10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011 - No 3 Joanne Sharpe
10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011 - No 5 Lori Vliegen

10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011 - No 4 Mariette van Leeuwen

The fourth person on my list is....

10 Most Artistically Inspiring People of 2011

No 4
Mariette van Leeuwen
'Queen of Minimalism'


Let me introduce you to the Queen of Minimalism - Mariette van Leeuwen.  Mariette has her own blog (no don't go there yet - you won't be back here for a while) and a huge body of work on Flickr - nope not giving you that link either, you'll be gone for hours!  I promise to put the links at the end of the post :O)  I'm humming "Nobody does it better" from James Bond as I type, because honestly in all my blog hopping and internet browsing I've never seen anyone else do this style of card better - yep it's a big call - but I stand by it.  I stumbled across Mariette's amazing art on Flickr - surfing about, you know when you have time to kill and you type in 'card art' it it spits out 25000 results :O)  I was captivated - simple, graceful, beautiful, visually inspiring artwork - what I call minimalist!  Now by minimalist I do NOT mean the cards are simple, lacking technique, or lacking embellishment.  What I see when I look at Mariette's art is like looking inside the tardis, a Doctor Who reference for those who aren't Sci-Fi nerds - referring to something which is bigger and more complex, than it first looks.  Just look at her backgrounds, almost the whole story is stamped, inked and coloured on the one flat piece of card.  I find it difficult to fathom how she gets so much colour and vibrancy, so much depth on mostly one piece of card.  Every element is in place, everything is in balance, there is not one unnecessary bit of embellishment on the cards - they are perfect, they need nothing more, nothing less. 

Sigh - I'm in minimalist card heaven.

Let me show you some of Mariette's work before I go on, so you can see what I mean for yourself.

Mariette 3
Mariette 1a
Mariette 2
Mariette 4
Mariette 6
Now don't get me wrong, I love 3d, complicated projects as well, and you all know I'm addicted to my Prima flowers - but I have to say how much I admire Mariette for being able to produce cards which are amazingly beautiful without needing 50 flowers, 10 kinds of ribbon, 8 Spellbinder dies, 9 colours of card and 15 layers (yes I'm occasionally guilty of making those - OK so more than occasionally).  I've tried creating minimalist cards myself (you can see my effort here) and let me tell you they are so much harder than they look, to make something beautiful with so few elements.  There is no way to hide mistakes, everything is visible and while happy with my efforts, I humbly bow here to the master.  Making these beauties is tough, requires skill and a real eye for placement and colour and honestly Mariette has all that and more!

I love that she uses a range of colours from bold to delicate, I love that all of her central images are the main attraction and stand bold and proud on her cards, her layering and masking is crisp and precise and makes you feel like you are in the scene she creates.  I also get the feeling she might like butterflies - just a guess :O)  Her cards aren't just 'pretty' they carry you away into the piece.  I can almost smell the night-time sea air tang as I look at the sailing boat card - as I said before, nothing unnecessary - every element placed perfectly to convey a 'feeling' and as I understand it - this ability to make others 'feel' is the mark of a true artist.  So my hat is off to the Queen of Minimalism, Mariette van Leeuwen, for inspiring me to try my first card in this style and for continuing to inspire me to try more.  Mariette your art is amazing.


Now Mariette has only started blogging this year so the bulk of her art is currently on Flickr

You can see Mariette's Flickr albums here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/stempeljetje/

You can find Mariette's Blog 'Stamping Mariette'  here:  http://stampingmariette.blogspot.com/

I'd advise you to grab a cup of something warm and tasty, a nice biscuit or muffin, sit back and drool :O)