Friday, 6 September 2013
Me in Tresoar
Next Sunday will be the opening of a very special little exhibition in Tresoar, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Title of the exhibition is "Bloemenboek" (or "Blommeboek" in Frisian). It's all about the Florilegium painted by Franciscus de Geest in the 17th century in Leeuwarden. The book is all hand painted, never reproduced and very special. Normally it's being kept in Rome in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale but until the end of this year it is home again in Leeuwarden. Several months ago I was asked to participate in this event and I was so intrigued by the story behind the book and the time in which it was painted that I naturally offered my cooperation. Tresoar is the historical and literary centre of Friesland (a province in the North of the Netherlands). I had been there before with my mother to search for information about our ancestors (the archives are huge!).
This Spring the man behind this exhibition, Haye Bijlstra, came to my studio to make a short video of how I paint a botanical illustration. We went to Buitenpost where there is the Frisian Botanical Garden 'De Kruidhof'. For the film I chose to paint an apple blossom. Haye filmed me for four days while I painted. Of course it took at least 10 days more to finish it but it gives a nice idea of the process.
After the exhibition I'll post the film on my website but I can already show you the result of the painting. Of course the painting is in the exhibition too along with two other paintings done by yours truly. So, for now, here's the blossom of Malus domestica 'Reinette de Blenheim'.