The screen-filling Panorama visible on the page with the main menu covers the Panorama up to and including 2003. On this page you can view the additions in 2004 and 2005.
Work on the Panorama in 2004 began with the church at Bennebroek and advanced up to the Church of St. Joseph in Hillegom.
In preparation for the work in the season of 2005, I made a charcoal sketch of the gatekeeper's cottage, the Dever House, the house next to it, the Church of St. Agatha in Lisse and the Schoonewegen farmhouse in Sassenheim. Then I made a drawing of the objects in Lisse, except the Church of St. Agatha, putting in the details in burnt umber.
In 2005, work on the Panorama started with the small group of trees to the right of the Church of St. Joseph in Hillegom and has progressed so far as to include the house standing next to the Dever House. In preparation for the work in the season of 2006, I have made a drawing of the Church of St. Agatha in Lisse and of the Schoonewegen farmhouse in Sassenheim, putting in the details in burnt umber.
It took me three days to draw the Church of St. Agatha. Its many details made it a very tough job to do and I found it a little easier to draw the Schoonewegen farmhouse.
There are a few sweet chestnuts and a copper beech in front of the Schoonewegen farmhouse. I took several photographs of these trees, which will serve as examples, in Voorhout.
I complied to a request from a group of protesters and have included the Church of the Guardian Angel at Lisse in the picture. However, to make room for it, I had to remove a tree that I had already painted (and without a felling permit too!)...
I was busy painting when all of a sudden I heard the bleat of a goat: a visitor was standing by himself, looking at the goat on the painting. I carried on with my painting, but was startled by a bird's whistle. Now he was looking at the swallows above the shed. I wondered whether everything was alright and decided to keep an eye on him, but he left very soon afterwards.
I have had yet another psychic visitor. 'You have help from above, did you know that?' 'I can feel it over here, it's completely surrounding the spot where
you are sitting!'. I mentioned the story of the Church of St. Bavo in Haarlem: I had been asked to include this church in the Panorama but I had no picture of it, but the very same evening I was flicking through
a magazine and saw the Church of St. Bavo!
She nods and walks away.
I am often asked what happened to the bike which, on the design, was leaning against the wooden bulb shed in Hillegom. I have left it out because I thought that it figured too prominently in the foreground. I usually say that I had painted it in but that it was stolen the next day. I have painted the front wheel of the bike in such a way that it is just visible behind the stack of reeds, so now we can say that it is continuing its journey.
On the last Tuesday of this season, William Halewijn, the brilliant portrait painter, came to visit. He has painted such people as the queen and the pope. I showed him around.
He found the Panorama exceptionally beautiful, and to me, his favourable opinion feels like a particularly high award: I feel extremely honoured!
He told me that I had recently been on Indonesian television, which I didn't know.
A lady addressed me: 'In your book, there's a school report with Miss Werkman's signature on it.' 'Yes, that's right.' 'I know Miss Werkman and she's coming to
visit you soon!' 'No, that can't be right, she must have passed away by now!' 'Oh no, she's alive and well, she's in her nineties.' I was amazed and confused by this confrontation with my childhood. I could
hardly believe it, but I couldn't wait to find out. Miss Werkman, my teacher at secondary school, was announced, and there she was! I was nervous, but she hasn't changed a bit, except that she was fifty years older. We greeted each other sincerely and, using the
microphone, I introduced her to the audience. There was a very warm applause.
It was lovely! I asked her companions to take photographs of the both of us in front of the Panorama and to send them to me. After a while we had to say our goodbyes and I asked her if I might kiss her: she said yes!
Two wardens from the Dever House were inspecting the tower that I had just finished painting and remarked that a shutter was missing.
'I don't think that I have forgotten anything, but I'll fetch the slides straightaway and take a look', I said. And they were right too, there is a shutter.
I immediately removed the paint from the area of the tower where the shutter should be with benzine and promised them that I would paint it in the next day.
It's just as well that I have visitors!
In July 2005, Dr. Leo M. van den Berg wrote to me about his work and said that he could use the Panorama to help with his work. You can read how in the quote next to this text.
Although strictly speaking, it's not a contribution by one of the Panorama's visitors, I would like to include the quote here. Actually, it's a reverse contribution: the Panorama is contributing to a visitor's work.
[Dr. Leo M. van den Berg is an experienced researcher of urbanisation processes and the relation between urban and rural areas at Wageningen University.]