Yesterday I was invited by Jacq to visit his layout at a model trains show in Helmond, Holland. living in Amsterdam that means two hours in the train (the real one) but I had already seen the photos of the layout in the gallery so I was very curious. I know Jacq from this forum and had never met him personally before.
When I arrived at the exhibition I looked for a couple of seconds to all the present layouts around the entrance but was too focused in seeing that marvellous work we all know from the pictures. The layout is thousand times more astonishing than what all the pictures can tell. It is amazing how a profound harmony relates each square inch of the model to the whole, and it is amazing the amount of of unexpected things one find in it, doesn't matter what part of the layout one is looking at. Just to mention: a tiny church of about two inches by two inches with the doors open so one can see an image of María. (Jacq explained that the four candles made from fiber-optics weren't working since some time because it is very difficult to reach the building for reparation). The model itself is so impressive that one can't avoid forgetting the world when looking at it.
One of many things I've learnt is how effective is the use of a dark green backdrop instead of a "sky"one: it gives the landscape a sense of infinite depth that doesn't remind that it is just 2 feet . There is no one detail falling out. Every single piece is related to the whole: a vibrating presence of (model) nature. The subtle feeling for every single aspect of modelling is really astonishing and one can't avoid learning a lot. Really a lot.
But there was another astonishing aspect: Jacq the man. I was surprised to meet a profound developed man, really a gentleman in the good sense of the words. He took all the time to answer every single question, to explain his methods and ideas showing a real interest in sharing. It was a great pleasure to listen, to ask and to tell.
I took the train back to Amsterdam and once in my seat I started making notes and sketches of the ideas Jacq and his layout has inspired me. A lot. So I must post this from my heart.
Thank you Jacq: you are a great modeller and a great man. It was a privilege to meet you.
Very nice sentiments.
Sounds like you had a very nice time, and it was well worth the trip ;). I envy you the opportunity.
Helmond, Holland? I don't know this trains show, but it's not so far from my home, I live in the north of France...
The next trains show in Holland : "Rail 2009" a 3 day event on 6,7 and 8 March 2009 Euretco Expo Center, Houten Near Utrecht... ;)
Indeed, it was really a great time. Now I am trying to convince Jacq to organize some clinic, workshop, group or what else that can aloud at least some of us to learn from his many skills. It was really a turning point experience.
Next step will be to convince you to visit Holland and give also some clinics. Be prepared.
Helmond is a small city near Eindhoven. The show is not as massive as Houten and, honestly, not all the modelling is at Jacq's level. But it was nice to be there. Here in Holland there are model trains shows and markets almost every week. Not little for such a tiny country. If you want I can prepare for you -with some time because my free time is not much this days- a list of all of them.
If you are coming to Holland please let me know. I would like to meet you too.
it was a honor and I enjoyed watching you while you discovered all the untold parts of the layout.
What you asked about possibilities for sharing experiences, for a large part this is already
reality through this forum. For first hand experiences, I am thinking of sharing building practices on a regular
basis in my workshop. Along the lines of open house one evening a month.
More on that later.
the layout will be on show in Orleans coming weekend. If you have plans to be there, drop in. I had in Villebon
some nice ( too short ) discussions in 2007 with Philippe Cousin and I enjoyed what I have seen from the
layout you built with him. I hope he will be there too.