Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Morning in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Toward Westkerk, 20 x 16 oil painting by Melody Phaneuf

A morning in Amsterdam is a much quieter experience than it is in Boston. In Amsterdam, bicycles far outnumber cars, changing the sound of the morning commute. The metallic jingle of a handlebar bell is a welcomed change to the eviscerating assault of car horns and trucks thundering by. I love a culture that eases, rather than hurls itself into the day.

Amsterdam, Toward Westkerk is a glimpse of a typical Amsterdam morning in early summer. People emerge, some on foot, some on bicycles, making their way to their destinations. It is a gentle morning, sunny at the moment, but the weather can change in an instant. Amsterdam cyclers are adept at juggling umbrellas, groceries, and perhaps a small dog while continuing on their journeys.

The Westkerk neighborhood’s ancient shop windows are carved and frame elaborate displays of goods, beautifully arranged. Early in the morning, a passerby might catch a glimpse of an artist at work through a tiny opening, far behind a fenestrated entry. Such windows reveal the depth of the buildings, belying the diminutive, taxable frontage.

There are many treasures to discover on a peaceful morning promenade through Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, Toward Westkerk is a 20 x 16 oil painting by Melody Phaneuf


Melody Phaneuf is well known for her evocative still life, landscape, and portrait paintings. Her paintings are regularly on view at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street; at Fenway Studios, Boston by appointment; and North Shore Art in Gloucester from May through October. Phaneuf ‘s paintings have been exhibited at The National Arts Club in New York City, Galerie Herouet in Paris, and with Art du Monde, in Japan.

Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo, features Phaneuf’s original oil paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and coasters, fine art prints, and handmade notecards.

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