Friday, July 18, 2014

Sketchcrawl Gouda - The Graveyard

It had been a while since I had the opportunity to join an actual Sketchcrawl. If you don't know what a Sketchcrawl is, you can read all about it here. It basically means that a group of people comes together on a set date all around the world in order to...well....sketch!

My friends Monk and Loes organize the event in the city of Gouda four times a year, but I've only been able to attend a few times so far. Luckily the past weekend I actually could come.

They always choose the most interesting locations, but this time it was even more special than usual. It was an old graveyard! The place was full of overgrown graves and the atmosphere was absolutely .... I don't even know the word for it. There was a big atmosphere, let's leave it at that. ;-)

Before I show you the sketches I did that day (next post), I wanted to give you an impression of what it was like. Because you know that in the end I will always choose photography over sketching and no way could I come to such a place and not take pictures.


Now that I look at these pics again I think I can say that the atmosphere was decidedly gothic. ;-)

It was amazing how such a magical place was hidden between houses and a factory. Like stepping into an alternate universe just by passing the iron gate. Fascinating.

Next post I 'll show you what I drew. For now I wish you all a wonderful and artsy weekend.


  1. Some graveyards seem spooky but this one seems serene and peaceful. Maybe it's the way you photographed it? I'm looking forward to seeing the sketches. I wonder if anyone tried rubbing lead over the inscriptions on the gravestones? I've seen people do that at cemeteries, too, especially old ones. And I have to ask -- is Gouda the place where my favorite cheese comes from?

    1. No, I don't think anybody did any rubbings, and yes, Gouda is the city of the cheese! :-)

  2. Your photos are ... and I don't mean this ironically .... haunting. Is this graveyard no longer in use?
    It's a pity that it's so overgrown ... and yet that's what makes it look so peaceful, serene and .... forgotten.
    Do you remember how old some of the graves were and do you know the age of the cemetery itself?
    I'm looking forward to seeing your sketches from that day. It's great that this sort of "event" is created
    and available for anyone who wishes to attend. We need more things in the world like this, that bring us
    together in friendship ... and less of the sorts of tragedies that we've been experiencing this week.
    All the best.

    1. The graveyard was officially closed in 1975 and the last person was buried in 1971. It was started around 1830.
      As for the upkeep, they let it overgrow on purpose for the amazing plant life and after blooming is over they cut it down. One of the volunteers told us that in May the place is full of poppies and quite a sight. So, it's not always like this. Some paths were mowed already so you could walk through them. So it is being looked after.

  3. Yes, wonderfully haunting neat to look at, a little too sobering to think about too deeply!

    1. Some people found it a bit creepy to walk among the graves, but I just found it beautiful. Graveyards never frighten me. I like the 'deep' atmosphere in them. (hope that makes sense)


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