Monday, 12 December 2011

On Life-changing Books - part one -


When I was a kid, my mother, knowing about my passion for drawing and nature, got me a book which I regard now as one of those few that propelled me into seeing things in a different way. The book is called 'La natura e' meravigliosa' or 'Nature is Wonderful' in English, but the original Dutch title is 'Een zucht van verwondering', published in 1990. A huge collection of watercolour paintings and drawings, detailed yet as simple and humble as nature can be in her smallest forms: nests, insects, leaves, animals and birds, which all together narrated the events of nature, the changing tides, the migration of birds, the change of season, life between the dunes of sand by the northern seas, and then into the woods and the countryside of the Netherlands. Everything was narrated by a crystal clear text explaining the ways of nature and the interaction with man. I was stricken by the simple beauty of bare pencil and watercolour.

© Marjolein Bastin

After this book I decided I would have become a watercolourist. Marjolein Bastin (1943), the artist behind it, is Dutch, and clearly shows how the closer we look the more we see. Her strong bond with every living being, no matter how small and ordinary, has always been part of her life and has motivated her to start drawing and sharing her discoveries to the world. Worldwide renowned for her illustrations and licensing products, Marjolein Bastin has never stopped looking at things with the curious eyes of a child, capturing the hidden and overlooked beauties of nature, just as she sees them, imperfect, yet beautiful, small, yet no less important.

© Marjolein Bastin

Nature artist, writer, children's author and illustrator, Marjolein Bastin divides her time drawing inspiration from the nature of her homeland, the Netherlands, Missouri, Cayman Island and Switzerland.
Her books are among my most treasured ones, still reminding me to look at things closer to find something more and new and to change my point of view to find a new perspective.
© Marjolein Bastin

4 comments:

  1. I love books, especially books full of beautiful art and deeper looks into the natural world. Thank you for bringing this artist to my attention.

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  2. You're welcome Vickie, books ar such an important thing, and special too.

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  3. Matteo -- First I would like to thank you for joining me at my FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK blog. Secondly, thank you for this great post on Ms Bastin. I have been familiar with her in the states for a number of years through her illustrated cards. Her work is phenomenal!!! You are very talented and will be back many times to enjoy your posts. -- barbara

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  4. Thank you Barbara for your kind comment!

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