mediterráneo, tema: patera

My friend Clem Sluijsmans is rebellious, hussy, energetic, handy, generous, and immensely creative. I met her 9 years ago at a web design course and still can remember this inquisitive petit lady exploring her surroundings with her shiny eyes.

Divorced, mother of three and grandmother of two, Clem began painting professionally in her late forties, and once she started there was not turning back. Art became her only tool of survival. Jumping in the ocean with no lifejacket,  she organized controversial performances about the role of women in society and participated in several exhibitions and art encounters.

Many of her mixed media paintings relate to the subject “home“. When you live in a foreign country the sense of belonging disappears and your house, your soul, can be easily invaded. Sluijsmans moved from Holland to Valencia, Spain, after a love crush in Ibiza back in the seventies. Her background and modern ideas clashed with a society still marked by the catholic religion and the Franco regimen.

In the peak of the current financial crisis Clem moved back to her home country for new beginnings and second opportunities. Soon after she managed to find a job at Wageningen university while still involved in her creative projects. Last year she moved to an anti squatting building in the city centre with access to water, electricity and central heating. She is not allowed to paint on the walls or cook on a gas stove, but I’m sure her naughtiness will show up one way or another. “Life is what you experience”.


‘wanneer ben ik je verloren?’ serie: zelfportret


Deel 1 serie: zelfportret


Clem Sluijsmans


The cold and Suzan Visser

suzan visserAn endless summer could be compared to an extended flue, a sticky feeling impossible to fight. By mid October you start longing for an excuse for a hot cup of tea, a two layer scarf around your neck and a creamy soup for dinner. I was feeling sad for the old man selling roasted chestnuts in the square praying for temperatures to drop.

Finally autumn is among us. I’m glad Olivia is able to experience the change of season and how the weather determine the rhythm of nature and tradition. She’s already excited about the big puddles in the park and loves figuring out how to hold a crochet needle.

These wintery images belong to the illustrator Suzan Visser, her tiny birds couldn’t express any better the feeling of what the cold weather is all about. Have you heard of Suzan Visser before? I found one of her postcards Fast Essenszeit for first time at an art and craft shop in Dusseldorf. Soon I realized that her work is everywhere on the net, especially on Pinterest. If you love hippos or owls, then you will go crazy pinning her surrealist illustrations.

suzan visser

suzan visser

Images by Suzan Visser

I kinda know Nadia


Hi everyone, welcome to “People I know”, a new section of Island Diaries in which people I kinda know answer to 10 random questions letting their feelings and thoughts flow free. 

Without further ado, I am thrilled to introduce you to Nadia. 

Who is Nadia? She is funny with a pinch of irony, she is the friend that owns the “wise advise” book, a voracious reader, a food lover with a sweet tooth, a hilarious story teller… Originally from Barcelona, she currently lives with her Russian husband Alexandre on the island of Tasmania. Tasmania? Yes, you heard right, but that’s another story…

Last thoughts when you are about to fall asleep… If nothing is bothering me at the moment, I let my mind to roam into fantastic situations, I guess anticipating formidable dreams..

A word you would remove from the dictionary… Unfairness.

What would you never travel without? Money. I like comfort and a reasonable amount of luxury. I find that formidable dreams are better produced in sumptuous beds 🙂

A book you would recommend for a morning commute… Hmm.. for a morning commute the best is short funny stories. That way you don’t lose track of the plot and it sets your mood for the day. Though I haven’t read it yet, I’d go for something like “Not that kind of girl”, by Lena Dunham

Your perfect breakfast ( including location)… A latte and some sweet pastry. In Hobart, a fave of mine is Daci & Daci (11 Murray Street)

3 things that make you happy: Losing weight without apparent effort.. oh wait, you mean in the real world.. ok, then: Catching up with friends, lazing around at home with my boys and that precise moment when I hit the “buy ticket” button for my next trip to Spain every year

How many seasons should have a good tv series? To me, the ideal is between three and five. And don’t ask me why, it was an arbitrary answer 😛

A blog you follow… Yours, of course, and “A cup of Jo”

If you were a superhero, who would you be? Well, the superpower I always secretly coveted is to be invisible. But a superhero is someone who fights for peace and justice, and honestly, I just want to be able to spy on people, hahaha. So I guess, I’d be more of a super-villain

Intense red or light pink lipstick? Hello? Have you seen my profile picture? Go, intense red!!!


One of the many streets of Barcelona, Nadia’s beloved city. She picked this photo for its tenderness and imperfection.

Photo by Nadia