Spent the day painting sweet peas in my sister's cupboard.
Lovely job, and tuened out nice, luckily.
What is it with the work of the Japanese artist Miroco Machiko (1981)?
It seems willingly 'clumsy', the shapes dictated -and hampered- by the size of the paper.
Almost as if she wants us to think it was drawn by a child, and I don't like that, it would seem like a mannerism, a trick.
But at the same time I am attracted to it, not (just) for its charming naïveté, but also the rich colours and yes, the composition.
The work is less random than it appears at first glance.
Who doesn't know the illustrations by Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)?
Very sweet and cute, these tiny animals, but even so: they are very real animals, even in a dress or reading the paper! Potter studied her subjects extensively, as the studies top left show.
And except children's books she also did some very fine botanical drawings.
Maybe more about that in a later blog someday.
I picked some sloe and a branch of small wild apples this morning during my morning walk to Blaucapel on the edge of town. Autumn lies just around the corner, it seems..
These days I am reading Esther Freud's latest book: Mr Mac and Me.
The Mr Mac in the title is the Scottish architect and artist Charles Rennie Macintosh (1868-1928).
The story is set about the time Macintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald have moved from Glasgow, disappointed with architecture as so few of his designs were actually built.
They settle in the Suffolk village of Walberswick.
Here Macintosh draws his beautiful plant portraits in pencil and watercolour.
Many of these are signed with the initials of both himself and Margaret, but if they actually worked together on them I don't know.
One of the first artist I became aware of, wondering 'how on earth he did that ', was the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Colourful, stylish, not too sweet because of his preference for the rougher edges of society, easy to love maybe.
But don't be fooled by the over-familiarity of his work, it is so good, and so diverse it is more than worth a closer look!
He not only painted a slightly malevolent portrait of the society of the 'belle époque', but also warm portraits of everyday women at work.
I wrote about the Dutch painter George Breitner (1857-1923) before, about his girls in kimono.
Breitner was born in Rotterdam, and briefly worked in an office there, because his father (typically) didn't believe in life as an artist.
When his father finally came round, Breitner followed lessons in The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Paris. He seems to have been a difficult student, in The Hague he was sent off for brusque behaviour.
But the man could paint! In Amsterdam he painted everyday, and so modern, life with demolition and construction and busy streets.
I don't know how many baby T-shirts I must have printed by now. They are a sought-after gift in this nabourhood for sure.
Often I print the baby's name on the sleeve or back. (For this I use stamps that are by now threadbare, and I can no longer find them anywhere, so tips are welcome!)
How I love the work of the British artist Mary Fedden (1915-2012)!
I like her colours, and I love the way she tilts tables and other planes slightly, so you can see what's on them better, and I love her simplified forms.
Simplified, but not willingly ignorant or clumsy, like seems to be the case with some artists and illustrators nowadays.
No, Fedden's work is just right!