Oh, the month of may in a garden… everything’s so fresh and colorful. Every morning I’m curious: have the peonies and allium opened up yet? So inspiring! See my latest designs with may flowers in this month’s newsletter.
If you love long walks, like I do, and always encounter beautiful leaves and flowers on your way, you could bring a portable flower press. I never bring my wooden press – far too heavy – and made this light weight one. Just cut three pieces of card board to the desired size (e.g. 15 x 15 cm), cut six pieces of tissue paper and layer them until you have a nice little bundle. Perfect fit for a postage rubber band, or for four small rubber bands. Easy does it!
One way to capture the beauty of flowers is to dry them and keep them forever with you. I’ve been picking flowers and leaves in my garden all summer last year, pressing them, and am now creating patterns and collages with these dried botanicals. Such as these framed ones for my project #100daysofbotanicalcollages. What I like to do is create new little worlds with them, by adding leaves to different stems, flowers to other branches, etc. I then photograph, scan or frame them.
After ten days of sun printing here’s a few of my tips and tricks for you to make botanical sun prints at home. This is what you’ll need:
Yesterday was a very sunny sunday here in Amsterdam, perfect for a sunprint on fabric. I tested dye-na-flow fabric paint on pieces of cotton. I find it easier to print on paper than on wet fabric, but here are some of the botanical collages I made by mixing two colours: pewter and teal. All prints are made with freshly picked leaves and flowers from my garden. Check out more of my botanical collages over here.
If you live in the Netherlands you might have noticed that the amelanchier (krentenboompje) is in bloom. It is one of my favorite spring trees, I love the pretty brown leaves and the little white flowers. It is featured in this sun print, made on day 3 of my botanical collage project on Instagram. Next week – after ten days of making sun prints – I’ll be sharing a tutorial. It’s so much fun to do!
100 days of botanical collages is a project in which I’ll be making collages for a hundred days and daily post the results on my Instagram account. Working from my garden studio I love capturing the beauty of everything that’s growing in and around my garden. It is the base for everything I make. I also love creating collages and patterns with fresh flowers. During winter months I ‘m using the dried flowers and leaves I picked during the summer months.
From april 4th up until july 12th 2017 I’ll be exploring several techniques to capture the plants and flowers that are in bloom in my garden right now. I’ll be arranging them into collages or patterns and photograph or reproduce them as analog prints. On sunny days cyanotype and sun prints are definitely on my list. The chemical process in which the fluid reacts with the sun is just magical. I’ll be sharing tutorials during the project so you can try it out for yourself.
When you’re new to Instagram you might not have heard from #the100dayproject. Anyone can join and picks his or her own subject. I’ve had friends doing 100daysofcircles (!), 100daysofknitting and so on. Last year I did #100dayspaintinginmygarden, which I loved doing. It’s especially good if you’re using a technique like water color, which takes a lot of practice… I’ve been using and selling the images afterwards in my bedding designs.
The last day of winter, finally! To honor my least favorite of all seasons, I made a photo collage. Three months of cold, dark and rainy days is just about enough to make me scream for spring (well, almost). Although it’s a gloomy day today, my garden is showing all kinds of new life: my apple trees have tiny leaves and winter beauties like helleborus and pansies brighten up dark corners. Daffodils are in bloom, and so will the grape hyacinths and hyacinths be soon. Bye bye winter, I won’t be missing you (sorry).