Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Ink Flow

I've had a tennisarm for quite a while and it's driving me crazy. Yup, that's one of the reasons why I didn't post something new. Although it's getting better everyday I still can't use it well for painting and drawing like I want to. I have a pile of work waiting for me with a deadline so it's hard sometimes not to get too frustrated. To take my mind of this project waiting for me to continue (and finish in time!) I had to do something to keep me busy.

A friend of mine advised me to take my new ink and my dipping pen and start making quick sketches. No time wasting on observing every little detail, making numerous studies before I really started... no, nothing of that this time. Just sit and sketch with pen and ink.

The first drawing wasn't free at all. I did a sketch first and traced the pencil lines with the dipping pen. The result was nice but not much more than that:

Pyrola rotundifolia (Round-Leaved Wintergreen)

The drawings after this one were much better. Now I must say that I have done this in the past but had totally lost it over the last ten years or so. It's such a relief to let myself go again and not to worry about the mistakes. I HAVE to accept that mistakes will happen and that I can't undo them. I always enjoy much more the sketchbooks and the direct sketches and studies of other artists than their "finished" work. It sounds silly but it never occurred to me that my own sketches might have that same kind of charm.

So for these drawings, I'll show you three here, I made the drawing with my dipping pen (a Speedball pen with Hunt nib 22, extra fine) and three kinds of ink: J. Herbin 'Cacao du Brésil' and 'Vert Olive' and Winsor & Newton Matt Black Calligraphy Ink. Also did wet-in-wet washes with those inks for shape and depth.

Rose hip

Dried Beech leaves in winter

Iris siberica seedpods
Winter subjects with dried old dead stuff is perfect for doing these sketches. So for this the timing is good. Although I really rather have my good arm back and draw for the next exhibition...

Sunday, 23 November 2014

I like big bulbs and I can not lie

Next year the society of Dutch botanical artists will get the opportunity to show their work in the Shirley Sherwood gallery in Kew Gardens, London. The mission is to show lots of paintings and drawings of bulb flowers. Naturally it will have the tulips. I guess there is no avoiding those. But I definitely didn't want to portrait tulips, Narcissus, crocuses or hyacinths. There are so many flowering bulbs worth looking at and many much more appealing than the regular narcissus and tulip. So I picked two of my favourite bulbs. Large and gorgeous. First Fritillaria persica:

I did it in coloured pencil and I love how this flower moves like a dancer, swaying her hips.

The second one is Galtonia viridiflora. Not a very common bulb but I have had them in my garden for years and just love the green/cream coloured elegant bells. This one I started in watercolour but half way decided it would look better in coloured pencil.

Hope they both will be admitted for the exhibition in London and that many of you will be able to visit the exhibition. Of course I'll post the announcement of the opening and exact dates here and on Facebook. Until then I'll get started with my next (fun) project. More about that in future posts too ;)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Zantedeschia 'Schwarzwalder', that's her name. I'm sure it's a she. All those delicious curves. And I think that her name doesn't suit her at all. Far too butch for how she looks. So let's just go for Calla. That's what everyone calls her anyway.

I made Calla for the 30 day challenge on Facebook. You can read more about it in a previous post. Because many people are very partial to "black" plants and flowers I decided to post this one here too. I did it this evening using watercolour and coloured pencils. Black colours are wonderful to mix and to paint with. So deep and rich.... hmmmm....

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Kunstformen der Natur 2014

Yesterday was the opening of the exhibition "Kunstformen der Natur 2014". Ria Penthum, Martin Horneman, Ron Offermans and myself show our work inspired by the beauties and wonders we can all find in nature. Ten of my works are in this exhibit and most of them are for sale. Besides us are also some pages shown from the book "Kunstformen der Natur" by Ernst Haeckel, the inspiration of the show. The exhibition can be visited until the 15th of November at Atelier Horneman in Groningen.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Arum italicum - finished

So, as promised, here's the finished Arum italicum in coloured pencil. Always a bit of a challenge to scan the reds but this time my scanner did fairly well. I'll send it soon to my friend in England. Hope it will bring a smile to her face :)

Monday, 8 September 2014

30 Day Challenge

Meanwhile..... I'm working on several projects. Besides the Arum (which still isn't finished) I've also decided to take up the 30 day challenge again. For those of you who are not on Facebook and are not a member of the best group on it (Botanical Artists), the 30 Day Challenge is somewhat of a tradition now. Every year in September the members of this group are invited to join the challenge to paint or draw a botanical subject for 30 days. So every day one finished thingy.
Now because I had to work very hard on yet another project I missed a few days already. Going to catch up in the next few days though. For now I've done 5. Here they are.

Rosa rugosa hip

Rosa glauca hips

Rosa moyesii hip

Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'

Amanita muscaria
More of the challenge soon. And for everyone who is not yet a member of the Facebook group (WHY NOT????) here's the link: Botanical Artists. Just request membership. ;)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Arum italicum - WIP

One of my dear friends had an accident some time ago and still is in a bad shape. She feels depressed about it all. She lives in England so I can't go and visit her or help her out but I decided to make her a drawing. Something to look at and to know people think about her and care. My drawings are all a small part of me and giving it to someone is the most personal gift possible. I think all artists will agree with me on that.

I have now lots of seedheads of Arum italicum in my garden. They start with green, shiny berries which start (at the top) to turn into bright orange ones. From a distance they look like orange gnome hats in the shadow under the trees. The common name of this plant is Lords-and-Ladies. A really wonderful name, like so many other English plant names.
They make me happy. I really don't like orange flowers and am not crazy about orange berries either but somehow these bright drumsticks make me smile. Perhaps it is that gnome-thing or maybe it's the memory of the sweet Flower Fairies paintings by Cicely M. Barker.

They just have something magical about them. So I picked a few from the garden and started to draw. It's not finished yet. I'm currently working on another big project as well so this takes a bit longer. My son told me I should do it in coloured pencil because it has been too long since I did a coloured pencil drawing. Who am I to disobey. Here's what I did so far. I'll post the finished one soon.