! Wohoo! Thank you Etsy! :-)


Custom paint job

No, this is not a repost or a Déjà vu but a request for a custom paint job on one of my Green Men! Yes, we do those too!

If you like a Green Man but would like a different color there's the option in my shop on Etsy to request a custom order.
This Green Man will travel to Penssylvania later this week. :-)

Quick trunk project finished!

All finished in less than two days!
I'm quite happy with this quick project . Folk art in the true sense!

Quick trunk project

I needed a short break from my sculptures and paintings while some new ideas are brewing in my head but I wanted to keep busy so I started a new quick project this week.
This trunk was sitting on our landing for years filled with junk and we've decided to give it a new life in our hallway (storing shoes). Didn't want to make a big deal out of it so I painted it with left over paints in folk art Hindelooper style (like my floral boxes). Fun to do something on a larger scale!

The blank wooden trunk as it was sitting on our upstairs landing for the longest time.

Foppe's Acre Originals at the Skûstjemarkt on August 6, 2014

It was quite a busy day at the fair, lots of locals and tourists but for some reason people weren't in a shopping mood. Even though there was a lot of interest in my sculptures and linos I've only sold cards. While talking to the other stallholders we learned that they didn't sell much either. One of those days I suppose.
It was fun though, sunny and warm and lots of activity on the water (arrival of the sail boats for the regatta ('Skûtsjesilen) we've met some nice new people and talked to old friends.
The artist himself surrouned by his work at the fair.

Little Paul the Farting Elephant

Also made some Little Paul the Farting Elephant magnets for the fair! Complete with googly eyes!
These will be added in the shop later too.


Two photos courtecy of Pieter Musterd (the proud owner of Flapje's portrait). First one taken after the delivery and the second one after Pieter had the portrait framed and hung it on the wall in his livingroom. I think Pieter chose the perfect frame for Flapje, I like the craquelé effect and color a lot.
Thanks once again for this wonderful commission Pieter!

Ready set Go!

All packed and ready to go to the fair tomorrow! Phew.
Spent the day making inventory, pricing, wrapping, packing, do some last minute shopping and make sure I've got everything ready.
The fair will start around one in the afternoon, we'll be there at 11 am to dress the booth, so there are still a few hours in the morning to check everything again and make myself presentable
Looking forward to a busy day, hope it will stay dry as it's an outdoor event (but I'm prepared).
Wish me luck! (full report will follow, so stay tuned!)

Last but not least!

Saved the best till last!
Finished the last Green Man in this series today, wohoo!
This one was the most work to paint as I wanted to isolate the face from the foliage and emphasize his friendly expression, I think it worked out beautifully.
I painted him in many semi transparent washes to create depth and shading and kept the overall look light and breezy.
I've been working almost non-stop on these Green Men and I'm relieved I got them all finished for the fair next Wednesday.
Now I'm looking forward to start a new project, back to animals I think! 

Keeping an eye on things

The first (bigger) Green Man is now finshed.
I sculpted him in air dray clay, made a silicone mold and cast him in Duracast (ground marble-resin), finally painted him in acryllic and is varnished for extra durability.
He measures 6 inches in diameter and even though he's made for indoor use he can live in your garden too but needs a spot protected from the elements (sun and rain).
After the fair next week I'll list all my Green Men in my shop at Etsy.

Going Green 3

'The Third Man', no not the Orson Welles one, but my third Green Man magnet! It's been a lot of work from sculpting to casting to painting but I'm very happy with my three new friends! 

Going Green 2

Second one of the three Green Man magnets finished!
The picture shows him actually bigger than life size so you can imagine how delicate and cute he in real life is.

Getting ready for the fair

Working hard to get a few green man finished for the fair in town next week. Making production, while the painted magnets are drying casting new sculptures and preparing a mold for the next one.
Casted the bigger green man last night and he came out perfectly, held him in my hands all evening, so happy, can't wait to paint him too.
Even though I reproduce these sculptures each one will be handpainted so every one is unique. This way I can make more people happy with my artwork, good deal, right? 

Flapje Finished!

'Flapje' portrait in acryllic on 20x20 cm (8x8 inch) stretched gallery canvas, in commission of Pieter Musterd.

Yesterday I delivered Flapje's portrait and Pieter loves it! Pieter had already followed the process of the painting here on Foppe's pages and liked every step on the way but of course hadn't seen the painting in real life. He was very touched with the perfect resemblance of his old friend whom he lost some twenty years ago. It felt like a new homecoming.
Pieter will have it framed and will give Flapje a prominent place in his livingroom.
I loved working on Flapje's portrait. I'm very pleased how she turned out and that I was able to make another client happy with my work.

(For anyone interested in owning a unique, handpainted portrait of your beloved pet, I do take commissions. Here's some information.
A portrait on this size 7x7 inch (20x20 cm) costs 170 dollar (125 euro), 12x12 inch (30x30 cm) 235 dollar (175 euro) and so on.
Painted on gallery stretched canvas with acryllic paint, varnished, excluding frame and shipping.
Duration of painting will be about 4 weeks, I like to work on it in phases, sometimes it may take shorter sometimes a bit longer.
If you are interested please send me a message.)


Made my largest silicone mold to date today and it worked out perfectly! Wohoo! Uptill now I've made two small molds for fridge magnets but this green man is a wall hanging and quite a bit larger.
I made a wooden frame for this one, didn't dare to built a wall from play dough as the weight of the silicone might have pushed it away.
The frame worked well. I placed the original on a slab of play dough to keep it in place but some silicone still seeped under the sculpture which left the edges quite messy but the imprint is sharp and no air bubbles! I'm quite excited and can't wait to make a cast with the ground marble.
I'm getting the hang of it, mixing of the two components went well and preparing the frame was successful.
On to the next one, even bigger!

Ready for painting!

I think I've got the hang of it now!

Mission Accomplished!

First cast of the new mold! I'm impressed, original (left) and exact copy.
The original is made from air dry clay, the copy is cast with Duracast (ground marble), rock hard and weather proof.

First self made silicone mold

After Corine showed me how to make a silicone mold for my green man I tried it myself today. I used a slightly different method, instead of a wooden frame I made a wall from play-dough so I didn't have to use as much silicone. In perparation I varnished the clay sculpture to prevent it from dissolving while the silicone cures, put some sticky tape on a plastic cutting board to adhere the sculpture, then built the wall and sprayed silicon spray on it to help removing the cured silicone.
Finally mixed the two silicone components (hopefully in the right proportions) and poared it into the mold.

Varnished the green man, placed it on sticky tape on a plastic cutting board, sprayed with silicone spray.

Built a wall around the sculpture with play-dough, put in the fridge for an hour to somewhat harden the clay. Ready for the silicone!

Mixed the two silicone compounds and poared into the mold. Needs curing for ten hours before the mold is set.

I could release the original green man in one piece, not a chip missing and no air bubbles, a perfect negative image of my little green man, wohoo!
Today I'm going to make a second one and than a third, and the fourth.... Getting the hang of it for sure!

First Green Man magnet finished!

I'm very happy with the results of our molding and casting adventure, I took great care modeling and carving this little friend and I'm grateful for Corine's help, but now he's painted he really comes to life.
Working on the rest of this series of four. Stay tuned!

Making a silicone mold

To be a ble to reproduce the Green Men sculptures my sculptor friend Corine Ton-Rekers showed how to make a silicone mold.
Follow the process step by step; from making the mold to casting the first Green Man. First six photos are taken in Corine's studio, folowing series of photos are taken at home in my studio the following day.

Corine prepared the frame in which the silicone will be poared by adding a layer of clay to adhere the original to the bottom (preventing it might float by while poaring the silicone.


Bigger isn't always better!

Had some time and a small piece of clay left so I decided to make a few miniature Green Men. 
I think they could become a fridge magnets!

Green Man in the making!

Process of sculpting a green man from start to finish.