So far , the gallery of this website has not shown much of the sketches, drawings and other graphic work by Goedhart. However, much of it has been preserved and is definitely worth checking out. Sketches can lead you, as a spectator, as close to an artist as you can get. You can see what attracts his attention and you ‘ll see the first lines and scraps with which he tries to capture his first impressions in images. A sketch is often used to make a further elaborate painting of a particular subject. However, artists also make sketches for their own pleasure and to be busy with their art. In this respect painters are not very different from, for example musicians, who may have to study for hours to develop their skills but in the same time also to experience the pleasure of making music.
Usually by the looks of a sketch you can tell why or when it was made. It is clear that some of Goedhart’s sketches have been made during the stay at the academy. He still belongs to the generation of artists who are supposed to work according to the tradition in which shapes, light and shadows are the main elements. Examples include the naked study (004), the horse on stables (279) and the old horse drawn in pencil (383). Also the etchings he made of city scapes are a true representation of reality as shown by an etch of the Schreierstoren in Amsterdam (469).
Sometimes, Goedhart would make his sketches and drawings with pen and ink, and although this gives them a looser appearance, the result is traditional in nature, such as the standing nudity (286) and a portrait of a young woman (338). An exception is a look in a ‘café dansant’ in which Goedhart focuses more on displaying the atmosphere and less of the details of people and the interior (278). All these works arise during, roughly, between 1915 and 1921, the year in which he completes his studies at the academy.
After he left the academy, Goedhart will be given the opportunity to dedicate himself to other subjects, with his interest mainly in ships and water. For a magazine of the Dutch Royal Navy, he makes a series of ship portraits (050) in pencil. Often he is working on the banks of the IJ in Amsterdam where he made a nice sketch around 1930 of the ss ‘Phrontis’ with her typical blue funnel (101). During this time there are more assignments, including for portraits for which he prefers black and red chalk (166). He is also regularly working abroad, especially to draw landscapes, which he further elaborates on in oil painting. An exampel is a drawing in pen and ink which is made around Tübingen (306). The effects of light and shadows he wants to see in the painting are displayed accurately with short pencillines.
From the beginning of the fifties, the maritime element is becoming increasingly emphatic in Goedhart’s oeuvre. In 1951 he could travel on a ship from the Dutch Royal Navy. Consequently, contacts between maritime artists and the Naval Guidance, which resulted in the establishment of the Dutch Association of Sea Painters in 1953. From time tot time artists are invited to work on board for some time. Goedhart made a lot of sketches on these trips. He used to work with the traditional materials, but now he has an eye on modern means like the so-called flowmaster, a type of inkholding pencil, and he would like to use different types of felt pencils. More than ever, he sketches on board with colored pencil which he later elaborates on in oil painting.
The voyages with the Navy bring Goedhart and other artists to different ports on the North Sea. One of the tasks of the Dutch Royal Navy in this area is to carry out the Fisheries Inspection; Two sketches show the type of vessels that are being checked on these trips. Other trips are made to the Mediterranean area in the context of exercises. These trips include various seascapes in color pencil and a drawing of an old ship in the port of Piraeus. The other sketches give a good idea of working with the felt stick and flowmaster. Both can be used well in bad weather on deck but are also handy for capturing images in smaller spaces.
Finally: certainly picturesque is a drawing, made in a hurry with a ballpoint of the arrival of a passenger ship. With different shadings Goedhart gives an good impression of the light and darkness in the sky and the ship’s light smoke against the dark sky. Striking is the accuracy with which this kind of drawings are made with limited means and in just a few minutes.
Aad Knops, sept 2017-