My Journey With Colored Pencils

My Journey With Colored Pencils

by Liedia van de Mortel

As long as I can remember, I have been drawing with colored pencils. 25 years ago it became more serious. It was the start of a journey with ups and downs. I was struggling getting rich vibrant colors with colored pencils. I searched for information, but I could not find it. Then I saw the first book of Ann Kullberg! I was so pleased to see that there was some one else who was interested in colored pencil. Wow! What a lot of information she gave me. I started to draw with layers and that was my personal eye opener. When adding layers, the drawing starts to come alive.

During the next years I practiced and practiced. I found my own style and I specialized in still life. I wanted to share my artwork with other people and in 2011 I took part in the international competition of the UKCPS. With my work ‘True colors’ I won the Exaclair Colorfin Award. I was so excited!

True Colours

True Colours is a bit of a traditional still life. Beautiful, but I wanted more than that. I wanted to have a combination of the old and new. So I started to create unusual backgrounds. The craftsmanship of the classical school and the works of artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer and Escher inspired me. These artists used the ‘Golden ratio’, the logarithmic spiral, the Fibonacci sequence or tessellations as a start for their work.

My drawings are often based on these principals. I combine realistic objects with abstract geometric patterns. These unusual patterns create a feeling of motion. They draw your attention from one detail to another. Lightning and composition are important in my work. You can see a symbiotic relationship between the straight and curved lines. The strength and impact of a straight line is the opposite of the grace and elegance of the curved line. You can find this relationship in the reflections and distortions in the objects.

Rock 'n-Roll

The purpose of my work is to make the world a more colorful place. I use the beauty of nature because it is an endless source of inspiration. The colors, patterns and proportions that can be found in nature inspire me.

Drawing is more than visualizing an idea or image. It is a natural desire for beauty. For me drawing is a range of subtle events that become visible on paper. The different experiences are memories that reveal emotions. I want people to enjoy the beautiful things in life. I want to let them see the beauty of color, craftsmanship and creativity. Art enriches and brightens your life and it makes that common things are special.

Hide and Seek

Colored pencil is a perfect medium for artwork but I thought it was hard to get recognition. But I kept trying. In 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 Ann Kullberg selected me for her book ‘Colored Pencil Treasures’. What an honor! And in 2015 I entered for the International ARC salon of the Art Renewal Center in New York with my work ‘Rock ‘n-Roll’. I was selected ‘Finalist’! I was over the moon! I learned from this that it does not matter what kind of medium you use, it is the work itself that has to stand out. So with this in mind in 2017 I took part in the competition ‘Figurativas’ of the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona with my work ‘Hide and Seek’. And was selected ‘Finalist’ there too.

Colored pencil will always be my favorite medium. But it is creative thinking and experimenting that gives me the most satisfaction.

About Liedia:

Liedia van de Mortel lives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She is a self-taught artist and she strives for realism in each drawing. She works with colored pencil since 1994. Her work is very detailed and light and reflections are an important part of her work. She gives courses and workshops in her studio.

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