Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dorrebomen meditation

Several years ago my most artsy friend showed me these crayons that were unlike I'd ever seen before. They were very vibrant in color, looked like wax, but were water soluble. They were Caran d'Ache Neocolor II. Propably a lot of people have heard about them by now, but for me they were a revelation. Wow and wow again! I almost immediately (almost, it's hard to do some things immediately when you live on an island) went out and bought a tin of 15 crayons.

 And here's the weird thing: they made me want to draw these strange landscapes with barren trees in them, empty hills and some objects in the sky. I have no idea where this came from, it's like the material just called for it. They reminded me a little of these alien worlds that you see in very cheaply done science fiction movies or old series like Star Trek.

I started drawing them in my journals first, but after a while I dedicated a special sketchbook just to them. I call these drawings my 'dorrebomen', which literally means 'barren trees'. It's not really a regular dutch word by the way, I kind of stole it from a coats of arms of a town that used to be on this island and has now been swallowed up by the ocean. On it was a barren tree and it was called a 'dorreboom', so I just invented the plural ;-)

Some people take walks (so do I by the way), some people do breathing exercises (not me), some people stare into a flame (sometimes that's me too), but when it comes to art for me it is drawing these empty trees in their strange colorful landscapes that is like pure meditation. They are so easy to do and so relaxing and I can play with colors and different shapes and perspectives without any thinking.

Over the years I have drawn quite a few and I've even done a series of atc's on them, but I thought I'd just show you a small selection from my 'dorrebomen book'. Just to give you an idea.

I think when it comes to the most pure art  I make that is totally my own, these simple drawings come very close. Perhaps one day I will make big paintings with these kinds of landscapes, but actually I kind of like them better on a small page. This book measures about 20x15 cm. I bought it several years ago at one of my favorite museums: The Tate Gallery in London and that gives it a special glow too ;-)

Meanwhile I am the posessor of an enormous box of neocolor (Yay!). It cost a fortune but everyday I am still so happy I got it. I use these crayons in propably 80% of my artsy endeavors. By the way, for those wondering after al this praise, I am not affiliated with the manufacturers, I know there's other brands out there. These are the only ones I have tried and they are great. Just wanted to share some art supply love  and show you some non mixed media work ;-)


  1. Oh yes Caatje, I love these crayons too...have a nice little supply along with my oil crayons which I love too...
    Sweet little pics of your drawings too, they are good for the soul...

  2. Yes, I love the neo's too! The clear gesso is quite gritty but after lightly sanded makes a pretty good surface for writing. I think that probably an acrylic matt spray would work the best but it gives me a headache. Your art is great!

  3. I just discovered these crayons a couple months ago and I have to agree with you, I absolutely ADORE them!!! I love the intense color and the versatility to use them dry, wet or just a little bit wet. Love your work with them too. Oh how I wish I could get them all someday!

  4. In case you didn't know, you can also use them to paint! Just put a wet brush to the crayon. What I love about this, is that I don't have to mix colors. I have a collection of 84 colors now, so I can just pick up of the crayon what I need. (I'm somewhat of a lazy artist, haha).

  5. This are so wonderful. I hope you post more often!


I appreciate each and every comment. They make me really happy. I don't like spammers though and that's why the word verification is turned on. I know it's a pain, but I hope you understand.

I try to respond to all comments by directly replying in the comment section, but please understand that sometimes this may take some time. Know that I read them all and that they make my day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...