Europe19: A week in Gouda, Netherlands

July 30, 2019 | 8 Comments

After my short but jam-packed visits to Paris and Barcelona, it was time to start thinking about the main event at the end of my trip – the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam. I known from other years that I need to have maximum energy levels for the symposium so I booked to stay in a gorgeous palatial apartment overlooking the main square in the lovely South Holland town of Gouda.

This is the apartment…

And its amazing view overlooking the square.

The desk where I worked all week and the wallpaper in the toilet (Palladio inspired hey?)

I have a very close friend from Sydney who now lives here with her husband (he is Dutch) and three little boys. I haven’t seen Martina for nearly 8 years, but I’m really good at long term low maintenance (or even zero maintenance) friendships, so we had an amazing time catching up during the week. Actually our conversations were much deeper than mere catchups… it was a truly incredible time with a very special friend.

As well as trying to rest and recharge my batteries, I had a lot of work to do, so sketching was definitely a lower priority during my stay in Gouda. I know that many of you think I work too hard, but a heavy non-stop workload is a given when one is trying to run a business and support oneself from their art. I’m trying to find a balance between sketching, travelling and other work – it’s been an interesting trip in this regard and I’m learning lots about what to do differently next year.

And then, because I am somewhat crazy and just can’t seem to help myself, I organised a sketchmeet and about 30 sketchers from all over Netherlands came to Gouda to sketch with me for the afternoon. It was an amazing time.

I loved my time in Gouda (my apartment was so incredible!) so here are my sketches (with a little less description than previous articles!)

Photos of Gouda

Sketching around Gouda


A brief visit to Kinderdjik (home to 19 windmills from 1760s)

A Sketchmeet

Gouda’s Cheese Market

And finally the famous cheese market which occurred on my last morning in Gouda just before I headed to Amsterdam.


  • Paul says:

    Looks like you had a Gouda week!!! ?

  • Fiona says:

    That is the wonderful Fornasetti wallpaper (one of my favourite designers) – in a stunning apartment.
    Lovely sketches that reflect the joy and energy you felt there!

  • Sherri Carneal says:

    Liz, You look so happy and your beautiful soul shines everywhere you go Work balance comments are because you are loved . In Christ and safe journey.

  • Sarojani Lakhan says:

    What a pleasure to meet you at the hairdresser’s Liz! What beautiful work. Gouda was overly blessed with your presence.

  • Pat Krywy says:

    Liz, what an amazing apartment! Was the wallpaper a surprise when you saw it? Love your sketches of Gouda! I hope the time you did spend sketching brought some relaxation and “escape” from the work that accompanied you.

  • It looks like a wonderful place to recharge and get ready for what was coming down the road. I love the old windmills!

  • Elisabeth Hagendoorn says:

    So nice to see you have been in Gouda, where I lived a couple of years! I have found you through Pinterest and I follow you now on Instagram. I am Dutch and living in Perth. I love and admire your work very much and I have also begun a travel sketchbook! I love your sketches of Gouda!

    Liesbeth Hagendoorn, Perth

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