vrijdag 6 maart 2015

Bali Retreat 2015 - Let Nature Guide You

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Straight To The Heart  Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Ubud, Sudaji, Sanur

- Guided by Antonetta Fernandes and Melanie E. Rijkers -

Daily morning and evening check-ins, meditation, (photo) walks & workshops, purification water and fire ceremonies, temple visit, exploring villages, nature, waterfalls and much more

7 Days Straight To The Heart Retreat $1950,-

Short daily programme:
Morning check-in and sharing
Evening check-in and sharing
Day 1 visualisation exercise
Day 2 to 6 guided meditation with energy medicine exercise to clear blockages
Photography workshop
Organic meals

Bonus: One session of 20 minutes Angelic Reiki healing per person

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Ubud 1-3 October (2 nights). Arrival and welcome at Ugung Raka 2-4 PM, a wonderful resort with rice fields on our doorstep. Ubud once was the highlight of cultural Bali, so next to the wonderful garden and pool of the hotel there’s plenty for you to do.

Sudaji 3-6 October (3 nights) true rural Bali. Omunity Bali, founded in 2010 by ZANZAN. This is a special place in the middle of lovely Balinese villages. It’s not like any other resort. Living with and amongst the community and local people of Sudaji. 

Sanur 6-7 October (1 night) Hotel Segara Agung, Sanur beach. Closure of our journey with walks and talks, mostly at the beach. End of our journey: 7 October noon.
Of course you can extend your stay if you wish to!

Be, See, Zen

Join us if you would like to experience first-hand real Balinese people and culture, taste the very good organic food and receive all other gifts from nature. It's al about being in the moment ♥

Come to this beautiful island and meet the locals, no crazy tourist stuff.

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

7 Days Straight To The Heart daily programme: 

Day 1, Unwind - arrival at Agung Raka Resort and Villas, Ubud. Enjoy this oasis of peace as Ubud itself is a very busy place. Take a dip in the pool, a walk through the rice fields or just enjoy the views and details of nature in the garden. 

Welcome meeting and a short introduction. Dinner in Ubud.

Day 2, Exploring Ubud - Ubud once was the highlight of cultural Bali. Visit a museum or art gallery. There’s also the monkey forest or watch a Balinese (fire) dance at night. 

Antonetta daily: Guided Meditation (30 mins). Energy Medicine Exercise, to clear blockages (20 mins) Body Alignment - clear blockages (10 min) - 1st time may require a bit longer. Evening Check-in and sharing 30 mins.
Melanie: An introduction to Straight To The Heart Photography (1,5-2h) with a photo walk through the gardens of Agung Raka. Daily photography workshop or walk, ending with a beach walk day 7.

Afternoon: free time. 

Day 3, Rural Bali - Omunity Bali, Sudaji.
Staying in Sudaji area, meeting the locals will create inner peace. You Are, you See, you become Zen, just by being there. Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4 & 5, Exploring rural Bali 
- Waterfalls & ricefields adventure. Earth with unspoiled nature of rural Bali.
- Local Traditional Market 
- Canang/ Traditional Balinese Offering Making
- Cleansing and Purification Ceremony - You will experience a real Balinese cleansing and purification ceremony at our local “holy spring” accompanied by a local priest. You will recieve pure energy from the spring to cleanse your body and mind. Participants must be dresssed appropriately.
- a journey to one of Sudaji’s most powerful temples to give thanks and gratitude
- Spiritual (Fire) Ceremony
- visit a local school
- Spiritual Dinner: This dinner is a teaching… in order to maximize learning experience exact details are kept secret. This dinner will nourish much more than your body. It is a spiritual journey of awareness.

Day 6, Beach time! After breakfast transfer to Hotel Segara Agung, Sanur. Check-in from 2 PM.

Day 7, Closure at the Beach - Sunrise Meeting to share experiences and maybe a dip in the ocean. 
Photo walk. Breakfast. End of our journey together: noon.

$1950 incl. breakfast, lunch, dinner 
day 2-6, all group transfers & trips

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Of all the places I have visited in the last 15 years, Bali is undoubtedly the best. It has everything: sincerity, simplicity, purity, humility and peacefulness. 

Even outwardly it is so beautiful. You can see how beautiful the little cottages and villages are. They have such simplicity!

Bali had maintained most of its pristine purity. You don’t even have to meditate here; nature will meditate on your behalf. Early in the morning if you walk around the villages, their divine qualities will enter into you and you will become a different person. Here in Bali, nature itself will accelerate your inner progress!

Sri Chinmoy - ‘Heaven On Earth’ 

Travel details & bookings
The group will be 8 to 10 people max. As this is a popular retreat destination we may sell out quickly. If that is the case we will publish more dates asap. Please email us to register you interest: e-mail Melanie or e-mail Antonetta.

Your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months after your return flight from Bali. We recommend you to book your flights only after we confirm your booking. We recommend you fly in a day (or two) early so you can adjust to the hot and humid climate.

We’ll share twin and double rooms, if you are booking as a single person please consider sharing a room. It depends on the hotel what the extra costs will be for single occupancy.

$1950,- per person

$500,- deposit due immediately after booking (no refunds)
$1450,- to be paid no later then 1 September 2015.

Paypal: info @ mery(.)nl 

Nederland: you can also pay via NL41ABNA0607286849 t.a.v. Artstudio23 
BIC/Swift code: ABNANL2A

By booking this retreat you support the local community of Sudaji and the children of rural Bali. We e.g. will donate English books to the school libraries and the public library of Omunity. 

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Ubud 1-3 October (2 nights). Arrival and welcome at Ugung Raka 2-4 PM, a wonderful resort with rice fields on our doorstep. Ubud once was the highlight of cultural Bali, so next to the wonderful garden and pool of the hotel there’s plenty  for you to do.

Sudaji, rural Bali 3-6 October (3 nights). Omunity Bali, founded in 2010 by ZANZAN. This is a special place in the middle of lovely Balinese villages. It’s not like any other resort, e.g. they are concerned with providing a future for their children, in a world without plastic, dangerous chemicals and fertilisers. Returning to basics – what the anchestors understood and practised. Omunity seeks to educate and inform both locals and visitors. To bridge the gap between environmental concerns and human interests through practical education and sustainable Sudaji community involvement. The concept for Omunity Bali is living with and amongst the community and local people of Sudaji. 

Sanur, Hotel Segara Agung 6-7 October (1 night). Closure of our journey with 
walks and talks, mostly at the beach. End of our journey: 7 October noon.

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Antonetta is: An Author, Life Coach/Mentor, Public Speaker and Angelic Reiki Practitioner. Additionally she also graduated at the Academy of Wealth & Achievement as Master Results Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, NLP Trainer, Hypnotherapist and Performance Consultant. Antonetta continues to enter un-chartered waters from practicing energy medicine to getting her messages across the global showing her appeal is universal and her inspiration has no boundaries.

London, UK. Feel free to contact her via e-mail

Melanie is: ZIENer. Photographer. Mother & Wife. Teacher of Miksang Contemplative Photography. Inspirator & Storyteller. Living in the Netherlands, traveling all over the world to spread  PURE vision. Photo Therapy Coach. Zien means ‘to see’ in Dutch. ‘Ziener’ also means prophet. #ikzieikzie 

Breda, the Netherlands. Feel free to contact her via e-mail 

ZANZAN is: our Balinese spiritual guide and founder of Omunity (day 3-6). A highly experienced Yoga instructor (traditional Maha Patanjali). He loves to share his knowledge. Father of three, married to Putu Shelly. You can ask him anything!

Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih - Bali, Indonesia www.omunitybali.com 
Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

You can also follow our event on Facebook.

zondag 5 januari 2014

I am now a Photographer at A Beautiful Body Project

YES, I am now a photographer of the Beautiful Body Project by Jade Beall.

#ikzieikzie (wat jij niet ziet) - Let's Celebrate Life! Contemplative Photography from the ♥

Looking at life, I SEE. I SEE you. And YOU are so worth it.

When I first saw Jade's photos, I immediately had to think of my PURE. Proud young mothers series 2006-2009 - nude portraits of teenmothers 16-22 years old, posing pregnant or with child, 100% Photoshop free.

Since my days as a student at the Academy of Arts ('96, St. Joost, Breda) I've been taking photos showing the beauty of the female body. Je suis belle, ô mortels! comme un rève de pierre - taken from Charles Baudelaire's poem La Beauté from the book Fleurs du Mal, is my guideline ever since.

I am beautiful, oh mortals! like a dream carved in stone

Jade is a beautiful and PURE mother, and she made the headlines with her photos showing PURE beauty. I am proud to be a Beautiful Body Photographer and share all beauty with the world. Melanie Rijkers at A Beautiful Body Project

donderdag 31 oktober 2013

Vivian Maier


"I acquired Vivian's negatives while at a furniture and antique auction while researching a history book I was co-authoring on Chicago's NW Side. From what I know, the auction house acquired her belongings from her storage locker that was sold off due to delinquent payments. I didn't know what 'street photography' was when I purchased them.

It took me days to look through all of her work. It inspired me to pick up photography myself. Little by little, as I progressed as a photographer, I would revisit Vivian's negatives and I would "see" more in her work. I bought her same camera and took to the same streets soon to realize how difficult it was to make images of her caliber. I discovered the eye she had for photography through my own practice. Needless to say, I am attached to her work.

After some researching, I have only little information about Vivian. Central Camera (110 yr old camera shop in Chicago) has encountered Vivian from time to time when she would purchase film while out on the Chicago streets. From what they knew of her, they say she was a very "keep your distance from me" type of person but was also outspoken. She loved foreign films and didn't care much for American films.

Some of her photos have pictures of children and often times it was near a beach. I later found out she was a nanny for a family on the North Side whose children these most likely were. One of her obituaries states that she lived in Oak Park, a close Chicago suburb, but I later found that she lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Out of the more than 100,000 negatives I have in the collection, about 20-30,000 negatives were still in rolls, undeveloped from the 1960's-1970's. I have been successfully developing these rolls. I must say, it's very exciting for me.
I found her name written with pencil on a photo-lab envelope. I decided to 'Google' her about a year after I purchased these only to find her obituary placed the day before my search. She passed only a couple of days before that inquiry on her.

I wanted to meet her in person well before I found her obituary but, the auction house had stated she was ill, so I didn't want to bother her. So many questions would have been answered if I had." - 
John Maloof

Wow... how can you do that, take 25,000 photos and not develope them... in this days of age we're able to immediately see what the photo looks likt, as it appears on the lcd screen of the camera... how exiting this must have been for Mr. Maloof. 25,000 Undeveloped negatives... wish I has been there to see it all with my own eyes.
Am a sucker for old photos...just love 'em!

Vivian Maier - New York

zaterdag 26 oktober 2013

Sarhea has lyme...

Young mother Sarhea's photos have been entered for the P/f Dutch photography portfolio award. Lyme disease kills! We must tell the world about this awful disease, spread the word (and photos too).

Seeing the smiley faces of my kids next to my bed was the highlight of the day
#wemustfindacure - Yolanda Foster. She was recently interviewed by the Dutch tv about her Lyme disease situation, which was very similar to Saar's. Saar has EDS-syndrome as well, so we don't know if she's ever able to walk again (like Yolanda)...

Under Our Skin | The Hidden Story of Lyme Disease

Under Our Skin | The Hidden Story of Lyme Disease

woensdag 9 oktober 2013

Search for photos from the heart

Which 'Kodak Moment' gave you the ULTIMATE feeling of HAPPINESS when you took it? Was it that tropical sunset or the tiny face of your newborn baby, or? I'd like to see that photo, and share it as well.  It's not about the best or most beautiful photo, it's about the ultimate feeling of happiness you've experienced when you took that photo. A true photo from the heart. ♥

When you don't like to upload via Facebook: info@mery.nl ONE photo per person. Thank you!

Photos from my heart: to capture Saar's happiness

dinsdag 8 oktober 2013

Dear Lissy,

this week I was told that you are suffering from a defect of the thyroid gland, next to your allergies and asthma... dear sunshine, we love you so much and we feel very sorry for you ♥

you had to go through a big series of tests in the hospital, but were a true hero ♥

With her mother Saar it's getting worse.

Her peg sonde had to be removed due to a severe infection. She's in more pain than ever before and has lost more weight, now to a critical level.

I am so glad that I could take these precious pictures of her and her family on vacation - I'd love to come again soon! But what a shame, all money's gone... no more funds to pay for my train ticket... And I don't get paid leave, so we will have to ask you to HELP us to get to Sarhea and her family.

Next to sharing her illness, she's also sharing her happiness, and by doing so she inspires many. You can send money to IBAN: NL41ABNA0607286849 en de BIC: ABNANL2A
or use info@mery.nl for Paypal)

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present.'

donderdag 22 augustus 2013

How to take a #selfie

"Check out my transformation! It took me 15 minutes. Wanna know my secret? Well firstly I ditched the phonewallet (fwallet) cause that shit is lame, swapped my bather bottoms to black (cause they're a size bigger & black is slimming),

Smothered on some fake tan, clipped in my hair extensions, stood up a bit taller, sucked in my guts, popped my hip- threw in a skinny arm, stood a bit wider #boxgap, pulled my shoulders back and added a bit of a cheeky/Im so proud of my results smile.

Zoomed in on the before pic- zoomed out on the after & added a filter. Cause filters make everything awesome.

What's my point? Don't be deceived by what you see in magazines & on Instagram.. You never see the dozens of other pics they took that wernt as flattering. Photoshop can make a pig look hotter then Beyonce."

So says MelVFitness' Hidden truths behind a transformation pic.

dinsdag 20 augustus 2013

zondag 18 augustus 2013

Cranky Old Man

Via Facebook I read a poem 'Cranky Old Man' and wanted to share it.
Looking for the original poem, I stumbled upon the following:

Message circulating via social media and email claims that a touching poem about growing old called "Cranky Old Man" was found in the possessions of an old man who died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town.

This is an Australian version of several older stories that have circulated in the United States and the UK for many years. The stories attached to this version of the poem are fictional. The scenario described in the message did not happen and the poem was not found in the belongings of an old man in a nursing home as claimed. The poem itself has a long and somewhat obscure history. The original version featured an old woman rather than an old man and is sometimes attributed to English nurse Phyllis McCormack who reportedly penned it in the 1960's. The "old man" version of the poem was apparently adapted from the original by David L. Griffith of Texas and can be seen in its original context on the poet's website.

What a great poem still! And so very suitable to publish on SPIRITUS. "The poem may actually have been written by Phyllis McCormack in 1966, who at the time was working as a nurse in a Scottish hospital."
It's about to SEE another human being. To SEE is all it takes.
Well, being a ZIENer (zien is to see in Dutch), I couldn't agree more!

Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, nurses what do you see

Are you thinking when you are looking at me

A crabbit old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes,

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply

When you say in a loud voice --I do wish you'd try

Who seems not to notice the things that you do

And for ever is losing a stocking or shoe,

Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill

Is that what you are thinking, is that what you see,

Then open your eyes, nurses, you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,

As I used at your bidding, as I eat at your will,

I am a small child of ten with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters who love one another,

A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet

Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet;

A bride at 20 -- my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep

At 25 now I have young of my own

Who need me to build a secure, happy home;

A women of 30 my young now grow fast,

Bound to each other with ties that should last,

At 40 my young sons have grown and are gone;

But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;

At 50, once more babies play around my knee.

Again we know children, my loved one me

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,

I look at the future, I shudder with dread,

For my young are all rearing young of their own

And I think of the years and the love that I've known.

I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel

'tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,

There is now a stone where once was a heart

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells

And now and again my battered heart swells

I remember the joys I remember the pain,

And I'm loving and living life over again.

I think of the years all too few - gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses open and see

Not a crabbit old women look closer - see me.

My grandmother and me - 19 October 1997, nursinghome - telling her Hans and I got married

Yes my sweet grandmother, I SEE you. I see you, hear you, am you. ♥ Everdina Driessen-van Bon, RIP. (she died not long after this photo)

woensdag 14 augustus 2013

Mood boards for wedding photography ...or better not?

....It’s incredible how Pinterest has taken the wedding industry by storm. My husband and I have always been, and still are, big supporters of Pinterest. It has been such an incredible tool for our business and has helped so many brides find our work. It can be a great place for brides to gather wedding ideas, color schemes, flowers they love, etc. It wasn’t until recently though, have we started seeing the negative affects of Pinterest on wedding photography.

Pinterest can discourage the creative process, as states above photographers via Petapixel.

we can and are able to (re) create all #pinterest wedding images, as long as clients pay us for it... and THERE'S the problem... like the bride on the bed mentioned in the article. That's a completely styled moment, like an ad, with no real documentary moment in it, but a well thought concept.
When I make quotes for weddings like this, my clients are shocked. But they do bring in a mood board and yes, then the budget is like those for a commercial shoot in an advertising campaign: multiple the quote of a documentary wedding... 
www.Artstudio23.com is willing to shoot any wedding, anywhere in the world, € 1500,- per day + travel expenses. Also if you are really looking for something different, out of the box images. Or perhaps a Trash The Dress shoot afterwards? Been there, done that, multiple times.
We are flexible, out going photographers who are experienced and we will guarantee perfect wedding album photogrpahy. Based in the Netherlands, but we are working world wide.

zondag 11 augustus 2013

HALF - redhead portraits by MeRy

HALF - e-book € 4,99 - 42 pages of redhead portraits
The Dutch redhead gathering days are coming again soon!
Finally I've finished my e-book with the portraits I took last year. We love ginger!

dinsdag 30 juli 2013

Dutch Art for sale

Kinderdijk - windmills of the Netherlands
Art for sale via WerkAanDeMuur.nl

Kinderdijk, the Netherlands - Dutch mills captured on Impossible instant PZ film (previous Polaroid) - one of a kind photograph in black & white sepia tone. Typical Holland, artistic view of fine art photographer Melanie Rijkers of Artstudio23.com from Breda. Backlight. Clouds. Landscape. Water. Windmill. Creative. Image. Dutch heritage.

vrijdag 26 juli 2013

Ansel Adams

Moonrise, Hernandez - Ansel Adams

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico is a photograph by Ansel Adams, taken late in the afternoon on November 1, 1941, from a shoulder of U.S. Route 84. The photograph became so popular and collectible that Adams personally made over 1,300 photographic prints of it during his long career.

On October 17, 2006, Sotheby's auctioned a print of this photograph for $609,600
Art historian H. W. Janson called this photo "a perfect marriage of straight and pure photography".(Wikipedia)

dinsdag 25 juni 2013

Redhead days 2007 - 2012

BREDA - I'd love to see these letters as big art in my city... 

As you probably already know, I am a huge fan of natural redheads. They are so beautiful! In 2007 I got contaminated with the Ginger virus by Bart Rouwenhorst's first redhead day in Breda.

Tineke, 2007 - Red-On-Red
Early 2007 I made a series of commercial photos to help Bart to promote the redhead day later that year. Next to the photo of him lying down covered with the hair of 11 gordeous redheads, I did a first try out with the Red-On-Red concept. I was stunned by the results, it really works great!

1 September 2007 I was able to take over a 100 portraits during the event. I had no idea that I'd get so much reactions to my work, like: "you can't wear red as a redhead" but also: "because of your photo from now on I'll be proud of my red hair"...

I've retouched the 2007 images and made this new Red-On-Red (e)-book in 2012.

I chose Red-On-Red as it's an abundance of the most beautiful colour in the world: red. Drs. Tim Wentel even mentioned my series in his lectures during the redhead days of 2012! Stating that in this way "the red comes out best" ... Yes, he really said it, and illustrated his words with my photos. At the exact same moment I was taking portraits off-festival, in the Huis of Beelcultuur in the Reigerstraat. I created 'Half' and, by request: new Red-On-Red portraits!

It was really cool to create new portraits of the (same) redheads, amazing they keep getting back to have their picture taken, by me! I love you all!!

In 2008 more photographers were asked to come and shoot TFP. Lucky for us we had a spot inside, as the weather was very bad.

My partner Hans and I created 'Medusa', portraits of natural redheads with long hair, laying down, so we could transform the hair into shapes, art.

The 2007 Red-On-Red photos couldn't be part of the art exhibition in the Grote Kerk though, so we printed some and showed these at the temporary studio that day.

In 2009 we were too busy with our own event, Trash The Dress, "99+ Brides running into the sea", so we had to skip the redhead days.

Medusa - redhead days Breda, 2008

Red hair unites. Next to individual portraits Hans also made group photos of friends and/or family members.

In the end of 2009 I made infraRED, a series of Black&White portraits of redheads. A lot of models returned to our studio and were quite happy not the be in the crowd, waiting, but were able to come in by appointment and pose in a very relaxed way.

InfraRED has two front covers and no real back. Halfway through the book you'll have to flip it, as the B&W pics stop and the original colour photos begin, but these are upside down. All models are in the book twice, once in B&W, once in colour. I used the infrared technique to get 'under' their skin, so does infrared light really make wreckles dissapear? Another question was 'Is it obvious the models are redheads when you look at the B&W photos?"

I had a fab time, meeting a lot of my earlier models again, also the book infraRED is the biggest size book I ever made with redhead portraits.

Photobook 'infraRED' -  model: Roelie
Roelie in 2007 (left) and 2009 (top). Roelie has two sisters and a brother, who finally was able to pose for me in 2011.

After having discoverd my old Polaroid camera again, I wanted to experiment  with instant film (old and new Polaroid/Impossible Project film), with slidefilm cross process developed, and with my D700 Nikon camera. Which technique will show off the red colour of the hair best?

Fair is fair: digitaal wins, on all counts. Polaroid pics aren't bright at all, they lack colour and the once so very special 'bright coloured' cross processed analog film, well... it wasn't so special anymore. It just didn't do the trick.

Red Twins Anne and Malou - Redhead Days 2011 - bREDa
And how lucky I was to get the redhead twin Anne & Malou finally to pose for me, and they are so right being on the cover of my 2011 photobook 'Red'. By their duo photos I was inspired to create 'Half', portraits of half redheads chopped in 'half', with their front & back in one photo.

Five years after my first redhead day, it's done, and I am ready to stop my search for special redhead portraits ...But like Sean Connery says, I might as well 'Never Say Never' ;)

Roelie, 2012

There's one more thing, when being in Amsterdam in 2010 I again noticed the letters iAmsterdam. Tourists just love to pose with them. So ever since I figured: we need sort of same spot in my city too. Being the host of such a great event, 3500+ redheads who promote the city...don't you just want them all to pose with BREDA???

iAmsterdam - Polaroid, Feb. 2010