Drawing my new home town

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As well as mosaicing I love drawing. I recently moved from New Zealand to live in the beautiful city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands, actually I live just outside the city, but close enough to hop on my bike (in true Dutch fashion) and access the city in 20 minutes. The exercise never goes amiss as I find as an artist I can spend quite a bit of time not moving enough. So the adventures of exploring a ‘new’ City make a welcome break. I’m currently working on some drawings in pen and ink of Amersfoort. The city is beautiful, over 750 years old with a rich history. While it is growing it retains its medieval roots. Here’s a old image of the city as it grew.


Amersfoort is located in the central part of the Netherlands and is the second largest city in Utrecht province. You can see from the photo above that it was built in rings, as the city expanded they’d add a ring. So the heart of the city is the oldest part of Amersfoort, full of Muurhuizen (wall houses) – called so because the houses were built on the foundations of the original city walls. So within a very small area the visitor can see a range of architectural styles as the city expanded and rings were added. Today of course the city has further expanded and and rings have been forgotten but the heart is still very much present and there to be enjoyed.

This is really a Dutch City and you do not find hoards of tourists wandering round, unlike Amsterdam. I refer to Amersfoort as ‘Amsterdam for the locals’. It boasts one of the tallest medieval church towers in the Netherlands at 98 metres which has been flood lit and looks spectacular in the evening. I love wandering the street on foot or by bike. Most of all wandering down a quaint narrow street and then upon reaching the end turning back to see the towers looming over the quaint little houses in the distance. Here is a piece I’m currently working on. I like to visit the spot as well as take photos. I’m still developing my style and have begun to think about adding paint and not just ink but I do like the clarity of black and white or off-white.  I used to work exclusively in black ink but I have begun to incorporate colored inks into my drawings.

This is St Joris Church or as the Dutch say Sint Joris Kerk. it towers over a small but atmospheric town square which is often filled with cafe goers sitting on terraces or shopping at the local market. The church itself has Gothic origins dating back to 1337. It was built as a hall style church in the 15th century. Restored in 1579 and again in 1972.

View of St Joris Church from a distance, Amersfoort, The Netherlands by Sarah-Alice Miles

Here is a rendition of my view of  St Joris Church. This piece is not yet complete and I notice is somewhat difficult to photograph, the blue ink comes across rather subtly. I’m doing more in this series so will keep you posted.

As always Happy-arting!



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