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mark rothko exhibition @ gemeente museum, den haag, february 2015

“I am not interested in the relationship between form and colour. The only thing I care about is the expression of man’s basic emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, destiny.”
rothko speaking about his work

It had been a long time (too long!!) since I’d visited a gallery or museum, so I was very glad to be able to catch the last-chance late view of the Mark Rothko exhibition at the Gemeente Museum in The Hague last Friday evening (the exhibition ended on Sunday 1 March). I have always enjoyed looking at Rothko’s vast colour fields and pleasingly tactile, scumbled surfaces… exuding their shifting, ethereal inner luminescence. Even when his palette fades to black (on black) there’s depth and a remotely elusive glow to be found. For me his canvasses have the potential to envelop one with an effect akin to that of listening to music.

mark rothko exhibition @ gemeente museum, den haag, february 2015

[1] & [2] No.9 [details], 1948

mark rothko exhibition @ gemeente museum, den haag, february 2015

[1] orange & tan, 1954
[2] untitled [detail], 1949

mark rothko exhibition @ gemeente museum, den haag, february 2015

[1] untitled (seagram mural sketch) [detail], 1959
[2] untitled, 1969

mark rothko exhibition @ gemeente museum, den haag, february 2015

[1] & [2] untitled (seagram mural sketch) [details], 1959

mark rothko exhibition @ gemeente museum, den haag, february 2015

[1] & [2] untitled (harvard mural sketch) [details], 1962

Despite Rothko’s assertions that his work is never about “the relationship between form and colour” I couldn’t help, on leaving the exhibition, feeling more attuned to noticing the colour fields…

tilework @ gemeente museum, den haag

and (sometimes dizzying) abstractions in the 1930’s tilework of the museum’s stairwells and corridors.

tilework @ gemeente museum, den haag

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

april skies, amsterdam

As seen from a single vantage point (our front windows) over the past few evenings, photos taken between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. I love it when it starts to stay lighter later (and, although it may seem contradictory, now have an urge to give Darklands a spin :)

Once again December is almost upon us, so I’ve been hard at work on the ol’ annual production line!

These cards are the result of last week’s screenprinting session and an extended rendezvous with a bone folder and a sharp blade (oh, to be able to hand-print a full bleed and thus make trimming superfluous!).

I find that this time of year can get a little unnecessarily frenetic so I always aim to create a ‘festive greeting card’ that is a small oasis of calm in the midst of all the busy-ness we make for ourselves or have thrust upon us. Since moving to the Netherlands I’ve noticed bare-branched winter trees have become a recurring theme for me. It’s strange, because there are plenty of bare-branched winter trees in London at this time of year… but they apparently didn’t make the same impression?

As is so often the case at this stage in the process (or any process of ‘mass-production’) I’ve become most interested in the abstraction that is the inevitable result of multiplication and repetition…

I’ve been enjoying the zigzagging chevron shapes created by the rows of cards as I trim, score, fold and stack ’em up. Those shapes combined with the yellow/golden colours of a pale autumn sun low in the sky transform them in to something entirely ‘other’… and when given the ‘Pathological Puppy’ treatment in Photoshop a repeat pattern quite unrelated to the original design can be arrived at:

But back to the actual cards…

This year I have made a few more than we’ll use and several packs of four cards each are available in my shop, should you wish to have your festive (or any other) messages delivered by a pale blue bear…

… or a pale blue wolf.

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation

instagram

Rainbow over Haarlem, shortly before last night’s big, beautiful thunderstorm arrived #rainbow #haarlem #storm_clouds_gathering #moody #sky #clouds #colour #summer #thunderstorm #dome #verdigris #cathedral #kathedralebasilieksintbavo #studio_view #rooftops #netherlands A very happy 54th wedding anniversary today to my magnificent Mum & my dashing Dad!
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#mum_and_dad #happy_anniversary #1960s #classic #style #1960shair #lookin_good #family #old_family_photos #sepia #black_and_white #patina Luminous jelly bells! Jellyfish silkscreen print detail…
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#screenprinting #silkscreen #serigraph #zeefdruk #screen_printing #printmaking #handmade #ink  #glow_in_the_dark #GID #phosphorescent #jellyfish #cnidarian #bells #marine_bioluminescence  #pattern #black #green #glow
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https://tinyurl.com/yclpowve I am indebted to the always inspiring artwork of 19th/early 20th Century German biologist Ernst Haeckel. These recent pop-up interpretations (by Maike Biederstädt) of various plates from Haeckel’s masterpiece ‘Art Forms in Nature’ (‘Kunstformen der Natur’, published between 1899 and 1904) are very cool! Swipe right to view ‘em all (six images in total). Japanese woodland spirit, Chibi Totoro, particularly likes the ‘forest’ of sea anemones (5th image :-)
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#ernst_haeckel #art_forms_in_nature #kunstformen_der_natur #biology #natural_history #marine_biology #sea_creatures #creatures_of_the_deep #octopus #octopus_vulgaris #red_starfish #asterias_rubens #acanthophractida #cyrtoidae #radiolaria #protozoa #sea_anemones #actinaria #chibi_totoro #popup #pop_up_book #maike_biederstädt #paper_engineering #prestel #pattern #texture #form #design
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‘Ernst Haeckel Creatures of the Deep: The Pop-up Book’, by Maike Biederstädt, published by Prestel August 2016 A couple of weeks ago, during a particularly stressful time, we were asked by our neighbours to kitten-sit while they were away for a few days... turns out kitten therapy was just what we needed #purrs 😺 Today I downloaded these pics off my SLR and thought I'd share 'em here... because everyone can do with a bit of kitten therapy in their lives! #kittens #kitten_therapy #grey #sansa #british_blue #black #jax (scroll right for Jax!) Summer solstice sundowner, 22h05, 21 June #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #sundowner #brouerijtij #beer #ijwit #thirst_quencher #sandy #beach #parnassia #north_sea #ocean #netherlands

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