On 1 October Effy Wild’s new course Radiant: Art Journals launches to the world! It will be a veritable mixed media art journaling buffet of lessons served up by 14 guest teachers plus Effy herself! I’m proud to be among the inspiring line-up of teachers and here on my blog I’ve lined up interviews with all the teachers for you to get to know them a bit better!
So without further ado, let me introduce to you the wonderful Marieke Blokland!
Tell us in one sentence what it is you do?
I want to make people happy and feeling good about their art with my online art classes at BloknoteAcademy.com
What is your favourite colour palette?
Oh I have so many! I do love using limited colors. I often use two – three bright colors with some neutrals like black, grey or brown. I love mint green and pink, royal blue with red, greys with neons, etc.
What is your (current) favourite art supply?
Caran d’ache neocolor 2 in combination with white acrylic paint. With the acrylic paint I can dilute the crayons, which gives awesome pastel colors.
Tell us a bit more about the androgynous dolls with big mouths & eyes that are so representative of your style. Where do they come from and what do they signify to you?
Great question, Iris. I often get the remark that I draw weird dolls, but never the question why.
I find it hard to answer straight forward. First of all I want to underline that I find it very important that you all know, that I respect every human being, every culture, every belief and every religion. But I too find it important that others respect me and my beliefs. I am a humanist and atheist. I was raised like this by my parents. This belief is very important to me: the belief that there is no God. I philosophize a lot about moral values and how to be a good human being. However, it is sometimes very lonely to not have a God or a religious community to turn to. I sometimes really miss this. As an 11-year-old I saw the friend of my mother turning to a Maria statue in a church while on vacation in France. I was so impressed by this, that I started to ask her many questions. What did it mean to her to talk to a statue? What did that statue represent to her? Did she actually believe that the statue could hear her? As an 11 year old I found that so hard to understand. In my teens I have had several occasions, like for example at the funeral of my grandfather, that someone told me that they would pray for me, else I would not go to heaven. This was disrespectful to say to an atheist. It really hurt.
The older I got, the more difficult I found it that I did not have a God or a Saint to turn to. I remember giving birth to my daughter almost 7 years ago I even cried to ‘Mother earth’ for feeling so **** lonely – I so much needed a spirit or saint to turn to, but the belief was just not there. I think it was around 2005 that I started drawing my typical dolls.
They are inspired by Mexican Folk art dolls, Catholic Maria icons, African fertility statues – all with a coating of European children’s book illustration. To me they are my personal icons, representing what I believe. I make them look androgynous, because I do not want them to represent a “Mother” or a “Father”. To me they represent my “Nothing”. I can turn to my dolls in times of happiness and in times of pain. They are my personal saints to turn to in times that others would turn to God.
I find it hard to talk about this, as there are a lot of spiritual and religious art journalers out there with whom I feel a strong connection and who I really respect. But I am often afraid to be judged on my own beliefs so I often avoid talking about this. Opening up about this feels like a sort of ‘coming out’. And that is pretty hard, believe me!
What new exciting thing is coming next in the world of Marieke Blokland?
On July 1st my Art Journal Summer School is starting with 10 awesome guest teachers. I am working on my 4th Dutch book which is called Doodles & Letters. And I have top secret exciting plans for a new e-course with guest teachers starting in January 2016.
Where can we find you online?
The question should be where to not find me, hehe!
Summer school: http://www.artjournalsummerschool.com
Here are some examples of Marieke’s awesome, quirky and personal style of art
I hope you will join us for Radiant: Art Journals! You can read all the information and sign up by clicking here.