Of Art and Family.


Above photo is of the village of Eursinge in East-Holland were our farm was situated. It was very charming and all houses and farms were clustered together making for friendly meetings of the local farmers. We all had running water, sewerage connected and electricity. The picture would have been taken 1975 or so.


Here a photo of Helvi with our three children during early times around 1973/4 when we lived in Holland and I was teaching art and creative development for adults. It was a golden age for the arts at that time.


Here some etching made when I could use all the equipment at the University of Technology including lithography presses etc. The colour I added by rubbing some blue and red on the copper plate before printing. They were of course mono prints.


This last photo of our farm and two Shetland ponies. (mother and son) the small girl standing on the wire fence is our Natasha. The sheep shed on the right is our neighbour’s. We had one of our sheep twinning but the mother only accepted just the one and head butted the other one. No matter what we did the mother sheep just wanted one. We tried blindfolding the mother, giving strong scents to the lambs. All to no avail. It was pitiful to see how she tried to butt the poor lamb relentlessly. We bottle-fed her and the lamb grew and caught up with the other one. The kids were all a bit sad with that sheep episode but always getting up early to give it the bottle. “They said; she is a very mean mother”. A nice bit of how nature is not always as kind as is made out.



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18 Responses to “Of Art and Family.”

  1. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I learn something new each time I read one of your posts. I had no idea that you were/are an artist. Loved seeing the older photos of Mrs O and the children. The equines were beautiful animals. I am fond of paint or pinto colored horses/ponies.



    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Yvonne,
      Yes, it seems so long ago. Memories are wonderful and they help to carry on with the adventure we call life.
      The pony came with the farm as did most of the furniture that we still have today. We had great trouble re-thatching our kitchen chairs but found a very old English man who still had the skill to do that, including the old pattern that he recognized. Amazing.


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Shetland ponies like nothing better than running around when it is cold and even more so in the snow. Per weight they are the strongest horses. They are fiercely independent and don’t really like being restrained in a paddock.
    Often I used to get a call from the village telling me the mother horse had escaped and was found wandering around their yards. She used to keep treading on the wire till the restraining nail would come out and slowly make a break in the fence so she could run off. (again). We loved them.


  3. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I love your work, Gerard. Please put some more pictures up on your blog, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who would love to see them. I used to keep shetlands, in fact I had a small shetland pony stud many years ago – I took it terribly seriously and showed them all over the UK. There are some frightful photos somewhere in the archives of me dressed up in a hat with a flower in my buttonhole running a pony up in front of the judges….probably best left in the cardboard box in the cellar! Your farm looks heaven, reminds me a little of Gillbeck. Sheep can be horrid can’t they? I had that happen a few times at lambing – it’s a pain having to bottle feed the lambs but the children seemed to take it all in their stride.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I’ll try and find some photos of some of my work. We have boxes and many albums but going through them I have to try and work up stamina. It can be a bit of a melancholic journey.
      I had to laugh with your description of ‘showing’. I did the same with alpacas and had to wear white overalls. Showing animals is a world on its own. Steeped in protocol and silly rules.


      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        Showing alpacas!?! now that beats showing shetlands, hands down! Oh Gerard, that made me laugh. I’m glad you understand the ridiculousness of the animal ‘show’ world.


  4. Lonia Says:

    This was an important time in my life when you were my teacher.
    Nice foto,s of Eursinge, your family and your work too.


  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes Lonia;
    They were very good times for us too and our friendship has remained through all those years.


  6. solidgoldcreativity Says:

    Wonderful to see these photos x


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I’ll try and post some more, including a couple I found on face-book. I have yet to discover things on face book that I did not even know about. Face book seems to have a life of its own. Is it organic?


      • solidgoldcreativity Says:

        Definitely organic, and quite possibly sinister … 🙂

        Best not ask me. I’m FB-phobic. Can’t drive the thing for starters, and baulk at fact I can’t send a message to whoever I want (like on Twitter).


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I often get e-mails about new messages on FB but get lost in actually seeing the message. I also do not really understand how it works. I often see on FB that Russian models want to meet me or hints how to get large biceps. I don’t want large biceps or meet Russian girls. I am flat out making it to Aldi’s in time.


  7. sandshoe Says:

    Getting to Bunnings in time for a sausage sizzle as I recall it is another matter altogether, Gez. 🙂

    Dear Gez, I love your work.


  8. kayti sweetland rasmussen Says:

    I love getting to know you Gerard! Shetland ponies! An unexpected skill exposed. We have gone into the dog show thing, and I definitely agree—silly rules. Great pictures.


  9. berlioz1935 Says:

    Having a farm in Holland must have been totally different from having on in NSW? Were any of those farms a paying proposition?


  10. gerard oosterman Says:

    The farm in Holland only had 10.000 sq metres of land, we had a small income from the hay (twice a year) I worked by teaching and receiving a government grant together with a commission for a mural at a local school. Of course, child endowment in Holland was generous as well.
    The farm In NSW Australia (Brayton) was 47 HA and we made a good income from the old settlers cottage converted as a holiday week-end cottage. I am amazed that not more struggling farmers convert old sheds into holiday homes. We also had about 40 alpacas on agistment owned by 3 owners that did not have land.or very little…
    We lived within our means, never used credit cards. If we did not have money we would never buy. A golden rule that seems to have been watered down to subsequent generations.
    Thank you for your question Berlioz.


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