Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Marjolein Bastin

For some reason, I consistently get people coming to my blog who are searching for information on Marjolein Bastin. I'm not sure why--I've never actually done a post on her artwork! Maybe search engines read minds--I really do enjoy her artwork, and have since I first saw her greeting cards at Hallmark (I'll even confess that as a kid I owned several of her T-shirts). I fell in love with Edith Holden's Country Diary of a Victorian Lady at about the same time, and Bastin's watercolours have many similar qualities, which is probably why I was so drawn to them.

Marjolein Bastin is a very commercial artist, but I really like her work. Her nature drawings and children's books have a charming, sweet quality and reflect an honest appreciation for nature. Bastin is originally from Utrecht, Netherlands and today she and her family split their time between Holland, Missouri (near Hallmark headquarters) and the Cayman Islands. Her "Nature's Sketchbook" line is probably my favourite thing at Hallmark, and is consistently one of their best sellers (hence her vacation home in the Caymans). Her delightfully illustrated children's books about "Vera the Mouse" are just darling.

You can buy Marjolein Bastin's stationary from Amazon, or through her own website, which has great information on the artist and a large selection of her work available for purchase.


Gillian L. said...

I loved your post as I am a huge fan of Marjorlien Bastion. Besides buying and often saving many of her cards I have purchased, calendars, mugs and even some of her ornaments. I read a feature article about her home several years ago in the Netherlands which was as beautiful as her work is. She is a very talented and inspiring artist!


Fete et Fleur said...

Her illustrations are lovely. I love the Vera books too!


K Spoering said...

I love both Edith Holden and Marjolein Bastin. Do you have her book, View from A Sketchbook? It is lovely!

Anonymous said...

Edith Holden in the Modern World

How would you feel if you tried a past life regression and found you were a famous person?! It’s a bit embarrassing actually…lots of people say they were famous in a previous life, I am now of the opinion that the statistics are high due to the clues that are left behind from their legacy encouraging them to dig deeper to find out the truth.

Around 6 months ago a friend of mine spoke about a past life regression she had gone through, and she had found herself in births and deaths registration, which was fascinating. She wasn’t famous, but was in the records, and that in itself was great, just the right balance if you ask me!

Ever since I was a small child my parents had to put up with a highly strung child who’s attitude was “do you know who I am, and what are we going to do next as there is no time to be wasted!”, cross the road here for goodness sake, why cant I read that road sign (because I cant read yet being 2 years old and feeling the frustration of it), or lying in my pram on a sunny day in the garden and feeling so very bored!

When I was 3 and just started at play school, the owner approached my mother ( I remember this day and the chat they had) and said that Sarah had a great talent, it was just a matter of time before we found out what it was (based on me kicking out all the other children from the wendy house and playing on my own for the rest of the morning on my first day at play school)… Yes Im an unsociable git, who does like the company of others, but on my own terms…

I became an artistically talented child, I remember the day I learnt perspective (I found it by accident and must have been around 4).

I do a lot of self hypnosis in the way of visualisation, usually going to a place I find relaxing (a lavender field with a tree and the sea laid out before me) and then moving on to my study to visualise whatever I wish to happen in my life at that time. So when my friend spoke of this past life experience, I thought I could probably have a go at that myself without the need to visit a hypnotist. The interesting part was that the doors I usually go into from my imaginary corridor are to the left, but when I regressed they were to the right (signalling a memory not a made up place).

My first experience was of Mary Hansworth, of Epping Forest. She was in her 20’s in 1792, what gave it presidence was I have never been to Epping, I don’t like the name Mary, and she felt so relaxed, far more than I am in my life today. She unfortunately came to a sudden end, not much older than her 20’s, she was chased by “the Red Coates”.. which I have since found out was the slang name for british soldiers of the time, and fell off her horse breaking her neck… Rather clumsy!

Having found this life, I started to reseach it on the internet, paying sites for early records etc..but could not find her, but I had a strong feeling that I should be able to find myself…

One evening, having researched past lives on the internet a little more, I had another go and asked my subconscious to take me to a more recent life… I didn’t really think there had been one actually, but hoped there had been one as I wanted proof of past life, how fascinating that would be… well I found one all right! And what a complete and utter shock..its a strange feeling shocking yourself!

I found a door on my corridor, that wasn’t Victorian in style as are the others, but found a gorgian style one, wider with a brass oval handle, I stepped in and into a whole new life. I could see I was wearing Victorian style eyelet brown boots, a fine cotton/woollen coat and brown matching dress of Edwardian period with matching brown soft hat with a flat trim and extra gathered material puff ball style. I was walking through a woodland path, I often walked there gathering mushrooms and wild flowers. I asked my name and it was another that I don’t like..Edith, my surname was Holden…I went cold!

Edith Holden who created the Edwardian Diary of Country Lady… I KNEW WHO I WAS… instantly, and it shocked me to the core, it just flooded back, I cant express enough just how strange it felt to know instantly and to have the ability to shock myself…how my subconscious could hold such a secret for so long and not hint strongly before….

I have tried to re-visit this life in a regression, and cannot with any great detail, mostly because I just cant come to terms with it.. You see all my life I have been trying so hard to prove myself, I have changed my artwork style to fit in with the modern world, when in fact I am still very much Edith and cling on to this life because I have unfinished business.

I sit here in my room decorated in Laura Ashley (inspired by Edith), dried pink roses on my wall and fake wild flowers adorning my dining room. A portpholio from my art school days of flowers and country scenes, photographs of blackberrys and roses, ploughed fields and my more modern designs done to try to create the next best design wave of flower patterns inspired by Edith and William Morris (Ediths greatest inspiration it turns out as he was the president of the art school she attended in Birmingham).

Edith died on the 6th April 1920, I was born on the 5th April 1973 (4 years before her book was found and published starting the great inspiration that sporned Laura Ashley and countelss wallpaper and bed linen designs).

I have extra large lungs apparently, they are a weak point in my current life, the swell up at the slightest excuse so I cannot breath, I was born dead due to being strangled by my umbillacle cord and several months early…but I was determined to live and survived being the longest baby in an incubator ever at that time in the Luton and Dunstable hospital. Edith died as she drowned in the river close to Kew Gardens in London. She complained of a bad headache the day she died (two lives lost through accidents makes for a soul wanting to make up for lost time). I have only ever been to Kew gardens once, when I was 9 years old… I remember the day because I felt uncomfortable and developed a very bad headache.

At 18 years old (1991) I moved to Derbyshire, I met a boy from this region when I was at Graphic Design college, went up there to spend time with him in the summer holidays and it felt “like home” so strongly that at the first opportunity I moved there… However it seems I got it wrong… it was not Derbyshire I was harking after it was Warwicshire and Oxfordshire which is like Derbyshire in looks but better! I have discovered this more recently.

My idea of heaven is rolling fields (I like hills) with lots of trees and wild flowers so that I can really feel the changes of the seasons. The home I built for myself in Derbyshire left the 20th Century behind, it was like a time warp (Victorian/Edwardian Era), I and my then boyfriend moved in and stripped it down back to the basic shell (it was Victorian). I grew wild flowers in my garden, I could not wait to come home from work to check how much it had grown each day, and I spent most of the summer months weeding and tending to my Victorian country garden. I loved jogging through the fields that were opposite my home first thing in the morning, dogging the wild rabbits and jogging around the cows refreshed my sole. Gathering kindling wood for my open fire and decorating my home in Laura Ashley and painting leaf patterns on my wooden stairs…my escape from the modern fast moving world even though I was in my early 20’s.

I had no idea I had unfinished business from a previous life that was keeping me from the 20th century. I loved that house, as I do my modern home now (which is quirky and designed inside by the builders to be a Victorian home). I love my sold wood furniture (with carved flower designs), and my husband insists that I display my paintings many of water…the sea as well as country and flower scenes.

I have always known I was not conventional. 6 years ago I attempted to get out of the rat race….I jacked in my full time job, became a graphic designer/marketing person for half the week, and re-trained as an adult education tutor and taught watercolour painting for 15 hours a week initially and then mixed media (and computer studies including Photoshop etc as I am a wiz on computers), I was a natural teacher, even on a off day I could teach very easily (I re-trained as I had previously taught when I was in CCTV and loved it) I have since found out that Edith was an art teacher, her specialism watercolour. You see I have worked most of my life in CCTV a male dominated industry (nothing new for Edith who was very independent and forward thinking for her day attending rallies and protests and working for animal charities such as the RSPCA and anti vivisection…I have a natural affinity with animals in my current life, particularly cats and dogs), as I am not just artistic, I have a technical talent that often goes hand in hand with being artistic (so was my father who designed the electronic workings for the Trim phone, the first electronic ring telephone), being surrounded by talent was not new to Edith either most of her family were extremely talented and physic (as am I). I also note at this point I am married to Paul Sillitoe the nephew of Alan Sillitoe the author of “Loneliness of the Long Distance runner” and “Saturday Night Sunday Morning”, that my sister Fiona has a great design talent, has won 2 competitions on the clothes show for her textile designs with flowers, turned down a design job in New York, has been on TV twice and was exhibited in the Design Museum in London in 1990. I have another sister who is a big name in banking due to her specialist computer programme designs being a director of several banks and a doctorate in mathematics, after all design is problem solving and can be used in these very ways, my mother is a published author, poet and strong physic, and my step father is also a published author who creates the most fantastic poetry. I put in all this information, as it is believed that souls come back together… and I was and still am surrounded by these very same souls. There are some shinning stars in our two families who are awaiting their time too (when they have grown up) we have a budding actor, another artist a mathematician and another alan sillitoe who is so descriptive she is a joy to have around. So why have I not done so myself to date if I’m so special I hear you say…?

Good question… it’s a matter of trying too hard, I have been trying too hard all my life as I have a lot to live up to, deep down I knew what I had achieved, and being my own hardest critic, I have been trying to Modernise my art to make it fit in with now, without realising that were it began was actually good enough. When you look at my art work I have obveoulsy been very influenced by William Morris (which I seeked out myself at art college and devoured as I love his pattern designs) and my core is Edith in style who loved William Morris, and feel like I have been and still create what I did not previously have the time to create and explore, I actually create what comes to me (I see it in my minds eye), then I just bring it into being in the physical world.

Knowing what I do now, I find it very interesting that I am so obsessed with painting water in particular the sea, in which my father drowned on the 18th July 1981 (a little coincidendal don’t you think), and my patterns that are like tunnels with the light at the end of, or swirls….. as the last images I would have seen when drowning in the river would have been similar type images, tumbling extruded flowers, circles of air bubbles and finally the light. I find it interesting that I had a similar experience when being born, after all I was starved of oxygen by being choked by the umbilicle cord, but I battled through and have quite frankly been battling my way through this life ever since.

Shortly after experiencing my regression I thought I would go to see a professional regression specialist to see if she could take me under deeper to find out more, I found her on the internet, communicated by e-mail and booked a session with her, the next day before my visist) she received a post card from her sister who had visited William Morris’s house a couple of days before and the card had William Morris’s House and Edith’s famous roses design around the outside of the house as a pattern..the universe was letting her know to take me seriously, and letting me know it was truly time the truth was out. 2 days after my self induced regression my company re-located my “patch” to cover Oxfordshire and Warwicshire and it was then and only then I ventured for the first time in my life to the area I had onced lived as Edith, quite evidently it was my time to know. What I have written may seem mad and controviersial, but there you are, judge for your self, my website is: www.theyarnshop.1freecart.com where you can view some of my art and maybe then you will have an inkling of belief. Im glad you like my work! : )

Anonymous said...

Do you anything about "Bloom for Bunny" by Marjolein Bastin?