FRANCES MACDONALD MACNAIR & MARGARET MACDONALD MACKINTOSH

Welcome to the first episode of The Fran Zone’s series about Unforgettable female artists. This first episode is a special one right away. Because it features not one but two magnificent female artist from history. I am talking about the Macdonald sisters. Frances Macdonald MacNair and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh .

Watch the episode here or read it below.

You may also like: De zussen Macdonald

THE MACDONALD SISTERS

The Macdonald sisters were born in the second half of the 19th century. They were the creative and artistic founders of the Glasgow School. The Glasgow School was an artistic movement at the fin de siecle in Glasgow, Scotland. As an artistic movement it was a fusion of Japanse art, art nouveau, Celtic revival art and arts & crafts.

You may also like: De arts & crafts beweging

margaret macdonald o ye, all ye that walk in willowwood 1902
Image 1: O ye, all ye that walk in Willowwood, gesso panel by Margaret Macdonald, 1902.

GLASGOW STYLE

If you look at this painting (image 1) you can see several of the typical Glasgow Style characteristics: This is an artwork made by Margaret MacDonald in 1902. It is called O YE, ALL YE THAT WALK IN WILLOWWOOD. You can see the distorted, elongated human forms, the intricate lines all over the painting. Furthermore the painting seems like it is in 2D, much like the Japanese art of that time. And it has a Celtic fairy tale feel because of the depicted flowers and veils. All symbolical depictions of femininity. The arts & crafts influences can be noticed in the materials used. This artwork is a gesso panel and Margaret Macdonald used her skills with metal, paint and embroidery.

THE FOUR

The Macdonald sisters opened up their own art studio in the Glasgow city center. At their school they met Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Herbert MacNair. They started working together and called themselves The Four. Soon their nickname would become ‘The Spook School’ because of the distorted, witch-like human forms that occupied their art. The public found their work upsetting, creepy and sometimes even dangerous.

Check out my Glasgow School board on Pinterest for more images and inspiration about the Glasgow Style.

Economics and art where booming in Glasgow at the end of the 19th century. At the same time women’s rights and privileges were high on the agenda in Glasgow. Women were allowed to study, to pursue careers and the Glasgow School of Art played a large role in that by providing education and employment. Many female students were active in the women’s suffragette movement. In this progressive climate the Macdonald sisters flourished.

MARGARET MACDONALD (1864-1933)

Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh (1876-1933) Glasgow School
Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1864-1933)

Their creative and artistic accomplishments were noticed outside Scotland and the UK. And especially Margaret knew how to take advantage of that. Together with her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whom she married in 1900, she delivered artworks to more than 40 exhibitions in Europe and America from 1890 until 1924. After her marriage Margaret started to work with Mackintosh more often. He was an architect who designed buildings and furniture. Margaret designed the interiors of rooms in large country houses. She designed panels to go with Mackintosh’s furniture. And they designed their own house and interior together. Which you can still visit when you’re ever in Glasgow.

FRANCES MACDONALD (1873-1921)

Frances Macdonald MacNair (1873-1921) Glasgow School Liverpool Scotland
Frances MacDonald MacNair (1873-1921)

The story of Frances and Herbert is a little different. Frances married Herbert MacNair and they relocated in Liverpool. MacNair had been appointed at the Liverpool school of art. The artistic and social climate in Liverpool however was completely different from that in Glasgow. Frances missed the freedom she had had in Glasgow. She got pregnant and became a mother. All the while questioning her life choices and decisions. And making art about it.

THE CHOICE

The Choice (1909) Frances MacNair
Image 2: The Choice (1909) by Frances MacDonald MacNair

Let’s look at this painting (image 2) by Frances Macdonald made in 1909. It is called THE CHOICE. And it features two couples. As you can see the two women are connected (the legs of the woman on the right are connected to the ‘dress’ of the woman on the left). But the two couples are clearly going their own separate ways. The golden circles laid out in front of the couple on the right are going in the opposite direction from the roses all around the couple on the left.

It seems like the couple on the right could be Charles Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald heading off to a golden future in the midst of the Glasgow art scene. While the couple on the left could be Frances Macdonald and Herbert MacNair whom she followed to Liverpool out of love. But with great pain of leaving Glasgow and the other two, especially her sister, behind.

FORGOTTEN FEMALE ARTISTS

The artistic genius an creative inventiveness of these women are extraordinary. And especially the name and fame of Margaret Macdonald was known all over Europe at the peak of her career. Yet they play no significant part in any form of art history outside of Scotland. How could this have happened?

There are two main reasons for this. And this is the first. How progressive and inclusive the Glasgow art scene may have been during their lifetime. Many of Margaret Macdonald’s accomplishments, artworks and designs have been attributed to her husband after their death. In spite of all the evidence of Margaret being the artist behind the work in stead of Charles (such as signatures on the work). Just as history has long been a tale of mankind rather than human kind has the art canon long been dominated by men.

And as for the second reason: Frances was less successful with her art during her life. Her artworks were written off like fairy tale, feminine oddities. Neglecting the great symbolic power and mysticism in them. But the most important reason Frances Macdonald and her art were forgotten for a very long time is the fact that her husband destroyed more than half of her works after she committed suicide in 1921.

MARGARET MACDONALD MACKINTOSH & FRANCES MACDONALD MACNAIR

So there you have it: Margaret and Frances Macdonald. Two artistic and creative geniuses. Responsible for the birth of one of worlds most influential art movements at the and of the 19th century. But absent from all the great art history books.

I hope you found this first episode interesting and helpful. That’s it for now. Until next week!

My Dutch blog about the Macdonald sisters
My Pinterest board about the Glasgow Style

ART IN ISOLATION : FOUR WAYS TO ENJOY ART WHILE IN CORONA ISOLATION

The corona isolation measures are still in effect. So I thought I’d give you four ways of enjoying art from your living room. Because sometimes the best inspiration can be found close to home. Or at home in this instance. So here they are: four ways to enjoy art in isolation:

1: ENJOY ONLINE ART IN ISOLATION

The ways of enjoying art online are numerous! Let me give you a few:

Several museums have put their current exhibitions online for the public to enjoy. Rijksmuseum of course has a very large online collection. But also for instance Rijksmuseum Twenthe has made a digital exhibit of their current Picasso and Matisse. Beauty is a line. Just browse your favourite museum’s website and check out what kind of digital art they are offering. And enjoy it from your living room.

Follow some artsy social media accounts. Instagram and Pinterest are the best platforms in this case, because these are primarily visual platforms. Instagram is full of amazingly talented artist. You can find artists by theme. For instance: abstract, colourful, modern, portraits, landscapes, botanical, etc. Or find them by material. For instance: watercolour, oil paint, ceramics, wool, fabrics, fluid acrylic, flowers. Or start by following one of your favourite artists. The Instagram algorithm will then lead you to other similar accounts. The same goes for Pinterest.

Some of my favourite Instagram accounts are:

@redrubyrose
@molesworthandbird
@karenbuntingdesign
@r.o.b.e.r.t.d.e.g.a.r.d.e
@kaprosh.art
@westcoastweaversskye
@studioglashelder
@meikejanssens.be
@afterhourspottery
@the_art_kroep
@coraverhagen
@josworms
@gertdemulder
@shilasdair_yarns
@jhon.yalanda

enjoy art in isolation: online art instagram accounts red ruby rose
Red Ruby Rose

2. ENJOY ART BOOKS

Maybe you have your own art books to browse. Maybe you can join your local library. Or maybe you can organise a small local library in your neighbourhood. I live in a very large apartment building and last week there where suddenly laying books all over the bench on the ground floor. What happened? One of my neighbours just started a ‘building’ library. I then joined her and before I knew I had the best books in town!

And just in case your local library is closed: many libraries offer their e-books for free right now! So be sure to check it out on their website. Also a very nice way of keeping your children occupied.

enjoy art in isolation online: molesworth and bird in the uk
Molesworth & Bird

3. ENJOY ART MOVIES

I think you already know where I am going with this: Netflix (and chill > if you’re done with art then that’s the first thing I’d recommend during isolation, but never mind). Some of the best art movies now on Netflix are:

The Danish Girl
Walt before Mickey
Velvet Buzzsaw
House of Z
Marie Antoinette
Bowie: the man who changed the world
Shirkers
Ai Weiwei: never sorry
Beltrachhi: the art of forgery
Abstract: the art of design
The 100 years show

enjoy art in isolation: westcoast weavers on the isle of skye
Westcoast Weavers

4. ENJOY ART FACTS

Like I always say: Wikipedia is your friend! Especially if you can read a little English. Because the English version is wayyyy more extensive than the Dutch version. Or the French, or the Spanish, for that matter. So, go to Wikipedia. Just start at the page of your favourite artist and let yourself be dragged into the heavenly deep crypts of Wikipedia knowledge. This way of enjoying art in isolation is definitely on top of my list. Before I know it my whole evening is goooone.

ENJOY ART IN ISOLATION

I hope you find these tips useful. Very soon I will also share some tips of being and getting creative in isolation. But for now I am off to Wikipedia. And I never know how long that is going to take…

AND NOW IT’S YOUR TURN:

Which tip do you find the most helpful and are you going to use in the next couple of weeks? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you have yet another way of enjoying art in isolation, please let me know. It takes my ass off

DATE PALM DESIGN

As I wrote earlier: being on total lockdown because of corona gave me inspiration to finally write this blog about my Date Palm design. This design, part of the Hortus by Night autumn collection, has the most summery feel of them all. It’s like a transition design between the Majorelle summer collection and the autumn collection. So let’s take a look at it!

You might also like: The Hortus by Night Autumn Collection

From painting to pattern

The Date Palm design is based on the oilpainting Date Palm I painted January-May 2019. I used oil paints and ink and tried to capture the majestic palms I encountered during the Hortus by Night. To create the design I mirrored my painting and scaled it on scarfs, cushions and larger fabric which I made into table linens.

Like I said the Date Palm design feels to me like a transition design between my summer Majorelle Collection and my autumn Hortus by Night collection. It captures an Indian summer feel with saturated colours like pink, green and blue. The shapes in the pattern remind me of my time in Africa, which was my main inspiration for the Majorelle Collection.

So in many ways this design transfers my love of exotic summer vibes to my love of autumn colours and feels. The different shades seen in this picture gradually develop themselves in the other designs of the Hortus by Night collection, to become more autumn-y. Bright Date Palm blue becomes a grey blue in the Giant Bamboo design. The soft green becomes a moss green in the Silver Fir design and the vibrant pink becomes an autumn leaf magenta-red colour in the Arum Lily design.

date palm painting the fran zone 2019
date palm design the fran zone herfstcollectie 2019 hortus by night

You might also like: Rockcap Fern design – the fairy tale beauty of the collection

Date Palm cashmere scarf

The Date Palm cashmere scarf is the perfect scarf for anyone who loves to pair blue with shades of green. Because it adds that little something special by those touches of pink and purple. As you can see it’s a real show stopper worn as head wrap. But of course it also shines around your shoulders! I love to wear bright shades of pink lipstick with this scarf and defy the autumn chills just a little longer. Still available in my shop!

You can order it now in my online store >

hortus by night collectie herfst cashmere sjaal the fran zone
date palm design cashmere scarf the fran zone

You might also like: Arum Lily – water plants on fire

Date Palm cushion

Don’t you think this cushion is a stunner? It works well on every couch I’ve seen it on so far: light grey, dark grey, dark blue, black and brown. Because of it’s bright energy it’s a real crowd pleaser. Adding some colour to your living room has never been easier! It’s still available.

Order now >

cushions hortus by night autumn collection
date palm cushion the fran zone satin cover hortus by night collection on a dark grey couch

You might also like: Giant Bamboo – the bestseller of the season

Limited edition table linens

This handmade limited edition Date Palm table linens are the perfect decor for your Indian summer dinner party. Enjoy it with friends and revel in the sweet treats of late summer and early autumn. Still available in my online shop.

Order now >

limited edition table linens hortus by night autumn collection
fairy tale wedding party dinner table linens date palm design the fran zone

You might also like: Silver Fir – it does autumn as well as it does Christmas

Matching jewellery by Studio Glashelder

The glass jewel Studio Glashelder designed to go with the Date Palm scarf is by far my favourite of the season. It features a large emerald green glass jewel with inside of it a darker greenish black stripe of glass. On top there’s a small streak of soft lilac to add some colour. It’s the perfect balance between rough beauty and sophisticated elegance. And it’s still available!

Order it now >

glass jewellery by studio glashelder large green glass jewel with lilac stripe on top of it
ring bij herfstcollectie cashmere sjaals the fran zone studio glashelder

ROCKCAP FERN DESIGN

Being in Brabant and on total lockdown because of corona I decided to make a virtue of necessity. I’ve been wanting to write this blog for about 5 months, but now’s finally the time. Get ready for the Rockcap Fern design! The fairy tale beauty of the Hortus by Night autumn collection.

You might also like: The Hortus by Night Autumn Collection

From painting to pattern

The Rockcap Fern design is based on the oilpainting Rockcap Fern I painted January-May 2019. I used oil paints and ink and tried to capture the crawling rockcap ferns I encountered during the Hortus by Night. To create the design I mirrored my painting and scaled it on scarfs, cushions and larger fabric which I made into table linens.

The Rockcap Fern design for me feels like the Hortus by Night design with the most enthralling contradiction between the shapes and the colours. While the shapes are alien-like tentacles which crawl over the fabric, reminiscent of an apocalyptic extraterrestrial race. The colours are soft, gentile pastels ranging from sweet lilac to soft pink. Maybe those aliens aren’t as maleficent as expected!

rockcap fern painting the fran zone 2019
rockcap fern design dessin the fran zone herfstcollectie 2019 hortus by night

You might also like: Arum Lily Design – water plants on fire

Rockcap Fern cashmere scarf

And like I said: it comes as a cashmere scarf. It’s soft, warm, luxurious and it’s the perfect accessory to colour up any outfit. You can were it around your neck, but just as easy wrap it around your shoulders or wear it as a headwrap.

Order it now in my online shop.

rockcap fern cashmere scarf the fran zone hortus by night autunm collection

You might also like: Giant Bamboo Design – the bestseller of the season

Rockcap Fern cushion

The Rockcap Fern cushion shines on every couch. But I have to say I particularly like it on dark grey sofas. I haven’t seen it on black yet, though, that may cause me to change my mind. What do you think?

Order now >

You might also like: Silver Fir Design – it does autumn as well as it does Christmas

Limited edition table linens

I’ve also ordered the Rockcap Fern design on organic cotton and turned it into one of kind table linens. It’s limited edition and handmade and it’s perfect for any fairy tale wedding dinner or extravagant party.

Order limited edition table linens now >

Matching jewellery by Studio Glashelder

As you maybe know by now: Studio Glashelder designs matching jewellery for all of my designs. And the one she made for the Rockcap Fern totally on theme: a triangle shaped glass jewel filled with a galaxy of stars. It adds to the space-like feel of the design and adds a whole new world to explore.

You can order it in my online shop >

DE FABRIEKSWINKEL X THE FRAN ZONE

As of this month my Majorelle cushions, postcards and greeting cards are all available at De Fabriekswinkel. De Fabriekswinkel is located at Verlengde Noordkade 10-12 in Veghel and is part of an energetic cultural centre buzzing with creativity and art. So it’s definitely worth a visit!

de fabriekswinkel veghel noordkade the fran zone products majorelle

NOORDKADE

De Fabriekswinkel is part of cultural hotspot Noordkade. Is has something for everyone. There are cosy cafes with live music, art studios and exhibitions. The Noordkade also has it’s own museum, cinema and theatre. It’s the perfect place to spend your Sunday afternoon.

noordkade veghel
Cultural hotspot Noordkade

DE FABRIEKSWINKEL

The store features a combination of original modern artworks, art designs and gadgets. You will find ceramics, greeting cards, books, photography, sculptures, cushions, bags and jewellery, among other things. The store changes it’s wide range of products twice a year. So you can discover something new every time you visit.

The shop is run by a group of engaged and skilled volunteers. They all want people to get in touch with modern art on a more day to day and low profile manner and I am all for it! So if you’re ever in the neighbourhood be sure to drop by.

de fabriekswinkel veghel noordkade art giftshop

VISITOR INFORMATION

Address:
De Fabriekswinkel
Verlengde Noordkade 10-12
5462 EH Veghel

Opening times:
Wednesday – Saturday: 11.00-17.00
Sunday: 14.00-17.30

See you there!

NEW PAPER PRODUCTS!

I am stoked to share the new paper products with my art printed on them!

You can now send colourful postcards printed with the Majorelle art.

Or send someone special a classy greeting card with your favourite Majorelle artwork.

And the Hortus by Night paintings have become part of an artsy birthday calendar. Classic case of combining the useful with the beautiful.

Check out my new Products page where you can browse through all available pretty paper products!

NEW PAPER PRODUCTS FOR 2020

I don’t know about you but I am a total sucker for artsy greeting cards and postcards. Especially when they come beautifully wrapped. So when 20198 drew to a close I wondered why I hadn’t explored the idea of paper products further… I couldn’t come up with any reasons so I started designing them right away!

They fit perfectly in my affordable art line. They are available as sets and as individual postcards or greeting cards printed with the Majorelle artworks. Happy mail for everyone!

The birthday calendar is printed with all the Hortus by Night artworks. The calendar is A3 and is printed on ‘frame-able’ paper quality. So if you ever get tired of the calendar you can totally frame the artworks. (But have to say that’s a big if 🙂 ).

All new paper products are listed in my online store. I hope they will bring you joy!

PRODUCT INFORMATION

The postcards are available in sets of 2 x 5 Majorelle artworks and as individual postcards. The sets are beautifully wrapped in a manilla envelop with string washer. The postcards are A6 size (105x148mm).

The greeting cards are available in sets of 2 x 5 Majorelle artwork greeting cards with envelopes and as individual greeting cards with envelope. The sets are beautifully wrapped in a stout manilla envelop with string washer. The greeting cards are A6 size (105x148mm) and are blank inside.

The birthday calendar features the 12 Hortus by Night artworks. The cover features the Silver Fir painting. It is printed on A3 high quality paper. Which means the artworks are frame-able if you wish to do so after using the calendar.

MINERALS IN THE MAKING

My 2020 will be all about affordable art! My first affordable art series are my Minerals. In this blog I will tell you the story behind the minerals and it shows the minerals in the making . If you want to learn more about them you can check out this page. Or visit my online store and get to know all the details.

minerals in the making affordable art the fran zone 2020

WHY MINERALS?

First of all: minerals stand for grounding and good foundations. So in my opinion they are a perfect way to start the new year. But when I started drawing them I didn’t even know that! I started working with minerals because they fascinate me. It’s their ability to contain a whole universe of intricate details. They are like small worlds full of sky scrapers, mountain rigs, rivers, rocks, wavy seas and bending roads.

They reminded me of the moss colonies of Alma Whittaker in The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read The Signature of All Things while on summer ‘working’ holiday in Spain. Little did I know that that book would be the starting point of so many different things! It gave me inspiration to start studying again.

I’ve always been interested in the nature of the world. As a child I devoured every single book I could lay my hands on that had something to do with geography, cosmology or the weather, vulcanos and plate tectonics. When I was 9 I did my speech at school about tsunamis. I just loved that word so much. For me it felt like a mythological phenomenon and I wanted to know all about it. (Of course I didn’t really grasp the scope of it’s devastation because I couldn’t found any information about recent tsunamis back then. It wasn’t until 2004 when I fully understood the magnitude of it.)

STUDYING THE UNIVERSE

And as I started studying these great natural phenomenons again I was struck by a very real urge to learn more. As in: for real. So I bought The Feyman lectures on Physics, lent all books by Richard Dawkins at my local library, downloaded Darwin, got the biology handbook from my brother and I started studying. It’s been 4 months now and I feel like that kid again, immersed in planetary alignment and earthly plate tectonics.

But something happened then the ring did not intent. (Sorry, when I start a sentence like one out of the Lord of the Rings script it’s very hard for me not to give in to it…) Again.

But something happened then that I didn’t expect: while I was studying all these large subjects I couldn’t get myself to keep painting all these large canvasses. It’s like I needed to balance it out with small artworks. Very small artworks, the size of a postcards. And not only small in size, but also small in scope.

The minerals became the subject. Very small objects. Objects I could cope with. And as I said: first I thought it was about balancing it out. Studying large subjects, drawing small ones. But then I remembered Alma and her moss colonies. And her way of looking at them as if they were large moss universes. And it suddenly made total sense. There I was: studying the universe and creating universes of my own.

WORK IN PROGRESS

While working on the different minerals I made some pictures to record my process. I have put them all in chronological order for you. So you can watch the minerals as they come to be.

From top to bottom you can see: Wulfenite, Quarts, Sliced Mineral, Amethyst, Malachite, Calcite, Celestine and Autunite in the making.

MINERALS TIME LAPSE

While I was working on Celestine I also made a short time lapse video:

HENRI MATISSE AND HIS ART OF JOIE DE VIVRE

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is a French painter and one of the most important modernists. He was an early Fauvist, French for ‘wild beast’, because of his wild brush strokes, intense color combinations and his abstract representation of reality. He is also known for his paper collages and his flowing organic forms.

It goes to show, Matisse is my kind of guy. That is why I am starting this new series of blogs about artists who inspire me with Henri Matisse. The man who portrayed unbridled joy of life. (Scroll down for Dutch and more images).

Henri Matisse, De Dans (1910)
Henri Matisse, The Dance (1910)

You might also like: The MacDonald Sisters founders of the Glasgow School

UNLEASH THE BEAST WITHIN

The fauvists were the wild beasts of modern art. Because of their painting techniques and use of color. Matisse (autocorrect sticks with ‘mayonnaise’ 🙂 can’t be bothered with details. He works bold, fast, sketchy and accurate. He uses large brushes on long sticks. Almost to make sure that it is impossible for him to paint details.

PAINTING IN PYJAMAS

Matisse works like a maniac. He maintains a strict work schedule and, as a result, has a huge output and a large oeuvre. He simply loves painting the most. When his health deteriorates, he paints in bed in pajamas.

Henri Matisse making cut-outs in bed
Henri Matisse making cut-outs in bed

BOLD SKETCHES AND LARGE BRUSHES

In other words: details are for wimps, haha! Matisse, while standing, painted on paper lying on the floor. For this he used a brush that was attached to a long stick. In that way it was impossible for him to go into detail. And it made his brush strokes large and energetic.

Henri Matisse using a large brush on a stick to paint with
Henri Matisse using a large brush on a stick to paint with

HENRI MATISSE

If I had to choose one artist as inspiration, I would choose Henri Matisse. I am a big fan of his work, of his vision and of the energy that speaks from all his colors and shapes. The first time I saw his ‘The Dance’, the pure joy of life on the canvas went straight through my heart. The only one ever succeeded in doing that again was Picasso with Les demoiselles d’Avignon. A special detail is that Picasso painted Les demoiselles d’Avignon in response to Matisses ‘Bonheur de vivre’ (‘Joy of Life’). But I will tell you more about that in a next blog!

HENRI MATISSE IN MUSEUMS

If you’re interested in Matisses art, you can visit the Matisse museum in Nice. The Museum l’Orangerie in Paris also holds a large part of his work.

In the Netherlands, the Hermitage in Amsterdam has its own Matisse room. Furthermore, in 2022 it will show the exhibition ‘Matisse and Picasso’, about these two masters, friends and rivals. When I read this I did a little dance of joy myself!!

But luckily in the Netherlands we don’t have to wait until 2022! This summer the Dordrechts Museum shows the exhibition ‘Pioneers of modernism’. This exhibition runs from May 16 to September 27. Be there or be square!

Collage of Matisses work by Stedelijk Museum
Collage of Matisses work by Stedelijk Museum.

You might also like: Gertrude Jekyll holistic landscape architect

HENRI MATISSE : LEVENSVREUGDE IN DE KUNST

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is een Franse schilder en een van de belangrijkste modernisten. Hij was een vroege Fauvist, Frans voor ‘wild beest’ vanwege zijn wilde penseelstreken, heftige kleurcombinaties en zijn abstrakte weergave van de werkelijkheid. Hij is ook bekend van zijn papiercollages en zijn vloeiende organische vormen.

Je hoort het al, Matisse is een man naar mijn hart. Daarom start ik deze nieuwe serie blogs over kunstenaars die mij inspireren met Henri Matisse. De man die ongebreidelde levensvreugde verbeeldde.

UNLEASH THE BEAST WITHIN

De fauvisten waren de wilde beesten van de moderne kunst. Vanwege hun schildertechnieken en kleurgebruik. Matisse (autocorrect maakt er steeds mayonaise van 🙂 ) is sowieso niet van de ieniemiene details. Hij werkt groot snel, schetsmatig en trefzeker. Hij gebruikt grote penselen aan lange stokken. Bijna om te zorgen dat hij hoe dan ook géén details kan gaan schilderen.

Henri Matisse, Blue Nude (1952)
Henri Matisse, Blue Nude (1952)

SCHILDEREN IN PYJAMA

Matisse werkt als een malle. Hij houdt er een strikt werkschema op na en heeft mede daardoor een mega output en een gigantisch oeuvre. Hij houdt gewoon het meest van schilderen. Als zijn gezondheid veslechtert, schildert hij in bed in pyjama.

GROTE SCHETSEN EN LANGE PENSELEN

Oftewel: details zijn voor watjes, haha! Matisse schilderde staand op papier dat op de grond lag. Hiervoor gebruikte hij een kwast die was vastgemaakt aan een lange stok. Op die manier was het voor hem onmogelijk om in detail te treden. En waren zijn penseelstreken groot en energiek.

Henri Matisse, Violet leaf on orange background
Henri Matisse, Violet leaf on orange background

HENRI MATISSE

Als ik één kunstenaar zou moeten kiezen als inspiratie, dan kies ik Henri Matisse. Ik ben groot fan van zijn werk, van zijn visie en van de energie die uit al zijn kleuren en vormen spreekt. De eerste keer dat ik zijn ‘De dans’ zag, ging de pure levensvreugde op het doek dwars door mijn hart. De enige die dat daarna ooit nog gelukt is, is Picasso met Les demoiselles d’Avignon. Bijzonder detail is dat Picasso Les demoiselles d’Avignon schilderde als antwoord op Matisses ‘Bonheur de vivre’ (‘Levensvreugde’). Maar daar zal ik je meer over vertellen in een volgend blog!

background date palm painting The Fran 2019 Hortus by Night collection
Background of my Date Palm painting, part of the Hortus by Night collection, 2018.

MUSEA MET HENRI MATISSE

In Nederland komt de Hermitage in Amsterdam in 2022 met de tentoonstelling ‘Matisse en Picasso, over deze twee meesters, vrienden én rivalen.’ Toen ik dit las deed ik een vreugdedansje door de woonkamer!! De Hermitage heeft sowieso standaard een hele kamer vol kunst van Matisse.

Maar gelukkig kun je ook al eerder genieten van Henri Matisse en het modernisme. Deze zomer in het Dordrechts Museum kun je de tentoonstelling ‘Pioniers van het modernisme’ bekijken. De expositie loopt van 16 mei tot 27 september. Be there or be square!

HORTUS MAGAZINE X THE FRAN ZONE

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. And I wish you a very happy, creative, and colourful 2020! My holiday started the best way imaginable when I found the Hortus Magazine in my mailbox with my very first editorial!

The Hortus Magazine is only printed for friends of the Hortus. But I got you covered! You can read the article here in English (scroll down for Dutch version).

You might also like ‘Hortus by Night Autumn collection’

hortus magazine 2019 the fran zone editorial

Hortus Magazine editorial

Our garden is an inspiration to many of our visitors. We are of course very proud of that. Last fall Francine Orsel surprised us. She created something beautiful and wanted to give the Hortus something back. Read her story here:

“I am Francine Orsel, or The Fran. I paint and draw energetic, organic patterns and print them on scarves, pillows and fabrics. This way I create a colorful, relaxed, botanical universe. My most important source of inspiration are botanical gardens worldwide. Visiting a botanical garden has been a constant in my vacations for years. Through the years I was lucky enough to visit the gardens in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Logan, Berlin, Caen, Marrakesh and Barcelona.

It may sound like an exaggeration, but my ideal world is a botanical garden. Where every plant, every tree gets the perfect amount of space and attention to become the best version of itself. Where it can grow in good soil. And where the growth and flowering of one does not stand in the way of the other. That is what I wish for people – and women in particular: to grow into the best version of yourself. Are you a rhododendron? Then don’t be pruned back to a narrow back garden variant, but take up your space just like the rhododendrons in Logan and bloom all the way!

My colorful scarves and pillows with botanical patterns are like an invitation: take good care of yourself. Treat yourself on a place that suits you and surround yourself with the relaxed atmosphere of botanical colors and shapes. The Hortus by Night scarves also add the fairy-tale-like aspect of mysteriously lit plants and trees. To remind every woman: in a different light there are so many beautiful things to discover!

Hortus by Night winter collection 2019 the fran zone

Sponsorship

Last winter’s Hortus by Night gave me a lot of inspiration for my work. Within three months of my visit my art studio was filled with twelve new paintings. These paintings are the basis of the scarf and pillow designs from my fall / winter collection.

I am very fond of the Hortus. It is the first botanical garden that I have ever visited and old love is not forgotten. So when I read about the renovation of the Three-climate greenhouse, I wanted to contribute to that. That is why I came up with a sponsor campaign: for every Hortus by Night scarf sold, I donate 20 euros to the Three-climate greenhouse. I donate 10 euros for each Hortus by Night cushion sold.”

You might also like: Giant Bamboo design, the bestseller of the season

Become a friend yourself

If you are a botanical garden lover like me, you can become a friend of the Hortus. Or of another botanical garden near you for that matter. Supporting them is a great way to uphold botanical diversity and education about the world of nature.

Or you can order a Hortus by Night scarf or cushion. Check out the autumn collection and the winter collection.

Hortus Magazine artikel Nederlands

Regelmatig laten bezoekers ons weten hoe geïnspireerd ze raken door onze tuin en collectie. Uiteraard zijn wij apetrots als we dat horen. In het najaar van 2019 werden we verrast door Francine Orsel, die de Hortus iets moois wilde teruggeven. Ze vertel zelf haar verhaal.

Ik ben Francine Orsel, oftewel The Fran. Ik schilder en teken energieke, organische patronen die ik laat printen op sjaals, kussens en stoffen. Op die manier creëer ik een kleurrijk, ontspannen, botanisch universum.

Mijn belangrijkste inspiratiebron zijn botanische tuinen wereldwijd. Het is al jaren vaste prik; als we ergens op vakantie zijn en er is een botanische tuin in de buurt, dan moet en zal ik die bezoeken. Zo heb ik al het geluk gehad de tuinen in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Logan, Berlijn, Caen, Marrakesh en Barcelona te kunnen bekijken.

You might also like: Silver Fir design – the Fran’s favourite 🙂

Mijn ideale wereld is een botanische tuin

Het klinkt misschien overdreven, maar mijn ideale wereld is een botanische tuin. Waar elke plant, elke boom de ruimte en aandacht krijgt om de beste versie van zichzelf te worden. Om te groeien in goede grond. En waar de groei en bloei van de één die van de ander niet in de weg staat. Dat is wat ik mensen – en vrouwen in het bijzonder – ook toewens. Om te groeien tot de beste versie van jezelf. Ben je een rhododendron? Laat je dan niet terugsnoeien naar een smalle achtertuinvariant, maar neem net als de rhododendrons in Logan je ruimte in en bloei tot grote hoogte!

Mijn kleurrijke sjaals (maar ook de kussens) met botanische patronen zijn daarvoor de uitnodiging: zorg goed voor jezelf, trakteer jezelf op een plek waar jij tot je recht komt en omring jezelf met de ontspannen sfeer van botanische kleuren en vormen. De Hortus by Night sjaals voegen daar nog het sprookjesachtige aspect van mysterieus verlichte planten en bomen aan toe. Om iedere vrouw eraan te herinneren: in een ander licht zijn er zoveel mooie dingen te ontdekken!

hortus by night autumn collection 2019 the fran zone

Sponsoractie

De Hortus by Night van afgelopen winter heeft mij enorm veel inspiratie opgeleverd voor mijn werk: binnen drie maanden na het bezoek stonden er twaalf schilderijen te drogen. Die schilderijen zijn de basis van de sjaal- en kussensdessins van mijn herfst/winter-collectie.

Het moge duidelijk zijn: ik draag de Hortus een heel warm hart toe. Het is de eerste botanische tuin die ik ooit bezocht en oude liefde roest niet. Dus toen ik las over de vernieuwing van de Drieklimatenkas wilde ik daar graag aan bijdragen. Daarom heb ik een sponsoractie bedacht: van elke verkochte Hortus by Night-sjaal doneer ik 20 euro aan de Drieklimatenkas. Van elk verkocht Hortus by Night-kussen doneer ik 10 euro.

You might also like: Arum Lily – Hortus on fire

CHRISTMAS THANK YOU

Just because I am so very happy for you being here and following my journey I decided to write something of a Christmas thank you to all of you. Below you will find a small but special Christmas present that I have made for you.

Thank you for appreciating my art.

Thank you for commenting on my blogs and pictures.

Thank you for following me here or elsewhere online.

Thank you for making my art part of your life.

Thank you for supporting me.

Thank you for showing up at events, in real life, in heart warming comments and likes.

Thank you for inspiring me to be brave and continue to share my art.

Thank you for being here. My 2019 was the better for it.

Image result for hartje
Francine
francine orsel the fran 2019 christmas thank you

MINERAL ARTWORK CHRISTMAS DOWNLOAD

To thank you I have made a free Christmas download from one of my recent mineral artworks. It’s high resolution so you’ll be able to print it and it’ll look like the real thing! Download here.

Minerals stand for grounding. For a steady foundation on which you’ll be able to build all your endeavors in the new year. And that’s what I wish for you. A firm base from which you will be able to explore new ways, new creative outings and adventures.

PRINTING THE CHRISTMAS THANK YOU ARTWORK

If you’d like to print the Christmas artwork I have made for you, please note that I’ve made it high resolution. (So called 150DPI if you’re an image pro). The original artwork is 12.5 x 21 cm. So if you are going to print it it will not cover the entire A4 page and that’s okay.

I made it for you to print and hang on your wall. Or to print and gift as a Christmas present to a very special friend. You could choose to print it on professional art paper to get the real thing going for you. I’d even encourage you to make it into a greeting card and send it to someone you love. The only thing I ask you not to do is to print it and then sell it.