I have always liked painting textures as realistically as I could. To be able to paint water or the texture of stones, feathers, skin or hair offers endless technical challenges, each different on its own. Along the way I developed my own preferred technique and style. Once I got into painting fabrics I was hooked.
My life-long love of fabrics and clothes collided with my passion for painting and I have been into painting fabrics every since. After trying out various materials painting lace was a challenge I could not resist. And I still do not feel like I have explored it fully. I’d like to figure out different ways of painting it, without compromising on showing its delicacy, transparency and complexity.
The lace from the early 17th century is one of my favourite types of lace. It is called ‘early lace’ because in the late 16th and early 17th century lace only just became popular, partly due to it appearing in the portraits of Queen Elizabeth. In those early days lace developed at lightning speed into quite complex and refined patterns. Compared to the lace from the 18th and 19th centuries however, early lace has a specific charm that is hard to explain. Early lace has a heartening lack of glamour and grandness which we find in later lace in such abundance and which truly explodes in the great designs (great in size and design) of Victorian lace.
Sophie Ploeg, Brabant Lace, oil. A piece of Flemish lace from the 18th century.
Over the years I have borrowed, bought and was given pieces of lace to use for my paintings. I can hardly call myself a serious collector (the truly beautiful and larger pieces are spectacularly expensive) as I am not after a comprehensive collection but search for what I need for my paintings. Over time I have gathered quite a few pieces. I keep them carefully wrapped up in archival tissue in archival boxes which I purchased especially for it. Once in a while the lace needs to be re-folded or (better still) rolled to avoid creases becoming too permanent. Here are some pictures of my collection.
The Spanish Blonde Lace shawl used in the ‘The Shawl’ (see above)