The Complete Gnomes, cir 1970's





Picking ticks off fox friends

Lol racist...at least the watercolor is vibrant?
Lol more racism...
Ugh! Racist and sexist - story of European gnomes visiting Siberian gnomes, and being offered Siberian women to sleep with - in your dreams, Poortvliet!
This Gnome womyn was hand drawn and painted by me, from an image in the book. This is what beginning artists do, we copy and copy and copy some more.


I came across The Complete Gnomes by chance. This book has 414 pages of full color, with enchanting illustrations by Rien Poortvliet and text written by Wil Huygen. Despite its title and obvious subject matter, it’s really a window into old Dutch culture. 
When I studied Western Art History, Dutch painters and especially the Golden Age painters were absolutely my favorite.  I almost enrolled in a Golden Age Dutch art history class for fun, when I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley. I backed out when I quickly learned in the first class that shit was going to be way too serious and difficult ( not gonna be fun). “What? You want me to submit a 14-page paper in two weeks, on top of all the other schooling I have?....See ya later!” 
Back to The Complete Gnomes: I wish I could come across a similarly watercolor-rich book of Vietnamese culture, maybe featuring Viet fairies and dragons. Gnomes are strictly northern European inventions.
Poortvliet uses watercolor, ink, and from what I can tell, touches of colored pencil, to create vibrant illustrations of gnome livin’. The hefty book is great reference material as I learn to work with watercolors.
I’ve come a long way since I picked up watercolor two years ago. The first pieces of work I did are embarrassing! Maybe someday I'll share them... :) 

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