Month: August 2019

Monotype work in progress

Monotype

I was asked to give a workshop monotype on thursday with three nice colleagues. This was on a middle school in Bussum. If you’re curious about what a monotype is, I advise you to read this blogplost. There I explain what a monontype is.

I was given a fourth year class. I could use the biology classroom on the third floor. This was the first day that the students were back at school. They had had a morning programme, then they had my workshop and after that their planned out day continued.

I had a few minutes time to prepare the classroom. I wanted the tables in groups of four, this would help the students spacewise. I had a powerpoint presentation prepared and I wanted my materials so that me and the students had easy access to them.

They listened to my explanation and answered my questions. After that they started to work. I asked them to make a design for a bag so that at the end of the workshop they could introduce themselves to the class via the bag.
It was nice to see how the students worked. Some of them asked for a sheet of paper and a pencil to draw everything out first. Others prefered to just grab some ink and a bag and started to print immediately.

Some designs were very detailed and were beautifully printed on the bag, others were a bit more – how can I put this – minimalistic. The execution and the results both say a lot about the students and therefore I reached my goal: showing the students and the teacher who they are. Not all students were happy with the end result but I was able to explain to them why I am very happy with all the end results.

At the end there wasn’t enough time for the students to clean up all the mess they made so I cleaned up after them. This taught me that I need to bring more things to help them clean up afterwards.

I enjoyed giving the workshop very much and I’m looking forward to giving the next one. Wednesday the fourth I’ll give a workshop in Doetinchem.

Monotype of a student
Monotype work in progress
Picture of a cup of coffee, shot by Esteban

Esteban

A couple years ago I met Esteban. I was on a study tour to Stockholm in the first week of February. At 16.00 o’clock it was dark and me and my travel companion were standing there watching the ice skating ring. There was this clumsy guy skating and he asked us to join him. This guy turned out to be Jané Esteban Holst.

I wanted to take the time to write about him because his pictures inspire me. His pictures give you a sensation of serenity and I like to look at them because of that. His work also has a curtain stillness about it that I find often in my own work.

Next to the text you see some of his pictures.

What I like most and find calming about his pictures is that it’s nice and ordinary and full of warmth. I remember the dock of Stockholm. This is a saltwater dock and I saw big chunks of ice, about 20 – 30 centimeters thick, sliding over each other. And the pictures of Esteban warm up my feeling about Stockholm and this memory.

The confusing part about the pictures is this: I just wrote about the stillness in the pictures, they have a curtain distance and at the same time they feel very personal. I’m curious to know what you think of his pictures. This is a LINK to his instagram page. He’s still working on his website.

Picture of a kitten, shot by Esteban
Picture of a cup of coffee, shot by Esteban
Illustration of Kofi

Kofi Boateng

Kofi Boateng is a driven young man. He asked me to make an invitation. Kofi is almost graduating as a doctor and is almost turning 30. So Monday the 12th of August at 1 o’clock we saw each other at Amsterdam Bijlmer station. 

I asked Kofi Boateng to take me to a place that means a lot to him. He grew up in the Bijlmer and that’s why we met there. 

First we handled the business part: what do you want? What can I do for you…? I made a few small sketches to create an image and we thought about whether it was going to be a digital invitation or on paper, or if it had to be good enough for both and how I should handle it.  

Then the fun part began: Kofi Boateng took me for a walk through the Bijlmer. We talked about his childhood, where he grew up, about is family, about the Bijlmer itself. We walked from the station to the Anton de Komplein, via the Bijlmerpark theatre through his old neighbourhood back to the station again.

Kofi Boateng told me about his ambitions to become a doctor and what he wants to achieve with it. Kofi never saw a coloured doctor when he grew up and he wants to change that for the future. He wants to show that it doesn’t matter what your background is, you can become anything you want to.
Kofi Boateng is a Ghanaian young man with an incredibly big heart for his community and his roots. He wants to go to Ghana annually to pass on what he learned to his tribe: the Ashanti.

And I can summarize all this in one single image for his invitation for his graduation party and thirtieth birthday. What an honour to work with such a beautiful person. And that while I’m learning so much at the same time about the norms and values of the Ashanti tribe!

Illustration of Kofi

Monotype workshop in Bussum

On Thursday the 29th of August I’m going to give a workshop Monotype in Bussum. This week I’ve started to brainstorm. I’ve forgotten how much I like it to work with Graphic techniques.

For those who don’t know what a monotype is, a short explanation:

Mono means one and type, I think the best way to explain is: it’s a kind. So a monotype really is a one of a kind.

A monotype is the opposite of an etching. Rembrandt made a lot of echtings.
You make an etching by scratching the surface of a material. This used to be a copper plate but I like to use just a plastic sheet of one millimeter thick. After the etching is scratched in, I put ink in the scratches and take the surplus of ink away. Then with a press you press the etching onto paper.

On the picture you can see I’ve used both techniques when I made this. The black lines are the etching and the colour is the monotype.

I did that in the following way: I made an etching on a plastic sheet as I described and put ink on it. After I took all the surplus of ink away, I made the monotype on the same sheet of plastic. In this case I’ve painted with ink.

 

At the monotype workshop in Bussum, I’m only going for the monotype. First of all because that’s what they chose to do, they didn’t choose making an etching. And second: making a monotype is a lot faster and you don’t necessarily need a press.

The students are going to introduce themselves by their artwork. They all get a linen bag and they will print their logo or design it so it really says something about them. I’m very excited to see all the creativity of the students. But maybe I’m even more curious and excited to see the results! After all, you never know how a monotype is going to look in the end.

Monotype by Marieke Noordhuis
Illustration of an open book

The secret lives of color

For my birthday I asked for the book ‘The secret lives of color’, written by Kassia St Clair.

The book is about – you guessed it – colours. It’s set up very clearly. It starts with a general text and then more detailed information.
It starts with some general information about why the book is written, about colours and their origins. Then the real deal begins: the different shades of colour.
First you read about different shades of white. The colours are broad. So in the category ‘white’ we find lead white but also silver. 

With every shade you learn a little bit more. Sometimes it’s more about the origins of a colour or how a colour used to be made. But other times it’s about battles and important people with a certain hair colour.
In almost any case, the name of the colour is explained. 

‘The secret lives of color’ is written so lightly! I’m rushing through the book. It makes it readable because every shade has only two or three pages text.
I like to read in the train or right before I go to sleep. The fact that there are so many put-the-book-down possibilities, makes it a practical book for me.
What makes it hard to put away is that it’s so well written!

Next to all the nice information in ‘the secret lives of color’ there are some beautiful quotes. There is one quote of Kandinsky: “… red that’s been brought closer to humanity by yellow”.
I think this is a wonderful description. As you can see on the website, the colour orange means a lot to me. With this company I try to bring people closer together. Sometimes that means that I bring myself closer to other people, sometimes I bring others closer to each other. That is why the colour orange means even more to me thanks to the quote of Kandinsky.

Illustration of an open book
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