Jan and Mark carrying a townscape showing the Van Leeuwenhoeksingel with all the parked bicycles in front of the railway station. Photography: Robert van Nimwegen.

Urban narratives

Observations of moments from Delft street life, developing into stories. Sometimes Mark van Huystee’s hand-drawn townscapes give rise to written stories by Jan van der Mast. The pictures make passers-by want to stop and talk.

Encounters at the Old Church. Photography: Robert van Nimwegen.

From Jan's blog, Thursday, 2 July 2009 


Mark is drawing a townscape near the Old Church. It looks impressive. A tanned old man with short sleeves is standing behind Mark. With a hoarse, Don Corleone type of voice he says: “That’s really detailed, that is. That’s full of detail. I couldn’t do that, I’m too fidgety. I do a bit of drawing too. By way of a hobby.” 
His wife joins us. “Our entire house is decorated with his drawings. There’s not an empty spot left.” “Perhaps you could continue on the ceiling?”
Mark suggests, always willing to think along.
“No, that wouldn’t do; we’ve got wallpaper there.”
“On the ceiling?” 
“Yes, when we bought the house the ceiling was in a very bad state, and we thought we’d cover it with wallpaper, like they do in Germany. The first length was pretty hard going. It came down immediately.
Then my husband stretched some wires, and that worked very well. It’s turned out very nice indeed.” The husband picks up his drawing thread again: “I do windmills. Marvellous things. I never get them right on the paper, though. I’m far too finicky.”
“Mark’s not like that at all,” I reply. “Just look at the house front he’s drawing now. It doesn’t match the real thing at all. Not that anybody cares. There is enough to see.”
“It’s not finished yet,” Mark says, completing the stepped gable with a few quick strokes. The old couple say their fond farewells and then they leave.