Storm is coming

© Jack Kruf (2008) Storm is coming [digital]. Breda: Private collection

Storm is coming over Elba. The storm clouds hunt the ferry down and will soon role over it. It was between the Italian mainland and this mystic island, by the way on a beautiful summer’s day. It is one of those moments in life when seeking shelter and safety for this storm and rain was really urgent and factually last second. It was short but fierce.

It is always on this evening – the 31st of January – when I remember my father’s stories on the evening when the raging storm in 1953 arrived in our hometown, Halsteren. It brought over miles of land the sea (5 meter high) only a few hundreds of meters from his house, taking peoples houses, farms and life’s. He would ride out that night to help and rescue.

Beach perspective

© Jack Kruf (2019) Beach perspective [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

It is not often when a beach is truly a beach. Here it shows itself in all it has. I like the colour palette and perspective, with in the far distance one of the main sea cargo routes of the world towards the harbour of Antwerp.

The River

© Jack Kruf (2019) The River [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

The great rivers cross the lowlands of The Netherlands, connecting the hills and mountains in the east and south with the North Sea in the west. The immense landscape of water is impressive. It is mainly a palette of grey and blue.

Beach and Dune

©Jack Kruf (2021) Beach and Dune [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection

This is the place where beach and dune are meeting the wind and create these patterns in the sand in a variety of pastel tints. Taken near Cadzand, Zeeland, The Netherlands.

Summer in Tuscany

© Jack Kruf (2005) Summer in Tuscany [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

On this final wet and windy day of 2022 I remember the summer we spent in Tuscany in 2003. It was harvest time. The landscape between Florence and Siena showed its DNA. What a light, what a collection of gold, orange and yellow.

Frosty Grass

© Jack Kruf (2003) Frosty grass [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

The frosty grass shows itself in winter time in the wetlands as a collection of sticky beacons of survival. Icy sculptures on a very cold morning.

Olive Desert

© Jack Kruf (2006) Olive Desert in Spain [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.
I know that olives and olive oil are healthy food products and preferred by many in a variety of perfect dishes. Travelling through to this Spanish landscape though what stands out is the almost absurd dominance of the olive tree monoculture. The landscape stretches itself out as a desert, where all other life is banned. Just earth and olive trees. We know how vulnerable monocultures can be. A risky landscape.

Catch the wind

© Jack Kruf (2021) Catch the wind [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

To catch the wind is an art in itself. This dune is formed by the exquisite properties of the beachgrass to survive in high dynamics and bind the grains of sand. In the background the city of Vlissingen, the city of one of my forefathers.

White cliffs of Eastbourne

© Jack Kruf (2020) White cliffs of Eastbourne [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

The white cliffs West of Eastbourne form this quiet landscape with the grey palette of pebbles with the roaring Atlantic Ocean in the background. This seascape feels as home.

Acacia at Sossusvlei

© Jack Kruf (2006) Acacia at Sossusvlei. Breda: Private collection.

The Acacia at Sossusvlei almost disappears in the wide and high landscape of the sand dunes (larger than the Eiffel tower) in Namibia.

Polder

© Jack Kruf (2022) Polder. Breda: Private collection

The polder can be a mystic place. Here at the Alblasserwaard, The Netherlands, the misty landscape creates a complete silent and highly reflective landscape.

De oneindige dijk

© Jack Kruf (2022) De Halsterse dijk: de oneindige dijk. Breda: Private collection.

Vandaag was ik in de beslotenheid van dit mistige landschap. Wandelend met neef Walter. De ‘Halsterse Dijk’, een monument op zichzelf. Het gebied veranderde van het zoute getijdendeel van de Zeeuwse Delta in een zoetwatergebied. De Deltawerken spreken de taal van de vooruitgang en van veiligheid. De werken waren zo nodig na de overstroming van 1953.

Veel herinneringen liggen besloten in de harten van hen die ook hier hun geliefden verloren. Die verliezen zijn ingebed in de cultuur van de gemeenschap waar ik ben opgegroeid. De lijnen van oneindigheid tonen zich, wederom, op dit moment. Het is de dijk van oneindigheid.

Hier zie ik mijzelf ook weer met mijn moeder, samen genietend van de plek, van het ravotten in het zoute zeewater. Het zoute water maakte het zwemmen lichter. Mijn vader wist als docent wis- en natuurkunde uit te leggen hoe dit allemaal werkt.

Nu bedekt het mistige landschap de warme zomerdagen van weleer. Die verre vreugde is in deze vrieskou nauwelijks voelbaar. Maar het is er nog. Ik geniet nog steeds van de moederlijke warmte en geborgenheid. Zij was de getrainde zwemster, onverschrokken en dapper. Mijn heldin. Één met de zee, met alle respect voor het leven, dat zich hier afspeelde. Hier ligt de geboorte van mijn respect voor de natuur. Oneindige herinneringen. Het is de dijk van oneindigheid.