Interview with Henny Schrijver

Diary fragments
March 15th: The view from the kitchen window is a Bonnard painting and from the terrace it’s
a Hokusai, so it’s a Hokusai early in the morning and a Bonnard at 11 am.
March 16th: Today Ben was a part of a Bonnard painting too. Very cautiously I started a
landscape in light blue. This made me think of Renaissance background landscapes.
March 18th: A sudden Casper David Friedrich this morning. A new row of mountains came
into being through a cloud formation and layers of fog that got shining white.

March 20th : I approach colours that cannot be made and cross my fingers for transparent
overpainting. And don’t forget a Scarlet Lake underpainting. See what green will do. Some
green cowardly on top of brown. Now add light.
March 25th: One can always find a Garden of Eden somewhere and in Celleno in spring I see
a lot of them.
March 29th: A walk with Ben along the same road from the house to the old village every
time. The road goes up steeply then down again. It’s a Himalayan road. We walk slowly so
that we can see more. We see things like an abandoned piece of land with some frail trees in
blossom against a background of surrounding bald trees. There is a rare pink hue around it,
making it precious. Ben points out something, a chair is leaning against the trunk. Some rope
is hanging on the bottom branch. “Somebody must have been trying to hang himself” Ben
says, “but to no avail”.
Life and death. Now, isn’t Ben a Buddhist?
March 29th: Life and death, la Primavera, the joy of all new life, of being alive. The joy of
changes, of continuation, of moving on towards death. Neither life nor death is static, the two
are states of continuous being. The silence of it all.
March 30th: Finding back the churches in Tarquinia. Walking through the gate and suddenly
standing face to face with the tallest tower. Next to the tower the most beautiful church and
Ben. He is standing there at the bottom of the tower, small, but the very centre of the picture.
So glad he took me here!
So glad he took me back here. Because he loves it and so do I.

Translation Hans Kal

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