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Atelier News: another reconstruction portrait

I'm working on a new 'reconstruction' portrait. From time to time that comes on my path. This post is about two previous reconstructions. I write this to explain to you what I mean by 'reconstruction portrait': some 2 years ago I painted the portraits of two girls 'when they were little'. They are now in their forties and when they were 5 or 6 years old, portraits were made from their two sisters. But before it was their turn, the artist died and their parents never found another one with the same style... Until they met me, thirty years later. With the help of lots of old photo's (all yellowed, sepia, black and white) and interviews combined with sketching sessions with them and their parents, I 'reconstructed' the portraits. It was very interesting and challenging, the difficult part is of course that the input is partly from memory and descriptions and partly of photo's of often vague and unclear quality... But I could also meet 'the portraitees' in real life and although they were older, their 'colours' were still the same. I finished the job and the two are now in a beautiful composition with their two sisters! The reconstruction I'm working on now - and will write about in coming posts - is even more challenging, the person I am about to paint, has passed away. Luckily I have his wife as great source of information -as well as his daughter, who looks like him. If you want to know how it will go - keep watching this space!    

From the Aquarellista headquarters 4

 The portrait is almost finished! There are some minor details but they will have to wait until I have done the greater part of the next portrait - the other half literally of this one... My plan is to connect them using the background. Their personal colours are very different, but this will make the two portraits, like the two people, 'belong'... Anyway, since my last post I worked on the cooler floor and the rug and the warmer wall and chair (window basically left white!) and after that I adjusted the reflections in the glasses...           The 'after' picture has much more likeness to the real person - his cleverness and perceptiveness are much more visible At this point I stopped working on it and handed it over to the new owners, who by the way are very content. But they will have to return it for the last strokes when I am in the finishing stages of number two, so I can align the rug, and the window. But that will take a while. I will keep you posted!

From the Aquarellista Headquarters 3

The portrait is coming along fine - the shape, colours and features of my 'muse'  are basically done. Still some tweaking is needed, for instance I am not yet completely happy about his glasses, but I will wait with that until the background is done, because then I can work with a reflection, based on something that is actually there. Right now I am working on the chair, which is coming along fine. Main colour used for that W&N burnt sienna. The most important colour for the background is going to be W&N Payne's Grey. It will probably have green and red tones.     And on the right there will be lots of white - but that is a true timesaver in aquarelle, the parts you don't have to paint!  

From the Aquarellista Headquarters 2

Although there is not as much time as I hoped for (because my artist bro Pim had to go to hospital and I'm taking over his classes for the rest of the month and April, lots of planning and general distraction)  - I am slowly working on the portrait commission, and 'the thing' is already happening: I fall in love with my subject. I am thinking about him and his features all the time. By the way, this always happens to me! Boys, girls, old, young- as long as it has a heartbeat, I love it deeply during the making of the painting! It is probably what the term 'muse' is all about... Anyway - a remark on my work is sometimes that I show a much too 'loving' image - and the above is probably why! Can't help it! Maybe I should someday paint somebody that I don't like - as a test... OK - here's a picture of the basic sketch: very thin , with a HB pencil on the Arches torchon, so that the drawing will hardly be visible on the painting when it is finished.     And then the first wash  of his face, without much detail and contrast - but definitely with a likeness to, euh... my muse!

Green Rosebud ‘covered’

Last summer I went to my favourite café in Valbonne village and there she was, this performer with just a guitar and a great voice... she was jamming a bit with a couple of local people and it was wonderful. Afterwards I went over to give a bit of super positive feedback and to ask if she had cd's. Long story short, her name turned out to be Catherine Taylor Dawson, she is a professional singer from the UK, who at this moment mainly does session work and (to give you an idea of her voice) did TV adverts and re-mixes for the vocals of Katy Perry, Joss Stone and Bjork...

She is currently recording and producing her first solo album with all songs composed by herself - and guess who is going to design the cover! I am delighted that for the time being  she has produced a jazzy album with covers of great songs for marketing reasons - and that she chose my 'Green Rose Bud' for the front as a try out...and by the way, the cooperation went very well!

To check out her photo and her music you can check out or google her name... You can listen to her music via internet... It's definitely worthwhile!!  

‘Farewell’ wins Prize of the Culture Council

 Out of hundreds of entries, one of the two paintings that Marina Kulik entered in the Grand Prix d'Aquarelle has won the prize of the Culture Council! Her other painting (MCRose 13) received a honorary mention.

'This year I am trying out several contests to see if that works as well for publicity as exhibiting does. So far there wasn't much worth mentioning, I ended up in the last fifty in the 'Power of Self' art contest (with self-portraits) and just missed the finals of the Saatchi Showdown (3 votes short, ouch!). This fall I  was invited to participate in the Grand Prix d'Aquarelle 2011. It was an interesting contest, with a theme that I found appealing: 'Roses without thorns'.

There were strict rules, the work should be made specifically for this Grand Prix, and it was not permitted to show it anywhere else before it was judged. That's why it hasn't been on my website until last week! I have actually produced three works for it, but one, though great fun to create, didn't come through my own ballot. I painted the singers of the Dutch song 'Rozen Zonder Doornen',  Gert en Hermien Timmermans... very lame but now kind of cult- But it would only mean something to older Dutch people.

Ok, and the other two that made it were a new version of my McRoses, number 13, a big one on handmade paper. Certainly no thorns there, as it is a painting suggesting an estranged rose, from fabric, or 'pillows' as many people say. The second was more complicated, and I am very happy that it is this one that won the prize: it's name is 'Farewell' because I painted it like the roses we dropped in the water of the North Sea, after we scattered the ashes of a dear friend. And, it has as a subtitle  'Such roses do not exist, but you can hide the thorns'. Hence the ribbon around it.

I am very happy with this acknowledgement!

One more contest-like happening to go, I have also entered for the second time in the Holotropic Art Symposium, held in Rumania, and this year it has prizes too.

Fingers crossed and I'll tell you all about that in another post...'

McRose 12


Wearable Art in Casablù

From 10 September onwards Marina Kulik shows a collection of hand painted bracelets and necklaces and hats in Galerie Casablù. Also on display several of MArina's aquarelles and jewelry by Françoise Weber. The galerie is open every day from 10am - 7pm Casablù Rue Eugène Giraud 06560 VALBONNE

Expo Marina Artist Team in Dutch Consulate Nice


From March 1st onwards, until 2012, six aquarelle watercolours created by the Marina Artist Team will be on display in the Dutch Consulate in Nice. The Marina Artist Team are Marina Kulik, Marina Teding-van Berkhout and Cathie van der Stel, three aquarellistas, who work together on commissions for houses, portraits (of people and pets) and wedding bouquets. The Consulate already owns a portrait in aquarelle of her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, made by Marina Kulik.

Shown are a Berner Senner puppy and Grapes by Marina Teding van Berkhout, portrait of a black woman and poppies by Cathie van der Stel and portrait of a little girl and Cat & Frog by Marina Kulik. The exhibition is open to everybody visiting the Dutch consulate. Click the dutch flag on the upper right hand side to read the Dutch translation...

Exhibition in Les Terrasses d’Antipolis


From Tuesday 18 January to 11 April (2011), Marina Kulik exhibits her abstract paintings in the Centre d’Affaires of the "Espaces Antipolis" as well as the Restaurant "Les Terasses d' Antipolis" in Sophia Antipolis, the 'Silicon Valley' of the South of France. The show is initiated and organized by Ambre International,  an association promoting "quality contemporary art by famous international artists whose work contributes to the Mediterranean and European cultural influence".  It will feature Marina's existing myDNA series as well as her recent work on "Planets". The exhibition is open on working days from 8 AM to 7PM. Les Terrasses d'Antipolis 300 route des Crêtes 06902 Sophia-Antipolis Tel : 0493006060