In the Netherlands, this artist creates floral art that melds both the real and the cutout in a narrative homage to blossoms she gathers from forest and garden.
When Anne ten Donklaar takes an increasingly rare moment to sit down and talk about her art—the complex, beautiful constructions she creates from real flowers as well as two-dimensional representations she finds in books—she practically radiates. Pretty and energetic, bright and open, the 36-year-old Dutch artist inspires and motivates because she so obviously finds contentment in what she sees and does. And what Anne does has resulted in a robust body of work that has captivated flower lovers around the world. “I don’t start with an idea in my head or a sketch on paper,” she says. “I follow the flowers and the colors I’m working with.” Anne says she has always loved making pictures, playing with color, and concocting floral soups and art out of the things she finds in the garden. When asked to name her artistic influences, she simply points to a sweet pea that lies in wait in her studio. “It is always the flowers. They lead me to each composition.” It has been that way from the start, as Anne’s interests have veered toward the creative since early childhood. At art school, she studied product design and was working on a related professional project when she found her current calling. “I was creating designs for embroidered pillows,” she says. “I was making mood boards with everything I wanted to include, collecting flowers from the garden and picture books. I started to like my mood boards more than my pillow designs, so I followed that trail and here I am.” Her mood board/floral constructions incorporate blossoms, stems, and natural objects that flourish around her home and that she finds throughout her travels. “I am working toward a balance in each piece. It’s like a puzzle or a dance,” she says. “I may love a plant and then build flowers around it. Or I may begin with a color or a shape.”
Courtesy of FlowerMag