Friday, March 16, 2012

Marjolein Bastin's Nature Sketchbook

Hoardica is in the Netherlands this week, possibly field sketching with Marjolein Bastin. You can read this week's post about Hoardica here.
I did not have the time to create a postcard to document the event,
but instead wanted to share the back story of how I happen to know one of Holland's national treasures.

Back in my Hallmark days (another life time!),
I not only had the privelage of meeting her and having books personally signed by her, but rarer still, I was one of a handful of artists who spent three days up in Kearney, Mo (at a studio outpost),
walking, talking, sketching and seeing nature through Marjolein's eyes.
Later, back in Holland, Marjolein personally inscribed a copy of her published sketchbook (all in Dutch) to each artist who attended the workshop.
Don't know if the book was ever available in the U.S.

Each page is dated and shows 2-3 pages were filled each week as part of her 16 hour day "at work".  She not only sketched, but taped in flowers, feathers and insect wings so she had actual samples to draw from later. Her finished illustrations are highly detailed.
She also writes observations, which become design elements on each page.

While at the 3 day workshop, all of us artists were expected to keep our own sketch journals.
Wasn't difficult with such a great mentor and inspiration in our midst!

It's been 20 years (almost to the day) and my dried plants haven't crumbled away.
The Scotch tape is still sticking tight and hasn't yellowed.

I look at my pages and am reminded of the sunny days, walking through the woods and prairie, with a petite, wren-like woman who allowed a large spider to crawl on her hands (the better to observe him close up!) and stopped us all to watch the ballet of a meadow lark bending a stalk of prairie grass as he alighted to rest a minute (it became one of her more famous and most copied subjects).

I envy Hoardica.
I hope she gives my regards to Marjolein!


Linda said... this. I may even have that book... need to go look... You were soooo special and blessd to spend that time with her. I have been such a huge fan of her's for years! and.... you are so talented... you need to share your sketches more.

ooglebloops said...

Also a fan, I have Marjolein milk glass jars, and used to have a teapot- one of my favorites, 'til it burned. Lots of other things that probably came from Hallmark. What a great "back story" you have- and great memories. Love YOUR sketchbook also!!!

Lorrie said...

Marjolein does wonderful work. I've been a fan for years. What a tremendous experience for you. Your sketchbook is gorgeous!

carole brungar said...

You are soooo talented my friend!!

What more can I say?

Joanna said...

What an interesting post, Nathalie. Beautiful artwork.


Limner said...

She is still one of my favorites. Elle gave me a piece of her bee tissue paper, and I when I buy her cards I try to buy one for my keepsake. You're so lucky to have had that opportunity. You worked with royalty. :) Very good art you create.

femminismo said...

How wonderful to connect with such a talented person. Love this post with illustrations. Maybe with spring coming this is the time to begin my own sketchbook. thanks for the inspiration.

Useful Books said...

Ditto on Marjolein Bastin! I've adored her beautiful, detailed watercolors for years. These postcards sound like great fun. Nathalie, you never fail to inspire!

craftattack said...

This work is totally fantatsic, so beautiful! Valerie

NatashaMay said...

Fabulous sketch book. Love all the watercolor paintings. :)

T's Daily Treasures said...

Oh wow! How fortunate you were to attend such a lovely workshop. Sounds absolutely fantastic. Every time I travel, I attempt to start a travel journal, but always get sidetracked and never keep up with it. I really love the look of these journals with bits of nature taped in. Beautiful! Have a great week. Tammy

Coleen said...

Lovely sketches Nathalie. I like plants and flowers too.

Coleen in Ukraine

Caramella said...

Beautiful work, you are so talented! I love the panettone down here:) I am a new follower, and I will tell my mom saucysiciliana.blogspot to follow you too. Have a nice day!

Sabrina said...

What a treasure and an amazing experience. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jeanie said...

This is so beautiful -- There is something so enchanting about a journal like this -- with beautiful watercolors all reflecting nature. Thank you for sharing this!

Jill said...

Nathalie! You went to a work shop with Margolein?! I first saw her work about 12 years ago and of course loved it. You are one blessed and talented woman. Look at your pages!