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December 3, 2008
Meet the correspondents: MAASTRICHT, Netherlands > René Fijten
"My name is René Fijten, and I live in the most southern part of the Netherlands, near our beautiful city of Maastricht.
In our small part of the world abroad is always near: I live in Limburg, shop in Aachen (Germany), and work in Visé (Belgium). All within 30 km.
I am an architect; the last few years I design factories in foreign countries like Russia, Ukriane, Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany and France. Even China once. For these jobs I have to travel a lot; but unfortunately business trips tend to be over before you get to see something. Or you must consider airport waiting rooms the place to be.
To preserve what I saw, and to force myself to keep my eyes open, I started to make small sketches underway; at least one per trip. I call it my visual diary. On these trips you don't get much time to draw, so normally I make a quick sketch on location, with perm ink in Moleskine books. I add watercolour in the hotel room or at home later, but always within a few days.
The sketch is nearer to home: in front of my house on the Patersweg Hoensbroek, last monday 7.39 AM. It had just stopped raining."
• René's blog.